Level 11
DoubleTree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur
The Intermark
182, Jalan Tun Razak
Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (03) 2172 7272/7680

Chef Prem Kumar shares some tasty tips on how to get the most out of Makan Kitchen’s extensive buffet spread.

WHEN you’re faced with a buffet of 150 dishes, where do you start? You’d have a hard time deciding what to eat.

Well, help is at hand. DoubleTree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur’s Indian sous chef Prem Kumar Jeyaraman offers to share some tips to get more bang for our buck.

A0AA310476D14BD49381658C48AFAC3CChef Prem is meticulous in his food preparation.— Photos by CHING YEE SING

Prem, who specialises in North and South Indian cuisine, with tandoori being his speciality, says an adventurous palate is compulsory when it comes to a buffet.

His first tip: “Spend a few minutes exploring and checking what’s available.”

Good advice to keep in mind since Makan Kitchen has not one, but three show kitchens that serve six types of local cuisine.

You’ll find a little card printed with the outlet’s layout plan and house specialities. The chef also advocates sampling new and unfamiliar dishes, especially specialities that we usually won’t cook or eat at home.

“I’d suggest Chinese diners start with some Indian and Malay fare such as Chicken Tandoori, Fish Tikka, Butter Chicken, Lamb Kebabs and Naans (Indian breads) or Ikan Bakar (grilled fish) and Satay.

“Likewise, I’d recommend Malay and Indian friends try our Chinese, Nyonya, Kristang and Ibanese specialities like Roast Duck, Nyonya Assam Prawns, Chicken Curry Devil and Pansuh Manuk.”

Contrary to popular belief, seafood is not the only pricey items available at a buffet. According to Prem, many Indian delights such as Palak Paneer and Five Dhal Curry can be equally costly to prepare.

He explains, “That’s because good quality spices and ingredients such as beans and pulses have to be imported, hence they are quite expensive. Do you know that 20 litres of milk can only produce one kilo of cottage cheese for Palak Paneer?

“Some dishes also require meticulous preparations. For a simple dish like my Five Dhal Curry, I must have different proportions of tuvar dhal, chana dhal, mung, masoor dhal and pulses to ensure the resultant curry turns out nice and smooth with some bite to it.”

0336F33BDBA242A9937ACA02D62B4A5ATandoori Chicken with condiments.

The chef also reminds us to take small portions of different dishes on each visit to the buffet spread instead of piling our plates at one go.

“This way you can enjoy a bigger variety. Once you identify items that you like, you can return for extra helpings.

“Also don’t be shy to ask the chefs on duty at Makan Kitchen’s various live cooking stations for help or recommendations.”

Chef Prem can explain about each dish and guides diners on the dips and sauces to use

It pays to be experimental and think out of the box too. When Prem plied us with his selection of sambars, dips and chutneys, we discovered unexpectedly that his coriander and mango chutneys, mint and yoghurt sauce went extremely well with the Roast Duck, Ikan Bakar and even Satay.

So on your next visit to Makan Kitchen, why not savour some Dim Sum or Roast Lamb with Chef Prem’s home-made saucy concoctions for a refreshing change? The possibilities are endless and your buffet experience will never be the same again.

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