I have always thought that most of our priceless and happy moments together as a family are commonly shared over a meal. Either at home or whenever we dine out, great tasting foods have been essential in making the three of us more joyous. Most epicurean adventures that we celebrate, be it simple or otherwise have been a constant reminder too, that we’re so blessed on top of life’s challenges. 
On a lighter note, I am a strong believer of my personal beatitude, ‘Blessed are the people who consider food as their kryptonite for they will continuously seek strength to fight cravings for more toothsome dishes!’ LOL! 😀 However, I know most, if not all will instantly agree with me that resistance is remarkably futile if the spread includes the following….  
Mont Blanc

 Black Forest never presented this edgy…

Our 7-year-old wonder boy loves cheese and cheese cakes and so are we…

Gabby’s palatal exposure to wide array of digestive stimuli may hopefully contribute in his aspirations to become a chef, a hotelier and a restaurateur someday. So help us, God! 🙂 

Paris Brest

Strawberry Flan

Apparently, Chocolate Dome Cake…

Pralinosa Bavaroise…
And of course, Tiramisu….
Reservation was done over a phone call a week prior to this dinner-buffet. Spice Market Cafe in Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa in Batu Feringgi, Penang is usually packed even on weekdays, as we’re told, not only because of their on-going promotion (Yes, if it’s not a buy-one-free-one we could have not afford it, haha!) but more logically for their delightful dishes. 
No fresh floral arrangements, neither fancy balloons nor fruits. What could be more appropriate table centerpieces for Spice Market Cafe but mortar and pestle with dried herbs and spices.
Table for 3 please : Tina, Gabby & me 😀
The three of us immediately became busy viewing the spread of the different live-cooking stations that represent a multi-cultural gastronomic feast : Continental, Indian, Japanese, Chinese and Malay.  Even Gabby had several trips to the buffet tables on his own. And after getting our individual preferences, we shared plates generously.
Without a clue, Tina’s scarred wound at the tip of her left ring finger was already bleeding; her table napkin was inevitably stained with drops of blood.
  • me: Ano nangyari? Bakit dumugo?  (What happened? Why did it bleed?)
  • Tina : Hindi ko napansin e.  (I didn’t notice.)

Then out of nowhere, Norizah, a short-haired pleasant female senior wait staff approached our table with utmost concern. She asked what happened and offered something she can do.

  • Tina : (smiling despite bleeding) “My wound is bleeding but I’m OK. Nothing to worry. I am a nurse and my husband is a doctor.”
  • me : (smiled and nodded at Norizah)
  • Norizah :  “You’re a nurse and he’s a doctor but you are my customers and I worry about you. Would you like me to bring something from the clinic?  I’ll go get some band-aid.”   

Right there and then, I wanted to give Norizah a “Natatanging Waitress Award.” (Outstanding Waitress Award) haha! 🙂 Seriously, I could have told her that it’s our first time to experience such utmost thoughtfulness from a restaurant staff but Tina and I only thanked her for her impeccable service.

How many hotels, restaurants or any form of food places have thought of providing kids their own plates?  Isn’t this gesture sweet?

Because excitement was difficult to contain, Gabby filled his first plate with chilled scallops that he topped with what else but parmesan and cheese dressing. Cheesy overload on those delicious mollusks. Takaw mata man, Tina and I were there to eat his leftovers. Sarap!

There’s a bar that has various cheese offerings; celery and carrot sticks made available for dipping.

How do you like blue cheese?

Or emmental cheese perhaps?

There’s no wine for obvious reasons but breads made a great combination..

Now, let’s proceed to shameless display of plates :  I started with this few slices of cold cuts– chicken ham and that remarkably delicious smoked salmon, with bread and cheeses. We also enjoyed their thick and creamy corn soup.

Must have that detail shot, haha! 🙂

Second of my beatitude, “Blessed are the people who have no hypersensitivity, for theirs the kingdom of seafoods!”

