Malaysian By May Sunday Lunch Club

I am very aware that my culinary tastes are very British. I'm not keen on very spicy food, can be nervous of new ingredients and normally my favourite way to spend a Sunday afternoon would be chatting with friends over a roast dinner.

Swap that roast dinner for Malaysian food cooked expertly "homestyle" by London-based world traveller and foodie, May,  and you now have my new perfect recipe for a lazy Sunday.

clams with yellow bean sauce and garlic #MalaysianByMay

May, author of Malaysian by May, has been hosting Malaysian Supperclubs in London for over 7 years including a pop-up at Oliver Peyton’s National Gallery Cafe. She has also done cooking demonstrations for Malaysia Kitchen.

Her most recent event was a Sunday Lunch Club hosted by Darjeeling Express on the top floor of the bustling Kingsley Court, Carnaby Street.  

Two large communal tables meant even solo foodies could enjoy the experience and make new friends along the way.

The event I attended was a nice mix of friends, couples, solo diners, and a lively gang celebrating a birthday. The birthday boy told us he made his first friends in London at one of May's supper clubs years ago and is a staunch supporter of hers to this day.

We started by perusing the imaginative cocktail menu which had some quirky twists on some classic faves.

Then, settling down at our tables we were served canapés -tender chicken and vegetable dumplings with sweet chilli sauce which proved very more-ish, even though we knew there were quite a few courses to come.

dumplings and sweet chilli sauce #MalaysianByMay

Next on the menu was "salad". This was no leaf-heavy rabbit food. This was a slightly spicy blend of cubed cooked potato, green beans, cucumber, and May's homemade satay sauce, based on the style popular in her family's region of Malaysia, all topped with what I think were crumbled, crispy prawn crackers.

Malaysian salad #MalaysianByMay

The sauce was a million miles away from the slimy takeaway paste usually made with peanut butter. Sweeter, with a crunchy texture and not overpoweringly pea-nutty, it proved a real hit with the diners all agreeing that May should look into producing it for retail sale.

Moving on we enjoyed slow-cooked beef served "London-style" in brioche rolls instead of with the customary rice. It was tender and reminiscent of pulled pork with just a hint of spice.

Beef dish by #MalaysianByMay

I'm afraid my memory of the actual names of the dishes is a bit hazy, partly due to the excellent cocktails and partly due to the lively and interesting conversations which somewhat distracted me from the helpful descriptions given by May before each course explaining what we were eating and where it originated!

A real treat came next - clams in yellow bean sauce with garlic and coriander. I've never eaten clams before but their delicate flavour was complimented beautifully by the light sauce which I finished off like a broth when all the clam meat was eaten. I think this was one of my favourite dishes - although I think I said that every time a new one came out!

Clams #MalaysianByMay supper club

Even blurrier now but I do remember a spectacular mackerel dish served alongside a curry made with chicken on the bone, spicy aubergines and a refreshing pineapple and red onion side dish.

Malaysian By May Sunday Lunch Club, London

The aubergine was as spicy as it got which was a bit much for me but a treat for less cowardly diners. Although dishes were chilli-heavy I was surprised and delighted to discover that everything was less red-faced hot and more sophisticatedly spicy.

Each mouthful had some heat but nothing burned. My overwhelming impression was of ingredients blending to give an initial burst of flavour before other notes developed.

For the finale as the guests swapped contact details May served Sago Gula Melaka - sago with coconut milk and palm sugar.

Malaysian sago pudding #MalaysianByMay Sunday Lunch Club

It proved the perfect end to an amazing meal, managing to be both rich and indulgent and light. I may have asked for seconds. I can't resist a good pud!

Mouth watering? Fancy your own exotic foodie adventure with the added bonus of mingling with some of London's fascinating characters? Or maybe do date night with a twist or treat a friend to a long, relaxing afternoon of eating, drinking and chatting?

I have good news for you then as tickets for the next Malaysian by May event have just been released and you can BOOK HERE

It's a truly fabulous experience offering an insight into authentic Malaysian food which blends a variety of Asian styles into a unique cuisine prepared with fresh, top quality ingredients by a passionate foodie who is keen for others to experience genuine homestyle Malaysian dishes.

canapés at Malaysian By May Sunday Lunch Club #supperclub

Disclaimer: I attended Malaysian By May's Sunday Lunch Club as May's guest for the purpose of this honest review.