Taste of traditional Malaysian cuisine

The Ramadan buffet themed, Tradisi Sajian Sepurnama at Ponderosa Golf & Country Club promises to take breaking-of-fast diners back to the traditional tastes that they are familiar with.

Guests helping themselves to the hot buffet at The Cafe,
Ponderosa Golf & Country Club
With the start of Ramadan just days away, the resort decided to invite some 25 guests to dine at a Malay-style buffet dinner along with our media preview.

These special guests are from Persatuan dan Rekreasi Orang Kurang Upaya under the care of Pusat Pemulihan Dalam Komunity (PDK) Johor Jaya.

“Once a year and usually during the Ramadan season, we try to give back to the community by providing a sumptuous dinner to under-privileged people,” said Ponderosa Golf & Country Resort general manager, Ivan Teo.

“We are all fortunate people and we should not forget the needy people in our community especially during the festive season. While everyone is happy, they too deserve to be happy,” he added.

Chef serving Soup Tulang Berempah
In addition to a good meal, the guests are presented with Raya goodies as well as cash gifts in Green Packets, with the resort’s best compliments.

Meanwhile I see Executive Chef Zamani Kidam and his culinary team who are busy with setting up the buffet in The Café.

A chef is carving the roasted whole lamb while another chef is fanning up the flames on the grill and the aroma of grilled chicken is tickling my nostrils.

“This year we bring the traditional Malay food experience a notch higher by having a bazaar concept of food stalls that not only serve food but other stalls that sell festive clothes and accessories,” said Chef Zamani.

He said the buffet spread will offer a spread of over 100 types of dishes each day in eight different menus that will be changed daily.

At the live-cooking stations I spot Laksa Sarawak, Otak-Otak, Satay, Nasi Kerabu, Indian favourites like dosai, capati and puri with gravies, Nasi Pecel Lele, Nasi Ayam Penyet among other local specialties.

Warm and comforting Soup Tulang Berempah (Yum!)
A chef is bending over a stove, stirring a dark brew and when I ask, he tells me it’s Soup Tulang Berempah… A beefy broth brewed with traditional spices – Yum!

Among the popular Ramadan specialties are Nasi Arab Kabsah with Roasted Whole Lamb, barbecued spring chicken with Nasi Minyak and Kambing (lamb) Tindih atas Dulang.

In the hot buffet, there is a range of Malay ‘lemak’ dishes prepared with rich coconut cream to savour with steamed white rice. Besides these dishes, there is also irresistible Ikan (fish) Assam Pedas with Kacang Bendi (okra or lady’s fingers)!

The fresh salads include ulam-ulam and buah petai
Keeping close to the Malay tradition in the salad section, there is a choice of ulam-ulam or kampong greens and even plump buah petai to enjoy with appetizing spicy sauces.

From the queue waiting to be served, one of the popular kampong-style desserts here must be the Ice-Cream Goyang-Goyang!

At the dessert section, there are up to 1o types of Malay kueh, jellies and puddings but my eyes are riveted on the dessert which is being kept warm in a chaffing dish.

While its label reads as, Kueh Sepang Keladi its appearance reminds me of the Malay dessert known as Badak Berendam, literally translated as ‘Soaking Rhinos.’

Freshly grilled fish (in foil) and tender chicken parts
I’m still looking at this dessert when a nearby chef (who was probably watching me studying the dessert!) tells me, it’s a must-taste item in the buffet.

He goes on to say that while its name is keladi (yam), it is actually made with keledek (sweet potatoes).

No, I didn’t quiz him as to why it is named keladi when it’s made with keledek. Instead, I make a mental note to keep some space to taste this highly recommended dessert.

By this time, the invited guests have helped themselves to the buffet and are already eating so it’s time for me to taste some of the items in the spread.

A piece of Kueh Sepang Keladi soaking in coconut cream
Just as I’m sinking my teeth into the tender flesh of the grilled chicken, I’m told that it comes with a side of sauce. I find the grilled chicken nicely marinated and tasty so I borrow a line and replied, “It’s so good you can eat it on its own!”

Before I can even start on dessert, all attention is suddenly on the Kueh Sepang Keladi as one after another, the others discover how delightful this local dessert tastes.

While its pastry, drizzled with coconut cream, is made of sweet potato, the filling within is a mix of juicy desiccated coconut soaked in rich Gula Melaka or palm sugar.

Sedap giller!” – This simple, colloquial phrase aptly says it all!

Check out the juicy insides of Kueh Sepang Keladi!
The Tradisi Sajian Sepurnama buffet will be served from May 20 to June 13 at RM78 nett per adult and RM38 nett per child aged five to 12 years.

Early Bird purchases made before May 19 will enjoy RM10 discount on the adult price.

Seniors aged 55 and above and the disabled will enjoy a best rate of RM68 nett per person throughout the season.

Group purchases for 10 persons will get an additional one adult and one child (aged five to 12 years) to eat for Free.

The Café at Ponderosa Golf & Country Club, is located at No. 3 Jalan Ponderosa 1/1, Taman Ponderosa, 81100 Johor Baru, Johor.

For reservations, Tel: +607 – 354 9999 (Sales Department) or email: neba@ponderosagolf.com.

For more details on the Tradisi Sajian Sepurnama buka puasa menus and resort promotions, visit website: ponderosagolf.com

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