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

Special thanks to Olive Tree Hotel for extending this food review invitation.

As the Lunar New Year is fast approaching, Olive Tree Hotel is welcoming the Year of the Rat with festive ornaments in the lobby. As for dining, the hotel is serving Festive Buffet Dinner at Sukkah Coffee House on selected days.
As per tradition, the Chinese New Year feast begins with the tossing of yee sang (鱼生). Since the meal is served in a buffet setting, the restaurant provides do-it-yourself Olive Tree Yee Sang. Diners can choose from a variety of ingredients like daikon, carrots, sesame seeds, pomelo, crackers, plum sauce and sesame oil.
As for cooked dishes, Grilled Sea Bass Fillets stand out most prominently. The dish is served with beurre blanc and pineapple salsa, and then garnished with colorful bell peppers and capers.
Squid In Chef's Superior Sauce is another attractive dish. The squid is cut in a criss-cross pattern in order to take full advantage of the savory sauce.
Moving to the action counter, Oriental Crispy Duck is roasted to golden perfection, and then wrapped in steamed mantou. Sweet bean sauce and spring onions are added too.
I am most impressed with the Herbal Chicken Drumstick Soup, which is infused with Chinese herbs like Chinese liquorice (甘草) and scented Solomon's seal (玉竹). The soup is served with choy sum and springy egg noodle.
Diners can help themselves to Japanese delicacies such as maki rolls, inari (fried tofu) and seasoned baby octopus. Fruit rojak, keropok (crackers) and century eggs are available too.
The pastry team has prepared a variety of mouthwatering confections like mandarin orange profiteroles, orange cream cake and koi fish jelly. Traditional Chinese New Year treats like nian gao (年糕) and festive cookies are present too.
End the meal on a sweet note with a bowl of Leng Chee Kang (莲子羹). Diners can add ingredients like lotus seeds, ginkgo nuts, snow fungus and basil seeds. The dessert can be served hot or with shaved ice. The hot version is quite sweet, so you may need to water it down a bit.
Olive Tree Hotel's Festive Buffet Dinner is available on 4 days only: 17, 18, 26 and 31 January 2020. The buffet price is RM98.00+ for adults, RM58.00+ for children and RM78.00+ for senior citizens.
Olive Tree Hotel also serves Chinese New Year Set Menu in The Olive. The 8-course dinner is priced at RM1,088.00+ per table and requires a minimum of 2 tables. This promotion is available between 9 January 2020 and 1 March 2020. Prior reservation is required.
Alternatively, diners can opt for the Steamboat Set Menu which includes yee sang and desserts. In addition, à la carte yee sang (for dine-in or take-away) comes in 4 different versions. These deals are offered from 9 January 2020 to 1 March 2020.
Name: Sukkah Coffee House
Address: 76, Jalan Mahsuri, 11950 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-637-7873
Business hours: 6:00am-10:00pm
Coordinates: 5.32692 N, 100.27932 E
Directions: Olive Tree Hotel is located at Bayan Baru, just across the street from SPICE Arena. Sukkah is located at Level 1, just above a flight of elevator from the lobby. The hotel's multi-storey parking charges RM3.00 for the first hour, then RM1.00 for each subsequent hour.

Spice Market

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

Special thanks to Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa for extending this food review invitation.

Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa welcomes the Year of the Rat with sumptuous buffet meals at Spice Market Café. The special menus are designed by Executive Chef Leong and his culinary crew. Today's media event highlights several specialty dishes that will be served during the upcoming festive season.
One of the signature dishes in the buffet is Sweet & Sour Sea Bass, which is served "squirrel"-style. This means that the fish is deboned and cut in a cross-hatch pattern prior to frying. As a result, the cooked fish resembles the bushy tail of a squirrel.
Eight Treasure Chicken is infused with herbal flavors of scented Solomon's seal (玉竹) and wolfberries (枸杞). The chicken is steamed in aluminium foil to keep the flavors intact.
The next dish is Tiger Prawns In Pumpkin Sauce. Presented in a hollowed-out pumpkin, the shrimps are sweet and crunchy indeed.
One should not overlook Steamed Tofu With Scallops either. The delicacy is garnished with wolfberries and coriander.
The pastry team is also preparing festive desserts such as Green Tea Chocolate Tart, Mandarin Orange Cake, Pandan Chiffon Cake, Lychee Flan, Orange Cream Puffs and more.
For the upcoming Lunar New Year, Spice Market Café will be having 4 festive buffet sessions: Reunion Buffet Dinner (24 January 2020), Chinese New Year Brunch (25 January 2020) and Spice & Happiness Buffet Dinner (25 January 2020 and 26 January 2020).
In addition, take-away yee sang is available at Rasa Deli between 24 January 2020 and 8 February 2020. There are 4 versions to choose from.
Rasa Sayang's sister property, Golden Sands Resort, is also having Chinese-themed buffets concurrently. The meals will be served at Garden Cafe and Sigi's Bar & Grill.
Name: Spice Market Café
Address: Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Jalan Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-888-8888
Business hours: 6:30am-10:30pm
Website: Click here
Coordinates: 5.47972 N, 100.25466 E
Directions: From Tanjung Bungah, travel west towards Batu Ferringhi. Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is approximately 4.2 kilometers from Tanjung Bungah's floating mosque, located on the right. Spice Market Café is at Lobby level of the Garden wing.

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.