Gourmet Garden

Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'

Batu Ferringghi

SELAMAT HARI RAYA to all Muslim friends!

Not much action since I joined a company and responsible for opening up new international markets. The brain is tired from all those country and market research plus business visit arrangements. The weekend and Raya holidays gave me the opportunity to prepare and author a recent and 1 or 2 outstanding posts that I have place a mental note to get done.

Two weeks ago we were invited by Hard Rock Hotel Penang to review their annual “Bintang Rock Buffet” designed to cater to the Muslim Fasting Month (bulan puasa). This year is the third consecutive year of being hosted by their Starz Diner and Hard Rock Cafe to taste their customized buffet line that showcases and adopts the many local cuisines that makes Malaysian food unique. Year on year their dishes and variety keep getting better, and this year they have made the buffet dish selection a true Malaysian potpourri; the buffet line up includes the exotic Malay salads (kerabus and ulams), Indian Masala to Chinese fried noodles crafted by their well skilled chefs.

The Bintang Rock Buffet at Starz Diner for this year (2014) was a limited time offer theme buffet  from the 29th June to 29th July 2014, with 4 individually unique selection of drinks and dishes menus to satisfy the desire for variety during the holy fasting month. The buffet would have only set you back RM70++ per adult and RM35++ per child of 6 to 12years old.

To breakfast after a day of abstaining from drinking and eating, it is advisable to start slow and light, the best choice is to have a hot drink and some nutrition packed dates.  We did not need to warm up our digestive system, thus we headed straight to their appetizers and salads were section to sample some of the not usually available dishes in hotels or local restaurants. There were (clockwise from top right) ‘keropok lekor’ or fish crackers, pickled mix fruits/vegetables, variety of ‘Cincaluk’ or preserved shrimps and ‘nasi ulam’ or mixed vegetable rice and ‘serunding’ or meat floss. In the centre we have a plate filled with the appetizers ready to go.

This year’s salad selection were seasoned raw fish salad, chicken and young jackfruit salad, cuttlefish salad, tomato salad, ‘kerabu kacang campur’ or mixed bean salad and ‘kerabu udang’ or prawn salad.

In their line up, they also had ‘Bubur Lambuk’ or mixed vegetable congee (on the left) and ‘Sup Kambing ala Mydin’ or lamb soup (on the right). This year’s bubur lambuk was a much creamier and spiced as compared to previous years, it had more ‘santan’ or coconut milk and heavier touch of spices, more flavourful and tasty.

Moving to the main courses, (clockwise from top right) there were ‘Gulai Ikan Tenggiri Bendi’ or Mackerel Curry with Ladies Fingers,  ‘Sambal Tumis Udang & Petai’ or Sambal Prawns with Bitter/Stink Beans, Steamed Patin Fish with Ginger Soy and ‘Ketam Masak Lemak Nenas’ or Braised Blue Crab in Turmeric & Coconut Gravy.

(Clockwise from top right) ‘Gulai Ayam’ or Chicken Curry, ‘Kari Daging Kentang ‘ or Beef & Potato Curry and Mutton Kheema.

(Clockwise from top right) Fried E Foo Mee with Chicken, Chicken & Lamb Satay, Chicken Masala, Lamb Shawarma and Roast Strip Loin with Grilled Vegetables.

After finishing with the appetizers and main courses, there were the traditional Malaysian sweet cakes or ‘Kuih-Muih’.

Apart from the traditional, there were also Continental desserts like White Chocolate Creme Caramel, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Coffee Walnut Mousse, Strawberry Streusel, and more.

Before we could finish the Bintang Rock Buffet, Hard Rock Cafe sent in their “The Rock Platter” for this year’s Puasa month. The platter was priced at RM140++ for 2 persons’ and RM210++ for 3 persons’ 3 Course Meal with Drinks! It was monstrous platter for us Asians and we definitely had dig in deep to try to finish it, especially we had already gone through the buffet line.

For the Rock Platter, there were two separate menus to choose from, we had menu ‘A’  which had Onion Rings, Chicken Briyani, Spaghetti Marinara, Chicken Portuguese, Vegetable Spring Roll, Grilled Mini Shrimp Quesadilla, Hickory-Smoked BBQ Beef Ribs and Mini Beef Burgers with Rendang Sauce.

