Saturday, April 07, 2007

A spread to Tempt the Palate at Grand Continental Hotel

THE popularity of hi-tea buffet has gradually reduced at some hotels following the emergence of many trendy eateries.

"Customers have more choices these days so the hotel is no longer the first place that comes to mind when they want to have tea somewhere nice and cooling,” said Grand Continental Hotel's public relations officer Anne Foo.

Experienced chef: Fong with some of her creations.
“Also, unlike before, besides the coffee house, hotels now also have other food and beverage outlets and thus do not aggressively promote the former," she said.

The hotel has brought hi-tea forward to 12pm to 4.30pm so guests can enjoy dainty desserts and lip-smacking snacks after a leisurely lunch at the Marble Arch Coffee House.

The buffet spread has also been expanded to include outdoor live stations that serve some all-time favourites a la minute.

Fresh prawns and mussels served alongside grilled meats also add value to the hi-tea.

Chef Jenny Fong, who has worked with the hotel for 20 years, whips up the spread. Hailing from Ipoh, Fong said she was “an overall chef” who could handle western and the many local cuisines.

“I live in a Malay village, many of my friends are Malays and Indians. I learn the recipes from them and sometimes I modify the recipes slightly to achieve better results. My husband is also a cook and we always exchange ideas,” said the affable chef.

Fong is famous for her local fare as well as cheesecakes.

Her specialties are part of the buffet spread. Among them, she is proud of her version of Durian Cendol with a subtle durian aroma that blends well with the other ingredients, especially palm sugar.

"For this, we don't have to use the best durian because the cendol's good taste depends on the technique of preparing the durian puree," she said.

The Curry Laksa is said to be 100% homemade as Fong does not even use ready-made curry powder.

Piping hot: The outdoor a la minute stalls serve pasta.
"The stock is made of 19 types of ingredients and requires two hours of continuous stirring," she added.

Tempting: Prawns and mussels plus local delights add value to Marble Arch Coffee House’s hi-tea.
The grilled items, even though they are cooked a la minute, require careful preparation. The meats are marinated overnight with fresh herbs including dill, thyme, marjoram and rosemary.

Fong started as a pastry chef and her cheesecakes are famous among diners and the hotel staff.

"I think it is popular because it is not overly rich. I have modified the recipe and have been using it since 1986," she added.

The hi-tea buffet is served on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

Its priced at RM35++ per adult, RM18++ per child while senior citizens enjoy a 50% discount when they are accompanied by two full paying adults.

  • Marble Arch Coffee House, Grand Continental Hotel, Jalan Belia/Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur (Tel: 03-2693 9333 ext 1123), Business hours: 6am to 2am daily.

  • Source : STAR
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