Last weekend, we went for a Ramadhan buffet at the local 4 Season’s Hotel. According to a friend we have to book a table early in Ramadhan before they get fully booked later in the month. At Rm144, I thought that it was somewhat steep but well since it was a gathering with some other Malaysians, I thought why not. Bila lagi nak pergi. Three years in London and I didn’t get to go to any iftar buffet.
But seriously I am beginning to doubt the value of iftar buffets. Afterall, how much can one really eat all at once especially since one have been abstaining from food all day? But anyhow it was a HUGE spread. There were about 4 soups to try from (I only tried the chicken soup) and there was some Asian dishes, Arabic dishes and Italian dishes. Then there are different salads and an array of sweets, both the Western and the Arabic kinds.
After the azan, I had a date and the soup, then we proceeded to perform our Magrib prayers. When we came back I had some salad, a spoonful of different types of rice and dishes, a small portion of pasta. And I was full. Tried some desserts and took photographs with the other ladies while trying to finish off my two scoops of ice cream.
Once again, I forgot my camera. The ballroom was decorated Arabian style with Bedouin tents. The ladies went crazy with the picture taking, which started BTW after most of the locals have left. Knowing that they are not very happy to have their pictures taken, especially when their faces were not covered, we took great care not to offend them. (There have been cases where people were beaten up for taking pictures of uncovered women.)
But what was really nice was that we managed to catch up with the other Malaysians here. Found out who was going back for Eid and who wasn’t. Most of us kept out abayas on throughout the dinner because all the other local ladies kept theirs on, but after most of the locals left, some of the ladies took their abayas off while taking pictures.
What was interesting for me was to see some of the more colourful and latest abaya design worn by the local women. Judging from the lack of staring, most of the local ladies are either well heeled, well travelled or perhaps come from other countries in the region. Even the men were somewhat more polite. Perhaps it was because they knew we were Malaysian. Somehow Malaysians are held in higher regard here, thanks to our dear Dr M.
There were also a few Malaysian chef working at the hotel. I teased them about not serving some of the normal Malay dishes. “Eh apsal takde laksa ni? Popiah basah ada? Mee goreng? Kuih lapis?” They just smiled at me. They were very busy making sure that the dishes are constantly topped up. I asked one of them if he had eaten yet and he said he only managed to break his fast with one glass of water. He told me he spent 2 hrs that afternoon doing up the fruit arrangement centrepiece. I wonder what’s it like to be working around food all day, cooking while fasting. But I guess they are used to it.
We left at 8:30 pm, giving us enough time to arrive at the shops just as they opened. The Ramadhan sale is also on full swing.
So if you are going to the pasar Ramadhan this afternoon, could you please buy for me some popiah basah (I blame WongAhBeng for reminding me of the deliciousness of this kuih), kuih puteri salad, kuih lapis, laksa, nasi kerabu, yong tau foo, air cincau, tau foo fa with the gula melaka and ayam perchik. Just to name a few. I won’t eat all of them at once I promise.
I must say I am tired of eating Kabsah and mande. And please, if we’re meeting up if/when I return to Malaysia please, please, please (I beg you) do not suggest that we have dinner at an Arabic restaurant! (Hahahah someone thought that it was cool to have iftar at The Sahara Tent last year.) I want some Malaysian food which I don’t have to cook myself!
Ishhh tengah puasa ni asyik bual pasal makan pula!
What did you have for iftar yesterday?