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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chakri Xpress @ Alamanda Majestic Buffet Review

Sometime last year my brother, my husband and myself had this crazy idea to try out Chakri Xpress - All You Can Eat Buffet - The Magnificent 101 Majestic Dishes because we ran out of ideas on what to eat at Alamanda Putrajaya. Basically, the buffet has 101 dishes that you can choose from and it cost only RM25.90 per head. 101 dishes for that amount of money is considered insanely cheap to our ears. The price does not include drinks though which I thought to be quite bothersome. At least they could include free flow of tea in the package.

We went there at about 8.00 pm and was seated at the middle of the restaurant. The waiter then explained to us that for this buffet, we were allowed to choose any dishes but they are going to be served by rounds. For each rounds, we can pick any six dishes from any category of the list given. Sounds great right? But wait, there's a catch. To move on to the next round of 6 dishes, we have to finish the first round of 6 dishes we ordered. The cycle goes on and on and on up until you throw in the towel and wave the white flag of surrender.

The list of 101 dishes to choose from.

For drinks I had a strawberry milkshake and my husband and brother had tea and plain water. The said they need all the room they can get in their tummy for all the food that's about to be abolished. so no extra milky drinks. Hehe.. The shake was not too milky or sweet. The balance of the fruity tang and the milk was just right.
My gorgeous strawberry shake.

For the Ist Round, we ordered Pineapple Fried Rice, Deep Fried Prawn with Garlic, Pandan Chicken, Stir Fried Broccoli with Oyster Sauce, Tom Yam Pla and Roasted Crispy Duck with Kailan.

The Pineapple Fried Rice was littered with cashew nuts, pineapple and mix veggies. The fried rice was very fragrant. The plate of rice they served us was more than enough for the three of us.

The Deep Fried Prawn with Garlic was not too garlicky and it tasted nice and very flavourful. The prawns were medium sized and were nicely cooked, not being too overcooked nor undercooked. The nicest part is that they were already unshelled and the black poopy strip removed.

The Stir Fried Broccoli with Oyster Garlic Sauce was also a great dish. I am not a veggie lover but sometimes I do eat vegetables (usually after extensive nagging from my dear beloved, that is!). The broccoli was nicely cooked, the sauce was thick in consistency and it tasted sweet and salty.

Next up is Pandan Chicken. This on is my brother's favourite. It is basically chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and grilled to perfection. The chicken had a very fragrant scent and it was served with a saucer of sweet thai chilli sauce.

The Tom Yam Pla was actually tom yam fish soup (pla means fish in Thai). The tom yam soup was packed with spiciness. Don't let the clear broth fool you because it was indeed spicy to my taste bud.

The Roasted Crispy Duck with Kailan was an interesting dish and recommended by the waiter. He told us that the duck was roasted with coffee to get a unique flavour. I've never had duck before so it was something new to try out. The texture of the duck meat was coarser than chicken. The sauce was nice and thick but there was no hint of coffee at all either in the sauce nor the duck. This dish was a miss for me because the duck was a bit smelly.

For our second round, we ordered Mieng Kam, Deep Fried Fish Fillet with Samrod Sauce, Floured Prawn, Minced Soft Shell Crab with Papaya Salad, Fried Bean Curd with Prawn and Mushroom and Poo Ja.

Mieng Kam was betel leaves served with onion, chillies, cucumber, lime, thick rojak sauce and crushed peanuts. You eat it by folding the leaf into a triangle (which in my case, I just folded it so that it covers the whole condiments) and then just pop it into your mouth and chew. The taste was sweet and a little bit herbal but actually very nice and explodes in your mouth.
A plate of ready made Mieng Kam.
My version of a folded Mieng Kam.

Deep Fried Fish Fillet with Samrod Sauce is basically deep fried battered dory fish sauteed in sweet, spicy and sour sauce. It was served steaming hot and I think this dish would be really nice to eat with white rice. The sauce complements the fish very well and the sweetness, sourness and spiciness were very well balanced.

Floured Prawn is actually self explanatory which is just the basic deep fried prawn coated with flour and breadcrumbs. It was served with a saucer of chilli dipping. The prawn was very nice and crispy and goes well with the dipping sauce.

Fried Beancurd with Prawn and Mushroom was too garlicky and had a quite bitter taste which I suspected came from the mushroom. The sauce was nice and thick though.

The Poo Ja dish didn't arrive so Minced Soft Shell Crab with Papaya Salad was the last dish for the second round. It was actually papaya kerabu topped with only a little bit of chopped up soft shell crab. The papaya was a bit sour to my liking and there was no fruity sweetness at all. The kerabu also tasted a bit spicy and didn't taste very nice if eaten too much.

At the end of the second round, we were already bursting and could not eat anymore heavy dishes, so we decided to throw in the towel and opted to order dessert. So, for the third round we ordered another round of Mieng Kam, Tab Tim Krob, Thai Mango Sticky Rice, Chilled Honey Dew Sago, Thai Jelly and Chakri Durian Sticky Rice Ball.

The Mieng Kam came served on a segregated round platter this time and all we had to do was fill the leaves with the condiments and sauce to our heart's content.

The Chilled Honey Dew Sago was quite a let down to me. It was not served chilled! The sago was not too sweet but the sweet santan gravy was on the thicker.

Tab Tim Krob was one of my favourites. It tasted semi-sweet and the milky santan gravy was not too thick. This dessert was served chilled and the bits and chunks of fruit mix very well with the sweet and milky santan.

The Thai Mango Sticky Rice was served with mango cutlets on the side and thick santan gravy poured on top of a square blob of sticky rice. The santan gravy was a bit salty but it balances out when eaten together with the sticky rice and mango. I kind of liked the combination as it tasted creamy and sweet.

The Thai Jelly didn't came so the last dish for the third round was Chakri Durian Sticky Rice Ball. Basically it was sticky rice moulded into an elongated ball and topped with thick durian gravy. This dessert was very sweet durian and the saltiness from the warm sticky rice complements the sweet durian very nicely indeed.

All in all, we had 16 dishes and three rounds was all we could stomach. The dishes are either a hit or a miss depending on what was ordered and individual's taste and preferences. It was a unique dining experience  especially for someone who has a very small appetite like me and I had to struggle to help my brother and my husband finish off the dishes. If you want to try out this unique dedicated buffet, you would have to make a one-day earlier reservation and please bring a very empty tummy to dinner! Hehe..


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