WORDS do not do justice in describing the heavenly flavours of bone marrow.
Soft with a buttery centre and slightly milky in flavour, bone marrow is best savoured slowly.
For its Ramadan buffet spread, diners at The Mill Cafe in Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur will get to enjoy its Oven Roasted Beef Bone Marrow to the hilt.
Executive sous chef Unaver Unabia said the success of this dish is in keeping the precious tissue within the bone. In the hands of the inexperienced, it is not uncommon to end up with an empty skeleton.
Marinated with a sprig of thyme and pinches of salt and pepper, the beef bone is coated with a layer of flour to seal in the marrow. To prevent it from exploding out, oven temperature is strictly kept at 110° Celsius throughout the 30 minutes of cooking.
A layer of aluminium foil wrapped around the bottom end helps the cause along.
“So the result is like drinking from a small cup,” said Unaver who has inserted straws into the bone centres for the diners’ convenience.
Much attention to detail has gone into the planning and preparation for this Ramadan spread.
The flavourful Barbecued Beef Brisket is a case in point.
Slow braised in orange, Roma tomatoes and chilli sauce for six hours, the four kg chunk is then cooled before being barbecued on charcoal.
Carrots, pan fried with butter and caramelised in brown sugar are served on the side.
From the buffet offerings, it is evident that the kitchen team has a fondness for intricate cooking methods.
Take the Smoked Beef Gulai for example. Marinated for four hours in lemongrass, soya sauce, prawn paste and shallots, the striploin is then slowly simmered in a rich spicy gravy of coconut milk for 45 minutes. After that, it is charcoal grilled over low heat for one and half hours.
The Oven Roasted Whole Baby Lamb is another labour of love.
Trussed into the shape of a semi circle, the entire carcass is rubbed with tandoori spices.
Presentation aside, Unaver said the goal was to ensure no moisture is lost during the roasting process.
He explained the folded shape allows the moisture to circulate within the cavity, keeping the meat tender throughout the roasting process. True to its promise, the lamb was tender.
Another highlight in this offering is the Whole Oven Baked Seabass Sambal.
Marinated in a sambal of chillies and Roma tomatoes, the shallots and garlic used in the spicy sauce was pre-fried until fragrant before being blended into the sambal.
The resulting combination of the sweetness in the flesh and smoky bulbs created a nostalgic flavour of grilled seafood.
Of the 200 dishes presented in this Ramadan buffet, diners were heard heaping praises for the dessert section.
On hand to give us a rundown of the confections was assistant pastry chef Suhairizam Yahyah who was part of a six man team who competed at the 2014 Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg.
The Malaysian team won the gold medal in the culinary division. For this spread, Yahyah introduced us to the Kaya Eclair, Tart Tropezienne, carrot cake and velvet slice.
The kaya eclair was filled with a mix of 60% kaya and 40% pastry cream. As garnishing, a rectangular piece of dark chocolate dotted with peanut butter mixed in pastry cream covered the eclair opening. The tart featured a filling of mascarpone cheese and cream perfumed by orange blossom sandwiched between a brioche. Crushed strawberries dehydrated with sugar is used as topping.
Lending a difference to the carrot cake is the addition of cream cheese in the batter. In the red velvet slice, the cream cheese frosting features whipped cream instead of butter. Dragon fruit was also used to colour the red velvet sponge.
In addition ot the buffet, guests can opt to have a dome set combination of dishes like beef rendang, vegetable lodeh, ayam masak merah placed right on their table. The set only costs an extra RM10 on top of the actual buffet price. Ideal for sharing between 10 people, this hassle-free option saves diners from long queues while breaking fast.
The Selera Malaysia buffet is priced at RM158 nett per person.
THE MILL CAFÉ, Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur Hotel, 160, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2117 4163). Business hours: 6am to 10.30am, noon to 2.30pm (weekdays); 6am to 11am, noon to 3pm (weekends and public holidays) and 7pm to 10pm, daily. Pork-free.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.