Backdoor explorers: Italo-Malay

THE FIRST ESCAPE OF BACKDOOR EXPLORERS BRINGS YOU TO MALAYSIA ON NOVEMBER 15TH

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Looking smart before visiting Petronas Towers in KL

Last February i visited Singapore for an event i held at my friend Sarah Jane’s Smothering Suppers secret supperclub HQ. As the saying goes, when in Rome…so i just started doing what locals do: ¬†hanging around, trying food, stalking old people in the market stalls for information…well, the usual stuff…:D
I love checking out everything that looks new to me and can, at the same time, introduce me to the local cuisine and so to the people and their culture . This is how i ended up accepting the Innovative Baker’s invite to visit her in Kuala Lumpur. I got tickets for a bus and left Singapore to meet her in Malaysia. As adventurous as that can sound, getting a bus from Singapore to KL is actually a super comfy 5 hours experience with air conditioned and a whole set of movies you can watch while travelling. They give you some decent food as well!

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Meeting Lyn’s parents at the Lunar New Year market in the surroundings of KL

South East Asia, with all due differencies, is so similar to Italy: wherever you go the only thing you don’t have to worry about is that, at some point, you will be starving – food is everywhere.

I was lucky enough that Lyn, the Innovative Baker, had time to show me around, bring me to places only locals know, teach some Malay and Chinese and buy some Bakkwa for the road. I thank all the Gods that Bakkwa is not as popular in London otherwise you could actually roll me down a hill by now. If you don’t know what Bakkwa is, i just can tell it is one of the many ways in which Pork likes to dress up and show off its inner sexiness.

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Me making silly faces of joy at outstanding street food

Lyn used to run, with her friend Barry, a Malaysian-Philipino supperclub in London before leaving to go back to KL and help out the always growing family business. She is also a living bulk of elecricity and a kick ass, hardcore, traditional cook. When she emailed me and proposed a collaboration, i just couldn’t say anything but yes. The excitment at the challenge of creating a consistent menu without altering the souls of our national cuisines was too big. This is how we started working on two concepts: similar approaches to food and/or same key ingredients. We made out of that a symphony of flavours that tells you all about how our two cultures can make taste the same piece of chicken so different as well as they welcome you and have you enjoy food with exactly the same warmth and almost maniacal passion about it.

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Me and Lyn having a rather rich breakfast

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