Lunch at leisure with Grand Gem

Have the pleasure in arranging your meal in an
attractive and colourful platter!
Since last May the chefs in Grand Gem, hand-picked from Kolkata, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, have been pleasing connoisseurs of Indian cuisine in Johor Baru with their menu of North and South Indian specialties.  Their recipes that are handed down through generations in their culinary districts, have certainly garnered more fans of Indian food here. 

Now diners who have a hankering for a variety of Indian food from starters, main course to desserts and drinks can enjoy a range of Grand Gem favourites presented in a lunch buffet served on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  

You can even start your meal with dessert!
Indian cuisine is not just about hot and spicy food and fans of Indian cuisine can look forward to tasting a buffet of Punjabi dishes on Thursday and Sunday while a spread of South Indian food from Tamil Nadu and Kerala will be served on Friday. 

On Saturday, the buffet menu dubbed the Grand Gem Special is served in a combination of North and South Indian specialties.  The buffets are offered in Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian choices and diners can start to enjoy lunch at leisure from as early as 12 noon. 

Diners helping themselves to the food from the buffet
While the buffet is laid out in food-warmers and helpful waiters and chefs may be on hand as you help yourself to your meal, the starter item of vegetable spring rolls and a choice of plain or butter naan and paratha breads are served hot from the kitchen. 

So don’t be surprised when the waiter presents you with a platter of deep-fried vegetable spring rolls and chilli dip sauce.  Help yourselves to the choice of saffron rice and curry leaf rice but remember to save some space to savour the freshly-made breads with gravies!

Vegetable rolls and a variety of naan are part of the buffet
Besides a traditional fresh salad of cucumber, onion and carrot slices, vegetarian diners have several choices of items to pick from.  The menu may vary but you can expect vegetarian favourites like Palak Paneer or pureed spinach with cubes of cottage cheese, Dal Makhani or rich lentil stew, Aloo Bhindi or stir-fried potatoes with okra and Kumbli Broccoli Delite, a delightful dish of broccoli and mushrooms cooked with kadai masala and cashew nuts. 

To end the meal sweetly, enjoy a fresh fruit platter and traditional Rava Kesari, a popular South Indian dessert made from semolina.

The range of dishes for non-vegetarian diners include Bhuna Gosht or classic lamb curry cooked in spicy onion tomato gravy and ground spices, and Chettinad Chicken Curry.  There is also boneless Tandoori Chicken as well as Reshmi Kebab, juicy boneless chicken chunks that melt in your mouth because they have been marinated in a special blend of yogurt, cream, almonds and spices.  At Grand Gem, you can recognise the Reshmi Kebab from its yellow coat of egg omelet!

Diners can enjoy their meal on one of the swing-seats!
In the spirit of the Lunar New Year, the Grand Gem will be serving an Indian-Chinese fusion menu from Jan 23 to Feb 14.  Choose from two interesting set menus that cater to four diners each in the Prosperity Set (RM128) and Double Happiness Set (RM158).  Diners may also pick from add-on items like the Grand Gem fish head curry (RM38) and seafood briyani (RM28.90).

Located along Jalan Bukit Meldrum, at the lobby level of the Grand Bluewave Hotel Johor Baru, the Grand Gem is open daily from 11.30am to 11pm.  Its comfortable spaciousness is tastefully enhanced by traditional Indian ornaments and décor, reminiscent of fine dine restaurants in India.  The Grand Gem in Johor Baru is part of the Gems Group of restaurants that has established a reputation for its unique concept of presenting cuisines from all parts of India and setting new standards for Indian fine dining in Malaysia.

A family having their lunch at leisure at the Grand Gem Johor Baru
The Grand Gem buffet lunch is at RM25 nett per person from 12pm to 3pm on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Grand Bluewave Hotel guests, vegetarian diners and children aged below 12 enjoy a 20% discount.  For reservations and enquiries, Tel: 607 – 221 0717.  No pork products or lard is used.  For more info, visit website:

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Streets Johor on 29 January 2014

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