“If I were taken back in time, I’d surely choose to be a little more adventurous,” my friend quipped, right before I told her the good news that I am bringing her to the Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel’s Middle Eastern buffet that is happening from September to October.
She lamented about having chosen only the dishes that she was familiar with during the fasting month’s buffet and missing out on trying new things, especially the Arabic-inspired food. Luck is on her side as Café BLD at Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel, is bringing a full-fledged Middle Eastern buffet. Super elated, we got right to business once we went the extensive food spread.
The thing about West Asian food is that lamb is always a staple. The piping hot, huge bed of Lamb Kabsah rice was calling me right from the start, and I added some slices of Freshly-roasted Lamb that are available at the live cooking stations on the patio to enhance the lamb experience.
Pairing the smokey taste of the meat, we picked up some Shawarma that is readily sliced to fit the portion that you need, stationed right next to the Roast Lamb station. Meanwhile, my friend gladly picked up the hearty meatballs known as Koftas, and some flavourful, Sish Tawook Kebab to go with her warm pita bread, deviating from her favourite rice based food.
If you are a fan Middle Eastern dips with pita bread, don’t miss out on taking a spoonful each of the different kinds of Hummus kept near the Sushi and Salad bar. My personal favourites are the classic garlic hummus and beetroot hummus. Aside from adding more flavour to our food, it acts as a perfect, nutty appetiser.
Fish-based dishes are also popular in this region. Ease the lamb intake in your stomach with the zesty Samak bil Fern or fish cooked with Arabic spices and lemon. Meanwhile, fans of spicy food would definitely love the familiar taste of Baked Samak Harrah, or Spicy Seabass that is akin to Malaysia’s ‘Ikan Sambal’.
Balancing the meat and spices, I took my favourite, Arabian salad with feta cheese, while my friend enjoyed her Shrimp salad, laden with olive oil that makes it extra smooth and refreshing. Café BLD is also generous with their offering of beverages. I was so excited to fill my glass with the must have drinks in every Arab eatery, Vimto! Everything feels authentic, from the taste to the experience here.
We ended our Middle Eastern food adventure with the smooth, milky, and sweet cheese Kunafa cake, Alva (halwa) and Basbousa semolina cake.
My friend wanted to try more dishes in order to find her ultimate favourite and lucky for her, there is still some time to do so as Café BLD is offering the Middle East buffet until October 2023.
The buffet is available daily from Sunday to Thursday at 6:30pm to 10:00pm, priced at RM108 nett per adult and RM54 nett per child aged 6 to 12 years old.
Live cooking at the patio is available exclusively during the weekendon Friday and Saturday, from 6:30pm to 10:00pm, priced at RM168 net per adult and RM84 net per child aged 6 to 12 years old.
Club Renaissance Johor Bahru members would get a special 35% discount. Booking and inquiries can be made through WhatsApp at wa.me/60177713327 or online at bit.ly/TableAppCafeBLD. More information can be found at cafebld.com/specials