Words: Claire Matheson Photos: Monica Tindall
The halls are decked, the bells are jingling, and Rudolph’s nose is lit up. Off all the holidays, Christmas is definitely my favourite! It’s a holiday all about surrounding yourself with family, and I’ve never grown tired of singing Christmas carols, decorating the tree and going to see all the Christmas lights displays around town.
But there’s one part of Christmas that makes me grin like a kid, pardon the pun, on Christmas morning… the food! If ever a holiday was made for foodies, then Christmas must be it. You can stuff yourself silly and undo the top button on your pants guilt free. It’s the one day of the year where overeating is not just allowed, but encouraged. Bring on the food coma!
But if the thought of slaving away in a kitchen and preparing all the goodies while everyone else has all the fun without you sounds familiar, then fear not! This Christmas, Table and Apron are doing all the hard work for you.
The food aromas at Table and Apron are tantalising on any given day, however, walking in the door to sample their new Christmas Dinner Menu, the smell is enough to make you giddy. Rich, warm and comforting, the wafting spiced scent of roast dinner with all the trimmings reminds me of home. Whether you’re an expat seeking to ward of the holiday homesickness, or a local wanting to try a proper Western Christmas dinner to see what the fuss is about, here are ten reasons why you need to order your Christmas dinner from Table and Apron:
1. You are secretly a Grinch and in order to survive all the festive cheer, you plan on drinking copious amounts of alcohol and will be too cooked to cook anything.
2. You have small children to look after on Christmas day and you will therefore be too busy drinking copious amounts of alcohol to cook a full Christmas dinner.
3. Your family on Christmas leans a little more towards World War III than The Brady Bunch, so will need to drink copious amounts of alcohol to survive the day. (There’s theme emerging here!)
4. You like your family too much and don’t get to see them often, so would rather spend the day relaxing with them than slaving away in the kitchen.
5. You could cook it yourself, but buying a decent piece of meat to roast will cost a year’s salary, your first born child, and a sacrificial goat.
6. Your Malaysian apartment does not have an oven. (Note: if it is not large enough to fit a whole turkey inside, it is not an oven, it is a toaster. Also note, a microwave is not an oven. It is a microwave.)
7. You would cook, but you’ve gotten so used to eating your way through Malaysia’s restaurant scene that you’ve forgotten how to make anything yourself.
8. You would cook, but you never learnt how. People have tried to teach you before but there were fires and screaming, and you still have nightmares about it.
9. You are incredibly competitive, your in-laws have ridiculous MasterChef level skills, and you have no issues with cheating.
10. You don’t need a reason, you are just lazy.
Regardless of whether any of these reasons apply to you, once you catch sight of the glorious dishes on offer at Table and Apron, you will be convinced. Their Christmas dinner can be eaten in, or taken home and you can choose one of three types of roast with an accompanying sides. Christmas Feasts can feed between four and fourteen people, depending on your selection.
Choice of Roasts:
Traditional Roast Chicken (Feeds 4-5, order 2 for larger parties of 8-10, RM220++) Brined overnight in a specially prepared salt bath to lock in moisture, texture and flavour, they are then rubbed down with smoked paprika before oven roasting. The ingredients are simple, yet the beauty is in the quality and preparation. The result is wholesome and homestyle.
Crispy Porchetta (Feeds 10-12, RM350++) Check out that crackling! A thick, succulent slab of pork belly is cured for three to four days, before being rubbed with a mixture of lemon zest, chilli flakes, garlic, thyme, sea salt and black pepper and then roasted. The flavour is subtle yet infused throughout the pork, mixing with the ribbon of rich fat to produce a rich and decadent flavour with the just a hint of spice. Crispy on the outside with a melting, tender centre!
Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb (Feeds 12-14, RM450++) – Dry rubbed with rosemary, thyme and garlic, this impressive leg of lamb is then seared before it is roasted, low and slow. It is then topped off with toasted fennel and coriander seeds. The meat is beautifully pink and tender, falling apart on the tongue.
Along with your roast meat, each order has the choice of two accompanying sides from a list of four possibilities. Vine ripened tomato salad, bursting with flavour, with tomatoes from famed local growers Food Forest Farm, paired with wild rocket, olive oil and sea salt. The silkiest and smoothest mashed potato you’ve ever tasted, made with a potato ricer and lots of butter for melt in your mouth creaminess, topped with fresh chives. Perfectly roasted sweet carrots and pumpkin with the skin on for extra flavour. And last but definitely not least, the sausage and cranberry stuffing, baked separately for extra crunch. The sausages are made on-site with Table and Apron’s secret house recipe, and are heavenly when paired with the tang of sweet cranberries.
All Christmas feasts come with Dijon mustard and roselle gravy – a wonderfully sweet and floral gravy in the tradition of serving sweet fruit preserves and sauces with roasted meats. If you choose to dine in (no washing up!) you get the added bonus of a pitcher of Roselle and Passionfruit Punch – fresh and fruity in Christmas colours. As well as Table and Apron’s famous sourdough served with smoked mackerel pate. Monica and I agree that we are both willing to travel vast distances to get hold of this sourdough, so even if you’re not eating in, it’s worth ordering this as an extra!
Table and Apron usually focus on Malaysian flavours and local ingredients, sourcing their produce from local markets and farms. With the exception of the lamb, their Christmas menu ingredients all come from specialist local growers. This year, however, their flavours and techniques are in keeping with Western Christmas traditions. It is a celebration of the long held rituals and methods that go hand in hand with this wonderful holiday.
With home-cooked and unpretentious food that is simple, honest and wholesome, this is a little taste of home just when you need it. Unwrapping a Christmas Feast from Table and Apron will be better than anything you find under the tree this year!
A minimum of seven days notice is required for all orders, which can be made on Table and Apron’s website here or by giving them a call.