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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / shabana

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

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)

I first learned about the Dato’ Keramat ikan bakar from my Malay colleagues when they tapao some all the way to KLCC for lunch. Fast forward a couple years later, I finally managed to convinced one of my colleagues to follow me there for a quick meal.

Mat Teh ikan bakar at Dato' Keramat
Mat Teh ikan bakar at Dato’ Keramat

After a bit of searching and asking about at the market, we finally located Mat Teh Ikan Bakar, with the stall situated within the Dato’ Keramat wet market, facing the parking area.

We immediately knew that we were at the right place, the place was packed, and on the grill was at least 30 pieces of grilled fish in the process of cooking, all neatly wrapped in banana leaves for that extra flavor.

huge slab of ikan pari, soup, and ulam
huge slab of ikan pari, soup, and ulam

For this trip, I ordered a piece of ikan pari (stringray), which also comes with a generous amount of ulam (Malay style salad) with sambal, soup, and a plate of steamed rice.

The fish was thick and huge, it was probably meant for two person, which also explained why it cost something like RM 14-16 (but definitely worth it). The cooking method utilizing banana leaf ensures that it was plenty juicy and flavorful, and with those accompanying sambal, I was more than satisfied.

the place is very busy, and with good reasons
the place is very busy, and with good reasons

Mat Teh stall also offers some pretty good juices, I had a glass of mango juice which complimented the meal very well.

This is definitely a place I want to go again, but this time I’ll make sure to share the fish with someone else, Shabana can’t be just an observer drinking teh ais again.

shabana - my partner in crime
shabana – my partner in crime

If you’re in town looking for some good ikan bakar, this is one place to check out. Getting there is as easy as taking the LRT and getting off at Dato’ Keramat station.

map to dato' keramat ikan bakar

Address:
Mat Teh Ikan Bakar
Dato’ Keramat Wet Market
Opposite Dato’ Keramat LRT
Jalan Dato’ Keramat
GPS3.166079, 101.730992
Tel: 016-336 2123

Last week I managed to catch the Lipton Tea Bar Roadshow while they were at Ampang Park, the oldest shopping mall in the country, and also one of our regular lunch spots since my office is just a stone’s throw away.

Lipton Mobile Roadshow at Ampang Park
Lipton Tea Bar Roadshow at Ampang Park

It was this bright yellow Lipton truck with a line of people queuing up for a taste of some exciting Lipton Tea Twist drinks that is slightly away from the ordinary. Since my colleague and I had just finished lunch, it was the perfect timing.

The truck is actually the very first Lipton Tea Bar on the move in Malaysia!

the guys are so happy serving free iced tea to everyone
the guys are so happy serving free Lipton Tea Twist drinks to everyone

The teas served on the mobile tea bar aren’t your ordinary tea, but created with recipes from celebrity Chef Nik Michael Imran with Lipton Tea Bag and add in other simple home ingredients like oranges or lime!  You can easily replicate this drink at home! Its really a new way to enjoy Lipton Tea Bags! .

We tried the Honey Lemongrass Tea, Paradise Sunrise, and Mo-Tea-Jo. They were very refreshing and rather delicious to be honest. Perfect for hot sunny afternoon.

Check out facebook.com/LiptonMalaysia to see where the Lipton Tea Bar will be at and get yourself into the free tasting line!

we tried three different recipes that day
we tried three different recipes that day

However, if you want to try this at home, here are a couple recipes from Chef Nik you can try at home:

Paradise Sunrise (with lychee, my favorite)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lipton Yellow Label teabag
  • 5 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoon lychee juice
  • 3 teaspoon sugar
  • 75ml hot water
  • ice cubes

Instructions:

  • brew teabag with boiled water for 3-5 minutes
  • add sugar and stir till dissolve
  • add some ice to chill the tea mixture, then add in orange juice and lychee juice, stir well
  • garnish with orange slices and lychee pieces

my colleague Shabana & I were grateful for the thirst quenchers
my colleague Shabana & I were grateful for the thirst quenchers

Honey Lemongrass Tea

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lipton Yellow Label teabag
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 2 medium sized lemongrass
  • 100ml hot water
  • ice cubes

Instructions:

  • crush & boil lemongrass in water for 3 minutes
  • steep teabag in lemongrass water for 5 minutes, squeeze & discard
  • add in honey & stir well
  • to serve hot, add an equal portion of hot water. To serve cold, pour tea over a glass filled with ice