Monday, May 13, 2019

Simply Malay Buffet, Bijan

Every year, the one Ramadan buffet that I almost never skip, is the one in Bijan.  Considering there are so many varieties of international cuisine iall over town, it's almost ironic that KL has a dearth of places that serve good Malay food in a nice atmosphere.  Fortunately, Bijan is one of them, and their annual buffet during the fasting month is usually quite consistent.

Their new head Chef Razis and assistant Chef Ujang have come up with some hearty traditional items in the theme this year, SIMPLY MALAY.

The buffet starts on 9th May until 31st May, and is priced at RM120++ per person.  Other collaborations include Fave Pay, Buy 5 get 1 free at RM120++, likewise with Tableapp online reservation.

I was looking forward to my favourite Laksam, which sadly they didn't have at the media review, but it looks like it is not in any of the 3 rotational menus, BUT, the Negri Laksa is excellent.  Chef said it was his mother's recipe.  And well, if it's your mother's recipe, it has to be good right.

The broth is interesting and rich, seems to be a mix between laksa Johor and a tinge of assam laksa.  Delicious. Definitely the first item I will be heading for when I dine there.

The various kerabus and salads and ulams are also worth checking out.  The array of condiments including my all time favourite tempoyak (fermented durian) and cincaluk (ferment tiny shrimp) make for a wonderful accompaniment to the ulams, but alas, requires rice as well.

This gorgeous nasi minyak (oil rice) served in a beautiful claypot, screams out for the neighbouring curries.


Can't go wrong with Gado Gado, a refreshing "salad" with peanut sauce as a dressing.  I love the different textures in Gado Gado, from the crunch of the turnip, (or Jicama to make it sound more trendy), the soft chewiness of the tofu, the almost hard long beans.  This is a salad I can eat daily.

An interesting selection of Barbecued stuff as well, although this particular fish looks like something that was on display in the museum's ghost and supernatural exhibition a few years back.  (I swear there was a Toyol or "Mermaid" that looked like this. )

So many things to choose from...

What is a Malay buffet without our iconic national dish... Otak Otak....Kidding, Satay of course.

The desserts hmm, frankly, could have been better, but there was that freshly made appam stall that was excellent.

Bijan Bar & Restaurant
3 Jalan Ceylon
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours : Mon - Sun 4.30pm to 11pm.
Tel: 03-20313575 Fax: 03-20313576

Should you require any information, please contact:

Selena Mak
Senior Sales & Marketing Manager
Email :
t: 03-20316568
m: 016-631 2628

Ezah Izzati Othman
(Marketing & Social Media Exec)
t: 03-20316568
m: 0175153439

Friday, May 10, 2019

Buka Puasa Buffet At the Chakri Palace, Skyview, Dorsett Hotel Hartamas

In the blink of an eye , Chakri Palace is 20 Years old, its main outlet at the iconic KLCC, opening back in 1999.  It is one of two remaining F&B outlets in level 4 of Suria KLCC, an achievement indeed.

I have to say that I really admire the owners for their boldness in conquering new frontiers, and this latest venue, Chakri Palace Sky View at the rooftop of the new Dorsett Hotel Hartmas really does afford stunning vistas and views that add to the dining ambience.

For the month of Ramadhan, the theme for the buffet is TANTALIZING TASTES OF THAILAND, and will be available here, Chakri Palaces KLCC & Pavilion, starting from 13th May 2019.

The buffets are priced at RM128++ (Doresett), RM108.80++ (KLCC), RM98.80++ (Pavilion), with discounts for children between 6-10 years and senior citizens above 60.

I was particularly impressed with the Thai Salads. Mango Papaya salad with catfish featured above was crunchy and refreshing and really epitomises Thai cuisine.

My favourite Mieng Keam, fortunately when the media hordes descended like vultures after the welcome address, this dish was largely untouched at the time, giving me the opportunity to savour this lovely do it yourself salad.

Caleen, the lady behind all this, giving her welcome address.....

The comprehensive buffet comprises a mix of Thai and Malay dishes, with the Thai Laksa standing out to me personally.  The rest of the stuff, honestly, are quite standard fare, which I didn't really get to try, but certainly a good variety for a buka puasa buffet.

