Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Malay Wedding Feast

Bersanding - the wedding couple is seated on the ceremonial dias
We got invited to a Malay wedding! I haven't been to one in ages, so it was something we looked forward to. This was held at the Eunos Community Club. The main hall was converted into a banquet area richly decorated with roses. For this special occasion, the couple are raja sehari, King and Queen for a day. Here's the "royal" couple seated upon their pelamin (ceremonial dias). The groom arrived earlier accompanied by a kompang (hand drum) band. All part of bersanding (literally, sitting together on the bridal couch) ceremony.

Jolie is amazed at it all
Celebrations extended to the sheltered basketball court outside, where the kenduri (feast) was held. I remember in Malaysia, such feasts were often held under festive marquees right along the road near the bride's and bridegroom's homes. Families and friends chipped in to prepare the feast in the spirit of gotong royong (helping each other). In Singapore, the kenduri is more frequently held at void decks of HDB flats.

Guests could help themselves to the briyani
These days, it's common to find caterers doing the cooking. This couple chose not one caterer but several. Each one was a specialist - there was a briyani guy, a satay chap, a dosai cook and even the desserts came from a separate shop. Doesn't the briyani look good? Fluffy basmati rice to go with mutton, chicken, prawns and vegetables and achar (pickles). There was also rojak and mee soto.

Any party with free-flow satay is a winner!
The satay man was kept very busy - the guests loved these delicious skewers of beef and chicken.

Dosai a la minute
Here's the dosai station, which I didn't get to try because there was just so much food!

The desserts station was the centrepiece
There must have been easily 30 different kinds of cakes and desserts! Both Malay and Western alike. Nadine loved the bubur cha-cha, tako (water chestnut in coconut jelly wrapped with pandan leaves) and strawberry coulis even though she normally detests sweet things.

Beef and chicken satay with cucumber, onions and ketupat (steamed compressed rice)
We enjoyed the satay very much. The meat was lean but moist and well-marinated. Generous portion per skewer and the all-important peanut sauce was a beautiful blend of spices and flavours. I was quite happy I got the caterer's card.
Azman Jamil 9007-8029
Aliman Jamil 9041-9731
Kitchen at 18 Rowell Road, Singapore 207976

Platter of prawn curry on briyani rice, with ayam masak merah, vegetable dhal curry and mutton rendang
Staples at Malay weddings - briyani with mutton, ayam masak merah (chicken cooked in spicy red tomato sauce), vegetable dhal curry and curried prawns.

Party favours, candy gifts and rose petals for added atmosphere
At the end of the wedding, guests are given little gifts. Traditionally bunga telur (eggs decorated with flowers) symbolising fertile union are given out to herald the pitter patter of little feet that the marriage will hopefully bring. Chocolates and candy are common substitutes these days. We also got as souvenirs some lovely white coffee cups.

The mood was simply festive. Many guests from all walks of life came together to cheer and congratulate the newly wed. It was a beautiful event and we wish the happy couple many years of wedded bliss!



  1. Very thoughtful and generous hosts, indeed! By engaging specialist caterers, it's obvious they want to make sure the guests are fed the best. And the set-up is so beautiful, too!

  2. Nice setting, lots of beautiful flowers and so much food!

  3. The satays look really lean and delicious. What a wide spread of food! I haven't been to a malay wedding before.

  4. Err pardon my ignorance but isn't biriyani more an indian type of rice? I would have thought the more traditional rice for malays would be nasi lemak. I'm sorry I haven't lived in Singapore in 14 years and have never been to a malay wedding either. Hope you can shed some light on more of the cultural aspects. Thanks!
    BTW, been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy your pictures and accompanying descriptions and commentary.

  5. Rachel: Briyani's more or less adopted by the Malay cuisine by now here in Malaysia/S'pore. All that matters is that it's yummy! :D

    Camemberu: Satay, briyani... all that's missing is LEMANG and it'd be perfect! For the greedy guest (i.e. ideally, me) of course, haha.

  6. Oh.. I miss going to kenduri! The next best thing to Hari Raya feasting. hehe..

    I had Nasi Brayani just last nite and sis said, 'cannot make it lah'. Must go Batu Pahat and eat the world famous ones. :-p

    But the one you are having looks so delicious!

  7. Aroma: yeah, you are right - they really wanted the best of each for the guests!

    LCOM: Indeed!

    SIG: Sounds like it was good briyani though!

    Didally: Malay weddings are great! Hope you get to go to one soon!

    Joe: lol thanks! :) That's Jolie.

    Rachel: Yes, briyani is of Indian/Middle Eastern origin but spread to Southeast Asia via Muslim merchants. Like Kenny said, briyani is very much loved and adopted by Malays here, to our benefit. Multi-cultural acceptance of food is common. Even the Chinese have their own take on nasi lemak.

    Kenny: haha, then please make sure you have lemang at your own wedding, OK? For us greedy guests!

    K-man: ah Hari Raya feasting! So shiok when your Malay neighbours give you delicious festive food!

    Which briyani did you eat last nite? Heh, must tell me which is the "world famous" ones in BP leh! The one at the bridge not so nice already.

  8. i am a sucker for any buffet meal. i wish there's malay style wedding's always chinese chinese and chinese ^_^. no offense, but i am not a big fan of underseasoned-yet-msg laden-expensive slimy animals T_T

  9. looking at the pics make me drool, you're so lucky to be invited to a Malay wedding. :-)

  10. Hi,

    May I ask who's wedding is this. As in the bride and groom. Setting looks familiar. :) Thanks!

  11. Whenever attending the Malay Wedding, the most looking forward things is definately the food and a Bunga Telur. Not just because of the symbolic meaning, also because it is so nice!!!

  12. A quick glance at some of the photos on her website’s voltaire diamonds gallery would make you say “wish I hired her for my wedding.”


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