Why My Food Is Not “Authentic”, And Why I Don’t Care

One of the measures of whether a restaurant’s food is good is whether it’s “authentic” — a term that’s a particular favourite of armchair food critics the world over. Now, as a former Malaysian restaurateur and professional cook, I’ve received my fair share of accolades and criticisms about my own food over the last 27 years. I generally » Read More

Food Fame – Ken Burgin of Profitable Hospitality

Ken Burgin of popular food podcast, Profitable Hospitality, was the founder of the iconic and wildly successful Cafe Troppo on Glebe Point Road in Sydney before he ventured into food consulting. As it turns out, we have more in common than food entrepreneurship; we both studied at Sydney University and also, I’m pretty sure one of my old » Read More

Lenovo Smart Display for Hands-Free Cooking

(Disclosure: I received this device to review as a member of the Lenovo INsiders Program. All opinions are my own.) A few weeks ago, I was sent a Lenovo Smart Display to evaluate. Never having owned any smart devices before, I wasn’t sure what to expect and how much use I’d get out of it. As a point of comparison, if you’re familiar with » Read More

How To Make Vegan Fried Spicy Cashew Nuts

I first heard about spicy fried cashew nuts from the People With Disability advocate who helped me file Noah’s NDIS review (I’ll write all about the failings of the NDIS on a separate platform - if you have your own NDIS horror story to tell, get in touch!). Anyhow she mentioned that the highlight of her visit to Thailand had been these amazing » Read More

Food Fame – Auria Abraham, AKA New York’s Sambal Lady

You know a Malaysian product is good when even Malaysians rave about it. I'd heard about Auria's Malaysian Kitchen's famous sambal, but did not at first realise The Sambal Lady and I had a lot in common. First of all, Auria and I both went to the same high school back in Malaysia - Convent Seremban - she was in the year below me, though I’m » Read More

Damansara – Crowdfunding San Francisco’s First Laksa Bar

As an ex-Malaysian based in San Francisco, Tracy Goh of EatWithTracy.com has been introducing Americans to authentic Malaysian food since 2012 through her pop-up events. I love how she has her Instagram strategy really dialled in via beautiful photos and great engagement (basically everything I know I should be doing but don't), and her » Read More

How To Make Vegan Kaya II

This was my second attempt at a vegan version of Kaya; the first time around, I used mashed taro (=> https://jackiem.com.au/2017/02/23/make-vegan-kaya-onde-onde/ ), which basically tasted like sweetened mashed taro. Nice, but you're not fooling anyone who has any inkling of what kaya is like. This new recipe is adapted from one I found at » Read More

Ya-Malaysia – Chatswood Interchange

I love hearing about new Malaysian restaurants because I’m tired of people never having experienced Malaysian food or getting it confused for Thai, Indonesian or Mongolian (yep) cuisine. (Don’t even get me started on Crispy Rendang-gate.) Anyhow thanks to the champion networking skills of my long-time collaborator Alexx of MyBlueTea.com.au, I » Read More

How to Make Vegan Durian-Filled Puffs

I’ve probably said this before but we Malaysians tend to be durian snobs - those of us living overseas buy frozen Thai Mornthong durian out of necessity and desperation because they’re cheap and readily available - and then moan about how tasteless and soggy they are compared to fresh Musang King or XO and all the other varieties of durian that the » Read More

How To Make Vegan Acar (Spicy Pickles)

This is the same acar recipe (mixed vegetable pickle with crushed roasted peanuts and sesame seeds) that I used for my restaurant except for the omission of shrimp paste (belacan) in order to make it vegan. Please note my philosophy of "agak-agak" ie. guesstimating is in full force here, especially where the sugar is concerned, so take the amounts » Read More