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10/12 Sunday 10:14PM

amali's quaint and quiet corner

images . Amali's Cafeteria .
text. Pauline Chan .

Whenever I am out and about town on my own, I am wont to walk into a quiet eatery and just dine on my own, and while away the minutes with a magazine or book.  Today, I discovered a hideaway with an intimate setting - a nook for me to selfishly enjoy my personal space without too many 'others'. There are just not enough places here that offer sanctuary to crowd-averse and noise-allergic individuals like me.

Amali's Cafeteria is a pocket-size restaurant, hidden in the back lane of the Centrepoint in Gadong, and it literally makes no announcement of its presence, nor does it sport garish signs to shout to passers-by to venture in and order up a storm. It is like one of those wise old sages who holds a lifetime of wisdom but speaks little to divulge his treasured knowledge.  The treasure that lies therein Amali's belongs to the owner and head chef - Anyati.  The cafeteria offers a taste of her extensive experience drawn from her countless large family dinners, social entertainments and catering projects.

Stepping into Amali's is a little like walking into someone's home. Rich curtain drapes shield the view of passing cars and the burn of our mighty sun, giving you privacy and protection from the tropical glare. Today, an uncomfortably hot and humid day, I ducked into this beautiful hideaway and had a sample of a few items on the menu.  I went through a line-up of appetisers - two different ones, one salad, one main course and four desserts.  4 types, yes, 4. The control button was evidently not functional today. Why did I eat so much? What can I say? It's like home cooked food.  It's comforting.  It's the kind that makes you feel snuggly and warm inside. It's the kind that makes you eat now and say, 'It's OK, I will start my diet tomorrow.'

Over-satisfied and joyfully-stuffed, (that is how one should feel after a happy meal), I asked for a cup of cappucino.  I felt like there was no more room in my belly but I still hoped that the liquid will find pockets in my stomach that have not been filled and ease its way in gently. As I sipped my coffee, I went through the menu again, planning my choices for the next visit. The lamb chop sounds like a rocker, so does the salad with mango and the assam fish. For dessert, maybe another round of the Leche Flan, Pavlova, Mango Pudding and Durian Torte all at once. I am incurable. I will just have to start my diet after that.

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