KoChaBi Delights Buffet Dinner @ Jazz Feast Restaurant
There’s an exciting new venue for buffet lovers – KoChaBi Delights Buffet Dinner @ Jazz Feast Restaurant, Penang every Friday.
My octogenarian mom would often complain that food these days has lost it’s KoChaBi (Hokkien for its original flavor). I couldn’t agree more.
Last week I was in Kuala Lumpur. We had some nice grilled chicken which looked perfect. One bite into the meat, I pushed my dinner away. Only the skin was seasoned. The meat was tasteless.
KoChaBi Delight is the Jazz Hotel’s attempt to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions.
The Idea Behind KoChaBi Delight
General Manager of Jazz Hotel, Mr. Khoo Boo Lim, mentioned to our friends that he wants to coax Chef Bob out of retirement to showcase the lost KoChaBi flavors of our childhood.
I was delighted to hear the news last month. Mr. Khoo decided to name the Dinner Buffet, KoChaBi Delight. What a wonderful idea!
Mr. Khoo said that KoChaBi Delight is the Jazz Hotel’s attempt to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions.
What is KoChaBi?
Most of us can barely remember the original taste of Grandma’s food that we took for granted. I for one will feel that something is missing in the taste. Yet I am not quite able to pinpoint the missing ingredients.
The Slow Food Movement
This is what the Slow Food Movement, a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 wants to counteract the rise of the fast life.
In the old days, food preparation takes time. Real cooking takes time.
This is not Grab Food when you key in your selection, the food takes 15 – 20 mins to prepare and another 15 mins to be delivered to your doorstep.
The KoChaBi Delights Buffet Dinner
You can find the selection of a normal buffet with highlights of traditional Hainanese Dishes prepared by Chef Bob Lee.
There are three selections for soups
• Slow Cook Chinese Herbal Soup
• Mushroom Soup
• Oxtail Soup
The Slow Cook Herbal Soup is rich with the herbal taste and is kept hot by steaming.
The Mushroom Soup is creamy and delicious.
I chose a full bowl to serve of Oxtail Soup.
The Oxtail Soup is a tasty, meaty soup, with the good strong beef taste, Cooked in the form of bone broth with lots of carrots, potatoes, and celery. It is hearty and deeply satisfying.
I had the soup with crispy crusty garlic bread. This is a meal I would love to have on a cold rainy night in Penang.
If you like seafood, the “Panggang Stall” serves freshly grilled squid, fish, kacang botol, eggplant, and corn straight from the grill. The sauce is spicy-sweet and tasty.
Hainanese Buffet Spread
These are the delightful Hainanese Classics with the traditional KoCharBi taste that you won’t find in the restaurants anymore.
• Char Har Lok (stir-fried prawns)
• Slow Braised Lamb with Okra
• Assam Pedas Fish
• Foo Yong Hai
• Loh Ark with Egg (Braised Duck with Egg)
• Stir-Fried Vegetables with Sliced Chicken & Prawn Meat
• Chicken Pie
• Hainanese Chicken Rice
• Hailam Noodle
• Hainanese Chicken Chop with Sauce and Baked Potatoes
• Hainanese Spring Rolls (Chun Piah)
The all-time favorites that hit the spot for me are the Slow Braised Lamb with Okra, Lor Ark with Braised Egg and the Chicken Pie.
Slow Braised Lamb with Okra
The first time I had the Slow Braised Lamb with Okra was about 30 years ago at Penang Swimming Club. There was a Hainanese Chef and I remembered the taste of this dish well.
This flavor-packed tender lamb and baby okra is a common dish during the Colonial period in Malaysia. The secret to this recipe is the long; slow simmering that brings out the flavors gently. The lamb is fork-tender and very flavorsome.
This is one of my favorites. Thank you, Chef Bob, it was quite a trip going back in time remembering the old taste.
Hainanese Chicken Rice
One of my absolute favorite meals is a lunch of Hainanese Chicken Rice.
