Guest writer, Polly Szantor, checks out some of the Ramadhan buffets coming up around KL…
Eating at Eccucino, the Prince Hotel’s buffet and a la carte, all-day dining restaurant, is special at any time, but the chance of a sneak peek and taste session of their special Balik Kampung Buffet Feast was an opportunity not to be missed. I was certainly not disappointed, and dinner was everything I would expect from a 5 star hotel.
As I wandered round the buffet I was totally tempted by the Whole Roasted Lamb Kuzi, so that is where I began. Served with Biriyani Rice, it was truly magnificent, a tasty, tender, succulent treat that raised the bar for all the other delicacies in store. And I must admit, they did not fail to please.
Along with the regular buffet dishes, there were several special areas. Chef Shahrom had a station for his specialties, Chicken and Beef Rendang. This was served with a choice of Malay style Chicken or Beef Floss and Lemang, smoky rolls of coconut rice steamed in bamboo. I found the chicken bathed in spices especially delicious. Another station held several varieties of Laksa, along with a dazzling assortment of condiments. I started with my favourite, Curry Laksa, and chose chewy rice noodles to accompany it. Lovely! Then I had a tiny taste of the other sauces, Johor and Laksam, which I’d never tried before. They were both good, but the sweet, coconut intensity of the Laksam made me wish I’d chosen it first!
Next came a special area for Hotpot. There was a choice of various meats, mixed beef cuts, oxtail and chicken, over which was ladled a clear spicy broth. My companion tried this, and between spoonfuls and sounds of appreciation, he announced that it was wonderful and reminded him of home. He was also impressed with the Chicken Shawarma in the Middle Eastern section. I enjoyed the Harira Soup, a hearty combination of chickpeas and lamb in a rich tomato base.
I sampled several dishes from the Silk Road station and I must especially praise the Lamb Moussaka, which was mouth-wateringly rich and savoury. I can also vouch for the Prawn Tikka, Palak Paneer and Baked Mussels with Tomato and Feta. Appetizers included various Kerabu (spicy salads), smoked salmon, fresh and deep-fried Popiah, make-you-own Rojak Buah and a Mezze Bar featuring Dolmah, Hummus, Baba Ganoush and Tzatziki. A special mention must be given to the Tempoyak, fermented durian sambal, which explodes in the mouth with zingy sourness and a touch of heat. It had such a unique flavour that I went back for more.
To end the meal there was a selection of Malay cakes, French pastries, Fruit, Baklava and Chocolate Mousse. There were several desserts built around coconut milk including Burbur Cha Cha, Simmered Jackfruit and my favourite, Sago served with palm sugar and coconut milk. What a superb combination, so unlike the watery, tasteless sago of my English childhood. Children of all ages will enjoy the table of frozen delights, where they can sample Ais Kacang and several flavours of ice cream complete with bountiful toppings and sauces.
The beverages that accompanied the meal were entirely appropriate. Teh Tarik, sweet and spicy Indian tea, and Sirap Bandung Selasih, rose syrup with basil seeds. The tiny basil seeds had no noticeable flavour but provided an intriguing crunch. I was very impressed with the imaginative way the food was served. Salads came in large granite mortars, kuih were placed in tiny individual bamboo steamers and large cakes of dried noodles were to be found here and there, evoking a very modern setting.
This buffet will feature a wonderful array of food; in fact there will be over 100 dishes to choose from, which will include special recipes from across Malaysia not forgetting the Buka Puasa favourite, Burbur Lambok, rice porridge with sliced beef, spices and coconut milk.
The buffet will run from July 20 to August 18 from 6:30 to 10:30 and is priced at RM108++. Children under 12 years will not be charged. There’s an early bird booking offer priced at only RM75++ for dining from July 20 to 26. There will be a chance to win attractive prizes for those dining from August 1 to 14. For reservations, please contact the restaurant Manager at 03-2170-8888 or click here.
Prince Hotel & Residence
50450 Kuala Lumpur