[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 黄大人]
这家开张不到两个月的 Gourmet Trails Marketplace & Deli，所在位置就处于许多旅居本地的海外人士聚集地 – 美迪尼。可想而知，这究竟满足了多少人的口腹之欲啊！
Having experienced being students and expats ourselves in various parts of Asia and Australia, we’ve learned to adjust to a different culture, language, perhaps even another diet. However, nothing takes us back home faster than the tastes and smells of our home country, which brings us to the first Asian supermarket we can find in most Chinatowns.
In an increasingly globalised world, with an ever-growing number of people working abroad and investing in Iskandar Malaysia, we would imagine that such expat shops are booming as individuals crave a taste of home. For so long, the gourmet food scene in Johor Bahru was the butt of the joke for many visitors or residing foreigners, but we think it might be one of the most exciting places to live and eat right now. No longer are we limited just to our local wet markets, neighbourhood shops and supermarket chains, as JB is witnessing a growing number of unique specialty grocers, be it fresh organic produce or hard-to-find imported goods.
Recently opened in late 2016 on the street level of One Medini Hub, Gourmet Trails Marketplace & Deli aspires to become a de-facto “consulate” for expats residing in the city or passing through in search of a taste from home. Having spent many years living overseas in London and Singapore, Rajiv Chaturvedi and his partners sought “to provide the expat community with the products they miss from a place they can trust.”
问起负责人 Rajiv 为何选址於此，「许多与我一样居住在美迪尼社区范围内的朋友，由于忧烦於无法经常舟车劳顿前往市区购买原产地食材；而较近的武吉英达购物中心又常面对泊车位不足的问题，因此当 Gourmet Trails 开业时，确实为许多居民解决了这方面的困扰。」 Gourmet Trails 的营业宗旨既是为旅居人士提供高品质、新鲜与多样化的产品，最让人欣喜的莫过于非常合理的售价，难怪在短短数周内便已成为附近居民们解乡愁之地。除了海外优质产品，这里也售卖部分本地食材如新鲜牛奶等，据说就连本地访客也慕名而来呢！
Being a resident expat from India and currently residing in Medini, Rajiv had his fair share of going the distance to and fro the city centre, or being giving up precious minutes while waiting for an available parking lot at the nearby supermarket in Bukit Indah. In order to bring quality produce and convenience to his family and friends living around Medini, and the nearby community in Horizon Hills, Afiniti Residences, East Ledang and Leisure Farm, Rajiv went the extra miles to source products from the US, Australia, Europe, Japan, Korea and South Africa to build Gourmet Trails as the neighbourhood destination for expats and returning locals who can enjoy premium products without paying over the odds.
愿望清单 A guest book unlike any other
到此购物时，可别错过这一本由店家特备的「愿望清单」，任何看官们非常想念的家乡美食皆能记录在清单上，店家将会逐渐实现大家的心愿哦！才短短几周，就搜集了好多货源灵感。「店家好有心思啊！每一位到此的访客皆能贡献清单哦！看看我们的好朋友 Peggy 写了些什么？」
Aspiring to be the community store that listened to what the residents in and around Iskandar Puteri are asking for – via a large guest book on the counter, Rajiv and his merchandising team will review every entry and do their best to source for the specific items to fine tune their product range to cater to the community’s requirements. We wonder what our dear friend Peggy might be missing from her “home” elsewhere 😛
真空包装 Halal & non-Halal products
Even though a sign on its doors announces that the marketplace is Non-Halal due to its provision of pork and liquor, Gourmet Trails has, in fact, boasts a range of halal meat products which is vacuum packed and stored in separate chillers and freezers. The best part, limited edition Gourmet Trails recycled cotton bags sourced from India are given to regulars for use on their next shopping trip.
各式进口酒饮 Imported beers & beverages
Much to our delight, the marketplace stocks some familiar juices, beer and ale, such as this classic cider from Ireland that we could hardly find locally and sold at retail prices. When one of the shoppers chanced upon his favourite beer on the barrel, no prize for guessing that he has since become a regular who takes home his prize by the cartons.
冷冻食品 Wide ranging frozen & chilled products
As words get out with regulars streaming in for all-day dining and shopping for products sourced from many parts of the world, Gourmet Trails is fast becoming the choice neighbourhood destination for many returning locals and resident expatriates as well.
