Saturday 29 June 2013

Balik Kampung Feast @ Paya Serai, Hilton Petaling Jaya Hotel


Whenever Ramadhan bounds, I can't wait to sample the traditional Malay dishes served at Paya Serai, Hilton Petaling Jaya. I have to vouch that Paya Serai serves one of the best Malay buffet spread in town. The only thing is that the restaurant will be packed to the brim and you'll need to make a reservation way way way ahead otherwise, don't even think about it.

This year, I heard they are going back to the kampung (village) style cooking with some new dishes to keep up with the newly refurbished Hilton Petaling Jaya such as Sup Gearbox, Mee Rebus Tulang, Lamb Shank Beriani, Udang Goreng Daun Kari and Ikan Patin Bakar Tempoyak. 

However, Paya Serai's ever green dishes like Daging Rendang Tok, Bubur Lambuk, Ayam Perchik, Ikan Terubuk Panggang and Nasi Bokhari Ayam will not be sidelined. Very happy to say that the menu will be rotated on a daily basis.

Hilton Petaling Jaya’s Ramadhan promotion is priced at RM109++ per guest on the first week while RM129++ per guest on the following days. Children below 12 years old is at half price. Make your reservation starting now until the 1st of July to enjoy an early bird discount. 

Hilton Petaling Jaya Hotel
No 2 Jalan Barat,
46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel: (+603) 7955 9122 (Paya Serai extension 4567/4261/4096)
Hilton PJ F&B blog,

Photos courtesy of Hilton Petaling Jaya

Thursday 27 June 2013

Review: The BIG Benquet's Ramadhan Rendezvous Pop Up Buka Puasa Buffet Dinner

Ramadhan Rendezvous Pop-Up Buka Puasa Dinner Buffet

Muslims round the world will be starting their Ramadhan (fasting month) pretty soon. In Malaysia, this is the month where many pop up Pasar Ramadhan with all sorts of colourful and mouth watering food stalls opening up. I guess The BIG Group decided to join the bandwagon but in the comfort of a food court. Even though the location is currently known as Burp! on the 4th floor of Bangsar Shopping Centre, and it's not associated with The BIG Group but plans are underway to rebrand this food court to strEATs. Apparently The BIG Group has big plans for strEATs where it will housed four different concepts of art, entertainment, food and play.

Ramadhan collage

We have a small preview of it in the form of a pop up buka puasa buffet dinner catered by The BIG Benquet. An area of the food court has been cordoned off for buffet diners. A band to be worn on the wrist will be introduced to differentiate buffet diners from food court diners.

Buffet dining area

This is the menu of the buffet which is priced at RM70+ for adults and RM35+ for children 12 years old and below. When I asked Kenny Lee (The BIG Benquet's Catering, Event & Sales Specialist) whether the items on the menu will be rotated and he replied no. I'm quite surprised by this actually as I thought to keep attracting diners to come, one would rotate the menu so that diners would be able to taste a wider range of dishes.

We sampled some of the dishes on offer and I have to say the dishes do taste authentically Malay. Best part, the dishes are quite healthy as I do not see the thick layer of oil covering them. There's the ulam (fresh herbs and vegetables) and sambal belacan platter as well. Very happy to see my fave daun selom here. There were fish crackers and belinjau chips too which went well with sambal belacan.


Then there are other starters such as fruit rojak, gado gado, Thai mango salad, eggplant & ladies fingers sambal... not forgetting a Western addition of Caesar Salad with the options to add your own chicken slices and crispy beef bacon, one of my fave order from Ben's.

Rojak Buah

There's a section of BBQ items such as beef and chicken satay, ayam percik, grilled lamb shoulder and yummy grilled stingray.

Beef & Chicken Satay

Beef Brisket Rendang

The dishes that goes down very well with steamed white rice were beef brisket rendang, ayam masak merah, sotong goreng berbawang, a rich sayur lodeh and stir fry kailan. We loved the beef rendang a lot and it was a wonder it was so tender as brisket was used. The squid rings were cooked in turmeric which lend a nice yellow hue on the dish.

Ayam Masak Merah

Sotong Goreng Berbawang

Can't go wrong with stall concept in a buffet, so do expect a curry laksa stall and a beverage stall. From the beverage stall, help yourself to sirap bandung and teh tarik. Perfect to break your fast as these are not too sweet else it would have over power the palate.


There's a DIY ice kacang section but our only grip was too little condiments! On the tray were just black jelly, sweet corn, peanuts, gula melaka syrup, rose syrup and evaporated milk. We missed having the basics of red beans and cendol. Since this was just the preview, hopefully it will have a full range of items when the buffet starts on 12 July 2013.

Ice Kacang Condiments

They have Capt'n Hook's favourite sweet soup - bubur cha cha. It was very well cooked except that it's a tad too thick.

Bubur Cha Cha

We also feasted on the assorted Malay sweet and sticky cakes known as kuih (singular) or kuih muih (plural). Lol can squeeze in language lesson in between *shakes head*.

Kuih Muih

Well, if you can't make yourself available to visit this pop up buffet, The BIG Benquet is introducing Ramadhan catering!!! Yes, believe me they can come to your door step to serve you all the BIG goodness and the prices are really easy on the pocket starting from RM60+ to RM80+ per pax.

Don't forget, at other times, The BIG Benquet can cater any events according to your needs, from an intimate dinner for 2 up to a party of 500! Just call +603 6209 1770 or email

We would like to thank Salina & Associates and The BIG Benquet for the wonder hospitality.

