BEING away from the country for 12 years has inspired chef Alexander Chong to present a Ramadan buffet with the best of Malaysian cuisine.
Reminiscing his days here before jet-setting across the globe to expand his culinary experience, New World Petaling Jaya’s executive chef Chong is presenting dishes he enjoyed eating in his youth in the “Medan Kampung” buffet.
“Malaysia comprises different races of people so I wanted to showcase the best of our local cuisine here,” said Chong.
Chong said the menu was a combined effort of his team of experienced chefs.
While Chong recommended every thing on the buffet, the highlight is the roast lamb.
“The lamb is marinated in our secret barbecue sauce for 24 hours and then basted with the sauce, again,” he added.
As a result of their careful preparation, the succulent and flavourful lamb was tender with a hint of heat on the palate.
There are also several live action stations including a Malay food corner by chef Alif Aldrin, an Indian cuisine station by south Indian chef Sureshkumar Shandrashekaran Nair as well as a chicken rice station and noodles station.
Over at the Malay food counter Alif has a plethora of dishes with good-old kampung fare.
“I have a number of rices dishes from nasi minyak, nasi tomato to nasi hujan panas.
“I use extra long basmati grains to ensure their flavour,” he added.
For the mains, the buffet has Ikan Bawal Goreng Berlado, Kambing Masak Merah, Ayam Penyet, Daging Black Pepper and bubur lambuk.
Alif said he decided on Kambing Masak Merah because mutton was not often used in the masak merah preparation.
The soft and juicy mutton was abundant with spices and paired really well with nasi minyak.
His Indonesian style ayam penyet has a mixture of chillies that are blended together to give each piece a flavourful taste.
Sureshkumar said they were presenting Ramadan dishes one would find served in India during Iftar.
On the menu are Moghul delicacies as well as the popular street snack called chaat.
To make it interesting for diners, Sureshkumar will whip different types of chaat, daily, as an appetiser.
The main course section offers an interesting array of dishes from India including including Haryali Fish Tikka, Malabari Mutton Soup, Shrimp Phaal Gani, naan and tandoori.
“The fish tikka is a typical Haryali recipe with yogurt, spices, lime juice. The fish is marinated for 24 hours,” he said.
The Malabar Mutton soup from Kerala is simmered over low fire for four hours to allow the flavours to develop.
The result is a clear broth with layers of flavours and an enticing aroma that hits you before the soup does.
Over at the Chinese corner, the Hainanese chicken rice is a special attraction as superior chicken stock is used to cook the rice.
Aromatic and fluffy, the rice with crispy chicken skin and tender meat is delightful in each spoonful.
Ginger sauce and chilli sauce are also served alongside.
Steamed fish and dim sum are other delights to look forward to at the Chinese food corner.
Chong is especially proud of his assam laksa as the fish broth’s balanced flavour and sour notes thanks to the inclusion of asam keping, and condiments like cucumber, onions, pineapples and mint leaves.
The dessert counter offers a selection of cakes, fritters, kuih and more importantly ice cream with condiments that are bound to leave you asking for seconds.
The fruit platter is also enticing with local fruits including jackfruit.
The “Medan Kampung” buffet, priced at RM168 nett per adult and RM84 nett (children aged 12 years and senior citizens aged 60 years and above) is available from May 17 to June 14, from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
PASAR BARU, New World Petaling Jaya Hotel, Paradigm, 1 Jalan SS7/26A, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya. (Tel: 03 7682 0000). Business hours: 6am to 10.30pm daily.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.