Sharifah, the owner of Jitterbug Café was excited to have us try her family's nasi briyani made with a recipe passed down from her grand dad.
Sharifah's grand dad (second row, middle) was a police officer and was passionate about cooking. This nasi briyani is available only on Sundays as Sharifah's dad, Enché Said, who learnt how to cook briyani from his own dad, personally makes it.
Enché Said who is an executive in the oil and gas industry had been passionate about cooking for as long as he could remember. Enché Said learnt the recipe for this nasi briyani from his dad as a child and together they had been making this briyani for family gatherings and weddings for many years. After much persuasion from family and friends, Enché Said decided to add the family heirloom nasi briyani to the menu of Sharifah's Café, but only on Sundays as he has his own business. (Enché Said will serve his nasi bryani on other days if there is a special order for at least ten persons.)
Jitterbug's nasi bryani is special in that Enché Said uses only fresh vegetables and nuts like chilies, tomatoes, ginger, almonds, turmeric, lemon grass and garlic to make it. The only dry or powdered spice used is just a little white pepper. So, the aroma and flavours of Jitterbug's briyani are mild, refreshing and leave no aftertaste on the taste buds.
The fluffy Basmati rice had the distinctive taste and fragrance of QBB brand ghee and saffron which I liked. The ghee was just lightly enveloping the long rice grains and not overly greasy.
The mutton was blanketed in gravy that was mild and deliciously flavourful. The gravy was pleasant and gentle on the taste buds and olfactory nerves (sense of smell).
Inside, the mutton was tender and moist, with the smokey mutton flavour highlighted by the mild delicate gravy (unlike the average mutton briyani where pungent and stinging spicy gravies tend to overwhelm the natural mutton flavours).
At RM26 nett per serving, Jitterbug's nasi briyani is undoubtedly set at premium pricing. Sharifah said that the premium fresh ingredients used account for the premium pricing.
There is good news for Johor Kaki readers :) When you order Jitterbug's nasi briyani, just mention "Johor Kaki" to the staff, and you will be given a long glass of Jitterbug's minty, tangy, sweet house drink Hocus Pocus on the house i.e. briyani plus Hocus Pocus drink at RM26 nett. (Hocus Pocus is normally sold at RM9.)
Jitterbug Café is very much a family affair. Dad whips up his speciality nasi briyani and mum too has something for Jitterbug's customers - it's the family's Nasi Ayam Masak Panggang.
This chicken is served with fragrant white rice and you can also ask for it to be served with briyani rice.
The large piece of chicken leg was lightly fried and then cooked with the similar gravy as Jitterbug's mutton briyani. This chicken is a good alternative for those who prefer chicken over mutton.
I especially enjoyed the accompanying fried vegetables. Refreshingly fragrant, crunchy, juicy with delicate natural sweetness and savouriness from the bits of fried anchovies.
It love eggs cooked in chili and spices. This was one of the best chili eggs that I have tasted - fresh, tender and flavourful.
The Nasi Ayam Masak Panggang costs RM22 and you also get the Hocus Pocus house drink at no additional charge by just mentioning "Johor Kaki" to the staff. This chicken dish is available daily as mum is at the café everyday.
To round off our lunch, we had Ferrero Rocher and banana pancake with maple syrup at RM14.90. I enjoyed it though I don't really have a sweet tooth while the ladies raved about it.
Jitterbug has a wide range of fresh juices - this was the orange and dragon fruit mix.
Sharifah positioned Jitterbug as a "boutique café" where people come to chill and enjoy premium quality food in a hip, cool and serene ambiance.
This was our second visit to Jitterbug Café. We tried Jitterbug's innovative Western food menu during our first visit last year.
Getting to Jitterbug Café from downtown JB or CIQ is a breeze with the EDL (Eastern Dispersal Link). Just 15 minutes driving, toll free! :)
Remember to mention "Johor Kaki" to the staff to claim your free Hocus Pocus house drink with your nasi briyani or nasi ayam masak panggang.
Restaurant name: Jitterbug Café
Address: #G-33, Jalan Masai Jaya 1, Plentong, Masai, Johor Bahru (Next to Tesco Extra Plentong)
GPS: 1.522122, 103.813650
Hours: 11:30am to 10:00pm (Closed on Monday)
Not certified Halal, no pork, no lard served
Date visited: 29 Nov 2012, 20 Jan 2013