CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

While visiting Penang, most tourists would look for some gifts to take home to share with their family members and friends. What gifts could those be since Penang has a vast variety of traditional and local products that would impress just anyone? Could they be some handicrafts, herbs & spices, pickled fruits, fermented seafood by products or confectioneries of many kinds? Why not Pineapple Cakes? Huh? Isn’t that the local product of Taiwan? Yup! You’re right but as in concept. However, the pineapple filling itself is 100% home grown in Nibong Tebal, Penang, carefully handpicked and processed under strict quality control right in the heart of George Town, Penang. Where else can you get these delicious pineapple cakes except from Gartien (小田佳園), located within a heritage house along Lorong Macalister, Penang.

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You may ask me why I chose Gartien’s Pineapple Cakes (RM38nett/box of 10 pcs) over other almost similar product on the market. Firstly, I support local products as the ingredients used were extremely fresh from the farm. Secondly, it was the texture of the pineapple filling that caught me by surprise. Instead of the normal blending the pineapple into puree form prior to cooking, brunoised pineapples (pineapple cubes) were used. The brunoised pineapples were then simmered with minimal amount of raw sugar and honey for 12 hours to produce a tasty, tangy and yet juicy pineapple jam that was perfect as filling. On the other hand, the slightly golden brown baked pastries had just the right amount of flour, pure butter, egg and milk powder to give them the perfect buttery and milky flavors, not forgetting its fluffiness. With a good combination of 3:2 on filling versus pastry, each bite was heavenly~ 🙂

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The handmade pineapple cakes, which do not contain any preservatives and artificial coloring, would be sealed in little internal laminated packages to maintain its freshness up to a month. I’m sure such delicious temptations would not even last more than 2 days in any household~ LOL!

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I also did some personal tests on the best beverages to complement these heavenly sweet treats by preparing a series of hot and cold beverages such as coffee, chocolate, water and various Chinese & English teas. Hot beverages were unanimously voted as the best, especially unsweetened teas with unique fragrance such as Oolong (烏龍茶), Jasmine (茉莉花茶), Ginseng Tie Guan Yin (人參鐵觀音) and sugarless Earl Grey with a slice of lemon. Pu Er (普洱茶) and Lok Pou (六寳茶) with chrysanthemum (菊花) were nice but the thick black tea somehow overpowered the natural sweetness from the pineapple cakes.

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Other than having the pineapple cakes as your breakfast, tea, supper or anytime in between when you need your boost of sweet temptations, when else can you purchase them? Of course, you can also purchase them during any festive season. Since the pineapple cakes would come in a nicely printed box in a beautifully designed paper bag, it would be ideal as gifts to your family members, relatives and friends. You can even serve them during auspicious occasions such as Chinese New Year or house warming parties as pineapples carry a deep meaning in the Penang Hokkien dialect – “Ong Lai”, meaning “Prosperity Comes”.

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Since pineapples also bring about a good gesture of great beginning (Hou Yi Tao) in the Cantonese community, the pineapple cakes would also be ideal to be served during weddings or as token of appreciation door gifts during wedding receptions. Who knows? A little package might even brighten up the face of a beneficiary with a sweet smile during any charitable event? The option is vast as per your imagination. You can practically serve these delightful sweet treats at anytime and anywhere throughout the year.

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

Finding the bakery won’t be hard as it is situated right in the heart of George Town, Penang. If you are coming from KOMTAR along Jalan Penang into Jalan Burma, just keep to your left. Immediately when you see Hong Leong Bank, turn left into Lorong Macalister. Drive on for about another 200m and you would see the shop on your left right before Lorong Bertam. For those staying in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, you are in luck as Gartien has a few retailers located there. Just check out the address below. For those who yearn for the delicious pineapple cakes but not in Penang, there’s always the postal order link. Shipping fee is RM8/box within Malaysia. The shipping fee may vary depending on the quantity ordered as stated in the checkout form.

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

ALSO AVAILABLE IN MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA:
• DRAGON BOAT PALACE (龍坊酒家)
149 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3175, Australia.
• STRAITS KITCHEN
Pinewood Shopping Centre (Centreway), Mount Waverley VIC 3149, Australia.
• LAGUNA QV
QV Retail 221 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 30000, Australia.
• WING CHEONG CHINATOWN (WING CHEONG TRADING & CO)
14-22 Heffernan Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.

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

 

NOTE: This outlet has ceased its operation around the 3rd quarter of 2012.

Nowadays, diners are getting quite fussy about their food intake due to health reasons. They prefer food made from natural ingredients, no MSG, less oil, less sugar and with more nutrients. Recently, a group of housewives led my Mdm. Lim Lay Gaik had decided to join effort to cook some of their favorite dishes, of course the healthy way, to serve their family, friends and guests. Hidden within a corner lot bungalow unit along Jalan Pemancar, Gelugor, Penang, this little spacious yet comfortable eatery by the name of Yummy Tummy Delight sure knows how to pep up good food.

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As the food served here are randomly cooked based on the ladies’ choices for the day, there would hardly be fixed dishes. Nevertheless, you can still be assured of some home cooked main courses, snacks, desserts and beverages daily. One of the almost available daily dishes would be the world’s #7 ranking Penang Assam Laksa (RM6.90nett). One sniff and you would know that the stock has been skillfully prepared with lots of fish bones, tamarind juice, herbs and spices. Although a bit spicy, this flavorful and thick soup based bowl of delicacy would sure soothe your sourness crave. It would come with lots of vegetable and fillet of a yellow-tailed scud (ikan selar) or sardine (ikan sardine), depends on market availability.

