My TEDx UoSM 2019 experience

Last night, the TEDxUoSM committee hosted a dinner with all the speakers. It was a casual meet-up to dine together before the BIG event, happening the very next morning.

The hardworking TEDx UoSM 2019
organisers, committee and volunteers
In fact, some team members were still hard at work in the event venue to get the auditorium ready for the event and could not join us for the meal.

The excitement went up a few notches when a friend at University of Southampton Malaysia sent me a photo of the action that was happening in the auditorium to let me have a sneak peek of how the team was getting the venue ready for TEDx UoSM 2019.

Meanwhile, it was good to meet with fellow speakers and get to know the Managing Director of Educity Iskandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, Wan Ahmad Saifuddin, award-winning English teacher from Keningau Vocational College, Sirhajwan Idek, and Lecturer in Newcastle University Malaysia, Dr. Edmund Ong.

Speakers [L to R] Dr. Varun, Amir Shahlan, Dr. Ed Ong,
Yours Truly, Juliette Lai, Wan Ahmad and Sirhajwan
It was also very good to meet two familiar faces among the invited speakers, Dean of Faculty of Cinematic Arts, Multimedia University, Amir Shahlan Amiruddin, and gifted musician and composer, Juliette Lai.

However, Dr. Varun Thangamani, Assistant Professor in Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Southampton Malaysia, was not able to join us.

After a restful night, I wake up to a grey and cloudy morning. In spite of this, I know that nothing is going to dampen my spirits because I’m all set for TEDx UoSM 2019.

On my phone, there are messages from the organisers, reminding me to bring my latest visual presentation along (just in case!) for them to use during my talk.

All set for TEDx UoSM 2019
The route to Educity in Iskandar Puteri is a smooth drive from Johor Baru and by the time I reach the University of Southampton Malaysia campus, the light drizzle has turned into a proper downpour.

As I park my car close to the door – that led to the elevator – volunteers approach, armed with umbrellas to escort me into the building.

When I step through the door into the auditorium, I pause to shut my eyes and allow them to adjust to the stark contrast within. It was so dark!

Moments pass before I find my footing to descend the steps in the dark auditorium and head towards the front where it is lighted and decorated in the theme colours: Black, Red and White, complete with the display of the iconic alphabets, TEDxUoSM.

My talk kicks off with ... my grandparents
Then it hit me: We are here for TEDx UoSM 2019!

It was just last December when Lee Jun Xuan (Lead Organiser & Curator) wrote me and in January 2019, he followed up with a telephone-conference with me, along with Noelle Tan Huey Wen (Co-Organiser & Curator) and Chn'g Chyi Jiun or CJ (Curator).

I turn cautiously to look left and right where the light reaches and I spot the silhouettes of cameras set up on tripods, with lenses trained toward the front of the auditorium.

I firmly decide to ignore the cameras and focus on getting the practical things sorted out quickly before the event starts.

I give CJ my visual presentation to prepare on his laptop and we have a quick review to make any necessary adjustments.

Sharing about our pepper and gambier heritage and
how pepper and gambier earned its place of honour
Then I try on the head-set microphone, which Wan Ahmad assured me (last night) that when I put it on, it should make me feel like Madonna…

I’m glad the TEDx policy was recently amended to allow authors to promote their books so my books are available at the Book Sale table set up by the MPH retail team at this event.

According the event schedule, I am the third speaker after Wan Ahmad and Dr. Varun.

I’m reminded that when Dr. Varun is invited up to speak, I should shift over to sit behind the tech guys to get the microphone fitted and ready myself for my turn.

The Johor Chingay is an important tradition
of the Johor Old Temple
In the TEDx tradition, the audience seated from the third row onwards are hardly visible in the dark auditorium as the spot lights are only focused on the speaker in front.

The event kicks off as scheduled with Wan Ahmad as the first speaker and when Dr. Varun takes center stage, I move discreetly to occupy that seat behind the tech guys.

The tech guys and cameramen wish to improve their recording so they advise me to wear the microphone below my chin while another guy whispers his advice – to limit my movement within the marked area on the floor.

So I’m good to go.

