Tag / Buffet
Whenever we think of vacations, we often think about sandy white sand, far-away foreign cities, beautiful old temples, or at a waterfall nested within a pristine jungle. Those are “traditional” and in a sense, more ideal vacations, but at the same time they also require a lot more planning, time, and often incur higher expenses.
Enter the recent trend of “staycation”, pick a nice hotel somewhere not far away and spend a couple nights enjoying the facilities, good food, while having someone else make sure everything is clean and tidy.
We spent an awesome 3 day 2 night stay at Aloft Kuala Lumpur doing just that a couple weeks ago for a much welcomed de-stressing session. At the end of this post, you’ll find out how to win the same 3D2N de-stress getaway (for 3 winners.)
Aloft KL, lobby and quirky art
The decoration within Aloft KL is one that is pretty atypical. Lobby is a mixture of industrial presence dotted with quirky art works everywhere.
Right behind the check-in counter is a re:fuel counter that offers ready-to-eat foods such as sandwiches, salads, drinks, coffee, instant noodles, and many other snacks. If you want to have a quick bite, this is a good one-stop center.
To the far right of the lobby, you’ll find the W XYZ bar that offers a selection of draught beer, cocktails, juices, and more. There’re also live bands performing at the area. Have a drink, shoot some pools, enjoy the music.
Mai Bar and Re:Charge gym
On the top floor there’s a more “serious” bar with a great view of the city.
At night, MAI Bar is lit up by colorful LED lights and offers a full range of drinks and great live performances as well as DJs spinning latest tunes. This is a place to go to shake your booty.
For those who loves to sweat, Re:Charge gymnasium is well-stock with modern equipment. While isn’t exactly big gym by any stretch of imagination, it is well sufficient.
infinity pool on the top floor
Then there’s my favorite part of the hotel – the infinity pool on the top floor, right next to Mai Bar.
The pool is some 25-30 meters in length and sufficiently wide enough to accomodate some 8-10 swimmers at the same time if they’re all doing laps. Furthermore, opening my eyes underwater did not sting, I suspect that this is probably due to the fact that they might be using salt water treatment instead of the more traditional chlorine.
In either case, this is a great place to chill.
our room for the weekends at Aloft KL
All guest rooms are equipped with comfortable platform beds, iron, ironing board, bathrobes, coffee maker, 42″ flat screen TV, a sofa, mini fridge, safe, oversized shower, and a workstation. I also particularly like the floor to ceiling windows that takes up the entire wall for an uninterrupted view of the city.
Since we have Haze’s siblings staying with us over one of the nights, we also got the hotel to provide us with extra beds that came in a form of cute little tent thing and a bed with cute bed sheet.
On top of every headboard is also a piece of quirky art work, another nice touch.
breakfast buffet spread at Nook
The big restaurant at Aloft KL is Nook, and this is where most foods are served.
Breakfast comes in the form of buffet with pretty decent spread (complimentary for room guests). There’s salad, cold cuts, juices, cereal, espresso coffee, and many local dishes. My favorite was the laksa Sarawak, which had the same soup base with the high end version that was offered during MIGF at Nook.
evening buffet spread at Nook
At night, the buffet spread at Nook gets an upgrade. There’s good selection of seafood such as mussels, prawns, smokes almon, and even scallops. There’s also roast chicken, delicious salted beef that is served with kimchi, salad, soup, cheese, desserts, and many other local and Western dishes.
Nook provides a good selection of ala carte menu too
Apart from buffet, there is a pretty decent selection on the ala carte menu as well, though you might have to wait a little bit before the food is served.
There’s mushroom soup, steak, cod fish, sandwiches, spaghetti, yee mee with tiger prawns, and many more dishes. These were mostly pretty delicious, though our experience with the steak wasn’t as good as other choices.
kids at play, Aloft KL
Over all, it was a very nice and relaxing stay over at Aloft KL. This whole “staycation” thing is something I can get used to, and hopefully will be doing more.
OK now here’s a few steps you can do to stand a chance to win a 3D2N stay at Aloft Kuala Lumpur
- like MyStarJob Facebook page www.facebook.com/MyStarJob
- go to MyStarJob Facebook app Ultimate De-stress Getaway Contest
- take a photo of how you de-stress in the office
- Fill in your details and upload your own Ultimate De-stress Photo in office
- Share and get your friends and family to vote for your photo
- Vote for your photo. Participants can vote once per photo per day
how do you de-stress at work?
