Quallys Restaurant – Best Masakan Kampung Malay Food
There’s an NKOTB, Quallys Restaurant – Best Masakan Kampung Malay Food for the soul.
I’ve known Alor Setar-born Yusniza Ayu Yusoff aka Kak Ayu from her Downtown Café days.
For 4 years, Kak Ayu was managing Umi Restaurant at the TOP, Komtar, I would drop by for a quick lunch cooked by her.
I’m so pleased that she has returned to her passion of offering “masakan kampung” and starting Quallys.
There is something different about “sentuhan Air Tangan” Kak Ayu; translated literally as “a touch of hand water.”
For me, it simply means she had cooked the food with passion and love.
I dropped in late one night to visit Kak Ayu the chef-owner, who opened her first restaurant in November 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic has brought countries worldwide to a standstill.
It was a very bold move on her part. When I went it was the first week of operations, and we ate a late supper in the kitchen–I had the Bakar Bakar Dishes.
The restaurant’s menu is masakan Melayu, lovely Malay dishes highlighting delicious gulai and dishes from the northern states.
Kak Ayu likes to keep everything fresh and if you call ahead, tell her the type of protein you like, and she will tell you what she has fresh in the kitchen.
For the mains, I like her style of keeping the proteins within the same family.
The best is the seafood spread with fish, prawn, squids, and shellfish.
That Night In November, I tried the delicious Bakar Bakar dishes.
“Daging Harimau Menangis,” – Crying Tiger Beef
Those of you familiar with Thai food would have tried “Sua Rong Hai” or the Crying Tiger Beef popularly known in Malaysia as “Daging Harimau Menangis.”
The dish is a Northeastern Thai origin; cooked from the marinated brisket of beef, flavoured with spices, grilled to perfection, and sliced into small pieces.
In Thailand, they serve it with sticky rice.
The name “Daging Harimau Menangis” based on a local myth, which means the meat is so tasty and delicious it made a “tiger cry”.
The part of a cow that’s named the “Daging Harimau Menangis” is actually the bottom sirloin – one of the most sought-after beef parts as it is the most tender cut of beef.
According to local myths, the cow’s hip bones prevent a tiger’s mouth from reaching the part, so it does not get to savour the juicy, tender slab of meat.
And since the tiger can’t eat the tender part, the tiger would be sad, upset and cry!
Did SmartDory cry eating this tender morsel? <grins>
I think it overwhelmed the greedy little fish that the beef 50% fat, 50% meat coated with the spice marinate and perfectly grilled tasted so good!
If there’s any crying, it was more tears of joy than anything else in the grilled beef brisket with a pungent sauce.
The red spicy Sambal Bonda has the right combination of heat, sour, spice and Belacan (mmm mmmm).
Cencaru Sumbat Kelapa (Stuffed Mackerel Fish)
People ask me if I like to eat fish since I’m the proverbial “smart-alecky fish.”
My answer is I prefer Fried Chicken to Fried Fish any day.
However, the three styles of fish that I take – Steamed, Boiled and Grilled.
And this is a mighty tasty Fish – Cencaru Sumbat Kelapa.
The Torpedo Scad or Hardtail Scad is finny scad, finletted mackerel best fish to use for Cencaru Sumbat Kelapa (stuffed fish).
Kak Ayu’s stuffed fish is packed with white coconut stuffing, so flavourful, unlike other restaurants which have loose fillings.
Yes, if you like coconut like me, you will love the stuffing!
Kari Ikan Bawal Hitam (Black Pomfret Curry)
Fresh Black Pomfret is very healthy, delicious, and has many nutritious excellent protein sources with many health benefits.
The fish doesn’t have high saturated fat.
Cooked Assam Pedas Malay Style, this hot and sour Black Pomfret Curry is delicious with white rice.
Ais Bandung (Milky Syrup Drink)
Iced Bandung, Sirap Bandung, or Air Bandung is a drink popular in Malaysia and Singapore.
Ever since I was a young girl, I remember ordering this drink made of evaporated milk or condensed milk flavoured with rose syrup (rose cordial)–it was the pink milky taste that was attractive and reminded me of family curry meals.
A milky drink is the best drink for a child learning to eat curry.
Fast Forward to March 2021, and in Quallys Restaurant’s 5th month, Aly Cat and I visited Kak Ayu.
