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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Category / Halal Food

Due to the preparation in moving to new home, my schedule has been crazy, and that has a direct impact on my availability to participate in Ramadan buffet reviews. I’ve only been going to very few of them, but when Intercontinental Hotel came calling, I just know I have to make it there.

the famous seafood spread at Intercontinental KL
the famous seafood spread at Intercontinental KL

The biggest reason this is a must-attend event for me is simple, just look at the seafood on ice spread they have above! US & Finn de Claire oysters, Australian spanner crab, baby lobster, crabs, NZ green lips mussels, pacific prawns, slipper lobsters, Harvey bay half shell scallop, and even Alaskan king crab!

If you’re a fan of minimally prepared super fresh (and also sashimi) seafood, this is a spread you must not miss.

ulam, kuih, rojak, salad, and the all important sambal (including tempoyak)
ulam, kuih, rojak, salad, and the all important sambal (including tempoyak)

Before we continue, the most important information:

Selera Pantai Timur bersama Chef Zamzani is available from 8 to 17 June, 2015. Priced at RM 128 nett per adult & RM 64 nett per child. This is the chance to savor all of East Coast’s delicacies brought to you by the good chef who will be at the restaurant during this period.

Serena Brasserie’s Berbuka Puasa buffet will continue from 18 June to 15 July, 2015. Priced at RM 139 nett per adult on first and forth week or Ramadan, and RM 152 nett per adult on 2nd and third week of Ramadan.

roast beef, bread, cheese, for the Western touch
roast beef, bread, cheese, for the Western touch

Other than seafood, the dishes from the West includes pink pepper macadamia crusted Australian beef, lamb, Yokshire pudding, pastry, a good selection of cheese, bread, mushroom soup, gratin potato with cheese, pasta and so forth.

So you don’t really need to be someone who can eat spicy food to fully enjoy this spread.

okra, ketam berlado, kung pao chicken, gratin potato with trio cheese,  sautee mussel,  chicken tandoori, har lok prawn, asparagus
okra, ketam berlado, kung pao chicken, gratin potato with trio cheese,  
sautee mussel,  chicken tandoori, har lok prawn, sautee asparagus

As for traditional Terengganu cuisine, there’s plenty to choose from. Gulai udang, kerutuk daging, singang sotong hitam, gulai telur itik, ayam percik, and ketupat sotong are among the few. There’s also nasi dagang as well.

Of course, ulam and a selection of sambal (including the all important tempoyak) is available.

rendang ayam, gulai udang, hati ayam kicap, nasi dagang, home made ice cream, sup ekor, sup mushroom
rendang ayam, gulai udang, hati ayam kicap, nasi dagang,
home made ice cream, sup ekor, sup mushroom

Other than the selection of Malay traditional fair, there’s other Asian representative too in sautee asparagus with garlic and soya, har lok prawn, kung po chicken, and chicken tandoori.

Like many other places, there’ll also be “stalls” serving roti, roasted whole lamb, roti canai, roti jala (with durian flavor!), ABC, and celup-celup tepung. If you want noodle, they have mee rebus Terengganu and mee goreng lambak as well.

Pauline, Kerol, & KY having a whale of a time enjoying the Ramadan buffet
Pauline, Kerol, & KY having a whale of a time enjoying the Ramadan buffet

Overall, this has got to be one of my favorite buffet spread. The price is certainly on the high side, but you do get what you pay for, so if you’re looking for something a bit more premium with great ingredients while still retaining a traditional touch, this is the place to check out.

map to Intercontinental Hotel, KL

Address:
Serena Brasserie
Intercontinental Hotel

165 Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.159767, 101.718045
Tel03-2161 1111
Webwww.intercontinental.com

Nasi campur, or Malay mixed rice, is usually a pretty uneventful type of meal. You pick a few dishes from a couple dozen precooked “lauk” to put on top of steamed rice, and go about filling up your stomach.

Unless of course, you head to Istana Budaya.

Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur
Istana Budaya, Kuala Lumpur

Most people associates Isatana Budaya as a place where you dress up to catch a fancy play such as Puteri Gunung Ledang, but did you know that they also serve perhaps one of the fanciest nasi campur over lunch?

Well, I was just as surprised when I got there the first time with a couple of my colleagues who are just as big a fan of good food as me – Razi & Amalia.

yes, this nasi campur spread looks like a luxurious buffet
yes, this nasi campur spread looks like a luxurious buffet

The nasi campur spread here looks as good as any hotel grade buffet, complete with a huge selection of halal dishes, including appetizer, main course, dessert, and even selection of kuih and other tea time favorites.

