Six chefs have stepped out and owned their speciality dishes in a fun, interactive way at Lemon Garden Cafe, Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. As they should, as it lends a personal touch and somehow adds colour and flavour to the international buffet here.
The flavours of the dark red and tender Rendang Tok leapt out at me when I tasted it at Lemon Garden Cafe. It’s by Chef Mustafa Kamal who has worked in Shangri-La Pudong in Shanghai and Shangri-La Paris and trained under the best chefs in Michelin-starred restaurants there. At Lemon Garden Cafe, this rendang from Perak, distinctive for the coconut meat in it, was amazing.
More spice came from Indian Chef Devender Singh who served up Murgh Kasururimethi which is boneless chicken thigh cooked in Kashmiri chilli, turmeric, onion paste, tomato puree, yoghurt, fenugreek leaves, coriander and various other spices. It was tender chicken embraced in a light, aromatic curry with a tangy finish. It was lovely with the briyani on the buffet. The chef learnt his art under Indian master chef Qureshi in Lucknow, India.
Before hitting these spicy gems on the Lemon Garden Cafe buffet, I had a Double-Boiled Herbal Soup with Chicken. (It was supposed to be black chicken but it was not available that day). Still the double-boiled soups in the Chinese section are not to be missed. I feel nourished after drinking the soup which has been double-boiled in a huge glaze clay pot for three hours. There were wolfberries, dong sum, dong quai and yok chook in my soup. The soups are the speciality of Chef Au Yong Guan who has had 18 years of experience in Chinese cuisine.
I love raclette cheese. I was so delighted to find it among three specialty dishes from the Western Kitchen. I couldn’t get enough of this melted cheese served on bread with small potato, gherkins, pickled onions and bresaola or air-dried salted beef. Executive Chef Olivier Pistre did his thing with the raclette under a salamander. I later went back for more raclette without the bread.
Tortellini filled with spinach and pecorino romano, ricotta and buffalo mozzarella cheese and served on pumpkin puree was the Italian dish, together with Calzone, a filled folded pizza with the same three-cheese filling.
Japanese Executive Chef Nao Takeshita showcased his Seafood Big Roll and Prawn Tempura Roll. The Seafood Big Roll is also known the Good Luck Roll in Japan. Revel in the sea bream, salmon and salmon roe, sweet shrimps and yellowtail in it and good health, prosperity and happiness will be yours. Chef Takeshita has had more than 20 years of experience with the Nadaman Restaurant Group in Japan.
A great dessert perfectly wraps up a great lunch, right? At Lemon Garden Cafe this was the Durian Croquembouche, Peanut Nougatine wth Sesame. These are small choux pastries filled with durian and whipped craam, then rolled in caramel and coated with crushed peanuts and sesame. There is the crunch of caramel and crunchy peanuts at the bite, descending into heavenly durian cream. The dessert is by Lemon Garden Cafe’s Chef de cuisine Goh Ti Cheong who’s been leading the culinary team at the cafe with his passion for French and other cuisines for the past 5 years.
On the dessert table too is the Durian Mousse Cake, divinely popular with diners here too. Of note too are the ice creams with myriad flavours, including durian of course.
Lemon Garden Cafe has deservedly earned its reputation for the best buffet in Kuala Lumpur. If I had a bigger appetite I would have loved a bowl of curry laksa and topped it with fresh oysters like fatboybakes aka Cheng Yi did (it’s truly delicious laksa!), more of the Chinese and Indian dishes and some of that Chicken Roulade with Spinach Ricotta and glazed potato cubes.
These signature dishes are available daily for lunch, at RM135 nett (Monday to Friday), RM155 nett (Saturday and public hoiday) and RM175 nett (Sunday). Dinner is RM165 nett (Sunday to Thusday) and RM218 nett (Friday and Saturday).
Call to book at 03 2074 3900, email email@example.com. Visit also https://www.shangri-la-specials.com/promotions/promo110.aspx for the recipes and videos of the signature dishes.