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GURNEY PARAGON MALL’S MID-AUTUMN CELEBRATION 2014

Posted by crizlai On August - 28 - 2014

The Mid Autumn Festival is traditionally celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunisolar month and this year it would fall on 8 September 2014. It’s the 2nd most important festival after the Chinese New Year (Spring Festival) to the Chinese as family members and friends from all over the world would gather once again to celebrate this auspicious day over some goodies, while admiring the brightest and fullest moon of the month. It’s also a day associated with reunions, mooncakes, fruits, children, lanterns, Chinese opera, fire dragon dance and more. This year, Gurney Paragon Mall made the tradition even more livelier by not only showcasing exquisite selections of mooncakes in baked skin and snow skin from their in-house restaurants and shops but also from many other external brands, located at St. Jo (Level 1) and “Penang On 6” (Level 6). The promotion will be ongoing from 16 August 2014 until 8 September 2014. Shoppers with a minimum spending of RM 200 and above, in a single receipt, at any of their shopping outlets, can redeem a complimentary Leong Yin pastry’s mooncake (only valid from 5-7 September 2014).

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At the same time, do check out their Mid Autumn Festival Celebration to be held on Saturday, 6 September 2014 at “Penang On 6” from 2.00pm until 9.30pm. Bask in the glow of Mid Autumn atmosphere when “Penang On 6” would be transformed into a realm of celebration with heartwarming lightings and colorful lanterns. Family and friends are invited to enjoy a fun-filled day at Gurney Paragon Mall. Highlights would include Lantern DIY workshop, guessing Chinese riddles session, Photo session with Chinese Opera characters, interactive story-telling session, Chinese diablo, Chinese orchestra, wushu & acrobatic, traditional drum performance, singing performance, cultural dance and many more. The night would end with a Mid Autumn Lantern Walk. So, bring along your own lanterns and enjoy a walk under the moonlight with your family members and friends. In case, you do not have a lantern for your child, you can always purchase one at St. Jo at Level 1. You can also redeem a complimentary pot of tea from Jing-Si Books and Café (Level 6) when you spend RM50 and above in a single receipt at “Penang on 6” or Wei Shiang (Level 6) on 6 September 2014.

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Here are some of the brands of mooncakes available in starting with some from their in-house restaurants and shops.

Dragon-I: http://www.dragon-i.com.my/promotion.asp
Recommended: Frosty Durian Musang King (RM28 for 2 pcs) & Organic Charcoal Skin with Coffee Paste (RM20/pc)
Note: If you are a durian lover, the Frosty Durian Musang King is a MUST HAVE mooncake. You can also dine in the group of restaurants serving wondrous Chinese cuisine – Dragon-I and Canton-I.

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Purple Cane: http://www.purplecane.my/en/31-tea-mooncake
Recommended: Puer, Dang Gui, Chinese Wolfberry & Assorted Nuts Paste (RM11.30/pc), White Tea Purple Potato Lotus Paste (RM9.80/pc) & “No added Sugar” Date Paste (RM8.90/pc)
Note: HALAL & VEGETARIAN. If you are into a healthier diet with the taste for herbal fused flavors, the Puer, Dang Gui, Chinese Wolfberry & Assorted Nuts Paste is a MUST TRY mooncake. Other than that, you can purchase many varieties of tea leaves, flower tea or even green tea powder from all their outlets throughout Malaysia. Packaging can come in a box for one piece, 4 pieces and 6 pieces.

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Some of the external brands of mooncakes available would include:

Casahana: http://www.hytfood.com/casahana/about.php
Recommended: Crimson Opera (RM18.90/pc)
Note: Beetroot juice infused baked crust with cheese and creamy white chocolate lotuis paste filling.

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Fai Fong: http://www.faifong.com.my/
Recommended: Bamboo Charcoal Lotus Paste (RM14.50/pc) and Assorted Fruits, Nuts & Ham (RM16/pc)
Note: Simple as it may be but the Bamboo Charcoal Lotus Paste is filled with flavors.

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Foh San: http://fohsan.com.my/
Recommended: Cappuccino Mooncake (RM14.60/pc) & Purple Rain Mooncake (RM14.60/pc)
Note: Foh San is no longer a new kid on the block as they have been in the food industry for decades, especially with the new premises in Ipoh, Perak, serving various types of delectable dim sum.

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Kam Lun Tai: http://www.klt.com.my/welcome/
Recommended: Shanghai 1 Yolk (RM17.20/pc)
Note: HALAL. The flakiness of the pastry, combined with the smoothness of the lotus paste and saltiness of the duck egg yolk, made this mooncake perfect in every bite.

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Leong Yin: http://www.leongyinpastry.com/
Recommended: Lunar Delight (RM17.50/pc), Intense Wheatgrass Jujubes Splendor (RM17.20/pc) & Ballad of the Moon (RM17.20/pc)
Note: HALAL & VEGETARIAN. All the 3 mooncakes mentioned above have its own unique flavors, especially the Lunar Delight which has a combination of aromatic white coffee and softness of durian cake.

