Meals @ Some Hotel in Senai, Johor

I guess it is time for me to finally show you my “free” meals from my most recent work trip, yes?

Fine Dining-esque Dinner

Remember when I mentioned about how stupid it is for the hotel to not do weekdays dinner buffet? The thing is, on my first evening, I have already decided to have dinner inside the hotel so I left my car keys in the hotel room when I came downstairs. Also, I had a really early morning driving down from KL and it was raining that evening so I didn’t feel like going out anyway.

The hotel do have a couple other restaurants, one Chinese and one Japanese, but I was sharing hotel that day with a few bus loads of China tourists and both that restaurants were fully booked for dinner services. What a bummer.

Without much of a choice, I had to go for their rather fine dining looking grill. I think it was called Cocomo Grill. Or was it Comomo? Or Cucumo? πŸ™„

How things work here is you basically order a main course (basically choose something to be grilled) and a drink, then help yourself at a free flow salad bar (on that red draped table above).

Broccoli salad, fruit salad, pasta salad

I ordered the second cheapest item on the menu, because the cheapest was chicken and I didn’t feel like it, and the other more expensive options were salmon, beef and stuff that was beyond my meal allowance budget.

Seabass with some mushrooms on the side
Comes with herbed butter sauce

If we speak purely in terms of the fish, I found it disappointing, to be honest. It’s got that… I wouldn’t call it nasty, but it’s got that same fishy aftertaste that you would associate with those cheap fish you get from cheapo western food joint.

Except this meal here costs five times as much as what you would pay for a fish dish in said cheapo western food joint.

Well, to be fair, a cheapo western food joint will not serve you free flow salad, nor will they grill your fish directly in your sight, nor will they have such a nice ambiance. Also, a cheapo western joint will serve you frozen peas on the side as opposed to freshly grilled mushrooms.

So… to be fair, well… it was probably alright to pay five times more… πŸ™„

Breakfast Buffet

Luckily they do breakfast buffets like any other decent hotels in Malaysia. I made sure to be as early as possible to beat the crowds (remember who I said I was sharing hotel with?). I was down at the breakfast lounge by 6.15am and bailed by the time the first of those loud, obnoxious laughter approached.

One good bonus of being early was being able to pick my table. I got one with a nice pool view on both mornings…

Also, I guess I have grown old tired with hotel breakfast buffets. I don’t think I’ve binged on breakfast as much as I did in previous trips.

Wait, what am I talking about?? I have never binged on breakfast buffets, ever! It’s true… it’s true… πŸ™„

Here’s everything I ate over two breakfasts. In no chronological order.

Nasi lemak, char kuay teow, ham, sausage roll
Fish fillet bihun soup (I don’t know why they use such a big bowl for such a small portion)
Omelette (This wasn’t very good, I had one each morning, both were way too overdone)
Teh tarik, croissant, cinnamon roll, fruit-that-keeps-the-doctor-away
Coffee, honeydew, papaya

If I am to be reaaaaallyyyyy honest, the breakfast spread here isn’t the best I’ve had. In fact I think it is decidedly average. Maybe that’s another reason why I didn’t feel like eating more.

Also, I’d like to make one other observation. Look at the picture below…

I wonder if you notice anything that stands out in the picture. Well, this was how my table looked like while I was sipping my coffee. And it was still how my table looked like after I was done sipping my coffee.

During that time, I counted the floor staff walking pass my table at least 3 times, each time smiling at me with a goofy grin plastered on their face. Based on this observation, I’m pretty sure they are well trained. I’m just guessing that maybe their training did not include clearing out any dirty dishes on any occupied tables that they pass by, even when they all are stacked up.

I personally don’t really mind, but I suspect some of the more seasoned travelers and hotel lodgers would notice and feel pissed off. So I am not complaining, but merely making an observation for the benefits of said travelers and lodgers.

Overall though… you know, this was my second time staying here. The first time I vowed not to come back here if I have to spend more than 1 night. This time it was supposed to be 1 night but I got extended, but the thing is, I don’t feel any differently than during my first stay.

I feel it is quite a wasted opportunity for this hotel. As I mentioned in my earlier post, this is a hotel located sort of in the middle of nowhere. But it is very near the airport and the Johor Premium Outlet. And it is a golf resort. So it has got tremendous potential and good… hardware.

Now, if only their level of service can do a bit of justice to these advantages… simple things like… fixing the grainy TV reception, replacing those old sinking-cushion chairs in the rooms, provide adequate food options for guests at all meal times… that kind of things, you know…Β that would be awesome indeed…

I’m not naming the hotel. But if you’re familiar with Johor, or if you pay very close attention to all my pictures above, you probably know which one I’m talking about. Let’s not let the cat out of the bag, shall we?

