Friday, 28 August 2009

Review: Buffet Brunch at Hakka Republic

**Pork Free**

On Sunday, courtesy of Sunshine Chicken and Hakka Republic, Capt'n Hook, BoiBoi and myself enjoyed ourselves tremendously over a delicious Sunday buffet brunch. Thanks to Jon, someone I gotten to know over the years via Friedchillies forum ;-), his brother Gerald (Operations Manager of Sunshine Chicken) invited us together with Jaya from The Star and Tan Bee Hong of NST (wow we finally got the face after reading years of food reviews in The Sunday Times, so honoured to meet her) to taste their free range chicken done ala Western at Hakka Republic.

We have learnt so much from Gerald about chicken farming but the unique points about Sunshine Chicken were they have 2 types of free range chicken ie. Free Range Chicken (Ma Cho Kai which literally translated "horse grass chicken") and Free Range Castrated Rooster or Capon Rooster (Yim Kai). They were named as such as these Ma Cho chickens roam freely on the ground where horse grass is planted. The chickens peck and eat these grass plus other soft vegetation on top of their usual chicken feeds. We were told they could graze down an entire banana tree, trunk and all!!! Oui scary, what sharp beaks they have!

As for the Yim Kai, I guess the younger generation won't know much what are they. I know a bit but don't remember tasting any. Capt'n Hook being a kampung boy had witness the whole process as occasionally someone would go round the kampung asking anyone would want to have their rooster to be castrated! Castrated rooster meat texture was supposed to be smoother, well, I'm not sure since we didn't get to try as the best way to cook this is to steam it ala Hainanese way. Gerald was showing BoiBoi how tall these roosters were and judging from the height, they were like as tall as 2 feet?? What more when the weight could reach 4kg!

mosaic rooftop garden

mosaic interior

It was my first visit to Hakka Republic which is seriously not a Chinese restaurant heh but more of a Chinese themed bar and bistro serving western style food. The decor is very Chinese but yet modern chic. There is an oval room which contained a few sets of comfy sofas followed by a room filled with high table and chairs plus a dining set with a large display of wine bottles. According to Capt'n Hook, this was the typical layout of a Hakka home where the oval or round shaped room is to receive guests.

mosaic oval room

At the bar, you'll noticed 3 shiny machines holding bottles of wine inside. They looked like fridge but they're more than that. These machines are called Enomatic machine which preserved opened wine bottles. Hakka Republic is proud that they're first in Malaysia to have such system.

Enomatic machine

About the buffet brunch spread, it was certainly a hearty one even though the choices are not as wide like a hotel buffet but seriously, it's just nice for me. Chef Adi did a wonderful job here. Otherwise overloading and suffering at the end of the meal, something not very pleasant indeed. Priced at RM65+ per person, free for children below 10 years. This price doesn't include drinks but there is happy hour prices all day long or free flow of barley/rose oolong tea at RM9+ per person. We all opted for the rose oolong tea as recommended by Arby which is absolutely fantastic to go with all the meaty dishes.


Let's check out some of the spread... start with appetisers which you can find salad, cold meat etc




Then there's a hearty wild mushroom soup with assorted breads.

Wild Mushroom soup and bread basket

Close up of the appetisers, we have Smoked Duck Salad With Honey Hoisin Dressing, Salmon Gatteau, Creamy Peas and Ham, Tuna Salad...

mosaic appetiser 01

... fresh prawns with various dips and sauces, greens and pasta salad.

mosaic appetiser 02

There's a carving station serving Roasted Whole Sunshine Free Range Chicken, Oven Baked Lamb Leg and Yorkshire Pudding. Gerald informed the first roasted chicken was underdone hence they roasted a second chicken. I tasted the first one though the thigh meat which was passed on by BoiBoi, was a bit tough but the subsequent chicken was juicy. The Yorkshire Pudding was great to go with the meat and brown sauce.

mosaic carving station

Mains of Beef Wellington with steamed vegetables, Baked Salmon Fillet with stir-fried vegetables, and Chicken Roulade with potato confit.

mosaic mains 01

I personally loved the Beef Wellington which was perfectly done... oops sorry the gravy covered the beef portion hence you can't see the pinkish bit on it; and of course the Chicken Roulade. You can really taste the chicken meat and the texture is smooth and err how to say huh... chewy? Reminded me of how real chicken meat texture should be like just like those my mom used to rear festives seasons.

mosaic mains closeup

Since it's brunch, we got to order how we like our eggs to be done. Capn't Hook asked for omelette which I would say perfectly done. The centre of the omelette is still runny! Superb... the chefs at hotel breakfast should learn this is the way how an omelette should look like :p

