Saturday, July 13, 2013

BCCK Ramadhan Buffet is back!

“Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for sungkei.”

Well hello food. We meet again. Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) is back for the fifth year offering its popular Ramadan Buffet, arguably the best and cheapest in town. I didn't say that, BCCK did, and I have to agree. With a new Executive Chef taking over, this year's buffet is presented in a Kampung Style. I didn't say that, the Chef did, but I must say the overall decoration and setup is pretty impressive.

I'm going to have to remind you that when it comes to taste, I am hardly an expert. Taste is subjective and one's view on a certain dish does not reflect the opinion of another or all. And the fact that I do not fast means that food is quite neutral to me. All the better because then it won't cloud my judgment after a day of abstinence. I love food and eating, so then all in all, in a way, that does make some sort of an expert right? :)

Anyway, let's not waste anymore time. Here I go directing you to my favorite dish served at an individual stall. BCCK is ultra famous for its roasted whole lamb, served with condiments and sauces. A little thank you note to the Chef for making sure there's some black pepper sauce to go with the lamb. If you remember last year, there wasn't any, at least not on the day I ate there. Although there is mint sauce to go with it, I prefer my lamb cutlets to be awashed and drowned in thick black pepper sauce. I find it more reveling that way.

Cutting and carving the freshly roasted lamb...

... and more lamb. The buffet starts at 6.30pm by the way. And by the time it was 8.30pm, that whole lamb was done with. And they brought in another freshly roasted one! Wow... Just how many did they prepare in one night? Awesome.  Can I please visit the kitchen?

Juicy, tender, and soaked in black pepper sauce...

Some of us made it to the lamb queue nearly 4 four times. Some of us were a little embarrassed to even go twice! Yep, the lamb is the winner that night, if I say so myself.

I probably should start with the cold dish first, but that's the beauty of eating buffet style. You don't have to follow the rules. The only rules you need to abide by are the ones set by your stomach and taste buds. Don't limit yourself, but then again, don't stuff yourself either. Haha. Pretty contradicting advice huh, considering the amount of dishes you need to try and the amount of room in your stomach. Take it from me... try a little bit of everything (exception to the lamb), and if you're don't mind, share with a partner so you don't waste food.

The fresh prawns poached on ice were really fresh, if that brains were any indication. The prawns were absolutely fantastic and just big enough for that impressive finish, but I may be biased because I like anything prawn. However the fish fillet served on the side were a little bit dry. But that can be solved by blanching it with a dollop of mayo or thousand island sauce.

Poached prawn on ice and served with fish fillet...

And my all-time appetizer favourite... Tempoyak in da house! To some of the locals, this dish plays a prominent part in their daily menu, especially if you're from the Kampung. But to the other urbanites, cityfolks, and out-of-towners, tempoyak is a special delicacy that is hard to come by. My mother tells me the best tempoyak is the fermented durian that has been kept for more than a year inside a clay jar. The longer the preserved state, the more acquired the taste. Like wine. I think.

Tempoyak...

Some, however, prefer to give this dish a wide berth. No matter, more for me! :p

What is kampung style without sambal belacan and ulam-ulaman right? How do I translate that in English... prawn paste dip? This goes with most raw veges for dipping, or fruits or just with hot steamed rice. The hotter the sambal, the better the sniffling effect.

 Sambal belacan...

Sour pineapple goes perfectly with the sambal dip. And pickled buah kedondong too! This fruit is called Ambra in Penang, and Google calls it Great Hog Plum. Whatever works.

Pickled kedondong and fresh pineapple for ulaman...

Remember last year I complained that the satay was tough? This year, to be honest with you, I didn't manage to get a bite. A weird thing happened... I took 4 sticks of beef satay and its usual accompaniment from the satay stall, drenched them in satay sauce, brought to my table, and waited to taste them while I heartily ate my roasted lamb. However Mike Cheng the coordinator for BCCK, called the media in for the scheduled tête-à-tête with the new Executive Chef. We left our food on the table and half an hour later when we returned, everything had vanished, including my untouched satay. Sigh... I already got my picture, so feast your eyes on this and you be the judge yourself. Deal?

Beef satay looked promising ... 

Be careful with the appetizers and the cold dish, you could be prematurely full on these alone. If that happens to you, take a seat back, slow down, and rest for awhile. Give them room to digest and slowly go down the system so you can make room for more. Like this crispy fried keropok, it's an instant hit with kids and adults alike. I know, there's nothing so special about them except that it's big and so crispy. There's some pickles to go with it but I forgot to snap them...

Keropok...

On the next stall, the fried kueh tiaw is simply delicious. Not too oily, and just moist enough, fried to perfection ... if there was hot cili padi to go with it, it would've been so much better. Almost like Penang Char Kueh Tiaw except for the missing clams... but I'm not complaining.

 Fried kueh tiaw...

