By Helen Ong
If you’re after somewhere quiet but elegant, set in gorgeous surroundings and with a fairly large menu of different cuisines, then we have many in Penang! One place to head for is lovely surrounds: Palms Coffee House of the Hydro Hotel (formerly Hydro Majestic and Feringghi Beach) in Batu Feringghi. It's situated on the ground floor right next to the deep-blue swimming pool, and you can dine semi-alfresco with a view of the beautiful grounds. Save for the occasional roar of the traffic which whizzes by on the busy Batu Feringghi Road, it is a very pleasant place.
As Executive Chef Zakaria (affectionately known as Zak) used to cook for no less exalted personage than the Sultan of Brunei himself, you can imagine his forte: yes, Malay food, and as he is from Johor, it covers a large range of fantastic curries and rices. The Nasi Kandar dishes are excellent, particularly the Beef Rendang and Fish Curry. From his Chinese chef there’s some delicious Chinese Ravioli soup and Shanghai Noodles.
HAVING SAID THAT, the reasonably-priced western dishes were not to be sniffed at either. There’s tender Beef and Rack of Lamb, and I think the Mixed Grill will be challenging even for meat lovers: it’s a HUGE platter of steak, sausage and chicken sat on top of a MOUNTAIN of mash, covered with gravy.
From Monday to Thursday nights their “Selera Malaysia” mini buffet is good value at just RM30++ (Saturday BBQ is RM49++). On Friday nights there’s a “Buy 4 get one free” offer for their Steamboat Buffet (RM30++), and their Sunday “1 Nation Hi Tea” is becoming quite popular too. Not only are they one of the cheapest in town, but they have other good promos on all the time too: amongst other things Set Lunches at just RM10++: 3 local delicacies to choose from (Nasi Lemak, Penang Laksa or Hokkien Mee) and comes with a coffee or tea. Alternatively choose from their poolside promos: Sandwich, Burger or Hotdog at RM19.90++ inclusive of beer or drink of the month.
Every evening (except Sundays) all girl Filipina band D’Electric Blue entertains from 8 to midnight.
For details call 604-890 5999.