Spice Market

Special thanks to Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa for extending this food review invitation.

Spice Market Café is the all-day dining restaurant in Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa. Besides à la carte dishes, the restaurant also serves International Buffet Dinner from Sunday to Thursday every week. The buffet spread is organized in six distinct sections: Malay, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Western and Desserts.
As part of Shangri-La's chef exchange program, Rasa Sayang is proud to welcome Chef Seth Shantanu as its guest chef for one week. Chef Shantanu heads the award-winning Indian restaurant, Naan - Flavours of India, in Rasa Ria Resort & Spa. His previous visit to Rasa Sayang was back in 2014.
From now till 30 June 2019, the International Buffet Dinner features several of Chef Shantanu's signature dishes. There are three menus on daily rotation. Indian cuisine displays considerable diversity from state to state, but there are common elements throughout the subcontinent. Kebab is a good example.
Kebab is a rustic dish that resulted from frequent warfare and hunting expeditions. For instance, Galouti Kebab was created to serve a Mughal ruler who had lost most of his denture due to old age. Therefore, the royal kitchen chose the softest cuts of lamb, minced it as finely as possible, and marinated it with spices. The word "galouti" means "melt" in Urdu, reflecting the soft texture of mutton.
Paneer Butter Masala is one of my favorite dishes this evening. This North Indian delicacy is prepared from marinated paneer cheese. The spicy gravy is bursting with rich flavors and has a rather creamy consistency. This meatless dish also contains onions and tomatoes.
Malwani Prawns hails from the western coast of India, where seafood places a significant role in the local cuisine. The dish uses a spice mix that includes red chili, cardamom, fennel, star anise, cumin and coriander seeds. The curry has a peppery flavor which may be too spicy for some people.
The tandoori-baked Ajwaini Fish Tikka is marinated with carom seeds, an Indian spice known locally as "ajwain". Ajwain has a very pungency and tends to dominate the overall taste. The boneless fish goes well with mint chutney.
Moving to poultry, Murg Methi Malai is a popular dish in Mughlai cuisine. Chicken is cooked with ghee and spices such as fenugreek leaves. The latter is produces a lovely fragrance that stimulates the palate. Murg Methi Malai goes particularly well with naan flatbread.
Next, Rarra Gosht is a dish of mutton cooked in rich gravy. The gravy is prepared from an aromatic blend of spices. Rarra Gosht packs a strong kick of spiciness; the presence of chili peppers is evidence enough.
Tamatar Dhaniya Ka Shorba is an elegant tomato-based soup from Punjabi cookbooks. The tangy soup is garnished with chopped coriander leaves.
Other dishes at the Indian section are Aloo Matar (potato curry), Subz Miloni (spinach curry), Kadhai Gobi (fried cauliflowers) and Tarkari Biryani (fragrant rice with vegetables). Naan flatbread and papadum crackers are provided. Meanwhile, popular condiments are mango chutney, mint chutney, pickled onions and raita.
The International Buffet Dinner covers other cuisines beyond the Indian section. For something local, Ikan Panggang is well received. The fish fillets are seasoned with spices and baked to golden perfection. Air asam (tamarind sauce) is provided as dipping sauce.
Asian-style chafing dishes include Wok-Fried Fish Fillet With Black Bean Paste, and Deep-Fried Thai Fish Cake. The latter is a popular appetizer from Thailand.
Western cuisine is represented by Beef Stew With Root Vegetable, and Marinated Lamb Cutlet With Minted Jus. Meanwhile, Mediterranean cuisine is covered by Vegetable Couscous this evening.
Spice Market's seafood on ice never fails to impress me. Fresh tiger prawns, flower crabs, scallops and mussels are served this evening. Condiments to go with chilled seafood are cocktail sauce, horseradish cream, wasabi mayonnaise and orange jalapeño dressing.
The Desserts section of Spice Market is mouthwatering too. There are premium cakes like Chocolate Moist Cake, Chili Marble Cheese Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Truffle Cake and Spice Coffee Cake just to name a few.
Spice Market's International Buffet Dinner is priced at RM168.00 net for adults and RM84.00 net for children. The prices include free flow of spiced drinks. Adults enjoy 40% discount on selected days of the week. Be sure to sign up for Golden Circle membership and start collecting award points right away!
Name: Spice Market Café
Address: Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Jalan Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-888-8888
Business hours: 6:30am-10:30pm
Website: Click here
Coordinates: 5.47972 N, 100.25466 E
Directions: From Tanjung Bungah, travel west towards Batu Ferringhi. Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is approximately 4.2 kilometers from Tanjung Bungah's floating mosque, located on the right. Spice Market Café is at Lobby level of the Garden wing.

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