(Photos by @joehairie, unless stated otherwise)
“We recently had this opportunity to feast at the Tanjung Ria Kitchen, feasting for the finest dishes by @hyattregencykinabalu. We’re not only amazed by the overall concept of the foods and restaurant’s atmosphere but we’re having this unexplained thoughts about homecoming. 14 years ago, we had the same buffet meals here during Ramadhan and now we’re back again. Is this ‘home’ for us?”-curiostraveller.com
Our Angel (Ervina), KSS (Ch.Kurus), Executive Chef: Tunku Farazil Hussain, Front and Kitchen Staffs at Tanjung Ria Kitchen
The Meaning Of ‘Buka Puasa‘
For the benefit of our non Muslim international readers, it is necessary to briefly explain the meaning of Buka Puasa. Simply put, Buka Puasa is Break Fast. During Ramadhan month, Muslims all over the world, fast (as in fasting) from dawn until sunset. The context of fasting for Muslims is quite wide but generally Muslims abstain or refrain from consuming food and liquids (drinks). When the time comes, they will break fast where eating and drinking is allowed. In Malaysia, buka puasa is a big thing for most people as many will opt to break fast with friends or family members. It is kind of a feast as they will eat and drink and have good conversation before it’s time to perform prayers. The feast will continue after that. Buka Puasa is also known as Iftar and in Sabah, most people refer it as Sungkai.
Homecoming…we came home during Ramadhan 2016
“Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering”-Charles Dickens
Back in 2000-2002, Hyatt Regency Kinabalu was our second home. We spent most of our time here. We became friends with all the staffs, from all departments. We stayed in all room categories to a point that the housekeeping people suddenly became our own mom(s). Not to mention the General Manager at that time, Mr. Warren Tam. He kept getting handwritten letters from us, at times containing compliments and occasionally, complaints!. I remembered when he finally requested to meet us in person at the Regency Club Lounge. Up to this moment, I am still not sure if he understood what we said to him during the meeting. Well, that was more than 13 years ago, bygones be bygones..
When we frequented Hyatt Regency Kinabalu in that 2 years, we were there even during Ramadhan months. 2 years which means 2 Ramadhan(s). Most of the time, we did go for buka puasa at Tanjung Ria Cafe (Current name-Tanjung Ria Kitchen). We had our buka puasa for hours, sometimes with friends, at times just the 2 of us. The staffs treated us like their own best friends, allowing us to do things that guests don’t normally do. It means, staying at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu was almost the same as living in our own home. We never forget all that sweet memories, how we were allowed to take so many Satay back to our own room and then came down for more. The Concierge had their own predictions. They always knew when we’re about to go out and come in again through the main door.
The Club Lounge personnel will always call us to ask if we are coming for breakfast. Failing to come to the lounge on time, meant only 1 thing, they will keep our portion in the pantry for us to consume later. Its kind of living with family members. We were free to move around, here and there. Buka puasa for 2 years in row (in 2 Ramadhans) gave us the opportunities to eat good foods that came with top notch service We were always given the VIP treatment. Mr. Yahya of Tanjung Ria Cafe, was the person who kept ensuring our satisfaction. The Rendang that I had during that 2 Ramadhan(s) buka puasa was the best, my favorite so to say. Time flies. We were stationed somewhere else and on the final day of our stay, ‘something really-really bad‘ happened to us. That, we took quite a long time to get adjusted, a story known by only selected people. We checked out and never came back.
When we said we never came back, we meant to say, we never go into the internal side of the big building let alone being their in house guests. The only nearest point that we braved ourselves to be ‘attached’ with the brand again was when we visited Mosaic Cafe, which has its own entrance. Click HERE to read our review. We re visited in May 2016 but that was it. Nothing related to Tanjung Ria or whatever inside the big building.
