For the whole of March 2014, whether you are staying at Marina Mandarin or not, you are invited to have a taste of Malaysia’ food capital with AquaMarine‘s buffet line revolving around Penang food. Having just gotten back from Melaka, Malaysia where I had a snippet of Penang food, I was psyched to go full-fledged into the hotel buffet restaurant’s offerings. The Penang food promotion is tagged at $50 for weekends tunch, $60 for weekdays lunch, $70 for weekdays dinner, and $80 for weekends dinner (prices are subject to GST and service charge).
If you are, at the same time, craving for the usual buffet spread, fret not. Still sitting comfortably are the Seafood Counter, Japanese Counter, and the self-tossed Rojak Station. Otherwise, labels with a blue-white-yellow flag indicates that the tagged item is a Penang food special.
People who know me will know that I am completely not a porridge person. There is no chance that I will eat porridge even when I am sick. But this Wok-Fried Porridge, for once, successfully altered my taste bud. Good texture; moist and all as what you would expect from a bowl of porridge, but you can still detect each grain separately, ranging somewhere between the texture of risotto and that of Teochew porridge. Surprisingly, one of my favourite dishes in the spread.
Other Penang specials include Seafood Grilled in Opal Leaf with Assam Curry Sauce, and the hot favourite Ikan Assam Pedas, a spicy and sour fresh fish (generally bone-free) accompanied with ladyfinger and brinjal. There is also a whole tray of enticing Stir-Fried Sweet & Sour Spicy Cockles, ready to be complemented with your bowl of laksa from the Laksa Station, if desired.
Not to mention, a live Oyster Omelette (Orh Luak) station. While there are ready-made pieces laid out at the counter, if you really have to, you can request for a fresh plate, made in front of your eyes.
If you have had Satay Celup in Malaysia, Lok Lok is just about the same concept. Except that here at the Penang Street Lok Lok Live Station, you pick the skewers of seafood, vegetables and meat you want, where it will be cooked in a pot of boiling water for you. You can then with the plate, choose to drench it either with tomato sauce, or the more conventional homemade peanut sauce – my preference.
The Desserts Counter encompasses an array of sweets, enough to knock you out even without you taking your mains. A good mix of cookies, cakes, mousse, and also Cornetto ice cream (woohoo!).
The more Penang-fied desserts consist of various Nonya Kuehs. I don’t know about you, but Ondeh Ondeh, with the coat of coconut and burst of gula melaka with every bite, is the apple of my eye. I love the bite-sized pieces, considerate for diners who just want a brief taste of each (ie. who have no self control over desserts). Seeing the childhood ‘dessert’ of Kacang Puteh also makes me smile a little inside.
Starting from the month of March 2014, the compound of Marina Mandarin also sees other intriguing promotions like its Chinese Restaurant, Peach Blossoms, walking on an organic path, catering to the palates of health-conscious diners (until end-April), and flying further than Penang, the Atrium Lounge, where it is transformed into Korea, with feasts of Korean BBQ skewers, soju and wines (until end-March).
Special gratitude to Patricia, Samantha, Robin and the Marina Mandarin team for the hospitality and hosting the media tasting session.
Photos by Kathleen.
Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard, Level 4 Marina Mandarin Singapore (accessible through Marina Square Shopping Mall)
Telephone: 6845 1111 / email@example.com (Takes Reservations)
Opening Hours: 12pm – 2.30pm (weekday lunch), 12pm -4pm (weekends tunch), 6.30pm – 10pm (dinner) (Daily)