Johor heritage food

Welcome plaque at entrance to the ballroom
In the holy month of Ramadan, for many the breaking-of-fast may be the best part of fasting.  After the long hours of abstaining from food and drink, it is like arriving at an oasis of refreshment where they are rewarded with a wide range of mouth-watering delicacies.  This year, Thistle Johor Baru’s ExecutiveChef Imran Hamid is challenged to create a menu of authentic Johor dishes to meet the discerning tastes of Johorean diners. 

Johor is a melting pot of cultures and a myriad of flavours have evolved into typically Johor favourites in the 150 dishes presented in the Warisan Johor or Johor Heritage buka puasa buffet.  I’m honoured to be among the guests in a recent berbuka puasa or breaking-of-fast dinner themed, “An Iftar To Remember” at the Thistle Johor Baru and I wasted no time in seeking out familiar food like mee rebus and kacang pol.  No amount of describing will do justice to the food so you must try it to agree that the team of chefs has certainly outdone themselves in preparing an array of mouth-watering flavours from appetizers, drinks, desserts to main course meals of briyani gam, ayam percik and satay, otak-otak and so much more!

Here’s a glimpse of what I saw to whet your appetite:

Freshly fried favourites [Clockwise from the top]: Fried quail, curry puffs, pandan chicken,
popia or spring rolls, net-wrapped durian rolls and crispy keropok!
Cuttings of chicken are marinated as ayam percik and freshly grilled
Kacang Pol is a humble dish of toasted bread to savour dipped in a creamy, nutty gravy
reminiscent of the mee rebus gravy.  Here the serving comes with a whole bull’s eye egg!
Generous servings of stewed lamb shank, simmering in rich gravy – ready to soak into
fragrant long grains of briyani rice!
I’m a serious mee rebus fan but to save space in my stomach for other food, I wisely requested
for a tiny serving!
Burasak, which has Bugis origins, can be described as steamed nasi lemak rice wrapped in leaves. 
I first tasted burasak on a Bugis Culture tour in Serkat, Pontian so I know how to savour burasak
with a choice of assam pedas dishes presented in the buffet.

When I spotted chilled Milo in the buffet, I cannot resist the familiar taste that brought back fond memories of school sports days and the limited number of vouchers I got to exchange for tiny tumblers of delicious chilled Milo!  I may still have to queue but here, I can have countless helpings to savour and reminisce on sipping this drink from the Milo van on school sports days!
Executive Chef Imran Hamid [Standing first row, 3rd from Right] with his enthusiastic
team of chefs at the Thistle Johor Baru
Your Warisan Johor buka puasa meal at the Thistle Johor Baru comes with live ghazal music.   Daily during Ramadan at the Orchid Ballroom at RM95++ per person, with 25% off for children below 12 years old.  For every 10 vouchers purchased, you get a free voucher.  For reservations, call Tel: 607 – 267 8984 (9am to 5pm) and Tel: 607 – 222 9234 Ext 80189 (5pm to 9pm).

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