CRIZ BON APPETITE

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Archive for the ‘beverages’ Category

Japanese beverages are not only on green tea or sake but also on coffee as of today Japan is among the world’s largest importers of coffee. With this statistic, coffee lovers from around the globe are eyeing on Japan’s booming specialty coffee scene with vast imports of coffee beans from great coffee-growing countries around the world. There are various preparation methods available such as aeropress, French press, paper drip and more to cater to the needs of its consumers. Penangites would be happy as a famous Japanese coffee has landed on the shore. Doutor Coffee Japan continues to grow in Malaysia with its fourth outlet now in Gurney Plaza Penang, Malaysia. The opening ceremony is officiated by the Executive Chairman of Texchem Resources Bhd, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr) Fumihiko Konishi and President of Doutor Nichires Holdings Co. Ltd., Mr. Masanori Hoshino.

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The very first Doutor outlet in Tokyo’s Harajuku district which was founded in 1980 by Mr. Hiromichi Toriba was a teeny-tiny 30sqm. Despite its humble beginnings, today Doutor Coffee has an international presence throughout outlets in Taiwan, Singapore and now in Malaysia; with three outlets opened late last year – in Aeon Tebrau, Johor Bahru, Sunway Velocity Mall and Aeon Bukit Tinggi. “While the coffee market is growing all over South-East Asia, Doutor decided to open in Malaysia because they found a good partner in the Texchem Group, which owns 106 Sushi King Outlets in Malaysia, so they know what to do, and we can expand easily,” says Mr. Minoru Mori, the Deputy Managing Director of Doutor Malaysia.

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Doutor Coffee is renowned for its roasted beans, which are open-flame roasted, a method that takes a lot of time and involves a labyrinthine process that yields complex, richly flavored coffee beans. As open-flame roasting traditionally only allows for 5kg to 20kg of coffee to be roasted at a time, Doutor developed its own industrialized open-flame roasting equipment to achieve the results that it wanted, using larger quantities of coffee. According to Director of Doutor Nichires Holdings Co., Ltd who is also a Master Roaster; Mr. Masahiro Kanno personally goes to select the beans that Doutor uses from over 10,000 plantations from all over the world, including its very own plantation in Kona, Hawaii. As such, Doutor Coffee practices the ‘3 FRESH’ philosophy; freshly roasted, freshly ground and freshly brewed. Doutor ensures that it provides freshly brewed coffee and fresh food inspired by Japan which is prepared upon order.

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The Doutor chain in Malaysia is designed to cater to the different Malaysian taste buds with a beverage menu that not only offers Espresso-based coffee, mixed blends, and hand-brewed coffee of single origin, but also whips up non-coffee beverages for non-coffee drinkers. The hot food choices are prepared fresh and are inspired by Japanese elements and ingredients. There are also a range of cakes, desserts and pastries. Serving artisanal coffee with a modern and contemporary ambience which offers comfortable experiences for their patrons, Doutor aims to be a local hangout spot for ‘Penangites’.

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Now let’s head onto some of items served in Doutor Coffee Japan in Penang. Firstly, let’s look at their beverages section where they have Hand Brewed Coffee (RM8.90), Honey Latte (RM12.90), Cafe Mocha (RM11.90), Signature Crème Brulee Latte (RM15.90), Signature Military Latte (RM15.90) and a specially concocted beverage for Penang, the Fizzy Berry Soda (RM13.90).

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I quite like the Military Latte as it had the prefect ratio of espresso and matcha to my liking. Moreover, their Signature Crème Brulee Latte was superb as the creamy bitterness combined with the burned crisp of the added brown sugar was simply irresistible.

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Next, we have the pasta section where you could try out their Signature Spaghetti (RM14.90), Seafood Tomato Sauce Spaghetti (RM16.90), Mentai Shrimp Spaghetti (RM18.90), Carbonara with Yolk & Bacon Spaghetti (RM15.90) and more. Somehow, their Signature Spaghetti caught my attention the most as the overall dish was colorful and had all the ingredients which I like such as chicken ham, sausage, shimeji mushroom, eggplant, tomato, spinach, onsen egg and sesame. Each mouthful was truly well balanced and heavenly.

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As for the rice dishes, we also tried out their Fluffy Soufflé Doria (RM19.90) and Fluffy Omu Rice (RM17.90). Both were equivalent tasty but I fancy the Fluffy Soufflé Doria more due to its unique presentation.

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There was also the sandwich section where everyone can indulge into their Shrimp Avocado Sandwich (RM14.90), Shrimp & Tuna Sandwich (RM14.90), Sukiyaki Beef Sandwich (RM14.90), Tuna Cheddar Sandwich (RM12.90) and Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich (RM12.90). I quite like the Tuna Cheddar Sandwich with the oozy cheesiness.

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As for desserts, they do have many signature items to tempt your sweet tooth. Some of them include Matcha Soufflé Pancake (RM14.90), Vanilla Soufflé Pancake (RM13.90), Matcha Soufflé (RM8.90), Vanilla Soufflé (RM8.90) and Caramel French Toast (RM15.90).

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Since the options in different outlets may differ a bit, do click on the Penang outlet menu to enlarge to have a clearer view:

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Overall, I’m pleased with the spreads available here as it caters for all ages under one roof. Moreover, each dish is not more than RM20. Some of the dishes such as their Signature Spaghetti, soufflés and coffee are rather interesting with the right taste and texture to my liking. However, services during peak hours of the day could be a bit chaotic. Please bear in mind that they are still new and would need some time to get everything in proper.

Doutor Coffee Japan is located at the al fresco area of Gurney Plaza, opposite G Hotel and next to Dome.

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Name: DOUTOR COFEE JAPAN @ GURNEY PLAZA
Address: 170-G-41 Ground Floor (al fresco area), Gurney Plaza, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: N/A
Business Hours: 10.00am-10.00pm (Sunday-Thursday), 10.00am-11.00pm (Friday & Saturday)
GPS: 5.437830, 100.310012

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: 7.5/10 (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)

About Doutor Malaysia: D&N Coffee and Restaurant Malaysia Sd.n Bhd. was established as a joint venture company between Texchem Restaurant Systems Sdn. Bhd. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Texchem Resources Bhd) and D&N International Co. Ltd. from Japan, making it one of the newest subsidiaries under the Texchem Group of Companies. D&N Coffee and Restaurant Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. aims to continue expanding more outlets in 2017 under its brand.
 

BIG COFFEE – A CAFÉ OUT FROM NOWHERE IN LUNAS KULIM KEDAH

Posted by crizlai On January - 3 - 2016

“Curiosity kills the cat” may be a common term used but it sure did not kill this adventurous cat. In fact, it fattened him up even more~ LOL~ 😛 At times, we should just leave everything behind, go for a short excursion to some place secluded, adapt to its environment and find out more on what it has to offer. To my luck, I stumbled upon a small make shift café named Big Coffee along the Butterworth-Kulim Expressway (Lebuhraya Butterworth-Kulim). The “café” served a variety of beverages from coffee, tea, chocolate to some local beverages.

