Saturday, July 13, 2013

HIGH FIVE OUT OF FIVE (PART 1)


Now that the holy Ramadan month is in full swing, here are the TOP 5 dishes from five hotels' Buka Puasa buffets:

Padang Palate Pleasers at Concorde Hotel KL

If you can't go to Padang, then Padang will come to you. Concorde has brought guest chef Nurdeli Mansorman aka Mak Deli's Warung Nasi Padang Ibunda from Kampung Pauh Kambar, Pariaman from the West Sumatran coast to ignite tastebuds this year.

Rich and tasty thanks to the prevalent use of coconut milk, chillies and spices, the Padang parade should make curry lovers go weak at the knees. Key dishes that you shouldn't miss include:

1. Soto Padang 

The full-bodied, herb and spice-infused broth is soul-satisfyingly good. Rice vermicelli accompanied by chopped beef, fried potato patty, crushed prawn cracker, fried sliced shallot and chopped coriander make it a complete meal that you'd want repeat helpings of. This Soto Padang will be the 'gold standard' which all other soto will be up against in future.


2. Kelio Ayam Nangka

Chunks of chicken immersed in fiery orange, creamy and piquant gravy redolent with aromatic chilli and spices, what's not to like? The composition of spices distinguishes it from our local curries but let me assure you it's no less delicious. Addictive when you douse it liberally over plain white rice.

3. Urat Kaki Lembu

A perennial favourite at most Nasi Padang stalls, this tendon curry boasts toothsome texture to chew over. Again the gravy's lightly creamy but not cloying, with threads of kaffir lime leaves giving it fragrance and subtle accent. A dish that may be an acquired taste for those who isn't used to innards or organ meat but for those who enjoy it, this hits the spot.

4. Terong Balado

One of my all-time favourites when I go for my Nasi Padang fix. The brinjal pieces have a faint toasty nuance to them, smothered in ground chilli and garlic that fires up your palate in a good way. This version is not at all oily which is a big plus point.

5.  Manisan Padang

Grated coconut, coconut milk and sugar are the dominant ingredients for these rustic kuihs - local sweet cakes that are either steamed or deep-fried that are reminiscent of our local version. Notable choices include Godok Batinta (banana fritters with palm sugar), Serabi (Indonesia rice flour pancake with coconut milk sauce or plain grated coconut) and Cenil (chewy Indonesian onde-onde drizzled with coconut milk sauce and palm sugar syrup).

You can dine in comfort at the spacious Concorde Ballroom that's transformed into a Rumah Gadang Minangkabau - a typical Minangkabau big house where the extensive buffet takes centrestage. Surefire hits include local and international fare: roast whole lamb, mee rebus, grilled fish, gulai kawah, nasi beriyani, assorted kerabu salads and serunding.

Price: RM114++ per person with 15% discount for Alliance Bank, CIMB, Hong Leong, Maybank, Public Bank and RHB credit card members.

Call Concorde Hotel KL, tel: 03-2144 2200 or email fbkl@concorde.net for reservations.


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