Welcome to another edition of the weekend (and possibly weekday) specials at a friendly neighbourhood diner called The Garden Slug.
This week, as part of the global Learn Your Dialect (LYD) initiative, together we shall endeavour to learn the difference between the three kuays in the title: kuay, kuay and kuay.
Learning aid: A Teochew-speaking person. Or a Hokkien-speaking one will do too, but YIMV. (Your Intonation May Vary)
this week’s specials, available from today, all day, and possibly all week or while fresh ingredients last
soup of the day: kim kuay t’ng. Ang Moh say: Light cream of roasted pumpkin, with a hint of nutmeg, gently sprinkled with crushed nuts. The Ang Moh sibeh kap koh, hor?
Lesson 1: The important thing to note here is “kuay” does not only mean chicken. Kuay in “kuay b’ng” is chicken rice. But kuay in “kuay chap” is not chicken juice. Therefore, kuay in “kim kuay t’ng” is not golden chicken soup. Kuay = gourd / fruit, hence “kim kuay t’ng” = pumpkin soup.
special main: sio i’yo bak Ang Moh say: spice ‘n’ herb-rubbed lamb chops, with citrus-mint gremolata, served with cayenne roasted potatoes
There is no lesson here, as there is no kuay in “sio i’yo bak”. Advice for ordering lamb chops: anything between medium-rare and well-done is good! Which leaves you with either medium or medium-well. Choose wisely, Young Padawan.
dessert special: kuay n’ng sio kuay Ang Moh say: crème brûlée tart made with a special cornflakes custard, served with a sticky blueberry sauce & a dollop of cinnamon-dusted whipped cream by side
Final Lesson: The kuay in “kuay n’ng” is chicken, so yes “kuay n’ng” is chicken egg. As opposed to duck egg or ostrich egg. Teochews are very precise about their egg types. And the kuay in “sio kuay” is borrowed from the Malay “kueh” or “kuih”, meaning cake. “Sio kuay” = burned cake, which is the closest Teochew description to burned cream (in one Ang Moh dialect) or crème brûlée (in another Ang Moh dialect).
Although, any elderly Teochew person would tell you not to have too many “burned” things – may cause heaty-ness.
Bonus Lesson: On rare occasions you may hear someone say “kuih-muih”. The initial reaction would be to tilt our collective Teochew heads in confuzzlement, thinking someone has offered us “cakes and porridge” o_O Never fear, Google Translate is here, confuzzlement is replaced with delight when we learn “kuih-muih” is the plural of “kuih”, meaning there no porridge, Teochew or otherwise, but simply a variety of cakes on offer.
Bonus Prize: As always, a little gift for those who read ’til the gory end.
Brothers Toffee Apple Cider (4% ABV) available for a limited time only. Here’s a little trick no one’s told you about: note down these witching hours on the gadget in the palm of your hand: Mon-Tue 6-8pm, Wed-Thu 4-8pm. Five bottles for the price of four. Tell no one.