While futilely chasing some shopping recommendations in the latest Footprint Borneo Guide (which includes chapters on Kuala Lumpur and Singapore), I ran across an interesting brochure at one of the many multi-floor shopping centers in Kuala Lumpur. “Try Our Delicious Rendang WRAPPO today,” it reads. Try it as part of O’Brien’s Ramadhan Set, the announcement continues, and you’ll get the WRAPPO, fresh juice, dessert and dates for one low price. (Dates, I learned on this trip, are one of the most popular foods for breaking the daily Ramadhan fast because of their high sugar content and easy digestibility, with great taste certainly another reason.)
Rendang is one of the signature foods of Sumatra (Indonesia). To make it, slices of beef are cooked in spice-paste-enriched coconut milk for many hours, becoming tender and aromatic. The spice paste–which varies from cook to cook–could include nutmeg, cloves, shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chile, and galangal. Stalks of lemongrass, cinnamon sticks, lime leaves and other items are additional flavorings for the broth.
The O’Briens Rendang Wrappo brochure is truly a multicultural effort, with the company logo at the bottom of the brochure reading “Irish Sandwiches”, and the offer of chicken tikka masala (a.k.a. CTM) as another option for the Ramadhan Wrappo Set. CTM is widely believed to be the creation of a chef from the Indian subcontinent who was cooking at a restaurant in the UK (Wikipedia’s entry and the links within contain many views of the dish’s murky history).
I was at the shopping center during the mid-morning, so O’Briens did not have the wrappo available, and thus, I was unable to inspect it in person.