Kota

Special thanks to Kota Dine & Coffee for extending this food review invitation.

Fort Cornwallis (Kota Cornwallis) is an imposing fort at the heart of George Town's historic district. The military fortification served as the administrative center of Prince of Wales Island (Penang Island) during the British colonial era. It was named after Charles Cornwallis (1738-1805), the Governor-General of Bengal at the time.
Kota Dine & Coffee is an upscale restaurant inside Fort Cornwallis. The air-conditioned eatery serves local (especially Nyonya) cuisine with a twist of modern influences. A life size statue of Captain Francis Light (1740-1794) greets customers at the restaurant's entrance.
Today's meal begins with Kota's Pie Tee (RM18.00), a popular Peranakan (Nyonya) snack that uses crispy tart shells. The shells are filled with a savory mixture of shredded sole fish, jicama (sengkuang) and carrots. This appetizer comes with scrambled egg, sambal belacan (spicy shrimp paste) and lime.
Next, Otak-Otak Nyonya Fish Custard (RM18.00) is a seafood cake made from fish, squid and scallop. Although seasoned with spices, this delicacy is mildly spicy by Malaysian standards. The word "otak-otak" means "brains" in Malay, which is in reference to its soft texture.
The meal proceeds to Nyonya Lemak Salad (RM18.00), which features a pumpkin bowl with grilled pumpkin and vegetables inside. Thick turmeric dressing serves as dipping sauce. I am also impressed with the unique taste of seaweed tofu. Other salad ingredients are cherry tomatoes, ginger flower, lemongrass and mint leaves.
Kapitan Chicken Burger (RM22.00) integrates the traditional Nyonya-style chicken curry into a modern snack. Besides the chicken patty, burger also contains cheddar cheese, caramelized onion and lettuce. I appreciate the chewy texture of the burger bun. This dish comes with a basket of curly fries.
Moving on, Kota's Chicken Satay (RM22.00) is kept warm over burning charcoal. Sweet-and-spicy peanut sauce is provided. Skewers of pressed rice, cherry tomatoes, shallots and cucumber also take advantage of the dipping sauce. For the satay, I think the taste of turmeric ought to be more prominent.
The next dish is Barramundi Nyonya Sauce (RM28.00). The slice of steamed fish is reasonably firm in texture. It is elegantly flavored with the spicy-sweetness of Nyonya chili sauce. Shimeji mushrooms and okra (lady's fingers) are served on the side. The dish is accompanied by a serving of brown rice that contains black beans, corn kernels, garlic chips and fried leek.
Lamb Shank Curry (RM53.00) is perhaps one of the best dishes at Kota. Cooked in Indian-style curry, the lamb is delightfully tender off the bone. The lamb is rightly paired with a serving of Indian-style basmati rice with ghee, spices and fried leek.
Another recommended dish is Kota Cannonball Chicken Rice (RM25.00). The grilled chicken is beautifully seasoned with honey-sweet sauce, striking a chord with my palate. Between the red chili sauce and green chili sauce, the former seems to work better for me. Meanwhile, the spherical rice balls resemble the ones served at Jonker Walk, Malacca.
To cater to vegetarians, Kota has crafted a handful of meatless dishes. For example, Fried Brown Rice (RM25.00) is served with imitation lamb, scrambled egg, black beans, diced carrot and corn kernels.
The beverage menu includes three iced drinks that are based on calamansi-flavored soda. Firstly, Signature (RM16.00) is concocted from lemongrass, mint leaves and ginger flower. Next, the tangy Sunrise (RM16.00) is prepared from passion fruit, mango, orange and mint leaves, while Sunset (RM16.00) contains a refreshing mixture of watermelon, lychee and mint leaves.
All in all, Kota presents traditional Nyonya dishes in a creative approach. Furthermore, the food presentation here is absolutely commendable; I appreciate the fact that the restaurant uses such refined porcelain tableware!
Admission to Fort Cornwallis is RM10.00 for Malaysian citizens. The ticket price can be deducted from the total bill subjected to minimum spending of RM20.00 per person. It is noteworthy to mention that the restaurant has received halal certification, making it a fine choice of dining to the general public.