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Occasionally, you would also find them serving Penang Hokkien Mee (RM6.90nett). The heavily simmered prawn shells and pork ribs indeed flavored the soup real well. The soup had that touch of mild sweetness; obviously from some add ons of rock sugar. The dish would be served with some yellow noodles/rice vermicelli, shrimps, pork ribs and egg garnished with some homemade deep fried shallots and chili paste. As a Hokkien Mee lover, I simply love the natural flavors of the overall dish. Slurps~ 🙂

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There also do serve Seafood Nasi Lemak (RM4.50nett) on certain days. The fragrantly coconut milk steamed high quality rice sure complemented well with the thickly spiced up prawn curry, turmeric marinated fried fish (ikan gelama/jewfish), egg and some vegetables.

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You would also get a fragrant home style Yang Zhou Fried Rice (RM5.90nett) with some shrimps, egg and Chinese sausages. It may look like any common fried rice but every single rice grain was skillfully flavored. More sambal belacan please~ 😛

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The next dish which was the Fried Radish Cakes (RM5.90nett) was my all time favorite. Not only was the dish less oily than those I have tried elsewhere, it had that nice mild wok hei (high heat frying) with just the perfect flavors in it. The egg used was fresh and the bean sprouts were cooked just right for that extra crunchiness.

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As for snacks, you might get to try out their homemade Yam Cakes (RM3.90nett/3pcs). Each bite had that generous amount of sandy bites yam pieces plus some dried shrimps. On top of that more deep fried dried shimps, fried shallots, chopped spring onions and red chilies were add as garnishes, accompanied by their homemade chili sauce. However, I found the texture to be a bit on the soft side. It could be due to their healthy way of omitting the usage of some lye water. The perfect combination would be 400g rice flour, 20g tapioca flour, 1 teaspoon lye water and 1 litre water, to be mixed with the rest of the ingredients and seasonings, prior to steaming for about 45 minutes.

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Another option might be the Pumpkin Cakes (RM3.90nett/3pcs). Basically, the method of cooking would be the same except of the replacement of yam chunks with pumpkin chunks. Although still a bit soft to my liking, the nice sweetness from the ripe pumpkin chunks was just right. I personally prefer the pumpkin cakes than the yam cakes.

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Whenever they served the Penang Assam Laksa, there might also be some Spring Rolls (RM2.90nett/3pcs). Basically, there was nothing much to shout about as these were just some common finger food. You can either eat these rolls with their chili sauce or just dip them into your laksa soup.

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On and off, they would also utilize their home grown screwpines (pandan) to make some nice Nyonya kuih. I have tried their Kuih Talam (RM2.90nett/3pcs) and these were sinfully delicious. The balance between the pure pandan juice and mildly salted coconut milk topping was perfect.

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For those who love to have mildly sweetened desserts, you are at the right place. Their Bubur Cha Cha (RM3.90nett/bowl) was heaven! It had just the right amount of coconut milk with added rock sugar as sweetener. Other than with sweet potatoes and yam, it also came with some tapioca flour made sweet potatoes and yam just like the ones you have at those Taiwanese dessert shops such as Blackball.

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The Red Bean Soup (RM3.90nett/bowl) was also nice as it had blended red beans soup coupled with some whole azuki beans, kidney beans and some tapioca flour made sweet potatoes and yam too. Mildly sweetened and perfect to end my meal.

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Sometimes, they might also cook some herbal type of desserts such as the Snow Fungus with Ginkgo Nuts (RM3.90nett/bowl). This Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) recipe would be great during this season for those who have cough and cold. The way they cook this dessert was based on their liking of having a softer textured snow fungus, thus you would find the soup to be rather starchy. The snow fungus is great to nourish the body, heal dry coughs and clearing heat in the lungs. The dried longan would nourish blood circulation and has a calming effect on nervous system. The red dates are basically for balancing the formula with a light touch of sweetness. The ginkgo nuts on the other hand would help in lungs related ailments, urinary incontinence and also as a digestive aid.

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Overall, some of the dishes served here can be quite nice. However, there are still some rooms for improvements for some of the dishes I have tried. There are still many other dishes I have yet to try out such as their Jawa Mee (RM6.90nett), Nissin Noodles with Sausage & Egg (RM6.90nett), Curry Chicken with Mantou (RM5.90nett), Pandan Ang Koo (RM2.90nett/3pcs), Loh Bak (RM2.90) and more. Drinks such as their daily brewed herbal tea and soy bean milk are priced at RM2.90nett each. If you fancy healthier version of street food, this is the place for you. Delivery can be arranged for purchases of over RM30.00nett within the vicinity of Gelugor, Jelutong, Green Lane, Bayan Baru and Bayan Lepas areas.

Since this is a private owned house within a rather upmarket residence area, you might just pass it as just another house. Moreover, it’s hidden from the main street. If you have a GPS, it would be hassle free to find the location as I have listed below. If not, just follow the directions as mentioned here. If you are coming from Bayan Baru/Bayan Lepas area along Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah towards Green Lane/Jelutong, do watch out for the Gelugor Post Office traffic lights (Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah/Hilir Pemancar). Drive on after the traffic lights until you see a Mobil petrol kiosk on your left. Slow down and keep to your left. Turn left into the first left junction (Hala Pemancar). Drive about 50m and you would see a 3-level corner lot bungalow with green transparent awning at 11 o’clock. Park your car along the road and walk in towards the stainless steel gate. The auto bell will ring and there will be people inside opening the door for you. You can’t miss it as there’s a banner there stating “Yummy Tummy Delight”.

