Thursday 24 March 2016

Penang Hawkers' Fare @ White Rose Cafe, York Hotel Singapore

This year, York Hotel Singapore celebrates 30 stellar years of its renowned and wildly-popular Penang Hawkers' Fare at White Rose Cafe. This well-loved buffet now held thrice annually, offering unlimited servings of Penang specialties such as Char Kway Teow, Penang Prawn Mee and Assam Laksa. Due to popular demand, the buffet has increased the number of stalls over the years.

After increasing the number of stalls over the years, there are now 12 stalls this year to celebrate this joyous occasion. The latest stall will feature another Penang item, Pasembur - a Chinese-Indian style salad. This buffet has proved a hit with the local crowd and subsequently became a regular affair at York Hotel with customers returning year after year.

With 12 stalls serving twelve types of dishes, I will bring you through some of them. What's a Penang fare with Assam Laksa right? This bowl of goodness is steeped in a tangy tamarind fish-based broth, topped with pineapple, cucumber and bunga kantan (torch ginger). Flavourful and indeed satisfying.

Next stall, we had the Nasi Lemak with Nonya Chicken Kapitan. A spoonful of fragrant rice, paired with Nonya chicken Kapitan; an adaption of the dry-style chicken curry. By the side is homemade condiments such as sambal chili and ikan bilis. Fret not about the small portion because it's a buffet, you can have multiple servings!

No doubt Penang's Char Kway Teow is rated one of the top favorite Penang food by many locals. Most Singaporeans I know prefer the Penang's to Singapore-style, that is drench in dark sweet sauce York's Hotel rendition is tossed over in high heat which imparts a distinctive smokey wok-hei to the dish. If you are not a fan of Singapore's version, this will definitely satisfy.

Penang's Prawn Mee is very much well loved by locals as compared to Singapore's style. This comforting yet robust stock is a labour of love where the soup comprises prawns and slices of lean pork. 

One of the favorite item here, Oyster Omelette. Wok-fragrant is this orh-jian that is tossed over high heat to achieve a crisp omelette. The key highlight of this dish is the distinctive wok-hei aroma, I was pleasantly surprise to find this dish really enjoyable though in fact I'm not a big fan of oysters. Thumbs up.

The cafe has also undergone a face-lift and a brand new show kitchen will feature the hawkers showing their culinary prowess with a la minute live cooking and preparation. Besides the above mentions, other offering includes: Penang Rojak, Cuttlefish Kang Kong, Lor Bak, Kway Teow Soup or Dry, Pasembur as well as Desserts.

Last but not least, the crowd pleaser and constantly with long queue - Ban Chang Kueh. Most people will find joy in this paper thin and hot brown pancakes, enveloping a spoonful of margarine, ground peanuts and sugar. It is made in customized small round pans that result in wonderfully-crisp edges and a chewy soft interior. One isn't enough.

What's a Penang feast without Chendol right. Cold desserts are available such as Ice Kachang with Sarsi syrup and their signature Chendol. I requested for extra gula melaka syrup into my Chendol and damn, sinfully delicious.

Catch this while you can because the next Penang Hawkers' Fare will be on September, that's like 6 months later. York Hotel’s Penang Hawkers’ Fare at White Rose Cafe is one of the longest-standing buffets in Singapore and the buffet presents traditional good old flavours of Penang prepared with care by hawkers who have been handpicked for their expertise and dedication to their craft. The Ban Chang Kueh is the bomb, everyone should at least try it once!

White Rose Café
York Hotel, 21 Mount Elizabeth
Singapore 228516
Tel: 6830 1156

March 11 to 27, 2016
September 2 to 18, 2016
December 16, 2016 to January 1, 2017

Lunch: 12pm to 2.30pm, Dinner: 6.30pm to 10pm

Weekdays - $29++ per adult, $20++ per child below 12
Weekends - $33++ per adult, $23++ per child below 12

*This was an invited media tasting.


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