Name: Kota Dine & Coffee
Address: Kota Cornwallis, Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-371-4929
Business hours: 10:30am-10:30pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/KotaDineAndCoffee
Coordinates: 5.42068 N, 100.34418 E
Directions: Fort Cornwallis (Kota Cornwallis) is located opposite the Penang State Assembly Building (Bangunan Dewan Undangan Negeri) on Light Street (Lebuh Light). There are two entrances to the fort: at the east and west walls. Street parking is available around the esplanade at Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah and Jalan Padang Kota Lama. Kota Dine & Coffee is located near the east gate and behind the amphitheater.

Main Street Cafe

This article is part of my Christmas 2018 compilation.

Special thanks to Cititel Penang for extending this food review invitation.

Cititel Penang, the sister property of The Wembley, is next in line to showcase its Christmas-themed buffet. The meal is held at Main Street Cafe, right next to Zhonghua Gourmet Restaurant. In the festive spirit of Christmas, the restaurant has put up a mock fireplace at the entrance.
Starting at the carvery, Roast Turkey and Roast Lamb Leg steal the spotlight right off the bat. The meats are cooked to perfection, making them truly tender and juicy. Also appealing are chestnut stuffings made from chicken and turkey. The stuffings are baked in an oven and then browned on a grill. Giblet gravy and cranberry sauce serve as condiments.
Next, Braised Red Cabbage looks strikingly similar to German rotkraut. The tartness of apples lends flavor to the cabbage. However, I feel that the sharp taste may be overpowering for some people.
Chicken Katsu consists of deep-fried chicken cutlets with crispy breading. The cutlets are sliced and garnished elegantly. This poultry dish goes well with thick tonkatsu sauce.
Wok-fried Prawn is one of the local favorites. The shrimps are coated with savory paste made from salted egg yolks, while curry leaves contribute their appetizing aroma. Other interesting Asian dishes include Beef Teriyaki and Yaki Tori.
The salad bar provides fresh produce such as mesclun mix, broccoli, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers. The kitchen has also prepared a handful of dressings including French, Thousand Island and vinaigrette. Diners who appreciate the Mediterranean style of healthy eating can add olive oil and balsamic vinegar too.
At the chilled seafood section, there are marine delicacies such as oysters, scallops, bay mussels and shrimps. Lemon wedges are particularly important especially for raw oysters.
Moving on to Japanese food, the assortment of sushi (寿司) mostly consists of nigiri (握り) and maki (巻き) types. Sushi is customarily eaten with condiments like wasabi (山葵), soy sauce (醬油) and pickled ginger (ガリ). As for sashimi (刺身), raw slices of salmon, tuna, butterfish and octopus allow diners to eat to their heart's content.
Christmas pastries are an integral aspect of yuletide meals. The centerpiece display is the gingerbread house, which is ostentatiously decorated with candy and icing.
Other traditional confectioneries are Yule Log, Christmas Stollen, Christmas Pudding and Fruitcake.
Diners may also give in to sugar cravings with sweet treats like red velvet cake, cheesecake, gingerbread man, éclairs, apple tarts, brownies and cookies.
The mere sight of glazed doughnuts and macarons is simply irresistible! Also present this evening are green tea mousse, tiramisu and crème brûlée in shot glasses, whereas omochi (お餅) is presented on porcelain spoons. Finally, the chocolate fondue is perfect for cocoa lovers.
Cititel Penang is offering 4 Christmas-themed buffet meals starting 23 December 2018. There are special prices for children and senior citizens. To bring the festive mood to life, Christmas carols will be performed on Christmas Eve from 8:45pm.
Furthermore, Cititel Penang is also serving more buffet sessions around New Year. To stretch your dollar, consider joining the Magical's New Year's Eve Buffet Dinner; for every 5 paying adults, the 6th person's meal is on the house!
Name: Main Street Cafe
Address: 66, Jalan Penang, 10000 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-291-1128
Business hours: 24 hours
Website: http://www.cititelpenang.com/en/dining.html
Coordinates: 5.42156 N, 100.33247 E
Directions: Cititel Penang is a 16-floor building at Penang Road (Jalan Penang). Main Street Cafe is located at the far end from the main entrance. To park, drive past the lobby and up the ramp to Level 2. Parking is charged at RM4.00 per entry.

Wembley Cafe

This article is part of my Christmas 2018 compilation.