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Name: YUMMY TUMMY DELIGHT
Address: 378A, Jalan Pemancar, 11700 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 019-280 7560 (Ah Gaik)
Business Hours: 11.30am-7.00pm (Tuesday-Saturday ONLY)
GPS: 5.372685, 100.308112

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: 7/10 (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)

 

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)

 

PALM SUGAR CENDOL AT BIBIK HOUSE IN MALACCA

Posted by crizlai On June - 4 - 2012

Malacca (locally known as Melaka) is well known for many Peranakan cuisine. During the “A Date with Bloggers in Melaka 2012” event organized by 1asiafoodguide.com and bestmelakaguide.com recently, a few of us managed to squeeze out some time to explore some of the nice cuisine outlets surrounding the Jonker Walk area. One of the most loved items was the Malacca Cendol. Compared to the Penang version which would use brown sugar, Malacca Cendol would use their famed local product – the Gula Melaka, a palm sugar which has a unique thick, rich, aromatic and natural sweetness. As we approached Bibik House, the buttery aroma coming from their daily baked pineapple tarts drew our attentions but that was not our target as we had quite many earlier on. What attracted us was the signage showing the Bibik House Cendol with durian. It would be great to try them out to compare with what we have in Penang.

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As the weather in Malacca was crazily hot on that day, we had decided to try out just the plain Cendol (RM4.00nett) instead of the Durian Cendol (RM5.00nett) which would only come with an additional topping of a caramel-like durian paste. Having durians in the system on a humid day with lack of rest would surely be seeking for trouble to be down with illness, right? Haha! Anyway, the bowl of Malacca Cendol was amazingly rich in taste and flavors. It had a separate serving of cendol, a screwpine flavor infused green pea flour made delicacy. The finely shaved ice combined with the creaminess of the thick coconut milk and palm sugar sweetness was heaven, except it could be rather sweet for some health conscious consumers. Hidden within the “ice mountain” were some combinations of sweetened azuki and kidney beans.

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Overall, I felt that the dessert was over rated in term of pricing. Maybe this dessert was sold at a commercialized tourist spot area but that does not mean that it should be charged at such an exaggerated pricing, worst still in a non air-conditioned and posh premises? A bowl of Malacca Cendol would cost almost twice the price of a decent bowl of the Penang Cendol (RM2.00-RM2.50 at roadside stalls). Moreover, what made me curious was the separate serving of cendol in a mini plastic sauce container. Are they trying to control the amount served by charging more for extra orders? You won’t get such a practice in Penang at all as you can always request for some reasonable amount added in without extra charges. On top of that, the cendol here lacked the firm texture. They were too soft to my liking as I would presume that the amount of lye water (sodium hydroxide – NaOH) added was not adjustable to the al dente bites that they should have. An extra charge of RM0.50 would be imposed for each takeaway in a plastic container. Regardless the comparison of pricing, I personally still prefer the ones served in Penang. Other famous outlets with super crazy long queues would be at Jonker 88 and QQ Ice further down the road.

If you are coming from Jalan Kubu entrance into Jonker Walk, you will see the Tamil Methodist Church on your left. Walk into the road next to the church (Jalan Tokong) until you see a “Y” junction (JalanTukang Emas/Jalan Hang Jebat). There’s a stage with an arch “Welcome to Jonker Walk” on your right. Walk into Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker Walk) and you’ll see Bibik House on your right.

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Name: BIBIK NYONYA @ MALACCA (MELAKA)
Address: 129 Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia.
Contact: 606-288 3919
Business Hours: 9.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 2.197842, 102.245287

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

 

STEAMED ASIAN PEAR WITH CHINESE ALMONDS AND ROCK SUGAR

Posted by crizlai On May - 10 - 2012

With the hot-cold weather recently, many people were down with flu and cough. I’m one of them in fact. Thus, I have created a special dessert I named STEAMED ASIAN PEAR WITH CHINESE ALMONDS AND ROCK SUGAR to strengthen the Yin in my body with a combination of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) ingredients. The juicy Asian pears are perfect for dry coughs especially in moistening the throat and lungs, relieving cough and phlegm clearance. White fungus on the other hand is superb to nourish the body, heal dry coughs and clearing heat in the lungs. Chinese almonds or commonly known as apricot seeds are great to strengthen the respiratory system. I also added in some Goji berries (wolfberries) with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties as well as a red date for balancing the formula, Qi and blood for the body. The dried longan would nourish blood circulation and has a calming effect on nervous system. The American ginseng acts as a powerful adaptogen to reduce the effects of any kind of stresses, physically or mentally.

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As the size of the wok for steaming might vary, I’m going to share what are the ingredients to put into an individual pear. You can just multiply the amount as per quantity of pears you are using. There will be no wastages here as those scooped out portions can be used for making the multi-purpose enzyme to act as natural household detergents (3 parts raw fruits/vegetables, 1 part brown sugar and 10 parts water – pour into a large plastic container, releasing the build in gas occasionally for the next 3 months).

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Here’s the recipe for one serving:

INGREDIENTS:
1 large Asian pear
1 small piece white fungus (soaked in hot water for about 15 minutes, drain well)
1 tsp Chinese almonds (apricot seeds)
1 tsp Goji berries (wolfberries)
1 Chinese red date (a light slit will infuse more flavor)
2 pieces dried longan
1 tsp American ginseng
2 tsp rock sugar (6-7 pieces if they come in crystal form or to taste)
Water (to fill to the brim)

OPTIONAL:
You can replace the rock sugar with honey but it would give u a slight sour after taste.

PREPARATIONS:
1. Wash the pear with enzyme (as stated above) or any fruit/vegetables cleaner well to rid of any existing dust or pesticide. Dry it well.
2. Cut off the top and use a teaspoon to slowly scoop out the core. Be careful not to scoop too much until the base as it may leak after steaming.
3. Fill all the ingredients above into the pear and fill it up with water. Close the lid well.
4. Heat up the water in your wok/steamer. Put in your filled pear and steam under MEDIUM-LOW fire for about 40-45 minutes. If there’s still a slight crunch on the pear, you got the recipe right. Stir well and serve hot.

