Friday, 8 August 2014
Copthorne King's Princess Terrace Cafe Penang Buffet in Singapore
Copthorne King's Hotel's Penang buffet has been around for a very long time. Forty four years to be exact.
The Penang buffet's longevity is a testimony of it's perennial popularity.
Copthorne King's Hotel's Penang buffet is a place I went to often during my pre-blogging days, years ago. I always liked the casual ambiance and the wide variety of flavoursome Penang fare.
This was my first time here as an invited food blogger.
The interior of Princess Terrace changed quite a lot from the old days. It's got a more classy kind of rustic feel now with Peranakan touches. There are lots of earthly wood colours, which I like.
There was more variety now than during the old days, but I just wanted to reconnect with my old favourites. I am sure that I will be back for the rest :D
The first thing I went for was the Penang style prawn noodle soup.
This is server Ms Yin from Penang. She has been with Princess Terrace Cafe Penang buffet for over 20 years. I noticed that Princess Terrace Cafe has many long serving staff, some even with 30 years at their station. The smiles and infectious enthusiasm for the food they are serving have been the same all these years.
To me, the soul of Penang prawn noodles is in the broth. Here, the broth is round bodied, with layers of savouriness from the pork bones and prawns. The signature prawny flavour and aroma was pronounced.
Penang asam laksa is another Penang food icon.
Tangy, sweet, and spicy from spices, chili, pineapple and mint with savouriness from minced fish and fermented prawn sauce (hae ko) in the asam pedas gravy.
Not quite like the best that I've tasted in Penang years ago, but better than any that I've tried in Singapore and Johor, so far.
Next was the Penang style char kway teow.
As Penang style char kway teow is one of the island's signature dishes, I asked Chef Lim what makes Penang CKT special.
Chef Lim shared that the use of quality ingredients like fresh shrimps, a good blended sauce, lard, control of fire and frying skills are keys to Penang fried kway teow.
Chef Lim who is from Penang had many years' chef experience in food catering business in Penang before joining Copthorne King's Princess Terrace Cafe, 6 years ago.
I like this otak otak. The texture was soft, creamy with coconut and fish meat, and flavoursome with spices and fresh fish in banana leaf wrap.
Nasi kunyit is another well known Penang Nyonya dish, which is seldom sold in food stalls. The glutinous rice is cooked with coconut milk and turmeric spice which gave it a yellow colour. The rice is eaten with creamy, mildly spicy chicken curry.
With so much food to choose from, yet I went two rounds for this peppery pork stomach soup. When we were at the buffet line, we could smell the aroma from the pork stomach broth.
There was way more food than I could taste in one sitting, so I have to be back for these enticing dishes :D
Kueh pie tee and popiah. No short cuts here. Princess Terrace braised the Chinese turnips in prawn stock till they were soft, the old way.
The kueh pie tee were stuffed and the popiah rolled only on order, so everything is fresh.
Fried hardtail fish packed with sambal chili.
Kerabu chicken, a popular Nyonya tangy, sweet and savoury salad appetiser.
Belacan (shrimp paste) fried chicken wings.
Fried prawn fritters.
Other well known Penang and Nyonya dishes at Princess Terrace Cafe were kapitan chicken, nasi ulam, kerabu tang hoon, and more.
Copthorne King's Princess Terrace Cafe Penang buffet also offers a wide selection of colourful Nyonya kueh and other sweet desserts.
Apom bokwa is a Nyonya dessert rarely seen in Singapore. It is a small spongy banana flavoured pancake eaten with rich banana sauce and slices of fresh banana. Layers of seductive sweetness.
The crispy freshly made apom balik (ban chien kueh) filled with crushed roasted peanuts and sugar.
Of course, any buffet featuring Malaysian food would be incomplete, if there wasn't a teh tarik (milk tea) stall. Do ask for less milk, if you prefer your tea less sweet.
Needless to say, the best Penang food is in Penang.
If you are like me who craves Penang food once in a while or if you like to experience Penang food, Copthorne King's Princess Terrace Cafe Penang Buffet is the one place in Singapore where you can taste a bit of everything at one price.
Child: SGD25.80++ (5 to 12 years old)
Child: SGD25.80++ (5 to 12 years old)
Thank you Jennifer for the invite.
Restaurant name: Copthorne King's Hotel, Princess Terrace Cafe
Address: 1F, Copthorne King's, 403 Havelock Road, Singapore
Hours: Lunch: 12 noon to 2.30 pm | Dinner: 6.30 pm to 10:00 pm
Date visited: 5 Aug 2014
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