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If you are a regular at a certain coffee chain, you would know about volume for Tall (12 US fl oz/350ml), Grande (16 US fl oz/470ml), Venti (20 US oz/590ml) or even their Trenta (31 US fl oz/920ml – at times known as “Thirty”). What about something bigger (42 US fl oz/1.24L – at times known as “Forty”) with a cute container to bring home for just RM10nett? If more than a liter of coffee were to be too big for you, you can always opt for their so called “Trenta” size at RM7nett with a cute container or “Venti” size at RM5nett with normal disposable container. You can choose the color of your container too (transparent – RM5 each, big container without white base – RM7 each and big container with white base/football shaped – RM10).

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Here’s my JUMBO SIZE “FORTY” Iced Horlick at RM10nett.

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The best part of the deal is that you can order anything listed based on the price (RM5/RM7/RM10) and not on the type of beverage ordered. Beverages type which mostly are Thailand-imported include Vanilla, Mixed Coffee, Latte, Mocha, Milo, Red Tea, Horlick, Nescafe, Chocolate, Cappuccino, White Coffee, Green Tea, Classic Coffee, a variety of Cordial Juices and more.

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Overall, I would say the beverage was quite concentrated with quite a reasonably quality thick plastic container. Though the sweetness could be a bit too much for my sugar intake, it was still a great bargain as the containers (RM7 & RM10 ones) can be recycled.

It’s not really hard to locate the little shed by the roadside but you have to slow down and keep a watch out for it as it could be highly congested at times. From Butterworth towards Kulim/Baling/Pengkalan Hulu via Butterworth-Kulim Expressway (Lebuhraya Butterworth-Kulim), you would need to pay RM1.60 toll. Upon paying and exiting the toll booth, drive another 11KM (pass Kulim Hi-Tech Park junction) and you would reach Big Coffee & Tea by the roadside on your left. When you see Dongwha Malaysia (Kulim Branch) on your left, slow down and drive another 250m ahead towards your destination. You can see the Sime Darby factory directly opposite the “café”. As this is an expressway with high traffic, please make sure that the road is all clear before making any turn. The best way to reach Big Coffee is to key in the GPS (5.487308, 100.600595) onto your WAZE app and set to go.

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Name: BIG COFFEE
Address: Butterworth-Kulim Expressway roadside at Lunas, Kulim, Kedah.
Contact: N/A
Business Hours: 11.00am-6.30pm (daily)
GPS: 5.487308, 100.600595

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

 

Are you aware that there’s a fun spot within Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa premises named F.I.P. (Fun, Interactive & Play) Lounge? It’s a real cool spot to chill out and have frothing good fun with your friends and besties. Regardless your age, you would always feel young-at-heart while you are here. Currently, FIP Lounge is offering its Coffee & Cakes Buffet from 3.00pm until 6.00pm on all weekends (Saturday & Sunday) for RM47nett (adult) and RM24nett (child: 6-11 years old). You would expect to get at least 10 variety of cakes, scones, cake pops and more with free flow of in-house coffee and tea brews. Thanks to the hotel’s seasoned cake maven cum Executive Pastry Chef, Chef Dino Wan and his creative pastry team, you would get to savor the best of cakes and pastries right in the comfort of the lounge.

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The variety of cakes might be different from day to day. Let’s have a look at what would be on display on a typical Coffee & Cakes Buffet weekend. Here were the 10 cakes I have tried out with 4 as my personal favorites.

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Of course my first choice would be their Signature Baked Cheese Cake. It was moist and had that unique cheesy flavor from the best Kraft’s Philadelphia Soft Cream Cheese with some hint of yoghurt and lemon juice. It was heavenly over a cup of hot tea.

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Next on my list was the Strawberry Short Cake. What I loved about this cake was the strawberry mousse-like cream with some mild sweetness which made my guilt of consuming sweet desserts at its lowest level~ 😛

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The Carrot Cake was amazing tasty. In fact this cake was the favorite amongst many of us. The cake was rich and moist with some tasty bites on the nutrients packed finely shredded carrots.

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Since the invention in the 30’s until today, the Red Velvet Cake is something that will not go out of style. It’s not the striking red color that attracted me but the nice zesty frosting that caught my attention. The baker did quite a great job here by maintaining the moist and fluffiness of the cake while having a nice balance between the zesty and sweet buttermilk cream. It complemented the cake real well.

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They also do serve some great Popsicle (Pop) Cakes with flavors ranging from Chocolate Moist, Orange Poppy Seeds, Red Velvet and Cheese Cake. These are actually cakes rolled into a ball with popsicle sticks and coated with either white or dark chocolates. Of course, my favorite amongst the 4 options was the Cheese Cake Pop. It really felt young having one pop cake slowly melting into the mouth~ 😛

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There were also two versions of Cupcakes (Chocolate Moist & Orange Poppy Seeds) and Scones available at the buffet. Though the cupcakes were moist, flavorful and beautiful, I’m not a fan of so much of butter cream on the cupcakes. They tend to be surfeit after a bite or two to my liking. However, the scones were quite good except I would prefer mine to be slightly heated up before serving. You can have some scones with fresh cream and strawberries. On top of that, they do also serve 3 different flavors of mini jars gluten-free Bonne Maman fruit preserves. Just as its name, it’s how your granny would serve you with all natural ingredients. Bonne Maman has no preservatives, no additives, no corn syrup, sulfite-free and non-GMO.

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Of course, you can get high with as much Coffee & Tea as you like here. The beverages are all in-house brews with accompanied sugar and milk.

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If you are not into the Coffee & Cakes Buffet, you can still order a thing or two from their normal day menu. Well, the menu would be rather unique as it would come in the shape of a long forgotten childhood origami shaped flower. Flip & Flap and you would let fate decide your destiny – food wise~ LOL~ 😛

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At the F.I.P Lounge, it’s all about letting your hair down, stay young at heart, have all the fun you have missed and doing what you Momma would discourage you to do – “Eat nicely and stop playing with your food!” Shhh… Don’t tell my Momma about what I did and I won’t tell yours~ LOL~ 😛

Firstly, they have the Tic-Tac-Toe Macarons (RM41nett). They would serve 5 pieces each of two different macaron flavors with a Tic-Tac-Toe board. Just make sure you don’t gobble up the macarons before the start of at least a game~ 🙂

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Next, they have the Checkers Platter (RM42nett). You would be given a board with 12 pieces each of Crab Cake and Chicken Bourdin. Now the game would get to be real interesting as you can eat each other’s food.

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They do serve Churros (RM30nett) too with salted caramel and chocolate sauce.

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If you love fondue, you can always order their Dark Chocolate Fondue (RM53nett) with bananas, strawberries, marshmallows and dried apricots.

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My sweet favorite would always be the Black Forest Mini Dessert Pizza (RM24nett) with chocolate cherry brownie cake base, served with dark chocolate, cherry syrup, icing sugar and a large scoop of their homemade vanilla ice cream. This item is truly heavenly.

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For coffee and tea lovers, you can have other options such as Cappuccino (RM13nett), Irish Coffee (RM31nett – alcoholic), Hot Chocolate (RM13nett), Café Latte (RM13nett), Chamomile Tea (RM16nett/pot) and more. Some of the coffee might come with 2D or 3D latte art.

