CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

Archive for June, 2015

When you want to live and feast like rock stars, you have to pay a visit to Malaysia’s sole rock & roll concept themed hotel – Hard Rock Hotel, Penang. Do be quick in wearing your rocking shoes with your family and friends to experience their Bintang Rock Buffet Dinner at Starz Diner @ Hard Rock Hotel Penang. The buffet has started since 18 June 2015 and will continue to tempt your palate until 16 July 2015 from 6.30pm until 10.30pm. The seasonal buffet dinner is priced at RM88nett (adult) and RM48nett (child aged 6-12 years old). Please call +604-886 8057 or email [email protected] to book earlier to avoid disappointment.

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Bintang Rock Buffet Dinner would offer a wide selection of freshly prepared dishes from local starters to meat grills, hawker fares, and desserts to cater to the taste buds of diners. Other than the commonly available ready-made salads, I did find something unique that I have yet to come across in patronizing the many buffet spreads out there. They have a special counter set up to cater to those who love having salads – the Malaysian style. It was not about having Ulam-ulaman (wild herbs and vegetable) served with the usual sambal condiments but a DIY counter for your favorite Kerabu (Malaysian salad). Gosh! Can you imagine how heavenly it was to have Kerabu of your preference made freshly right in front of you? This is truly one of it kinds I have encountered throughout my food writing career.

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On top of that, I did also find this section to be full of surprises as those little glasses of appetizers were not there just for display but were packed with small bites that were amazingly appetizing. I quite like the Tandoori Marinated Chicken Cubes that were hidden amongst the food treasures.

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Coming to the Starters Section with items of the day such as Bubur Lambuk and Minestrone Soup served with an assortment of bread rolls, the dishes were flavorfully packed with ingredients. I did find the Minestrone Soup to be tasty as it was filled with a variety of vegetables, meat and seafood to give its rich flavors.

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The Nasi Kandar Section were simple and yet fulfilling for those who love this Penang favorite. It had some rice options with a few varieties of local spiced up dishes such as Fish Molee, Ayam Masam Mamak, Daging Masak Congo and more. Beside these dishes were some local and international hot dishes that might interest you as well such as Sauteed Vegetables, Seafood Thermidor, Green Curry Chicken and more.

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You should not miss out the Arabian section for their nicely pepped up Arabic Roasted Lamb Leg in Dome served with Arabic rice, cous cous, pita bread, alongside with chutney and yoghurt as condiments. Each mouthful of the fragrantly cooked rice with the tender pieces of the roasted lamb was above cloud 9. I must compliment Chef Joe Elias for a job well done.

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The Hot Dishes and Grill Section would stretch from indoor until outdoor and I found it to be rather interesting. Other than Chicken Shawarma Wrap, I did also find my usual Mamak Roti John there. Again, this was something that caught my attention. Moving along the line of many individually banana leaves wrapped grilled fishes and shellfish was something quite rare on any buffet spread. It was the Pahang originated Pais Ikan Sambal or quite commonly known as Balinese Style Pesan Be Pasih aka Grilled Fillet of Fish in Banana Leaf. It looked quite similar to the herbs and spices packed Nyonya style Otak Otak, but had more distinctive flavors from added lemon basil, bay leaves and lemongrass minus the usage of egg. Wow! That was a bonus! Following the buffet line were Char Koay Teow, Chicken Wings and an assortment of Satays.

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If all those interesting dishes did not tempt you, you can always lay back and enjoy their cool Dessert Section with a selection of free-flowing Beverages of the Day. I would say their desserts which consisted of international standards of cakes and pastries plus some add-ons of local kuih-muih were plentiful enough to ease the craving of those sweet tooth diners. Ais Kacang, Chinese Pancake with Lotus Paste/Red Bean Paste served with Hot Caramel Sauce, Ice Cream, Sago Gula Melaka were some of the desserts to look out for. However, the winners would go to their rich Spiced Cardamon Bread & Butter Pudding, Hot Chocolate Pudding and Crème Brulee. I just wished I had the stomach space for more as these desserts were amazingly saliva dripping.

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We had Menu 5 for the day and it was impressively presented. I’m sure the rest of the menus will be just as great as well. Let’s have a peep onto the menus which would be on a rotation basis for the whole promotion. Do click to enlarge for a better view.

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Overall, from the Menu 5 which we had tasted, I did find the dishes to be rather attractive and out of the norm from the usual dishes served at the rest of the buffets out there. Dining here was like being a nomad trekking his way from continent to continent into Europe, then into Middle East before landing on the shore of Asia for more herbs and spices spiked up cuisine. As for the desserts, they sure know how to tempt those sweet tooth diners with their amazingly concocted selections of good quality pastries and cakes.

For those who are not ardent fans of buffets, you can always opt for their gigantic serving of Rock Platters at Hard Rock Café instead. The promotion is from 18 June until 16 July 2015 (11.30am-10.30pm) at RM160nett (for 2 pax) and RM240nett (for 3 pax). For reservations, please contact the Hard Rock Cafe admin at +604-886 8054.

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As for their Relax & Feast Package Promotion (18 June until 16 July 2015), a specially designed package to cater to your need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, the rates will start from RM420++ per room per night inclusive of buffet breakfast for two adults and two children. Enjoy a choice of daily Early Bite Breakfast (4.00am-5.30am) or Buffet Breakfast (6.30am-11.00am). They have got your dinner covered too with option to try out their Bintang Rock Buffet in Starz Diner or savor the Rock Platter at Hard Rock Cafe Penang. For more info, please visit www.penang.hardrockhotels.net.

