Buka Puasa with South-East Asian classics at EQ’s Nipah
To mark the holy month of Ramadan, EQ’s Citarasa Nipah offers a dizzying selection of food, extending the hospitality to include dishes from the neighbouring South-East Asian region too.
Executive chef Hafizzul Hashim displayed his prowess at cooking up an amazing range so much so that one would be hard-pressed to say ‘Can’t find what I like’.
We started off with Bubur Lambuk, suffused with fish, a great way to break fast. Nipah’s version had a slight sourish edge which elevated the flavour of the savoury congee. I would have happily taken more except there were other goodies waiting for me.
The cold starter – a choice of seafood – came with a fresh selection of prawns, oysters, mussels and clams, and the array of salads was impressive as it wasn’t just Western garden greens or traditional Malay-style Urap Pucuk Manis, but a rich variety of appetizers from Laos, Vietnam, Cambodian, Thai and Indonesia as well as Peranakan cooking, providing a wide spectrum of differing textures and tastes.
I confess I have a weakness for mamak-style Sup Kambing…. During the preview, they had the chicken version instead, and it doesn’t disappoint as the strong mix of herbs and spices were nicely balanced and gave the soup a smooth savoury heartiness.
Launching into the buffet was a problem, in a good sort of way, as there were so many temptations that attracted the eye that it was really hard making a choice. But someone’s gotta do it so … among the options that found their way to our table included Asam Pedas Ikan Tenggiri, Itik Salai Nenas Kari Merah laos, Kari Siam Daging Rusuk (Masaman Curry), Gulai Nyonya Udang Nenas and Rendang Daging to complement rice as well as Briyani Gam Daging (lamb). I hear the signature Kari Laksa Nipah is a proven hit as well.
All of them were good but if I had to choose, my personal favourites would be the Gulai Nyonya Udang (prawns) which had a delightful mellow richness and the Asam Pedas Ikan Tenggiri that displayed a piquant depth to the gravy unlike conventional Asam Pedas dishes which just give off sharp acidic and spicy notes.
The Briyani was excellent, infused with the fragrance of spices, revealing bits of tender lamb as you dig more into the treasure pot of rice, making me break my no-carbo rule. Although I was already stuffed, the Otak-otak called out to me – the smooth, creamy blend of rempah and coconut milk ensconcing fish and other seafoody bits was definitely worth the extra calories. A common streetfood, simple yet enticing, the Kangkung Sotong was also very good.
Of course, there were the usual all-season crowd-pleasers of roast lamb, satay, barbequed and grilled meats, yong tau foo, cucur udang, vegetable tempura and well, the list goes on. But if you have no more space to put away more, you must make way for the biggest distraction at the end of the buffet line – the desserts. Besides local traditional Malay kuih, Nipah has tried incorporate local fruits into its desserts as well such as luscious durian choux, ciku cheesecake, pineapple tartlets and Nangka cake.
Signature tiffin carrier sets from EQ are also available, containing rice, signature dishes and acar at RM128 or RM508 for 5 persons. The tiffin carriers without food retail at RM78 and RM98.
Explore the diverse flavours of South-East Asian classics at Nipah from 7pm to 10.30pm daily from now until May 12, 2021 at RM188/adult. Children between 6 and 12 get 50% off.
Add: EQ, Equatorial Plaza, Jalan Sultan Ismail, KL. For reservations, call 03-27897839/012-278 9239.