Café Laurel

This article is part of my Chinese New Year 2020 compilation.

Special thanks to Evergreen Laurel Hotel Penang for extending this food review invitation.

Evergreen Laurel Hotel Penang is a 5-star hotel at Gurney Drive (Persiaran Gurney). The property is managed by Evergreen Group, a multinational logistics and aviation company based in Taiwan. This evening, Evergreen Laurel Hotel is hosting a preview of the upcoming Chinese New Year buffets.
There will be 5 buffet session during the festive season, all of which are held at Café Laurel. The most lavish one is the reunion dinner on Chinese New Year's Eve (24 January 2020). Throughout the evening, guests will be entertained by the God of Prosperity (财神) and a live band. Café Laurel is also serving buffet high tea and dinner for the first 2 days of Chinese New Year. Customers enjoy 15% discount when they dine on these 2 days.
Right off the bat, Deep-Fried Prawns capture my attention immediately. Although looks can be deceiving in some cases, I must say that the prawns are delightfully sweet and crunchy.
Next, Braised Lamb is cooked with cream sauce that helps to mask the lamb's strong smell. The dish is garnished with vegetables and fritters.
As for poultry, the Braised Chicken is cooked to perfection. Not only is the meat succulent, the brown skin is delectable too.
Pan-Fried Fish is easily my favorite dish this evening. Appetizing aroma permeates the vicinity as soon as the lid is removed. The fish fillets are flavored with sweet-and-sour sauce that it does not overwhelm my palate.
Moving to the cold cuts section, there are smoked fish, smoked chicken, chicken slices and seasoned baby octopus. As for health-conscious diners, there is a salad bar with fresh vegetables and dressings.
The buffet's Japanese section is well received too. Chilled slices of salmon and tuna sashimi (刺身) are served with condiments like wasabi (山葵) and soy sauce. Futomaki (太巻き), or thick sushi rolls, are prepared too.
The action counter prepares Char Koay Teow (炒粿条), Penang's most popular stir-fried dish. Ingredients used are flat rice noodles, prawns, squids, fishcakes, eggs, bean sprouts, garlic chives and chili paste.
The pastry section has a variety of sweet confections like red velvet cake, chocolate pound cake, strawberry mousse cake, chocolate layer cake, pandan sponge cakes, cheesecake, cream puffs and fruit tartlets.
At the end of the meal, cleanse your palate with cut fruits like rose apples, oranges, pineapples and watermelon. Assorted fruit jellies and panna cotta are available too.
In addition, Evergreen Laurel Hotel is serving banquet-style set meals from 24 January 2020 to 8 February 2020. There are 2 menu options: RM1,088.00 net and RM1,388.00 net per table. Reservation is highly recommended as slots are being filled quickly.
Name: Café Laurel
Address: 53, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-222-9988
Business hours: 6:30am-10:00pm
Coordinates: 5.43130 N, 100.31779 E
Directions: Evergreen Laurel Hotel Penang is located at the eastern end of Gurney Drive (Persiaran Gurney). Café Laurel is located next to the lobby. Evergreen Laurel Hotel has multi-storey parking, which is accessible from Gurney Drive and Kelawai Road (Jalan Kelawai).

The Light Hotel

This article is part of my Chinese New Year 2020 compilation.

Special thanks to The Light Hotel for extending this food review invitation.