The Starz Diner is located at the left wing of Hard Rock Hotel Penang. Upon entering, just head to the left side and you will see a little glass door leading to the eatery.

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Name: STARZ DINER @ HARD ROCK HOTEL PENANG
Address: Batu Ferringhi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-881 1711
Business Hours: 6.30am-11.00am, 5.30pm-11.00pm
GPS: 5.467568, 100.241382

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

About Hard Rock International: With a total of 200 venues in 64 countries, including 154 cafes, 21 hotels and 10 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, Fl., both owned and operated by HRI parent company The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Bali, Chicago, Cancun, Ibiza, Las Vegas, Macau and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include San Juan, Lagos and Busan, South Korea. New Hard Rock Hotel projects include Daytona Beach, Dubai, Los Cabos, Tenerife, Abu Dhabi, and Shenzhen and Haikou in China. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com.

Sarkies @ E&O Hotel (Eastern & Oriental Hotel) has the reputation of pampering its diners with choices for their buffet spread and their “Buka Puasa Buffet” promotion effective 18 June 2015 until 16 July 2015 from 7.00pm until 10.30pm daily would be even more attractive. Priced at RM128.30nett (adult) and RM55.95nett (child from 6-12 years old/child below 6 years old dine for free), diners would get to savor the best of both international and local cuisines.

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Of course, their signature dishes would always be there such as Roasted Duck, Sushi & Sashimi, Grilled Meat & Seafood Counter, Cold Seafood Counter, Pasta Counter, Hokkien Mee, Char Koay Teow as well their wide selection of Cheese with their Fresh Bakes.

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Other than the standard dishes as stated above, you would get to start off with some Appetizers and Salads from both Western and Malay cuisines, inclusive some Pickled Fruits, Crackers and Malay Salad Dressings. As for Soup, you will have an option of two soups.

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Of course there will be herbs and spices infused dish Daging Masak Mamak, Kurma Kambing, Ayam Percik Kuah Kacang, Udang Kering Bersantan and more served with a variety of rice options such as Nasi Putih, Nasi Tomato, Nasi Minyak and Nasi Briyani. You should also check out the stalls for more dishes such as Chicken Tikka, Lamb Rojan Josh, Aloo Gobi, Green Pea Pulao and more.

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At the Al Fresco Area, you would expect to get local delicacies such as Rojak, Roti Canai, Satay and Teh Tarik with bonuses such as Roasted Whole Lamb (daily during Ramadan) and Gulai Kawah aka Big Wok Curry of the Day. We had aromatically and flavorfully prepared Fish Head Curry for that day.

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At the Dessert Section, you would also expect to see a mix and match of Western desserts and Assorted Malay Kuih, Assorted Fruit Cuts, Ice Kacang, Ice Cream, Coffee, Tea and more.

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Overall, Sarkies @ E&O Hotel has a more mix and match of international and local cuisine. This year’s options were aplenty to cater to every individual’s personal taste bud. I would say this was one of the best spreads they had for Ramadan all these years.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang (next to Penang Bowl) is located along Lebuh Farquhar. If you are coming from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah towards Weld Quay, keep to your left immediately after passing by CitiBank. When you see the Penang Bowl building on your left (UMW Toyota opposite), please slow down. Turn left immediately after the Penang Bowl entrance. The E&O Hotel car park is situated just inside the Victory Annexe building. Parking charges would be a maximum of RM6 (weekdays: Monday-Thursday) and RM12 (weekends: Friday- Sunday)

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Name: SARKIES @ EASTERN & ORIENTAL HOTEL
Address: 10 Lebuh Farquhar, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-222 2000
GPS: 5.423624, 100.334988

RATING:
Ambience: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8.5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

Are you aware that there’s a fun spot within Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa premises named F.I.P. (Fun, Interactive & Play) Lounge? It’s a real cool spot to chill out and have frothing good fun with your friends and besties. Regardless your age, you would always feel young-at-heart while you are here. Currently, FIP Lounge is offering its Coffee & Cakes Buffet from 3.00pm until 6.00pm on all weekends (Saturday & Sunday) for RM47nett (adult) and RM24nett (child: 6-11 years old). You would expect to get at least 10 variety of cakes, scones, cake pops and more with free flow of in-house coffee and tea brews. Thanks to the hotel’s seasoned cake maven cum Executive Pastry Chef, Chef Dino Wan and his creative pastry team, you would get to savor the best of cakes and pastries right in the comfort of the lounge.

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The variety of cakes might be different from day to day. Let’s have a look at what would be on display on a typical Coffee & Cakes Buffet weekend. Here were the 10 cakes I have tried out with 4 as my personal favorites.

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Of course my first choice would be their Signature Baked Cheese Cake. It was moist and had that unique cheesy flavor from the best Kraft’s Philadelphia Soft Cream Cheese with some hint of yoghurt and lemon juice. It was heavenly over a cup of hot tea.

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Next on my list was the Strawberry Short Cake. What I loved about this cake was the strawberry mousse-like cream with some mild sweetness which made my guilt of consuming sweet desserts at its lowest level~ 😛

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The Carrot Cake was amazing tasty. In fact this cake was the favorite amongst many of us. The cake was rich and moist with some tasty bites on the nutrients packed finely shredded carrots.

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Since the invention in the 30’s until today, the Red Velvet Cake is something that will not go out of style. It’s not the striking red color that attracted me but the nice zesty frosting that caught my attention. The baker did quite a great job here by maintaining the moist and fluffiness of the cake while having a nice balance between the zesty and sweet buttermilk cream. It complemented the cake real well.

