City Pulse

By Patricia Wersinger

Can’t decide among Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern or Portuguese cuisines tonight? We suggest you get your Malay on and head out for some amazing Malaysian tastes which is a palate pleasing combination of all of the above.

And of course, you want the best of the best, right? Recently, along with a group of adventurous food writers and exotic chow loving journalists, I attended a Rendang Cook-off to see which NYC chef created this popular aromatic dish at its heavenly best.

Chefs Angelo Sosa, Anita Lo, Dale Talde, Shaun Hergatt, Todd English and Zak Pelaccio competed to win a $5,000 donation to their favorite charity, sponsored by Malaysia Kitchen and Matrade.

Chef Jeff, of Bentara Restaurant in Connecticut, started off the event by introducing the variations in Rendang, a slow cooked meat curry with flavors that include turmeric, galangal, chili paste, garlic and lemongrass. Traditional combinations in Rendang can also include toasted coconut, coconut milk, ginger, kefir, lime and turmeric leaves.

The winner, Angelo Sosa, wow’ed the judges with his sweet bread Rendang served with charred rice espuma. The divine, creaminess of the rice-milk espuma balanced the flavors of the meat perfectly. His secret? The use of cloves to suppress the harshness of the curry. Definitely a dish you want to try.

Experience Sosa’s multi-cultural cooking at two locations:
Social Eatz, 232 East 53rd Street, NYC
Anejo Taquileria Y Restaurante, 668 10th Ave at 47th St, NYC 212-920-4770

His donation will be going to The Chromosome 18 Foundation in honor of his son.

In Connecticut, experience Chef Jeff’s cuisine at Bentara in New Haven,

For more information on the Rendang Cook–off, Malaysian food and restaurants in New York, visit And mark your calendars for Malaysian Restaurant Week from June 13-19.

Originally published March 2012
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