Monday, 25 November 2013

Food Coma - Penang weekend Day #1

My cousin is getting married and so I decided to fly up to Malaysia for the weekend and stay in one of the fanciest hotels in Penang - the Eastern and Oriental (or E&O for short) and have a nice weekend.

The E&O is a 5 star colonial hotel in Georgetown, Penang.  In 1884, the Armenian Sarkies brothers, Martin and Tigran, established first the Eastern Hotel and then in 1885, the Oriental hotel on an adjacent piece of land.  Combined, these two hotels became the largest hotel in Penang.  Guests such as Rudyard Kipling have stayed here.

The Victory Annexe is the newer part of the hotel, and that is where I have been staying.  Every part of the hotel exudes luxury, decadence, heritage and style.

My room is amazing.  Love the bathroom!  It is truly the fanciest hotel I've ever stayed in - the clawfoot bath, the double sinks, the massive showerhead, just to name a few of the luxuries here.

I arrived really late at night and so I crashed in my beautiful room.  Saturday was my only full day free so I was going to eat myself into a food coma since Penang is full of yummy food.

I started early with breakfast at the hotel, which was included with my room.  The breakfast here has an amazing spread.  It comes with the standard continental breakfast and hot breakfast choices, but also has a Malaysian flair.

They have many choices for hot breakfasts - here are their noodle and dumpling options:

There is a person making Roti Canai as well, and omelettes.  There is also a juice person at the bar to make your custom juice.  I decided to have nasi lemak for breakfast (coconut rice and curry with fried anchovies and peanuts) and some sushi and a tiny slice of quiche.

I kept it small because I was going to go out and eat MORE breakfast.  I went down Penang road and tried some hawker food - I had some more mee goreng and some sweet crumpet like waffle things.

Then it was too hot so I came back to the hotel and had a shower and then went out again to get some chendol.  People were queueing up at these hawker stalls and eating it just standing around the cart.  So I did the same.

Then I headed back to the hotel just in time for Afternoon tea.  I wanted to try the High tea at E&O because I heard it was nice here.

The finger sandwiches were standard types with assortments of smoked salmon and lemon butter, chicken and horseradish cream, cucumber, roast beef and grain mustard mayonnaise.  Voulevant type pastries with egg mayonnaise and chopped shalllots, and lemon chicken salad with celery accompanied them.

A closer look at the savouries:

I like soft bread.  The bread was a little hard and dry for my liking - but I know in a place like Malaysia where everything goes stale in one day, it was probably hard to get the bread soft or prepare it without it going stale.  I always like pastries so they went down well, but I found that in general the sandwiches were disappointing.

The sweets were lovely to look at and also lovely to eat.  They were the highlight of the tea.

The tea I chose was a vanilla Rooibos, which like all Rooibos was a robust tea and the vanilla added an interesting aroma.  I normally have my Rooibos with a tiny bit of sugar and it's really hard to do that when you only have sugar cubes to use as sweetener.  I ended up having to use a whole cube which is more than I usually like.  The strainer was annoying - most of the leaves got through into my tea.

Overall it was the sweets which made the afternoon tea most enjoyable.  A lot of work went into the presentation of the sandwiches - a shame that the flavour didn't follow through.

After that there was food in the evening with friends and family.

I don't think I've had assam laksa before!  That was really yummy!  There's satay there as well, and char kwai teow which were delicious.  There was also a promised ice kachang as well!

Phew!  After all that eating in one day, I was stuffed!  Let me finish off the foodie day with a couple of pics of the heritage sights around Georgetown.

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