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WESTERN Spices lives up to its name with a repertoire of innovative delights brimming with robust, aromatic flavours – thanks to generous and ingenious use of herbs and spices.

The cosy, well-appointed eatery, located at the junction of Green Hall and Light Street, Penang, takes pride in its modern western cuisine made with fresh, natural ingredients, and free of MSG or instant powders.

The delicious creations of Chef Nick Lau put a crafty spin on classic favourites. Among them is his signature Oxtail Soup, a hearty offering drawn from an age-old, Italian family recipe.

“It is infused with a blend of 14 herbs and spices, and slow-cooked for 24 hours over coal,” he pointed out, adding that only limited portions were available each day.

The Seafood Chowder, packed with mussels, squid, clams and scallops, the novel Beetroot Soup or the palm-sized Jumbo Scallops is an equally comforting option to start the meal.

Chef Lau’s special mains include the Lamb Flap, which comprises chunks crusted with breadcrumbs and baked to perfection. It is served with homemade mashed potatoes and garden vegetables.

The Lamb Rack, a dish with lots of tender loving care vested in its preparation, is another crowd favourite. It is grilled, baked, seasoned, baked again, cut and then grilled again, to produce a succulent dish.

Fans of fish head may also try the Teriyaki Salmon Head while the Sesame Pasta and Watercress Pasta offer light and refreshing tastes that should appeal to health-conscious folk.

Though both pasta dishes incorporate chicken chunks, the former is tossed with a piquant sauce made from the tiny seeds while the latter has a delicate gravy pureed from the semi-aquatic plant.

Western Spices’ Cheese Fondue set, which comes with two cups of flower tea and a variety of condiments like bread, fruits, vegetables and even ice-cream for dipping, is ideal for sharing.

“The fondue is made with four types of cheeses, and a dash of tangy citrus to cut through the richness. The condiments change around, according to what?s fresh and available each day,” Chef Lau said.

Top if off with a glass of Tiramisu Coffee or a slice of Pastry Chef Ally Tan?s indulgent and sinful homemade cakes such as the best selling Tofu Cheesecake.

The eatery’s popular Western Steamboat, a twist on the Asian favourite, has also made its return. Available with a one-day pre-order, it comes with either red wine stock or beer stock.

Cost-conscious folk may opt for the daily four-course Set Lunch or five-course Set Dinner, priced at RM19.90++ and RM49.90++ respectively. Its menu changes every month to keep things fresh for regulars.

Chef Lau said those celebrating their birthday parties in groups of eight or 10 would also be entitled to a free 1kg birthday cake, with a two-day advance notice.

They also cater for private functions, for up to 60 pax, with customisable menus. Western Spices is pork-free and opens daily from 11.30am to 11pm except Mondays. From 3pm to 6pm, it also serves hi-tea.

For the latest updates, look up its Facebook page or call 04-2611553 for reservations.

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