Malay Satay Hut, In a Letter Written In 1797

Ancient Malaya.jpg
Sundry beasts and strange flora can be found in this savage land known as Malaya!

After an unfortunate night of peccadilloes, fueled in part by opium and in part by the favors of a lass of sultry vapors and ill repute, I found myself at the mercy of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, Shanghai'ed and sent to a remote outpost in a corner of the Empire. This was Malaya, a distant land full of savages and strange beasts.

I needed repast; in search of victuals I ventured into a shanty, a humble shack of modest means, from which issued all manner of delightful smells, both savory and sweet. The local savages and Malaya-Men could boast their knowledge of the King's English; all signage was written not in their gibbering language, but in our own mother tongue. Thus could I read the menu they had written.

Strangely recognizable to me was a pastry. Flaky in crust yet soft, a Yorkshire Pudding of sorts, and filled with cooked egg: This was what the Malaya- Men call the "Roti Egg." With such fare came a small bowl or ramekin, filled with curried sauce and potato, and into which the savages indicated I should dip the roti egg. Famished as I was, I hesitated not and ate with such rare aplomb that one might have thought me Irish!

My hunger, greatly exaggerated by the ration of Rhum imbibed by me the night before, could not be satiated, and so I inquired of the savages what further comestibles might be acceptable to my delicate constitution. The Malaya-Men, kind and helpful as their race is wont to be, brought to me the flesh of sundry beasts on a stick. "Satay," they grunted in the guttural tongue of their ancient home. I sampled this ware and found it pleasing to the palette, easily digestible, and as familiar as my familial cottage in Cumbria. It was chicken.

Yet the culinary magicks of these Men were wondrous, indeed. Their rare spices and exotic fruits elevated the flesh of the humble bird to lofty status. Said chicken was served not on the bone as is our usual custom in England, but cut up small, and baked or roasted on a spit, so the flavor of smoke and crusty char lingered in each bite. A sauce of oil and strange fruit or vegetable, salty and sweet, was for dipping. "Tamarind," I was told, again in the indecipherable language of the locals.

I hungered still, and for my third course received "Mee Siam," a large charger or platter of what the Italians call pasta but which we plain English call macaroni. Thin and insubstantial these macaroni were, like a Dutchman's courage, and with a rich and sweet and smoky sauce, and those verdant beans the French call haricot verts, and sundry meats, and eggs, boiled and sliced with it.

Satiated thusly, I rejoined my regiment. On a later campaign I returned to this shanty, this Malay Satay Hut, and was greatly appeased by the Malay-Men and their hospitable service and appealing victuals.

Sincerely Yours,

His Majesty's Humble Servant,

SMFG, Esq.

Rating: 6 archaic epistles out of 10

Malay Satay Hut is located at 212 12th Ave S

They can be reached via carrier pigeon, or via tele- phone: 324-4091

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