The Spice

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

Having opened its doors since 21 March 2014, The Royale Bintang Penang celebrates its 3-year anniversary this month. This 4-star hotel at Weld Quay is strategically located in the heart of George Town's heritage district. Today's visit to The Royale Bintang is for the Friday Night Poolside BBQ, which I first covered last year.
The buffet is presented in an outdoor setting on Level 2. Dining tables and food counters surround the swimming pool, which is closed during the duration of this buffet (7:00pm-10:00pm). In case it rains, the food counters and dining tables will be relocated to The Spice or Boustead Hall.

The biggest advantage of serving outdoors is the ability to grill food over burning charcoal. This evening, the main highlight at the grilling station is the roast lamb. Roasted over steady heat from the grill, the marinated lamb absorbs a scrumptious sense of toastiness. The makes the lamb very flavorful indeed.
Other types of meats include beef, chicken, slipper lobsters, stingray and sausages. For the best enjoyment of barbecued meats, I suggest that you request for hot ones that are still sizzling on the grill.
Several condiments are specially prepared to go with the meats. For lamb and beef, I recommend that you try BBQ and mushroom sauces. If you love herbal aroma, mint sauce is quite nice too.
For something closer to the local palate, there are also chicken and beef satay. Skewered meats are marinated with several types of spices such as turmeric (kunyit), and then being cooked over radiating charcoal flame. I feel that the satay (especially beef satay) is too tough because it consists of too much lean meat. Perhaps a mixture of fatty meat will fare better.
If you are a fan of British-style seafood, you will be delighted to know that Fish & Chips are available too. Fish fillets are coated with batter and then deep-fried so that they become crispy.
Proceeding to the next counter, clams and lala are served over a bed of ice. The shellfish is meant to be cooked with Seafood Tom Yum. In addition, there are also processed foodstuff like meatballs, fish balls and crab sticks.
A pot of tom yum soup is kept boiling on the side for blanching and serving purposes. Because raw shellfish is used, please ensure that it is properly cooked before eating.
The poolside buffet also includes a number of cooked dishes to suit the local palate.
For staple food, there are Tom Yam Fried Noodle and Salted Fish Fried Rice.
Jacket Potatoes are wrapped in aluminium foil and then baked with their skins intact. Each potato is topped with sour cream, bacon and chives for additional flavor.
Baked Pumpkin Wedges is a source of natural sweetness. This dish is served with black olives and cherry tomatoes.
Should customers crave for Malay food, there is a reasonably wide variety of Malay delicacies such as Sup Tulang Rawan Kambing (mutton soup), Sotong Kangkung (squid with water spinach), Seafood Glass Noodle Salad, Fried Beancurd Salad and Keropok Ikan (fish crackers).
Moving on to desserts, Raisin Bread & Buttered Pudding is best enjoyed with vanilla sauce. I also find the Apple Strudel quite nice.
The desserts section offers a wide assortment of French pastries as well as Nyonya kuih. Pudding, mousse and jelly also serve to satisfy one's sugar craving.
For something more tropical, there is a ceramic pot of Pengat Pisang Sago. This sweet dessert made from ripe bananas and sago pearls in milky syrup. However, I feel that the sweetness level of this dessert should be toned down.
Other dishes included in the Friday Night Poolside BBQ are pasta, char koay teow (炒粿条), Nyonya curry mee, burgers, teppanyaki (鉄板焼き), cold cuts, salads and fruits. The buffet is priced at RM88.00 net per adult. Children (6-12 years) and senior citizens (60 years and above) enjoy 50% discount.

In conjunction with its 3rd year anniversary, The Royale Bintang is offering 50% discount on published room rates and à la carte meals in its restaurants. This discount is only applicable for the month of March 2017.

Ongoing deals at Sri Tanjung Cafe are Tanjung Set Lunch (12:00pm-2:30pm, Monday to Saturday), Saturday Night Hawker's Fare (7:00pm-10:00pm every Saturday) and Sunday High Tea (12:30pm-4:00pm every Sunday). Meanwhile at the adjacent Tea Room, Delightful English Afternoon Tea (2:00pm to 5:00pm daily) for two is priced at RM60.00 net and includes a pot of premium tea from TWG. All restaurants in The Royale Bintang are halal-certified.

Name: The Spice
Address: 1 & 2, Pengkalan Weld, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-259-8888
Business hours: 7:00pm-11:00pm
Coordinates: 5.41701 N, 100.34368 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 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.