3 pictures with highest votes will win a 3-days-2-nights stay at Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, so start doing it and hopefully you’ll be the one who wins this “staycation” package! Contest ends on 15th January 2014, be quick!
Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral,
5, Jalan Stesen Sentral,
50470 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2723 1188
GPS: 3.13295, 101.68619
Over the years, from business traveling, meeting with friends, and invited reviews, I’ve seen quite a few buffet spreads. Hence, for the most parts, buffet offerings don’t excite me very much.
Then again, the Bubblier Sparkalite 4Cs Sunday Brunch at Intercontinental KL’s Serena Brasserie isn’t just any buffet spread.
Serena Brasserie, at ground floor Intercontinental KL
Heading the kitchen is executive chef Darrell O’Neill, originally from Australia and has since left a trail of presence across the globe in countries such as New Zealand, UK, France, Hong Kong, Dubai, India, Maldives, and now, Malaysia. During his time at restaurant Al Mahara t the Burj Al Arab Hotel Dubai, the restaurant was awarded Best Seafood Restaurant by Time Out Dubai.
this is what we came here for, the Alaskan King Crab
The concept of the Sunday buffet brunch at Intercontinental KL centeres around 4Cs – Crustaceans, Carvery, Chocolate, and Candy.
Crustaceans is what excites us the most, there were Alaskan King Crab, slippery lobster, tiger prawns, and cray fish. Under this “C” also includes catch of the days such as fresh white fish, marinated tuna steaks, oysters, mussels, scallops, salmon, and more.
yeap, bubbly too, and a host of seafood ready to eat
If you haven’t had a chance to sample king crab due to the price, this buffet offers one of the best values. The seafood were fresh, tasty, and most importantly, plentiful. I think I had close to 10 oysters, a departure from norm as I usually don’t get more than a couple, they tasted so good!
cold cuts and little appetizer in shot glasses
The next C stands for Carvery – which basically means cooked meat that are freshly sliced. Here you’ll find roasted whole ribs, prime ribs, roast chicken/duck, and more. Trimmings such as Yokshire pudding, roast vegetable, and baked potato accompany these dishes well.
roast chicken & duck, local delights, and prime ribs too
For those who wants to sample some local delights, they are available too. A good selection of traditional Malay, Chinese, and Indian dishes are available for your picking.
BBQ meat & sausage, tandoori chicken, smoked salmon
They’ve also set up a BBQ area right outside the air-conditioned dine in section. Here you get freshly grilled lamb rack, chicken tandoori, sausage, baby chicken, satay, and even freshly smoked salmon and “DIY” burger stand with mini-Augus beef sliders and mini-chicken satay sliders.
fruits, a variety of cheese, desserts, and cakes
The third C stands for Chocolate, and of course, that includes a host of other desserts as well. There are Australian lamingtons, chocolate fudge brownies and rocky road, mini Pavlovas, mini fruit trifles, banana and caramel sticky puddings, and more.
I can’t get enough of the Alaskan King Crab and slipper lobsters
Finally, last but not least is Candy. This actually refers to the Sparkalite Kid’s Corner, a section within the restaurant set up to keep kids busy learning the sweet art of making lamingtons and be entertained by the clown. This is a particularly great feature for parents with kids who actually want to have some food in peace.
with Umei, Josen, Haze, Evelyn, Dennis, and Damian
The Sparkalite ’4Cs’ Sunday Brunch at Serena Brasserie is available every Sunday from noon to 3pm. Brunch is priced at RM 120++ per person, and if you want the free flow sparkling, white & red wine and beer, it’ll be RM 198++. Kids from 6-12 is charged RM 60++ per head.
For the spread that you get, I think the price is more than reasonable, now excuse me while I go get myself more King crabs.
165 Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.159767, 101.718045
Tel: 03-2161 1111
It’s two more weeks to Mid Autumn festival, a time where Chinese everywhere light up lantern, look at the fullest moon of the year, and gives each other mooncakes while attending those parties for the sake of their kids. Well, at least this is what traditional families in small towns do, in KL, maybe slightly less so.
Anyway, a week or so ago we went to Prince Hotel to sample their mooncakes for 2013 as well as some of their pork free dimsum. The mooncakes will be available now till 19th September, 2013.
Tai Zi Heen at Prince Hotel KL
Behind the Chinese restaurant at Prince Hotel KL, Tai Zi Heen is a chef who was trained both in traditional Chinese cuisine as well as Western cooking method. Thus, many of the dishes, including dimsum and mooncakes, are created with a bit of influence from the west.