The My Johor Stories brand continues to develop...
The tech guys have my visuals ready and the next 18 minutes are all I have to share the contents of my talk, “Connecting People through My Johor Stories,” in the theme, “Illuminating Possibilities.”

There is so much to say but so little time. But I have to abide by the TEDx rules to keep it short and sweet.

Then it’s my turn to share my talk in a proverbial nutshell.

I plant myself firmly at center stage and remember not to move outside of the marked area.

And in these precious 18 minutes, I keep the rapt attention of my audience as I share all that I have to say to illuminate their possibilities.

My two books were published in partnership
with Think City and MPH Publishing
As the applause rings around the auditorium, I return to my seat for the tech guys to retrieve my microphone.

Associate Professor Dr. Suhaila Sanip, Head of Research in UoSM and also TEDx UoSM 2019 advisor, steps up to offer her congratulations and comments.

She tells me that she grew up at Kampung Mohamad Amin and clearly connected with the contents of my talk.

In fact, she is also my regular reader and used to follow my stories when they were published in Streets Johor. This publication ceased in 2015.

She then invited me to visit her father who (like my late grandmother), has a vivid memory and is a fountain of information, as he would be delighted to share his memories with me.

With Amir Shahlan and my books
The MC announces the break for lunch and we make our way to the concourse of the Multi-Varsity campus where a buffet line is set up.

Next to it, is the Book Sale table where the MPH retail team is busy attending to queries and serving those eager to get hold of my books.

The space is narrow but it’s enough for me to squeeze in to sit down and autograph my books for them.

Dr. Varun tells me that he spotted my books in the MPH bookstore at the airport and he’s delighted to meet the author today and get his books signed too.

The highlight of the event’s tea break (later in the day) must be the generous servings of apple pie.

It was my pleasure to autograph my books for them
While brainstorming about the contents of my talk, I highlighted my experience with the pie lady, Kak Mariam, whose apple pies have met with “Royal Approval,” and how her life had changed since my story about her was published in 2007.

The organisers were so keen to have a taste of her amazing apple pies that they ordered in a few pies for the committee and speakers to enjoy after our rehearsal, held a week before the event.

Everyone clearly enjoyed her pie and did not hesitate to have second helpings.  

But I didn’t know that it was unanimously agreed by the organisers to again, order in Kak Mariam’s apple pies for the event proper!

My TEDx UoSM experience
started with these three...
So during the tea break, her apple pies were thoroughly enjoyed by all, complemented by freshly brewed fragrant coffee by the barista from Alleylab.

Refreshed by this tasty treat, the event continued with the talks and entertainment slots to close on a high note with the final talk presented by Juliette Lai.

My grateful thanks to the TEDx UoSM organisers, committee and volunteers for letting me be a part of this momentous event.

I trust that my contribution will start new conversations and challenge/inspire everyone to discover the possibilities within each one of us.

All the hard work and preparation has indeed been worthwhile. It was a most meaningful and memorable day for me – one that I will remember for a long, long time.

And while the event is over, I’m deluged with questions as to when the talks will be available for viewing on YouTube. Soon, I tell them. Very soon.

UPDATE: Here is the link to Connecting People through My Johor Stories.

Wishing you well, Dr. Neil Khor

In 2016, I met with Dr. Neil Khor, Think City’s Programme Director, and kicked off an interesting and eventful working relationship with Think City in Johor Baru.

Dr. Neil Khor holding a mock-up copy of Book 1
in 2017 when I submitted it for his review.
After Georgetown, Butterworth and Kuala Lumpur, Think City opened its office in JB and I was introduced to Dr. Neil and his team here.

By that time, Think City had already discovered My Johor Stories.

I remember meeting in their tiny office at Jalan Pahang, located aptly in the heart of JB’s heritage quarter, and listening to an introduction about Think City and its mission to revive cities by preserving its art, culture and heritage.

They also provided a briefing about their Grant Programme with ideas on who should apply, how to apply and what types of projects were welcome.

Dr. Neil, giving his speech at my book launch event.
I cannot forget my conversation with Dr. Neil, who strongly encouraged me to compile my collection of stories and publish them in a book.

It was deeply encouraging to hear from him that my stories should be documented as a slice of Johor heritage.