Overall experience for Starz Diner’s Bintang Rock Buffet and Hard Rock Cafe’s Rock Platter:

  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • On average the dishes served were on the bland side due to the reduction of salt and pepper in their cooking after their guests’ feedbacks on health concerns, but they have prepared individual bottles of salt and pepper to add taste.
  • They were not stingy on the spices and herbs used in their recipes, though.
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • Anything served and consumed at the appropriate time is always the best in terms of texture and taste.
  • The Rock Platter’s Chicken Portuguese, beef rib and burger patty were all tender and moist although it was sitting idle for a short while before we began to dig in.
  • N/A as it is an invited review event, but the staffs at hand were quite attentive, friendly and helpful.
  • 4.5/5 (Very Good)
  • The dining area was neat and clean.
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • Comfortable seats, bright dining area and clean cutlery and plates.
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • If compared to last year’s prices, there weren’t much increase for the Bintang Rock Buffet, but there was a slight increase for the Rock platter.
  • N/A for Bintang Rock Buffet.
  • It was a monstrosity for the Rock Platter, 2 persons would have some difficulty to finish the whole platter set.
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • There were more variety of choices, more mixture of local cuisines and showcase of traditional dishes.
  • The qualities of ingredients were improved, e.g. the Blue Crab was fresh and still had their distinctive sweetness.
  • There was also quantity in the condiments and raw material utilised for preparing their dishes, e.g. their Spicy Prawn noodles had also used crab for the making of their soup base.
  • 4.5/5 (Very Good)
  • After having been hosted for their buka puasa buffet and rock platter for 3 consecutive years, we could see their changes and improvements.

For enquiry, call 04-886 8057 or email to fb.penang@hardrockhotels.net.

Many  thanks to Hard Rock Hotel Penang for extending the invitation and hosting our visit.



The Cronut™ is a croissant-doughnut pastry developed by chef Dominique Ansel for Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City, and in May 2013 the bakery trademarked the name. It is best described as a cross between the two, “Half Croissant, Half Doughnut” which is not made by simply frying croissant dough, but a type of laminated dough using a proprietary recipe that took chef Dominique Ansel two months and 10 recipes to create.

Cronuts are first proofed and then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. Once the cronuts are ready or served, do consume them immediately as they have a short shelf life. And if you intend to share, remember slice or cut them with a serrated knife, so as not to crush the fluffy and flaky layers of pastry. Refrigeration is not recommended as the humidity from the refrigerator will cause the pastry to go stale and soggy. It is best enjoyed at room temperature, but not warmed as it has a cream filling.

Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is bringing the Cronut™ craze to Penang at their Rasa Deli situated in the Garden Wing of the resort with their very own version or interpretation, Croinut. Their Croinut comes in flavours that include a combination of fruits, tart, rich and creamy tastes. At current, they have successfully created six (6) of their own flavours, which include Toffee Orange, Lemon Raspberry, Chocolate Brownie, Apple Crumble, Nutella Banana and Vanilla Oreo.

Toffee Orange croinut is combination of sticky toffee and citrusy tart orange topped croinut to that delivers sweet buttery flavour and a balanced tangy taste.

Toffe Orange Croinut

Lemon Raspberry croinut is covered with a crisp sweet sugar icing and flavoured with lemon and topped off with chunky bits of raspberries. It accentuates a sweet, lemony and fruity taste.

Lemon Raspberry Croinut

Nutella Banana croinut combines the rich nutty flavour in Nutella and the rich and creamy sweet taste found bananas to deliver an east meets tropics affair.

Nutella Banana Croinut

Apple Crumble croinut as its name implies, sweet and tangy green smith apple crumble chunks topped the cream filled flaky pastry.

Apple Crumble Croinut

Chocolate Brownie croinut, a simple combination that plays a straight hand of just the sweet and dark  chocolaty flavour and rich creamy taste set forth by the cream fillings.

Chocolate Brownie Croinut

Vanilla Oreo croinut plays with the texture of flaky tender soft texture of the croinut and the firm and crunchy mouth feel of Oreo™ cookies. Vanilla cream delivers a flowery fragrance to this variety of croinut.

Vanilla Oreo Croinut

Priced at RM10 per piece, the croinuts are made fresh daily to preserve the tender soft flaky texture. And due to the complexity of preparation, only 100 pieces of it is made available daily from 3pm to 4pm at their Rasa Deli located in Rasa Sayang’s Rasa Wing.

