So, I have been living in Toronto for the last four months - it's almost the longest I've ever been out of my country of birth, Malaysia. Do I miss "home"? Yes, but only for one reason other than family members.
The food. Malaysian food.
When it comes to food, you sure can take a girl out of Malaysia but you can never take Malaysia out of a girl.
People will be very quick to say I'm bias towards Malaysian food but really, anyone who has been to Malaysia WILL tell you about the food and how glorious it is. My family hails from a little island in Malaysia called Penang which is known for its awesome, mouth-watering food.
I've been craving for Malaysian food really badly, for a few weeks now. You see, I've only learnt to cook from my mother-in-law,post marriage, so naturally, I can only cook up Indian dishes (my husband is from India) and I have zero idea on whipping up Malaysian food. Yeah, I could learn a thing or two from YouTube, you would say, but I'm also good at failing badly in the kitchen.
So.... my husband and I thought it's a better idea to keep the kitchen unburnt and instead head over to a Malaysian restaurant called Soos in Ossington Ave.
Soos prides themselves in serving authentic modern interpretations of Malaysian street food.
Upon arriving at the little entrance to a place that smells like glorious food, we were asked to wait for 2 minutes to be seated.
The interior design of Soos reminded me of the hipster cafes back in Malaysia.
Except, this one seems a lot more classy.
It also boasts a mini bar with comfortable stools under some cool-looking lighting fixtures.
There's also a private area to sit a larger group of people.
The walls are decorated with art work of Wayang Kulit, a famous Malaysian entertainment in the form of shadow puppets.
We were given a menu to look at and that was by far the only disappointing thing for the night.
I was hoping to order Nasi Lemak, the National dish of Malaysia, only to be told that they serve it on certain days.
I then asked about the other famous dish called Nasi Goreng (which is pretty much Malaysian Fried Rice) to which they gave the same reply.
On the menu, we had about 10 appetizers, 6 main dishes and 2 desserts to choose from, with one or two dishes not in the menu. None of the appetizers nor 4 of the main dishes were food that I was craving for, so, hubby and I went for the only two obvious options.
The Fried Kuey Teow (stir-fried rice cake strips)
Ayam Goreng. (Fried Chicken Malaysian style)
First came the Ayam Goreng with coleslaw on the side.
A reasonably hungry me took a dive before remembering to take a picture of it!
(I hope that explains the position of the fried chickens and errr.. coleslaw).
I sank my teeth into a perfect blend of authentic Malay spices, fried to the perfect golden brown of chicken skin.
I couldn't believe how authentic and close to home it tasted and at that point, I was really anxious to see how the Fried Kuey Teow would turn out.
I used the word "see" because with most Malaysian food, a true Malaysian food lover will be able to judge the food by just looking at it.
And then came the dish hubs and I have been waiting for.
Le Fried Kuey Teow.
While taking my order, I told the waitress to make the Fried Kuey Teow as authentic as she can.
I then winked and told her I'm from Malaysia.
She replied with a simple "OK".
I held back from telling her that I'm originally from Penang Island because that would be putting way too much pressure on the chef, haha! It's almost like cooking a curry dish for someone from India.
On hindsight, I wasn't sure if she was offended with that suggestion but the Fried Kuey Teow is such a dish which either makes it or breaks it.
I knew I was probably asking too much by expecting an authentic Malaysian Fried Kuey Teow in the middle of Toronto, half a world away from Malaysia.
So, I kept my expectations at 0 - even after the fried chicken.
It turned out way above expectations.
The more bites I took, the more intense my smile.
Not only was I greeted with a good sight (before taking a bite, I told hubs that it certainly looks authentic) but I was also greeted with a deliciously pleasant aroma.
The Sambal (a hot sauce typically made from a mixture of variety of chili peppers with secondary ingredients such as shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and shallot) served on a spoon, as you can see on the left, is on point.
The spices and ingredients were well blended in the kuey teow with the right amount of oil.
I remember thinking to myself while gobbling the noodles down "omg they even use bean sprouts!".
The size of the prawns were awesome and fried to heavenly perfection, oozing out the no-words-could-describe taste when I sank my teeth into it.
I recognize a taste too familiar with this dish which led me to ask the waitress "Which part of Malaysia are you guys from?"
To which she replied slowly but surely with a smile, "Penang".
Hubby and I left with happy tummies and taste buds but with much lighter pockets.
Although the food was beyond amazing, I wish it would be made affordable enough for me to visit often.
Oh, and they should definitely consider adding more dishes to their menu and serve them on a regular basis!
In the meantime, I can only envy the two Malaysian girls who work there.
They don't have to miss and crave for Malaysian food like I do.