Selah

This article is part of my Ramadan 2018 compilation.

Special thanks to Olive Tree Hotel for extending this food review invitation.

Olive Tree Hotel is a 4-star hotel at Bayan Baru, right next to Arena Curve and SPICE Arena. There are two restaurants in the hotel: Sukkah and Selah. The latter, formerly known as Cups & Mugs, has been renovated since my last visit.
Located next to the lobby, Selah serves light meals and coffee. The café takes the name of the Hebrew word "סֶלָה‬", which means "to pause" or "to reflect" in a spiritual sense. This evening, Selah hosts a preview of the upcoming Ramadan buffet, which is themed "Citarasa Semenanjung" (Peninsular Gourmet). The menu features several popular dishes in West Malaysia.
The main highlight each evening is the Roasted Lamb, which I find reasonably tender and juicy. Black pepper and mint sauce serve as condiments. The lamb goes well with nasi briyani (Indian mixed rice) and grilled vegetables like mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, shallots, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and potatoes.
Chicken Shawarma has become increasingly popular in Malaysia in the recent years. This Middle Eastern street food is cooked in rotisserie style. The marinated chicken is rotated continuously to ensure uniform heating. As the chicken becomes cooked, it is shaved off the block and stuffed into toasted pita bread.
Being located on the ground floor, Selah offers outdoor space for hawker-style action stalls. Satay is a popular Malaysian snack due to its addictive taste. Skewered chicken and beef are marinated with a spice mix based on turmeric (kunyit), and then barbecued over burning charcoal. Satay is typically eaten with spicy peanut sauce, cucumber, shallots and nasi impit (pressed rice).
Thai Pattaya Kebab is another recommended dish too. It consists of white bread and minced chicken wrapped in omelette. The wrap is drizzled with mayonnaise and ketchup. Contrary to popular belief, pattaya-style omelette is actually a Malaysian invention.
Mee Rebus is served in thick, curry-like gravy that is mildly sweet and spicy. The yellow egg noodle is cooked by blanching in hot water. Other ingredients in this noodle dish are chicken slices, fishcakes, eggs, bean sprouts, tofu and more.
Bubur Lambuk is an essential appetizer when breaking fast in the evening. The rice porridge is seasoned with a variety of spices to produce savory flavors. As for soups, Sup Daging Madura (Javanese soup) and Pumpkin Soup are prepared today. Bread rolls are also provided.
Moving on to hot dishes, Gulai Nangka Ikan Bilis is a curry of jackfruit and anchovies. I enjoy the unique texture of jackfruit as it blends well with the curry. Meanwhile, the curry is moderate in terms of spiciness.
Sambal Udang Petai is a stir-fried dish of shrimps and stink beans with chili paste. While the prawns are cooked just about right, I feel that the stink beans are not as cooked as they ought to be. Other Malay dishes this evening are Daging Rendang Tok and Taukua Sambal Hijau.
Sweet & Sour Fish is a Chinese recipe. The dish uses batter-coated fried fish fillets dressed in sweet and sour sauce. The fish is particularly appealing to children as it contains no bones. Another notable Chinese cooking today is Mantis Prawns With Salted Egg.
Indian food is represented by Chicken Varuval. Varuval is a type of dry curry where meat is sautéed with flavorful spices from the subcontinent. As for garnishing, curry leaves are added to enhance the aroma.
Moving on, Oxtail Osso Bucco is an Italian dish that means "bone with a hole". The braised oxtail is accompanied by juicy vegetables like capsicum, zucchini and tomatoes.
Ulam-Ulaman Serantau is an assortment of vegetables like daun pegaga (Asiatic pennywort leaves), bendi (okra) and kacang botol (winged beans). The raw vegetables are often eaten with dipping sauces like sambal belacan, sambal mempelam, budu and cincalok. Other traditional Malay delicacies include jeruk (pickles), keropok lekor (fish crackers), tauhu sumbat (stuffed tofu), ketupat (rice dumplings) and serunding (meat floss).
There are also a variety of Malay salads like Kerabu Ayam (chicken salad), Kerabu Perut (Beef Stomach Salad) and Kerabu Kacang Botol (winged bean salad). On the other hand, diners who prefer to mix their own salad can take advantage of fresh produce like romaine lettuce, red cabbage, alfalfa, capsicum, onions and corn. Salad dressings are French, Italian, Thousand Island and vinaigrette.
Traditional Malay kuih is part and parcel of iftar meals. Several types are prepared this evening, namely kuih talam, kuih seri muka, kuih lapis, kuih abuk and kuih tepung bungkus. These sweet treats are presented in rattan baskets with retractable covers. As for diners who prefer Western pastries, there is also a modest selection of petits fours.
Sago Gula Melaka is a popular sweet dessert that is made from miniature sago pearls. As the pearls are tasteless on their own, they are often flavored by gula melaka (palm sugar) and coconut milk. Also included this evening is Bubur Pulut Hitam, a sweet porridge made from black glutinous rice.
Ice Kacang marks the conclusion of today's meal. The shaved ice is flavored with gula melaka, sirap ros (rose syrup) and evaporated milk. Examples of other ingredients are attap chee (nipa palm fruit), selasih (basil seeds), cincau (grass jelly), kidney beans and crushed peanuts. Meanwhile, diners who prefer to end the meal with a warm dessert can go for Leng Chee Kang.
During the holy month of Ramadan, the evening ambience is livened up by traditional Malay musical instruments at the lobby. Music is performed by representatives from Pertubuhan Permata Al-Mahabbah, a Penang-based charitable organization.
Olive Tree Hotel's Ramadan buffet dinner is served from 21 May 2018 to 13 June 2018. The price is RM89.00+ for adults and RM49.00+ for children. In addition, the hotel is also offering special room deals with attractive rates starting from RM215.00+ per night.

Name: Selah
Address: 76, Jalan Mahsuri, 11950 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-637-7856
Business hours: 8:00am-11:00pm (Saturday-Thursday), 8:00am-4:00pm (Friday)
Website: http://olivetreehotel.com.my/dining/selah
Coordinates: 5.32704 N, 100.27952 E
Directions: Olive Tree Hotel is located at Bayan Baru, just across the street from SPICE Arena. Selah is located at the Ground Floor, just next to the lobby. The hotel's multi-storey parking charges RM3.00 for the first hour, then RM1.00 for each subsequent hour. Parking is complimentary for hotel guests.

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