A taste of kampung dishes

Traditional Roast Lamb stuffed with Arab Rice at Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Kuala Lumpur in Petaling Jaya.

WANTING to make his team’s Ramadan spread stand out, chef Dennie Yudi Darmawan Samsuardi took pains to ensure the menu included dishes that were unlikely to be featured elsewhere.

“We created special highlights that set us apart from other hotels by giving traditional delights a twist, ” said the Eastin Hotel Kuala Lumpur executive sous chef who is better known as Dennie.

“Diners will get a taste of kampung favourites from a menu that offers over 100 dishes.”

“We have also retained the ‘Icip-Icip Kampungku’ theme for Swez Brasserie’s Ramadan buffet dinner, ” he said, adding that Icip-icip meant taster.

The signature dishes this year include Traditional Roast Lamb stuffed with Arab Rice, Sup Gearbox Berempah, Nasi Lemak Kukus Daun Teratai and Rendang Rusa.

Dennie has given the popular nasi lemak an Oriental twist by wrapping the rice in lotus leaves.

“The rice itself requires an intensive cooking process as it has to be soaked overnight with water and pandan leaves, then steamed the following day with coconut milk, onion as well as spices such as ginger and fenugreek, ” said the 40-year-old chef.

“Wrapping the rice in lotus leaves and cooking it in a steamer results in a fluffy, moist and fragrant rice.”

While the Nasi Lemak Kukus Daun Teratai is accompanied by dishes such as Kangkung Belacan, Ikan Bilis Goreng Bawang and Paru Masak Hitam, Dennie personally recommends the Ayam Goreng Berempah.

The fried chicken is cooked sous-vide style, resulting in a juicy meat yet crispy skin.

Another dish to look out for is Rendang Rusa which features venison instead of the traditional beef or chicken.

“The key to good rendang is the method of cooking. Since venison can be tough, we simmer the meat over a slow fire to make it tender.

“Texture wise, it is similar to beef although venison tastes slightly sweeter, ” Dennie said.

The Sup Gearbox Berempah and Traditional Roast Lamb stuffed with Arab Rice are crowd favourites; the latter is a Malay-Arab-style dish accompanied with mint raita and brown sauce.

“The roast lamb is also a labour-intensive dish. The lamb is marinated overnight with a flavourful mix of kuzi spice, coriander, white cumin, garlic, onion, ginger, tomato paste and mustard.

“The rice is stuffed into the lamb, then baked for two to three hours, depending on the size of the lamb, ” said Dennie.

The Masakan Kawah (Big Wok) section offers dishes such as Siput Sedut Masak Lemak, Gulai Telur Ikan, Rendang Daging Tetel, Kari Kepala Ikan Merah and Gulai Tunjang.

The buffet table offers more hot dishes, including Ikan Patin Kukus Asam Limau Kasturi, Kambing Masak Hitam, Sambal Udang dengan Belimbing Buluh, Burung Puyuh Berempah and Laksa Kuih Putih.

Highlights from the dessert section feature jackfruits, such as Pandan Jackfruit Mousse Cake, Pengat Nangka Madu Bersago and Jackfruit Mango Sago.

Other sweet treats include Chocolate Walnut Mud Cake, Caramel Apple Crumble, Coconut Date Pineapple Creme Brulee, Cheesy Coconut Chocolate Banana Apam Balik and assorted kuih.

Swez Brasserie’s Ramadan dinner is available from April 13 to May 12, from 6.30pm to 10.30pm daily.

The dinner is priced between RM128nett per adult (early-bird purchase before April 10) and RM148nett per adult (normal rate).

For takeaway and delivery, the dome set is priced at RM360nett (four to five people) and RM490nett (seven to eight people).

Each takeaway set features four dishes comprising beef, chicken, seafood and vegetable, along with rice, appetiser and dessert. It comes in a melamine dome that customers can keep.

Also available are festive takeaway, gift baskets and meeting packages.

SWEZ BRASSERIE, Lobby Level, Eastin Hotel Kuala Lumpur, 13, Jalan 16/11, Pusat Dagangan Section 16, Petaling Jaya. (Tel: 016-262 2070/ 03-7665 1111 ext 183). Business hours: 6.30am to 11pm, daily.

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

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