Traditional dishes and songs by the flamboyant Jaafar Onn and Haiza put Tan Bee Hong in a nostalgic mood
THE riotous aromas usually associated with a kampung kitchen and the dulcet voices of Haiza and Jaafar Onn will get you into the festive mood. This combination alone promises to be one memorable dining experience.
The talented, flamboyant Jaafar is also a celebrity chef who is contributing recipes to the buffet spread so you’ll get to taste his permaisuri rice, chicken dayang senandung, beef masak embun and tempoyak roast beef. He will also give demonstrations on how to cook the dishes.
And that’s not all, though it’s enough to draw the crowd to the Selera Kampung Bersama Jaafar Onn at Checkers Cafe in Dorsett Regency in Kuala Lumpur. There will also be other types of cuisine and a lucky draw every night.
Pastry chef Badrol Hisham Mohd Ali has a surprise in store. His Kek Budaya Dorsett is one made for the occasion, with nuances borrowed from Malay, nyonya and western influences. It looks like cheesecake but don’t be fooled. The base is made of vanilla sponge and on this, Badrol has created what is probably the first tapai custard topping for a cake. Using fermented glutinous rice and ordinary rice, he has transformed the two ingredients into a smooth custard with that unique taste of tapai. He tinges the top blue with dye from bunga telang. Eat this with vanilla ice cream and get a taste of the wow factor.
QUENCH YOUR THIRST
Start with a cool drink of soya bean, syrup, cincau or sugar cane from the drinks counter before you get enticed by the various types of kerabu, western salad or seafood on ice.
The different types of kerabu come in cute little portions on individual spoons. I love the jackfruit, green mango and tempeh kerabu as well as acar buah. Or have ulam with all kinds of dips, from sambal belacan and tempoyak to budu and cencaluk.
Soup is a must. The venison soup with heady spices and carrot and potato, is a fragrant brew. Just add chopped scallions and browned shallots.
Mee rebus utara is delicious, with a thick sweet gravy on yellow noodles with fish ball, fritters, potato and a squeeze of lime.
Along one side of the cafe, sushi and sashimi stand side by side satay, fish and kebab grilled a la minute as well as biryani gam baby lamb. The rice is fragrant and the lamb so tender and juicy. Or go for chicken rice, with a choice of poached chicken, roast chicken and even boneless chicken char xiu.
On the island buffet spread, gleaming trays of kampung dishes await. These demand helpings of rice and daily, there will be steamed rice and flavoured rice. Perfect for eating with spicy hot rendang, catfish in tempoyak gravy, lamb vindaloo, ayam masak merah, petai and prawn sambal and stingray in asam pedas gravy. Siput sedut is hot. I mean really fiery. It’s cooked in a turmeric gravy with chilli padi, so be careful if you don’t want lips swollen from sucking the snails.
There are milder offerings. Deep fried fish with coriander lemon sauce is a dish you’ll be going back for second helpings of. And there’s wok fried garlic vegetables and chicken with tofu and mushrooms.
KUIH AND CAKES
There are western and Malay offerings on the dessert table. Kuih is popular and there are many varieties including honey-comb cake, kuih lapis, ondeh-ondeh and kuih talam. Prefer something hot? There’s serawa durian and banana, bubur green peas and black glutinous rice. Then end the meal with a cup of steaming hot teh tarik or coffee. Ah, bliss!
Dorsett Regency Hotel Kuala Lumpur, 172 Jalan Imbi, KL
Tel: 03-2716 1000. Website: www.kosmohotels.com
Promotion is from 7pm to 10.30pm.
Rendang and biryani gum baby lamb.
RM80++. 50 per cent discount for senior citizen above 55 and child 4-12.
Cheerful Ramadan mood
Go give it a try.