Saturday August 11, 2012
Englishman loves Malaysia’s spicy dishes especially beef rendang
By CHOONG MEK ZHIN
ONE would imagine moving halfway across the globe to live would displace almost anyone, but not Englishman Oliver Ellerton who fitted right in with the Malaysian lifestyle from the get-go.
The 28-year-old said the food, in particular, agreed with him.
“My favourite is the beef rendang, particularly the ones where the meat is so tender that it seems to blend right into the rich sauce,” he said.
While most would expect an expatriate to shy away from spicy local dishes, Ellerton revealed that such food was reminiscent of home.
“Coming from the country, I grew up with traditional English fare.
“I was introduced to Indian fare, including the really spicy stuff, when I entered university.
“Curry became the house staple throughout my student days,” he said, adding that chicken tikka masala was voted the most popular dish in England some years back.
Ellerton’s taste for food rich in spices and flavour have led him to also like nasi lemak with curry prawns — eaten like a local at a roadside stall near his workplace at the JW Marriott Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
His food adventure has even led him to the infamous Nong & Jimmy Thai seafood restaurant in Ampang as well as Malaysia’s food haven — Penang — where he loves indulging in a good bowl of assam laksa.
“It is sometimes difficult to describe to people who are not familiar with such a culture that travelling for food is satisfying,” he said.
While spices is all good with Ellerton, he cannot take the pungent smell of ikan bilis nor does he like durians though he has taken to the spicy tempoyak.
This Manchester United fan however has no worries about all that good food going to the wrong places as he is quite the sportsman.
He plays cricket, squash and recently picked up muay thai at a small cosy place called XStudio in Brickfields.
But of course life here is not completely rosy and Ellerton points out the things he does not like about Malaysia.
“My grouse is mainly about traffic issues such as the congestion and the way motorcycles are parked on the pedestrian walks.
“The city is also not very pedestrian friendly. All this affects the quality of life here,” he said, adding that Malaysians should not sell themselves short and be more confident of themselves.
Ellerton also said he did not know of any other place in the world where one could start up from nothing and make something of themselves within a matter of years.
While the time has not yet come for him to move on, Ellerton said if he had to pick another Asian place to live in, it would be Singapore, Hong Kong and China.