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Chef Hazif Ramli and his team are borrowing recipes from their mothers for the season, writes Tan Bee Hong
I DOUBT if many mothers make gearbox soup much but this spicy brew is one of the most popular items at the Seenak Warisan Ibunda promotion in Kitchen Art Brasserie at Empire Hotel Subang.
There seems to be a serving of chef Hazif Ramli’s specialty on every table. The rich soup is so named because the huge bone is reminiscent of the gear shift in a car. It’s filled with marrow and diners are offered fat straws to suck this up. Trying to dig into hollow bone with a spoon is not quite the elegant thing to do at the table. The bones, according to Hazif, are simmered for at least six hours to bring out the flavour and to soften the marrow and gelatinous meat around them.
Diners walk past the dessert counter and the gearbox soup stall to get to their tables. There are dates, figs and fresh fruit. But you may prefer a sweet start with kuih muih, cakes and puddings or serawa durian, bubur pulut and bubur kacang. Or cool down with iced syrupy drinks, soya bean and fruit juices set up at the verandah outside the restaurant. This is also where the gear box soup stall is set up and where you can get freshly rolled popiah.
Instead of promoting cuisine from all over the country, Kitchen Art will go regional, starting with Perak specialties from July 21 to 30. It’s Kelantanese cuisine from July 31 to Aug 8 followed by Negri Sembilan dishes till Aug 18.
Many of the appetisers, such as kerabu, come in small portions on little saucers. Glass noodles and pasta, fruit acar and minced beef with capsicum... all look tempting on the buffet table. Salted fish are bite-sized and even tauhu sumbat is cut in quarters rather than halves. There are all kinds of ulam to go with various sambal and dips too.
The grilled seafood counter attracts a queue, drawn by both the aroma and sound of sizzling as fish wrapped in banana leaves and crabs are cooked on the hot plate.
Hot dishes are served in claypots to keep them warm. Rendang tok, lamb kurma, catfish in sambal, buttered prawns, omelette, chicken curry and sambal clams are replenished as fast as they disappear.
The noodles station is popular. Who can resist laksa utara or char kway teow dished up a la minute?
If you want to see some action, get out to the verandah where chefs are busy carving roast lamb, chopping ayam percik and grilling satay. The chicken satay is succulent and so well marinated you don’t even need the peanut sauce dip.
Next to the satay stall, the chef is busy frying fritters, both sweet and savoury. Vegetable fritters are lovely with the chilli sauce dip and for something sweet, cempedak and mashed banana fritters are tops.
Kitchen Art Brasserie
2nd Floor, Empire Hotel Subang
Jalan SS16/1, Subang Jaya, Selangor
Tel 03-5565 1388
Promotion daily from 7pm to 10pm.
Mum’s heritage dishes.
Gear box soup and satay.
RM86++ and RM50++ (child and senior citizen). Buy eight and get one free (group). Lucky draws daily.
Bustling with ghazal performance.
Go give it a try.