In conjuction with Eat.Drink.Give., the pop-up signalled Jackie's return to the burners after a few months away from the kitchen so it was a pleasure to see the radiant, smiling chef in action.
|Jackie M at the pop-up restaurant at Bocata Spanish Deli, Young Street, Waterloo
I would never have known that the Spanish pilsner Estrella Damm was a perfect match to the multitude of spices and flavours of Malaysian food, but I do now thanks to the pop-up.
|Ayam goreng - fried chicken drumettes
There was also a Penang-style rojak salad as a starter featuring small pieces of fruit and vegetable in a very thick prawn paste and peanut sauce.
|Otak otak - grilled fish cake
I'm certain I could have polished off an entire platter of these little packages of deliciousness; ideally with beer on the side in sweltering Malaysian heat. I'll take what I can get with otak otak but Jackie M's version rates.
|Tempoyak Udang (prawn sambal with durian) with Kerabu Taugeh
(bean sprout salad) and coconut rice
Indeed, I could almost see the appeal of durian, especially in this sweet style sambal sauce with tail-on prawns and coconut rice. It got Dan Hong's approval too.
The refreshing and crunchy bean sprout salad, tossed with coconut and and belacan shrimp paste, was delightful on its own and to combat the heat of the sambal.
|Jackie M at the wok
I may have scoffed it before remembering to take a photo, but the char kway teow featured soft rice noodles, prawns, squid and mussels along with egg, bean sprouts, chives and proper smokiness from the wok.
The pop-up restaurant wasn't quite the full experience of Jackie M's repertoire but certainly a great introduction. I'm sure the 'one night only' pop-up is going to turn into many more visits at Jackie M's actual restaurant and market appearances.