KUEH, located in Shah Alam might be my most favourite cafe in Malaysia so far.
Our country is blessed with hundreds of these savory, colorful delicacies collectively known as kuih-muih. Though the Malays have the most kuih making variety, other ethnicities have their own version as well particularly the Peranakan Chinese.
The Peranakan, also known as the nyonyas are particularly known for their kuih making expertise especially those from the innards of Melaka.
Kuih making is such a deeply intrenched part of Malaysian culture for the past century that even the word "kuih" itself is elusive in its meaning.
The generally accepted meaning of sweatcakes cannot be true because while its true most kuih are sweet, many savoury types are abound. Kuih are also not desserts as they are eaten all day long.
I guess Malaysian snacks are the right way to put it, they are made in small portions and are ready to be eaten on the go.
As such unlike western treats which are crisp and crumbly, kuih are instead soft, smooth and bouncy in texture.
Colour plays an important part in the process of kuih-making, and as one admire looking at these vivid creations, it just struck how relatively few ingredients are used for flavoring.
Combinations of rice flour, sticky rice, sticky rice flour, coconut milk, grated coconut, palm sugar, sugar, pandan leaf, banana leaf, sweet potato, gula Melaka, tapioca, taro, and banana are interchangeably used to create those flavor variances.
The interior is much more modern than I expected with use of ambient lighting to supplement the bistro styled interior.
Its amazing how something as common as an Ice Cream Malaysia can look so inviting under the right presentation.
The food prices here are reasonble. Expect to pay on average RM15-20 per head.
During the old days, making roti jala (fishnet crepe) is an art form. One would dip his or her five fingers into the batter, hover her hand and gracefully moved her fingers in a circular motion so that the mixture dropped slowly and symmetrically into the pan, forming a fine net pattern.
KUEH's roti jala is delicious and soft, with a beautiful presentation of alternating yellow and lime colored crepes . The chicken curry is a bit salty when we tasted it though.
Mee Kari, also known in some parts of the country as Laksa Curry is a dish cultivated from Indian and Chinese cuisine. The Indian influence of curry leaves, chillies and coconut milk, together with the Chinese influence of noodles, tofu and prawn creates a wholly unique Malaysian dish.
Laksa Utara is famous in the northern state of Perlis and Kedah. What differs it from Penang Laksa is the type of fish used. I ordered this and think that it was quite alright. All the flavors hit the right notes for me.
Our traditional kuih are meant to be picked up and eaten with our fingers. The colors are part of the charm. RM4.00 will net you 4 pieces of kuih, whereas RM7.00 will net you 10 pieces.
We cannot resist not to order a dish of Keropok Lekor to finish off our meal. This meal, most famous in Terengganu are essentially fish sausages - made from flour, fish and starch.
The food here flies off the shelf fast. It is in a way very heartwarming, because it shows that our traditional food can survive and attract the eyes of youth.
Between the poetic sounding names of Puteri Mandi, Cik Mek Molek, Tepung Pelita, Nagasari, Nona Manis and Lompat Tikam, along with the less imaginative ones such as Ketayap and Kuih Lopez, , choices here are aplenty.