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Archive for October, 2013

THE FIRST EVER HUNGRYGOWHERE MALAYSIA FOOD TRAIL IN PENANG

Posted by crizlai On October - 21 - 2013

HungryGoWhere (HGW), Singapore’s most popular food website and mobile app, with the support of SingTel Digital Media Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), which had made their grand entry into Malaysia by setting a new record of “The Longest Line of Nasi Lemak Bungkus” in the Guinness Book of World Records on 24 August 2013, had organized their first ever food trail in Penang yesterday. A group of HungryGoWhere Malaysia mobile application users and bloggers were privileged enough to be invited to join in the fully sponsored eating trip to discover some of the best eateries in Penang. Moreover, everyone was also blessed to have the best weather throughout the whole week for the excursion during this wet season.

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The event started with the invited participants gathering at the lobby of Traders Hotel Penang as early as 8.30am. Thereafter, everyone was briefed on the social media sharing procedures by the two beautiful HGW community managers, Shing and Hanis.

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We were then directed into two comfortable 12-14 seaters chattered vans to start out our new adventure.

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The first eatery we visited for some delicious snacks was the Tan Jetty Fried Fritters, hidden within the vicinity of the Tan Jetty along the historic stretch of Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay). You can check out the video on the history of the clan jetties here. Basically, the little shed along a small lane into the Tan Jetty here served 3 types of delicious fritters namely Loh Bak (Pork Roll), Prawn Fritters and Bean Curd Fritters. Their homemade chili sauce which consisted of blended red chilies, lime juice, sugar and salt was the perfect condiment to enhance more flavors.

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The next stop was for breakfast. Hidden below a government flat was a small eatery named I Mum Mum, managed by a husband & wife team. Their pan mee noodles have the al dente that excels above others of the same trade. Notably, their Crispy Pork Pan Mee, Spicy Pan Mee and dumplings are the most sought after dishes by the locals. We had our options of Dry Pan Mee, Pan Mee Soup, Crispy Pork Pan Mee and Spicy Pan Mee here.

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After some basic starters, the real adventure began. We continued our journey for lunch over to Mainland Penang towards Pulau Aman, a 288 acres island, 25 nautical miles away from the mainland, to savor more goodies. At the Batu Musang Jetty prior to embarking onto a sampan ride to the island, the participants had an awesome panoramic view of Pulau Aman as well as the some nice views of the two Penang bridges. The sampan ride to the island was the first experience for many of the participants. Upon arrival on the island, we were directed to the Pulau Aman Floating Restaurant, a much sought after restaurant on the island, notably for its fresh seafood. We had Mee Udang Goreng, Mee Udang Kuah and Nasi Goreng Udang with a number of succulent fresh white prawns. After lunch, we had a nice stroll around the island to experience the lifestyle of the fishing villagers. Some of us managed to savor some deep fried breadfruit fritters (Buah Sukun Goreng) as the plant is quite in abundance on the island. The fruit has the texture of tapioca with a hint of jack fruit flavor.

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After some rest on Pulau Aman, we adjourned back to Penang Island for tea time. This time, we went over to savor the much acclaimed Assam Laksa at the Farlim Shell Station Laksa Café, in the heart of Farlim, Penang. Each bowl of the Assam Laksa would come with a whole boneless Ikan Kembong (Indian Mackerel), so fresh that you could still see the glitters on its body. On top of that, we also did try out their famous Spring Rolls, Fish Crackers, Steamed Buns with BBQ Meat, Ice Kacang, Cendul and a mix & match dessert called See Koh Th’ng.

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Well, it’s always the best for last when we ended up at Zi Zai Restaurant for our dinner. Their signature dish would be their Poon Choi aka Basin Feast, a basin filled with 14 ingredients such as meat (Nam Joo Pork Belly, Hainan Chicken, Roasted Duck) seafood (Abalone, Prawns, Hock Chew Fish Balls, Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber, Fish Fillet) and vegetables (Cabbages, Yam, Jicama, Broccoli, Chinese Mushroom) on a stove to be shared amongst 10-12 pax. What we had was a small sized Poon Choi with additional add ons which cost about RM328nett. All the participants were eagerly digging into the Poon Choi for more hidden treasures. LOL! It was also the first time experience for most of the participants to try out this “basin” of scrumptious delicacy. On top of that, we were also served with old days’ favorite dishes where they were at their simplest best. The dishes included Assam Prawns, Stir Fry Sambal Lala, Deep Fried Belacan Chicken, Stir Fry Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish and Stir Fry Yao Mak (Baby Romaine Lettuce). It was so far the best experience the participants had to rekindle old memories.

