I spent the bulk of my childhood in Malaysia where the food culture was, and still is, a huge part of everyday life. I often crave this food, and while there are a few restaurants in Orange County serving Malaysian cuisine, it isn’t always good.
I heard that Seasons Kitchen opened last year, and it’s taken me some time to get there. Since my initial visit, I’ve been back again with some Malaysian and Singaporean friends. We were all happy to find many dishes which satiated our longing for this comfort food.
The menu consists of local favorites, and we immediately picked out some items we wanted to try. While perusing the menu, a platter of snacks arrive for you to munch on while you decide.
My son gravitated immediately to Malaysian Chicken Satay ($6.99) which sees char grilled Malaysian chicken satay served with peanut dipping sauce. I am surprised to see nasi impit (sticky coconut rice cake cubes) — also known as lontong and ketupat — served alongside the cucumbers., served with sticky rice cakes and cucumber.
Malaysian Roti Canai with Chicken Curry Sauce ($5.50) consists of two pieces of delicious Malaysian pan toasted flatbread served with a medium spicy chicken curry dipping sauce. The curry sauce is as authentic as it gets, with aromatics from curry leaves, and the distinctive flavors I remember. It is as “ratatouille” a moment as it gets.
Nasi Lemak ($9.50) is a Malaysian specialty, usually enjoyed for breakfast. The version here includes chicken curry instead of rendang, sambal, roasted garlic peanuts, hard boiled egg and fried anchovies served with fragrant coconut rice. It is truly comfort food for me evoking memories of childhood on a plate.
One of Malaysia’s (and Singapore) most well-known dishes is Fried Char Kwey Teow Rice Noodles ($9.50) which is flat rice noodles stir-fried on high heat with Chinese sausage, shrimp, egg and bean sprouts. This is a popular street food usually served at hawker stalls, although restaurants offer it as well. Seasons’ version is solid, and not overly greasy.
Family Style Ipoh Style Bean Sprouts ($9.50) is delicious crunchy blanched fresh bean sprouts which are then flash fried in a special garlic soy sauce. My son, who is usually averse to eating bean sprouts, devoured this proclaiming it one of the most tasty bean sprouts dish he’s ever had.
We decided to forego the rice and instead, order the Char Siu (½ lb/$9.50) and Crispy Skin Roast Pork (½ lb/$9.50) a la carte. The char siu is different to Hong Kong style barbecue pork, so don’t expect it to be the same. What really surprised me was the roast pork. Not being a fan of this dish in general, I am blown away by the consistency and flavor of the pork, and especially, the crispiness of the skin.
Hainan Chicken Rice ($8.50) is not quite traditional, but still pretty tasty. The chicken is extremely tender, but the best part is the seasoned rice and the condiments. The ginger sauce is outstanding. I like to mix that together with the chile sauce and drench the chicken in it before eating.
If you prefer, try the Roast Chicken ($8.50) which you can get either with rice, or noodles. We pick the latter since we already have something with rice. The noodles aren’t as chewy as I’d like, and while the chicken is flavorful, it is slightly sweet. I prefer the Hainan chicken over the roast chicken.
I love the use of the brightly colored plastic plates which is typical of hawker stalls in South East Asia. I will definitely be back for the nasi lemak and Hainan chicken rice very soon. It’s good to know that there is a place where I can satiate my cravings without having to cook the meal myself.
641 N Euclid St
Anaheim, CA 92801