Friday, June 11, 2010

The Oleh-Oleh Rendang

Hantu Laut

After having feasted almost perennially the past week on oysters and succulent Aussie's beef an accidental find of this little Malay restaurant on the quiet side of Hay Street gave me salivating nostalgia of home-cooked food. The spartan interior is typical of most Malay restaurants back home.First thing that came to my mine was, who cares, as long as the food is good.

I am not on a gastronomical journey but simple plain good food is certainly more desirous than pretentious ambience.As good as the food can be a bad service can kill your appetite.

The restaurant was empty except for a table of three launchers at the far end of the room.Malaysians, I guessed, but not sure whether tourists or residents.

Perth had a fair share of Malaysians permanent residents as any other immigrants.I have many Chinese friends that have migrated here.Some have become citizens of the country.

After browsing through the menu I decided to order 'beef rendang' with rice.Scanning the room I noticed some empty plates of previous meals still uncleared from the table next to me.By now I have the gut feeling that I have come to a wrong restaurant.

The guy at the counter spent most of his time talking in Malay on his cellular phone with his friend or girlfriend occasionally leaving his work station to go outside the restaurant to continue with whatever secret conversation that he didn't want anyone else to hear.

By now 20 minutes has passed and there were still no sign of my food.I called the guy and enquired about my food and all he said was it's coming.Goddam hell! I know it is coming but when without saying it aloud.The cardinal rule and always bear in mind that if you are not happy never scowl the waiter till you have finished your meal.

We all know 'beef rendang' is pre-cooked and can be served almost immediately unless the moron think I am not Malaysian, an idiot and do not know what rending is.

Beef rendang, empty restaurant and it took over 20 minutes to get my food to the table.It was rendang exclusive, without anything on the side, not good, not bad but just edible. By the time I finished my meal I would have spent at least 40 minutes in the restaurant and guess what? The empty plates on the next table were still there.Just imagine what the service would be like if the restaurant was full.

The Malaysian Chinese restaurant that I have been to in the Gold Coast and here did not suffer from such lackadaisical attitude.

The owner, whoever he is, is either equally incompetent with his "tidak apa" attitude or as clueless as when he first left Malaysia for this land.He might just as well run his food business from the warong in KL.

You certainly can't take the kampong out of this Ahmad.He has brought his whole kampong to Perth.

The next time you are in Perth try the "Oleh-Oleh" restaurant along Hay Street and hopefully I was wrong or too hasty in my judgement.

1 comment:

eddy said...

Bro, I do not think that this Ahmad is a representative of a kampung where people takes great pain to clean up as soon as they finish eating. Warongs in KL are quite OK also they clean up as soon as customers pay up and leave, if they don't clean up the Bandaraya folks will give them a hefty fine. No can do.