Thursday, July 10, 2014


                                                                 HOMECOMING HAVEN

A serene haven to buka puasa away from the city's madding crowd. Chef Badrul and his team's earnest TLC shine through the plethora of classic kampung dishes laid out. Familiar favourites should evoke good memories of one's hometown or village. Our top 3 picks:

1) Ayam masak merah - red, hot and stunningly sumptuous like how an excellent ayam masak merah should be. Am salivating at the very thought of its delicious taste that had lodged itself firmly in my memory bank.

2) Asam pedas oxtail - this is a dark horse (should that be cow?) of a dish. Granted, it is not much to look at all but oh, it will take you a long time to forget the robustness of that spicy-tangy gravy and the slightly gristly texture of the oxtail chunks. A winner in our book!
3) Satay - Good enough to rival those in Kajang...the chunky pieces of beef and chicken (all meat no fatty skin) suffused with tasty marinade that are good enough on their own

At RM69 per head, this is one buffet that's a real steal in the city. Since the hotel is spanking new, I daresay the staff is eager to please too. Trust me, you'd be much better off here than jostling with the hordes elsewhere.

Curvz Cafe, Silka Cheras, KM10, Jalan Cheras, KL. Tel: 03-9100 1133

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One Semenanjung, One World and one buffet of epic proportions that cover Malay, Indian, Chinese, Nyonya, Eurasian and European specialities at one go nightly. Whether it's  soto ayam and sup ekor pedas or nasi pelangi with gulai kawah and puyuh goreng berempah you crave, the parade of splendid offerings should leave you replete.   

And we haven't even touch on the luscious dessert line-up yet: cendol, pandan kurma mousse and tapai pulut among others to sweeten your dining experience. 
1) Irish lamb stew - gentle on your tums for buka puasa after a day-long fast. Wholesome, nutritious and satisfying soup for the soul...truly comfort food at its best. Chunky cubed lamb adds textural interest and oomph!

2) Fried spiced prawns - zingy on the tongue without rendering it numb, these crustaceans are springy to the bite and redolent with the scent of heady spices. Don't even think of stopping at!

3) Twisted donuts - their airy-light sponginess had me smitten at first bite. Glittering with fine caster sugar, this dainty offering is just the right size to leave guilt-free from scarfing it down ;-D
Of course, there's abundant other delicious choices on the line-up but be selective and you'd get better bang for your buck minus the risk of overindulging. Price: RM128++  per adult

Cinnamon Coffee House, One World Hotel, First Avenue, Bandar Utama City Centre, Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel: 03-7681 1157 

Specially prepared for Iftar, Temptations are aplenty with local and Asian specialties whet the appetite. Break your fast with healthy servings of gado gado, pasembur and bubur lambuk before enjoying nasi minyak, nasi tomato and nasi bukhari. 

Whole lamb with percik sauce, daging Palembang, udang harimau masak lemak cili padi, otak-otak kuah padang and other goodies should leave you replete. 
1) Kerabu sotong - tangy-briny local salad with chewy squid pieces flecked with grated coconut; perfect appetite stimulator to kick-start buka puasa
2) Labu masak lemak putih - possibly one of the simplest but yummiest curry ever. Pumpkin simmered in spiced coconut milk gravy resulting in a delicately sweet but flavourful curry.

3) Kek lapis - a traditional classic that one never tires of. Well-spiced and buttery, this is one of the best treats to conclude a lavish dinner.
The three dishes are mere percursors to the entire range of dishes available so don't restrain yourself to that. Notable picks in our book include tiger prawns in turmeric curry, assorted Malay kuihs, grilled fish, fish serunding with lemang, and lamb curry.

Priced at RM108++ per person; RM88.16nett per person from 24 July to 27 July

TEMPTationS, East Wing, Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Corner of Jalan Ampang and Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2162 2233

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Return to your roots with a wide array of nostalgic dishes that will propel you to Balik Kampung, at least culinary-wise. Apart from cherished Malay fare, the Grand Hyatt team has trotted out a vast array of multi-cultural specialities; from murtabak and laksa Johor to chicken tandoori and beef shawarma with pita bread.

1) Paneer Makhani - another pared down offering that has diced cottage cheese cooked with cream and masala powder; slightly spongy to the bite, the mild cheese is the ideal foil to flaunt the myriad of spices used to cook it
2) Roast lamb percik with Briyani Rice - studded with cherry tomatoes, the fluffy grains make a superb match with the percik-rubbed roast lamb. Wickedly delectable!
3) Prawns cooked in bird's eye chilli sambal - deliciously punchy with tongue-tingling chilli and spice blend. Best with rice naturally.
Sweet endings come in the form of pandan chiffon cake, kek lapis Sarawak, bubur pulut hitam and cendol. The young and young at heart will have a field day with old-school tubular ice lollies and kuihs.

Available until 25 July, the nightly buffet dinner (7pm to 10pm) is priced at RM148++ per adult inclusive of chilled juices, barley, teh tarik and other local beverages. 

JP Teres, Ground Floor, Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, 12, Jalan Pinang, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2182 1234 ext 2333

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