I am a sucker for prawns and proof to this is the fact that I never miss out to buy prawns from the public market here every weekend (read : we’re lucky for it’s a lot cheaper here than in Pinas).  Tina usually cook it either with garlic and butter or just steamed and we’re on cloud 9 already! 🙂

Mussels on the otherhand, aren’t as common as shrimps here. 😦 If you must know, the sweet taste and humongous size of mussels that we’ve eaten when we were in Auckland, New Zealand back in 2005 for our memorable 7 week family vacation there remains to be unforgettable! We’re fortunate enough that the buffet of Spice Market Cafe has mussels but not as close as what we had in Auckland.

Then there were those another family favorite which Gabby had singled out…

Have you tasted yabbies?

We could have wash our hands and enjoyed them to bits but I for one had no extra room in my gastric pit…some other time, I guess haha! 🙂

Here’s my seafood plate…

Pity those who must take anti-histamines when they eat these glorious foods!

Moving on, the Chinese section’s essentials were present like noodle station…

It’s an experience watching the chef make hand-pulled noodles live! 🙂 The force in kneading that dough as he stretched and slammed it to have less air was already an entertainment while eating!

Noodle soup must have other ingredients…

But where are the dimsum and dumplings? Did we miss it out? 😦

I was silently jumping for bliss when I saw that there’s a Japanese station. It has been months since I’ve last squeezed a sushi between chopsticks.

Although to our dismay there were no ebi and crab tempura which are also Gabby’s favorites, we were happy to have freshest tuna and salmon sashimi, and some sushi…

The little-big boy really had his time…

I can eat this plateful of yummies everyday, haha! 🙂

I just recently found my love affair with some Indian foods, so I tried some chicken tandoori (but too spicy for my palates), papadum and roti, and one of the famous local grilled goodies here, chicken satay with peanut sauce…

I like their chicken satay but had an aversion to eat it with fresh onions. Usually, it’s eaten with cucumber and onion slices. Don’t you love these brass wares? I do!!! I wish when the time comes that we need to leave Malaysia, there would be extra money to buy these as souvenirs (O marami nyan sa Divisoria? LOL!) 🙂

Do you like lamb? I don’t because of its usual-after-taste that leaves you wanting to gargle non stop, hehe! But the slices of roasted lamb leg from this buffet made me reconsider it!

Beef dishes, as I know it, aren’t easy to prepare. It needs slow cooking for it to become tender and the beef medalions with mushrooms from Rasa Sayang doesn’t disappoint!

Peking Duck and  Char Siew Chicken were also sublime!

tastier and crunchier than it looks on photo!

Most foreigners and tourists would dig the local Malaysian favorites so for the desserts section, they’re offering ais kacang, cendol, ABC and more….(their version of our Filipino Halo-Halo!)

However, we didn’t try their version; perhaps, next time.

We've already tasted those green worm-like jellies made from rice flour and food coloring that are toppings of cendol from a hawker food stall in George Town before and we liked it! Grossly looking but will delight your palates!

Thankful to Gabby, he had the effort of going to the ice cream station to prepare a cup as Tina and I were already full that time.

Ice cream toppings and syrups never looked and tasted this great!

 Chef Gabby’s plating of ice cream…

Local Malaysian desserts were satiatingly good; our own versions we call them in Tagalog, kakanin…

Skewered for dipping…

One of this blog’s valued commenters (convictstock from Australia) mentioned before that their stay and dining in Rasa Sayang was made extraordinary because of their chocolate fondue. I agree but it would not hurt for Shangri-La Penang to double it with white chocolate fountain too! We have lots of hotels in the Philippines who offer it and it’s twice the fun of course!

Melted dark chocolate : so heavenly but wished there was white one too!

Gradually, Gabby’s having big ideas of what his kitchen, hotel and restaurant will all look like in the future as he picks up beautiful things and notes those he must avoid doing by his decent exposures to all this. It’s like (positive) brainwashing 101 or more like an early immersion for our kiddo. 🙂 Salamat na lang, lagi may promosi! (We’re always grateful for promotions as buffets in hotels are made affordable!).

These FUNtastic looking sculptures out of some ingredients I guess, made Gabby and Tina the happiest people on that dining area that night. My family's addicted to Angry Birds as they left me still enjoying Plants vs Zombies, LOL!

 Thank you, Spice Market Cafe for putting up such dining decors for kids and kid-at-hearts!

Fresh fruits were also on the spread but not the same with fruit juices; you need to pay extra for a glass or two. 😦 It’s unlike other premier hotel-buffets we have tried here in Penang where beverages are included in their offering; that’s one little disadvantage for patrons of Rasa Sayang in our humble opinion.  

However, they uplifted our spirits when we learned that coffee is included in the buffet, yahoooo! Tina and I are just simple coffee-lovers! 🙂

One week prior to our dinner when I had phoned them to make a reservation, they told me that the 250-sitting capacity of the restaurant is almost filled. I just took the chance in requesting that if and when some guests back out for whatever reason, I’ll appreciate if they can accomodate us in for consideration that I am bringing Gabby and I was surprised on the eve of our indulgence, they did! They allowed us to sit inside the buffet dining area instead outside where they have nipa huts and more tables for diners. 

All in all, our first dining experience in Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa Spice Market Cafe was indeed, less ordinary. Admittedly, I personally had great expectations because of its name and reputation and they exceeded it, bar none! More than great tasting dishes, their friendly service to customers showed how they value their market over their business. And where else can you spot such impressive factors for the price of RM 185 nett (PhP 2,590 or USD 59) for the three of us (at RM 104+ : buy-one-free-one+kid’s half rate)? The cost is such a steal that one will be tempted to go back for more!  Visit their website for more details of their rates and promotions (

Until our next family bonding moments! 🙂


PART ONE : Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Spice Market Cafe Buffet



  1. First of all, I would like to let you know that I appreciate and drooled at all the wonderful food that is set before your eyes that moment. Next, I just want you know too, that I hated you so badly because of this post.

    ME: Dad, Bilhan moko blueberry cheesecake, right now.

    LOL. I just can’t help drooling. Tissue, please.

  2. OMG super sulit naman yang selections for the price. I like seafood too. Buttery garlic prawns really good.

    Doc, I love lamb. I think I like it more than chicken 🙂 I think the gamey-ness of the meat is what turns you off.

    1. whenever tina cooks garlic buttered prawns at home, siguradong kamay ako kumain! kahit halabos na hipon lang, suka-bawang, solb! hehehe 🙂

      i think you’re right, ms. maria. i like lamb for as long as it’s cooked right for my palate; otherwise i can always passed on it anyway.

    1. sana mag-promo uli ang circles sa makati shangri la after xmas para nandyan kami, hehehe!
      see you there, ms. elna! *parang magpopromo nga ha!* hehehe 😀

  3. As always, those photos are nicely taken and left me drooling! I love your beatitudes too, although I’m one of the un-blessed with Blessed are the people who have no hypersensitivity, for theirs the kingdom of seafoods!

    It felt like you were talking to me when you mentioned the anti-histamines. It’s always a staple when I dine at buffets or seafood restaurants.. XD

    1. sorry to know that, sumi. 😦
      but thank you for swinging back to this blog again! 🙂

      here’s wishing you can outgrow soon your allergies to seafoods.

  4. The wait for this post was so worth it. I was drooling over all the desserts since I have a sweet tooth. I can’t believe they have so much! Hopefully, your dreams for Gabby all come true. It’s nice that he has someone like you to expose him and immerse him. 🙂

  5. touched ako sa ulirang waitress awardee! so what kung nurse si Tina at doctor ka.. hihi

    im drooling over the premium cakes. im sure masarap ang flavorful ang main entrees. since u mentioned indian food, then i think its time matutunan ko na din kainan yan..

    1. i only eat indian foods here from kapitan; takot ako kumain sa iba…
      so far, my favorites are chicken tandoori, cheese naan, roti canai, mango lassi. i still have to taste their briyani, kebabs and other must-try dishes.

      sa pinas, saan tayo magpu-food trip, chyng? (gusto mo street foods? good luck sa hepa!)

  6. .. nakakalito kung anong pipiliin ko sa mga cakes na yan!

    .. i miss cendol and abc! pero mas gusto ko pa rin ang mga kakanin sa atin compared to theirs. sulit ang buffet na yan for that price. 😀

    1. balik ka dito next year, libre ka namin ng cendol at abc! but make sure your stay here will be longer than your last visit.

      compared to buffets in manila, yeah, the promo rates of spice market cafe buffet is a steal!

  7. Grabe, as in “major major” sa sarap! hahaha there are a lot of selections to choose from, sira ang diet ko nyan buti na lang sa pictures lang ako nabusog hehehe….sarap ng sushi! at seafood! at yun mga desserts sarap kainin at ganda ng presentation nila….doc buti di ka binawalan na kumuha ng pictures? kasi tipong inisa-isa mo talaga mga pagkain at panay ang picture mo e lol…ako di ko na magawang kumuha ng picture pag nakita ko na pagkain e, “nilalantakan” ko kagad hahaha….tama nga yun server nyo, e ano kung nurse at doctor kayo e nasa restaurant nga naman nila kayo 😉 I like that….day off nyo kaya yun no hehehe

    1. tina and i really appreciated that rare thoughtfulness from norizah. ang bait talaga nya, i filled out the comment card and wrote her name with well-deserved praises of her.

      i took first 30 minutes of our indulgence just to capture those yummies.
      ritual na ata sa pamilya namin na picture muna bago kain, sanay na nga si gabby e! 🙂

  8. my eyes are absolutely busog! but my stomach grumbles! what a feast! i’m not a cake-person but the cakes are just tempting. love the beef medallions….hayy, ano ba ito? makapag midnight snack nga muna! LOL

  9. waah! food blogger ka na rin…ang husay ng mga kuha…haylavit! ang cute naman nung waitress, ang natawa din ako dun sa “i’m a nurse and he’s a dcotor” in fairness, buti may promo kundi parang ang mahal, pero ok din..matry nga minsan:)

    1. food blogger? hahaha… that’s how usually i am classified because of the food posts here. but with due respect to the food bloggers around particularly those whom i have met and followed, my site doesn’t only cater to gastronomic feasts, but basically a reverence to 😀

  10. I have to say your experience with the wait staff is the best I have read anywhere. She wins in my book for going beyond her line of work! She does deserve a commendation from her supervisor since people like her will make you go back and indulge again, not only with the food, but with the service!

    1. wow, really? with your vast experience in dining and amazing travels around the globe, it’s surprising nothing has surpassed norizah’s commendable service? 😀

      we’re on the same thought, dennis that service, more than ambiance of a food place, is as important as the tastes and presentation of the food they serve.

  11. Great food shots, doc, at ang galing na ni Little Chef mag-plate ng ice cream! My only issue – and here you can call me a nit-picking foodie – is that the Mont Blanc looks more like a strawberry-topped Charlotte Russe (frozen cream mousse with ladyfinger biscuits topped with fruit) than a traditional Mont Blanc which is made with squiggles of pureed chestnut topped with cream.

    1. you really know your food, marga! i’m not surprised actually. 🙂

      before i did the post, i googled mont blanc first and found your description on my readings. that version from rasa sayang’s spice market cafe was probably the fruity ones, more than the conventional mont blanc.

  12. thanks dr. for making me drooling.. 🙂 i just want to know what is the rate for the buffet.. i would love to try it sometimes

    1. hello future doc!
      thanks for visiting my blog; really appreciate it!
      about your query, spice market’s buffet in shangri la’s rasa sayang was around RM120+ on a weekday rate and we availed it on a buy one free one promo!
      it’s so worth it! try it and let me know what you think. 😀

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