Continuation of this year's Ramadan series highlighting the top 5 dishes from five hotel buka puasa buffets
Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel unleashes its multinational culinary force to cook up a gastronomic feast for buka puasa at its halal-certified Essence restaurant until 6 August. At the sneak preview, we were treated to a plethora of specialities from around the world but the best of the best ranks as such:
1. The All Star Steamboat
Its all-star billing is no joke. Imagine having to pick one out of six types of broths: Jonker Street Asam Pedas, Thai Tom Yam, Penang Nyonya Curry, Chicken Soto, Napoli (Italian) Beef Braising Broth and Secret Seafood but take heart, each table will get at least a choice of two so you'd have a steamy time all right. We haven't even touch on the vast array of meat, fish, seafood, vegetables, noodles, fish balls and fish paste items that you can select...but I'm sure you get the idea.
2. Sup Tulang Merah
From down south comes this hearty, full bodied Singapore-style lamb stew. Fiery red but deeply rustic and bursting with deep-seated tomato flavour, I love every spoonful of it.
3. Yemeni Mandy Lamb Rice
Similar to briyani, this saffron-scented rice with roast lamb, fresh coriander and crispy fried shallot is a comforting treat that leaves you replete. Spoon some of that chunky tomato sauce (its enticing flavour reminds me of salsa) over the fluffy grains to temper the dish's richness. The Mandy Rice is available for take away at Toastina Café & Bar from 4pm until 6pm until 6 August at RM15nett per person.
4. Oppa Kandar Style Daging Masak Hitam
Once you have a bite of this superb tasting beef dish, you'd gladly cross over to the "dark side" ;D The depths of briny-sweet, spiced accents are gradually released as you masticate and chew on the tender beef cubes. Kinda like beef jerky but juicier.
This speciality is part of the Penang Nasi Kandar-type array such as spicy Hj Kassim Fish Head Curry, crispy Mamak-style Battered Fried Squid and delicious Hj Kundur Honeyed Chicken that will be served as part of the hotel's lavish buka puasa buffet.
5. Kuih Bakar
One of my perennial favourites, this custardy-spongy local cake's appeal lies in its slightly toasty crust sprinkled with sesame seeds on top. In the East Coast, the eggy, pandan-flavoured and floral shaped treat is also known as Kuih Kemboja.
What else should you zoom in on? For starters, choice picks include Kerabu Jantung Pisang (banana flower salad), Ox Tongue Percik Salad (only if you love offal and such), grilled sugarcane chicken salad (nice and moist, this Vietnamese-inspired delight really hits the spot) and Stuffed Marinated Prawns with Young Mango Salad.
Don't know about 'apa lagi Cina mau' (what else does the Chinese want) but at this feast, I guarantee you will surely 'mau makan' (wanna eat) some Hot & Spicy Tiger Prawns with Oats and Kowloon-style Steamed Half Shell Scallops with Black Beans.
Even the resident Italian chef refuses to be outdone...chef Alessandro Graziosi will proffer his Herb-braised Beef Prime Ribs with Potato Mille Feuille and a super-rich Cannelloni Spinach & Ricotta Gratin with Parmesan Bechamel Sauce.
To sweeten you up, there's evergreen favourites of Home Made Durian Crepe (a boon for durian lovers), Traditional Tapai Pulut (love the tingly effect this fermented creation has on the palate) wrapped in rubber leaves and Kuih Cara Berlauk (savoury little cakes filled with spicy meat or dried prawn filling) to name but a few.
Essence's buka puasa buffet is priced at RM108++ per person. For reservations, call Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel’s Essence restaurant, +60 3 2717 9933 or go online www.sheraton.com/imperialkualalumpur for further details.