Hilton Kuala Lumpur,
3, Jalan Stesen Kuala Lumpur,
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2264 2592/2596
Business hours: 6am to midnight, daily.

Chefs use only fresh ingredients to bring out the originality of flavours.

IT is all about taste in making an impression on one’s taste buds, and Hilton Kuala Lumpur’s four amigos, who are responsible for the buka puasa spread, know this.

The secret to mouthwatering goodness on a plate is in the fresh ingredients used, says chef de cuisine Hashrul Sehwan who has his fellow chefs Hassan Ahmad Shafawi, Farez Mohd Yusof and Arfizan Ab Rahim’s support on this.

Having spent countless hours in the kitchen cooking for hundreds of diners and with guests’ feedback, they know that using fresh ingredients brings out the originality in flavour of dishes.

Hence, there was no compromise when they were tasked to come up with a Ramadan spread for discerning customers.

Chef Hashrul (left) and chef Farez showing off some of the sumptuous finds on buffet line at Vasco's this Ramadan.

Chef Hashrul (left) and chef Farez showing off some of the sumptuous finds on buffet line at Vasco’s this Ramadan.

“In Malay cooking, it is important to stay true to the ingredients that our mothers and grandmothers used in the kitchen.

“They did not use ingredients sold in packets but sourced for a fresh supply of herbs and spices from the garden or local market,” he said, referring to the cili boh, powdered turmeric and powdered or canned coconut milk which are commonly used these days for the sake of convenience.

Take the Solok Lada Berkuah Pedas, a dish reflective of the state of Kelantan.

Fresh green chillies stuffed with fish paste made from Spanish mackerel and coconut is served with an enticingly tasty sauce that has daun kunyit, chilli, fresh turmeric and coconut milk among its ingredients.

Even the Puyuh Masak Lemak Cili Api Berkentang from Negri Sembilan has fresh chillies and coconut milk in its recipe.

“The quail is pan-seared in butter until it caramelises, then coconut milk and chilli are added to complete the dish,” he said of this delightful savoury flavour that was spicy and creamy.

A variety of Malay kuih to savour at Vasco's.

A variety of Malay kuih to savour at Vasco’s.

Most of the dishes here are personal recipes that were handed down over the generations.

The Pecal Jawa, a very tasty salad, if you like peanut sauce, is found among the appetisers.

This particular dish is from Hashrul’s personal folder of recipes, which he has relished since his childhood.

“This is a family recipe that my mother makes, and it has kafir lime leaves, daun cekur, peanuts, cili padiasam jawa as well as sugar and salt for taste,” said Hashrul.

The Mee Bandung Ibunda with Traditional Condiments is another tasty treat from his family.

“It is important to get the mee bandung sauce right when making this dish.

“The sauce is thick and flavoursome because we have shrimp paste, cili padi and the secret ingredient, Marie biscuits, which are used as a thickener,” said Hashrul, whose years growing up in Batu Pahat, Johor, helping his mother run a food stall selling nasi lemak, noodles and kuih muih, exposed him to street food.

A personal favourite was the Pari Asam Pedas Melaka, which was heavy with tamarind juice, but likeable for its sweetish, spicy taste and thick consistency.

“It is easy to make this dish as the ingredients are onions, garlic, torch ginger flower, polygonum leaves and dried chilli paste for the stock.

“However, we use about 80% tamarind juice for the stock, hence its enjoyable taste,” said Hashrul, adding that asam keping, commonly used in the asam pedas, was not used.

The Citarasa Warisan Malaysia buffet, which is on until July 27, is an invitation to embark on a culinary journey of unique Malaysian cuisines, featuring dishes from various states in Malaysia.

With an exciting rotating menu to look out for, diners will be able to satiate their hunger pangs with the likes of Ramadan Roasted Whole Lamb, Vasco’s Special Roasted Whole Chicken served with nasi hujan panas, nasi minyak, nasi briyaniand lots more.

The other dish that comes highly recommended here is the Patin Masak Tempoyak Pahang that was simply yummy when eaten with white rice.

Once you are done here, move on to the dessert area and find sweet treats such aslengkong gula melaka, pengat pisang emas and bubur durian with green peas.

The Vasco’s Ramadan buffet is priced at RM145++ per person and is available from the break of fast, onwards.

Besides Vasco’s, diners can break fast at Chambers Grill, as well.

To entice diners, there are complimentary Tunisian dates, traditional Lamb Kofte, sparkling Pomegranate and Elderflower drink and sweets that are served upon guests’ arrival. For mains, the special mixed grill platter includes signature skewers such as Charred Chilli Rubbed Beef with Basil Sauce; Lamb T-Bone Flavoured with Cumin, Onion and Date Compote; Robatayaki Grilled Baby Snapper and many more. A decadent Date and Orange Pudding with Yoghurt Ice Cream, Toffee Crunch and Caramel brings the feast to a close. The restaurant’s special mixed grill platter is priced at RM250++ for two or RM450++ for four persons.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by Star Metro.

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