Ice Estate

Special thanks to Ice Estate for extending this food review invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Like China House, Reunion Heritage House is located between Victoria Street (Lebuh Victoria) and Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai). The sole eatery of this hotel, Ice Estate, faces Victoria Street.
Ice Estate provides hotel guests with breakfast, but the café also operates throughout the day to cater walk-in customers. Its dine-in menu here has a combination of pasta, Western dishes, snacks, coffee and ice cream. The signature item here is liquid nitrogen (LN2) ice cream; more on this later. The menu here is pork-free.
Following the tradition of neighborhood coffee houses, Ice Estate offers a range of seating options to keep customers comfortable. Customers may choose to sip a cup of coffee on a comfortable sofa/couch, or enjoy waffles while being seated at a garden table.
At one section of Ice Estate is an air shaft covered potted plants against the wall. Maintaining this 2-floor greenery is not an easy feat. Alternatively, one can climb a flight of stairs to access the upper floor of the dining area.
The ambience at Ice Estate is quite relaxing, as long as you do not mind the occasional sound of liquid nitrogen tank releasing pressure every few minutes.
Speaking of Reunion Heritage House, it was refurbished from 3 historical buildings that date back more than a century ago. Restoration work began in 2014 and this undertaking took 2 years to complete.
The hotel is divided into 3 blocks with 2 floors each. Divided between them are 14 hotel units comprising of 4 room types: Superior King Room, Deluxe King Room, Premium Duplex Suite, Exclusive Duplex Suite. Although Reunion Heritage House lacks amenities like a swimming pool or fitness center, it provides reasonably comfortable accommodation at surprisingly affordable prices (from RM205.00 per night).
As mentioned before, the specialty at Ice Estate is liquid nitrogen ice cream. Liquid nitrogen is colder than dry ice (-195.8oC vs. -78.5oC), which results in finer ice crystals and more compact texture. In addition, boiling vapor produces aesthetic effect which is popular among youngsters nowadays.
Ice Estate has a handful of ice cream flavors, ranging from fruity versions to chocolate ones. Among the popular types is Mango Estate (RM14.00). Besides using fresh mango to prepare ice cream, mango is also used as toppings. Amid the pleasant sweetness of mango is delightful crisp of corn flakes.
La Coffee Estate (RM15.00) is prepared using espresso, although I feel that an extra shot would make the taste of coffee more pronounced. The ice cream is carpeted by crumbs of butter waffle biscuit and light drizzle of caramel.
K-Pop Kimchi (RM23.00) is a pasta dish whose sauce is infused with unmistakable spicy-sourness of Korean kimchi (김치). Additional kimchi is also used as topping. This dish also includes chicken chunks and seaweed strips. The overall taste of this pasta is quite satisfying as long as one is fine with its sharp spiciness.
Triple Cheese Chicken Chop (RM24.00) is flavored using 3 types of cheese: parmesan, mozzarella and cream cheese. While cheese lovers will rejoice with glee, others may find the chicken too salty for comfort. The chicken thigh is served with deep-fried potato wedges, spaghetti and vegetables.
N2 Laksa (RM20.00) comes with a slice of garlic bread, which is flash-frozen by liquid nitrogen when the dish is served. This allows the bread to retain its crisp for much longer duration, but I think the greater appeal is the visual effect.
As for the noodle, spaghetti is given a touch of modernity using asam laksa ingredients like cabbage, ginger flower and spices. Unfortunately, I think the shrimp is not as fresh as it should be.
If you are looking for finger food in lieu of proper meal, Mix Snack Combo (RM20.00) is one way to go. Each order comes with two miniature shopping carts. The carts are filled with Golden Crispy Fries, Cheesy Wedges, Juicy BBQ Nuggets and Chicken Pop Corn. Individual items can be ordered separately too.
The beverage menu includes a number of coffee and tea choices. Freshly-squeezed fruit juices are also available. For coffee, espresso is extracted from La Tazza dark-roasted beans from Dimattina Coffee. Meanwhile, tea selections are supplied by Harney & Sons. Many cafés tend to use this brand nowadays.
My pot of tea is Organic English Breakfast (RM11.00), brewed from keemun (Chinese black tea) which has pleasant floral scent. The tea is soothing to sip slowly and its taste is not overpowering either. It is served in an elegant-looking teapot.
Name: Ice Estate
Address: 107, Lebuh Victoria, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-251-9640
Business hours: 8:00am-11:30pm (Monday-Thursday), 8:00am-12:00am (Friday-Sunday)
Coordinates: 5.41215 N, 100.33661 E
Directions: Reunion Heritage House is located on Victoria Street (Lebuh Victoria), approximately 50 meters after the intersection with Gat Lebuh Melayu. The hotel is located on the left side of this one-way street. Ice Estate is directly at this entrance of the hotel. Street parking is available along Victoria Street and Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai).

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