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Archive for the ‘beverages’ Category

If you remembered the beautiful chill out place formerly call Sunset Bistro up at Bayu Senja, Batu Ferringhi area which was burnt down due to the so-called arson attack in late January 2011, you would surely not miss out the reincarnation of such cool bistro which now carries the name of Bora Bora By Sunset. A brainchild of Ms. Melynda Soon, the bistro was opened towards the end of May this year at a new location. It’s located just a shop lot away just before the Tarbush Lebanese Restaurant, hidden right behind some night market stalls along the famous Batu Ferringhi stretch. It has a better ambiance compared to the former with more cozy and dimly lighted corners for romantic couples. The bistro covers a long stretch of cemented pathways up to the edge of the beach, with an ejected wooden platform in between, to watch the beautiful sunset over the horizon of the Andaman Sea. Comfortable and uncomplicated, this snazzy bistro is actually a reminiscent of those smaller water holes by the beaches of some South East Asian countries. With an open rainforest concept, you are assured of cheap beers, reasonable priced beverages and a decent spread of cuisine, done in the simplest way to tempt any taste bud.

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An uprising star on the night scene in Penang, Bora Bora By Sunset without fail has attracted a steady stream of regulars amongst the locals, tourists and expatriates. Even the workers there were all well trained to make the best out of your visit. Occasionally, there could be some well-heeled guests swinging and twisting out from nowhere. Are you sporting enough to put on your best dancing shoes and join in the crowd? After all, this would be the best opportunity to let your hair down and mingle with everyone.

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Do check out how fun-filled the crowd can be even on weekdays. 🙂

There would never be an ending to the choices of cuisine available here, ranging from light snacks, sandwiches, local food fares, spaghettis, pizzas to western cuisine and desserts. The Special Fried Rice (RM8.90nett) had a twist of everything Malaysian. The rice had a mild spiciness with chunks of chicken meat and prawns. The only thing that it lacked was that “wok hei” (high heat cooking) that the locals would love to have but the tourists just loved the way it was presented. It came with an Indian papadam, two big skews of succulent Malay satay, a sunny side up omelette and an assortment of fresh greens. Everything tasted well except that the kitchen should take note of the excess oil from the satay gravy. It made the rice a bit oily.

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The newly introduced Pan Grill Lemon Citrus Butter Beef (RM31.90nett) had a touch of Mediterranean flavors. It had side dishes such as sautéed potatoes and fresh greens. The slight smoky flavor from the pan grilled beef, combined with the citrus butter with a touch of black pepper and herbs blended in well with the freshly handpicked greens. Although the dish was quite appetizing, in my opinion, this concoction would suit seafood better, preferably fish. Another thing that the kitchen should take note of would be the species of potatoes used. Certain potatoes imports such as those Australian or China ones are more suitable for deep frying or boil cook rather than being sautéed. Indian potatoes would be the ideal ones as they have that nice soft texture. Diners’ choice of meat should also be considered here as some might not like their meat to be so well done. It should be a norm when ordering but somehow the waiter kind of forgotten about the importance of the diners’ preferences.

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Pizzas… I always love thin crust pizzas or those wood fire ones. We ordered The Bora Bora Special Pizza (6” – RM12.90nett or 8” – RM13.90nett) which has turkey ham, pineapple, button mushrooms and olives. Compared to the dough for the pizza base from the former outlet, this one would need more experimenting. The base was rather compact and did not provide that mild crunchiness. Moreover, the pizza base sauce was rather thinly spread and did not have that distinctive tomato taste. On top of that, fresh pineapple cuts were used instead of the sweetened canned ones. There’s nothing wrong with that except that the kitchen should have chosen a riper pineapple and got rid of the harder parts. It did not flow smoothly with each bite.

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The best part was the dessert time. We ordered the Chocolate Brownie with Ice Cream (RM7.90nett). It was simply marvelous after a hearty meal. The slightly oven burned taste for the almond bits and raisin filled brownie went well with the scoop of vanilla ice cream. I just wished the scoop would be larger… haha! 😛

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As for beverages, you can get just anything from coffee, tea, soda, fruit juices, lassi, milkshake, punch, cocktail, beers to any of your preferred hard liquor. Beer lovers would surely love this bistro as they have Skol (RM8nett per bottle), Anchor (RM9nett per bottle), Tiger (RM10nett per bottle), Carlsberg (RM10nett per bottle), Guinness Stout (RM12nett per bottle), Heinekken (RM13nett per bottle) or Corona (RM19nett per bottle) which ranges from as low as RM38nett per bucket to RM93nett per bucket. Paulaner is at RM26nett per bottle. Well, we just got ourselves Iced Peach Tea (RM5.90nett) and Mango Lassi (RM8.90nett).

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With such a relaxing and stress-free environment combined with the ever friendly and fun-filled staff, it would be a great hangout place for just any ages. Moreover, all the items are at nett price. As for the food, there are still rooms for improvement since the newly appointed chief, Chef Mady Ahmad, just came in barely a week ago to revamp the whole kitchen. I guessed I may have to comment more on their food during my next visit.

It might be a bit hard for foreigners to find this bistro as it would not be visible from the main road. But no worries as I’m going to show you some landmarks that would lead you directly to their door step. Just drive all the way up to Batu Ferringhi until you reach the traffic lights with Petronas petrol station at the junction. Further up would be Lone Pine Hotel on your right. Drive slowly and watch out for the tall Tarbush Lebanese Restaurant neon signboard on your right. Just before the restaurant is the Beach Corner Seafood Restaurant (Happy Mart Mini Market is just across the road). Park inside the car park (RM3 per entrance) and you would see a green gate on the right. Walk through that gate, turn left and you would see the bistro there waiting to greet you with open arms.

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Note: The entrance to Bora Bora By Sunset is actually opposite the Desire Reflexology Centre and Fish Spa (left side of Jalan Batu Ferringhi) but quite unnoticeable with a small signboard in yellow neon lights with a beach view background. As parking spaces would be very limited inside there, it would be a better idea to park your car next door (Beach Corner Seafood Restaurant) with ample parking spaces.

