THE juicy Lamb Kuzi and Beef Brisket Rendang may have been given top billing for the buka puasa spread at Nook in Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, but a meal with these delicacies is not complete without the real star – the roti canai.
Crispy on the outside and fluffy inside, the secret lies in the dough mix.
Sous chef Zaki Harun said to achieve the hints of sweetness, condensed creamer and evaporated milk are added into it.
For a rich taste, butter comes into play. The combination of ingredients ensures the bread does not turn chewy when left in air conditioned temperatures after a period of time.
This flatbread makes an ideal accompaniment for the beef. To enjoy it with some gravy, eat with a dollop of beef rendang.
Sous chef Hafiz Izham said the kitchen settled for brisket as it was the supplier’s recommendation.
Touted for its melt-in-the-mouth tenderness, Hafiz said the meat is braised for three hours in rendang paste, wrapped in aluminium foil and then roasted for 45 minutes.
We loved the garnishing of deep-fried turmeric leaves and coconut flakes. Combined, they gave the meat a herby, fragrant and nutty finish.
For white meat, the White Percik Chicken is a variation from the usual orange and yellow-hued versions of this much-loved Kelantan dish.
Marinated for 24 hours in blended shallots, ginger, lemongrass, coconut cream and a pinch of shrimp paste, the bird is roasted in a combi oven for 40 minutes at 160°C. Subtle in flavours, this creamy dish is well-suited for diners who cannot tolerate spicy food.
The Lamb Masala, however, is not as forgiving. Hafiz gave it a rating of three and half chillies (of the bird’s eye variety, mind you!) as an indication of its fiery spice.
Composed of lamb shank cooked in cumin, fennel, fenugreek and lots of chilli powder, this dish was designed to excite the palate and make the diner sweat.
Unlike the lamb, the Sarawak Laksa is easy on the palate. It does not play a main role in this spread but it is Zaki’s signature dish. Tucked inconspicuously at the noodle section, diners should be drawn to the broth by its aroma.
The stock base of prawn shells and chicken bones, a blend of sesame seeds, shallots, fresh chillies, galangal and shrimp paste stir-fried till fragrant, add flavour to this soup. For that rich finish, coconut milk is added last.
A point to note here are the serving containers used to display the food. Hafiz said the choice to use cast iron pots and pans stems from their ability to retain heat and improve flavour quality.
To prove his point, he recommended we try the Deep Fried Tempeh with Curry Leaves which remained crispy through the entire evening.
Marinated in turmeric and salt, the tempeh was dipped in egg wash and then deep-fried. Hafiz said the secret to retaining the outer layer crunch and soft centre lay in attention to oil temperature.
On introduction, the heat is at 180°C. After one minute, it is reduced to 150°C. A sprinkling of fried curry leaves gives the dish a strong savoury and herbaceous taste.
The buka puasa buffet is priced at RM138 nett per pax. Early-bird vouchers are available for sale until May 15. Vouchers are priced at RM100 nett each. Special price of RM90 nett per voucher for purchases above 36 pax. Served daily until June 14, from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
NOOK, Level 1, Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral, 5, Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2723 1188). Business hours: 6am-midnight, daily. Pork-free.
This is the writer’s observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.