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They also do serve some great Popsicle (Pop) Cakes with flavors ranging from Chocolate Moist, Orange Poppy Seeds, Red Velvet and Cheese Cake. These are actually cakes rolled into a ball with popsicle sticks and coated with either white or dark chocolates. Of course, my favorite amongst the 4 options was the Cheese Cake Pop. It really felt young having one pop cake slowly melting into the mouth~ 😛

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There were also two versions of Cupcakes (Chocolate Moist & Orange Poppy Seeds) and Scones available at the buffet. Though the cupcakes were moist, flavorful and beautiful, I’m not a fan of so much of butter cream on the cupcakes. They tend to be surfeit after a bite or two to my liking. However, the scones were quite good except I would prefer mine to be slightly heated up before serving. You can have some scones with fresh cream and strawberries. On top of that, they do also serve 3 different flavors of mini jars gluten-free Bonne Maman fruit preserves. Just as its name, it’s how your granny would serve you with all natural ingredients. Bonne Maman has no preservatives, no additives, no corn syrup, sulfite-free and non-GMO.

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Of course, you can get high with as much Coffee & Tea as you like here. The beverages are all in-house brews with accompanied sugar and milk.

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If you are not into the Coffee & Cakes Buffet, you can still order a thing or two from their normal day menu. Well, the menu would be rather unique as it would come in the shape of a long forgotten childhood origami shaped flower. Flip & Flap and you would let fate decide your destiny – food wise~ LOL~ 😛

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At the F.I.P Lounge, it’s all about letting your hair down, stay young at heart, have all the fun you have missed and doing what you Momma would discourage you to do – “Eat nicely and stop playing with your food!” Shhh… Don’t tell my Momma about what I did and I won’t tell yours~ LOL~ 😛

Firstly, they have the Tic-Tac-Toe Macarons (RM41nett). They would serve 5 pieces each of two different macaron flavors with a Tic-Tac-Toe board. Just make sure you don’t gobble up the macarons before the start of at least a game~ 🙂

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Next, they have the Checkers Platter (RM42nett). You would be given a board with 12 pieces each of Crab Cake and Chicken Bourdin. Now the game would get to be real interesting as you can eat each other’s food.

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They do serve Churros (RM30nett) too with salted caramel and chocolate sauce.

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If you love fondue, you can always order their Dark Chocolate Fondue (RM53nett) with bananas, strawberries, marshmallows and dried apricots.

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My sweet favorite would always be the Black Forest Mini Dessert Pizza (RM24nett) with chocolate cherry brownie cake base, served with dark chocolate, cherry syrup, icing sugar and a large scoop of their homemade vanilla ice cream. This item is truly heavenly.

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For coffee and tea lovers, you can have other options such as Cappuccino (RM13nett), Irish Coffee (RM31nett – alcoholic), Hot Chocolate (RM13nett), Café Latte (RM13nett), Chamomile Tea (RM16nett/pot) and more. Some of the coffee might come with 2D or 3D latte art.

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In case you need a beer on a humid day, there do also have Beer in Ice Mug. The price may vary from brand to brand such as Guinness & Carlsberg (RM27nett/mug), Asahi & Heineken (RM30nett/mug) plus Victoria Bitter, Budweiser & Corona (RM33nett/mug).

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Overall, if you are a dessert lover, you would find that the F.I.P. Lounge’s Coffee & Cakes Buffet is worth every penny as you can gobble down all the cakes you love with some of their nice brews. Moreover, you can have all the fun you want with all the facilities they have in the lounge.

To get to the F.I.P Lounge, just park your car at the furthest right wing of the hotel upon entering the hotel premises. Walk through the main lobby and you can see the entrance to the lounge.

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Name: FIP LOUNGE @ RASA SAYANG RESORT & SPA
Address: Batu Feringgi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-888 8888, 604-888 8788 (C&C Buffet Reservation)
GPS: 5.478365, 100.253709

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

GARTIEN LAUNCHED ITS UJI MATCHA PINEAPPLE CAKES IN PENANG

Posted by crizlai On June - 16 - 2015

GREAT PROMOTIONS (1-3 JULY 2015): 100 boxes of the newly launched “Uji Matcha Pineapple Cakes” will be up for grab at RM1nett/box on 1 July 2015. The offer is only available for walk-in customers. Pay in the morning and collect after 1.00pm. Limited to one box per customer. If you miss this opportunity, you can also get the BUY ONE FREE ONE deal on 2 July 2015 and 3 July 2015. Due to overwhelming responses, the offer has been extended until 5 July 2015. Other products are given 15% discount until further notice. Cash Terms Apply.

From a humble set up in Penang barely 3 years ago, Gartien(小田佳園) now has expanded from a young player in the local confectionery industry to an experienced establishment with the state-of-the-art innovation to cater to the demands of its increasing clientele. This coming 20 June 2015, customers would get to experience a new flavor – Uji Matcha Pineapple Cakes. The newly launched product would incorporate Japan’s finest matcha (green tea) from the city of Uji in the Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. It’s also known as the Capital Tea City of Japan, a city that produces superior quality tea due to its unique soil composition. With the usage of such superior quality matcha, you can be assured of consuming quality Uji Matcha Pineapple Cakes, free from any preservative, artificial coloring or flavoring.

