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Sheraton Dinner Buffet – Penang

It just goes to show how limited our choice was of nice little local eateries that we’d end up having the buffet at the Sheraton. Sure, there are little places where you can get street food for next to nothing. That’s great for the backpackers but we were in the mood for something a bit more upmarket at the time. Anyway, we went to the Sheraton and on the face of it, the choice looked good enough for us to decide to stay. (Staying in the Hotel 1926, as we were, meant that we’d have a 20-minute trek into town otherwise.)

On closer inspection, there were so many things worryingly wrong that I even took the time to write a whole page of faults and subsequently discuss them with the duty manager. Seriously, the place was an accident waiting to happen. The standards of food hygiene were alarmingly low (non-existent?).

Some major faults I noticed included:

  • cold cooked meats and items containing mayonnaise were set out at ambient temperature – they should have been served on ice or from some form of cooled serving
  • cooked and raw foods were displayed together – thus risking food poisoning by cross-contamination
  • the “hot” dishes were lukewarm – thus encouraging bacteria to multiply by leaving food lying in the “danger zone” for an extended period.

And a couple of other faults (from memory as I gave my list of notes to the duty manager to help her out – the list was that alarming! – and didn’t keep a copy myself):

  • no labelling of what food dishes were or what they contained
  • insufficient utensils for serving the food

So, all in all, it left a rather limited selection of what we considered OK to eat. It’s not that we’re all that fussy about things – “when in Rome…” and all that – but when a major international hotel is breaking every basic food hygiene rule in the book, it does rather put one off.

Overall rating: 0/5

Be afraid, be very afraid, if you’re going to eat here.

Update (May 2009):

The hotel ceased to be part of the Sheraton group some time after our review and is now the Dorsett (sic).

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