Garden Cafe

This article is part of my Ramadan 2019 compilation.

Special thanks to Golden Sands Resort for extending this food review invitation.

This evening, Golden Sands Resort debuts its Selera Kampung Buffet Dinner. Served at Garden Cafe, the buffet is held every evening except on Sundays. The new menu focuses on Malay dishes, many of which are the brainchild of Executive Sous Chef Rizal. Chef Rizal has more than two decades of culinary experience under his belt.
Starting with Nasi Briyani Tulang Rawan, this savory rice dish is cooked with beef, spices and ghee. The rice is tasty and aromatic, while beef cartilage gives a delightfully chewy texture. The dish also comes with sultanas, cashew nuts and hard-boiled eggs.
Other chafing dishes that reflect Chef Rizal's culinary philosophy are Beef With Dry Chili & Cashew Nuts, Taugeh Goreng Ikan Masin (fried bean sprouts with salted fish), Rendang Pedas (spicy beef), Cili Ketam (chili crabs), Ayam Panggang Bumbu Bali (Balinese roasted chicken) and Crispy Catfish In Garlic Soya.
As for vegetarian dishes, Dhalca Sayur is a vegetable stew that contains potatoes, carrots, petola (loofah) and eggplants. Dhalca Sayur can be eaten with rice such as Nasi Jagung and Nasi Puspasari (similar to Nasi Hujan Panas).
Next, Sup Gear Box is a rich mutton stew which also contains potatoes, carrots and celery. Before serving, sprinkle some fried shallots and spring onions to improve the aroma. "Gear Box" refers to the lamb's femur, which sometimes resembles a gear stick.
Another popular dish during Ramadan is Lemang. Made of glutinous rice and coconut milk, Lemang is traditionally cooked in hollowed bamboo sticks lined with banana leaves. Two types of glutinous rice are used: white and black. Lemang is customarily eaten with Rendang or Serunding (meat floss).
For something light and crispy, there are several types of crackers to delight your palate. Of particular interest is Keropok Melinjau from Indonesia. Made of belinjo nuts, the cracker gives a mildly bitter aftertaste. Other crackers are Keropok Udang (prawn crackers), Keropok Ikan (fish crackers), Keropok Sayur (vegetable crackers) and Papadom (black gram crackers).
Ulam-Ulam Tempatan comprise of daun selom (water dropwort leaves), daun pegaga (Asiatic pennywort leaves), pucuk gajus (cashew leaves) and petai (stink beans). The raw vegetables are usually eaten with condiments like sambal belacan (spicy shrimp paste), budu (fermented anchovies) and cincalok (fermented shrimps).
Diners should not overlook the live action stalls just outside The Terrace. The main highlight this evening is Kambing Panggang. A whole goat is marinated with spices for several hours, and then roasted on a spit. Charcoal smoke gives the rotisserie mutton a toasty aroma.
As for Ayam Pasu, each chicken is roasted over a ceramic pot that contains burning charcoal. Steady heat from the pot allows the chicken to be heated thoroughly. Seasoned with spices like turmeric, Ayam Pasu is a scrumptious delicacy indeed.
The desserts section presents a variety of Malay kuih such as K uih Bom (sesame balls), Kuih Bingka Pandan (tapioca and pandan cake), Kuih Seri Muka (glutinous rice with pandan custard), Tapai Ubi (fermented tapioca) and Karipap (curry puffs). In addition, there are several types of Kuih Raya (Malay cookies) and Dodol (coconut milk toffee) to delight one's sweet tooth.
As for Western pastries, there are Rainbow Sponge Cake, Chocolate Moist Cake and Lemon Tart just to name a few. Also enticing are the colorful jellies like Fruit Jelly, Cendol Jelly and Agar-Agar. Meanwhile, Sago Gula Melaka is a sago pudding that is eaten with gula melaka (palm sugar) and coconut milk.
Golden Sands Resort's Selera Kampung Buffet Dinner is priced at RM98.00 net for adults and RM49.00 net for children. For every two adults, one person's meal is on the house! Furthermore, senior citizens enjoy 40% discount while children below the age of 6 dine for free. If you are looking for a satisfying meal while stretching your dollar, Golden Sands Resort is where you want to be!
Name: Garden Cafe
Address: Golden Sands Resort, Jalan Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-886-1911
Business hours: 6:30am-11:00pm
Website: http://www.shangri-la.com/penang/goldensandsresort/dining/restaurants/garden-cafe
Coordinates: 5.47657 N, 100.25110 E
Directions: Driving from George Town and upon arriving Batu Ferringhi, Golden Sands Resort is located on the right at the first traffic junction. The main entrance to the hotel is located slightly after the junction. Garden Cafe is located on the west wing just beside the lobby.

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