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The fun and joyful moments of the whole Penang Food Trail did not stop there. Everyone went home with some souvenirs, namely a notepad and a multi-usage pen courtesy of HungryGoWhere Malaysia.

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In fact, two lucky winners went home with a unit of imported 12000mah Powerbank each, another surprise lucky draw session held by HGW Malaysia. Both the prizes were presented by the two HGW Community Managers, Shing and Hanis respectively.

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The whole event ended after more than 11 hours of fun-filled eating. 😛 This food trail was organized by HungryGoWhere Malaysia – Discover, Eat, Share today!

About HungryGoWhere Malaysia: You can download the HungryGoWhere Malaysia mobile app through IOS (version 5+) or Android (version 4.0+) or pay a visit to their website at www.hungrygowhere.my. Being a nation with rich and diverse food culture, HGW Malaysia users would get to gain new experiences in searching, discovering and locating the best dishes and eateries within a 10-30km radius. It would even be greater if you were to register yourself as one of the many users, a smart move to leave your tracks behind to recommend more new eateries to other users. After all, HGW Malaysia is a platform by users, for users, to archive pure and unbiased recommendations.

Here’s a short video of the 11 hours plus excursion in 110s~ 🙂


 

MUSICAL SOIREE AT 1885 @ EASTERN & ORIENTAL HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On October - 15 - 2013

LATEST MUSICAL SOIREE AT 1885: 15 MARCH 2014

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It was a unique dining experience when we were treated with a robust Musical Soiree by three excellent performers which consisted of Zhang Chi (pianist), Teresa Ong (soprano) and Sean Ooi (tenor), during a recent visit to [email protected] E&O Hotel recently. The first segment of an ongoing project, to be held for 5 consecutive months, was the brainchild of loyal hotel residents, Mr. & Mrs. Martin Rutherford, and the Resident Manager of E&O Hotel, Mr. Harold Rainfroy. The performance would be held on the first Thursday of each month. Please check the E&O Hotel Facebook for more information on the coming events. Price is at RM200++ per pax.

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Their performances were in 3 sessionss. The first one included Etude Op.15″ (Zhang Chi), “O Holy Night” (Sean Ooi), “Xue Hua” (Teresa Ong), “If You Loved Me” (Sean Ooi) and “Il Ba Cio” (Teresa Ong). The second session included “Liu Yang River” (Chang Zhi), “Nella Fantasia” (Sean Ooi), “E Pur Cosi/ Piangero La Sorte” (Teresa Ong), “Non Ti Scordar Di Me” (Sean Ooi) and “Laughing Song” (Teresa Ong). The finale session had Zhang Chi rendering the “Waltz Op. 64 No.2 & Op. 34 No. 5”, followed by “All I Ask of You” and “The Prayer” (Duet by Sean Ooi & Teresa Ong). The numerous awards winning song “The Prayer” written by the famous songwriter, David Foster, made famous by Canadian singer, Celine Dion and blind Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, has always remained as my personal favorite.

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At 1885 @ E&O Hotel, meals would always start with some lovely dinner rolls, served with their creamy butter. The aroma emitted from the freshly bakes combined with the fine soft yet fluffy textures from the in-house made dinner rolls would always be the best starter for any meal.

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Our actual fine dining experience kicked off with a palate dinner of awesomely presented Trio Appetizers which consisted of Hokkaido Scallop Tataki served with Citrus Mango Salsa, Foie Gras Terrine with Cinnamon Brioche and Vichyssoise with Norwegian Salmon Tartare. This appetizers came paired with the Hole In The Water Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

The Hokkaido Scallop Tataki served with Citrus Mango Salsa was actually a briefly seared fresh scallop which had firm and creamy texture in each bite. It was served on a fruity yet mildly spiced up citrus mango salsa with bursting omega-3 fatty acid filled salmon roes as garnishing. It was a perfect combination.