Our destiny changed in June 2016. We finally came home. That home is non other than Hyatt Regency Kinabalu. We came back to feast. Someone, that we prefer to address as our Angel, invited us over, to come and feasting for the foods offered in the Buka Puasa (Ramadhan) Buffet. Initially, Angel, did not know our bitter sweet experience at this property. After almost 14 years, we came again for the same buffet. Guess what? Mr. Yahya is still with Hyatt Regency Kinabalu. What else? The Rendang, Satay and many more of our favorite dishes are still available. Any changes? Interior changed drastically. We were quite amazed with the new transformation of what used to be Tanjung Ria Cafe.
Welcome to the Tanjung Ria Kitchen. Home sweet home, @curiostraveller and @joehairie. Will the Buka Puasa Feast able to really making us feel at home again? Will we consider to prolong the feeling of being at home, again? We will answer this mega important question at the end of this post….
“As truths be told, homecoming never gets old”-Hlovate
About ‘Buka Puasa’ Feast at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu is hosting the ultimate buka puasa feast featuring an astounding array of more than 200 varieties of traditional breaking-fast fare and international favorites to suit every taste bud at its open kitchen restaurant in Kota Kinabalu, Tanjung Ria Kitchen where it can sit up to 200 diners at one time. Tanjung Ria Kitchen is a halal certified kitchen where the live open kitchens take centre stage as the chefs prepare your meal a’la minute upon requests. A few Chef’s specialties and unique items are being featured in the buffet such as the Malaysian classic Ayam Rendang, chicken stewed in a rich mixture of coconut milk and curry.
The Indian delight of Naan and Tandoori, oven baked cheese filled flatbread and meat roasted in a special clay oven, as well as the famous Oxtail Assam Pedas, oxtail braised in a spicy fragrant stew. Local favourite desserts like shaved ice (Ice Kacang) are also available to quench the thirsts. There are 6 show stations in Tanjung Ria Kitchen offering live cooking stations including western cuisines like roast lamb and beef burger, in addition to stations that feature local delicacies, such as the well-loved satay, skewered meat grilled and served with peanut sauce, and pulut panggang, glutinous rice grilled in banana leaves.
curiostraveller.com Iftar experience @ Tanjung Ria Kitchen
‘This is gonna be Huge thing‘ is the sentence that best described our initial thoughts when we first step into the Tanjung Ria Kitchen. We did not expect to see what we saw. Amazing transformation indeed. The word Kitchen in Tanjung Ria Kitchen is seriously being applied to the whole concept. There’s open kitchen, a pretty long one, from one end to another. We were pretty excited to see some Chefs and Kitchen staffs preparing the food for the buffet, right in front. No hanky-panky for them, guests will be able to see them all the time. All that they can do is to cook from the heart and keep smiling. We love this open kitchen concept. Guests can have real conversation with them. Awesome!
The Open Kitchen Concept
It’s really fun but educational at the same time to see all the staffs working pretty hard preparing all the good foods. If you observe them closely, you might be able to learn something new ( to enhance you skills in your own kitchen, at least). Below are some short videos to show you how the Chef(s) and staffs do their work. Pardon us for the low quality of below videos. We were having some technical difficulties when working with our device.
Tanjung Ria Kitchen Interior
This is the entrance to Tanjung Ria Kitchen. Guests will be able to notice the unique chandelier as it is quite big. We love that chandelier, a big statement for an amazing restaurant.
Decorations being displayed-we’re amazed by this section which is located near the main entrance of Tanjung Ria Kitchen.
A ‘walkway’ in one of the buffet stations area-the display of spice and herb in jars is definitely an awesome feature. The wooden panels that separates the buffet stations and dining area are among the many unique features found only at Tanjung Ria Kitchen.
Another section of dining area located near to the Chicken Rice Station. If you are die hard fans of Chicken Rice, we recommend you to reserve your table at this particular area. There are some kind of almost private seating areas further back. The 2 sections are separated by some cool wooden and colorful partitions.
We love the lighting at Tanjung Ria Kitchen, not too dark and not that too bright. Look at the right hand side, we both love that section.Almost private and looks like a nice place to have decent meals and conversation.
Another section of dining area. Look at the colors and furniture layout. How awesome!