(Serves: 1)

YOU CAN CHECK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES.

 

Located at a secluded corner lot of the newly renovated level 6 F&B section of Gurney Plaza, this unadorned yet quaint little eatery may have been overlooked by many as just another dessert café in the mall. Carrying the name Macaron Café and with a vast display of delicious yet colorful treats, I won’t be surprise that many passers-by would have the misperception. Other than desserts, Macaron Café would also serve other items ranging from appetizers, salads, soups, pastas and many little snacks of the day.

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Indeed as the name depicts, this cafe serves one of the best macarons I have tasted. They were as crispy, chewy and flavorful as they should be. Those served here were to my liking as the chefs had created a version that had the minimal usage of sugar for the best texture. Thus, those macarons were not overly sweet as others. The meringue base confectioneries are practically made out of egg whites, a combination of different types of sugar, almond powder, permissible food flavors and colorings. The café would serve at least one third of the over 30 flavors that would be available daily. Although it would take a skillful chef to come out with great shaped macarons, the dessert is quite versatile for great creativity. You can have it just by itself with butter cream or jam filling or even use it for dessert decorations. One thing I would love to see from this café would be a Macaron Burger since it looked just like one except for the filling. This would surely attract more out-of-curiosity diners for the uniqueness. Hmm… I’m now thinking of macarons filled with fresh/butter cream, fresh fruit cuts with some toasted almond flakes~ 😛 At the time of my visit, there were about 9 flavors of macarons left. My personal pick: Rum & Raisins, Jaffa (orange macaron with chocolate filling) and Chocolate.

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Left – (back to front): Black Sesame, Chocolate & Coffee, Right (back to front): Rum & Raisins, Lemon, Jaffa, Strawberry Bubble Gum, Mint Chocolate and Double Mint. Price Range: 1 pc-RM3.00+, 5pcs-RM14.00+ and 10pcs-RM27.50+

There are a few types of beverages available here such as coffee, tea, chocolate and fizzy drinks. What would be the best beverage to go for with macarons or other sweet treats? It’s none other than latte! I had the Irish Cream Latte (RM8.90+) and it went well with my desserts.

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The café also serves a few different types of cakes daily. The selection varies daily based on the creation of its pastry chef. One of the favorite pick by customers would be the Rainbow Cake (RM8.90+). It has seven layers of colored vanilla butter cakes filled with strawberry jam and butter cream at alternative layers. It was soft and spongy with a mild sweetness. If you had a hard time remembering the colors of a rainbow, here’s a tip. Just remember the first character of this phrase: “Royal Of Yolk Goes Battle In Vain” meaning R-Red, O-Orange, Y-Yellow, G-Green, B-Blue, I-Indigo and V-Violet.

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It happened that the pastry chef had created a new cake for the day and I had the opportunity to try it out. It was the Black Sesame Cheese Cake (RM12.90+). Due to the earthly color of the black sesame combined with the milky white color of the cheese, the presentation might look like a sliced strawberry on a concrete floor but this concoction indeed gave a unique flavor to the cheese cake. The fragrance emitted from the blended black sesame seeds complemented the cheesy cream cheese taste well except that it was a tiny bit on the salty side. It might be a good idea to reduce a bit more salt from the recipe as cheese itself has the existing tad of saltiness. The base for the cheese cake was also handmade. Instead of the normal digestive biscuit texture, it had strusel, the same sandy compound used for crumbles.

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There was also the Chocolate Brownie (RM7.50+) studded with a generous amount of chopped walnuts.

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If you need something lighter, you could always go for the Lamington (RM2.50+). It was just a cuboid shaped sponge cake, coated with a thin layer of chocolate and desiccated coconut.

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As I had mentioned above, Macaron Café do serve other savory items ranging from appetizers, salads, soups, pastas and many little snacks of the day. As appetizer, you can try out the Chicken Roulade (RM10.90+). The preparation was almost similar to the Chicken Cordon Bleu but without the bread crumbs. This dish had pan seared chicken breast meat rolled up with turkey ham, cream cheese and spinach served on a salsa-like salad consisted of diced tomatoes, onions, sweet basil with a squeeze of kaffir lime juice. It was a simple yet fulfilling dish to start a meal.

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As for soup, there was the Forest Mushroom Soup (RM12.00+), topped with some cream and served with 4 slices of toasted garlic bread. The soup had 4 types of fresh mushrooms blended in such as shitake, button, shimeji white and brown. Although the creaminess of the soup was just right but it lacked more earthly mushroom flavors. Somehow I would think that the kitchen should add in more distinctive flavored mushrooms such as the fresh Portobello mushroom aka matured Swiss brown mushroom since I personally considered the pricing to be a bit too high for just a soup. I had better ones before at my regular Western cuisine stall at a much lower price of RM5.00nett.

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The Penne Pollo (RM16.90+) had penne pasta mixed in sauteed shimeji white mushroom, shitake mushroom and chicken slices in a creamy pesto sauce. Sweet basil is the main ingredient in any pesto sauce, all blended in with garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and olive oil. The café has twisted the recipe a bit by adding in some Thai basil for the extra flavors, thus it had that super strong basil taste which some non basil lovers might detest. Moreover, the dish lacked the color presentation. The whole dish looked rather green and overly sauced. Maybe they should try out what other eateries had done in terms of flavors and presentation such as at Nostalgie along Lorong Stewart, Penang. I personally would prefer pan-fried chicken over sautéed chicken breast meat with some fresh greens such as some cherry tomatoes to suppress the overwhelming taste of basil leaves. This dish was garnished with some parmesan cheese.

