Let’s get straight to the point.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri is less than a week away, I know… and if you have not been to any Buka Puasa yet or if there is ONE Buka Puasa that you must go to, then it’s at Kelantan Delights in Subang Jaya!
Kelantan Delights started off in the food court of KLCC some 14 years ago and I remember they’re really popular – there’s always a long queue of people. Business was very brisk and this led them to their first full-fledged restaurant in Suria KLCC and later another restaurant in Sooka Sentral. Just last month, they opened another one in Wisma Consplant 1, Subang Jaya. You can’t miss it… it’s directly opposite the Cold Storage side of Subang Parade. Their main entrance, resplendant with its huge signage, is framed with ornate wooden carvings from Kelantanese craftsmen. Upon entering, you will be greeted by a sense of Kelantanese traditional charm… by the warm wooden furniture, chairs interwoven with cane, copper and bronze craft items, wall murals of Kelantanese culture (eg Mak Yong dancers) as well as songket wall hangings. The reception area is adorned with authentic Wayang Kulit artifacts – how amazing is that!
On the evening I was there, the place was packed to the rafters. You absolutely cannot get a table if you did not make any prior booking. Canopies with elegant drapes had been set outside to cater to the crowd and I was told this had been a nightly affair ever since the start of Ramadhan.
Looking at the buffet spread, I can understand why they have been pulling in the crowds, night after night. Every food table was groaning with pots and platters of meticulously prepared authentic Kelantanese and southern Thai dishes. The appetizers of raw salads, keropok, kerabu, ulam-ulaman with endless choices of sambals and dips made it quite difficult for me to choose! I love their Kerabu Pucuk Paku, fragrantly tossed with coconut, shallots, chillies and hints of dried shrimps. Every stalk and tendril of the pucuk paku was tender and tasty – I could not find a single chewy strand of fern in that kerabu… that’s quality control for you!
The number of dishes may not be as wide and varied as those you find in hotel buffets but you can be assured that every item served here is done very well and care taken to showcase their authenticity. The one small fault I noted was that the prawns in their Sambal Udang could have been fresher. Their Sambal Sotong Petai was to die for… the diners wiped this out as fast as it was replenished! The squids were extremely fresh and bouncy… rings of them embedded in a thick red luscious sambal and generous amounts of fat round stink beans – petai. LL got quite a few dagger-stares when he piled his plate with this, after waiting patiently for replenishment…
These were some of our favourites… curries and sambals with their marvellous blend of spices resulting in distinct flavours that you have to eat mountains of rice with!
And talking about rice, Kelantan is, after all, one of the “rice bowl” areas of the country and the Kelantanese are pretty creative with their rice… so besides white rice, go for these…
You won’t believe the plates and plates of yumminess we had that evening! Even for people who usually stay clear of carbs threw caution to the wind… and indulged! Oh, how we indulged! These are but some of the plates that took up space at our table…
You can be assured that every dish was cooked fresh and served from the kitchen immediately, looking at the rapid turnover rate. When their popular Daging Bakar (Grilled Beef) ran out, they served Ayam Goreng Berempah (Fried Spiced Chicken) and this was extremely good. Imagine, crispy-skinned chicken hot off the frying wok, with juicy meat underneath that’s well-marinated with lemongrass, tumeric, garlic and coriander – just gorgeous! One of my fellow diner took a mountainous plate of these crispy juicy fried fowls and quietly polished them off, all by herself!
We were all fans of their keropok (fish and prawn crackers)…our Absolute Favourite was their Keropok Lekor!
The Keropok Lekor at Kelantan Delights is really one of the best I have ever tasted! It’s seriously good. The fish flavour was subtly tasty and the texture has just the right level of chewiness… and best of all, the addition of black pepper in it enhanced the flavour so well. We piled our plates with these yummy fried sticks, as did everyone else… and very soon, there was none at the buffet table! So I went and asked Kak Intan, their friendly restaurant manager, if they are going to replenish this and sadly she shook her head and said most likely they have exhausted their stock for that evening. Seeing my crestfallen face, she said she’d try and see if they could “find some”… and then, 15 minutes later, lo & behold, a plate of this was magically served specially for us – there were “yayyyys” & “whoopeees“… before the entire plate was cleaned out in minutes!
So, if you are a keropok fan, make sure you get your fill early from the buffet table! And save some space for desserts. Kelantan Delight’s signature Lompat Tikam (pandan-flavoured rice cakes and pulut eaten with coconut milk and gula melaka) took centre stage at the desserts corner, so don’t miss that. Other traditional sweets were sira pisang (bananas in syrup), pulut durian (sweet glutinuous rice and durian congee), akok (like a baked egg custard) and tahi itik (whitish sweet pudding) and lots more!
I honestly wouldn’t mind going back for another round of Buka Puasa before Syawal dawns. Really. It’s that good During Ramadhan, they are open only for Buka Puasa and it’s priced at RM65+per head. Remember, reservation is a must!
They will be closed for a few days for Hari Raya Aidilfitri. And of course, after their Hari Raya break, when they re-open on 5 September 2011 (from 11.00am till 11.00pm), I would love to go back and try their a la carte dishes!
Ground Floor, East Wing
Wisma Consplant 1
No.2 Jalan SS16/4
019-2174774 (Intan Razak, Restaurant Manager)