Ahead of Tiffin Food Court‘s three-week gastronomical event, we speak to one of the many vendors, Marta’s Kitchen. The Spanish restaurant and its founder Marta (who is originally from Salamanca), boasts hearty dishes of paella, tapas accompanied with a drink on the side, and defines the meaning of a good communal dinner.
In Malaysia, we have food courts / hawker centres / ‘kopi tiam’ that give patrons a wide selection of different cuisines. What is the closest thing to a gourmet food court back in your hometown?
The closest thing would definitely be the stalls at our wet markets. You can buy and taste the products. They come from all different region in Spain: Hams, cold cuts, many cheeses, olives, olive oil, potatoes, ansjovis [European achovy], and so on. Each region would have lots of distinctive varieties. Famous examples are the “La Boqueria” in Barcelona or “Mercado de San Miguel” in Madrid.
What do you miss most about Salamanca?
Besides the sunny cool winter days, of course the ambience of the tapas bars. Where you meet and share food and drinks with friends and family.
Let’s talk about the rising trend of communal dining tables – particularly dining with strangers: is it a welcome interaction or is it more awkward?
Well if the food and the drinks are good enough it can becomes a great experience as food is emotion. So sharing the moment will enhance the experience.
In your opinion, what is the key to hosting or having a good communal dinner?
The quality of the food. It is amazing to see how people react when they enjoy what they eat.
Tell me more about your specially built, traditional Spanish-style bar. What can we expect from Marta’s Kitchen at Tiffin?
A fantastic selection of the best tapas in town. Tortilla, spanish omelette. Patatas bravas – also known as spicy potatoes. Manchego cheese. And of course Paella, this can be served as a main course or as a tapa in case of Tiffin. Tapas traditionally accompany drinks.
If you had to pick – what is your proudest creation? If we could only pick one dish at Tiffin Food Court, which dish should we go for?
Obviously the seafood paella! Originally from the Mediterranean cost of Spain, it is a dish that every family in Spain shares on Sunday for lunch. Paella brings people together. After 20,000 portions of paella served at our restaurant, that is what we have done.
Get a taste of Marta’s Kitchen and many other vendors at Tiffin Food Court from 8 December to 24 December 2017, every Friday to Sunday, 5pm till late. Get your RSVPs in now, and head on to www.tiffin.my for more details.