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Mei Xin: http://www.facebook.com/meixinmooncake
Recommended: Egg Custard Mooncake (RM50 for 4 pcs or RM98 for 8 pcs)
Note: From inside to outside, it’s savory and creamy with a delicate mind precious moments to remember. It tasted almost like the custardy steamed buns version but a bit more sandy in texture.

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The Baker’s Cottage: http://www.thebakerscottage.com.my/mooncake.asp
Recommended: Avocado Mango Tango (RM16.80/pc)
Note: The Baker’s Cottage has been one of the main influencers in the food industry for being creative and innovative. You can check out more of their products at their website. As for the Avocado Mango Tango, you can taste the coconut buttery pastry skin with milky avocado lotus paste, mung beans and dried mango bits.

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For more information, please visit Gurney Paragon Mall’s FaceBook Page.

 

During the month of Ramadan, the holy month for Muslims to break their fast or buka puasa, diners can enjoy scrumptious traditional Malay buffet spreads at all the Vistana brand name hotels nationwide. Under the theme “Tok Wan 101 Recipes”, the promotion which would start from 29 June 2014 until 27 July 2014, would be priced at RM48++ per adult and RM30++ per child (aged 4-12 years old). If you have a great appetite for great authentic Malay cuisine, this is one place you should not miss out for varieties and taste.

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Let’s have a look at all the sections catered just for this occasion. Please take note that some of the dishes might be replaced with another dish based on the local availability of raw ingredients or products. Firstly, you would have the outdoor area for grills. There would be Chicken Satay, Beef Satay, accompanied by condiments such as the fragrant satay peanut sauce, cucumber, onions, nasi impit (lontong/Malay rice cake) and Muar-style Otak Otak. Moreover, there would also be a Whole Roasted Lamb, served with black pepper sauce and mint yoghurt sauce. For Char Koay Teow lovers, you sure won’t want to miss out a try on Penang’s famous delicacy.

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As for the indoor area, let’s start with the basics. On the starter’s spread would be the Ulam-ulaman Tempatan (local raw salad herbs and vegetables) such as Ulam Raja (cosmos caudatus), Ulam Pegaga (asiatic pennywort), Daun Selom (water dropwort leaves), Cucumber, Yardlong beans, Kacang Botol (four-angled beans), Tomato, Cabbages and Daun Kaduk (wild betel leaves), together with condiments such as Sambal Belacan Asli, Sambal Belacan Mangga Kampung, Sambal Belacan Nenas Madu, Budu and Cincalok. There would also be a Western salad section with capsicum, onions, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, purple cabbage and carrots, accompanied by dressings such as thousand island, Italian, French and balsamic vinaigrette.

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You should also check out the appetizer’s section for dishes such as Kerabu Ulam (spicy mixed salad herbs), Kerabu Mangga (spicy mango salad), Acar Jelatah (cucumber, pineapple and carrot pickles), Tempe Ikan Bilis (anchovies tempe salad), Kerabu Sotong (spicy squid salad), Kerabu Ikan Tuna (spicy tuna salad), Kerabu Taugeh (spicy bean sprouts salad), Kerabu Ubut-ubur (spicy jelly fish salad), Kerabu Kaki Ayam (spicy chicken feet salad), Cucumber & Mint Raita and Cucumber Salad.

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On top of that, there would also be the Pasembur, Taukua Sumbat (stuffed bean curd), a variety of deep fried salted seawater and fresh water fish (Ikan Masin Goreng) such as Ikan Gelama (common jewfish), Ikan Sepat (gourami/trichopodus trichopterus) and Ikan Bulu Ayam (anchovy family/thryssa mystax/moustached thryssa).

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You can also check out the assortment of fruit pickles (pelbagai jeruk) and crackers (Keropok Ikan, Keropok Udang & Papadum) too.

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Before starting off with the main dishes, let’s have a look at the action counters for lighter palate of local fares. You would have the Murtabak Ayam, served with Chicken Curry and Dhaal Curry; the Bread & Rolls section with assorted soups such as Soto Ayam (Indonesian chicken soup), Sup Kambing Berempah (spiced mutton soup) & Sup Daging Utara (beef soup); and the Noodles section where you would have soup based such as prawn, chicken and curry.

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The Main Dishes section would be a spoil for options as you would have dishes ranging from Malay cuisine with a light mix of Chinese cuisine. Dishes to watch out would include Nasi Putih, Nasi Beriyani, Nasi Tomato Ayam Goreng Madu Berbijan, Daging Rendang Tok, Masak Lemak Ketam Bunga, Ikan Goreng Berempah & Daun Kari, Ayam Percik, Sotong Goreng Kunyit Berkuah, Gulai Itik Serati Kelantan, Kambing Kurma Ala India, Pajeri Terung, Sayur Kobis Goreng Kunyit, Kailan Masak Ikan Masin, Sambal Kangkung, Ayam Masak Rempah Hijau, Daging Masak Lada Hitam, Kepah Masak Cili Kering, Ikan Tilapia Masak Manis Masam, Kacang Panjang Goreng Sambal Udang Kering and Sayur Campur Ala Cina. There would also be an action counter serving your fresh fish in their signature Kari Ikan Dengan Bendi Ala Mamak.

