Friday, 23 October 2015

Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Hotel Pullman Kuala Lumpur

Pullman hotel
Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival in Kuala Lumpur

Venezuelan Week at Hotel Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre

Words by Louise Miller 
Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)

When Monica invited me to attend the Venezuelan Week celebrations, I was full of curious anticipation. Despite having shared many meals with The Yum List’s very own Venezuelan, Caning, I knew next to nothing about Venezuelan culture and cuisine so this was set to be a very enjoyable experience of gastronomic discovery.

We visited the Pullman a couple of days into the week, and on opening night of the gastronomy festival, which will continue until 31st October. Now in its 10th year, the Venezuelan Week is one of the largest Latin American events in Kuala Lumpur, offering a myriad of happenings such as concerts, gastronomic festival, exhibitions, film screenings, seminars, a futsal tournament, as well as the famous Venezuelan Party. 

Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Pullman Kuala Lumpur
Percussion Performance

Our evening began with tasty Piña Colada and Tropical Fruit cocktails made with Venezuelan rum and a fantastic percussion performance which evoked images of a tropical rainforest and set the scene nicely for the feast ahead. To mark la decima or the 10th Venezuelan Week, the gastronomic festival has not one but two chefs from Venezuela; Chef Federico Martin Tischler and Chef Enrique Limardo. 

Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Pullman Kuala Lumpur
Tropical Rum Cocktails
Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Pullman Kuala Lumpur
Chef Federico Martin Tischler and Chef Enrique Limardo

This visiting duo has put together an impressive spread of authentic Venezuelan dishes to tantalise all taste buds. Caning and Monica were keen to educate me and guided me round the buffet pointing out their favourites. 

Amongst these were the Arepas -  a delicious flatbread made with ground maize dough. I was told that this tasty treat is eaten for breakfast, lunch and well, any other time of day really and it’s supposedly great for preventing hangovers (often eaten on the way home from a ‘fun’ night out)! The split in the buns allow them to be stuffed with all  sorts of delicious fillings - we went for the Reina Pepiada, succulent chicken morsels coated in a yummy avocado mayonnaise. 

Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Pullman Kuala Lumpur
Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Pullman Kuala Lumpur
Reina Pepiada

If you like to start your meal with a little pick-me-up, go for the Vuelve A La Vida. Meaning ‘return to life’ this peppery and tangy seafood cocktail will certainly revive your tastebuds. 

Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Pullman Kuala Lumpur
Vuelva La Vida

Another highlight was the Cachapas, sweet cornmeal pancakes topped with the deliciously contrasting salty cheese. 

Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Pullman Kuala Lumpur

Look out for the Yuca. Tender and potato-like in texture and subtly sweet in taste, this was a real treat when accompanied with the intensely flavoursome Cilantro Mojo.

Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Pullman Kuala Lumpur
Empanadas, Yuka and Yuka Buns

Meat lovers should head for the Asado Negro: thick, slow cooked slices of beef prepared with spices and brown sugar which gives the tender meat its dark colour and sweet flavour.

Just about the only dish that I was expecting to see here were the traditional South American pasties and these Empanadas de Pescado did not disappoint: The light and crisp pastry cases stuffed full of delicately spiced minced fish were just perfect when combined with the tangy red pepper sauce.

Venezuelan cuisine
Shrimp, Fish, Chicken, Beef

A delicacy that will no doubt seem quite familiar to local diners is the Pargo Envuelto en Hoja de Platanos or red snapper wrapped in plantain leaves. The meaty fish meat was infused with coriander and definitely qualified as one to look out for amongst this fine spread.

The dessert selection included Guava Cake, Yam Balls, Chocolate Mousse and the big hit, Quesillo. Another iconic Venezuelan dish, this sweet resembles a dense version of flan with all the rich flavours of creme caramel. 

Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Pullman Kuala Lumpur
Chocolate Mousse, Guava Cake, Yam Balls

The Venezuelan Gastronomic Festival will continue until the 31st October. Dinner is served from 6:30pm to 9:30pm and the price per person is RM125.95. This includes an all-you-can-eat buffet which features not only all of the Venezuelan dishes mentioned above and more, but also an array of Asian starters, main courses, sides dishes and desserts.

Reasons to visit: An authentic Venezuelan culinary experience: the Arepas, Cachapas, Reina Pepiada, Vuelve A La Vida, and Quesillo.

Hotel Pullman Kuala Lumpur City Centre
4 Jalan Conlay
50450 Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 2170 8888


  1. They have the prettiest ladies in the world! Wish I could try some of their delights, look good. Some really unique, interesting. Percussionists look like Japanese to me though...

    1. Yeah, the percussionists are a local group using some Venezuelan instruments. It was a spectacular opening to the food festival though.

  2. Hello, what a great post and review. Your food images look delicious, as always! Thanks for sharing. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

    1. Thanks Eileen. Hope you're having a great weekend too.

  3. What a wonderful post and review! Thanks to you I can explore the rich Venezuelan cuisine, know so little about it!  I wish I were there to enjoy this  experience of gastronomic discovery. Viva to those happy faces! ;-))

    1. It seems Latin American cuisine is slowing making its way around the world, but Mexican is still dominating the what most people know about. It's a great chance to try some other styles.

  4. Seems like a great place to be and the food looks fantastic.
    Thanks so much for taking us along through this excellent review!

    1. We're lucky to have a little piece of Venezuela right here - especially considering it's almost two days of traveling if we were to visit ourselves.

  5. Chocolate! It looks like a great place to work, everyone is enjoying themselves! That is always a plus! :)

    1. The restaurant was full of energy on our visit - lots of Venezuelans eager to get a taste of home.

  6. KL excels in international varieties in the culinary stakes. I bet Caning Cordobes was in his element?
    I was bitterly disappointed in the food variety available at Bateau Bay - unfortunately I didn't get to
    Terrigal where fish restaurants still exist, Bateau Bay might have been located in a primitive part
    of Malaysia where food was concerned. There has been an Asian takeover and I am sure not one
    of the "restaurants or the clubs" with 4th rate chefs would have ONE customer if in KL.
    The food was appalling. So when you and Cordobes Caning Jnr. return for a survey of Aussie
    restaurants you can mark Bateau Bay off the list.
    More details will be in my travel report e-mail.
    The water was far too cold for swimming - only board riders in neck to ankle wet suits were
    As I will be back there - but staying probably in Terrigal in late November, I'll go and check up
    the Crowne Plaza for you. I had a visit to the Crowne Plaza in the vineyard area - oh!!!! it is
    5 star plus with a huge pool and an 18 hole top rate Golf Course. I'll be staying here for the November
    wedding of a niece for 3 days! I hope I win Lotto first - ha ha! The prices for food and drink are
    up in the millionaire stratosphere!
    El Colin Cordobes, the middle one.

    1. Caning Cordobes is heading off to Colombia for a trip so he's going to be getting a good dose of familiar tastes - I hope he can bring me back some treats (coffee and aguardiente are on the top of my list.
      Noted, Bateau Bay will not make it to my travel list.
      Now the vineyards are another story. Did I mention that we got engaged in one of the boutique hotels there? Must not just be us that considers the location romantic if your niece too is getting married there too. ;-)

  7. It was a delicious meal and a delight to try some real Venezuelan culinary treats. Would go back in a heartbeat -- pity it's only here for 10 short days!