Starbucks Malaysia Reimagines Raya with New Offerings

We’re just a few weeks shy of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. This year’s celebrations will be a little subdued due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Starbucks Malaysia is keen to inject some colour into the festivities – through several exciting new Raya beverage and merchandise offerings.

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I’m sure everyone is missing Air Jagung, which is a must-have at Ramadan bazaars. Taking inspiration from this popular drink, Starbucks has come up with the new Caramel Sweet corn Frappucino – beautifully crafted with premium sweet corn sauce, luscious milk and a generous drizzle of caramel sauce, topped with green tea whipped cream. You’ll feel as if you’re at the heart of the warm, bustling Ramadan markets again!

Starbucks® Chewy Kurma Cookies

Dates are another commonplace during the Ramadan and festive season, and the delectable Chewy Kurma Cookies, a combination of rolled oats, dates and hints of cinnamon, can be enjoyed with close family members at home, or delivered to relatives and friends.

Grab app or Foodpanda app customers can order both items at a special price and have them delivered to your preferred address. Alternatively, order the Starbucks Iftar Together Combo set, where you can get two Grande-sized handcrafted beverages and one slice of cake for only RM29.90.

Aside from its usual beverages, cakes and pastries, Starbucks Malaysia is also offering merchandise through the mobile apps, which can be an option for many if they feel like doing their Raya gifting this season remotely. The brand’s beautifully designed Raya Cups and matching Cup Sleeves for this year are created locally by the Starbucks team in Malaysia and make for wonderful gifts.  The designs combine the very traditions of Malaysian batik with The Fanous, the decorative lanterns that has since become synonymous to Ramadan and Aidilfitri. These lanterns are also significant during these uncertain times as a beacon of hope, and as a light that will keep shining despite the circumstances.

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The local team has also designed a one-of-a-kind Aidilfitri 2020 Starbucks Card. The card’s main feature is its Malaysian Batik pattern with an intricate floral design, and pigments of various shades of green that have been coloured in by hand. The card this year is also unique as it is made from paper, which makes them a more sustainable option. With a minimum activation of RM50, this card is perfect to share with a loved one.

The Iftar Combo Set is available at all stores from 12 May onwards. The Caramel Sweet Corn Frappuccino, Chewy Kurma Cookies and the Aidilfitri 2020 Starbucks Card is already available in all stores nationwide, while stocks last.

For more information, visit the Starbucks Malaysia website at www.starbucks.com.my

Ramadan Review: Jom Makan @ Paya Serai, Hilton Petaling Jaya

The holy month of Ramadan begins this week, and hotels around the Klang Valley will be busy with festive dinner offerings. At Hilton PJ, the theme this year is ‘Jom Makan’ – inviting everyone to the hotel’s Paya Serai Restaurant to partake in a delicious spread of local and international flavours.

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Kick the meal off with some colourful thirst quenchers – refreshing mango and fruit cordials, soya bean and milk tea.

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Seafood on ice always makes for popular appetisers, and Paya Serai has shrimp, crab and mussels on the menu.

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Alternatively, pick out your favourite ulam and kerabu (salad) mixes.

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If cold seafood is not your thing, opt to have the chefs at the grilling station cook them over a fire, and enjoy with various curries, sauces and dips.

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Those craving for Indian flavours can head to the Indian food station, complete with murtabak (spiced meat stuffed in bread), roti canai, curries and fresh-off-the-grill satay.

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No Ramadan buffet would be complete without chicken or beef satay, eaten with peanut gravy and a side of ketupat (rice wrapped in woven palm leaf). The version at Paya Serai is flavourful and juicy, with a nice ratio of lean and fat.

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Gotta have them carbs! The noodle station lets patrons customise the ingredients they’d like in their bowl of soupy goodness.

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Eating shellfish can be messy but oh-so-satisfying: you’ll find plenty of variety here, such as the spicy balitong (left) that needs to be sucked out of the shell, as well as curried crab.

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Whole roasted lamb, prepared Mediterranean style and stuffed with rice.

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Chef grilling meat on the teppanyaki hotplate.

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Western dishes like beef in brown sauce.

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For the adventurous, here’s something you don’t see very often – a whole ox tongue, marinated and sliced. It was spicy and had a slightly rubbery texture, which I quite enjoyed! No doubt some will find it off putting. 😛

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A nice variety of local and Western desserts: cakes, kuih, tarts, puddings, fried banana fritters.

