Buka puasa with a taste of home

Eu Hooi-Khaw

Cili padi daging salai is a Negri Sembilan speciality of smoked beef in a yellow curry. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 25, 2023.

NASI beriani kambing Patu Pahat stood out at the buka puasa buffet at Nipah in EQ Kuala Lumpur.

Nasi beriani kambing Batu Pahat with fruit chutney, dhal and salad. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 25, 2023.The huge mound of rice was studded with turmeric-coloured hard-boiled eggs and presented with dhal, fruit chutney and salad.

I had a serving and turned up tender knobs of spiced mutton in the fragrant rice which I enjoyed with the dhal and chutney.

There was a line-up of curries and other dishes leading to the nasi beriani, such as gulai lemak cili padi daging salai, sambal tumis udang harimau, beef rendang and, tulang rawan gulai kawah.

Daging salai or smoked beef in the Negri Sembilan-style curry was delicious and irresistible, as was the classic beef rendang which I paired with lemang.

Tulang rawan gulai kawah was a hot spicy curry with crunchy fresh bamboo shoots and tender beef ribs which I liked too.

There were the fiery red, tangy fish-head curry and gulai nangka muda that I had to help myself to. These dishes, by Malay chef Muhammad Hajral Lisarni, tasted of home.

Fish head curry. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 25, 2023.

I began at the appetiser table where there was a spread of tangy, perky salads such as papaya and mango kerabu, pomelo salad with prawns, kerabu pucuk paku, urap pucuk manis, terung bakar and tauhu sumbat.

It was telling that the pomelo salad always needed refilling, but I managed to get a taste of this sweet, juicy and refreshing salad with prawns.

The chef offers a plethora of salads to whet the appetite. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 25, 2023.

I went for the deep green urap pucuk manis, so healthy and good.

The salads are rotated each day from the chef’s repertoire of 41 varieties of kerabu, spiced oils and sambal.

Do consider the chilled seafood appetisers of freshly shucked oysters, prawns, baby scallops and mussels.

A buka puasa buffet of traditional Malay dishes. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 25, 2023.

Outside the dining hall was the kambing golek, or whole lamb on a flaming spit.

This was the main draw, and it did not disappoint. The lamb had a flavourful well-roasted skin that was sticky with marinade.

The meat was luscious and tender and didn’t need any of the sauces that were served with it.

Kambing golek that's roasted to perfection. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 25, 2023.

Here too was a rojak buah stall where you could choose the fruits and vegetables to go into the dish or have a  popiah basah rolled up for you.

For dessert, traditional kuih, som som gula Melaka, lompat tikam sago, layer cake, chocolate batik cake and sweet bubur vied for attention beside Western favourites such as tiramisu, blueberry cheesecake, coconut lime mousse, pavlova and cakes.

End the meal with Western and traditional Malay desserts. – The Malaysian Insight pic, March 25, 2023.

I went for the som som gula Melaka, which had sweet sago at the bottom of the tiny glass, topped with a saltish coconut layer. This was delicate and delightful. I had the mango pudding too and a small helping of tiramisu.

The buka buasa buffet from now until April 21 is priced at RM228+ per adult, RM114+ per child aged six to 12. To book, WhatsApp 012-278 9239. – March 25, 2023.

* Eu Hooi-Khaw has been writing about food for the longest time, covering all aspects, from restaurant reviews to cooking and recipes, as well as the healthy side of it. She has written for major newspapers and magazines, published the cookbook Fresh Ingredients, and also writes for her website hooikhawandsu.com.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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