Spice Brasserie

This article is part of my Christmas 2017 compilation.

Special thanks to The Light Hotel for extending this food review invitation.

The Light Hotel is a 5-star hotel at Seberang Jaya. Sporting an impressive concourse with glittering chandeliers, this place is not called The Light Hotel for nothing. Next to the spacious lobby is Spice Brasserie, the hotel's primary restaurant and the destination of my visit today.
Spice Brasserie is decorated with Christmas ornaments in celebration of the joyous holiday season. This evening, the restaurant is hosting a preview of the upcoming festive menu. All in all, there will be 6 buffet sessions throughout Christmas and New Year.
Spice Brasserie's buffet is centered on the Roasted Turkey. Marinated for one day in advance, the turkey is gently roasted to retain the bird's natural juice. A spice mix of coriander and garlic makes the turkey succulent indeed. On the side are vegetables like Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, sweet potatoes and baby potatoes.
Also at the carvery section, the Lamb Leg is marinated with local and Middle-Eastern spices. Condiments that are compatible with lamb are giblet, black pepper, cranberry and mint sauces. Also included is almond and dried fruit stuffing.
Another noteworthy delicacy in the Christmas-themed buffet is Salmon In Puff Pastry. A large slab of salmon fillet is coated with spinach, mushroom and nuts, and then wrapped in puff pastry to be baked in an oven. This dish is quite similar to Salmon Kulebyaka.
Next to the open kitchen is a grilling station where food is cooked to order. Today's choices are chicken, fish and squid - all marinated beforehand to present their best flavors.
Moving on, the Cheesy Prawn Thermidor is a mixture of shrimps, egg, mustard and cheese. With a creamy texture, this French dish is perfect for cheese lovers. To improve the dish's aesthetic appeal, pineapple skins are arranged along its circumference.
Another dish which deserves special mention is Couscous With Clams. Originating in North Africa, couscous (كُسْكُس‎) consists of fluffy granules of semolina. The dish is topped with clams and is presented in a cucumber "bowl". Once again, it is evident that Spice Brasserie goes to great lengths when it comes to food presentation.
The next dish, Oysters Motoyaki (牡蠣の素焼き), is Japanese in origin. Served with their shells, the giant oysters are baked with mayonnaise-based sauce. Overall, Oysters Motoyaki is almost indistinguishable from Oysters Au Gratin.
The appeal of Mashed Potatoes should not be trifled with. This creamy dish is topped with smoked salmon, scallions, black olives and cherry tomatoes. The toppings present an enticing combination of colors.
Taking a detour to red meats, Roast Beef is cooked in a fiery concoction of garlic pepper sauce. Sparing no expense, the kitchen uses premium New Zealand sirloin for this dish. I cannot recommend this delicacy highly enough.
A number of Indian dishes are included in the Christmas buffet line-up. Served in brass pots, the most unusual among all is the Turkey Curry. Reflecting culinary styles of the subcontinent, the curry is prepared from a complex blend of herbs and spices. Although the curry's taste is acceptable, I feel that turkey is too salty for comfort.
Chicken Tikka Masala is very popular in the United Kingdom due to colonial ties with India. In this dish, marinated chunks of chicken are cooked in a rich curry that is based on tomato and yogurt.
Lamb Briyani (بریانی) is flavored with spices and ghee (clarified butter), making the rice fragrant and flavorful on its own. Cashew nuts, sultana raisins and coriander are also added to the mixed rice dish.
Moving on to Chinese cooking, Roast Duck With Mango Sauce stands out prominently. The main appeal of this dish is the duck's waxy skin. My only concern is that the duck appears drier than ideal.
Diners who enjoy heavy flavoring will find the Glazed Mussels In Spicy Bean Sauce quite appetizing. The plump mussels are seasoned with doubanjiang (豆瓣酱) to tantalize the tongue in salty and spicy dimensions.
As for Buttered Vegetables, the colorful ensemble comprises of Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, squash, carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and black olives. I appreciate the crispiness afford by almond flakes.
Seafood on ice includes snow crabs, shrimps, scallops and mussels. Oysters are noticeably omitted due to the increased risk of consuming raw seafood. Cocktail sauce and lemon wedges are provided as condiments.
As for salads, popular ones are Caesar Salad, Chicken Salad, Waldorf Salad and Niçoise Salad. For diners who prefer to mix their own salads, the salad bar also provides a variety of raw vegetables and salad dressings.
Proceeding to the pastry section, it is difficult not to be captivated by the Gingerbread House. Constructing this piece of art is time-consuming indeed.
Yule Log Cake is another iconic Christmas treat. Made from Swiss rolls, the cake is covered with chocolate icing with spiral patterns to imitate the roughness of tree bark. Meanwhile, caramelized macadamia nuts are arranged at the base of the cake.
Christmas Fruit Cake is littered with candied fruits, almonds and caramelized slices of orange. Other minor desserts in the pastry section are Christmas Pudding, Christmas Fruit Pie, Apple Crumble, Panna Cotta, Strawberry Jelly and Crème Brûlée. Small bites include assorted Christmas cookies, muffins and macarons.
Finally for fruits, papaya, pineapple and watermelon are cut into bite-sized cubes for the convenience of diners. There is also a bowl of fruit cocktail that is concocted from several fruit juices. Last but not least, fans of Thai desserts will be pleased to know that Thapthim Krop (ทับทิมกรอบ) is also available.
Besides buffet meals at Spice Brasserie, The Light Hotel is also serving 5-course set dinners on selected days. The course meals are held at Flavour@3, the hotel's semi-fine dining restaurant on Level 3. On Christmas Eve, Santa Claus and charming Santarina will be coming down the chimney (figuratively speaking) to pay a visit, so kids should behave if they want to get on Santa's good side.
Name: Spice Brasserie
Address: The Light Hotel, Lebuh Tenggiri 2, Pusat Bandar Seberang Jaya, 13700 Seberang Jaya, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-382-1111
Business hours: 6:30am-11:00pm (Sunday-Thursday), 6:30am-1:00am (Friday-Saturday)
Website: http://www.thelighthotelpg.com/dine.html
Coordinates: 5.39442 N, 100.39866 E
Directions: From Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan (North-South Expressway), take the Seberang Jaya exit and head west. Turn left just before the pedestrian bridge and drive all the way to the end. When the road splits, keep right. The Light Hotel is the first building on the left. Spice Brasserie is located next to the lobby. There are parking spaces within the hotel's compound. The parking fee is RM4.00 per entry.

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