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By Wilfred Pilo
KUCHING, Apr 5: In western cooking, herbs play a key role in bringing out the very best in dishes, enhancing their tastes and adding a little twist to how dishes are prepared.
Herbs such as basil, oregano, cilantro, rosemary and thyme give many western dishes a distinct aroma that arouses the appetite and makes them delectable to the palate.
One such eatery, located in the heart of BDC Commercial Centre makes it a point to ensure their dishes are served with plenty of heart and herbs.
Out of curiosity, this writer followed the aromatic trail that led him to a newly opened western kitchen in the area, aptly named the Little Western.
Operated by two buddies, Ivan Teo and Bert Law are relatively new in the food business but share a passion for western food.
Speaking on behalf of the establishment, Teo said he loved western food and often prepared it himself when he craved it.
He said that he makes sure to use the right herbs when he prepares such dishes.
“I believe that these herbs are crucial in making western dishes delectable. I frequently use oregano, rosemary, basil, smoked paprika, creamy butter, mustard, and cranberry sauce.
“Depending on what dishes you are making, these herbs make the dishes more delectable. And of course, there must be the right sauce with the meals,” he told the writer when met recently at their eatery.
Teo added that this knowledge had given him the idea of opening a western food outlet.
As he and Law are partners in the food business in BDC Commercial Centre, they decided to open a stall catering solely to such dishes at their coffeeshop, or kopitiam.
To both of them, opening a western food outlet would give the residents in the area something different to look forward to when frequenting their kopitiam.
Teo opined that kopitiam operators must have innovative ideas.
“It is fair to provide choices for our patrons who may want to try something different for a change,” he added.
So far, after a year in operation, Teo revealed that he and Law are happy with their western food venture despite coming from different industries.
He opined that he is delighted to see every patron enjoy the western dishes they prepare.
Teo revealed that Little Western initially focused on more traditional dishes such as chicken chop, lamb chop, fish and chips, and carbonara pasta.
To ensure consistency, he often reminded his kitchen staff to be extra diligent in preparing their food.
“As I saw more people beginning to patronise Little Western, I started to increase my menu items to ensure that I can give more choices to my customers,” he said.
Teo lamented that he might not have certain items on his menu as there were certain ingredients that he couldn’t source at local markets.
Talking about his menu, he revealed that grilled chicken, fried nacho chicken, lamb chops, and fish and chips were the most popular dishes among regulars.
“I can personally vouch for these dishes myself, and the pricing on my menu is very reasonable and affordable,” he said with a smile.
Apart from the main menu, Little Western also serves pasta dishes. It can come with either grilled chicken, meatballs or seafood.
The set lunch gives customers the choice of savoury rice or aglio olio pasta. It comes with either grilled chicken, fried nacho chicken, fried fish or lamb chop.
Salad lovers can either have the plain caesar salad or caesar salad with grilled chicken.
There are also finger foods like original boxing chicken and spicy buffalo wings.
Meat lovers yearning for a good, mouthwatering burger can have a grilled chicken burger, a grilled beef burger, a nacho chicken burger or a fish fillet burger.
These meals come with potatoes fries, or patrons can choose side dishes like coleslaw, mashed potatoes and others to go with all these meals.
Like many eateries serving western-style cooking, Little Western’s premium dishes are for those who have a big appetite.
The menu comprises butterfish and chips, a grilled butterfish fillet with capsicum sauce, a grilled salmon fillet, a lamb rack, a rib-eye steak and the house mix plate.
Both Teo and Law are optimistic that their western kitchen will continue to expand.
“In the future, we are planning to add more items to our menu, such as pizza. We just bought an oven to do it,” he shared.
“We hope that our western kitchen here attracts more Kuching folks looking for a tasty meal or comfort food at a great price. Residents of BDC, in particular, will not need to go far to get a delicious western style meal,” he said.
Located at Ting Café, BDC Commercial Centre, Little Western kitchen operates daily from 11am to 8.30pm, except Monday.
For inquiries, call 016-524 1378. — DayakDaily