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To end your meal, you can always start with the fruit sections. You would have the Rojak Buah (fruit rojak) with local tropical fruits options, served with thick and delicious rajak sauce, crushed peanuts and toasted sesame seeds. There would also be a fresh fruit cuts section where you could also savor some seasonal fruits such as the mangosteens. Coffee and Tea would also be available here with options such as Teh Tarik and Nescafe Tarik on top of the availability of Air Sirap Ros on each table.

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As for those with sweeter tooth, there would be 2 sections of Desserts areas serving you a mixture of Western and local delicacies. The varieties would include Bubur Kacang, Bubur Gandum, Bubur Pulut Hitam, Bubur Jagung, Chinese Pancake, Sesame Balls, Assortments of Puddings and Jellies, Tartlets, Pandan Layer Cake, Cheese Cake, Bread Pudding, Sago Gula Melaka, Floating Island, English Trifle, Crème Brulee and Herbal Jelly.

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Local delicacies would include the Malaysian Kuih-Muih such as Karipap, Popiah Goreng, Donut, Kuih Ketayap, Kuih Cara Manis, Kuih Keria, Kuih Puteri Ayu, Kuih Bingka Jagung, Kuih Lapis and more.

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There would also be a counter for your favorite Penang Ais Kacang, Cendul and a selection of Ice Cream flavors.

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Overall, the spread of dishes for the Ramadan promotion was indeed overwhelming, considering that its offered price is also very attractive. Moreover, there would also be prayer rooms to further cater to its Muslim guests celebrating this blessed month. The “Tok Wan 101 Recipes” Ramadan Buffet is priced at RM48++ per adult and RM30++ per child (aged 4-12 years old) from 29 June 2014 until 27 July 2014. The ballroom can only cater up to 500 pax at one time, so do call in +604-646 8000 to make your advance reservations to avoid any disappointment.

The ballroom is located at the left side as you enter the hotel lobby of Vistana Hotel Penang along Jalan Bukit Gambir. Just follow your nose and it would surely lead you to the aromatic section of the hotel. You can park your car in the basement which would require you to get a token from the receptionist to scan your way out.

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Name: GROUND FLOOR BALLROOM @ VISTANA HOTEL PENANG
Address: 213 Jalan Bukit Gambir, 11950 Bukit Jambul, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604- 646 8000
Business Hours: 6.30pm-9.30pm (Ramadan Buffet from 29 June 2014 until 27 July 2014)
GPS: 5.336334, 100.291527

RATING:
Ambience: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 9/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

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.

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

RATING:
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)

 

If you ask any of the Malaysians what would be their most frequently consumed dish throughout any time of the day, it would always be the Nasi Lemak Bungkus, a packing of coconut milk steamed rice, with egg and nicely spiced up chili gravy.

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HungryGoWhere (HGW), Singapore’s most popular food website and mobile app, with the support of SingTel Digital Media Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), made a grand entry into Malaysia by using Nasi Lemak Bungkus in an attempt to set a record in the Guinness Book of World Records at Sunway Pyramid Ice (Skating Rink) yesterday.

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HungryGoWhere Malaysia managed to seal the record by arranging 11,315 packets of Nasi Lemak Bungkus in their attempt to set “The Longest Line of Nasi Lemak Bungkus”, verified by Guinness World Records adjudicator, Ms. Carim Valerio.

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The official certificate was handed by Guinness World Records adjudicator, Ms. Carim Valerio to Singtel’s CEO, Mr. Allen Lew, who represented HungryGoWhere Malaysia, witnessed by local celebrity actress, Ms. Nora Danish.

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Here’s a peep on the certificate.

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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.

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It’s time for us to paint the whole town red with HGW recommendations. Why not your finger nails too with the HGW Malaysia logo? LOL~

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The record breaking packs of Nasi Lemak Bungkus did not go to waste after achieving the feat. Two thirds of the delicious all-time favorite packets were distributed to various surrounding charitable homes while the balance packets were handed out to the mall’s shoppers. It was a great event having to witness the record breaking feat and at the same time taking home some of the delicious Nasi Lemak Bungkus.