Hope over and try them while they are still “hot”!

Rasa Deli @ Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Garden Wing
Batu Ferringgi, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours:  11:00 am to 6.30 pm daily.
Tel No.:  04- 888 8788.

Buka Puasa (Breaking Fast) At Hard Rock Hotel Penang

Posted by Jason Wong On July - 13 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

Time flies fast when you least expected! Just last year in July we were at Hard Rock Hotel to sample their “Buka Puasa Buffet” and with a blink of an eye we are now tasting their 2013 Ramadhan offerings. Muslims around the world will abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until dusk during the Ramadhan month, and it is also the time when an abundance of traditional Malay cuisine and newly assimilated Halal dishes are on displays in daily street markets, restaurant and hotels.

This year, Hard Rock Hotel Penang has come up a few interesting specials to celebrate the holy month of Ramadhan:

  1. The Relax & Feast Package – RM399++ per room per night for 2 pax, inclusive of breakfast and dinner.
  2. The Early Bird Mini Breakfast Buffet – breakfast buffet served from 4:30 am to 5:30 am RM25++ per adult and  RM12.59 per child (4 to 12 years of age).
  3. The Bintang Rock Dinner Buffet – Rm68++ per adult and RM34++ per child, available from 6:30 pm onwards.
  4. The Rock Platter by Hard Rock Cafe Penang – RM120++ per platter for 2 persons, available from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm.

To our surprise, the Bintang Rock Dinner Buffet had a very Malay cuisine theme spread of dishes that impress us at first sight. It is filled with a variety of traditional and new Malay dishes that are very representative of the Malay culture food heritage, but there are some signature dishes that stands out as their specialty and should not be missed. The only down side of the buffet menu is that these signature dishes are distributed into 3 menus that will be rotated weekly (please refer to the menu available at the end of this article).

  1. Bubur Lambuk or Lambut / Soft Rice Congee,
  2. Udang Masak Hijau Putik Pisang / Green Curry Prawns with Young Banana,
  3. Daging Masak Kicap / Spiced Soy Beef,
  4. Ketam Masak Kicap / Braised Blue Crab in Turmeric, Coconut and Pineapple,
  5. Pari Assam Pedas / Hot & Sour Stingray with Chili, Okra & Eggplant,
  6. Assam Laksa Johor / Johor Tamarind (sour) Laksa,
  7. Laksa Penang / Penang Assam Laksa,
  8. Sambal Tumis Udang & Petai / Sauteed Prawn with Sambal and Parkia Speciosa Beans,
  9. Gulai Kambing Serai / Lemongrass Mutton Curry,
  10. Gulai Ayam / Curry Chicken,
  11. Ayam Percik / Grilled Chicken with Spicy Sauce.

To begin the buffet spread, there are a variety of Ulam (Malay raw salads) and Kerabu (cooked salads), Rojak (fruit salad) and the common mixed vegetable section.

Going on to the main courses, it is a composition of Malay dishes ranging from Gulai (curries), Rendang (thick curries) to Satay, and a variety of Chinese and other Asian dishes that have been assimilated to suit the needs to be Halal.

There are also live action stations that are setup to provide local favourites like Roti Canai (Roti Pratha), Laksa, Mee Udang (Spicy Prawn Noodles) and more.

After the mains, desserts are definitely on the buffet line; it is a fusion of Malay kuih (sweet cakes), ice-kacang (shaved ice), bubur manis (sweet porridge) and some western cakes and puddings.

Compare to previous year’s Ramadhan themed buffet spread, I would say this Bintang Rock Buffet is more representative of the Malay food culture and eating habits. Some of our favourites from the Bintang Rock Buffet week 1 menu are:

  1. Bubur Lambuk or Lambut – soft texture with a balanced sweet savoury taste.
  2. Beef Rendang – rich and spicy with not a lot of heat and the meat tender.
  3. Serunding (meat floss) – sweet tasting with a slight spicy aftertaste.

