Hotel Singgahsana Petaling Jaya,
Persiaran Barat, Off Jalan Sultan,
46760 Petaling Jaya.
Tel: (603)-7956 2100
Fax: 603-7954 2041
VETERAN executive chef Mohd Hafidz Aziz of Hotel Singgahsana in Petaling Jaya has a knack for concocting new recipes.
His creative juices are at its best when he has to entertain a large crowd like in weddings or during Ramadan.
I Having been around for more than three decades in this line makes me want to try and cook something different. It’s pretty interesting to see new recipes by just adding one or two new spices,” said the 62-year-old cook who will be heading a team of 17 staff in the kitchen during the fasting month.
His flair for creating menus is something that he attributes to both a personal sense of creativity and the experiences he had during his earlier days with some chefs he has worked with.
According to him, concocting new recipes is just as challenging as giving names to them.
And so for this Ramadan, he came up with dishes like Sup Tulang Gali-gali, Nasi Gelombang Laut, Nasi Kaimoana, Ayam Galo-galo, Daging Salai bercili, Daging Kapit Berserai and Lempeng Nangka Sirap Manja.
“We are having more than 150 dishes for the Ramadan buffet and it’s going to be something different this year. There will be a lot of special traditional dishes. What’s interesting for me as the ringleader is how to get my team together.
“From past experiences especially during Ramadan and peak hours, we can envisage the kind of things we should avoid doing in the kitchen,” Hafidz who joined Hotel Singgahsana for the third time last year.
He also said that it’s important to keep his personal stamp on the quality food and trained his staff to ensure that they are in top form despite fasting.
“I like to keep my recipes simple. I love simplifying everything from the system in the kitchen to the food like the Ayam Galo-galo and Nasi Kaimoana. It looks like rendang but it tastes different and it is flavourful and light. This dish goes well with tomato or plain rice.
“Nasi Kaimoana is an inspiration from New Zealand, using saffron, garlic, butter and seafood,” said Hafidz who first joined Hotel Singgahsana in 1987 during the time when it was known as Hotel Dayang.
He also makes sure that all the raw materials used are fresh from the market. “It’s a sin to cook anything past its prime especially seafood because it has such a short shelf life (two days maximum compared to several days for fresh meat). I’d rather not cook a dish than serve something a day too old,” he said.
Other dishes he created for this Ramadan are Kambing Bakar Berempah, Nasi Herba Teratai, Sotong Bakar Kerisek, Ikan Keli Masak Darat, Gulai Kawah Besar, Rendang Udang Portugis, Nasi Gelombang Laut, Cekodok Labu kelapa, Cak Lempong and the health drink Air Pegaga Gula Batu.
“The Air Pegaga Gula Batu is healthy, refreshing and quenching. Pegaga is often taken as part of an ulam but this time around I decided to introduce it as a health drink. Hopefully, after tasting it, many will like the taste,” said Hafidz.
For the dessert station, he has created traditional sweets with a different twist like the Cak Lempong, which looks like Roti Jala but is crispy and stuffed with mixed vegetables as fillings.
Though, there are many places offering a lot of varieties for Ramadan, Hafidz is not intimidated by the competition.
“Our coffee house takes pride in serving some of the best Malay food. So if you have something good like that, try not to change the menu too much. I’m sure, our regulars will come for our simple but delicious food. Most importantly, they go back satisfied,” said Hafidz.
Apart from the delicious food, there will be entertainment provided by popular eight-piece group Rabbani, marking their 21-year partnership with the hotel.
The Ramadan spread or Iftar Desa is priced at RM60++ per person (Adult) at Laman Putri and RM40++ per person (Adult) at Laman Bayu (Fri, Sat and Public Holidays). Kids between seven to 12 years-old and senior citizens get a 30% discount. For reservations, call 03-7956 2100.