Over the past couple of years, I have had my fair share of travel experiences. Certainly I have. Travelling however didn’t fall right from the sky and on my lap just like that. Years and years of hard work and sacrifices, finally in my late forties as the major commitments in life settled down, I could afford to travel. As a seasonal traveler, I have learned that travelling is not about perfection or hoping for the best, but sure, clearly a joy and pleasure for the exposure to diverse cultures and sampling various types of cuisines. Still, despite exploring new attractions while I out there, within the next 5 to 6 days, I am counting the days to return home. Somehow, truly and surely, I miss Malaysian glories food - the spicy, salty and infused with local herbs dishes, eaten with rice or noodle dishes bolstered with similar tastes. Gosh! Speak about my daily food fix.
Upon returning to Tanah Airku/my homeland, in fact while still up in the air, I have already visualized a rice or noodle dish. So, first thing first, dashing for the satisfaction of our local delights. But from now on, instead of visiting different eateries, Ten Years will be the one stop eatery. Absolutely after tucking into the true and true array of “Made in Malaysia” dishes during this food review. Evidently, with the philosophy of preserving Malaysian food culture by passing it on to the next generation, the momentum at Ten Years has rapidly picked up after 6 months of operation in Sri Petaling on 17th September 2015. On 23rd March 2016, trailing behind is their second outlet in Evolve Concept Mall where I had the pleasure of this dining experience.
Ten Years must be applauded. Again said, for bringing popular local foods from every corner of Malaysia, symbolically represented with their logo – 4”10” in the middle to connect people from 4 different decades via food which seemingly is disappearing among the younger generation because of modern influences. The winning formula of Ten Years team for attracting back the new generation was none other than hunting down the popular foods in every state of Malaysia. Says it all the 3 conditions in order for a food to be considered as their signature dish in the restaurant – first, high rating in social media and endorsed by TV media, second, proven track record with long queue and third, must have historic figure (been operating for more than 10 years) and state representative.
Subsequently, the current 8 signature recipes including the few famous side hawkers are Nancy’s Kitchen Nyonya Laksa from Malacca, Nasi Lemak Panas Yati from Petaling Jaya, Nasi Dagang Kak Pah from Kuala Terengganu and others. Moreover. Ten Years has also created their own menu with strong local influence such as Grilled Chicken Percik Sauce, Prawn Curry Carbonara, ‘Ang Mo’ Kat Chai and many more. As I walked into their dining area resembling the 60’s to 90’s decades, I knew good things are in store in the cheery interior, served by the good natured smiley staff and food aroma waffling from the open kitchen studio. Indeed, within the next couple of minutes, the remarkable experience started.
Kak Tum takes pride in selling her mother’s specialty, Nasi Kuning. With a secret recipe dating back 20 years, you can now taste this deliciously crafted dish, which is sold out daily within 3 hours in Sabah.
Kak Pah Nasi Dagang (RM18.90) From Terengganu
With perfectly steamed rice that smells of fragrant coconut, served with a generous piece of Ikan Ayer (Tuna Fish) and curry that hits the right notes, it’s no wonder that Kak Pah’s secret 20 years old recipe has set the record of selling out within 3 hours.
Who can resist hot piping coconut rice completed with a perfect combination of sweet and spicy sambal, hard-boiled egg and fried anchovies? After 30 years and 2 generations running, Kak Yati’s packer Nasi Lemak still sells up to 1500 packets daily, making it one of the best in town!
Shun Fa Chicken Rice (RM16.90) From Kuala Lumpur
Operating since 1975, the second generation of the family now runs the restaurant, carrying down their father’s precious recipe. The Hainanese-styled Shun Fa Chicken Rice user’s free-range chicken to complement its moist and fragrant rice, while the chili paste has the right behind of spiciness and sourness.
Frankly, I did drooled over these dishes. I did, I did, I mean who wouldn’t with such appealing and impressive authentic food. Unfortunately as a small eater (always the case), I had to forgo. Unbelievable something wrong with me right? Well, sadly so much is my capacity. Still, no regrets because the Prawn Mee, Nyonya Laksa, Pasembur and Char Kuey Teow made it all up – so-so simply irresistible.
