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Yong tofu with telur masak lemak. Pix by KHOO SU TING.
Xiu mai and fish balls. Pix by KHOO SU TING.
Wide range of appetisers, including ulam ulam.Pix by KHOO SU TING.
Oat coated prawns and fried chicken. Pix by KHOO SU TING.
Grilled crabs and stuffed squid. Pix by KHOO SU TING.
Durian buffet on weekends. Pix by KHOO SU TING.

Located in Putrajaya Botanical Garden, Spring Garden offers diners a breathtaking view of the lake, writes Tan Bee Hong.

THERE is a sense of calm in the tranquil surroundings. We feel the cool vibes but as we approach the Spring Garden restaurant, the aroma of satay on the grill fills the air.

Isn't this a Chinese restaurant? It is, but for the Sajian Nostalgia Kampung promotion during the month of Ramadan, the chefs have brought out their sarongs to giling, tumis and bakar the traditional way.

The restaurant sits on the edge of the lake, offering an unobstructed view of the water. There's a choice of air-conditioned rooms as well as al fresco dining.

STARTERS AND DURIAN

Tables of drinks, appetisers and sweet pastries (including dates) line the entrance, so if you prefer to break fast with a cold drink and something sweet, this is where you go. Fresh fruit, pastries such as ondeh-ondeh, kuih lapis, prune layer cake, durian cake are placed next to claypots of pengat durian, lin chi kang and bubur pulut hitam.

There's also stuffed tofu and cut fruit to go with rojak sauce.

On weekends, the highlight is a table groaning under the weight of whole durians, opened to order.

READY FOR ACTION

At one stall, a chef is busy frying noodles (the char kway teow is a delicious choice) and yong chow fried rice. Nearby, another chef is busy frying curry puff, lekor, chicken, beef liver or oat-coated prawns a la Chinese style. There are also fried cempedak, sweet potato, samosa and popiah.

Next to this, you will find a chef grilling fish wrapped in banana leaves, such as stingray, stuffed kembung and stuffed squid as well as flower crabs and satay.

The stuffed kembung is delicious and doesn't even require a dip.

BUFFET MAINS

Further inside the restaurant, a long table is lined with dishes from rice and curry to dim sum such as xiu mai and beancurd roll as well as chicken char xiu bao. The latter is so delicious I find myself taking a second bao.

Nasi biryani goes well with acar and beef rendang or honey-cooked chicken though I enjoy it just as much with the yummy fish head curry. One item, masak lemak hard boiled eggs, is topped with chilli yong tofu.

What I like about the promotion is that diners can have both Malay and Chinese cuisine at the same place.

Spring Garden

• Where: Putrajaya Botanical Garden, Presint 1, Putrajaya

• Tel: 03-8889 1188

• Opening hours: June 8 to July 1, 6.45pm to 9.30pm

• Specialties: Kampung dishes with Chinese cuisine and dim sum Durian buffet on weekends (while stocks last)

• You'll pay

Weekday: RM78nett (adult), RM48 (child)

Weekend: RM88nett (adult), RM58 (child)

• Overall verdict: Go give it a try

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