Monday, March 24, 2008

Balinese cuisine to relish

Roasted lamb and Balinese satay, spiced salads and eye-catching desserts make it worthwhile at this Balinese food extravaganza in Kuala Lumpur. EU HOOI KHAW writes.

THE Be Kambing Guling had a lot of people lining up for it. The meat was pink and moist in the slow roasted spiced lamb.

“I want the skin,” said a woman who had been waiting for the knife to go through the crispy layer, as did a few others. We were at the launch of the Balinese Cuisine Extravaganza at the Hotel Nikko Kuala Lumpur.

It took place appropriately under the shade of coconut palms by the poolside, in the cool evening after the rain.

A gong sounded the start of the event, following speeches by Tatang Budie Utama Razak, the Indonesian Charge d'Affaires, and Ron Brooks, the hotel's resident manager.

A slice or two of the lamb, including the skin, landed on my plate. A spoonful of kicap manis with cili padi at the side, and I was set to enjoy the very tender, juicy lamb, with the lightly sweet and hot dark sauce.

Then it was off to the Balinese satay, both beef and chicken. They were well infused with the flavours of the spice marinade: there were hints of kencur (lesser galangal), lemongrass, garlic, chilli and kicap manis in the meat, particularly so for the beef.

The thick, creamy and aromatic peanut gravy is delicious, with the satay, grilled just right. Unlike our Malaysian satay which always tends to be too sweet (both meat and peanut gravy), the Balinese version was subtle and balanced in flavours, with the aromas of herbs and roots.


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