Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Merriest Raya Ever!

Raya break this year (plus the couple of weeks prior) was a bit of an epiphany. True, I went on an excessive binge of all things good and groovy. But I was also re-acquainted to the great Abe Lincoln saying "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." For the longest time, I was passively positive at best, quite moodily content to recalibrate my expectations to quotidian apathy.

But for one reason or another, this interval offered me a dramatic shift in conscious and subconscious conversations and became quite simply, the merriest Raya for me ever!

The evening of Raya Open House at Nahri's was one such occasion. His grandmother had fixed us such a generous, heartwarming meal that I was sorry the grand dame didn't stick around for us to thank her properly.

Fried spiced chicken. We set about trying to figure out the flavours and I tasted turmeric, five spice and charred soy enveloping tender chicken thigh.

The composition of the Prawn Puffs - prawn doused in unsweetened custard cream nestled in choux pastry - was near perfection. Why we hadn't thought of that for the endless finger food parties will forever torment me.

Dry beef rendang provoked obligatory comparison to the wetter version. My no-beef policy remained so I had to rely on others' reactions. Some felt it was too dry but others thought it a welcome, flavour-packed change.

The Sayur Lodeh was easy on the spice, lavish on the root.

Glorious carbs - cubes of Ketupat...

... and Lemang that Nahri had purchased in the Pantai area before stopping off to meet us at Sid's, from an entrepreneurial fella impatient to get to the Black Eyed Peas concert.

Sashi brought forth his Kajang residency prowess - two different types of equally good satay. This one came from a place called Restoran Malaysia, which roughed it out with the other version from unnamed stall, for best satay ever!

Other unnamed place presented the win sauce for the day though. Creamy, mild yet passionately peanutty.

The gorgeous, festive meal set the stage for more misbehaviour for the rest of the evening as we proceeded to celebrate a couple of September birthdays.

Drinks followed drinks, followed by an unprecedented, zealous night of dancing until my feet gave way. I woke up the next morning, quite exhausted, a wee bit remorseful but ultimately smitten by this extraordinary profusion of good faith and indulgence. More, more and more!

Happy Q4 Everyone!!


Rebecca Saw said...

Oh oh..Raya open house! Not been to any this year for obvious reasons ..*sob!
Nd to catch up over deepavali!!
Hmm.. *scrolling thru phonebook for indian friends* ;p

Sean said...

that's what these holidays should be (but often aren't) all about, right? restoring our faith in family, friends and ourselves. :D
sigh. can u believe i didn't have a single bite of lemang this year...

ai wei said...

a nice raya u hav had! and being surrounded with good food is the best ever! i tried lemang last week. i start loving lemang and i must really pay visit to bazaar next year :P (already start planning for next year :P)

Kenny Mah said...

Me, I haven't even started on the corporate post-Raya open houses yet... plenty more days of rendang and lemang, methinks. :)

minchow said...

TNG, HAHAHA! Deepavali open houses are the bomb!! Actually ah... I don't have any potential invites also. *schemes*

Sean, I think they're still hawking lemang in areas like Kerinchi. Go get some!

Ai Wei, yeah, glutinous rice doesn't particularly sit well with me but this one was quite special! I didn't visit a single bazaar this year either... must not repeat mistake next year!

LFB, not a bad thing at all!! I think that's the last of it for me this year... :-(

UnkaLeong said...

Lucky my landlord brought some back two days back, otherwise would not have been able to sample lemang at all during this raya period ;)

HairyBerry said...

hari raya kenduri and absinthe?? no wonder it's the merriest raya ever. haha. so, holiday is really about how far the mind travels rather than the feet, eh? cool.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

had that restaurant msia kajang satay at a open house too..and IT WAS AWESOME..pity the sauce was kinda crap..

minchow said...

UnkaLeong, Nice landlord! Whatever are you going to do next year abt lemang, when you finally move into yr own place??

Nic, absolutely!! I don't want to return from where my mind's travelled though... it's like being on a permanent vacation!

Joe, yup, sauce from unnamed stall beats Restoran M'sia. So the ideal is to get satay from M'sia and then sauce from other stall. Satay soiree!!

superwilson said...

Hi there, can you re-link me. Changed my RSS feed. Thanks bro!


minchow said...

Superwilson, ooh, OK, DONE!

worldwindows said...

Wow you get food from the makcik. I still miss Pak Ali lemang. Harder to get after moving out from Ulu Klang road.

backStreetGluttons said...

Your easy going ultra enthusiastic trysts & demanding yet underlining forgiving aromas are infectious which is why the other sober guy insists to see ya soon , which is coming we hope

minchow said...

Worldwindows, Pak Ali lemang? All-year, all-weather lemang supply? Where is this place?

BSG, the weekend beckons! Ready to do it all over again! :-D

Wilson Ng said...

I'm not popular, so nobody invited me to any open house. Sigh.

MaryMoh said...

mmmm....all the mouth-watering food during raya. I miss all those food. I hv been thinking of all the awesome Malay layered cakes lately. Hope to learn one fine day.