Evergreen traditional favourites

Roasted lamb leg with baby potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and asparagus. — Photos: MUHAMAD SHAHRIL ROSLI/The Star

THE mention of oxtail in a spicy tamarind sauce can command the attention of anyone seeking good local food.

More so if it is fall-off-the-bone tender, like the one available at Thyme restaurant in Parkroyal Collection Kuala Lumpur’s Christmas buffet this year.

Khalil shows the traditional Christmas goodies at the gingerbread house created by his kitchen team.Khalil shows the traditional Christmas goodies at the gingerbread house created by his kitchen team.

Inspired by Melaka’s asam pedas, the recipe calls for beefy chunks of Australian oxtail to be oven-steamed at 100 degrees Celsius for an hour before being braised in chillies, a mix of aromatic spices and dried tamarind.

For the right level of sourness, we were told that 300g of tamarind should be used for every 1kg of meat.

As for the rest of the festive spread, though the star dishes may be the slow-roasted Angus beef ribs, whole Norwegian salmon and Australian lamb leg, diners should try yet another Asian dish – the Nyonya curry laksa.

Tucked away at the Asian section, the white, spicy gravy is made of coconut milk, fragranced with hints of dried shrimp and tropical herbs.

Diners can top the Nyonya laksa with Alaskan crab leg, freshly shucked oysters and poached tiger prawns from the seafood bar.

The stylish and cosy interior of the refurbished Parkroyal Collection Kuala Lumpur.The stylish and cosy interior of the refurbished Parkroyal Collection Kuala Lumpur.

The seafood section also offers lobster, scallops, Sabah clams and crayfish.

The seafood selection is the highlight of this year’s international festive buffet theme, said the hotel’s executive chef Khalil Zakhem, a Syrian who has been based in Malaysia for the past 11 years.

“Every seafood item is brought in chilled, no older than five days from its harvest date. You can taste the sea in its firm texture,” said Khalil.

This freshness is best sampled at the sushi section where the sashimi is flown in from Japan.

The Japanese amberjack and butterfish sashimi slide like silk across the tongue.

At the western section, the seabass fillets in caper and butter sauce have skin that are fried to a golden, flavourful crisp.

The Chinese section has favourites like Tiger Prawns in Butter Milk, and Chilli Mud Crabs and Garoupa done Sichuan style.

Here, the fragrant aroma of the bamboo clams, done kam heong style, also beckons.

The prawns are succulent, and the crab’s flesh is firm, white and sweet.

The dessert section at Thyme’s Christmas buffet brings home the festive theme.

Marinated seabass with caper and butter sauce.Marinated seabass with caper and butter sauce.

Triangle cakes piped with green icing to look like fir trees, a raspberry Yule log fashioned to look like Santa’s red costume and meringues shaped like snowmen may be too pretty to eat.

Don’t miss the berries in dark chocolate cups and the pistachio creme brulee.

There are no less than 10 different types of fresh fruits to end the festive meal on a sweet note. Ideally, pair them with the array of cheeses served.

The blue cheese is highly recommended by the chef. However, the Gruyere and Swiss emmental paired with crackers, nuts and dried fruit are delightful.

The Christmas Eve buffet dinner is from 6.30pm to 10pm at RM288 nett.

Christmas Day buffet brunch from noon to 3pm is RM218 nett while Christmas Day dinner buffet is RM288 nett.

Children under 12 get a 50% discount, while those under five eat for free.

THYME, Parkroyal Collection Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-278 28388, WhatsApp: 012-230 2782). Business hours: 6.30am-10.30pm.

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

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

Next In Eating Out

Fresh twist on tradition
A culinary journey through South-East Asia
Drink series to gin up the night
Cuisine curated to complement cocktails
A workspace for baristas, bakers and chefs is now a lovely eatery
Tank to table
Sri Lankan symphony of flavours
Brunch bliss for every common man
Modern Chinese diaspora cuisine
Celebration of Malaysia’s culinary heritage

Others Also Read