BORABORAMAP

Name: BORA BORA BY SUNSET
Address: Lot 415, Jalan Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours:
12.00noon-1.00am (Sunday to Thursday)
12.00noon until 3.00am (Friday, Saturday and Eve of Public Holiday)
4.00pm-7.00pm (Happy Hours)
Contact: 012-553 1313 (Ms. Melynda Soon)
GPS: 5.474476, 100.248114

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

 

SIX FLAVORS HERBS DESSERT WITH AMERICAN GINSENG

Posted by crizlai On June - 14 - 2011

With the dampness within such a humid weather, more and more people are falling sick due to their ignorance to monitor their consumption of greasy and spicy food. Symptoms would include fever, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, nausea, loss of appetite and more. To build up our immune system, resulting from our almost unavoidable outdoor food intake, let’s have some herbal desserts. Let me share with you this simple SIX FLAVORS HERBS DESSERT WITH AMERICAN GINSENG recipe to lighten your body and to eliminate whatever dampness and heatiness within the body. According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices, this combination of herbs has calming qualities and would help in eliminating body heaviness, chest tightness, sleeping disorder, strengthening the digestive system, lung in the case of relieving cough and retard aging processes.

SIXFLAVORSSOUP

INGREDIENTS:
15g Radix Dioscoreae oppositae (淮山)
15g Polygonatum odoratum root slices (玉竹)
15g Euryale ferox seeds (芡實- fox nut)
20g lily bulbs (百合)
20g lotus seeds (蓮子)
20g dried longan (龍眼肉)
30g American ginseng slices (西洋參)
6 bowls water (about 2L)
120g rock sugar (add more to your preference)

PREPARATIONS:
Mildly wash all the herbs to get rid of any existing dust.

Slow Cooker:
Add in 6 bowls of water and set to HIGH. When water boils, add in all the ingredients and simmer for 4 hours on MEDIUM-LOW heat. Stir in the rock sugar to taste. Serve hot as a dessert or a beverage.

Pressure Cooker:
Bring the 6 bowls of water to boil on HIGH fire. Add in all the ingredients and close lid. When you hear the hissing sound from the pressure, bring fire to down to MEDIUM-LOW and cook for about 30 minutes. When the pressure is released about 5 minutes later, open lid, switch on your gas cooker and stir in the rock sugar to taste. Serve hot as a dessert or a beverage.

Note: Instead of taking it as a sweet dessert or as a beverage, you can OMIT the rock sugar and add in 300gms pork ribs as a savory soup. Add in salt to taste. (Cooking time – Slow cooker: 3 hours, Pressure cooker: 15 minutes)

(Serves: 3-4)

YOU CAN CHECK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES.

DINE AND WINE PROMOTION AT SOMMERZ HERITAGE BISTRO PENANG

Posted by crizlai On May - 2 - 2011

Note: Surprisingly with such good business, this outlet has ceased its operation. All that was left is the Heritage Coffee.

Many of you might not be aware the along the heritage stretch of Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah (previously known as Northam Road) lies a cozy colonial building which houses two restaurants with pork dishes. The heritage building which was named as Hardwicke House would provide diners with two concepts of dining. On the ground floor there is the Heritage Coffee which offers a wide range of local, Chinese and Western fare for an informal lunch or dinner. The place caters to the younger crowds who enjoy the “chill-out” atmosphere. On the upper floor for this building is a smart and casual bistro called Sommerz Heritage Bistro with a wonderful heritage ambience, perfect for an inexpensive dinner over a glass of imported wine (starting from just RM55++ per bottle) or beers (Hoegaarden, Paulaner, Victoria Bitter, Erdinger, Corona, etc).

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Sommerz Heritage Bistro is currently having their “Free Flow Wine” 4-course dinners at only RM50++ (10% ST+6%GT) on every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with a live band singing jazz, evergreens, oldies and popular songs. The place can cater for parties and functions up to 120 persons. The 4-course Set Dinner with Free Flow of Wine Promotion Menu is as below:

Cream of Mushroom
+
Mixed Salad
+
BBQ Baby Pork Ribs (half slab) served with sauteed onions, wedges and coleslaw
or
White Wine Grilled Salmon in Hollandaise mustard sauce, served with mixed vegetables and wedges
or
Grilled Lamb Chop in black pepper sauce, served with mixed vegetables and wedges
or
Oven Roasted Chicken with Bacon Strip in red wine sauce, served with salad and mashed potatoes
+
A scoop of ice cream with colorful dots
+
Free Flow of Wine or Iced Lemon Tea

We also did try out some of their exclusive dishes from the Sommerz’s ala carte menu such as the Sommerz Caesar Salad (RM12++). The salad has fresh romaine greens, mixed in their own Caesar sauce and garnished with real pork bacon bits and croutons and topped with a poached egg. The whole combination was perfect to start the meal off. The next was our favorite – BBQ Baby Pork Ribs (Half Slab – RM26.90++ or Full Slab – RM44.90++). This dish has been the top seller at Sommerz. The Texan recipe pork ribs had imported special ribs (not as oily as our local ones), carefully marinated and cooked until tender for that delicious taste. It came with sautéed onions, wedges and coleslaw. Next on the list was the Sommerz Rice Set (RM23.90++). This dish looked like a classier version of our local Nasi Lemak (Steamed Coconut Rice) but this version came served with Devil Pork Curry, Chicken Rendang, half a hard-boiled egg and Acar (pickled salad). I simply loved the creativity in this unique combination. Even the Acar complimented well with the dishes. The next dish which was the Devil Curry (Roasted Pork or Chicken – RM12.90++) is a popular spicy dish amongst the local Portuguese community. It had the touch of a family taste. It went well with some fresh buns and some beer or white wine. If you feel that these dishes are a bit heavy, you can even their Seafood Bisque in Bread Bowl (RM13++) or even some of their general dishes from Heritage Coffee downstairs.

