August 28, 2011
Invited Review : Spice Market Cafe @ Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Penang
Believe it or not, this was my first visit to Spice Market Cafe but I have to say that its superior level of customer orientation had given me a very good impression.
Not knowing what to anticipate, we were greeted with very sophisticated interior with clean lines upon setting our foot into Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa. As we reached pretty early, we took a stroll along the walkway to the gardens and pool area; and was in awe by the lush greenness of the aptly named Garden wing itself:
Spice Market Cafe went all the way to accentuate the theme of their restaurant by the classic trishaw as well as adorning all the spices on the left after the entrance. The cashier area was unique too, and I liked how they put it "Spice - the tastes that shaped Penang."
The upmarket yet cozy atmosphere played a good role in enhancing the entire dining experience. There were walls with elaborated tea elements; and for guests who would prefer outdoor-sy kind of dining, the outdoor seating were ample and comfortable as well.
Being a family-oriented resort, we could also find a children's area where games can be played and food is always in sight.
The Spice Market Cafe buffet lines were basically made up of a few key areas:
Salad and Appetizers
Though there were only 6 types of salad choices available, nonetheless the dressing options available were aplenty and guests can definitely find one or more that appeals to them.
As for cold appetizers, the varieties were not only elaborate, they even serve different types of cheese as well, this is something I don't see very often anyway.
Bread-lovers alike will definitely be delighted to know that they can pick from the array from bread available, as well as sample from the elegantly spread-out items the likes of oven-dried tomatoes with fresh basil and garlic, oven roasted pumpkin with honey, etc.
At the Japanese station, one can find varieties of Sushi and Maki as well as my favourite Chuka Kurage!
I was fairly impressed with the intricate spread at the Indian station. They not only had naan, papadom, satay, but also a wide array of condiments to go with all the delicacies along this station. I liked Chicken Tikka the most here. Tandoori did make an impression too. The Mushroom Curry was unique and I really loved all the spices that made up the dishes at this station. I guess the Spice Market theme complemented the Indian station the most.
I was not really aware what this station was for at first until I saw the chef preparing an egg omelet with the condiments that a guest picked out. Boy, they sure was capable of dishing out many different types of eggs!
We sampled a unique Fish and Spinach wrapped in Puff Pastry with butter sauce here. The fish was soft and the spinach tender. Paired with butter sauce, it was not bad at all. I did not try the Herb Roasted Chicken on the right though, as I wanted to sample other delicacies.
Chinese and Noodles
There were a station full of noodles, soba, yong tau foo, vegetables and condiments to suit any guests' palette. Too bad that we could not afford to fit any of these into our stomach!
On the dim sum corner, there were paos as well as dim sum as well. There were also other food items featured at this station where we managed to sample the Malay Spices Ox-tail Soup and Beef Bergedil.
There were plenty of offerings for seafood lovers! Fresh prawns, Scallop, Mussel and not forgetting Cray Fish as well. Each of them comes with dressing and sauce which complements them perfectly. Super fresh!
Fruit Juice Station
Guests can choose from Orange, Apple, Guava, Pineapple juices from this station. OJ is still our all-time favourite :)
We were definitely taken by surprise by the elaborate offerings at their huge dessert area! There was a glass encase filled with mini cakes and sweet tooth varieties like cheese cake, Eclair; there was a tempting display of log cakes like Blackforest, Tiramisu, Passion Fruit Mousse; a Chocolate fondue station; a Cendol-making station, even a candy-floss station which never fails to attract kids and kids-at-heart alike. I was particularly drawn to a tiny spot where a gem was hidden - Cherry and Peach Crumble with Vanilla Sauce. I am such a sucker for crumbles and puddings.
There were other available cuisines that I couldn't really pinpoint which categories they fall into - Lamb Stew, Harissa Spiced Beef Kebab with Peppers, Roasted Carrot Soup with Cumin and Coriander; etc.
Some of the items that we sampled
Spice Market Cafe's Executive Sous Chef Mr. Lim came over and took the liberty to share with us Spice Market Cafe's main theme, i.e. presenting Classic and Traditional cuisines, and went extra miles in elaborating the various standards practiced such as Shangri-la Food Safety Management System and HACCP, which are stringent control processes governing the storage, preparation, cooling, reheat of the food that will ultimately be served here to the guests.
We also had a chance to meet Jessica from Sydney who shared with us her passion to have been with Rasa Sayang Penang for 6 months now and still loving her job - good on ya!
One for the album - thanks to Chef Lim and Jessica, as well as Jason and Gill from Gourmet Garden!
It was coincidentally Pamela's birthday and it was thoughtful for Chef Lim and team to have prepared a lovely cheese cake for the occasion.
Not only cake was served, birthday girl also had the privilege to sample freshly prepared Minced Beef Ramen :)
For those of you who love to sample buffet offerings amongst a cozy atmosphere, set within a lush green Resort hotel where customer orientation and high stringent standards in food preparation are the utmost priority, this is the place you would want to be.