Flamingo Café

This article is part of my Ramadan 2017 compilation.

Special thanks to Flamingo Hotel By The Beach, Penang for extending this food review invitation.

Flamingo Hotel By The Beach, Penang is located next to Rainbow Paradise Beach Resort. This 4-star hotel hosts its Ramadan buffet dinner at Flamingo Café. The theme this year is "Kampung Ku" (My Village). At the center of the buffet counters is an elaborate wooden decoration to celebrate the festive spirit of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Starting with ulam-ulaman, the two rattan baskets contain raw vegetables like ulam raja (king's salad), kacang botol (winged beans), petai (stink beans) and more. Also included are jars of jeruk (pickles) namely asam kelubi (palm fruit), buah pala (nutmeg), papaya, mango and grapes. Of course, buah kurma (pitted palm dates) are also essential for iftar meals.
Sauces to go with ulam-ulaman are sambal belacan (spicy shrimp paste), cincalok (salty shrimp paste), budu (fermented fish sauce), tempoyak (fermented durian paste) and sambal kicap dengan bawang (soy sauce with onions).
Ketupat is made from glutinous rice wrapped in palm leaves. The dumplings are boiled inside the pouches, causing rice grains to become compressed as they expand. Meanwhile for lemang, glutinous rice is rolled in banana leaves, and then cooked inside a hollowed bamboo stem. Both rice items are often eaten with rendang.
Served on a wooden boat are Kerabu Taugeh Dengan Kerang (bean sprouts & cockles salad), Kerabu Perut (beef stomach salad), Acar Timun & Nenas (pickled cucumber & pineapples) and Obor-Obor Dengan Biji Bijan (jellyfish with sesame seeds).
Keropok lekor is a street snack from Terengganu. The chewy crackers are made from sago flour, ikan parang (wolf herring), sugar and salt. Other types of crackers are keropok ikan (fish crackers), keropok udang (prawn crackers) and papadum (black gram crackers). In case you fancy offal, there are also fried chicken liver and gizzard.
The outdoor grilling station serves a lamb leg or whole lamb on weekdays and weekends respectively. Beef is also barbecued at the charcoal grill. As for seafood, ikan kerisi (snapper), ikan kembung (mackerel) and ikan keli (catfish) are seasoned with delectable chili paste before being cooked. Air asam (tamarind sauce) serves as condiment for grilled food.
Beef and chicken satay are local street snacks where skewers of marinated meat are roasted over charcoal fire. Satay is typically eaten with kuah kacang (sweet peanut sauce). Often accompanying satay are nasi impit (pressed rice), onion and cucumber. Meanwhile, sizzling-hot from the fryer are pisang goreng (fried banana fritters) and ubi keledek goreng (fried sweet potato fritters).
Rendang is a Minangkabau delicacy which has penetrated the mainstream Malay cuisine. In particular, Rendang Tok is the Perakian variant of this dish. Using a unique blend of spice mix, beef pieces are saturated with extremely savory flavors.
Today's poultry dish is Ayam Masak Lemak Dengan Tanghoon. The yellow gravy is formulated from a variety of spices especially turmeric. Besides chicken and potatoes, it is interesting to see glass noodle in this dish too. Made from mung beans, glass noodle is springy and translucent when cooked.
Gulai Kepala Ikan Salmon Dengan Bendi is a curry dish that contains salmon head and okra (lady's fingers). Salmon head still has a substantial amount of flesh, unlike many types of fish. Overall, I find the curry to be quite appealing.
Also presented in a kuali (wok) is a spicy dish called Sambal Sotong. Squid pieces are cooked with fiery chili paste, resulting in pungency which tantalizes the taste buds.
Udang Masak Asam is yet another dish which takes advantage of intense spices. In this case, the thick gravy carries pleasant tanginess of tamarind. On the other hand, I feel that the shrimps are not as crunchy as they ought to be.
The gravy for Mee Rebus is made from curry spices and shrimps, and thickened with corn starch. Mee Rebus is customarily eaten with yellow noodle, hard-boiled egg, bean sprouts, tomato and lettuce. Other soupy items this evening are Bubur Lambuk Kambing (mutton soup), Sup Ekor Lembu (oxtail soup) and Sup Ayam Berempah (spiced chicken soup).
Gado-Gado means "mix-mix" in Indonesian. This reflects this dish's mixture of tofu, yardlong beans, bean sprouts, carrots, cabbage, hard-boiled eggs and peanut sauce. I would like to suggest adding tempeh to the list.
At the desserts section, there are several types of Malay kuih such as kuih lapis (steamed layer cake), kuih ketayap (rolled pandan crêpe with sweetened coconut), kuih koci (glutinous rice dumpling with sweetened coconut), cucur badak (sweet potato ball with spicy coconut) and agar-agar Milo (chocolate-flavored jelly).
Meanwhile, Western pastry is represented by blueberry butter cake, strawberry mousse cake, cupcakes, Swiss rolls and tartlets.
Other sweet treats include strawberry jelly, honeydew pudding, milk pudding, sago gula melaka and pengat pisang.
The fruits counter presents papaya, watermelon, honeydew, ciku (sapodilla), pitaya (dragon fruit) and green apples. I am particularly thrilled to see ciku on the menu.
Last but not least, diners may also quench their thirst with popular local drinks like teh tarik (pulled milk tea), sirap bandung (rose-flavored milk), soy milk and Milo (chocolate malt drink).
Flamingo Café's Ramadan buffet is served every evening between 28 May 2017 and 24 June 2017. There are 3 rotating menus. On weekdays, the buffet prices are RM75.00 net for adults and RM45.00 net for children. And on weekends, the prices are RM85.00 net and RM49.00 net respectively. The pricing difference is because there are more and better food choices on weekends.

Name: Flamingo Café
Address: Flamingo Hotel, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-892-7167
Business hours: 7:00am-12:00am
Website: http://penang.flamingo.com.my/dining
Coordinates: 5.46752 N, 100.28889 E
Directions: Traveling westbound on Jalan Tanjung Bungah, drive past the pedestrian bridge near Dalat International School. Make a U-turn at the next traffic light-controlled junction and immediately turn left to Flamingo Hotel. Flamingo Café is one level below the lobby. The hotel provides complimentary outdoor and indoor parking.

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