Special mention for this absolutely delectable dessert, which I hope will be featured in the buffet, but if not, is probably on their ala carte menu.  Years ago, when I was a student in Australia, this Thai chap bunked with us for the summer holidays, and made the most sublime version of this dessert.  Ever since then I have been looking for this, like a long lost love, and was absolutely delighted that it was served here, and I had the good sense to head straight for that dish although it was a dessert.  Luxurious custardy melt in the mouth, with soft steamed pumpkin.

Rooftop Views

Opening hours are daily from 10am – 10pm. The restaurant has an extensive exterior space and a VIP room which is perfect for group parties and events. Reservations can be made at
03- 26021031 (Dorsett Hartamas) /
03-23827788(KLCC) /
03-21431141 (Pavilion).

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Dim Sum Hi Tea and Feasting at Yu by Ruyi, Oriental Group

YU BY RUYI (Pork Free)

It's always a treat to be asked to attend food reviews by Makan Fairy Godmother, Marian Eu Hooi Khaw, and it's even more a treat when it's at a familiar(ish) establishment, where you know for a fact that they are consistent and of high quality.

The Oriental group of restaurants is no stranger to my family and me, as Ming Room is the go to place for my family, and Oriental Treasures in Bangsar South the go to for my inlaws, so well, I daresay the both combined families have indeed contributed to the large coffers of the group, albeit in a small way.

This particular invite was to sample the Dim Sum Hi Tea set, but before that, let me clarify the next picture is NOT part of that Hi Tea Set.  I have placed it as the first picture, defying chronological order, because of the sheer beauty of the dish.  Crab with glorious roe, aptly named Steamin Crabilicious.

Priced at RM108 per portion, this plate of decadence is a must have.  Marine drippings over a layer of chicken pate with salted fish, (replacing the usual pork) glutinous rice, this alone would have filled us up.

By the way, Yu is the modern cuisine sister of the mainstream Oriental restaurants, places like Ming and Han Room etc are supposedly more traditional, whereas Yu and Ruyi are contemporary.  Yu (derived from some Mandarin word referring to an Imperial Palace Kitchen, don't ask the banana what) is also PORK FREE.  Over the years the gasps of horror at the idea of pork free dim sum or any Chinese food diminishes as Chefs find new ways to innovate so much so the placid pig is hardly missed.

Such pretty condiments, it almost wants to make you do shots. Chilli oil, ginger, Chilli Sauce, Yellow Pepper and a Mongolian Dip.

The Hi Tea Set which costs RM98 for two, is available from 2-4 pm daily except weekends.  All items are also available from the ala carte dim sum menu.  The set features two baskets of the steamed stuff, comprising Siu Mai with abalone, charcoal custard flowy bun, har gao, some fish thing that is shaped like a goldfish somewhere in the Darwinian process of evolution, ...this basket alone would be a substantial meal in itself since each diner gets one.

The fried and dessert dim sums are served in a two tier cake stand, like a western high tea, and has a rather interesting array of stuff.   On the top layer, A golden foie gras puff, (next to Odette), Playboy Love Carrot, Egg Tart, Horny Wagyu Puff, Deep Fried Spring Roll, Crispy Swan (who I named Odette).  I particularly liked the Playboy Love Carrot, which is actually a sweet.  It has the skin similar to that of a ham soi kok, and a lovely peanutty filling.  The foie gras puff was also something different.

On the lower tray, the star must be Henry the Hedgehog, a white lotus salted egg bun.  The birds nest lemon grass infusion is a perfect way to end the meal.  Which for us wasn't quite the end.


I can't say I am a fan of fried radish cake, but this Imperial Version of the lobak gou is in a different league.  Using duck eggs and konpoi,

I first heard the term Chick Kut Teh from Mungo Jerry, a lifetime ago.  It seems the name has stuck,
and doesn't take a genius to figure that it is the kosher version of the Bak Kut Teh.  That familiar herbal broth, abalone, petite jasmine rice and mushroom.  It's fairly authentic flavour, and a good introduction to those who do not take pork, be it for religious or secular reasons.

I have to unashamedly say this was my FAVOURITE dish of the day....
The Prince and the Pauper it's called.  Actually, if the Chef used papaya, they could name it the Prince and the Pawpaw...
Pan Seared Foie Gras on Caramelised Watermelon, (presumably the watermelon is the "pauper") priced at RM48 per portion BUT you have to order at least 2 portions.  A pretty generous slice I have to say.

