The Verendah ~ Federal Hotel

Mum booked us a hi-tea buffet at The Verendah along with 2 family friends on New Year’s day. As mentioned in Federal Hotel’s newsletter, the hi-tea is priced at RM55++ per person and RM35 for children and senior citizens so the only full-paying patrons at our table was my brother and I. Darn.

The Verendah’s full menu can be found here.

Federal Hotel is considered the Merdeka Hotel because the first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman chose this hotel to house all the foreign delegates that were attending our declaration of independence ceremony. I’m sure it was very grand back then but its grandeur is not maintained and the hotel can’t be compared to other 4 star hotels anymore.

One of my birthday celebrations (a small one – just the 4 of us) was held at the Bintang Revolving Restaurant on the 18th floor. The food was sub par. However, watching the KL skyline go by while you remain in one spot is an interesting experience.

The buffet at The Verendah caters mainly to hotel guests so the crowd comes and goes allowing you to dine in peace and not having to worry about food not being refilled and such. There was quite a variety in the food ranging from a Fusion main buffet spread, a Japanese section (Sushi), a Chinese section (Yong Tau Foo, Dim sum and Prawn noodles), a cold cut section, a salad section and a dessert section (Nyonya kuih, cakes, fruits, ABC and ice-cream).

Sadly, there isn’t a drink section so it was coffee, tea or plain water. Other drinks should be additional charges, I think, we didn’t inquire.

First and second round of food

I tried a bit of everything. The first plate is cream spaghetti, herbed potato, sushi, popiah and butter prawns. The second plate is salad + some ham from the cold cut section, siew mai, a chicken drummet and a piece of roast duck.

Soup dumpling from the dim sum section and some nyonya kuih + a piece of baklava. Their chopsticks come with instructions on how to use them and I’m proud to say that I’ve been using it correctly all these years haha! The soup dumpling broth was very light and tasty. It tasted like it has been boiled for many hours and the dumpling had a scallop in it! There was also bits of crab meat and mushroom in a thin layer of what seems like wanton skin.

My brother’s strawberry crystal jelly that mum liked, an assortment of cakes that my brother shared with me and cheese with roasted tomatoes from the cold cut section. Not all the cakes were good. But the good thing is that they all taste different unlike certain buffets that use food coloring as a gimmick but all their cakes turn out to taste the same. I tried only the cheese from my dad’s plate. It was a very mild cheese and must have been left out there for a long time because it was like chewing rubber.

Steamed glutinous rice in lotus leaf, pickles section and the rojak section.

The Steamed glutinous rice in lotus leaf was very tasty and was cooked just right. It reminded me a lot of Chinese wedding dinners.

Nyonya kuih section

There were a lot of nyonya kuih to choose from. There was kuih koci with santan filling, kuih tako, kuih sago and onde-onde, just to name a few. The area had a nice santan smell to it. Sadly, the kuih was sub par. The bubur pulut hitam was quite nice but a little too sweet.

Red Snapper with Percik sauce, an assortment of salad sauces and baklava.

The Red Snapper with Percik sauce was very nice. The percik sauce masked all the fishy-ness of the red snapper and it was very tasty. A blend of spices and coconut milk. Very nice indeed. There were 9 types of salad sauces to choose from, I was impressed. This filo pastry dessert was labeled as baklava but according to my mum and brother, they claim that it’s not baklava. But since it’s labeled as baklava, I’ll just call it baklava. The filo pastry was very thin and buttery and it was filled with apple. It’s not too sweet and the filo pastry just crumbles in your mouth. It should be called apple pie, honestly.

Cheesecakes that my brother and I loved. The one on the left is a cheese and chocolate layer cake. It was soft, moist and tasted wonderful. The one on the right is a strawberry yogurt cheesecake which was wrongly labeled as Baked Cheese Slice. It tasted wonderful as well. It had a very nice, smooth texture and the yogurt and cheese went very well together.

I liked this buffet because of the variety of desserts. There were other things that we tried which I didn’t photograph such as their yummy chocolate chip ice-cream and green tea ice-cream. They had 2 other varieties which were vanilla and strawberry.

As for their main courses, there was a repeat of their Christmas turkey which had a very nice brown sauce. The turkey was alright. Their soy sauce chicken which they claimed was smoked chicken didn’t taste smokey at all and was dry. Most of their food on the cold cut section looked unappetizing and the prawn noodles section didn’t seem to ‘sell’ very well. Nobody at our table tried it either. The salad section had fresh vegetables but wasn’t stocked well.

Overall, this buffet was pleasant but as my dad said it, it lacks ‘oomph!’. I would say it is worth RM55 if you have the stomach to try everything unlike me. The buffet spread is halal, by the way.


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