Savoring The Best All Over Town…

Archive for December, 2013

Note: The Pre-order stock at RM38/box for CNY2014 have been sold out. There are only a few boxes left for walk in customers at RM45/box. First come first serve only.

As Chinese New Year 2014 is just around the corner in late January 2014, many families are beginning to jot down their annual customary list of what gifts to present to their relatives and friends. Why not consider Pineapple Cakes? Pineapples carry a deep meaning in the Penang Hokkien dialect – “Ong Lai”, meaning “Prosperity Comes”, a great omen to start a new year. This year, Gartien (小田佳園), a local pineapple cakes manufacturer, located within a heritage house along Lorong Macalister, Penang, took bold steps in coming out with totally new packaging designs. The box is now bigger and dawns in elegant bright red color with gold stampings, while the little pineapple cake packages have Chinese ink printing of Peony (Mudan/牡丹) flowers, the theme set for Chinese New Year 2014. Each box with 10 pieces of freshly made pineapple cakes would be priced at RM45/box effective 30 December 2013 onwards. However, if you make your pre-order before the start of 2014, you would still be given a promotional price of RM38/box. Even before the production of the new packages, more than 500 boxes have been pre-booked. Thus, only a limited quantity of pineapple cakes are left for grabs (Only 250 boxes weekly for 4 weeks effective 30 December 2014). There is also a BONUS for all! For every 10 boxes ordered/bought, you can either opt for another box of pineapple cakes FREE if you collect them yourself or get your postage WAIVED if you are residing within Peninsular Malaysia. Last day for collection is on 26 January 2014. Hurry now to place your order to avoid any disappointment!

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You might ask, “Why Gartien Pineapple Cakes?” The reason is simple. As Malaysians, we ought to support our own local products. The pineapple filling itself is 100% home grown in Nibong Tebal, Penang, carefully handpicked and processed under strict quality control right in the heart of George Town, Penang. Secondly, the pineapples are brunoised instead of blended into puree. You would get pure bites on the texture. Combined with the hand crafted fresh pastry with the right fluffiness plus milky buttery flavors, it’s a snack that would leave many consumers yearning for more. What more it’s a great tea time snack to go with a cup of unsweetened tea.

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Overall, I find the pineapple cake to be awesome, not only through its freshness and real pineapple texture but also due to its versatility to be served during any occasion. After all, pineapples are low in fat and cholesterol and contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, Vitamin B1, B6 & C and dietary fiber, which are rich in nutrients for the body.

Finding the bakery won’t be hard as it is situated right in the heart of George Town, Penang. If you are coming from KOMTAR along Jalan Penang into Jalan Burma, just keep to your left. Immediately when you see Hong Leong Bank, turn left into Lorong Macalister. Drive on for about another 200m and you would see the shop on your left right before Lorong Bertam.


Name: GARTIEN @ 小田佳園
Address: 68, Lorong Macalister, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 0068
Email: [email protected]
Business Hours: 10.00am-5.00pm (weekdays), 9.00am-6.00pm (weekends)
GPS: 5.416195, 100.328433

Ambience: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 4/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)


For the month of December 2013 (1-31 December 2013), the Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be having its International Flavors Promotion to tantalize your taste buds. This promotion would be under the skillful hands of Chef Ong Chin Hock (Jr. Sous Chef) and Chef Franco Ho (Pastry Chef).

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We started off the meal with a classic soup called Italian Cream of Tomato (意式番茄湯). It was creamy with full sweetness from ripened tomatoes with a mild tad of herbs and spices. Obviously, the thickness was from some usage of heavy cream. However, I personally felt it was a bit towards a sweeter taste that did not suit my taste bud all so well.

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However, the appetizer of Roulade de Saumon au Fromage Crème (French Salmon Roulade with Cream Cheese Platter/法式鮭魚肉卷) was something to comment about. The freshness of the salmon combined with some herb infused cream cheese was something quite addictive. It seemed this was one of the dishes that won an award in a recent culinary competition. Thumbs up!

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You would also be expecting something from Thailand, namely the Yam Talay (Thai Seafood Salad/泰式海鮮沙拉). When it comes to Thai cuisine, the balance of herbs and spices usages with a light touch of sweet and sourness would hardly go wrong. Moreover, combined with a few selections of fresh seafood, the dish was another winner for any buffet spread.