进口雪糕、有机食品、调味料、零食 Premium ice-cream, organic food & crisps
进口雪糕的种类可真不少啊！「这来自美国的 Ben & Jerry’s 可是这儿的人气雪糕品牌噢！」
This is for sure, our favourite section in the marketplace. Just look at these premium ice-cream selections – Ben & Jerry’s, Ciao Bella, Tillamook and Bulla… Ooh La La!
While the marketplace stocks a range of gourmet cold-cuts, organic food, seasoning products and crisps which we had no problem filling up our shopping basket, there is also a menu on the chalkboard to order gourmet sandwiches and platters to fill up our tummy as well, available for dine-in or takeaways.
前菜 Appetiser – Crostini
这两道以 Crostini 有机烘烤面包分别搭配芝士与培根 (Bacon with caramelised onion) 的开胃小菜，味道还真不赖啊！「大人尤其钟爱那一道培根与大葱的搭配，有点类似中式的猪肉炒大葱。」
Both the crostini smeared with pesto and feta cheese (top) and loaded with bacon with caramelised onion (bottom) scored high marks for contrasts in flavours and textures, soft yet crunchy, exactly what we needed to tame the belly beast.
招牌三文治 Gourmet sandwiches
Smoked Salmon, Goat Cheese, Dill & Caper on Foccacia，带有些许山羊奶膻的山羊奶酪搭配烟熏三文鱼，口感非常独特。松软的意大利扁平状佛卡夏面包与食蔬综合了微咸的内馅滋味。
Prosciutto de Parma & Gouda on Ciabatta，色泽红嫩、口感柔软的帕尔玛火腿不单为意大利特产，更是举世闻名的生火腿，以意大利传统三文治帕尼尼面包搭配了奶酪、大葱与番茄，被旅居本地的意大利顾客大赞较家乡滋味更胜一筹啊！
Ploughman’s – Gypsy Ham, Swiss Cheese, Apple on Foccacia，以烟熏火腿夹带芝士与苹果的佛卡夏三文治口味颇有中式腊肉的影子！
Organic Quinoa Burger with Feta Cheese Spread (Vegetarian)，以藜麦匀和希腊菲达奶酪为馅的汉堡，是许多素食者的最爱，微辣咸的口感短时间内累积了许多忠实粉丝为此而来。
We’ve all had our fair share of quick lunches that inevitably consisted of either ham, tuna or egg salad sandwich, but there’s more to the sarnie than that! So it’s definitely time to check out what Chef Dass has up his sleeves and the new epicurean surprises that await between our slices of gourmet bread that are custom baked by a local baker:
Smoked Salmon, Goat Cheese, Dill & Caper on Foccacia, for a taste of Scandinavia which is expertly paired and balanced, served with choices of side items like fresh green salad, pickled olives or cheese crisps.
Prosciutto de Parma & Gouda on Ciabatta definitely screams decadence out loud, the one and a half layer serving of Parma ham and Swiss cheese might prove to be a little too salty for some, but it is undoubtedly an indulgent and hearty dish. A customer even remarked that the Panini tastes even better than the ones in Italy.
Ploughman’s – Ham, Swiss Cheese, Apple on Foccacia uses gypsy ham which is first smoked and then cured for a more intense flavour, while there is also a vegetarian option that uses Gouda cheese in place of the meat for an equally good taste.
Organic Quinoa Burger with Feta Cheese Spread (Vegetarian) is yet another crowd favourite and reason many regulars return just for the dish apart from the groceries.
招牌甜品 Homemade desserts
招牌布朗尼 (Brownies with topping)、法式巧克力熔岩蛋糕 (French Lava Cake) 与大理石纹芝士蛋糕 (Marble Cheese Cake) 各搭配了拥有百年历史的澳洲 Bulla 雪糕，「真是温热与沁凉之间的甜腻交织！」
Whatever your cravings, be it Brownies with topping, French Lava Cake or Marble Cheese Cake, all the dessert portions served here are just right for one so we could all indulge our sweet tooth without feeling any guilt.
Just as we were making our way out with our prized grocery, another group of expatriates housewives was just making their way in. Looking at the way they went about with their shopping, we aren’t at all surprised that they have also found just what they need around the corner and may no longer miss the taste of home in JB, where many are now calling… their (new) home.
Gourmet Trails – Marketplace & Deli
Address: Unit G-06 Ground Floor, Hab One Medini, No 2 Persiaran Medini Utara 3, Iskandar Puteri, Johor.
Contact: +607-509 0585
Time: 9am – 9pm (Closed on Tuesday)
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