April 21, 2019
While other establishments are touting Kampung Cuisine, Mum’s Cooking or Royal Repast, Bijan’s chefs are going back to their roots and keeping the restaurant’s buffet theme as Simply Malay. But there’s nothing simple about that; in fact, the two words say volumes. Head chef Razis and his assistant, Chef Ujang, wants to showcase hearty Malay recipes that “warms the soul”.
|Chefs at the grill station and it's not just satay that's on fire|
There will be 3 rotating menus but some items are so significant, they will be offered daily. These include Kelantanese-style bubur lambuk, satay and ulam-ulam with various sambal.
Diners will be offered a refreshing drink of freshly squeezed calamansi juice to start.
|Favourite ulam-ulam with various dips|
|Hot cucur jagung or corn fritters|
|Gado-gado with peanut gravy|
At a sneak preview of what to expect, we nibble on appetisers such as corn fritters, keropok lekur, deepfried mushroom, getuk ubi (tapioca cutlets) which has a sweetish taste. Then it’s on to the salads. Gado-gado is popular, with the requisite peanut gravy. The grilled squid kerabu and jackfruit kerabu are my top picks for flavour, texture and the piquant lime dressing.
|Kerabu nangka and kerabu sotong bakar|
For a meaty start, there’s papaya and smoked beef kerabu. Or just have raw ulam-ulam with dips including sambal belacan, budu, cincaluk, air asam, sambal kicap, sambal tumis, sambal penyet and the very delectable sambal hitam that is a Bijan specialty.
|Otak-otak Muar, pais ikan and various types of satay and seafood skewers|
Don’t miss the Satay Station, with skewers of beef, tripe, lung, chicken as well as prawn and sotong. The skewers are well marinated and frankly, you don’t need the peanut gravy to go with it. Here’s where you can get some yummy otak-otak Muar and pais ikan (spiced fish in banana leaf parcels).
|Carving Station with chicken, fish and beef tongue|
Next to this, the Carving Station has an impressive display of a giant snapper, ayam golek and smoked beef tongue. On other days, you can expect roasted leg of lamb, smoked striploin.
|Delicious Laksa Negeri with condiments|
I always enjoy a bowl of noodles and there will be either northern soup noodles, curry laksa and laksa Negeri, which is served with strips of smoked beef. It’s a delicious bowlful. Those who don’t take beef can still have the noodles without this as the laksa stock is vegetarian based.
|Rendang Daging Hijau|
|Squid ink is what gives Sotong Masak Hitam its distinct flavour|
The hot mains beckon. Rendang is a must and there will be rendang tok, rendang daging hijau and rendang kambing, on rotation. I am enamoured of the sotong masak hitam, with the black-as-night dish of squid cooked in its own ink to give it that distinct flavour and aroma.
|Ayam Kampung Limau Purut|
|Udang Masak Lemak Nenas has a fruity edge|
|Tender chunks of lamb in Gulai Kambing|
Ayam kampung limau purut is a light dish scented with the citrusy aroma of shredded kaffir lime leaves. In contrast, the udang masak lemak nenas is sweetly fruity from the addition of sliced pineapple.
|Part of the dessert spread|
All these demand a helping of rice and there will be a choice of plain rice or nasi minyak.
After the satisfying dinner, my eyes are attracted to the display of colourful Malay pastries such as kuih kosui, egg jelly, kuih bingka, kuih talam, kuih lapis and serimuka.
|Jelly and a springy kuih kosui topped with desiccated coconut|
There are also fresh cut fruit and individual saucers and glasses filled with mango pudding, sago gula Melaka and banana puree. Finally, the ais kacang corner is filled with all kinds of condiments, from attap seeds and jelly to cincau, red bean and peanuts.
Prefer something hot? Pick parcels of pulut inti and labok sago from the steamer or have puteri mandi and green pea broth.
Bijan Bar & Restaurant
3 Jalan Ceylon, Kuala Lumpur
Monday to Sunday: 4.30pm to 11pm
Ramadan Buffet from 7pm, May 9 to 31
Simply Malay buffet at RM120++ per pax
Early Bird at RM110 nett before May 8
Open House buffet at RM110++ per pax
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