Here are a few suggestions on where to go for nostalgic fare
HARI Raya Aidilfitri is in two days’ time. Oh, I can just see tables laden with rendang, satay, ketupat and lemang. Don’t forget the kuih muih and cookies either.
But while many of us celebrate with family and friends at open houses, some prefer the convenience of dining in hotel restaurants. Indeed, Hari Raya buffets are looked forward to with as much enthusiasm as Ramadan buffets. Surely most customers are non-Muslims who take the opportunity to get a taste of kampung cuisine?
Hasma Ahmad, PR consultant at Hotel Royal Kuala Lumpur, begs to differ. She says: “We do have a number of Muslim customers. It’s a holiday and some people want to relax, not sweat it out in the kitchen. So they host their friends at the hotel instead. Others may be unable to balik kampung on that day for some reason or other, so they come for nostalgic food.”
Dynasty Hotel group marketing communications manager Chan Lai San agrees. She says. “There are not many open houses in the city on the first two days as most people balik kampung. Rather than cook, those with small families prefer to eat out.”
(Hotel Royal KL, Jalan Walter Granier, Kuala Lumpur)
This Hari Raya, sous chef Mohd Hafif Mohd Saleh is dishing up ketupat, serunding, lemang, rendang, dodol, roti jala, chicken curry, soto madura, kuih muih and pastries for hi-tea. Customers not only get a lovely spread but they can also do their part for charity. Buy butterfly mugs (RM10 each) in hues of green, purple, blue or pink and help build a playground for orphans of Rumah Tunas Harapan Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Kuala Selangor. The home has 53 children of different races.
Aug 19-21, noon to 4.30pm. Price: RM55 (adults). Children (6-12) and senior citizens pay half price. Tel: 03-2148 6888.
ASEANA COFFEE HOUSE
(Dynasty Hotel, 218 Jalan Ipoh KL)
Celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri with a hi-tea buffet spread of traditional favourites such as nasi impit with peanut sambal, nasi biryani gam, lemang and beef rendang. Fried chicken is marinated with local herbs and spices to give it a Malaysian twist while there are many more items such as buttered prawns, fried spring rolls, lamb maysara and curry noodles.
Of course there will be the tantalising spread of sweets that include wajik, dodol, kuih bahulu, agar-agar santan, kuih kole kacang and pulut hitam.
Aug 19-20, 11.30am to 4pm. Price: RM39++ (adult) and RM19.50 (child below 12). Call 03-4043 7777
(G Hotel, 168A Gurney Drive, Penang)
Chicken stuffed with prawn serunding and baked for two hours. Grilled fish with a sambal selasih dip. Lamb kebab scented with bunga kantan, nutmeg and cinnamon. Crab rendang.
These are just some of the 100 items and action stalls that chef Hamizi is planning for G Cafe’s Salam Aidil Fitri lunch and dinner buffet. There will also be western pastries and local favourites such as sago gula melaka, onde onde and kuih lapis.
Aug 19-20. Lunch: Noon to 2.30pm. Price: RM68++ (adult) and RM34++ (child 7-12). Dinner: RM88++ (adult) and RM44++ (child). Call 04-238 0000 |
(Mandarin Oriental KL, Kuala Lumpur City Centre)
Over 100 dishes will be laid out at Mosaic to celebrate Hari Raya. Start with gado-gado, rojak, soto ayam, ulam kampung, tauhu sumbat, kerabu jantung pisang, kerabu pucuk paku and kerabu daun selom. Hearty, festive fare include lemang, ayam percik, daging dendeng, nasi minyak, chicken and beef satay, murtabak, roti canai, sambal udang petai, lala lemak cili padi and chicken rendang.
Or pick international items including Romanapot, braised Sardinian lamb ragout with fennel, tandoori chicken, kung po chicken, wok fried beef with black bean sauce, pasta lamb biryani and Madras fish curry.
Dessert includes bubur pulut hitam, bubur cha-cha, pengat keledek, dates, kuih-muih, ice kacang, cendol with red bean and more.
Aug 19-20. Lunch: 12.30pm to 3pm. Price: RM88++. Dinner: 7pm to 11pm. Price: RM108++. Children (4-12) pay half price. Call 03-2380 8888.
MELTING POT CAFE
(Concorde Hotel, Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL)
Pasembor, sotong kangkung, rendang tok, lemang and lontong are festive must-haves that are part of the Hari Raya buffet hi-tea at Melting Pot Cafe. The menu also includes roti John, smoked chicken wings, mee bandung, laksa and waffles as well as sushi, salads and a cheese board.
The spread gets bigger at dinner time. Think beef rib rendang with lontong and lemang, chicken nasi biryani, daging dendeng for kampung favourites. How about seafood on ice (fresh oysters, scallops, sea asparagus) and sashimi? Chefs at action stations dish out teppanyaki salmon, chicken, beef and squid as well as local noodles and pasta varieties.
Then hit the dessert counter for hot lava chocolate cake, lemon cued meringue, bubur pulut hitam and pandan creme brulee.
Aug 19-20. Hi-tea: 12.30pm to 4pm. Price: RM58++. Dinner: 6pm to 10pm. Price: RM89++. Call 03-2144 2200
The Silka Hotel group celebrates Hari Raya with festive buffets in its properties around the country, focusing on Malay festive specialties.
• It’s double the celebration with hi-tea at Checkers Cafe and Kapitan Corner in Silka Johor Bahru (Jalan Masai Lama Mukim Plentong, Johor Baru).
Aug 21, noon to 4pm. Price: RM55 nett (adult) and RM30 nett (child). Call 07-360 1000
• In Grand Dorsett Labuan, Victoria’s Brasserie offers a scrumptious spread of local flavours and Hari Raya specialities for dinner.
Aug 21, 6.30pm to 10pm. Price: RM70 nett (adult) and RM49 nett (child). 20 per cent discount (senior citizen). Call +60 87 402 375.
• In Kuala Lumpur, Dorsett Regency in Jalan Imbi has something for the sweet-toothed. Its Hari Raya Dessert Buffet at Checkers Cafe offers a delightful range of kuih muih, French pastries, chocolate fountain, cakes, sweet bubur, ice cream and more. For savoury picks, indulge in pasta, hawker specialities and noodles.
Aug 19-21, 3pm to 5pm. Price: RM15++ (single) and RM28++ (couple). Children (4-12) and senior citizens pay half price. Call 03-2716 1000.
• In Subang Jaya, Selangor, Grand Dorsett Subang’s Raya Buffet Brunch at Terazza Brasserie features local and international varieties from traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian to Western and Japanese cuisine.
Aug 19-21. 11.30am to 4.30pm. Price: RM68++. Call 03-5031 6060.
UTARA COFFEE HOUSE
Hotel Armada, Lorong Utara, Section 52, Petaling Jaya
The Balik Kampung Hi-Tea at Utara Coffee House offers ketupat with kuah kacang, biryani, ayam percik panggang, kari ikan desa, kambing masak merah, lemang with serunding, pulut kuning, daging rendang tok, grilled fish, roast beef and kambing masak merah.
And, in the spirit of muhibbah, you’ll get stir-fried chilli crab, mixed vegetables, roast duck with plum sauce, fried wantan noodles, fish head curry, lamb dalcha, kapitan curry, pan-seared cumin chicken, fish roulade with coriander sauce and mee Jawa.
Aug 19-21. 11.30am to 4pm. Price: RM50++. Call 03- 7954 6888.