Flamingo Café

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

Flamingo Café is the primary restaurant of Flamingo Hotel By The Beach, Penang. Seafood lovers should be thrilled to know that Crustaceans & Shellfishes Night is held every Saturday here. As the name implies, the buffet revolves around seafood.
Grilled seafood resonates well with the mainstream Malaysian palate. Marine delicacies include flower crabs, bamboo clams, scallops, blood cockles and squid. There are also grilled vegetables such as corn on the cob, cabbage, squash, eggplant, carrot and cucumber.
Taking advantage of its outdoor setting, the grilling station is powered by charcoal. Steady heat from scorching charcoal imparts lovely hints of toastiness to grilled seafood.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, cold seafood is served over a bed of ice to maintain freshness. Guests may indulge in exquisite seafood like yabbies, flower crabs, scallops, mussels, shrimps, octopus and crab sticks.
Next, Lobster Salad consists of lobsters and crabs in creamy mayonnaise dressing. The salad also includes diced fruits like honeydew and cucumber. Overall, I think this is a satisfying dish and deserves commendation.
Moving on to hot dishes, the Chili Crab dish contains flower crabs cooked with spicy chili paste. Tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and chopped scallion are also included.
Balitong, also known as "siput sedut", is stir-fried with a fiery spice mix. I have still not mastered the skill to extract the sea snails' flesh from their oddly-shaped shells.

Oysters are cooked by steam such that savory juice accumulates on their shells.
Bamboo clams have elongated shells that resemble bamboo. The clams are stir-fried in fermented soybean sauce.
Mussels are baked with spicy mayonnaise, but find the shellfish to be on the dry side of things. Personally, I prefer the flesh to be juicier.
Squid is stir-fried with spicy chili paste, making this dish more attuned to local taste buds. The springy texture is an added bonus.
Shrimps are cooked in spicy sauce. I think they go particularly well with rice.
There are two versions of Baked Pasta: with and without golden crust. Personally, I feel that penne and cheese are disconnected from each other in terms of taste.
At the action stall, Claypot Seafood Ginger Soup is served today. Each claypot of ginger soup is prepared to order, so expect some waiting time when there is a long queue.
Diners may choose ingredients like mussels, shrimps, squid, crab balls, noodle and choy sum (菜心). Use caution while handling the claypots because they are quite heavy.
This evening's buffet also includes a touch of Japanese food in the form of sushi (すし). A variety of gunkanmaki (軍艦巻き) and temaki (手巻き) are presented.
Sotong Kangkung is a local delicacy which comprises of cuttlefish and water spinach. Both ingredients have been blanched beforehand. Sotong Kangkung is typically eaten with sweet-spicy dressing made from belacan (fermented shrimp paste).
Meanwhile, Pasembur is a local Penang salad mixture of prawn fritters, fried crabs, boiled eggs, boiled potatoes, bean sprouts, shredded jicama (sengkuang) and shredded cucumber. Thick and savory peanut sauce is used as dressing.
Other types of salad are garden salad, coleslaw and German potato salad (kartoffelsalat).
I am most delighted by the cheese platter during dinner. Blue cheese, emmental cheese and brie cheese satiate my peculiar craving for cheese. Also presented on the platter are grapes, cranberries, walnuts, apricots and crackers.
Deep-fried snacks like Fried Shrimps and Oyster Rolls are best enjoyed while they are still hot. Wrapped in rice vermicelli, the former is known as Goong Sarong (กุ้งโสร่ง) in Thai.
Last but not least, the desserts section offers a reasonable variety of local kuih, cakes, puddings, jellies and mousse. Besides fresh fruits, fruit cocktail is available too.
Flamingo Café's Crustaceans & Shellfishes Night is served from 7:00pm to 10:30pm every Saturday. The buffet is priced at RM76.00 net for adults and RM40.00 net for children (4-11 years old). Other buffet meals at Flamingo Café are Meat & Poultry Feast (every Friday evening), High Tea Buffet (every Saturday afternoon) and Sunday Mania (every Sunday afternoon). Hotel guests enjoy 20% discount off regular prices.
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: 5.46739 N, 100.28891 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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