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This is the 6th review on this buka puasa buffet 2014 series, and this time we check out the Balik Kampung Buffet at Grand Hyatt KL’s JP Teres restaurant right here in the heart of the city.

at JP Teres, Grand Hyatt KL with Rizal & Shabana
at JP Teres, Grand Hyatt KL with Rizal & Shabana

Grand Hyatt is located right between Mandarin Oriental and the KLCC Convention Centre right on Jalan Pinang. In fact, you can walk from KLCC to the hotel within a few minutes.

While the lobby and flagship restaurant is located on the top floors of the hotel, JP Teres, the restaurant that specialize in local cuisine is on the ground floor to the right as you walk into Grand Hyatt KL.

a variety of kurma, ulam, acar, and salad
a variety of kurma, ulam, acar, and salad

Like the whole of Grand Hyatt, JP Teres is a pretty classy and beautifully decorated restaurant. There’s both indoor and outdoor seating areas, with several open concept show kitchens not unlike the arrangement at Thirty8.

The Balik Kampung buffet, priced at RM 148++ for adults and RM 74++ for children, is available from 30th June  to 25th July 2014.

Malay kuih, ice cream roti, kek lapis Sarawak, and the all important tapai
Malay kuih, ice cream roti, kek lapis Sarawak, and the all important tapai

While many hotels try to have a mix of Western and even Japanese cuisine in their buffet spread, JP Teres concentrate solely only local delights.

I personally love this idea and believe that this is the direction that will help keep our traditional food culture in Malaysia alive. If you have friends from outside Malaysia and wish to bring them for some local cuisine in a classy place, JP Teres should be pretty high on the list.

dhal, nasi, lamb curry, chicken tikka masala, paneer makhani, bhindi, do pyaza, sambal,  chicken curry
dhal tadka, nasi, lamb curry, chicken tikka masala,
paneer makhani, bhindi, do pyaza, sambal,  chicken curry

For the Balik Kampung buffet, there are hundreds of dishes to choose from.

Starting from the cold selection you’ll find rojak buah, ulam-ulam, acar, kerabu daging, kerabu udang, kachumbar salad, tofu salad, and more.

To go with the ulam, there’s sambal balacan, cincacluk, air asam, cili kicap, budu, sambal kelapa, and chutney. The only thing missing is tempoyak.

ikan bakar, roast lamb, otak otak, and freshly made pohpiah
ikan bakar, roast lamb, otak otak, and freshly made pohpiah

Like most every respectable buffet for this holiday season, there’s roast lamb. In addition to that, JP Teres also serve very delicious chicken rice (strongly recommend), freshly made pohpiah, ikan bakar, nasi briyani, satey ayam & daging, and even otak otak (which I don’t quite recommend).

daging masak cili padi, labu masak lemak, ikan tenggiri masak tau choo, meehun goreng, kepah berlada, sambal telur itik, sup ekor, bubur lambok
daging masak cili padi, labu masak lemak, ikan tenggiri masak tau choo,
meehun goreng,
kepah berlada, sambal telur itik, sup ekor, bubur lambok

The main dishes here are separated into three sections – with Malay, Indian, and Chinese hot sections.

Here you find dishes such as ayam goreng berempah, ikan merah greng berlada, kepah masak lada hitam, sayur lodeh kering, ayam masak ros in Malay hot section.

Lamb curry, fish amritsary, chicken tikka masala, vindi do pyaza, dhal tadka, paneer makhani (this is a must try!), and nasi briyani can be expected from Indian hot section.

At the Chinese hot section, there’s ayam mayonnaise with Thai sauce, ikan tenggiri masak tau choo, sotong masak oat, kailan ikan masin, meehun goreng, and so forth.

In addition, there’s also a Tandoori station serving roti india, ayam tandoori, udang tandoori, shish kebabs, and talapia merah.

more dishes from Malay, Indian, and Chinese cuisine
more dishes from Malay, Indian, and Chinese cuisine

Apart from the hot stations, there are a number of stalls located at both indoor and outdoor dining area at JP Teres that offers anything from lemang, ketupat, makanan laut, gulai kawah, asam laksa Johor, curry laksa, prawn mee, roti canai, yong tau foo, and even murtabak.

