Tag / 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
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 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
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
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
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
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.
Utara Coffee House
Hotel Armada Petaling Jaya
Lot 6, Lorong Utara C,
Section 52, 46200 PJ, Selangor
GPS: 3.104199, 101.640964
Tel: 03-7954 6888 (ext 4557)
Most of us know Alicafe as the tongkat ali infused canned coffee drinks. In fact, it is my favorite driving companion to keep me awake whenever I’m on one of those balik kampung drives on the highway.
There’s more than just drinks when it comes to this brand, now there’s an Alicafe TigaRasa restaurant. I was one of the lucky few who was invited to get a taste of what they have to offer just a few days ago.
Alicafe Tiga Rasa restaurant, at USJ Taipan
Located at USJ Taipan, Alicafe TigaRasa restaurant offers Malay cuisine in a contemporary setting and pretty good range of menu. The restaurant is tastefully decorated, giving it a bit of a kampung feel, but of course, dining area’s air conditioned.
The kitchen area is separated by glass, you can actually see your food being cooked (side effect: they always have to keep the place spotlessly clean).
here’s the TigaRasa secret – sambal lemak, gulai lemak, and hebi-hiam
Now here’s how this restaurant got it’s name, tiga sara (three flavors) – from the three different traditional Malay sauces:
- Gulai Lemak – the creamy coconut based sauce with kunyit, sambal, and lemongrass. Rich and flavorful
- Sambal Lemak – a classic with plenty of chili, garlic, some coconut milk, and other spices
- Sambal Hebi-Hiam – now this one is interesting, hebi means dried shrimp and hiam translate to spicy in Hokkien. So yah, this is inspired by Nyonya cuisine and prepared with dried shrimps, curry leaves, onions, garlic, and more.
ikan pari, grilled lamb, and grilled chicken in different sambal, vegetable
You can then mix and match the three sauces with ikan pari (stingray) or ikan selar (yellowtail scad), grilled lamb chop, grilled chicken, mixed grill, or mixed vegetables. For those who like it even hotter, you can always customize the order with added chili padi too.
I tried the three sauces with pari, mixed vegetable, and lamb, and it is pretty difficult to pick a favorite. Each one offers a different experience, but they share the same characteristic of being rich and flavorful. I like the fact that terung (brinjal) and other vegetable is added onto the meat/seafood dish too. Goes well with steamed rice.
siakap tomyam, curry fish head, and fried chicken
Other than dishes prepared from those three sauces, Alicafe TigaRasa offers dishes such as siakap tomyam, curry fish head, fried chicken and more.
Saikap tomyam (barramundi) is deep fried but served with spicy tomyam sauce, and the curry fish head reminds me of my mom’s style of cooking, the Nyonya version of curry that is slightly milder (unlike some Indian style would) yet plenty delicious.
The fried chicken has a hint of belacan to it, a very different style from some of those “KFC copycats”, and definitely a taste that I’m familiar of from the mixture of Nyonya-Chinese style of food we get in Penang.
this whole set for 4 can be had for RM 69.90
To be honest, I’m quite impressed with the food at Alicafe TigaRasa, they do fill a niche by offering mostly traditional Malay cuisine with some mixture of other tastes that is still very close to home.
For the puasa month, there’s special promotional set that starts from RM 10.90 that includes a drink, kurma dates, a main course, and Hokkaido cake as dessert. For family of four (or 5), a RM 69.90 set gets you siakap fish, fried chicken, scrambled egg, TigaRasa mix grilled vegetable, Hokkaido cakes, kurma dates, and Alicafe’s homemade Pati Kurma Madu drinks.
the desserts, and the leng lui is of course, Hanis
I can’t wait for them to have more branches!
Alicafe TigaRasa Restaurant
No.8, Jalan USJ 10/1H,
Subang Business Centre,
GPS: 3.04817, 101.68677
Tel: 03-8011 9412
Hello and selamat berpuasa to all my Muslim friends.
To me, Bulan Puasa is always the best time to get yummy Malay food in great variety that you otherwise would not find in a single location – the ramadan bazaar that pops up everywhere and lasts only until Hari Raya.
pasar ramadan kelana jaya at Jalan SS 6/1
The first pasar ramadan I went to is the one at Kelana Jaya. The bazaar is situated opposite the small Giant at Kelana Jaya on Jalan SS 6/1. When we reached there at around 6 pm on Sunday evening, the place was already jam packed with a lot of people. My best estimate is that there were at least 50-60 stalls offering just about every Malay food you can imagine.
rendang, curry, kuih, keropok lekor
There were a few stalls offering beef rendang, lamb curry, or chicken curry to go with nasi kukus (steamed rice). We bought a packet of beef curry for RM 4 with easily enough tender meat to feed 3 full grown cats.
Coconut and sugar cane juice were going for RM 4 per jug too, and they are fresh and 100% without any additives. I doubt you can find better tebu for this price, I used to pay RM 2 for a small cup, or worse, those dried sugar cane drinks.
nasi tomato, lemang, roast lamb, ikan cencaru
The ikan cencaru goes for RM 5, 6, or 7 depending on size, and the uncle gives some extra sambal during packaging too. We bought one, and regretted not to have bought more. We also tried satar (in banana leaves with ikan tenggiri fillings, RM 2.50 for 4), RM 1′s worth of keropok lekor, chicken wings (RM 1.50 per piece), a very good beef murtabak, a some kuih too.
nasi ayam goreng, satar, sotong bakar
Lucky for us, there’s another 3 more weeks or so to go before bulan puasa ends, I still have quite a lot to try – the whole roast lamb, fried chicken, mee soto, laksa, sotong bakar, and more. yums.
Jalan SS 6/1
Kelana Jaya, PJ
GPS: 3.104714, 101.601595
On a non related news, there is this MilkADeal offer to turn your fridge into a photo album – with photo magnets. I have lotsa fridge magnets from other places, but there are all usually those made in China stuff. These fridge magnets are custom made with the photos of your choice instead, a neat idea if you ask me.
Instead of RM 72, it is only RM 28 to get 6 customised pictures on 4″ x 3″ photo magnets (1 photo on 1 magnet), free nationwide delivery too.
This deal expires at the end of today (8/8/11) so be quick! Get it here.