Monday, June 6, 2016

Serena Brasserie @ Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur

Photo By: Elin Chow
Official Website: Serena Brasserie @ Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur

Located at level 1 at five-star hotel, Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur, the all-day dining restaurant, Serena Brasserie, recently launch the Fresh Market dining concept, which will be available from 6 pm to 10.30 pm daily.


Price of buffet is RM 138 nett per adult on Sunday to Thursday at and RM 178 nett per adult for 'Catch of the day' galore on Friday and Saturday.

Serena Brasserie was having a promotion at the time we visited. Diners were able to enjoy a 50% discount when they dine with a minimum 10 persons. Since there were 15 of us, we were only required to pay RM 89 nett per adult on a Saturday night, which was a pretty great deal!

There are seven menus on rotation, with the highlight being the "Catch of the day" on Friday and Saturday. The buffet offer a mouth-watering selection of seafood, poultry and meat. Each offering is carefully hand-picked by Chef  Suhalmi Tasir to suit every palate.

Diners can pick out their favorites, take them to the chefs and have them prepared and cooked in whatever way you like. It is almost like visiting the market to pick the ingredients for cooking. But the only difference is that you will have a team of professional chefs prepare and cook them for you on the spot. Do remember to pass your colored number table tag along with the ingredients you have picked up to the chef so that they will know which table the order belong to.

Serena Brasserie is an upscale casual restaurant offering high quality food and service. The restaurant features floor to ceiling glass windows where guests can enjoy a panoramic stunning view of the lobby's waterfall and lush garden landscape.

The ambiance was very comfortable and relaxed, which makes it a great place for family and friends to gather and enjoy a nice and satisfying meal together. Tables were also big and well spaced out so that you had a good level of privacy.

We started our meal with the Catch of the Day from the cold seafood counter.

The Cold Seafood Station features the freshest selection of air-flown seafood such as Alaskan king crab legs, crayfish, spanner crabs, Tiger prawns, freshly shucked oysters, poached scallops, saba fillets, salmon fillets and Australian Yabbies. These high quality seafood are beautifully presented on the ice bed and are promptly replenished.

There was also a Japanese counter featuring an array of sashimi, sushi, inari, crab meat rolls and small tuna plates.

All the seafood were incredibly fresh and delicious.The high turnover of the dishes ensure freshness and quality at all times. I especially love the raw scallops and salmon. They were very smooth and tender, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Salad station includes a variety of crisp green veggies, cherry tomato, condiments, pickled items and freshly cut fruits.

Other than that, the Salad Station also offers a selection of imported cheese such as Gouda, Cheddar, Brie and Blue Cheese along with dried fruits and nuts.

Other than the Cold Seafood Station, you will also find a fresh seafood station featuring fresh sea bass fillet, salmon fillet, giant tiger prawns, clams and mussels - a delight for seafood lovers!

There are three live cooking stations at Serena Brasserie where seafood and meat are freshly prepared. Only the freshest ingredients, best spices and seasonings are used to prepare the dishes.

The cook-to-order grill station serve slabs of beef, chicken, lamb, duck and sausages.

There were 10 types of cooking styles available for diners to choose from. Diners can choose to have their seafood and meat stone-grilled, cordon bleu (meat with cheese filling, breaded and deep fried),  pan seared, teriyaki style, meat stew braised, Portuguese stew, Bouillabaisse broth, deep fried batter breaded, confit (cured and preserved meat) or ragout (meat, veggies and spice stew)

Unfortunately, our stomach did not allow us to try every single one of it. We actually had hard time deciding how we want our seafood and meat to be cooked. If you have difficulty in deciding how you want your food to be cooked,  just ask the chef for recommendations.

The Pasta Station offers different choice of pastas (linguine and farfalle), sauces (tomato, cream or pesto), vegetables and meats toppings (ham, garlic, tomato and mushroom). Simply choose the type of pastas, sauces and toppings you want and the dish will be served hot to your table within minutes.

Next to the Pasta Station, you will also find a giant block of Grana Padano, a hard and semi-fat cheese from Italy. Shaped like a bowl,  it is used to prepare Risotto ai funghi, a dish cooked with Porcini mushroom and Carnaroli Risotto rice. The Risotto ai funghi was cooked al dente before it was tossed into the giant Grana Padano bowl and topped with some veggies. Diners can also order Arroz de Marisco (Portuguese seafood rice dish)and Paella Valencia (traditional Spanish rice dish) at this station.

Serena Brasserie also offer a selection of delicious freshly squeezed juices at an extra charge of RM 10. Diners can pick their favorite combination from the Salad Counter and it will be delivered straight to their tables.

From the Bread Counter, diners can enjoy a variety of warm soup with freshly baked breads and a generous spread of butter.

Next to the Bread Counter, you will find bread in little adorable sliver buckets.

Do not forget to order a plate of the chef's recommended Serena Brasserie's signature Sang Har Mein, a combination of hor fun and rice vermicelli in smooth egg gravy sauce with freshwater prawns.

Diners can decide the number of prawns they wanted for their noodles.

If you go for a buffet meal at any hotel, always do not forget to save some room for dessert. The Dessert Station is always one of my favorite part of any buffet meal, offering both local and western styles desserts.

Diners can enjoy a wide selection of sweet items, ranging cakes to mousse, puddings, fruit punch, New Zealand Kapiti ice creams and chocolate fountain with marshmallows dips. There was also daily live station of Onde-Onde, Banana Boat or Berry Cobbler.

The buffet also offer several traditional Chinese and Indian dishes such as steamed fish, curry chicken and plain rice. 

Overall, we had an enjoyable experience dining at Serena Brasserie. The service was excellent and serving staffs were generally very polite and attentive. Water is topped up regularly and plates are cleared promptly. But unfortunately, the staffs were not very well-trained. It was annoying to have our orders frequently mixed up with other tables. There was a few times when we ended up getting dishes that we did not order, and the ones we ordered never came.

Unlike many other hotel buffets that serve a wide variety of dishes, the Serena Brasserie's buffet spread is considered a bit limited for the price of RM 178 per pax. We actually expected more at the higher price, but disappointingly, it was not awesome. Luckily, we were only paying half the original price because we seriously feel that the buffet is not worth the RM 178 price tag.

Even so, we were very impressed by the quality of food although the choices were somewhat limited. This is probably great for those who would like to enjoy endless flow of their favorites rather than those who prefer to sample many dishes at one meal. But unfortunately, I am one of those who actually prefer to sample a huge array of dishes rather than a few quality ones.

The restaurant was not crowded when we visited, but some of the dishes were not replenished after they ran out. I did not have the chance to sample the Alaskan King Crab legs because there was no replenishment after it ran out. It was very disappointing.

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