Sun Cafe

Special thanks to Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya for extending this food review invitation.

Sun Cafe is the all-day dining restaurant in Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya. Located at the ground floor of the hotel, it provides breakfast for in-house guests. The eatery also serves Peranakan Buffet Dinner every Friday and Saturday evening. The menu features a variety of traditional Peranakan (Nyonya) dishes, particularly popular ones from the Penang Peranakan community.
For starters, there are a variety of local salads to stimulate the taste buds. Served today are Kerabu Mangga (mango salad), Kerabu Tanghoon (glass noodle salad), Shredded Chicken With Marinated Chili & Lime, and Marinated Jelly Fish With Chili Honey Sauce. Most of these salads use local spices like cili padi (bird's eye chili) quite liberally.
Vietnamese Spring Rolls are known as "gỏi cuốn" in the native language. They consist of shredded carrots, cucumber, jicama and rice vermicelli rolled in soft rice paper. Since the ingredients themselves lack flavor, these spring rolls are often eaten with sweet chili sauce called "nước chấm". As for something more local, Nasi Ulam is a dish of rice mixed with fresh herbs and spices.
The à la minute counter serves another Nyonya specialty, Asam Laksa. The broth is prepared from mackerel and is infused with asam (tamarind), lemongrass and daun kesum (laksa leaf). As per tradition, Asam Laksa is served with thick rice noodle, cucumber, shallots, pineapples, lettuce, ginger flower and chili peppers. However, I feel that the broth needs to be richer with fish flavor.
Kapitan Chicken is yet another iconic Penang Peranakan dish. Chicken pieces are cooked in a curry that is extremely rich in coconut milk. Also included are kaffir lime leaves for the extra aroma.
As for Ayam Pongteh, pieces of chicken and potatoes are stewed with fermented soybeans and gula melaka (palm sugar). The overall taste is sweet and savory. This dish goes especially well with rice.
Taking a detour to seafood, Asam Prawns is a dish of wok-fried shrimps with tamarind juice, sugar and salt. If cooked well, the tamarind's tartness is able to penetrate the shrimps thoroughly.
As for fish, Ikan Asam Pedas is cooked in a spice mix that includes tamarind. Tamarind gives the fish a gentle hint of sourness.
If you prefer something lighter to the palate, check out the Stir Fried Eggplant. I just love the soft texture of the vegetable. The dish comes with a generous amount of minced chicken.
Moving on to desserts, Sago Gula Melaka is a pudding made from miniature sago pearls. While sago is usually translucent, it is dyed red with rose essence. Sago is also nearly tasteless on its own. This is why the pudding is customarily eaten with gula melaka and coconut milk.
Nyonya kuih is an integral element of Nyonya cuisine. Several types are served this evening. My favorite ones are Pulut Tai Tai and Kuih Lapis Pelangi. The former is dyed by the extract of butterfly-pea flowers (bunga telang).
Other kuih choices include Kuih Talam Pandan, Kuih Dadar and Kek Gula Hangus. Should diners prefer soupy desserts, there are Bubur Pulut Hitam (black glutinous rice soup) and Bubur Kacang Hijau (mung bean soup) too.
The Peranakan Buffet Dinner at Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya is priced at RM51.70++ for adults, RM30.20++ for children and RM38.80++ for senior citizens. The buffet was supposed to run from September to October 2018, but in response to popular demand, the promotion has been extended till 22 December 2018.
Name: Sun Cafe
Address: 11, Lebuh Tenggiri 2, Pusat Bandar Seberang Jaya, 13700 Seberang Jaya, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-370-7788
Business hours: 6:30am-1:00am
Coordinates: 5.39564 N, 100.39810 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. Sunway Hotel is further down on the right. Sun Cafe is located on the ground floor. There are parking spaces within the hotel's compound. The parking fee is RM4.00 per entry.

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