Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hardwicke House, Penang Daily BBQ Buffet Only Restaurant

Attention Update: When I pass by a few day ago, It seems that Harwicke House BBQ is now close. Jan 2011.

Blog (Viral) marketing works, this can be seen at the Packed Hardwicke House Nightly BBQ buffet, after it had invited around 10+ blogger to a free dinner at the Restaurant. When my colleague call for a reservation (around lunch time) of 3 person for a sat nightwe were inform that there is only a small corner table for us. At 30 min before the reservation time the restaurant call to confirm if we are coming.

Hardwicke House is a old mansion, now housing a restaurant within a compound/car park of a Skyscrapper just off Gurney Drive, Penang Nite Hang Out area. The Restaurant does not do alacarte, What it does is Buffet, There is a daily lunch buffet at RM18 ++ per person and there is a daily night buffet at RM38++ per person (I was thinking RM38++ is a very reasonable rate for a BBQ) and with all the Photos show, I and my colleagues were interested enough to travel over the water to partake the buffet, and to see what all the fuss is about.

Ambiance of the Restaurant is good, wine celler type of bar, and the rest was just like a colonial government servant house of yesteryears, ( I should know, I stay in 3 of those for a total 14 years)

So ladies and gentlemen, this is not a paid for post or a invited post ie makan free or you get paid for posting this, I spend RM131.10 for 3 persons, 5 hours of my time, and petrol and toll money coming over from the main land, so I will not post photos of the buffet as there are many already out there. (thankfully there were no traffic jam on this sat night)

The Buffet is shoe horn in to the restaurant tiny lobby, so when you step in the food is all there, there are alot of food verity with some of the cheffing dish sharing 3 individual items, the BBQ seafood were all dump in to one cheffing dish as well, and well non lineal laid out, all the sauce were with the salad, even sauce like mustard, the accompaniments (a lot) for the bar be que were place quite a distance from the BBQ items, the Roast Lamb were next to the desserts and fruits though not too far away from the main dish.

I must say that there is a lot of verity, (expensive and cheep) but even with the tiny lobby one could have a more lineal flow of the food, with the accompaniments being place next to each other.

What disappoint me is there is no appetizers other then salad and a generic from the can/tub cream of chicken soup, (not even bits of chicken in it) However there is a very large verity of salads, with a large verity of sauce and accompaniments provided. There is also a verity of fresh bread with butter.

Next were the main course, (I went 3 time to keep things separated) , first I took the Roast Lamb Leg drench in Brown sauce, I had mustard and mint sauce as well. Bake Salmon fish, I had the spaghetti with out the beef bolognaise sauce provided. topped with (Fresh) Parmesan cheese, and about the last piece of tandoori chicken. Ok I suppose, the lamb is tender thought a bit tasteless. The Salmon is slightly rough, But the Tandoori was superb.

Next were the BBQ items, No more Tandoori, I had the grilled lamb (sorry forgot to take a photo), some small bbq prawns, baby crab, (no squid left) and there were only shells of the shellfish left) , Lamb with the mint sauce is good, prawn though small is excellent in taste and freshness.

My third round of the main course were concentrated on the indian food. I took Naan bread from the BBQ section, and had it the the brinja sambal, dhall (sorry photo not so good) chicken curry, and the mutton curry. Suberb all of them. ( think that the chef specialize in India cusine) - After a long wait finally manage to get two pieces of chicken tendoori, fresh from the oven so to speak, very nice, tasty, tender, very definite not dry like some other places.

By the time we hit the wide verity of dessert, the buffet were almost out of the cake and jelly, there were a buffet of 6 verity of ice cream with 3 sauce, fruits as well, I had some nice ice cream, black forest and a piece of jelly.

Free Non Alcoholic Beverage, Now all this (and alot more) came to RM38++, with 6 verity of non alcoholic drink, Service in general is ok, not fantastic, there were some small hic cups here and there but generally satisfactory considering its full house, but what disappoint me was with all the bloggers talking about the wine and beer, no one bother to ask us if we wanted wine or beer.

Photo of a wine country (france) poster in the WC!

  • service generally attentive though at time not so good, took 10 min to get the bill, saw a cook playing with his hand phone,
  • Reservation reconfirmed
  • Good Ambiance
  • Food in General OK, though certain refill was slow
  • No problems with parking, plenty of parking space. In fact the whole car park is yours even with a pack restaurant, good place to have a gathering.
  • Large verity of food and drink


  • Air Condition in my corner table is not so good as compared with the rest of the restaurant
  • The main dining area have a slight cafeteria feel, (due to cramming in table and chairs) but the corner I was in is damm good for romantic dinner with a few right touches.
  • Refill may be a bit slow for the buffet.
  • no appetizers

Possible Improvements

I may be picking at small little things, I feel Hardwicke house can be further improve with a few more small touches.

  • Firstly this is suppose to be a barbeque, and they also have a open outdoor space, so why dont do a open air bbq where passes by along the busy main roads can see?
  • Reserve the corner I was in for Intimate Dinners, and rectify the air flow there for more coolness (there is a big split unit air con there)
  • More Lineal flow for the buffet.
  • Utilize the open air area and the Poach area for smokers dinners and space out the tables in the main dinning room a bit.
  • A nice and affordable BBQ dinning Experience
  • Good Crowd, Nice Ambiance
  • Keep up the good work. i was just pickie on small little things.
Restaurant C ordinates N 5,25,39, E 100, 19, 13 cutesy of wikimips

all photos by Nokia N82

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