When I was little, everytime there was a wedding in the Malay or Melanau kampung (village), my mother would bring me along to what she called the “pengilan” (wedding reception). Of course, I was so very delighted – who wouldn’t be when there was all the nice food to enjoy! I would just go and eat and more often than not, I would not even get to see the bride and the groom…nor the hosts, the parents, that is, not that I was thus inclined. LOL!!!
I always admired the communal spirit of the Malays or the Melanaus. The whole village would show up and set up the kitchen in the house compound to cook the food in HUGE cauldrons…using (boat/rowing) oars as the ladles. They would shop for everything for the feast and one would not even need to use one’s own crockery and cutlery – they would bring everything and all throughout the pengilan, they would do the serving, the clearing up and the cleaning…or in other words, everything!
Upon reaching the house, all the guests would have to sit on the floor in groups of 4 and the food would be served. I cannot remember exactly now but of course, there was curry – four big chunks of beef, one each but the whole time, I would be wishing nobody would join our group so I could eat more than one chunk. Hehehehehe!!! Everyone had to eat with their hands but more often than not, I would just take one of the (serving) spoons from the dishes served and use that. I did not know how to go about it – eating with my hand and I would get the rice all over my face whenever I tried!
It was the general practice then to give money as gifts, around RM3.00 only. I thought that was so cheap compared to what they would give at a Chinese wedding, RM10.00! Of course, people give a lot more now! Once done, we would have to leave and vacate the space so other guests would be able to sit there and eat when the food was served. This would go on and on and on the whole day.
Gosh!!! That was so long ago though I remember it all so well. That was why I was delighted when the people here were having a promotion here last Friday – their nasi pangilan (RM15.00)…
…and I wasted no time at all in making a beeline there for it right away to give it a try.
It wasn’t quite the same though. They used to serve the dishes in separate small plates for four persons to share – here, we got everything in one plate, to each his/her own! There was ayam kurma (chicken korma)…
…and beef curry, both of which were so very nice and even though I am supposed to stay away from red meat, I simply did not have the heart to leave the meat by the side of my plate. I was glad they had potatoes…
…too – I always love potatoes in my curry.
The nasi minyak (oil rice)…
…was so good, bursting with the flavours and fragrances of all the spices that went into the cooking.
I do not recall any soup served at the pengilan I went to and I never had this pineapple soup…
…before. They call it kecini nanas and according to a Malay friend of mine, she had not had it for a long time and she loved it so much!
All in all, what stole the show was this salted fish pickle…
It was very nice and there I was, wishing that they had given a bit more. LOL!!!
All of us loved everything in the platter that came with a complimentary glass of grenadine syrup…
The very friendly lady proprietress, for reasons unknown, came over to our table the instant everything was served and took this photograph of us…
…that appeared eventually on their Facebook page.
The promotion was a success – everything was sold out so fast that they had to apologise on their Facebook page. They did mention that they would have it again the following Friday and there would be different dishes in the platter the next time around. Who knows, I may just show up there for another round of this!
MAT LAKSA (2.308351, 111.820696)…
…is located at No. 67 & 69, Jalan Kuda 2, Kampung Nangka, right across from Cabe Ijo in the next block, both facing the main entrance of Bisonte Grocer & Deli.
7 thoughts on “I remember it well…”
Wow, Sibu celebrity, very famous now. Everywhere you go people will know you. Maybe she did follow your blog. Everything in that plate looks so good. I have always love ayam kurma. Pineapple soup looks new and interesting to me. Salted fish pickle is sure an appetising dish. So have you mark your calendar for the following Friday to try the different dishes in the platter? Enjoy ya.
No lah! I probably was at the right place at the right time and all of us were having their promotion dish, just nice to advertise for them free. LOL!!! Not sure whether we will go again this Friday or not – after all the heavy stuff over Chinese New Year, we’d probably go for Teochew porridge.
I have fond memories of going to weddings as a child, too. Good food and a chance to catch up with all the cousins.
I was lucky that my mum always dragged me along. I guess my dad was not into such things.
I love Malay weddings that are held in the kampung. I was invited to one some years ago. Loved the food and warm hospitality. Not only that, they packed food for us to take home before we left! The nasi pangilan you all had looks pretty good with nasi minyak and delicious accompaniments.
Yes, it was very good. I sure wouldn’t mind going again…but maybe, not this soon.
Indeed, they are very nice, very hospitable people – giving and sharing are part of their culture, what they call sedekah. If they have any nice things to share, they may even take the trouble of sending over to your house.
I love potatoes in curry too. Just not long ago my mil also cook chicken curry. She added potatoes and carrots to her curry. Actually, kind of good too. First time having carrots in curry.
Nice of them to take photo of you guys..
Carrots? Never had those in curry. Brinjal, ladies fingers, pineapples in fish head curry, yes! Nice!
Food looks delicious. I love potatoes in curry and I miss ayam kurma.
I guess you never patronise those Malay shops and stalls. Can get quite easily at the nasi campur here – just need to know where to go. Like everything else, some may be better than others.