Review: Vasco’s modern “Ramadan Bazaar” favourites

Updated on May 19 2015

While most of us will associate typical dishes like beef rendang with Ramadan bazaars, Vasco’s at Hilton KL gives diners a chance to experience culinary innovation with their take on sought-after Ramadan delights.

Atmosphere

The festivity in the air is intensified with a kampung-style ambiance that’s embroidered with traditional bazaar Ramadan stalls – much like what you would expect to get at a local outdoor food carnival, but with that refined touch. The place is decked with candle-lit lanterns and the melodious tune from the traditional Ghazal group that adds on to the lively atmosphere. What makes it special is the gong-beating ceremony before the breaking of the fast and digging in to what’s in store.

Expect a homely twist to Vasco’s modern interior.

Food and Drink

Old time favourites take on a contemporary twist: The ikan sembilang masak lemak tempoyak (simmered catfish in fermented durian coconut gravy) was fragrant with a just-nice tinge of thick gravy.

An interesting addition to the menu is the classic naan and butter chicken combination that had the perfect blend of spices, without one overpowering the other, cooked in tender meat and with gravy that grew to be rather addictive. The typical lemang was refurbished into a take that was a little unexpected – glutinous black rice in bamboo instead of the usual – but retained the original sticky texture with a different, updated taste.

Dessert wise, the tableau of kuih-muihs took centre stage besides the pengat nangka (jackfruit congee) and pengat durian (durian congee) that took on the Malay proverb of “pencuci mulut” in a literal sense. The live appam balik station proved to be the hit of the night. Instead of just the usual peanut filling, the chefs bestowed a choice of cheese, kaya, peanuts and — wait for it — Nutella.

The spread is pleasing to the eyes as to the stomach
The Ramadan Bazaar spread is pleasing to the eyes as to the stomach.

Chef Faizal, chef de cuisine of Vasco’s, drew inspiration from different signature cuisines from the northern states of Malaysia as well as culinary influence from his mother – which explains the personal homely touch to the dishes served. To complete the Ramadan experience, ice cream potong for the final dessert is not one to miss, especially for those who grew up with this childhood favourite.

Verdict

One word: Nostalgic. With a buffet spread of local comfort food and festive favourites, Vasco’s aim of communal dining and family celebrations this Ramadan can definitely be fulfilled in a joyous manner.

Vasco’s Ramadan buffet will be available RM184 nett per person. Bazaar deals are 20 percent off from 18 – 25 June and 12 – 18 July. Hilton Premium Club members and CIMB credit card holders can enjoy the weekend deal at 20 percent off. Maybank Card members are entitled to 15 percent on weekends.

Hilton Kuala Lumpur Hotel, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, +60 3 2264 2596, www.life.hiltonkl.com

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