Special thanks to The Cinnamon for extending this food review invitation.
Hotel Penaga is an upscale hotel at the corner of Hutton Lane (Jalan Hutton) and Clarke Street (Lebuh Clarke). The hotel was refurbished from colonial-era buildings. Its nostalgic vintage environment provides an alternative to the modern 5-star hotels in George Town.
Between individual blocks of buildings is a charming courtyard with a small swimming pool and picnic tables. The serene atmosphere here is a stark contrast to the bustling Hutton Lane one block away.
The Cinnamon Restaurant & Tanglung Bar is the only eatery in Hotel Penaga. Since February 2015, the hotel has ceded restaurant operation to a third-party proprietor. This move gives the incoming restaurant management a free hand to introduce new dining concepts which were impractical before. In addition to serving hotel guests, it is hoped that The Cinnamon will also attract walk-in customers.
Under the new management, the premise of The Cinnamon is to offer unique fusion cuisine in an upscale ambience. However, the price point at The Cinnamon is placed significantly lower than other eateries of similar prestige in George Town.
In addition to the casual dining restaurant, the adjoining Tanglung Bar serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. “Tanglung” (灯笼) means “lantern” in Chinese. This explains the elaborate, oversized lighting at the bar.
There is also a business center with cozy chairs and plenty of reading material. For corporate meetings, The Cinnamon also has a private room which accommodates up to 30 people.
The star in the kitchen is Chef Hung, who has extensive experience in the culinary line. Chef Hung has worked in prestigious restaurants such as Macalister Mansion, Mansion 32,Spice Market Café, Five 27, Tanzini and Suffolk House, before taking the helm of The Cinnamon as its Executive Chef. A perfectionist by trade, Chef Hung pays attention to every morsel before each dish leaves his kitchen.
Today’s meal follows the set lunch menu, which comprises of a starter of either soup or salad, a choice of entrée (lamb, chicken, fish or pasta), dessert and drink. Set lunch is available daily between 11:30am and 2:30pm. Prices start from RM19.90 plus service charge.
For appetizers, I started with a bowl of Broccoli Soup. The soup is rich and creamy in consistency. Although slightly saltier than what I am used to, the overall flavor is appealing nevertheless.
In lieu of soup, one may opt for salad instead. The Cinnamon’s Salad is prepared freshly from romaine lettuce, long beans, cherry tomatoes and boiled egg. The choice of dressing is balsamic vinegar with kombu seaweed and sesame oil.
My entrée of choice is Pan Seared Sea Bass (RM23.90). The sea bass is cooked such that the skin attains the desirable golden crisp, while the flesh beneath remains tender and juicy. The fillet is served over mashed potato with eggplant (brinjal), broccoli and carrots on the side. Tuscan tomato sauce is used as flavoring in this delectable dish.
As for poultry, the Roast Chicken Whole Thigh (RM22.90) is another interesting choice. In this particular serving, chicken thigh is replaced with deboned chicken cutlet. Similar to sea bass, the crust of roasted chicken is covered by a delightful layer of crisp. The flesh within is quite succulent, thanks to abundance of natural jus. Served alongside are baked potatoes and cherry tomatoes.
Today’s dessert up to the chef’s choice, which turns out to be chocolate sponge cake with diced green apples, watermelon, cookie crumble and chocolate syrup. The presentation of this dessert demonstrates the level of detail on Chef Hung’s part.
Mango juice is the beverage of choice for my meal today. Other choices available are coffee, tea and orange juice.
While lunch meals are moderately portioned, the set dinner is designed to satisfy the hungriest mouths. Each set dinner comprises of bread, amuse-bouche (bite-sized finger food), appetizer, sorbet, entrée (beef, lamb, chicken or seafood) and dessert. Dinner is served between 6:30pm and 10:00pm daily. The price starts from RM45.00 plus service charge.
As for breakfast, The Cinnamon serves Semi Buffet Hearty Breakfast. The main dish consists of eggs, two types of meat and two choices of greens. Popular choices among hotel guests are salmon gravlax and ratatouille. In addition, the breakfast meal includes a free-flow buffet spread with toasts, cereals, fruits and pastry. This breakfast package is priced at RM27.00 net and is open to the public.
From 19 February 2015 to 5 March 2015 and as part of Chinese New Year festive season, The Cinnamon offers complimentary yee sang for each table of 4 diners. The yee sang includes raw salmon as well as almond slices.
Name: The Cinnamon
Address: Hotel Penaga, Jalan Hutton, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Business hours: 7:00am-11:00pm
Coordinates: 5.41998 N, 100.33058 E
Directions: Hotel Penaga is located at the intersection of Hutton Lane (Jalan Hutton) and Clarke Street (Lebuh Clarke). The Cinnamon is located next to the hotel’s lobby and faces the central courtyard. Street parking is available along nearby roads such as Hutton Lane, Clarke Street, Transfer Road (Jalan Transfer), Jalan Dato Koyah and Argyll Road (Jalan Argyll). There is also a green multi-storey parking structure along Hutton Lane just opposite of Eden.