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Billy Law is the brainchild behind A Table For Two food blog. He was born and bred in Ipoh, Malaysia and has been living in Australia since 1996.
By
April Smallwood

15 Dec 2009 - 12:31 PM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM

Billy Law is the brainchild behind A Table For Two food blog. He was born and bred in Ipoh, Malaysia and has been living in Australia since 1996.

With his oriental background and the influence of western culture, Billy counts himself lucky to have been exposed to many kinds of exotic food. As a passionate food lover, Billy strongly believe that we should try everything once, love it or hate it. Which is why he is always on the move with his cameras, travelling to different countries to explore the cultures and submerge himself in the sights and sounds of the culinary worlds.

Your secret food shame...
Has to be eating peanut butter straight out of the jar. There is nothing more satisfied than dipping the index finger into a jar and scoop a big dollop of peanut butter and eat it like a lollipop. Shame? I have no shame.

Favourite Ingredient...
Chilli in any form. I use a lot of fresh chillies in my Malaysian cooking especially the bird's eye chillies. There are also dry chillies in the pantry within arm's reach whenever I crave for that extra heat punch. Sometimes I will also make my own sambal chilli paste and store in the fridge, which can keep for months. A quick stir fried rice with Chinese sausage and some sambal chilli paste, or a simple fettuccine carbonara with a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes, I am happy.

Your top tip for where to eat in Australia...

Read food blogs of course. There are nearly 600 food blogs in Australia constantly on the food hunt and finding hidden gems around every corner and down every lane in Australia. But best value for money restaurants always get my vote. Chat Thai and Mamak are my current favorite pick for the late night supper run.

Your top tip for where to eat OS...
Whenever I am on a food trail in different countries, I always emphasise on the whole experience. It really depends on where you are and what your budget is. Be open minded and always give the local specialties a try. During my recent food trip to the South East Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia), I have had some of the best meals not from the restaurants but at the hawker stalls along the road side. Mingling with the locals and share a laugh while slurping hot noodle soup is all part of the experience.

What about where you live inspires you and your food blog?

I have moved up to Central Coast from Sydney two years ago, and the dining-out scene here is not as exciting as in Sydney. Soon I found myself cooking at home more often and started to learn and focus on fresh produce from the local farms and orchards in this area. As I live near the coast, so there is always an abundance of fresh seafood readily available and affordable. Occasionally I will still go down to Sydney and have a nice meal with friends at some restaurants. Hence you will see there is a balance of cooking recipes and my dining experience in my blog.

Most inspirational chef...

I don't follow any chef in particular as I believe all chefs have their own skills and talents. However, I do admire chefs who willing to take a step further to experiment and be original with their creations. Chefs who embrace the technology and get involved in social media always get my attention as I am always interested to find out more about what is going on behind the scene.

What can you learn about a person from the way they prepare their food?
I found some people will follow the recipe exactly as it says in a cookbook while preparing food. And others will prefer to improvise and adjust the flavour accordingly as he goes along. I am the latter; I treat my cooking pot like a witch's cauldron and will chuck in anything from the pantry that I can lay my hands on until the dish is perfect according to my palate. I am always interested to learn the tips and tricks in the kitchen from different culture that have been inherited through generations. The million ways of poaching an egg fascinates me, so how do you poach your egg?

What's your favourite recipe:


To impress...
Macaroon, a French pastry that made famous by Pierre Hermes, will make all the girls swooned at the sight of these colourful sweet morsels. I've developed a love hate relationship with macaron that only calls for 4 ingredients yet notoriously difficult to master. I've recently made 99 macaroons for my friends' wedding party and it was absolutely winner! A couple came up to me after the party by telling me how much they loved the macaroons and that really put a smile on my face.

For comfort food..

Braised vinegared pork ribs with hard boiled eggs, a mum's recipe that never fail. The pork ribs are braised for hours until the whole house is perfumed with the smell of ginger and star anise, a dish that I love to cook whenever I feel homesick. It is definitely the best comfort food that transcends me back to my hometown in Malaysia.

For an easy weeknight dinner...

Usually it will be a meal that is easy to prepare, and doesn't involved many cooking utensils because I absolutely hate washing up. Wrap a nice piece of salmon fillet in aluminium foil along with cherry tomatoes, asparagus and bak choy, drizzle with some olive oil and a smidgen of salt and pepper, whack it in the oven and let it steam for 20 mins... and voila! A meal that is not just delicious but also healthy with all the nutritious goodness sealed inside the little parcel.