Peranakan/ Nyonya Cuisine @ Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel, Penang.
So what's happening in Penang recently ? If you are a buffet lover/hunter, then you might be interested to read more on this blog post. In the month of July, 2012 (1/7/2012 to 31/7/2012), Eastin Hotel Penang will be offering promotions on their Peranakan Cuisine, an array of authentic and palatable Peranakan themed dishes will be offered. In conjunction with this promotion of theirs, some bloggers along with magazines editors and reporters were invited to sample some of their dishes which will be offered during the promotion. The Peranakan cuisine will be available during lunch, hi-tea, and dinner; prices are as follows:
Lunch: Monday - Friday
12pm to 2:30pm
Rm 48++ (adult), Rm 24++ (children)
Hi-Tea: Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
12pm to 3pm
Rm 55++ (adult), Rm 28++ (children)
Hi-Tea: Festive Occasions (7th July 2012-- Georgetown World Heritage Day)
12pm to 3pm
Rm 68++ (adult), Rm 34++ (children)
Semi-Buffet Dinner: Monday - Thursday (2-19th July 2012)
6:30pm to 10pm
From Rm 48++ per person
Swez Brasserie Cafe is just located at Ground floor of Eastin Hotel Penang, right beside the main hotel lobby. They do have a lot of promotions going on too, as for their buffet, the theme changes every month, you may refer to their website or follow their Facebook page for the latest/ most updated theme of the month.
July Credit Card Promotions:
MAYBANKARD, VISA, CIMB, and UOB card members, guests can enjoy a 15% discount for Peranakan Cuisine Semi Buffet Dinner (Monday to Thursday), Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday to Sunday) and Ramadan Buffet Dinner (Daily) from 6:30pm to 10pm. Besides, MAYBANKARD card members can enjoy the exclusive Buy 4 Free 1 promotion for Peranakan Cuisine Hi-Tea (Saturday & Sunday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday to Sunday) too.
The meal was kick-started by this Nyonya Acar-acar (娘惹阿渣泡菜), a very traditional Nyonya appetizer which consists of Cabbage, Carrots, Cucumber and Cauliflower. It is often topped with some toasted Sesame Seeds and Grounded Peanuts too. Personally, I find the vegetables were a bit over-cooked, especially the cucumbers which apparently lacked of the crunchiness. Moreover, I would also prefer this dish to have more Grounded Peanuts, probably personal preferences, but I just love peanuts in Acar. Taste-wise, was quite okay and more to the sweeter side, tho I would prefer a slightly spicier version too.
The next appetizer we get to sample was their Nyonya Kerabu Ayam (娘惹凉拌鸡肉). The Kerabu Ayam (Chicken Salad) was flavorful and nicely done to my liking, tho it was more to the sweeter side due to the use of some coconut flakes. This Kerabu consists of Chicken meat (sliced), sprouts, red chilies and some carrots. Lovely.
Nyonya Pie Tee Cup (娘惹金杯薄饼) was a hit among some of us, although some complaint about the thickness of the cup (too thick to their liking), but I find it perfectly okay since it was crisply done and doesn't require a lot of munching. Fillings (stir fried minced chicken) were a little bit dry no doubt, but you can always ask for their chili dip to complement the dish. Not too shabby for me.
Move on to the main course, we first had their Itik Tim/ Salted Vegetables Duck Soup (咸菜鸭汤), which was also the only soup served to us that day. The soup was cooked using Pickled Mustard (or commonly known as Kiam Cai), Duck, Tomatoes, Preserved Plums and Onions etc. To my surprise, their Itik Tim turned out to be piquant, with just the proper peppery flavor and sourness. Duck meat was used instead of the duck bones, which gives us the extra bite. The duck was tender and delicate enough too. As much as I adore the flavor, spiciness and sourness of this soup, I find it very salty to my liking, it would be much better if they improve on this.
Follow up next, was their Nyonya Yellow Curry Chicken (娘惹风鸡肉黄咖哩). The tenderly done chicken meat was succulent and juicy to my liking, so does the potatoes. However, I find the curry flavor was overpowering and was more to the sweeter side (I always find sweeter version of curry too weird to my liking). I would also prefer the curry to be slightly spicier just to spice things up. Other-wise, it was perfectly okay for me.
They've used Tiger Prawns for the dish- Assam Prawns (阿参虾), the prawns were very fresh and huge to me, together with some sourish Tamarind sauce, no doubt the sauce was nicely done as it was flavorsome and savory but the flavors from the sauce have failed to infuse into the prawns, which made them pretty bland in terms of taste and I had to scoop the sauce and spread onto the prawns after I've peeled them off. Probably more marinating time needed or extra cut on the prawns will be good to remedy this problem.
Jiu Hoo Char/ Stir Fried Jicama with Dried Cuttlefish Strips (鱿鱼炒甜萝卜丝) was the last main course served to us. It tasted perfectly okay (quite a lot of Dried Cuttlefish Strips can be tasted) for me but I do have some small little complaints on the texture, I would prefer that they cut/slice the Jicama into smaller sizes. Other-wise, I would call it a decent dish, good to go with some white rice too.
As for desserts, we were served with this Bee Koe Moy/ Black Glutinous Rice Porridge (黑糯米粥). This dessert is not considered as complete IF no coconut milk is added/topped. This dessert was lovely in my opinion, with the right balance of sweetness and saltiness from the coconut milk. It was not too sweet too, which makes it suitable for a person who doesn't have a sweet-tooth like me.
A Nyonya-themed meal is never considered as complete without Nyonya Kuih. Among the Assorted Nyonya Kuih, I find the most stand out kuih will be none other than Chef Franco's (Pastry Chef of Penang Eastin Hotel) proud creation of Durian Layer Cake. One bite into this Durian Layer Cake will make your mouth full with the robust aroma of Durian. The after-taste was pretty strong and the best part, it was not too sweet and was perfect to my liking. Recommended.
Some photos of their Pastry Chef, Chef Franco Ho (top picture) and Chef Ong Chin Hock (middle picture) posting with their own master-piece of creation.
Address: Ground Floor, Eastin Hotel Penang. 1, Solok Bayan Indah, Queensbay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang.
Contact Number: 604- 612 1111