20 Comments

  1. Wow! You were so disciplined to get down by 6.15am like the Early Bird Catches The Worm story. I could never wake up so early to swallow food. LOL… So you got a nice pool view to go well with your breakfasts. It is not easy to find chefs to make our perfect eggs, so you might need to teach them a trick or two.

    Whenever we see hotels that gives perfect dining experience, we would remember it for a long time. I enjoyed the recent hotel service so much in Jakarta and it was so rare that I would blog about any hotel stay to great lengths. Well, it was the 5 Star JW Marriott and that made the difference.

    • I teach them a trick or two? I do a worse job than them. My omelette attempts always end up being scrambled eggs hahaha! πŸ˜€

      JW Marriott, cannot compare. Totally different class. I already said, you are lock and loaded one. Even company sponsor also I won’t get to stay in a Marriott. πŸ˜›

  2. The hotel I went in Batam, for the buffet breakfast, they did not clear the tables fast enough and we have to ask the waiters to clear our tables

    • So I was right that there are people who would be annoyed with this. I personally, still okay lah. In fact I reuse my plates whenever possible anyway. I just don’t usually mix wet and dry food, so I have two big plates usually.

  3. lil’ thing could be annoying sometimes…If the staff not clearing the tables, jst request them to do so. Maybe they think u r those kiasu tourist that hoards all the foods, so they apply their strategy to not clear the table so that u dun have much space to put those foods. That seabass looks ok, but if too fishy, I believe lemon can help?

    • Woi, I believe you can more or less tell by the face whether it is a kiasu tourist or not. Well maybe not you, maybe not me also, but probably yes for well trained persons in the services industry hahaha!

      Lemon did help on the fish… a tiny bit… πŸ™„

  4. Some are super efficient, like that day in Sushi Zento, before we could finish the salad on the plate, the staff has put his hand on our table and asked whether the plate could be taken away… few times in fact, and my friend at last told that whatever remaining on the plate, we still want to eat… after that, he never asked anymore… hahaha…

    • That kind of intruding ways is overdoing things, not a sign of good training too. A well trained staff would be able to get the right balance between clearing and leaving customers alone. The thing is, if you work in a hotel, usually they pay even more attention to these things, much more so than a normal outside restaurant, so it is more unforgivable for a hotel staff to not “behave” correctly I think.

  5. That’s the problem with fish, sometimes you get served the not-so-fresh ones which happened to me recently. That’s why I hesitate to order fish although I want to have it because I hardly eat fish at home. I do like that free flow salad bar. Can eat puas2 πŸ˜€

  6. I just had a Christmas high tea at a hotel 3 days ago and the waiters were so efficient in clearing out our plates as soon as we were done…and that’s the way I like it. I couldn’t help but notice that thing to the left of your used plates. It’s only there if there are houseflies to chase away! It brings back memories of the fly-infested hotel I stayed in…yucks! >.<

    • Well, it is a golf resort, lots of greens around, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that is the case. I have not had troubles in the flies department throughout my two days there though.

  7. I for one do not like the wait staff to kacau my eating by quickly clearing my used dishes. The seabass looks so tasty. Is it not fresh? Seabass is an expensive fish so it is pricey enough when served in normal cafΓ©.

    • If they end up kacau-ing you, then that is not a well trained staff too. What I am used to experiencing in hotel breakfasts is that the staff will only clear up the dishes which you pushed away to a corner, or when you walk away for seconds. I don’t think I have ever experienced the floor staff intruding into my breakfast. *Touch wood*

      I suspect the seabass was not fresh. Hence that aftertaste…

  8. It looks like a decent place to stay and eat if you are not too fussed about ambience. But as you said, seasoned travelers might be a bit more pedantic about it, like more yim zim πŸ™„

    I wouldn’t expect the wait staff to clear dishes immediately at a hotel buffet, unless it is quiet like in your case. If there were many customers, surely they will attend to the food first. Or maybe the waiters wanted to leave you in peace eating instead of hovering over you all the time.

      • I am sure all the attendants there both look after food and dining – on a rotating roster. They were probably feeling lazy that day – quiet day – and so you had no choice but to suck up that kind of service πŸ™„

        • Feeling lazy at 6-7 AM in the morning… heh…

          Like I said, I don’t really mind, so there’s nothing for me to suck up. I mentioned it for the benefit of others who might mind, not for myself. πŸ™„

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