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The selling price per box with 6 pieces of Uji Matcha Pineapple Cakes is at RM36nett (self collect only). A fix courier charge of RM10 & RM40 will be applicable to all deliveries within Peninsular Malaysia & East Malaysia respectively.

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What makes Gartien’s Uji Matcha Pineapple Cakes so unique? Other than having freshly cooked Penang homegrown pineapple cubes minus the preservative and artificial coloring or flavoring, the crumbly shortbread pastry has added finest quality uji matcha powder and silky smooth soft butter. With the Malaysian humid weather, it’s advisable to keep them chilled to avoid the quality butter from becoming overly moist. As for the taste for the new flavor of Uji Matcha Pineapple Cakes, I would say that it has a unique flavor that many would be at a loss to describe in words. It’s just not like the usual grassy bitterness you would get from any other matcha products out there. It has that natural excitatory neuro-transmitted flavor I would call “umami”, a fifth savory taste from your normal sweetness, saltiness, sourness and bitterness. The “umami” taste is really a jigsaw in our gastronomic evolution, with us unknowingly loving our regionally made belacan, nampla, garum, spag bol, marmite, meat stocks and more, with parmesan cheese being the most Western known “umami” product. You may call this product the love-hate relationship but I did find it to be real addictive. Instead of killing the natural taste of the Uji Matcha Pineapple Cake by washing it down with a cup tea, it’s best to enjoy the delicacy over a glass of plain warm water. You would experience an almost cheese-like buttery and yet salty flavor with a hint of bitterness, followed by a mild burst of natural sweetness and sourness from the pineapple filling. This is truly a unique product with 5 flavors coming from a single product and I’m proud that it came from my hometown of Penang~ 🙂

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By the way, are you aware that matcha is great for your health? Not only is it a natural antioxidant and packed with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), it also enhances calmness, boosts the memory and concentration, plus increases the energy levels and endurances. So, when you are feeling stressed out and in need of something to liven up your day, try slowly nimble your way through a piece of Gartien’s Uji Matcha Pineapple Cake~ 🙂

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Finding the bakery won’t be hard as it is situated right in the heart of George Town, Penang. If you are coming from KOMTAR along Jalan Penang via Jalan Magazine, you would see the outlet just next to the famous Kek Seng Coffee Shop (格成茶室). Parking can be quite limited since it’s a main road. However, the good news is that Gartien had recently worked out a deal with the management of Hotel Central. You can now park your car at their car park via Lorong Bertam and Gartien can stamp your parking ticket for free parking. How convenient it is now, right? 🙂

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Name: GARTIEN @ 小田佳園
Address: 380, Jalan Penang, 10000 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 0068
Website: www.gartien.com
Email: [email protected]
FaceBook: www.fb.gartien.com/
Business Hours: 9.00am-6.00pm
GPS: 5.416298, 100.329380

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

BUKA PUASA RAMADAN BUFFET 2015 @ VISTANA HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On June - 14 - 2015

If you have been a regular at all the Vistana brand name hotels nationwide during the fasting month of Ramadan, you would have been pampered with their option for choices. Unlike last year’s “Tok Wan 101 Recipes” Ramadan Buffet Promotion, this year they have set up even more “warung” aka stalls to tempt your craving for more street food. The promotion which would start from 19 June until 16 July 2015, would be priced at RM65nett per adult and RM30nett per child (aged 4-12 years old). For more information, you can visit www.vistanahotels.com or call +604-646 8000 for enquiries and reservations. If you have a great appetite for the many different choices of Malay cuisine, you should not miss out this coming promotion. You’ll be having free flow of Air Sirap served on each table as well.

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Let’s have a look at what would be in store for you during this year’s Ramadan Buffet. The menu might consist of random dishes as stated below:

Ulam-Ulaman Tempatan (Local Salad): Ulam Raja, Ulam Pegaga, Daun Selon, Timun, Kacang Panjang, Kacang Botol, Petai, Tomato, Bendi, Kobis, Jantung Pisang, Daun Kaduk with different dressing such as Sambal Belacan Asli, Sambal Kicap Limau Kasturi, Budu & Cincaluk.

Pembuka Selera (Appetizer): Kerabu Ulam, Kerabu Mangga, Acar Jelatah, Tempe Ikan Bilis, Kerabu Sotong, Kerabu Ayam, Kerabu Taugeh, Kerabu Sayur, Kerabu Ikan Masin, Tauhu Sumbat dan Kuah Kacang, Telur Masin & Ikan Masin Goreng.

Keropok (Crackers): Keropok Ikan, Keropok Udang & Papadum.

Rojak Buah: Mangga Muda, Betik Muda, Jambu Air, Jambu Batu, Sengkuang, Timun, Belimbing, Nenas with Kuah Rojak, Kacang Tumbuk & Biji Bijian.

Warung-warung (Stalls): Pasembur Campuran (Ubi Kentang, Telur, Timun, Sengkuang, Taugeh, Kek Ikan, Sosej, Tauhu & Cucur Udang), Kerang Kukus, Murtabak (Murtabak Ayam, Sambal Bawang, Dalcha & Bawang Jeruk), Char Koay Teow, Asam Laksa, Sup Daging Periuk Besar, Ais Kacang Pelangi (Krim Jagung, Kacang Merah, Buah Nau, Cincau, Sagu Mata Ikan, Susu Sejat, Agar-agar, Sirap Gula Melaka, Sirap Ros, Coconut Milk) & Teh Tarik.

Warung Bakar (BBQ Stall): 2 Jenis Ikan, Ayam, Daging, Kambing, served with Sos Lada Hitam, Sambal Merah & Air Asam.

