Creative cuisine at Dine Restaurant

Lamb Shank tinged with Briyani flavours, Char Siew Salmon – salmon steak with a hint of char-siew taste and Beef Stroganoff with a refreshing side of salsa – these are just a few of the creative Western-Asian fusion ideas applied in the Dine Restaurant menu.

Family dinner to celebrate Mother's Day at Dine Restaurant
Executive Head Chef Kalidass said, “Burnt Fork,” in an attempt to translate the Chinese word for barbecued pork, char-siew, into English.

I pause a moment to process what he said and quickly figure it out. He’s got it half right because its literal translation from Cantonese into English is in fact, “Fork Burn/Roast!”

We share a laugh over this as we both agree that the barbecued meat flavour on a salmon steak is really quite an unusual but agreeable combination of tastes.

Several years ago I met Chef Kalidass or Chef Dass, in short, while he was with another restaurant.

Executive Head Chef Kalidass and
some of his recommended dishes at
Dine Restaurant, Puteri Harbour
Meeting him again at Dine Restaurant is like getting to know him all over again as I witness and experience the way his culinary skills have developed.

While he shares with me, his humble beginnings and his journey to where he is now, I see a model of local youth who has worked hard and achieved his career goals.

Guided by strong mentors and trained in international brand hotels in Germany and Singapore, Chef Dass is back in Johor to operate a restaurant with the support of lean team and with, (I observe) very much, a hands-on attitude.

I’m at Dine Restaurant with my family and as soon as everyone is seated, Chef Dass, who graciously welcomes us in, asks me in a whisper, “What’s the occasion?”

When I reply, “To celebrate Mother’s Day,” I see a twinkle in his eye as if he already has an idea as to how he will join us to honour our mother on this special occasion…

All of us study the menu and reach the conclusion that we will pick our choices but wish to share with each other so that we can taste more food varieties. This is typically our family style of dining as we share the dishes among us…

Chilli Crab and Mantao buns to enjoy with the dip
For starters, it must be Chilli Crab and Mantao buns because Chef Dass tells me that he prepares the Chilli Crab dip using his mother’s (Indian style!) Sardine Curry recipe.

Someone picks the Mediterranean Salad topped with grilled prawns, watermelon and feta cheese, drizzled with their own recipe Lemongrass Vinaigrette.

Then there are two burgers to share: Classic American Cheese Burger and Chinese Ham Burger that each comes with potato fries – popular bites for the youngsters.

The barbecued Pork Ribs come highly recommended and there are six meaty ribs to split among us. By the time the bones are extracted, there is plenty of meat to enjoy among us!

Classic American Cheese Burger [Left] and
a Chinese Ham Burger [Right]
We agree that Char Siew Salmon which comes with a side of potato mash, and Beef Stroganoff on a bed of mash, were items just right for mum.

We will of course, let mum have her first pick and we will share the rest, making sure there are no leftovers!

The beef is both tasty and tender and Chef Dass’s introduction of that side dish of salsa, is indeed a refreshing contrast to the dense flavour of the Beef Stroganoff.

After reading the ingredients for toppings on the Super Supreme pizza, we feel that it is a must-try item. There’s pepperoni, buck worst sausage, beef, capsicum greens, bacon, chicken ham, button mushroom, onions and black olives, with three types of cheese!

A serving of Char Siew Salmon
The pizza comes freshly-made on thin crust pastry and it’s good that we can sink our teeth into plenty of ingredients with every bite.

Then it’s time for dessert.

As Chef Dass tells us about Dine’s own-recipe gelato, I cannot resist the call of the Salted Caramel gelato and succumb to an order of Chocolate Walnut Brownie topped with a scoop of Salted Caramel gelato.

Then for the two mothers – mum and our sister-in-law – Chef Dass presents them with a serving of Salted Caramel Tiramisu, made in his own recipe and with his best compliments!

Tasty and tender Beef Stroganoff with a side of refreshing salsa
Dine's classic Barbecued Pork Ribs
Pizza Super Supreme where we can taste ingredients in every bite!
Warm Chocolate Walnut Brownie topped with a scoop of Salted Caramel gelato
Later as we make our way out of the restaurant, feeling comfortable and satisfied with the dining experience, I venture to ask him, “What is your favourite food?”

Without hesitation Chef Dass replies, “My mum’s cooking!”

This is indeed a young man after every woman/mum’s heart.

Dine Restaurant is at N0. 14, Lower Ground Little Red Cube, Persiaran Puteri Harbour, Puteri Harbour, 79000 Iskandar Puteri, Johor.

It serves a NON-HALAL menu daily from 12pm to 11.30pm from Monday to Thursday, and till late on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For reservations, Tel: +607 – 553 9964.

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