I pondered about this proposal for a long while and responded much later, in fact about a year later.

In early 2017 I submitted my application for a grant to work on this book project.

Dr. Neil holding a giant mock-up
version of my Book 1 at its launch.
I did not know it then, but it was the start of my most remarkable and unforgettable journey in partnership with Think City and MPH Publishing Kuala Lumpur.

It was an all-new experience for me and Think City JB but Dr. Neil, himself a published author, encouraged me every step of the way and guided me at each Milestone of my project.

After the mock-up version of my book was submitted to Think City for Dr. Neil’s review, his encouraging response boosted my wavering courage because (I confess!) it was not easy for me to reach that particular Milestone.

One of the most memorable highlights of my book launch event for My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage in July 2017, must be the words in Dr. Neil’s speech and how he urged me to start thinking about my next book project!

After the first week of its launch, the support from Think City, MPH Publishing and my readers, sent My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage, to the Number One spot of the MPH Non-Fiction Bestsellers List.

My Book hit the No. 1 spot in
the MPH Non-Fiction Bestsellers List.
This title remained on the Bestsellers List for consecutive weeks and months, and at the end of 2017, my book joined the collection of titles counted as The Best of MPH in 2017.

I was grateful for the newspapers (The New Straits Times) and magazine (The Edge) reviews of my book which also played an important part in increasing interest and attracting more readers to buy my book.

The Meet-the-Author event arranged by MPH Publishing in JB and Kuala Lumpur helped to raise my profile as a true-blue Johorean who is sharing her Johor stories.

My success at a Bestselling Author resulted in invitations to introduce my book and share my book-writing journey experience at local schools, international colleges and clubs.

Some hotels and resorts here, who agree with me that travelers like to stay in a place with a story, placed my books in their hotel rooms and suites for guests to read.

We know that their guests’ stay would be enhanced by reading my books, discovering more about Johor culture and heritage, and then be encouraged to go out and explore!

I was deeply encouraged when Iskandar Regional Development Authority placed a special order for the hardcover version of my book to present to their Board members and as part of their corporate premium gifts to guests.

Book review on My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People,
Rich Heritage
, in The New Straits Times.
When we discussed my book sequel, Dr. Neil encouraged me to expand my collection of stories to include those from various Johor towns.

This triggered off thoughts of the interesting places outside of JB where I know some inspirational people.

I remember we discussed about the practical exercise of going to these towns for my stories and to be prepared to go out there – again and again – if necessary.

With this in mind, I started planning my road trips to Johor towns and started going on these trips since October 2017.

From JB, I drove to meet subjects featured under Portraits and Heritage Traders who were located in Macap, Kulai, Kelapa Sawit, Kluang, Batu Pahat, Muar and Desaru, and some now based in Melaka and Singapore.

I can recall how I enjoyed my drives on the Plus Highway as well as off the highway, on the scenic routes into the various towns, to meet with my subjects.

An article in a supplementary section of The Edge on
My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage
When I submitted my manuscript to Dr. Neil for his review, I was delighted to receive his feedback and comments by email, provided clearly in three paragraphs.

I had to share it with my publisher and the GM of MPH Publishing KL was so impressed that she proposed that one paragraph of Dr. Neil’s comments should be printed as advance praise on the back cover of my book.

And it was.

For the book launch of My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People in December 2018, among the Very Important People present at the event were the subjects and their families featured in this book, who came to JB from various Johor towns, and of course, Dr. Neil and the Think City JB team.

Again, some hotels and resorts placed my Book 2 in their rooms and suites as the sequel to my Book 1, for their guests’ reading pleasure.

Again, Iskandar Regional Development Authority placed a special order for the hardcover version of my Book 2 for their corporate use.

Thank you, Dr. Neil. And I wish you well.
I was still mulling over the exciting prospect of participating in school and university events happening this March and April, when I received a message from Think City JB, inviting me to an event to bid farewell to Dr. Neil.

While I was sad that Dr. Neil was leaving Think City, I was thrilled that his career path was leading him on to apply his skills and experience at an international platform, the UN-Habitat. Wow! The United Nations…

Over tea with friends and Dr. Neil, he talked about his new opportunity that would entail a fair bit of travel while his base would be shared between Nairobi, Africa, and New York, USA.