Quallys Best Masakan Kampung Malay Food at the Teels Heritage Café
Kak Ayu’s cooking and her brand of Malay food have a very pleasing way of growing on your palate. For lunch, I left it to Kak Ayu to cook.
For two people, Kak Ayu made us
Quallys Nusantara Kitchen Menu
- Gulai Ikan Bawal (Black Pomfret Curry)
- Kerabu Mangga (Mango Salad)
- Sotong Goreng (Stir Fried Squid)
- Telur Dadar (Omelette)
- Kacang Botol Petai Goreng (Stir Fried Four Angle Beans and Petai)
- Sambal Belacan
Gulai Ikan Bawal (Black Pomfret Curry)
My mom would make our gulai at home with powdered curry paste from packaged small plastic bags to get a pot of good- and authentic- Malaysian Indian-style curries.
Sometimes we would buy the fresh curry pastes readily available in the wet markets.
I like Quallys Restaurant’s version of creamy Gulai Ikan Bawal with ladies fingers and tomatoes.
That said, Kak Ayu has her own blend of curry paste which was very good.
I fancy some secret spices include mustard seeds, cardamons, cloves, and curry leaves in the paste,
Fresh curry paste is always delicious without that powdery taste from prepacked powder stuff.
Kerabu Mangga (Mango Salad)
I am not sure about you, but my mouth waters at the very sight of this simple but visually pleasing and appetizing dish.
Kerabu Mangga or Mango Salad is a Malay appetizer widely available in Malaysia.
It’s light, delicious and definitely low in calories!
Half green/ripe, raw mangos make the best salads that are sour, crunchy, cool and refreshing at the same time–the perfect appetizer.
Authentic Kerabu Mangga is like its Thai counterpart, “Som Tum” (which I love) healthy Thai Green Papaya Salad with shredded green papaya, long beans, peanuts and tomatoes.
Kerabu Mangga is less spicy, made without raw garlic and fish sauce but more tangy and sour.
I miss a good sour Authentic Kerabu Mangga, which is absolutely appetizing when paired with grilled meat, seafood or plain white rice.
For Kak Ayu’s version, she could see me just forgoing the other dishes at the end of the meal and eating Kerabu Mangga with plain white rice–to finish the meal.
Sotong Goreng (Stir Fried Squid)
If you love squids, you will enjoy this stir-fried dish with broccoli in a nice tasty sauce.
Telur Dadar (Omelette)
The Telur Dadar Omelet features multiple soft inner layers and crispy edges, and it is addictive.
Crispy Omelet is very easy to make if you understand the techniques of the deep-frying omelette to make a perfect, delicious omelette at home!
The secret is controlling the heat and the amount of oil for frying.
Kacang Botol Petai Goreng (Stir-Fried Four Angle Beans and Stink Beans Cooked with Sambal)
Kak Ayu asked if Aly Cat and I take Petai. I remember telling her that well, maybe not too much as the taste can overpower the uninitiated.
Her version is the best I’ve tasted so far.
Many restaurants scrimp on the Sambal Belacan with dry shrimps, and the result usually ends up watery or diluted.
Kak Ayu’s version is not fiery or oily, rather with an egg knocked in, the dishes are creamy well rounded, umami taste that is delicious.
Aly Cat likes all the dishes.
I like the Kacang Botol Petai Goreng the best in terms of texture, taste and balance.
Quallys Restaurant Menu Price
The servings are small, almost like tapas, but the prices reflect that since most of the dishes are priced below RM10.
Our meal came up to just RM39!
Review of Quallys Restaurant
Air Tangan Kak Ayu is that special something that makes every dish excellent with its own unique flavour.
Her flavours were amazing, with just the right balance for Kak Ayu cooks with her heart and her passion for Masakan Melayu is outstanding.
The only thing I have tasted is Roti Jala with some very good Gulai Ayam.
They serve the food at the adjoining Teels Heritage dining area.
Address: 144 G & H, Jalan Burma, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 8.00 pm
Kak Ayu contact number: 017 5296674
A 1-min walk from Enliven Hair Care Georgetown- Hair Loss Treatment & Scalp Treatment
SmartDory has a new eater. Meet Aly Cat! MEOWs everyone. Note to all Aly Cat loves to eat fish.