Savor something Malaysian without having to leave the country.
Berjaya Makati Hotel, the first venture in the Philippines of Malaysia hotel chain Berjaya Hotels and Resorts, is laying out a sumptuous feast for its Malaysian Food Festival this month.
Norazman Chung, general manager of Berjaya Makati Hotel, says the festival runs the entire August, in line with two major Malaysian celebrations—Eid al-Fitr, which ended the Islamic fasting month on Aug. 9; and the National Day of Malaysia on Aug. 31.
To give diners an authentic Malaysian treat, Chung says, “we are getting a chef from [Berjaya] Times Square to train our staff. Before this, members of our staff were sent to Malaysia to
train for six months. Now he’s here to train the other staff.”
Chung “borrowed” chef Ong Ah Lye from Berjaya Times Square, the chain’s flagship property in Kuala Lumpur.
Helping Ong oversee the preparation of Malaysian dishes is Berjaya’s executive sous chef Robert Joseph Mabalay, who has been at the helm of the hotel kitchen. Berjaya serves different Asian cuisines—Indian, Filipino and Indonesian.
Malaysian cuisine has generous use of spices, coconut milk, curry.
The rich coconut cream is infused with lemongrass that coats tender chunks of slow stewed beef in Berjaya’s version of the Malaysian staple dish beef rendang. Then there’s the playful touch of turmeric on squid in Sotong Masak Kunyit, or the Malaysian fried chicken with Ayam Goreng Berempah.
Other Malaysian treats include Sambal Ikan Bilis (anchovies cooked in chili paste), Kari Ayam (chicken curry) and Roti Canai (soft thin bread). For starters, Berjaya serves Achar Ikan (fish pickle) and Kerabu Udang (shrimp salad). Soup lovers can try Sup Ekor Lembu (oxtail soup) and Mee Udang (noodle soup).
Assorted rice cakes, pastries and Bubur Kacang Hijau (sweetened green bean soup) offer a sweet finale to the Malaysian
gastronomic adventure, which perfectly goes with Teh Tarik (frothy milk tea) freshly prepared on the spot.
Berjaya partnered with the Malaysian Tourism board to mount the festival. Chung described the festival as a celebration and a “cultural exchange, to let Filipinos try Malaysian cuisine.”
The Malaysian Food Festival buffet is offered for P499 net per head. It is served for lunch.
Berjaya Makati Hotel is at 7835 Makati Ave. corner Eduque St., Makati City. For reservations or inquiries, call 7507500; e-mail [email protected]; or visit www.berjayahotel.com.
PHOTOS BY EDWIN BELLOSILLO