Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Malaysia Food Blog - Tanjung Bungah Beach Hotel - A Wedding Dinner

Location: Tanjung Bungah, Penang Isle
I may have attended a few wedding ceremonies, but getting invited to one in a beach hotel is a first for me. When I was invited to the wedding ceremony of my German language coursemate, I got my first ever chance to write a piece on the experience of dining in a seaside hotel, more so in an event of holy matrimony. 

The hotel in itself is breathtaking, and a sparse lobby greets its customers. Going past the lobby is the hotel's beach, and since I arrived with my other coursemates in the evening around 7p.m., we were presented with a magnificent sunset view over the beach.

Since we were early, I took a walk around the hotel's lobby area to kill time. The view over the beach was breathtaking, more so with the sun setting. The long stretch of beach was dotted with visitors and guests, all contributing to the lovely view. I especially loved the veranda that stood looking over the beach and across the sea, with benches provided for guests to marvel at the sunset over the beach; this painted an unforgetable picture of a romantic moment I once saw on TV.

Lovely sunset view over the beach behind Tanjung Bungah Beach Resort

A sparse lobby greets every guest and customer

The Shores - a restaurant accessible through the hotel's lobby, but not the place where I attended the wedding dinner

Sit on the bench and marvel as the sun dips below the horizon (actually you can't see the sun, but the view is still magnificent)

The dining hall by itself was comfortably spacious, easily accommodating all the guests with space to spare between tables. I recalled vividly that the hall exuded a pleasant sense to attendees under the gentle yellow light, while the carpeted floor and hanging domed lights matched each other perfectly.

A spacious hall for comfortable dining is bound to leave a good memory in every guests' mind

As the hour drew near, the dinner began with all the attention drawn to the entering couple. The newlyweds looked absolutely gorgeous as they marched into the hall in a slow procession. As was common with recent practices of restaurants and hotels, the dinner begun with the waiters and waitresses performing a choreographed move through the now dimmed hall, captivating guests with the candlelight from their palms. Finally, the show ended with the first dish being settled onto the host's table, and signaled the beginning of the dinner.

The dishes themselves were the usual Chinese dishes whenever one attends a Chinese wedding dinner. We had the usual round of fish, prawns, chicken and assorted vegetables; the one which I considered special and unique (at least up to this moment) was the curious dish of Fried Boneless Chicken with Almond Flakes. The chicken themselves were positively delicious; in a table mainly seated with ladies, I guessed I was the only one who did not mind emptying that plate, but that is not the point... ^^

Apart from the expected slices of boneless chicken, the dish was topped with annular pieces which we found out later were chicken as well, though they were initially suspected to be fried dough. Although the taste of chicken was not strong within these annular pieces, they were quite soft to the bite and proved to be an unexpected curiosity amidst a dish of usual food.

Starting off the dinner with Four Dish Combination

The second dish of Shark Fin's Soup with Chicken and Fish Lips is a usual for Chinese weddings

Fried Boneless Chicken with Almond Flakes; truth is, this is by far the more interesting and tasty dish. The rings are actually chicken meat... I suspect that the meat is minced and formed into this before being cooked.

Sauteed Broccoli Flower with Mushroom and Golden Needles; the menu actually misspelled the word as 'Brocolli'... well, when everybody's hungry, I guess nobody cares about that anyway... ^^

Steamed Siakap (Barramundi) Fish - Teow Chew style; if you are not aware how Teow Chew steamed their fish, this is the moment of truth

Sauteed King Prawns with Salt and Pepper

Fried Jasmine Rice in Lotus Leaf

The closing of a session: Hot Leng Chee Kang, a Chinese dessert that is full of herbal goodies

The dinner was quite satisfactory, to the credit of Tanjung Bungah Beach Hotel. There was a peculiarity though - all the while when we were dining, the turnover period between dishes were quite short, with the staff eagerly asking to clean our table off of the unfinished dish, although we were not heavy eater and were not able to finish the dish anyway. Maybe the dinner started off later than was scheduled, and the staff were rushing to keep up with the timetable.

From what I gathered from their website, the price for a table for this type of wedding dinner costs RM468 nett per table, with a minimum of 30 tables. That is quite an offer, since from what I understand from most places, a wedding dinner can cost no less than RM600 per table and more if it is a hotel. This price included multiple wedding related preparations, which include champagne, liquor, cake slices as door gift and more. In my mind, this is definitely a good enough bargain for any newlyweds who are planning for a wedding banquet.

The hotel staff's service were on par with that I received from other similar hotel dinners, though I guess that meant that the staff will only come over if you waved for them, and even then some pretended not to notice. Well, at least only an unnoticeable few did that, so that was no reason to beat over the whole staff. All in all, a nice place to host a dinner celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime event with friends and families. The view and scenery is beyond comparison, and the well-decorated hall will definitely leave a pleasant memory in every guests' mind. To my coursemate Chee Juan: Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu deiner Hochzeit!

Suitable for:            the once in a lifetime moment - wedding!
Cost:                             it would be a lie if I did not put 'luxurious', but nothing is luxurious enough for the moment of a lifetime; for this wedding dinner, the price is RM468 nett per table with a minimum order of 30 tables

Website:                    Main Homepage and  Wedding Package page

Contact:                     +604 - 890 8808; +604 - 890 8333 (fax)
Address:                     505, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Penang.
                                        Most people will be approaching from the town's direction; if so, you will need to travel past Penang Swimming Club on your right. Once past that, there should be a Caltex petrol station on your right, turn left into the first junction after that. Immediately turn to your right at the next junction, and right again (you are actually making a U-turn this way); you should be facing the traffic light, thus turn right and look for the hotel on your left.

Operating hours:  whenever you need ^^
Parking:                   There is a parking lot meant for hotel guests

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