#28: Seraph Awaken

It says something when this show has had two episodes on coffee in the span of a few months. Though we might very well be caffeine addicts, there's no doubt that the KL coffee scene has been perennially peaking, which gives us license to talk about our favourite drink yet again. So this week, we talk to the co-owner of one cafe that has separated itself from the pack—Tan Chun Hoong from Seraph Awaken, a quaint little cafe in Klang.

(Photo credit: Seraph Awaken)

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#27: The Politics of Soup Kitchens

Malaysians might remember a time back in 2014-15, when soup kitchens were the talk of the town. Politicians debated over them, newspaper headlines sensationalised them, and they were sure to come up over mamak stall conversations. Even though the talk on soup kitchens have mostly died down since, many of them still operate in our cities, Kuala Lumpur especially, providing food and services for the poor and underprivileged. Joycelyn Lee and Andrea Tan, founders of one such soup kitchen—Pit Stop Community Cafe—sit with us to discuss their motivations behind running Pit Stop, touch on the politics of food, and talk about how we can invest in our community.

(Photo credit: Stock Image)

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#26: The Talk About Tempeh

Tempeh is one of the few key fermented foods that originates from the Malay archipelago. And in recent years, this funky, soy product has grown in a big way, especially with the rise of meat alternatives and a global shift towards a more plant-based diet. To tell us all about this funky, fermented food, is Azimin Saini from Tempeh Culture, a tiny tempeh (pardon the pun) business from Singapore. He talks about his heritage, weigh in on the recent tempeh boom, and reveals a few tempeh cooking tips!

(Photo credit: Tempeh Culture)

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#25: The Fay Khoo Award

Malaysia's food writing scene might seem to be languishing. But there are movers and shakers out there, initiatives that are changing up the scene, encouraging more and better scholarship of food. The Fay Khoo Award is one of them. Named after the legendary Malaysian food personality, the award looks to improve the state of food and drink writing in the region. Its director, Bettina Chua Abdullah, talks to us about her third year running the award, and discusses the state of food writing in Malaysia. P.S. To all food writers in the region, the award is now open for submissions!

(Photo credit: The Fay Khoo Award)

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#24: Crazy About Cakes

Ahh, cake... We all love them, we all crave them. But despite our lifelong love for cake, the cake scene in Malaysia has shifted from old school bakeries to custom cakes made by home bakers. So we speak to Jessica Ting (a.k.a. Miss Shortcakes) and Tao (from Tao Bakes Cakes), two prominent cake-makers in the Klang Valley, to learn about their sweet beginnings.They share their wild cake stories, and weigh in on the boom in custom cakes in KL. From modelling cakes in the shape of the KL Tower, to a story about poop cake, to the very first cake-off in the studio, this episode was a wild one.

(Photo credit: Today—Ottolenghi’s Stripe Cake)

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#23: Getting Playful With Pizza

Despite pizza's undoubtedly Italian origins, it has spread across the world over the past century, popularised in American cities like New York and Chicago, then further catalysed by the spread of pizza franchises like Domino's and Pizza Hut. In Malaysia too we seem to be in the throes of a pizza wave, with artisanal pizza parlous taking over the torch from the pizza franchises of old. We talk to one such Malaysian pizza upstart—myPizzaLab. Its founders, Chin Ren Yi and Jared Yeo, tells us about their pizza philosophy, talk traditional vs. modern pizzas, and weigh in on the pineapple-on-pizza dilemma.

(Photo credit: myPizzaLab)

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#22: Spicy Science

Ah, spiciness! Many cuisines of the world wouldn't be complete without the aroma and heat of the chili pepper. But really, what is it about spiciness that makes it so saliva-inducing, so flavourful, so head-scratchingly addictive? In this two-part episode, we first learn about the science behind spiciness from Dr. Chong Li Choo, a lecturer and culinology programme director from Taylor's University. Then, we hear from JinnyboyTV's Jin Lim & Brandon Ho about Hot Guys, their latest YouTube series where they eat the spiciest food around Malaysia.