In fact, they cover most everything you can expect from local cuisine, with most of the dishes being of very high quality. I enjoyed them.

there are also various cooking stations, including rojak buah at JP Teres
there are also various cooking stations, including rojak buah at JP Teres

The dessert area is perhaps the only place where a few Western pastries and a few selection of Japanese mochee creep into this otherwise 100% local spread. There’s Malay kuih, ais krim roti, fruits, Malay biscuits. roti jala, cendol pulut, sago gula Melaka, and more to be expected.

If you’re looking for local delights in a classy place in town, this is definitely a place to check out.

grand hyatt kuala lumpur map

Address:
JP Teres
Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
12 Jalan Pinang
50450 Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.15381, 101.71234
Tel03-2182 1234 ext. 2333

Fifth review on this buka puasa buffet 2014 series is the Seenak Citarasa Malaysia buffet dinner at Empire Hotel’s Kitchen Art Brasserie.

Located at Subang Jaya right next to the iconic Subang Parade, the hotel can be access directly via Empire Mall with the two sharing the same parking arrangements. Not having to pay more just because you’re in a hotel instead of the mall is surely a minor bonus.

Seenak Citarasa Malaysia buffet at Empire Hotel
Seenak Citarasa Malaysia buffet at Empire Hotel

Kitchen Art Brasserie is located at hotel’s level 2, which somehow translate to just a floor above the top floor of Empire Mall.

I like the whole set up, with a glass walls by two sides overseeing the ever busy Federal Highway and tastefully done interior decoration.

ulam, cold seafood, fruits, salad, salted duck egg
ulam, cold seafood, fruits, salad, salted duck egg

The Seenak Citarasa Malaysia buffet dinner is priced at RM 108++ for adults, RM 88++ for children and senior citizens. The buffet is available from 28th June to 29th July, 2014.

Interestingly, diners will also standa a chance to win a Hermes watch worth about RM 12k by taking part in a contest during this ramadan period.

traditional main dishes from different states in Malaysia
traditional main dishes from different states in Malaysia

The buffet spread at Empire Hotel celebrates each of the 13 states in Malaysia and features more than 60 different main dishes in addition to starters such as ulam, prawns, mussels, salted duck egg, clams, salads, and even cendol and rojak.

There’s also a Ghazal band performing nightly, in line with the whole local theme.

cucur udang, ikan bakar, nangka, and of course - roast lamb
cucur udang, ikan bakar, nangka, and of course – roast lamb

To make things simple, here are the list of 13 traditional flavors from the different states:

  • sup gear box (beef shank broth with spices) – Utara Kedah
  • briyani ayam dengan kismis (braised chicken with golden raisin – Johor
  • daging masak lemak dengan nangka muda (beef cooked in turmeric gravey with young jackfruit) – Negeri Sembilan
  • terong goreng berlada dengan ikan bilis (fried eggplant with chilli and anchovies) – Selangor
  • ikan masak asam pedas bunga kantan (braised fish in tamarind gravy with ginger flower) – Melaka
  • gulai kawah Terengganu dengan kantang (beef curry with potato) – Terengganu
  • ikan patin masak lemak tempoyak (fish cooked with spicy durian gravy) – Pahang
  • ayam bakar berempah (roasted chicken with Malay spices) – Kelantan
  • briyani kambing (mutton cooked in local spices) – Pulau Pinang
  • hivana roe fish – Sabah
  • braised chicken in bamboo – Sarawak
  • bubur gandum – Perlis
  • rendang tok – Perak

Pinky and I absolutely loved the sup gearbox, check out how huge it is
Pinky and I absolutely loved the sup gearbox, check out how huge it is

Of the various offerings, I particularly enjoy the sup gear box the most. The serving was huge, with the bone neatly saw off at one end and a straw provided so that you can suck out the marrow, absolutely fantastic!

