|Beautiful cakes at the Shangri-la Rasa Sayang's Mother's Day Brunch Buffet|
As the mama of the family, most of the household responsibilities fall on my shoulders. That's how I ended up being in charge of booking my own Mother's Day Brunch last year. In my opinion, I deserve the very best. Right? So, I reserved us a table at the Shangri-La Rasa Sayang's Spice Market Cafe which turned out to be fantastic. It is by far the best buffet I've had in Penang, even beating out Christmas Day brunch at the E&O Hotel. I'd even say it's one of the best buffets I've had in the world because of the abundant, high quality food, the service, and the extra child-friendly touches that kept my kids from asking when were we going to leave. The effort they put into keeping the kids entertained was truly a bonus on Mom's special day. The boxed takeaway cake decorated with "Happy Mother's Day" that greeted me at the table was also a nice touch. Why mess with success? We'll be dining there again next week for Mother's Day 2013.
One of the things I really like about the Shangri-La chain is their commitment to the environment. They've decided to eliminate Shark Fin Soup, a Chinese delicacy, even though many of their guests demand it. Instead, they offer Mock Shark Fin Soup. While I'll tell you outright that it doesn't come close to duplicating the cartilagenous crunch of real shark fin, no sharks had their fins cut off, leaving them to sink to the bottom of the ocean to die. That's a win in my book.
|Mock Shark Fin Soup with Crabmeat|
The rest of the buffet covered the varied cuisines of Penang — Malay, Chinese, and Indian — plus Western food and freshly made Japanese sushi. The selection was huge. Luckily, the buffet lasts 3 hours, so you can cover a lot if you pace yourself and don't care about calories.
|Dagin Temasik, Itik Kerisik, and Deep Fried Prawn with Ginger Chili|
With so much food on the tables, I tried to prioritize and pick out what was truly special at this buffet. That's why I skipped over the roti which I have every week and made a beeline for the chilled seafood station.
|Yabbies, or Crawfish as we Americans call them|
If you are thirsty, the buffet includes free-flow house wine, beers and soda. They also offer a variety of fresh juices to refresh your palate. I always like mixing them up in my glass into new flavor combos.
If you know anything about me, you realize that desserts are my downfall. I am a sucker for a good dessert bar, and the Rasa Sayang did not fail me.
|So much chocolate, so little time|
Skewered marshmallow twists and dried apricots for dipping
|Made-to-order Crepes with berries, apples and peaches as filling options|
|Cotton Candy or Candy Floss, depending on who you ask|
This one lady was making all the crepes and cotton candy while also scooping ice cream for the sundae bar. I'm hoping they hire her a little help this year.
As I mentioned, the child-friendly touches are what really made this place stand out. They brought in Birthday Castle Entertainment to handle everything. (If you need someone to plan your kid's party, these are the people to ask.) A happy clown went from table to table creating balloon sculptures. A small area outside had a kids' movie showing on TV for when the children were finished eating but their mamas still wanted to linger (remember the free flow wine and the chocolate fountain). They even had table where children could create a "World's Best Mum" sash to adorn their dear mother.
|What balloon creation would your child request?|
|An adult supervised the kids watching the telly.|
|My boy is grinning devilishly because the sash has an anagram that reads "World's Bum Stem."|
I've already booked us a table for May 12, 2013. Perhaps I will see you there. Bonus: The family is so stuffed from brunch that mama can skip cooking dinner, too.
Mother's Day Brunch at the Spice Market Cafe, Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort
Batu Feringgi, Penang
Noon to 3 p.m.
Includes free-flow house wine, beer and sodas and bracelet making for the kids.
Call 04-888-8788 to make reservations (essential)
Regular Sunday Brunch if you can't make it Mother's Day
This does not include free flow drinks.
A clown entertains the kids every Sunday.