While some might readily dismiss them as gimmicky or not “pure”, I always applaud chefs who dare to push the limit and create something out of the ordinary. After all, how would any cuisine improves if you only stick to what’s taught?
four types of steamed dimsum
We sampled four types of steamed dimsum.
My favorite being the purple spinach dumplings topped with Mexican clam, the taste of seafood and texture of those clam (something like in between lala & scallops) were really fantastic.
The prawn dumpling with crab meat and dried scallop as well as crystal yam dumpling with chicken and mushroom were both pretty good as well, with the latter come in a beautiful flowery shape.
The meatless choice of crystal vegetable and mushroom dumpling though, was a bit too bland for me, but perhaps those who are vegetarian would enjoy it more.
crispy bean curd with prawn & cheese, yum puffs with beef bacon & chives,
crispy salmon & cheese roulade
I enjoyed the fried dimsum here more than their steamed counterparts. Crispy bean curd with prawn & cheese, yum puffs with beef bacon & chives, as well as the crispy salmon & cheese roulade were all pretty creative and carry a taste that isn’t very typical of traditional fried dimsum, but in a good way.
I felt that ingredients such as cheese and salmon gave the dishes an extra edge and really went will the those soft crispy pastry.
shanghai dumpling with crab meat & broth, beef patties with leeks
The “xiao long bao” alternative here comes in a small bowl, and is definitely not “xiao” (small). Stuffed with crab meat and those sweet, savory broth, it was quite a treat.
The beef patties with leeks, mayo and teriyaki sauce seems like something out of a Japanese restaurant, and tasted as such as well. I was happy to have a bit of beef after the mostly fish and chicken dishes sampled above.
2013 Tai Zi Heen mooncake collection
Then there’s the mooncakes, Tai Zi Heen’s mooncakes were all handmade in house, we sampled eight different varieties and just about the only problem I have is that they don’t have a version with double salted egg yolk! gahh.
Here are the flavors:
- baked five variety of nuts, rum & raisin (with alcohol)
- mini snow skin chocolate and whisky (with alcohol)
- baked white lotus paste and single egg yolk
- baked low-sugar white lotus paste with sunflower seeds
- baked pandan paste with melon seeds
- baked with red bean paste
- mini snow skinw ith red bean paste
- mini snow skin with pandan lotus paste and mung bean paste
- baked premium durian lotus paste
- mini snow skin with passion fruit cheese cake
Of all these flavors, I find the passion fruit cheese cake version to be most interesting and out of the ordinary. It tasted like a mix between really good sorbet and snowskin mooncake, in a good way. This is a must try if you’re adventurous. The traditional lotus paste with egg yolk version holds up with some of the bests I’ve tried as well.
KY, Kelly, Eunice, Dennis, Evelyn, Sarah
A word of caution for Muslim friends, while the food is pork free, some of the mooncakes do come with small amount of alcohol; and as far as pork free dimsum goes, the dishes we sampled here were of pretty high standard and for sure, worthy of the dishes. I like the creativity and the different ingredients used as well.
For weekends and public holidays, they also run an ala carte buffet dimsum for RM 45++ which features 45 types of their best selling dimsum dishes.
Tai Zi Heen
No.4 Jalan Conlay,
50450 Kuala Lumpur,
GPS: 3.15041, 101.71467
Tel 03-2170 8888
Hours: Lunch & Dinner daily
It’s been a while since I last had a buffet dinner, and almost one year ago since I had my last eat-all-you-can dinner with Shah, so when Saujana Hotel asked for a review their Flavours of Sri Lanka promotion at Suria Cafe, I took the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
Suria Cafe at The Saujana Hotel
For those who are unfamiliar with The Saujana Hotel, it is located close to the old Subang Airport. The hotel has a beautiful 18 hole golf course right next to it that provides lush green views from most of its rooms and restaurants, including Suria Cafe.
Unlike most hotels in the city, parking space’s ample at The Saujana, and they are free. The only downside is that traffic along Jalan Lapangan Terbang Subang can sometimes be a bit of a nuisance during rush hours due to the LRT extension constructions lately. Something that might not be a problem anymore when you read this.
prawn baduma, lamb black pepper curry,
cashew and drumstick meat mitikirata, chicken red curry
From the 17 June to 27 June 2013, you can get a taste of Sri Lanka at Suria Cafe as the hotel brought three of the best chefs from Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo to provide their expertise in Sri Lankan cuisine.