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The café would also serve some ad hoc ala carte dishes occasionally such as American Beef Burger (RM16.90+), Chicken Picatta (RM18.90+), Chicken Parmagiana (RM18.90+), Croque Monsieur (RM14.90+), Croque Madame (RM15.90+), Pavlova (RM10.90+) and many more. Overall, the café fair better in sweet treats rather than savory dishes. I guessed they would need more time to balance up the best of both worlds to be a super star in the culinary industry. All items would have a 10% service tax imposed.

If you know how to get to Gurney Plaza, you won’t have any problem finding the café as it’s just next to the escalator up at level 6 of the mall, somewhat hidden behind a big square pillar.

MACARONCAFEMAP

Name: MACARON CAFÉ @ GURNEY PLAZA
Address:
170-06-01A, 6th Floor, Gurney Plaza (Old Wing),
Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 4389
Business Hours: 10.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.437204, 100.308844

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: 7/10 (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)

 

NOTE: THE HOTEL HAS CEASED THIS PROMOTION.

Unless you have been residing overseas for quite awhile, having a chocolate dessert buffet in Malaysia is not a norm. Moreover, it’s one of the first few of its kind in this region. Who would have thought of bringing such a great concept to Penang other than the Soy @ G Hotel, Penang? This new concept would surely bring those devilish treats to those who can’t get enough of chocolates, whether it’s dark, white or with milk. Indulging in the luscious Chocolate Dessert Buffet that stretches from one end to another in the beautifully settings of the restaurant would surely be a great experience for many. Who cares about the calories at the mean time anyway if one can indulge in something so heavenly and delectable once in awhile right? Moreover, those chocolates are handmade with ingredients imported from Switzerland and they were not as sweet as I assumed they would be. At RM45++ per adult (Child: 1-6 years old FREE, 7-12 years old at half price), you can have all you can eat chocolate spreads to conquer your yearning for some sweet treats on any of the Saturdays from 8.00pm until midnight (from February 2012 onwards). As Valentine’s Day is just around, wouldn’t it be a unique way to pre-celebrate this occasion with your partner and loved ones?

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Leave it to the skillful hands of the resident pastry chef, Chef Tan Kwee Lian (陳桂蓮), a Johorian, to introduce to you her exquisite presentations of various chocolates cookies, chocolate fountains, hot chocolate dishes, chocolate cakes, chocolate desserts and pralines.

CHEFTAN

The Chocolate Dessert Buffet at G Hotel has the same concept as any other buffets, starting with sections for appetizers, hot dishes, desserts, ice cream and hot beverages (DIY teabags and coffee). Each diner would receive a complimentary cup of Hot Coco Chocolate upon seated. The beverage which had hot boiling milk folded into melted chocolate was thick and rich with creaminess. In fact, it had the mild sweetness, thickness and richness that I like.

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Starting from the Appetizer Station, we had all the bite size pralines, all skillfully crafted by Chef Tan. On the display were Arancia Praline, Coconuts Praline, Dark Chocolate Praline, Caramel Fleur De Sel, Mascarpone Stracciatella Praline, Pistachio Praline and assorted pralines.

The Arancia Praline is a combination of fine dark chocolate (65% cocoa) with a touch of orange essence. It was very impressively crafted. However, I found the orange flavored filling to a bit on the sweet side.

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The Coconut Praline consisted of pure white chocolate with some coconut flavored milky filling and cocoa nibs. It looked impressive but it had that strong milky flavor with a strong oily coconut flavor as such from desiccated coconut. Since we are in an Asian country, it would be best if freshly dried ones being used here.

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The Dark Chocolate Praline was one of my favorites here as it was not too sweet. The dark chocolate outer crust blended in real well with the creamy melted chocolate cream (ganache). It had that crunchy sugar bits at the base. It was decorated with some matching colored mini wafer balls. In my opinion, it was a perfect praline.

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On the other hand, the Caramel Fleur De Sel was a bomb in the sense that it was a high calorie one filled with oozing caramel. The outer crust was with chocolate milk. The caramel with was not as buttery flavored as butter scotch as fleur de sel (sea salt) was used instead. Somehow, it was a bit sweet to my liking.

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Another of the chef’s signature items was the Mascarpone Stracciatella Praline. The dark chocolate item had that shell-like feature with brushed edible gold dust. It was filled with a mixture of cocoa nib and creamy mascarpone cheese. It was not bad at all.

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Most of us like the next item which was the Pistachio Praline. The dark chocolate used went well with the nutty flavored within. However, it would great if there were some pistachio chunks inside instead of being blended so finely.

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The next dish contained Assorted Pralines. It had chocolate milk crust with different type of fillings. It would be up to your luck to choose your preferred flavors.

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At the Hot Dishes Station, we had the Chocolate Pudding, Chocolate Strudel, Chocolate Fruit Pizza, Chocolate Bread Butter Pudding, Chocolate Banana Puff and Chocolate Jackfruit Pie.

I love the Chocolate Pudding as it was slightly moist within while having a bit of crisp on the surface. According to the chef, the pudding was half baked on the inside to create the moisture in this hot dish. Awesome!

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On the other hand, the Chocolate Strudel was made with a dense of chocolate, roasted almonds, rolled up with filo pastry, brushed with a bit of egg yolk and sprinkled with some sesame seeds. I love that puffiness on the strudel with a mildly sweetened chocolate sauce and some nice crunches from the roasted almonds.

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I could not believe my eyes when I saw the label on the next hot item – Chocolate Fruit Pizza. Is there such a dish? The only pizza that I had tried with fruits on it is the savory version of the Hawaiian Chicken Pizza with pineapples on it. How would this pizza taste then? Well, it was unique. The taste reminded me of my childhood days when I had spread some Nutella (Italian chocolate hazelnut spread) on my bread with some cut bananas. It was cool! The pizza had a chocolate powder flavored based, topped with cut strawberries, kiwis, grapes, some sweetened orange peels and a generous amount of chocolate sauce. Mummy~ Can I have another? 😛

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The next item was the Chocolate Bread Butter Pudding, topped with lots of almond flakes. It was simple and yet not too sweet.

