Sponsored Post: Ramadan Buffet @ Agrobazaar

When we first met with Agrobazaar to find out if we could use their space for Eiding The Feast 2016, they shared with us that they hold a daily Ramadan buffet for the entire month showcasing authentic Malaysian cuisine.

I’m generally a homebody during Ramadan, preferring to break my fast with my family and  be able to carry out my evening prayers and Ramadan prayers with ease. However, when Dani from Agrobazaar sent me a text to invite me to a special iftar session catered for their supporters and friends, I knew I couldn’t say no. After all,  because the mosque is so near by, you can hear the prayer call so clearly from the verandah of  Agrobazaar and it’s a mere 2 minutes walk for people who want to visit the mosque for their prayers. However, with such a good spread of food, I found myself eating till about 8.10pm and was so grateful that Agrobazaar had actually prepared separate prayer areas (musollahs) for their male and female patrons to pray. This made it easy for me to enjoy my food and still complete my prayers on time.

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When I walked in, I was immediately drawn in by the traditional set up of the food. Unlike normal buffets where food is served in heated trays, these were served on traditional arang stoves and displayed in these old-school black pots. The tables were lined with batik cloth and the entire atmosphere was just such a warm, welcoming and homely one.

I’ve been to Agrobazaar a few times now since finding out about them and I’ve always loved their traditional Malaysian dishes like their nasi goreng kampung, which is a must for me to order and I absolutely love their chempedak goreng (what did i say about loving fried and crispy stuff?) so I was really excited to see such a nice spread of Malaysian dishes like the ayam lemak, daging gula, sotong kunyit and mee goreng basah.

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The Malaysian-styled mee goreng was my absolute favourite dish of the night. I find that it’s hard to find a ‘wet’ or basah mee goreng that isn’t too soggy and gluggy. But  Agrobazaar’s mee goreng was just right and hit all the right spots! The noodles were still springy and had a good  bite to it and the flavours were well balanced. This dish was definitely a hit last night because the mee goreng had to be filled up more than once!

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Most families I know need rice to break their fast with at the end of a long day of fasting and Agrobazaar had prepared a medley of dishes for patrons to have with white rice. I learned that there is always a meat, fish and chicken dish but Agrobazaar tries to vary their menu by preparing the proteins in a different way everyday. For instance, yesterday, I enjoyed ayam lemak (lemak chicken) , ayam pedas ikan pari, daging gulai (beef cooked in a curry like sauce), sotong masak kunyit (sotong prepared with tumeric) and a chap chye styled vegetable dish but tonight, patrons may break fast with a different chicken dish such as ayam gulai (chicken in a spicy curry sauce) or a different fish dish just to provide patrons with variety.

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All the protein dishes were cooked so well and the ayam lemak and asam pedas ikan pari were extremely good! Not only was the balance of flavours done right, the chili element in the dish was just nice to excite your tastebuds but not overpower the palette. The daging gulai was tender and juicy and the meat teared off so easily. After a long day of fasting, the last thing anyone wants is meat that they have to chew over and over again.

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Of course, there was also a selection of raw vegetables and urap (steamed vegetables mixed with seasoned and spiced grated coconut for dressing) for patrons who needed a palette cleanser and a variety of dried fish condiments for patrons to enjoy.

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There was also a live station where a roasted Leg of Lamb prepared in an Arab style was carved for patrons. I liked that it was served with a mint sauce, or chutney, black pepper sauce and also flat bread for patrons to help themselves to. Everyone was queuing up for the leg of lamb because it looked so good, just glistening after being basted for hours. The meat was not overly soft and had a nice bite to it. The marinade used with the lamb was definitely filled with spices like black pepper and other herbs which I enjoyed as it laced my mouth. I liked that it did not overpower the dish and that you could still get the natural taste of lamb that many people love.

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The last station they had was a DIY noodle station with two bases – curry base and a soto base. There was different kinds of noodles prepared, shredded chicken, beef slices  and your normal condiments like bawang goreng spring onions and of course, chili padi. After all, what Malaysian buffet would not have chili padi right?

Of the two noodle options, my favourite was the mee kari . I opted for yellow noodles with the curry base , which my friend pointed out already had shredded chicken in it so I decided to go with a red meat topping instead. The curry base wasn’t too thick or overpowering so in a buffet setting, it was definitely very much appreciated. I loved that the curry was light and I kept heading back for more curry! It did remind me a tad bit of the yong tau fu curry base you can get so that was definitely a plus point for me.

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There was also free flow drinks such as rose syrup with lime and mango juice amongst others!

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The dessert spread was definitely a generous one, ranging from steam cakes or blossoms (both plain ones and coconut ones) to epok-epok, as well as fruits, bubur jagung (corn porridge) as well as chendol!

We sampled a little bit of everything and my friend loved the bubur jagung which was packed full of corn! It wasn’t sweet at all but very creamy and definitely a tummy warmer. Since she was a big fan of corn, this dish definitely kept her very happy.

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I ended off the day with a nice cold bowl of chendol. Every Ramadan, I look forward to buying packets of chendol from the bazaar or the wet market, and coming home to mix it up and filling the serving bowl with lots of ice. There’s something that is so comforting about chendol and it’s a drink I always associate with Ramadan.

This chendol is of course of the drinking variety, and should not be confused with the ones that you order which is topped with tons of shaved ice. With every spoonful I took, I was greeted with corn bits, pandan jelly and red beans which was just delicious. It was refreshing and just the right amount of sweet so end of a really amazing meal.

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Just as we were done with our dessert, the serving staff came around with a durian each for every table. I am not averse to durian but I just don’t eat it all that much. However, these really fat, really plump seeds were calling out to me and I tried a small piece. The durian was creamy and so sweet , it really was so good. I find it hard to explain how good it was but I am still thinking about that little piece of durian I ate last night. Agrobazaar gets all their fruits fresh from Malaysia, so I suppose that plays a big part in how good that durian tasted. Unfortunately, the durians are not part of the buffet package that is normally offered.

I ended the night with a stroll to Masjid Sultan for my night prayers and reminisced a really great meal with amazing company. I’ve already made my reservation to bring my family back to Agrobazaar for iftar this Saturday after Eiding The Feast is over. Will you join us?

Where: Lot 37 – 43 Sultan Gate S 198485

Halal Status: Halal-Certified.

Vegetarian Options: Some salad dishes for the buffet.

Our Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

The Ramadan Buffet costs $33.00 ++ per person and runs from 6.30pm – 9.30pm daily. Kids (Aged 3 – 12) and Senior Citizens are entitled to 50% off.

20% from the day’s sale on 18th June 2016 will go towards Eiding The Feast 2016, which aims to sponsor 7 days of cooked meals to 6 different homes. If interested, please email thealternativefoodblog@gmail.com

For more information on their menu and costs, head to our Facebook page.

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Categories: Buffet, Halal, Uncategorized

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