I’ve talked about the hotel, now all that is left to talk about is food. FYI, I have 6 (maybe 7) posts on food that I had in JB. I am expecting to finish talking about them within 2 weeks, so you know what to expect. If you are someone who will be bored with food, you are allowed to stay away for this coming 2 weeks with my blessings.
Some of you may have seen this photo below if you are following me on Instagram/Facebook (if you haven’t, links at the sidebar). This was my first dinner in Johor Bahru (JB) in more than 2 years.
As I was tired after a 4 hours drive, and I wanted to start my working trip with a bang, I opted for the hotel’s buffet dinner in Makan Kitchen. Yeah, I actually thought this is a rather lame name for a restaurant, if anyone from the hotel’s management is reading, maybe you guys should consider a rename.
But, restaurant name apart, I think this is kind of a cool restaurant to have a buffet dinner. You know some hotel buffets will have special themes during weekends? Makan Kitchen has different specialized themes every day!
It was Sunday when I dined here, and the theme was [All About Curry]…
Themes aside, I also think this restaurant has an interesting layout. The usual buffet lines which I am used to are separated by cooking nature (soup, stir fry, grill, etc). Here, they buffet lines are separated by types of cuisine. They have a section for Chinese cuisine, a section for Malay cuisine, and a section for Indian cuisine.
I really like this type of cuisine segregation. I think it is in fact a great idea. You see, we usually put whatever food that we fancy onto an empty plate. And then you know different cuisine usually has their own distinct flavors. In a typical buffet line, this means we are more likely to have spicy Malay style food and the more subtly flavored Chinese food on the same plate, and their gravy gets mixed up, making the food lose their originally intended flavors.
But here, because the different types of cuisine are placed at different sections, you can “attack” the sections one at a time. This makes it easier for us to pick the same type of food with similar flavors together in one round, and consequently make for a more enjoyable dining experience.
Oh, I almost forgot. How can I forget their desserts section? Desserts are not segregated by cuisine. Makes sense, because stuff like dessert are universal, right? 😉
Okay, time to show you my first dinner in JB…
Round 1 (clockwise from top): fried rice, fried noodles, chicken rice, mixed veggies, fried fish fillets.
I tell you, I was shocked with how good the chicken rice was (not just by that fabulous rose gold silverware set). I mean, everything else was decent too, as one can expect from a decent hotel buffet spread. But the chicken rice… I am not a pro by any means, but if I were to make a personal chicken rice list, this one would rank in my personal Top 3! The rice was super fragrant, and the chicken (breast) was extremely tender, juicy and flavorful. Yes, I did mention “chicken breast” and “juicy” in the same sentence. It was so good that I went back for Round 1.2 and Round 1.3 just for more chicken rice helpings.
Round 2 (from top): otak-otak, chicken and lamb satay, roti canai with mutton and vegetable curry.
Again, I was shocked with how good the otak-otak was! The satay was alright, the roti canai was (unfortunately) meh, but the otak-otak… Malaysians, you know what makes a good otak-otak, right? I was expecting the otak-otak here to be a typical toned down, hotel version. After all, there are lots of international guests dining here and they might not be able handle a properly flavored otak-otak well.
How wrong I was. I opened the leaves, placed the whole piece of fishcake into my mouth, and it immediately choked the daylight out of me! It was so f**king spicy, so damn syok, and once I gulped down a glass of cold water, I immediately went back to get 5 more!
Round 3: Well, I don’t know if this is a proper bakso. I know Indonesian bakso are beef meatballs in noodles soup. I have never seen a chicken bakso before, so I don’t know how an authentic one looks or tastes like. In fact I don’t even know if chicken bakso is a real thing or not. But the broth of this one does taste like a decent broth from a down to earth Malay eatery, so I guess it is all good.
Round 4.1: Cake shaped fruits. We gotta have more fruits, because fruits are rich in fiber and good for health. The cake shaped fruits here are amazing! I particularly liked the Tiramisu fruit and the Black Forest fruit. Healthy yet decadent! 😀
Round 4.2: Waffle shaped fruit, honeydew fruit and papaya fruit. The honeydew fruit and papaya fruit weren’t very good, but the waffle shaped fruit was excellent!
OMG… I already feel bloated just by writing this blog post! I guess there’s nothing left to say, except that this is a decent buffet spread. So next time if you are in JB and wants a buffet dinner, Makan Kitchen is not a bad option. 😉