The BIG Benquet's Ramadhan Rendezvous Pop Up Buka Puasa Buffet Dinner
4th Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre
Reservations: +603 6209 2202
12 July - 4 Aug 2013
6.30pm - 9.30pm

Latest updates
More photos on my flickr album

Updated 29 June 2013: 

I was informed that the menu has been updated to this one here, very extensive now I would say:

by The Big Benquet 
Buka Puasa Menu 

Sup Ayam 
Assorted Bread 
Potato Bread 

Rojak Buah 
Gado Gado 
Som Tam 
Kerabu Pucuk Paku 
Fish Crackers & Belinjau Chips with Sambal Indonesia 
Eggplant & Okra Sambal 
Ulam Ulam & Sambal Belacan 
Caesar Salad 
Caesar Dressing, Turkey Chips, Parmesan Cheese, Boiled Egg and Croutons 

From The BBQ Pit 
Beef & Chicken Satay with Condiments 
Percik Marinated Chicken Wing with Sauce 
Leg of Lamb with Mint Sauce 
Grilled Marinated Stingray Fish with Assam Sauce and Limau Kasturi 

Nyonya Bee Hoon Curry Laksa 
Shredded Chicken and Condiments 

Beef Rendang 
Ayam Masak Merah 
Sambal Sotong 
Sayur Lodeh 

Steamed White Rice 
Nasi Kerabu 
Telur Masin 
Pickled Garlic 
Freshly Cut Ulam 

Dessert Counter 
Bubur Cha Cha 
Assorted Malaysian Kuih 
Chocolate Fountain 
Seedless Grape Skewers 
Mini Brownies 
Baby Red Velvet 
Sticky Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce 
Assorted Fruit Basket 
Lychee Jelly 
Salty Caramel Ice Cream Sundae 
Ice Kacang with Condiments 

Beverage Stall 
Teh Tarik 
Sirap Selasih 
Air Mata Kucing 
Soya Bean with Cincau 

Menu Price RM 70 + per person 

Friday 21 June 2013

Kiwifruit & Apple Breakfast Smoothie

A lot of times when you feel like having a quick breakfast but yet packing in loads of nutrients that can last through the entire morning, try this smoothie combination.

Kiwifruit & Apple Breakfast Smoothie

When you go through the steps, you'll notice that I blend the flaxseeds into powder like form. I've read somewhere (can't recall now) by using them in powder form, you will reap more fibre and nutrients from them as the smooth seeds may just pass out undigested. You may add in some yoghurt but I did not since I don't have any on hand :p If I have bananas on hand, I will add one in as well.

Kiwifruit & Apple Breakfast Smoothie
Serves 3 - 4

1 Tbsp flaxseeds
2 Tbsp rolled oats
3 green kiwifruits, peeled and sliced
3 medium sized apples, peeled and sliced
120 ml milk
3 Tbsp honey
1 cup ice

Place flaxseeds in a blender and blend flaxseeds* into almost powder like. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend till smooth and serve immediately. If you let it rest for a longer period, somehow the flaxseeds will turn the smoothie a little jellied which may not go down well for everybody.

* If you use them often, you can blend them in a larger batch in a spice mill into powder form and store in air tight container in the freezer compartment.

Personal Tips:

I usually freeze fruits that I would use in any smoothies. I would remove them for about 15 minutes from the freezer before using. This way, I do not need to use any ice, hence the smoothie pack more punch.

It's a great way to store excessive fruits that threatened to ripen in the freezer. To prepare, just need to peel and slice the fruits up before placing them in air tight container or even zip lock bags. If they're fruits that tend to oxidise, I will squeeze a little lemon juice over and toss.

Monday 10 June 2013

Paccheri with Salmon & Tomatoes

I chanced upon Paccheri recently when I was shopping for pasta meant for a catalogue photoshoot. It's a rather huge but short tubular pasta which has a diameter of about 1 inch and about 1 1/2 inches in length. After the shoot, nobody wants to take the pasta back so I pack them back and used them in 2 recipes. I did a bit of research, it's good for a sauce atop them or stuffed. When paccheri is done properly, it will flatten and not broken into small pieces.

The second time I chanced upon paccheri was during the launch of Italiannies' Festa della Pasta Promotion.

The first recipe, I just racked up something rummaged in my pantry and fridge. I had a can of wild salmon given as a gift from Canada which I've turn it into a tomato based sauce. A very simple dish that one can come up in less than 30 mins. Fresh salmon can be used too or even canned tuna fish (whole in brine).

The other recipe, I just stuffed the cooked paccheri with a beef bolognaise and layer with white sauce and cheese, baked them in a dish ala lasagne. BoiBoi loved this a lot and is already asking me to make again.

Hope you'll like this.

Paccheri with Salmon & Tomatoes

Paccheri with Salmon & Tomatoes
(Serves 4)

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (400 g) whole tomato (I like Cirio)
1 can (180 g) wild salmon (can be replaced with fresh salmon or even canned tuna)
150 g cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Extra chopped parsley and grated parmesan to garnish

Heat oil in a pan and saute onion until soft (5 - 8 minutes). Stir in garlic and chili flakes (if using). Next pour in the canned tomato. Using your spatula, break them up into small pieces. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add in a generous pinch of salt. Cook paccheri until al dente. The serving for pasta per person is about 75 - 80 g per person. Drain pasta and reserve some liquid.

Lastly add in cherry tomatoes and salmon. Season with salt and black pepper. Add in the cooked paccheri and chopped parsley. Mix throughly but gently. You may add in the pasta cooking water if it's a little dry. Dish into individual plates and garnish with grated parmesan and chopped parsley.

Blog Revamping

Hello... I'm in the midst of revamping my blog to make my life a little easier. So do not be alarmed as work is still under construction.

16 Oct 2012