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Rebung is located just off Jalan Parlimen on the outskirts of the KL Lake Gardens and sits on the top floor of a multi-storey car park, with clear signage. The restaurant is decidedly a family-oriented one, with bright lighting and simple, colourful decor. There’s an indoor buffet area, a few outdoor tables and a live band that plays every night. For those who want a bit of privacy, they also have private rooms, each simply named after the primary colour of the room.
The buffet spread at Rebung seldom changes, which in this case, is a good thing. People keep coming back to Rebung for its signature dishes such as the pucuk ubi (tapioca shoots), which is cooked in a lovely gulai (thick creamy broth) with duck eggs and tapioca. It’s got a surprisingly gamey aftertaste, with a spicy punch.
The stingray asam pedas is another staple, with a gravy that looks more potent than it actually is. It manages to extract the wonderful chilli flavour without so much of the heat, perfectly complementing the fresh and tender pieces of stingray and soft-stewed cuts of lady’s fingers. The chicken curry follows similarly, extracting all the lovely curry and galangal flavours, but safe enough for those who do not fancy spicy food. From there a la carte menu, there are usual Malaysian favourites like nasi lemak and nasi goreng.
For dessert, Rebung has an assortment of traditional Malay kuih, as well as a number of different buburs and puddings, which are fantastic for those whole their dessert on the sweeter side of the palate.
If you opt for the buffet, there’s a free flow of tea, coffee and water. However, aside from the standard air batu campur (shaved iced dessert) and sirap limau, they do have an array of rather interesting mocktails. Puteri Kasturi is a mix of apple and pineapple juice, ice blended lime and lime syrup, which is pretty intense – highly sweet and sour at the same time. More interestingly, Janda Pulang uses local green coconut with rose syrup, which tints the bits of coconut flesh while the coconut flesh gives the drink a beautiful explosion of creamy flavour.
There’s usually a bustling crowd here, sometimes with up to 300 people over the lunch service, so expect waiters to be difficult to come by, especially if you’re sitting in one of the quieter corners. However, service is friendly, and as most people come for the buffet, there is little need for a waiter, except to order your drinks or clean your table. Also, there’s a kindly lady at the buffet area who explains and recommends dishes – for instance if you have a limited tolerance to spicy food.
Dinner buffets go for RM50++, which is a bargain considering the size and depth of the spread. Lunch and high tea are even cheaper at RM40 and RM35++ respectively, which explain the large crowds in the earlier parts of the day. Do be warned though, once you leave the confines of the buffet menu, things can get unexpectedly pricey. Noticeably, the mocktails can go as high as RM17.50 for a tall glass, which is the same price for a plate of mee hailam or nasi goreng.