Selamat Hari Raya dan Merdeka

BCCK Ramadan Buffet

Selamat Hari Raya to all especially my muslim readers and also a happy Merdeka Day to all Malaysians. Since the Muslim calendar has always had a drift of 11 to 12 days in relation to the Gregorian calendar, this is an extremely rare occasion. The last time Merdeka and Raya was so close together was in 1979 and that was like 6 days apart! Tun Hussein Onn was the PM, Lord Mountbatten was assassinated and Michael Jackson releases his first breakthrough album, Off the Wall.

Another rare occurrence was Arsenal being handed an 8 goal drubbing. Losing 8 – 2 to Manchester United on Sunday was the first time in 115 years that they let in 8 goals. The last time that happened was in the 19th Century. Sorry Arsenal fans, I had to bring this up in an article about rare occurrences. I 8-2 be an Arsenal fan at the moment. Sorry again.

Ooops! I did it again.

Of course not everything is a rare event. The Ramadhan Buffet at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) is certainly isn’t. They had the buffet on for a good part of the month of Ramadan, only ending last Friday. With the price of RM65 nett, customers were certainly not rare. In fact, this year they were using their main hall which could cater up to 1000 diners.

Of course what’s the point of a buffet if the food sucked. Well I am happy to report that the food at this buffet was good overall. There were a few things in the buffet that shouldn’t have made it on the menu. And of course there were the awesome dishes which had people queuing up for them.

Let’s start with the bad. The bubur pedas. I have to say that I have never had bubur pedas before and wouldn’t make a very good judge the quality of the dish. But while I can’t comment on the authenticity of the dish, I can say that it taste a lot like satay sauce, which I think it shouldn’t have. Some of the other complaints were a lot more minor. The ikan bakar, for example, was not as fresh as it should have been and had a strong ‘fishy’ taste to it. Also, the briyani rice was a bit undercooked in my opinion. This is really not a big deal since you shouldn’t have too much carbs while eating a buffet anyways.

Now for the good bit. The roast lamb. I knew that they had a good roast lamb before I went and it did match my expectations. There is always a queue for it even though there are two stations serving them. They give you three types of sauce to choose from, a local looking type which a fair amount of chillies in them, the classic mint sauce and a hollandaise sauce. I went with the mint sauce and the hollandaise sauce. Both the sauces work well with the lamb, enhancing the flavours and giving the meat a bit more oomph.

The second interesting thing there was the shawarma. I haven’t had a good one since my days in Australia, usually after a night out and slightly drunk. The ones made here were done with chicken. They should have done it with lamb instead. Now that I think about it, I should have taken some of the roast lamb and ask the person at the shawarma station to make one with it! Whilst this doner kebab isn’t the best I’ve had, I enjoyed it as it did bring back some memories of days long gone.

The third is one recommended by a staff of BCCK, their homemade noodles. It is a simple soupy noodle that had a nice broth. My dining partner complaint that the dish was a bit bland. She was right but I still think the noodles were good enough to have a mention here especially since it was cooked al dente giving it a nice springiness to its texture.

There were also plenty of other dishes that were good. They had tapas and amuse bouche. Standard appetizers like smoked salmon. Salad stations. Jeruks and ulams were also available as were salted fish. They had roti canai and fried carrot cakes. There was simply a lot of food there and we couldn’t sample all of them.

I should also mention the amount of desserts they have here. There had plenty of cakes, cookies, fruits, puddings, jellies, ice creams and ice kacang. They even had a chocolate fondue station. We definitely had as much dessert as we did the main courses. Yummy.

Overall, the buffet here was worth the money especially if you consider that some of the other hotels were charging higher prices for their Ramadhan buffet. For those of you that consider BCCK to be too far away to go for a meal, well it isn’t really that far. Even from MJC on the other side of the town, it is only 15km away. The distance is halved if you start from the city. Besides, distance has never been a good excuse to miss out on a gourmet meal.

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While you would have to wait for a year before they have this buffet again, you can still come and enjoy their food at Raintree Restaurant. I’ve also been informed that they will have a special event for Christmas and the New Year celebrations. They might also have something up their sleeves in October as well. Fingers crossed then.

Funnily enough, I think I should end with a Michael Jackson song released the last time we had a Merdeka Raya, all the way back in 1979. Seems like an appropriate song for a blog about a buffet.

Here is Michael Jackson with Don’t stop till you get enough.

Disclaimer: Eating buffet should be done in a moderate manner. Stuffing yourself can and will cause indigestion. It did in me but it was worth it.


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