Meat the Porkers by the folks behind the award-winning Fierce Curry House opened back in end-2016, offering pretty unusual North Indian dishes which used pork. I’d missed this place till just early this year, mainly because I moved to Penang from Kuala Lumpur around that time (end-2016), and my attention had shifted to the Penang dining scene, besides getting adjusted to life there.
In India, pork has never really been regarded as a meat of choice, or even edible, by the majority of Indians, except perhaps by the Goan Christians, who’d created amazing dishes like the Goan pork vindaloo.
But Indians in Malaysia are a different breed altogether - weaned on a diet which included Southern Chinese cuisine all their lives, Indian-Malaysians who are non-vegetarians have been exposed to hawker dishes and other Chinese dishes which utilized pork and lard all their lives.
Just as Chinese-Malaysians would have Indian banana leaf curry rice or paratha with dhal for their breakfast (quite unthinkable for their Chinese brethren from China, Hong Kong or Taiwan), Indian-Malaysians don’t think twice about having Cantonese wantan noodles or Teochew bak chor mee for their breakfast.
But at Meat the Porkers, the owners took it one step further - they actually prepared Northern Indian/Mughlai dishes using pork, in place of the ubiquitous chicken in their cuisine.
Our dinner consisted of:
Samosas filled with roast pork Hyderabadi
Pork butter masala
Dum biryani with “siew yoke” (Chinese roast pork) - sealed tight with dough, and steam-baked.
Dum biryani, with the seal broken, releasing the aroma of the spiced pork-ribs and perfumed rice
Tandoori eggplant masala
Frankly, does it work? IMO, it’s a vehement NO.
Many Indian recipes were conceptualized centuries ago, and the spice mix were tweaked to complement, and elevate, the taste of the meats they were designed to be used for.
A spice mix which works for chicken, if used for pork, does not automatically work. It could potentially turn out to be disastrous. In the case of Meat the Porkers’s pork biryani and those samosas filled with pork tikka masala, it veered very, very close to “fail”.
I love samosas, and I absolutely adore pork - but, even then, I was scraping out the filling of the samosas so I could eat only the crisp pastry - some things just don’t work together.
Meat The Porkers
9M, Jalan Medan Setia 1, Bukit Damansara
50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +6019-987 1945
Opening hours: 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm daily, except Tuesday (closed).