Longtable Dinner at Longtail Kitchen: Authentic Malaysian Cuisine by Alex Chen

I know we go on and on about Longtail Kitchen (facebook) in New West. They do longtable pop-up dinners featuring different chefs on a semi-regular basis. This was the first one we’ve been to. We really enjoyed it!

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Here’s the menu! Five courses. Classic Malaysian dishes with a slight twist here and there.

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Alex Chen on the right. He represented Canada in the Bocuse d’Or competition in France last year and came in 9th in the world! So he’s all up in there with the French training but wanted to present another side of himself tonight, hence the Malaysian menu.

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Lemongrass and pandan tea.

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Singha for me! Standard asian pale lager. Not too exciting but went well enough with the food.

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I was surprised to see Angus An (chef/owner of Maenam [fb] and part owner of Longtail Kitchen) that night. We ended up sitting across from him all night! He brought his 6 year-old son, Ayden, with him and we all chatted throughout the dinner. I was a little nervous sitting across from Angus while taking photos of the food all night. I wonder what he thinks of foodie blogger types. But he was really nice and we talked a lot about food, of course 🙂

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Alex Chen giving a little background on the dinner.

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First course: Chicken Satay with cucumber, pineapple, onion and peanut sauce. They used only the prized nugget-sized “chicken oyster” part of the chicken. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyster_%28fowl%29)

Very tender and flavourful. I liked the chunky peanut sauce.

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Closeup showing the chicken oyster texture. We all joked about how many chickens it took to make all these chicken oyster skewers. There’s only two oysters per bird.

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Alex intro’d each dish.

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Second course: “Bak Ku Teh” which is pork rib tea soup. Also contained shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu cubes and pork ribs, and was served with chinese doughnuts.

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Succulent, tender pork rib meat just slid off the bone. The chinese doughnuts soaked up the soup. It all tasted great. Rich-tasting yet clear broth. Full of flavour, multi-layered.

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Another beer: Chang. Same idea as Singha. Too bad I couldn’t bring a bottle of Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA…I think it would’ve been a kick-ass beer to pair with Malaysian food.

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Chef Alex and one of several sous he brought that night. They’re plating up the next course, shrimp noodles.

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Third course: Hawker Style Shrimp Noodles. AMAZING DISH! Intense broth, jam-packed with intense shellfish and pork flavour. Also included sliced eggs, two huge shrimp (like mini-lobster tails in texture and taste) and a chunk of pork back.

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Two kinds of noodles! The thinner noodles work like a sponge, soaking up the broth while the thicker noodles give a heartier texture. It was great to eat them both together in the same bite.

Too bad I was already getting full before this course came. Wendy ended up eating some of my bowl and ended up too full herself!

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Fourth course: Hainanese Chicken Rice. Really well done but we took most of this to-go. I think most people were feeling stuffed by this point. The previous course was a meal in itself! It’s totally Asian though, to make sure your guests are stuffed to the max.

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Fragrant chicken rice. I was so full though, I smelled it more than I actually ate it.

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Fifth and final course: Glutinous Rice with a salted coconut milk foam on top.

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The glutinous rice was cooked in a coconut custard and served chilled. Wendy liked how the top layer tasted a bit like flan, the way the rice settled to the bottom and the custard floated to the top and set to a flan-like consistency.

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I was uncomfortably full but somehow managed to eat all of the dessert! I liked how it wasn’t too sweet. It just went down easy and was nice way to finish the meal.

Great dinner, got starstruck sitting across from one of the best chefs in the city, fun concept…we had a great time. I wonder what Longtail has in store for future dinners?

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