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Tag / buka puasa

Last week we attended the second buka puasa dinner buffet review session at Armada Hotel’s Utara Cafe, a place Haze and I went  earlier in the year for their Mother’s day promotion buffet and was largely left impressed.

We braved the pre-buka puasa traffic in town (should have taken the LRT) and ended up parking a couple blocks away from the hotel to get there in time to take these photos before they were on everyone else’s plates. Ramadan is a month with fantastic food offerings at the markets and hotels alike, but the traffic.. that part I don’t like nearly as much.

buka puasa at Armada's Utara Cafe - Sinar Ramadhan Al-Mubarak
buka puasa at Armada’s Utara Cafe – Sinar Ramadhan Al-Mubarak

Anyway, themed “Sinar Ramadhan Al-Mubarak“, the buka puasa buffet at Armada features over 100 dishes of traditional delicacies as well as some of the more familiar international offerings that wouldn’t be unfamiliar to those who has been to the Utara Coffee House.

These dishes are the brain child of Executive Chef Chew Teik Chye and his team of chefs.

ulam, kuih, rice, and even western style pastry too
ulam, kuih, rice, and even western style pastries

To start, there are kerabus, lemang, seruding, traditional kuih, and ulam with 4 different types of sambal, but unfortunately no tempoyak. Western style pastries are available as well, and if you are a fan of kerabu, they have kerabu mangga, kerabu sotong, kerabu kacang botol, and kerabu soo hoon.

lamb, beef curry, salad/rojak bar, roti jala, roti canai
lamb, beef curry, salad/rojak bar, roti jala, roti canai

There are also a few dishes from Middle Eastern cuisine that made their way into this buffet line up, you can find  Qara Be Lahm El Ghanam (Pumpkin with lamb and cumin), Dajaj Mehawar (chicken with aromatic onion), Samkeh Harra Bil Kozhara (spicy fish with coriander), Fatet Dajaj (scented chicken with saffron rice), and Bayd Bil Forn (baked egg with spinach)

To be honest, those aren’t food I’m familiar with, but I did try a bit of them and my experience is a positive one.

satey, otak-otak, ikan bakar, roast lamb, nasi briyani, gulai with paku
satey, otak-otak, ikan bakar, roast lamb, nasi briyani, gulai with paku

Classic dishes such as gulai lembu (beef curry), ayam golek, pucuk paku, kambing masak merah, and many more are all present as well. Roti canai, satey, otak-otak, ikan bakar, briyani rice, and whole roast lamb too are some of the other dishes you can find. It is impossible to list them all down.

Oh, there’s also a stall where you can pick your own raw seafood and get the chef to cook it right there and then with the sauce of your choice. My advice is to try not to add bamboo clams into the mix cos the shells sometimes break and you end up having to pick them off the squid/prawns, troublesome!

sweet and sour beef, prawns, mussels, vegetables, and even duck
sweet and sour beef, prawns, mussels, vegetables, and even duck

Other than the more “typical” Middle East and Malay food, there’s also raw oysters, sushi, smoked duck, steamed fish, and an assortment of dishes representing cuisines from all over the world. The 100+ dishes can actually be a little bit intimidating if you are those sort of people who always want to try everything at a buffet.

I took about 4 plates of food (not very full lah!) for dinner, and while not everything was 100% super fantastic, they were generally pretty good, and I particularly like the duck, steamed fish, and beef curry. Oysters were plenty fresh too.

steamed fish, raw oysters, sushi, and dined with some Muslim friends
steamed fish, raw oysters, sushi, and dined with some Muslim friends

This Ramadan feast is priced at RM 85++ per person, and there’s also a 10+1 promotion applicable for voucher purchase (to be redeemed till 31st Oct 2012). There’s also a competition at  www.facebook.com/HotelArmadaPJ that you might want to check out.

map to Armada Hotel

Address:
Utara Coffee House
Hotel Armada Petaling Jaya
Lot 6, Lorong Utara C,
Section 52, 46200 PJ, Selangor
GPS3.104199, 101.640964
Tel03-7954 6888 (ext 4557)

Utara Coffee House

The month of Ramadan is just a little more than a week away, and for many of us in the corporate world, it is also a time where companies will host buka puasa dinners, giving employees a chance to break fast together and mingle a little.

It is also a time where hotels and restaurants get busy with Ramadan buffet offerings, and lucky me, I already got to sample what JW Marriott at Bukit Bintang has to offer for this holy month in Muslim Calendar.

buka puasa dinner at JW Marriott
buka puasa dinner at JW Marriott

The buffet at JW Marriott will feature 108 of the best Malaysian delicacies from various states of the country, gearing towards “preserving heritage”. From the dishes we sampled, it definitely seems like they are doing what is claimed.

Case in point – sambal tempoyak (fermented durian) is available!

you'll definitely love it if you like it spicy
you’ll definitely love it if you like it spicy

Other traditional kampung dishes includes tongkeng ayam (bishop’s nose), goreng bercili, daging salai masak lemak dengan bachang and kupang masak rampai too are on offer.

