Buffet Ala Bazar 28 Hari at Pulai Springs

I read the theme for this year’s Ramadan buffet, Buffet Ala Bazar 28 Hari, at Pulai Springs Resort and cannot help feeling curious about what the “28 Hari (Days)” mean.

Tempting desserts to enjoy at Buffet Ala Bazar 28 Hari
At the outdoor section of the Gleneagles Terrace Restaurant, I come across the label next to tender slices of lamb that are being served with fragrant rice, raita, vegetable dhall and mint sauce, which reads, Kari Kambing 28 Hari.

I’m familiar with Kari Kambing 40 Hari but when I read the phrase 28 Hari (again!) I cannot help feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland because it’s getting curiouser and curiouser…

To satisfy my curiosity, I track down the Resort’s Marketing Communications Manager, Charlotte Monterio, with my burning question, “What does 28 Hari mean here?”

Signs to remind diners...
Upon hearing my question, the lovely Charlotte bursts out with polite laughter.

Then she explains that the Resort will be presenting their Ramadan buffet spread in six different menus from May 7 to June 3 in a duration that works out to just 28 days!

So they decided to add “28 Hari” into the theme. Ah… I finally get it. Now they have not only created more interest but also added some intrigue into it!

The culinary team led by Junior Sous Chef Tom, has prepared a wide range of local and international specialties along with the restaurant’s popular picks, served in more than 100 must-have buka puasa dishes here.

At a glance I can see that the breaking-of-fast items here range from local salads, pickles, meat, poultry, seafood to barbecue and carving stations, desserts and drinks.

I also appreciate how they have put up signs that read: Love Food Hate Waste, to remind diners to be mindful about how they take their food, enough to finish it without any waste.

Staff at this stall serves a yummy Asam Pedas Fish!
The restaurant has become renowned for their refreshing Coconut Shake, a delicious dessert made popular at Klebang, Melaka, and Johor’s Kambing Kuzi or roasted lamb prepared with the finest herbs and spices to savour with fragrant briyani rice.

I remember other Johor specialties like Asam Pedas and Gulai Lemak served from a stall clearly labelled, Asam Pedas Johor dan Masak Lemak Cili Api that are popular choices here.

The serving staff at this stall are ready to simmer my pick of fish from a choice of pre-cooked fish like Ikan Pari, Ikan Siakap, Ikan Kembung or Ikan Tenggiri, in my selected gravy – Asam Pedas – before serving it piping hot.

A serving of Asam Pedas Fish to enjoy with white rice
When I sit down for a taste of my Asam Pedas Fish, I’m glad that the restaurant has kept the gravy consistently good and just right to enjoy with steamed white rice.

Another popular choice here must be traditional Sup Tulang Merah also known as Sup Gear Box, drizzled with sambal kicap (spicy dark sauce) and savoured with slices of French loaf.

Then I discover two stalls that are serving something new: skewers of ingredients to dip into a choice of soup or spicy gravy, popularly known as Oden-Oden (Japanese version of food locally called Lok-Lok) and Mee Kolok Sarawak.
A serving of soup fondly called Sup Gear Box
At this noodle stall, I’m pleasantly surprised to see that instead of the serving staff, someone else is happily helping to prepare a portion of Mee Kolok.

He is none other than the Resort’s General Manager, Sunny Soo!

Mee Kolok is a Chinese specialty, popular in Sarawak and he is obviously having fun, trying his hand at cooking the noodles by dunking it into boiling water.

I watch and give him a cheer when he skillfully tips the noodles from the strainer into a bowl where it is dry-tossed with special sauces and served, topped with minced beef.

Guess who's cooking Mee Kolok?
More family favourites are served from live-cooking stations including Kacang Pool, Roti John and crispy Murtabak besides Barbecued Caru Sumbat (stuffed fish), Teriyaki Sausages and Beef slices, Tandoori Chicken, Deep-fried Baby Crabs and another choice of Deep-Fried Baby Crabs in Salted Egg.

In the hot buffet, dishes are presented from aluminum serving kwali/wok and one of the must-have items must be Daging Salai Masak Lemak Cili Padi.

As its name describes, this delicious dish is prepared with sliced roast beef simmered in gravy, rich in coconut milk with a hint of zing from hot chili peppers.

Other dishes to enjoy with steamed white rice are familiar items like Lemak Nangka (jackfruit) Daun Selasih, Nyonya-style Steamed Fish, Black Pepper Mussels, Chilli Prawns and Sambal Ikan Bilis Terung Pipit.

But the dish that made me smile wider must be how a familiar chicken dish is being described.

Carving a whole roasted lamb
Its label reads: Ayam Masak Merah Orang Kahwin, probably to give credit to its popularity, especially as this dish is usually served at Malay wedding celebrations!

To strike a balance with the meat items, there are piquant pickles, appetizing Malaysian and Thai salads in a variety of kerabu and a range of fresh local greens like ulam-ulam kampong to savour with a choice of traditional sambal sauces.

No Ramadan buffet is complete without fresh fruits and a range of local desserts like sweet broths and tempting western desserts of cakes, pastries, jellies and puddings.

Help yourself to Oden-Oden, locally called Lok-Lok
One of the fun things to do at the buffet must be to assemble my choice of ingredients and top it with shaved ice to create my own Air Batu Campur or ABC and icy cendol.

Here, the nostalgia of Ramadan is also reflected in old-fashioned but refreshing tubes of ice-lollies in various flavours, the kind that we used to buy from neighbourhood stores, fondly called Ice-cream Malaysia.

The Buffet Ala Bazar 28 Hari is served at the Gleneagles Terrace from May 7 to June 3, from 6.30pm daily.

Prices are RM99 nett per adult and RM49 nett per child aged 4 to 12 years. For every ten (10) paying adults, one dines Free. 

Don't miss the refreshing and nostalgic taste of
Ice-cream Malaysia
Advance purchases made before April 30 to dine between May 7 and June 3 will enjoy a special rate of RM84 nett per adult and RM42 nett per child. 

Take advantage of the First Week Promo at only RM88 nett per adult and RM44 nett per child, during the first week of Ramadan from May 7 to 13, for walk-in diners (without pre-purchased vouchers!)

For more info and reservations, Tel: +607 – 521 2121, WhatsApp Tel: +6017 745 5776 or email: enquiry@pulaisprings.com

For group and corporate bookings, Tel: +607 – 555 4845 or email: jbso@pulaisprings.com

Note: There is a designated room prepared for Maghrib prayers.

Pulai Springs Resort is located at 20km Jalan Pontian Lama, 81110 Pulai, Johor.