Ramadhan is the holy month for the Muslim people, where fasting is done from dawn to dusk. During this time, Muslims from around the world would fast as a symbolic remembrance of the suffering of others and as a purification of heart and mind. In Malaysia, it is common to see Ramadhan buffets peppered all over town to celebrate the breaking of the fast and one such restaurant is Enak. The Ramadhan buffet here serves a selection of traditional Malay cuisine with a contemporary twist, such as their Signature Bread and Butter Pudding with Gula Melaka.
All through the month of Ramadhan, Malay restaurants in Kuala Lumpur will serve a selection of speciality dishes as part of their Ramadhan buffet. As a kitchen which is run by Chef Ahmad Kamaroull, a chef who learned cooking from his mother, who understands Johor cuisine and Malay cooking very well. When asked what his philosophy is and what are his favourite ingredient to use is, he stated: –
“My philosophy is that you have to cook from the heart and with passion or you don’t cook at all. Technique and methods of preparation can be learnt, but if you don’t feel what you cook and understand why you are doing it, there’s no reason to do it. As for my favourite ingredient, the answer may not surprise you but its belachan. It somehow resonates with people on many levels, whether it be from childhood experiences or because it just sits right on the palate. It’s not only versatile but it’s a very emotional ingredient, especially for people born in Asia, people who have chosen to migrate here, and tourist visiting.” — Ahmad Kamaroull, Executive Chef of Enak Kuala Lumpur.
The Ramadhan buffet at Enak provides a wide selection of appetisers, mains and desserts, served with a contemporary twist. The selection ranges from traditional Muslim fast breaking ritual starters like kurma (dates) to the more traditional Malay like the cucur udang. As a buffet spread, you can pick and choose what tickles your fancy, but these are a few of the popular choices.
The first dish, an appetiser, was the Pisang Goreng dengan Kicap Sambal Belacan (Banana Fritters with Spicy Soy Shrimp Paste), consisting of fried banana fritters with a side of a sweet and spicy sambal belachan soy dip. This was one of the quirky and interesting dishes, as banana fritters are generally had on their own. Quite counter intuitive, but tasty.
The second dish, an appetiser, was the Cucur Udang (Prawn Fritters), consisting of fried prawn fritters served with a side of sweet Thai chilli inspired sauce. These fritters are battered and seasoned, mixed with beansprouts and carrots, and then deep fried.
The third dish, a salad, was the Kerabu Ayam Bunga Kantan (Chicken and Torch Ginger Salad), consisting of shredded chicken, shallots and torch ginger, which has a distinctive taste, tossed in a fish sauce dressing.
The fourth dish, a salad, was the Kerabu Taugeh (Beansprout Salad), consisting of beansprouts, shallots and chilli, tossed in a fish sauce dressing.
The fifth dish, an assortment of condiments, was the Sambal Terasi, Sambal Cincalok and Sambal Hijau (Shrimp Paste Sambal, Fermented Shrimp Sambal and Green Chilli Sambal). Sambal terasi (or sambal belacan) and sambal hijau are quite common, and although it is generally hard to find great ones, Enak has prepared them well. The outstanding condiment however, would have to be the Sambal Cincalok, where cincalok, a Malaccan export, is made from fermented shrimps and has a pronounced astringent note. To make this into a sambal was actually quite clever.
The sixth dish, a main course meat dish, was the Ayam Goreng Bijan (Sesame Fried Chicken), consisting of a deep fried chicken with sesame seeds. The flavour actually comes from the marinating and seasoning itself, a mildly spicy fried chicken dotted with white sesame seeds for texture. A must try.
The seventh dish, a main course meat dish, was the Daging Merah Kacang Hijau (Red Cooked Beef with Green Beans), consisting of red cooking, or “masak merah”, a traditional Malay style of cooking consisting of tomatoes, onions and chillies. The green beans added a little bit of crunch to the rather chewy dish. The meat was chewy, but not sinewy. Most Malay cooking uses all of the beef cuts, traditionally a good way to fully utilise the whole animal. This was probably the most noticeable dish, full of flavour and highly recommended.
The eight dish, a main course fish dish, was the Ikan Sambal Goreng (Fried Fish in Sambal), consisting of mackerel stuffed with chilli paste and desiccated coconut. Key flavours would be turmeric and the belacan (shrimp paste) mix.
The ninth dish, a main course fish dish, was the Gulai Ikan Tongkol (Skipjack Tuna in Turmeric Coconut Curry), consisting of skipjack tuna cooked in a rich and sweet-savoury santan (coconut milk) gravy. The gravy is usually quite light and has a subtle spicy kick to it.
The tenth dish, a dessert, was the Caramelised Banana, consisting of baked banana with a sweetened caramel syrup. A simple and nice little number.
The tenth dish, a dessert, was Enak’s Signature Bread and Butter Pudding with Gula Melaka, consisting of a traditional English bread and butter pudding, but instead of being served with custard, was served with a Gula Melaka (coconut palm sugar) custard. This dessert cooked in a small pot, was full of flavour and the Gula Melaka added a nice molasses rich taste to it. A great way to end the meal.
The Enak Buffet Ramadan Experience
The Ramadan buffet at Enak manages to let you taste a bit of everything, and is a great way to sample many of the traditional Malay dishes that you would only find in Malay homes. It is so important for a restaurant to have good service, As Founder and Owner Sherena Razali quips: –
“You do it from the heart, and you must always take care of the customers as if they were family. We started this restaurant based on four generations worth of recipes, and the idea that everyone who steps into our doors has to get that Enak experience of feeling warm all over. We want to deliver a warm and welcoming experience. The food is part of the focus, but I truly believe that how you feel leaving is also a huge part of it. A buffet is a buffet no matter how you put it. All we can offer is a great variety of dishes that rotate throughout the week; dishes that hit the spot and leave you feeling full and satisfied and wanting more.” — Sherena Razaly, Founder and Owner of Enak Kuala Lumpur.
For a full immersive experience of the ramadhan buffet, head on over to try our some of their iconic dishes.
LG2, Feast Floor,
181 Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur.
+603 2141 8973
12:00 pm to 12.00 am
| PHOTOGRAPHY BY: NICHOLAS NG | WEBSITE: ENAK KL |