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Treasured traditions you can indulge in during the Christmas season!

Let the merriments begin.

Turkey? Hmmmm… When the word finally came that my plans to settle down to my first pre-Christmas meal at home tucking into a nice spread of roasted prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, baked potatoes et al was going to be scuppered, I was, to be honest, a little deflated.

Instead of a standing rib roast to feast on, I’d have a Tom turkey holding court on my table accompanied by his familiar friends like the bread stuffing, giblet gravy, hibiscus sauce, new potatoes and carrots.

“Do you mind trying the turkey instead of the prime rib? We really would like to promote our special turkey offering this time. It’s actually very nice,” the words popped up on my phone screen very early one morning, just as I was about to head out for an appointment.

Thankful that the sender could not see my disappointed grimace, I immediately typed, “Sure!” before proceeding to console myself that perhaps this festive roast spread from EQ Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, who are currently doing a special promotion, “Bring Home This Season’s Very Best” until Jan 1, 2021 would turn out to be pretty fab!

Not that I have anything against the bird that’s so synonymous with Christmas. In fact, turkey, a bird native to the Americas, was always de rigueur in almost all of my friends’ table come Christmas time when I was living in England during my younger years.

That said, despite having faced “the bird” countless times, I’d never actually even poked a fork into it before! I was always a little intimidated by its sheer size, which no doubt made it a fine display to have at the centre of the table.

Incidentally, the English monarch, King Henry VIII, who ruled England from 1509 until 1547, certainly thought the turkey was worthy of its place as a Christmas centre piece. Preferring it to other exotic royal favourites, such as the peacock, Henry, believed to have been the first English king to have eaten turkey, enjoyed the bird’s tastier and less stringy flesh.

“It tastes a bit like duck,” a friend offered tentatively, when I informed her of my upcoming “festive” dinner — at home. “But I don’t like duck. It’s too dry and chewy!” I wailed in return, recalling the time when an aunt had cooked duck for a special family lunch eons ago. “Just try la!” was her ensuing retort. And that was the end of THAT conversation.

The Tom turkey will always be the star of the show.

BIG FEAST

Fast forward to today, and here I am facing a pretty impressive mound on my table, comprising a huge Styrofoam cooler box, a smaller, cake-sized box and a paper bag. The home delivery service from EQ Hotel is spot on, arriving exactly at the time I’d requested — dinner time!

Excitedly, I make a guess that nestled within the cooler box encased in a festive-looking red wrap would be “the Bird”! And I’m right! The “oohs” and “aahhs” emanating from my friends whom I’d gathered to enjoy the feast with me are the only sounds to pierce my dining room the moment the turkey is lifted from its “nest” in the box.

The “oohs” continue as the table begins to heave with the accompanying items; out comes containers after containers housing the giblet gravy, the hibiscus sauce, the bread stuffing, new potatoes and carrots. “What’s in the small box?” someone asks, barely able to contain her excitement, before thrusting it into my hands.

 

The Chocolate and Passion Fruit Yule Log is simply divine.

Oooooooh!” More coos of delight ensue as the box is opened, revealing what looks like a glistening chocolate log. “Ooooh, this must be the Chocolate and Passion Fruit Yule Log,” I exclaim, recognising it from the selection I’d made under the Holiday Cakes section of the festive menu.

“What else did you order?” another friend asks enthusiastically. I beam because it’s my favourite of the lot. “Home-smoked Salmon Supreme!” I reply, happily taking out the precious “cargo” from the small paper bag and placing it on the table with a flourish.

Other items from the Christmas Specials list, from where the salmon came from, also include Lobster Mayonnaise with Russian Salad and Melba Toast, Pate Maison with Foie Gras and Cumberland Sauce, a Deli Cold Cut Platter and more. So much more.

But I’m just contented with my smoked salmon. I can already imagine what I’m going to have for breakfast the next day! Now where’s that sour dough bread I bought, I muse to myself before sheepishly turning my attention to my ravenous friends seated around the table, looking expectantly at me to commence proceedings!

SUBLIME END

As EQ’s General Manager Robert Lagerwey said: “Christmas festivities may not be the same this year but even in these trying times, we believe there’s a reason to celebrate and indulge with loved ones.”

And he’s right. Despite the blanket of doom that has covered us for much of 2020, there’s still much joy to be had in the company of our nearest and dearest. And what could be more special than a beautiful meal with our loved ones in the comfort of our safe sanctuary?

The “Bring Home This Season’s Very Best” promotion from EQ Hotel is actually pretty perfect, enabling us to still partake in festive merriment over a wonderful selection of traditional — and familiar — Christmas favourites. The fact that there are options for take-away, self-pickup or delivery makes it all very convenient.

So, did I enjoy my first experience with Tom turkey? Let’s just say I can be converted. The dark and decadent giblet gravy, a gravy made with the choicest pieces of the bird, gave the roasted turkey a lot of flavour and thus less dry-tasting. Meanwhile, the accompanying hibiscus sauce, with underlying notes of cranberry, was perfect for lathering onto the turkey.

There are plenty of delightful festive treats that can also be ordered.

I’m already looking forward to seeing what other creations I can concoct with my left-over turkey! Believe me, the bird was big! Pasta, sandwiches, wraps, salads… oooh, just get Googling for simple left-over turkey recipes. You’ll be surprised at just how delicious the turkey can taste in other guises!

On another note, the true piece de resistance for me was the Chocolate and Passion Fruit Yule Log. Put it down to my sweet tooth! It’s a sublime marriage of tartness, sweetness, richness and bitterness (from the dark chocolate). Want to go to dessert heaven? Order this!

 

The Bring Home This Season’s Very Best promotion is available until Jan 1, 2021

48-hours prior order and pre-payment are required.

Available for take-away, self-pickup or delivery.

For details, go to www.eqkualalumpur.com.

 

Source: News Straits Times

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