Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur,
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2263 7434
Business hours: 6am to midnight, daily.

Celebrity chef marks his return to Le Meridien KL with new dishes for the fasting month.

THIS Ramadan, former MasterChef Malaysia judge, chef Zubir Md Zain, returns to Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur’s Latest Recipe kitchens to prepare a host of buka puasa dishes.

“During the nine years I was here, Ramadan was always a huge project as the restaurant had to cater to a large crowd, many of whom were regulars,” said Zubir.

Despite starting his own grill establishment, the celebrity chef said he was more than happy to be invited by the hotel to conceptualise the menu for Ramadan 2014, with new Malay dishes in mind.

Given that there are more than 100 dishes on the menu, these are rotated throughout the week, with daily specials such as Beef Minced Shank, kofta and Balinese-style Baked Fish.

The beef shank was fall-off-the-bone tender and steeped in spices, while the kofta meatballs were well complemented with the black pepper-mint sauce.

Ramadan diners can enjoy an extensive selection of kerabu dishes and other appetisers ranging from Spiced Springrolls (popiah basah) to Kerabu Ikan Pekasam dan Daun Selom (Fermented Fish Salad with Selom Leaf).

Chef Zubir Md Zain carves the day's special at Latest Recipe, Beef Minced Shank.

Chef Zubir Md Zain carves the day’s special at Latest Recipe, Beef Minced Shank.

There is also a section for more “international” appetisers and salads, ranging from the do-it-yourself salad bar to prepared ones such as a Pasta Salad with Roast Fish and Olives and Beef Salami with Emmental Cheese and Leaf Vegetable.

Diners can also get a selection of seafood on ice, with green-lipped mussels, prawns, oysters and slipper lobsters with lemon and Tabasco sauce on the side.

The Japanese section offers sashimi and sushi, along with teppanyaki beef, chicken and seafood cooked on the spot, and garlic rice to go with the grilled meats.

Aside from banana, sweet potato, yam or chempedak fritters, the live Malay counter station also serves flavours from the north such as Penang Laksa, Sup Gearbox Utara and Lam Mee.

A Ramadan dinner would not be complete without roast lamb, and Latest Recipe’s kitchens and Zubir do not disappoint, with the Tender Lamb served Au Jus, accompanied with kabsah spices (a mix of turmeric, red chilli, pepper, coriander seeds, fennel, ginger, cardamom and cloves) on couscous.

To satisfy one’s sweet tooth, there is a variety of both local and Western desserts, including a waffle station, with accompaniments such as raspberry jam, peanut butter, mango, chocolate and raspberry sauces.

There is a variety of both local and Western desserts.

There is a variety of both local and Western desserts.

Chocolate fountains seem to be de rigueur these days, and Le Meridien does not stinge – diners have a choice of dark, milk and white chocolate dips.

There are also hot desserts such as pengat keledek, durian soup with pancake, and bread pudding.

While the bread pudding was tasty, Zubir said it was nothing like what his mother used to prepare.

“My mum’s cooking, especially her bread pudding, was a firm favourite with the whole family, because it was charcoal-fired and her secret ingredient was using coconut,” he said.

Latest Recipe’s Ramadan buffet runs is available until July 27, from 6.30pm to 10.30pm daily.

It is priced at RM138++ (Mondays to Fridays) and RM128++ (weekends) per pax.

Children aged between four and 12 are entitled to a 50% discount, while senior citizens also get a discount for weekend buffets.

This is the writer’s own observations and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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