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Tag / rojak

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)

One of my favorite things to have for late afternoon “tea time” snack is a good plate of mamak rojak. (also known as passembur in the North, such as Penang)

The typical set up is a truck that offers rojak and cendol, and they are usually parked at a predetermined area, sometimes with a couple tables and chairs for a make shift dine-in area.

Hasan's Rojak and Cendol truck, outside seapark market
Hasan’s Rojak and Cendol truck, outside seapark market

Hasan’s Rojak is one of the more famous rojak vans around. The operator usually stationed the van opposite PJ Seapark wet market, behind Kedai Kopi Khong and just a few shops away from the Ayamas shop.

There are usually a healthy crowd around the van, most will order for takeaway, but there are a few tables under giant umbrellas should you decide to have a quick meal on location.

a proper plate of mamak rojak, I like mine with sotong too
a proper plate of mamak rojak, I like mine with sotong too

The rojak comes in two versions – normal (RM 3.70) and with sotong (RM 5.00). I always go for the version with cuttle fish, as their version is pretty close to those you get from Penang style “sotong kakung” consistency, with great texture that’s not overly chewy.

Other ingredients were spot on, and the slightly sweetish rojak sauce packs a punch in flavors. It is easy to see why this is one of the more popular rojak places.

unfortunately they ran out of cendol this afternoon
unfortunately they ran out of cendol this afternoon

Like most other such set up, they also offer cendol and ice kacang. As luck would have it, they ran out of ice while I was there, so I guess I’ll have to go back there again!

map to hasan's rojak, seapark

Address:
Jalan 21/17 & Jalan 21/22,
Seapark,
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.110142, 101.621673
Hours: noon to evenings

Mamak style rojak (also known as passember in the northern region) makes one of the best afternoon snacks.

For one, parking isn’t usually a problem since they are located at random street corners. Secondly, you get the great Malaysian al fresco ambiance. Finally, they also usually serve chendol, the perfect remedy for crazy hot max afternoons.

Rojak Mamak at Kelana Jaya
rojak mamak at Kelana Jaya

I’ve drove past this particular mamak rojak stall countless times, but this was actually the first time I’ve ever tried it. We ended up there when the rojak craving hits, and since it was already over 5pm, I know that my regular rojak stall at Taman Bahagia would be closed by then.

Taman megah mamak rojak, now this is my kinda food truck that's been around for decades. #kyeats #halal #rojak #passembur

A post shared by KY (@kyspeaks) on

Like other similar operations, this stall sells rojak, rojak mee, mee rebus, chendol, and also ABC. We ordered a plate of rojak each and I added a bowl of chendol too.

Rojak and Chendol
mamak rojak, chendol

The rojak came with the typical ingredients of sengkuang mengkuang, tofu, prawn fritters, and those other things with probably tamil names I never really knew. The sauce was flavorful, sweet, and not overly spicy (tho I’m sure you can ask for more chili). I actually like it better than the Taman Bahagia version, if only this one also comes cuttle fish…

Haze and KY
Haze and KY

As for the chendol, other than the typical green thingy and red beans, they added “leong fun” and a bit of sweet corn into the mix. I find it pretty interesting. Would prefer if they put more shaved ice instead though, the mamak version of chendol is always a bit too watery for me, was still pretty good nonetheless.

The 2 plates of rojak and chendol came up to less than RM 10, pretty decent deal for an afternoon quickie.

map of kelana jaya mamak rojak

Address:
Rojak Mamak
Jalan SS 24/1
Kelana Jaya, Selangor

GPS: 3.113097, 101.607501