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THE RELAUNCHING OF THE LOUNGE @ EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On October - 1 - 2012

Invited guests from the multi-national corporations surrounding the FIZ, Bayan Lepas, were exposed to a totally new concept of relaxation with the re-launching of the lobby lounge, The Lounge @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, on 28 September 2012. With the theme “Under the Sea”, The Lounge was transformed into an underwater world filled with vibrant colors and fun. Gosh! Look at that “live mermaid” at the entrance! I was seeing blue the whole night~ 😛 Many activities were held during the occasion with the opening speech by the General Manager of Eastin Hotel Penang, Mary Ann Harris, followed by an opening performance by an invited dance troupe. The Lounge was officially launched by one of the Eastin Hotel director, Su Chen and the GM, Mary Ann Harris. A wet drum performance proceeded. A beer drinking competition was held thereafter with winner getting a free stay at the hotel. There was also a short wine talk by Anna Yap, Managing Director of Cana Premier Marketing Sdn Bhd on their latest wine product, Wamssler’s Sparkling Mead (Honey Wine), the earliest wine known to man with aphrodisiac properties. This was followed by a good laugh with standup comedian, Papi Zak, who came all the way from Kuala Lumpur and a live house band performance by D’Upbeat Soul.

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A flash mob which consisted of some dance troupe dancers and the hotel’s staff was also in presence during the launching and here’s a short clip of their performance at the hotel’s lobby.

When it comes to having a cocktail party, Eastin Hotel Penang sure did a great job in giving their best effort in coming out with the best food and beverages for the guests. Free flow of red wine, white wine, mead (honey wine), beer and healthy fruit juices were served on the night with of course a colorful and mouth watering spreads of seafood, canapés and desserts. As starter, there were some Grissini Cheese Sticks, Crudités with Thousand Islands dressing, Roasted Peanuts and Sesame Batter Coated Chick Peas on each of the cocktail table.

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From the dessert section, we had some Strawberry & Mocha Macarons, Chocolate Pralines, their signature Mini Opera Cakes and some Assorted Fruits Vol Au Vent.

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At the chilled food section, there was the Chilled Fresh Oyster with Mango & Caviar Salsa, Fresh Oyster with Condiments, Grilled Prawn & Scallop with Melon Salsa, Assorted Sashimi Skewer with Condiments which basically consisted of Sake (Salmon), Maguro (Tuna), Hokkigai (Surf Clam), Tako (Octopus) and Ika (Squid).

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At the canapés section, there were some impressive items such as the Lobster Skewer with Citrus Salsa, Mini Sandwiches, Unagi Crispy Bun (Mantou) Open Face, Smoked Salmon Ball with Herbs Cheese, Cod Fish Ceviche on Toast, and Assorted Cheese Canapés with Dried Fruits and Nuts.

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The Lounge is not just a place with comfortable sofas, entertainment stage and bar counter, serving pastries and cakes, paired with alcoholic beverages. It would also be the place for a healthier lifestyle by powering your day up with a healthy boost. There would be sugarless mixed fruit and/or vegetables juices such as the Breakfast Fruit Blend (Grapefruit + Orange: RM23++), Detoxify the Body (Apple + Carrot + Spinach: RM23++), Banana Apple Oatmeal (Banana + Apple + Fresh Yogurt + Oats: RM25++), Greenday (Apple + Celery: RM25++), Heartburn Reliever (Carrot + Spinach: RM23++), Almond Milky (Almond + Low Fat Milk: RM25++), The Hangover Juice (Apple + Broccoli + Cauliflower: RM25++) and Key Limi Kiwi (Honey + Kiwi + Lime + Pear: RM25++).

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The pastries and cakes that you might get for the day may include Chicken Curry Puff (RM8++/pc), Egg Tart (RM8++/pc), Apple Pie (RM8++/pc), Shepherd Pie (RM8++/pc), Fruit tart (RM8++/pc), Baked Cheese Cake (RM12++/pc), Mango Mousse Cake (RM12++/pc), Opera Cake (RM10++/pc), Ivory Cake (RM12++/pc, RM60++ for 500g or RM90++ for 1kg) and more. Currently, there is a promotion for all confectioneries at 50% off from 5.00pm until 10.00pm daily.

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Overall, The Lounge is a nice place to chill out with friend and family over some light snacks and beverages. It would also be a great place to meet up with business contacts for any discussion.

The Swez Brasserie is located at the ring 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 lounge there.

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Name: SWEZ BRASSERIE @ EASTIN HOTEL
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

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 6/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

Gurney Plaza, Penang’s Premier Lifestyle Shopping Mall, had launched their Food Guide 2012/2013 – Your Gourmet Journey at Gurney Plaza yesterday, witnessed by YB Danny Law, Penang State EXCO for Tourism Development & Culture and some attending food bloggers. As Penang has been named as one of the Asia’s greatest food destinations by CNNGo just early this year, the management of Gurney Plaza came about just at the right time to launch this food guide to enable tourists and locals to experience the exquisite journey of gourmet goodness. With the availability of this food guide, diners would be able to savor more than 80 unique and delectable restaurants, specialty retailers and cafes throughout the complex. Just head on to the Customer Service Counter at Level 1 to grab this booklet, while stocks last.

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Four Penang food bloggers have been carefully screened through to assist the Gurney Plaza management to review some of the restaurants within the mall. Amongst them were CK Lam, myself, Steven Goh and Lingzie.