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We were also served with Chocolate Banana Puff. It has a similar bite as the Chocolate Strudel but with a nice natural sweetness from the baked bananas with. Not bad!

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Somehow the Chocolate Jackfruit Pie did not have the smooth bite that I had expected in a hot pie dish. I personally felt that the texture did not suit such dessert as it was rather chewy. It could be due to the usage of banana in the earlier dish that the chef had decided to switch to another fruit. Banana is still the best fruit because it has that soft, smooth and creamy texture that would match well with any chocolate. Anyway, the top 3 fruits to go with chocolate as voted by consumers are bananas, apples and strawberries.

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All the hot dishes would go well with some Vanilla Sauce.

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The Dessert Station was plentiful starting with all the cookies, biscuits, dried and fresh fruits to go with your Dark and White Chocolate Fountains. On the spread were Assorted Biscuits/Cookies (Chocolate Almond Cookies, Chocolate Chips Cookies, Cream Crackers, Finger Biscuits & Chocolate Cream Oreo Cookies) & Dried Fruits (Prunes & Apricot), Strawberries, Dragon Fruit, Grapes, Longan, Red Watermelon, Honey Dew, Pineapple, Jambu Air, Pisang Mas, Golden Pear and Marshmallows.

Note: It’s advisable to let those dipped items cool a bit prior to putting them on your plate. As these are thick and quality melted chocolates, they tend to harden on the plate real fast. You won’t to eat those stuck dips with the plate right? LOL!

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On top of that, you would have quite a classy variety of cakes and mousses for your palate of heavenly goodies. Available for the day were Chocolate Mud Cake, Chocolate Marquise Cake, Chocolate Muffin (Chocolate Chips), Chocolate Muffin (Rainbow Candy Rice), Mini Chocolate Cupcake, Chocolate Chiffon Cake, Macadamia Nut Brownies, Chocolate Cherry Mousse Torte, Flourless Chocolate Cake, White Chocolate Mango Rosemary Entremets, Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake, Chocolate Macaroon, Chocolate Crème Brulee, Pistachio Mousse with Passion Fruit Pudding, Chocolate Panna Cotta, Black & White Chocolate Mousse in Glass and Chocolate Soul.

The Chocolate Mud Cake was a simple yet fulfilling piece of recipe for just any occasion. It was moist, not too sweet and had that rich dark chocolate taste, obviously from another of their imported chocolate brands.

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On the other hand, the Chocolate Marquise Cake tasted somewhat different compared to the rest. It had some chocolate cake base, topped with a layer of lemon flavored mousse and a thin layer of chocolate glaze. It tasted bittersweet, maybe due to the top layer of dark chocolate topping with a bit of coffee powder? Somehow, I felt that something was missing there. No usage of whiskey or brandy in the recipe for that extra punch? Well, they are certified HALAL, so we can’t expect much. Moreover, the cake was not chilled enough and I preferred to have a bit of whipped cream to go with it.

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Personally, I felt that the Chocolate Muffin (Chocolate Chips), Chocolate Muffin (Rainbow Candy Rice) and Mini Chocolate Cupcake had the same taste. Except being moist with different styles of decoration, there was nothing extraordinary about them.

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There was nothing so special about the Chocolate Chiffon Cake. It had the same sponginess just like any other flavors of chiffon cakes. Maybe the chef should consider combining other flavors such as screwpine (pandan), coffee or even orange for a better presentation?

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The Macadamia Nut Brownies was awesome. It has some chunky bits of macadamia nuts brownie at the base with some chocolate mousse and a thin layer of creamy chocolate. It was a nice combination.

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I loved the Chocolate Cherry Mousse Torte too as it was a twist from the norm since we indeed had too much of chocolate for the night. However, the cake still lacked the chill I would personally prefer. With a humid weather such as in Malaysia, I guessed the kitchen has to think of a way to have those mousse-like cakes well chilled.

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Although the theme was Chocolate, I still think that there should be a twist in all the chocolate based cakes. The Flourless Chocolate Cake was no different. It still tasted like the rest. Maybe some fresh fruits with fresh cream or even some fruity jams such as black forest, strawberries and more would do more justice to the cake. Frankly speaking, I would have removed this cake since there were too many repetition of almost the same flavor and replaced it with some crepe-like items.

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At least the next cake which was the White Chocolate Mango Rosemary Entremets stood out amongst the rest. It was the unique one with the usage of white chocolate. The cake had an exotic flavor with the mild use of rosemary. It was made with multi layers of mousse-based cake with mango compote, chocolate and a touch of rosemary to enhance the taste altogether. No wonder this is one of the signature cakes of the chef. Well done! 🙂

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I’m always fond of cheese cakes and the Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake was good. The skillfully coagulated chocolate cream cheese with a cake base with chopped hazelnuts complemented each other well. It was a superb combination!

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The Chocolate Macaroons were as chewy and sweet as they should be with some chocolate sauce in between. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of macaroons anyway as I found them to be too sweet to my liking.

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It may looked beautiful in a glass with a macha leaf-shaped white chocolate and a bit of edible gold flake, I found the combination of peach mousse on Chocolate Crème Brulee to be a bit weird. Both did not blend well as the chocolate crème brulee was slightly on the hard side without much creaminess.