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Amongst the many canapé sections, you would expect to get some variations of tapas. There were a few variants introduced such as the French Style Marinated Sardine (法式滷沙丁魚). The main attraction of this appetizer was that the sardine slices were served raw but cured with some lemon citrus juice and infused with some red pepper corn and herbs. It was an interesting combination indeed and appetizing too.

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Another interesting tapas was the Eggplant Caviar (茄子魚子醬) served on cream crackers. Though the preparation was simple, the mayonnaise added eggplant combination with some added lumpfish caviar was something light and delicious.

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The last of the tapas introduced was the Cheese with Dry Apricot & Turkey served with Apple Jam Sauce. It was not a bad combination at all.

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As for the main dishes, you would be expecting some Korean dishes such as the Korean Bulgogi (韓國烤肉). At first glance, you might think that the grilled beef slices might be tough. However, being marinated well with ginger juice as tenderizer and added garlic, chili flakes and sesame seeds, each bite was amazingly tender to the bite.

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There was also the Indian Curry Fish Head with Vegetables (印度咖哩魚頭). For Malaysians, this was one of the more common dishes in our daily spread of dishes. There was nothing much to brag about.

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One of the more prominent dishes that always caught my attention was the Hong Kong Style Roasted Duck with BBQ Sweet Sauce (港式烤鴨). The kitchen did quite a great job in roasting the duck with the right stuffing. The pieces were tender and juicy and went well with the condiment of BBQ sweet sauce.

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What caught my attention most was the Frango comleit de coco Brasileira (Brazilian Chicken with Coconut Milk/巴西椰奶雞). The creamy coconut milk concoction with a mild touch of herb, lemon juice and some finely diced tomatoes went well with the pan-fried boneless chicken. This dish would be great with some bread or tortillas.

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Chinese Classical Loh Han Chai with Yam Ring (玉環羅漢菜) was also served. I personally felt that the yam ring would go better with some stir fry vegetables and chicken. The fermented bean curd usage in the dish somehow overpowered the fragrance from the nicely fried yam ring.

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We were also served with some French Prawn Persillade (法式香菜蝦). This was just some king sized prawns sauteed in some chopped garlic plus parsley and served with curry infused couscous.

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Last but not least, we ended our meals with two delicious desserts. One of them was the Italian Classic “Pick Me Up” Tiramisu (法式提拉米蘇) while the other was the American Dark Chocolate Mud Cake (黑朱古力泥蛋糕).

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Overall, the theme for this December month can be quite interesting as it has the cuisine from all over the world. Do check out the different display of tapas to tempt your taste buds.

Here’s the summary of the International Flavors Promotion.

Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday (except 25 December 2013)
RM48++ (adult), RM24++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays (include 25 December 2013)
Normal weekend: RM55++ (adult), RM28++ (child)
Festive Occasion: RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Sunday – Thursday (except 24 & 25 December 2013)
RM48++ per pax

For MAYBANKARD, Standard Chartered Bank, OCBC Bank, CIMB Bank and CITIBANK card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Herbs & Spices Semi Buffet Dinner (Monday to Thursday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday to Sunday) from 6.30pm – 10.00pm.

The Swez Brasserie is located at the right wing of Eastin Hotel, Penang (next to Queensbay Mall). If you are coming from Georgetown towards Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone via Bayan Lepas Expressway, do watch out for the Pulau Jerejak signboard (leading to Pulau Jerejak jetty). Ignore the turning and drive on to the next left junction. Turn left into Jalan Aziz Ibrahim and drive on until you a roundabout. Turn 3 o’ clock and drive on until you see a big Eastin Hotel signboard at the first right junction. Turn right and drive on. Park your car at the basement car park. Take a lift to the first floor lobby and you would see the restaurant there.


Address: 1 Solok Bayan Indah, Queens Bay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-612 1128, 604-612 1138
Business Hours: 12.00pm-2.30pm (Lunch), 6.30pm-10.00pm (Dinner)
GPS: 5.33643, 100.306345

Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 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.

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