"VEGETARIAN FOOD THAT ROCKS!"
I always like some form of animal protein in my meals: beef, chicken, shrimp, whatever. So I admit, going to a vegetarian restaurant wasn't really on my bucket list of must-do things in Kuala Lumpur. Me and vegetarian food? Please lah!
... But oh how wrong I was.
Tucked away in Lorong Kurau in the heart of Bangsar is The Ganga Cafe and Deli. The cafe has been around for a few years. In November 2013, the husband and wife team of Mr. Prabodh and Mrs. Meeta took over the operation.
"Previously, the menu was so extensive and so many things was on it," said Mr. Prabodh. "So when my wife and I took over, we decided to simplify a bit lah. The current menu is smaller, but we think it's better focused." Mrs. Meeta is the chief cook and most recipes are her own. She is assisted by two North Indian and two South Indian cooks. All of them are friendly and English speaking, and often double up to serve customers as well.
"Light and not overly sweet"
It’s not everyday that I can go for a decadent brunch, especially one with a free pour of lovely bubbly champagne. I had heard a lot of good things about the delicious offerings at Prego and was eager to sample them. I found though that it’s impossible to choose at a buffet like this where every dish beckons. The stations are buzzing with activity and the chefs are busily preparing fresh dishes behind the counters.
I started off with the fresh oysters flown in from Ireland. These creamy smooth textured oysters slide down nicely with a squeeze of lemon and a splash of Tabasco. Sluuurp! I then moved on to the salmon station, which has salmon prepared in 4 different ways, including a whole smoked one. The tastiest of the lot would have to be the thin sliced salmon with citrus juices and whole capers, a great mix of oily fish with a zesty finish.
What I quite enjoy about the brunch experience here is that waiters come around with fresh platters of pasta, specialty dishes, and meats to serve. This means you can just relax and not worry about getting up each time you’d like to sample something new. Let me just say that the two dishes of the day were the Wagyu beef cheek and the figs with Gorgonzola. The beef cheek is orgasmically succulent falling apart without so much as a chew. The thick braising liquid is reduced to a flavour packed glaze. Oh and the figs! I believe that figs and Gorgonzola are a match made in heaven. The subtle sweetness of the fruit offsets the pungent creamy cheese resulting in a delicious bite. More »
"A great array of sambal belacan"
Here, they specialise in good Malay fare. We heard that their chefs go around the nation trying out and learning recipes from other states, to see what they can bring back to PJ. So it's no surprise that they have a selection of rendangs as part of their buffet spread. Walking into the place, one of the first dishes to greet you will be the Malay Rendang Tok with lemang (glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaf). Surprisingly, their rendang version is good. As the Malay saying goes, the ingredients are 'cukup'(complete) which signifies that the chef knows how to make this dish.
Beside the rendang, is the Malay beef soup. The difference here is that the Malay version is lighter than Indian soups, as the ingredients are not herbs and spices heavy. Therefore, it has a heavier beef flavour and taste. We like the fact that they serve the soup with several kinds of chopped meats as toppings. Not for the unadventurous, some of the sliced meats are actually tripe, liver and lungs. But don't worry as these toppings have been expertly cooked. No trace of 'gamey-ness'. A bit of spring onions and crispy fried onions on top completes the dish. A splash of lime juice gives it a bit of kick. One sip and I know they got this right too.
Right at the back, someone is busy barbequing satay. Beef and Chicken. Quite nice comparatively to other hotels. But satay is not street fare here at Paya Serai so flavours are a bit subdued to cater to a wider audience. They do serve a wide selection of Malay fare and lauks. There's gulai ikan masin on one side, an array of sambal including one which I suspect is tempoyak, different kinds of malay ulams (organic Malay vegetables) and a variety of rice from biriyani to white rice. More »
"a three-course menu that will have you swooning with pleasure"
Introducing their exciting new lunch concept “Unlimited Lunch”, it brings all the benefits of a buffet without the fuss of having to queue for food, jostle with the person next to you and make do with pre-cooked (often lukewarm) dishes.
Instead, using the concept of a dim sum lunch but applying it to semi-fine dining cuisine, Gobo Upstairs serves a 3-course menu with various starters, mains and desserts to choose from, right at your table. And the best thing is, you can sample all of it and have as much as you want.
On this lovely Thursday afternoon, my fellow foodsters’ and I are feasting on a delicious array of starters, whole scallops pan seared with orange reduction, creamy deep-fried mushroom risotto balls, crispy vegetable puffs, Caesar’s salad with roasted chicken, and a divine pumpkin and smoked salmon soup, which is making me swoon with pleasure.
Now back to the food. I really should have said “No” to another helping of scallops, but who could resist? Once you tire of starters, just inform the friendly restaurant staff that you are ready for your main course, and dirty plates and bowls are quickly cleared to make way for more epicurean delights.
"Try chocolate chip ice cream with gummy bears and nuts "
Le Meridien recently launched Latest Recipe. This place serves all day dining with a wide selection of international cuisine and live cooking at mealtimes. Food presentation here is forefront on their minds with the yellow lime-stained glass wall adding a refreshing ambiance to the place. The moment you seat yourself down, you will get fidgety- craning your necks out to check out what’s available. This is when you will notice the three big chocolate fountains consisting of white, dark and milk chocolate. At this point you have to remember to keep the chocolate fountain for dessert as there are many more things to choose from.
The Japanese stall is super fresh. Freshly cut tuna, butterfly fish, salmon, octopus and all sorts of other tasty things. You know it's fresh because the fish just melts in your mouth minus the fishy taste especially the creamy ‘lemak‘ butter fish, which we thought was cod fish at first. Forget the sushi, just attack the sashimi. Even non-lovers of fish will have to admit that the sashimis here are good! For those not into raw fish, there's always the Scallop Teppanyaki which comes lightly grilled and served with their special white seafood sauce. Just a mouthful of this will take you back under the sea.
"What we like about Gobo"
The key to a good Ramadhan buffet is that there are enough choices of food to make you feel that you have your money’s worth. And yet at the same time, it should not overwhelm the diner. After a day of starvation, a good buffet allows you to peruse leisurely in those final throes of daylight and also arranges the dishes artfully enough to enable easy pickings. Too little food, you get a stampede on you hands, too much and you have wastage as exhausted diners end up sticking to their usual dishes.
Gobo Chit Chat at Traders Hotel has the formula right. We already think they have a pretty groovy dining area with just the right amount of illumination and stations. So as an added bonus, they have a good sized buffet here arranged in a free flow manner that makes you excited and willing to try at least 70% of what’s on offer. The chef emphasises that the focus of this buffet is on quality of the food. We have to agree, seafood here is fresh and noodles are made on order.
At Gobo they have the usual array of Malay dishes like nasi tomato and rending tok (all commendable). There is also a nice juicy lamb resting in a roasting pan and a pan with mixed meats like fried puyuh with roasted onions. They also open up their Thai and Japanese stations. The Thai stations have all manner of fresh salads including a jantung pisang salad, a young mango salad and fresh leaves and shoots intermingled with tart things like sour limes and coriander. The Japanese side offers fresh sushi rolls in a myriad of colours and glistening sashimis kept cold on beds of ice. What we like about Gobo’s buffet is that they go all out on condiments. There is a wide selection of sambal belacan, chutneys, pickles (an entire row), crackers and nibbles to add colour to your meal. You can happily go on for a long time muching your way through this. Good thing you have until 10.30pm to do this.