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Some of the dishes that you can get from Heritage Coffee would be their tasty Char Koay Teow (Regular with 2 prawns – RM8.90++ or Extra with 4 prawns – RM12.90++). It was quite equivalent to those hawker stalls with that extra “wok hei” (high heat cooking). For that extra “kick”, do ask for extra chili. Another street food they served was the Hokkien Mee (Regular – RM8.90++ or Extra Prawns in a Claypot – RM14.90++) or commonly known as prawn noodles in other states. Although the soup had the flavor of slowly simmered prawn shells, it was not the thickness I preferred. The soup might need a bit of toasted belacan (shrimp paste – trade secret) added in. The claypot version had additional large prawns, hard shelled clams and squids. Both would taste better if some specially prepared hot chili paste were to be mixed into the soup. There was also the “Dong Po” Pork (RM22.90++), served in a mini rice bucket. Pork belly meat would be wine marinated with a combination of spices, slightly fried and braised until the perfect tenderness. A piece of the meat in some gravy would then be served on steaming rice accompanied with some blanched vegetables and an omelette. I found the meat on that day was a bit too fatty and overcooked as there was hardly any meat on it and the fat just melted into the rice. The kitchen should take note on this. The Seafood in Claypot (RM33.90++ – for 2-3 pax) had a combination of fresh prawns, mussels, scallops, clams and squids in a spicy, sweet and sour soup. It has a strong hint of chopped lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chilies. This dish would go well with rice. I find this Vietnamese-like dish a bit strong in the usage of sugar. I hope the chef would take note of this unhealthy over usage too. Their Seafood Aglio Olio (RM15++) had the right al dente for its pasta. I simply loved how they maintained the “wetness” by tossing enough of olive oil, chopped garlic, onions and bell pepper in it. The dish came with fresh mussels, prawns, squids and fish, garnished with some chopped coriander. Just a note here that you might get different seafood served based on their availability. Another of the hard-to-get in Penang dish was their signature Pork Burger (RM16++). The well flavored minced pork patty was cooked just right to maintain its juices within. This delicious cooked patty was presented on a fresh bun, laced with fresh lettuce, topped with an omelette, cheese and sautéed onions. The set came with some fresh greens and fries. They also have the Chicken Chop Burger (RM15++), served with some fresh greens and fries. The burger which has oozing mixture of tomato ketchup and chili sauce was just another way of having normal chicken chop. Other than that, you could also try out their Markpalia Chicken (RM18++). This quite similar to Cajun style prepared grilled chicken with praprika and herbs marinates, came with mashed potatoes and a mixture of blanched and sautéed vegetables. Somehow, I was over disappointed with strong recommendation as the whole dish tasted extremely salty. Moreover, the portion did not justify its price, considering that I was dining at the al fresco area. Their Roasted Pork Knuckle (RM53++ for 3-4 pax) was huge. You would need to wait at least 30 minutes for this dish to cook. The crispy skin and juicy pork knuckle came with two special dipping sauces and some fresh greens.

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They also serve Express Set Lunch as low as RM8.90 nett, inclusive of free flow soup (normally clear soup eg. Old Cucumber Soup, Watercress Soup, etc) and ice lemon tea. The set meal would only be available from 11.30am – 2.30pm on weekdays (Monday – Friday).

Current Express Set Lunch Menu:

1. Wok Fried Soy Sauce Chicken Rice (RM8.90nett)
2. Penang Char Koay Teow (RM8.90nett)
3. Baked Cheese Spaghetti Bolognaise (RM10.90nett)
4. Fresh Mushroom Chicken Steamed Rice (RM10.90nett)
5. Nasi Lemak with Rendang Chicken (RM10.90nett)
6. Baked Cheese Rice with Chicken Chop (RM10.90nett)

I would say the set lunch was worth it considering that I could have as much soup and drink as I wanted. The Penang Char Koay Teow (RM8.90nett) was great. So was the Nasi Lemak with Rendang Chicken (RM10.90nett). The worth mentioning dish of my choice would be the Baked Cheese Rice with Chicken Chop (RM10.90nett). Instead of having some plain rice baked with cheese as some fast food chain would normally provide, it came with fried rice with ham cubes. The chicken chop baked with cheese was amazingly tasty. You can even order some Caesar Salad (RM9++) to share out if you are there with a group. The only differences between the Sommerz Caesar Salad and this salad would be the omission of the poached egg. If you feel that you would need a dessert after your meal, you could always try out their variety of ice cream cakes. I loved their Cookies & Cream Ice Cream Cake (RM7.90++) as it was chilled enough and simply melted in my mouth. The cake came with some caramel and chocolate dressing which was perfect for my liking. As for beverages, there are many types of hot and cold beverages for you to choose from, ranging from coffee, tea, chocolate, juices, milkshakes, smoothies, soda, beer to wine. I tried out their Hazelnut Latte (RM5.90++) and Macademia Nut Café Latte (RM6.90++). Both came light and frothy but I had a problem identifying which was which as both had the same nutty taste.

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Overall, Sommerz Heritage Bistro can be quite a bargain for diners who love wine with their meals in a cozy ambience while listening to some nice music being played by a live band. Moreover, there’s the games room where you can have a game or two of pools and darting. The management would also be planning for a Sunday Champagne Brunch from as early as 11am soon. Do check up with them on any updates on the launch.

If you are coming from town along Jalan Burma, drive all the way until you see a “Y” junction. Left would lead you to Pulau Tikus. Right would lead you to Gurney Drive. Turn left into Jalan Pangkor (keep to your right). Immediately after you see Gleneagles Medical Centre on your right, slow down. Turn right into the service road and you would see a purplish building (Northam Tower). The restaurant is just in front of the building. You would not miss the colonial architectural building.

SOMMERZMAP

Name: SOMMERZ HERITAGE BISTRO / HERITAGE COFFEE
Address: 67 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, 10050 Penang, West Malaysia.
Business Hours: 11.00am-1.00am (Heritage Coffee), 6.00pm-1.00am (Sommerz)
Contact: 017 – 474 7478 (Sommerz: Ms. Jacque), 604-227 3393, 604-229 3393 (Heritage Coffee)
GPS: 5.427643, 100.320806

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: 7.5/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

DINING IN KAFFA KAFE AT STRAITS QUAY

Posted by crizlai On January - 6 - 2011

Some of you might not be aware of the latest attraction in Penang where life can become so breezy and exciting throughout the year. With spectacular views of the Andaman Sea and the historical skyline of George Town, Straits Quay, developed and run by Eastern & Oriental Berhad, is the first retail marina enclave within the fast development area of Seri Tanjung Pinang in Penang. The new destination for locals and tourist alike, promised strings of international food outlets, bistros, bars, boutiques, bakery to performing arts and learning centers. Presently, there are just a handful of shops in business but these would be enough to set the crowds in thrills with nice sea front restaurants and bistros everywhere. It’s also a great spot for photography with such great colonial style architecture. Other than visiting the place by car, Rapid Penang buses would also be available (No. 101 & 103). Water limousine service would be available soon via E&O Hotel Pier to enable you to explore the panoramic view of the beautiful island.

