Ramadan Buffet 2013 – Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel’s Essence Restaurant showcases “The All Stars Steamboat Affair”

Bored of the usual offerings in hotels and restaurants and looking for something different for your Ramadan buka puasa affair? Well, scratch your head no more. Just head over to Essence, Sheraton Imperial KL. Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel’s Essence Restaurant showcases “The All Stars Steamboat Affair” this Ramadan.

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Yes, you’re reading that right. Steamboat. Throughout the holy month of Ramadan, you’ll be able to sample a variety of modern and contemporary steamboat offerings in Essence, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur.

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More popularly known in the Chinese gastronomic culture, steamboat is also known as hot- pot and consists of a metal pot of simmering stew or broth at the center of the dining table.
While the hot pot is kept simmering, ingredients are placed into the pot and cooked at the table.

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As the pot is usually shared by a few person at the table, having steamboat during your buka puasa session is definitely a great way to bring your loved ones together and instilling the feeling of “muhibbah” among friends and acquaintances. 

There are 6 unique broths for you to choose from, ranging from Essence’s popular ‘Jonker Street’ Asam Pedas or ‘Thai’ Tom Yam broths for those who prefers a bit of heat. Everyone during the media preview loved the Asam Pedas for its tangy and spicy taste.
For those who are more adventurous, you might want to have a go at  ‘Penang Nyonya’, Curry broth or ‘Napoli’ Beef Braising broth. Should you prefer something more subtle, there’s the conventional Chicken and Fish broth, which may sound boring but packs quite a robust flavour.

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Overall, I approve of ALL the broth. I avoided the spicy ones as I wasn’t well the past few weeks but I did stole a sip and a piece or 2 ingredient from my dining partners’ bowls.
All of them are flavourful enough even at the beginning of the dining session so I didn’t have to wait for hours later to enjoy flavorful broth.
The top left you see below is the Ginseng Soup. That was a godsend that evening as it helped to sooth my stomach for the gluttony session ahead.

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Naturally the steamboat corner had plenty of dips and condiments for you to flavour your steamboat ingredients.

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Fresly made inhouse, I can assure you that they will complement the seafood and meat dishes pretty well. I usually prefer the spicy ones like bird’s eye chilli dips or chilli flakes, but the milder sauces are not too shabby either.

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Most importantly, you can expect nothing but absolutely fresh ingredients for your hot pot. The popular suspects like fresh seafood, crustaceans, chicken, beef and shellfishes are of course ubiquitous. Instead of mackerel fish, you will be served salmon, snapper and chunky slices of sea bass instead. And in terms of serving, each piece are of a pleasant size.
Trust me, I wasn’t complaining. 🙂

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Seasonal fresh vegetables and the standard assorted fish, squid, meatballs are also available. But for true value of your money, I suggest you give the processed food a miss and focus on the fresh seafood instead. 🙂

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We gave the full spread of Essence’s buffet a miss as we were served so many tasting portions that night. However I can assure you that the food at Essence has always been pretty good ( I had sampled their buffets a few times when I was here for media events) and I would highly recommend this year’s Ramadan package, considering that you’ll also be getting Essence’s full range of buffet spread along with the steamboat.

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There would be 100 mouth-watering local specialties as well as international dishes, including the traditional selection of sambal, jeruk and ulam-ulam.
We were given sample portions that evening of the local delicacies; all while we were tucking into the steamboat. It was seriously an “All-Star” affair, an all-star foodie dream come true! 🙂

For starters, the platter of Celebrity Heart – Kerabu jantung pisang, Ox Tongue percik salad, Grilled sugarcane chicken salad, Stuffed marinated prawns with young mango salad were really creative and hits the palate with all the right texture and flavours.

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Mango salad unlike any other mango salad right? While taste matters most, pleasing the eyes is optional but a most welcomed combo.

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Next, the “Beach road hawker…” Sup Tulang merah Singaporean style.

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This is my mini portion. It was really good, albeit much sweeter than the Sup Tulang Merah I had in Singapore. A media friend told me to squeeze the lime over it, which helped greatly.

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“Middle East taste” – Yemen Mandi lamb rice followed shortly, every grain fluffy, fragrant and tasty, threatening to kill all low-carbs diet. Which it did.

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The lamb. Perfect combo.

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On a more humourous note, I guess even Essence cannot escape the well-famed Psy’s influence as they even named one section of their menu as ‘Oppa Kandar Style‘ ( I’m sure you’ve heard about Psy before. He was quite a hype last year with his phenomenal ‘Oppa Gangnam Style’ song and dance).  But I seriously would not recommend you to go all Gangnam while you’re dining in Essence though the space could easily accommodate you dancing. The dance might not be too kind on your stomach. 😛

Oppa Kandar style: Daging masak hitam, Kari Kepala ikan “Hj Kassim”, Sotong goreng tepung ‘mamak style”, Ayam Madu “Hj Kundur”.

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The kari ikan is so good. I can live on this and not have to make any trips back to Penang.

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Racial harmony is important. We had more seafood with The Chinese Steam and Wok – Hot & Spicy Tiger prawn with oat, “Kowloon style” steamed half shell scallop with black beans.

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I am still unashamedly a fan of western cuisine and was looking forward to this all night – keyword being “beef prime ribs“. This is the “Gastronomic Cuisine” consisting of Herbs braised beef prime ribs with potato millefeuille and Cannelloni spinach and ricotta gratn with parmesan bechamel sauce.

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Surprisingly it was the cannelloni that won my favour that night. Not overly rich or cheesy with a good dose of spinach.

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And what’s Ramadan buffet without the traditional desserts? Apart from the dishes I’ve mention earlier on, Essense is also offering a wide variety of traditional kuihs (traditional Malay pastries and desserts) for you to feast on under their ‘Air Tangan Manisan Nenek Kebayan’ menu.

Befitting of  it’s menu namesake (Nenek Kebayan is an ancient Malay witch or a common name for an enchantress in Malaysian language), there’s plenty of traditional desserts to tempt you; Seri Muka, Kuih Lapis, Kuih Talam, Bengkang Bunga, Kasui, Bingka Ubi, Pulut Inti, Kuih Ketayap, Onde-Onde, Putu Piring and more. Other delectable desserts that can be spotted in the buffet includes the mouth-watering Date Cake, Cheese Cake, Chocolate cake, Sago GulaMelaka, Mango Pudding, Panna Cotta, Tapai Ubi, Dodol, Crème Caramel and many more.

The below is our tasting platter for desserts – “Mom’s favourite tastes..” – Homemade durian crepe, Traditional tapai pulut daun getah, Kuih cara berlauk ‘mak tipah’ and Alor Gajah Kuih bakar.

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Say hello to the culinary stars behind this All Stars Steamboat Affair! 

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Please find the menu below for your consideration. I’m only sharing one set as an example.

Essence Ramdan Menu

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Essence Restaurant. Sheraton Imperial KL Hotel

For reservations, call 03 2717 9933 or email to [email protected] to book your seats today or log on to www.sheratonimperialkualalumpur.com to find out more.
The buffet is priced at RM108.00++ per person and is available for dinner only from 12 July to 6 August 2013.

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