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In attendance were YB Danny Law, Penang State EXCO for Tourism Development & Culture, Mr. Lawrence Teh, Gurney Plaza Centre Manager, Mr. Steven Goh, myself, Ang Kevin & Nicholas Theng, co-founders of www.awesomepenang.com. The Food Guide 2012/2013 was officially launched by YB Danny Law, followed by signature session by YB Danny Law, Steven Goh & myself.

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The “Matterhorn Challenge” organized and sponsored by Euro Deli was held immediately after the launching. 20 participants gathered at the new atrium to decide who would be the biggest eater to finish off the 9”W x 6”H Matterhorn burger within the stipulated time frame of 45 minutes. It was a challenging task to gobble down the approximately 3kg in weight burger in which the pork patty alone was about 1.5kg in weight.

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Just look at how condense those patties were. It would take me a week to consume one such burger. Sweat~

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Here’s the size of the Matterhorn burger in comparison to the size of the trophies.

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Some of the participants even gave up in the midst of the challenge. I tried having only 1/12 of the burger and it was really tough. Having one Matterhorn sized burger would be like having 12 double cheese burgers at one go. Sweat~

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Even YB Danny Law could not resist posing with the huge Matterhorn burger. Gosh! It was even bigger than his face! LOL!

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Nevertheless, Steven Goh would always be in his comical ways in handling food as well.

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The two AwesomePenang co-founders, Nicholas Theng and Ang Kevin did not miss out the opportunity as posers too. Haha!

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Although there were so many huge participants in the challenge, no one was able to finish the huge burger. Eventually, the champion went to a medium-size built contestant, Mr. Wilson Chew, with the least amount left – 1.035kg remains.

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The other 2 winners finished with a marginal 1.075kg and 1.110kg remains. They were 1st Runner-up, Mr. Lee Tat Fong and 2nd Runner-up, Mr. Goh Thain Seong.

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The event ended with us guests and media adjourning to Euro Deli for our dinners.

 

GOKU RAKU RAMEN IS NOW AT GURNEY PARAGON PENANG

Posted by crizlai On December - 29 - 2011

Just in the month of December 2011 alone, Penang has another two new venues opened up with more eateries. One would be the Precinct 10 located at Tanjung Bungah just next to the Island Plaza, whereas the next one would be the Gurney Paragon Mall located along the seafront of Gurney Drive. Goku Raku Ramen with its first branch at Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur has finally set its foot in Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang, since 24 December 2011. This restaurant is believed to serve one of the best broths for ramen, especially with its rich and aromatic Tonkotsu broth which had gone through ten of hours of tedious preparations and slow simmering.

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To start off as appetizer, I ordered their Pirikara Negi Char Siew (RM7.90++). It was just 5 thinly sliced Char Siew, laid on a bed of sliced romaine lettuce and leeks, garnished with their special spicy sauce, some sauteed onions, chopped spring onions and a sprinkle of deep fried garlic bits. I did not find this dish appealing, not because I’m not a total health freak who would take lots of greens, but because the whole concoction lacked a few distinctive flavors. The meat lacked a slight saltiness and fragrant that you would get from a bacon. The garlic bits did not have that aromatic strong flavor. The spicy sauce was not as spicy as I expected. One great example of a great meaty vegetable wrap dish would be the Korean styled Jokbal (족발) I had some time back at Sa Rang Chae (사랑채/舍廊居).

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Since Goku Raku Ramen is also known as “The Ramen Haven”, no doubt it was a must to try out their specialty. I ordered a bowl of their signature ramen which was the Ultimate Ramen (RM21.90++ Big Bowl or RM16.90++ Small Bowl). You would have 3 options for the soup base such as the traditional Tonkotsu Soup (the mother of all soup bases with the rich creaminess coming from the long simmering of pork, chicken and fish bones), Shoyu Tonkotsu Soup (Tonkotsu with added Japanese soy sauce) and Miso Tonkotsu Soup (Tonkotsu with added miso aka blended fermented bean paste). I opted for the Ultimate Ramen with Miso Tonkotsu Soup. The bowl of ramen came topped with a few slices of Char Siew (Grilled Pork), half a flavored hard-boiled egg, bamboo shoot, black fungus, spring onions, leeks and garnished with fragrant blended burned garlic in oil. Although the broth was not as much as how you would get from other ramen shops, you can be assured that this was cooked with ultimate passion. Each drop of the broth was rich in flavors, leaving a trace of gelatin like creaminess that would linger in your mouth for some time. The mild touch of miso paste added in set the taste to a totally different dimension. It was indeed a great bowl of ramen! The only setback was the texture of the ramen. I could be sure that those noodles were not made upon request. They could be frozen-packed and send over from their main outlet in Kuala Lumpur. Somehow, it had that slight powdery texture that might be the cause of frost-bite due to improper storages. Well, that did not deter me from slurping off the whole bowl within a few minutes.

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Note: If you prefer a stronger and creamier version of this ramen, you could always order the Goku Raku Miso Ramen (RM24.90++ Big Bowl or RM18.90++ Small Bowl). The Goku Raku broth has been simmered almost twice the time used in simmering the Tonkotsu soup.

