Breaking fast with some tasty Chinese Muslim dishes
With the holy month of Ramadhan in full swing, there's a distinct festive spirit in the air: the season of charity, self-reflection - as well as excellent food and good company to share it with.
I visited Homst at Taman Tun with a group of colleagues to break fast. When we arrived 45 minutes before sundown to confirm our reservation, the entire restaurant was completely booked out and everyone was encouraged to order their food in advance so it would be ready when the time came to eat (during Ramadhan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk).
We had some time to visit the nearby Ramadhan Bazaar before returning to the restaurant at 7pm - a half hour left till dinner. By that time, almost all the seats were taken up and there was a constant rumble of voices surrounding us. Slowly, our food arrived dish by dish - we ordered five dishes in total with individual servings of rice for the six of us.
The wet buttered chicken was recommended to us by the waiter, who implied that it was one of their favourite poultry dishes. Here at Homst, you can order by size so we got a medium serving. I really liked the sauce for this, it was thick and creamy with a load of spices making it zing in your mouth.
Out of the range of dishes we ordered, this was the only vegetable one - Kailan in a garlicky, salty sauce. It was nice, though maybe a touch saltier than how I'd prefer it. We finished this pretty fast too, and it was the first plate they cleared from our table while we were still eating.
Homst also has a variety of tofu dishes on their menu, with vegetarian and meat options. The sizzling tofu is served in a hot plate with small chunks of chicken and vegetables sitting in a pool of gooey egg. I felt like it finished too soon - like most of our other choices, we got this in a medium size. At this point we were worried that there wouldn't be enough for all of us... and then the fish arrived.
Even though we ordered this in medium, it was way bigger than expected. When ordering the fish dish, you can choose the type of fish and the way it's cooked. One of us wanted the kerapu (grouper), that the waiter recommended would go great as a deep-fried meal. With that settled, we chose to have it with a sweet and sour sauce. When it finally arrived, we were not at all disappointed. The fish was fresh and flaky, the crispy skin going great with the sauce. We picked it to the bones, it was that good.
Even with all the rest, the menu item I was most looking forward to was the deep fried squid. This is one of my favourite dishes to order anywhere at all, so I was eager to give Homst's version a try. It has to be one of the best I've ever tasted. The squid was soft and tender and the batter good and crunchy. They forgot to give us the dipping sauce at first, so we had to remind them, and that was tasty as well - a sweet, spicy sauce that leaves a tangy heat in your mouth.
With all the food shared between the six of us, each of us paid RM25 for dinner which is a good deal considering the variety of dishes we had. I really enjoyed our dinner here, and it helped that the waiter was friendly and ready to suggest dishes to us - he really knew the menu and I was pleased with his choices.
Taman Tun isn't the only place you can taste these dishes; Homst is also available at three other locations, namely Kota Damansara, Shah Alam and Kajang.