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Next on the plate was the Foie Gras Terrine with Cinnamon Brioche. The foie gras terrine was one of the best I had tasted as it had added roasted shitake mushroom slices added in to tame the richness in the fatty duck liver. Combined with the light yet fluffy mildly cinnamon pepped up toasted brioche, it was another perfect dish. The appetizer also came with a slice of ripen fig to sweeten up the savory flavors.

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Finally the last of the appetizers was the Vichyssoise with Norwegian Salmon Tartare. The cold soup which had a combination of pureed potatoes, leeks, onions, stock and cream was smooth flowing with the complemented Norwegian salmon tartare, topped with some sauteed tomato and a drizzle of spiced olive oil.

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After another session of great performances by the trio, we were served with the main course – Pan Seared Chilean Cod Fish & Poached Jumbo Prawn with Chickpea Puree, served with some semi dried tomatoes and some fresh basil sauce. The remarkable light and creamy textures of the thick slab of white fish, pan seared to perfection and the firm texture of the poached jumbo prawn, went well with the mildly butter spiced chickpea puree. With a magical drizzle of some freshly made basil sauce, the whole concoction had unique flavors of the next level. This dish came paired with the Matua Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir. Thumbs up!

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The much awaited desserts were presented to us after another session of the performances. Again, these desserts were served in trio such as the Valrhona & Almond Chocolate Cannoli, Chantilly Cinnamon Mango and Bavarois Berry Lava Cake.

It always has been my priority to savor those with a sweeter note first before ending with something with fruitiness with light touch of sourness. I started off with the Bavarois Berry Lava Cake. I would say this dessert was a lava cake made too perfect as it ended up as a brownie without the much expected chocolate oozing out. No doubt it was still a great dessert with a generous amount of ganache topping with some mildly sweetened berry compote.

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The Valrhona & Almond Chocolate Cannoli on the other hand would suit chocolate lovers well. You can imagine the contentment of having luxurious French chocolate filled ricotta like cream and topped with some toasted chopped almonds. It was heavenly but I personally feel that it was a bit too much of chocolate items for the day.

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I made a wise choice leaving the Chantilly Cinnamon Mango as the last option. The almost light cheesecake texture cake blended in real nice with a fresh piece of mango. It was indeed a refreshing and most palatable dessert of the evening.

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The night ended with an astounding finale performance by the trio with diners being served with either a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a selection from their gourmet tea choices.

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Overall, it was a great evening of different genre with great food, wine and musical performances. Finally, I would like to thank Eileen Chong, Communications & Public Relations Manager of E&O Hotel, for a great evening.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang (next to Penang Bowl) is located along Lebuh Farquhar. If you are coming from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah towards Weld Quay, keep to your left immediately after passing by CitiBank. When you see the Penang Bowl building on your left (UMW Toyota opposite), please slow down. Turn left immediately after the Penang Bowl entrance. The E&O Hotel car park is situated just inside the building. Parking charges would be a maximum of RM6 (weekdays: Monday-Thursday) and RM12 (weekends: Friday- Sunday)

E&OMAP photo EampOMAP_zps7887a7a5.jpg Name: 1885 @ EASTERN & ORIENTAL HOTEL Address: 10 Lebuh Farquhar, 10200 Penang, Malaysia. Contact: 604-222 2000 GPS: 5.423624, 100.334988 RATING: Ambience: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy) Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices) Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent) Pricing: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive) Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

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The Golden Phoenix @ Hotel Equatorial, Penang has launched its “All You Can Eat Dim Sum Semi Buffet Lunch” promotion recently. For dim sum fans, it’s the time of the year for you to dine in the comfort of the restaurant while snacking your way through the 28 options of dim sum delicacies from Golden Phoenix. The promotion will be available for lunch (12.00noon – 2.30pm) on weekdays only (except weekends & public holidays) from 1 October 2013 until 30 November 2013. Price is at RM42++ (adult) and RM23++ (child).

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Let’s have a look at the semi buffet spread first before going into the dim sum selections. On the main spread, there would be some savory dishes for you to start off your appetite while waiting for your dim sum orders to be served. Savory dishes served would be on a rotation basis and you might get items such as Sichuan Hot & Sour Soup, Pei Tan Chok, Fried Singapore Bee Hoon, Yong Chow Fried Rice and Stir Fry Yau Mak with Garlic.

