Friday, June 10, 2011

Having your cake and eating it at the Cinnamon Coffee House buffet

Ah, the Malaysian hotel buffet experience. If one has stayed at any of the leading hotels in the Klang Valley or Malaysia for this matter, you'll understand how truly diverse and almost life-changing a buffet can be.  Hotel kitchens go to town with classic selections across Malaysian and International cuisines. Some of the most elaborate are the breakfast spreads. One could go from Chinese rice congee to freshly made omelettes to a full English Breakfast in the space of a metre.

I met with 5 other Malaysian food bloggers to try out Cinnamon Coffee House's dinner buffet. Cinnamon is part of the One World Hotel, one of the more reputable hotels in Selangor. Having lived away for the best part of 13 years, I'd forgotten how overwhelming this can be.

Ain't no one going hungry in this corridor of food.

 I entered the so-much-choice-I-can't-choose conundrum. Knowing where to start is just as big a challenge as making sure you've picked up all that looks appetising. Chefs stand to attention at live stations to whip up servings to one's exact liking. Food is displayed like art, periodically prepped up and made to look pretty again as guests dive in and out.

Attempting to even describe a small section of this astonishing array would do it no justice so I'm better off talking about the highs and lows. The pasta and bread stood out to me - squid ink and spinach pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the bread variety impressive given how hard bread is to make in this part of the world. Grilled vegetables were still crunchy and flavoured with garlic and herbs. As expected, the Malaysian dishes delivered accordingly.

Then I'm not sure there's much else to rave about. Though the salmon sushi was decently striped with fatty layers, the other bits on the Japanese counter were real letdowns. Butterfish and tuna sashimi were dried out and it was the first time I'd eaten fresh oysters that lacked sparkle. Siu Mai out of the huge bamboo steamers weren't sufficiently bouncy and I was probably most dismayed by the tasteless roast duck.

And suddenly the focus of the evening changed. We were hit by an onslaught of Cinnamon Cafe's cake selection. Whoa Nelly.

Cinnamon Cafe's Cake of the Month for June - Aloe Vera & White Chocolate

From top to bottom: Pistachio Pave, Opera and Petit Antoine

Mango Dome, Red Velvet and Black Forest

Tiramisu & Oreo Cheesecake

Ooof. Even after the tiniest bites of each I sat back in my chair in a glucose coma. Sadly the only ones I'd choose to have again were the Opera and Saint Antone, both chocolatey but not sickening. The baked ones were dry, verging on stodgy and I felt as though I was eating more gelatin than anything else in the creamy ones.

Buffets are a tall order for hotels to get right but they can be done. For the most part it felt as if the food was tired and its flavour out of sync with the attractive display. Not the best value for money if adults eat for RM85+ and children ages 4-12 years eat for RM43.

Special thanks to The Nomad Gourmand for organising, and was great to meet Baby Sumo, Xiang Cool and Bryan Lim:) Hungry Female was a guest of the One World Hotel.

One World Hotel, Cinnamon Coffee House
First Avenue, Bandar Utama City Centre,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor 
Tel: +603 7681 1111

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