Masakan Malay Kawah: Ayam Goreng Berempah, Paru Goreng, Daging Rendang, Rebung Gulai Sotong, Bawal Goreng, Ikan Masak Asam Pedas & Siput Lala Masak Berlada.

Sayur-sayuran, Telur & Nasi (Vegetables, Egg & Rice): Kari Telur, Terung Bakar, Nenas Masak Pajerin Bombay, Sayur Kailan Ikan Masin, Sayur Asin Asin, Pucuk Paku Belacan, Kangkung Belacan, Kobis Goreng Kunyit & Kacang Panjang Goreng Sambal Belacan, Peria Goreng Telur, Labu Masak Lemak Cili Api, Sayur Kalio, Nasi Putih & Nasi Tomato.

Pencuci Mulut (Desserts): Bubur (Bubur Kacang, Bubur Pulut Hitam, Pengat Pisang) Aneka Kek Tradisional, Aneka Agar-agar Tradisional, Aneka Pudding, Aneka Jelly, Aneka Kuih Tradisional, Sagu Gula Melaka, Leng Chee Kang, Aneka Ais Krim (Pilihan Ais Krim Vanilla, Coklat, Jagung, Keladi & Strawberry)

Pilihan Buah Buahan Segar (Fresh Fruit Cuts): Tembikai, Nenas, Tembikai Susu, Buah Naga, Pisang Emas & Betik

Unlike last year where the main attractions were whole roasted lamb and satay, this year you have more choices at a specially set up BBQ Section outdoor. We had BBQ Stingray, BBQ Catfish, BBQ Chicken, BBQ Beef Slices and BBQ Lamb Shoulder. I kind of like the different style of marinates.

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Amongst all the set up hawker stalls for this Ramadan, I quite like the Mee Sup Daging, Laksa and Teh Tarik. The many hours of simmering the beef with various types of local herbs and spices sure did pep up a flavorful soup base. On the other hand, the soup base for the Laksa had just the right balance of flavors, more significantly in the usage of tamarind peel. Compared to last year where the Teh Tarik was pre-prepared, this year they had a staff making it fresh. It was good and up to my expectation with just the correct concoction of thick tea with condensed milk. It had just the right sweetness to my liking.

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The rest of the servings were rather standard as previous year. However, the dessert spread can be quite abundant with lots of local delicacies.

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Overall, the spread of dishes for the Ramadan promotion at that offered price is also very attractive and reasonable. However, I would still prefer the kitchen to consider other West and East Malaysia states’ traditionally prepared dishes to be included into their Ramadan menu. By the way, there would also be prayer rooms to further cater to its Muslim guests celebrating this blessed month. The ballroom can only cater up to 500 pax at one time, so do call in +604-646 8000 to make your advance reservations to avoid any disappointment.

The ballroom is located at the left side as you enter the hotel lobby of Vistana Hotel Penang along Jalan Bukit Gambir. Just follow your nose and it would surely lead you to the aromatic section of the hotel. You can park your car in the basement which would require you to get a token from the receptionist to scan your way out.

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Name: GROUND FLOOR BALLROOM @ VISTANA HOTEL PENANG
Address: 213 Jalan Bukit Gambir, 11950 Bukit Jambul, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604- 646 8000
Business Hours: 6.30pm-10.30pm (Ramadan Buffet from 19 June until 16 July 2015)
GPS: 5.336334, 100.291527

RATING:
Ambience: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 9/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be having its “Eastin Ku Kampung Ku” Ramadan Buffet Dinner from 18 June until 18 July 2015 (7.00pm-10.00pm). The price would be at RM104nett/pax (Adult/Senior Citizens 60 years old and above will get 50% off) and RM52nett/pax (Child). If you are thinking of purchasing for 20 pax and above, there are some great voucher offers at good bargain prices stated below. The Ramadan Buffet Dinner would consist of traditionally prepared authentic and favorite kampung style Malay cuisine, under the experienced hands of the hotel’s Malay Kitchen.

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Here are some of the sections you might find interesting during the “Eastin Ku Kampung Ku” Ramadan Buffet Dinner.

GARDER OF GREEN SALAD (Tomato, Carrot, Cucumber, Corn Kernel, Onion Ring, Mix Lettuce) with DRESSING AND CONDIMENTS (Thousand Island, Cheesy Mayo, Italian, Mango & Vinaigrette)

INTERNATIONAL APPERTIZER (Semi-Dried Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with Basil Corn Relish, Cajun Squid Flower & Soba Noodles with French Dressing, Pan Seared Fish with Grill Zucchini Salad, Tomato, Aubergine & Citrus Dressing, Asparagus with Turkey Ham & Pineapple Salad, Ulam-Ulaman Serantau, Kerabu Perut, Kerabu Kacang Botol, Kerabu Ayam Dara, Kerabu Betik Muda & Kerabu Udang Suhun)

SAVORIES AND MALAYSIAN SAMBALS (Sambal Belacan, Sambal Cincaluk, Sambal Mempelam, Sambal Kelapa, Sambal Budu, Jelatah, Acar Buah, Keropok Ikan, Keropok Lekor, Keropok Udang, Papadam, Serunding Ayam, Serunding Daging, Acar Rampai, Sambal Ikan Bilis, Lemang, Ketupat Nasi, Ikan Masin, Telur Masin & minimum 5 types of Jeruk aka pickles)

SEAFOOD ON ICE WITH CONDIMENTS (Slipper Lobster, Tiger Prawn, Mussels, Crab)

SOUP & BREAD (Pumpkin Soup, Soup Ekor Cendawan, Bread Roll & Butter)

CITARASA MASAKAN KAMPUNG & MALAYSIAN FAVORITES (Ikan Asam Pesad, Gulai Daging Kacang Panjang, Gulai Asam Rom Sayuran, Ayam Pongteh, Rendang Ekor, Siput Sedut Lemak Cili Api, Pucuk Ubi Masak Lemak Putih, Stir Fried Crab with Basil Leaves, Thai Yellow Chicken Curry, Poached Indonesian Sea Bass with Cilantro Sauce, Sauté Squid with Macaroni in Tomato Herb Sauce, Fried Mussel with Chili & Hot Bean Sauce, Wok Fried Tiger Prawn with Butter Sauce, Nasi Putih & Nasi Tomato)

NASI LEMAK KUKUS ACTION COUNTER (Sambal Bawang, Ayam Goreng Berempah, Telur Rebus, Timun, Kacang & Ikan Bilis)

HAWKER STALL (Roasted Whole Lamb for minimum 80 Pax & above, Shawarma Corner, Ice Kacang with Condiments, Gearbox Soup with Condiments & Bubur Lambuk)

ACTION COUNTER (Mee Rebus, Panggang Station with at least 6 types of seafood & meat & sauces such as Mushroom Sauce, Black Pepper Sauce, Kam Hiong Sauce, Thai Chili Sauce, Assam Jawa & Kicap Bawang)

HOMEMEMADE MALAYSIAN PIZZA (Seafood Pizza & Beef Rendang)

DESSERT (Buah Kurma Madu Yusut Taiyoob’s, Assorted Fruits Platter, minimum 8 types of Assorted French Pastry, minimum 6 types of Whole Cakes, Fruits Jelly In Glass, Coffee Mousse, Apple Crumble, Bubur Kacang, Linzer Torte, Pavlova With Fruit & minimum 7 types of Local Malay Kuih)

BEVERAGE STALL (Air Bandung/ Soya Milk with Cincau/ Mata Kucing/ Young Coconut, Teh Tarik, Kopi Tarik, Coffee & Tea)

What are the “MUST TRY DISHES” at Eastin Hotel Penang during this coming Ramadan?

1. There are many different types of sambal such as the sambal cincaluk, sambal mempelam and sambal kelapa to go with your dishes. Various kinds of sambal are must in most Malaysian cuisine and only during Ramadan do they produce certain varieties.

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2. You should try out the Malaysian version of Oxtail Soup with added mushrooms known as Sup Ekor Cendawan. It’s an impactful yet flavorful soup with the uses of local herbs and spices plus beef bones stock.

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3. Another dish to take note will be the Gulai Asam Rom (Asam Rong/Aserong/Asrong) Sayuran/Siput Sedut, an appetite booster. This famous Pahang dish is quite rare in modern days as the main ingredient of buah perah (kelampai/rampeh/Elateriospermum tapos) is rather hard to obtain due to our fast development, except maybe from the jungle of Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Indonesia or Thailand. As it tastes just like the rubber tree seeds, some might use the rubber tree seeds instead. The curry has unique flavors and can be quite addictive.

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4. You might have heard about Oxtail Soup but hardly would you get Oxtail Rendang aka Rendang Ekor from your usual Malay restaurants. This is the secret recipe of the chef’s mother. It’s best not to miss out the chance to savor this unique dish.

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5. Do check out the Nasi Lemak Kukus Action Counter for Malaysian’s favorite dish. It may look simple but once you have a mouthful of the fragrant coconut milk infused rice accompanied with the flavorful sambal tumis, hardboiled egg, ikan bilis, fried peanuts and ayam goreng berempah, you would want to seek for more. It’s truly an addictive dish for all.

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6. You would hardly see a Whole Roasted Lamb unless it’s for grand occasions. The tender yet juicy meat had been marinated with special herbs and spices for 3 days prior to being roasted until perfection. This will be served with Middle East style of Bukhari Rice, using basmati rice cooked with tomato paste and various spices. One word~ Lazeez!

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7. One of my favorite dishes to hunt at Pasar Ramadan will always be the Turkish style Chicken Shawarma and they have it here as one of the dishes for buffet. Perfect! Instead of my usual bread wrap, they are using pita bread pockets with their special dressing. Who’s to complain since I can have as many as I ever wanted? 😛

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8. For more energy and stamina during the puasa month, you should try out their signature Sup Gearbox. It’s one great dish that I would always look forward to each year at Eastin Hotel Penang. The spices and herbs used in slowly simmering the bull’s thigh bones combined with some potatoes and carrots were indeed “powerful”. A bowl of this heavenly dish would surely keep the body energetic and rejuvenated for any activities during the fasting month.

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9. One of the popular Ramadan specialties would be an energy packed porridge known as Bubur Lambuk. The porridge is normally prepared by volunteers in mosques throughout the country and served to the public for free. The ingredients used from state to state might be different, ranging from poultry, meat and seafood. The most popular one would be the spice and energy packed porridge with the use of rich beef bone stock for that extra power.

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10. You should check out the Panggang Station for more flavorful grilled dishes. Depending on the stock available for the day, there will be at least 6 types of meat and seafood served daily during the fasting month.

