Friday, May 26, 2017

TEN FESTIVE DISHES AT FEAST VILLAGE


Buka puasa, the breaking of fast period marks an opportune time for Malaysians to join their Muslim friends for cordial makan sessions. During the holy fasting month, typical Malay fare especially home-style dishes and rare kampung specialities from other states rule supreme and this scenario is rife at food bazaars and buffet spreads.
Anyone with a penchant for rich, spice-laden eats will find irresistible choice eats aplenty at Feast Village, prepared by the JW Marriott KL team. From the sneak preview, these 10 dishes rank highly in my list:

1. KARI KAMBING
As with most curries, this goat meat curry don’t look appealing at first sight. Dig into the fiery-red, creamy gravy and let the warm accents of cloves and cardamoms among other spices spread onto your tastebuds. Presto! The bursts of bright, robust flavours shall win you over.

2. AYAM GORENG BEREMPAH
What’s not to like when there’s crispy fried chicken thoroughly suffused with its marinade of turmeric and assorted spices? I challenge you to restrain yourself and eat just one piece...

3. IKAN PATIN MASAK TEMPOYAK
A whiff of tempoyak (fermented durian) from this classic Pahang dish either makes you gag in despair or gasp with delight. I belong to the latter and would go sniffing for this speciality every fasting month. Call me weird but I thoroughly relish the fishy odour mingled with odious tempoyak aroma along with the tart bite of the tangy gravy and the fish’s lustrous firmness with gusto. Perhaps you would too?

4. MEEHOON SUP UTARA
This soupy noodle dish from the northern states is kinda like soto, only the spices perfuming the broth are several notches subtler but no less aromatic. Beware of the stealthy chilli heat that lingers behind, leaving you a little hot under the collar.

5. AYAM MASAK BERLADA
Somewhat familiar yet different, this speciality is comparable to ayam masak merah albeit with more prominent chilli overtones. The well-rounded chilli paste has enough zing to light up the palate and stimulate the appetite. A surefire winner.



6. IKAN MASIN TALANG MASAK LEMAK NENAS
Robust, strong flavours notable enough to leave ikan masin fans raving with enthusiasm. Excellent for dousing onto plain rice as the rich coconut milk and spice gravy tempers the briny edge of the chunks of salted fish.

7. KAMBING KURMA

Warm, inviting spice accents amplified by santan-rich gravy make this thick meaty curry with onion and potato a most compelling crowd-pleaser. A viable option for those who cannot stand the heat of chilli-hot offerings but if you're trying to avoid card-loading, sample this at your own peril.

8. SATAY
A perennial buka puasa fave that cuts across age and race barriers. Both the skewers of marinated chicken and beef are grilled on the spot so they're delectable. Personally, I'd recommend the beef satay for the meat's pleasing gaminess and tender texture.


9. SAMBAL UDANG MASAK PETAI
Prices of petai or stink beans have skyrocketed as more people learn the inherent goodness of this humble vegetable. Prepared in a sweetish onion sambal with prawns, this piquant speciality should leave many a city dweller yearning fervently for their kampung halaman.


10. CHOCOLATE PUDDING
Bewitchingly dark, moist and rich, a small serving is enough to leave you up in chocolatey heaven. Voluptuous nuances of buttery cocoa coat the tongue, leaving a big impression on the palate. Worth ditching the diet for. Yours truly was so smitten, no pix was taken before the decadent serving got wiped out. ;p

As with any buffet, there are hits and misses. For instance, the Pajeri Nenas was a tad too soft but still okay for whetting the appetite. A selection of fresh ulam and kerabu makes for healthier eating when faced with an impossible array of heavy dishes. There's also fruit rojak which passes muster even though the sauce lacks the strong, savoury otak udang (treacly prawn paste) taste.

If you don't fancy Roast Lamb - the primary centrepiece of every buka puasa buffet - head over to the Ikan Bakar section for your fill of grilled fish rubbed with spice and chilli paste. Assorted dips are available to complement the piping hot offerings.
 
Dessert choices are extensive with the sweet selection running the gamut from Jellies and Puddings to Fresh Fruits and Local Kuih: Sago Gula Melaka, Onde-onde and Kuih Ketayap among others.
Priced at RM98 nett per person, the JW Marriott KL Kampong Festive Dining Experience buffet is available from 27 May to 24 June from 7pm to 10.30pm. For reservations, please call Feast Village, tel: 03-2782 9099.

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