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In case you need a beer on a humid day, there do also have Beer in Ice Mug. The price may vary from brand to brand such as Guinness & Carlsberg (RM27nett/mug), Asahi & Heineken (RM30nett/mug) plus Victoria Bitter, Budweiser & Corona (RM33nett/mug).

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Overall, if you are a dessert lover, you would find that the F.I.P. Lounge’s Coffee & Cakes Buffet is worth every penny as you can gobble down all the cakes you love with some of their nice brews. Moreover, you can have all the fun you want with all the facilities they have in the lounge.

To get to the F.I.P Lounge, just park your car at the furthest right wing of the hotel upon entering the hotel premises. Walk through the main lobby and you can see the entrance to the lounge.

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Name: FIP LOUNGE @ RASA SAYANG RESORT & SPA
Address: Batu Feringgi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-888 8888, 604-888 8788 (C&C Buffet Reservation)
GPS: 5.478365, 100.253709

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: 7.5/10 (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)

 

Before I start my post on the Sanrio Hello Kitty House in Bangkok, Thailand, let’s welcome the latest addition to the Hello Kitty family right in Malaysia. I’m sure those who had frequent Sunway Pyramid in Bandar Sunway, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, would have noticed a huge pink signage on the construction site next to Caffe Benne. Yup! Malaysia will be having its first Hello Kitty Gourmet Café right in the heart of Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall real soon. I’m sure due the limited space within the complex, the layout might not be the same as the rest of the cafes throughout the world. However, I would be sure that it would be pink everywhere with whatever corner filled with your beloved Hello Kitty decors. Don’t you love PINK now? LOL~ 😛

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Recently, I paid a visit to the Sanrio Hello Kitty House at Siam Square One in Bangkok, Thailand. It was a unique multi-storey shop unit filled with lots of pink, love and cuteness at every possible corner within the premises. Why is it called Sanrio Hello Kitty House? It actually housed two levels of Hello Kitty Café and a basement level of Hello Kitty Shop and Hello Kitty Spa.

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Let’s have a look at the respective floor of the Hello Kitty Cafe. The first floor comprised of the ordering counter where you can have glimpses all the cute desserts on display. There was also a take-away counter on the far right for your beverages and light snacks. The system here was somewhat like how you would order your items at Starbucks, eg. Order-Pay-Collect. For orders that would require some period of preparation time, you would be given a number and the staff would deliver to your table.

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Though there were some dining areas at the first floor, the second floor itself was more spacious and basically just for dine-in with more selfie corners, pinkish chairs and lounge sofas for you to slumber in.

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When you are so far away from home and at such a themed café, you would want to try the best items that they would offer. All price quoted is inclusive of 7% VAT. The Lemon Tart (THB280nett) display at the chiller caught my attention. Well, looks can be real deceiving. Sometimes, when we deemed an item to be photo-worthy, it might not appear to be tasty at all. That was what happened. The lemon tart set was horrendous! The lemon filling tasted rather fake and extremely sour. As for the crust, I would recommend you to request for a hammer and chisel. It was so rock hard that I might break the given pair of fork and knife. Those “chick pea” like pebbles were nothing more than some bland biscuits. If not for the chocolate sauce, I would just leave them aside. For that lovely looking mini mug with red mousse, it was just some tasteless cream with red coloring. As one of the most expensive desserts on the menu, it was one order that was barely consumable.

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Thanks goodness the kitchen ad hoc prepared Ham & Cheese Sandwich (THB200nett) was at least edible. It was just two slices of “Hello Kitty” face shaped toasted bread with rolled ham and cheese, accompanied with some cheap greens with salad dressing. It was normal and nothing to shout about.

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As for drinks, I ordered their recommended Kitty Smoothie (THB150nett) and Hello Kitty Mineral Water (THB30nett). Except for the bottled water, I really can’t figure out what I was drinking. It was like drinking a glass of syrup with some light hints of milk and strawberries. It was so sweet that I had to leave it after a few sips as it might juggle up my glucose level. I’m still wondering why the Thais like their drinks to be so artificially sweetened up.

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Let’s leave the food and beverage woes away and check out the basement of the unit. The Hello Kitty Shop will be a merchandise heaven for those Hello Kitty enthusiasts as they have practically everything you ever dreamed of having here from little memorabilia to items such as T-shirt, bags, umbrellas, etc. I’ve to forewarn you that prices of the items are not cheap. They are original franchised items after all.

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On the other hand, you would find the Hello Kitty Spa at the other further end of the basement level. This might not be the type of spa you would be expecting as it would basically cater to the feminine parties, kid inclusive.

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The facilities would include nail services, lash extensions, waxing, face and body treatments plus massages. You can check out the prices below (click to enlarge for a better view).

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Overall, Sanrio Hello Kitty House is quite a nice place to bring your family or dates for the first time experience but most people won’t be able to stay there for too long. The reason is that the never ending replaying of the theme song can drive anyone up the wall with madness. Can you imagine having the same few seconds theme song playing over and over again at the moment you step into the place until you leave? OMG! As for the food and beverage wise, I was expecting something more edible rather than loads of food and drinks with high level of sugar and coloring contents. I hope we don’t get these experiences at other franchised outlets in the near future.

Name: SANRIO HELLO KITTY HOUSE BANGKOK
Address: 388 Siam Square One Building, LG, 1st & 2nd Floor, Siam Square Soi (Alley) 7, Pathum Wan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand.
Contact: +662 115 1335
Business Hours: 10.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 13.744526, 100.533489

DIRECTIONS:

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Take the BTS Sukhumvit Line and stop at BTS Siam Station. Use the Skywalk towards Exit 2 and walk downstairs all the way until you reach a junction. Turn into Siam Square Soi 4 and walk straight until the cross junction of Siam Square Soi 4/Siam Square Soi 7. The Sanrio Hello Kitty House is just at the corner unit.

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

 

[email protected], Penang’s foremost pineapple cake manufacturer, has recently launched their limited edition of Seasonal Crystal Pineapple Confiture, retailed at RM16.80 per bottle. It’s basically chopped up pineapple slices, slowly stewed under pasteurized conditions with minimal added sugar, combined with a mild touch of lemon zest. The differences between confiture and jam is that confiture contains more fruits and is normally prepared using a whole or chopped up piece of fruits while jam is normally mashed up and cooked until a puree like consistency. Gartien’s Seasonal Crystal Pineapple Confiture is almost near the natural flavors of pineapple with just the right amount of sweetness to make it the perfect, convenient and versatile ingredient to complement with many sweet and savory dishes.

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Before I show you how versatile this confiture is with my own creations, let me show you the many ways you can get your hands on the product. Firstly, you can purchase a bottle off the counter. However, please take note that the crystal pineapple species is seasonal, thus the supplies are quite limited. Secondly, you can try to win yourself a bottle by joining in the simple requirements as listed below.

