Warna-Warni Ramadan at Mutiara JB

“So colourful!” this is my recurring thought when I spot the eye-catching food display set up at the entrance to Seri Mutiara Restaurant.

A colouful centerpiece greets diners at the entrance to
Seri Mutiara Restaurant for Warna-Warni Ramadan
The centerpiece is a wooden tray designed in the shape of the hotel logo – branches of an outspread palm tree – with each limb filled with a variety of coloured preserved fruits and clusters of dried dates.

In the lobby in front of the restaurant entrance, a wooden platform reminiscent of a kampong house is created for a serving staff to sit on the floor to prepare freshly-fried local snacks and kueh or traditional cakes from a (portable gas!) stove.

The staff is (of course) dressed in traditional Malay costume and looking very at home as she personifies how mothers would lovingly prepare dishes for the family’s breaking-of-fast meal during Ramadan.

A banquet of local desserts is served form a wooden
platform reminiscent of a traditional kampung house
But here, the platform is a banquet table to serve desserts in an array of local sweets, puddings and kueh, spread on a traditional woven with mengkuang leaves.

Nearby a chef is skillfully carving a roasted whole lamb for diners to savour with fragrant baked Beriani rice.

At the drinks counter, another set of skills catches my attention. A young man is pulling-tea the traditional way to thoroughly mix chilled milk tea.

He skillfully pours the milk tea from one receptacle he holds high above his head, into another receptacle (held on his other hand) in front of him to create a good head of froth which he serves on each tumbler of chilled Teh Tarik.

Chilled Teh Tarik, anyone?
I take a walk around the restaurant to check out the buffet spread and watch the excitement from live-cooking stations, the served station – like adding a scoop of ice-cream onto your cones – as well as self-serve stations where diners create their own shaved-ice concoction for Air Batu Campur or cendol.

I’m familiar with the hotel and observe how the buffet menu comprises a wide range of local favourites and a selection of Western dishes and I even recognise contributions from their award-winning Meisan Szechuan Restaurant.

There are popular items like Roasted Chicken in Mongolian sauce, deep-fried Sea Bass in tom-yam sauce and Beef with ginger and spring onion, among other favourites.

I spy soups, salads as well as a section for sushi.

I like how the chefs have prepared a range of appetizing local sambal dips for diners to enjoy with a selection of ulam-ulam local greens, and these sauces are served in charming stone mortars (traditionally used with pestles!)

Self-serve station where diners can assemble your
own choice of ingredients for Air Batu Campur
Then I spot an extra-large platter. Curious about it, I approach for a closer look and I see assorted seafood on it. Then I realise that it’s a serving of Seafood Paella!

In the range of local cooked food, I find a number of familiar mouth-watering delicacies including Kambing Assam Pedas Johor, Rendang Tok Ekor, Ikan Merah Masak Lemak Cili Api, Kentang Tempe & Madu and Sayur Goreng Jawa.

While the Seri Mutiara Restaurant may have earned an enviable reputation for good food, they are not willing to rest on their laurels. They have, in fact, tweaked the recipes of popular items like Murtabak and Roti John and added them into the five rotating menus served this Ramadan.

The chef is carving roasted lamb for
diners to savour with baked Beriani rice
This year, diners can look forward to tasting their Murtabak Ikan Tenggiri (stuffed with fish instead of meat!) and Roti John Black Pepper Ayam (chicken).

Diners can also taste folds of Taco stuffed with choices of chicken, beef or shrimp fillings.

Another new item to savour is their seafood shell-out item where diners can pick between black pepper and tom-yam sauces for the chef to prepare a seafood and vegetable platter, served to your table.

Other popular items in a typically Malaysian menu include freshly grilled assorted satay with condiments, Laksa Johor, Mee Rebus, Chicken Rice and freshly made spring rolls, among other favourite items.

Speaking about satay, I must say that the satay here still tastes good. Grilled, tender morsels of lean meat paired with warm peanut sauce that’s neither sweet nor diluted but in a rich, viscous consistency that properly matches my taste for good satay!

Warna-Warni Ramadan is served at Seri Mutiara Restaurant from May 17 to June 14, daily from 6.30pm to 10pm.

A range of ulam-ulam local greens to enjoy with a choice
of sambal sauces served in charming stone mortars!
Price at RM125 nett for adult and RM65 nett for children aged between four to 12 years.

Early Bird vouchers may be purchased at RM108 nett per adult, while stocks lasts.

On the first day of Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, June 15, Seri Mutiara Restaurant serves a festive buffet High Tea [RM75 nett per adult and RM45 nett per child aged four to 12 years] and festive buffet Dinner [RM95 nett per adult and RM65 nett per child aged four to 12 years].

For enquiries and reservations, Tel: +607 330 0300 or send email to: fbjb@mutiarahotels.com

Seri Mutiara Restaurant is located on the lobby level of Hotel Mutiara Johor Baru, at Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Century, 80250 Johor Baru. Website: www.mutiarahotels.com

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