Hainanese chicken rice is a dish of poached chicken and seasoned rice, served with chili sauce and cucumber slices as garnish.
Basic and simple, this poor man’s meal originated from migrant workers from Hainan province in Southern China.
Aren’t all Rice and Chicken created equal?
Chef Bob’s version of Hainanese Chicken Rice is a heavenly delight. The “White” Chicken is Perfectly poached and succulent. I chose the “Gong Bak” (Meat for simpleton) as Chicken connoisseurs will call it.
The Chinese community would not eat the breast meat as it is often too easy to cook it wrong. You end up with dry and miserably chewy meat.
The “Black” Chicken is deep-fried and encrusted with sesame seed.
Both the Poached Chicken and Roast Chicken were perfectly cooked. The meat was moist, tender, tasty and juicy.
The condiments, the Garlic Chilli Sauce that accompanies Hainanese chicken rice is mild, tangy and garlicky.
The Ginger Sauce is an important condiment and is thick and so yummy when you place a huge dollop on the chicken meat.
The Chicken Rice is cooked with a substantial amount of chicken fat which makes the rice fragrant and flavorful.
It is delicious to eat on its own.
Hainanese Chicken Pie
The Hainanese Chicken Pie is a dish unique to Penang. It’s a dish invented by Hainanese cooks for their British masters in colonial Malaysia.
Most versions of Chicken Pie are made in a brown sauce – a mixture of soya sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
The Hainanese version is made in a white (Mornay) sauce.
Only diced boneless, skinless bite-sized chunks of chicken thighs are used in this recipe baked with puff pastry sheet.
The most delicious part of the pie is the baked puff pastry with goes missing very fast.
Hainanese Chicken Chop with Sauce and Baked Potatoes
This is a dish loved by kids and adults alike.
The Hainanese Chicken Chop is a deboned chicken leg and thigh, deep-fry until golden in an eggy batter.
This is served with rich orangey gravy and littered with peas, corn, carrots, and onions and served with roasted potatoes.
• Sweet Leng Chee Kang (Lotus Seed Dessert)
• Penang Famous Teochew Chendol
• Ais Kacang
• Bubur Gandum
• Bubur Kacang
• Sago Gula Melaka
• French pastries
• Creme Brule
• Ice Cream
Chef Bob Lee
Meeting the renowned Chef Bob is always a pleasure.
He is charming and jovial, coming out of his retirement and working closely with the Jazz Hotel Chefs to treat us Foodies with great recipes.
Chef Bob followed with a cooking demo for a Salt Baked Fish that is so easy to make and funny that he had all the ladies in stitches with his jovial banter.
He not only loves to surprise us! Chef Bob knows how to entertain with his comical live cooking demonstrations and sharing his memories of the good old days!
As always it is good, to eat at a restaurant where the Chef knows how to cook the food right. From the selection of ingredients, cooking science right down to the taste, getting the essence of what makes good food, great.
I’m very pleased to taste Chef Bob’s cooking. I am sure Penangites who enjoyed their fill of great buffet will make a beeline to taste the original taste again. Do drop by for the promotion at Jazz Hotel every Friday until 31 October 2019.
If there’s a comment I will make to improve the buffet, it’s probably because I miss the old-style ice-cream potong. Then again, I’m being wishful and greedy.
KoCharBi Delight Promotion
The buffet is priced at RM88 net per Adults while RM68 net for Senior Citizen (65 years old and above) and Child (4-11 years)
Latest Buffet Pricing structure:
3 years and below —> FREE
4 years – 9 years – 50% discount from the child price
10 years – 15 years —> child price
Senior Price – 55 years – 75 years
75 years and above 50% off Senior Price
The promotion of buy 3 free 1 is valid until 31st October 2019
This Kochabi Delights Buffet Dinner is a great deal, so be fast and book your seat!
Jazz Feast Restaurant
Level 2, Jazz Hotel Penang, No. 1, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang 1
Tanjung Tokong, Penang
Telephone: +604-375 3333