Selera Dua Sempadan at Turmeric, Anantara DC


It was good to be back at Turmeric, the all-day dining restaurant at Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas, for the preview of the Selera Dua Sempadan Ramadan spread.


Putting the finishing touches to a display of
Seafood-on-Ice at Tumeric, Ananatara Desaru Coast

The promotional flyer for this breaking-of-fast buffet read as Selera 2 Sempadan, a theme translated to mean, A Taste of Two Borders.


I am familiar with Turmeric, a restaurant renowned for its local fare along with Thai, Chinese and International cuisine, so I was keen to check out the buffet spread to see what specialties were served that best represented which regions.


As I explored the indoor and outdoor areas, I saw the culinary team, led by Chef Fahdrul Abd Malek, putting the finishing touches to the food display, paying close attention to details (I guessed!) in an attempt to entice diners to enjoy more helpings.


Chef Fahdrul [Right] introducing the range of
dishes from various Malaysian states, to guests

From reading the labels arranged next to the items, I observed that the cuisine from 11 neighbouring Malaysian states as well as the flavours of our nation’s neighbour, Thailand, were celebrated in a range of dishes traditionally served at Ramadan.


As more guests arrived, I observed Chef Fahdrul showing a couple of guests around the buffet to introduce the range of items and heard him sharing about how signature dishes from various states were presented with a personal touch.


He explained that the team of chefs have prepared family recipes from their home states to give diners a taste of favourite dishes in their wife’s or mother’s treasured recipes.


Curious to discover more about what the Chef said, I took a closer look at the labels affixed next to each kawah or big wok (then, still safely covered!) arranged in neat rows, I was pleasantly surprised to read that they not only labeled the dishes but also added a brief description.


For instance the sign said, AYAM MASAK LOMAK CILI API and below, a brief description that read like this: Signature dish from Chef Fahdrul’s family; this is a must-have dish that his mom will cook during reunions.


Another label was for PAJERI NENAS which had a personalized description that read: Chef Yusof’s wife is from Johor that’s famous for pineapples. His wife will pair this dish with Nasi Minyak.


Ingredients to make-your-own salad and
top it with traditional sauces

Among the dishes served in the rows of kawah, each labelled with a brief personal story in English, were Rendang Tok, Crispy Fish with Garlic Oyster Sauce, Ikan Goreng Berlado, Kari Telor Ayam, Kambing Masak Hitam, Asam Pedas Daging, and Ikan Pinasakan to savour with a choice of steamed white rice and Nasi Minyak.


I was impressed that this restaurant made the extra effort, not only to label the items but also provided a brief description in English for diners who may not be conversant in Malay or local cuisine.


Label for a local pickle dish with a brief
description below in English

Hotels and restaurants who have hosted me for buffet reviews may think that I am such a stickler for labels for their dishes, often stumbling upon labels that were wrongly placed or misspelled words, and helped them get the labels right…


To me, labels for food items and dishes were very important so that diners know what they were helping themselves to from the buffet.


This was because (in our modern age where many people have various allergies!) diners may be allergic to certain ingredients and their reaction to ingredients they should avoid, may be health-threatening or even fatal.


Briyani Kambing to savour with Daging Salai 
Proper food labelling was essential also because diners may not eat certain meats due to religious or personal reasons. And if they accidentally helped themselves to a meat they should not eat, this portion would be set aside and ultimately, wasted.


When I looked at the range of Appetizers with mixed salads and ingredients for create-your-own with local greens or ulam-ulam, pickles and crisps, I spotted food labels that spelled out the salad dish with a brief description in English.


I smiled when I saw that the restaurant even made good use of the dark stone finishing on the counter to write on it and labelled each condiment and sauce so diners may be aware of what they were drizzling onto their salad or food.


A range of popular mixed salads or kerabu

Meanwhile, an outdoor live-cooking station served grilled seafood and satay, while Ramadan staples of Bubur Lambuk rice porridge, Chicken soup brewed in spices and Tom Yam Goong soup were served in warming earthen pots.


Next to the Briyani Kambing, lamb cooked in briyani rice, were Daging Salai, chunks of barbecued lamb and beef, ready for diners to tear into it.


In the Thai Corner, a platter of whole prawns cooked in tamarind, Goong Makam, was attractively displayed next to popular Thai curries and gravies.


Two pots of rice [Foreground] with two
rows of kawah uncovered and ready to serve

For the breaking-of-fast meal, our palates seek tasty drinks and while the range of drinks may rotate daily, I saw a choice of refreshing thirst-quenchers and recognised the distinct green colour of Air Katira next to a Tumeric special Detox Drink, an icy concoction filled with lychee fruits and sticks of lemongrass.


In addition to freshly cut fruits, there was a range of local cakes, cookies and pastries including Thai-inspired desserts of Tako Saku, Mango Coconut Choux, Coconut Pudding, Vanilla Crème Brule and Chocolate Tarlets.


It was good to see that the dessert portions were kept small so that diners may enjoy a wider choice of sweet treats and not leave any leftovers. Selamat Berbuka!


The Selera 2 Sempadan, Ramadan buffet at Turmeric Restaurant is served from March 23 to April 21 daily from 6.30pm to 10pm.


Price at RM168+ per adult and RM84+ per child, from March 24 onwards.


Take advantage of the Early Bird deal of 25% off for Vouchers purchased before March 23.


Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas is the Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas group’s first luxury hotel in Malaysia, designed within lush tropical gardens on the exclusive Desaru Coast in Johor.


Located at Persiaran Pantai, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor, it is a smooth drive away from Johor Baru city via the Senai-Desaru Expressway.


For reservations, Tel: +607 – 8280 888 or email:


For more information on Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, visit webpage:

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