Some times in March, my siblings and I talked about Ramadhan buffet and my sister asked me what about Tenera Hotel, since it is nearest to my office. She assumed I must have an experience dining there. Technically, yes, but not on Ramadhan buffet. And a some days later I saw the hotel’s giant billboard ad on their Ramadhan buffet: RM68 for early birds. Wow, that is cheap!
It wasn’t until late in April that I actually dragged myself to buy the vouchers (you have to go to Tenera to buy the early bird vouchers. But on a brighter side, that is how I found out they have Ladies Only Lunch Buffet on Friday, but I never tried those yet and will make a point to try them after Ramadhan). Even then, we had to buy 5 more through Fave apps. This one my sister bought since I am not familiar with the apps. But it’s the same price nevertheless. The kids 6 to 12 years old pays RM49 at the hotel on dining day. The early birds promotions are only for adults.
We arrived at the hotel around 6 pm. The buffet was held at their grand ballroom and food stalls spilled out even to the grounds. Traffic to the basement parking was diverted to the back alley of the hotel. Guests seating starts at 6.30 pm and we got the front-most table smack at the center, because I was really kiasu, when the girl said table booking only starts on 2nd of May, I called them so early in the morning of 2nd May, I might be the first one even to call. Ha ha ha.
After checking our tables, I went back up to my sister’s room (she was staying there because apparently Ampang is too far from Bangi *rolleyes*) and hangout a bit before going back downstairs. I thought I might as well feed Winter first so I can eat in peace later. Big mistake. On the hanging out part, I mean. Because everybody else who went in started to get their food and the gearbox soup was cleared out of their dulang well before Maghrib. Even the whole cakes on the desserts island were almost wiped clean. Although the smaller sliced ones and some kuihs remain. These two hiccups aside, you got a lot more other food to enjoy.
Just as any other Ramadhan buffet, the main dishes are usually of traditional Malay origin. There was Ayam Ungkep, a kind of beef dish I could not remember what its name, rendang, keli salai masak lemak with pucuk manis, and mixed veggies to go with the steamed white rice.
I couldn’t get a keli, but they had Kari Kepala Salmon which I *must* try.
I have been a fan of Kari Salmon since Winter of 2006, I think, when this stranger makcik I met on the flight back to Korea invited me to have lunch at her husband’s house. Her husband was there on training and she went to visit him. I was in love with it since then. Looking at the consistency of the curry gravy at at Tenera, I was skeptical at first. I wasn’t sure curry this thin could deliver, but boy I was wrong. It was so good that even my husband who never had any likings on salmon said it was a star.
White rice aside, they have colored rice too!
And noodles stations.
We think the fried mee looked nice, but it underperformed. I wasn’t sure it was the intention to make it taste mild (remember the healthy buffet at Westin?) or the cook just made a mistake when measuring, but the taste did not quite reach there. However if you really really really have to have mee like Winter (he’s becoming a real Mee Monster nowadays, you know like Mamee Monster but without the ‘Ma’), I would very highly recommend the Mee Rebus. The whole taste is there with this one that I can say it must be one of the best dish that night.
The Kambing Golek station, which usually has a long line in front of it at any buffet, this time barely had one. We find it strange too, since we didn’t think there’s anything wrong with the taste, but was happy nevertheless because it just means we can eat more. Ha ha ha.
And they have something as exotic as lidah. I don’ eat them. I wonder if my mom did. She’s the only one in the family who is old enough to eat these.
But there is quite a line in front of the seafood station. Look at those crabs! But I didn’t get one either. Sobs.
But the real star of the night must be this goreng-goreng stall. It has keledek goreng and cucur which vanishes as soon as they were put on the tray. I even had to wait patiently in front of the stall while carrying Winter to make sure I got my servings of keledek goreng. Extra star because they are thoughtful enough to put sambal kicap to go with the cucur and keledek goreng.
The desserts island boasts selections of whole cakes, sliced cakes, puddings and kuihs. The slice of whole cake I managed to get my hands on was good, it nailed the fresh cream finishing well: super light and not sweet. But my heart went to the tapai ubi. Because tapai ubi reminds me of my childhood when mom would go to the market on weekends and bought them and keep them in the fridge to be eaten cold.
There were four left when I made my round. I picked two, one for me, one for mom in case it ran out before mom arrives. And then I regret not taking all four of them. Ha ha ha.
There are a heck lot of other things I didn’t try. Like the roti john and roti canai. There was bihun sup and dimsum and chee cheong fun. There was the currently trending oden with spicy soup. Too bad they don’t have the not-spicy one, Heartbeat couldn’t eat it. There was pasta station (totally Winter kind of food, and the mac and cheese was really good I only got a spoonful from my brother’s). There were waffles station, fruits station, somtam station and ice-cream station.
But, if you really want to know the true culprit of my full tummy, it is THREE bowls of this! Ha!