May 29, 2018
Where do you go to experience the full spectrum of classic Malay cuisine, in all its vibrant colours and vivid flavours? You could tour the country, stopping in every state, hunting for each roadside gerai for recipes handed down through the generations. But for a much more convenient route, head to the Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur - throughout the fasting month of Ramadan, the hotel's Melting Pot Cafe promises a buka puasa meal to remember, with a Semarak Rasa evening buffet comprising some 150 beautifully curated temptations, evolving throughout the week in a series of three rotating menus.
The buffet space is cheerful and inviting, with a brigade of friendly chefs happy to cook in their open kitchens, keeping everything piping-hot and well-stocked throughout a genuinely authentic, gloriously extensive menu that's poised to thrill the taste buds.
Many members of the culinary team bring their own unique touches to the offerings. For example, Junior Sous Chef Rogayah offers a taste of Muar with Asam Pedas (Spicy Sour Dishes), while Demi Chef Azizah is in charge of the Siput Sedut, a beloved Pahang delicacy of snails in their shells.
Melting Pot Cafe's main commander is Sarawak-born Sous Chef D’Zulkarnain, who possesses more than 23 years of professional experience, more than a third of which has been at Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The soft-spoken but assured chef is meticulous, concentrating on serving guests to the fullest of his capabilities. When we visited, he manned the Live Cooking station, putting on a great show with food that's prepared a la minute - when you order it, it's cooked on the spot.
Clams, prawns and crab are transformed into mouthwatering Lala Goreng Kam Heong-style, Udang Galah Goreng and Ketam Goreng Berempah. The Live Cooking station is present everyday, with different seafood recipes for the three rotating menus.
Other should-eat specialities include the Stuffed Whole Lamb and the Ikan Bakar Percik (Spiced Red Snapper), proudly showcased in their entirety. The service team will slice your desired cut of meat, so you'll get the best bits according to your preference.
Fans of traditional cooking will be delighted with the multitude of Malay lauk, to be partnered with white or briyani rice. Possibilities may comprise time-honoured favourites such as Ikan Patin Masak Tempoyak (Catfish with Fermented Durian Sauce), Ayam Masak Rose (Malay-style Red Chicken Curry), and Gulai Daging dengan Nangka Muda (Beef Gravy with Jackfruit), well-executed to do justice to kampung-style heritage.
The Teppan Theatre is consistently popular here, with its bounty of chicken, beef, salmon, prawns and squid. Load a plate with the proteins, and the chefs will cook it for you, with your choice of teppanyaki sauce or garlic butter sauce. With meat this fresh and tasty, it's no wonder the Teppan Theatre will be a mainstay for all three Semarak Rasa menus.
Our Semarak Rasa menu also included a Thosai station - Indian pancakes that went nicely with Kambing Vindaloo (Mutton Vindaloo Curry) and Dalca Sayur (Vegetarian Dhal).
The Aneka Sup is where you go to get broth in your belly - Sup Ekor, Sup Perut, Sup Tulang, soups with your choice of beef tail, stomach or bone. Last year's favourite, Sup Gearbox, makes its return too - grab a straw so you can suck the juices straight off the marrow. Aneka Sup is available throughout all three Semarak Rasa menus.
Beyond that, there's no shortage of salads for you to dig into, as well as chilled oysters, tiger prawns and green-shell mussels that will keep you going back for more. There's Murtabak, there's Roti John - so much to try with your families and friends, since we've scarcely scratched the surface here.
The dessert line-up is similarly impressive, with Western treats galore, including French-inflected cakes, alongside all the Malay kuih-muih that will whet your appetite before your return to your hometown.
The other two Semarak Rasa menus continue the theme, with the likes of Kari Kepala Ikan (Fish Head Curry), Sotong Goreng Kunyit (Fried Turmeric Cuttlefish), Daging Dendeng Kering Berlado (Thinly Sliced Spicy Dried Beef), Ayam Goreng Berlada (Spiced Fried Chicken), Nasi Minyak (Cumin Oil Rice) and much, much more.
True to its name, Semarak Rasa promises an explosion of flavours, capturing that wonderful feeling of a joyous meal where everyone eats contentedly and enjoys each other's companionship, similar to a big family celebration where all the grandparents and cousins, uncles and aunts, join in the fun and food. As a bonus, there's so much to sample here, your table will always be overflowing with goodies galore, all terrifically prepared.
The Semarak Rasa buffet will run until 14 June 2018, priced at RM 148 nett per person. There will be a 15 per cent discount on June 11 to 14, preceding Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
**Prices quoted or displayed are inclusive of 6% GST which will be zero-rated effective 1 June 2018. Please note that the 6% will be reflected in guest’s bill.
Many thanks to Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur for having us.
Melting Pot Cafe
Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.
For reservations, call 03-2717-2233