The Straits Cafe & Lounge

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

This evening, Ixora Hotel gives a sneak peek of the upcoming Merdeka BBQ Buffet Dinner and Malaysia Day Buffet Lunch. Served at The Straits Cafe & Lounge, the buffet menus cover a decent range of favorite Malaysian dishes.
My meal begins with Cajun Tomato Vegetable Soup, which is quite appetizing thanks to the tanginess of fresh tomatoes. The bread basket contains multigrain bread, country bread, baguettes, Kaiser rolls and bread rolls. Chicken Shawarma is available too.
My next destination is the grilling station at the al fresco section. Scallops and oysters are seasoned pretty well and have a hint of smoky flavors. Other interesting choices are prawns, lamb, beef and cheese sausages.
As for grilled fish, sea bass and stingray are seasoned with spicy sauce. I enjoy the unique texture of stingray; it seems to blend well with the sauce.
Curry Vegetables consist of cauliflowers, cucumbers, eggplants, potatoes and green peas in a creamy curry. The dish is colorful indeed.
Chicken Rendang is slow-cooked for several hours until most liquid has boiled away. The resulting dish is immensely savory. Chicken Rendang goes pretty well with lemang.
Penang Char Kuey Teow is the state's signature dish. Flat rice noodle is cooked with soy sauce, chili paste, bean sprouts, garlic and eggs. This version is served with prawns, squids and mussels.
As for rice, Nasi Ulam is a traditional Malay dish made of steamed rice and chopped herbs. Nasi Ulam is considered a healthy dish because it is blessed with nutrients of raw vegetables.
My favorite choices at the salad counter are Tuna Pasta Salad and Chicken Potato Salad. Alternatively, Malay-style salads are Acar Rampai, Acar Timun Nenas and Kerabu Kacang Panjang. As for diners who prefer to mix their own salads, the salad counter provides assorted raw vegetables and several salad dressings.
In between flavorful dishes, cleanse your palate with fresh fruits such as guavas, watermelons, honeydews, oranges and pineapples.
Pastries are prominently featured during today's preview, although not all types will be present during the actual buffets. Shown here are Pick Me Up Tiramisu, Miracle Berries Chilled Cheese Cake and Mangolicious Cheese Cake.
Also present are Carrot & Walnut Torte, Cioccolato, Gorgeous Lavender, Rose Truffle and Lecious Banana. The pastry team prepared most cakes in bite-size portions for the purpose of this preview.
Last but not least, diners can help themselves to Crème Brûlée, Orange Panna Cotta, Mixed Berry Panna Cotta, Kiwi Jelly, Cocktail Pudding, Almond Tartlets and Blueberry Cheese Tarts. I can tell that the pastry chef spared no expense in cake decoration.
The Straits Cafe & Lounge has a dedicated cake counter that sells these cakes by the slice. The cakes are baked fresh every day. 50% discount applies after 6:00pm. To order whole cakes, please book 3 days in advance.
The price of Merdeka BBQ Buffet Dinner (held on 31 August 2019) is RM88.00+ for adults and RM58.00+ for children. Meanwhile, the Malaysia Day Buffet Lunch (held on 16 September 2019) is priced at RM68.00+ and RM42.00+ for adults and children respectively. In both cases, early birds enjoy "Buy 4 Free 1" discount.
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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