This article is part of my Chinese New Year 2018 compilation.

Special thanks to Vistana Penang Bukit Jambul for extending this food review invitation.

Vistana Penang Bukit Jambul is a 4-star hotel near Bukit Jambul. The hotel was most recently renovated in 2014. This is one of the three Vistana properties under YTL Hotels; the others are located in Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan.
Vistana is offering Chinese New Year Yee Sang Banquet from 26 January 2018 to 2 March 2018. There are 3 menus to choose from. Depending on the number of tables ordered, the course meals will be served in the Grand Ballroom or one of the smaller function rooms.
During today's preview, the 9-course menu (RM1,088++) is served. The first dish is the Vistana Salmon Yee Sang (旺犬报年齐捞生). Yee sang has become an essential element when celebrating Lunar New Year. The dish contains raw salmon slices. Fish is considered auspicious because the Chinese name for "fish" (鱼) is a homonym of "abundance" (余). As per tradition, diners gather around the round table and toss the ingredients in the air with chopsticks.
The second course is a soup: Double-Boiled Chicken Herb (祝君壮力健). After simmering with spring chicken for hours, the soup attains very rich taste. The clear soup also contains bamboo pith (竹荪), red dates (红枣) and wolfberries (枸杞).
Roasted Duck Hong Kong Style (飞雁传喜讯) is dressed in sweet and sour plum sauce. The duck's flesh is fairly tasty. This poultry dish comes with fried mantou (炸馒头) on the side. Mantou is meant to be eaten with duck, but I personally prefer to consume them separately.
Switching gears to seafood, Steamed Red Lion Fish (年年庆有余) is served with superior soy sauce to accentuate the refined flavor of fish. The red lion fish is also garnished with coriander for the refreshing aroma.
The next dish is Braised Black Mushrooms (金钱满载归). Besides shiitake mushrooms (香菇), the dish also comprises of bean curd rolls, broccoli and macadamia nuts. Flavored with thick gravy, this vegetarian dish is quite satisfying.
Wok-Fried Magnolia Prawn (喜气乐洋洋) comes with sweet and sour dressing. For aesthetic purpose, the dish is garnished with capsicum and a "nest" made from crispy rice vermicelli. I think the presentation is better if the shrimp heads were still attached to their bodies.
On the other hand, I am impressed by how the Lotus Leaf Wrapped Sticky Rice (金枝贵玉叶) is presented. Individual servings of glutinous rice are wrapped in lotus leaf, and then topped with shrimp roe and dried fish strips. The rice is very tasty too, making it among of my favorite dishes this evening.
Moving on to sweet desserts, Double-Boiled Honey Sea Coconut (和气报吉祥) has noticeably bitter aftertaste due to a substantial amount of American ginseng tails (洋参须). Also included are snow fungus (雪耳) and red dates. I appreciate the fact that the dessert has strong herbal taste as opposed to being outright sweet.
Accompanying the cold dessert is Crispy Chinese Rice Cake With Yam (黄金年糕步步高). Filled with red bean paste, the sweet rice balls conclude the meal on a sweet note.
Just like the previous years, YTL Hotels flew in Master Chef Ng Wing Lam (吴永霖) from Hong Kong to oversee Vistana's Chinese New Year menu. A veteran in this line, Chef Ng has 40 years of culinary experience to speak from. By the way, Vistana's kitchen has halal certification, so the banquet meals are suitable for corporate lunches or dinners too.
Name: Vistana Penang Bukit Jambul
Address: 213, Jalan Bukit Gambir, 11950 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-646-8000
Business hours: 11:00am-3:00pm, 6:00pm-10:00pm
Coordinates: 5.33634 N, 100.29170 E
Directions: Driving southbound on Jalan Bukit Gambir, turn left just before Vistana and drive up to the lobby entrance. Basement parking is available from the back of the hotel. The parking fee is RM3.00 per entry for banquet guests.


  1. Having tried the Yee Sang CNY Course Menu for consecutive two years, I only have one thing to say, "I will definitely come back."