When Dr. Neil gave his little speech and made reference to me, it was a bitter-sweet moment to reflect on how far we have come in my projects with Think City JB.

I attribute my achievements for My Johor Stories: True Tales, Real People, Rich Heritage and its sequel, My Johor Stories 2: Interesting Places and Inspirational People, to the unstinting support from Dr. Neil, who unselfishly shared his experience in guiding me to prepare my manuscripts and kept me on track in my book-writing journey.

Thank you, Dr. Neil. And I wish you well as you head onward in your exciting career!

Here is the link to Think City Johor Baru's corporate video for your viewing pleasure.
. . .

UPDATE A reply from Dr. Neil Khor:

Mai Makan-Makan at Cafe BLD this Ramadan

Dubbed Mai Makan-Makan, this friendly phrase is loosely translated to mean, “Come join the feast” which is being prepared at Café BLD in the Renaissance Johor Baru.

Freshly made Teh Tarik, a traditional "pulled tea"
served as mugs of milk tea topped with a foamy head
So come join the crowd heading to Café BLD this Ramadan month for the buka puasa or breaking-of-fast buffet dinner that will happen from May 8 to June 3.

Every year the culinary team led by Director of Food & Beverage, Chef Mohamad Mahady, is challenged to take the Ramadan buffet presentation to new heights and this year, it is no different.

I can see from the sumptuous spread that starts at the entrance, arranged through the café, around the central isle and into the outdoor section, that no effort has been spared to create a gastronomic experience.

I’m trying to take in the spectacular sight at a glance but it proved quite impossible so I take my time for a closer look at what is served at each section of the buffet.

A serving of Bubur Lambuk topped with condiments like
fried shallots, chopped spring onions and coriander leaves
As in most buffets, some popular items remain consistent while the menu will be changed on a daily basis so that diners are able enjoy a different range of dishes on each visit.

Consistent items here include the popular seafood-on-ice, comprising chilled Tiger prawns, green mussels and split fresh oysters, the Fresh Salad and cheese section as well as a range of Japanese cuisine like sushi and sashimi.

At the Soup section, I notice a new addition of Soup Tulang Merah to the range of big pots of comfort food like traditional rice porridge Bubur Lambuk, Soto Ayam (chicken soup) and Soup Ekor (oxtail).

As its name describes, Soup Tulang Merah is brewed with big bones in a rich Red broth and one of the pleasures about eating this dish is to draw out the marrow from its bones.

Lamb Quzi, with fragrant rice spilling out from its sides
Condiments like fried shallots, toasted peanuts, dark spicy sauce, and chopped spring onions and coriander leaves are provided to enhance the flavours of these rich broths.

Appetizers range from refreshing green salads to the zesty kerabu and assorted ulam or kampong greens, to savour with various sambal sauces.

In the hot buffet, some of the gravies to enjoy with steamed white rice are Malaysian traditional dishes like Ayam Percik (chicken), Rendang Daging (beef), Gulai Kampung and Udang Goreng Rempah (shrimps).

Choose your favourite parts of the Ayam Golek
At the Briyani station, don’t miss their popular house specialty, whole Lamb Quzi where rice is baked, stuffed within the lamb. The fragrant rice tastes so good that you can eat it on its own but there is a choice of gravy to add extra flavour to the meat and rice.

At the Carving station, diners can choose their favourite parts of the chicken because Ayam Golek – whole chicken grilled on a rotating spit – is both tender and tasty.

And there’s more poultry like freshly roasted chicken and roasted duck over at the Chinese cuisine section.

Near the Noodle station, I discover the ingredients provided for diners to assemble their own serving of Mee Rebus and Laksa Johor.

Lemang [Right] accompanied by Beef Rendang
[Top Left] and Serunding
While there are no hard and fast rules about enjoying food from a buffet, I like how the chefs have arranged the Lemang (glutinous rice rolls) next to Beef Rendang and Beef Serunding (meat floss), and the cubes of Ketupat (boiled rice cakes) next to the Sayur Lodeh and Sambal.