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Tau Foo Fah (soybean curd)

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My favourite was of course the chocolate fountain! 🙂

Throughout Ramadan, the hotel will play host to several food trucks outside the restaurant, so guests can wander around and taste local street food, in addition to the buffet.

The Jom Makan buffet is available from 15 May until 14 June. It is priced from RM169 nett on 15 – 17 May, RM189 nett from 18 May onwards, and RM169 nett from 11 June til 14 June.

For reservations, call +03 7955 9122 or visit zestPJ.com

Food Hunting @ Ramadan Bazaar, Precinct 3 Putrajaya

Whenever the month of Ramadhan comes around, there’s always something I look forward to – Ramadhan bazaars! To my readers from overseas: they are like food fairs held daily throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan in Malaysia, where people go to buy food and drink in the evenings.

While I don’t fast like my Muslims friends (I don’t know how you guys do it. I miss one meal and turn into this crazy, cranky monster) , it’s always a great experience to visit the bazaars and grab delicious food, especially those only available during the festive season.

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One of the largest bazaars in Putrajaya is the one at Precinct 3. I’m familiar with it as the area was my beat during my newspaper days, and I used to come here every year to highlight several stalls. 🙂 This year, they’ve shifted it from the large parking lot next to the mosque to the space in front of Perbadanan Putrajaya. There are well over a hundred stalls!

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The place was already crowded with customers by 4.30pm. One can find all sorts of mouthwatering dishes here – lemang, otak-otak, murtabak , nasi lemak, Nasi Kerabu, grilled lamb and chicken, and even Western items like pizza, meatballs and pasta! The smells of cooking and smoke wafting from the grills was enough to send my non-fasting stomach to grumble: I don’t know where the Muslims who have been fasting all day get the willpower to resist until it’s time to break fast, lol.

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An assortment of kuih (Malay-style desserts), cakes and jelly.

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Stacks of chicken and beef murtabak (RM3 per piece): a pan-fried bread (?) stuffed with meat, onions and spices, before grilling over a hotplate. The pastry is usually soft and eggy, and is best eaten while the filling is still warm.

Couldn’t resist getting one because it smelled so good. Had it later in the car – it was meh. Meat filling was too sweet, overpowering the taste of everything else.

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The bazaar also had many different kinds of beverages, from refreshing fruit juices to freshly squeezed sugar cane, soya bean, chocolate drinks and more. For someone who drinks a giant bottle of water everyday, it would be so hard for me not to have anything to quench my thirst throughout the day.

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This was my first time seeing Akok, which are desserts that look like brown, wrinkly vaginas (lol). It is, apparently, quite common in the state of Kelantan and is made from eggs, coconut milk, pandan and wheat flour. Grabbed five pieces (RM3) and found them pleasant: not too sweet, soft and fluffy with a strong flavour of pandan.

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Fancy some bone marrow noodle soup?

They remind me of the bulalo soup I had in Tagaytay while in the Philippines a few months ago. 🙂

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Roasted spring chickens, sold half (Rm10) or whole (RM20). They are cooked over a rotating grill on the spot.

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Grilled lamb meat. The smell was driving me nuts, I seriously do not know how Muslims can resist the temptation lol. Even more so for those who are cooking. I salute you guys

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Various loklok items on sticks: fishballs, meatballs, crabmeat, shrimp, dumplings, etc.

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Otak-otak (fish paste wrapped in banana leaves and grilled over charcoal fire) and fish satay.

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More meat

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And more

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Nothing like honey-grilled chicken wings. The same stall also sold pedal ayam (chicken gizzard) and tongkeng (chicken butt). Before you say ew, try them – they’re delicious.

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Nasi lemak – coconut milk rice served with sambal , anchovies, boiled eggs and other condiements. These servings were huge.

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Neatly packed food items, such as porridge, noodles and rice.

Back in the days, a lot of people used to rush home to cook, but these days with the busy work schedules and traffic jams, I think many opt to just buy from bazaars.

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These looked interesting, but I already bought a load of food lol. Aside from murtabak and akok, I also got some sugarcane juice, fried chicken wings and deep fried cheese sausage.

If you’re a visitor in Malaysia, the bazaars will be all over the place so make sure to check them out!

This one is located at Precinct 3, Putrajaya just across the road from Perbadanan Putrajaya.

A helpful Ramadan bazaar list here: LIST 

Selamat Berbuka Puasa! 🙂