Savouring genuine Malay cuisine at Upeh

by Dato’ Syed Ahmad Idid

Among the myriad of eateries at Mid-Valley City in KL offering Malaysian and international food stands a cute “kedai makan” (food shop) named Upeh.

The name does not appear in the Kamus Dwibahasa Oxford Fajar but it means delicacy or tasty food among the popular diners.

And it means all are welcome to enter the shop and taste its dishes. And you’ll not be disappointed.

Upeh is owned by a family from Perlis, up north. They have a London restaurant, Putra Puteri, which does roaring business at lunch and dinner time.

With a love for genuine cooking and the best of spices, Upeh cannot move away from the ancient recipe. Hence, the true taste of Malay fine dining.

I was recently in Upeh with Encik Abdul Hamid Ibrahim, formerly of Petronas. We first ordered coffee: one from a foreign brand and I asked for kopi kampung (or local coffee).

Then to our surprise, the owner, Dato’ Faridah Khalid, came in. We know her from our G25 membership.

She at once ordered “sup tulang” (bone soup) for us. By then, my son joined us and all three of us thoroughly relished the soup: bone, soup andmeat. The meat was just soft, tender and herbal.

Then came “cucur udang” (prawn crackers) with its superb sauce. You’ll want more!

At the next occasion, I shall order the “nasi tumpang” (rice with assortment of prawns, fish and egg). This can be our main course for lunch. I missed this for some years.

Or order “nasi lemak”? Many dishes to whet our appetite, in fact.

My wife and I used to get “nasi tumpang” direct from Kelantan, specially prepared by our lady friend, the wife of an immigration officer. But she has decided to retire. Now Upeh has this dish for us!

A visit to Upeh will start your journey to a life-long love for truly Malay cuisine. Music is the food of love. Here food is the music among friends and relatives.

Upeh’s lady boss Dato’ Faridah Khalid and writer Dato’ Syed Ahmad Idid (right side of the table) with Syed Mohammed Idid and Encik Abdul Hamid Ibrahim (left)