Executive sous chef, Chef Clifford, senior sous chef, Chef Wijesiri, and chef Chandana lend a hand at the kitchen of Suria Cafe are the three Lankan-teers at work for this period. The two sous chefs combined to have over 60 years of cooking experience, so you know you’re not getting your food from any amateurs of the industry.
traditional festive yellow rice, beef curry, fish stew, Sri Lankan desserts
While this was the first time I had proper Sri Lankan food, it really did not taste unfamiliar. So far as ingredients and cooking method is concerned, it shows pretty big influence from South Indian cuisine due to geographical proximity and common colonial history.
Festive yellow rice looks similar to briyani but tastes a lot more subtle in flavor due to the lack of meat, it does however, go very well with stronger tasting dishes such as prawn baduma, black pepper lamb curry, or chicken red curry.
chicken and vegetable kottu, plain hoppers with lunu miris
While many of the dishes has some heat in it, they are generally not overly spicy for those who are already well versed with Malaysian food. One of the noted dish that I find quite unique was the cashew with drumstick curry, drumstick here is the seed pods for Moringa oleifera and not your favorite piece of chicken meat. Soft cashew and the distinct taste of spices brought a new experience to my taste buds.
whole lot of other selections on the buffet bar too
Chicken and vegetable kottu is a dish that looks pretty similar to the Nyonya “jiuhu char” but instead of cuttle fish and mengkuang you have shredded roti, vegetables, and chicken. It was pretty good.
My favorite dishes of the evening was the Sri Lankan hoppers, something that looks like our Indian Apom but comes with “lunu miris” – mixed of chili flakes, red onions, sea salt, lime juice, etc. It was like a spicy version of apom/pancake thingy that I wish I could get for breakfast by the streets. You can have hoppers with an egg in the middle as well.
the men behind the food on top, KY & Shah were only there to eat
In addition to Sri Lankan dishes, the buffet spread at Suria Cafe still includes many of the local favorites and some international dishes such as bread, cheese, apple crumble, soup, cakes, and more.
Flavours of Sri Lanka ends 27th June 2013 and priced at RM 90++ for buffet dinner, RM 70++ for buffet lunch.
Saujana Resort, Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,
GPS: 3.108849, 101.578474
Tel: 03-7843 1234
Now here’s a concept that I haven’t really seen before when it comes to a buffet deal – pay a single fee and eat at any restaurant at the hotel.
This is what Marriott Putrajaya promises with the New Year’s Eve Walk N Eat Buffet Adventure that falls on, well, when else but 31st December, 2012. We had a sample preview of the buffet several weeks ago at the hotel.
the lamb rack was out of this world, best I had
The concept is simple, for RM 168++ per adult and RM 100++ per child, you get to go into any of these restaurants at Marriott Putrajaya -
- Zest all-day-dining
- Summer Palace Chinese Restuarant
- Midori Japanese Restaurant
- Tuscany Italian Restaurant & Pizza Bar
- d’Oracle Coffee Lounge
quite a selection of local dishes as well, from Zest
My only dining experience at Marriott Putrajaya prior to this session was at Zest during their opening night, and from the looks of it, they’ve managed to maintain the pretty high standard and quality of food served.
From Zest, there are many local delights as well as international all-day-dining dishes. Steamed vegetables, sambal prawns, grilled seafood, and cold cuts are among the selection you won’t miss.
Selection from Tuscany Italian Restaurant & Pizza Bar, pizza anyone?
Hopping over to Tuscany Italian Restaurant and you’ll find some of the best pizzas in town, but I wouldn’t suggest anyone to have more than a couple slices and maybe a sample size of ravioli/pasta since the spread from 5 different restaurants … is just quite a bit to handle for a night.
dimsum – Summer Palace Chinese Restaurant, sushi – Midori Japanese Restaurant
At Summer Palace and Midori you’ll find dimsum, sushi, sashimi, and many of the Chinese and Japanese dishes for your picking. Like many hotel restaurants, the Summer Palace is a pork free establishment.
That being said, the dimsum here was actually pretty decent, the ample usage of premium seafood such as scallops make up for the lack of pork.
available only on 31st December, 2012
Other than food, there prizes, balloon drop, party novelties, magical roving clown and hotel New Year’s Chef’s Parade. Having the countdown so near to the heart of Putrajaya will also ensure a good spot for viewing the magnificent fireworks when the calendar switches over to 2013.
If you’re going to spoil yourself with ridiculous choices of food to celebrate the new year (and having survived the end of the world according to the Mayans), this would be the event to check out.
IOI Resort, 62505 Putrajaya
GPS: 2.969784, 101.707993
Tel: 03-8949 8888