Go Indian at Grand Gem

The Grand Gem serves a menu of authentic Indian cuisine
 
If you are a connoisseur of classical Indian cuisine, then make your way to the Grand Gem where the menu, like its décor, captures the essence of India in the 21st century.  With chefs hand-picked from Delhi, Orissa and Tamil Nadu, they have created a menu of recipes that are handed down through generations in their culinary districts.  A glance at the menu of North and South Indian specialties hints at how the cuisine in the Grand Gem is inspired by India’s grand culinary traditions so that guests may have an authentic Indian dining experience in Johor Baru.

 
Entrance to The Grand Gem at the lobby of
the Grand Bluewave Hotel, Johor Baru
 
The first thing you notice as you step into the Grand Gem is comfortable spaciousness and a tastefully designed ambience that’s reminiscent of fine dine restaurants in India.  The décor is enhanced by traditional Indian ornaments and their well-researched menu presents diners with some of the most intricate and vivid flavours of India.  
 
While most of the dishes are listed with traditional names, there are brief but helpful descriptions in English and if you need more info, their knowledgeable staff are more than ready to recommend the restaurant’s signature dishes. 

Sizzling hot Tandoori Sizzling Platter
While waiting for your meal to be served, you can whet your appetite with nibbling from the Tandoori Sizzling Platter.   Four varieties of marinated and moist meats are served sizzling on a hotplate, resting on a bed of naan to keep the meats from being over-cooked.  They come in 2 order sizes, Small and Big, loaded with tasty tender chunks of seekh kebab or minced lamb, fish tikka, tandoori chicken and murgh badami – tender chicken breasts marinated in almond paste, spices and yogurt and roasted in the tandoor oven.

 
North and South Indian specialties are prepared by their
Indian chefs who hail from Delhi, Orissa and Tamil Nadu
 
If you are a rice person, there is a choice of Briyani rice to savour and these long grains of fragrant Basmathi rice tastes good even on its own.  And if you prefer breads, pick from a variety of butter, cheese or plain naan and paratha choices.  Rice and breads can be enjoyed with signature dishes like spicy Mutton Rogan Josh, Bhindi Pitley and Chicken Tikka Masala.  

While the menu has many familiar Indian favourites, give the Bhindi Pitley a try to discover how tasty the humble okra can be when its sautéed with cashew nuts and onions.  Another interesting flavour is found in Meen Moilee or Fish Moilee, fish curry cooked in coconut milk.  Priced at just RM26.90, the Prawns Sizzling Platter is another signature dish with plump whole prawns sizzling in rich, creamy gravy of coconut milk and spices that’s sure to please fans of prawns!
 
Hot and spicy Nandu Rasam is a must for soup lovers!
The meal is not complete until you tasted the Grand Gem’s Nandu Rasam, a spicy, rich crab broth which is a must-try, especially for soup lovers.  Even if you are wary of the spicy bite, take it slow at the start and you may be surprised at how quickly you can slurp away the soup!  As you end sweetly with a choice of lip-smacking Indian sweets like Carrot Halwa, Gulab Jamun, Kesari or Kulfi, Indian ice-cream, you will agree that your experience at the Grand Gem is like a culinary journey into another realm where aromas, colours and flavours come alive!

Dine in gracious ambience furnished with elegant modern
fittings or enjoy a romantic meal seated on an
intricately carved, hand-painted swing!
The Grand Gem is part of the Gems Group of restaurants that has established a reputation for its unique concept of presenting an array of cuisines from all parts of India and set new standards for Indian fine dining in Malaysia.  While the Grand Gem aims to give guests a memorable Indian fine dining experience, the best thing is they are accessible, affordable and most importantly, diners derive great pleasure here.  Very often the experience is so comfortable that diners may be tempted to linger and enjoy a more leisurely meal!

Open since May 2013, the Grand Gem is located at the lobby level of the Grand Bluewave Hotel, Johor Baru, situated along Jalan Bukit Meldrum.  Open daily from 11.30am to 11pm.  For reservations and catering enquiries, Tel: 607 – 221 0717.  No pork products or lard is used.  For more info, visit website: www.gemsgroup.com.my

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Streets Johor on 26 July 2013

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