Sharmila as always been her taste-tester, for salt, spice level, done-ness of meat and that too at all of the 13-year-olds, but then that’s what shapes a cook, doesn’t it? She left her home in Kuala Lumpur to marry her husband who is a true blue Delhi boy, letting go of her corporate career in the hospitality industry which is when she realized she had a passion for not just service but feeding people. Two years in India and some serious homesickness made her reach out to make friends, who were lucky to be invited to her Malaysian food soirees. She started hosting Malaysian dinner experiences in her home and got amazing reviews. Then came these troubling times and there were no more dinners but it was these friends who kept asking for her food to be sent to them. I am personally thankful to these friends because that’s how The Palate Project became a delivery service for exquisite Malaysian food. As a homage to Sharmilah’s home country and her passion for promoting her cuisine, you can now have authentic Malaysian food right at home. So far it’s only weekends but I keep trying to order on weekdays to inspire her!
The current menu is very quintessential Malaysian, there’s Satay of course, and Malaysia’s national dish Nasi Lemak and the famous rendang and the iconic laksa. She plans to slowly change it to give people a deep understanding of what Malaysian food is all about. Some recipes are my heirloom recipes as well and you can taste that. Everything is homemade, all the spice pastes and sambal is made from scratch I can’t wait for her to bottle the Sambal, that would be a staple in my pantry for sure!
So far she is taking dinner pre-orders for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and will be starting Sunday lunch service soon, all the updates are on her social media page. I tried her whole menu over 2 orders and it was the freshness and realness of the food that appealed to me, there was no packaged paste after taste, the sambal, was revelatory since we’ve always had the bottled stuff and even the coconut milk was freshly pressed, believe me, you can taste the difference. The Chicken Satay was perfectly grilled, juicy and tender but it was the satay sauce that made all the difference, that’s the real stuff, so much so that I kept some of it to have on toast! She makes a tropical cold salad called Kerabu Bihun with vermicelli, veggies, herbs, sambal and peanuts that you can load up with tofu, chicken or prawns, I suggest you go for the prawns. For Mains, it has to be the Mutton Rendang, that’s slow-cooked for 18 hours and it’s the best we have ever had, there’s a cauliflower version for vegetarians that’s as flavourful, awesome surprise there. If you’re a Sunday brunch person then go for the fully loaded Nyonya Laksa, it’s such a spread that all you need is chilled beer and a 2-hour nap after the meal. A broth made from scratch, meatballs, tofu, fried wontons, veggies, chicken, prawns and a 7 minute soft boiled egg, the yolk is the only finish this dish needs! There are loads more on the menu but these are my favourites and I always finish with the Sago Gula Melaka, the only way I will eat sago, a sago and coconut cream pudding dressed with a coconut palm sugar caramel sauce, I added a few roasted peanuts from the Nasi Lemak and it was heavenly. Place an order, do it now!