Savoring The Best All Over Town…

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 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 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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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

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)


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