Did I ever tell you that BCCK excels in dishing out the perfect Shawarma, a delightful pocket of heaven? Well this year, the pocket got a little bigger you need both hands to hold them. Bigger means more of everything inside. The Chef is being generous I see...

 Best Shawarma in town maybe?

For the traditional folks, they can also opt to break their fast with bubur lambuk, a favorite among kampung folks. The special thing about this porridge is it's normally cooked by the masses for the masses in a mass pot. Kind of like a communal food. It usually has bits of yams or potatoes mixed with rice as ingredients, to give it the thickness it needed. I must go into the Chef's kitchen to make sure I'm right.

Bubur Lambuk

The ikan terubok masin is a local Sarawakian dish, goes well with hot steamed rice. I took a piece onto my plate, took a bite and realized it was missing that crispiness bit the kind you get when deep frying stuffs. But don't let that slow you down...

Ikan terubok masin...

On to the bread section... look how pretty they decorate the whole setup! Almost felt like I was in Asian Food Channel (AFC) corner. Soft bread, hard bread, french bread, wholewheat bread... they have it.

What a pretty picture..

How's the feasting so far? I didn't take much pictures of the main dishes because those are the usuals. They have white rice and briyani rice, noodles, udang goreng berkunyit with petai, ayam percik bakar, masala mutton, scrambled egg chinese style, top shell with celery and snowpeas, braised tofu with minced chicken, umai... the list goes on and on...

Anyway, to wrap things up... we have reached the dessert table! There's so many little cute stuffs to pick and choose from, mini assorted tapas, sushi, etc. I'm just going to tell you about the ones that I did try.

This stuff below, an assortment of individually served miniatures of all things delightfull. Top to left to right... that looks like red beans cake or I could be wrong but because they tasted sweet, and mango and berry pudding (or maybe not) served with chocolate, and jellies. I'm bad with names. How about we just eat and forget about what they're called for a while.


And more desserts! Top to left to right... mini futomaki roll or I think that's what it was, sweet pastry with either apple or banana I wasn't sure but would go nice with hot tea, and meat cutlet on potato. Oh the names of this tiny stuffs...


And there it is, the chocolate fountain! Kids love this. I saw them flocking the place and dip just about anything there. Even adults go nuts after them. I overheard an aunty asking one of the waiter "Where can I get this for my granddaughter's birthday next week?' To which the smart waiter replied, "Why not just come over to BCCK next week?" Haha good one. The grandma would have a food party for the birthday girl and her guests!

 Orphaned kids treated to BCCK Ramadan Feast...

My other closure episode ended with this sweet 'ais kacang' and ice cream. For those with sweet tooth, the ais kacang is served sparingly so as not to waste, but you can go ahead ask the boys manning the stall to make you a double portion of everything inside a bigger bowl. They'll do so with an indulgent smile. Yep, I'm not kidding.

 Ais kacang...

I actually had coffee after the ice cream to balance things up. Too bad they don't have Bristot Coffee like they did last year. That coffee was awesome, I never tasted anything like it. Sigh. The cappuccino machine went missing as well, heard they put it at the RainTree restaurant next door... but the coffee they did serve at the BCCK Buffet wasn't that bad either. My only problem with it was it got cold too fast. But that's just me.

 And ice cream with chocolate sauce...

There are reportedly more than 70 dishes of everything altogether folks. I may be wrong, looks like nearly 100 altogether! You have to come here to try them out yourself because I may have a big appetite, but I do have a small tummy (referring to the content ok).

The flyer...

BCCK Ramadhan Buffet is now open to the public for Breaking of Fast until 4th August 2013. Price is set at RM75nett per adult and RM30 for kids aged 5 - 12 years old. Opening hour is from 6.30pm - 10.00pm.

For reservations, please call 082-392889. You don't want to miss this! I highly recommend it.

[Note: Pictures of Samsung Galaxy S3 phone quality only, and taken with the flash on. I love my phone.]

8 comments:

  1. OMG! Where did you get the Sambal Belacan??? Ugh! I must've missed the section. How come I miss the sambal, it's just impossibru~....but then again, I didn't take any rice that night to begin with. Hmm...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Never been to BCCK. Nice, the food? I certainly hope to drop by someday then...

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  3. you're right about the pictures... i feel like going back again =( i found the sambal belacan way too salty though... but that's nit-picking when on the whole it was really good. this year seems better than the last. :D

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  4. One of these days, I will go there again.

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  5. Garner Wyne: u didnt see it?? it's near the poached prawn, near the keropok, near the tempoyak.... if u go near the area lah :p

    suituapui: yes nice food. cheapest hotel quality food in town for the ramadan buffet, if i say so myself lah.

    CreativeBitchin: yes it is better this year. hope we'd have another year to make it 3 next year...:D

    Willie: u should come back :-)

    ReplyDelete
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