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

The Wembley is a prominent hotel along Magazine Road (Jalan Magazine) in George Town. This evening, the 4-star hotel is giving a preview of the upcoming Christmas menu. Themed "Christmas Winter Wonderland", the buffet is served at Wembley Cafe on Level 2.
As per tradition, the yuletide meal centers on Roast Turkey. The delicacy is served with giblet gravy and cranberry sauce. I personally prefer the former as a savory condiment works better with poultry. Meanwhile, the equally succulent stuffing is made from turkey, chicken, chestnuts, herbs and spices.
The Asian tapas section presents light snacks such as meatballs, otak-otak, oyster omelette (蚵煎) and satay. For something even lighter to keep the appetite up, get some crispy crackers like keropok and papadum.
Seafood on ice covers marine delicacies such as snow crabs, shrimps, green-lipped mussels, bay mussels, oysters and scallops. In addition, diners who love Japanese food can help themselves with assorted sushi (寿司) and sashimi (刺身).
Tempura (天麩羅) is served at the à la minute counter. The choices are shrimps, mushrooms, eggplants, sweet potatoes and more. The main appeal of tempura is the crispy batter. Be sure to consume tempura while it is still hot from the fryer.
As for red meat, the dish of Sliced Lamb Leg is garnished with Lebanese fattoush salad. Another recommended choice is Smoked Beef Medallions. The accompanying sauce is prepared from chestnuts and tarragon.
I am quite satisfied with the dish of Mussels With Citrus Cilantro Mayonnaise & Ebiko. The green-lipped mussels are baked with mayonnaise-based sauce, and then garnished with shrimp roe to give a mild touch of saltiness. Other notable seafood dishes are Gratinated Oysters, Almond Crusted Salmon and Sea Bass With Nyonya Curry.
Diners who prefer something local can go for Penang Char Koay Teow (槟城炒粿条), Wok-Fried Clams With Tauchu, Inchi Kabin, Nyonya Chap Chai and Wok-Fried Mantis Prawns.
Christmas pastry is a welcoming sight during this festive season. For instance, Christmas Stollen is a traditional German bread that contains candied fruit and nuts. In my opinion, the Christmas Stollen is too sweet for comfort. Other iconic Christmas treats are Yule Log and Gingerbread House.
Another noteworthy mention at the pastry section is Bread Pudding. Sweetened with raisins and cherries, the pudding is best enjoyed with vanilla sauce. In addition, Christmas Panettone is a sweet bread loaf from Milan.
Customers who have a sweet tooth will be delighted by the plethora of confectionery such as fruitcake, red velvet cake, strawberry mousse cake, gingerbread, tiramisu, cupcakes and meringue tarts.
I am most attracted by the ganache-filled chocolate truffles and macarons. Although overlooked by many people, the butter cookies are surprisingly delectable too. Finally, it is a pleasure to conclude the hearty meal with chocolate fondue and ice cream.
The Wembley has several buffet sessions before and during Christmas. But if you have to choose one, go for the Mystical White Wonderland Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner. Sit back and immerse yourself in Christmas hymns from carolers throughout the evening.
There are also several buffet sessions on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. On New Year's Eve, The Wembley is throwing a costume party at the Lobby Lounge while waiting for midnight to strike.
Name: Wembley Cafe
Address: 183, Jalan Magazine, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-259-8123
Business hours: 24 hours
Website: https://www.stgileshotels.com/hotels/malaysia/penang/stgiles-wembley/wembley-cafe
Coordinates: 5.41311 N, 100.32989 E
Directions: The Wembley is located at Magazine Road (Jalan Magazine), just opposite of Hotel Jen and 1st Avenue Mall. 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.

PGC Garden Terrace

Special thanks to Penang Golf Club for extending this food review invitation.

