*Guest post by YSquare Chan.
Do you smell something? Do you smell the sweet scent of dates, the heavy herbs on roasted lamb, or the alluring santan (coconut milk) on nasi lemak? If you don’t, you sure will soon because the Ramadhan month is upon us again!
Every year, I kept reminding myself to try all these great Malays specialties during Ramadhan, for if I missed it, I would have to wait one more year for it!

Not sure I am super lucky or Ramadhan is coming really early this year. Courtesy to Rebecca and Pj Hiton for having me for the  Buka Puasa (breaking fast) in Paya Serai Restaurant even before the Ramadhan month started.

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This year, Paya Serai is going back to the very essence of “kampong” style cooking by incorporating classic Ramadhan dishes as well as some new signatures created by the hotel’s Malay chef, Chef Noor Hi­­sham.

(photo source: Hilton Petaling Jaya)Chef Noor Hisham is the Malay Chef of Hilton Petaling Jaya. He is responsible for the concept and quality of Paya Serai restaurant and heads a team of 4 staff under his leadership at the signature restaurant.
Chef Hisham brings with him more than 20 years of experience, infusing flavors and cooking techniques from Asian and European influences into his culinary repertoire of traditional and contemporary Malay cuisine. His signature dishes include Rendang Tok – succulent beef portions traditionally simmered with spices and coconut milk and Nasi Bokhari – Basmati rice seasoned with fragrant spices and chicken. Chef Hisham uses exquisite blend of spices, textures and ingredients to create Malay cuisine with unique flavors.

For his achievements in Malay cuisine, Chef Hisham was awarded Bronze medals in the food carving competition in 1996 and the Hot Cooking Team – Nyonya Cuisine in 2010 for the Malaysian Food Festival (MFF) organised by the Malaysian Association of Hotels. In his 20 years career, Chef Hisham has worked in Japan, Sri Lanka, China and France.Hailing from Taiping, Perak, his other interests includes reading, travelling and listening to music.

In keeping up with the new look and feel of the recently refurbished Hilton PJ Chef is presenting new dishes to mark the fresh, new and vibrant outlook of the hotel, inspired by each chef’s home town. The new signature dishes are as below:

Sup Gear box. 

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Chef Noor Hisham explained that the soup is named as such because the beef shank physically looks like a gear box. Tastewise it is very similar to the common sup tulang except that its’ flavor is more harmonious and the beef is SO SO SO tender.
The combination of garlic, onion, pepper, shallots and star anise forms the foundation of the flavor. It’s is salty, it’s sweet, it’s a bit peppery, a bit aromatic. In fact every flavor is just appropriate without masking the beef’s natural beefiness. I had dodged every beef product that was served to me before as I’m not fond of beef. If invited (or forced), I will only consume a tiny amount. After sampling Cheft Hisham’s Sup Gear box, I think I am having a 180 degree change of view towards beef.
I can’t believe I am saying this!

Mee Rebus Tulang. A luxurious version obviously.

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Lamb Shank Beriani. Unfortunately this dish bordered on the side of mediocre. 

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Udang Goreng Daun Kari, wonderfully fragrant, as expected due to the curry leaves and reminisces of our local Chinese Kam Heong Fried Prawn though less salty.

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Ikan Patin Bakar Tempoyak.

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I love Patin. I love the soft lipid on the Patin stomach area. However the Patin lipid does carry a strong fishy smell if it is not fresh.
Chef Noor Hisham explained that he chose patin cultivated from the river and not from a pond as these patin has less fats and doesn’t carry the muddy smell.
I don’t like my fish overcooked and dry and I’m sure you don’t either. Chef Noor Hisham has mastered the time of cooking the Patin very well. The fish we were served was thoroughly cooked; yet its flesh is flaky soft and it retains its natural moistness.

Although the new dishes are the feature for this Ramadhan, the team at Paya Serai will not overlook popular dishes that have kept people returning every year.

Daging Rendang Tok.

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Bubur Lambuk. I do not understand what’s so special with porridge of beef and dried shrimps. It’s tasted mediocre for me. Definitely not my first choice in a buffet.

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Ayam Percik + Nasi Bokhari Ayam.

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The Ayam Percik was my most anticipated dish whereas Nasi Bokhari Ayam was my favourite dish that whole night. The chicken skin was very thin and the remaining meat is so tender that it melts in your mouth without much pressure.
If you are on a strict body building diet or simply watching your weight, the ayam percik allows you to enjoy the buffet with your friends without much guilt. As for Nasi Bokhari, the solid basmati rice was well seasoned with spices.  The most pleasant surprise in the Nasi Bokhari ayam is actually the ayam (chicken) itself. It was cooked with the chicken skin so the chicken fat was infused into the rice. Awww… I missed it already! ;)

Ikan Terubuk Panggang. I don’t particularly like Ikan Terubuk due to its excessive amount of bones so I don’t really like this too. But that’s a personal preference of course.

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Although the 10 dishes above are the highlight this year, the legendary wide selection of appetizers, hot dishes and desserts of Paya Serai dinner buffets are also available for you to feast on, all included in the price of the buffet.

During the 1st week of Ramadhan, the promotion is priced at RM 109++ per guest and RM129++ for the subsequent weeks.
Children below 12 years old get to enjoy the Ramadhan spread for half the price. For reservations made between now until 1st of July, you are entitled to an early bird discount! Wait not more, do book now! :)

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More of Paya Serai: 

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Comments

  1. says

    Not easy to find good bubur lambuk, I mankan-ed a lot of bubur lambuk before, but still can’t beat the famous bubur lambuk that they distribute in the Kampung Baru moque every Ramadan. Yea yeah, I’m guilty of living up there and taking some every ramadan. :P

  2. Holly says

    Funny that the bubur was not good. Isn’t that one of the signatures?
    My family came here for their dinner buffet before and overall (not all) the spread is above average.

  3. Greg says

    I have my eyes on the Mee Rebus Tulang. That slab of meat sure got my tastebuds in salivating mode!

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