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On the other hand, there would be a dessert corner with items such as Sweet Potatoes in Syrup, Chilled Honeydew Sago, Assorted Cakes and Fresh Fruit Cuts.

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Some of the dim sum items in the ala carte menu would be worth mentioning as they excelled above the rest on the market, whether these are from hawkers or restaurants.

The first recommended dish on the list would be the XO Sauce Siew Mai (#1 in the menu). Amazingly, the kitchen could still come out with its own “halal” XO sauce as this sauce normally contains chopped bacon, ham and Chinese sausages. I guessed they have their ways to replace pork items with chicken items instead. XO sauce is a rich sauce filled with flavors from some dried seafood and meat and this combination of minced prawns, chicken and sauce indeed pepped up the unique flavors in this dim sum.

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Next on the list would be the Hak Chiew Kwei Mei Gai (#2 in the menu). Normally this dish would come with small pieces of pork ribs. The kitchen did a great job in tenderizing the chicken pieces with some ginger juice and pepped up with enough coarsely crushed black pepper and salt, prior to steaming, indeed made this dish my favorite of the day.

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Next on the list would be the Tian Suan Yuan Yang Xia (#15 in the menu). This is practically just two deveined prawns steamed with 2-flavor sauce but the freshness of the prawns was remarkably appetizing.

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Next on the list would be the Hoi Tong Gor (#17 in the menu). These dumplings were quite identical to the taste of the usual Har Mai (prawn dumplings) but with the added dried scallops did emit extra rich seafood flavors in the concoction.

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Next on the list would be the Fried Lor Mai Fan (#18 in the menu). Steaming glutinous rice would be quite an easy task but to boost up the fragrance of the rice grains to get the extra aromatic flavors would require more effort. The kitchen did a good job in stir toasting the grains with just the right amount of seasoning prior to steaming them.

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Next on the list would be the Char Wu Kok (#21 in the menu). This is indeed another of my favorite item while having dim sum. Delicious char siew BBQ sauce marinated minced chicken wrapped in mashed yam paste and deep fried to perfection. The flakiness of the outer crust combined with the ooziness of the sauce within would make this item a great snack for any occasion.

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The last recommended dish on the list would be the Lor Pak Gou (#28 in the menu). The firmness and texture of this delicacy were just right. On top of the grated radish, the little pieces of added dried shrimps and Chinese sausages (chicken) flavored up the whole combination real well. By pan frying the cake slices, the fragrance from the slightly crispy crust combined with the soft interior made this dish delicious.

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Overall, there are still rooms for improvements as the taste and flavors of some of dished were rather localized. However, being a halal restaurant with the limitation of ingredient usages, that would be the best you can get without the use of pork for the dim sum. Here’s a look at the items available in the menu. Click on the photo to enlarge for a better view.

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If you are coming from Bayan Baru area towards Jalan Tun Dr Awang, make a right turn into Persiaran Bukit Jambul at the second traffic lights. Drive all the way up the sloppy road until you see INTI International College on your left. Drive about another 150m onwards and turn right into Jalan Bukit Jambul at the first junction you see. You will see the hotel on your left. The easiest way to get there would be by parking your car on the left side of the building (office block area) as your enter the hotel’s car park. Take the nearest stairway up a level and you will see the restaurant on your left. The Golden Phoenix is located at the same level as the Grand Ballroom overseeing the golf courses of Bukit Jambul Country Club.

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Name: GOLDEN PHOENIX @ HOTEL EQUATORIAL
Address: Jalan Bukit Jambul, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-632 7166
Business Hours (Promotion Period): 12.00pm-2.30pm (excluding weekends & public holidays)
GPS: 5.337122, 100.285308345

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

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About Me

Howdy from the Isle of delicious Asian food and the UNESCO Heritage City of Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Just call me Criz Lai and I am here to share with you on what’s the best food you can get in town as well as from many other parts of Malaysia.

By the way, you might not notice it but CRIZ BON APPETITE is iPhone/Mobile Compatible. Please do feel free to hop over to http://ip.crizfood.com to get the latest updates! If you want to contact me for any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at crizlai [at] hotmail [dot] com. Spamming would not be tolerated – you are being tracked here!

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