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While paying a visit to this newly established Straits Quay some time back, I came across a restaurant by the name of Kaffa Kafe. The place has great ambience with cozy corners and al fresco area for diners to get their best experiences dining by the sea.

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So how was my dining experience here? Well, let you judge for yourself on what I have to share here. First there was the Fresh Wild Mushroom Soup (RM12.90) which had a combination of shitake, enoki, portbello and swiss button mushrooms, supposedly served with toasted garlic bread. Instead, I had some crudely sliced croutons, floating soggily on my soup. The gross dark colored soup had that sour taste which I don’t quite like. Enoki mushrooms are delicate mushrooms that if you do not know how to keep them well refrigerated, they would have that sour fermented taste. At times, they would even spoil the whole taste of any soup base. The restaurant should have replaced enoki with crimini or even oyster mushroom for that extra earthy flavor. This was so far the worst fresh wild mushroom soup I had ever tasted and with a high usage of black pepper in it.

Next was one of the recommended Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken (RM16.90), served with steamed Basmati rice. My next question was whether they double grilled that chicken or even microwave the meat? From the look of such a basic kitchen, I guessed the latter answered me clearly. There was no moisture left in the meat. Neither was there much gravy left. The meat only has the basic taste of lemongrass and nothing else. It was truly bland. The chopped chilies were for decoration only and did not add in any flavors at all. What’s the use of serving the much reputable fragrant enriched Basmati grains but not knowing how to cook the rice well? It was simply tasteless and dry. Buttered Basmati rice would be a more ideal choice. That was not the worst of it yet. In fact for all the accompanying dishes, the vegetables were overcooked with some withered and pale yellowish green French beans. Moreover, the vegetables tasted like they have been blanched in the same pot of water continuously without ever changing the water. A pinch of salt and some olive oil would have given them a better taste too.

We also had their New Year offer of German Styled Chicken Bratwurst (RM20.90), served with mashed potatoes and assorted vegetables. Although the two foot sausages were tasty, both came rather cold within (didn’t microwave enough? LOL!). The potatoes were roughly mashed, not too bad for taste. The gravy was just average with a bit too much of salt in it. Just look at the color of the French beans and you would know my reasons for being pissed off. On top of that, I would think it was a bit too pricey for me for the amount served.

The Homemade Lamb Shank (RM26.90), served with mashed potatoes and assorted vegetables was a joke. I had better ones before. It looked like it was really cooked at home and brought to the outlet to be microwave to get rid of the juiciness. It was real obvious that the lamb shank was left exposed to air for a long period of time as the meat had changed color and was extremely dry. Now I know why AFC’s King of Grill, Robert Rainford, could be rather agitated when his diners were not on time to consume his grills within a stipulated time. The shank was bland too with only a hint of some wine based marinate. The texture of the meat was like 60% in the midst of meat floss preparation. The gravy tasted universal just like the rest of the dishes. I really hated those vegetables.

I just ordered the Crispy Calamari (RM13.90) to test out how well they did in their finger dishes. Well, you can never go wrong with most frozen packed stuff. The tempura coated rings were nice but the fries needed a bit more crispiness. The accompanied salad was normal with dressing neither salsa nor vinaigrette. The condiment was some sort of diluted Thai chili sauce which could hardly stick to my food. I would rather have some creamy mayonnaise to go with my dish.

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As for dessert and beverages, they fair much better than the food here. I tried out their Homebaked Apple Pie (RM8.90), served with a scoop of ice cream. It was supposed to be vanilla but I ended up having a miserable and almost melted scoop of strawberry ice cream, a cheap brand indeed. The Apple Pie crust was quite fine, although I would prefer it to be a bit more buttery in taste. The apple filling had the required tasted of grounded cinnamon but lacked in moisture. The Ice Kaffa Special (RM10.50) would be recommended as the overall combination was perfect. It had double shots of strong flavored coffee, double scoops of vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream. That made me wonder why I was not served vanilla ice cream for my Apple Pie. The Iced Lemongrass Tea (RM7.90) was fine, just nice for my liking. The Mocha Mocho Smoothie (RM9.90) was normal.

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Overall, the restaurant would be a nice place to relax over some drinks but not the food. The food quality needed to be revamped soon before they lose out more customers. The kitchen would need more dedicated staff as sloppiness and carelessness would not secure customers well. Price wise, it could be a bit pricey for most people. My total damage was RM141.55 (inclusive 10% service tax) in which I did not get my money worth of satisfaction. Moreover, two out of three of us had some mild stomach problems after the visit. What happened to the quality of food here? The photos and descriptions in the menu can be rather deceiving. For the price, customers ought to have what have been described in the menu and not any remains that they have left in their kitchen. Any restaurant should know that withered or gone bad items are not to be served to the customers. Lucky, none of us had serious food poisoning. As for the staff, they should be more discipline and educated in the happenings in the kitchen as well as dining etiquettes. Although it was great to have the table cleared before the next dish was served, but it was not so polite to ask for dish clearance when the food was not fully consumed. Standard kitchen orders must be briefed to all and not only to a handful of staff. Here I saw one staff turning down some clients while another asked us for the last order. Where’s the logic behind this? I usually don’t criticize business owner this way but it was rather saddening to encounter such bad experiences especially at a highly exclusive area like Straits Quay. There were too many flaws in the establishment.

The restaurant is just located within Straits Quay, the latest landmark in Tanjung Tokong area, Penang. If you are coming from town via Jalan Kelawai, just head towards Jalan Tanjung Tokong. There are two ways leading to Straits Quay but I’ll show you the easiest way as not to get lost within the maze. Drive all the way until you reach the Island Plaza traffic lights. You can turn right but it’s a long way to get to there. Alternatively, keep to your right and drive onwards to the second traffic lights after that and turn right into the road (Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang). You can see the almost completed Tesco building there. Drive on and a short distance away you can see straits Quay on your left. There will be ample parking areas all over.