Penang Golf Club (PGC) is the only 18-hole golf course on Penang Island. The country club is located at Bukit Jambul, right next to Hotel Equatorial Penang.
The main restaurant inside Penang Golf Club is Sakurajima Japanese & Chinese Restaurant. The restaurant is open to the public. Parking is free of charge too. In addition, PGC members get 15% discount off the total bill.
Every day from 11:30am to 8:30pm (except on Sundays), Penang Golf Club serves nasi kandar at the PGC Garden Terrace. Located just outside Sakurajima, this outdoor location is covered with artificial turf.
Popular nasi kandar dishes here are kambing kurma (mutton curry, RM7.50), ayam kari (chicken curry, RM7.00), ayam goreng rempah (spicy fried chicken, RM6.00), hati ayam (chicken liver, RM1.00), sambal udang (spicy prawns, RM8.00), sotong kari (squid curry, RM6.80) and kepala ikan (fish head, RM5.50).
The drinks menu is pretty varied too. For instance, White Coffee Cendol Cincau Gula Melaka (RM7.00) and 3-Layer Milk Tea With Gula Melaka (RM6.00) are popular choices. As for desserts, go for Ice Kacang With Ice Cream (RM8.00). Ice cream flavors are vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.
Overall, the food at PGC Garden Terrace is reasonably priced compared to nasi kandar stalls elsewhere. Meanwhile, customers who prefer air conditioning can enjoy their meals in the comfort of Sakurajima at no extra charge.

Name: PGC Garden Terrace
Address: 2, Jalan Bukit Jambul, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-644-2255
Business hours: 11:30am-8:30pm, closed on Sundays
Website: http://www.penanggolfclub.com.my
Coordinates: 5.33607 N, 100.28374 E
Directions: Penang Golf Club (PGC) is located near the intersection of Persiaran Bukit Jambul and Lebuh Bukit Jambul. Jalan Bukit Jambul is a small offshoot from Persiaran Bukit Jambul near this intersection. PGC Garden Terrace is located inside the country club. Admission and parking are free of charge.

Le Périgord

Special thanks to Le Périgord for extending this food review invitation.

Le Périgord is a French restaurant along Burmah Road (Jalan Burma). The eatery is named after a former province of France, which is renowned for its truffles, wines and foie gras.
Although Le Périgord presents a semi-fine dining atmosphere, the restaurant also suitable for family dining. Red brick walls that surround the dining hall gives the place a rather rustic appearance.
Le Périgord primarily serves classic French cuisine. Each dish is meticulously crafted with an element of human touch. This is why the kitchen refuses to dabble in modern cooking techniques in the likes of sous-vide.
Kurobuta Steak (RM58.00) is perhaps the most impressive dish during this visit. The pork chop uses Black Berkshire pig, a special breed of swine prized for its tender flesh. The combination of lean and fatty flesh makes the pork succulent indeed. This exquisite dish is served with mango sauce, caramelized apples, mashed potatoes and assorted vegetables.
The next dish is Le Périgord Signature Lamb Rack (RM88.00). The frenched lamb ribs are flavored with red wine sauce and lamb jus. Served alongside is a mouthwatering piece of portobello mushroom. Also included are mashed potatoes infused with truffle oil.
Duck Confit (RM78.00), also known as "confit de canard", is considered one of the finest dishes in French cuisine. Dry-aged duck thigh is poached in its own fat for several hours until the flesh becomes meltingly tender. The delicacy is then flavored with a special concoction of orange sauce. Vegetables and oven roasted potatoes are provided on the side.
Pasta lovers with an affinity for spiciness may consider having the Seafood Aglio-Olio (RM35.00). Sautéed in olive oil, al dente spaghetti is seasoned with garlic and chili flakes. This simple yet satisfying pasta dish comes with green-lipped mussels, shrimps and clams.
Chicken & Mushroom Linguine (RM35.00) is another recommended choice. Unlike the previous dish, the pasta is served with a creamy sauce made from fresh cream. Contributing to savoriness are bite-size chicken breast and portobello mushrooms.
Besides serving walk-in customers, Le Périgord can also cater for private events such as birthday parties. Covering the area of two shops, the place can easily accommodate more than 100 people at a time. From time to time, Le Périgord also conducts cooking classes to share culinary secrets with the public.
Name: Le Périgord
Address: 253G-1-7, Jalan Burma, 10350 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 012-919-9885
Business hours: 11:30am-3:00pm, 5:30pm-10:00pm (Tuesday-Friday), 10:30am-3:00pm, 5:30pm-10:00pm (Saturday-Sunday), closed on Mondays
Website: https://www.facebook.com/leperigordpulautikus
Coordinates: 5.42825 N, 100.31436 E
Directions: Drive along Burmah Road (Jalan Burma) from Pulau Tikus direction. After the junction with Codrington Highway (Lebuhraya Codrington), turn right as you see Burmahtel. Le Périgord is located at the end of this row of shops (Wisma Soon). It is exactly opposite of Petron gas station. Street parking is available along this service road.