ZEST LIFESTYLE RESTAURANT,
Putrajaya Marriott Hotel,
IOI Resort City, Putrajaya
(Tel: 03-8949 8888 / 8926/ 8761)
Business hours: 6.30am-10.30am,(breakfast)
Noon to 2.30pm (lunch),
Noon to 4pm (Sat, Sun and public holiday brunch)
and 6.30pm-10.30pm (dinner).
IT WAS a pleasant surprise when the Ghazal band at Zest Restaurant in Putrajaya Marriott Hotel began playing the first few chords of Bee Gees’ To Love Somebody.
Stepping out of the norm of playing only familiar songs for Ramadan, the band will serenade guests as they feast on the wide array of food laid out for the restaurant’s buka puasa buffet this year.
Instead of following the crowd, I followed my nose, and of course, stomach. What attracted me first was the roti bom.
This dish takes me back to my younger days when I would savour this slightly sweet yet thick dough when dining at mamak restaurants.
In the same corner there was also roti canai and murtabak, cut up into smaller pieces for those wanting small portions.
It was a good start to the buffet but I would have preferred a warmer meal.
The highlight of the restaurant’s Ramadan buffet, called “The Legendary Marriott Ramadan”, are dishes served in seven large silver woks, aptly named Tujuh Kawah, which are the restaurant’s seven stars of the buffet line.
They are different Malaysian dishes, from chicken to prawns and squid cooked in a variety of ways, that can be paired with white rice or eaten on its own.
As always, when it comes to buffets, there must be a plan – where do we start first?
For the review, they served Telur Itik Gulai Kampung, Kerutup Daging Cek Badbing, Udang Goreng Sambal Petai, Ikan Asam Rebus Tempoyak, Sotong Goreng Kunyit, Ayam Percik Kelantan, and Lalu Lemak Putih.
To be honest, the roti bom was quite filling. So take my advice and start on something lighter.
Among the seven dishes, I would have to say that my favourites were the Ikan Asam Rebus Tempoyak, Ayam Percik Kelantan and Udang Goreng Sambal Petai.
I paired these with some white rice and when had together, it was surprisingly good.
Restaurant chef de cuisine Mohd Haidhir Azham said this year’s buffet spread was different with more local dishes.
About 80% of the food served is traditional Malaysian fare but there was a need for Western dishes to provide guests with choices, he said.
“The Tujuh Kawah dishes will be rotated in six menus. Each day, a different set of seven dishes will be served,” he said.
He recommended that guests try the Ayam Golek and also venture to their orchard on the courtyard for durian.
For Haidhir, his favourite Ramadan preparation has to be the famous roast lamb, which is a hot seller.
Ramadan doesn’t only call for Malay cuisine, as is evident in the many Ramadan buffets in the Klang Valley.
At Zest, there are corners for Chinese food too, such as fried rice, mixed vegetable, spring onion lamb, fried chicken and fish.
There is also a yong tau foo and noodle counter serving Mee Rebus Muar and Bihun Soup Utara.
A buffet would not be complete without live stations.
Apart from the chefs flipping roti, there is also grilling stations where guests can pick up grill fish, Portuguese styled grilled stingray, and seafood that can be paired with a range of condiments.
For dessert, you will be spoilt for choice with the variety of cakes, kuih-muih and fried snacks such as pisang goreng, cekodok, cucur udang and cempedak goreng.
There is also cendol, leng chee kang, pudding and bubur kacang.
This year was the first time I gave serawa durian a try.
What I had was a small bowl of sweet yet smooth durian paste paired with roti jala.
There was a choice of pulut as well.
On top of that, there are also special desserts for Ramadan using dates as its main ingredient. Choose from date cake, date tarts or date juice and smoothie.
Quench your thirst after a hearty meal with truly Malaysian drinks such as sirap bandung and limau asam boi.
The buffet until June 30, is priced at RM135 per adult and RM120 per child aged five to 12.
Discount for group bookings of 10 persons and above is available upon request.
Reservations are recommended.
Club Marriott and Maybank Cardholders can enjoy 20% off for a maximum of 10 persons per single bill.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.