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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Malaysia Festival 2009, Darling Habour

Curry Chee Cheong Fun $8.50

Sunday seemed to be a day of festivals. Before the trek out to Cabramatta for the Moon Festival and mooncake eating competition, Minh, Simon, Suze and I started the day at the Malaysia Festival in Darling Harbour.

We arrived well before the crowds. A 10am start meant most stalls were still unpacking, but it did give us time to inspect the offerings at leisure, and we managed to get most of our food before the queues began.

Midday crowds

Cendol drink $5.00

Cracking eggs onto fried radish cake

Popiah $6.00

Breakfast came in the form of popiah, a fresh spring roll made with crunchy raw vegetables, hoisin sauce and a wheat flour skin - often a raw spring roll sheet.

Making Apam Balik, a Malaysian pancake filled with nuts and creamed corn

Pushing the batter up the edges of the pan

Folding over the cooked pancake

Apam Balik (Mun Chang Kuih) $7.00 for 2

We continued with Apam Balik a crisp Malaysian pancake that holds a filling of crushed peanuts, sugar and creamed corn. The inclusion of creamed corn in dessert took me some time to get used to, but the saltiness of the corn works well with the crunch of peanuts and sugar crystals. Sweet and crumbly goodness...

Banana fritters $1.50 for three

These banana fritters were an unusual sight. We bit into the deep-fried dumplings to find banana cake, as though bits of cake had been battered and deep-fried. These were a little greasy.

Pisang Goreng $5.00
Fried banana fritters with ice cream

Much more satisfying was the pisang goreng. Fresh banana was coated in the lightest of batters and deep-fried, a thin shell of caramelised sugar adding a toffee decadance.

Our Malaysian banquet:
Char Koay Teow fried flat noodle $7.00
Char Koay Kak fried radish cake $7.00
and Ang Ku Kueh red turtle cake $5 for three
and another Apam Balik pancake at the top

We assembled our own Malaysian banquet on the grass beneath the sun. The Char Koay Teow was missing the smokey flavour of an intense wok heat, but I quite liked the spicy heat of the Char Koay Kak fried radish cake.

Ang Ku Kueh are steamed desserts, shaped like turtles as it was traditionally believed that eating turtles would make for a similarly long life. The steamed glutinous rice four dumplings hold balls of salted bean paste.

Roti canai from Mamak $5.00

And to finish? Fluffy rounds of roti canai from Mamak.

Fabrics at the Cultural Display stall

Fabrics at the Cultural Display stall

This year's Malaysia Festival was held on Sunday 27 September 2009 in Tumbalong Park, Darling Harbour.

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Malaysia Festival 2006

Malaysian -- Kopitiam, Ultimo (Dec08), (Apr07) and (Apr06)
Malaysian -- Makan at Alice's, Thornleigh (Feb08) and (Jun07)
Malaysian -- Malay Chinese, Sydney (26 Apr 07) and (3 Apr 07)
Mamak, Haymarket (Jul09), (Nov07) and (Oct07)
Malaysian -- Mc Lucksa, Haymarket
Malaysian -- The Malaya, Sydney
Malaysian -- Tan's Malaysian, Ultimo

Malaysian -- Temasek, Parramatta (Jan09) and (May08)
19 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/29/2009 01:11:00 am


  • At 9/29/2009 2:22 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    heh nothing about the music? ohhhh say can you seeee...

  • At 9/29/2009 10:57 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    So much food! I knew I was going to regret not dragging myself out of bed on Sunday :( The banana cake fritters sound a bit...wrong, but otherwise everything else is making me homesick!

  • At 9/29/2009 12:07 pm, Anonymous clekitty said…

    I went there at about 1pm! We lined up for 20 minutes at the Char Koay Teow stand and they ended up selling out :( There was no radish cake as well. We should have went early like you did. You smart little cookie.

  • At 9/29/2009 1:24 pm, Blogger ragingyoghurt said…

    i grew up with those banana fritters! well... not *those* ones. my grandmother used to make them by mashing up bananas with flour and a few other things, and then dropping spoonfuls into hot oil. they are best fresh out of the frier, otherwise they are just cold and lumpen, and taste of stale oil.

    they are called "kuih kodok" -- my grandmother translated them as "frog cake", although having just googled it, i see that "kodok" really means "toad". appropriate, no, for the ugly little beasties?