Of course, ulam, satey, soup tulang, ikan bakar, roast lamb, keropok ikan, various kuih muih, fruits, and assortment of curry and vegetable dishes are to be expected as well. The preview only showcased a portion of what’s to be offered on the actual buffet, and we are already spoilt for choices.

two of my favorite things - tempoyak and paku
two of my favorite things – sambal tempoyak and paku

As for the dining areas, the pool side at 6th floor and the Starhill conference centre on the 4th floor will be transformed to a Ramadan bazaar to replicate the kampung ambiance.

fruits, traditional kuih, and more
fruits, traditional kuih, and more

Oh, and in case you’re wondering how much this feast will cost?

  • RM 60++ per person at Conference center
  • RM 70++ per person at poolside area

Certainly a very competitive pricing considering the 5 star setting and the rather stellar offering in terms of dish choices. I sampled quite a few dishes from the spread, and most everything was top notch and “ori”, except perhaps for the ikan bakar pari which I thought was a bit too chewy (hopefully this gets fixed). The roast lamb, tempoyak, and prawn with petai were particularly outstanding.

For reservations, call 03-2719 8666 or e-mail bukapuasa@ytl hotels.com.my

cheng yi, shah, ciki, and I definitely had a great time
cheng yi, shah, ciki, and I definitely had a great time

Now I gotta wonder how other hotels within the area will respond.

map to JW Marriot KL

Address:
JW Marriot
183 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS3.14765, 101.71372
Tel03-2715 9000

Last week I was invited to a buka puasa dinner at Paya Serai. It is a little bit like going to pasar ramadan at Kelana Jaya, there are over 100 dishes of mainly local delights to choose from, but instead of on a street, you have a comfortable air conditioned dining area, plus you pay a one lump sum instead of having to do so many transactions.

In another word, it is a buffet (duh!)

buffet spread at Paya Serai, PJ Hilton
buffet spread at Paya Serai, PJ Hilton

For the Ramadan month, the buffet spread at Paya Serai is spearheaded by Chef Noor Hisham, so in addition to the international dishes, there are more emphasis on traditional Malay cuisine, which is entirely appropriate if you ask me.

awesome ulam spread, and sambal tempoyak too
awesome ulam spread, and sambal tempoyak too

I usually start my buffet with cold cuts and oysters (which they serve here too), but at Paya Serai, I can never resist their superb selection of ulam and sambal – especially sambal tempoyak. I don’t know if you can find this fermented durian sambal in any other hotel, it is positively pungent and supremely addictive for those who has a taste on the wilder side.

tempura and such, various kuih muih, ice kacang too
tempura and such, various kuih muih, ice kacang too

A couple dozen types of Nyonya and traditional Malay kuih muih is something not to be missed as well, and over here they have them in small convenient pieces so you don’t over stuffed your stomach too soon.

There’s a tempura stall and some sushi for those who felt like a buffet isn’t complete without Japanese food, but I didn’t have any but didn’t miss them.

paku, curry, and lala
paku, curry, and lala

Among the many dozens of traditional lauk, I was surprised to find paku in the spread, it’s one of my favorite vegetables and was always awesome. Their lamb curry, lala, paru (cow’s lung), and satey were pretty good as well.

I didn’t find baigan bhrata, a Northern Indian eggplant dish to be very delicious, but I guess a couple misses among over 100 dishes is certainly acceptable.

these four plates, and I was stuffed :S
these four plates, and I was stuffed :S

Other than the normal buffet spreads, a few stalls were set up at the front of the restaurant too, offering laksa, nasi lemak, roti jala, and even apom. I tried the nasi lemak and it was pretty good (with beef rendang of course)

The buffet certainly had a lot more dishes than I could bargain for, and we eventually reluctantly leave even though there were more to be tasted. What to do, stomach already completely stuffed, haigh.

more food, and with the guys
more food, and with the guys – Tian Chad, Firdy, Wilson

The buffet is from 7 pm to 10:30 pm. Pricing are as follow:

  • adult: RM 70++, child below 12: RM 49++ for the first 3 days
  • adult: RM 119++, child below 12: RM 60++ for the next 1 week
  • adult: RM 129++, child below 12: RM 70++ after that

Do call for reservation cos it gets packed!

map to Petaling Jaya Hilton Hotel

Address:
Paya Serai
Hilton Petaling Jaya
No 2 Jalan Barat
46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS3.10235, 101.64087
Tel03-7955 9122

 

First of all, Selamat Berpuasa to all my Muslim friends.

Remember the free dinner at Le Meriden contest I was running a while ago? Well, it’s over with and the winners all claimed their prizes already – a sumptuous Santapan Ramadan Buffet dinner at Le Meridien KL’s Latest Recipe.

Haze and Ciki at Le Meridien's Latest Recipe
Haze and Ciki at Le Meridien’s Latest Recipe

The four winners and their partners all showed up, and together with Ciki, Josen, Haze, and I, we had a plenty good time while sampling the Ramadan buffet spread.

oysters, shrimps, mussels, salmon, and more
oysters, shrimps, mussels, salmon, and more

The spread for Santapan Ramadan buffet is even bigger than the usual offerings at Latest Recipe.