Other than ramen, there are many other rice based dishes available here, either in a bowl or in a stone pot. I ordered the Stamina Don (RM17.90++). It basically had some pan-fried pork slices in their special sauce, topped on some steamed rice and garnished with a poached egg, some chopped leeks and sun-dried chili slices. There was nothing special about this dish except for some sweetness from the special sauce. I would think that their other sister company, Miraku Japanese Restaurant @ G Hotel, which is also under the Texchem group, did fair better in rice dishes. The rice set came with some pickled radish and cucumber.

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Only 2 desserts such as the Annin Tofu (Almond Jelly – RM6.90) and Rare Cheese Cake (RM8.90) were available. I opted for the latter since it impressed me more as seen from the menu. Unfortunately, the experience turned into a nightmare. How could the restaurant serve me with “discarded” stuff? What I saw from the menu was not what I got! It was just another plain tasting cheese cake on a terribly presented twirl of blueberry sauce. Again the dish had the right name – RARE CHEESE CAKE! It was really RARE to see a part of the base missing (look carefully at the base of the cake towards the end). Moreover, it was RARE to see INVISIBLE strawberries and blueberries. On top of that, it was such a RARE occasion to guess the identity of the brutally severed fruit used as the décor. I presumed that was part of a plum since it has red skin with orange flesh. The whole ugly scene would have been avoided if the staff would just inform me on their shortage of fruits for the presentation instead of throwing me something that was not fit to be served. I could have just taken the whole cheese cake plain as it was. What disappointed me most was the chef’s lack of creativity in coming up with an alternative solution when faced with such a scenario. What amazed me too was that no one had the initiative to run down to the nearest supermarket (Cold Storage @ Gurney Plaza – 300m away) to temporary stock up whatever they were short of.

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Just look at the menu photo. It’s a world of difference right?

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As for beverages, I opted for just a plain tall glass of Iced Green Tea (RM2.90++) since I have been reviewing one too many dessert shops recently.

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Overall, I’m not too happy with the choice of food served here as a large quantity of dishes and beverages served at the Mid Valley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur outlet were not available here at the Gurney Paragon Mall branch. The whole menu would surely not worth my revisit unless I’m desperately in need of a good bowl of ramen soup. The pricing for some of the items is much higher than other Japanese restaurants, considering that it has an additional 10% + 6% tax imposed on all tags. Let’s hope we’ll see some improvements in the near future.

The Gurney Paragon Mall is just two blocks before the G-Hotel along the beautiful promenade of Gurney Drive. As you enter the place, you would see the east wing of the Gurney Paragon Residences/Condominium on your left and the west wing on the right. Walk right into the premises and you will see the skillfully reconstruction of the St. Joseph’s Novitiate which former used to house the Upland’s School. The restaurant is located at the left side of the building right up towards the end of the Gurney Paragon Residences/Condominium east wing.

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Name: GOKU RAKU RAMEN @ GURNEY PARAGON MALL
Address: Lot 163-D-1-05, Gurney Paragon Mall, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 0961
Business Hours: 10.00am – 10.00pm
GPS: 5.436072, 100.311693

RATING:
Ambience: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 6.5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 6.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

THE GRAND OPENING OF COFFEE ATELIER IN PENANG

Posted by crizlai On November - 20 - 2011

You may have read earlier in my post about this new place in George Town, Penang, named Coffee Atelier. It’s the same venue as the former Kopi Cine along Lorong Stewart. Coffee Atelier consists of 55 Café & Restaurant (Mediterranean), Kopi (Coffee Museum), Gehrig Art Gallery, 47&49 Residence (Suites 47A&B, Suites 49A&B) manned by foreign couple, Swiss Stefan Gehrig and his lovely wife from Hong Kong, Lorina Gehrig. Finally, they had their Grand Opening on 19 November 2011 upon completion of their boutique hotel rooms. The invited guests consisted of mostly their expatriate friends and some locals.

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Well, there’s nothing much to show you on their actual food menu here but to prove to you that 55 Café & Restaurant can be quite a great place for private functions as the chefs sure have the experiences to pep up great finger food for just any occasion. You can check out my previous post on some of the dishes on their daily menu. What would be greater than having a wide spread of canapés to drown them down with free flow of mocktail, beer and wine? It’s a celebration that would be marked forever in my memories. Now you would know where to hold your private functions right? This post would mainly concentrate on food pictorials. Do enjoy the food porn~ LOL! 😛 More photos at my FaceBook photo album.

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If you are driving along Lebuh Farquhar into Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling, keep a watch out for the Goddess of Mercy Temple on your right. Immediately after the temple, turn right in Lorong Stewart and make a zig zag turn and you will see the café on your left at the junction of Lorong Stewart/Lorong Chulia. Parking can be quite limited during peak hours. I would advise you to find whatever parking space you can and walk to the café.

