Wednesday, July 2, 2014

[FOOD REVIEW] Ramadhan Buffet @ The Grand GEM Restaurant, Grand Blue Wave Hotel, Johor Bahru

It's that time of the year again - Ramadhan is finally here! I would like to give all the Muslims my sincerest best wishes for this Holy Month of Ramadhan. May all your hopes and prayers be realized. :) I am sure many are looking forward to food hunting at the bazaar, but here I am offering you another option - Ramadhan buffet at The Grand GEM Restaurant, Grand Blue Wave Hotel!

The Grand GEM - House of Fine Indian Cuisine

Again thanks to the extended invitation of Tony Johor Kaki, Ma Cherie Johor Bloggers were invited to this food review. What an honour! Oh, not to mention we also met Peggy Loh of My Johor Stories on that day! I always admire her blogging style. She is a journalist of New Straits Times, which makes her a good story teller. I really respect both of them as they are really good bloggers and they are my motivation to create better blog posts! Check out their awesome blogs as well. :)

The Grand GEM is an elegant, fine dining restaurant serving authentic Indian food for the past 17 years inspired by India's rich culinary culture. Their menu presents the perfect fusion of illustrious Indian cuisine and today's taste trends, using only the finest spices and freshest ingredients.

The Grand GEM welcomes you with luxurious interior to promise you an unforgettable dining experience.

In conjunction with Hari Raya, they will be having buffet dinner for one month prior to Hari Raya in July with varieties of dishes prepared by their professional chefs from different parts of India.

The cutleries used in serving the dishes add to the feeling of dining in India.

The Grand GEM's buffet has three different menus which will be rotated so that diners can experience different dishes at each visit. We sampled just a small selection of recommended dishes from the three menus on that night.

Chicken vada

We started off with chicken vada. It is made of minced chicken meat, onion and chilli padi. Vadas are usually doughnut-shaped but no, these are not the sweet doughnut. Be ready for the hot spicy spikes as you chew!

Onion Pakoda

The onion fritters is another starter that will set your mouth on fire! The spices are put at the right amount to give you a moderate spicy kick. However, I really loved how crispy this onion fritters is yet at the same time retain the juiciness of onions. Mr Thiaga, the manager of The Grand GEM told us that the best way to enjoy pakoda is to use our hands!

Masala Papaddam
Most of the dishes are listed with traditional names, but their knowledgeable staff are more than ready to explain and recommend their signature dishes. In case you are wondering, 
Masala = spice mix
Papaddam =  an Indian flatbread often crisped by deep-frying or grilling. 

Mint/ Pudina Sauce
Eat the papaddam with the mint sauce. Basically it goes well with every dish on that night.

Mixed Grill Platter

Four varieties of marinated and moist meats! A very colourful dish to look at. The Grand GEM does not merely concentrate on the taste of their food, but places equal importance on how it is presented! I liked the white one marinated in cashew nut paste the most. The chicken is really tender and tasty. Love it!

Naan Bread
What's an Indian meal without naan! My favourite dish of all. There are three different curries to choose from: Chettinad Chicken Curry, Mutton Dalcha and Bhuna Gosh (Mutton).

I don't normally eat mutton because I am fear of the distinctive flavour of it. But I bravely gave a try and I must say that - I never know mutton can be this good!

Briyani Rice
If you are a rice person, try this Briyani rice and you will fall in love with it. These long grains of fragrant Basmathi rice tastes good even on its own. How can you go wrong with this one?

Fusion Fried Rice
.......or you would prefer this fried rice! Also using the Basmathi rice, but it tastes saltier compared to the Briyani Rice because there are a lot of fried ikan bilis in it, just like our local Nasi Goreng Kampung!

Broccoli with mushrooms
The surprise of the dish is the cheese slices and cashew on top of it. A very simple dish suitable for the vegetarian. :)

Vegetarian Burgers
Another dish for the vegetarians! How thoughtful of them. :D

Romalli Roti
We were all feeling full by then. But here comes the most interesting part of the night - the live cooking session! I enjoyed looking at the chefs tossing the flat dough.

 Then, the dough was cooked on an upside down wok sprinkled with salt water.

And here it is! The piping hot and delicious Romalli Roti.

Drinks of the day

From the left: Watermelon Juice, Mango Lassi, Green Apple Juice

We ordered fruit juices to quench our thirst after all the spicy food. My recommendation would definitely be the Mango Lassi in the middle. It is a blend of yogurt, water and mango pulp, with ground pistachio nuts sprinkled on top. It is smooth, creamy and absolutely heavenly. Love it so much!

Gulab Jamun and Kesari

Craving for something sweet?
To round the meal off, we had two special desserts - Gulab Jamun (left) and Kesari (right).

Gulab Jamun is a traditional Indian dessert with spongy milky balls soaked in rose scented syrup. 

Whereas Kesari  is a sweet semolina pudding flavoured with ghee and cardamom. It has the melt in mouth texture topped with nuts and raisins. Each spoonful is a sure heavenly bliss. I was like the katak di bawah tempurung as I enjoyed these new dessert. :P

The Ramadhan Buffet is priced at RM70 per person
Hotel Guest & Advance Reservation will get a 35% discount.
Corporate Group Bookings will get a 35% Discount + 5% discount if reservation made before 3rd July 2014.
You don't need to travel all the way to India to taste its delicious offering of food as for one can get it all at The Grand GEM. So hurry up call them for reservation! :D

The Grand GEM (at ground floor of the Grand BlueWave Hotel)
No 9R, Jalan Bukit Meldrum, 
80300, Johor Bahru,
Tel: 07-2210717

Buffet Hours: 
Dinner only (and only during Ramadan)
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert
 *Products used in cooking are all HALAL certified. 
*All Meat (Mutton) and Poultry are from HALAL certified suppliers
*Alcoholic  beverages will not be sold and served during this Holy Month

Gentle reminder: Remember to get your parking ticket endorsed! :)

Official website

Ending the post with my ootn :)
Have a blessed Ramadhan! :)
Signing off,


  1. fooooooood! droooool! :P

    1. Yes the food are as delicious as they look! Awesome blog you have there as well! :)


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