The roast lamb here, as with the other buffet spread I tried so far, did not disappoint. I also really enjoyed the fish gravey with bunga kantan and of course, ulam with intoxicating sambal.

selection of western desserts and traditional kuih, including tapai
selection of western desserts and traditional kuih, including tapai

As for desserts, there’s a rather wide selection of local kuih as well as a selection of Western desserts. I picked tapai ubi and was obviously not disappointed. For those who fancy the traditional sweet drinks popular during Ramadan, there’s more than half a dozen colorful cold drinks to choose from, as well as teh tarik, of course.

Empire Mall map

Address:
Kitchen Art Brasserie, Level 2,
Empire Hotel, Jalan SS16/1,
Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan
GPS: 3.082109, 101.582716
Tel03-5565 1228

Ramadan is just around the corner so lets continue with the second instalment of buka puasa buffet 2014 review, this at The Saujana KL hotel’s new Charcoal restaurant, remodelled, redecorate, and definitely an improved version of the old Suria Cafe.

Charcoal is a new open-grill concept restaurant that was opened on the 6th of June, 2014, but a review of what the restaurant has to offer will come later, this post is solely about the Ramadan buffet, and this one is served under the stars by the poolside.

Ramadan buffet 2014 at The Saujana KL's Charcoal restaurant
Ramadan buffet 2014 at The Saujana KL’s Charcoal restaurant

The Saujana is located near Subang airport, offering ample outdoor parking space free of charge. Situated directly next to the golf course and hotel swimming pool, the restaurant also enjoys a tranquil and beautiful view.

I was told that the spread we sampled represent only about a quarter to a third of what will be served during the fasting month.

The buffet is priced at RM 115++ per person.

Asian appetizer - kerabu hati ayam, kerabu mangga muda, kerabu kacang botol etc
Asian appetizer – kerabu hati ayam, kerabu mangga muda, kerabu kacang botol etc

Ramadan buffet at Saujana offers quite a variety of Asian appetizers that will surely please Malay food lovers. There’s kerabu hati ayam (chicken liver), kerabu mangga muda (young mango), kerabu kacang botol (long bean), kerabu nanas (pineapple), kerabu nangka, and even gado gado. These offer some intense sourish and spicy taste that opens up the appetite real well.

For those who wants to veer a bit towards the West, there’s a selection of Western dishes such as grilled asparagus with roast beef, chickpea with roasted pumpkin salad, and shredded salmon with zucchini julienne and wasabe mayo as well.

bazaar Malay and bakar stalls offering ayam percik, ikan bakar, and more
bazaar Malay and bakar stalls offering ayam percik, ikan bakar, and more

Like many ramadan buffets in town, the concept of food stalls is implemented here as well.

The bazaar Malay and bakar stalls offer nasi kerabu (the blue rice above), ikan bakar (grilled fish), sotong bakar (squid), ayam percik, as well as other classics such as otak otak.

grilled lamb, ulam ulam, soup, satey
grilled lamb, ulam ulam, soup, satey

Grilled lamb is also available here (basically at every Ramadan buffet I’ve been), and the version here did not disappoint either, the meat was tender and goes well with mint sauce.

If you like ulam like me, they have quite a selection with the accompanying sambal that includes my favorite – tempoyak, or fermented durian. :D

There’s also an Indian stall that serves putu mayam, tossai, masala vadai, coconut chutney, dal curry and more.

KY & Haze, with various main dishes including vegetable, meat, rice, curry, and seafood
KY & Haze, with various main dishes including vegetable, meat, rice, curry, and seafood

When it’s time to fill up your stomach, main dishes such as ayam redang, nasi minyak, udang masak tomato (prawn), terung hijau (eggplant, one of my favorites!), danging kicap berempah (beef with dark sauce), gulai masam tenggiri (mackeral curry), and more are available. I find the taste true generally stays true to classic Malay cuisine.

fruits, desserts, and drinks
fruits, desserts, traditional kuih, and drinks

Desserts is available in the form of various Malay kuih, bubur durian with pulut, pandan cream caramel, assorted French pastries, cheese cake, dodol, and fresh fruits.

