Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A CHRISTMAS FAIRY TALE FEAST AT LE MERIDIEN PUTRAJAYA


Chicken Mushroom and Sweet Onion Pie. Norwegian Salmon with Apricot Gravlax. Whole Roasted Turkey with Bread Chestnut Stuffing. Christmas Mince Pie and Pudding. Gingerbread Men. Stollen. Chocolate Madeleines.
A fairy tale parade of festive food to leave year-end party revellers replete awaits at Le Meridien Putrajaya. The culinary team has gone and pulled out the stops, creating a mesmerising wonderland to please the eyes, tease the tastebuds and satisfy growling stomachs.
 
Get off to a fresh start with healthy and delicious salads such as Smoked Duck Cubes, Orange Segments and Pomegranate Salad, Microgreens with Roasted Garlic and Poached Pears, Mediterranean Couscous Salad, and Edamame with Seafood Salad. The multitude of textures and bright, tantalising flavours are light yet distinct; a splendid way to prime the palate for more substantial mains.
As with any buffet spread, it pays to be selective. Encased in buttery-rich pastry crust, the Chicken Mushroom and Sweet Onion Pie is delectable enough to warrant a second helping.
 
Tender with a hint of honey sweetness, the succulent slices of Norwegian Salmon with Apricot Gravlax hits the spot too. For finger-licking goodness, sample some Louisiana BBQ Short Ribs with Roast Vegetables.
 
Fans of ‘big bird’ will be ecstatic to know the Yuletide buffet won’t be complete without Whole Roasted Turkey with Bread Chestnut Stuffing. The meat is scrumptious; best savoured with giblet gravy, cranberry sauce and a hearty portion of herb-dusted bread chestnut stuffing.
Pastry Chef Hansraja Jayaraman and his team also step up to the plate with a cornucopia of cherished Christmas treats. One of the show-stealers is Poached Peach Buche De Noel – a luscious French yule log with a creamy filling of poached peach instead of chocolate ganache.
Another on-point favourite is Stollen – its bread-like texture studded with bits of dried fruit. Touched with spices and slightly nutty to taste, the Assorted Christmas Cookies make compelling nibbles to sweeten the celebratory meal.
 
 
 
Whimsical accents abound with little chocolate men adorning glasses of Chilled Berry Jellies, cute marzipan figurines perched atop a snow-white Gingered Christmas Fruit Cake, and mini gingerbread men flanking Gingerbread Houses.
 
 
A Christmas Mince Pie, Chocolate Madeleines, Mini Christmas Puddings, Macarons and an Eclair Tower complete the irresistible dessert parade.
The Christmas Eve dinner buffet is priced at RM168 nett per adult and RM84 nett per child. The Christmas Day brunch is priced at RM148 nett per adult and RM74 nett per child, while the Christmas Day buffet dinner is priced at RM138 nett per adult and RM69 nett per child.

For reservations, call LATEST RECIPE, tel: 03-8689 6888/6862. Address: Le Meridien Putrajaya, Lebuh IRC, IOI Resort City, Putrajaya, Sepang, Selangor.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

EAT, DRINK & PARTY AT SPG BY BIJAN


How about a Stinkini to shake up and stir the sedate KL cocktail and food pairing scene? The SPG by Bijan team has picked up the mixology gauntlet and boldly infused our pickled petai (stinkbeans) with martini and dry vermouth to wet the brave soul’s whistle. A tipple to knock your socks off and just the drink to introduce your foreign friends to, in time for Visit Malaysia Year 2020.
 
 
Inspired by the (in)famous Sarong Party Girl (SPG) – Malaysian and Singaporean lasses who prefer to date and nab an expat partner/husband – SPG by Bijan is a literal take on their soirées or sarong parties. Evocative of a playful love child, the bar cum restaurant exudes new-age creativity, marrying typical Malaysian elements and ingredients with regional Indonesian, Chinese and Indian influences.
 
 
Located in a bungalow adjacent to Bijan, SPG flaunts vibrant, alluring walls of peacock blue, fuchsia and green, accentuated with retro vent blocks, and Insta-worthy floral batik murals.
 
 
The shaded terrace lounge beckons invitingly with an eclectic mix of rattan and cane, modern and esoteric furniture in lush jewel tones. Complementing it is an ornate Peranakan tiled bar. A private room with similarly articulated décor and elegant setting for more exclusive dining and celebratory affairs is available.
 
Aside from the Stinkini, a plethora of inventive Asian-inspired signature cocktails such as Yellow Fever (gin, turmeric, honey and tonic water), Hit the Cocojito (white rum, lime, coconut water and mint) and Asam Pedas (tequila, triple sec and tamarind juice) is designed to match SPG’s creative cornucopia of bite-size snacks and hot-off-the-grill servings.
 

A fab example of the bodacious and tongue-in-cheek eats with flirty twists here is the Basic SPG set comprising Ah Ran Sini (Italian arancini transformed into deep-fried rice balls bearing our iconic nasi lemak flavours), Pais Barramundi (grilled barramundi parcel infused with turmeric, coconut, and Malaysian spices then wrapped in edible banana ‘leather’) and Grilled Calamari with Sambal Belacan.
 
 
 
Show-stoppers like Jackfruit Rendang Bao (young jackfruit cooked rendang-style, pulled and piled onto toasted mantou buns), Lidah & Sambal (succulent braised and seared ox tongue served with sambal hitam) and Roti Jala Tiffin (a triple tier tiffin of lacy pancakes with kaffir lime chicken curry, fish floss and anchovy sambal) roused effusive praises during the preview. We were simply bowled over by the sheer ingenuity of the different items; how such familiar and cherished eats can be dialled up to more sophisticated, cosmopolitan levels.
 
The mixology team hasn’t overlook the mocktail aspect either. Non-alcoholic drinkers can raise a glass to Bluepea Tonic – a concoction of honey and lemon topped with blue peaflower syrup and Kedondong Kampung – a salty, sour and tangy blend of umbra, calamansi and sour plum.
 

SPG’s house-curated sambals: Sambal Hitam (black), Sambal Hijau (green), and Sambal Merah (red) are pivotal in amping up the sizzling appeal of its from-the-grill fare. Whether it’s Angus Oyster Blade, Lamb Loin, or Satay (Chicken and Beef), we highly recommend them as they’re cooked to order and absolutely scrumptious.
 
 
Equally notable are the ginger-soy sauce marinated Chicken Kicap Skewers and Duck Skewers (marinated duck leg meat grilled then served with green sambal). Meaty and superbly suffused with aromatic spices, they taste somewhat different from satay but no less sublime.  
 
For a healthy spin, we suggest the exquisite Pan-seared Black Pomfret, served with a zingy coconut and galangal sauce. It’s a pairing made in gastronomic heaven with Sekinchan – tri-colour rice and quinoa with pulled chicken, Asian pesto, rice crackers, and crispy chicken skin.
 
The dessert department shines the spotlight on Pulut Mango Cake, a light confection of chilled mango mousse and coconut glutinous rice on a buttery biscuit base, topped with dices of fresh mangoes that promises satisfaction minus the calorie overload.
Chef Raziz's the man behind those raveworthy culinary inspirations 

Alternatively, go Bananas Over Bananas. A bonanza of banana components encompassing housemade banana ice cream and smoky caramelised bananas in a dehydrated banana cone to leave you ‘peeling’ good.
 
For reservations, please call SPG by Bijan, tel: 03 2022 3575. Address: No.3A Jalan Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur. Business hours: Open daily from 12 noon till 12 midnight.