Monday, 12 June 2017

Iftar @ Chill

I can't quite remember when I first went to a ramadhan buka puasa buffet. Probably around 20 years ago. In those days, upmarket hotel restaurants would hold these `all you can eat' buffet spreads where you pay a single price to eat and drink as much as you like at the time of breaking of fast. Those days it cost around RM30 to RM40 per head, still quite a princely sum if you are to consider the average take-home pay of the time. If you can't quite afford the meal, the next best thing you can hope for is to get invited to one.

During my early career days, being invited to such events was quite exciting. Sub-contractors and suppliers would rush to get your confirmation of attendance to their invitations. The junior staff would always look forward to such events. We would then compare which hotel or restaurant had the best spread of food at what price (not that we would be actually paying, of course). It then became a somewhat a tricky decision among subcontractors on which hotel to choose because they would not want to be seen as being sub-standard. This is one of the unsavoury aspects of this practice.

The other negative aspect is unnecessary waste. While the spread of so many delicious food can be very alluring, there is really only so much that one person can eat. Buffet food layouts fuel human greed. More so when one is selecting food on an empty stomach.

Nowadays, the price of ramadhan buffet at certain 5-star hotels has reached three figures. Melampau. Over the years, I have declined attending such buka puasa meals, to the extent of needing to apologise to those who have invited. It is becoming too excessive. Last year I went to only one and even that was as a treat to my small team of 3 staff.

So far this fasting month, I have been to one iftar buffet. It was at Chill Cafe of KFCH International College where my third son is currently pursuing his diploma in Culinary Arts. The college holds this buffet event as a way to expose and train their students on the skills of running a restaurant. The buffet is open to the public.

We went there in the first week of fasting when the promotional price was at RM35 per pax. The choice of menu was reasonably good with offerings such as roasted lamb, various Malay kampung-style dishes and even pasta. Taste-wise was not too bad too. My son was part of the kitchen crew that day. He made the pulut mangga dessert which sadly I did not manage to try.

Since the opening week, the price has gone up to RM58.90 per pax, which is way too much for me, no matter what dish you serve.

Chill Cafe @ KFCH International College is located at Bandar Dato' Onn, Johor Bahru.

Chill is cool...

Roasted lamb. The most popular dish, of course

Mix of a few things for my 1st round

Sup utara and toast for my 2nd round

2 comments:

Andrea said...

Wow! you are making me hungry with these pictures of yummy foods! As a incorrigible foodie, I particularly enjoy the traditional kampung fare that one can only get during ramadhan due to the painstakingly slow cooking methods such as the gulai daging kering and the different pengat. Selamat berpuasa, Encik Oldstock.

Oldstock said...

Hi Andrea. Oddly enough, there are some food that make appearance only during the fasting month. Maybe I'll write about this subject at the next Ramadhan, hehe...