Well Malaysia maybe over but that country was only the beginning, a little taste of expat life before the real travel began.
When I first planned this trip I envisaged frequent blog postings, not daily but not fortnightly either. How wrong was I though? Time should be on my side too but whilst I do have a tad of it free the blogging still doesn't get done. I guess it's because I'm travelling in some fairly poor places, where people's main concern is eating enough, and slapping an expensive laptop out to keep up to date doesn't seem the right thing to do. Either that or I'm lazy... (If I were you I'd go with the lazy)
I envisaged loads of weird and wonderful food too and whilst I've had plentiful wonderful food the weird quotient has been well down. That's down to me as much as anything as even if the baluts are still pretty weird to me I don't bat an eyelid at some tripe and tendons for breakfast, let alone think them worthy of a blog post. On our couple of day jaunt through Dubai though (a brief stopover to say hello to a friend) one such dish did appear on a menu - brain fry. With a name like that who could resist? Not me.
It wasn't virgin territory for me this brain, having had it at Rick Stein's Brasserie a couple of years back, and first time around I found it pretty non-eventful, the texture was nice - reminiscent of soft tofu or sweetbread - but the flavour was pretty lacking, some would say delicate but I find that word synonymous with bland. Not that delicate/bland is always a bad thing though and here the delicate/bland brain did what it does best, adding a silky texture to a dish not needing any additional flavour, much like the tofu in a mapo doufu.
The brain was finely chopped and fried with green chili, coriander and tomato, I should probably list some other spices too but I was pretty drunk when I ate it and they're the only ones I can discern from the photo. All in all it was a great way to eat this rarely eaten (where I come from anyway) organ. If you're passing by Dubai the restaurant it was from is called Ravi's. I don't know where it is (read aforementioned drunk clause) but it was near an Aussie bar. All the food was very good (especially the chicken handi) and for 5 people it was a measly £25-£30. Unheard of for the most part in what's a crazy expensive city.
Another great value feed we had in Dubai was breakfast at Pak City. Fresh off the plane we headed to the Dubai museum, based in the old fort, and stumbled upon this place just around the corner from it. Looking in line with our traveller's budget we popped in and had 3 parathas - heavy but good - and a couple of fantastic dals, one chana and the other bulgur wheat. With a couple of cans of pop, if I remember correctly, this came to all of 9 Dirhams, or about £1.50. To put it into perspective the last pint of lager I bought in Dubai cost £6!