Better without you…

Somebody commented once that it seemed some cafés here liked to serve their dishes, western joints inclusive, with keropok (prawn crackers) by the side…

Keropok by the side

…and she asked me why. Frankly, I don’t know! For one thing, they do not even taste nice. They’re bland, no taste of fish or prawn in them and in some, just lots of msg and there are worse ones, those very white ones with various colours, red, blue or green along the rim and more often than not, they have all gone limp and are hardly edible, not that I would want to eat them. Maybe there are people who enjoy eating those or perhaps, it is just for the colour and if it is the latter, then, they might as well not bother and just do without them. It would not make any difference and I, for one, would usually leave them untouched and that is such a waste as I guess they will all get thrown away eventually.

Of course it is a different story altogether if the keropok is part and parcel of a dish like nasi kerabu

Keropok and nasi kerabu

…the same way that nasi bryani would always have a piece of papadum

Papadum and nasi bryani

…to go with it.

Indeed, I do not think I have seen keropok served with western fare anywhere else and not that I can remember, in any of the food blogs that I frequent.

Another one of my pet peeves would be the use of fake or plastic flowers…

Plastic flowers

If they cannot have fresh, natural flowers, not even those common ones that we get to see all the time…

Fresh flowers

…then it would be better to do without and not have any at all. Throw in one of those gaudily colourful plastic tablecloth and they will look like one of those gaily-decorated coffee shops around town.

One thing that I cannot stand as well is how some people like to play loud music at their joints like it is a club or pub or something and everyone would have to shout to be heard making the place no better than a market place or a coffee shop. I don’t mind a little light music…

…in the background, something that will complement the ambiance of a place like the keroncong they play here and once, they had some lovely Italian songs here but of late, I have not heard them playing them again and I wonder why. I am no fan of jazz – they do play that at a number of places here but if it is not too loud, then it is  perfectly all right by me…and I do not mind the played-to-death Kenny G either, softly, of course! Especially when everyone is talking and nobody is listening, I’m sure it would be better to do without it – I sure wouldn’t mind a little peace and quiet around such places and incidentally, if I am not wrong, they have to pay some kind of royalty to play music and songs at their premises. I wonder how many of them actually do that.

But of course, at the end of the day, the bottom line is the food must be really good and value for money, the ambiance great and the service excellent. With all these, one would hardly notice all the rest and even if one does, I guess all would be forgiven.

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Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

13 thoughts on “Better without you…”

  1. So far I have not seen any crackers served with Western meals at the restaurants that I have been in kl. Only had crackers served as titbits while waiting for food at Chinese restaurants and those crackers are very nice with lots of fish taste. And also crackers would be provided on top of roast chicken in Chinese restaurants.

    Hey!!! That’s very old school. I remember the keropok with roast chicken and how we loved them when we were kids – the keropok more than the chicken. I still see that done but very rarely, once in a long while. So far, there is only one sort-of-Chinese restaurant kind of place here where they serve you the pretty nice Mukah keropok once you’re seated…but no, they do not come free, you will find that in your bill later. Others, usually the coated peanuts or braised peanuts.

    That’s what I seem to notice as well, no keropok in western fare and definitely not in western countries. Do they have keropok? Mostly chips, I guess…potato chips, corn chips and all those.

  2. Me too…i havent seen crackers served on western dishes but if they do, I really don’t mind at all… Oh, of course they mustn’t be bland in taste otherwise serves no purpose… I like the ones served in thai restaurants, dipped into their sweet sauce, very nice!

    When you come here again, you can try the one I mentioned in my reply to zmun2 above – the keropok is very nice. I do not mind those, not the ones they serve by the side of western and other dishes. No taste is one thing, most of the time, already gone limp – masuk angin.

  3. Could be lack of French fries/ mashed potatoes, etc….so fill up the space with crackers. So much they give. Served with those crackers that had turned limp, better to do without it.

    My sentiments exactly. Even if they had not gone limp, those crackers do not even taste great. Cheap some more, no class at all. 😦

  4. i do love papadams served on the side though.. crispy and goes well with anything..

    haha, i like how you referred to the suckling pig as beijing duck on my latest post… got me confused for a while there.

    RM1.00 each at one nasi kandar place in Sungai Petani, did not come free. 😦

    Oh? The appetisers were suckling pig wrapped in those paper-thin egg sheets like Beijing duck. Never mind, suckling pig’s best too! Yum yummmm!!!!!

  5. The Western serves chips as side dish. Our keropok cannot compare to theirs. Haha. Ours turn soggy so fast and hardly could bite them. Actually I was surprised when I came to Sibu. Somehow the outlets in Sibu love to serve keropok at the side. I do not mind the papadum though but got to eat them fast too.

    Yes, must eat first, as soon as it is served – the papadum. The keropok, I don’t bother. Kids will probably enjoy them – that is why they sell those in school canteens, packed in plastic bags, cheap.

  6. Yeah, I’ve only seen keropok served with local rice dishes here. As for fresh flowers, it’s a very common décor these days in cafes….and I love them. I hate, hate, hate artificial flowers. If they can’t afford fresh, then it’s better to do without or just use those easy-to-maintain plants (like money plant) in water would still be better. Luckily, the cafes here are not so cheapskate as they know that almost everyone snap photos of their food nowadays and it’ll look really awful with fake flowers.

    My point exactly!!! Better to do without if they can’t have fresh flowers. My friend has just opened a shop here yesterday selling those potted plants – would be nice to buy a few of the small ones for use in cafes. Will drop by his shop soon, and blog about it. Otherwise, they can plant their own – lemon grass is easy to plant and if grown in a small pot, the growth would be controlled, will not grow too big…or spring onions, and they can always help themselves for their own use, and replant to replenish.

  7. Over here, with some Chinese restaurants, if you buy food to take away costing over $20 or so, you get a bag of keropok thrown in.

    They do? Are they nice, the keropok? Here, we are quite fussy – must have nice fish, prawn or squid taste…not just flour and msg.

    1. I must say they’re quite ordinary. The ones I like best are the black ones from Kelantan, but unfortunately, they’re not available here.

      Yes, they are very nice ones, the black ones from Kelantan and Terengganu. Very strong fish flavour. We have some very good ones here too but gotta know the source, not all are good.

  8. I have not come across crackers in western foods too…

    Only here, it seems. Dunno where they got the idea from…or where they went to culinary school.

  9. Maybe they are cutting cost, so use fake or plastic flowers instead of fresh flowers…

    Then don’t put any, simple as that. Best to do without. Will not give such a bad impression. No class. Imagine you get married and you carry a bouquet of plastic or paper flowers! Better not to have a bouquet at all, if like that.

  10. I’m not too fond of those crackers too especially if they are of low quality and taste awful. Sort of spoils the dish that they garnished.

    I wouldn’t eat them even if I had nothing else to eat – so tasteless, all flour and msg, nothing else. Really degrading to use those as sides in a dish especially when one is a classy western cafe/restaurant – an insult to injury…especially when they’re such cheap stuff, good for bluffing little kiddies in the schools who know no better to part with their pocket money, that’s all.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own.

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