When it comes to festive decorations, The Light Hotel never fails to impress me. For the Chinese New Year later this month, the hotel is welcoming the Festival of Spring with a mesmerizing cherry blossom garden in the lobby.
This evening, The Light Hotel is giving a sneak peek at its upcoming Chinese New Year buffets. The main event is the Grand Prosperity Reunion Buffet Dinner on Chinese New Year's Eve (24 January 2020). Held at The Light Grand Ballroom, the buffet is expected to draw a crowd of 1,000.
Yee sang (鱼生) is often served during Chinese New Year as it is a symbol of one achieving greater heights in the upcoming year. This round, The Light Hotel's Fatt Choy Yee Sang is decorated to spell the Chinese character for "prosperity" (福).
The Hot Pot action station is the main attraction this evening. Diners can choose from a variety of marine delicacies like freshwater prawns (udang galah), tiger prawns, slipper lobsters, flower crabs and green-lipped mussels.
Hot Pot comes with 3 choices of soup: clear soup, tom yam soup and spicy shrimp broth. I opted for clear soup, which is very rich in flavor. I must also say that the seafood ingredients are extremely fresh. Be sure to try the Hot Pot!
Diners who love Seafood On Ice can help themselves to tiger prawns, snow crabs, scallops and mussels. Once again, the seafood items are absolutely fresh. Various dipping sauces are provided.
The buffet menu includes homemade Dim Sum (点心) that is prepared by the hotel's full-time dim sum chef. The large steamer baskets contain siew mai dumplings, baozi and yong tau foo.
Jiu hu char (鱿鱼炒) is a salad of dried cuttlefish, jicama and carrots. Diners can also help themselves to crab cakes, crab sticks, money bags and meat rolls.
Roast Lamb Leg is served with black pepper sauce, barbecue sauce and mint chutney. As for poultry, there are Roast Chicken and Char Siew Chicken too.
Moving on to chafing dishes, Kam Heong Chicken is easily one of my favorite ones. The chicken cutlets are stir-fried with fragrant "kam heong" (甘香) sauce, and then garnished with bell peppers of various colors. This gives the dish an attractive look in line with the festive spirit of Lunar New Year.
There are several Western dishes in the buffet menu; Chicken & Potato Pie is a notable one. The dish is quite satisfying despite its simple appearance.
Next, Italian cuisine is represented by Seafood Lasagna and Pasta Carbonara. The former has prawns and squids between layers of pasta.
Malay cooking is best represented by Telur Masak Lemak. The hard-boiled eggs are cooked in a creamy curry infused with coconut milk.
The Light Hotel is also renowned for its nasi kandar fare. The dishes are elegantly presented in fancy brass pots.
Nasi kandar dishes this evening are Nasi Briyani, Mutton Curry, Fish Varuval, Vegetable Dalcha and more.
Finally, the dessert section offers interesting choices like Shanghai pancakes, Chinese butter cake and mandarin orange cake. There is also an assortment of Chinese New Year cookies like bahulu (鸡蛋糕).
Tangyuan (汤圆) is quite popular during Chinese New Year as it symbolizes family reunion. The dessert consists of glutinous rice balls cooked in ginger-infused syrup. The larger rice balls are filled with sweet black sesame paste too.
Western confections are also present this evening. Examples are chocolate cake, mango cake, chocolate tart and French pastries.
The Grand Prosperity Reunion Buffet Dinner is priced at RM138.00+ per person. As for customers who are unable to secure a seat on Chinese New Year's Eve, The Light Hotel is serving buffet high tea and buffet dinner on the next 2 days. These buffet sessions will be held at Spice Brasserie.
Furthermore, The Light Hotel also offers 8-course set dinner, yee sang and pun choy (盆菜) throughout this festive season. Make a reservation today before the seats are taken up!

Name: The Light Hotel
Address: Lebuh Tenggiri 2, Pusat Bandar Seberang Jaya, 13700 Seberang Jaya, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-382-1111
Business hours: 12:00pm-3:00pm, 6:30pm-10:00pm
Coordinates: 5.39429 N, 100.39853 E
Directions: From Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan (North-South Expressway), take the Seberang Jaya exit and head west. Turn left just before the pedestrian bridge and drive all the way to the end. When the road splits, keep right. The Light Hotel is the first building on the left. The Light Grand Ballroom is located at Level 1, while Spice Brasserie is located next to the lobby. There are parking spaces within the hotel's compound. The parking fee is RM6.00 per entry.

Lexis Suites

This article is part of my Chinese New Year 2020 compilation.

Special thanks to Lexis Suites Penang for extending this food review invitation.

