It's the little things: Tea by the sea

Living on the eastcoast, I grew up on a healthy dose of salty sea air, keropok (fish crackers and sausages) and the typical Malaysian fare of fried bananas and sweet potatoes for tea. No fancy cakes, or tea in dainty cups - it was the outdoors, watching the mak cik expertly fry the tasty treats.

Keropok lekor (fish sausages) - usually judged by the amount of fish to flour in each keropok, this is a family favourite. The best ones have a high proportion of fish, naturally, are fried till crisp on the outside but still soft on the inside and are carefully made to exclude any bones. Served fresh out of the wok and with some sweet-sour chilli dip, this is what living in a seaside town is all about.

Fried bananas - my favourite of the Malaysian all-things-fried series. For me, the ultimate fried banana is the smaller, soft and sweet variety encased in a light, crispy, flaky outer layer. As a child, I'd used to request scoops of the crunchy flakes to be added on to my order of fried bananas.

Deep fried fish - best eaten fresh and again, dipped in the sweet-sour chilli sauce.

Whether it's fried bananas, fish, crackers, curry puffs or just an ice-cold glass of teh tarik, there's something about the beach that makes everything taste a little better and with landscapes like this, I'm not surprised.

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