Asian traditional heritage Ramadan at Amari JB

I’m at the Amari again, this time to preview the Ramadan buffet, themed Warisan Tradisi Asia where diners may enjoy a range of the best of Asian specialties at the Amaya Food Gallery.

Chef Gina and the talented culinary team serves an
Asian traditional heritage Ramadan at Amaya Food Gallery
I’m sure the hotel will stay true to its Thai brand and present an exciting range of authentic Thai dishes specially prepared by Thai Chef, Kanokwan Pungjaroenkijkul, better known as Chef Gina.

I can see her working at the stove in the open kitchen of the Amaya Food Gallery, dishing out something from the steaming wok. I hope I’m not distracting her from her work as she turns to me with a smile…

Chef Gina and her talented culinary team has created an interesting concept of a bustling local street scene in the Amaya Food Gallery, complete with live-cooking stations and self-serve stations.

The hotel has invited some 150 corporate guests for the launch of the Ramadan menu and while waiting for their arrival, I zero-in on the Thai section of the buffet for a closer look.

Don't miss a taste of Thai Chicken in Tamarind Sauce
I read the labels next to the dishes to discover mouthwatering dishes like Thai-style Baked Fish, Thai Pandan Chicken, Thai Beef Green Curry, Thai Chicken in Tamarind Sauce, Stir-fried Shrimps with Dried Chillies and Cashew Nuts, Half-shell Mussels with Lemongrass and Pok Tak Talay Soup.

Intrigued by its name, I make a mental note to try this Thai soup before any other item on this exciting buffet of over 100 dishes (served in a rotating menu) from Western, Thai, Indian, Chinese and Malay cuisines.

In a quick tour of the buffet (I’m familiar with the restaurant layout!) I check out the dishes in the Chinese, Malay and Indian sections, as well as the desserts and drinks.

Whole Grilled Fish to enjoy with side sauces
Besides juicy dried dates, there is a choice of thirst-quenchers like Nescafe Tarik, Teh Tarik, Sirap Bandung, Sirap Selasih, date juice, fresh sugarcane juice and soyabean juice.

I cannot miss the attractive pile of whole prawns, mussels and scallops in the Seafood-on-Ice counter and the colourful fresh greens plus ulam-ulam, keropok crisps and jars of preserved fruits in the salad and appetizer section.

In the Chinese and Malay section, there are traditional favourites like Chicken Bubur Lambuk, Ayam Masak Merah, Ikan Patin Tempoyak, Udang Goreng Kunyit, Ikan Bakar (Grilled Fish), assorted dim sum, Yong Chow fried rice, Fried fish fillets in Nyonya sauce, Wok-fried chicken with ginger and Chinese mixed vegetables.

Dean Rossilli, Siewkoon Ng and Pak Haris Nugroho
stirring the Gulai Kawah to launch the Ramadan buffet
Amari Johor Baru Area General Manager, Dean Rossilli, is invited to beat a gong to signal the start of the event and its resounding echoes certainly captured everyone’s attention.

Using long-handled paddles, Rossilli, along with Consul General of Indonesia, Pak Haris Nugroho, and UM Land Hospitaity CEO, Siewkoon Ng, stirred a cauldron of Gulai Kawah beef stew as a gesture to launch the Warisan Tradisi Asia Buffet.

Diners are cordially invited to enjoy the buffet spread so I head to the soup section to help myself to a small portion of Pok Tak Talay.

I hear the pleasant strains from a traditional gambus and throughout this meal, the tunes from a live ghazal band continues to entertain.

A tasty spoonful of Pok Tak Talay Soup
Then I sit down to discover that Pok Tak Talay is a mild, spicy seafood soup with a tasty mix of seafood and mushrooms tinged with lemongrass, ginger, basil and lime flavours.

With my appetite suitable whet by this spicy soup, I visit the live-cooking stations for a taste of Roasted Whole Lamb, selection of Satay, Murtabak, Roti Canai, Tandoori Chicken, Soup Berempah and Gulai Kawah (Rendang Kawah Rusa) and Nasi Impit served with Sayur Lodeh and a choice of Beef, Chicken and Coconut Serunding.

Other live-cooking stations are serving Thai Laksa and a choice of Noodle Soup as well as popular fried snacks like Cucur Udang, Curry Puffs, Fried Durian Fritters, Fried Bananas and Fried Cempedak.

Chef Gina in action at Amaya Food Gallery
The meal is certainly not complete without a sweet ending. There are local dessert broths like Bubur Pulut Hitam, Bubur Cha-Cha, Bubur Kacang Hijau and Pengat Pisang as well as a range of pretty puddings, jellies, kueh, pastries, cakes and cookies.

On Fridays and Saturdays, diners can watch a live demonstration of traditional rattan weaving by physically challenged staff from the Johor Area Rehabilitation Organisation or JARO, and may support this charity in the spirit of Ramadan, by buying their beautiful handicrafts.

The Warisan Tradisi Asia Buffet will be served at Amaya Food Gallery from May 19 to June 14, daily from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.

Enjoy Early Bird deals of RM102 nett per person and RM51 nett for children aged six to 12 years and seniors aged 60 and above, when vouchers are purchased before May 1.

After May 1, prices are RM128 nett per person and RM64 nett for children aged six to 12 years and seniors aged 60 and above. Buy five [5] adult vouchers, get one voucher for free!

The JARO display and demo at lobby of Amari JB
Amaya Food Gallery also serves a Sahur Buffet from May 19 to June 14, daily from 3am to 5am. Priced at RM53 nett per person and RM26.50 nett for children aged six to 12 years and seniors aged 60 and above.

Festive meals during Hari Raya Aidilfitri on June 15 & 16:

Hari Raya High Tea Buffet from 3pm to 5pm at RM78 nett per person and RM39 nett for children aged six to 12 years and seniors aged 60 and above.

Hari Raya Aidilfitri Buffet Dinner from 6.30pm to 10.30pm at RM98 nett per person and RM49 nett for children aged six to 12 years and seniors aged 60 and above.

The Amaya Food Gallery is on the sixth floor, lobby level of Amari Johor Baru at No. 82-C Jalan Trus, 80000 Johor Baru.

Driving access is only from Jalan Trus while pedestrian access is convenient from Jalan Wong Ah Fook.

For reservations, Tel: 607 – 266 8888 or email: 

Visit website: for full details of menus and special promotions at the hotel and restaurant.

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