Ask any Johoreans to list their favourite three hotels to go to for Buka Puasa and chances are most of them will have Mutiara Johor Bahru (Mutiara) on their list. Known for its authentic way of preparing dishes so that they taste exactly as how our mothers prepare them at home, check out the hotel's long line of stalls and live cooking stations before you decide what to put on your plate (especially if you're a small eater).
So what's new this year? The ‘Colours of Ramadan’ Buka Puasa buffet has promised more than 100 mouth-watering specialities from various traditional Malay cuisines to local favourites, from oriental to western delights. My list of must-try are the following:
(1) Shell out - this popular concept has been given a whole new definition at the Buka Puasa buffet; pick a bucket, choose your favourite sauce and enjoy!
(2) Murtabak - this station dishes out not only beef and chicken Murtabak, but also Red Snapper (fish) Murtabak. That's something different and daring - so go ahead and try it, who knows, you may even return for a second serving!
(3) Briyani & Roasted Whole Lamb- Mutiara is famous for its Briyani and roasted whole lamb so one must try these 'traditional' dishes.
(4) Asam Pedas - from the traditional fish to beef 'tetel' or beef chunks with fat, its authentic Johor Asam Pedas is to-die-for.
(5) Sup - this comfort food has made a comeback at the hotel - you can pick your must-have meat or offal to go with your local-flavoured soup and pair them with Johor's famous Sambal Kicap for that extra umpphhh.
(6) Pasta and sandwiches are also available if you're more into Western dishes. You can easily make your sandwiches from the many types of bread, salad and cheese available throughout the buffet line. Your option for fillings is quite endless too. I made a Sate Sandwich, and it was perfect. To me, food is a never-ending experiment and my attempt to feeling like a culinary queen. By the way, pasta is freshly prepared so you can style them as you like.
(7) Pretty Ice cream cones will draw a smile from you as you see how elegantly they were prepared and decorated for your icy pleasure. Choose your favourite ice cream from the vast flavours offered at the counter.
(8) Iced Teh Tarik - Malaysia's favourite beverage just got colder! Still excitingly frothy and oh so smooth; they just happen to be served ice-cold!
(9) Cakes - lip-smacking Swiss Rolls at the buffet are also for sale - order your favourite flavour and enjoy them at home!
There's also a daily demonstration on Malay Kueh making, so you can watch how they are made and bonus, you get freshly-made kueh too!
The buffet is priced at RM125 nett for adults and RM65 nett for children (4-12 years old).
Mutiara Johor Bahru's website is www.mutiarajohorbahru.com or call +607 3300300 for bookings.