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The Gartien Crossover Partners are:

Name: ZI ZAI RESTAURANT (自在飯店)
Address: 1239-G, Ground Floor, Jalan Paya Terubong, 11600 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-826 5173
Business Hours: 5.30pm – 10.30pm (Closed Tuesday)
GPS: 5.387212, 100.274013
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/zizairestaurant
Seasonal Dish Promotion: CRYSTAL PINEAPPLE SWEET & SOUR PORK (RM12)
Other recommended dishes: Poon Choi, Salted Fish Steamed Minced Pork, Sambal Lala, Braised Hammock, Belacan Chicken and more.

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Name: KAI CURRY BAR
Address: 15, Jalan Phuah Hin Leong (Off Jalan Burma), 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-226 0322
Business Hours: 11.00am-3.00pm, 6.00pm-9.00pm (Closed Sunday & Monday)
GPS: 5.423637, 100.322570
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kai-Curry-Bar-15-Jalan-Phuah-Hin-Leong-Off-Jalan-Burma-Penang/1513938712195108 and http://www.facebook.com/UmaiKitchen
Seasonal Dish Promotion: CRYSTAL PINEAPPLE JAPANESE CURRY RICE (RM18.90)
Other recommended dishes: There will be options for pork, chicken, fish and hamburg on rice/udon with either pork gravy or vegetarian gravy.

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Name: 43 CAFE
Address: 43, Jalan Sungai Dua, 11700 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +6016-430 7009
Business Hours: 5.00pm-10.00pm (Daily)
GPS: 5.353265, 100.303813
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/43Cafe
Seasonal Dish Promotion: CRYSTAL PINEAPPLE TOPPING ON HOMEMADE ICE CREAM (RM9)
Other recommended dishes: Dry-aged Pork Belly, Dry-aged Pork Steak, Sous-vide Chicken, Pork Satay, Egg Pecah and a wide selection of homemade alcoholic & non-alcoholic ice cream.

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Name: SOUL CAFE
Address: 12, Jalan Kek Chuan, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +6016-430 7009
Business Hours: 11.00am-11.00pm (Closed Sunday)
GPS: 5.415079, 100.324503
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/yourSoulCafe
Seasonal Dish Promotion: ANANAS PUNCH (RM11)
Other recommended dishes: Linguine al Vongole Pesto, Spaghetti al Amatriciana, Chicken Roulade with Aioli Sauce, Salmon Steak with Mustard Tarragon Sauce, Gula Melaka Cheese Cake and more.

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Since I have some of the Gartien’s Seasonal Crystal Pineapple Confiture around, I created some healthy recipes out of the product and the end products were excellent.

The first creation was Prawn & Meat Ball with Crystal Pineapple Salsa. The prawn and meat ball had a little marinate of soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper, sugar, corn starch with lots of chopped onions. The inner part was moist and juicy while the crust had that mild crisp from slow pan searing. The Salsa basically consisted of chopped crystal pineapple confiture, onions, cherry tomatoes, parsley with some light touches of extra virgin olive oil and salt. The whole concoction will be great for tapas parties.

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The next creation was the Crystal Pineapple Mint Tuna Yoghurt on Cheese Toast. As for the bread, I had a piece each of round cut and ring cut wholemeal bread with a piece of cheese stuffed in between. These were oven toast for 5 minutes to bind them into a “cup” base. The filling had yoghurt, chopped mint leaves, dry herbs, tuna chunks in olive oil and chopped crystal pineapple all stirred together to get the right balance in flavors. I had some sprinkles of ebiko and sweet paprika to boost up some colors. This would be another great party idea to impress your healthy guests.

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Since most of us have been indulging in rich meals most of the time, I had decided to come out with a healthy beverage to help you all in detoxification. LOL~ 😛 I called this drink – Healthy Detox Juice with Crystal Pineapple and it’s full of digestion-boosting enzymes. You can either juice or blend the ingredients. However, I only have a blender in hand, thus I just sieved the end product and pour it into a glass filled with a scoopful of the Gartien’s Seasonal Crystal Pineapple Confiture. Just top up with some ice cubes and you can start enjoying your refreshing drink. The recipe is rather easy as you need to blend in just a green apple, 10 mint leaves, a cup of fresh coconut water, a teaspoon of honey and a mini pinch of salt. Sieve and serve chill.

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You can also check out Nicole’s Homemade Delicacies. She came out with a nice Crystal Pineapple Cheese Cake to share with some of us. Nicole is not new in the game of making and baking delicious homemade cakes. Some of her orders include Mango Cake, Belgium Chocolate Cake, Party Cupcakes, Tambun Biscuit, Bak Kua, Bak Hu and so on. Do check out her FaceBook for more information. Please also take not that she’ll also be producing the limited edition of Crystal Pineapple Cheese Cake for the month of May 2015. You can call Nicole Ann Ng at +6012-492 1648 to make your order now~ 🙂

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Overall, I personally feel that this is a great add-on product to ease many kitchens. Not only will it save a long period of time in pepping up some confiture for a dish, it also adds some boosting flavors to many dishes. In short, it’s a miraculous creation for just any dish, from meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables to desserts. I have created some recipes here and let’s see what else you can create with this product. So, go grab a bottle or more at Gartien now before the season is over. Lastly, let’s hope Gartien can keep the supplies ongoing by coming out with other pineapple species as well?

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Name: GARTIEN @ 小田佳園
Address: 380, Jalan Penang, 10000 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 0068
Website: www.gartien.com
Email: [email protected]
FaceBook: www.fb.gartien.com/
Business Hours: 9.00am-6.00pm
GPS: 5.416298, 100.329380

 

WINE MAKER’S NIGHT 2012 @ EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On December - 7 - 2012

The Eastin Hotel Penang together with The Wine Shop recently held a Wine Maker’s Night at its Angsana Room, Level 3, Penang, on 5 December 2012. Priced at RM280nett/pax, the enjoyable 7-course set dinner with pairing of fabulous wine from the orchards of Chile and South Australia was a great experience for the diners and media personnel.

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Prior to the formal dinner, some canapés were served with the full bodied Wolf Blass Red Label Chardonnay Pinot Noir sparkling wine, a subtle light green wine in fruity sweet citrus notes with underlying strawberries. The wine coupled well with the light canapés, especially those with cheese and fruit cuts.

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The rest of the wine came paired with the dishes as per courses served.

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To start off the meal, we had some warm dinner rolls and Laugen Broetchen bread roll (pretzel/lye roll) to choose from on top of the provided butter and herbed butter.

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The first of the 7-course meals was the Portobello, Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Crostini served with Seared Scallop. This dish was paired with Luis Felipe Edwards Pupila Sauvignon Blanc. The Chilean produced wine with crisp acidity and citrus flavors from some hints of lemon peel and pineapple, blended in real well with the combination of light dishes.

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Next in line was the Chicken Consomme with Morchella and Lobster paired with Saltram Makers Table Sauvignon Blanc. Though the Chicken Consomme was a bit too light for my palate, the grassy aromatic dry white wine with hints of clean fruity flavors added some justice to the overall flavors.

