A solid set lunch at Amaya

During the refreshment slot at a recent event held in a hotel, I overheard someone exclaiming, “Oh, how I missed the taste of hotel food!”

Signage at entrance to Amaya Food Gallery
I smiled because I shared the same sentiment. In the early months of the Movement Control Order due to the global pandemic, the economy came to a virtual standstill when only essential services were available while people stayed home to stay safe.

As the economy gradually reopened, movement was less restricted provided with instructions to adhere strictly to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in the New Normal.

It had indeed been some months since we attended an event in a hotel and with the small High Tea buffet spread, diners queued to receive their portions served by the staff.

With my mother at Amaya for
dinner on Christmas Day 2019

Again, I overheard the comments exchanged about the food, which I must agree, tasted rather good. It was evident because everyone at our table returned to the buffet for second helpings!

Now most food courts, cafés and restaurants are reopening, not only for food deliveries but also for dine-in, with the spaces properly sanitized and everyone observing the SOP and physical distancing.

Recently I was invited to the Amaya Food Gallery for lunch and I accepted without hesitation because this restaurant in Amari Johor Baru has earned a strong reputation for its good food.

In fact, our Christmas Day dinner with the extended family last year, was celebrated at the Amaya Food Gallery.

Salad of mixed lettuce served with
a side of Japanese sesame sauce

When I was ushered into the restaurant and shown to our table, I could not help feeling a sense of déjà vu because it was to the very same table and the very same seat when I last dined here!

[I could not resist scrolling through my photo album to find the photograph with my mother, captured last Christmas during our dinner at the Amaya Food Gallery, because it was so uncanny that I was seated here again, at the very same spot!]

It was just so good to be back again for a taste of their new promotion, a four-course Western set meal that was available for both lunch and dinner.

A serving of Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup
The meal will start with a salad, followed by soup. Then for the main course, a choice between Fish or Chicken, [I picked Chicken!] and will end with dessert.

Our friend, who recommended this set meal after she had tasted it, gave us a tip that the portions served were substantial and many families and couples have chosen to dine here not only because the food was tasty but also for its value for money.

I liked how the table service was attentive yet unobtrusive as the staff served the meal, course-by-course, while our group enjoyed the food along with the stimulating company, peppered by exciting bits of conversation.

Supreme of Chicken for main course

The refreshing appetiser of hand-picked mixed lettuce served with a side of Japanese sesame dressing, was a generous salad portion.

This was followed by warm Hokkaido Pumpkin Soup, a soothing and comforting soup that was good to the last drop.

Then I watched – impressed – as the serving staff presented the Fish or Chicken dish to the diners who had ordered that very choice.

The pan-seared Supreme of Chicken was served on a bed of Mushroom Mashed Potato with a side of seasonal vegetables and Rosemary Glaze.

Fish main course of Pacific Sea Bass Fillet

I also had a peek at my friend’s serving of mouth-watering Pacific Sea Bass Fillet served with Basil Pesto Mashed Potato with a side of seasonal vegetables and Dill Glaze.

I must confess that I already felt comfortably full when I was just half-way through my main course, but I still did justice to the delicious dish.

Our conversation flowed spontaneously as we moved from topic to topic and all too soon, it was time for the final item on the menu, a dessert of Red Velvet Cake with a scoop of Vanilla ice-cream.

And the portion was just right to end the meal sweetly. [P.S. I always have room for dessert.]

Dessert of Red Velvet Cake with ice-cream

At RM55 net per person or RM110 net for two people, the solid set meals at the Amaya are really, quite a steal!

Besides the Western set, there is also a choice of the Sabai Set for Thai food, the Malay Set, and the Meatless Set, that are served for lunch and dinner. With such good choices, we will not miss hotel food again!

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

For reservations and to arrange your private dining event at Amaya Food Gallery, Tel: 607 – 266 8888 or email: amaya.johorbahru@amari.com. To book, go to: www.bit.do/amayajb

For more info, visit website: www.amari.com/johor-bahru

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