Quality of food here is definitely top notch, and I think this would definitely be a place worth checking out for those who stays near this part of Klang Valley, and especailly those who love traditional Malay cuisine.

map to Saujana Kuala Lumpur

Address:
Charcoal
The Saujana KL,
Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,

40150 Selangor
GPS3.108849, 101.578474
Tel03-7843 1234
emailinfo@thesaujana.com

For 2014 Ramadan month, I’ve decided to do a few Bulan Puasa buffet around Klang Valley. Lets kick it off with the first, and perhaps the cheapest Ramadan buffet offered by Bangi Golf Resort.

Ramadan buffet at Bangi Golf Resort, naturally we rode there
Ramadan buffet at Bangi Golf Resort, naturally we rode there

Bangi Golf Resort is of course, located at Bangi, which is about 30 kilometers from KL city center. If you’re not from Seri Kembangan, Puchong, or Kajang area, it could be a bit of a drive to get here.

Parking is ample and free, and dining area is comfortable, if not simple and pedestrian. However, for the extra long drive and slightly less impressive decoration, you get great value. The Ramadan Buffet is priced at only RM 50 for adults and RM 25 for children.

Malay and Western starters as well as traditional sweet drinks
Malay and Western starters as well as traditional sweet drinks

Like almost all Ramadan buffet spread these days, there’s the whole roast lamb, and the version here is rather tender and delicious too.

Other “cooking show” stalls located right outside the dining area includes beef and chicken satey, mee mamak, and kuih teow goreng

roast chicken, steamed rice, lamb curry, cat fish, even pasta
roast chicken, steamed rice, lamb curry, cat fish, even pasta

The buffet spread includes quite a selection of traditional Malay dishes, with the usual suspects such as beef rendang, cucur udang, karipap, nasi briyani, lemang, gulai kawah danging, sambal sotong, and ikan keli masak lemak cili padi available for diners.

satey, sous vide eggs, butter prawns, desserts, roast lamb
satey, sous vide eggs, butter prawns, desserts, roast lamb

For those who wants something Western, there’s beef lasagna, spaghetti with chicken carbonara sauce, grilled boneless chicken, and one of my favorite – sous vide eggs, which is basically like the best half/poached egg you can ever ask for.

For good measures, there’re a few Chinese dishes thrown into the mix. The butter prawns was appropriately prepared, and roast chicken not inferior to any I’ve tried.

traditional kuih and western style desserts
traditional kuih and western style desserts

For dessert lovers, there’s red velvet cake, chocolate fudge cake, creme brulee, chocolate mousse sundae, watermelon lychee jelly, young coconut jelly, creme caramel, and more.

There’s also traditional kuih, a variety of fresh fruits, and of course, teh tarik!

KY, Shah, Redmummy, Yee Hou, Haze, and Gaff
KY, Shah, Redmummy, Yee Hou, Haze, and Gaff

The restaurant at Bangi Golf Resort is is Halal certified by JAKIM, and offers this Ramadan buffet from 2nd to 26th of July 2014. There’ll also be live Malay traditional music from 6:30pm to 9:30pm daily for your entertainment.

direction to Bangi Golf Resort

Address:
Bangi Golf Resort
No. 1 Persiaran Bandar,
Bandar Baru Bangi
43650 Selangor
GPS: 2.957154, 101.765021
Tel: 03-8925 3728
Web: www.bgrrest.com
Price: RM 50 for adults, RM 25 for children

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.

the ultimate de-stress gataway

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?
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!

Adress:
Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 
5, Jalan Stesen Sentral, 
50470 Kuala Lumpur. 
Tel03-2723 1188
GPS3.13295, 101.68619
Emailaloft.kualalumpur@alofthotels.com
Website: www.starwoodhotels.com/aloft
Facebookfb.com/AloftKualaLumpurSentral