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Monday, 28 May 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

A good mix of Arabian and kampung dishes

IF you had a bucket list of what to eat during Ramadan, you will most likely tick every box when you dine at Tropicana Golf & Country Resort Bhd (TGCR).

Its Ramadan buffet, back for the 14th consecutive year and themed Aneka Sajian Desa, has over 300 varieties of dishes to offer guests and warm their bellies as they break fast.

This year the club added 10 new bazaar stalls such a Takoyaki, Arabian Kebab Daging and Kebab Ayam, Sata, Monster Bakso, Salted Egg Tortilla Chicken Wrap and Roasted Jacket Potato.

Nasi Bukhari Lapis Ayam Masala, Ikan Siakap Goreng Masak Acar Kuning Bersama Timun, Dalcha Daging Tetel, Udang Goreng Sambal Hijau Bersama Petai and Tulang Kambing Masak Hitam Berempah are some of the new dishes introduced this year.

Malay salad or ulam-ulaman.
Malay salad or ulam-ulaman.

If you are spoilt for choice, then start with the Nasi Mandhi Arab Dengan Kambing Golek, one of the latest offerings and a proud dish of TGCR executive Malay chef Mohd Faezal Liwon.

The fragrant long-grain rice is cooked just right without being too dry while the meat is tasty and tender – not chewy.

Mohd Faezal, who worked in Saudi Arabia for 10 years before returning to Malaysia in 2016, revealed that the Arabic spices he used in the dish were imported from Saudi Arabia.

Syamsul (left) and Mohd Faezal presenting the Nasi Mandhi Arab with Kambing Golek.
Syamsul (left) and Mohd Faezal presenting the Nasi Mandhi Arab with Kambing Golek.

“I wanted to share this dish with Malaysians, but I’ve modified it a little to cater to the local taste. I didn’t want to make the spices too overpowering,” he said.

Another new dish is the Ayam Bakar Tempayan with which Mohd Faezal hopes to take guests to the olden days where chicken was grilled in clay ovens.

This method of cooking is used to bring out the smoky earthy flavour from the charcoal that is placed at the base of the oven.

The chicken, he revealed, is marinated in satay spice for three to four hours before being placed on skewers and grilled for about 45 minutes on slow fire.

The Ayam Bakar Tempayan is cooked in a clay oven to bring out the smoky earthy flavour from the charcoal.
The Ayam Bakar Tempayan is cooked in a clay oven to bring out the smoky earthy flavour from the charcoal.

My favourite will have to be the Sambal Daun Tempoyak. It was so good that even though my colleague advised me to eat it with white rice to bring out the fragrance and unique taste of the dish, I still took it as it was.

This dish has been perfected over many years as it is Mohd Faezal’s mother’s recipe, and one of his favourite dishes.

The ingredients included a marriage of pucuk labu, pucuk ubi, petai, serai, daun kunyit, daun limau purut as well as small prawns that tasted so fresh and well together.

Other dishes that the buffet serves include ulam, kerabu, steamboat, roast duck and chicken rice, apam balik, BBQ, assorted dim sum, mini pau, and pizza.

Dalcha Daging Tetel.
Dalcha Daging Tetel.

When it came to dessert, I could not wait to get my hands on the bubur pulut hitam and sago gula melaka for those were my favourites.

Both did not disappoint; even though the former was a little too sweet for me, I still enjoyed nonetheless.

TGCR executive chef Syamsul Halili, who leads the team of 42 chefs (including him and Faizal), is looking forward to guests coming over to try the buffet.

“I’m also thankful for the volunteers, who are staff of TGCR, coming to help us prepare and serve guests at the stalls. It is good teamwork,” he said.

At the buffet, diners can expect to be soaked in the festive food bazaar-like concept while feasting on the nostalgic kampung cuisine and listening to the traditional contemporary Ghazal tunes.

Sambal Daun Tempoyak.
Sambal Daun Tempoyak.

Combining Twenty7 Restaurant and The Palm Coffee House, TGCR is able to cater for 2,400 people a day during Ramadan.

There will be a rotation of five menus for the main course.

The dessert counter features a mix of local and western sweet delights.

The spread of dessert which would make a sweet and pleasant end to the dinner.

The Ramadan buffet at TGCR runs from May 17 to June 14 from 7pm to 10pm and is priced at RM99 nett for adults and RM50 nett for children (below 12 years) on weekdays, and RM112 nett for adults and RM55 nett for children on weekends.

THE PALM COFFEE HOUSE, Tropicana Golf & Country Resort, Jalan Kelab Tropicana, Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan. (Tel: 03-7804 8888 or 03-7804 1919) Business hours: 11am to 10.30pm

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.