T&T Prawn Mee (RM14.90) From Pulau Pinang
One of the best prawn mee in Pulau Pinang, which always sold out in the early morning, the store on Jalan Cheong Fatt Sze has 50 years long of history behind it, being the heir and second generation to the T&T prawn mee on Lorong Selamat. It specializes in its traditional tastes, with a broth boiled for hours which complements the other ingredients.
Nancy Nyonya Laksa (RM16.90) From Melaka
There’s always a long queue at Nancy’s Kitchen which already tells you the gastronomic satisfaction that awaits you. Her best seller, Nyonya Laksa with 20 years history over 3 generations, has made it to the top of the list of must-try food in Melaka.Abu Pasembur Indian Rojak (RM12.90) From Kepong Baru
This particular Indian Rojak, otherwise known as Pasembur Rojak, has attached many from near and far. The stall’s second generation operator Abu, is proud to have taken over the business that has been in existence for more than 30 years.Tiger Char Kuey Teow (RM13.90) From Pulau Pinang
Char Kuey Teow is a mainstay of Pulau Pinang, but this popular char kuey teow store, which has been in business for over 60 years, is highly rated by visitors and Penangites alike due to its ability to maintain the same flavor and taste, even after 2 generations.
The Prawn Mee broth soaking up in the noodles and generously topped with fish cake, egg, bean sprouts, kangkung/water spinach and egg must be mentioned over and over. Translated as a light broth enhanced by the aquatic-natural flavours of prawn shells and heads, I couldn't stop with a few scoops. Yum! The Nyonya Laksa, oh-my! A brimming bowl featuring yellow noodles, prawns, tofu pok and garnished with cucumber, onion and fried shallots, all of which combined to give one heck of eye-opening offering. Creamy, thick and lusciously vibrant, my take definitely had to the broth, aha!, essentially the core when laksa is a concern. This one was the other standout similar to the Prawn Mee broth, though each with its distinctive piquancy. For these traditional Malaysian dishes, certainly as expected, the sambal is a must. Not to be faulted, really no, it still begged for an extra spicy oomph! At least for a spicy queen like me.
The Pasembur was another appetizing dish, thanks to its not overly sweet gravy. Unlike most pasembur gravy, this one was dark and added with spices I can’t identify. The gravy had a vicious bite on my tongue and the julienne sengkuang/jicama/yam bean and cucumber were crunchy. Only if there was more of the sotong, I would have left some behind for the rest.
Chay Kuew Teow admittedly has never been my favourite. Nevertheless, I helped myself to the tiniest portion of the flat rice noodles fried over high heat with bean sprouts, oh-yes, huge prawns and flavored up subtly with soy sauce. Retaining its appealing to the teeth texture, the rice noodles crumbled easily in my mouth. This Kuew Teow I am certain my other half will be fond of, well, the man can tell you which is the best in town.
When it came to desserts, surprisingly I was in the mood though I couldn’t comprehend what’s with sudden sugar rush urge. Not always a desire but with great company and knowing there will be helping hands, I at once ordered the Banana Kataifi (RM12.90). With it also came the Durian Pan Cake (RM9.90).
Banana Kataifi or the modern invention of Pisang Goreng – walla! Banana coiled within the utmost crumbly batter, served with a scoop of ice cream, strawberry sauce and fruit compote - attractively plated. The thin pancake neatly tucked with the creamy and just the right burst of sweetness durian filling and the Thyme Lemonade (RM11.90) I opted between the Lemongrass Sours ( RM11.90), Minty Watermelon (RM7.50), Berry Cooler (RM8.90 and Citrus King (RM7.90) were a solid finale to this satisfying food event.
Besides dining in, for all your private functions, corporate meeting or gathering, and other occasions/celebrations, Ten Years is within your reach.
TEN YEARS @ Evolve Concepts Mall
Address: G08, Ground Floor, Evolve Concept Mall,
Jalan PJU 1A/4, Ara Damansara,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Contact no: 03-78310996