KAFFACAFEMAP

Name: KAFFA KAFE @ STRAITS QUAY
Address: 3A-G-8, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, 10470 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-890 5136
Opening Hours:
10.00am-1.00am (last order 10.30pm – extended hours during peak period)
GPS: 5.458264, 100.313233

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

GREAT EXPERIENCE AT SAKAE TEPPANYAKI & IZAKAYA AUTOCITY

Posted by crizlai On May - 30 - 2010

Some time back before I was down with some health issues, a few of us visited yet another of the Sakae Japanese food chain down at Autocity, Juru Interchange at mainland Penang. This outlet was rather unique as it had a 2-in-1 dining concept wirh the teppanyaki area located downstairs while the Izakaya area being upstairs. Thus, the restaurant is named as Sakae Teppanyaki & Izakaya. Thanks to PenangTuaPui and CK Lam for the wonderful experience there.

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The evening started with a garlic fried rice demonstration by the young teppanyaki chef, Jie Xian. Three of us, namely Fei Fei, Carrie and Lingzie had a fun time cooking their special version of garlic fried rice for us to try out, with Lingzie having some kimchi add-ons. Basically, the garlic fried rice was simple with the usage of some cooked rice, butter, pepper, salt, shoyu, sakae and egg.

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We eventually landed ourselves at the mezzanine floor for more Japanese culinary experience – Sushi Making Workshop. We were shown the procedures in making good sushi by the sushi chef, Chee Keong. We were taught how to prepare Salmon Sushi, Ebiko Gunkan and California Temaki.

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How do you like my homemade sushi as below? Haha! Anyway, the top 3 winners went to Bee, Fei Fei and Huat Koay.

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We were then introduced to some of the new dishes by the restaurant starting with Fire Dragon Maki (RM13.80). These had raw salmon fillet, tempura prawn, salmon roe, shrimp roe, mango and mayonnaise. Not a bad combination after all.

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There was also the Rainbow Maki (RM12.80). The dish has some raw salmon fillet, red snapper fillet, broiled prawn, crabmeat salad, avocado and mango. Not a bad combination as the avocado blended in real well with the seafood ingredients.

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We also had some Mango Soft Shell Crab Maki (RM12.80). There were some soft shell crabs, wrapped in some sushi rice and nori, topped with some mayonnaise, mango slices and shrimp roe. This dish was rather fusion with a prominent fruity mango taste. It was fine taking it as it is compared to adding with some sushi sauce and wasabi.

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We also tried out the Mixed Agemono with Japanese Curry (RM15.80). The Japanese curry was somewhat like a mild spiced chicken stew with added onions, carrots and potatoes. It came served with skews of fried breaded chicken, salmon, quail egg and shitake mushroom. It would be best to take the skews of food while it’s still piping hot.

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There were also many set items available here such as the Sweet Romance Set (RM49.80 for 2 pax). The set had two bowls each of pickle appetizers, rice and miso soup, served with teppanyaki sukiyaki chicken, assorted tempura, salmon with teriyaki sauce, teppanyaki chicken, squid, half shell scallop, assorted vegetables (bean sprout & pea sprout) and a glass of mocktail. What a nice and fulfilling set for couples except I felt it was rather weird that it came with only a glass of mocktail since this set was meant for two.

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Next was the Live Baked Lobster Set (RM129.80). It had the same two bowls each of pickle appetizers, rice and miso soup with its special Boston flown in live lobster baked with salt as its main attraction. These were accompanied with deep fried live seabass, teppanyaki chicken, squid, assorted vegetables (bean sprout & pea sprout) and live oyster sashimi. The lobster was nice with the burned saltiness from the natural sea salt.

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There was also the Omo Soft Shell Crab (RM7.80 – 2pcs). There were some soft shell crabs wrapped in egg crepe, topped with some Japanese sweet sauce and mayonnaise and garnished with some bonito flakes (katsuobushi shavings). The problem with this dish was the soft shell crabs. It could be a bit crunchier to combine with the already soft egg crepes. Moreover, I felt that it lacked some distinctiveness. Maybe a bit of wasabi and mayonnaise mix sauce added in would give the extra kick.

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Some desserts were added in for those sweet-tooth lovers such as the Love Chocolate Fondue (RM19.80). There were some strawberry and banana cut, green tea mocha (glutinous rice ball) served with decadent chocolate dip. The portion as a bit too small and the banana slices were overripe. Moreover, the green tea mocha was rather hard and the chocolate dip was a bit too diluted to stick on the dips.

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The next dessert was the Love Cheesecake (RM9.80), presented in a cage. Love imprisonment? Caged love? I felt that the concept of presentation for this was rather weird. I rather have it served on a plain plate. The cake was actually a homemade strawberry cheesecake which suited my sweetness liking. I would say it was value for money at that size.

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There were many nice combinations of beverages available here too such as the Azuki Smoothie (RM11.80 – blended sweetened red bean in ice topped with vanilla ice cream and some red bean paste), Bubbling Passion (RM8.80 – passion fruit juice with sparkling soda), Kyoto Sunrise (RM9.80 – blended mango puree with ice), Chocolate Parfait (RM12.80 – vanilla ice-cream, peanuts, cornflakes, herbal jelly and topped with chocolate fudge) and Strawberry Parfait (RM12.80 – vanilla ice-cream with cornflakes, herbal jelly, mango and topped with strawberry syrup). I would recommend the Azuki Smoothie as it was milder in sweetness and was real smooth for consumption.

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You can check out more on the Sushi Workshop and Wedding Packages promotions in the posters below (click to enlarge for a better view):

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I can’t show a clearer map as Auto City Phase 3 is still not available in the Google Maps. If you are coming from Penang Bridge towards the North-South Highway, you would see the Juru Rest Area on your left. Drive further a bit and you would see an overhead bridge which would lead you to the Juru Interchange. Do not drive up the overhead bridge but turn left instead until you see a traffic light. Turn right into Jalan Kebun Nenas. Drive on until you see the second traffic lights at a T-junction (Jalan Kebun Nenas/Jalan Perusahaan). At the traffic light, turn right into Jalan Perusahaan. A few meter away, keep a look out for a left turning into Auto City Phase 3 (KFC). Drive further in and you would see the restaurant on your right. It’s along a stretch of F&B outlets.

