Salam Ramadan Kareem to all my Muslim friends and readers! Today marks the first day of Ramadan – the holiest month in Islam – where Muslims observe a month of fasting and spiritual reflection.
For those in Malaysia, buka puasa (the breaking of fast) in the evenings is a lively affair, with people flocking to Ramadan bazaars or hotels to enjoy their iftar (evening meal). If you’re looking for a taste of traditional Malay fare at an affordable price, there’s the ramadan buffet at the Garden Grille @ Hilton Garden Inn Puchong. Themed ‘Selera Desa’, the hotel’s nostalgic spread will transport diners to the quaint Malaysian countryside, with dishes prepared the traditional way.
The spacious setting, which feels comfortable and inviting, offers panoramic views of the surrounding neighbourhood on one side, and the outdoor pool on the other.
Kickstart the meal with some light bites and healthy snacks from the salad bar. Of particular note are the tuna hors doeuvres, which are rich, creamy and slathered onto crunchy bread in generous amounts. Or go traditional at the ulam corner, where you can take your pick from a variety of garden herbs and greens, tossed with pickled vegetables, roots and spices.
Moving on to mains, tuck into hearty Malay comfort food such as Ayam Masak Merah, Pari Asam Pedas, Paru Berlado as well as the usual staples of lemang and rendang. While the selection is mostly Malay, they’ve got a couple of international dishes as well. The Korean corner surprised me – the two dishes for our preview (tteokbokki and chapchae) were both excellent.
If you’re not up for spicy dishes, they have items such as Chinese-style stir fried vegetables as well.
The pasta station sees chefs whipping up fresh orders, whether it’s carbonara or bolognese sauce. My penne pasta was done al dente, although I felt like the sauce was a little too cloying.
Choose from a variety of thirst quenchers, from soya bean to sugar cane juice and air mata kucing.
Head outdoors to where a whole roast lamb sizzles on the grill, juices and fat dripping. They also have satay on the menu, and an ais kacang corner where you can add your own condiments.
Old school ice shaver.
Last but not least, indulge in the desserts section where one will find Western style sponge cakes and flavours such as red velvet and butter, alongside traditional Malay kueh mueh the likes of kueh lapis, kuih ketayap and kuih seri muka.
Hilton Garden Inn’s Selera Desa Ramadan buffet is available from 13 to 31 May from 7PM – 9.30PM, priced at RM80 nett per person. Early bird bookings before 6 May is priced at RM69 nett per person. For reservations, call +60380841299 or email email@example.com.
HILTON GARDEN INN PUCHONG
Jalan DM2, Desa Millennia, 47150 Puchong, Selangor