Focusing on the soulful flavours of Peranakan cooking, Sarang Cookery brings together the talents of Christina (co-founder of the Sarang Galloway B&B lodgings), her hiking buddy Irlene & Malaccan Chitty chef Raj - it's a place for pie tee, ayam sioh, kari kapitan & assam heh, alongside other local favourites like mee bandung, lontong, assam laksa, soto ayam & much more.
Raj credits many of these recipes to his mother - our favourite might be the Udang Serai, featuring fresh, fleshy prawns complemented by cashews in a thick, tangy coconut milk gravy, fragrant with lemongrass, chillies & other herbs & spices; a serving for three to four customers costs RM19.50. Other rich & robust offerings include salted tenggiri fish cooked in lemak nenas (RM19.50) & boiled lady's fingers crowned with a punchy heh bee paste of dried prawns, shallots & chillies (RM10).
Sarang is now mainly a cafe, but it'll soon offer cooking classes too, so customers can learn to prepare crowd-pleasing fare like Pongteh Chicken, packed with potatoes & flavoured as per tradition with tau chew & gula melaka (RM15) & egg dishes like Telur Belanda with a tamarind kick (RM12) & Telur Cincalok, stuffed with prawns & seasoned with fermented shrimp (RM15).
We're fans of Sarang's Nasi Ulam, a lovely platter of steamed rice confidently crafted with a complex variety of local herbs, vegetables, prawns & dried fish (RM25 for a serving for two, with a 20-minute wait). With everything mixed together, it's invigoratingly textured & irrepressibly tasty, a wholesome way of having your carbs with plenty of nourishing fibre & protein.
A special surprise on Sarang's desserts list: The Gula Melaka Crepe is a one-of-a-kind wonder, constructed with roti jala, filled with bananas & flooded with palm sugar pieces & syrup, sprinkled with chopped chillies & bunga kantan - it's an acquired taste that not everyone will enjoy, with the spiciness of the chillies lingering on the palate, but it's an admirable experiment at conceiving something new with familiar ingredients, with each component masterfully proportioned. At only RM9, it deserves to draw adventurous patrons from VCR Cafe a few doors away; Sarang is also working on other possible novelties like chocolate cakes & cookies laced with sambal belacan. But if you're seeking something safer, Sago Gula Melaka should suffice (RM7.50).
8 Jalan Galloway, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 019-2607884
Mon-Sat, 730am-930pm (breakfast served in the morning, heavier meals from lunch onwards).
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