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Melanau Chef Specialises In Roastes Turkey For Christmas

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KUCHING – Since three years ago, Christmas has become the busiest time for Sarikei born Melanau chef Hamlee Sabuti.

Although Hamlee, 47, does not celebrate the festival, he would prepare the compulsory Christmas dish, the roasted turkey, which is a favourite among his Christian clients.

The owner of Haza Cafe said for this year’s Chrismas season, he began receiving orders for five roasted turkeys beginning from yesterday until Friday.

“My roasted turkey is special because I use herbs that are fully imported from Europe to preserve the Western style of preparing the dish. The turkeys are marinated overnight before being roasted at a low temperature for two hours this morning,” he said when met at his cafe located in Jalan Rubber here, today.

Hamlee, who had served as a chef for 25 years at a five-star hotel in the city said other favourite dishes at the cafe were the beef wellington, roasted lamb leg, chicken dancing as well as a variety of pies.

“The roasted turkeys are sold according to its weight which are priced between RM380-RM600,’ the beef wellington between RM380-RM500, while the roasted lamb legs are sold at RM390.

“I use the roasted turkey recipe to make chicken dancing which is sold from RM150 for two pieces.

“Each dish is accompanied with home-made sauces. Among the favourites are the giblet sauce, mushroom sauce, black pepper sauce, cranberry sauce, mint sauce,” he said.

Matching Hamlee’s skills in Western cuisine,is his wife, Zaleha Abdullah, 57, who specialises in pastries.

“We make three types of pies, namely, chicken pie (RM39), meat pie (RM40) and mixed pie (RM41). Every Christmas we get orders for these pies,” said Zaleha, who like Hamlee, had served in a five-star hotel in Kuching.

Hamlee, who managed the cafe with his wife and other family members, was satisfied to be able to prepare Christmas dishes as not many were skilled in making dishes like the roasted turkey. – BERNAMA

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