There is a feast of all senses here- the taste, aroma, sound and music, form, surface, finishes, color, art, light and people. Amazing place for superb dining as well as to seeing and be seen.
Buffet Spread-Let us show to you what we saw….
Note that this buffet spread was for June 9, 2016. Some items might be changed if you decide to visit at a later date. This is just a general guide for you so that you will be able to start planning which to eat first, when you come for the Buka Puasa feast at Tanjung Ria Kitchen
Kurma/Dates-This is a must for those who are fasting. For buka puasa, Muslims begins with something sweet.
We’re surprised to see the beverages choice for guests, plenty of em’ including coffee and tea.
Next station- The ABC/Ice Kacang. Simply choose your fillings (you can have all if you want to) and you are on your way to make your own Shaved Ice.
There are many types of Malay desserts (Kuih-Muih) available at this station. You will have to fight with your inner soul to choose the best. My favorite-Kuih Kosui.
At the next station, some western desserts that will make you standing for quiet a long time to choose as all of them looks so good!
The Fresh Fruit station. This station is located on the other side of Tanjung Ria Kitchen (sort of an annex/hall). Next to this station is the counter for Malaysian Dessert such as Bubur Cha-Cha, Bubur Kacang Merah, Bubur Pulut Hitam and our favorite, Bubur Durian. There is also a station with some Nasi Himpit and Peanut Gravy.
This station is all about some healthy choice for you to have as Starter/Appetizer.
A station meant for Pizza fans….Tanjung Ria Kitchen is said to produce the best pizza in town! Head to this station if you are craving for delectable pizza’s.
Local produce-Keropok Ikan Masin/Salted Fish Crackers.
Some crackers for you perhaps?
Available at this station-Breads, Beef Burger and Beef Lasagna
We’re a bit spoiled at this station. We can’t resist the temptation, we sampled all of em..the fried items-prawns, crabs, lekor and many many more!
The Carving station where you can get delicious Roast Lamb Ribs and Roast Beef. Image below showing the station for Sotong Kangkung.
Long line up here as there were just too many Sate fans! We love the peanut gravy (Kuah Kacang).
There is a small section serving grilled fish with Sambal gravy on it. Below is the short video showing the Chefs working hard to prepare the grill items for guests.
This is a station meant for those who fancy some healthy greens and tomatoes. In Malaysia, we named it as Ulam-Ulaman.
@curiostraveller favorite station serving Indian cuisine-Briyani Rice, Lamb Masala and Butter Chicken. Image below showing the Tandoori items.
Another interesting station offering Steamed fish and dim sum.
Malay dishes- Daging Masak Kicap, Oxtail Asam Pedas, Ayam Masak Merah, Kari Ikan, Sayur Masak Lemak, Ketam Masak Lemak and Telur Goreng Kicap.
Ngiu Chap Station-pick whatever you fancy and give it to the Chef.
Colorful presentation of Chinese cuisine-Soft Shell Crab, Vegetable Garlic, Sweet Sour Fish, Crispy Noodles, Hot Chili Prawn, Cha Sau Chicken Spring Roll and Wantan.
One of our favorite station, Chicken Rice (Roasted and Steamed) and Roast Duck.
We tried almost all dish. We love all of em’. Each dish we tasted were so good and delicious. Here are some of the food that we both had.
Chicken Rice. Though we did not ask for the real rice (we opted for white rice), the chicken tasted so good especially when dipped with the spicy sauce and ginger. The dark soy sauce was the highlight of this dish. It went pretty well with the roasted chicken.
We had some Beef Lasagna and Beef Burger as well. The Beef Lasagna was so good as it had generous portion of beef and some cheese. Beef Burger was okay. The bread was tender and so was the Beef fillet.
This is the ‘ultimate’ dessert (for us). There were 4 types of Malaysian Bubur (Dessert) offered to guests when we visited Tanjung Ria Kitchen. The Bubur Cha-Cha and Bubur Durian were the best that we ever had since we became food hunters/bloggers.