This arrangement is a simple guide for diners, not familiar with this food, to eat the Lemang with Rendang and Serunding while the Ketupat could be savoured with Sayur Lodeh gravy topped with a dollop of Sambal.

Close to the Dessert section, an entire wall is arranged with a choice of chilled, thirst-quenching drinks while hot coffee and tea are also available from dispensers.

Sayur Lodeh [Right] accompanied by ketupat
[Top Left] and Sambal 
At a live-cooking station, a staff is preparing Kuih Ketayap, traditional pancake rolls stuffed with shaved coconut flavoured by Gula Melaka (palm sugar).

I’m particularly charmed by a range of local kuih – from Binka Ubi to Kuih Keria – all prepared the traditional way, with fresh ingredients.

Traditional sweet broths like Pengat Pisang, Pulut Hitam and Bubur Cha-Cha, are kept warm on stoves, while a variety of cakes and pastries plus fresh fruits, ice-cream and shaved ice delicacies like Air Batu Campur (ABC) and cendol are available for diners to end the meal sweetly.

Traditional Kuih Keria
At the outdoor section, live cooking stations are whipping up freshly made murtabak and a variety of deep-fried Malay and Indian delicacies, grilled meats and seafood while the charcoal stove is flaming non-stop to grill skewers of satay.

I can see new additions to the buffet where live stations are preparing Teppanyaki from a choice of ingredients for diners and another staff is cutting slices of meat stacked in a vertical rotisserie to prepare servings of Shawarma, a Middle Eastern style of kebab.

The Indian cuisine section offers a range of freshly made breads like Roti John and traditional roti for diners to savour with a variety of delicious gravies.

A variety of ingredients to prepare for diners at the
Teppanyaki Station
I smile in agreement when a Muslim friend commented about how curious it is that an item named Roti John – quite non-Muslim by name – remains ever popular during the Ramadan season.

The staff serving Roti John must have overhead our chit-chat because he promptly joined our conversation by introducing himself, saying that his name is John!

Roti John made by John is a good reason why I must help myself to a portion, so I did.

Meanwhile I’m drawn to the Teh Tarik station where a staff is “pulling tea” the traditional way to create tasty mugs of milk tea topped with a foamy head.

Deep-fried sweet potato and banana slices [Right] and
 the ever popular deep-fried rolls stuffed with real durian
From the corner of my eye, I spy a queue forming at the Deep-Fried station and I cannot resist going closer to find out why.

There are deep-fried banana and sweet potato slices to savour the Johor way, with a drizzle of dark spicy sauce, but I sense that all eyes are on the fryer-staff who is gently lifting out the next batch of freshly deep-fried items from the kwali/wok.

Ahh… now I know why.

My eyes zero-in on the deep-fried rolls stuffed with real durian – a lip-smacking must-have for durian lovers – and I join the queue to help myself to my own portion.

The Mai Makan-Makan buffet at Café BLD from May 8 to June 3, is priced at RM165 nett per adult and RM78 nett for children aged five to 12.

Early Bird promotion for vouchers to dine from May 8 to May 15 bought from March 1 to May 8 will receive three (3) complimentary vouchers for every 10 vouchers.

Vouchers to dine from May 8 to June 3 bought from March 1 to April 15 will receive two (2) complimentary vouchers for every 10 vouchers.

While vouchers to dine from May 8 to June 3 bought from April 16 to May 8 will receive one (1) complimentary voucher for every 10 vouchers.

Standard Chartered Bank card holders will enjoy 15% per cent discount while Club Marriot Members will enjoy 20% discount.

Diners who wish to host their own buka puasa gathering may opt for a banquet package for Ramadan and Raya, valid from May 8 to June 3, offered in two menu selections.

These Mai Makan-Makan banquet packages are for a minimum of 30 people, held in the ballroom or a private function room are offered in Menu A at RM98 nett per person or Menu B at RM128 nett per person.

Renaissance Johor Baru Hotel is located at 2 Jalan Permas 11, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, 81750 Masai, Johor. Café BLD is on the lobby level.

