The Spice

Special thanks to The Royale Bintang Penang for extending this food review invitation.

Located in the heart of George Town's heritage zone, the building of The Royale Bintang Penang is peculiar indeed. The visible facade from Weld Quay (Pengkalan Weld) is actually the back of the hotel. The front entrance is facing the interior courtyard of the city block.
Unlike other properties in The Royale Bintang Hotels & Resorts Group, this hotel in George Town was constructed with heritage conservation in mind. For example, Sri Tanjung Cafe and The Tea Room occupy the colonial-era building which faces Weld Quay.
Meanwhile for Western cuisine, The Spice is another restaurant at Level 2 which serves contemporary-style delicacies. The upscale dining section features a lively aquarium of colorful tropical fish. Set lunch and dinner specials are available daily at The Spice.
The Spice faces an outdoor swimming pool in a villa-like setting. Every Friday, rain or shine, the Poolside BBQ is served starting 7:00pm. I am fortunate to be given the opportunity to see what this barbecue buffet has to offer.
Obviously, the highlight of tonight's dinner is grilled meat. Fired by charcoal, the grilling station features several types of meat such as Rosemary Mint Lamb Cutlet, Marinated Minute Beef Steak With Black Pepper, and Cajun & Paprika Marinated Chicken.
Should you prefer seafood, there are also Spiced Garlic Slipper Lobsters, Teriyaki Mussels, and Sting Ray Sambal Percik to satisfy your cravings. Local favorites include Chicken & Beef Satay, both marinated beforehand so that they are saturated with savory flavors.
There are also dedicated stations of noodles like char koay teow (炒粿条), and pasta like carbonara and bolognese. Most of these dishes are made to order, so inform the staff if you require any customization.
One should also not overlook the chilled seafood station, where various delicacies of the marine kingdom are prepared for diners to indulge in.
Several types of seafood available tonight are slipper lobsters, shrimps, scallops and mussels. Lemon wedges are provided, as squeezed citrus juice tends to go well with chilled seafood.
Meanwhile, the buffet includes a number of cooked dishes that are more agreeable with local palate.
Jacket Potatoes are among my favorites. Each piece of baked potato is topped with sour cream and garlic chives.
Flavored with barbecue sauce, Sliced Sausages are best eaten with rice as their tanginess can be overpowering if consumed directly.
It is certainly welcoming to see Baked Pumpkin Wedges on the menu. I enjoy the pumpkin's natural sweetness and starchy consistency.
Served in garlic butter, there is also a tray of Glazed Garden Vegetables such as cauliflowers, carrots, asparagus and broccoli.
There are also cold cuts such as ham and meatloaf. Various types of cured meat are neatly arranged on their respective platters.
If gourmet cheese is your cup of tea, there are also a handful of cheese selections such as mozzarella.
As for salads, the Papaya Salad offers a refreshing sense of juiciness and mild sweetness.
Also included at the salad bar are Mixed Fruit Salad, as well as Tuna Flakes & Bean Salad.
If you prefer to prepare your own salad, there are also fresh vegetables and dressings at your disposal.
Closer to home, tonight's buffet also includes several Malay dishes such as Sotong Kangkung. Boiled squid and water spinach are topped with thick peanut sauce for the savory-sweet appeal.
As for desserts, there are several types of pastry such as cakes, mousse, pudding and fruit jelly. The Red Velvet Cake and Chocolate Moist Cake are quite delectable.
Local fondness for Malay kuih is taken into consideration while designing the menu. Tonight, my sweet tooth is pacified by lovely pieces of Kuih Lapis Sagu and Kuih Cara Manis.
The Poolside BBQ is priced at RM88.00 per adult, RM44.00 per child between 6 and 12 years. Senior citizens of 60 years and above enjoy special rate of RM48.00. Due to popular response and limited dining tables, advance booking is recommended.

Name: The Spice
Address: 1 & 2, Pengkalan Weld, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-259-8888
Business hours: 12:00pm-2:30pm, 7:00pm-10:00pm
Website: Click here
Coordinates: 5.41701 N, 100.34368 E
Directions: From the ferry terminal at George Town, turn right and drive along Weld Quay (Pengkalan Weld). The Royale Bintang Penang is located shortly on the left, at the same block as Via Pre and Made in Penang Interactive 3D Museum. There is a small lane right after the hotel, which leads to the main entrance and multi-level car park. At the front desk, restaurant patrons can get their parking tickets validated for a flat rate of RM5.00 per entry.

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