Tak­ing Root

Melissa and Michelle Pong, the dar­ling duo be­hind Fat Spoon and Mei by Fat Spoon, dis­cuss all things tasty with Sa­man­tha Lim and di­vulge who they wish they could cook for

Malaysia Tatler - - CONTENTS -

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While many a mil­len­nial is con­tent to cafe-hop and eat out, the Pong sis­ters are a laud­able ex­am­ple of Gen Ys who are pre­serv­ing food tra­di­tions in the kitchen. In 2010, the sib­lings opened Fat Spoon, a homey eatery in Da­mansara Utama flaunt­ing their love for Ny­onya cui­sine. The restau­rant’s de­vout fol­low­ing in­spired the sis­ters to re­lease The Fat Spoon Cook­book in 2014, thus en­abling home chefs to repli­cate their revered recipes such as lemon­grass pot clams, Asian lamb stew with crusty bread, and durian crème brulee. Rather than rest­ing on their lau­rels, the dy­namic duo put their heads to­gether to then launch Mei by Fat Spoon in 2015, this time tack­ling Ja­panese flavours im­bibed with Malaysian in­flu­ences; think Ikura sea­weed gua­camole with pa­padum chips, moo moo rice bowls with chili padi, and other hon­estto-good­ness fare.

1 AreAr they good taste de­tec­tives?

If aany­thing, that’s prob­a­bly our favourite thing to do—to go on a tast­ing ad­ven­ture and to repli­cate the flavours in our kitchen kitchen. It’s rarely a 100 per cent copy be­cause we tweak it to suit our tas­taste buds, sub­sti­tute in­gre­di­ents with eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble lo­cal pro­duc pro­duce, or use a short­cut for com­mer­cially vi­able rea­sons.

2 The star dish at their re­spec­tive restau­rants.

At Fat Spoon, our ulam fried rice is a favourite. Good old wok-fried rice tossed with lots of aro­matic juli­enned herbs and fin­ished with house-made sam­bal­bela­can for that nec­es­sarynece kick! At Mei by Fat Spoon, our ox tongue rice is the per­fectp com­bi­na­tion of tex­tured, sweet, salty, spicy and com­fort­com all in a bowl. And, our cempedak spring rolls are also a con­sis­tent­con favourite at both eater­ies.

3 Sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween Ny­onya and Ja­panese cui­sine.

They’re def­i­nitely prepared with lots of love and pa­tience. There are many steps to pre­par­ing the tra­di­tional dishes an­dan most im­por­tantly, pre­cise knife skills are a must!

4 Who they wish they could cook for?

Oh, that’s a no brainer. Dad, who’s no longer with us. He was a re­ally big foodie and knew his way around the kitchen. We think he’d be pretty proud of his two girls.

5 On con­vinc­ing cus­tomers to try in­nards.

Hon­estly, it’s only a men­tal block. Tongue is much like sliced beef while giz­zards are like a tougher part of the chicken thigh. Din­ers who are on the fence usu­ally give it a try. Oth­er­wise we make them feel like they’re miss­ing out on the good stuff. The #fomo ones usu­ally cave in. Haha!

BOOK A RECIPE The Fat Spoon Cook­book is a de­li­cious read, and can be or­dered through mphon­line.com

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