It’s a long time since I’ve eaten my mum’s cooking, so I was looking forward to Masakan Mama, good honest home cooking, at the Parkroyal’s Ramadhan Buffet preview. I wasn’t disappointed either. Most of the dishes I sampled were definitely not made from ordinary recipes, but instead were concocted with an inspired blend of aromatic spices and skilfully rendered to produce delicious creations, several of which I felt were absolutely wonderful.
|Kerabu Tempe dan Sotong|
We began with an interesting range of Malay salads: Nasi Kerabu, a spiced rice salad, Kerabu Ayam Daun Kesom, small pieces of delicately seasoned chicken breast, Kerabu Sotong Berserai, tender squid in lemongrass and Kerabu Ikan Bilis, a lovely combination of fried tofu, tempe, peanuts and anchovies.
|Ikan Duri Masak Berlada|
|Ketam Borlado Nogeri|
Some of the main dishes looked similar, but each had a unique flavour. I enjoyed the spicy Ikan Duri Masak Berlada, fish in mixed chillies and the Ketam Borlado Nogeri, chilli crab.
The chicken in the Ayam Kapitan Nyonya was not at all tough, and it was interesting to be served Otak-Otak Rambo, a well-seasoned fish paste, from a casserole rather than from the grill. Other tasty dishes included Kerutub Itik, stewed duck, and Daging Bahmia, beef cooked in cumin, coriander and tomato paste.
But there was one creation that almost made me swoon, and was as close to food perfection as I could wish. Rendang Hati or slow-cooked liver, might not sound at all inspiring to many readers, but the fork-tender ox liver infused with caramelized coconut, coconut milk and the ideal blend of spices was like a taste of heaven. If you’ve always hated liver, force yourself to try just a tiny morsel, and I’m sure you’ll be hooked. Without a doubt, this was the best Rendang I’ve ever eaten, and my dining companions were also very impressed. Apparently, CNN conducted a poll to find the world’s favourite foods, and Rendang was in the top 50. It’s easy to understand why, since when Rendang is well-executed it’s always popular.
|Patin Gulai Tempoyak|
Another dish that captured our attention was the Patin Gulai Tempoyak, catfish stewed in fermented durian. I’ve tried this combination a few times, but the Parkroyal's version was the best I’ve tasted, perhaps because the durian was not overly fermented, and the spices complemented the fish perfectly.
|Bubur Pulut Hitam|
For dessert, we were served Bubur Pulut Hitam, glutinous black rice cooked in coconut milk. It was another success for the chefs at the Parkroyal. This combination is often teeth-achingly sweet, but the judicious use of sugar produced a comforting rice porridge, which I’m sure will remind diners of their mum’s home cooking.
Reason to visit: because this restaurant is serving a number of less common Ramadhan specialties, and more importantly, to savour the Rendang Hati!
There will be many more dishes at the buffet, which runs from July 21 to August 18 and is available from 7pm to 10:30pm daily. The buffet is priced at RM95++ for adults and RM47.50++ for children aged 4 to 11. Guests staying at the Parkroyal are entitled to a 20% discount on the buffet, while senior citizens above the age of 55 will enjoy a 50% discount. UOB, Standard Chartered and CIMB card-members are offered special prices, while even greater discounts will be offered to those with UOB cards for reservations made between July 21 and 27.
For reservations, please call (603) 2147-0088 or email email@example.com
Private “berbuka puasa” banquets can also be arranged for a minimum of 50 guests, at a cost of RM75++ per person. For reservations and enquiries, please call (603) 2782-8447 or email firstname.lastname@example.org