Thursday, May 17, 2018

Lemon Gardens's Festive Dinner Buffet - Specially For the Month of Ramadhan Only

Wishing all my Muslim friends a blessed Ramadhan.  I truly admire the faithful who can pull of a fast, for me, the food part is no problem, but the liquids part would be a great challenge.  I have tried it before, successfully, back when I was in the Fourth Form,.... when I was more malleable and flexible.

Capping off my Ramadhan buffet capers, (although as mentioned, due to some new ruling you cannot ostensibly use that term, hence all the creative names like "festive dinner" or selera kampung or warisan etc etc...but a rose by any other yeah, this should be my final invited fasting month buffet review for this season, and rightfully, the "finale" was at Lemon Garden Shangrila.

Cutting to the chase, The Festive Dinner Buffet is priced at RM 198 nett per person from Sunday to Thursday and The Festive Seafood Dinner Buffet is priced at RM 228 nett per person from Friday to Saturday.

Early Bird Offer is now available for dining period from 15 to 23 May at RM 175 nett per person and is only valid from Sunday to Thursday.

For more information or reservations call (03) 2074 3900 or email or visit our site at

Set up at the terrace area, a wide array of stalls, over and above the normal lavish Lemon Garden spread inside the main area, include Shish Tawouk (Charcoal Grilled Chicken Cubes), Iranian Kubbiedeh (Charcoal Grill Minced Lamb), Iranian Tikka Mastih (Charcoal Grilled Beef), Barbecued Chicken Wings, Fresh Water Prawns Siamese style, Grilled US Oysters and more.

Freshly carved Shawarma Kebabs.....

Served in pita pockets...actually it's a bit too filling so do proceed with caution.... you might not be able to enjoy the other offerings...

Freshly deep fried Tempura assortment...

The quintessential Malaysian Char Kueh Teow, a dish that transcends race and religion...

You know a buffet is of a different class when they serve Macadamia nuts in the buffet... (Macadamias are sooo expensive)..

A cacophony of curries.... In the usual buffet section, a wide array, which squeal for rice, so if you're on a carb free or keto diet, you might as well surrender.. A special mention is deserving for the Beef Cheek Rendang, melt in the mouth and so utterly good that it was the only thing I went back for seconds.  (not that the rest of the stuff are not good, it's just that with limited stomach space, I had to limit my intake but the beef cheek warranted extra space)

Rendang Pipi Lembu (Braised Beef Cheeks with Malay Herbs and Dried Coconut Paste)’,

My favourite of this season, Lemang...Black glutionous rice and the usual type...Pair this with the beef cheek rendang and you'll have shivers down your spine.

A kaleidoscope of Kerabu... Kerabu is a "salad" so to speak, in Malay.  The usual fare of Wild Fern, Mussel Kerabu, Kerabu Taugeh Ikan Masin, ...

The fresh seafood section also never fails to impress...Here's a tip, go early, and you can get crabs almost the size of a dainty girl's palm....

They were particularly proud of their Fishhead curry.  I really wonder if using a fish head as opposed to using any other part of the fish would make a difference to the taste, but fish head curry seems to be an in thing in Malaysia, and very expensive as well, considering the dish probably originated because people didn't know what to do with the fish head

The roast section has a sacrificial lamb with drippings onto a tray of biryani,...which is oh so delish...with racks of ribs and other meats as well..

I have always almost NEVER managed to get the black chicken ginseng soup from the Chinese section...I later discovered that it's made in limited numbers so the early worm gets the bird.

And to finish the job, DESSERT...

This fresh fruit counter (at the annex) was particularly popular, as fresh mangoes were skinned on the spot and served....
Zooming into these babies that look like a pangolin's err... something... the Buah Salak... an acquired taste, but I have been eating it for years and I love it..

Lots of Buburs and Pengats... (I won't even bother with the translation, but basically a dessert stew with a coconut base, and different fillings)

The usual dessert fare is available...

I was particularly delighted with this dessert offering, baklavas... those in the know would know how ridiculouly expensive these middle eastern delights are...layers of filo filled with nuts, usually pistachios, with the aromatics of rose water...

And a wide array of Date offerings, as is the tradition during the fasting month, as dates were the Prophet's favourite break fast food.

The troop of Chefs..


The Festive Dinner Buffet is priced at RM 198 nett per person from Sunday to Thursday and The Festive Seafood Dinner Buffet is priced at RM 228 nett per person from Friday to Saturday.

Early Bird Offer is now available for dining period from 15 to 23 May at RM 175 nett per person and is only valid from Sunday to Thursday.

For more information or reservations call (03) 2074 3900 or
or visit

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Kampung Warisan Buffet for Ramadhan Buka Puasa at Bijan

Bijan is unequivocally my favourite Malay fine dining restaurant.  Without fail, I bring almost all foreign Caucasian guest here, because it somehow seems the right thing to do, to expose them to Malay food in a nice atmosphere and not at some nasi kandar stall.  Here's the strange thing, considering where we are, it really is quite strange that there isn't a slew of choice for such quality Malay food.  Arguably, most people would opt to go home to eat Malay food, but with the newer generation, I think if you were to peruse any random Malay recipe, you'd find the list of ingredients akin to the index of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy... And really, who has the time to whip us a rendang that takes hours to cook.

Anyway, I look forward to Bijan's annual buffet in the month of Ramadhan, because I love several dishes here, in particular, and was glad to see they are on this year's offerings.