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Poached Salmon with Shitake Quinoa and Orange Emulsion was also served. The salmon was well prepared with the right texture and flavors. It went well with the orange emulsion with traces of some orange peels. On the other hand, I kind of like the Shitake Quinoa served on some blanched asparagus. The almost barley texture-like quinoa with high protein and fiber went well with the slightly buttered grilled shitake mushrooms. This dish was paired with Wolf Blass Bilyara Chardonnay, a rich and soft Chardonnay with ripe fruit flavors of green melon and white peach, supported by subtle oak. Somehow, I felt that the wine was a bit strong and overpowering for the more mild seafood flavored salmon. I would think it would suit those shellfish seafood better.

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To clear off our mouth prior to more fabulous dishes, we were served with a scoop of Lime Lemongrass Sorbet. This in-between meals mouth washing dessert caught my attention most as the beautifully crafted bowl it has the sorbet served on was made of 100% ice with a few petals of flowers as decorations. The sorbet was chilling nice with the right balance of lime citrus flavor and sweetness. The light touch of lemongrass flavor added in made the whole combination extremely refreshing.

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The best of all the dishes was the Oven Slow Baked Lamb Shank with Feta Cheese Tortellini and Ratatouille paired with Saltram Makers Table Cabernet Sauvignon. The fork shredded pieces of the lamb was heavenly drowned in its rich thicken gravy. The meat just melted in the mouth easily. The feta cheese stuffed tortellinis were something to yearn for too as each piece had the nice flavors from the evenly coated presto in olive oil. On the other hand, the ratatouille was presented in a fusion way with more finely cubed choices of vegetables. The dry red cabernet wine with strong structure and character proved to be the best pair for this dish.

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As for dessert, we had the Dark Chocolate Volcano, Caramel Panna Cotta with Vanilla Gelato paired with Cranswick Estate Aspen Moscato. The Dark Chocolate Volcano was basically an almost chocolate brownie type of cake topped with some dark chocolate and vanilla sauce. The Caramel Panna Cotta was thick and creamy with the right amount of oozing caramel as topping. What I liked most was the Vanilla Gelato served on some sesame crumbles. The sweet and fruity flavored white wine with a light fizz bundled the whole dessert well.

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Lastly, we had an option of coffee or tea. I opted for unsweetened Black Coffee to go with some assorted pralines.

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The Assorted Pralines came in different shapes, sizes with a variety of flavors.

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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 Level 3 and you would reach the Angsana Room easily.

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Name: EASTIN HOTEL PENANG
Address: 1 Solok Bayan Indah, Queens Bay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-612 1111
GPS: 5.33643, 100.306345

RATING:
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: 8/10 (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)

 

If you are a pork lover, you are in for a great treat as Sticky Bones from the reputable Morganfield’s, Kuala Lumpur, has finally set its foot up north in Penang since 1 June 2011, with the opening of its second outlet at Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang. The Western dining outlet with an American Midwest concept is set in a rustic, raw and retro ambience, serving appetizing soulful cuisine while enabling diners to relax in a blue-jazz tunes environment. Basically, the restaurant would serve a huge selection of pork related dishes with Sticky Bones being the main attraction. Other choices would include some mouth-watering appetizers, crispy garden salads, succulent steaks & chops, matching combos, fresh seafood from the sea, innovative poultry meals and glam burgers to delightful sandwiches. There would surely be something palatable available here to suit the liking of any non-Muslims regardless of age. All the pork ribs are imported from Holland, Spain, Belgium and Germany, thus you can be assured of the quality.

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We had quite a hearty appetizers and salad even before we started with the main course. The first dish that was served was the Spicy Chicken Wings (RM16.90++). It had 6 pieces of succulent deep fried chicken wing, tossed with spicy BBQ sauce and served with crunchy romaine lettuce and ranch salad dressing. They were reasonably tasty.

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The next appetizer was the Sauteed Mushrooms (RM14.90++). I love Eryngii mushrooms a lot as the fresh mushrooms have that nice crunchiness and earthly flavors to my liking. Morganfield’s would definitely be my next alternative venue to please my craving for Eryngii mushroom dishes other than at one of my most frequent café, Get’em Smack. This restaurant did a step further by infusing the flavors with merlot garlic butter. The mild flavors from the white and red wine used sure pepped up the mushy flavors in the dishes. The dish came garnished with some chopped spring onions and grated Parmesan cheese. Thumbs up!

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We also had the Appetizer Platter (RM34.90++). The platter came with 4 pieces of the Spicy Chicken Wings, 4 pieces of baked Russet Burbank Potato Skins and a basket of Corn Tortilla Chips (about 20 pcs) serve with the dip of your choice, either Crab & Spinach Dip or Chili Con Carne Dip. Both options would come with some ranch dressing and BBQ ranch dressing.

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Most of the diners would order the Crab & Spinach Dip, especially when you don’t have to peel them. Haha! The dip indeed had the creamy and cheesy flavors, which complemented the corn tortilla chips well. There were some mild presence of drained and chopped spinach, Parmesan cheese, garlic, yoghurt, salt and pepper on top of some chunky crab meats. This dip will be best taken fast when it’s served hot. I won’t mind having a few twist of freshly grounded black pepper added in too. Alternatively, you could substitute the dip with the Chili Con Carne. This Texas state official dish had chunky minced pork cooked with some tomatoes, various chili peppers, garlic, onions, herbs, pepper and salt. Although this wonderful dip had all the chili peppers added it, it was not as spicy as I expected. Thus, it would still suit any ages of diners.

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The next appetizer was the Pork Sausage Platter (RM32.90++) that would come with 4 different types of grilled pork sausages, namely the Spicy Hungarian (thick reddish brown), Bratwurst (thick beige), Smoked Sausage (thin & short) and Emmentaler Cheese Sausage (thin & long). These delicious pork sausages were served with garlic aioli, Dijon mustard and fresh coleslaw. Of the 4 sausages, I kind of like the Emmentaler Cheese Sausage as the meat was flavorful and has a mild cheesy flavor from the oozing Swiss cheese. As for the condiment, the garlic aioli was our favorite as it has that nice combination of minced garlic in mayonnaise with some mild mix of salt and black pepper and light squeeze of lemon juice.

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We also had the Chicken Caesar Salad (RM19.90++). The salad had some fresh Romaine lettuce tossed with their homemade Caesar dressing, topped with tender grilled ranch chicken breast meat and garnished with some crispy pork bacon bits, croutons, some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and some freshly grounded black pepper. The salad dressing had some eggy texture with a light hint of Dijon mustard. The salad was simply refreshing but it would be great if those croutons were replaced with garlic croutons for the additional flavor.

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Of course, a visit to Morganfield’s would not be complete without ordering their signature BBQ spare ribs – the Sticky Bones (RM38.90++ half slab, RM68.90++ full slab)! These heavenly and succulent spare ribs would come in 3 flavors, namely the Hickory BBQ Spare Ribs, Tuscan Baked Spicy Spare Ribs and Smoked Peppercorn Spare Ribs. We opted for half slab of the Hickory BBQ Spare Ribs. It was huge and meaty with some presence of cartilages compared to the size of the baby back ribs I had tried elsewhere. The meat on the tender and flavorful slow cooked spare ribs in coal and hickory wood just fell off easily from the bones. It was perfect with some sweet, hickory and cider tanginess flavored barbeque sauce glazed on the meaty ribs. Maybe I’m a strong flavor eater but it would be more than perfect if a bit more of liquid smoke being added in the BBQ sauce for that extra smoky flavor. Anyhow, this dish would still remain as my all-time favorite and would definitely fit your palate for delicious BBQ spare ribs.

