Bars&Brunches: Christmas Day Brunch Buffet @ Grand Hyatt, Kuala Lumpur

At the age of 21, I experienced my first Christmas alone – 843 miles away from home. Far from the comforts of familiarity and routine, I decided to make the most out of the opportunity to be celebrating the festive season on my own and researched events that I could attend on Christmas Day, lo and behold – I stumbled upon Grand Hyatt’s Christmas Day Brunch & Lunch Buffet while scrolling through my Facebook and within five minutes, I was on the phone with one of Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur’s rep on Sunday evening, finalizing my reservation. Without further ado, lets get on to the experience!

The buffet starts at 12:30 p.m. on Christmas Day, 2018 and it was hosted in Thirty8, Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. I was greeted by their friendly staff and was accompanied all the way from the ground level, to the restaurant itself on the 38th floor and was seated at a table with a spectacular view of the Petronas Twin Towers.

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Thirsty from the sweltering hot day, I ordered a glass of prosecco and a bottle of mineral water from their à la carte menu. The restaurant was still quite empty at this time with only less than ten tables occupied.

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After I was briefed about the buffet’s menu, the prosecco and water arrived. The extra-dry and fizzing glass of prosecco was perfect to get me in the mood to gorge on their wide range of food.

A disclaimer – this post would not be a detailed review of their food menu, just the overall experience that I enjoyed spending Christmas day here.

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I took some slices of roasted turkey with cranberry sauce, a couple of slices of medium rare Australian Black Angus steak, a scoop of lasagna and two balls of breaded tuna that I thought were arancini in the first place.

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Next, I moved on the Japanese and seafood counter and picked out some salmon and yellowtail sashimi, salmon belly sushi, a scoop of ikura (salmon roe), and two fresh oysters. By the way, who else eats their oysters with tabasco sauce? Let me know in the comments if you do too! I was impressed with the freshness of the sashimi and oysters as it is quite difficult to get your hands on good seafood here in Kuala Lumpur without forking out a fortune.

Now on to my favorite part of all meal times – desserts! The Christmas Buffet offered a good range of mouth-watering desserts and sweets to choose from. They have tarts, cookies, sorbets, cakes and more.

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I was being modest because I didn’t want to disappoint my dentist in my next appointment so I took only a couple of things from the desserts table – yes, I was sad but I had to keep my teeth in check in time for my next visit.

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I selected pandan creme brûlée, strawberry and raspberry tarts, a bowl of raspberry sorbet and two pieces of chocolate with a drizzle of more chocolate on top. And from the picture, you can tell a glass of gin and tonic randomly appeared on my table, I don’t know where that came from! 🤫

At this time around 2:15p.m., the restaurant was packed with families and couples. Santa Clause made his rounds around the restaurant in the afternoon and offered me two candies because he said I made it into the nice kids list. I guess one of the perks of being an Asian is that you will look forever young even when you are 21.

To finish everything off, I ordered another glass of gin and tonic and spent the remaining hour basking in the atmosphere, staring beyond the huge glass panels with an unobstructed view of the twin towers and calling up loved ones.

There were carolers entertaining us with classic Christmas hymns as well and I can’t help but smile seeing everyone singing along to the songs. The whole restaurant felt alive and glowing with spirit the entire afternoon.

The total bill inclusive of tax amounted to RM 630.00. The alcoholic beverages were not included in the initial buffet package of RM 430.00, so a heads up if you’re keen on paying this place a visit for Christmas next year!

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My overall experience at the Christmas Day Brunch Buffet was pleasant and I definitely recommend everyone to try it out if you get the chance. Food, ambiance, and service was top notch and although I was alone, the staff and waiters were kind enough to drop by and made some small talk with me. Shoutout to Hiedayah from Thirty8 and Mr Clause for making my day!

As I grow older, I truly realize how wonderful and important it is to be able to get together with your friends, family, and loved ones and celebrate an occasion together – be it Christmas, a birthday, a wedding or a simple gathering. In an ever growing, fast-paced society, we tend to overlook the little things that make us human – love, kindness, and gratitude and lest we forget that at the end of the day, these are the things that truly matter.

I hope my readers had a great time during Christmas this year, and even if you were alone, remember that you are never lonely. Make that phone call, ring up a loved one, tell them you love them and how lovely it was to have them present in your life. Be the lover the world greatly needs and I hope you will feel the love in return. Thank you Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur for making me feel like home for Christmas this year.

Stay hydrated,
Peter.

All photos taken on iPhone X.

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Bars&Brunches: Antipodean, Bangsar

A little while ago, I was casually sipping coffee at a local coffee shop and an idea for a new mini-series hit me; since I frequent cafés and bars on the weekends, why not document the experience and share it with everyone? Who made us, and where should I eat next remain as two of the universe’s longest unanswered questions; so spare your worries – Bars&Brunches is here, as your one-stop destination for reviews of KL’s hot and hidden outlets to satisfy your weekend’s need for either a perfect smashed avocados on bread, or for great drinks.

Antipodean, Bangsar would be the first featured café for Bars&Brunches‘ debut, being one of my top favorite places to visit for my weekend brunch’s cravings. Located in Jalan Telawi 2, Bangsar Baru, it is no stranger to frequent patrons of Bangsar’s wide selection for cafés and restaurants. 

Photo courtesy of shellahkei @ shellahkei.wordpress.com

The staffs quickly recognized me and greeted me even when I was 10 steps away from the premise; a reflection of one of their great customer service trainings – welcoming and friendly.

I sat down at one of the tables outdoors, made myself comfortable and was immediately attended to. They brought me a bottle of cold water and a glass of ice to help me settle down. I ordered my usual latte, one of my favorite coffee drinks.

To be fair in all my future reviews, I’ll stick to ordering lattes as a simple way to gauge a café’s standards for coffee.

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It took them around 5 minutes to prepare my latte, and presentation was top-notch, as always. I admire the vibrant ceramic saucer that came with my latte. Antipodean’s lattes are easily one of my favorites in the area – medium bodied accompanied by distinct earthy tones with a delicate aroma. After a sip of my latte, I ordered the smashed avocado on toast, another personal go-to brunch meal and of course, a glass of the house white wine. 

The food and wine arrived about 10 minutes later, and as previously mentioned – Antipodean does not skimp its presentation, ever. My smashed avocados on bread came with grilled pork bacon (I was given the option to choose between pork or beef bacon) and a generous portion of roasted tomatoes. 


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I have no qualms whatsoever regarding the food and wine – the portion was appropriate for a brunch-time meal, enough to fuel me for the remainder of the afternoon. I am fully aware of the fact that it is definitely difficult to obtain high quality avocados in Malaysia, hence I was not putting my hopes too high, taste-wise. However, I was pleasantly satisfied that the dish turned out well. The avocados were however slightly on the unripened end,  but the garnish and salt masked it very well. 

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The grilled pork bacon and tomatoes complemented the avocados very well. They did not overpowered the taste of the avocado, which can easily happen when you add a grilled, cured meat to vegetables. The acidity from the tomatoes helped to balance out the heavy earthy flavors coming from the pork bacon, avocados and bread – a winning combination. 

It would not be complete without a huge glass of red sangria wine to ease everything down. Plus, it was a hot and humid day in Bangsar on Sunday so the chilled sangria really helped.

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Overall, my experience in Antipodean, Bangsar was pleasant – just like the many times I have been to the restaurant before. The food was satisfying, the ambiance was relaxing, and the staff were helpful and friendly. One of the main reasons why I keep coming back to Antipodean is due to their excellent customer service. 

I will definitely be coming back in the future. 

Stay hydrated,
Peter.

All photos taken on iPhone X.