Iftar at Nikko

Finally, the family decided to have berbuka outside. This would have been the only second time we had berbuka outside as a group, the last being at Flamingo. This time around, it was for Puan Anita’s birthday. It was also the final iftar for this year’s Ramadhan. So it would be Aidilfitri the next day. Anita’s brother was also back from Turkmenistan for the Eid, so it was a nice occasion for the family.

Nice serene surroundingThe grills at the balcony areaSince it was a day before Eid, I got the usual flowers and cards for Anita, but she wanted to delay her presents until after the Eid break. Not really sure what she wanted, but she did hint on an iPad. I’ll leave her to make her mind up. So back to the berbuka vanue this time, Hotel Nikko, in Jalan Ampang.

The main entrance to the hotelHotel Nikko was infamous for its Ramadhan buffet, mainly because it was damn expensive and it was notoriously crowded and popular among the corporate types. I remember a couple of years ago, people were making a fuss about it. It cost more than RM100 per head to get in. I didn’t how much it cost this time around as it was not me who footed the bill. Since it was the final evening of Ramadhan, there were only a handful of people at the restaurant. We were left to our selves to enjoy the food.

Puan Anita and his brother, RazakI will talk about the iftar in three parts, first, the venue. It was located on the ground floor and as my parents-in-law were also there, access was not an issue. We dropped them off at the main entrance, and went to park our cars at the basement. There were no stairs for them. 50m later and they were already on their seats. The venue was I think their main restaurant. Nice seating area, spacious area for food display and efficient waiters.

The second would be the spread for the buffet. It was a varied selection. We have the grilled section on the balcony, with the smoking area. They had roast lamb, satay, chicken kebab, biryani and other Indian selections. Coming inside, the main spread consisted of sweets for breaking fast, rice and curries, mini pizza, dim sum, spaghetti, some sushi and salads. There was also chicken rice and other main dishes. Next, by the entrance were a few stalls doing apom balik, rojak, yong tau foo and sweets. There was also the obligatory chocolate fountains - a hit with the boys.

More stalls on the sidesA rather lame attempt at apom balik actually - the dough did not set properlyPart three - ambiance. Since the eatery was the main food outlet for the hotel - I was sure the breakfast were served there everyday - transforming the whole place would be impossible. What the management did was to put in elements of Ramadhan here and there. That being the final evening, and Eid was the next day, the decor was almost complete. At the balcony, there were torches. The staffs were dressed in traditional costumes already. 

Finally, was it worth the asking price when we talk about the quality of food. A resounding NO! That did not mean the food was bad. There were just nothing special. According to my brother-in-law who was there a couple of evening previously with his friends, the food selection was different. That meant that the menu was rotated, which is good. Less chance of left-overs slipping through. But considering the stature of this establishment, I would not expect this to be so.

The roast was overdone. The biryani was so and so. Rojak was a disaster. Sweets were nothing special. Basically, it was just above average. A safe bet if you were bringing a business associate to impress but if you took a girl for a date, there was no guarantee that you would have wooed her. It was not exactly Harrod, although you were paying for a similar price.

Since the place was only half filled on the evening, getting a seat and parking spot was never a hassle. Would I go there again next year? Not unless somebody drove me there, book a table and pay for the tab. Would I recommend it to somebody else? If you were paying on a corporate account, then why not? I would have preferred my Mum’s cooking.

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