Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Feast at Hotel Emmas

The buffet and "steam boat" at Hotel Emma's was the perfect introduction to Malaysian food. Our waiter, Arnold spoke English well enough to explain all the exotic ingredients like Jack Fruit, banana leaf wrapped around cassava paste, chocolate gelatine, mud crab, ruby snapper, jelly balls, thai greens, lemon grass, and more than two dozen sauces. And we got this guided tour of Malaysian food and a full belly (all-you-can eat) for only 30 Ringit each ($9 USD). We always cleaned our plate and our steam boat pot, but if you don't they have a sign that encourages you not to "waste food" with a 10 Ringit per 100 g surcharge for any food left on your plate. I can't imagine them ever enforcing that rule, though we did learn that they do insist that you pay your tab. On our first visit to Hotel Emmas we'd asked at the desk and at the restaurant if they took credit card, but we almost had to wash dishes when their credit card machines didn't seem to be able to process any of the cards we threw at them one by one. Even the ATM had trouble with our cards saying only "Transaction Canceled" (for MasterCard debit cards) or "Zero Balance" (for MasterCard cash advances).  But eventually our waiter, Arnold, escorted us to an ATM that worked and we could put away our dishwashing gloves.

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