El Patio Cafe Restaurant,
Level M1, Melia Kuala Lumpur,
16, Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2785 2828 ext 267
Business hours: 6.00pm to 11.00pm
IF YOU like some spice in your meal, then your dining experience at the El Patio Cafe Restaurant in Melia Kuala Lumpur will be worth it.
The restaurant is currently having “Arabian Nights Buffet” promotion for Ramadan that highlights the rich tastes of Middle-Eastern cuisine.
“Middle-Eastern dishes use a lot of spice and lemons. These give the dishes a somewhat tangy taste that sits well for many,” said hotel executive chef Mohamad Shariff.
He said the spices used in Arabian cuisine were similar to those found in Indian dishes but the way it was used differed.
There are four rotating menus comprising between 80 and 100 dishes and it also includes Malay favourites.
Such a Middle-Eastern spread would not be complete without the Chicken Machbous, a platter of rice served with roasted meat on top that most locals are familiar with.
“For this dish, the chicken is boiled first before it is roasted in the oven. The remaining chicken stock is then used to cook the rice which lends the grains plenty of flavour,” he said.
Mohamad said the nine different spices used in the dish were black and white pepper powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, clove, star anise, cayenne pepper and chilli powder.
Other dishes recommended by Mohamad are the Braised Bendi with Lamb, Baked Fish with Tomato, Potato and Lemon, Lamb Khouzi along with baked and grilled vegetables.
“Middle-Easterners like pasta such as spaghetti and penne and we have included them here along with Arabiata and seven spice tomato sauces,” he said.
Mohamad added that the dessert section featured desserts with stories to tell.
“The Ummi Ali dessert is said to have been created by the mother of Ali, who had ran out of dessert for her guests and then shredded up bread into a pan.”
“She added milk, assorted nuts, raisins and fruit preserves into it and baked it. After adding a layer of cream on top, she baked it again to get a nice golden-brown colour and since then it has been a favourite among many,” he said.
El Patio’s Ummi Ali version is made with croissant for that subtly rich and smooth taste.
Other desserts include the almond and pistachio bakhlava, almond and pistachio halva, maamoul and mkhuti.
“Middle-Eastern desserts are very sweet. They use plenty of nuts and sugar syrup in them. We have toned down the sweetness to cater to the locals,” Mohamad said.
The promotion is available until Aug 29 and is priced at RM78++ per adult or RM39++ per senior citizen or child below 12-years-old. Those who come in a group of six will only need to pay for five.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by Star Metro.