Malaysian cuisine — for when you like it hot

Opening ceremony (From left): Eduardo Meñez, Department of Foreign Affairs assistant secretary; Verna Buensuceso, Department of Tourism Undersecretary; Mohd Fareed Zakaria, deputy chief of Mission and Charge d’ Affairs; Linda Pecoraro, Conrad Manila general manager; Madam Siti Saadiah Ahmad Zaidi Adruce, spouse of En. Mohd Fareed Zakaria, deputy chief of Mission and Charge d’Affairs.

Let’s say there’s no bland moment when it comes to savoring Malaysian dishes. Bold, spicy, and tasty, it’s also culturally diverse and prepared with a complex blend of fresh ingredients and spices like ginger, chili, cardamom, and so much more.

So, if you’re hankering for something ascetic in taste, Conrad Manila’s ongoing “Taste of Malaysia” food festival may not be your cup of tea, or more like, your kind of plate. But then, be open and allow your palate and mind to explore its vibrant and rich gastronomy.

If Malaysian cuisine would be translated in musical form, it would be a mystical composition of Malaysian traditional musical instruments like its two-headed drum kendang; the bow-shaped rebab string instrument; and bonang gongs all conspiring to create a heady, spirited symphony.

Photographs by Joey Sanchez Mendoza for The Daily Tribune

Hilton Kuala Lumpur guest chef Karim Mustaffa created a zestful spread at the hotel’s Brasserie on 3 and recreated the dishes that he grew up with, “dishes my mother taught me. And now I hope to share those flavors here in Manila,” he told Daily Tribune at the festival’s opening day on 22 August.

At the buffet, be sure to serve yourself traditional items like Nasi Lemak, Kari kambing dengan kentan (Lamb curry with potatoes), rendang (beef, lamb, chicken), curry (beef and fish), satay and oh-so-hot laksa to name a few.

Malaysian culture and cuisine were the highlights of “Taste of Malaysia.”

Balance the heat in your mouth with sweet Malaysian treats like Kuih Ondeh, made of glutinous rice balls, infused with palm sugar syrup; Mango Sticky Rice; and Talam Pandan, a two layered pandan dessert made of pandan juice on the bottom layer and coconut milk on top.

It’s a full-on sensorial experience as Brasserie on 3’s interactive theater kitchen stations show displays of raw ingredients and props inspired from Malaysian cuisine and culture, respectively.
Conrad Manila general manager Linda Pecoraro led the opening ceremony graced by dignitaries from the Malaysian Embassy in Manila, city government and tourism officials. A traditional performance further enlivened the program.

(from left): China Blue by Jereme Leung executive chef Eng Yew Khor; visiting Malaysian chef Karim from Hilron KL; and Conrad Manila executive chef Warren Brown.

“Taste of Malaysia” runs till 16 September at Brasserie on 3, Conrad Manila. Buffet starts at P2,450++ per person. The restaurant is open from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. for lunch; 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner.
For inquiries and reservations: +632 8833-9999.

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