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Name: SAKAE TEPPANYAKI & IZAKAYA
Address:
1815-B, Jalan Perusahaan, Auto City (Phase 3), North-South Highway,
Juru Interchange, 13600 Prai, Penang.
Contact: 604-508 0268
Business Hours: Mon-Thu (11.30am to 10.30pm), Fri-Sun (11.30am to 11.30pm)
GPS: 5.338527, 100.428352

RATING:
Ambience: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8.5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

Attendees :
PenangTuaPui (Huat Koay, Tam Chiak & Fei Fei), CK Lam, Criz Lai, Buzzing Bee, Alan Choong, Lingzie & Steven Goh

HAVING A BREAK AT KOPITIAM YUE LAI

Posted by crizlai On March - 2 - 2010

You would be surprised that some of the “kopitiam”s (coffee shops) in Penang has become so modernized today that your comfort and cleanliness preferences would always be their priority. One of the recent ones I had visited has some simple menu which would tempt your appetite as well as to allow you some comfort for your business discussions. It’s none other than Kopitiam Yue Lai, located along Jalan Argyll in the heart of Georgetown, Penang. Other than the availability of WIFI for your internet convenience, this kopitiam has a very systematic and categorized area for business persons to leave their name cards for that extra publicity mileage. It’s so cool!

Barely a few weeks old, Kopitiam Yue Lai has some light breakfast and meals without you having to worry about paying the additional taxes. All items are priced nett. You could always enjoy a hot cup of Kopi “O” (local black coffee – 90sen) or a glass of Iced Penang White Coffee (RM1.90) while escaping from the burning heat of the humid weather.

Do you want to have some toasts to go with your beverage? You could try out their Yue Lai Kaya Butter Toast (RM1.20). From the first look, I thought it would be another extremely sweet caramelized coconut jam that you would get from the mamak roti man. It turned out just like what I always wanted to have – a mildly sweetened with fragrant eggy taste kaya. This order was not bad at all.

There are also savory version of toasts and sandwiches for you to choose from ranging from mayo egg to mayo tuna. Here’s how the Triangle Toasted Mayo Tuna Set (RM2.20) would look like.

Not enough still for your breakfast? Well, there’s always the Half Boiled Eggs (RM1.40 for 2) with a dash or two of soy sauce and pepper to your liking.

There are also some heavier dishes for your lunch such as the nasi lemak (steamed coconut rice), spaghetti and noodles. You could try out the Yue Lai Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken (RM5.00). This dish would be served with a bowl of rice, some cucumber pieces, half a hard-boiled egg, some deep fried anchovies with peanuts, curry potato and of course with a juicy yet well marinated piece of fried chicken drumstick. This was quite a good bargain for the price paid.

There goes the same for the Yue Lai Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken (RM5.00). Every side dish would be the same except for the chicken drumstick curry.

They do serve Hokkien Prawn Mee (RM4.00) too. I was quite surprise to find this local hawker dish here as it would involve a lot of preparation to get a great bowl such as the Hokkien Prawn Noodle recipe I had earlier. Although the bowl of noodle (instant noodle used here) looked quite simple with only two halves of a hard-boiled egg, 3 medium sized prawns with a few strands of water spinach and garnished with some fried shallots, it tasted quite good. It would be better if the kopitiam were to add in a few pieces of chicken shreds or pork slices for more bites.

Other than those few dishes mentioned above, there’s also the Yue Lai Mee Soup (RM3.50) which was basically your home cooked version of instant noodles. The bowl of noodles came with some cabbages, egg, half a ham and two halves of a sausage. This is another great bargain for all the ingredients given.

Since this kopitiam is still quite new, more delicious dishes and snacks would be added next month onwards. Do check them out for some simple break time food. It would not be hard to find this kopitiam as it is strategically located just behind the Island Girl’s School along Jalan Argyll, Penang. As you pass the Jalan Argyll/Jalan Transfer junction, drive all the way towards the end of Jalan Argyll and you would see a newly constructed building on your left. Kopitiam Yue Lai is at the ground floor.

Name: KOPITIAM YUE LAI
Address: 203-G, Jalan Argyll, 10050 Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 0181
Business Hours: 8.00am-6.00pm (Closed on Sunday)
GPS: 5.422347, 100.328613

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: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

THERE IS A COOLBLOG IN TOWN

Posted by crizlai On September - 22 - 2009

You may not realize that I was mentioning about CoolBlog and not about just any other online blog (weblog) that we have here. It could have been coincidental but I had notice that Prangin Mall, Penang has been attracting many so called “blogs” ever since the opening of Bloggers Café late April this year. The word BLOG had somehow inspired many entrepreneurs to use that as a selling name for their products. CoolBlog is actually a Singapore franchise company selling beverages and desserts which consisted of different flavored teas and fruit juices since their establishment in 2005.

With over 20 kiosks over the Southern Region and Klang Valley, CoolBlog has now set foot in the Northern Region to quench the taste of the Northerners.

So what do they serve actually? They have “Blogs” such as Tea (green, red & milk – RM1.80 without topping), Smoothies, Ice Blended, Yoghurt, Milk Shake, Italian Soda, Chocolate, Coffee, Fresh Fruit, Oreo and even Bandung with an option to choose from flavors available such as almond, banana, blueberry, blue coral, chocolate, grape, green apple, honey, honeydew, kiwi, lemon & lime, lychee, mango, orange, passion fruit, peach, peppermint, pineapple, sour plum, soursop, strawberry, vanilla, watermelon and yam.

On top of your preferences stated above, you can always have another option to select your topping. There are 6 toppings available (5 shown below) such as black pearl, lychee jelly, mango jelly, grape jelly, apple jelly and rainbow jelly at 60sen per topping.

I was given the privilege to try out a few of the top selling flavors namely the Blue Coral (with milk RM2.50 + rainbow jelly 60sen), Lemon & Lime (with juice RM1.80 + rainbow jelly 60sen + apple jelly 60sen), Almond (with milk RM2.50 + black pearl 60sen) and Strawberry (with milk RM2.50 + rainbow jelly 60sen + mango jelly 60sen).

Overall, I love the Lemon & Lime Ice Blended most as I found the beverage to be real thirst quenching. Moreover, the jellies were chewy and balanced well with the beverage. The only feedback that I had given to the management was the sugar level. I found the beverage (other than the Almond Milk which was a bit mild in the nutty almond taste) to be a bit too sweet for my taste bud. It could be due to the excess syrup from the soaked jellies which the staff have to be carefully about. For those who would like their beverages to be less sweet, please do inform the staff when ordering.

