Royal Winter Warmers

Special thanks to Royal Winter Warmers for extending this food review invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

The new wing of Penang Times Square, M Mall O2O, has been seeing several restaurant openings lately. One of these restaurants is Royal Winter Warmers, an upscale version of Winter Warmers.
Royal Winter Warmers serves premium food including Western cuisine that is often associated to upscale steakhouses. At the spacious dining section, cozy chairs with fine English-style upholstery make this place ideal for passing time on a slow Sunday afternoon.
Winter Warmers is renowned for its fine selection of herbal and fruit teas. Royal Winter Warmers ups the ante by including special tea blends that are exclusive to this restaurant.
One example is Verbena & Orange Lemon Tea (RM18.00), which is a fusion of herbal and fruity elements. Brewed in a transparent teapot, the lemonade-like tea is infused with dried verbena. The result is a therapeutic drink with appetizing sourness.

Rosebuds Tea (RM17.00) is still the bestselling tea at Winter Warmers, mainly due to its agreeable floral aroma which fills the nostrils with calming sweet scent. Rose buds are said to improve blood circulation and stimulate the nerves, resulting in improved vitality.

Meanwhile, my personal favorite tea is the Rose Milk Tea (RM16.50). The tea's modest sweetness and smooth consistency never fail to impress me. It is a very pleasant drink from the beginning till the very last drop!

Do you enjoy English afternoon tea? If so, try the Winter Afternoon (RM75.00) between 12:00pm and 6:00pm every day. The set is meant for 2 persons and includes 2 pots of black tea or green tea. As per tradition, food pieces are presented on a 3-tier stand and are traditionally eaten from the bottom (savories) to the top (pastries).
The bottom tray comprises of chicken pie, quiche, egg croissant and sandwiches. Quiche is a savory pie filled with egg and vegetable fillings. Like the chicken pie, the pastry puff is crumbly and light on the mouth. In addition, the fluffy croissant has buttery texture but does not feel surfeiting at all.
Moving upwards, the middle tray consists of scones, strawberry mousse and a choice of cake. The rose-flavored scones should be eaten first because they are nicer when the interior is still warm. The slice of cake today is lavender cheesecake. Loaded with creamy cheese, this baked cheesecake is satisfying indeed.
At the top tray, there are fruit tartlets, cookies (rosemary, lavender and rose flavors), fruit puff, fruit cocktail, rose jam, butter and whipped cream. These sweet items are eaten last so that they do not overwhelm the palate early on.
Before becoming a full-fledged restaurant, Winter Warmers' food menu started with waffles only. Although the waffles have evolved over the years, they remain popular as ever. For example, Grilled Chicken Waffle (RM22.00) combines the mild sweetness of waffle with succulent chicken cutlets topped with creamy sauce.
Squid Ink (RM26.90) is a unique dish at Royal Winter Warmers. Spaghetti is dyed black using squid ink. Known as "spaghetti al nero di seppia" in Italian, this pasta is often associated with Sicilian cuisine. Here, spaghetti is cooked with various seafood such as squid, shrimp and mussel. In addition, garlic and chopped onions help to improve aroma.
Lamb Shank (RM46.00) is served with a generous serving of mashed potato, broccoli and carrot. The lamb is nicely braised to the right doneness. The juicy flesh is highly gratifying. The brown sauce not only works well with lamb but also with mashed potato. I cannot recommend this dish highly enough.
As for the Lamb Rack (RM47.00), three pieces of lamb ribs are marinated thoroughly and grilled to succulent perfection. Blueberry sauce provides pleasant sweetness that work harmoniously with lamb, much to my surprise. There is also mint sauce in a separate saucer.
Included on the side are a variety of grilled vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, potato and cherry tomatoes. The Lamb Rack is presented on a rectangular plate in an artistic manner.
Royal Winter Warmers has a dedicated tea store in an adjoining room. Although every Winter Warmers outlet has a tea store, this is by far the largest one among all.
If you enjoy fruit and herbal teas in the restaurant, you should also purchase some for home consumption. Most teas are imported from Europe and are packaged in vacuum-sealed containers or tea bags. Moderate consumption of tea has medicinal benefits. For example, peppermint helps the digestive system while lavender has anti-depressant properties.
Royal Winter Warmer's tea store has an extensive display of teapots, teacups and other fine wares. Premium teaware is often made from porcelain. Since antiquity, the finest porcelain comes from China. However, European manufacturers are also very reputable due to their superior workmanship.
Compared to porcelain, bone china is considered superior due to shinier surface that does not stain so easily. This material contains bone ash and is an English invention in attempt to replicate Chinese porcelain. Due to the labor-intensive crafting process, bone china is often depicted as a symbol of luxury.
Many pieces of porcelain and bone china have delicate artwork require painstaking craftsmanship by hand. Indeed, tea sets are great gift ideas for people who truly enjoy the art of tea. How about buying one as a gift during a house-warming party?
Regular customers should apply for Winter Warmer's membership card if they have not already done so. Members enjoy up to 20% discount on food items and 10% discount on teaware. There are also special days where members enjoy additional discounts on specific menu items.
Name: Royal Winter Warmers
Address: 79-G-25, Penang Times Square, Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-296-0668
Business hours: 9:30am-10:00pm
Coordinates: 5.41118 N, 100.32580 E
Directions: Tao is located at the Ground Floor of M Mall O2O, the new wing of Penang Times Square. Penang Times Square has plenty of parking spaces at the open plaza, basement and upper levels.

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