For enquiries and reservations, Tel: +607 – 381 3312 or +607 – 381 3317 or send email to: or

A Taste of Malaysian Heritage at DTHJB

This Ramadan, DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru is bringing back last year’s successful Jom Makan theme where Malaysians are encouraged to come together to feast on the diverse flavours unique to the various states in a Taste of Malaysian Heritage.

Johor's Nasi Beriani Gam Kambing is proudly featured
in A Taste of Malaysian Heritage at Makan Kitchen
I’m at Makan Kitchen again for the food preview and Executive Chef Hakim Aizat Feisal takes me on a tour of the buffet spread with highlights of the breaking-of-fast or Buka Puasa dinner buffets, presented in two options: one at the popular Makan Kitchen on the lobby level and the other, Feast@11 Banquet Package on Level 11.

This Ramadan, the Makan Kitchen, popular for the buffet spread served from its Chinese, Malay and Indian kitchens with an array of International items, will take diners on a culinary adventure through the Malaysian states.

Diners can look forward to whole Roasted Lamb,
Roasted Beef Ribs and even Grilled Wagyu Beef
Guided by the theme, Taste of Malaysian Heritage, diners can savour a range of delicious appetizers, salads, desserts and main course items that are distinctive of each Malaysian state.

For instance, there will be Mee Bandung from Johor, Sambal Petai Tiger Prawns from Selangor, Gulai Tempoyak Ikan Patin from Pahang, Daging Batang Pinang Masak Kayu Manis from Penang and Sago Gula Melaka, just to name a few.

Diners can also look forward to Ramadan staples like Roasted Lamb (Kambing Golek) and Ayam Percik flavoured in rich Terengganu Percik Sauce and Johor’s Nasi Beriani Gam Kambing (lamb) served with traditional condiments like vegetable dalca (lentils), vegetable pickles (acar) and Papadom crisps.

Highlights of a range of condiments
and local salads in the spread
With such a wide range of appetizing sambal sauces, crisps and pickles to enhance their meal, fans of Sambal, Keropok and Jeruk will be spoiled for choice at the Condiments Counter.

A variety of local salads in ulam and kerabu recipes are handpicked from the various states like Kerabu Daging (beef), Kerabu Taugeh (bean-sprouts), Kerabu Mangga (mango), Hinava Ikan (fish), Umai Udang (shrimps), and local greens like Ulam Raja, Ulam Selom and Ulam Pegaga.

Traditional breaking-of-fast dishes include Rendang Tok, Sotong Goreng Kunyit, Ayam Masak Merah, Terung Belado, Pisang Muda Masak Lemak and Singgang Ikan Tenggiri dan Timun, to enjoy with steamed rice.

Some of the not-to-be-missed traditional comfort foods are Bubur Lambuk and Daging Gulai Kawah & Rebung (bamboo shoots).

Serving a meat portion from the
Carving Station
Another comfort food to look forward to, is the range of traditional soups brewed with spices and topped with ingredients like Lamb, Beef, Chicken, Oxtail, Tripe or Lungs to enjoy with loaves of bread.

In anticipation of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, there are also popular choices of Lontong gravy, Chicken and Beef Rendang, Chicken, Beef and Coconut Serunding (meat floss) and Kuah Kacang (peanut gravy) to savour with traditional rice favourites like Lemang, Ketupat Palas, Ketupat Buluh and Burasak, Bugis-style steamed glutinous rice wrapped in banana leaves.

Meat lovers will be thrilled with the servings of Grilled Wagyu Beef and Roasted Beef Ribs, served with a range of sauces like Peppercorn Sauce, Mushroom Sauce, Au Jus, Chimchurri Sauce or Mint Sauce with sides of Sweet Potato and Sauteed Mixed Vegetables.

Some of the other exciting live-cooking stations will serve Malay delicacies like grilled Beef and Chicken Satay, and Popiah Basah, where diners are invited to wrap their own spring rolls.

Rice vermicelli tinged with a
natural yellow colour!
The Noodle Station will serve Bihun (rice vermicelli) Sup Utara where the vermicelli is served with a natural yellow tinge while diners may pick their choices of topping ingredients like Lamb, Beef, Chicken, Oxtail, Tripe, Lung or Lobak Asin (Pickled Radish).