The kiosk is located at level two of Prangin Mall Atrium A (where Bread History, Secret Recipe, Starbucks, 7-ELEVEN, etc are). Use the main bubble lift to level 2. As you walk out of the lift, make two right turns and you will see the kiosk just opposite C&J gift shop and Chocolate Gift & Souvenir shop. You won’t miss it as the kiosk has this brightly painted pinkish structure – the trademark colors of CoolBlog.

Name: COOLBLOG @ PRANGIN MALL
Lot A2/K10, 2nd Floor, Atrium A, Prangin Mall,
33, Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong, 10100 Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 11.00am-9.00pm
Contact: 012-412 3366 (Mr. Alvin Chua)
GPS: 5.414701, 100.3318971

RATING:
Ambience: 7/10 (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: 7/10 (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)

ALL YOUR NEEDS UNDER ONE ROOF AT STEVEN’S HOTSPOT

Posted by crizlai On May - 13 - 2009

Note: This restaurant has ceased its operations in Penang.

Basically this is not a food post but just an awareness post that there is a new outlet in Penang, Malaysia, that would cater for all your basic business and personal needs. Located near Queensbay Mall and within the newly constructed BayAvenue, there existed a little corner café like shop by the name of Steven’s Hotspot. It was a privilege for a few of us to be invited by the marketing team of STG Resources Sdn. Bhd. to witness the soft launching of the latest hotspot outlet and a briefing on the history of the company by the Marketing Director, Mr. Michael Ng. Thanks Mr. Edward Tan for the special arrangement.

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Initially started as a mamak stall by the name of Steven’s Corner in OUG Garden in the late 70’s, the business has now expanded with the opening of another two outlets in Pandah Indah and Setapak in Kuala Lumpur. To provide Malaysians with the experience of dining freshly concocted ingredients imported directly from India in a more comfortable environment, Steven’s Tea Garden was formed with the state-of-the-art ambience in major shopping complexes, namely Sunway Pyramid, MidValley, Bukit Bintang, AEON Ampang, AEON Bukit Tinggi and Semenyih TESCO.

To provide further services to the community, Steven’s Hotspot was formed with the first outlet being officiated in Kuala Lumpur, followed by Penang on 9 May 2009. Ipoh and Johor Bahru hotspots would follow suit within the next few months. The concept behind Steven’s Hotspot is totally different compared to Steven’s Corner and Steven’s Tea Garden. The setting up of the hotspots in strategically located prime townships within Malaysia is to ease the community in their daily running of errands. It’s a one-stop centre for business appointments with the facilities of having WIFI services, printing, photocopying and faxing of documents. Moreover, it also served as a utility, telecommunication bill payment and purchasing of prepaid outlet for your personal need.

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In case you might want to grab something a drink while waiting for the arrival of your clients, you could always try out their 1997 & 1999 Malaysian Tourism Board, Mix FM and The Sun ‘Best Teh Tarik Award’ winning beverage, the Teh Tarik (Malaysian style pulled tea with milk – RM2.50).

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There are other options too such as canned drinks and flavored tea.

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There are also light meals and snacks supplied by quality Halal certified local food vendors available here. You could always try out their local delicacies such as Nasi Lemak and kuih-muih or cakes and pastries from the counter.

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We had tried out their Tuna and Seafood Croissants (RM8/set), Blueberry Cheese Pie (RM6), Lychee and Tiramisu Cakes (RM8.50/pc). There were nothing to shout about on the taste and quality as their main concentration was based on providing convenient services as a business centre.

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The mission and vision of Steven’s restaurant chain of restaurants is to expand the business with the expectation of 100 outlets in Malaysia within the next few years as well as to expand aboard. This can only be made possible with their Customer Loyalty Program managed by STG Resources Sdn. Bhd. There are four types of memberships available such as the Classic, Silver, Gold and Platinum memberships. If you are interested in any of their memberships and want to know the benefits available, you can check them out. There is also opportunity for you to own your franchise restaurant through their partnership program.

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It would be easier to reach Steven’s Hotspot if use the Jelutong/Bayan Lepas Expressway. Just follow the direction towards Queensbay Mall. Drive on until you see an overhead pass when nearing the mall. Watch out for a signboard leading to Pulau Jererak Resort & Spa. Turn left into the road and drive until the T-junction. Turn right and drive on until the roundabout. On the way, you would see JJ café on your left. Drive 12 o’clock after the roundabout until you see a junction on your right where Shanghai Ding – House of Dumpling is located. OXO Café would be at the next building. Opposite the café (on your right) would be the newly construction BayAvenue business centre. Drive through the parking meter, drive straight and make a left turn at the first junction and you would see Steven’s Hotspot at a corner shoplot.

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Name: STEVEN’S HOTSPOT
Address: B-16-1, Lorong Bayan Indah 3, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 11.00am-11.00pm
GPS: 5.337456, 100.307114

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

BLACK VINEGAR STARCHED NOODLES & STARCHED PORK SOUP

Posted by crizlai On April - 16 - 2009

When you mention about Starched Noodles (Loh Mee), the first thing you will remember would be those hawker stalls selling this dark starchy broth based noodles at Lebuh Kimberley Kedai Kopi Seng Thor Loh Mee), Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (Kuan Yin Theng Loh Mee) or the Jones Road Hainanese Loh Mee. Even most of the local Hokkien Mee stalls have a milder taste of Loh Mee available. Have you ever tried Hokkien Loh Mee (福建滷麵) before? You can try it at Kedai Kopi Hwa Lam located along Lebuh Carnavon.

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The differences between this unique type of Loh Mee is in the broth as well as in the style it’s cooked. Normally, the ones you get from some of the famous stalls in Penang are those with jiggle drained yellow noodles, garnished with options such as pork slices, hard boiled eggs, pork skin, chicken legs, mushrooms, intestines and served with precooked starchy broth. The Hokkien Loh Mee instead has dark starch broth with black vinegar in it and each bowl is cooked individually in a wok with egg added in the broth, yellow noodles, prawns, fish, fish cake slices and cabbages. A one-person bowl would cost you RM3.80, two-person bowl at RM7.50 and 3-4 persons bowl at RM12. Here’s how my medium bowl of Hokkien Loh Mee looked like.

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If you are a person who loves to have black vinegar in your dishes, this version of Loh Mee would suit you well as the taste is rather unique. The prawns and fish fillets I had in the bowl were fresh and the noodles still maintained its chewiness without any hint of lye water. The dish simply blended in well with the specially prepared chili sauce.