Bubur Lambuk or Lambut

Beef Rendang

Serunding (meat floss)

Overall experience for Starz Diner’s Bintang Rock Buffet week 1 menu:

  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • There were some interesting flavours in play in some of the dishes on the buffet line, but there were some that were slightly over seasoned with salt.
  • Our personal favourites for week 1 were the Bubur Lambuk, Beef Rendang, Udang Masak Hijau Putik Pisang and Pear Almond Tart.
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
  • Any food left on the bain-marie over a period of time would ultimately overcook the meat or vegetables. The tip is to have them fresh.
  • N/A as it is an invited review event, but the staffs at hand were quite attentive, friendly and helpful.
  • 4.5/5 (Very Good)
  • The dining area was neat and clean.
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • Comfortable seats and bright dining area.
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • It is comparatively similar to the buffets being offered elsewhere.
  • N/A as it is a dinner buffet.
  • N/A as it is a dinner buffet but we would like to see in the future a further expansion on the main course diversity if possible.
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • By comparing to the previous year’s Ramadhan buffet line up, there is a mark improvement in the variety of dishes that are representative to the Malay food culture and eating habits.

Moving to Hard Rock Cafe’s Rock Platter 2013 for 2 persons, this festive puasa season sees them creating again a limited time platter combination that is hearty and flavourful. Apart from offering the cafe’s favourites like onion rings, potato skins, Santa Fe Spring Rolls, Hickory-smoked Bar-B-Que Beef Ribs, Mini Apple Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream and Mini Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream, this year’s platter have included more Malay influenced dishes like Mini Rendang Pulled Chicken Sandwich, Red Cooked Chicken, Mini Pulled Lamb Sandwich and Chicken Rendang.

 Overall experience for Hard Rock Cafe’s Rock Platter menu A:

  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • Our personal favourites from Rock Platter A were the Grilled Mini Beef Quesadilla, Red Cooked Chicken and Hickory-Smoked Bar-B-Que Chicken.
  • 3.5/5 (Average Good)
  • The chicken was tender and flavourful.
  • The beef was medium-well with still some pink in them.
  • N/A as it is an invited review event, but the staffs at hand were quite attentive, friendly and helpful.
  • 4.5/5 (Very Good)
  • The dining area was neat and clean.
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • Comfortable seats and bright dining area.
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
  • It is more or less on the dear side, but it is dining in the famous Hard Rock Cafe.
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • Although the platter is meant for 2 people, it could feed up 3 averagely hungry mouths.
  • N/A as it is a dinner buffet but we would like to see in the future a further expansion on the main course diversity if possible.
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • Comparing to the previous year’s Puasa month Eat’s Platter, it has increased the representation of Malay influenced dishes in the food platter composition. And is nearer to the Ramadhan month’s theme.

The above mentioned offers are from now until the 6th, 7th and 9th of August 2013 respectively. For details or reservations, please call Hard Rock Hotel Penang at +604-8811711 or email them at info.penang@hardrockhotels.net .

<<Bintang Rock Dinner Buffet Menus>>




We aren’t dessert persons, especially those that are over sweet and have a monotonous taste which do not excite our palates. So, when we were invited by Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa to sample their new pastry chef’s, Chef Dino Wan, cheesecakes,  we were quite foreign to him.  From the press release and interview, he has made quite a name for himself in the pastry and dessert industry. Chef Dino has won a string of awards, a silver medal in 1989 and gold medals in 1991, 1993 and 1995 in his forays in the Penang International Salon Gastronomique organised by Chefs Association of Malaysia, Penang Chapter. His international award includes a bronze medal in 1996 at the International Food & Hospitality Show (IFHS) in Thailand. Chef Dino will be heading Rasa Sayang’s pastry kitchen to churn out more exciting desserts for their F&B outlets.

Starting from July Rasa Sayang will be pushing out their new cheese cake sextet; Signature Cheese Cake, Butterscotch Mascarpone Cheese Cake, Marble Cheese Cake, Coconut Pandan Cheese Cake Green Tea Cheese Cake and Red Velvet Cheese Cake.

Our most preferred variety was Chef Dino’s Signature Cheese Cake, a non-baked cheesecake made with yogurt and cheese that results in a lighter richness and a smoother texture. The base was made from a mixture of cream crackers and digestive biscuits that gave it a fluffier texture that absorbs much moisture.

Butterscotch Mascarpone Cheese Cake,  made from a balance mix of Mascarpone, cream cheese and butterscotch for that subtle creaminess and un-overpowering buttery sweet caramel taste.

Marble Cheese Cake, made by combining cream, Philadelphia cream cheese and chocolate with gelatine to produce a firm yet tender springy texture. The rich dairy taste is balanced off with the tartness of fresh strawberry and a cup of good quality dark coffee minus sugar.

