Chef Abd Razak Omar and his Paya Serai brigade has been doling out a vast array of Malaysiana for over three decades now. The seasoned culinary team is showcasing Everything Malaysian buffet-style now until 14 December. Every night, Paya Serai’s most iconic dishes will take pride of place and tempt diners.
Biryani in Claypot with Chicken Tikka Masala will serve as the antidote to Monday blues. Cooked to fluffy perfection, we enjoyed every mouthful of the spice-scented basmati rice embedded with delectable chunks of chicken at the recent media preview.
Tuesday evenings herald the appearance of comforting Gulai Kawah or Lamb Stew with Local Herbs & Tapioca. Redolent with heady ground spices and local herbs, feisty flavours hugged the tantalising curry chockful of marrow-rich bones and tender meat that enticed us to pile on more rice to complement the speciality.
The classic Chinese dish of Braised Eight Treasure Duck slated for Wednesdays hit the sweet spot for me. Filled with dices of carrot, baby corn and mushroom, I was filled with nostalgia as I savoured the fall-off-the-bone tender duck meat.
Chef Abd Razak’s signature Salmon Fish Head Curry with Yoghurt is the show-stopper come Thursday nights. We relished the complex spice profile of the rich, creamy curry doused over plain rice.
Die-hard fans of Paya Serai will also be delighted to know top billing fare such as Assam Pedas Melaka, Beef Rendang, Ayam Bakar Palembang and Chef Suhaimi Juri’s much-requested Nyonya Curry Laksa are part of the crowd-pleasing culinary entourage.
SARAWAKIAN FOOD FEST (6 November – 14 December)
From the Land of Hornbills, Sarawakian native and guest chef Jamilah Raduan of Hilton Kuching will tantalise the tastebuds with a repertoire of authentic Sarawakian delicacies.
The gastronomic spectrum of distinctive Sarawakian dishes reflects the state’s diverse multi-cultural tapestry and culinary heritage. Opening gambits to tease the palate include Fish Umai, Rojak Sarawak, Rebung Bercili and Nenas Sarikei.
Locally made belacan (shrimp paste) lent a savoury depth to the dark treacle-like sauce for Rojak Sarawak. Used as a dressing to toss the hodge-podge of green papaya, yambean, pineapple, mango and cucumber, the mouth-watering fruit salad primed our palate for the state’s other mainstays.
We then grappled with the fleshy terubok, Sarawak’s native fish known as ‘toli shad’ or Chinese herring. Just proceed with caution as the delicious Baked Terubok with Special Sambal is riddled with small needle-fine bones.
Chicken Cooked in Bamboo a.k.a. ayam pansuh proved easier to handle as the speciality consists of chopped chicken pieces cooked with native herbs stuffed into tubular bamboo.
Expect hot, zingy accents to leave your tongue tingling when you sample dishes such as Black Pepper Beef and Rebung Goreng Bercili – Bamboo Shoots Stir-fried with Chilli Paste and Oyster Sauce. The ingredients used are representative of Sarawak’s seamless melding of its wondrous multi-cultural diversity; a cohesive mingling of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous communities.
Colourful and intricate Sarawakian Layer Cakes flavoured with vanilla, banana or mint with chocolate will ensure you leave on a sweet note from the Sarawakian Food Fest at Paya Serai.
For reservations, please call Paya Serai, Hilton Petaling Jaya, tel: 03-2264 2496 or visit: Zestpj.com