I "shared" an Egg Benedict with BoiBoi but the moment it arrived at the table, the little fella started poking his fork and spoon into it. I reminded him he's supposed to share with me but omigosh I had to stop him since he ate quite a lot of food already. You should have seen me struggling to remove the plate from him whilst he's still stuffing himself hahaha... Luckily there were 2 bites left and no wonder he was so gelojoh cos it's simply delicious. The egg was poached nicely topped with a light creamy hollandaise sauce.

mosaic eggs

Desserts you can find quite a good mix of mixed fruits, Carrot Cake, Cheesecake, Fruit Flan, Apple Pie, Bread Pudding, Gugelhope Marble, Mango Pudding and Creme Brulee.


mosaic dessert

Of all, the Creme Brulee is really mean! BoiBoi was the first who started on dessert and he told me he liked it a lot. So later on when I had my share, I had to concur with him. It's luscious, firm on top with a crispy layer of burnt sugar and creamy at the bottom. I never had such a great creme brulee in Malaysia.

mosaic dessert close up

I captured these pics of BoiBoi enjoying his second serving of Creme Brulee but you'll need to imagine the mmmm and yummms sound coming from him... need I explain anymore how great it was??? In fact the rest, Capt'n Hook, Bee Hong and Gerald, gave thumbs up too!

BoiBoi enjoying Creme Brulee

It was indeed a great brunch in the company of so many people, which includes Jon and his family. Later on we met Thomas, one of the partners of Sunshine Chicken. Can see he's really passionate about his chickens and food haha. Upon his initiation... we're now going to organise a nice drive (about 2 hours) to Kuala Lipis to visit the farm (1 hour) then followed by a lunch of steamed Yim Kai and freshwater fishes in a restaurant nearby before heading back to KL. If you're interested please note down in the comment and remember to include your email (regular floggers don't need as I have your email already hehe). Tentatively it should be either Sat or Sun in October.

At the moment, you can only get your chicken here but you can always call 03 9102 3950 to place your order to be delivered to you. Otherwise, you'll need to visit these places to taste the chicken.

During the month of Ramadhan, Hakka Republic has a Ramadhan buffet priced at RM68+ per person with free flow of selected drinks. Remember to make your reservation!

Thanks to Jon; Gerald and Thomas (Sunshine Chicken); and Sue, Arby, Chef Adi and team (Hakka Republic) for such a wonderful time.

Sunshine Chicken (Sales and Marketing)
45-2, 2nd Floor, Jalan Menara Gading 1,
Medan Connaught
56000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 9102 3950

Hakka Republic
Lot 2.05, Level 2, Menara Hap Seng,
Jalan P.Ramlee
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2078 9908
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri: Lunch 12-3pm; Drinks/Dinner 5pm-1am
Sat: Lunch - closed; Drinks/Dinner 5pm-2am (kitchen opens at 7pm and last orders at 10pm)Sun: Buffet Brunch 1130am-330pm; Drinks/Dinner 5pm-1am

For a nicer full album of the food, check out my Flickr album.


  1. Aiyor...and i had to miss this, sigh! The buffet spread had lotsa quality stuff, i can see! Must try tat creme brulee, eh!

    Pls count me in for the K.Lipis trip :-) Must not miss it this time!

  2. Recently I had pak cham yim kai at Chemor, Ipoh. And I don't think I can ever have regular pak cham kai any more. It was soooooo good! Didn't need any sauce to go with it. Even the skin was good (the texture was almost like those brown sotong, but slightly softer).

    And it was a big bird. We were recommended a quarter chicken and when it came, it was almost the size of one regular chicken! Cost RM50 for that 1/4 portion. But it was worth every single sen of it!

  3. What a feast!!! To be honest, I was a little let down when I first found out that Hakka Republic didn't actually Hakka food but hey, I was overjoyed to learn of their enomatic machine! That makes everything OK!!

  4. yes, Chef Adi is a seriously good cook!
    he bakes the bread himself too and i think he makes the dessert (creme brule)?
    Wahh..frm the way yr gushing abt this..i jz cant wait to go!

  5. Serious stuff, but I am a poor buffet customer. Always undereat overpay:-) Food looks value!

  6. Hahaha PG, poor thing but am sure yr trip must be stomach bursting too. OK put you in the list.

    GFAD, sounds like they're using Yim Kai cos each one is about 4kg!!!

    550ml jar of faith, do give them a try, great food so far

    TNG, gosh we weren't told he baked the breads himself!!! Aisay I didn't try :p

    worldwindows, actually we're the same too dats why you never see us visiting buffet spreads :p we're small eaters!


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16 Oct 2012