A Malaysian Blog about Food, Family and Friends – by Lyrical Lemongrass
An extract from Lewis Carroll’s “The Walrus and the Carpenter” (from Through the Looking Glass); something lighthearted for a wacky whimsical Wednesday!
(Note: There are five preceding verses talking about the Walrus and the Carpenter taking a stroll on the beach when they chance upon the oysters)
“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head–
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat–
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more–
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.
“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”
“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said.
“Do you admire the view?
“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf–
I’ve had to ask you twice!”
“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”
“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.
The Ramadan buffet at Rama V is a smaller spread compared to hotel buffets but the items in the buffet are mostly those that are found on the regular menu. I recommend this buffet to those who are keen to try the offerings at Rama V but are reluctant to pay the more expensive ala carte prices. Of course, one can’t expect the same high quality as food is cooked and presented en masse like most other buffets. A couple of items seemed to have failed to meet their regular standards – the otak-otak was too hard, a sign that it may have been overcooked, and the pad thai, when eaten at room temperature, just didn’t cut it.
The tom kar kai (spicy chicken soup with coconut) was sublime; its flavour mellow without any numbing effects. The chor ladda (flower shaped dumpling stuffed with minced chicken and peanuts), a house specialty on the regular menu, with its pretty blue skin and sweet and savoury filling was a delicious appetiser and prelude to the main meal.
According to Andre Shum, one of the proprietors of Rama V, for a Thai experience, one should try eating the oysters with a specially made green chilli concoction, sliced garlic and cut bird’s eye chilli. I was a little doubtful at first as I generally enjoy eating my fresh oysters with just a squeeze of lemon juice to fully enjoy its briny flavour, but the ingredients did make the oysters very palatable.
Don’t skip the salads. Thai salads have a cornucopia of colours and ingredients like coconut and dried shrimp and they are more than a visual feast.
There was a limited selection of desserts, about four choices including mango sticky rice and jelly. I would have loved to see a greater selection including my favourite, the pumpkin custard, but I can understand why they’d limit the choices. If it’s any consolation, at least there were no token pieces of pastries and cakes (the kind you find at regular buffets that look good but all you want to do is spit them out when no one’s looking).
The buffet is available during the Ramadan month at RM75++ (adults) and RM36++ for children. Citibank credit card holders get 30% off while Standard Chartered credit card holders get 15% off.
Thanks, Andre Shum (via Ciki) of Rama V, for inviting us to sample the buffet.
An earlier review of the ala carte fare can be found HERE.
No. 5 Jalan U Thant
55000 Kuala Lumpur
Opening Hours: 11am-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm
Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.