A taste of Citarasa Serantau at Makan Kitchen

When I arrived at DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru for the preview of their Ramadan spread, I was warmly welcomed into the Makan Kitchen by hotel General Manager, Andreas Justkowiak, and the Communications team.


Welcome to Makan Kitchen, located on the
lobby level of DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru

I am familiar with the layout of the Makan Kitchen which has sections to serve Indian, Malay and Chinese cuisine along with counters for salads and appetizers, soups, hot beverages, European dishes and of course, the all-important desserts.


This Ramadan, among the best of traditional Malay specialties and Middle Eastern favourites will be served in the theme, Citarasa Serantau, where flavours of this region will be featured along with those in neighbouring nations like Indonesia and Thailand.


“Ramadan is a time for reflection, renewal, and coming together with loved ones,” said GM Andreas, who was better known as Andi.


The Tower of Dried Fruits

“We are proud to offer a dining experience that captures the essence of this special time. Come celebrate with us as we feast and create lifelong memories,” he added.


It was my privilege to be introduced to the highlights in the spread by none other than Executive Chef, Chef Hassan Mohammed, who showed off a menu of Ramadan delicacies in the hot buffet as well as from live-cooking stations in Makan Kitchen.


With a daily rotation of dishes, diners can be assured of tasting something special each time they broke their fast here.


At the entrance, one cannot miss the Tower of Dried Fruits where diners were welcome to break their fast with dried fruits like a variety of dates and apricots, creatively pinned to the tower on small skewers.


Chef carving the whole roasted
Harissa marinated lamb

The buffet starts with a selection of appetizers and local salads or ulam-ulam to savour with a range of sambal sauces, pickles and crackers.


Taking centerstage was a whole roasted Harissa marinated lamb with complimenting sauces to enjoy with Kabsah Rice and matching salads.


Middle Eastern flavours continue in the kebab section for Shawarma filled with mixed lamb and chicken kebabs to savour with Pita bread and Tortilla wraps.


Shawarma filled with mixed lamb
and chicken kebabs in Pita bread

To warm the stomach after a day of fasting, the Soup station will serve Sup Daging  Berempah, a Malay traditional beef broth brewed with spices, to enjoy with bread rolls known locally as Roti Bengali.


A Ramadan staple of Bubur Lambuk, traditional lightly spiced rice porridge, will be served in popular recipes like, Daging Tetel (beef), Ayam (chicken) and Pantai Timur (East Coast), with one choice per day on a rotation basis.


At the grill, there were juicy sticks of Beef and Chicken satay to drizzle with peanut sauce and savour with condiments like slices of raw cucumber, onion and ketupat, rice cakes.


The Noodles station will feature Laksa, where noodles in gravy were served in local favourites like Laksa Johor, Laksa Sarawak and Penang Assam Laksa, complete with its condiments.


A traditional serving of Beef Rendang

The Asian staple of rice will be presented in a choice of rice sets served with traditional dishes like Nasi Minyak to savour with Daging Masak Hitam Kentang (beef) and Acar Rampai (mixed pickles) and Nasi Hujan Panas paired with Ayam Masak Merah (chicken) and Pajeri Nenas (pineapple pickles).


Two choices of rice sets will be served on rotation to offer diners a different taste experience when they dined at Makan Kitchen.


In the Raya Comes Early section, there were festive steamed rice and glutinous rice cakes like Nasi Impit, Lemang, Ketupat Palas, Ketupat Nasi and Burasak, to savour with Chicken and Beef Rendang, Beef Serunding (meat floss) and traditional peanut sauce.


My individual serving of Hyderabad-style claypot
Lamb Shank, slow-cooked 48 hours in Biryani

Preview guests were then invited to sit down while a special featured item will be served warm to the table.


This was individual portions of Hyderabad-style claypot Lamb Shank marinated in Mughal (Ottoman) Shahi Masala and slow-cooked for 48-hours in Biryani (rice).


The rice was fragrant with the natural juices of the marinated meat, an organic Australian juicy and tender lamb shank, a special item of the Citarasa Serantau Ramadan buffet at Makan Kitchen, that will be served to diners individually.


Help yourself to servings of Serawa Durian

The buffet spread was completed by a range of delightful desserts with cakes, tarts, local kuih, puddings and jellies along with Middle Eastern sweets like Cheesy Kunafa, Baklava and Om Ali.


Local favourites like Durian Tempura and assorted fritters will round off this meal nicely, as will a warm serving of Serawa Durian, steamed glutinous rice topped with a drizzle of creamy durian sauce. Selamat Berbuka!


The Citarasa Serantau Ramadan buffet at Makan Kitchen will be served daily from 6.30pm to 10.00pm, from March 23 to April 21, 2023.


Delightful dessert of Cheesy Kunafa

Dining Vouchers are priced at RM198 nett per person and RM99 nett per child aged between six and 12 years old while kids aged 5 and below may eat for Free.


Take advantage of the Early Bird deal for Voucher purchases from now to March 15 where you buy four and get one Free or buy five and get one Free.


In addition, Private Dining Ramadan packages are available from March 23 to May 31 for groups of minimum 100 guests at RM178 nett per person, which also offers advance arrangements for Hari Raya open-house celebrations.


DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru is located within Menara Landmark at No. 12 Jalan Ngee Heng, 80000 Johor Baru, Johor.


For reservations and enquiries, Tel: +607 268 6868 or email: JohorBahru.Events@hilton.com or visit webpage: www.eatdrinkhilton.com

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