I was born in Malaysia but moved to Ireland at the tender age of one. Every memory of holidays back home to Malaysia seem to relate to food. My uncle Ding recommended that I should try and assess a restaurant by the name of Saga, as I enjoy dining out and am somewhat a wannabe AA Gill! Decided to have dinner with Dad on a quiet mid-week evening. The place is not inviting from the exterior, however I had been informed that the food was decent and so long as the food is good I’m happy. Greeted with a lovely smile, we were sat and menu’s brought promptly by the waitress. The restaurant was quiet with only one other table, but picked up a table of one and a table of seven during our meal. All the customers, with the exception of one (Irish) were Malaysian. Always positive when the ethnic people are eating the food served, means something must be right! The restaurant is quite small in size and the walls ornate with pictures and Malaysian kites, Wau Bulan. Nothing fancy here like, but you get a sense of Malaysian culture here in Ireland.
To drink Dad ordered an Air Bandung (milk and rose cordial syrup) and an Mango Lassi (mango, sugar and yoghurt), as I had no clue and he knew best. Both drinks sweet and light perfect for quenching thirsts in Malaysia’s tropical climate. The menu on offer is simplistic and shows real authenticity. To start we shared a portion of Satay Chicken Skewers which came garnished with red onion, cucumber, Ketupat (a Malay rice cake) and the spicy peanut sauce. Quick and tasty, however the spices seemed to be toned down adapting to Irish taste buds. For mains Dad ordered the Nasi Lemak with an additional side serving of Prawn Sambal (extra €2), while I opted for the Beef Rendang. Although mine was nice, a mild flavourful dish with a slight hint of coconut, I preferred Dad’s Nasi Lemak.
Overheard some of the other customers ordering, (not that hard, as it was quiet) everyone seemed to opt for the Nasi Lemak. It is after all one of Malaysia’s well known national dishes. An aromatic coconut enriched rice traditionally accompanied with slices of cucumber, roasted salted peanuts, sambal chilli paste, half a hard boiled egg and crispy shallow fried anchovies. Its a dish that I would call perfect, everything on the plate compliments one another both in taste and texture. I enjoyed the food and it’s going to be the closest thing to authentic in Ireland (well apart from when Dad cooks at home). Dinner for two costed just over €30. We left happy and would come back again.