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In case it might get a bit messy since the Sticky Bones are meant to be eaten the American way of using both the hands, a themed apron would be provided to avoid getting your attire dirty. Of so many versions, I kind of like this one most – “Money can’t buy me love, but it can buy me pork ribs”. Nice one there! 🙂

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On top of all the porky dishes, there would also be some poultry dishes. One of my favorites was the Chicken Roulade (RM32.90++). The dish had grilled bacon wrapped chicken thigh meat stuffed with juicy sausage and served with red skin mashed potatoes, blanched garden vegetables with pommery mustard sauce. The slices were amazingly flavorful with the heavenly creamy pommery mustard spiced sauce. The red skin mashed potatoes was also great, considering that it was coarsely mashed to my liking.

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There would also be some mouth-watering desserts to complete a meal. We had the Bread Pudding (RM12.90++), served warm in whiskey sauce with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Wow! The nicely baked bread pudding with some custard went so well with the whiskey sauce and ice cream. You would not have to worry on getting drunk as the alcohol content would have been evaporated after the whiskey has been sweetened on fire.

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Another great dessert would be their Chocolate Lava Cake (RM14.90++). The moist and warm chocolate cake with rich oozing dark chocolate on caramel sauce, served with vanilla ice cream was simply fantabulous! As semi sweet 46% dark chocolate was being used in making this cake, it looked quite charcoal black but the overall taste was superb.

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As Morganfield’s is one of those relaxing venues with only sports and cartoon channels being shown as entertainment, it’s a great place to unwind from the hustle and bustle of your busy schedules and spend some relaxing moments with the companionships of your group of friends, colleagues and guests. You can pick from more than 100 types of beverages such as mocktails, cocktails, wines, spirits and more for unwinding. They have the longest Happy Hours from 11.00am to 8.00pm (Monday – Saturday) and full operation hours on Sundays. Draught beers would be at “Buy 1 pint FREE 1/2 pint” and wines would be sold NETT per glass. Don’t you think it’s a great bargain to pair the alcoholic beverages with your meaty meals? For non-alcoholic drinkers, they do have some impressive chilled and blended coolers to quench your thirst. Some of those beverages we had included the Virgin Apple Mojito (RM13.90++: fresh apple juice, apple chunks, mint leaves & brown sugar in soda), Iced Cold Lemonade (RM9.90++: freshly squeezed lemon juice, splashed with lemon lime in soda), Mango & Lime Lassi (RM14.90++: mango puree with yoghurt, lemon and lime squeeze) and Lipstick (RM14.90++: blended strawberries, banana and crème of coconut). Well, I did not get my lips red after having this beverage. LOL!

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Do check out their 3 days promotion (15-17 June 2012) for Fathers’ Day 2012. It’s a great bargain at RM119++ for two persons. Please click on the menu below for a clearer picture on the menu.

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Overall, I’m quite happy with the choices of food served here compared to other quite related restaurants and the ambience was so cottage homely. Though the price might be a bit steep for some Penang diners, the portion served for major dishes can be quite filling. There would be 10% + 6% tax imposed on all items ordered. But no worries as Morganfield’s is giving away a “RM10 voucher for your next visit” for every receipt above RM100 for a limited period.

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 prominently located at the left side of the building with ample seating places indoor as well as at the el fresco area. You’ll surely get great views of the seaside as well as the fountain show daily.

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Name: MORGANFIELD’S @ GURNEY PARAGON MALL
Address: Lot 163-G-01, Gurney Paragon Mall, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 2487
Business Hours: 11.00am – 12.00am
Website: http://www.morganfields.com/
GPS: 5.436072, 100.311693

Other outlets:
Kuala Lumpur: C4.03.00, Level 4, Pavilion KL Shopping Mall. Tel: 603- 2141 3192
Singapore: To be opened at 1 North Buona Vista by September 2012

RATING:
Ambience: 9/10 (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: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

Malacca (locally known as Melaka) was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on 7 July 2008 together with George Town, the capital of Penang, as one of the world’s heritage cities. Malacca, being the oldest city with more than 600 years of history in Malaysia, has many remnants from the past which would bring back many nostalgic and colorful memories of the heydays. Heritage buildings, monuments, culture, tradition, food and beverages found in the historical city have their own uniqueness, not found in other parts of Malaysia. Jonker Gallery, with 1 wholesale and 4 retail outlets, scattered around the famed Jonker Walk (Jalan Hang Jebat), has brought about that mesmerizing moments for the locals and tourists with their wide range of products. Their latest product was something that has dated back as far as the colonial days – the 60’s Cocktails. It’s a non alcoholic fruit tea with a concoction of France’s imported black tea plus permitted fruit flavors. The beverages came in 4 flavors – Apple+Lemon, Apple+Peach, Apple+Passion and Apple+Guava, each selling at RM4.00nett per bottles at all their outlets.

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We were glad that the beverages were introduced to us when we were in Malacca to attend the “A Date with Bloggers in Melaka 2012” event. The well chilled beverages surely did cool us down on such a humid weather. However, they are local products that would only be available in Malacca. Hard luck!

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Amongst the 4 choices available, the 60’s Cocktail – Apple+Lemon was unanimously voted by us as the most favorite beverage. The concoction of the apple and lemon juices in a mildly sweetened black tea extract beverage had the best of cider plus citrus flavors. They were simply refreshing and complemented each other real well especially when chilled properly.

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The 60’s Cocktail – Apple+Passion was fine. The sweetness of the added passion fruit went well with the apple. The combination of flavors just lingered in my mouth for quite awhile.

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The 60’s Cocktail – Apple+Peach was good but I personally felt that the peach had an overpowering flavor over the apple’s mild sweetness. It tasted almost like the instant Peach Tea without the presence of apple.

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The 60’s Cocktail – Apple+Guava was also good if you are fine with a strong “Kiwi+Strawberry” ripen guava taste. Just like the 60’s Cocktail – Apple+Peach, the apple mild taste basically got lost in the strong guava flavors.

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Still not convinced? Well, some of those KL participants fell in love with the beverages and bought home many 8-in-a-pack beverages. You can select whichever flavors you like upon availability.

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Overall, these 4 beverages still excel better than some of the beverage products I have tested on the market. The main selling point would be on the right sweetness for the general consumptions and the “twist & drink” feature on the bottles.

Click to enlarge the map larger for a clearer view of all the Jonker Gallery outlets.

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Name: JONKER GALLERY @ MALACCA (MELAKA)
Address: No 64, Jalan Tokong, 75200 Melaka.
Contact: 606-286 9840
Website: http://jonkergallery.com.my/

Jonker Gallery (Artistic & Fashionable Apparel) – Retail
No 11, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka.

