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Paya Serai @ Hilton Petaling Jaya

I recently attended a bloggers review at Hilton Petaling Jaya, and since I was allowed to bring a partner along, rif went with me. There were 3 restaurants available for the review (Genji, Toh Yuen & Paya Serai), and I got Paya Serai.We were greeted by the soothing mini-water bays at the entrance of the restaurant before being ushered to our table by Andy (headwaiter). As I walked towards my table, I couldn’t help but notice the chic restaurant interior. The cream, brown, gold and black walls with a contemporary finish lend an expensive touch to the place. According to Andy, the buffet menu changes daily so there’s always something new to whet the appetite. They have an extensive spread of local as well as international fare including an open noodle bar and an open grilled section for satays.I started off with a glass of pineapple juice and rif had an apple juice. The Seafood Bar had steamed prawns and green mussels but no fresh oysters. I’m not a huge fan of this aphrodisiac, so its absence did not upset me.There were many sauces to choose from, such as cocktail sauce, shallot thyme vinaigrette, tomato salsa, lemon wedges and Tabasco sauce.At the Salad Bar, there was a range of crisp, leafy greens, fresh ulam (local herbs) and various legumes as well as delectable appetizers and an assortment of cheese.The mussels were fresh and properly prepared. It tasted light and was very tender with an “ocean” flavour. Very often, the mussels I eat in restaurants taste old and rubbery. The prawns were especially sweet, crunchy and succulent. I helped myself to lots of cheese and dried apricots. Some of the cheeses were dry (especially the Camembert), but the blue Brie was nice and creamy. I think the more pungent the cheese, the better it tastes. Ahhh…if only there was wine…The Indian selection was really good especially the fish devil and dry mutton curry. rif and I found the Indian section the best tasting at the buffet spread. The fish devil was fiery but not till the extent of making you sweat buckets. The dry mutton curry reminded me of a friend’s mother’s cooking. This aromatic curry was spicy and slightly creamy while the meat was flavourful and cooked just right. I think everyone else enjoyed this too, as the tray was almost empty when I got to the spread! I enjoyed the Begien Masala (Brinjal Masala) immensely. The brinjal was fragrant, tender and flavourful from the infusion of Masala spices. Bombay Aloo is a dry potato curry that is mildly spicy; perfect for those who cannot take too spicy food. I ate all the above with some fresh-out-of-the-tandoor naan. I thought the chicken satay was quite good and the thick peanut sauce packed a punch! The outsides were slightly caramelised while the chicken was tender and flavoursome.The labu masak lemak and daging ketchup are also worth mentioning. I liked that the beef was cooked till tender, unlike my previous experiences that were terribly disappointing. The fiery gravy was tangy from the tomatoes and sweet due to the addition of red onions. The labu masak lemak was also not bad. It tasted sweetish, milky and was milder compared to the daging ketchup.Ayam Masak Merah is a dish made from tomatoes and spices. It is sweetish with a tangy aftertaste. The chicken was too dry for my liking, and it didn’t absorb the flavours from the gravy. I reckon it could do with more cinnamon, as it was not fragrant enough.I rather enjoyed the mushroom soup. The broth was creamy and full of fresh, earthy mushrooms. Every spoonful was a delight. My perfect comfort food during cold or rainy days. I also tried some Cantonese noodles from the noodle station. Tastewise, it was just alright. The fried chicken drummets were aromatic and tasty. Very moreish, I wanted to get more but they were all gone… =(
rif liked the kam heong lala and he finished a whole serve himself. I only tried a piece as I was busy with the mushroom soup. The gravy was spicy with a strong curry flavour and the lala was fresh and meaty. The fried kuay teow was the kind you normally get at hotels or cafes. This was actually quite decent but for those who know me well, halal versions don’t quite cut it for me. Pork lard aside, it was well-fried and flavourful enough.

Sweet Corn Soup

The star attraction was undoubtedly the chocolate fountain with skewered fruits, rich layer cakes and marshmallows laid out for dipping into the melted chocolate. Among the selections, I enjoyed the layer cake in chocolate dip best. Buttery and sinful! To add to the sugar rush, we tucked into jellies, Sacher cake, rich chocolate cake, carrot cake with cheese frosting, cream cake, bread and butter pudding and ice cream. I liked the bread and butter pudding the most. Drizzled with custard, it was creamy, eggy and homely. One of the better bread and butter puddings I’ve had in a while. Oh, and Frat Mustard came over to “tiang lampu” for a bit! See what a lamp post he is…LOLAll in, our dining experience at Paya Serai was enjoyable, and Andy was a delight to have around. He was attentive and courteous not just to us, but to everyone at the restaurant.

Ambiance: 7.5/10
Price: RM75++ per pax
Food: 7/10 (halal)
Verdict: I’m impressed with the buffet selection. While there were a few misses, the food in general was quite good. rif (who’s fussy when it comes to hotel buffet) agrees with me!

Paya Serai
Pork-free
Lobby Level
Hilton Petaling Jaya
2 Jalan Barat, PJ
03 7955 9122

After dinner, we met up with the other bloggers for drinks at Uncle Chilli’s. I had four cocktails and half of rif’s Hoegaarden! Which was why my face was super red… >PThe whole experience was fun and it was great meeting up with Ruth and Rachel again. It was also nice meeting VKeong for the first time! Thank you Qguides and Hilton Petaling Jaya!*The main purpose of this review was to introduce ZestPJ, the blog for the restaurants & bar at the Hilton Petaling Jaya. ZestPJ…is about adding flavours to life, having a good time and the excitement that comes with it.

This blog is an interactive outlet for restaurant guests to share their dining experiences with others and is updated regularly with hip and happening events and food promotions.


9 Responses

  1. thenomadGourmand

    Gimme them desserts!

  2. June

    hey how much is the price u never mention also leh

  3. 550ml jar of faith

    Hilton's buffets have never let me down before! The satay looks so good! And layer cake in chocolate dip?? Sounds like sin!

  4. Frat Mustard

    Nice post! Paya Serai is also great for lunch on a working day. You rarely get nasty brats running around… so you can relax and enjoy a good business/mature discussion.

    "tiang lampu"? I was enhancing your dining experience by providing you with errrm… oooh dang… busted.

    Oooh well… at least I look cool next to your Martini.

  5. Bangsar-bAbE

    Frat – Ahahaha…yes la…very cool! ;P

    550ml – It was goooooddd!

    June – Ooppss…updated with price de!

    nomad – Must go Paya Serai lor…kekeke =D

  6. Lisa

    Oh boy, you made the dessert spread look soooooo yummy!!!! Slurp slurp :p Can't wait to meet up with you again (and the rest).

    P/S – Hope you had a great time in Perhentian. Tanned???? hehe ;)

  7. Bangsar-bAbE

    Lisa – The dessert spread was good!! You should try the layer cake…yum yum yum! Yes, looking forward to seeing you again. ;)

    I had fun! Two shades darker only…not like Jek! nyek nyek nyek… >P

  8. danny

    seriously, cheese with apricot on the same plate as prawns, salami(?), mussels? And you wish to have the wine with the combo? Entree, main course, cheese course, dessert or "buffet table milkshake"?

  9. Ciana Carrie

    Yum! I'm going to try it. :D

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