Saturday, 30 May 2015

Restoran Rebung by Dato' Chef Ismail in Bangsar Kuala Lumpur Malaysia JK1139

Restaurant name: Restoran Rebung
Address: 5-2, Aras 5, Parkir Bertingkat Bukit Aman Kuala Lumpur No. 4-2 Lorong Maarof, Bangsar Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
GPS: 3.147510, 101.689750 / 3°08'51.0"N 101°41'23.1"E    3.127665, 101.676252
Hours: 12:00 noon to 10:30 pm
Tel:  03-2276 3535  03 2283 2119
Halal

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From the road, Restoran Rebung looked like an ordinary warong, like any other street side food stall commonly found in Malaysia. Restoran Rebung is located along Jalan Maarof, a stone's throw from the trendy night spots in upmarket Bangsar.

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Stepping inside Rebung, it reminded me of a well appointed Malay village home, like the welcoming cosy homes I stayed in at home stays in rural Malaysia.

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On the walls and at every corner, there are knick knacks and memorabilia of the kind often found in Malay homes. The kind that gives visitors clues and glimpses into the private lives and family of the homeowner. We felt we were welcome into the owner's personal space and felt the warmth of home here.

The food and kampung charm of Restoran Rebung attracted many regulars and out of state visitors including from Singapore.

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Left to right. Neo, Tiffany, Johor Kaki, Dato' Chef Ismail, Karen, Gene, Putrie

With the help of Ms Putrie of Tourism Malaysia, we had the privilege of meeting with owner Dato' Chef Ismail.

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Chef Ismail is friendly, charming and candid in conversation. Hailing from Negri Sembilan (Malaysian state), his passion in food has taken him and Malay cuisine from his home in rural Kampung Chengkau Hulu to the world through numerous television shows and cooking demonstrations. Chef Ismail is Malaysia Tourism Ministry's food ambassador.

During our chit chat which ranged over many topics, Chef Ismail shared the insight that it is the school tuck shop where people of all communities are exposed to the unique smorgasbord of Malaysian cuisine. Indeed, it was the primary school tuckshop where I got my first taste of mee siam, nasi lemak and mee rebus. And, from there and then on, my lifelong affection for these simple delicious dishes.

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Restoran Rebung serves food à la carte and by its popular buffet. The buffet spread has many varieties of appetisers, grilled fish and squid, curry fish, chicken and beef dishes, rice and noodles dishes as well as sweet desserts - all traditional Malay dishes prepared home cooked style.

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Siput sidut or shell fish cooked in curry is one of my favourite dishes. It's fun sucking that delicious and juicy soft flesh and gut out of that spiral shell ;-p  It takes a bit of skill and technique but most people will master it in no time. 

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Fresh cencaru fish (hard tail scad fish) painted with sambal chili and grilled till slightly charred outside while still soft and juicy inside.

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Fiery looking Malay dishes. They have just the right amount of hot spiciness for my level of tolerance ;-D

I wish I could taste every dish but it was just impossible. It just made me want to come back again to Restoran Rebung to try more dishes next time.

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Despite the too large variety of buffet dishes, we were excited to see these fist sized cones of nasi lemak wrapped in fresh banana leaf and old newspaper.

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There are many elaborate forms of nasi lemak in Malaysia and Singapore, but in the end, it's this humble basic nasi lemak with nothing more than coconut flavoured rice with a slice of hard boiled egg, cucumber and sambal chilli that is closest to our hearts.

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Ulam ulaman - local herbs, vegetables, and spices eaten as appetizers or sides.

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There is a different sambal chilli to go with different dishes. Every thing is hand grounded with mortar and pestle (not with electric blenders) for that authentic Malay cuisine texture, flavour and aroma.

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Freshly made roti jala (literally net bread) eaten with curry.

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Freshly fried pisang goreng (battered and fried bananas).

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Pulut durian - glutinous rice eaten with a sweet sauce made with durian and palm sugar.

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You'll get diabetes straightaway after eating this but I highly recommend this ;-D  You will regret not eating this ;-p

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Ingredients for traditional ABC or Air Batu Campur, one of our favourite old school Malay cold desserts.

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I couldn't resist requesting for an ABC ;-p

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My friend Tiffany trying her hands, having fun at the fruit rojak (rojak buah) station. The rojak with crunchy fresh cut fruits tossed in a blend of salty, savoury, sweet and spicy sauce tastes delicious ;-D

Restoran Rebung serves it's dishes à la carte and by buffet. The buffet price for lunch is RM40+ and RM50+ for dinner per person. High tea of Malay desserts is also available at RM35+. In my opinion, Restoran Rebung is an ideal place to experience a comprehensive range of traditional Malay cuisine in a charming setting at a very reasonable price.

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I enjoyed my KL stay hosted by Tourism Malaysia and Grand Millennium Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

Date visited: 28 May 2015

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I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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