Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Malaysia Boleh! - The Spirit of Nanyang Cuisine

Having been to Malaysia Boleh at Jurong Point previously to savor the delicious Penang Chendol and wanton noodles, I was very privileged to be invited again by one of the owners of the establishment to try out the rest of their fabulous fare.

The place is as busy and as crowded as before, and the 17 stalls that sell the authentic Malaysian street food were all doing bustling business that Saturday morning.

Incidentally, Tan Kim Leng is one of the 4 Tan siblings that own and run Malaysia Boleh, and his passion for Nanyang food is all so evident during my time there.

And there is a very good reason why Malaysia Boleh has been so well received, and have received more kudos than its main rival in Sentosa. This is not just mere gimmicky or hype, but every stall here is a genuine representation of the food that it originated from.

Penang Prawn Noodles

I have never been to Penang to try out their original prawn noodles delicacy, but from what I have savored here, it was incredibly flavorful, rich with the prawn and pork stock, and included half an egg and boasted a little spicy kick at the end. For the amount of price it was charging, it was not only value for money, but amazingly tasty and wondrous.

Claypot Rice

I would not have imagined to find one of the best claypot rice here, but indeed it was beautifully cooked and presented. The rice grains were of the longer variant, and the claypot aroma was distinctly strong. The chicken that came with it were also well seasoned and cooked.

Oyster Omelette - Orh Lua

As for the oyster omelette, what other adjectives could I lush on it? Superlative. Moist. Full of creamy egg goodness within. If you prefer the more crispy version, this might not suit you. But if you, like me, appreciate how a good egg is cooked, then look no further. Very well seasoned too and the luscious and juicy oysters were succulent and naturally sweet. A real winner.

Kim Leng, on the left with his partner

I have only touched on 3 stalls today, and combined with the other 2 the previous round, I guess I rather you just go to Jurong Point right this instant and have a feel for why I enjoyed this place so much for its great tasting food and authenticity.

As good as the food is, in the end, what impressed me more was the genuine passion and enthusiasm Kim Leng and his partners have for their pet project here. In case you might not be aware, they are also the owners of the Fei Siong and EAT establishments you see around the island.

But Malaysia Boleh is the one that Kim Leng speaks of with the most fondness and dedication. Kim Leng and his team has been scouting all around Malaysia to find the best food there and bring them here to their Malaysia Boleh joint.

And it has not always been easy. Malaysian hawkers and food owners have always been apprehensive of businessmen coming over to learn their cooking and they have been rejected many times prior.

But despite that, they have also won over many of those older generation food masters with their sincerity and their willingness to learn the old craft of cooking. For the prawn noodles, they literally spent days in Penang learning from the originators, waking up the wee hours to follow them to learn every part of the preparation.

This kind of dedication is rare in Singapore hawkers these days, where revenue is king and everyone prefers to shortcut their way through their cooking. In spite of this, Kim Leng remains modest and only rates his food as only up to 80 percent of the original quality.

Yet, for this 80 percent, it is already a heaven sent to most Singaporeans, most of us who will not have the opportunity to travel all around Malaysia to savor all these fantastic delicacies. What's more, Kim Leng will continue to scout and attempt to bring in even more of these Malaysian and Nanyang delicacies over time.

It is a great tribute to the hawker spirit and to Nanyang food that Kim Leng and his team is doing such fine work in Malaysia Boleh and I fully salute them for their hard work. To this I say, Kim Leng and Team, Boleh!

Malaysia Boleh!
Jurong Point
Somewhere on the 2nd Floor.

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