One… two… three… action!
April 12, 2018
Just a short flight of steps up from The Westin KL’s main entrance, The Living Room is buzzing with action. Everywhere I look, I see chefs carving, blanching, boiling, roasting and pulling dough.
A lot of the food is cooked a la minute but for those who cannot wait, there’s always something to fill your plate with.
This Ramadan, The Living Room could well represent the kampung community kitchen for its Juadah Iftar Kampung Buffet. Even tables are decorated with a dried banana flower petal filled with jering (dogfruit), long bean, four angled bean, petai (stinky bean), onion, hard boiled salted egg and deepfried salted fish.
In one corner, a 3-piece traditional Malay band strums and drums to entertain diners.
But wait, let’s start with cold drinks. Take your pick of soya bean milk, tembikai susu (honeydew), Bandung Cincau, Selasih (basil seeds) or sugar cane juice as well as hot tea/coffee.
|Acar-acar (from left) Jelatah, Rampai and Fruit Acar
Then move on to the appetisers. There’s nothing to awaken the tastebuds after a long day of fasting like crispy salted fish and sambal or pickles such as Fruit Acar, Acar Jelatah and Acar Rampai, Fried Tempe & Tofu, Keropok Inang-Inang and Keropok Ubi Kayu (tapioca). Crunch! Crunch! Deepfried quails make easy picking too.
|Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Goi Cuon (Vietnamese spring rolls) disappeared almost immediately. Definitely a crowd favourite though some prefer ulam-ulam with sambal, Gado-gado, Rojak Mamak, Fruit Rojak and the range of kerabu such as Kerabu Pucuk Paku, Kerabu Perut with Glass Noodles, Kerabu Daging Salai and Kerabu Limau Bali.
|Chinese Corner with (from left) yong tofu, fresh cockles and Hainanese Chicken Rice
|Char Kway Teow with prawn, egg and chives
Cauldrons keep soup hot. These include Sup Tulang Rawan, Creamy Chicken Soup and Sichuan Soup.
On one side, the Indian and Chinese kitchen chefs are busy spinning dough for roti bomb, blanching yong tofu and fresh cockles, frying char kway teow and chopping chicken for Hainanese Chicken Rice.
|Variety of condiments and sauces at the Mee Celup and Nasi Air Berlauk Station
I am fascinated by the Mee Celup, Curry Laksa and Nasi Air Berlauk station. For Mee Celup, a Kelantan specialty, diners pick their choice of noodles (kway teow, wantan noodles, yellow mee, vermicelli) and condiments which are blanched and beef/chicken soup added. Then they can add more cooked condiments such as sliced chicken & beans, turmeric squid and tripe.
Nasi Air Berlauk is grainy rice congee that you add your favourite condiments to, such as beef lung, tripe, turmeric beef, turmeric squid, salted egg, fried dace, anchovies, salted fish, kangkung, crispy garlic flakes, scallions, sesame oil, and more.
|Take your pick of ingredients and the chef will cook it for you in Asam Pedas sauce
Another action station worth queueing at is Claypot Asam Pedas, with 3 choices: Asam Pedas Tempoyak, Asam Pedas Nyonya and Asam Pedas Johor. Haven’t tried the first two but the Johor version has the right piquancy. Diners also get to choose the ingredients from the line-up of prawn, mussel, chicken, fish, salted vegetable, spinach, mushroom, tomato and lady finger.
|Fish Head Curry
|Green Sambal Chicken
|Stirfried turmeric cabbage
|Labu Pucuk Manis
|Ketam Masak Lemak Nenas in giant kawah
|Row of kawah filled with curries and more including Sambal Petai Prawn
If you are not bothered to wait for your food to cook, fill your plate with Chicken & Beef Satay Celup, Kuah Kacang, Chicken Rendang to go with Nasi Impit, Roti Jala, Lemang and Ketupat Palas. Add to that Turmeric Fried Cabbage, Fish Head Curry, Honey Chicken and the specials from the kawah (giant wok) lined up in a row. These are filled with Stirfried Turmeric Longbean, Labu Pucuk Manis Lemak Putih, Hot Spicy Clams, Ketam Masak Lemak Nenas, Petai Prawn, Green Sambal Chicken, Gulai Keting Kambing Keluak.
|Whole Roasted Lamb with biryani and egg
|Salt Crusted Whole Baked Seabass
|Roasted Chicken with Coconut Sambal
A Spiced Whole Roasted Lamb is offered with Nasi Biryani and Boiled Egg while next to the pasta station are BBQ Beef Ribs with Roasted Vegetables, Salt Crusted Whole Baked Seabass with Hollandaise sauce and Roasted Chicken with Coconut Sambal.
|Delectable dessert choices
|Chocolate Banana Cake
|Malay kuih muih
Dessert beckons. Set in a separate room with the drinks counter are fresh fruit, chocolate fountain, Malay kuih muih –Kuih Keria, Cendol Jelly, Selasih Jelly, Tapai Pulut, Kuih Bakar, Serimuka, Ketayap, Kuih Talam, Kuih Tako – and more. I love tapai with vanilla ice cream and this is available just across the aisle alongside other flavours from Chocolate to Raspberry, Mango, Strawberry and Yam. Makes a perfect topping for ais kacang too.
Western dessert items include Cream Caramel with Tropical Fruit, Vanilla Crème Brulee, Mango Longan Jelly, Mixed Fruit Dacquoise and cakes in all sizes.
For something hot, try samosa, fried banana, yam and breadfruit, curry puff, lekor, banana balls and sesame balls or a bowl of steaming red bean soup, black glutinous rice or pengat durian.
The Living Room
The Westin Kuala Lumpur
199 Jalan Bukit Bintang, KL
Tel: +603-2773 8338
JUADAH IFTAR KAMPUNG BUFFET
Adults: RM158 nett
Children under 4: Free
Children 5-12: 50% off
Early Bird Promotion: Buy buffet vouchers before 16 May at RM120 nett.
19 May to 12 June 2018
6.30pm to 10.30pm