To end the meal sweetly, Mango lovers will be delighted with the range of desserts created with fresh mangoes like Mango Truffle, Mango Cheesecake, Mango Panna Cotta, Mango Mousse, Mango Crème Brulee and Mango Sticky Rice.

Early Bird Jom Makan vouchers for Makan Kitchen are available from now till April 30 at reduced prices of RM158 nett/adult and RM79 nett/child.

Prices are RM178 nett/adult and RM89 nett/child for vouchers bought from May 1 to June 4.

The Buka Puasa Buffet at Makan Kitchen will be served from 6.30pm to 10.30pm, from May 5 to June 4.

Besides dining at Makan Kitchen, DoubleTree by Hilton JB also offers Jom Makan breaking-of-fast Banquet Packages presented in Feast @ 11 and hosted at the Ballroom on Level 11, starting from May 13 to 31 only.

Executive Chef Hakim and team
member at the Gulai Kawah station
The buffet spread here is a veritable feast of Malaysian delights plus popular International favourites like Seafood-on-Ice.

While the buffet menu may vary daily, there are still staples in the range of delicious appetizers, salads, desserts and main course items.

A live-station will serve freshly-made Som Tam, Thai salad while a Murtabak stall will serve popular Hipster Murtabak, traditional flat bread stuffed with meat, drizzled with Mayonnaise and Chocolate sauce.

Another live-station in Feast@11 – situated outdoors for obvious reasons – will serve the ever popular thorny fruit, fresh durians.

Also look out for freshly squeezed sugarcane juice served as a thirst-quenching Buka Puasa drink here.

A range of appetizers in local fresh salads will be presented to whet the diners’ appetites.

Skewers of Ayam Percik flavoured with the
rich taste of Terengganu percik sauce
These include Kerabu Manga Muda (young mango), Kerabu Nangka Musa (young jackfruit), Kerabu Jantung Pisang (young banana buds), Kerabu Betik Muda (young papaya) and Kerabu Sotong (squid).

Some of the main course highlights include traditional Ayam Percik, marinated chicken grilled on bamboo skewers and other buka puasa favourites like traditional Gulai Kawah, Paru Goreng Berempah Jintan, Pucuk Manis Masak Labu and Prawns fried with curry leaves.

At the Carving Station, portions of slow-roasted Venison will be served with Grilled Tuscany Vegetables, new potatoes and a range of sauces.

A tasty and comforting bowl of Bubur Lambuk
Meanwhile, a Deep-Fried Station will serve a range of fried fruits including banana, yam, jackfruit and cempedak.

For dessert, there will be a range of cakes and pastries including favourites like Baked Cheese Cake, Concorde Cake, Raspberry Delice, Berry Panna Cotta and Carrot Cake.

Staying with the Malaysian theme, there will also be a variety of local kuih (cakes) like Seri Muka and in anticipation of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, even a choice of traditional Raya cookies like Kuih Batang Buruk, Kuih Bangkit and Kuih Bahulu.

Early Bird Jom Makan vouchers for Feast@11 are available from now till April 30 at reduced prices of RM118 nett/adult and RM59 nett/child.

Noodle soup with yellow bihun and slices of chicken
Prices are RM138 nett/adult and RM69 nett/child for vouchers bought from May 1 to May 31.

The Buka Puasa Banquet Package at Feast@11 will be served from 6.30pm to 10.30pm, from May 13 to May 31.

During Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, the Makan Kitchen is also a popular venue for festive meals like High Tea and Dinner.

Hari Raya High Tea Buffet will be served from 12.30pm to 4pm on June 5 & 6 (RM108 nett/adult and RM54 nett/child).

While the Hari Raya Dinner Buffet will be from from 6.30pm to 10.30pm on June 5 & 6 (RM178 nett/adult and RM89 nett/child).

DoubleTree by Hilton JB is at 12 Jalan Ngee Heng, 80000 Johor Baru, Johor. The Makan Kitchen is located on the lobby level while the Feast@11 Ballroom is on Level 11.

To purchase your Jom Makan vouchers and for reservations, Tel: 607 – 268 6868 or email Website: