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If you want to dine like the emperor, stay like the emperor and rock like the emperor, you should try out the Rock of Prosperity Chinese New Year Buffer Dinner 2016 at Starz Diner @ Hard Rock Hotel Penang from 6.30pm until 10.30pm on 7-8 February 2016. Priced at as low as RM99nett (Adult) and RM68nett (Children 6-12 years old), you would get to savor an extensive array of authentic Chinese and fusion under the expertise of the hotel’s Chinese Sous Chef, Chef Yoong Toy Heng @ Chef Heng, Demi Chef De Partie, Chef Hong Swee Aun and their kitchen team. Please call +604-886 8057 or email fb.penang@hardrockhotels.net to book earlier to avoid disappointment.

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From left to right: Chef Hong Swee Aun (Demi Chef De Partie), Andy Chin (F&B Manager), Chef Yoong Toy Heng @ Chef Heng (Chinese Sous Chef), Angeline Chen (Asst. Marketing Communications Manager) and Sheryn Ng (Marketing Communications Executive

Here are the summary and menus for those days. Please click on the photos for clearer views.

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Here are some of the highlights of the buffet spreads for the Rock of Prosperity Chinese New Year Buffer Dinner 2016. For the 2-days of buffet dinners, you would get to lavishly indulge in a wide variety of Chinese cuisine which would items such as hot and cold platters, soup of the day, Chinese main dishes, Yee Sang, Chinese BBQ Carving, noodles, steamboat and desserts.

The best part to start off the auspicious occasion with great omen is the availability of a Yee Sang Station. You would find fresh ingredients ranging from Sliced Fresh Salmon (maybe fresh Tuna too), Sliced Abalone, Jelly Fish, Chinese Five-Spice Powder, Toasted Sesame Seed, Roasted Peanuts, Crispy Crackers, Red Pickled Ginger, Yellow Pickled Ginger, Green Pickled Ginger, Pickled Papaya, Pickled Cucumber, Pickled Onion, Yellow Yam Sliced, Red Yam Sliced, Green Yam Sliced, Lime, Lime Leaves, Carrot, White Radish and Plum Sauce. Let’s usher in the year of the Fire Monkey with a big bang of great health, wealth and happiness.

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The chefs had also pepped a number of Cold Platter Combinations such as Chicken Roll with Mango Sauce, Smoked Duck with Pineapple Sauce, Pomelo & Mandarin Orange Salad, Young Papaya Salad with Baby Octopus plus Sliced Chicken & Jelly Fish with Oyster Sauce.

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You might even get some of the appetizers in canapé servings.

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Some of the Chinese New Year dishes you could try out at Starz Diner would include Golden Vegetarian Shark Fin with Crabmeat and Eight Seafood Treasures Soup. It has been a long time since I had savored a rich stock starchy soup so heavenly pepped up with so many flavors. The kitchen indeed did put on hours of labor in simmering the stock. There was a significant taste of roasted poultry flavors in each sip. It was a dish so well done that it could put a lot of eateries in shame.

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Special highlights from the main dishes are the XO Chinese Seafood Fried Rice, Steamed Whole Chicken with Ginger & Black Fungus, Braised Lamb Leg with Superior Soy Sauce, Deep Fried Golden King Prawn with Butter & Chicken Floss, Stir-Fried Sea Scallops & Celery in Yam Ring and Braised Green Broccoli with Seafood Treasure & Black Moss plus Steamed Fish with Garlic & Chilies. I was truly impressed with quality of most of the main dishes especially the Steamed Whole Chicken with Ginger & Black Fungus, Deep Fried Golden King Prawn with Butter & Chicken Floss, Stir-Fried Sea Scallops & Celery in Yam Ring and Braised Green Broccoli with Seafood Treasure & Black Moss. You practically find lots quality ingredients used such as scallops, macadamia nuts, various types of mushroom, soy based vegetarian pork belly, dried oysters, sea cucumbers, fish maws, black moss and more in quite a number of the dishes. Wow! It’s like a meal fit for the emperor!

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Having steamboats are always merrier encompassing families during Chinese New Year dinners. Bask in an array of meat, vegetables and noodles accompanied with Clear Chicken Soup and Bamboo Soup and a selection of sauces. The hotpot would be available at the buffet spread action counter – DIY style. However, there would be a chef on standby to help you with your requests.

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You could also end the meal with some sweet temptations such as a bowl of delicious Hot Chinese Traditional Famous ‘Leng Chee Kang’, Chinese Glutinous Rice Cake with Yam and Sweet Potato, Fried Crispy Shanghai Pancakes, some Chinese cookies, Mandarin oranges and more.

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For those who would fancy a set dinner instead of a buffet dinner may opt for Hard Rock Café Prosperity Rock Platter, available for 2 persons at RM160nett or 3 persons at RM240nett. The promotion would be from 1-13 February 2016 from 11.30am until 11.30pm. Diners will be given a choice of Soup of the Day served with Garlic Bread or a House Salad – fresh green salad served with a choice of house dressing. For the mains, delight in a combo of Potato Skins, Chicken Fried Rice, Sweet and Sour Fish, Five Spices Bar-B-Que Chicken, Mini Beef Burgers with Plum Sauce, Deep Fried Prawn with Thai Chili Sauce, Hickory Smoked Pulled Lamb Sandwiches and Chicken Wings with Sweat Sticky BBQ Sauce. To end the perfect meal, enjoy a savory Hard Rock Cafe’s signature dessert –Mini Apple Cobbler served with vanilla ice cream.

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Overall, I quite like their Chinese New Year buffet spreads as they were more authentic than most eateries I have tried to date. With so many types of rich ingredients used, the taste of course excelled beyond my expectations. Thanks to the two skillful Chinese chefs that we could savor quality Chinese cuisine from Hard Rock Hotel Penang.

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)

RESERVATIONS:

Starz Diner/Pizzeria: Call +604-886 6057 or email fb.penang@hardrockhotels.net.
Hard Rock Café Penang: Call +604-886 8050 or email hrc.admin@hardrockhotels.net.
More information: Hard Rock Hotel Penang’s F&B Promotions

Hard Rock International: With a total of 204 venues in 64 countries, including 157 cafes, 22 hotels and 11 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 Gran Canaria, Spain. 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.

 

Celebrating Chinese New Year with banquet spreads is not something new for Vistana Hotel Penang Bukit Jambul as they have been doing so with tremendous support from the corporate and public sectors for quite many years. However, this year diners would have a bonus as the Hong Kong Master Chef Ng Wing Lam with more than 40 years of culinary experiences from Hong Kong and Asia, has been specially flown in to impress us with his cooking skills. The Chinese New Year Yee Sang Banquet 2016 promotion would start from 18 January 2016 until 22 February 2016 (Lunch: 12.00pm-3.00pm & Dinner: 7.00pm-10.00pm). For more information, you can email vispg@ytlhotels.com.my or call +604-646 8000 for enquiries and reservations.

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You have an option to choose from the menu as shown below with pricing starting as low as RM618++ per table for 10 persons.

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However, the hotel does also provide the flexibility to customize your dishes as what we had earlier. Here are what we had for the 8-course banquet dinner which was priced around RM688++.

Of course the main highlight of the dinner was the Salmon Yee Sang which had additional add-ons such as jellyfish, freshly julienned carrot and radish plus some deep fried julienned yam on top of the usual other ingredients. I quite like the crunchiness of the overall dish minus the overpowering sweetness as you get from some of the eateries out there.

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On the other hand, the Braised Pumpkin Soup with Assorted Seafood was something quite unique. The starchy soup with mild sweetness from the braised pumpkins combined with the sweetness from the added minced chicken, crab meat and prawns plus some tofu cubes, was something simple and yet appetizing.

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We also had Steamed Red Lion Fish with Superior Soy Sauce. No doubt the fish was extremely fresh and the texture was just right. However, the chef might have been a bit light handed as I could not taste the significant sweetness and saltiness from the sauce. Moreover, I would think that a light sprinkle of garlic oil would have given the taste more justice.

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Next on the list was their Home-Style Whole Chicken with Mushrooms. Well, the dish might look colorful and impressive from the first glance with lots of vegetables and mushrooms scattered everywhere. However, I personally felt that gravy lacked the flavors from the roasted whole chicken. It was just another starchy gravy dish in the menu. It would be great if the kitchen could pick up the unused roasted parts of the chicken, simmer to extract the smoky flavors and infuse the juice into the solely oyster sauce gravy to pep up the flavors more.

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We also did try out their Deep Fried Crispy Prawns with Yellow Beans and Mayo. It was indeed an appetizing and palatable dish with a bit of crunchiness from here and there. However, the kitchen should monitor the frying time as some pieces could tend to be a bit chewy to my liking.

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The Braised Garden Vegetables with Assorted Mushrooms might not be an ideal choice to add on into your selection of dishes as it tend to be too much starchy dish with the same flavors in one go. Alternatively, the kitchen should reconsider other type of gravy base instead of the of oyster sauce. It might be wise to use either scallop or abalone sauce instead.

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The Wok Fried Rice with Anchovies and Chicken might look simple but it was a mouthful of flavors. The deep fried baby anchovies garnished on the rice indeed pepped up the dish further. However, it would be great if some chopped spring onion, deep fried shallots or even pounded deep fried sole fish were to be added in to boost up the flavors even more.

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The dessert was just Ginger Tea with Red Dates and Black Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls. The tea was rather mild from gingery flavor and significant the sweetness from the red dates. Maybe it was my personal preference but I would love a stronger ginger taste. As for the black sesame glutinous rice balls, it would be great if some pounded roasted peanuts were to be added in for that extra bite.

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Overall, the spread of dishes for the banquet could be quite fulfilling considering that the hotel does provide the flexibility to change your dishes to the ones which suit your taste buds better. However, the pricing might differ compared to the standard options in the menu. As for taste, the dishes could be a bit better than most hotels’ banquet courses but more localized in flavors. The ballroom can only cater up to 500 pax at one time, so do email vispg@ytlhotels.com.my or 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. You can park your car at the basement which would require you to get a magnetic card 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: 12.00pm-3.00pm (lunch) & 7.00pm-10.00pm (dinner) – (18 January until 22 February 2016)
GPS: 5.336334, 100.291527

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

 

Let’s start the coming Chinese New Year by having lots of “Lou Sang”, an age-old custom in ancient Chinese tradition and culture, symbolizing “upward” health, wealth, luck and happiness in abundance during each brand new year. This year, Swez Brasserie at Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be offering various dinner packages for your reunions from 6.00pm until 10.30pm on 7-9 February 2016 or even Hi-Tea from 12.00pm until 3.00pm on 8-9 February 2016. It could be a table of feasting with your close associates/friends and family members or it could be fresh seafood spreads with unique dishes buffet. Please take note that for the buffet dinner, advanced booking with full payment before 24 January 2016 would be entitled to a 20% discount.

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Do check out the posters below for more details.

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Let’s have a peep at some of dishes to be served for the buffet dinner promotions below.

At the Salad Bar & Soup Sections, you would get to try out dishes such as the Fortune Yee Sang with Condiments, Classic Szechuan Hot & Spicy, Fresh Greens with Dressings, Hot Bread Rolls, a Variety of Cheese, Pickles, Mixed Salads, Sushi and Sashimi. The Yee Sang was great with fresh salmon slices and the Szechuan Soup was heavenly pepped up with lots of ingredients.

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For seafood lovers, you would be impressed with their Seafood on Ice Section where at least 8 Types of Fresh Seafood with Condiments would be served on the day. Of course, the main attraction would be their juicy and succulent Alaskan Crabs.

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Their Hot Dishes Section would one great area to indulge in many newly concocted dishes such as Curry Leave Thai Sweet Kapar, Romeo Sour Curry Fish, Juliet Coconut Squid, Tandoori Lamb Chop with Cucumber Raita, Pan Fried Fish with Saffron Sauce, Creamy Mix Seafood with Cheese, Angel Hair with Bolognese Sauce, Wok Fried Tiger Prawn with Salted Egg Gravy, Stir-fried Broccoli with Mushroom & Sea Cucumber and Pineapple Fried Rice. Although all the dishes were to my liking, my main preferences would still be the Tandoori Lamb Chop with Cucumber Raita, Angel Hair with Bolognese Sauce and Wok Fried Tiger Prawn with Salted Egg Gravy.

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The Dessert Section could be real abundance with selections such as Assorted Fruit Platter, Nyonya/Malay Kuih, Chocolate Fountain, Berries Mizu, Red Velvet, Classic Cheese Cake, Waffle with Condiments, French Pastries, House Pudding, Sweet Roll in the Heart, Jellies and Lovely Banana Chocolate Crumble with Vanilla Sauce.

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For Yee Sang Takeaway with various toppings, you can check out the poster below.

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If you missed out the dinners on 7-9 February 2016, you could always check out their other offers such as their “Seafood Esplora Il Mare” Buffet Dinner on all Fridays and Saturdays.

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Overall, I do find the buffet spreads under the supervision of the new Executive Sous Chef, Chef Johnno Fong, to be quite extraordinary compared to the buffets I had at the same venue for the past few years. The dishes served indeed did set the whole atmosphere to be in celebrative moods. However, I do find the dessert section lacked of some Chinese influence as most were basically Western and Nyonya/Malay cakes and bakes. They should have come out with something like steamed glutinous rice cakes with grated coconut, lo han guo infused snow fungus with dried longan soup, red beans filled sesame balls, glutinous rice ball in ginger syrup, fish shaped crystal jelly, pineapple tarts, peanuts cookies, fortune cookies and more.

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
Business Hours: 12.00pm-2.30pm (Lunch), 6.30pm-10.00pm (Dinner)
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: 8/10 (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)

 

Instead of just having Valentine’s Day romantic dinner as most places would offer, Eastin Hotel, Penang, had gone a step further to combine different packages to suit your budget this year to make the special day more memorable. There would be 4 packages available such as the Only You & Me (RM888nett – 2D1N accommodation with in suite dining), Fly Me Away (RM588nett – Dinner by the Pool), Eternal Love (RM588 – Dinner at Swez Alcove, a specially set up private corner within Swez Brasserie) and Serendipity (RM388 – Semi-buffet dinner at Swez Brasserie). Please refer to the poster below for more information. For the first 12 couples whom had paid up in full before Chinese New Year (8 February 2016), you would be given a 15% discount. Booking is now open until 13 February 2016 or until full. Terms & Conditions apply.

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To start off with the 4-course dinner, you would firstly be served with an Appetizer as Salmon Carpaccio with Apple Chutney and Fig Compote.

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Next on the list would be the Soup which would consist of Cepes Mushroom Cream with Cappuccino-like Milk Foam.

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For Main Course, you would have 3 choices such as fish, beef or chicken.

The first dish would be Grilled Barramundi with Sweet and Sour Tomatoes, Potato Chips and Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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The next option would be Authentic Beef Fillet served with Mash Potatoes, Baby Vegetables and Fresh Salad with Green Pepper Sauce.

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The last option would be Chicken Roulade with Mushroom served with Italiano Mixed Herbs Sauce and Potato Cutlet.

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As for Dessert, it would be Lovely Couple Mousse with Australia Berries.

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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
Business Hours: 12.00pm-2.30pm (Lunch), 6.30pm-10.00pm (Dinner)
GPS: 5.33643, 100.306345

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 6/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (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)

 

Just a few days into Chinese New Year 2016, it’s going to be Valentine’s Day, which also coincides with Renri (7th day of lunar first month – Human Day/Everyone’s Birthday). On this special day, it’s not meant only to celebrate romantic love between couple but also a day to shower your loved ones with lots of love, gifts and blessings. This year, at David Brown’s Restaurant & Tea Terrace at Strawberry Hill up Penang Hill, would be offering unique set meals for Valentine’s Day. Priced at RM338++/per couple or RM170++/pax (in the case you would want to bring your parents or siblings along), you would be served with a 5-course dinner (with double main courses) plus coffee/tea. The promotion will be available from 12-14 February 2016.

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However, if you make the booking for 14 February 2016 with full payment now, the management would compliment you with a bottle of their in-house red/white wine. Two sessions would be available for the day – Session 1: 6.30pm-8.00pm and Session2: 8.30pm-10.00pm~ 🙂 Please contact +604-828 8337 or +6018-409 6277 for more information or to make your reservation today.

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Prior to the start of any set dinner, you would be served with an in-house made bread roll each, accompanied with butter.

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For starter, we were served with Rouleau de printemps (spring rolls) which was something different as it came with a piece each of Cod Fish Paper Roll and Mango Spring Roll. Both the rolls had basically the same ingredients except the Mango Spring Roll came with Vietnamese paper roll with shredded raw mango strips added.

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We also tried out their Lobster Bisque Soup with added Slipper Lobster Meat. It was a great soup with nice flavors from the roasted shells and those added chunks of slipper lobster meat did give that extra bite. It would be great too if some croutons or even gnocchi be added in for more texture.

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As for the First Main Course, it would be Chicken Roulade served with Poivrade Sauce & Potato Confit. The crushed pistachio nuts and herbs stuffed chicken had just the right flavor and texture. Combined with the peppery mirepoix reduction sauce, both complemented each other real well.

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The Second Main Course would consist of an option of 3 choices such as Cod, Lamb or Beef.

The first option would be the Steamed Chiteau Cod served with Seafood Veloute and Chives Pomme Puree. The smooth texture of the steamed Pacific Cod combined with the roux formed buttery seafood sauce and accompanied with some chives boosted mashed potatoes (pomme puree) would be perfect for those seafood lovers.

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The second option would be the Lamb Stew served with Balsamic Port Wine Sauce and Potato Confit. The slightly fatty, tender yet juicy slab of stewed lamb combined real well with the balsamic vinegar and Port Wine reduction. I wished I could have more of this heavenly dish over some nicely toasted garlic bread (**hinting**) 😛

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The third option would be their Pan-Seared Grain Fed Tenderloin served with Australian Potato Crisps and Au Jus. I simply love how the kitchen prepared their beef tenderloin – medium-rare, tender and juicy. Combined with it natural beef juice (Au Jus), it was perfect. I just wished they could have served more of the Australian Potato Crisps rather than providing only one wedge.

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I always love the dessert for their set meals and this time we had the opportunity to try out their Chocolate Strawberry Mousse & Sponge served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some berries. Can I have more? Slurp~ 🙂

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To end the meal, it’s either Tea or Coffee. As for me, I would always go for their aromatic and full-bodied Italian Caffe Vergnano Espresso Rico ‘700 brew.

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Overall, I do find the package a great deal as they sure know how to utilize quality ingredients for their cooking. However, the portion served this time could be more towards fine dining with smaller serving through the courses. Anyhow, it was still a fulfilling meal to buzz up the occasion.

In order to get to the restaurant, you would need to take a train up Penang Hill. 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). 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: 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: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

Summer Dessert Bakery which is a Penang based bakery had finally opened its first café at Icon City, Bukit Tengah, Bukit Mertajam on Mainland Penang recently. It’s named as Summer Dessert Bakery Café. Compared to many other cafes out there, this outlet has a different concept with the ground floor being a complete bake supply area plus al fresco area and both mezzanine and first floor being the chill out areas for in-house dining. On top of that, there’s also a small room on first floor for private functions.

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What I like about this café is that it’s practically the one-stop bakes and desserts center where you could buy practically anything from buns, cakes, breads, desserts, cookies, nougats, birthday cakes with hot and cold beverages under one roof. Here are some of their fresh bakes and desserts for the day.

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On top of that, there are more custom order dishes for breakfast and tea time too such as Summer Breakfast (RM13.90), Summer Snack Platter (RM13.90), Burger Chicken Chop (RM12.90), Special Sandwiches (RM8.90), Noodle Cintan with Ham, Egg & Sausage (RM8.90), Flatbread Pizza (RM15.90 – Sausage Tomato, Tomyam Chicken or Chicken Pepperoni), Belgium Chocolate Waffle (RM12.90), Ice Cream Honey Toast (RM13.90), Mexico Sesame Flatbread with Chicken Pepperoni (RM15/4 pcs), Danish Cream Roll (Original RM3.50/pc or Chocolate RM4.00/pc), Portuguese Tart (RM2.20/pc or RM8.00/4 pcs), Dacquoise (RM3.80/pc), Rose Chocolate Moist Cake (RM11.90/pc), Mango Passion Mousse Cake (RM12.90/pc), Chocolate Mango Passion Mousse (RM11.90/pc) and more. I quite like the texture and taste of the Dacquoise as it resembled a less sweet version of Macaron as the recipe is basically the same but with the additional usage of all purpose flour.

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There do have Hi-Tea too but their concept is totally different than others as it’s based on DIY concept, meaning you choose what you want from their spreads of bakes and desserts and they would help you to display on their 2-tier stands. Each item would be charged individually. Some of the most sought after items could include Sushi Roll (RM3.10/pc – cut into 2-4 pieces), Panna Cotta (RM4.50/bottle), Danish Blueberries Custard (RM3.90/pc), Danish Sugar (RM2.50/pc), Lemon Tart (RM7.90/pc), Chocolate Truffle Tart (RM7.90/pc), Green Tea Truffle Tart (RM7.90/pc), Lemington Cake (RM3.90/pc – Green Tea, Chocolate or Raspberry), Macarons (RM3.00/pc) and more.

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As for beverages, there are many types of coffee, tea, chocolate, ice blended, iced to fruit juices to cater to the needs of all ages. Summer Coffee (RM12.90 – large with salted caramel & crème brulee), Toffee Nuts Latte (RM10.90 – large), Paris Tower (RM13.90 – raspberry & oreo), Ice Blended Raspberry & Blackcurrant (RM14.90 – with some blue berries added), Black Eagle (RM13.90 – ice blended chocolate & mint), Blue Citrus Mint (RM25.00 – blue lagoon, lemon juice, mint with apple slices) and After Dinner (RM25.00 – orange & mango juice with mango slices) are some of my recommendations.

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Overall, I quite like the concept of the café as it’s so far the only café in Penang which enable its diners to be spoiled for choices. Moreover, the beverages are of a better quality than many cafes out there. As for the coffee, the beans are of somewhere nearer to medium roasted and can be of high acidity to many. I do hope they have more options as I’m more of a medium-dark roasted coffee drinker.

It’s not hard to locate Summer Dessert Bakery Cafe as it’s situated within the newly built Icon City. If you are coming from the North-South Highway towards Auto City, just keep to the left after you passed by the Juru Rest Area (you can see the Petron petrol kiosk there). Turn left into Jalan Kebun Nenas until you reach the first traffic lights. Before the traffic lights, turn left into Jalan Bukit Tengah. Drive all the way until the second junction on your left and turn left into the service road. Drive further until the second left junction and that’s Jalan Icon City. Turn left, drive on for about 250m and you will see the café on your left. Parking could be scare during peak period of the day, especially dinner time. So, do plan your time wisely.

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Name: SUMMER DESSERT BAKERY CAFE @ ICON CITY
Address: 16 Jalan Icon City, Icon City, Bukit Tengah, 14000 Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-504 1848
Business Hours: 9.30am-1.00am
GPS: 5.344477, 100.434177

RATING:
Ambience: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 9/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

PENANG CHRISTMAS 2015 AND NEW YEAR 2016 PROMOTIONS AT A GLANCE

Posted by crizlai On December - 19 - 2015

Christmas 2015 is just in a few days’ time and by the time you realize it, it would be countdown to New Year 2016. Have you decided where to celebrate these festive seasons with your family members or friends? Here’s a summary of where you could dine out and at the same time get your money worth on the many spreads of delicious meals out there. Do click on the photo to find out more on the respective eatery and promotions available. In alphabetical order, here are the Penang promotions~ Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year~ 🙂

59Sixty Restaurant & Events:

David Brown Restaurant & Terraces, Penang:

Eastin Hotel, Penang:

E&O Hotel, Penang:

Hotel Equatorial, Penang:

Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Penang:

G Hotel, Penang:

Golden Sands Resort, Penang:

Hard Rock Hotel, Penang:

Hotel Jen, Penang:

Olive Tree Hotel, Penang:

Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang:

St. Giles Wembley, Penang:

 

Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang will be all out to impress you with their buffet spreads this coming Christmas 2015 and New Year 2016.You would get to enjoy these festive seasons with your loved ones over an array of mouth-watering dishes specially pepped up by the skillful chefs of the hotel. Before I cover on some of the dishes served, let’s have a look on the summary of the packages available.

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FESTIVE PACKAGES SUMMARY:

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Christmas/Countdown Buffet Dinner (6:30pm-10.00pm)
RM168nett (adult), RM80nett (child)

Christmas/New Year Day Hi-Tea (12.00pm-3.00pm)
RM82nett (adult), RM40nett (child)

Christmas/New Year Day Buffet Dinner (6:30pm-10.00pm)
RM118nett (adult), RM55nett (child)

Special Order: One whole bird of Turkey with stuffing at RM338nett (3 days prior booking is required)

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Note: For the first 80 pax with full payment before 15 December 2015, you would be entitled to a 25% discount. For Senior Citizens (60 years old and above), you would be entitled to a 25% discount as well.

Special Appearances: On Christmas Eve, starting at 6pm, those in attendance will be able to enjoy live performance by Eastin’s carolling singers, lucky draws, activities. Eastin’s own live band performance, Melody will usher in the New Year 2016 on the eve with fireworks countdown.

Downloads: Christmas 2015 and New Year 2016 Menus

The highlight of the season would definitely be at the Carving Station especially on the Authentic Roasted Turkey with Classic Ingredients and Condiments. Do watch out for the Yorkshire Puddings which would be great with any meat items. One thing great about the turkey was that it was prepared perfectly with the right roasting, tenderness and juiciness.

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There would also be some international Cold Delicacies such as Chicago Turkey Mixed Salad, Australia Potato Salad and Walnut Apple Salad to start off your meal. At the same time, do check out their Fresh Mushroom Cream Soup served with Fresh Baked Bread and Rolls.

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For Hot Delicacies, you would be treated with Chicken Roulade with Pomegranate Sauce, Spanish Butter Rice with Nut, Poached Seabass with Saffron Sauce and more. Well, I quite like the Chicken Roulade with Pomegranate Sauce as it was one dish that you could hardly get from other eateries. Pomegranates are loaded with important nutrients that may lower the risk of all sorts of diseases.

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As for Desserts, they would be many festive bakes and pastries to tempt your sweet tooth such as Ginger Bread House, Christmas Fruits Cake with Icing, House Christmas Mousse, Christmas Log, Ginger Bread Fantasy, Cherry Truffle and more.

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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
Business Hours: 12.00pm-2.30pm (Lunch), 6.30pm-10.00pm (Dinner)
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)

 

December is the month of many celebrations with Christmas just weeks from now and New Year being just around the corner. The newly reopened Café Laurel @ Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Penang won’t be left out from all the thrills of celebrating the festive occasions with spreads of goodies to pamper its guests and diners. You can call in +604-226 9988 Ext. 2819/2820 to make your reservation today.

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Firstly, let’s celebrate with their Reopened Promotions of BUY ONE FREE ONE (Buffet Lunch) and BUY TWO FREE ONE (Buffet Dinner). The promotions are valid until 31 December 2015, excluding festive days. Do check out the poster below.

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On the other hand, festive promotions would be as below. For the eve of Christmas and New Year, you would have the BUY ONE FREE ONE (Buffet Lunch) and BUY TWO FREE ONE (Buffet Dinner) promotions, whether of the actual day of Christmas 2015 and New Year 2016, you would get to enjoy their BUY ONE FREE ONE (Buffet Lunch) and BUY THREE FREE ONE (Buffet Dinner). These offers are only applicable for paying adults.

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Let’s have a look at their extensive spreads for their International Buffet Dinner on a Sunday night.

At the Salad & Cold Selection Sections, you would expect to savor Thai Chicken Salad, Thai Papaya Salad, Dry Cuttlefish Salad, 8 types of Plain Salad, Assorted Cold Cuts, Seafood on Ice, Smoked Fish, Beef Pastrami and Marinated Baby Octopus.

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At the Soup Section, you might get Seafood Tom Yam Soup, Chicken Cream Soup with some Crispy Bread Rolls & Butter.

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The eatery has many Action Stalls with delicious dishes such as Sashimi/Sushi with Condiments, Ikan Panggang (Portuguese Style), Char Koay Teow, Roasted Duck, Mix Grill (Jumbo Sausage, Lamb Chop), Pasta Station, Laksa with Condiments and Assorted Dim Sum

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Some of the dishes at the Main Dish Section could be real delectable such as Roasted Lamb Leg, Pan Fried Fish in Cream Sauce, Chicken Roll with Thyme Sauce, Stir Fried Prawn, Mix Vegetables, Sambal Ikan Bawal, Gulai Kambing, Mee Goreng Mamak, Rendang Ayam, Paceri Nenas, Nasi Hujan Panas and Steamed White Rice.

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For dessert lovers, you could head up to their Dessert Section for some sweet treats such as Assorted Mini French Pastries, Freshly Cut Tropical Fruits, Cream Caramel, Profiteroles with Chocolate Sauce, Bread & Butter Pudding, Crème Brulee, Chocolate Mousse, Fruit Cocktail, Ice Cream with Condiments and end your meal with some Coffee & Tea.

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Overall, I quite like the spreads especially at the sushi section where all the cuts were extremely fresh and palatable to my liking. However, there are still rooms for improvement especially at some specific action counters where I would at least expect a staff in attendance to cater to the needs of diners.

Café Laurel is located at the right wing of Evergreen Laurel Hotel, Penang. Upon entering the lobby, just head to the right side and you will see the entrance to the eatery.

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Name: CAFÉ LAUREL @ EVERGREEN LAUREL HOTEL PENANG
Address: 53 Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-226 9988 Ext 2819/2820
Business Hours:
Buffet Lunch: 12.00noon-2.30pm (Mondays – Fridays)
Hi-Tea: 12.00noon-3.00pm (Saturdays & Sundays)
International Buffet Dinner: 7.00pm-10.00pm (Sundays – Thursdays)
Seafood & Japanese Buffet Dinner: 6.30pm-10.00pm (Fridays & Saturdays)
GPS: 5.4311774, 100.3180416

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: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

Won’t it be cool if you could celebrate your Christmas with your loved ones and friends up Penang Hill this year? David Brown’s Restaurant & Tea Terrace has the perfect solution for you this year with their two promotions. One would be their Christmas Eve Set Dinner at RM188++/pax (24 December 2015 only) and the other would be their December Set Dinner Promotion at RM98++/pax (1-31 December 2015 except Christmas Eve). Dinner time would be from 6.00pm until 10.00pm. In order to get to the restaurant, you would need to take a train up Penang Hill. 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).

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Let’s have a look at what would be served during the Christmas Eve Set Dinner Promotion 2015 (24 December 2015 only and no ala carte dishes will be served during dinner on this specific day). Please also take note that if you pre-book the set dinner with full payment before 15 December 2015, you would be entitled to a 20% discount.

