BCCK Ramadhan Buffet 2012 Olympics

BCCK Ramadhan Buffet 2012

The Olympics are here, the Olympics are here! From the 27th of July to the 12th of August, the world will be focusing its eyes on London where 10,500 athletes from 205 nations are expected to participate. Those athletes will all be competing to find the best in their fields. But to a lot of them, being there is an achievement by itself.

The opening ceremony is definitely a breath-taking spectacle. From the rural hills in the stadium to the forging of the Olympic rings, from Mary Poppins and Lord Voldermort to James Bond and the Queen, it truly shows the artistry, talent and humour of the Great British Public. The lighting of the Olympic flame was also impressive and full of meaning, with the old athletes literally passing the torch to the younger generation. The Olympic cauldron itself is made up of 205 petals, representing each of the 205 nations or territory participating in the games. After all the petals were lit, it slowly rose to form the cauldron. Very impressive but it kind of reminded me of a big bunch of joss sticks!

Anyway the best part of the ceremony was this:

The Malaysian contingent this year was led by one of our very own, the girl from Bau, Pandalela Rinong. She is the first female flag bearer for Malaysia! Imagine that, what an honour to lead our Malaysian team in the Parade of Nations, which includes two other Sarawakian divers, Bryan Lomas and Traisy Vivien Tukiet.

But our best hope for Olympic gold is with Datuk Lee Chong Wei! The badminton maestro is already in the semi finals at the time of writing. Go Lee Chong Wei! The other medal hopeful is our track cyclist, the Pocketrocketman, Azizulhasni Awang. He has won gold in other international events before and hopefully this time he can get another!

Like the Olympics, the BCCK Ramadhan Buffet is also currently underway. The buffet, which has been a Kuching favourite for the past couple of years, is back. Taking up the entire Grand Hall at the Convention Centre, this must be the biggest buffet in town. It is also nicely decorated, maybe not to the standards of the Olympic but it is better than the year before, giving the place a nice ambience.

Another similarity to the Olympics is the fact that the dishes here, like the athletes, are from all over the world. We have the Shawarma from the Middle East and Mediterranean, Lamb Provencal from France, Mussels Au Gratin, Aloo Ghobi from the Indian subcontinent and a Mongolian Barbeque amongst other things.

Malaysian favourites are also available as well. Things like sambal tempoyak (fermented durian), daging kerutub, beryani Kambing and even our own Sarawakian favourite, ayam pansuh.

The star of the show at this buffet has always been the Roast Lamb. This is the Michael Phelps of the BCCK Ramadhan buffet. Where else can you get a roast of a whole lamb! Because it is so popular, they have a few on stand-by as well! Like last year, they served with a choice of three sauces, although this year I believe that they changed the sauces a bit. It is now served with an asian looking chilli and vinegar sauce, a classic mint sauce (wouldn’t be sporting to leave this out) and a mustard sauce. Last year was a hollandaise sauce I believe. And like last year, the lamb is still a spectacular dish, nice, juicy and tender. If you are inclined to, just let the server know which cuts you like, I’m sure he would oblige.

The Lamb Provencal is another dish that I would recommend. It is lamb cooked in a tomato based sauce with herbs. The gamey taste of lamb is balanced out by the tanginess of the tomatoes. The piece of meat I had was nice and tender but a friend dining there at a later date found the meat to be tougher (to be fair, she still liked the dish).

The mussels au gratin was another hit. It was cleared within minutes of the start of the buffet. A whole tray, gone in under 2 minutes. Must be some kind of record. When I did finally get my hands on some, there was a lack of cheese on the mussels, making the dish average at best. But when I went for seconds and got some distinctively cheesy ones, it was delicious! So here is a pro tip folks, make sure to pick the cheesiest mussels for a great tasting experience!

I’m not going to go through everything that I ate, but it is fair to say that most of the dishes were good. I didn’t manage to eat everything at the buffet and there were some things like the bread rolls, that I stayed away from. There were some clangers, like the Szechuan soup that was more like brine than soup and the overtly dry and over-spiced briyani. I’m pretty sure that these are more of errors made on the day, then a judgement on the quality of food here. Those dishes may taste better when you have them here!

Again, like any Olympics, sometimes you get surprise performances from the relatively unknowns. This Olympics is the teenage Chinese swimmer, Ye Shiwen, who broke world record for the 400m Individual Medley. This year at BCCK, the surprise dish was the fried kueh tiaw. I ordered (yes ordered, they cook this on the spot) this as it was recommended to me and boy was it good! I was already quite full when I had it but the taste was so fantastic that it gave a breath of life to my appetite. It was a perfectly cooked fried kueh tiaw. Not too dry, not too oily. And the heat from the chilli sauce was yummy. I know it is a bit weird to go for a heavy carb dish like this at a buffet, but save some room in your tummy for this dish. You won’t regret it.

Just one last word before I end. To all our Malaysian Athletes, do your best! Malaysia Boleh!


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