Both images above and below were the ice cream that we had. Both tasted so good that we didn’t have the right words to describe em’. There were so many toppings to choose from and we do crave for more actually, we still do…
We failed to see any flaw here at Tanjung Ria Kitchen. Everything were perfect and we love the utmost attention and service given by the front staffs as well as the Kitchen staffs manning the counters.
We have decided that it is time to forgive and forget. This is Ramadhan month. Whatever happened here 14 years ago, will be forgotten. We chose to ‘forgive’ those who did something that really touched our soul, cutting deeply into our minds and heart. Only some people knew about this unfortunate event, however, past is past. We will move on and decided to come home. Gradually getting ourselves adjusted in the new environment of Hyatt Regency Kinabalu. Thank you so much Angel! You invited us to a place where we called home 14 years ago. It’s been 2 days now since the awesome buka puasa feast at Tanjung Ria Kitchen and that means it’s been 2 days already we start addressing Hyatt Regency Kinabalu as ‘home’.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present”-Bill Keane
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” –Soren Kierkegaard
For the excellent foods, beverages and service, we rated our Iftar/Sungkai/Buka Puasa experience as Excellent. We did rate it according to our own satisfaction and no one influenced us in this rating. As a matter of fact, we were inspired by the way the staffs worked from their heart and deliver the result in form of excellent foods.
Our score/rating? (Modern Cafe Category in a Hotel/Resort)
(Overall Score: 10/10)
Ambiance & Overall Concept: 10/10
Food-Buffet : Menu, Presentation and Taste: 10/10
Beverages-Buffet : Menu, Presentation and Taste: 10/10
Service/WIFI/All other ‘Extras’: 10/10
Price-Worth the experience: 10/10
Date Visited: June 9, 2016 (Thursday)
Craving for the Buka Puasa Feast? Head to:
Tanjung Ria Kitchen
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Jalan Datuk Salleh Sulong
88991 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Tel : + 60 88 221 234
Fax: + 60 88 225 972
Facebook: Click HERE
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Twitter: Click HERE
“Hyatt Regency Kinabalu has been awarded the 2016 certificate of excellence for superior service by TripAdvisor”
Buka Puasa Feast at Tanjung Ria Kitchen (Information)
6th June to 5th July 2016
Hours: 6:30PM – 10:00PM
RM 150 nett per adult
RM 75 nett per child*
* Children between 6 to 12 years old
- If you have a group of 11 people dining buy dinner at RM150 nett per adult, then one of them enjoys a complimentary dinner
- Pre purchase 3 days in advance to enjoy the feast at RM130 nett per adult.
Buka Puasa & Hari Raya Banquet
Planning a private buka puasa gathering? Chefs at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu are more than happy to tailor delectable, tantalizing buka puasa and Hari Raya menus for your special event. Be the perfect host and let our professional event service personnel take away the stress of organizing for your events. For reservations or more information, please contact Hyatt Regency Kinabalu at +60 88 22 1234.
About Hyatt Regency Kinabalu
Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, a 288-room hotel, is located in the heart of Kota Kinabalu’s business, shopping and entertainment hub, overlooking the beautiful coral islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and the South China Sea. Hyatt Regency Kinabalu offers newly renovated guestrooms, exceptional service, modern comforts, and a dazzling choice of local and international cuisine. Reservations for Hyatt Regency Kinabalu can be made by calling +60 88 22 1234 or visiting www.kinabalu.regency.hyatt.com .
About Hyatt Regency Hotels
Hyatt Regency offers a full range of services and facilities tailored to serve the needs of meeting planners, business travelers and leisure guests. Properties generally range in size from 200 to over 2,000 rooms and are conveniently located in urban, suburban, airport, convention and resort destinations around the world. Hyatt Regency convention hotels feature spacious meeting and conference facilities designed to provide a productive environment. Hyatt Regency hotels in resort locations cater to couples seeking a getaway, families enjoying vacation together and corporate groups seeking a relaxed atmosphere in which to conduct business and meetings.