Heartwarming meal to bond over


Photos By JEREMY TAN

The tempting selection of ulam, sambal, acar and kerabu at Mezza9 Restaurant, Iconic Hotel Penang.

 VARIETY is the spice of life when one is breaking fast with friends and family.

Sharing a wide array of food makes the occasion more enjoyable, and Iconic Hotel Penang facilitates that.

The establishment in Bukit Mertajam lays out well over 100 items in its “Singgah Iftar” Ramadan buffet served nightly at its Mezza9 Restaurant.

Executive chef Justin Nah and his team have curated a selection of traditional favourites alongside some international offerings.

Start off with premium imported dates, of which there are many varieties.

Lemang and ketupat with a selection of serunding.Lemang and ketupat with a selection of serunding.

Then, it’s time to sample dishes like nasi tomato topped with ayam percik.

The spicy and sour flavours of Ikan Pari Masak Asam Pedas, Gulai Ikan Jenahak and Sambal Sotong Petai are sure to please local palates.

There are also classics like Ayam Masak Merah, Daging Masak Hitam, Ketam Bunga Masak Lemak Cili Padi and Terung Goreng Berlada.

Equally tasty are the special Rendang Kambing and Sotong Sumbat, as well as Udang Goreng Sereal Gandum, a spiced variation of the popular Chinese dish Nestum prawn.

Gulai Ikan Jenahak.Gulai Ikan Jenahak.

The seven live cooking stations offer everything from char kuey teow to asam laksa, satay, keropok lekor and a kam heong seafood stir-fry.

Among the highlights are Kambing Panggang served with black pepper sauce and mint yoghurt, as well as Ikan Bakar with air asam and sambal bawang.

Children in particular will love the pizzas, quesadillas and tortilla wraps.

The breaking of fast would not be complete without traditional salads.

The Ulam-ulam Kampung offers a good selection including ulam raja, pegaga, daun selom, daun kaduk and jantung pisang.

Ketam Bunga Masak Lemak Cili Padi. Ketam Bunga Masak Lemak Cili Padi.

Pick from six types of sambal and throw in some salted fish to complete the salad.

Also available are a half-dozen varieties of kerabu such as Kerabu Mempelam Muda and Kerabu Kambing Pudina, as well as assorted keropok, jeruk and rojak.

The spread is made complete with lemang and ketupat with accompaniments like serunding ayam or serunding daging.

Comforting bowls of Sup Daging Campur or bubur lambuk with varieties of condiments are also available.

Other options in the buffet are seafood on ice (typically tiger prawns, flower crabs and scallops), Vietnamese rolls, Thai Pandan Chicken, Roti John, Roti Pita Ayam Panggang, murtabak, sushi and dim sum.

Out in the foyer is where you will find a plethora of desserts.

Nasi Tomato with Ayam Panggang.Nasi Tomato with Ayam Panggang.

Rainbow-coloured assortments of puddings and jellies are sure to catch the eye, as will the honey-laced baklava and kunafa.

Nah and his chefs have also innovatively fused some Malay kuih flavours with Western pastries, resulting in treats like Onde Onde Opera Cake, Milo Tiramisu, Bandung Macarons and Coconut Tarts.

Of course, classics like seri muka, buah melaka, bingka ubi, sagu lapis, kuih talam, kuih loyang, kuih tiram, dodol, tepung pelita and pengat are available too.

Be sure to try the special cendol bingsu that is made with a machine that shaves ice into paper-thin sheets rather than granules, bringing a different mouthfeel to the local favourite.

The filling for puding roti bakar changes daily to include the likes of pumpkin, banana nut chocolate, dates and peach.

Remember to leave room for ice cream, as there are flavours like gula melaka, salted egg oreo, yuzu, soursop, tau fu fa, lemon lychee and white coffee.

Free flow of ais bandung, sirap selasih, jagung manis and cincau complete the offerings at this halal-certified restaurant.

“Singgah Iftar” is available until April 7, from 7pm to 10pm, priced at RM119+ for adults, RM84+ for senior citizens and RM72+ for children.

Mezza9 Restaurant, Iconic Hotel Penang, 71 Jalan Icon City, Bukit Tengah, Bukit Mertajam, Penang. (Tel: 04-505 9988 or email talktous@iconichotel.com.my) Business hours: 4.30am to 10pm, daily.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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