All Chinese meals must have the token greens.  This is the Empress Tien Qi, (Teen Chut in Canto), a rather slimy vegetable that is touted to have many health giving benefits.  Fish maw and barley embellish the dish.

Easily my 2nd Favourite of the day, this unique Crackling Wagyu Crispy Hor Fun is a pillow of goodness.  Braised tender chunks of beef, on a bed of cripsy noodles which is apparently hor fun, but looked more like mee hoon to me, though it did taste like hor fun, and then a lovely sauce is poured over the assembly to finish it.
RM68 per portion (I think the plate above is one portion, with four pillows)

And in case you missed it the first time around, the Steamin Crabilicious....  Damn I'm hungry just looking at this again.

Yu by Ruyi is located where the old Han Room used to be in the Gardens, is right next to the main entrance to the mall.

Address: G-243 Riverview Entrance The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
Hours: 11AM -4PM, 5.30PM-10PM
Phone: 03-2202 2602

Friday, April 12, 2019

Marigin, the Latest Gin Bar In the Stables of the Marini Group

There was a time when Gin was but the common man's drink, but in colonial Malaya, a gin and tonic, probably Gordon's or Beefeater was sipped by the British on a hot summer's day.  Wait, it's summer all year round here in balmy Malaya.

In fact, gin had a whole monologue dedicated to it in the quintessential movie about the English, MY FAIR LADY.  Eliza Doolittle has this to say:

"My aunt died of influenza - so they said, but it's my belief they done the old woman in...Yes, Lord love you. Why should she die of influenza when she come through diptheria right enough the year before? Fairly blue with it, she was. They all thought she was dead, but my father, he kept ladling gin down her throat...Then she come to so sudden she bit the bowl off the spoon...Now what call would a woman with that strength in her have to die of influenza? And what become of her new straw hat that should have come to me? Somebody pinched it, and what I say is, them as pinched it done her in...Them she lived with would have killed her for a hat pin, let alone a hat...Gin was mother's milk to her. Besides, he'd poured so much down his own throat, he knew the good of it...Drank! My word! Something chronic!"

But of course, Gin has since come a long way, and my goodness me, looking at the price of some of the gins, it's almost done ME in.  Thankfully with the sprouting of gin bars all over town, (well, okay, perhaps SPROUTING is an exaggeration, I only know of three in KL), one can sample gins hitherto unknown and unreachable.

So where is this latest gin oasis?

Located at the once touted most luxurious bungalows in the sky, 99 units with 100 swimming pools, ONE KL, Marigin is the latest in the stable of the Marini's Group, which also owns Marini 57, Marble 8 and M Marini Grand Cafe and Terrazza,

Gin is usually a staple in any bar but at MariGin, it is the star. It is a versatile and refreshing spirit that can be drunk straight up, in a simple mix, or added to other flavours in a cocktail,” said Cavaliere Modesto Marini, owner and founder of The Marini’s Group, at the bar’s opening party this evening.

Its diversity and number of varieties ensures that it appeals to the different palates as well as provides new experiences, and that is what MariGin aims to provide – a gin drink for every occasion,” he added.

This of course has been made possible with the worldwide Gin Boom, even Australia is producing its own gin.

Currently there are 57 varieties of gin to choose from, and an IMPRESSIVE range of tonics, again, hitherto unknown, but who drinks Schweppes with a designer gin these days, right? No offence to Schweppes which has been like mother's milk to us older ones.

Mixologist, known as "Boy", concocted several rounds of locally inspired gin cocktails in a collection with interesting names such as MARI GIN LAH, for us to sample, and  included the familiar curry flavours of lemon grass, kafir lime leaf, calamansi and sour plum,  chrysanthemum aka kok fah,

Okay, I thought the "SIRAP" one really did not do justice to the drink, as the fake rose syruppy thing reminded me of the drink at buffets.

Some look familiar, some not so...

The next round of more exotic cocktails, including the GONGXIFACAI, the JUNGLE GIN, the GIN CARTEL...

Drinks here are fairly reasonably priced, from RM27++ onward, probably for a basic G&T. 

A sample of their menu...

MariGin Gin Bar is located at One KL, Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur. It is open from 5.00pm to 1.00am from Monday to Saturday, where happy hours run from 5.00pm to 9.00pm. To make a reservation, please call +603 2386 6030 or email