Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Martha Stewart may now be the tarnished diva of domesticity, but Angela and Felix are virtuosos of fun. Last Monday, the couple threw an Oscars party at Felix's place. Gather about ten hungry women together on Oscar's night with one guy whipping up a fabulous Malaysian feast and you have some pretty satisfied tummies!

Felix prepared laksa, a traditional Malaysian-style noodle soup. An aromatic soup full of spices and chili was spooned over rice vermicelli, shrimp, bean sprouts, shredded omlets, and other fresh vegetables. I loved accompanying the noodles with the Malaysian pickles, the peanutty sauce mellowing the spiciness of the pickled cucumbers. Equally good were the chili beef and the chili belachan fish (belachan is a fish paste from Malaysia). The beef was tender, with a warming spiciness. The fish was crisp on the outside, meltingly soft on the inside. I originally though I'd share just one with Bonnie, but began eyeing the second platter of fish Felix brought out after we polished off the first.

On a future visit (Angela and Felix, I hope there is a future invite waiting for me!), I would have just the beef and pickles over white rice. The food reminded me of one of my favorite Korean dishes, bi bim bap, which I love eating in cold weather because of how it is warming and comforting without any hint of heaviness. Comfort food without the hangover.

I'd definitely follow the main entree with a few helpings of Felix's rojak fruit salad. A mixture of tofu, cucumber, guava, and pineapple, seemed strange at first glance, but made sense when drizzled with the rojak sauce, a dark, velvety sauce that was just shy of being too sweet.

For dessert, Felix served squares of white toast spread thickly with kaya coconut jam, with a drizzle of condensed milk on top. The smooth unctuousness of the jam made me want to eat another slice...but there was no longer even a smidgen of room left in my stomach. If you're doing Atkins, South Beach, low-glycemic index, or any sort of diet, beware of the toast with the kaya coconut jam!

Felix had written in the invite that he and Angela sent out that he hoped we would leave his home a few pounds heavier...that was definitely true.

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