Dim Sum buffet with a difference at Thistle JB

“Yay! Another hotel that serves halal dim sum!” I think to myself when I received the invitation to a preview of the Merdeka Dim Sum spread at the Thistle Johor Baru.

Some varieties of dim sum in the Merdeka Dim Sum buffet
“Looks that the hotel has a dim sum chef to oversee this festive promotion…” I wondered and made a note to find out more about the chef.

With a gentle query in this direction, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a link to my own story, published in 2011 on Elegant Chinese Cuisine that featured an All-You-Can-Eat dim sum buffet at one of the first hotels in Johor Baru to serve halal dim sum, presented by Chef Vincent Yap Gin Kee.

Apparently (I later learnt!) Chef Yap kept this publication in his portfolio and shared it to remind me that our paths had crossed way back in 2011.

A serving of steamed Chicken Siew Mai
With more than 30 years of culinary experience garnered from working with renowned five-star hotels in this region, multi-award-winning Chef Yap has come full circle with his return to JB to lead the culinary team as Executive Chef here.

With Chef Yap at the helm, Thistle JB is ready to celebrate the nation’s 63rd Independence Day (August 31) and Malaysia Day (September 16) with an All-You-Can-Eat Merdeka Dim Sum Buffet, that comes complete with table service.

I call it a dim sum buffet with a difference because diners are welcome to reorder their choices of steamed or fried dim sum and the meal comes with side dishes, freshly cooked from the wok, as well as a signature dish of deep-fried crispy seabass fish, especially for a table of four adult diners!

Pandan Chicken is among the items in the buffet menu
Every table of four diners will receive a complimentary choice of deep-fried crispy whole fish and if they wished to reorder a fish, the second serving will cost only RM38 nett.

Diners may pick their choice of deep-fried crispy seabass prepared in spicy and non-spicy options of zesty tiga-rasa (Three flavours: sweet, spicy, and sour) or sweet and sour sauce.

This signature dish is perfect for fans of fish who know how to enjoy every part of the fish, finish every morsel of flesh, and only leave its bones behind.

The side dishes, freshly cooked from the wok, include Fried Rice flavoured with Salted Fish and Fried Kway Teow or flat rice noodles, with slivers of fresh chicken and chicken Chinese sausages, stir-fried and served with a delicious wok-hei aroma.

Crispy Seabass in zesty Tiga-Rasa spicy sauce
When the steamed and fried dim sum are served, I am pleasantly surprised to see items like deep-fried Vietnamese Chicken Rolls and pieces of Pandan Chicken (boneless chicken wrapped in pandan leaves) among the fried dim sum.

There are three choices of deep-fried spring rolls to enjoy: Vegetable spring rolls – best savoured with a dip of chilli sauce – and two more sweet versions of spring rolls, one stuffed with Apple cubes and the other, filled with Pineapple.

I like the taste of the deep-fried Five-Spice or Wu Xiang Rolls and discs of Chicken wrapped in Beancurd skin, with a bit of chilli sauce.

From the wok: a plate of Fried Kway Teow 
It is not too wide a menu of dim sum, so I can easily identify most of the steamed items like Chicken Siew Mai with Prawn, Chicken Siew Mai with Mushroom, Prawn Dumpling or Har Kao, and I guess, the dim sum tinged with green must be the Jade Dumpling.

Fans of steamed buns or pau can savour three types of pau: one savoury and two sweet, stuffed with Chicken Char Siew or barbecued chicken, Red Bean and Custard.

I am familiar with steamed pau and know that it takes a certain skill to reap the results of what I call, “smiling pau” where the perfectly timed steaming results in the split soft pastry on the pau that resembles a smile.

Chicken Char Siew "smiling pau" are in the menu too!
So, when a plate of “smiling pau” is served, it made me smile even wider.

When I sink my teeth into the soft pastry of the Chicken Char Siew Pau, I am pleased that the pastry does not stick to the ceiling of my mouth. And this (to me!) is what sets apart smiling paus from the others!

I remind myself to save some space for dessert because the All-You-Can-Eat menu also includes desserts.

There are choices of Lemon Tarts, Egg Tarts, Mango Pudding, Chocolate Pudding and Panna Cotta, in addition to a traditional Chinese dessert of deep-fried Chinese Pancake with a layer of sweet Red Bean paste sandwiched within.

A range of desserts to enjoy with the Dim Sum buffet
After a generous buffet lunch of sweet and savoury items, I must say that the tangy taste of the tiny Lemon Tarts just hits the spot. The serving comes with a set of four Lemon Tarts, so I do not hesitate to place an order for another serving.

I am delighted to meet with Chef Yap again in JB and to experience his culinary creations, beginning with this tasty Merdeka Dim Sum buffet.

The Merdeka Dim Sum All-You-Can-Eat Buffet [Halal] is available for lunch from now till September 16. Served daily at Glass Restaurant at the lobby level from 12pm to 2.30pm.

With Chef Vincent Yap again at Thistle JB
Price at RM63 nett per adult and RM33 nett per child aged between six and 12 years and seniors aged 60 and above.

Take advantage of the 3 + 1 promotion where one diner eats for Free with every three paying adults.

Every table of four adults will enjoy one Free serving of the signature Crispy Seabass with the second serving charged at RM38 nett only.

Just a gentle reminder: Please order only what you can finish because there should be no leftovers and there is no provision for takeaways.

Reservations are recommended as seats are limited.

Tel: +607 – 2229234 or email: fnbcoordinator.jb@thistle.com.my

Thistle Johor Baru is situated at Jalan Sungai Chat, 80100 Johor Baru, Johor.

No comments:

Post a Comment