Eat & Drink

Friday, 28 October 2016

Delights of Northern and Southern India

IT IS not every year that a hotel offers Deepavali specials.

This year, Hilton Petaling Jaya is celebrating the Festival of Lights with a Spice Trails buffet promotion at its Paya Serai Restaurant.

Beginning Oct 24 until Nov 7, the culinary team led by the hotel’s Indian head chef S. Vengadesan will present authentic Northern and Southern Indian delights to appease the tastebuds of Indian food lovers.

Vengadesan emphasises on food authenticity, creating everything through a traditional blend of spices and method of preparation thus celebrating the community’s rich heritage and culinary.

The chef focuses on creating everything through a traditional blend of spices and method of preparation . — Photos: M. Azhar Arif/The Star
The chef focuses on creating everything through a traditional blend of spices and method of preparation . — Photos: M. Azhar Arif/The Star

The buffet lineup has more than 30 dishes in a four-menu rotation as well as live cooking stations.

Patrons will get to choose from a variety of briyani, with the aromatic Lamb Shank Briyani as the star of the show.

I started off first with the Bathura bread, which I was told was similar to naan but instead of being placed in an oven, it is deep-fried.

I paired this with the selection placed next to it – Bendi Do Pyaza, Dhall Tadka and Tandoori Chicken.

Without much curry, I cannot say I can eat this dough on its own and certainly prefer the texture of naan to this flat bread.

The fragrant Lamb Shank Briyani is not only tasty but has tender lamb pieces in it.
The fragrant Lamb Shank Briyani is not only tasty but has tender lamb pieces in it.

The Bendi Do Pyaza is fresh lady’s fingers served with sauteed onions that still had a little sweetness while the dhal helped infuse more flavour in the Tandoori Chicken.

I liked the Lamb Shank Briyani, which was not just tasty but fragrant too.

Though this dish already had meat in it, I still paired it with the other mains on the table such as the rich Mysore Chicken.

You could also opt to just have some puri or bathura bread with this creamy dish.

Aside from briyani, there is the staple white rice which you can have with the slightly spicy Rajastani Laal Maas, which is a Northern spicy lamb dish.

This is the chef’s signature dish where he marinated the lamb with spices and yoghurt before it is slow-cooked, resulting in very tender meat. I was pleased to find that there was no gamey aftertaste in this dish.

The Tandoori Chicken can be eaten with the bread selections of puri or bathura bread.
The Tandoori Chicken can be eaten with the bread selections of puri or bathura bread.

Then there’s the Malabar Mackerel Curry, which uses a lot of coconut in a variety of forms – milk, oil and grated coconut mixed with tamarind and yoghurt to give the dish a slight sourness but it was tasty nonetheless.

One dish I found interesting was the Crab Vindaloo which was new to me because most vindaloo dishes are usually prepared with meat.

To lessen the hassle of cracking open the crab shell, Vengadesan slow-cooks the crabs to soften them.

End your meal on a high note with sweet delights such as coconut candy, gulab jamun, Pineapple Kesari and laddu.

The Spice Trails Buffet Promotion is available for lunch, dinner and weekend high tea. It is priced at RM104 nett (adult) and RM58 nett (child) for lunch, RM119 nett (adult) and RM64 nett (child) for dinner, RM114 nett (adult) and RM60 nett (child) for high tea.

PAYA SERAI RESTAURANT, Hilton Petaling Jaya, 2, Jalan Barat, Petaling Jaya, Selangor (Tel: 03-7955 9122 ext 4060/4056) Business hours: 12.30pm-2.30pm, 7pm-10.30pm, 12.30pm-4.30pm (weekend high tea)

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

Tags / Keywords: Central Region , paya serai restaurant , Hilton petaling jaya , deepavali

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