(Photo credit: The Paleo Diet)

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#21: Vibing Over Vegan Ice Cream

Veganism has been shaking up the food world in recent years. From nut butters to açaí bowls to the all-too-common avo toast, we've been seeing more and more vegan foods in our daily meals. So this week, we speak to Ishpal Bajaj, co-founder of Kind Kones, one the most successful vegan brands in Malaysia. He talks about the beginnings of Kind Kones, how his vegan ice creams are made, and we touch on the divisive topic of veganism.

(Photo credit: Kind Kones (Shot and styled by the dynamic duo—Calvin Goh and Trisha Toh)

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#20: Bananas About Bananas

The humble banana is Malaysia's second most consumed fruit, topped only by coconuts, and yes, we have it more than durians! And while the world banana market might be dominated by one variety of banana—the Cavendish—over here in Malaysia, we're blessed with over 100 different cultivars.This week, Siti Aiysyah Tumin,a researcher from the Khazanah Rsearch Institute, talks about her published study of the Malaysian banana industry, divulges some surprising findings, and shares her favourite banana cultivars with us.

(Photo credit: this random Pinterest board)

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#19: Barbecue

Barbecue might be a cuisine and lifestyle tied to the American South, but here in Malaysia, we have a booming barbecue scene too. Nazri Jameson from Beard Brothers’ BBQ—one of the recent breakout stars of the KL barbecue scene—speaks to us about his start, the tribulations of BBQ in Malaysia, and how he perfected his beef brisket. 

(Photo credit: The Star, www.star2.com)

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SPECIAL EPISODE: Maddening Beers

Here’s a previously unreleased episode of an interview I recorded awhile back. It’s a chat with Kennhyn Ang, one of the beer evangelist in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. Despite our strict brewing laws (Malaysia has only 3 licensed brewers) he’s managed to make some truly local beers. We talk about the Malaysian beer scene, his beer story, and his crazy cocktail of beers. (Laksa beer, anyone?)

The episode didn’t make it on air on BFM, mainly due to the strict alcohol sensitivity and laws we’re bound to here in Malaysia. So we’ve had to strip it down to its bare-bones version, sans the usual Breaking Bread music and edits. But still, Kennhyn’s enthusiasm for beer more than makes up for it. Honestly.

(Photo credit: Malaysian Tatler)

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#18: Malaysian Caviar

Just when you think Malaysia has few atas foods or ingredients, in swoops Malaysian caviar! Yes, tucked away in a little farm in Tanjung Malim, Perak, is Malaysia's very first caviar farm, and possibly the world's first 'tropical' caviar! AJ Lim and Shaun Kenneth Simon from T'Lur Caviar speak to us about caviar farming, debate the shifting trends of the caviar industry, and teaches us how to taste caviar!

(Photo credit: www.malaymail.com)

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#17: Malaysian Ingredients, But Not As You Know Them

As Malaysians, we might be familiar with our chillies and rendangs, know the aromas of our ulams and seloms, and be able to tell apart halias and kunyits. But how about buah kepayang, temu pauh, and cendawan kukur? The ingredients of our land are so wild and varied, but we've barely scratched the surface of them all in our everyday Malaysian food.

So on the show, Andrew Wong from Open House restaurant shares some of the little-known local ingredients and sambals he's serving at his restaurant, and we discuss the evolution of Malaysian dining too.

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#16: Ramadan Bazaar

We're nearing the end of the Ramadan period, and over the past month, there have been bazaars popping up in the evenings all across the country. So in this two-part episode, we explore a few classic bazaar dishes with Haniff Baharudin from the I Love KL show, and speak to Nik & Stephanie from Mean Mince, who recently set up their very first burger stall at the TTDI Ramadan bazaar, to learn more about the bazaar experience.

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#15: Tau Foo Fa

The soy bean is a versatile crop that holds mighty importance in Malaysia and many parts of Asia. We use it to make tofu, soy milk, tempeh, miso, and a variety of silky, funky foods.

So this week, we talk to Carmen and Joe Lau, siblings and owners of Dáo, a dessert shop in Subang Jaya that focuses on the soy bean. We discuss soy desserts, talk about the differences in soy milk in KL and their hometown of Ipoh, and how they tread the fine line between modern and traditional tau foo fah.

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