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The Pistachio Mousse with Passion Fruit Pudding was another of the chef’s pride. I would say it was one of its kinds. Nice! There were some chunky pistachio bits in the mousse, giving it that slight buttery yet nutty flavor. The passion fruit pudding has that clear yet mild fruity flavor. There were some chocolate crumbles in between. The dessert was rather sweet if taken layer by layer. According to the chef, the best way to consume would be by having all the layers in one scoop. My advice would be to leave the orange colored gooseberry to the last as it would somehow pacify the sweetness in the mouth prior to your next dessert.

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The Chocolate Panna Cotta was somehow not as firm as the one I had tried at Chez Weng recently. But the overall taste with a touch of cream and the freshness from the strawberry was still great for my consumption.

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The Black & White Chocolate Mousse in Glass was normal as it just had some dark chocolate and white chocolate mousse decorated in a plastic glass with a beautifully crafted white chocolate flower bud.

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It was love at first sight for the Chocolate Soul. From the look, it sure did involved lots of work with something that took me seconds to consume all. The combination of some different flavored chocolate creams between layers of chocolate flakes and hazelnut cake base was awesome.

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There were also the Chocolate Fruit Tartlets. It had a dark chocolate base filled with chocolate cream and topped with fresh fruits. It was sinfully delicious and refreshing.

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There was also the Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Station. Four options of ice cream were served such as the Mint Chocolate Chips Ice Cream, Chocolate Ice Cream, Cookies ‘n Cream Ice Cream, Chocolate Mousse Royale Ice Cream & Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream.

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Other than the brewed coffee at the DIY Coffee and Tea Station, you have the Lipton brand of tea bags to choose from such as the Morning Breakfast, Earl Grey, Peppermint, Darjeeling, Jasmine and so on. There are also some alcoholic drinks that you can side order to go with your chocolate meal but these would be charged based on the stated price on the menu. As for me, water or a cup of tea without the sugar would be the best to drown the thickness from the dishes.

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I also have a weird urge each time I see ice cream and coffee. I would make some Affogato. LOL! The available Mocha Almond Fudge Ice Cream combined with the bitterness of the freshly brewed coffee made a great cup of Affogato. It was a perfect hot beverage to drown all the sweetness.

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Overall, I would say that the dishes served are of great quality. Luckily, the chef did provide a balanced sweetness for everything served or it would be disastrous to my blood glucose level. At RM45++ (RM52.20nett inclusive 16% tax), it can be considered a bit high for having just desserts, but weighing on the quality of the imported ingredients used and the handcrafting skills of the chef, the Chocolate Buffet is actually reasonably priced. Although I’m a more savory dishes type of person, the sugar content on most of the items were still within my acceptance level. I did throw to them a question on what if I needed something savory in their spread and I found none at all on that night. I did suggest to them on the usage of the Mexican Spanish originated mole (pronounced as mo-lay) sauce which has a tad of spiciness, nuttiness, fruitiness and chocolate flavor such as the Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Mole Sauce dish which I had during a function at Hard Rock Hotel. Other than that, they could have some chocolate bread slices or even some puff pastries with savory fillings such as ham, egg, crabstick, turkey, etc. At least, with a mix and match of sweet and savory items, it would attract more diners from all ages. But you do not have to worry at all if no savory items were available at the Chocolate Dessert Buffet. Special arrangements could be made for you to have some Chinese ala carte savory dishes prepared from Soy or Sesame (last order is at 10.00pm).

Another thing the place lacked was some soft in-house music such as classic ballads, jazz or bossa nova to boost up the atmosphere. A live band performance would indeed be great. Chocolate is supposed to relax the body and mind against stresses and won’t you think that with some relaxing music it could be more romantic as well?

On the health part, chocolate has always been considered as just another confectionery product that would be bad for health and make you put on weight. Well, there may be some truths in that statement only if you endlessly have those filled with caramel, nougat or something sugar and milk based. The fruit extracted chocolate actually contained many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. One of these benefits would be from flavonoids, in which act as antioxidants. Having 100% cocoa would be quite impossible as it would be extremely bitter. There are some available brands with 86% or 65% cocoa which would be great for your consumption. If you still feel that it tasted rather bitter, go for those more organic ones with fruits or nuts instead. Some published analyses had indicated that cocoa and dark chocolate have some compounds within to diminish diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Since you know that dark chocolate is heart-healthy, you can now safely consume your daily intake of chocolates without any worries at all.

Special Note: Parking in G Hotel can be quite costly. Please take note that you can get the staff to give you’re a FREE ONE HOUR PARKING.

Do click on the Chocolate Buffet flyer below to have a clearer view of the information:

GHOTELCHOCPROMO

The Soy Restaurant is located at the first floor of G Hotel. If you walk in through the front entrance along Persiaran Gurney, just head for the stairways on your left, just right before the reception. Walk up and you will see the restaurant entrance.

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Name: SESAME + SOY @ G HOTEL
Address: 168-A Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-238 0000
Business Hours: 8.00pm-12.00am (Saturday only)
GPS: 5.437637, 100.310567

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: 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)

 

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.

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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)

 

Penang Times Square has been a mall that has been lacking in retail shops but has many new eateries and bistros opening up there. In no time, it would be more of a food mall than a shopping mall. Do not underestimate those little eateries around there as some of them would surely blow you away with their simple and yet mouth watering cuisine. One such eatery would be the Get’em Smack Café. It’s small but yet the interior had that little touch of coziness that would be great for a casual dining for just any age group of diners. The hospitality there is great with lots of regular expatriates. Don’t feel surprise if their staff suddenly communicated with their diners in Japanese. It’s quite normal for them. 🙂 The café do serve quite a few types of cuisine but their pastas and desserts excel amongst other dishes.

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As for starter, there’s the Soup of the Day which happened to be Mushroom Soup (RM5.90nett). It may look like a normal bowl of soup with a slice of toasted garlic bread displayed but it definitely would give the required punch. The soup has just the right creaminess with hints of fragrance and sweetness coming from the chef’s secret recipe of combining different types of fresh mushrooms and carrot. It was indeed a touch of difference done tactfully compared to the ones I’ve tried before.

