“Penang Heritage Buffet”
The Copthorne King’s Hotel’s Princess Terrace has a famed reputation in serving up the most authentic Penang Cuisine buffet. After all the international buffets I’ve tried, this was quite a unique niche concept that not many there hotel restaurants do.
To preserve the rich Penang food culture and heritage, Chef Lim and his culinary team have been meticulously ensuring that the food prepared at Princess Terrace utilizes traditional cooking methods like they do in the past.
Diners can get to indulge in signature dishes including the quintessential Hokkien prawn mee soup, char kway teow, Penang laksa nasi ulam, keraba tang hoon, curry noodles, popiah, kueh pie tee and more.
Although located at the lobby of Copthorne King hotel, there is no clear signage to Princess Terrace which might be easily missed. Just head to the huge space with a buffet table.
Even though the restaurant’s buffet space looks pretty small, the selection of food is very substantial. The buffet sees many regular guests dining here, as well as new faces who would like to try authentic Penang Food at the Princess Terrace.
The buffet selection is sectioned into four areas, namely the mains, the appetizers and desserts, the live station and traditional kuehs. Pictured here is the do-it-yourself ice kachang (syrup and carnation milk flavoured shaved ice) machine. Its really fun making your own dessert, and its something the children can look forward to.
We started off the buffet with kueh pie tee and popiah. The ingredients used are very fresh and is exactly like what you would expect when dining in Penang.
Many hotels also try to offer satays for their spread, but get stale after being left out too long. Princess Terrace cafe’s satay was still warm and moist, with an excellent peanut sauce that also had shredded pineapples.
Another notable dish is the steamed Fu Rong Crab Egg. This dish is extremely fragrant – the chef was not stingy on the crabs and onions used. Next to this emsemble is the fried porridge, another must-try on the counter. Fried porridge is unique to the areas of Penang (and some parts of Malaysia) and its hard to find places which serve an authentic bowl. A simple dish to prepare but, one of those things that only grandma knows best.
The fried tau gwa with minced meat is one of the chef’s specialties, and the good kitchen at Princess Terrace does not skimp on the filling.
The assam laksa broth was a little watery for my liking, but the generous servings of toppings made up for that. The best dish from the live station was definitely the prawn mee, as the broth is very thick and flavourful, while the noodles are cooked just right.
Finally, the kueh station gets two thumbs up from us- other than the perfectly shaped kuehs and the childhood memories brought back with every bite, the decor is reminiscent of the old kampung huts from which these nonya kuehs originated.
The selection of kuehs is fantastic, with hard to find Asian kuehs (in buffet selections) such as the Seri Muka, Apom Bokwa, and Abuk Abuk. These kuehs are freshly prepared and they are not overly sweet.
Another dessert not to be missed is the Soya Beancurd, where you can choose from gula melaka or regular syrup to go with the beancurd. Again, it is just the right amount of sweetness, and the curd is silky smooth.
The Ban Chang Kueh, a thin crepe layer with sugar and peanut filling, is probably my favourite of the lot. I found myself munching on two plates of these unconsciously, because they’re not very filling and make a rather good snack. At the end of it all, you can wash down these goodies with a warm glass of teh tarik.
On the whole, Princess Terrace Cafe’s Penang Heritage Buffet is your to go place to enjoy comfort food, while having a hearty gathering with your friends. These are dishes that really remind you of Grandma;s cooking. The seating is traditionally classy, and you get to enjoy the good service of Copthorne King hotel as well.
Penang Heritage Cuisine Special: To celebrate their 44th Anniversary, 15 new dishes would be added to the existing menu of 50 dishes, specially created by Chef Lim Por Tit and his kitchen till 31 August 2014.
Expected Damage: Buffet Lunch $46.80++ | Buffet Dinner $51.80++
Princess Terrace Cafe: 403 Havelock Road, Singapore, 169632 | Tel: 6318 3168 | Website
Related Guide: Best Hotel Buffets in Singapore