An authentic and familiar taste.
I am back with another episode of authentic foreign food in Osaka. Today I am here to try an authentic flavor which I have truly miss, the taste of Southeast Asia. Though I have never been to Southeast Asia, I have had various different chances to try Southeast Asian food back home in Canada. My favourite cuisines back home were Vietnam and Thai. Though there weren't many Malaysian nor Singaporean restaurants back in Toronto, every now and then I have came in contact with Hainanese Chicken Rice and Malaysian styled fried noodles and rice. However, are those really authentic or or fusion I might never know until I get the chance to actually go and see for myself. As for this blog, I will assume that the food I eat at this Malaysian restaurant here in Osaka is authentic since the owner/chef is Malaysian.
From what I know about Southeast Asian cuisine is that they love to use herbs, especially fresh ones like basil, star anise and so on. My other knowledge about Southeast Asian cuisine comes from all those video I have watched and gathered from Mark Weins channel on YouTube. Though I love writing about Japanese food, that's not the only thing I love, in fact I just love food in general. I remember my first time actually trying Indian cuisine with my friend during Christmas and had a fantastic time. Exploring new cuisine is one of my hobbies and would love to share it with everyone around the world. Since Japan isn't known for many authentic foreign restaurants it is my job to let all of you know about these fantastic restaurants out there for you to try and have an authentic meal.
The dishes I will be trying are Sambal Nasi Goreng, Assam Penang Laksa, Fish Head Curry, Nasi Lemak, Nyonya Chicken Curry and Hainanese Chicken Rice.
Sambal Nasi Goreng
KennyAsia's Nasi Goreng
Singapore Cuisine Liang Ah Lo's Nasi Goreng
Sambal Nasi Goreng is a fried rice dish with a fried egg. The fried rice is made with vegetables, soy sauce and sambal hot sauce. On the side you will find veggies and meat side dishes along with sambal hot sauce and a shrimp chip. The sides differs according to the region of Southeast Asia you are. In my case, I had this dish in Osaka, Japan; they served it with sambal hot sauce sauteed shrimp and vegetables. The fried rice in Southeast Asia and mainland Asia is quite different so if you ever have the opportunity I do suggest to try it. I have had the opportunity to try Nasi Goreng at two different restaurants in Osaka: KennyAsia and Liang Ah Lo. KennyAsia's seem to have more side dishes while Liang Ah Lo's just have the fried egg on top of the fried rice. Taste wise, Liang Ah Lo's nasi goreng seems to have stronger taste while KennyAsia's had a more balanced taste. Depending on the type of person you are one of these two nasi goreng might suit your taste buds.
KennyAsia's Curry Laksa
Laksa is a noodle dish in a yellowish curry soup. The toppings are usually seafood and/or chicken. There are actually 2 kinds of laksa, number one is called Curry Laksa which is the one I had at this restaurant with a yellowish coconut milk based curry broth. The other one is called Assam Laksa which is a reddish sour soup usually made with fish and tamarind. This version of laksa you can find in Penang, Malaysia.
KennyAsia's Nasi Lemak
KennyAsia's Nasi Lemak 2nd time around
This is a famous dish and served through out Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore). Nasi Lemak is basically rice cooked in coconut milk. The rice is then served with anchovies, an egg and some kind of stir-fried vegetables with meat. Like the Nasi Goreng, the stir-fry differs from region to region in Southeast Asia. Here it was onions and bell peppers stir-fried with shrimp.
Hainanese Chicken Rice
KennyAsia's Hainanese Chicken Rice
This is the national dish of Singapore. The chicken is is boiled till perfection along with herbs, thus retaining all its juice and giving it that soft tender skin and meat. It is served with rice cooked in the stock where the chicken was boiled , soup and two types of dipping sauce. The first dipping sauce is a spicy one with a strong garlic flavour; the other one is soy sauce with minced ginger. There is no proper way to eat this so feel free to either dip the chicken in the sauce, pour it over your rice or simply just not use the sauce.
KennyAsia's Teh Tarik
Teh tarik is the famous pull milk tea in the Southeast Asia region. They use condensed milk to sweeten the tea and pull it aerate it for a more smooth and foamy texture. You can get it hot or cold so can be enjoyed all year round! Not only is the teh tarik here in KennyAsia good but they also pull it in front of you!
KennyAsia's Kopi Tarik
This is the coffee version of the pull milk tea. Similar to Teh Tarik they sweeten the coffee with condensed milk and pull and aerate it. If you are more of a coffee than tea type of person then no problem they got you covered with Kopi Tarik! Same as the teh tarik, they pull it right infront of you at KennyAsia.
