There’s a word to describe a person who’s willing to drive across town in the middle of the night to queue for a Ramly burger — that word is
It’s an unhealthy relationship — I mean, we’ve all seen people whack a plate of nasi lemak or banana leaf at 3am before, right? — but one that we wouldn’t want to be without.
The number of food trucks and pop-up vendors around the Valley has increased tremendously in the last couple of years, however, it’s easy to overlook newer businesses when a majority of us are still trying to keep up with cafés. This is why food festivals are an amazing platform for lesser-known outlets or establishments that don’t have a permanent space to introduce their food to the market.
Take Tiffin for example; unlike the previous food festivals I’ve had the pleasure of attending, Tiffin curated its itinerary extremely carefully to ensure attendees were given a multiple F&B experiences ranging from brunch sessions, a burger competition, cocktail tasting paired with a history lesson, coffee appreciation and much more.
[Ed’s note: Before proceeding, make sure that you have a couple of snacks on hand or you’re recovering from a food coma. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT read this with an empty stomach.]
A total of 27 vendors were present during the 3-day event. I told myself I had to attend one day at least because word on the food street was, one vendor would be selling a tray of 20-pieces of salmon sashimi for RM30 — let me repeat that again. 20-pieces of thick cuts of salmon sashimi — like thicker than Sushi Zanmai kinda thick — priced at RM30.
I am about that life.
The first activity I attended on Saturday was the Brunch Session by Root Cellar KL — a pop up-dining and catering service. My stomach was empty; ready to devour everything that was brought out from the kitchen. We started off with light appetisers like breakfast pudding, a cheese platter, carbs, carbs and more carbs — that isn’t a complaint.
My stomach was already half full — I am one of those embarrassing people that can only go two rounds at a buffet, it’s called ‘eyes bigger than the stomach’ syndrome — but I was eager to try the main dish. I ordered a roasted lamb shoulder with ulam belacan couscous and poached egg — it’s as divine as it sounds — and to complete the course: dessert.
I had the pengat pisang french toast served with vanilla creme chantilly and crushed kacang tumbuk.
Yes, I was in a food coma immediately after.
I’m fairly certain everyone left the session coming up with an event to hire these guys for or wondering if it would be possible to cater for a family of four over the weekend. Why? Because the food was excellent.
Root Cellar KL was definitely far from a mediocre dining experience, and you’d do well to check them out here.
Seriously, that breakfast pudding gave me life.
Next, my food baby bump and I checked out Chowdown — the ‘food market’ essentially — since I was determined to find the salmon sashimi, but I was distracted by all the meat that was being grilled right before my eyes. Like this massive pile of lamb shoulders by Bakarlah BBQ.
Why would you do this to me, guys?
These guys were serving lamb shoulder and super buttery mashed potatoes for RM15 — a huge bargain considering soft serve ice cream is being sold at the same price.
What’s going on in the world?
The Bakarlah boys are a BBQ catering service suitable for any occasion — corporate functions, parties at home — you name it, these guys will prep for it. Who would’ve thought that such a service was available here?
Not me, that’s for sure. I’m glad I know now because I don’t have time to set up my barbecue pit. I am lazy. I like that there’s a group of people that are passionate about working closely to fire and charcoal — y’all do you.
Then, I found the sashimi haven by Top Catch Fisheries, a seafood distributor situated in Kuala Lumpur. My sister parked herself in front of this booth for several hours because was this real life or just fantasy? Suffice it to say, we had a few rounds of this goodness. This was a great discovery as we’re always looking to purchase seafood that won’t cost us an arm or a leg, and we managed to walk away from Top Catch’s area with all our limbs intact!
I was just about ready to roll myself home but convinced myself to take some cake home, so I checked out Baked KL’s booth.
I ended up buying several slices of cakes, cookies — what they’re most known for — and more cakes. Baked KL is an online bakery which donates 10% of its earnings to an allocated charity every month, so really, I was just helping them out with their mission.
All in all, I’d definitely recommend keeping an eye out for other food festivals — there’s one to lookout for every couple of months — as it widens our food directory as it does our waists.
What went down at Taste of Tiffin was merely the preview of what food and drink enthusiasts can expect during Tiffin Week — scheduled to happen in late September. If you happen to own your own business or are managing an outlet and looking to create a menu that’s unlike the next place, consider this as an opportunity to do just that.
I’m assuming it’s going to be grander than what I experienced over the weekend. So, be sure to go with a group of people. That way you can share the food instead of ending up in a 6-hour food coma like me.
Keep up with Tiffin here.
Image credits: All Is Amazing, Top Catch Fisheries.