Sunday 12 August 2012

Budaya Kusina supper club review

Recently I attended my very first Supperclub which was none other than the Budaya Kusina Supperclub hosted by food bloggers Lyn and Barry of “Donnowhat2cook” (Lyn) and “Cheap eats and occasional treats” (Barry). “Badaya” is “culture” in Malay whereas “Kusina” is “kitchen” in Tagolog – thus literally translating as “culture kitchen”. Lyn and Barry promised a Filipino and Malaysian fusion feast and presented a mouth-watering menu ahead of the day:


Kuih rose fried Malaysian coconut milk biscuits and inang-inang (fried sticky rice)


Roti Jala (Malaysian turmeric net pancakes)

Main course

Pork belly adobo, Malaysian slow cooked beef Rendang, Achar Awak (Malaysian pickled veg), 
steamed okra with dried prawn sambal sauce and Ibus (Filipino sticky rice)


Nyonya kuih and Kaffir lime leaf sorbet

Petits fours

Pineapple tarts and Malaysian aerated tea – Teh Tarik with tea dust from Sabah

When the big day arrived, myself and my good friend Sara made the trek across London to Camberwell, our bellies rumbling with anticipation. We received a very warm welcome from Lyn and Barry and then were led to our table for the evening which was immaculately presented:

Nibbles included apple and banana fritters, coconut milk biscuits and very colourful inang-inang which were served with a spicy dip and a sweet chilli dipping sauce.

I loved the jam jars we drank out of that evening. They added an extra quirkiness to the evening and made it all the more memorable.

Being Lyn and Barry’s first Supperclub there were only seven of us - but it was the perfect number as it meant that you got to talk intimately with everyone there which wouldn’t have been possible with a much larger group. The concept of dining with strangers from all different countries and backgrounds was an interesting one, but despite our differences, we all had the common ground of a passion for food.

Next we were treated to…

… a starter of turmeric pancakes served with three dips (spicy, butternut squash puree and a thai green one with more of a soup consistency). Words cannot express how tasty these were. For our main course we had…

... Filipino sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves and other delights

My plate of food! And this wasn’t even everything! As well as the rice, you’re looking at a delicious cucumber based salad, soy and ginger chicken and skewers of pork belly that were finger licking good! Would have eaten another skewer of two if I hadn’t been so full!

Our amuse-bouche of lime sorbet was the perfect palate cleanser between courses and the balance with the lime was just right – it wasn’t too over-powering and was extremely moreish!

I was extremely stuffed by the time this rice-like dish came out. I struggled but still managed to clear my bowl – a testament to Lyn and Barry’s cooking! I can’t remember what this dessert was called but it was a little like rice pudding – just with a different consistency – but tons nicer than rice pudding! It was served with coconut milk (I think) and caramel syrup (I think). It was a wonderful medley of flavours and textures.

I think these beautifully wrapped parcels were a coconut based dessert? 
Unfortunately I wasn't able to try one as I was really full by this stage! 
To finish, our hosts brought out mini pineapple tarts…

… and Malaysian tea

I have to say, I’m not a tea person. It’s shocking, I’m English and I can’t stand tea! Malaysian tea however is a whole different affair! I loved it! There was a slight “tea” taste but it was really subtle. I loved the milkiness of the tea and it was the perfect way to finish the meal.

In summary 

I had a wonderful evening and will definitely be signing up to future Budaya Kusina Supperclubs. It was all beautifully presented and a wonderful opportunity to try a style of food I’d never tried before whilst meeting new people. My highlights were the pork belly skewers, kuih rose biscuits, the sorbet and the tea – I couldn’t possibly pick out one favourite!

Sunday 5 August 2012

Whatever will be will be

I don’t often wear bracelets but the example pictured below may just convert me.

I call this bracelet my “happy accident”. I didn’t originally see it, exclaim: “it must be mine” and hastily add to my basket. In truth it was more of a case of: “do I pay £4 for delivery or do I pay X amount more to get free delivery?” It was a no brainer. Ironically, I hated my order when it arrived. It was one of those unlucky times when nothing fits you like you hoped. Hooray for this bangle – the one thing I really didn’t care about. It’s dainty, it’s delicate and it reads: “c’est la vie – whatever will be will be”. It’s a shame that they couldn’t have replaced the last part with “que sera sera” to keep it constant (and surely that’s less letters anyway?!)

This bangle represents how I want to live my life going forward. 

Live for the moment, don’t sweat the small stuff and when la merde happens, shrug it off - this gesture alone is very French - and say: C'est la vie.

If like me you have magpie tendencies and would like one for yourself, head on over to the Urban Outfitters website where you can find them here.