Of late, there’s so much talk about buka puasa buffet spreads – which place offers best value for money, which place serves the best roast lamb, which place boasts the biggest spread…yada yada yada! Here’s a non buka puasa buffet review just for a change.
The Hi-Tea at Favola in Le Meridien boasts a good selection of seafood and vegetable antipasto, meats, pizza, pasta and dessert – each of them, delicious and of good quality. I had several servings of antipasto, a delicious assortment of Italian cold cuts, seafood salad, smoked salmon and bruschetta. I loved the creamy potato and leek soup, drizzled with truffle oil and topped with crispy bresaola shaving. Flavours were simple and well balanced with a savoury accent from the bresaola.
The Risotto Nero comprised squid ink arborio rice with prawns and asparagus fricassee. I read somewhere that the squid ink that colours the risotto is the same liquid that an artist uses in a sepia drawing. But the cooked dish has a slightly green tinge as opposed to being completely black.
Favola’s risotto nero was creamy and flavourful with a slightly resistant core. I forgot how many times rif and I helped ourselves to the grilled brinjal with minced beef and fried seafood. The flesh of the brinjal was tender and sweet, and I enjoyed the generous topping of minced beef and cheese.
We also had plenty of pizza – margherita and seafood – where the base was thin, crusty and slightly charred, yet still held the toppings firmly. Among the pastas I sampled, the rigatoni pasta with salmon flakes, zucchini, garlic, chilli and olive oil stood out. The concheglioni marinara was a tasty dish of pasta with mixed seafood in zesty tomato fondue. This was nicely balanced with a lovely seafood flavour. Fusilli carbonara was quite decent, but I prefer fettuccine as my pasta choice when I have carbonara.
Throughout the buffet, I found the food consistently good. While some of Favola’s ala carte dishes were tastier, the buffet versions weren’t that far off. The roasted aromatic lamb cutlet was tender, juicy and of a good cut, while the Mediterranean vegetables were crunchy, yet tender within. Also noteworthy was the roast hake fish on roasted pimiento puree and onion artichoke fricassee. The fish was justly cooked and the accompanying pimiento (red pepper) puree had a sweet-savoury flavour.
A popular item that day was the Italian tomato infused beef stew but I didn’t care much for it. It was a tad salty for my liking. The chicken ragout in parmesan mash was one of my favourites. I found the gravy light yet tasty and aromatic from the herbs used.
Desserts are a must-try here –almost everything on the display tasted good. The cakes were lovely, especially the airy, ricotta-style cheesecake. I didn’t quite like the chocolate panforte, a traditional Italian dessert comprising fruits and nuts. Panforte means “strong bread” in English, and the texture was well, quite “strong”.
The waffles were delicious! Made per order, this was possibly the best waffle I’ve eaten in KL. Deeply golden and beautifully crisp on the outside, the waffle had an almost soufflé-like centre. I topped mine with butter, maple syrup and ice cream, and it was so good! I ate two whole waffles on my own. #greedy
It was a full house that afternoon and despite the crowd, the kitchen managed to maintain the food quality. Service was slightly disjointed when the crowd momentum picked up, but that didn’t really bother me because I was too busy with my waffles. For RM88++ per person (RM 188 per person (with free flow prosecco, red + white wine), this is good value for money. It’s considered very cheap since my Starwood Card and CIMB Infinite Card gives me a 50% for 2 pax.
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Food: 8/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Good variety and quality. One of the best hi-tea buffets in KL, I feel.
Le Meridien Hotel
2, Jalan Stesen Sentral
50470 Kuala Lumpur
03 2263 7434