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Another Hokkien dish that you do not see selling in most hawker food courts nowadays can also be found in this coffee shop. It’s Bak Kee Soup (Starched Pork Soup – RM5/bowl). The bowl of Bak Kee Soup was filled with lots of cabbages and chunks of large starched pork slices.

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What matters most in a good bowl of Bak Kee Soup would be in the bones enhanced stock combined with the sweetness of the cabbages and starched pork slices. The soup here tasted good with a little sprinkle of white pepper.

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Making your own bowl of Bak Kee Soup would not be hard at all if you know which tender part of pork you should use and also the right combination of seasoning for your pork slices. The lady owner was polite enough to show the whole processes (minus the secret recipe of course :P). Here’s a short video of the whole cooking processes.

What else do you think Penang is famous for? It’s nutmeg (豆蔻) right? You can get many types of by products from the miraculous nutmeg fruit. Every single part of this fruit, from the flesh, red skin attached to the seed and the seed are of medicinal values. Other than the added flavoring to some of our food, the fruits have been used widely by the locals as remedies to countless of internal and external treatments such as wounds, burns, sprains, bruises, earache, headache, fever, sore throat, food poisoning, shingles, colds, flu, hepatitis, mononucleosis, fungal infections, yeast infections, acne, skin diseases, heart diseases, blood disorders, kidney problems, digestive problems, ulcers, periodontal diseases, nerve disorders, malaria, fatigue, etc.

Most of the coffee shops over in Penang have the precooked nutmeg syrup for either hot or cold beverages. These are normally bottled with preservative and some brands could be real sweet. Thus, it would not be so ideal for those who are concerned with their health. The nutmeg beverage would come in reddish brown color (RM1.20/glass). Alternatively, you could get the rarely found Fresh White Nutmeg Juice with Salted Plum (RM1.50/glass) right here in Kedai Kopi Hwa Lam. The fresh juice was great. It has the milder taste of freshly blended nutmeg juice combined with the slightly salty and sour taste of the plum. It was simply refreshing!

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It’s really easy to find the shop as it’s located just a few shops away from the famous Hong Kong Roasted Duck Rice along Lebuh Carnarvon. If you are coming from Penang Road into Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong (Pacific Komtar/Prangin Mall), turn left into Lebuh Carnarvon and you will see the coffee shop right at the corner of a small lane. Since it’s a heavy trafficked road, it’s advisable to park your car further up at Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze (formerly known as Lebuh Hong Kong) and walk back to the shop. You can also try out the Belacan (Shrimp Paste) Fried Chicken and Fried Salted Fish Tofu from the shop.

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Name: KEDAI KOPI HWA LAM
Address: 266, Lebuh Carnarvon, 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 5.00pm-12.00midnight (Closed Tuesday)
GPS: 5.414017, 100.332925

RATING:
Ambience: 6/10 (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: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

CHRYSANTHEMUM GINSENG WOLFBERRY JELLY WITH RAW HONEY

Posted by crizlai On February - 15 - 2009

It was another birthday gathering in my family recently and this time it was my brother’s which fell a day before Valentine’s Day. Instead of cooking in, I introduced them to Chin Bee Tea Café which I had fallen in love with their food. Sifu Malai Chong sure knew how to cook up something different. Other than the delicious food that everyone loved a lot, he made us a Birthday Ee Foo Noodles which had so much of ingredients such fried fish fillet, prawns, Chinese cabbage, mushroom and egg slices on it. You be surprised on how many bowls my niece had consumed into her little tummy. LOL!

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Well, a birthday without a cake would not be a birthday at all. Somehow my brother decided against the idea of having a cake as all of us had consumed too many cakes and cookies during the recent Chinese New Year celebration. I personally find that a Chinese meal should end with a dessert which I find the café could not provide me with. In the end, I had decided to create a healthy dessert which would suit all ages to surprise them. I came up with my healthy recipe for CHRYSANTHEMUM GINSENG WOLFBERRY JELLY WITH RAW HONEY.

I had used quality chrysanthemum flowers as these are believed to fight against flu related viruses. I had also used ginseng roots to alleviate fatigue, headache, amnesia and weakness and dried Chinese wolfberries to enhance the general health of the body system. The above mentioned two ingredients would be brewed for hours and sweetened with rock sugar and made into jelly. This bitter sweet dessert would then be served with some diluted raw honey. It would be better if you could get hold of one of my most trusted brands of jelly powder, imported from Thailand as this brand had never failed me in giving the jelly a firmer texture.

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Won’t it be great if you could come out with this great recipe to serve your guests? Let me share with you the recipe here.

CHRYSANTHEMUMJELLY

INGREDIENTS:
80gms first grade dried chrysanthemum (乾菊花)
15gms ginseng roots (洋参鬚)
15gms Chinese wolfberry (枸杞 – 5gms to reserve for garnishing)
250gms rock sugar (冰糖)
4.5 liters water (水)

GARNISHING:
6 Tbsp raw honey (diluted with 6 tbsp of the brewed potion)
5gms of the Chinese wolfberry above (soak and drain)

OPTIONAL:
Flowers and herbs for decoration.

PREPARATION:
1. Wash the chrysanthemum, ginseng root and Chinese wolfberry clean from dirt.
2. Bring the water to boil in a large pot.
3. When boil, put in the chrysanthemum and ginseng root and let it brew in medium fire for 30-40 minutes.
4. Sieve the concentrated brewed potion. You would get about 3.5L left. (You can retain and boil the brewed ingredients by adding in more water for more cooling beverage as it would be a waste to throw them away. Sieve and add in sugar to taste)
5. Pour 2.5L of the brew into another pot and slowly stir in the jelly powder.
6. Heat up the brew in medium fire and add in the rock sugar. Stir until the rock sugar dissolves.
7. Add in the Chinese wolfberry (10gms only. Balance for garnishing) and let it brew in low fire for another 10-15minutes.
8. Scoop the potion into selected jelly moulds and let it cool. Chill immediately when hardened.
9. Serve the jelly chilled with some diluted raw honey and soaked wolfberry.

Note: Since there is no preservative in this brew, you can keep it fresh if well refrigerated for 3-4 days.

(Serves: 8-10)

YOU CAN CHECK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES.

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