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Duyung Restaurant,
Grand Lexis Port Dickson,
Batu 2, Jalan Seremban,
Port Dickson.
Tel: 06-653 2000 ext 3350

Chefs use yoghurt and secret blend of 101 spices for a perfect roast.

The highlight of most Ramadan buffets is, without a doubt, the quintessential whole-roasted lamb, cooked to fork-tender perfection on a spit.

But at a time when every other establishment is serving the same dish, the difference between a standard roast and a winning one often comes down to the quality of meat and the tender, loving care that goes into ensuring a mouth-watering end result.

At Grand Lexis Port Dickson, chefs Nordin Ahmad and Rosam Zakaria flipped through dozens of roast lamb recipes before deciding on the cooking method and marinade for their Ramadan creation.

“Roast lamb is so common this time of year that we really wanted to do something special. So, instead of roasting it on a spit as we have done in the past, we decided to cook it in a convection oven tandoor-style.

“To ensure maximum flavour, the lamb is marinated in yoghurt and a secret blend of 101 spices including methi (fenugreek) leaves, cassia bark, candlenuts and dried chillies for 24 hours,” he said.

The combination of yoghurt and spices add depth of flavour and also tenderises the meat, making for a perfect roast every time.

While whole-roasted lamb (top pic) is a hot favourite of the hotel’s Ramadan buffet every year, the chefs have also added several new dishes to the breaking of fast menu.

Duck egg cooked in coconut milk and chilli is a popular Minang dish.

Duck egg cooked in coconut milk and chilli is a popular Minang dish.

Nordin, who hails from Perlis, introduced Northern fare into the menu such as Nasi Kerabu with Sambal Budu (herbed rice served with fermented fish sauce) while Negri-born chef Rosam employed time-honoured family recipes to dish up specialities like the popular Minang favourite — Telur Itik Masak Lemak Cili Api (duck egg cooked in a chilli and coconut-milk gravy).

Cooked using fresh seasonal produce from recipes handed down generation to generation, the kampung-style fare is often much-anticipated by diners.

“People often crave traditional flavours during the fasting month as that is the kind of food they would break their fast with in the kampung.

“That’s why the emphasis every year is to include these simple but tasty dishes into our Ramadan buffet menu,” he said.

The list of kampung-style dishes includes tempting fare such as Beef Rib Rendang, Squid Stuffed with Glutinous Rice and Gulai Lemak Betik Muda (young papaya cooked in a turmeric and coconut milk-based gravy).

Besides the traditional flavours available from the main buffet, chefs manning stalls set up within the hotel’s Duyung Restaurant will also be dishing up Malaysian hawker favourites for diners.

Appetising Nasi Kerabu served with fried salted fish, fish crackers, slivers of salted egg, fresh vegetables, budu and coconut sambal.

Appetising Nasi Kerabu served with fried salted fish, fish crackers, slivers of salted egg, fresh vegetables, budu and coconut sambal.

Guests can look forward to sampling rich and flavourful Nyonya Curry Laksa, Sotong Kangkung (cuttlefish and water convolvulus), murtabak, ikan bakar (grilled fish) andchar kuey teow among other popular dishes.

There’s nothing like a sweet ending to any meal and at the Grand Lexis, the options are plentiful.

Desserts range from luscious crème caramel and dainty French pastries to traditional Malay sweet treats like tepung pelita and bubur pulut hitam (glutinous black rice porridge).

An array of traditional Malay kuih, available for dessert during Ramadan at Grand Lexis Port Dickson.

An array of traditional Malay kuih, available for dessert during Ramadan at Grand Lexis Port Dickson.

Available until July 20, the Ramadan buffet at Grand Lexis features a rotating menu of more than 100 dishes daily that include freshly prepared salads and kerabu, soups, curries and Western-style dishes.

The buffet opens every evening from 6.30 to 10.30pm.

The buffet is priced at RM80 nett per adult and RM40 nett per child (between four and 12 years).

Muslim guests can use the prayer facilities at the hotel to perform their Maghrib and Isyak prayers.

For reservations, contact Duyung Restaurant at 06-653 2000 ext 3350.

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

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