There’s the standard dishes – salmon and various cold cuts, shrimps, mussle, crab, and of course, oysters too. These are the items I usually kick off my buffet dinner with, it is usually a good idea to keep the stronger tasting stuff later as to not over saturate your taste buds.

traditional Malay food too, I love the beef curry
traditional Malay food too, I love the beef curry

Quite a lot of traditional Malaysian dishes found their way on the line up too. Otak-otak (though I didn’t find their version to be very good), whole roast lamb, begedil, and different types of gulai & curry. The beef curry was very good!

Chef Antoine and his two helpers
Chef Antoine and his two side kicks at Latest Recipe

There are also made to order dishes you can get. Chef Antoine was there to man the pasta counter and we got him to prepare a mean plate of piping hot carbonara for us.

many more dishes, including cold cuts at Satapan buffet
many more dishes, including cold cuts and kuih at Satapan buffet

Traditional kuih muih were also available, and this is one of the few buffets where you can choose drinks other than just ice water too. Don’t you hate it when you are already paying decent sum for buffet and all they give you is plain water? I know I do.

Oh, the sugar cane juice is superb, reminds me of when McDonald’s used to serve it.

pasta was made by chef Antoine, and those Belgium waffles were awesome!
pasta was made by chef Antoine, and those Belgium waffles were awesome!

Above all, the dish I love most at Latest Recipe is their Belgium waffles. Yes, it is a bit odd to be indulging on mere waffles looking at the huge buffet spread, but do give it a try when you are there, it is simply the lightest, yummiest waffle I’ve ever had.

the contest winners with Ciki & myself flanking :D
the contest winners with Ciki & myself flanking :D

Prices of the buffet:

  • Sun-Thurs: RM118 (adult) / RM59 (child)
  • Fri,Sat: RM128 (adult) / RM64 (child)
  • Time: 6:30pm to 10:30pm

Again, congratulations to Chen Mee Kuan, Jennifer Amelia Clement, Joel Tan Tyan Min, and Norazalia Musa. I hope all of you had a good time. Cheers!

map to Le Meridien

Address:
Latest Recipe
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631,101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7888

 

Last Friday I was invited to a buka puasa dinner at KL Convention Centre. Interestingly, even though this is my 6th Ramadan spent working at the towers, I’ve never had a buka puasa event there.

In fact, I didn’t even know that there’s an in house caterer at KL convention centre with full kitchen staff, chefs and all that jazz. Well now I do!

Buka Puasa at KLCC convention centre
so this is supposed to be an exhibition hall, now a dining area!

The buka puasa event is located at Hall 5 (think PC Fair) of the convention centre, a massive hall that was transformed into a giant restaurant with plenty of tables, 5 buffet stations, a dozen food stalls, and even plants and other decorations. It was quite impressive to say the least.

sup campur, roast lamb kuzi
sup campur, roast lamb kuzi

The one thing I always remember about every buka puasa dinner I went to was the queue. When you have everyone expected to eat at the same time, there’s always a long queue and LRT-type traffic going on. This isn’t so at this place, since the convention hall is massive and the buffet area spared to 17 different stations, human traffic is much more manageable.

buffet spread for buka puasa
goreng gorengan, ulam, jeruk, nasi ayam, sup asam pedas and more

Since the information is available (on every table), let me list down the dishes available

  • stall 1 – gulai kawah traditional
  • stall 2 – ayam dara percik gula kabung, madras chicken tikka with naan
  • stall 3 – wanton mee, Penang char kueh teow
  • stall 4 – whole roasted lamb kuzi, chicken briyani and condiments
  • stall 5 – goreng-gorengan
  • stall 6 – roti-bom, roti jala & murtabak served with curry and dhal
  • stall 7 – hainanese chicken rice
  • stall 8 – ABC with ice cream, crepe and waffle
  • stall 9 – chicken and beef satay
  • stall 10 – seafood asam pedas
  • stall 11 – sup campur utara
  • stall 12 – turkish chicken shawarma, italian pasta corner

soup, roast lamb, murtabak, desserts and more!
soup, roast lamb, murtabak, desserts and more!

On top of these you still have 5 buffet stations serving all sorts of lauk from daging dendeng to udang goreng kunyit, ulam to bubur, ketupat, lemang, and serunding too. It is impossible to sample everything even if I go there half a dozen times.

To be honest, I didn’t really expect too much from “catered food” but this buffet spread proved me wrong. Except for the slightly lack luster lemang (I love Lemang from Kijal) and ordinary pasta, everything we’ve tasted were actually very good.

Haze and KY at KLCC Convention Centre buka puasa dinner
now why can’t I pose as well as Haze -__-

My favorite of the night was the lamb, that whole roast lamb was so tender I think I’ve never tasted lamb quite as good as this. It was literally a revelation. Several others on the same table went on for second serving of the same thing too. The tiny desserts we sampled were delicious too!

KL Convention Centre

Buffet is priced at RM 90++ per person and runs till end of Ramadan, not a bad deal at all if you ask me.

Selamat berbuka puasa!

Address:
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre,
Kuala Lumpur City Centre,
50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

GPS: 3.154443,101.712649
Tel: 03-2333-2888

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