Thursday, 23 December 2004

Have a Blessed Christmas

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all readers a Blessed Christmas. It's that time of the year to tuck into stuffed roast turkey. I guess over the years, Malaysians have caught on having turkey for Christmas. It seems like not only hotels are preparing the turkeys these days for take-away but restaurants too.

Let me tell you this, most Malaysians are pretty lazy when it comes to preparing such food during festive seasons, hence, most will just order their stuff to bring home or the most convenient way - eat out at restaurants. That is why restaurants in Malaysia are thriving!!!

There is one place in KL that still uses a traditional firewood oven to roast their food. It's non other than the grand old dame, The Coliseum Café. This place has been around since the British colonial days and has been around for more than 80 years!

“The Coli” (for those uninitiated, this is not a bacteria’s name but a name fondly given by the many writers who spent a good deal of their creative life mingling with the folks downtown). Nevertheless, The Coli needs no introduction for its famous sizzling steaks and stuffed crabs! Oh yeah and it's butter infused smoky interior due to the sizzling actions all day round and and (pun intended) their aged wait staff.

This is the turkey that went on displayed.

This is the serving we've gotten. Roast turkey here comes with chestnut stuffing, chicken sausage, parsley potatoes, broccoli, cranberry sauce and a choice of four sauces – Classic which is the traditional giblet sauce made from turkey liver and gizzard, Black Pepper, Garlic and Mushroom.

Do not expect a glob of stuffing on your plate as The Coli serves the chestnut stuffing in blocks of square instead, well, for better presentation they informed. The turkey meat is surprisingly tender and moist unlike those remarks we always get about turkey meat being dry, tough and tasteless. Is it really true that food comes out from a firewood oven tastes better? From me, it’s a resounding ‘yes’!

I managed to get ALL the sauces to try out in one go. Classic Sauce is a very much toned down version to suit Malaysian taste and the black pepper sauce is not overly spicy. The Garlic sauce will definitely chase Count Dracula away with loads of chopped garlic in it. Mushroom sauce contained plenty of shitake and button mushrooms slivers. The best sauce – Garlic mixed with Mushroom, errrr…, I’ve experimented with the various combinations and this is the best!

The appetiser, potato skins loaded with roast turkey, onion and green peas topped with cheese. Surprisingly with all those gooey melted cheese, the skins did not give us the jelak (Malay for gosh I can't find an English equivalent word for this, sorry, will try to look up harder) feeling but you have to chow this down quickly while it’s hot. Not that they managed to stay long on the plate!

Roast turkey, cheese and onion spring rolls are really out of this world. Don’t worry about being bombarded with cheese again, this one is subtly filled. The filling’s marinade seeps out onto the crispy skin and gave it an indescribable aromatic taste.

Hmm, how about some Malaysianised roast turkey dishes? The Coli turned innovative with Roast Turkey Rendang that tasted like chicken rendang and the flavourful gravy goes well with hot white rice or ask for the infamous Hainanese bread. Kepit (Malay for stuff or rather fasten) the rendang in between the bread.

To end the meal, the Christmas Pudding is served with Special Vanilla Sauce. The pudding is not too rich and has bits and pieces of mixed fruits and nuts. What’s so special about the sauce? It’s not the normal watery vanilla sauce that floods the whole plate and makes your pudding soggy. The sauce is thick but not too sweet and goes well with the sweet pudding. Perfect with a cup of local kopi-o (Malaysian language for black coffee hehehe...).

We certainly got turkified with all the glorious roast turkey dishes. As if it’s not enough, you can take away half or a whole roast turkey plus its accompaniments back home to enjoy with your loved ones.

Do drop by the grand old café at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (before Coliseum Cinema or opposite Kamdar). Tel: +6 03-2692 6270

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16 Oct 2012