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Name: 55 CAFÉ & RESTAURANT @ COFFEE ATELIER
Address: 47-55, Lorong Stewart, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 2261, 016-469 8228 (Lorina Gehrig), 016-464 8118 (Stefan Gehrig)
Business Hours: 8.30am-10.00pm daily
GPS: 5.419143, 100.337772

 

THE GRAND OPENING OF TEA SECRET AT QUEENSBAY MALL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On November - 11 - 2011

Quite a number of F&B outlets are taking this opportunity to have their Grand Opening today since it’s a nice date~ 11-11-11 (11 November 2011). One such outlet is the Tea Secret, an outlet specialized in producing tea and fruit based beverages with the concept originating from Taiwan. Thanks to the management for inviting a few of us to grace the auspicious occasion. There are quite a few choices to choose from, starting from Milky Tea Premium Tea, Around The World, Nutrilicious Yoghurt, Natural Fruit Tea, Latte Series, Milik Cream Tea, Frozen Indulgence, Delicious Chewy Tea, Yakult Tea and Smoothie Delights. The Tea Latte Series has a special and imported machine just like the coffee version and may require a slightly longer waiting time.

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All the beverages would come in two sizes – 500cc and 700cc. There would be options to top up these beverages with either Pearl, Aloe Vera, Grass Jelly (Leong Fun), Pudding, Ai-Yu Jelly, Coconut Jelly or Konjac (a colorful jelly having the al dente similar to that of Nato de Coco) at RM1.00nett. On top of that, you have the option to adjust the sugar level to your liking from 0% (no sugar), 30% (slight sugar), 50% (half sugar), 70% (less suagr) and 100% (normal sugar). Moreover, you can also request the ice to be 0% (no ice), 70% (less ice) and 100% (normal ice). You can click on the photo below to have a clearer view of the options.

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Here are the 700cc of beverages provided to us by the management. It sure was a large and filling one at that size.

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There were also some catered snacks for our appetite such as different flavors of Cheese Tarts, Chocolate Tarts, Fruit Tarts, Cream Puffs and some Chocolate Brownies. It was indeed a sweet over sweet temptation for those sweet toothed guests.

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Here are some of the bloggers and friends who attended the grand opening.

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Overall, I find that some of the beverages were a bit too sweet to my liking. Maybe I should have requested for one with lesser sweetness instead of having ordered the normal ones (100%). Well, it might take some tweaking before one would get the right taste for his/her preferences. As for the top-up ingredients, I somehow like the natural aloe vera, and ai-yu jelly due to the fact that they went well with the more fruity teas. It was a waste that the coconut jelly and pudding were out of stock before we could even try them.

The Tea Secret kiosk is located right next to the Lower Ground car park at the South Zone of Queensbay Mall. Alternatively, if you enter the Central Zone of the mall, just turn left and walk towards Dome Café. Use the escalator down to the lower ground and you will see the kiosk right under the escalator. It’s just next to Nippon Yataimura Japanese Restaurant and nearby Jusco Supermarket.

Name: TEA SECRET @ QUEENSBAY MALL PENANG
Address:
LG-K1, Queensbay Mall, Persiaran Bayan Indah, Sungai Nibong, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 11.00am – 10.00pm
GPS: 5.332499, 100.306417

RATING:
Ambience: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 6.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

Many of you would be wondering who would be replacing the former Kopi Cine outlet along Lorong Stewart within the heritage area of George Town, Penang. You don’t have to guess any longer as the premises together with the other 4 lots along the row would now house Coffee Atelier, which consists of 55 Café & Restaurant (Mediterranean), Kopi (Coffee Museum), Gehrig Art Gallery, 47&49 Residence (Suites 47A&B, Suites 49A&B). The whole place would be manned by yet another foreign couple, Swiss Stefan Gehrig and his lovely wife from Hong Kong, Lorina Gehrig. While waiting for the renovation works for the rest of the lots to be completed, 55 Café & Restaurant had a soft launching yesterday, serving delicious Mediterranean dishes and aromatic coffee, the best of its kind in Penang. Even the aroma emitted from the fine graded coffees could not stop an American traveler from New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, from stopping by for a sip of the beautifully brewed coffee.

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Since we were quite late for breakfast due to the heavy rain yesterday, we had a try out on the lunch items instead. There were a few selections in menu, starting with choices for breakfast, salads, starters, hot & cold tapas, pasta, desserts and beverages. We started with some tapas of hot and cold, all served with a plate/bowl of your selected item and a basket of baguette slices. The first one was with Chicken Liver Pate (RM14+). The pate was well prepared with traces of fresh herbs, butter, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper to cover up the bitterness from the chicken liver. It would even be better if they could just add in some dashes of brandy for that extra flavor.

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The next batch was with Aubergines (eggplant), Tomato and Garlic (RM9+) in a paste form. It had some traces of black pepper being added in and was quite spicy but it complemented well with the baguette slices.

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We also had with some tapas with Grilled Eggplant (RM9+), garnished with some sweet basil and chili slices for that light touch of spiciness.