Coconut Pandan Cheese Cake is made with a dash of Asian flavours, coconut milk (santan), screwpine leaf (daun pandan) extract  and cream cheese. The result is a cheesecake with the savoury taste of coconut and richness of the cheese with the refreshing fragrance of the screwpine leaf. The taste profile is reminiscent to the local Nyonya Kuih Bengka, a sweet cake made from sweet potato, coconut milk and screwpine leaves.

Another Asian influenced cake is Chef Dino’s Green Tea Cheese Cake, made with real green tea powder, cream cheese  and constructed with gelatine for that sandy and supple pudding texture. The cake has a sweet and subtle green tea flavour which is light on the tongue.

Last but not least was his Red Velvet Cheese Cake creation, a combination of cream cheese, red dye and a cocoa powder and Oreo cookie base. It had a light, fluffy and velvety  cheese filling supported by the sweet dark flavour of cocoa and the bittersweet tasting Oreos crust. Neither too sweet nor too rich for the taste buds.

These cheesecakes are sold by per 1 kg cake starting from RM80+ at the hotel’s Rasa Deli situated in the Garden Wing of Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa.  The cakes are made to order to lock in the freshness, therefore it requires a 48-hours pre-order time before pick-up.

The Rasa Deli offers enchanting treats for kids and young-at-heart adults, product range from fresh baked artisan bread, hearty yet healthy sandwiches, dainty petit fours, pralines, rainbow-coloured macaroons, tempting cakes, eclairs, muffins and generous-sized cookies. And now with the addition of house made cheesecakes serve by friendly and helpful deli staffs.

Rasa Deli (at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Garden Wing)

Business Hours:  11:00 am to 6.30 pm daily.

Tel No.:  04- 888 8788.


Hard Rock Cafe Penang New Eats 2013

Posted by Jason Wong On May - 11 - 20132 COMMENTS

It has been a while, finally I get to see and taste the new additions to the Rock & Roll Menu at Hard Rock Cafe Penang. I have been anticipating for the refurbished menu at Hard Rock Cafe since last year, therefore although we were in the midst of interviewing an eighty year old Peranakan chef for our ‘Food Conservation’ project on the same day, I had to take an earlier exit leaving Gill with the “hard-work” to make it almost on time for the invited event attended by a few Penang base food bloggers.

Last April, Hard Rock Cafe Penang had just launched their refurbished menu with 13 new items in its dining menu; 9 new main courses, 1 new salad, 1 new dessert and 2 new drinks/cocktails. In the lineup of new dishes, there are a few Asian influenced offerings, like their Ferringghi Ikan Bakar,’Tom Yam Seafood Linguine and Legendary Percik Burger,  amongst their American styled South Carolina Smokehouse Sandwich, Texan Smokehouse Sandwich, BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich,  Smokehouse Chopped Salad, etc. Though slightly late for the event, I was not the last to arrive that day. While waiting for the remaining entourage to arrive I was served with their Strawberry Lemonade which is sold at RM26.00 per glass, or RM85 nett for a Pint Glass. The sour and sweet drink is made with zesty lemonade, sweet Agave nectar, sweet and tangy mashed fresh strawberries and fragrant basil; appetizing and thirst quenching.I am a straight vodka person, so their Blues Riff Lemonade (RM 45.00) was my favourite drink of the two. Made with SMIRNOFF Vodka, Blue Curacao, Ginger Liqueur and home-made lemonade filled with bubbling club soda. It was smooth, full of layers of taste and the lingering body of vodka; sweet and slightly lemony with an earthy aftertaste. Their salad addition to the dining menu was the Smokehouse Chopped Salad (RM 35.00), comprising of freshly chop mixed field greens, diced smoked chicken, turkey bacon, spiced pecans, cheddar cheese and avocado wedges tossed with pico de gallo (salsa fresca) and smoky citrus vinaigrette. It was fresh, juicy, nutty, sweet and tangy to taste.My favourite sandwich/burger of the day was their Legendary “PERCIK” Burger (RM 48.00 ), medium cooked juicy beef patty basted with a bouquet of Malaysian spices served with sliced crisp cucumber and tangy sweet tomatoes on a sweet fluffy toasted bun, and a side of chunky fries. A reorder of the 10oz burger at medium cooked was placed for a  much needed fair experience of the “real” deal. The Malaysian taste  infused burger was really juicy and moist, slightly spicy, and most importantly warm. Their BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich (RM 28.00), tender and juicy hand-pulled chicken meat that was in-house smoked then drizzled with Hickory Bar-B-Que sauce and topped off with sweet and creamy coleslaw and served on a toasted Ciabatta. The sweet and smoky sandwich was served with sides of ranch beans, coleslaw and seasoned fries. Their South Carolina (RM 30.00) was constructed from juicy strips of chicken dressed in homemade tangy South Carolina style mustard Bar-B-Que sauce topped with crisp fried onions and creamy slaw served on a toasted bun. Tangy, sweet smoky and creamy were presented in this main course. The Texan (RM 33.00), again strips of soft tender chicken drizzled with their spicy and smoky Chipotle and Hickory Bar-B-Que sauce and topped with  hot crispy jalapenos and sweet crispy onions, cheddar cheese served on toasted bun. Up the size to a 10oz serving with an additional RM10.00, the bigger it comes the more the fun will be.

