Flavours of Malaysia Food Festival

Eat, Sydney / 30 September 2013

When award-winning chefs are flown in from Kuala Lumpur, you know your taste buds are in for a good time. Until 13 October the Flavours of Malaysia Food Festival transforms the Grace Brasserie into a Malaysian restaurant, complete with flashing bright lights and traditional tunes. In its fourth year, the festival showcases culinary delights from the southern states of Negeri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor.
Malaysian cuisine is a fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai and Middle Eastern – just to name a few. Think sweet, savoury and sour with lots of spices including chilli – which has been toned down but there’s still a chilli kick there.
DSC_0005-1You’ll find street food like chicken satay sitting side by side with dishes from ‘Tunku’s kitchen’ (Malaysia’s first prime minister) such as Sambal Udang (Prawns in Chilli Paste) and Ayam Masak Kicap (chicken in soy sauce).
One could never experience such a massive variety of dishes with a three course meal, so the Flavours of Malaysia food feast is served buffet style.
Chef Sharun bin Ramli is here to make fresh roti canai in front of your very eyes. He stretches the dough with the flair and efficiency of a chef who makes rotis every single day. Sharun explained that roti canai is traditionally eaten with dhal. But judging by the constant refilling of the satay bowl most people prefer their roti with the moreish peanut sauce.
The beauty of a buffet is there’s no chance of experiencing food envy. Kealous of the Pajeri Nenas (pineapple in curry sauce) your friend is having? You can have a whole plate of that too!
Wow, that beef rendang was so amazing, I wish I could have some more. Well, you can!
Start your journey with the cold dishes like Rojak Suun (glass noodles, bean sprouts, potato and bean curd with dried chilli and dried shrimp) and Kerab Laut (seafood with grated coconut) then grab a few vegetable and fish crackers. Come back to stack your plate with Melaka chicken rice balls and Char Kway Teow (fried rice noodles), Melaka Satay Celup (fish ball, crab meat, bean curd and vegeable on a stick), sticks of satay  beef, an assortments of curries and saucy chicken, fish, beef and prawn dishes.
There are two big clay pots filled with a duck and chicken spice broth that I would only recommend if you enjoy Asian style broths. This ain’t no chicken and corn soup.
At the end of the snaking buffet is an Ice Kacang bar and bite-sized jewels of sweetness. Ice Kacang is like an ice-cream sundae but with shaved ice and toppings like grass jelly, pandan noodles, corn, sugar syrup and evaporated milk.
It sounds crazy but it works and your mouth will appreciate it after the spicy meal. The colourful cakes are soft and jelly-like with coconut, pandan and gula melaka (palm sugar) flavours. A word of warning – do not try to bite the coconut coated Onde Onde in half. The dark syrup inside will embarrassingly squirt across the table almost hitting your fellow diners.
$40 Tuesday-Friday lunch buffet is available 12pm-4pm
$50 Sunday lunch buffet is available 12.30pm-2.30pm
$50 Friday-Saturday dinner buffet is available 6pm-9pm
Flavours of Malaysia food festival at the Grace Hotel
77 York Street, Sydney, NSW 2000