There was a small stage on the extreme end of the shack. It had an amateurish feel to it, complete with colourful lightings that used to amaze us back in the eighties. You know, those orange and green and red tinted bulbs. The first thought that ran in my mind was that the stage serves as some sort of platform for budding artists to showchase their talents come lunch or dinner time. And I thought that was really cool.
We were having lunch at Kafe Beriani on the afternoon of the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix. A pretty good choice, relatively speaking, as I was sure food at the circuit would be jacked up beyond the decibels of the roaring engines. And to be honest, if not for the race, I wouldn't have found a good reason to travel all the way to this part of the world to gam with the beriani.
As we settled down to try what appeared to be a (huge) plate of rather mildly coloured grains and decorated with a handful of crackers, Zaiton Sameon was about to take the stage. If you have lived through the eighties in Malaysia (and Singapore, to an extend), you would have heard her name at least once. Or more specifically, her infamous song called Menaruh Harapan. As we saw her, it hadn't crossed our minds that she was to perform that afternoon. We simply thought she was there to buy some berianis.
Then, backed by a band of musicians, she began to sing. There were less than a dozen watching her perform but she kept on going, with the same poise we witnessed back in the days of Juara Lagu 1987. One has got to respect this artist for still choosing to do what she loved as the twenty over odd years after Menaruh Harapan had not been easy on her. I wish the best for her in the future, be it in her music career or in life.
Back on our table, the food looked appetising. Well, almost everything red do. There's a good selection of meat to complement the rice. We had the chicken and mutton, which both came in huge cuts. Taste-wise, rather mild if you ask me. And that's quite disappointing as the essentials to a good curry (regardless of culture and cooking styles) include just a simple, sufficient blend of spices. Definitely would have been better had a heavier dosage of flavouring spices been added to the curries. On the bright side, both meats were well-cooked and softly flaky. Served warm as well.
The free-flowing dalcar that came with the rice was a happy potion. Fatty, but definitely happy as it was really flavoursome. One could almost see the half centimetre thick of glistening oil covering the mutton and dhal stew. We have a better word for that. Yes, rich. Now, why can't the mutton and chicken curries be as tasty as this? I drenched the rice with one whole bowl of dalcar and that was really satisfying. No regrets as I burnt it all out walking around the circuit and dashing to the carpark as the rain began to pour, when the race came to a halt.
Tad expensive too, if you ask me. At RM13 for the mutton and RM11 for the chicken sets, I would've expected a more memorable (tastier) gam. I could only applaud the solid portions.
As for the trip down memory lane, now that was something else.
Kafe Beriani Gam Putrajaya
Lot Sub 4
Click here for Bangsar-Babe's review.