My favourite pasta from the list of new additions was their Seafood Spaghetti (RM 35.00). It was the al dente buttered spaghetti and sweet fresh home-made tomato coulis and assorted firm tender seafood that attracted my interest. There was a balance of savoriness, sweetness and tartness from the pureed tomatoes and herbs that stood out from an otherwise common plate of pasta. The accompanying garlic toast was crisp and fragrant, useful at the end for mopping up whatever  left over flavours on the plate. Tom Yam Seafood Linguine (RM 30.00), wok-stir-fried linguine pasta in a spicy tom yam sauce with succulent seafood and fresh vegetables. The linguine was lightly tangy with a hint of spiciness; a little bit of Siamese influence of a western dish to bring some Asian flavours to the Hard Rock Cafe in Penang.Their Ferringhi Ikan Bakar (RM30.00) was baked Seabass filet with spicy Portuguese sauce in banana leaf served with Acar Rampai and steamed rice on the side. The Seabass filet was moist and tender with a slight hint of fishy taste, but the spicy Portuguese sauce was aromatic, strong and filled lots of heat to “kill”. It might be a challenge to those who are not acquainted to the heat synonym to Malaysian food. Dining with vegans no longer would be an inconvenience in Hard Rock Cafe Penang, apart from their vegetable salad selection, they now have a specially created Vegetarian Seasonal Vegetable (RM 25.00) main course. It is a plate filled with stir fried seasonal vegetables with garlic and vegetarian oyster sauce, fried vegetarian prawns, fried bean curd and a side steamed rice. Greens, protein and carbohydrates all in one plate.The new addition to their dessert list is their Mud Pie (RM 35.00), a compact crust base constructed from cookies and melted chocolate topped with smooth and rich Haagen Dazs coffee and chocolate ice cream sprinkled with luxurious amounts of almond flakes and drizzle with bittersweet hot fudge. The ice-cream and almond flakes were comforting and full of contrasting textures.

My personal most memorable dishes of them all the new additions to their Dining Menu would be their Legendary Percik Burger, Texan Smokehouse Sandwich, BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich, Seafood Spaghetti, Smokehouse Chopped Salad, Mud Pie and not forgetting the Blues Riff Lemonade. Try what tickles your taste buds and share it with us!

Many thanks to Grace Chiam, their not so new MARCOM manager for inviting, to Chef Awie for taking some time off the grill to explain about their new food items and to the staff at Hard Rock Cafe Penang for serving us the tantalizing food.

Hard Rock Cafe Penang
Address: Batu Ferringhi Beach, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Penang
Tel: +6(04)881 1711
GPS: N5 28.060 E100 14.498

Scones At Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa

Posted by Jason Wong On January - 16 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

Scones are originally from Scotland and are single-serving cakes or quick bread. Scones are the basic component of the cream tea or Devonshire tea. Traditionally, they are made from wheat, barley or oatmeal with baking powder as the leavening agent, unlike tea cakes and other sweet buns, which are made with yeast. They are often lightly sweetened and occasionally glazed. A recent interaction with Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa’s Executive Pastry Chef, Chef Nazeri Ismail, has shed some light into how scones are made and served fresh daily for their high tea at their Spice Market Café.

