Intai-Intai @ Ampang

August 18, 2010

There's no shortage of "buka puasa" promotions this Ramadan, but Intai-Intai offers one of the biggest bangs for a customer's buck.

The buffet dinner here costs RM48 nett _ a bargain, considering the vast, well-prepared array of Malay and Thai food available.

The idyllic ambiance seals the deal. This is a picturesque restaurant, with tables by a sprawling fish pond amid tall tropical trees. Cool, calm and mosquito-free.

Your first stop should be the grill station; we learned to our dismay that the best parts of the lamb run out early in the evening (and never seem sufficiently replenished). What was left after awhile were mainly cockles and chicken.

But wait, let's rewind to the beginning. The obligatory dates constituted a sweet start to our meal (even if they looked more like prunes to some of us).

After enduring too many buffets where the food made us listless, we were surprised by the superior quality of the offerings here.

No wilted leaves at all. Everything from the salads to the curries seemed freshly and meticulously made. A huge pot of "sup tulang" had been laboriously cooked for hours.

Flavors are pleasantly piquant and satisfyingly spicy.

The "action stands" were crowd-pullers. One featured crisp, piping-hot goreng keledek and goreng pisang; another provided assorted noodles and Thai som tam.

The food on the buffet tables was worthwhile. No insanely chewy beef, for one thing. There's much more available than what these photos show _ nearly two dozen trays laden with meat, seafood and vegetables cooked in numerous ways.

Carb alert! The nasi dagang, laksam and nasi kerabu (with all the possible condiments and ulam) were addictive. I must have eaten two plates of the nasi dagang, which was sinfully scrumptious when bathed with the kari ikan tongkol. Also loved the juicy, flavorsome ayam percik.

Desserts could provide enough fodder for an entire dinner _ choose from the likes of sticky rice with mango or durian, Malay kuih-muih, pulut and tiny cupcakes.

We were stuffed and ready to crawl out after nearly two hours of indulgence. Wouldn't mind returning for their a la carte selection someday.

Reservations are strongly recommended. Ask for a seat beside the water.

Backyard Lot 378,
Jalan Ampang Ulu Klang.
Tel: 4252-2252