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Prior to the start of any set dinner, you would be served with an in-house made bread roll each, accompanied with butter.

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To get your Christmas mood rolling, you would be first served with their complimentary version of Amuse Bouche. It’s a turkey croquette served with some hot pepper and vinegar spiced up sriracha mayonnaise. The item indeed boosted up my appetite for more delicious dishes to follow.

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As for appetizer, it had Arugula Salad (commonly known as salad rocket), dressed with balsamic reduction lemon vinaigrette and topped with some slices of smoked beef bacon, tempura oyster mushroom with light sprinkles of crushed hazelnut. It was a simple and yet palatable to start off the meal.

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We had Chicken Veloute Soup next. The texture of the soup really reminded me of KFC’s gravy for their mashed potatoes. It came with some slices of poached chicken, grilled eryngii mushrooms and a sprinkle of chopped chives. Maybe I have a strong taste bud as I found the soup to be a bit light to my liking. Somehow, it lacked some “roasted” flavors in it. It would be great if the kitchen have utilized some thick broth from simmering some roasted chicken parts to pep up the flavors more. Adding in some heavy cream would also give the soup more texture.

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There are 3 options for the mail meal, namely turkey breast, Norwegian salmon and lamb racks.

The first option was the Traditional Roasted Turkey Breast, served with roasted herb potatoes, broccoli, purified apple chutney and glazed with some turkey juice. I quite like the whole combination especially with a twist with the usage of purified apple chutney and turkey juice though my favorite would still be the traditional cranberry and giblet sauces.

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The second option was the Pan Seared Norwegian Salmon & Scallop, served with spear asparagus, tomato tartar, chives potato cream, and lime hollandaise. Every items on the plate complemented the perfectly pan seared salmon real well.

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The third option which was the Pan Roasted Rack of Lamb was my favorite amongst the 3 options. The dish was served with glazed onions, confit cherry tomatoes, braised lamb pie with some balsamic lamb juice. It was the heavenly dish that would linger in my mind for quite awhile.

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To clear the heaviness of the food you had consumed earlier, they have a pre-dessert of Ginger Lime Granita. It may look like some crushed ice but the flavors were just right with some crunchy texture.

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The dessert was rather unique as the Chocolate Mousse Cake was skillfully decorated with some caramelized popcorns, caramelized banana, coconut gelee with an assortment of berries. 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 with a Christmas Cookie to end your meal. I would recommend you to have their coffee as they are using 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. It was the perfect beverage to end the meal.

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In case you can’t make it on Christmas Eve, you can also check out their December Set Dinner Promotion at RM98++/pax (1-31 December 2015 except Christmas Eve). Here’s the menu.

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While waiting for your meal to be served, you would always get to try out their in-house made bread roll with butter.

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To start off, you could savor their Soft Shelled Crab Salad with Sesame Dressing as appetizer. With some crunches of the batter fried soft shelled crab combined with the many greens plus fragrantly pepped up sesame dressing, it was a great start before the main meal.

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We were then served with Chicken & Corn Soup. I quite like the texture and flavors of this soup. At least there were some bites in it.

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There are 3 options for the main course such as poultry, fish and lamb rack.

The first option was the David Brown’s Poulet, served with roasted herbed potatoes, steamed vegetables and gravy. This was quite a fusion dish with the L-shaped chicken drumsticks being marinated with dozen types of herbs and spices. For those who prefer stronger flavors, this dish would suit you well.

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The second option was the Pan Seared Grouper, served with potato croquette, steamed vegetables and wasabi mayonnaise. It was a fuss-free dish for a dinner option.

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The last option was the Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb, served with potato fondant, steamed vegetables and lamb juice. It was not a bad choice actually, considering that the meat was tender and juicy to my liking.

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As for dessert, it was the heavenly Chocolate Brownie with their signature homemade Caffe Vergnano 1882 Espresso Chocolate Ice Cream. The slightly crispy crusted and moist brownie combined with the earthly bitter sweet ice cream was the perfect dessert to end the meal.

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If you get enough of the ice cream, you could always order coffee rather than tea to end the meal. They would be serving Coffee or Tea with Christmas Cookie during this season.

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Overall, I do find some of the dishes served here to be quite impressive, especially the Christmas Eve Set Dinner. It might be a hefty sum for some to foot but you can be assured of quality ingredients being used in the menu. Just take a short getaway up the hills and be mesmerized with the cool breezy and scenic night view of the island. I’m sure you would not regret making that decision.

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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