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Overall, the Ramadan Buffet Dinner spreads have always been one of my favorites, considering that the kampung-style and family-oriented dishes were flavorfully prepared by the experienced Malay Kitchen team. Well done chefs~ 🙂

Promotions for Eastin Ku Kampung Ku Ramadan Buffet:

Early Bird F&B Promotion: Ramadan Voucher at RM80nett/pax
– For every 20 vouchers purchased FREE 1 voucher
– For every 50 vouchers purchased FREE 3 vouchers
– For every 60 vouchers purchased FREE 1 room of 2D1N DH
– For every 100 vouchers purchased FREE 2 room of 2D1N DH plus FREE 2 vouchers.

CITIBANK
RM88nett/pax for the Ramadan Buffet Dinner from18th June to 18th July 2015.

AEON Member
15% discount for members during the Ramadan Buffet Dinner.

Note: Senior citizens will get 50% discount.

The Swez Brasserie is located at the ring wing of Eastin Hotel, Penang (next to Queensbay Mall). If you are coming from Georgetown towards Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone via Bayan Lepas Expressway, do watch out for the Pulau Jerejak signboard (leading to Pulau Jerejak jetty). Ignore the turning and drive on to the next left junction. Turn left into Jalan Aziz Ibrahim and drive on until you a roundabout. Turn 3 o’ clock and drive on until you see a big Eastin Hotel signboard at the first right junction. Turn right and drive on. Park your car at the basement car park. Take a lift to the first floor lobby and you would see the restaurant there.

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Name: SWEZ BRASSERIE @ EASTIN HOTEL
Address: 1 Solok Bayan Indah, Queens Bay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-612 1128, 604-612 1138
Business Hours: 7.00pm-10.00pm (Ramadan Buffet Dinner only)
GPS: 5.33643, 100.306345

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

When was the last time you have taken a break from your hectic lifestyle and spend a calming day with your family members and friends up Penang Hill for some fresh air while be mesmerized with the beautiful panoramic scenery of the island? For MyKad holders, it’s RM10/pax (adult) or RM4/pax (senior citizen, child & student). As for visiting tourists, it’s RM30/pax (adult & senior citizen) or RM15/pax (child & student). Daily train operation hours will be 6.30am-11.00pm (last train from top station). Now there’s a good reason for you to pay Penang Hill a visit as in conjunction with David Brown’s Restaurant & Tea Terrace’s 8th Anniversary, they are throwing in a superb set dinner deal for 2 pax at only RM100nett (regardless of nationality). The redemption period will be from June 2015 until 30 July 2015, excluding eve of public holiday and public holiday. Terms and conditions apply.

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However, the deal is solely for those who had purchased their voucher during their selected dated Road Show venues as shown below. Please take note that the vouchers won’t be on sale at the restaurant. Normal walk-in diners will be charged RM90++/pax for the set meal. Group purchases for the vouchers can be arranged by contacting the management in advance. Their Road Show Schedules are stated as below.

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Autocity: 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th June 2015 (Saturday)
Time: 6.30pm-9.30pm

Botanical Garden/Youth Park: 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th June 2015 (Saturday)
Time: 7.30am-10.30am

Occupy Beach Street: 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th June 2015 (Sunday)
Time: 7.30am-10.30am

Bayan Baru Pasar Food Court: 10th, 17th & 24th June 2015 (Wednesday)
Time: 12.00 noon-2.00pm

The menu for the Special Set Dinner for 2 Pax @ RM100nett is indeed value for its money as it’s a 4-course set dinner (appetizer, soup, main course & dessert) plus coffee or tea. Do enlarge the poster below for a clearer view.

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Prior to the start of our dinner, we were served with a bread roll each, accompanied with chili sauce, butter and tomato ketchup. I was just wondering who could be the Smart Alec who came out with this wasteful method of serving diners? Can’t we just have butter and save up the sauce until requested? Anyway, their warmly served in-house made buns were amazingly tasty and were rather compact compared to those served elsewhere.

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The first dish started off with an Appetizer of mixed green, dressed with honey lemon vinaigrette and topped with some slices of smoked duck. It was a palatable dish to start off the meal.

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This was followed with Seafood Corn Soup. The soup had a rather unique combination of flavors with sweetness from the creamy corn kernels and a mild hint of lemongrass. It was garnished with some mixed herbs. The soup had chunks of scallops and prawn for the extra bites. Though the soup was to my liking, I somehow prefer diced fish fillet to replace the scallops as it would pep up the taste for the soup further. Some light sprinkles of paprika and chopped spring onions would be great add-ons too.

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We were given the options to choose one main course out of 4 options, namely poultry, fish, beef or lamb. The first option was the David Brown’s Grilled Chicken Chop, served with roasted baby potato, steamed vegetables and a slice of corn cob with grilled jumbo sausage as bonus. The kitchen used their homemade BBQ sauce for the grilling and it came out quite perfect with the slightly burned after taste. It’s not a bad dish to order though. However, the bonus of jumbo sausage would need a bit of adjustment. Instead of directly grilled over the skillet, it could have gone through a process of boiling then grill to maintain the juiciness within. Alternatively, the kitchen could get the boil version as to maintain the yin and yang of the overall dish. I also do hope that the kitchen would look into having a small saucer of BBQ sauce or even some chicken jus for those who do not like their dish to be served so dry.

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The second option was the Pan Seared Sushi Grade Norwegian Salmon, served with potato cream, citrus salsa, pea sprout and aioli. I like how the salmon fillet was pan seared to perfection with the flesh still juicy and the skin having that nice aromatic crispiness. The fresh egg based mild hint of lemon citrus flavor complemented the fish real well.

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The third option was the Pan Seared Grain-fed Sirloin Steak served with roasted baby potatoes, onion marmalade, mixed green, balsamic reduction and au jus was also one of the most sought after dish amongst us. You could always ask the chef to cook it up to your preference such as medium-rare, medium or even well done (well.. I won’t recommend this option as it would toughen the meat).

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The fourth option would be the Braised Lamb Short Loin, served with potato cream, onion confiture and steamed vegetables. This was one of the more flavorful ones amongst the four options as all the flavors were extracted into the gravy. It had hints of apple sourness with a light touch of balsamic vinegar. However, the braising time of 3 hours for the lamb should be adjusted slightly lesser as the meat lost some of its biting texture. Overall, it was still a nice dish to savor over a glass of wine.

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Finally, it was dessert time with the serving of their mouth-dripping Chocolate Mousse Cake, skillfully decorated with a sweet flaky pistachio tuile, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on crumbled Oreo soil and mixed berry compote. It was heavenly and the whole combination had just the right sweetness to my liking.

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Lastly, you have the option to choose between Tea or Coffee to end your meal.

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For those who had missed out on purchasing their vouchers or having gone up during lunch time (11.00am-3.00pm), you could always check out their ala carte menu. One of their unique and signature dishes would be their Chicken & Mushroom Pie (RM48++). It’s one of its kinds in this region or maybe in the world. Instead of the normally enclosed filling of a pie, their version will consist of a plate of nicely stewed chicken chunks with mushroom, served with steamed vegetables plus a ball of mashed potatoes and topped with a freshly made puff pastry. Taste wise, it was just like the traditional style of cooking chicken stew with an add-on piece of butter infused flaky pastry.

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For those who would just love to enjoy the breezy cool air of the “hill on a hill” aka Strawberry Hill on Penang Hill, you could always come over to the restaurant their Afternoon Tea (3.00pm-6.00pm). The most recommend and sought after set on their menu would be the David Brown’s Petit Four (for 2 pax – RM78++), serving you with their finest tea for two, fresh fruits, tarts, sandwiches, fruit cake and English scones with their homemade strawberry preserve and cream.

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So what would you do after a hearty dinner or even finding a place just to relax after a long walk around Penang Hill? You can always laze about at David Brown’s Sky Terrace, one tier below the restaurant, over some light snacks and beverages. There will also be band performance during Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holiday. They will operate from 9.00am until 11.00pm daily. Please do take note that the last train downhill will be at 11.00pm. Unless you are staying uphill for the night, do take heed of this reminder. On top of their English Breakfast Set Meal (RM25++), you can still order their Devonshire Cream Tea (RM25++) which would come with a pot of hot tea, 2 scones and their homemade strawberry preserve and cream. Do check out their cakes too. My recommendation would be their Tiramisu (RM15++). Since I was in the mood for watching the panoramic night scene, I stayed on over a pot of Peppermint Tea (RM12++) and a steaming hot cup of Coffee Latte (RM12++). I was impressed with their use of the Italian brand Caffe Vergnano Espresso Rico ‘700 which has an intense and full-bodied flavor with hints of chocolate finishing. This blend had just the right balance of fragrantly roasted Arabica combined with the rich and full-bodied Robusta. The Coffee Latte served here was one of the best milk-based espresso beverages I have tasted.

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While waiting for the sky to get even darker for the perfect night lights shots, I was also munching some of their Crunchy Breaded Calamari Rings (RM20++), served with their homemade tartare sauce. It was nothing great to shout about but at least there was something to keep my mouth moving~ LOL!

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Overall, I do find some of the dishes served here to be quite impressive. However, there are still rooms for improvements, considering that time has changed and so do the taste buds of the diners out there. The simple and traditional way of preparing food might no longer attract diners of the younger generations. Price wise (other than the set dinner promotion which is a great bargain), some may find the menu pricing to be exorbitantly steep. As a Penangite, I would consider myself lucky having a cool, breezy and relaxing place to fall upon when I needed a short getaway to rid my body and mind from the stressful city life. Compared to travelling to another hill resort outside Penang to dine out, don’t you think that it’s even cheaper to pay a friction of the travelling cost and pamper yourself more often like a King or Queen over some meals at David Brown’s Restaurant & Tea Terraces? The choice is yours. I rest my case.

It’s not hard to find David Brown’s Restaurant and Tea Terraces as it’s located above the small Strawberry Hill next to the train station. Upon disembarking from the train, just walk towards the end and turn right and you can see a stairways leading up to the restaurant.

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Name: DAVID BROWN’S RESTAURANT & TEA TERRACES
Address: Lot 400, MK 17, Daerah Barat Daya, Strawberry Hill, Bukit Bendera, 11300 Air Itam, Penang, Malaysia
Contact: +604-828 8337 or +6018-409 6277
Business Hours: 11.00am-3.00pm (lunch), 3.00pm-6.00pm (tea), 6.00pm-10.00pm (dinner – last order at 9.00pm)
GPS: 5.424210, 100.268632

RATING:
Ambience: 9/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

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Howdy from the Isle of delicious Asian food and the UNESCO Heritage City of Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Just call me Criz Lai and I am here to share with you on what’s the best food you can get in town as well as from many other parts of Malaysia.

By the way, you might not notice it but CRIZ BON APPETITE is iPhone/Mobile Compatible. Please do feel free to hop over to http://ip.crizfood.com to get the latest updates! If you want to contact me for any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at crizlai [at] hotmail [dot] com. Spamming would not be tolerated – you are being tracked here!

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