Johor Food Feast @ Zende

Left Zende with a wide smile and its for a simple reason. I had a good meal of real and authentic Johor cuisine! It was quite a variety and certainly a joy that I could sink my teeth into a whole lot of food without the need to drive all over Johor state in search of different Johor cuisine.

A quick run through! If you want to see the whole works then head on over to my FB album Johor Food & Cultural Festival.
Meal kicks off with a special beverage Beyh Royale which was the welcome drinks for guests to the Istana Besar Johor during the reign of HRH Sultan Abu Bakar Temenggung Daeng Ibrahim from 1833 to 1895. This is a lovely and aromatic drink made of a variety of spices including cinnamon and cardamom, cloves, star anises, kaffir lime and pandan leaves.
Otak-otak and pepes which is made from fish and cooked in banana leaves.
Daging deng deng goreng - spicy beef jerky.
Ayam ros Johor - something similar to ayam masak merah but it contains a lot more herbs and spices .
Ayam kuzi - lovely dish that calls for lots of rice or roti jala to go with the very aromatic gravy of coriander, fennel seeds, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves and rich coconut milk.
An assortment of ulam and my fave must have is of course petai also known as stink bean or bitter bean.
Another 2 faves of ulam will be the ulam raja and daun selom that goes well with dips such as cincaluk, budu or sambal belacan.
My fave is of course budu!
I love kerabu and more so when its made from pucuk paku. This is urap pucuk paku - salad of ferns, dried shrimps and coconut.
Tauhu bakar with peanut sauce is a must have and makes a lovely tea time snack or even appetizer. A lil different from the ones we find in KL which is normally served with some cili sauce.
Nasi ambeng has its origins from Java and is basically rice served with an assortment of dishes including ayam ambeng, salted fish, serunding (beef or chicken floss) and fried tempeh. Its normally served on a large plate for 5 or 6 persons.
Daging kurma merah is different from the usual kurma because this recipe calls for tomato and cili.
I tasted the nasi briyani byeh during the press conference in May and was smitten. This time around it was a whole pot of nasi briyani kambing byeh that was waiting for me. Long grain rice is cooked together with the briyani spices and of course the Beyh Royale ingredients as well.
Much loved mee bandung Johor for its rich shrimp and peanut gravy.
A true Johor soto ayam is served with bergedel and sambal kicap!
A thick bowl of laksa Johor is a must. I love Penang laksa but the Johor style is also equally lovely with its own distinctive character of thick fish, shrimp and coconut based gravy with yellow noodles.
I am not much of a kuih person but I will say yes to Kole Kacang made from mun beans and coconut milk.
Som som gula melaka with Beyh Royale's touch of spices.

The whole menu was quite extensive with 4 or 5 rotating menus but certainly on my visit over lunch, the above were just some of the many Johor dishes that was being offered that certainly put a smile to my face:D 

Seri Pacific Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Putra
50350 Kuala Lumpur
 T: +603 4042 5555
• GPS N 3 10.044 E 101 41.537

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More pics in the album: Johor Food & Cultural Festival