For the more health conscious, or even as a starter, for health conscious or otherwise, a wide selection of vegetable based dishes, almost the equivalent of a salad, except these dressings are far more complex and robust.  A gado gado sauce vs olive oil is like comparing a Kebaya to a guy's polo shirt for complexity.

This is my all time favourite dish, well, almost, OPOR DAGING.  I actually bought the Bijan cookbook to replicate the item in the menu, OPOR RUSUK (Short Ribs Curry), and even bought the Rusuk, but the list of ingredients and the length of time needed to make this is totally off putting.  Whilst this wasn't the usual rusuk, (ribs), the flavours were the same, and the meat was tender and if there was a bone, it would be falling off.

The other dish that really did it for me was the Assam Pedas (Spicy Sour), which has a choice of fish, which is cooked a la minute in individual claypots.  I opted for the Ikan Pari (Stingray), which is borderline against my conscience as a scuba diver, I've been observing the rapid decline of these majestic creatures.

Another interesting dish was the Colek Betik, (which they had wrongly spelt as Colek Batik), and I overheard someone say Coli Batik (Batik Bra).

For the actual buffet during the fasting month, the choices will be even more abundant I think.

Udang Tempoyak... not very tempoyaki...

We were also lucky enough to watch the Chef prepare rendang Tok from scratch.  Rendang tok is distinct because it is darker than the normal rendang for starters and is cooked laboriously over low fire for a longgggg time.

The almost ready Rendang Tok

A most delightful dessert came in the form of freshly cooked Apam Balik, a marriage between our traditional apam balik and the Indonesian version, resulting in a sweet savoury Apam that was really rather delicious, so much so I had two helpings.

And which durian lover can resist the seduction of the Pengat Pulut Durian.

Available : 21st May -13th June 2018
Time: Buffet from 7-9.30pm, Alacarte after 9pm
Menus : 4 specially tailored menus in rotation
Price : RM110++ per person, special early bird promotion at RM100 nett per person. 


Bijan Bar and Restaurant
3 Jalan Ceylon, 50200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-20313575 Fax: 03-20313576

Opening hourse Monday to Sunday 4.30-11pm

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

The First of the Ramadhan Month Buffets, at Serena Brasserie, Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur

Every year, as the fasting month, ie Ramadhan, approaches, there is a flurry of activity, whereby hotels and restaurants are preparing new offerings for the traditional break fast, or iftar, or buka puasa.

This year, after a few years hiatus, my first invite was to the Serena Brasserie at Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur.  What really caught my attention was the "Lobster Laksa", which piqued my interest.  Before we go further, I should clarify that  one should not expect a boston lobster or the huge australian ones, rather, this is the Slipper Lobster.

The best thing about these buffets meant for Ramadhan is it really brings out the best of traditional Malay cuisine, which is highly understated and underrated, which is a pity, because it is such a rich heritage, and such complex flavours derived by a cornucopia of spices and herbs, and is so labour intensive that it is no surprise that it is a dying art among the young generation.

Thai Style Kibas, cooked and pit roasted served with a fragrant briyani.  Okay, for the review, the Kibas Lamb hadn't arrived yet.  To the uninformed, Kibas is probably the Wagyu equivalent of lamb, and hails from the middle east, and was apparently the Prophet's favourite lamb.

The lobster laksa from the noodle station comes with a choice of noodle, and actually there are numerous other choice of soups as well, but for the lobster, it's the curry mee broth that goes with it.  I thought this dish was rather good, the curry broth was rich and satisfying.  The lobster gives that added touch of class, but really does little for the overall taste of the laksa.

Chef preparing the lobster laksa

A selection of lemang and ketupat that goes very well with the different types of serunding (a dry pulled meat rendang)

A choice of serundings, as not everyone takes beef.

My favourite at all Malay food buffets, Ulam Ulaman (raw vegetables, and herbs), especially with petai (smelly bean), ulam raja (a pungent herb that tastes almost medicinal), paired with a choice of "dressing", from sambal belacan (chilli paste with prawn paste) to cincalok (fermented shrimp) to budu. (the Kelantanese equivalent of fish sauce).

The Malay "salads", like gado gado style.  Lots of Tempe for those that love it.

Satay Station, the quintessential must have dish at every buffet.

Kerabu, and some "lung" which I simply love.  (Paru)

A selection of salted fish. Ordinarily, some salted fish, salted egg, curry and rice would be a glorious meal, but heck, at a buffet with Lobster Laksa, I guess I would be a fool to fill myself on that.

The table highlighting all the goodies....Too much choice, I didn't get to eat the roti jala which I usually lurve.

Like any hotel buffet, the normal fare like seafood and oysters are also available..

The dessert selection is pretty impressive too.

Bubur pulut hitam (dark glutinous rice dessert), a traditional favourite...

This however was the star of the night, if you ask me.  The serawa nangka.  Like a pengat, made from specially sourced Honey Jackfruit (nangka madu) from Pahang, stewed for hours until the jackfruit is tender (okay, I would be happier if my jackfruit was a bit more al dente), but overall this dessert is a must have.

From 17 May to 14 June, the Selera Aneka Rasa Buffet is priced at
Mon- Fri  Adult RM178 nett/ Child (6-12) RM59 nett
Sat- Sun Adult RM148 nett/ Child RM45 nett

Interestingly enough, the weekend rates are cheaper. 
Do enquire with the hotel for discounts, there is an Early Bird Promotion until 7th May 2018 with 25% off, and numerous other credit card discounts. 

For reservations, call
603-2783 6228
Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur