Bayview Hotel Georgetown
25-A Farquhar Street
As you’d expect, the Bayview has a number of eating and drinking establishments, ranging from a nightclub in the cellar to a revolving restaurant on the top floor! We checked most of them out during our stay…
Having dumped our bags in the room on our arrival at the Bayview, we made our way downstairs for a refreshing beer in the Lobby Lounge which, as you’d expect, was in the lobby. Their happy hour lasted from 1800-2100, so we settled down for a few Tigers at RM8.00++ (RM9.20, or £1.40ish) for a “half-pint” glass. A bowl of tasty roasted and salted peanuts soon appeared on the table for us to nibble at.
As the evening wore on, we realised that the entertainment was about to start – a four-piece Filipino band called G-28, singing a mix of power ballads and ’70s standards. There were only three of them, as it turned out, but they weren’t bad. By now it was half-past nine and back to normal prices (RM15++ for a Tiger, which works out as RM17.25 – £2.70ish). Unfortunately we’d got comfortable, so we weren’t really aware of the size of the bill we were running up! Still, we were on holiday… but we didn’t make the same mistake on subsequent nights.
This is the Bayview’s café on the ground floor, where the complimentary breakfast is served in the mornings. We’d had a quick look at the menu just before going into the Lobby Lounge – we’d seen a buffet, which looked tempting, but were told that that was for tour groups only.
As we got peckish a couple of hours later, Dave went along to ask whether he could order fish and chips, to be served in the Lobby Lounge rather than in the café. A friendly waiter tried to call someone (presumably a manager) to find out if this would be OK. After failing to get through to anyone, he decided it would be “OK, no problem.” (Good marks for initiative there.)
The fish was piled high when it arrived: three pieces of it! We wouldn’t say it was fine dining by any means; the fish looked rather processed – smooth batter triangles. The chips were nondescript frozen stuff, and the veg were that ubiquitous pea/carrot/sweetcorn mix (we ignored them). But it filled a hole. Particularly good was the way in which the waitress serving us asked “Would you like another set of cutlery?”so that we could share the meal. More initiative – they’ve got some smart cookies working at the Bayview.
As we mentioned earlier, Kopi Tiam is also where breakfast is served in the mornings. It’s your typical South East Asian hotel buffet offering, with cereals, toast and preserves, tea and coffee, and various Asian specialities. (Plus of course the usual British/American breakfast stuff à la malaisienne – in other words, with beef bacon and turkey ham; you’d have to search long and hard to find somewhere in Malaysia that serves non-halal bacon or ham.) We didn’t really fancy any of it very much, though then again we turned up barely 15 minutes before it finished, and that may have coloured our experience. It may be wonderful if you turn up at the start of service at 6.30, but we didn’t bother to find out…
There are a bunch of hawker stalls set up just outside the front of the hotel every evening (unless it’s raining, in which case they move to an area off to the side of Kopi Tiam. We tried some of their chicken satay. They’re geared up for takeaway, so taking them up to the room was no problem. Tasty stuff, and not massively expensive – just RM9.00 “nett” (which, rather oddly, is the local term for “including taxes”) for six sticks. Quite reasonable for a tasty snack.
We had a quick look inside here on our first evening when we were checking everything out – they offer a “sunset buffet”. It looked reasonable value for money, but rather Chinese-dominated for our taste. The Restaurant revolves once every 45 minutes, apparently, which is slow enough to make it easy to step on and off the revolving part (and to serve yourself from the buffet, which is on the fixed central island), but should give you two turns (or thereabouts) round the whole Penang panorama.
Waka Japanese Restaurant
We had a glance at their menu (with some difficulty, as the member of staff on the door insisted on turning all the pages for us). It looked reasonable, but it was always a bad time – either we were too late for service, or too early, or the weather had turned cool and rainy (not really the sort of weather that makes raw fish seem terribly attractive).
So, as you can see, if you fancy eating at the Bayview there’s plenty of options to suit most budgets.