Sunway Carnival Mall

Special thanks to Sunway Carnival Mall for extending this food review invitation.

Sunway Carnival Mall used to have its restaurants concentrated at the LG Floor. Just recently, Level 2 has been extensively refurbished to accommodate more restaurants. Most of these new restaurants are popular brands in Penang's food arena.

One good example is Kaffa Signature, which is the fourth outlet after other ones in Penang International Airport, Auto-City and China Street (Lebuh China) in George Town. The outlook of each outlet is slightly different to accommodate the demographics in each area.
This restaurant borrows heavily from 1960s American vintage theme. The centerpiece display is an actual Mini which the owner has acquired as part of his antique collection. The mural behind features Hollywood legends Elvis Presley, Audrey Hepburn, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. Other antique collections include coffee grinders, gramophones and typewriters.
Wood is used extensively in the design of Kaffa's dining area. Should customers prefer privacy, there are also a couple of private dining rooms. Towards the far end of the restaurant is a raised platform where live bands perform every evening. Most of the performers are local artists.
Café Freddo (RM13.10) is Kaffa's signature coffee and is available at all outlets. Served with a layer of foam on top, the cold drink features a different smiley every 2 months. As for hot beverages, Salted Caramel Macchiato (RM13.15) is popular among regulars.
The food menu presents a number of predominantly Western-style dishes. For something light, the Pepperoni Pizza (RM13.90) uses thin crust similar to New York's. Pizza toppings include sausage slices, pineapples and grated cheese. If this 10-inch pizza is too large for one person, there is also a 6-inch version for RM10.90.
Kaffa Signature is named after the Kaffa region in southwestern Ethiopia, where coffee was allegedly first discovered. Besides coffee and light snacks, the restaurant also features proper dishes such as Big Bite All Day Long (RM20.80), Nasi Lemak Kapitan Chicken (RM16.50) and Phrata Ala Mode (RM12.90).

The neighboring restaurant is The Cruises Steak House. As the name implies, the restaurant specializes in steaks and Western cuisine in general. This is the steakhouse's sixth outlet since its first outlet at Logan Heritage in 2011.
The theme of The Cruises Steak House is a cross between a wooden ship and the Wild West. The restaurant is large enough to accommodate around 150 people at full capacity. There are also a number of photo-opportunities such as the POS terminal which masquerades as a telephone booth. Clark Kent would certainly find it useful.
One of the bestseller is D' Cruises Lamb Rack (RM39.90), which features three ribs of marinated Australian lamb. Grilled to perfect doneness, the lamb is seasoned with tantalizing brown sauce. Side dishes include fried potato wedges, mashed potato and corn on the cob.
D' Cruises Smoky Chicken (RM23.90) features an attractive piece of whole chicken leg. The chicken is glazed with honey and smoked to smoky perfection. Brown sauce is provided separately on the side. Also included on the wooden platter are mini sausages wrapped with bacon, fried potato wedges, corn on the cob and fruit salad.
As for seafood, Blue Fish (RM32.90) is one of the recommended ones. A tender slab of grilled fish fillet is served over a heap of fried potato wedges. Creamy pumpkin sauce provides buttery sensation and helps the dish to carry its aroma far and wide.
On the other hand, customers who prefer to go meat-free can visit the adjacent Idealite (品味舒食). Besides being vegetarian in nature, Idealite also promotes balanced diet. To this end, the restaurant employs nutritionists to serve and advise customers on healthy eating - the first and only restaurant to do so.
Vegetarian meals can be as varied and colorful as its non-vegetarian counterparts. Therefore, Idealite's food typically involves a variety of fresh ingredients that contribute to balanced diet. For example, the Pumpkin Vege (菇菜金瓜, RM14.90) is served with brown rice, vegetable, soup and fruit.
Idealite's Bak Kut Teh Rice (豆菇茶饭, RM16.90) is one of its most popular dishes; the restaurant was once overwhelmed with 100 orders in an hour! The soup is infused with essence of more than 10 types of medicinal herbs including female ginseng (当归), which is used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine. In lieu of pork, Idealite's vegetarian recipe relies on hericium mushroom (猴头菇) to provide savoriness. This mushroom is said to have antioxidant and neuro-protective properties.
Fresh vegetables are one of the best source of vitamins. To take advantage of this fact, the Hokkaido Vege Sushi (北海道蔬菜寿司, RM10.90) is filled with a colorful assortment of fresh vegetables including carrots, yam and purple cabbage. Rolled in rice sheets, the sushi is sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Other notable dishes at Idealite are Provence Tempura Mushroom (普罗旺斯天妇罗鲜菇, RM11.90), Idealite Satay (舒食沙爹串, RM12.90) and Mango Soya Parfait (芒果豆浆之恋, RM7.90). The restaurant is adamant about using gluten-based meat analogue; millet is used instead. Eggs may be used for certain dishes, so it is important to inform the server if you are on a strict vegan diet.

