Art & Soul

Special thanks to Hotel NEO+ for extending this food review invitation.

Hotel NEO+ is located at the junction of Jalan Gurdwara and Lebuh Presgrave. This 196-room hotel is best known for its youthful appearance, particularly the iconic white wigs worn by female staff members of the front desk.
Besides Lemongrass Restaurant which I visited earlier this year, Hotel NEO+ has another eatery at the ground floor: Art & Soul Cafe.
Unlike Lemongrass Restaurant, Art & Soul Cafe is open throughout most of the day. The food menu revolves around light meals such as sandwiches, pizza and pasta. There is also a drinks bar with a decent selection of coffee, juice, milkshake and beer.
Art & Soul Cafe's décor is geared towards the young adult demographic. Stylish tabletops and wooden fittings provide a relaxing setting for youngsters to hang out. Displayed on the walls are stencil portraits of Hollywood legends such as Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.
Art & Soul Cafe is launching the Saturday Special BBQ Skewers promotion. Starting 8:00pm every Saturday, an outdoor grill is fired up to provide a steady stream of skewered meat for hungry customers. Charcoal is used for cooking, which is good news because burning charcoal helps to impart meats a light sense of toastiness.
Cajun Beef (RM14.00) is cooked to "medium done" in steakhouse lexicon. Teriyaki Chicken (RM8.00) is appealing thanks to its sweet-savory glaze. Juiciness and tender texture of Grilled Seabass Assam Fillet (RM8.00) are preserved by folding it in aluminium foil. Cajun Prawns (RM10.00) may require fingers to become oily as their shells often get in the way of silverware. Lastly, Jumbo Chicken Pepper Sausage (RM8.00) is cut into 3 segments and is interleaved with bell peppers and onion. Pari Belacan Bakar (RM12.00), or Barbecued Belacan Ray, is not available today.
As for condiments, peri-peri, chili, teriyaki and black pepper sauces are available.
The atmosphere in Art & Soul Cafe is kept lively by a local band. Live music runs from 8:30pm to 11:00pm every Saturday. This week, the evening crowd is entertained by one Leo & Viv, a vocal-and-keyboard band from the local artiste arena.
With relaxing music filling the ears, it is even nicer to get my hands on a frothy glass of Carlsberg draught beer (RM18.00). In fact, there is an ongoing Daily Happy Hour from 3:00pm to 8:00pm: Purchase 2 Pilsner glasses and get the third glass on the house!
If beer is not your cup of tea, consider pampering yourself with a monthly special beverage such as Captain Oat Milkshake (RM15.00). This drink is made from oats, milk, vanilla ice cream and honey.
Another monthly special is Mr. Peanut (RM15.00), a sweet-buttery drink made from peanut butter, milk and vanilla ice cream.
As for coffee, Art & Soul Cafe uses espresso extracted from illy coffee beans. I wouldn't go as far to say that this is the best coffee out there, but you can't go wrong with illy for most of the time. My cup of Black Coffee (RM10.00) comes with a piece of marshmallow.
Name: Art & Soul Cafe
Address: 68, Jalan Gurdwara, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-255-1000
Business hours: 11:00am-11:00pm (Sunday-Friday), 11:00am-12:00am (Saturday)
Website: http://www.neohotels.com/en/location/overview/57/Hotel-NEO--Penang---Malaysia
Coordinates: 5.41229 N, 100.32847 E
Directions: Hotel NEO+ is located at the junction of Jalan Gurdwara and Lebuh Presgrave of George Town. Art & Soul Cafe is located on the ground level, right next to the lobby entrance. Multi-level parking is available.

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