Café Laurel

This article is part of my Ramadan 2019 compilation.

Special thanks to Evergreen Laurel Hotel Penang for extending this food review invitation.

Evergreen Laurel Hotel Penang is a 5-star hotel at Gurney Drive (Persiaran Gurney). The property operates under Evergreen Group, a Taiwan-based conglomerate with presence in logistics, aviation and hospitality sectors.
Café Laurel is the hotel's all-day dining restaurant. Located on the ground floor, the eatery is also where in-house guests are served breakfast. Like the lobby, the restaurant is decorated in the festive spirit of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. I am reviewing Café Laurel's Ramadhan & International Buffet Dinner this evening.
The first dish is Ayam Berempah, a popular Malay dish where chicken is coated with spices and deep-fried to a scrumptious crisp. In fact, it is the chicken's flavorful skin that makes it so addictive.
Still on the subject of poultry, Sambal Ayam is another classic Malay dish. Cooked with fiery chili paste and coconut milk, the chicken is moderately spicy by Malaysian standards. Sambal Ayam is heavily seasoned because it is meant to be eaten with carbs. Today's choices are Nasi Briyani and Fried Bee Hoon.
Moving to the carving station, the Roasted Chicken is flavored à la Chinese-style. Infused with lemon juice, the glossy skin is the main appeal of this dish. Meanwhile, white meat under the chicken's skin is fairly tender and juicy.
As for Roast Lamb Chops, the distinctive smell of mutton is masked by aromatic rosemary sauce. Thanks to the balanced mixture between lean meat and fat, the mutton is delightfully tender.
Seafood delicacies this evening include Ikan Goreng Thai Sauce. Fish slices are first fried in oil, and then flavored with Thai-style chili sauce. Should diners prefer raw fish, assorted sushi and sashimi are available too.
Another recommended dish is Udang Goreng Tepung. The prawns are coated with crispy crumbs made from wheat flour. I appreciate the fact that fiery aroma manages to penetrate the prawn shells.
The live action counter presents deep-fried items such as onion rings, money bags and cucur bawang (onion fritters). Other à la minute dishes this evening are Char Koay Teow, Prawn Noodles, Grilled Fish and Satay.
Italian Mixed Salad, Roast Beef Salad, Chicken Salad and Acar Nyonya are served at the salad bar. Diners can also mix their own garden salads. Meanwhile, ulam-ulaman are usually eaten with spicy condiments like sambal belacan (spicy shrimp paste), sambal kicap (spicy soy sauce) and air asam (tamarind sauce).
At the pastry section, diners can enjoy a variety of Malay kuih such as kuih seri muka (glutinous rice and pandan custard), kuih bingka ubi (tapioca cake), kuih sago (sago cake), kek lapis (layered cake), karipap (curry puffs) and more. As for something refreshing, go for a serving of Ais Kacang.
Other desserts that satisfy one's sweet tooth include French pastries, jellies and puddings. Towards the end of the meal, go for fresh fruits like watermelon, papaya, bananas, honeydew, apples and pitaya (dragon fruit). As per tradition, buah kurma (palm dates) is usually consumed when breaking fast.
Café Laurel's Ramadhan & International Buffet Dinner is served from Sunday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday, the restaurant serves Ramadhan & Seafood/Japanese Buffet Dinner instead. Café Laurel is also having high tea and buffet dinner on the first 2 days of Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Name: Café Laurel
Address: 53, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-222-9988
Business hours: 6:30am-10:00pm
Website: https://www.evergreenlaurelhotelpenang.com/dining
Coordinates: 5.43130 N, 100.31779 E
Directions: Evergreen Laurel Hotel Penang is located at the eastern end of Gurney Drive (Persiaran Gurney). Café Laurel is located next to the lobby. Evergreen Laurel Hotel has multi-storey parking, which is accessible from Gurney Drive and Kelawai Road (Jalan Kelawai).

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