Lexis Suites Penang is welcoming Chinese New Year with a large festive backdrop in the lobby. The 12-year Chinese zodiac has come a full cycle, so it is now the Year of the Rat!
The hotel's flagship restaurant is Roselle Coffee House. This evening, the coffeehouse is hosting a media preview for its upcoming Chinese New Year buffet.
There will be 3 buffet sessions this year. On Chinese New Year's Eve (24 January 2020), dinner will be held en masse at the Hibiscus Grand Ballroom. For the next 2 days (25 January 2020 and 26 January 2020), lunch will be served at Roselle instead.
It is customary to toss yee sang (鱼生) during Chinese New Year. It is believed that the higher one tosses, the greater heights one achieves in the upcoming year. For today's preview, the yee sang platter is elaborately decorated to welcome the Year of the Rat!
Poon Choi (盆菜) is traditionally prepared in a large basin since the food is meant to be consumed communally. Lexis' version contains delicacies like abalones, scallops, prawns, fish maws and mushrooms. The dish is also topped with fat choy (发菜).
Poon Choi is customarily paired with Yook Poon (肉盘). The latter comprises of roast duck and roast chicken in savory gravy.
Eight Treasure Chicken (八宝鸡) contains fillings like water chestnuts, ginkgo nuts and lotus seeds. Each ingredient is meant to represent something auspicious. For instance, ginkgo nut represents wealth because it looks like a syree (元宝).
As for chafing dishes, Steamed Fish Fillet is served with broccoli and Japanese soy sauce (醤油). Shredded vegetables on top give this dish some festive colors.
Another delectable dish is Braised Bailing Mushrooms & Sea Cucumber. The dish is garnished with broccoli, cauliflowers and carrots.
Next, Lexis Spicy Prawns are cooked with fiery chili paste that will definitely tantalize your taste buds. You have been warned!
Assorted dim sum (点心) and mantou (馒头) are kept warm in large steamer baskets. Condiments provided are sweet sauce and chili sauce.
Japanese delicacies are supplied Umi Japanese Restaurant downstairs. The sashimi (刺身) platter attracts me with delectable slices of salmon, butterfish and scallops. Several types of sushi (寿司) are prepared too.
Seafood on ice includes scallops, mussels, snow crabs, prawns and slipper lobsters. Condiments like cocktail sauce and lemon wedges are provided.
I am pleased to delight my palate with gourmet cheeses, cold cuts and smoked salmon. Other interesting delicacies are Thai spicy beef salad and seasoned baby octopus. There is also a salad bar that serves fresh produce and dressings.
Finally for desserts, I cannot resist the temptation to sample traditional Chinese New Year cookies such as beehive cookies (蜂窝饼), peanut cookies (花生饼), mung bean cookies (绿豆饼), pineapple tarts (凤梨酥) and kuih kapit (夹必糕). There is also a basket of Nyonya kuih to evoke nostalgia of the past.
On the evening of New Year's Eve, diners will be entertained by a series of events such as mask-changing performance, God of Prosperity, live band and lucky draw. Early birds who make their booking by 20 January 2020 get 20% discount. Simply scan the QR code below (or click here) and then enter the code "LSPCNY20". This offer only applies to the Chinese New Year's Eve Dinner and the regular adult price.
As for customers who prefer to dine in a more formal setting, Lexis serves set lunch and dinner from 24 January 2020 to 8 February 2020. There are 3 menus to choose from. The price ranges from RM988.00 to RM1,388.00 per table of 10. Each meal comes with complimentary yee sang.
Shown here is the RM1,188.00 set menu. The 9 dishes in this menu are:
- Prosperity Norwegian Fresh Salmon Yee Sang
- Hot & Cold Dishes Combination
- Seafood Soup with Fish Maw, Crab Meat & Dried Scallops
- Steamed Wrapped Herbal Chicken
- Braised Dried Oysters, Sea Moss, Dried Scallops & Assorted Mushrooms
- Stir-Fried Szechuan Flavored White Sea Prawns
- Steamed Red Snapper With King Soya Sauce
- Fried Rice With Diced Chicken & Dried Shrimps Wrapped In Lotus Leaf
- Double-Boiled Peach Gum, Chia Seeds & Rose Flowers
Last but not least, the hotel's Jackpot! Salmon Yee Sang Platter is available for dine-in and take-away. This offer is available from 20 January 2020 to 8 February 2020.
Name: Lexis Suites Penang
Address: 28, Jalan Teluk Kumbar, 11920 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-628-2888
Business hours: 12:00pm-3:00pm, 6:30pm-10:30pm
Coordinates: 5.28697 N, 100.23254 E
Directions: From Bayan Lepas, drive along Jalan Teluk Kumbar towards the intersection with Jalan Gertak Sanggul. Lexis Suites Penang is the tall building on the left just before the intersection. Hibiscus Grand Ballroom is located at Level 1, while Roselle Coffee House is located at the Mezzanine Floor. There are parking spaces inside the hotel.