The modus operandi though, is the same as any nasi campur places – fill up your plate, go about filling it up with your favorite dishes, head to the counter to pay, and makan!

laksa, sago gula melaka, and more
laksa, sago gula melaka, and more

Other than rice dishes, there are also noodle dishes such as laksa. I also recommend ending the meal with a small container of those really sinful yet delicious sago gula Melaka.

Amalia sure looked happy
Amalia sure looked happy

Prices are not out of the ordinary, a usual meal cost less than RM 10 in an air conditioned dining hall, and being located at a big function building, parking is not a problem either. Have a try!

map to Istana Budaya, KL

https://goo.gl/maps/U10EP

Ramadan 2015 on KYspeaks is just around the corner, so it’s about time to review another traditional buffet offering that is fast becoming a popular seasonal event in our country. Together with my colleagues Nik, Razi, & William, we went to JW Marriott last Tuesday to sample what they have to offer.

JW Marriott's "Kampung Dining Experience" by the poolside
JW Marriott’s “Kampung Dining Experience” by the poolside

Lets get the most important details out of the way – the prices:

Poolside (June 17, 2015 onwards)  – RM 95.00 nett per adult and MYR 48.00 nett per child.

4th Floor (June 17, 2015 onwards) – RM 85.00 nett per adult and MYR 43.00 nett per child.

on the menu - roast lamb, ulam ulam, chicken rice
on the menu – roast lamb, ulam ulam, chicken rice

Both locations essentially serves the same 130 (mostly) Malay delicacies from around the country, though you get to save RM10 dining on the 4th floor by sacrificing the pool view and not being able to see the chef expertly carving that beautiful roast lamb.

ulam, salted fish, sayur kubis goreng, satey, kari kambing, ayam goreng berempah
ulam, salted fish, sayur kubis goreng, satey, kari kambing, ayam goreng berempah

The menu didn’t seem to vary much from my last visit a couple years ago, which is a good thing. You don’t really need to change something that’s already good.

The food can be separated in a few categories, and to start with I usually head straight to the ulam station that comes equipped with some half a dozen sambals, including sambal belacan, tempoyak, sambal mangga, sambal nenas, cencaluk, and budu. A spicy and pungent start to a traditional Malay fair is never disappointing.

ayam lemak cili padi, rendang ayam, black pepper beef, ikan masin talang masak lemak, panjeri nanas, paru goreng, nasi briyani, Chinese mix vege
ayam lemak cili padi, rendang ayam, black pepper beef, ikan masin talang masak lemak,
panjeri nanas, paru goreng, nasi briyani, Chinese mix vege

Appertizer consists of jeruk, kacang botol, kerabu mangga & udang, acar buah, ikan masin, telur masin, as well as several types of keropok (including the all important papadom). For those who wants something a little more global, there’s green lettuce with dressing, Thai chicken & glass noodle salad, potato salad, seafood cocktail, potato salad, waldorf salad, and even coleslaw.

After you get your stomach warmed up, there are a few “gerai”, or live cooking stations to check out. Here you find satey, rojak buah, ikan bakar (including pari, keli, kembung), nasi ayam (chicken rice), tandoori, mee (laksa, mee kari, char kuih teow), BBQ (the all important roast lamb!), bubur, and soup (including sup ekor, kambing, and more).

desserts, fresh fruits, and kuih muih
desserts, fresh fruits, and kuih muih

Then of course there’s the all important main dishes such as ayam masak kicap, ayam masak merah, ayam percik kelantan, kari kambing, sambal udang petai, fried chicken with dried chili, daging masak halia, sweet and sour fish, kurma ayam, labu masak lemak pucuk manis, sayur campur, rendang ayam, redang daging, daging kunyit, paru goreng berlada, sotong goreng kunyit and more.

Dessert is offered in the form of quite a few variety of traditional kuih, pudding, sago gula Melaka, some pastries, and the really awesome bread and butter pudding.

William, KY, Razi, Nik, & our host, Natasya
William, KY, Razi, Nik, & our host, Natasya

My two Malay colleagues gave these a thumb up, while William was busy eating to register a response. I personally really like the fact that we are keeping our traditional Malaysian cooking alive via these type of buffets. No longer were the days when hotels only serve fancy Japanese or Western cuisines, we are once again proud of real Malaysian dishes.

