How to introduce your two year old to Malaysian street food.

Wonton Mee, Malaysia

1. Buy a street food.

Street food for kids

2. Hand over the chopsticks.

So, I had a kid and thought that I should mention it for when she’s old enough to ask about why she’s not in any of the blog posts, which will be soon now that she can negotiate devices with screens and understands conceptually that the Internet exists, and it’s where Bananas in Pyjamas live. I’d been avoiding it until now so that I could hold back the unrelenting tide of parent blogger PR spam. If you think that I don’t care about your new seasons menu, imagine how little I care that your pram comes in a new shade of Viktor&Rolf.

There’s probably a few intervening steps in introducing you child to street food, such as trying to explain how she can use chopsticks or eat chilli, but frankly, I have no idea how any of that happened. It’s not like I’ve been recording every moment of this.

As much as I’d like to say this is why I’ve slowed down my writing, it’s really not. Food blogging is of as little importance as it ever was. It’s worth reading Jess Ho’s piece about breaking up with her other blog. I feel the same, although they’re also the perverse reasons that I push on with it.

#WEFO T-Shirt

A while back there was a discussion amongst West Footscray locals about the etymology of the suburb’s abbreviation “wefo”, a discussion started by its commodification by this $65 cushion from design gallery Post Industrial Design. I’d first seen the suburb referred to as WeFo in an email from November 2008 so the abbreviation’s history predates its growing popularity as a hashtag on Twitter and at a guess, probably started when people began to feel uncomfortable about gentrification and needed an ironic response.

And what’s more ironic and discomfiting than buying it, and wearing it on a tshirt.

Click through on the below images to buy in your choice of colour and style. Prices start at $17.

Food Idea Generator

Are you a chef who has hit a creative wall? A home cook who has prepared everything that a Nathan Myhrvold-led team can throw at you?

Now that Ferran Adria is out of business, surely a machine can take his place as an inspiration for cooks too lazy to go foraging or grow their own food. I present to you my food idea generator.

It has currently made around 3,000 random modernist cuisine recipes for you to try. A handful look truly delicious but most are nauseating..

Try it for yourself here.

Eggs, Penang

Eggs, Penang

The logistics of food is endlessly interesting when you step outside the reach of the robotic hands of supermarket distribution. Along with the produce, transport is what adds a degree of regional variation to most markets. One of my most enduring memories of one market in Cambodia is seeing a Toyota Camry, whose backseat had been hastily waterproofed with plastic tarpaulins, filled to the ceiling with live snakehead fish.

There are certainly more preferable ways to transport food, but there is no perfect means to transport food, which is why the humble cargo bike (below) can continue to compete with every other vehicle on Penang to transport eggs.

Egg Bike, Penang

Whenever I see a bike like that, I just want to follow it.

Note to PR folk: I am not Phil Lee

I can categorically state that I am not Phil Lee, author of the Rough Guide to Norway. You’re looking for this guy.

I receive a lot of spam from PR companies, processed goods manufacturers and publishers of which I read none, but over the last few weeks, it has started arriving from Oslo. Maybe I’m big in Norway, I thought, like troll metal or fermented trout. Then I received something loosely personalised:

I saw that your book “The Rough Guide to Norway ” is coming out shorty and picking up steam via Barnes & Noble’s popularity chart. I wanted to pitch you an incredible way to build more buzz and keep the momentum moving. (this won’t cost you anything)

As much as I am interested in which shorty is coming out, just a small tip: read the About page of a blog before firing off spam. Or even better, don’t send PR spam at all.

Anglia Shandy

a can of Anglia Shandy

“Brewer”:Guinness Anchor Berhad (Diageo/Asia Pacific Breweries-Heineken).

One of my dreams was to become Asia’s leading reviewer of canned shandy, the worst thing to happen to beer since the discovery of shandy. Today that dream is horribly realised.

GAB Says: “The real shandy. Malaysia‚Äôs pioneer shandy, since 1978, recently took on a new and refreshing image and look, giving it a more exciting, cooler and fun image while continuing to provide its drinkers a unique and refreshing drinking experience. It is a refreshing blend of fizzy lemonade and beer to be enjoyed on all occasions.”

I say: I hoped that this was a shandy that was built for Malaysia’s pioneers, a drink that smelled faintly of the that injured Tunku Abdul Rahman as a child and Tan Cheng Lock‘s rubber business. The only pleasant feature of this drink is that it pours a beautiful golden amber, the nicest shade of soft drink that I have ever seen. Nose of lemon dishwashing liquid and malt is obliterated by a smoked orange finish that acridly lingers in your throat.

If Anglia pioneered something, that thing would be: Burnt Fanta.

ABV: 1%