Their specially customised scone recipe was concocted by Chef Nazeri and his team to suit the preferences of their customers who return to the lush tropical ‘rainforest’ paradise filled with melodised birds chirping, shaded by a 225 year old rain tree and cooled by the ever refreshing sea breeze. The simple yet tantalizing recipe was shared with us during one of our visit to their café:

  • 700gm – flour
  • 300gm – milk powder
  • 300gm – icing sugar
  • 25gm – baking powder
  • 10gm – salt
  • 250gm – butter
  • 2 – whole eggs
  • 200ml – fresh milk
  • 1tbsp – concentrated Vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.
  2. Rub icing sugar into butter with fingers until crumbly.
  3. Add egg whites, first, in the icing sugar and butter mixture then the yokes.
  4. Tip baking powder and salt into the flour.
  5. Then add the butter, icing sugar and egg mixture into the flour and baking powder and salt mixture.
  6. Then add milk powder, and mix well before pouring in the fresh milk.
  7. Add concentrated Vanilla extract.
  8. Gently knead the whole mixture until it holds but still crumbly with some air trapped inside.

At this stage you may want to add the fillings that you may desire, here we have walnuts and raisins that will be kneaded into separate dough. The walnuts must not be chopped too fine to prevent overly excretion of oil. Cut the dough with a dough cutter into 4-5cm in thickness. Place cut dough onto a baking tray, brush it with egg wash and bake in the pre-heated oven for 10-12minutes until risen and golden on top.

The “Scones High Tea” is available 24/7 from 2:30pm to 5:30pm daily at an affordable price of RM28++ and RM35++, from 15th December 2012 onwards.. The sets consist of a pot of tea and any two selections of scones that one could choose from either vanilla, vanilla with raisins, vanilla with walnut or Parmesan cheese variants. With each different choice, there are different accompanying condiment selections like jam, butter, cream cheese or blueberry cream cheese, and clotted cream, all equally great when smothered on the warm, light and crumbly pastries. 

Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa will be celebrating their 40th Anniversary in 2013, and in conjunction with the festivities, they have come up with a limited edition charm bracelet and key chain souvenir series. To collect each charm, just spend RM400 on a single receipt at their Spice Market Cafe to get them. Collect all 4 and head on to Amee Philips for them to be attached to their specially designed chain to make it whole, for free. With all 4 charms you will be entitled to enjoy discounts from the various outlets in Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa with savings ranging from as low as 10% to 33%, for more details please refer to their staffs.

During the special event to introduce and the charm bracelet and keychain and a sampling of their scones, a small and simple fashion show was organized by Amee Philips that showcased some of their latest creations.

For more details of the “Scones High Tea” and the 40th Anniversary Charm Bracelet/Keychain and promotions, please make your inquiries at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa’s Spice Market Cafe or call 04 8888788.


Hard Rock Cafe & Hard Rock Hotel Buka Puasa Sets

Posted by Jason Wong On July - 20 - 20124 COMMENTS

It is the month of the year again when our Muslim brothers and sisters fasts to remember the hardship faced by the poor and unfortunate. Muslims around the world will abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until dusk during the Ramadan month.

In conjunction with this year’s Ramadan month, Hard Rock Cafe & Hard Rock Hotel in Penang will be providing diners an opportunity to taste Malaysian favourites alongside great American flavours that will tantalize your taste buds when fasting ends (buka puasa) for the day.

The festive feasting at Hard Rock Café takes on the form of a special platter designed for just for this “Puasa” month, therefore it is time limited. With the platter, we got to indulge ourselves in favourite authentic American selections like Mini Shrimp Quesadillas, Hickory-Smoked Bar-B-Que Beef Brisket, and Apple Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream alongside with local favourites like Tomato Rice and Chicken Curry with Potatoes.

The menus will rotate weekly and is available all day long beginning from today (21st July 2012) until the 18th of August 2012 at RM60++ per person. The platter also comes with soup of the day, selected local drinks and dates.

Eat’s Platter Set Menu: 21st Jul to 29th Jul & 6th Aug to 12th Aug.

Eat’s Platter Set Menu: 30th Jul to 5th Aug & 13th Aug to 18Aug.

At the Starz Diner, the Buka Puasa Buffet includes a selection ranging from local appetisers like Rojak Buah-buahan, Pasembur and Kerabu followed by an array of main courses like Udang Kering, Ikan Masak Asam Pedas, Ketam Goreng Berempah, Ayam Masak Merah, Beef Rendang, Lamb Kurma, etc., that are filled with local Malaysian flavours.  The buffet line ends with sweets that are sure to satisfy the traditional dessert lovers with their colourful line-up of various types of kuihs, pastries and traditional pudding or Pengat.