  • At 9/29/2009 1:26 pm, Anonymous midnitelily said…

    those organic shaped banana fritters are called "cucur kodok". they're mashed bananas with a little sugar, flour and a pinch of salt. great to make when u have too many bananas to finish and they're getting too ripe. i love them as a tea time snack just like the pisang goreng!

    here's a recipe, simple to make ^_~

  • At 9/29/2009 2:05 pm, Blogger Implosion said…

    Malaysia Fest was a bit later this year due to the fact that the 31st of August or any 2 week window around there would have fallen during the Ramadhan fasting month.
    So, this is perfect timing- it's after the Eid Al Mubarak celebrations, too.

    I love the pic of the egg white tendrils as the Kueh Kak was being made. Priceless! :)
    Hi, by the way!

  • At 9/29/2009 3:18 pm, Blogger Gaathumb! said…

    Hi! On behalf of the Malaysia Fest committee this year, I'd just like to thank you for coming! Hope you enjoyed yourself, and stay tuned for next year's installment!

    Kind regards,
    Sabrina Hanim

  • At 9/29/2009 3:24 pm, Anonymous Simon said…

    I was expecting a little more on the yumness scale with regards to the offerings at the festival. The Apam Balik was interesting, the Pisang Goreng nice and Mamak roti was, well, like Mamak roti.

    The queue at the Panang Hawker stall (place that sold the char quoy teow) in my eyes was a travesty considering what you got.

  • At 9/29/2009 6:36 pm, Blogger Bean Sprout's Cafe said…

    I miss it this year... I totally forgot about it and notice at 4.50 pm that day T_T

  • At 9/29/2009 6:43 pm, Blogger Renee said…

    damn it! I have been craving Malaysian for a while now and I missed this! How dissapointing!
    Looks like you had fun :)

  • At 9/29/2009 7:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Too bad I went there way too late. The fried radish cake was sold out just before I went to order them. pity. Loved the food though.

  • At 9/29/2009 8:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I decided to skip this year due to the gusty wind and disappointing visit last year. glad to hear that they have some new offers: apom balik, banana fritter (it's nothing like those!!) and goring pisang.

  • At 9/30/2009 1:22 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Chocolatesuze - lol. I preferred to focus on the food :)

    Hi Stephcookie - It was a fun day and whilst it was a little blustery the sun was great!

    Hi Clekitty - Oh dear, yes, the queue at Penang Hawker seemed to take forever. What a shame you queued for 20min and then they sold out! I think the grill at the front stall really helped to whet people's appetites. Smell and sight of food cooking will always get you customers! We had to wait a while for a lot of stalls to unpack and start cooking, but always worth getting early to festivals in the long run I find :)

    Hi bowb - Oh thanks so much for the clarification. I can imagine these would taste so much better straight from the deep-fryer. I love the name too!

    Hi Midnitelily - Thanks so much for the info. Eating these fresh would be a completely different experience. Thanks for finding the recipe!

    Hi Implosion - The egg shot was a fluke and I agree, the trail is quite mesmerising! And hi to you too :)

    Hi Gaathumb! - Had much fun and well done to you all for organising such a great community event!

    Hi Simon - In the past they've had a lot more homemade kuih and desserts but I agree the pisang goreng and apam balik were my highlights :)

    Hi Bean Sprout's Cafe - Oh what a pity. There are usually lots of festivals on at Tumbalong Park - otherwise you might have to get yourself to Mamak for a roti fix!

    Hi Renee - It was a fun way to start the day, especially as we headed straight from here to the Cabramatta Moon Festival!

    Hi Cruxiefaye - Oh the pain of not getting your radish cake after queuing for so long! An interesting mix of dishes - I just wish I'd had more room to fit in another apam balik!

    Hi Ellie - I think small-scale community events like these tend to be a bit haphazard but yes the apam balik and pisang goreng were great.

  • At 9/30/2009 8:03 pm, Anonymous Leona said…

    awesome action shots! Wish I went :( I had the flu on sunday no way i could have gone >_<

  • At 10/01/2009 1:48 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Leona - Nothing worse than being sick. It was a fun day, but yes, all that wind would not have been recommended for the flu-ridden!

  • At 10/01/2009 8:16 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Dreaming of this now ... mmmm must go to Kopitiam one day soon

  • At 10/02/2009 12:32 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Peter Konnecke - I love Kopitiam. It's been a while for me too!

  • At 10/04/2009 1:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I was out of town, would of gone but i always find the various festivals food disappointing,no exceptions and thats includes Malaysian,indonesian,japanese,brazillian and so on~~


  • At 10/05/2009 6:35 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Sydneyguyrojoe - The festivals are sometimes a bit hit-and-miss but having lived in London for a couple of years where you rarely find festivals, I do appreciate the community atmosphere and the joy of eating/browsing/snacking outdoors. Like they say, you don't appreciate what you've got until it's gone :)


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