Jonker Gallery (Souvenirs & Ladies Accessories) – Retail
No 20, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka.

Jonker Gallery (Casual Apparel & Casual Footwear) – Retail
No 29B Jalan Hang Kasturi, 75200 Melaka.

Jonker Gallery (Ethnic Apparel) – Retail
No 51, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka.

Jonker Gallery (Souvenirs, Ladies and Men Apparel) – Wholesale
No 64, Jalan Tokong, 75200 Melaka.

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

 

Located within one of Penang’s newest premium food and beverage hub venues, Precinct 10, along Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Penang, is a little bistro by the name of BeerBQ Bistro. A large percentage of their dishes are cooked with bee. It had such a German concept of dining where they would pair different type of beer with selected dishes. The thing that the bistro did best was to watch out for the usage of over hoppy beers that would sometimes emit unpleasant bitterness in dishes. Thus, the dishes served here would be mild enough for the consumption of any age group of diners.

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The first thing that caught our eyes was the special of the day which was the BeerBQ Pork Burger (RM21.90++) as it was rather hard to get great pork burgers in Penang. The approximately 250gms pork patty was superb as it has the right proportion of meat and fat with the right thickness and flavors. The juicy patty went well with the slightly crisp toasted sesame bun with fresh greens and fries. The BBQ sauce dressing was awesome as it had that rich, tangy and thick liquid hickory smoke flavors that complemented the grilled patty real well. I wondered if the kitchen did add in some beer in the sauce as it was not distinctive at all. If you see this dish on their special of the day, do not hesitate to order one. You sure won’t regret even though the pricing might be a bit high.

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The beer pairing session started when we started off our appetizer meal with Roast Pork (RM16.90++) paired with Belgium’s pale lager, Stella Artois (RM22++/bottle). The dish had some crispy and crackling pieces of herb roasted pork belly. No doubt it was a flavorful plate of heavenly meat but the pieces were somehow a bit dry. It could be due to the lack of some fatty layers or the pre-roasted was exposed too long in the air. I guessed they would have to find a way to prevent the meat from drying off or it would turn away many roasted pork lovers.

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The next appetizer was the Smoked Salmon Salad (RM19.90++) paired with USA’s pale lager, Budweiser. The smoked salmon was wrapped around a small stalk of skinned celery and served with some homemade cheese sauce and Mesclun lettuce with their special dressing. I personally felt that the celery stalks were rather obsolete as they looked clumsy in the whole presentation. It would be better if some juicy cucumber strips were used instead. The smoked salmon went well with the cheese sauce which had a light hint of bleu cheese. The dressing for the salad was unique as it had sweet and fruity vinaigrette flavors from some grapes used.

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We also had the BeerBQ Pork Ribs (RM38.90++) paired with Germany’s dark lager, Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel. The chargrilled pork ribs were tender and filled with flavors from their special BBQ sauce. However, I personally felt that the sauce was not enough as it did not cover every part of the pork ribs thoroughly. This was served with some crispy potatoes wedges and fresh greens with their special dressing.

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One of the recommended dishes here would be their BeerBQ Seafood Platter (RM40.90++) paired with Germany’s light lager, Lowenbrau (RM22++/bottle). It had quite a number of BBQ large prawns, scallops, squids and mussels cooked with their signature BeerBQ sauce and served on a big bed of mashed potatoes. This dish came with some greens. The sauce blended in real well with the seafood and mashed potatoes. The setback would be that it could be a bit too filling for a person’s portion.

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We also tried out their Fish and Chips (RM21.90++) paired with Belgium’s witbieren (white beers), Hoegaarden White (RM20++ for 1/2 pint, RM30++ for 1 pint) since it had crispy beer battered fish fillet. The dish came with some fries, greens, tartar sauce and malt vinegar. Somehow, the crispiness did not maintain long as I presumed that the batter lacked some baking powder, self rising flour or even cornmeal flour? Moreover, frozen dory fish was used in this dish and that did not give the freshness that I would have expected. It would be great if options would be given for other species of fish such as seabass, grouper, mahi mahi, cod, etc would be served too. Of course, those would come with a different price range.

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Since there were pastas being served here too, we decided to try out their Spaghetti Vongole (RM18.90++). The al dente of the spaghetti was just right together with the freshness from the local clams. The clams were cooked with chopped garlic, chili flakes, mixed herbs, salt and pepper in olive oil with a very mild dash of white wine. Somehow, the dish lacked the fresh herbs flavors from either flat leaf parsley or chives. Moreover, the soup was not thick in flavors as I expected since clams do not have that distinctive seafood richness. They could have thought out of the box by adding in some baby anchovies, baby shrimps or even the seasonal baby crabs to pep up the extra seafood flavors.

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As dessert, there were not many choices as there was only one alcohol boosted cake available which was the Stout Chocolate Cake (RM12.90++). However, this was one flavorful dessert as the warm stout chocolate cake, topped with melting chocolate sauce with a light touch of whipped cream was heaven.

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Here’s a chart where you would find out more on which type of beer would pair well with which type of food, cheese and dessert. Please click to have a larger view of the chart below:

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There are two types of beer cocktails that attracted quite many drinkers. One would be the Blue Ocean Beer (RM22.90++), a concoction of lager beer, blue curacao with a slice of lemon and also the Chili Beer (RM22.90++) which had a concoction of lager beer, bird’s eye chili (cili padi), black pepper, and a dash or two of Tabasco sauce.

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For those non-alcoholic drinkers, there would always be the mocktail to quench your thirst. You can try out the BeerBQ Triple (RM9.90++) which had a combination of orange, apple and pineapple juices.

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Overall, the food served here can be a bit too mild for those who prefer to have stronger hop flavors. Fortunately, they are still quite good at pairing the beers with food based on the basic 3 rules: matching beer strength with food strength, food harmony and balancing of the bitterness (hops), sweetness (malt), bubbles (carbonation), spiciness (hot peppers) and richness of the beers with the dishes. A 10% Service Tax and 6 % Government Tax would be imposed on all orders.

Precinct 10 is just next to the Island Plaza along Jalan Tanjung Tokong. If you are coming from town area towards Batu Ferringghi, just take note of the second traffic light (Jalan Tanjung Tokong/ Jalan Fettes/ Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang). Island Plaza is on your right. Make a U-Turn at the traffic lights and you will see Precinct 10 right after Island Plaza on the left. There are ample parking spaces at the premises. Parking fees would be around RM1/hour. You can visibly see BeerBQ Bistro at the far left corner next to SOHO.