Thank you Natasya for the invite.

map to JW Marriot KL

Address:
JW Marriot
183 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS3.14765, 101.71372
Tel03-2715 9000

A couple weeks ago we continue our journey in the exploration of Minang food within the KLCC vicinity, and this time around it’s Restoran Grand Garuda Baru at Kampung Baru.

Grand Garuda Baru, Kampung Baru
Grand Garuda Baru, Kampung Baru

The restaurant is rather big but with pretty simple decoration. It seemingly sits between the old school type of shack like Masakan Padang at Jalan Raja Muda Musa and the higher class establishment like Puti Bongsu. One good thing though is that it is air conditioned, and plays some pretty funny sounding MTV if you’re not familiar with Minang language (sounds like a cross between Malay & Japanese)

masakan Padang in all its glory
masakan Padang in all its glory

As of the food, it’s typical Padang dishes. We had the famous ayam pop, the beef tendon that must not be missed, and the daging salai (smoked beef) that’s so crunchy I wish they come in a plastic bag so I can bring them to cinema.

The tempe, sambal chili, terung (eggplant), and nangka were pretty delicious as well. it was pretty satisfying overall.

don't forget to have this little dessert
don’t forget to have this little dessert

The bill came to be about RM 30 ish per pax, which is pretty decent for the type of food we get.

If you have a big group, Restoran Grand Garuda should definitely be in your short list for Padang food.

map to Grand Garuda Baru

Address:
Restoran Grand Garuda Baru
176, Jalan Raja Abdullah,
Kampung Baru, 50300 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.167473, 101.702800
Tel03-2202 7170

Last weekend I decided that since we’re moving to Seksyen 16 in Shah Alam, it might be a good idea to scout around for some good Malay/Indonesian food around the area and see what we can find.

We drove straight into Padang Jawa without any plan or expectation, and just as we passed the flyover, a sign appears that says “Pecel Lele”, we scouted a bit some more before decided to check it out, and was pleasantly surprised that within this almost-jungle/kampung area exists a rather busy shack/restaurant/stall that’s packed with people.

Kedai Makan Pecel Lele, Padang Jawa
Kedai Makan Pecel Lele, Padang Jawa

We then immediately got our car parked at the dedicated carpark for the restaurant just behind the building, and proceed to check out what the all fuss is about.

As it turned out, Pecel Lele is an ayam penyet stall/restaurant that operates around the clock, and a local favorite among Padang Jawa folks as well as UiTM students. Haze and I were the only two Chinese at the time, and I was absolutely delighted.

que to order, then get your unlimited rice and soup
que to order, then get your unlimited rice and soup

The SOP at Pecel Lele is simple.

  • jot down your table number
  • line up, order, and pay for your food
  • get your own rice & soup (unlimited)
  • wait for your food and drinks to be served (usually within 5-10 mins)

berbola, pecal lele, ayam penyet, and those sambal!
berbola, pecal lele, ayam penyet, bergedil, and those sambal!

The prices at Pecel Lele is really one of the cheapest I’ve seen anywhere, especially in Klang Valley. Ayam penyet with rice at RM 4.50, with catfish (pecel lele) is RM 5.50, pecal berbola RM 5, pecal daging RM 5. Other extras offers great value as well – RM 0.50 bergedil, nangka, or pucuk ubi, two bebola for RM 1, and tempe for RM 1.50.

If you’re not into rice dishes, mie ayam, soto, bakso, or gado-gado are priced at RM 3.50. Drinks are RM 1.50.

we definitely enjoyed the meal, all for only RM 15.50 too
we definitely enjoyed the meal, all for only RM 15.50 too

As for the taste? We absolutely loved it!

The chicken was properly seasoned, and the cat fish deep fried to a crunchy state that goes really well with those tomato salsa/sambal concoction. Berbola tasted very similar to keropok lekor with body image problem, and even the bergedil was pretty decent (could be warmer though).

The drinks? Though they’re supposed to be “mango juice” or “grape juice”, they tasted more like melted Sugus candies, which my taste bud loved, but I reckon may not be perfectly good for your health. Then again, you don’t eat there everyday kan?

I’m definitely going to make this place one of my weekly pilgrimage soon.

map to Pecal Lele Padang Jawa

Address:
Pecal Lele Padang Jawa
Lot 617, Jalan Berangan 
Kampung Padang Jawa, Shah Alam
Selangor
GPS: 3.050029, 101.489769
Tel019-206 8920
Hours: 24 hours, closes for Friday prayers