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Saturday May 17, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday May 17, 2014 MYT 1:14:12 PM
by choo woon lim
FANCY some kimchi-flavoured popcorn? How about a bagelwich?
Marrying two food items — some combinations are stranger than others — into a dish is a developing trend in the city.
Curious, Metro Online Broadcast (mob.com.my) went on a hunt and uncovered the following items on the menu.
A trip to the movies is never complete without popcorn. While most people like the usual caramel or lightly salted variety, a Taiwanese franchise called Planet Popcorn has been making waves in Malaysia with its innovative flavours, such as kimchi, seaweed, cheese, coconut and corn soup.
“Our popcorn is mainly ‘mushroom’- shaped and round,” said assistant marketing manager Jack Ho.
Ho said Malay sians were always looking for new products to try. “We have even received suggestions to come up with local flavours such as bak kut teh,” he said.
The bagel is a doughnut- shape dbread, popular as a tea- time snack. While it is usually eaten with just cream cheese, some creative restaurateurs have taken it up a notch with ‘bagelwiches’, transforming these simple snacks into hearty meals.
BrooklynB Bakery & Cafe in SS15, Subang Jaya, for example, has come up with savoury fillings such
as the Philly cheese steak and Lox (salmon) with cream cheese in a poppy seed bagel.
Other interesting bagelwiches include chicken mayo, tuna mayo and scrambled eggs. For those with a sweet tooth, there are spreads such as Nutella, peanut butter and jam.
3) NASI LEMAK GELATO
Nasi l emak and ice cream might sound like an odd combination, but Cielo Dolci in Paradigm Mall, Kelana
Jaya has gained quite a following with this unique gelato.
The brainchild of owner Ong Kee Win, he conceived the unlikely pairing on National Day in 2012.
“I wanted to come up with a flavour that represents Malaysia, and nasi lemak came to mind since it is one of our national dishes,” said Ong.
Using santan as a base for the creamy, savoury- sweet gelato, it includes ingredients such as sambal and ikan bilis , just like the real dish.
“People were initially sceptical since it challenges their perception of gelato, but many customers are
now regulars,” he said.
Ciel Dolci has also come up with funky local flavours such as tau foofa, cempedak and briyani.
4) FRIED MARS BARS
Deep- fried chocolate bars sound sinful, but at Mukha Cafe in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, fried Mars Bars are one of their hottest selling items, especially among women.
The dish is common in Britain and Australia, and owner Sayid Abdul Rahman decided to bring it to Malaysia.
“We use a special fish- and- chips batter,” said Sayid, adding that customers first found it odd but were wowed eventually. At Mukha, it is served with a side of ice- cream.
5) OTAK-OTAK BURGER
Bringing together their love for otakotak and burgers, the owners of Steam N Grill at Setiawalk, Puchong
aim to introduce healthy local cooking with a twist.
Slabs of otak- otak are sandwiched between lettuce, mayonnaise and home-made buns.
In line with the shop’s name, the burgers are steamed or grilled for a healthier meal.
“Some of the younger generation do not know traditional dishes as they like having Western food,” said
owner Zainab Kadir, who runs the shop with business partner Anson Chang.
Apart from otak- otak, they also serve serunding burger.
“Serunding is something you can only enjoy during Malay festivals, but here, you can have it every day,” she said.
6) COOL CUBE COFFEE
Coffee culture has boomed in the past few years, with more and more cafes offering unique varieties f or the growing market.
Coffee Stain by Joseph at Publika in Solaris Dutamas, pride themselves in barista- crafted beverages such as the Cool Cube coffee.
“I noticed that many customers left their iced coffee unfinished, because they liked to sit and chill for a long time.
“The ice would have melted by then, making the drink tasteless,” said barista Tan Sze Yuin, creator of the Cool Cube.
Hence, the drink was born by infusing ice- cubes with Arabica coffee, which is then served with warm steamed milk and poured over the cubes for a cold beverage that retains the flavour.
A relatively new craze in the market is the cronut, a croissant- and doughnut hybrid originating from
New York and it has made its way to Malaysia.
With a texture similar to a croissant but fried like a doughnut, the preparation can be arduous as it needs to be fried longer due to the many layers.
It can be glazed, filled with custard, cream or jelly. Apart from hotels such as GTower in Kuala Lumpur, some bakeries also serve this dessert, such as the KLonut found at Ben’s Independent Grocer, Publika.
8) BEAR PAW BURGER
These cute burgers from Taichung, Taiwan are almost too adorable to be eaten, what with the bear paw logo on the buns. The buns are soft and fluffy, similar to Chinese mantou.
Much like a sandwich bar, patrons can customise their orders by picking a bun flavour, filling (chicken, fish or ham) and sauce.
According to an employee at an outlet in Paradigm Mall, the popular varieties include the brown sugar
bun and whole wheat range.
9) HOT SQUID
Malaysians cannot seem to get their fill of Taiwanese street snacks. Another Taiwan- born product
popular among the local crowd is Hot Squid — a whole deep- fried squid on a skewer, seasoned with
ingredients such as black pepper, sweet pepper and seaweed.
Weighing about 200gm to 300gm each, the squid is sourced from Argentina and come in a formidable
serving — easily as big as one’s face.
Hot Squid owner Lee Chee Keong said this was the perfect size.
“It is difficult to find squids this size locally, so we import them,” he said.
Currently Hot Squid serves only deep- fried cut squid and the whole squid, but upcoming items include
squid- stuffed rice and noodles.
The outlet is located at the Grand Shanghai Food Theme Park, Setiawalk, Puchong.
Malaysians love their cold desserts, especially when savoured in hot weather. Ais- krim potong, particularly, is popular among children.
Now, tropical fruit flavours such as jackfruit, durian and mangosteen seem to be all the rage. Some come in creative shapes, such as chocolate bar- shaped popsicles.
Apart from serving burgers, Steam N Grill also has localised popsicle flavours such as pineapple
and rambutan, lime plum and Horlicks.
Another place where these sweet delights can be found is Fru-T- Pop in Sri Hartamas, which uses real fruits to make these treats.
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