Ramadan, which is just days away, is primarily a time of worship for Muslims – but the occasion is also filled with moments of warmth, togetherness, and food-oriented camaraderie deeply rooted in tradition.
Luckily for us, the Klang Valley overflows with top-notch dining establishments which pull out all the stops during the Holy month with lavish spreads of Ramadan promotions, specials and deals. So if you’re looking for a buka puasa recommendation, we’ve got just the place for you.
Chefs at Zende Restarurant, Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur, have prepared a specially-curated dinner with all sorts of mouth-watering delicacies in their Citarasa Zaman Berzaman Ramadan buffet. Featuring over 200 cultured and traditional buffet dishes encompassing delicacies from Malay, Indian, Chinese and Western cuisines, the spread is a wistful culinary experience of nostalgias. We had a chance to experience the magnificent buffet during a preview recently, and BOY were our taste buds tantalised!
For the buffet preview, quite a number of people and members of the media were invited, which meant that the queue for the food was super long. So while we waited in line, we thought “why not try desserts first?” Citarasa Zaman Berzaman offers a wide range of Malay desserts and snacks, such as tepung pelita, lepat pisang, keria, rengas and so much more. They even had assorted puddings, jellies and fruit tarts as well as ice kacang. All their kuih were legit good. They tasted like the ones you buy at Bazaar Ramadan! Some of our favourite picks were the seri muka, lapis, talam keladi, onde-onde and kaswi. Besides kuih, we also tried some dodol and biscuits too. And just before you head to the buffet spread, right at the entrance is a station that serves hot apam balik. What’s Ramadan if you don’t have this sweet Malaysian peanut pancake turnover? Usually, apam balik is thicker and chewy (almost like a pancake), but some places serve you thin, crispy ones. At Zende, they served the crispy version and it’s a great idea, because after a heavy meal, you would prefer something light and crispy to eat. We loved the apam balik as they had generous fillings and was served hot.
When the queue finally shortened, we went on to try some of the mains. We started with the usual satay and peanut sauce. The buffet spread offered two types of satay: chicken and beef, but we preferred the chicken, since it was more tender and juicy. I think those who attended the preview will agree, seeing that the restaurant had to refill the chicken satays. The peanut sauce was also good. Chunky and sweet, with just a hint of spiciness.
Citarasa Zaman Berzaman had a variety of Malay curries. Amongst them, our favourite was the gulai kari ayam. Pairing that with white rice, we felt as if we were enjoying a homecooked meal. The curry was so good, with a hint of sweetness and spiciness, and the chicken pieces were also tender. There was fish curry too, but it lacked a wow factor for us, as we still felt the gulai kari ayam was the highlight. For something extra, you can try their Nasi Mandi.
While we were busy enjoying our meal, we saw some people carry a huge bowl with a HUGE piece of bone in it. According to our fellow media friends, the dish is called Sup Gearbox, a creamy stew-like soup of flavourful boiled onions and other spices. You can pair this soup with white rice, but it’s usually eaten with bread. If the huge bowl is just too much, you can opt for the smaller bowl, where they add in small chunks of meat and fill it with the stew. It was our first time trying Sup Gearbox and we loved it. The meat was tender and juicy, and the soup itself was amazing. Zende restaurant also prepared something for seafood lovers. Try their Seafood on Ice – a crushed bed of ice displaying an array of fresh seafood such as prawns, mussels and scallops. Of course, they’ll cook it for you. We tried their grilled baked mussels. They had a fresh, sweet-cheesy taste and we loved them.
The next item on the buffet spread is a must-have. As mentioned, this buffet spread is a mix of different cuisines. For a Western take, try their Kambing Panggang (roast lamb) that comes with a variety of sauces. Our recommendation is to pair the roast lamb with black pepper sauce. We weren’t tempted by the roast lamb at first, but after one bite, we just wanted to get more. You can taste the amazing juice and flavour of the lamb right in your mouth, which is what makes this item a must-try. The meat was so tender that you wouldn’t have a hard time chewing. We absolutely loved it!
After all that food, we thought it’d be good to chill with a hot cup of teh tarik, and guess what? They have it! After going to a few Ramadhan buffets lately, this was the only buffet spread that serves Malaysia’s iconic pulled tea! The best part is, they serve it hot. The teh tarik was good, but it was kinda sweet. But that didn’t stop us from getting more cups of it. Besides teh tarik, they have coffee, sirap bandung and other juices too.
We had an amazing time at Zende restaurant, and it was as if we had visited an Open House during Raya. The atmosphere was lively and the food reminded us of home and comfort. And while we enjoyed our meal, there were live dance performances and singing too, which made the event more joyful. Right outside the restaurant, they have this lovely rumah kampung set up, where you can take lovely pics in your OOTD! Also, during the Ramadan buffet, there’ll be staff members in old-school outfits giving away traditional treats.
Experience a nostalgic Ramadhan feast at Zende Restarurant, Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur. The Citarasa Zaman Berzaman promotion is available from 25th March to 20th April 2023. Early birds get to enjoy a special rate of 20% off from now till 15th of March 2023.
For enquiries or booking, visit Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur’s website; and follow them on Instagram for more updates.
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