The Royale Bintang

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

Besides dine-in restaurants (Sri Tanjung Cafe and The Spice), The Royale Bintang Penang also hosts the Saturday Night Hawkers Delights. Served between 7:00pm and 10:00pm every Saturday starting 26 March 2016, the launching of this weekly buffet coincides with the hotel's 2nd year anniversary.
As the name implies, this buffet centers on hawker-style street food that Penang cuisine is best identified with. One of Penang's favorite stir-fried delicacy is Char Koay Teow (炒粿条), which is made from flat noodles (粿条), shrimps, bean sprouts, garlic chives (韭菜), eggs and chili paste.
Satay or skewered meat is widely enjoyed too. The buffet offers both chicken and beef variants. Turmeric-marinated meat is cooked over burning charcoal, then served with spicy peanut sauce.
Oyster Omelette (蚝煎) or "oo chien" another popular choice at Penang's hawker scene. A mixture of eggs and corn starch is pan-fried with fresh oysters, chopped scallion and chili sauce.
One of my personal favorites this evening is Hainanese Chicken Rice (海南鸡饭). I love the tender and juicy flesh of this nicely boiled chicken.
Lok Lok (乐乐) is another type of street food that is best enjoyed in a communal setting. To enjoy Lok Lok, raw meat and vegetables on skewers are blanched in boiling water around a minute. Typically, there are several types of condiment to go with Lok Lok.
Popiah (薄饼) consists of various ingredients wrapped tightly in a thin sheet of dough skin. The ingredients are typically jicama (sengkuang), bean sprouts, tofu, shrimp paste and chili sauce.
Kebab is a Middle-Eastern delicacy made from lamb, beef or chicken. Specifically for döner kebab, the meat is affixed to a vertical rotisserie, then slowly rotated as it is cooked by an electric heater. As the outer layer becomes cooked, it is shaved off with a sharp knife so that the next layer becomes exposed.
Chicken Kebab (tavuk kebabı) is available today. The meat is stuffed into pockets of pita flatbread, then eaten by hand like a sandwich.
In terms of meaty savoriness, the Mutton Soup (Sup Kambing) has very few equals. However, some sections of mutton are quite fatty, therefore avoid the meat if you just want to enjoy the soup.
Apart from hawker-style street food, the buffet includes several ready-cooked dishes such as Nasi Briyani Ayam. Long-grain basmati rice provides looser and lighter mouthfeel, so it is not as surfeiting as jasmine rice.
If you enjoy seafood, be sure to check out the Stir-Fried Chili Prawns. The shrimps are cooked in sweet-and-spicy sauce, making them delectable indeed.
The buffet line also includes different kinds of salad, tempeh, salted egg, keropok ikan (fish crackers) and smoked salmon.
As for desserts, there are fruit jelly, chocolate mousse and crème caramel. These tidbits are prepared in individual portions and presented on tiered stands.
There are also an assortment of cakes and tartlets that are conveniently prepared in bite-size servings.
For something sweet, check out the various types of Malay kuih such as Kuih Dadar. This pandan-flavored crêpe is filled with grated coconut and palm sugar.
The ubiquitous Teh Tarik is Malaysia's unofficial national drink. Milk tea is "pulled" between flasks so that the drink becomes foamy. This also helps to cool the drink down.
The buffet at Saturday Night Hawkers Delights is priced at RM70.00 per adult. For child or senior citizen, the price is RM30.00. There is 50% discount for adults on the opening night.

Name: The Royale Bintang Penang
Address: 1 & 2, Pengkalan Weld, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-259-8888
Business hours: 7:00pm-10:00pm (Saturdays)
Website: Click here
Coordinates: 5.41689 N, 100.34384 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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