Wembley Cafe

Special thanks to The Wembley for extending this food review invitation.

Although The Wembley is open for around a year, this is my first visit to its flagship Wembley Cafe. Located at Level 2 of the hotel, this 24-hour eatery serves buffet lunch and dinner every day.
Each day of the week, Wembley Cafe features a different theme in its buffet lineup. One of the most popular menus is the Wembley Seafood on Saturdays. As the name implies, this buffet features a respectable number of seafood delicacies to satiate each guest's lustful appetite.
The ice-chilled counter features several irresistible denizens of the ocean, including the superstar snow crabs. Other shellfish include oysters, mussels, scallops and shrimps.
As the shellfish are served cold (but cooked), a bottle of fiery Tabasco sauce is necessary to spice things up.
Meanwhile at the hot plate, a giant fillet of grilled butterfish awaits. Although its texture is acceptable, I think butterfish may not be the best choice of fish here, especially when no dressing or condiments are available. I think grouper and barramundi will prove to be more flavorful alternatives.
Taking a detour to the poultry section, roast duck (烤鸭), duck feet (鸭掌), soy eggs (卤蛋) and soy bean curd (卤豆腐) are available. Like the grilled fish, I think it is better to leave these items somewhere more easily accessible, considering the fact that the station is not staffed anyway.
Salmon With Buttered Leeks & Chilli Salsa is quite delectable indeed. I appreciate the juicy pink flesh, which until quite recently, I learnt that is not the natural color of farmed Atlantic salmon.
The next dish is Kung-Po Mussels With Chinese Crullers. I am not sure whether there is a misnomer because I do not see any Chinese crullers.
I think the Baked Scallop With Cheese Mayonnaise is slightly overcooked. I personally prefer the scallops detach from their shells more easily.
Meanwhile, I find the Wok Fried Prawns With Coconut And Oats to be reasonably delectable, thanks to the crispy and aromatic batter coating.
Seafood Thermidor is a lasagna-like dish served in small cups. My impression of "thermidor" is a dish of creamy seafood mixture stuffed into the shell of a shellfish, such as lobsters and shrimps.
As for something greener, there is a dish of Braised Sea Cucumber, Mushroom And Greens. I am not sure whether sea cucumber was deliberately omitted, because as far as I can tell, I do not see any.
The Fish Pie With Dill Mash Potato presents an interesting appeal. Firstly, I find the pastry puff to be delightfully flaky but not too doughy. As for the pie fillings, potatoes take a more prominent role than fish. This is a good call because too much fish in a pie can be surfeiting.
Moving on to Spaghetti With Spicy Asian Prawn Bisque, I find the name to be peculiar as the pasta is very dry. Nevertheless, I enjoy the spicy-tangy seasoning which makes it reasonably appetizing.
Moving back to land animals, there is a serving of Lamb Chop With Hickory BBQ Sauce. Tender cuts of mutton near the ribs are flavored with sweet, smoky hickory syrup.
Towards the end of the buffet line, Rosemary & Honey Roasted Vegetables act as counterbalance to the meat-heavy dishes so far.
For quick bites, there are a number of Asian-style delicacies such as chicken satay (skewer) in peanut sauce, chicken wings and money bag wontons.
If cold cuts are your cup of tea, beef pepperoni, chicken pepperoni and smoked duck are available at your disposal. In addition, there are also Japanese-style pickled jellyfish (中華クラゲ) and baby octopus (中華イイダコ).
I have a peculiar fondness for soft and hard cheese, which is why I am attracted to the cheese section like mice (although it has been scientifically shown that mice are not as fond of cheese as other foodstuff). Types of cheese available here are Blue Cheese, Cheddar, Camembert and Swiss.
The soft-ripened Camembert is my favorite due to its rich, creamy flavor. Meanwhile, Blue Cheese sports the strongest flavor and is best enjoyed with some crackers à la canapé.

Sashimi lovers can indulge in chilled slices of raw salmon (サーモン), butterfish (白い鮪) and tuna (鮪).
There are also a handful of sushi (寿司) varieties, mostly with seafood toppings like scallops (帆立) and octopus (蛸). Personally, the sushi section does not attract me as much as cooked seafood.
Moving on to desserts, there is chocolate fondue with dips such as marshmallows, dried apricots and fresh strawberries.
The British-style Bread & Butter Pudding is worth sampling in small quantities, but can be surfeiting in larger amounts due to the presence of nuts.
Several types of tarts, cakes, local kuih and jellies also populate the dessert section.
Personally, I feel that the dessert section is somewhat lackluster. What it really needs is a distinctive theme and a carefully-crafted menu. It is not necessary to have a wide variety of confectionery. Instead, I am looking forward to more exciting pastry items.
After a heavy meal, it is prudent to wash away any lingering aftertaste with some fruits like watermelon, papaya, pitaya (dragon fruit), honeydew and orange.
As for drinks, guests can help themselves with one of the espresso machines, literally with the press of a button. I feel that the latte is pretty good. Granted that coffee takes around 2 minutes to prepare, but its smoothness and pleasantly milky consistency are definitely worth the wait.
Wembley Cafe's weekend buffet dinner is priced at RM95.00 per adult and RM48.00 per child. Senior citizens enjoy reduced price of RM66.00. Non-hotel guests can get their parking tickets validated for a flat rate of RM6.00 per entry.

Name: Wembley Cafe
Address: 183, Jalan Magazine, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-259-8123
Business hours: 24 hours
Website: http://www.stgiles.com/hotels/malaysia/penang/stgiles-wembley/wembley-cafe
Coordinates: 5.41302 N, 100.33000 E
Directions: The Wembley is located at Magazine Road (Jalan Magazine), just opposite of Hotel Jen. Wembley Cafe is located at Level 2 of the hotel. There is a multilevel parking garage at the hotel. Patrons to Wembley Cafe can get their parking tickets validated for a flat rate of RM6.00 per entry.

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