Sunday, 3 June 2012

Review - Makan La

Today is my last day of being twenty. To celebrate, we went out for lunch. It wasn't really to celebrate. HOLY FUCK I JUST THOUGHT THERE WAS A GIANT PIGEON AT THE WINDOW. It's OK, it's just a normal sized pigeon. Anyway, it wasn't really to celebrate my last day of being twenty because that's an even more tenuous thing to celebrate than a birthday. People don't really do birthdays in Bangladesh. My parents do though, my (crazy) mother sent me a very sweet text saying 'do you know why Monday is a special day for us?' To which I replied 'Jubilee, LOL'. (I didn't really, my mother doesn't know what 'LOL' means. And she probably doesn't know that it's Lizzie's diamond tomorrow either.) We were supposed to go out for dinner yesterday evening to celebrate my first day with no exams (today) in a while but then the sensible two glasses of Pimms I'd had to wash down my hog roast at the infamous party in combination with Hell Week of exams meant that I fell asleep at 7. It is just glorious waking up at 6.30 still feeling refreshed because you've still had twelve hours of sleep. Just glorious. I was really craving sushi from Edamame since a friend mentioned she'd had it a few days before. But they only do that on Thursdays. As my Nemesis pointed out, Edamame have the art of supply and demand DOWN. But that was not a possibility and I kind of wanted to go to the Jericho Cafe but I thought I should maybe try out somewhere new but then I've eaten at seventy six different places in Oxford and it's silly to just go somewhere new for the sake of it. My companion's contribution to the whole thing was, helpfully, 'I want Chinese or pizza but I always want those two things'. Anyway, it was raining, we started walking towards Bangkok House via Heroes to look at the menu. Along the High Street I considered just saying 'look, I'm hungry and damp, let's go to Chiang Mai'. But I didn't, I don't know why. Anyway, we ended up at Makan La which I have been to before but it was many moons ago and it was with my parents except they came to visit two hours late and that meant that I had about twenty minutes to get lunch with them before going to a tutorial with the Forty Year Old Virgin. (Cruel. Sorry.) We ordered beef rendang and nasi goreng and shrimp dumplings.
It was all SO good. The beef was punchy from the little red chillies running through it. My companion said that mine was better (aww) but he was definitely lying, they'd definitely managed to get the beef more tender and better packed with flavour in their take. The nasi goreng was pleasantly sweet and had little tender slices of chicken running through it. It was really moreish. It was great even without the satay skewers it came with. But the satay sauce was really spicy and salty and just mmm. The chicken on the skewers was glazed and toasty on the outside and that contrasted well with the plain but soft interior. I ordered the shrimp dumplings before we got our food since I was worried we'd still be hungry. This was an error of judgement, there was plenty. But I enjoyed the dumplings all the same, even if I did enjoy them less than the other things. When they first came, I was dubious since they looked reminiscent of those frozen fish balls that you find at the Chinese supermarket. But it was nothing like that. The peculiar white batter was inoffensive and just like normal batter really and it broke open to reveal a hot, sweet prawn inside. Anyway, I very much enjoyed this meal. And I found out at the end that this place is a sister restaurant of the fabulous Chiang Mai Kitchen. V good.

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