The Straits Cafe & Lounge

This article is part of my Ramadan 2019 compilation.

Special thanks to Ixora Hotel for extending this food review invitation.

Ixora Hotel is a hotel next to Megamal Pinang. Situated strategically near the Perai Industrial Estate, the 4-star hotel primarily appeals to business travelers and expatriates. Ixora Hotel's all-day dining restaurant is The Straits Cafe & Lounge, which is located next to the lobby.
This evening, Ixora Hotel offers a sneak peek at its upcoming buffet dinner menu, which is themed "Kampungku" (My Village). The menu covers over a dozen Malay dishes and several warung (food stalls) that serve local street food. Available every evening from 7 May 2019 to 3 June 2019, the buffet largely coincides with the Ramadan season.
Kambing Panggang Golek is Ixora Hotel's signature dish. The rotisserie goat is thoroughly marinated, and then roasted over burning charcoal to give it a toasty aroma. The mutton is juicy and succulent indeed. Black pepper, rosemary and mint sauces are provided.
Should diners prefer grilled fish, Ikan Bakar Istimewa is served this evening. Each fish is seasoned with chili paste, tantalizing the taste buds with fiery flavors. Condiments to go with grilled fish are air asam (tamarind sauce) and sambal kicap cili padi (spicy soy sauce).
Bubur Lambuk Berempah is an essential dish when breaking fast. In the kampung (Malay village), the rice porridge is usually prepared in large quantities to be distributed to the community. Flavored with meat stock and spices, the porridge is quite appetizing.
Ayam Kuzi Berempah is a traditional poultry dish from Kelantan. Bite-size chicken pieces are cooked with raisins, cloves, cinnamon and other spices. This dish is heavily seasoned because it is meant to go with rice.
As for shellfish, Kupang Masam Manis is served today. The half shell mussels are flavored with sweet and sour sauce. Cherry tomatoes, capsicum and spring onions serve as garnishes.
If you prefer something on the spicier side, Siput Lala Goreng Bercili is a good choice. Stir-fried with chili peppers, the clams do not provide much meat. In truth, the main appeal of this dish is the seasoning itself.
Ulam-ulaman comprises of ulam raja (king's salad), daun selom (selom leaves), daun pegaga (Asiatic pennywort leaves), kacang botol (winged beans), kacang panjang (yardlong beans), petai (stink beans) and peria (bitter gourd). The raw vegetables are typically eaten with condiments such as sambal belacan (spicy shrimp paste), sambal mangga (mango chili relish), budu (fermented anchovies) and tempoyak (fermented durians).
Rojak Buah-Buahan is a local salad that uses cubed fruits like apples, guava, cucumber, pineapples and sengkuang (jicama). The dressing is a thick sauce that is based on belacan (shrimp paste). The sauce has sweet, spicy and savory flavors.
Advancing to the pastry section, there are a variety of Malay kuih including kuih bom (sesame balls), puteri ayu (pandan sponge cakes), cucur keria (glazed sweet potato doughnut) and kuih ketayap (rolled pandan crêpes).
The buffet dinner at The Straits Cafe & Lounge is priced at RM88.00 net for adults and RM58.00 net for children. To sweeten the deal, Ixora Hotel is offering "Buy 10 Free 1" early bird vouchers for a limited time. While dining, parents can keep their children occupied at the indoor playground inside the restaurant.
In addition, Ixora Hotel is having a budget version of the buffet that does not include any live action stalls. This buffet is held separately at Baba & Nyonya Hall. The price is RM60.00 and RM46.00 for adults and children respectively.
Name: The Straits Cafe & Lounge
Address: 3096, Jalan Baru, Bandar Perai Jaya, 13600 Perai, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-382-8888
Business hours: 6:00am-11:00pm
Coordinates: 5.37805 N, 100.39825 E
Directions: From Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan (North-South Expressway), take the Prai exit and head west. After Megamal Pinang on the left, turn left and follow the road to Ixora Hotel's basement parking. The Straits Cafe & Lounge is located next to the lobby.

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