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Continuing with the buka puasa buffet 2014 series, today we look at the buffet offering at Paya Serai, PJ Hilton hotel. This year, the restaurant is headed by executive chef Ridzuan Malek, who has over 20 years of culinary experience to present a buffet spread of local specialities in unique ‘kampung-style’ stalls and live cooking stations.

The spread here is impressive, and definitely the largest of the lot that I’ve sampled in 2014 with over 300 local delicacies to choose from. You can come back here half a dozen times and not taste the same dish twice.

roast lamb, chicken curry laksa, asam laksa, fruits, at Paya Serai, PJ Hilton
roast lamb, chicken curry laksa, asam laksa, fruits, at Paya Serai, PJ Hilton

The Ramadan buffet promotion runs from 7pm to 10pm daily and are priced at RM 139++ per adult and RM 79++for children. For the last five days of Ramadan (July 23 – July 27, 2014), the same spread is priced at RM 119++ per adult.

For the selection you get here, it is worth what you’re paying. On top of the food, there’s also entertainment from a local traditional music group from Bale Bale Entertainment to add to the festivity.

mussels and prawns on ice, salted fish, ulam-ulam, lemang, and even tempoyak
mussels and prawns on ice, salted fish, ulam-ulam, lemang, and even tempoyak

Now lets talk about what you’ll find at the buffet spread, I make no attempt to list down all the dishes, but you should get an idea of what they offer.

Pretty much everything you can find at any Ramadan buffet spread, you can find here.

Starting from appetizer, you have Thai beef salad, Vietnamese chicken salad, gado-gado, rojak, over half a dozen types of kerabu (ikan, ayam, kerabu jantung pisang, mangga muda, nangka, perut, pucuk paku, etc).

There’s also a huge selection of ulam to go with sambal belacan, cencalok, budu, sambal gesek, sambal nenas, sambal mangga, and my personal favorite – tempoyak chilli.

If you like the even more traditional appertizer, you can find ikan masin goreng belada, sambal hijau, telur masin, kacang tanah goreng berlada, petai, paru lembu, pedal ayam, hati ayam, and bergedil. These are definitely closer to kampung than the city, I love it.

chicken, beef, seafood, lamb, vegetable, in Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Western style
chicken, beef, seafood, lamb, vegetable, in Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Western style

Main dishes too is represented by classics from various states and even international cuisines. There’s fish head curry, rendang tok, ikan bakar melaka, whole roasted lamb Malay style, serawa durian and pulut, kerabu gamat and apam balik.

There’s also Chinese style mushroom and vegetable, curry prawn, asam prawn, nasi briyani, roast chicken, and more.

there's also Madras corner, Kampong Melayu corner, China Town, and Western food
there’s also Madras corner, Kampong Melayu corner, China Town, and Western food

I would guess that perhaps about 70% of the dishes available here at Paya Serai consists local cuisine originated from Malacca, Penang, Perak, Kedah, and Johor, with the remaining 30% Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Western, and other origins.

The team of 13 chefs definitely managed to impress.

satey, Mongolian BBQ, grilled fish, tempura, and kerang too
satey, Mongolian BBQ, grilled fish, tempura, and kerang too

Of the various live cooking stations, I was most impressed with the Mongolian BBQ (not that I actually managed to try all of them, to be honest). Here you basically choose one or many main ingredients such as beef, chicken, or seafood, and the chef will cook it up with an assortment of vegetable such as carrot, celery, mushroom, bell peppers and so forth.

It was a dish that I consumed on regular basis while working for a Chinese restaurant in US, this brought back the memory, and the execution was spot on.

KY & Shabana as well as Jean enjoying some durian to end the night
KY & Shabana as well as Jean enjoying some durian to end the night

To end your buka puasa session for the night, there’s an assortment of fresh fruits, air batu campur (ABC), cendol, a variety of traditional kuih, custards, mini pastries, hot desserts, cendol santan kepala muda, and last but not least – durian!

Yes, they serve durian at buka puasa, which was just brilliant.

If you’re looking for one of the biggest Ramadan buffet spread in town, check out PJ Hilton’s Paya Serai.

map to Petaling Jaya Hilton Hotel

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

GPS3.10235, 101.64087
Tel03-7955 9122 (ext 4260)

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