The Buka Puasa Buffet with over 30 scrumptious traditional dishes is available from Monday to Thursday, priced at RM60++ per adult and RM30++ each for children under 12 years old.

Come Friday and Saturday evenings, Starz Diner’s popular Great American Buffet would be available for breaking fast instead. It features most significant American favourites, but for this Ramadan month it will also incorporate some Malay fare to please our Muslim friends. The theme buffet priced at RM108++ per adults and RM54++ per child under 12 years old.

And on Sundays, they will be featuring Pizzeria’s Festive Barefoot BBQ that is priced at RM60++ (adults) and RM30++ (kids). This buffet line will showcase amongst others Marinated Lamb Chop, Gill Veal Sausage, Tandoori Sausages, assorted Satays and lots more.

“The idea of our festive offerings this year is to offer greater variety and selections for the enjoyment of our guests. We believe guests will return to Hard Rock Hotel within the fasting month to try the different variety of menus that is on offer,” said hotel general manager John Primmer.

Apart from dining, Hard Rock Hotel is also celebrating this holy month with a “you can’t resist” room package inclusive of suhur (breakfast) and buka puasa (dinner) at either the Hard Rock Cafe or Starz Diner for two persons per night’s stay for only RM399++ per room per night. The offer is valid from 21st Jul until Aug 17. For details or reservations, call 04-8811711.


Hard Rock Hotel Penang Sand Bar

Posted by Jason Wong On May - 26 - 20121 COMMENT

It is another launching of another drinking hole on the Batu Ferringghi beach front in the recent months. This time it is Penang’s very own Hard Rock Hotel’s turn to fire up the night life at this otherwise not so “happening” beach front after the sunsets. Batu Ferringghi used to be one of the most happening places on the Penang Island, stretching from the now closed Teluk Bahang’s Mutiara Hotel to Tanjong Bungah’s Orchid-Copothone, it was filled with discos and lounges.

On the 19th of May 2012, Hard Roock Hotel Penang launched their very own Sand Bar with much funfair with the support from Jagermeiter, Carlsberg and Redbull. The Sand Bar was created with the idea of offering an alternative and very casual place where one can kick off their shoes, feel the sand between the toes, have some cool drinks, listen to some good music and watch sport matches or just chill-out on the beach and let the day go by.

The Sand Bar is located just next to their Pizzeria, a stone throw away from the pools and less than 10 steps from the Batu Ferringghi beach front. The bar serves chilled Carlsberg beer from the tap, cold Jagermeister shots, vodka, rum, cocktails, mock-tails and more that are sure to quench thy thirst. Pizza and light snacks are also served when hunger calls for satisfaction.  During the launch party, guests we served free rounds of drinks and samplers of their light snacks and pizzas from 7:00pm to 9:00pm non-stop. Service for the night was by the lovely girls in bikinis brought in by the principal for Jagermeister and Carlsberg and the waiting crew from Hard Rock Hotel. Service was prompt, I especially remember the two ladies from Carlsberg who were quick and attentive.There were other fellow bloggers present for the launch, each bloggers were chaperon and their needs taken care of by individually allotted marketing staffs from hotel.

The climax of the night was the symbolic launch of the Sand bar by their GM, John Primmer. Nothing elaborate or fancy just a “Jagermeister Bom”, where shot glasses filled with the 35% strong alcohol were placed on top of glasses half full of Redbull tonics, which were then pushed into the later through what they call the domino effect. The concoction had a sweet to a slight dry taste that seemed to also went down well with the ladies. We were thought the right way to enjoy the Jagermeister & Redbull drink as to maximise the layers of pleasure to our sense of taste.The highlights of the night was the live music strummed out the Bongga Bongga band, energetic dances by Danzity and the hotel staffs, mood charging party music spun out by Australian deejay, DJ Lkuk and beach games. It was full of fun fair and merry making through out the night.

For reservations please contact the follow:

Hard Rock Hotel Penang
Batu Ferringhi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia
Email: fb.penang@hardrockhotels.net
Main Line: +604 8811 711

Sand Bar Business Hours: 11:00am to 11:00pm daily
Happy Hours: 6:00pm to 8:00pm.


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