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The next set of tapas was the Gambas Aljillo (RM13+) served with some baguette slices. It was a hit amongst us as the fresh and firm prawns were beautifully cooked with chopped garlic, chili and some herbs in extra virgin olive oil. The dish was so lovely that we wiped out the whole plate dry with the baguettes served.

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After the light finger food to boost up our appetite, we went for the Al Chef (RM28+). The dish had pan-fried sea bass fillet, served on spaghetti stir fried with potatoes and carrot casserole and seafood emulsion, garnished with a cherry tomato and some chopped chives. The sauce was awesome as it had some distinctive flavors from some toasted prawn shell, almost similar to the flavors of the lobster bisque I had at QEII. I won’t mind having some dashes of white wine in the sauce to go with the nicely pan-fried sea bass fillet.

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We also had some Spaghetti Carbonara (RM22+). The al dente pasta had a generous amount of back bacon slices, mushroom slices, egg, parmesan cheese, black pepper, hint of extra virgin olive oil and some fresh herbs cooked in white cream sauce, garnished with some chopped chives, tomato cuts and some lettuce slices. Although the whole combination was flavorful, the meaty back bacon with less fat somehow did not provide that nice fragrant bacon taste for the dish. Moreover the bacon tasted more cooked in sauce rather than being sautéed slightly prior to cooking. Ideally, but not totally healthy for those health conscious diners, sautéed slab bacon or streaky bacon would have a better justice to the overall taste of the pasta.

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The Aglio Olio with Smoked Salmon (RM25+) in extra virgin olive oil was somewhat different to the ones I had tried elsewhere. It did not have some deep fried dried chilies added in for that nice pungent flavor. Moreover, it lacked the taste from some sautéed garlic slices which played an important part in this dish. Although some crispy chopped garlic were added in as garnishing, those were not adequate enough to pep up the overall taste. The pasta was presented with two cherry tomatoes, garnished with some chopped chives and grated parmesan cheese. The dish had the required amount of extra virgin oil added in but with overused of grated parmesan cheese. It was slightly on the salty side as the chef might have forgotten that the smoked salmon might have been treated with some salt during the preparation process.

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They do have some different type of desserts served daily. So you might need to enquire about them from the counter. We tried out the Baked Cheese Cake (RM9+). It was not as what we expected as the cake was rather dry without much traces of the cheesy taste. Moreover, the slight sour after taste was rather mild instead of the usual lemon zesty flavor. The Chocolate Coffee Cake (RM6+) tasted better, considering that it was fluffy, moist with some traces of some chopped almond but it lacked a stronger taste of coffee. Moreover, the chocolate coating was rather sauced based. A bar of wrapped cheesecake by Gateau which had not been officially sold was passed around for our comments. This version indeed had our praises as the usage of cheese on the digestive biscuit base was of standard. I guessed the café should take note on the quality of cakes supplied to them in the near future.

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As for beverages, there was a wide selection to choose from ranging from coffee, chocolate, tea, ice cream milkshakes, mocktails to beers. We tried out the Caramel Hot Chocolate (RM10+). It was frosty and nice. The Chamomile Dream (RM9+), a fragrant and flavorful flower tea served in a pot was as fine as it should be. This flower tea has always been my favorite tea due to the fact that it’s a cure all tea for building up the body immune system against cold related infections, relaxing the nerves, strengthen the liver function, relieving back pain, rheumatism, etc. There was also the Vanilla Ice Cream, Banana and Chocolate Chips Milkshake (RM16+). It had just the right flavors but was not as creamy as the one I had at Delicious, Straits Quay, Penang. When it comes to coffee, the café sure can declare they are the best with their state-of-the-art coffee maker. The Hot Latte (RM8+) I had was the best I had taken so far with the right thickness, sweetness and creaminess it should have. Simply awesome!

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Here’s a sneak preview of the almost completed hotel interior. The charges would be between RM300 and RM400, with or without breakfast. The rates would be confirmed very soon by the management upon completion of the heritage hotel.

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Overall, the food served here can be quite unique on its own. All the dishes served here are of fresh ingredients and can be well accepted by the locals as well as foreigners but there are still rooms for improvements for some of the dishes as I had mentioned above. The prices for food can be a bit high for some dishes and beverages. Please also note that there would be a 10% service charge applicable for all purchases.

If you are driving along Lebuh Farquhar into Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling, keep a watch out for the Goddess of Mercy Temple on your right. Immediately after the temple, turn right in Lorong Stewart and make a zig zag turn and you will see the café on your left at the junction of Lorong Stewart/Lorong Chulia. Parking can be quite limited during peak hours. I would advise you to find whatever parking space you can and walk to the café.

55CAFEMAP

Name: 55 CAFÉ & RESTAURANT @ COFFEE ATELIER
Address: 47-55, Lorong Stewart, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 2261, 016-469 8228 (Lorina Gehrig), 016-464 8118 (Stefan Gehrig)
Business Hours: 8.30am-10.00pm daily
GPS: 5.419143, 100.337772

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