Reviewed by Choy Kwok Ming
A couple of days a go, I got a call to sample Marriott Putrajaya’s Ramadhan offering. As we all know, the annual Malaysian Ramadhan buffets are a lavish spreads of food associated with the Malay culture. Currently being promoted at Marriott’s Zest Lifestyle Restaurant, it features a wide open area to highlight all that is fabulously Malay.
For me, it all began with some lovely dates to sweeten the palate, before the main meal. Marriott called it the Kurma Cravers Corner. It is a beautiful display of fresh kurmas, chilled kurma smoothies, kurma pudding and kurma cheesecake that set my mouth watering. To accompany it, I stuffed in a couple of beautifully crafted sweets, both traditional and modern versions.
I next hopped from food station to food station, unsure where to begin. The kawah section soon caught my eye. Featuring several large cooking pots (kawah), the smells of traditional curries wafted to my nostrils. Situated at the edge of an open courtyard, it reminded me of a traditional kampung feasts, where everyone congregated to scoop from the open pots. The kari kepala ikan (fish head curry) was delicious with its fresh fish, while the lamb shank (daging gulai kawah) was so tender it had me licking my fingers for more.
Next on my radar was the traditional food station. Here, the Kedah nasi ulam (rice with herbs) was a base for all the good things to come. I loaded my plate with some delicious udang lemak (prawn in coconut milk) with cili padi, daging rempah (spiced beef) with a side of ulam raja and sambal. Turning back to the kawah section, I mixed in a bit of curry from each kawah: fish head, mutton, tenggiri asam pedas. That was how my mum used to plate up every time we went out for nasi kandar in Penang.
Having had enough of the carbohydrates, I craved a little protein. The Grill beckoned with its lovely smells of sotong (squid), udang (prawn), otak-otak and ikan pari (ray fish): very traditional. There was also roast chicken and lamb, with a middle eastern kebab section thrown in. A small bite of each was sufficient to assure me that Marriott’s chefs were at their bests.
The seafood was another protein attraction, one I dared not say no to. It all looked so fresh and tempting. Cooked on the spot, you know it must be good!
Marriott has also gathered together some mamak pleasures such as rojak, murtabak, sup kambing and roti john.
At this stage, most people would have been sated by the deluge of good food, but I was on to the grand finale: the fruit section. Loaded with offerings from the Malaysian orchards, the fruit section had it all: durian (king of fruits), jackfruit, melons, papaya, etc. A guilty pleasure of mine, I had 2 helpings of durian. Washing everything down with a few rounds of sugarcane juice and another kurma smoothie, I told myself that I had better start dieting if I wanted to last another round at Marriott’s Ramadhan buffet.
Marriott Bazaar Ramadhan @ Zest Lifestyle Restaurant
Putrajaya Marriott Hotel
IOI Resort City
62502 Sepang Utara
Tel: +603-8949 8926 / 8761 / 8655
23rd June to 14th July, 2015