Story and photos by Nick Ross
Crab Begedil photo by Manos Angelakis
The term “champor-champor” is a Malay expression which loosely translates to “a bit of this and a bit of that”.
The restaurant is located in South East London and I find it irresistible as it makes me feel transported to exotic locations through a cuisine that I like. The food at Champor-Champor is Malaysian but with a pronounced Thai influence and a few Indian dishes thrown in; most of the dishes are of the classic, savory and spicy East Asian variety.
For starters, we selected the Crab and Fish Begedil with Pineapple Kerabu. The Begedil is a crab and fish potato cake with a delicate golden exterior and moist interior; the Kerabu was an accompanying salad of ripe shredded pineapple and coriander leaves dressed with lime juice, soy and sweet chili. The saucy salad required us to dip the toast accompanying the dish to gather up every bit. We also tried a Green Papaya, Crispy Tofu and Pomegranate Som-Tam salad that was also very delicious.
For palate cleansers, we had a taste treat; a warm lemongrass barley soup which was very refreshing and perfect for a cool evening as well as a Rambutan and Korean pepper granita that kept us going from one palate cleanser to the other to savor each of the different tastes.
For our main courses we selected the Lamb Shank braised in blue Sumatra coffee, red wine, dried red chilli and the King Prawns yellow turmeric curry. The lamb was sweet hot and the sauce was brilliant; braising the shank in the coffee and red wine gave the lamb a very unusual and unique taste; one that I will try to duplicate in my own kitchen. The prawns were served in a large bowl where the prawns floated in a deliciously spicy sauce.
Dessert was chocolate & chilli cheese cake for both of us -- I can’t resist a good chocolate cake.
As a beverage we decided on traditional Asian teas; Jasmine Flower for me and Fresh Mint for my friend.
We were at Champor-Champor for an early evening meal. By the time we were ready to depart the restaurant was very full and humming. An exceptional kitchen will always bring out the foodies, no matter where in the world it is.
This restaurant is highly recommended if you love tasty good Asian food!
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