COVID-19 Update: For increased hygiene and safety, the traditional buffet experience of serving yourself from communal trays and pots is no more. Instead, you will be given a menu of over 50 dishes that will be cooked to order and brought to you, very much like at a regular restaurant.
Looking for a meal that will truly fill in all the nooks and crannies of your stomach? Nook is the bright and very un-nook-like in-house restaurant on the second floor of the Aloft Kuala Lumpur Hotel. Their buffet mainly features international cuisine, but regularly throughout the year, Nook will showcase limited-time special dishes or cuisine types (Thai food, Deepavali delights, or in our case, rendang short ribs). Special theme nights will be during their Friday and Saturday night dinner buffet.
The buffet area may look small: all of the options are laid out in a U-shape against the walls with an inner ring of counter space inside this and an additional two small islands for the cold appetizers. It’s a small space that you could capture in one picture. Several reviews online complain that there’s not enough variety. If you are averse to eating local cuisine and just want typical western buffet filler like pizza, pasta, and chips, then I can understand this statement. However, if you’re not picky and eat everything that looks good, you will have more than enough to feast on at Nook.
Below is most of the food I saw on offer that night. A couple of dishes are missing as I’m going off of my memory and pictures I took (and some I had no idea what the hell it was and there was no label!). The buffet price is quite steep, and personally I would’ve liked a detailed rundown before committing to this place, but I couldn’t find a decent one on any of the food blogs out there! This list will give you an idea of the kind of food to expect here at Nook on a generic night.
Keep in mind how buffets work. Not everything I’ve listed will be available all the time. Things like the noodle station and rendangs are probably permanent fixtures because they’re cheap to make and they last a long time before they’re obviously spoiled. More specialized dishes like the sea bass was likely only there that night because the restaurant got a good price on sea bass recently. In three days, any remaining sea bass will be chucked into a curry or fried rice and be unrecognizable from its original iteration.
Always do a walk through before piling your plate, and plan ahead for what you definitely want to eat! My next post will include a review of the restaurant and which of these mouthwatering foods you should try to stuff into your face if you get the chance!
Rendang short ribs (made to order)
Seafood: lobster tail halves, jumbo prawns, clams
Sauces: sweet chilli, garlic mayonnaise, lemon wedges, Thousand Island
Salad & Sandwich: warm salad with chicken, winged bean kerabu with beef floss, pear & brie salad, coleslaw, romaine lettuce, salad mix, smoked salmon, salmon ebiko sashimi, mango salad, beancurd salad, luncheon meat, various salad trimmings (gherkins, tomatoes, red cabbage, etc)
Dressings: olive oil, pesto, Thousand Island, Caesar, French
Satay & Grill Station
Tandoor: naan bread, tandoori chicken, yoghurt dips, chutneys
Satay: chicken satay, beef satay, peanut sauce, raw onion, cucumber, nasi impit (rice cubes), peanut sauce
Pizza: rendang beef pizza, vegetarian pizza
Make Your Own Noodle Station
Noodles: bee hoon, ramen, mee noodles
Ingredients: mini prawns, shredded chicken, fish balls, tofu, omelette strips, Chinese mushroom, bean sprouts, napa cabbage, kangkung, bok choi, parsley
Broths: chicken, vegetable, prawn, Sarawak Laksa
Toppings: jalapenos, fried onions, hot and sour sauce, bird’s eye chillies
Rendangs & curries: beef rendang, goat rendang, lamb rendang, squid rendang minang, paneer masala
Carvery & grill: marinated Asian-spice seabass, grilled prawns
General dishes: butter squid, sweet and sour fried fish, ginger beef, silken tofu with soy sauce, mixed vegetables, fried noodles, biryani, white rice, chicken with onion sauce, mussels in tomato sauce, lamb in mushroom ragu, eggplant parmigiana, make-your-own pasta
Soups: herbal black chicken soup with herbs, fish Singgang soup
Cheese: cheddar cheese, brie cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano
Dried: crackers, walnuts, dried green peas, snack mixes
A variety of rolls and bread
Strawberry chocolate fountain + dippables (jelly beans, ladyfinger biscuits, marshmallows, apricots)
Make-your-own ais kacang/cendol
Red velvet cake
Berry crumble pie
Chocolate & blueberry tarts
Bubur cha cha (coconut milk soup)
Potong (Popsicle) Freezer
Chocolate, coconut, corn and durian flavours
Whole fruit: apples, mini bananas and tangerines
Sliced fruit: oranges, apples, pineapples, red and yellow watermelons
Hot Drink Station
Coffee: Americano, mocha, cappuccino, latte and more dispensed from the coffee machine
Tea: Earl Grey, English Breakfast, chamomile, peppermint, green tea, and vanilla & rooibos tea bags in a pink plastic organiser (get hot water from the adjacent coffee machine)
Sweeteners: natural and white sugar packets
Cold Drink Station
Lemon water, apple celery & peppermint water, cranberry juice, mango juice
When to Visit
This seems like a relatively quiet buffet, which makes for great ambience but is not so great news for the food. The food is fresh when buffet service starts, but because there are simply fewer guests eating through entire trays of food, some dishes will be sitting there until the end of service several hours later without needing to be refilled.
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, I recommend you go early into the buffet block time. Right when it starts is the best, because it guarantees everything is freshly put out, but within an hour of the start of service is okay as well. We arrived right at 6:30pm to food pots, trays and whole fishes as yet unmolested. For dinner, I would not recommend going any later than 8:30pm. This is around the time when many people started showing up when we ate here, which means more competition for food. Also, by this point, the food has been sitting on heating trays for over two hours.
Price & Times
Dinner Buffet, Weekend Specials (Thursday to Saturday): RM138 per person, 6pm – 10:30pm
Depending on the time of year (i.e: Halloween, Deepavali, Chinese New Year), this buffet might be holiday-themed. You can check their Facebook page to see if anything is on.