Terrace Bay

Special thanks to Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang for extending this food review invitation.

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Terrace Bay Restaurant is the main eatery in Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang. It is located on Level 7, which is at the same level as the swimming pool. The other restaurant, Hu Ji Chinese Restaurant, is occupies the space directly above.
Terrace Bay serves buffet breakfast for hotel guests. Open round the clock, the restaurant serves a variety of popular local and Western dishes.
Besides dining indoors, there are more tables at the poolside deck. Al fresco dining is a viable option in the morning and evening when the air is cooler for comfort.
In line with Copthorne Orchid's image of a family-friendly hotel, there is a small playground at one section of the restaurant. This playground is great for keeping young children entertained so that their parents can dine in peace.
My visit this evening is for the Nyonya Buffet Dinner, which is held every Saturday between 7:00pm and 10:00pm.
Peranakan (Nyonya) people are descendants of Chinese immigrants who settled down in Southeast Asia during the 15th to 17th centuries. Although Nyonya cuisine bears a resemblance to Chinese cooking, many Nyonya recipes have been adapted to take advantage of Malay spices.

Pie Tee (小金杯) is a starting point for this evening's meal. This snack consists of miniature crispy cups that are filled with stir-fried shrimps, carrots, jicama (sengkuang) and green beans. Optional toppings are fried onions, scallion and ketchup.
One of the main highlights during the buffet is Chicken Lor Bak (卤肉). Wrapped in tofu skin is chicken seasoned with spices, particularly five-spice powder (五香粉). Each roll is deep-fried such that the skin becomes crispy, but not to a point where it turns greasy. Overall, I am quite satisfied with the delicious rolls.
Chicken Lor Bak is served with a special type of dipping sauce made from soy sauce, corn starch, five-spice powder, egg whites and sugar. Some people also enjoy a hint of spiciness from chili sauce. Meanwhile, raw cucumbers help to cleanse the palate after eating such savory food.
Another iconic Nyonya delicacy is the Chicken Curry Kapitan. Rich in coconut milk, the spicy gravy goes well with white rice.
I am also fascinated with the Sambal Udang. Served in red gravy are small shrimps that have been peeled and deveined. The spicy gravy assimilates well with shrimps, allowing both constituents of this dish to exchange savory flavors.
Speaking of seafood, there is also Chien Chuan Hoo (煎鲭鱼) or fried mackerel. The fish itself does not have much edible flesh. Instead, the main appeal comes from fermented soybean (豆豉).
Kiam Chye Ark (咸菜鸭) is a stew made from duck meat and salted mustard greens. Despite its strong taste, the soup is a powerful agent to cleanse the palate between flavorful Nyonya dishes. Due to appreciable pungency of peppercorn, the soup also helps to build appetite.
Nyonya cuisine borrows many elements of Malay cuisine. For example, Malay's fondness of raw vegetables is reflected in many Peranakan recipes. Notable dishes include Kerabu Mangga (mango salad), Acar Awak (vegetable pickles) and Acar Timun & Nenas (pickled cucumber and pineapples).
As for hawker-style food, there is a special counter for Lam Mee (淋面). This Nyonya-style noodle dish uses sweet-savory soup that is derived from chicken stock. Ingredients include yellow noodle (黄面), rice vermicelli (米粉), shrimps, omelette, fried onion, coriander, scallion and chili sauce. The noodles are raw, so they have to be blanched in hot water before they can be eaten.
Kuih Ee (汤圆) is a dessert of glutinous rice balls in pandan-flavored syrup. Sharp pungency of ginger induces pleasant warmth in the throat. Other sweet desserts this evening are Bee Koh Moey (黑糯米粥) and Bubur Cha-Cha.
There are several types of Nyonya kuih on the buffet line but I think there is room for improvement in terms of quality and variety. After all, Nyonya kuih are integral elements of Peranakan culture. Meanwhile, the desserts section also includes Western-style treats such as fruit cake, chocolate cake and jelly.
Nyonya Buffet Dinner is priced at RM42.00 per adult. The price is RM25.00 and RM32.00 for child (5-11 years old) and senior citizen (Malaysians only) respectively. These are net prices.

Name: Terrace Bay Restaurant
Address: Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-892-3333
Business hours: 24 hours
Website: Click Here
Coordinates: 5.46729 N, 100.29232 E
Directions: Traveling westbound on Jalan Tanjung Bungah, make a U-turn after the pedestrian bridge near Dalat International School. After the U-turn, Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang is roughly 100 meters past the pedestrian bridge. Terrace Bay is located one floor below the lobby. The hotel provides complimentary outdoor and indoor parking.

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