Looking for a cozy place to enjoy coffee while surfing the Internet? Looking for a relaxing setting for business meetings? In either case, La Espresso is a place to consider. This outlet is the restaurant's second one; the first outlet is located just outside Sunway Carnival Mall.
At La Espresso, there are 2 types of coffee blends: 80/20 Gold Blend Italian Taste and 100% Arabica Bernini Blend. Coffee is brewed one cup at a time so that the barista can give undivided attention. Besides coffee, La Espresso also serves pasta, sandwiches and desserts.
Last but not least, Sunway Carnival Mall is the home of Yoshinoya Hanamaru's first outlet in Penang. Owned by Texchem, the same company which operates Sushi King and Waku Waku, the restaurant uses colocation concept of 2 distinctive brands from Japan: Yoshinoya Japanese Kitchen (吉野家) and Hanamaru Udon (はなまるうどん).
Yoshinoya is the Japan's largest chain of restaurants that serves of beef bowl (牛丼). The menu also includes chicken, curry, hot pot and teishoku (定食) dishes. The restaurant uses self-service concept: customers place their orders, make payment and collect their food when the buzzer sounds.
Ontama Yakitori Bowl (温玉焼き鶏丼, RM17.80) features a bowl of rice and pan-fried chicken. The chicken is cooked with sweet-savory teriyaki (照り焼き) sauce. Also included is a partially-boiled egg called onsen tamago (温泉玉子). Cooked in simmering water of very specific temperature, the egg's albumen solidifies somewhat but the yolk remains runny.
Meanwhile, Aburi Salmon Bowl (炙りサーモン丼, RM19.80) features delectable slices of salmon over a heap of rice. Just before serving, the salmon is torched briefly so that there is toastiness on one side. Also added on top are cream cheese, wasabi (山葵) and seaweed (海苔). This is my favorite dish in Yoshinoya's menu.
Meanwhile, Hanamaru is an udon (うどん) specialist from Sanuki, Kagawa Prefecture. Like Marugame Udon (丸亀製麺), Hanamaru produces udon on site in its open kitchen, giving its noodle unparalleled freshness and springiness. The restaurant imports flour directly from its parent company in Japan.
Spicy Kamatama Udon (スパイシーかま玉うどん, RM13.80) is one of the special dishes on Hanamaru's menu. As per tradition in Kagawa Prefecture, hot noodle is tossed in a mixture of raw egg and soy sauce. Spicy gravy, made from minced chicken, is meant to be stirred with noodle. This bowl of noodle also includes fried anchovies, chili flakes and chopped scallion.
The bowl of Curry Udon (カレーうどん, RM15.80) uses Japanese curry, which is mildly spicy by Malaysian standards. In fact, "sweet" is a better word to describe the curry's primary taste. The bowl of Curry Udon contains chunks of chicken, potatoes and carrots.
Hanamaru's customers place their orders at the noodle station, collect their noodles after several minutes, then proceed to pay at the end of line. There are various types of tempura (天ぷら) that customers can pick up along the way. Examples are shrimp (えび天, RM4.80), chicken (から揚げ, RM3.80), pumpkin (かぼちゃ, RM2.80), sweet potato (おいも, RM2.80) and mixed vegetables (かき揚げ, RM3.80).
With so many restaurants at this section of Sunway Carnival Mall, it is difficult not to find something that suits everyone's palate. The proximity of these restaurants to Golden Screen Cinemas makes them convenient places to have meals before and after watching a movie.

Name: Sunway Carnival Mall
Address: Sunway Carnival Mall, 3068, Jalan Todak, Pusat Bandar Seberang Jaya, 13700 Seberang Jaya, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-397-9888
Business hours: 10:00am-10:00pm
Coordinates: 5.39912 N, 100.39806 E
Directions: Sunway Carnival Mall is a shopping mall in Seberang Jaya. The mall has a multilevel parking garage.

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