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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Spice Market Cafe: Buy 1 Free 1

My Ratings: 4 Stars
Cuisine: International

Location: Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa
Batu Feringgi Beach, 11100 Penang
Pork Free
RM90 - RM130 per person
Contact: +604 888 8888

It is a trip down memory lane. Ever since the Rasa Sayang have been renovated and re-opened as a resort and spa, I have not been inside the hotel as often I would like to. But every time when I am there, without fail, I have a sense of tranquility and inner peace when I stepped inside the hotel and its landscaped gardens. My favourite is the grand old tree that stood in the center courtyard and everything seemed to be built around it....the pool, the restaurants and the two wings of the hotel.

This time I went there for a Sunday lunch review of its promotion package (Buy 1 Free 1) at the Spice Market Cafe. This round is the Merdeka Raya offer for the whole month of August. It is only RM80++ per person and yes, it is buy 1 free 1. Thanks to Jason for the invitation, we managed to get a seat in an otherwise fully packed floor both inside and outside dining.

Putting the offer aside, let's review the establishment and food. Spice Market Cafe is definitely a one of a kind restaurant. Kudos to the management, they came up with the concept of actually putting up a spice shop in the front. Not only it smells wonderful of the assortment of spices but as well as a visual appetiser for what is waiting inside is the glorious food. The Spice Market is aptly named to give visitors a hands-on introduction of the local and traditional spices used in the cuisines of the world.

My first impression of the cafe is that it is huge with food stations and counter on one whole side of the restaurant plus a huge central island for serving out cold dishes and desserts. It is like a mini tour of the world's cuisine from Indian specialties, seafood, pasta, oriental, Mediterranean and good old local favourites. And if you can't find what you like, you can make small request to the chefs to cook up your personal favourites if within the chef's means.

I got to eat my favourites and judging from the lines, it could be well a popular favourite. The Indian cuisine is something to note. They had Tandoori (chicken) and naan freshly baked in a traditional Tandoori oven. They also had lamb curry, paneer, dhal curry, basmathi rice and even Murtabak to complete the Indian food adventure

Another attraction of the restaurant is the central island serving out all sorts o f desserts and cakes from cheese cake, apple crumble, chocolate mud cakes, strawberry fruit cakes with whole strawberries, chocolate fondue to local fare like the ice-kacang and cendol and glutinous (pulut) rice. To top is off and uniquely, they also serve cotton candy made fresh from the machine. Belissimo!

All in all, there are more than 30 choices for mains and countless more side dishes and desserts and cakes. I learned that they refreshed the dishes every cycle. That means, when you get up for your second helping, chances are there are some dishes are new and more variety when you go for third, fourth and more helpings each time.

Leading the restaurant is Executive Sous Chef Lim who had many years cooking in international destinations. And after having a conversation with Chef Lim, I truly appreciate what he is doing to make the dining experience more special by having to be innovative in presenting the menu to his quest. And when it comes to quality ingredients, Shangri-La spares no expense in creating and leading a system of food quality control and in fact the hotel chain has been with an ISO certification. Partnering with Rasa Sayang's Food Ambassador, Miss Jessica, Chef Lim's team is doing a good job in making sure that each and every dining experience is a memorable one.

Spice Market Cafe is regularly doing a promoton with is Buy 1 Free 1 package deal. For example from now till 20 December 2011, on every Monday and Tuesday 6:30pm - 10:30pm. (price is currently RM104++ per person). So for the deal is RM104++ for 2 persons (food only). Reservations is required as the deal is very popular to avoid disappointment

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