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Name: BEERBQ BISTRO @ PRECINCT 10
Address: 10-B-06, Precinct 10, Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-890 5157
Business Hours:
12.00pm-3.00pm, 6.00pm-11.00pm (Monday-Wednesday)
12.00pm-3.00pm, 6.00pm-12.00am (Friday-Sunday)
GPS: 5.448970, 100.306020

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

 

Ever since the mushrooming of many Thai restaurants in Pulau Tikus, the district has recently become the newest target for local and overseas dessert outlets. Outlets such as Tang Bo Fu (Pulau Tikus), ZenQ (Gurney Plaza), Lucky Desserts (Gurney Plaza) and the latest being BlackBall – Original Taiwanese Tea & Dessert, which would be officially open on 20 December 2011. Ever since its establishment in 2006, BlackBall now stands as one of the biggest dessert chains in Taipei with over 20 outlets and still expanding. Today, our fellow Malaysians would get the chance to savor the delicious desserts and teas from Taiwan at 5 strategically located outlets, starting with the first outlet in SS15 (PJ), followed by KSL City Mall (JB), Sri Petaling (KL), Pulau Tikus (Penang) and Damansara Uptown (PJ).

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I would say this would be one of the first few dessert chains in Malaysia with a state-of-the-art gadget when ordering. Each order would come with a unique gadget which would beep and blink when your orders are ready for collections at a specific counter. What a great way to find yourselves comfortably seated while waiting for your desserts to be prepared.

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As a trade secret, the company would not disclose much information on the compound on some of the ingredients. One thing for sure is that they do use a herbal plant known as Xian Cao (仙草). This magical plant is also commonly known as Jiao Gu Lan (绞股蓝/ Gynostemma pentaphyllum/ twisting vine orchid/ herb of immortality). It’s reputed to lengthen your life with its powerful antioxidant and adaptogenic effects, so much so that it had become a key inclusion in most traditional desserts across Taiwan as well as being made into tea bags. It also had been clinically proven that by consuming Xian Cao, one would have a lower blood pressure and cholesterol, a better body immune system and cancer risk free.

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Basically, the desserts consisted of BlackBall Signature, BlackBall Combo, Signature Drink, Winter Melon Tea Series, Traditional Tea, QQ Drink Series, Smoothie Series, “Jiu Fen” Taro Ball Series and BlackBall Crushed Ice, all within the range of RM4.90 nett to RM6.50 nett. Additional topping would be charged at an additional RM1 per topping. The toppings are Taro Ball (scallop shape), Taro Q (rectangular shape), Pearl, Red Bean, Green Bean, Sweetened Bean, Chinese Barley, Lotus Seed, Coco Jelly, Brown Sugar Jelly (Taiwanese version of a more QQ local “leong fun” cubes), Aloe Vera, Sky (White) Pearl, Sweetened Taro and Fresh Milk. All beverages come in 700cc size. You can enlarge the menu below for a clearer view.

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We had the BlackBall Signature (Hot & Cold – RM6.50) which came with Taro Ball, Taro Q, Pearl, grass jelly and red beans served with some fresh milk. Both the hot and cold desserts were nice with the hot version having a more distinctive herbal after taste. The Taro Ball had a more al dente texture whereas the Taro Q has a more powdery taro taste as lesser potato flour was added in. The orange ones were made from red potatoes and the yellow ones were of sweet potatoes.

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There were also the BlackBall Combo (with Taro Ball and Pearl): BlackBall Crushed Ice (Combo D with additional Chinese Barley & Lotus Seed – RM6.50) and BlackBall Combo (with Taro Ball and Pearl): Grass Jelly Ice (Combo H with additional Green Bean & Lotus Seed – RM6.50). The one with crushed ice came with some brown syrup and this tasted a bit like our Malaysian palm sugar.

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The “Jiu Fen” Taro Ball Crushed Ice (RM6.50) had a special type of pale color sweetened bean added in on top of the Pearl, Taro Ball and crushed ice. The beans tasted quite similar to the sweetened red kidney beans. As usual, anything with crushed ice would come with a small canister of brown syrup.

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As for beverages, we had quite a few choices. We tried out the Fresh Milk with Grass Jelly (RM5.90). This would be a nice choice for those fresh milk lovers. The whole concoction had a slight saltiness but creamy taste from the fresh milk with a mild touch of herbal after taste. Not bad but surely not my kind of unsweetened beverage.

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The Winter Melon Tea with Sky Pearl (RM5.90) was quite a hit amongst some of us. The quite highly concentrated brew went well with the sky pearls.

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Somehow, most of the ladies loved the QQ Cranberry Lemon Juice (RM5.90). Well, some guys did too. Hmm… I thought it would only benefit the ladies only against bacterial infections in the urinary system or commonly known as urinary tract infection? Haha! Well… no worries as cranberry juice would also help to level up the HDL (good cholesterol) against the LDL (bad cholesterol). Moreover, it’s great to destroy some stomach problem causing bacterias. The cranberry juice served here was rather highly concentrated compared to those other brands I obtained from the supermarkets. I love it especially with a mild twist of lemon juice! It came with some pearls and coco jellies.

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The Signature “Xian Cao” Tea with Grass Jelly (RM5.90) had that unique herbal taste, quite similar to having Guilinggao (龜苓膏/Tortoise Jelly),less bitter and in a more diluted form. I love the way this beverage had been prepared without much sweetening.

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The combination of the 3Q Passion Fruit Green Tea (RM5.90) was also special but a bit too sweet to my liking. Maybe I ought to get them to reduce the sweetness for my cup of beverage. This beverage came with some added pearls, coco jellies and jade jelly (愛玉冰/Aiyu Jelly/O-Gio/噢橋) with some traces of the passion fruit pulps and seeds. Note: AiYu Jelly is actually made by rubbing the seeds from a variety of figs (無花果) in which would exude a sticky gel that would form into jelly at certain cool temperature.

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The do have Yoghurt Green Tea (RM5.90) too. The green tea taste was a bit overpowering in proportion to the yoghurt used. I’m not sure if they were using the Japanese probiotic milk/yoghurt-like product named Yakult as it did not have that unique yoghurt taste as the ones I had at Tea Secret, Queensbay Mall, Penang.

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There’s the term “save the best for last” and indeed the last beverage we had which was the Boba Milk Tea (RM5.90) was a hit amongst some of us. This beverage came with some added pearls. The sweetness was just right for me and the tea used indeed blended in well with the fresh milk used.

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Since the 3rd to the 5th Blackball outlets [Sri Petaling (KL), Pulau Tikus (Penang) and Damansara Uptown (PJ)] would be officially open on the same day on 20 December 2011, there would be some ongoing promotions. From 20-28 December 2011, the Damansara Uptown and Sri Petaling outlets would be having the BUY ONE FREE ONE promotion. As for the Penang outlet, there will be the BUY TWO FREE ONE promotion from 20-22 December 2011. You can enlarge the poster below for a clearer view.

BLACKBALLOPENPROMO

It’s not hard to locate the dessert outlet as it situated along a row of shop houses in Pulau Tikus, Penang. If you are coming from Jalan Burma towards Pulau Tikus, watch out for Lebuhraya Codrington on your left. Immediately after the junction, turn left into the service road (TanMark Bookstore/7-11) and park your car there. The restaurant is just across the road, 3 shoplots away on the right of Sukhothai Beef Noodles House (formerly Strada).

BLACKBALLMAP

Name: BLACKBALL – ORIGINAL TAIWANESE TEA & DESSERT
Address: 232 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-466 1886
Business Hours: 12.00pm – 12.00am
GPS: 5.429939, 100.313319

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: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

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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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