KennyAsia's Nyonan Chicken Curry with Rice
Nyonyan or Peranakan are Chinese immigrants who came to the Southeast Asian region (Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore) for settlement. These people married in the people of this region and created their own food culture. This curry is one of the many examples of Peranaken cooking. With this curry you can taste the best of the two cultures coming together creating a better and much more flavourful dish.
Soup Kway Teow
KennyAsia's Soup Kway Teow
This is a soup noodle dish where thick slices of noodles is served with vegetables and meat in a hot boiling broth. The broth in this case was chicken broth and had a strong sesame oil flavour to it. Kind of reminds me of my childhood's long lost favourite dish I was searching for. The thick slices of noodles were soft and has a slippery texture to it, making it very easy to swallow. The vegetables and the meat adds additional flavour and dimesion to the soup making it more aromatic. It is the perfect soup noodle dish one could hope for.
Char Kway Teow
Singapore Cuisine Liang Ah Lo's Char Kway Teow
This is a stir-fried noodle dish and is one of the more popular comfort food among people living in the Malay peninsula. It is basically thick slices of noodles stir-fried with vegetables and meat in a dark soy sauce base. The ingredients might change depending to the area you are but at this restaurant they used shrimp, scallions, beansprouts, and beef. The flavour was very good because you could taste the strong dark soy sauce but on the other hand you could still taste all the flavours of the ingredients. Also if you have been eating Chinese food just as much as I did you could tell that there was enough wok-hay in the dish.
KennyAsia's Kaya Toast
Kaya toast is a famous dessert dish in Southeast Asia. This dish is basically toast smothered with coconut jam on top. The coconut flavoured is very sweet and the texture of it kind of reminds of a mixture between butter and condensed milk. The Kaya toast here at KennyAsia were thick and very sweet. You could tell that they did not hold back on spreading the coconut jam to give you the true authentic taste of Southeast Asia.
Rojak is a salad like dish made with fruits, vegetables, nuts, tofu and sometimes meat covered in a sweet and spicy dressing. The version I tried here at KennyAsia had fruits, vegetables, nuts and tofu. The ingredients were cut perfectly into bite-size portion making it easy to put into your mouth and chew. The freshness and crunchiness of the nuts and fruits really goes well with the soft chewy texture of the fried tofu really well. Overall a great dish to start with before the main course.
Fish Head Curry
KennyAsia's Fish Head Curry (was out of fish head so they gave me fish pieces instead! Very accommodating and great people there!)
Is a mixed Chinese-Indian dish combining Indian curry with fish head (Chinese loves fish heads for some reason). The curry here at KennyAsia was spicy and the fish head was very soft and tender. The taste kind of reminds me of Nyonyan curry but with a little bit of Indian flare to it. Although a bit pricey, it was well worth the money for a delicious dish like this. I will definitely be coming back here and ordering this dish again.
KennyAsia's Chili Crab
A very luxurious dish famous in Sinagpore. Chili crab along with other dishes like black pepper crab are among the favourite seafood dishes for tourists and travelers going to Singapore. I was fortunate to have this dish at an affordable price at KennyAsia and the flavour was absolutely amazing. The crab was broken down into just right amount of pieces and covered in a spicy sauce. You can tell the crab was cooked just right from how juicy and tender the meat still was. We also ordered a side of bread to soak in the delicious sauce to savour every last bit of that spicy goodness. A dish that I will definitely order again if I am with a large group of people.
Singapore Cuisine Liang Ah Lo's Satay
These are skewers of seasoned meat grilled and then served with a satay sauce which is a mixture of soy sauce and peanut sauce. Different parts of Southeast Asia you go to you will find different types of meat ranging from fish, lamb, beef, pork, chicken, etc. The meat we ordered at this restaurant called Liang Ah Lo was chicken. The satay skewers were very juicy, soft and tender but wasn't too flavourful by themselves but once you add that satay sauce it was out of this world. The best satay would be to have that grilled charcoal flavour on the meat and when you dip it into the satay it creates a balance between the bitterness of the charred part along with the sweet in the satay sauce.
大阪府 大阪市中央区千日前1-7-25 相合ビル1階
Website: http://kennyasia.com/ (English and Japanese available)
シンガポール料理 梁亜楼 (Singapore Cuisine Liang Ah Lo)
〒542-0075 大阪府大阪市中央区難波千日前13-6 大一ビル2F
Website: https://r.gnavi.co.jp/kbg4000/menu1/ (Japanese only)