Nasi Padang with A TwistJuly 28, 2011 | 3,340 views
The signature “Ikan Bakar” (Grilled Fish) section where you can pick your fish from a choice of tilapia, kembung (mackerel) or keli (catfish)
It’s that time of the year again, when smokers don’t smoke, sinners don’t sin, and angels reign supreme. Yup, soon to be the holy month of Ramadan and much akin to how you should never cross Santa prior to Christmas, the fasting season begins. Bear in mind that when Muslims fast, not only do they need to stay away from eating/drinking for >12 hours a day, but their thoughts must be pure, sincere and without the slightest hint of malice in their intentions.
However, most urbanites look forward to the time for breaking fast nowadays ….
Where traditionally, people cook at home in anticipation of ‘buka sahur’ sessions (breaking fast), time, technology and rapid development has evolved the city dwellers especially the working class professionals into different characters all together.
It’s not uncommon to see immense crowd at Ramadan bazaars (Pasar Ramadan) in the evenings buying truckloads (more or less) of food for dinner. And tradition takes a giant backflip when major hotels in the city cash in on the festive season by offering array of mouthwatering temptations in their respective buffet spread.
Time for a family portrait? The mother and son duo of Mak Deli & Irwan dishing up a storm at Melting Pot Cafe @ Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur this coming month of Ramadan.
Whilst most establishments settle for the safer routes of traditional Malay cuisine (lemang, ketupat, satay, rendang, etc) combined with a touch of international influences (sashimi, sushi, Western pies, lasagne etc), the management of Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur took matters into their own hands and diverted the attention back to good old Padang delights from Pariaman; a coastal city to the west of Sumatera.
Clockwise from top left : Keropok Kulit Lembu (cow’s skin crackers), Ayam Kampung Bumbu Bakar (roasted seasoned free-range chicken), Sambal Udang Petai (Spicy stinkbeans with prawn) & Terung Balado (Spicy eggplant)
For Nasi Padang, the condiments shine on a most complementary level – Delicious sambal (chili paste) in both red and green varieties, the daging serunding (meat floss) and the boiled stinkbeans in a spicy paste (petai rebus)
Daging Dendeng Balado (Beef Jerky in a spicy sambal paste)
Curry Fish Head is but one of Melting Pot Cafe’s signatures that has already been fixed into the daily buffet staples.
Sup Gearbox; aka Bone Marrow Soup served in a humongous chunk enough to feed 2-3 pax. So only ask for a portion if you’re sharing this.
Don’t go creative and savour the raw flesh on the spot. Instead, pick up a slab and let the masters behind the grill perform their magic.
Fresh seafood on a bed of ice …. mussels, oysters and boiled prawns.
Alongside the curry fish head and sup gearbox, this hefty marvel of a stuffed whole lamb with briyani rice begs to be devoured ….. and a sight to behold. Imagine they need more than a pair of hands to serve this ingenious combination; and you have a rough idea on how popular this is with the crowd.
They have a counter for fresh prawn tempura, roti john (a street food combining meat, egg omelette sandwiched between a toasted/grilled bun), and this kebab station where he was happily slicing up some well-marinated meat for the masses.
Naturally, you would want to go for the tried-and-tested, safer choices like tartlets, pastries and cakes. But why not give their pengat (sweet soup) a try? The “pangek pisang” (with mashed bananas) and “pulut hitam” (black glutinous rice gruel) are good stuff, though slightly sweet. Desserts ARE meant to be sweet, no?
Sala Bulek (bottom left), Kue Kelapong (upper right) and Lapek Maleh (bottom right)
For the month of Ramadan only, hence take this opportunity to enjoy the richness of Padang cuisine cooked by two very capable pair of hands; the mother and son duo from Pariaman themselves.
Nasi Padang has origins leading to the Minangkabau people from West Sumatra. Liberal use of coconut milk, chilies and spices dominate the Padang cuisine; largely characterized by robust flavours and usually an impressive range of dishes for any one meal. If you have been to some authentic eateries in Klang Valley serving Padang food, then you might be able to attest to the interesting presentation of plates after plates of dishes served up before you even prior to you making an order.
Notable dishes include the delightful ‘Paru Goreng’ (fried cow lungs with spicy sambal paste), Gulai Urat Lembu (cow’s tendons cooked to a gelatinous/jelly-like consistency, in a gravy redolent with spices), Ayam Kampung Bumbu Bakar (their signature roasted chicken) and Ikan Bakar (twice-grilled fishes basked in their secret marinade). For your snacking pleasure, go for the keropok malinjo (we call them ‘belinja’ here too) dipped in various condiments; from red/green chili sambal to one with petai (stinkbeans). Or if you’re adventurous and craving for something different, the keropok kulit lembu (cow’s skin crackers) is a definite must try.
Desserts may vary from day to day; but the Godok Batinta (close resemblance to our cekodok pisang made of mashed bananas) warrants a try … though first impression might be misleading. So much for mistakenly thinking they were buffalo wings!
They have 3 Ramadan menus on a daily rotation basis to avoid complacency, disdain for a mundane/predictable array of dishes, and to offer repeat diners something different on subsequent visit.
Price : RM89.00++ per person. Additional 20% discount during the 1st and 4th week of Ramadan.
*This was an invited review courtesy of Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur and Melting Pot Cafe. Thanks to Miss Julini for extending the invitation.
MELTING POT CAFE (HALAL)
Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur
2, Jalan Sultan Ismail,
50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Telephone : +603-2144 2200, ext : 2337 for reservations.