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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Satay House wins food honours


  Fatizah Jaafar and her brother, Irqam, at the award ceremony on Sunday. The Satay House won the Best Malaysian Eatery Award.
Fatizah Jaafar and her brother, Irqam, at the award ceremony on Sunday. The Satay House won the Best Malaysian Eatery Award.
THE oldest Malaysian restaurant in London, The Satay House, won the Best Malaysian Eatery Award at the Asian Curry Awards 2011 on Sunday night.
The awards, designed to recognise the excellence of the whole of the Asian dining sector for various categories, this year for the first time included The Best Malaysian Eatery Award.
The Satay House, which opened in 1973 in Paddington, London was one of four to be short-listed.
Fatizah Jaafar, 36, and her brother, Irqam Jaafar, 31, in receiving the award, said the award was for their mother, Zaharah Hashim, and their late father, Jaafar Shawal, who had opened the restaurant to introduce Malaysian food to the locals, when Malaysian food was still exotic and rare.
"I would want to thank Mama and Papa as we wouldn't be standing here if they hadn't started the business almost 40 years ago. There is a lot of history here.
"This success is also about the contribution of our very dedicated staff," said Fatizah, who, with her brother, took over the management of the restaurant two years after their father's death in 2004.
The Satay House has survived where many other eateries had floundered and closed down, mainly because of economic downturns and a shortage of chefs.
To arrive at their decisions, a panel of judges visited the eateries incognito and the places were judged on several aspects such as standard of overall cuisine, menu, quality, authenticity, and popularity, value for money, innovation and chef skills. 
According to one of the judges, Reiko Hara, former head of Oriental Culinary Arts at the University of West London, and author of the critically acclaimed International Cuisine -- Japan, the judges were very impressed with the quality of food at The Satay House.
"We visited it twice and once we went there quite late, but the service was still very good and we found the food to be consistently good," said Hara after the black tie award ceremony at the Lancaster London Hotel.
The runner-up for the Malaysian Eatery category went to Delima restaurant, also based in Paddington, while third place went to Rasa Sayang. 
The best Malaysian category award was sponsored by the Malaysia Kitchen programme under Matrade. - NST

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