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As for main dishes, there were about 9 dishes ranging from pasta, fish and poultry. We started off with the Roast Chicken (RM13.90nett) which in fact was pan-grilled to perfection. The usage of a boneless drumstick combined with the right usage of herbs and spices made this dish remarkably palatable. The outer layer of the chicken maintained a bit of crisp while the inner part was still as tender and juicy. Not a bad choice for a meal. This was served with their unique homemade mash potatoes and some greens, topped with some brown sauce. Their mashed potatoes side dish was unique in the sense that it had kyuri (Japanese cucumber) and carrot slices added in, something that you won’t get from elsewhere. As for size wise, it was just adequate for a normal diner. It would be great if one or two slices of garlic bread being added in for those with bigger appetite.

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Their pastas had that wonderful buttery yet fragrant aroma floating about the surrounding. One such pasta would be their Mascarpone Cheese Walnut Spaghetti (RM13.90) with the cheese being one of the main ingredients for making modern styled Tiramisu. With the milky-white coagulated crème cheese skillfully folded into the sautéed chopped garlic in olive oil, prior to being stir mixed with the spaghetti, it would be a great dish for those carbonara pasta lovers. This pasta came with some chopped walnuts and parsley as garnishes and topped with some slices of nicely herbed roasted chicken. The portion was also just right with approximately 180g of pasta being given.

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Two new pastas were added in recently. One of the new ones not stated in their menu was the Aglio Olio with Prawns (RM13.90nett). This dish would be one of my favorite pastas served here. The mildly spiced pasta with the fragrance coming from some dried chilies, combined with the briny taste of fresh prawns, sautéed with some chopped garlic and parsley, made this dish remarkably appetizing. Do not leave the café without trying out this perfectly concocted dish.

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Another new pasta dish would be their Eryngii Spaghetti (RM13.90nett). For those healthy and meatless diners, this would be my most recommended pasta dish. The usage of eryngii mushrooms (king trumpet mushroom/エリンギ/杏鮑菇) was indeed delicious. The meaty bite from the slightly toasted mushroom slices, combined with the nicely sautéed chopped garlic, parsley and pasta made this dish remarkably tasty. The earthly flavor was one flavor which I would not forget for a long time. Superb dish indeed!

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On a lighter side, they do have some nice finger food available. One of them would be the Smoked Duck (RM18nett for 8 skews). This dish would come with some fresh lettuce all wrapped with a slice of smoked duck, dressed with some homemade dressing and herbs. Another dish would be their Greek Pie (RM6.90nett for 3 pieces). This would be another meatless dish as the pies do not contain any meat such as the Kotopoulokopita (Greek Chicken Pie) or Kreatopita (Greek Meat Pie). In fact, it was not even near to the Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie). The café do serve their version as there are a thousand and one ways for filling up the pita based pies but each would definitely has some cheese on them. The Greek pies served here had some freshly made tomato puree, topped with some yoghurt and herbs prior to baking.

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As for desserts, Get’em Smack do serves some great crepe related desserts on top of their occasionally available Chocolate Brownie, Tiramisu and so on. One of the more notable ones which you won’t get easily from elsewhere in Penang would be their Crepe Cake (RM6.90nett per slice). Since the cake which would not last for too long in the chiller due to the moist from the fresh crème and fruits, the Café is proud to serve them as theirs are made fresh daily. Each slice has multiple layers of freshly buttered pan-made crepes filled with fresh crème and fruits. The taste was simply refreshing. There also have Mango Crepe (RM6.90), Banana Crepe (RM6.90), Kiwi Crepe (RM7.90) and Strawberry Crepe (RM7.90). The more recommended one would be the Banana Crepe as the fruity and creamy flavors of the ripened fruit complement well with the fresh crème and Vanilla ice cream.

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The beverages served here can range from just a soda drink, tea & coffee, fresh fruit juices or just a cup of brewed tea. The Café would serve well-known brands such as the UK based Twinings products such as the English Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Camomile Tea and Jasmine Green Tea. Each refillable pot of tea would cost RM8.90nett. You should try more of the Camomile Tea as it has the effect of relaxing the body and calming the mind after a hectic day of work.

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The café is located at the exterior part of the mall. It’s actually at the ground floor below the biggest food court in Penang aka Penang Times Square Food Gallery, behind Soju Café and two shop lots away from the Roti Bakar branch. If you intend to park at the open car park at the entrance of Penang Times Square, just drive all the way towards the end where you would see a big “Entertainment City” signage and park your car there. It won’t be that hard to locate them from there on.

GETEMSMACKMAP

Name: GET’EM SMACK @ PENANG TIMES SQUARE
Address: 77-G-44, Penang Times Square, Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 012- 401 6888 (Esther Chan) / 017- 478 4901 (Celynn Tan)
Business Hours: 12.00pm – 9.00pm
GPS: 5.411485, 100.32556

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: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8.5/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

DELICIOUS MEALS AT SUKHOTHAI BEEF NOODLES HOUSE

Posted by crizlai On September - 1 - 2011

Note: This eatery had moved to Gurney Paragon, Penang.

If you are observant enough, you might realize that more and more Thai restaurants have mushroomed within the district of Pulau Tikus, Penang. Hot tourist spots such as the Wat Chayamangkalaram Temple (Reclining Buddha/Sleeping Buddha) and the Dhammikarama Burmese Temple, had daily attracted a steady flow of locals and tourists, who by any chance would love to have a taste of some nice Thai dishes. With Thailand having 6 regions with 76 provinces (excluding Bangkok which is the capital city), these restaurants have gone all out to serve diners with their unique specialties from their own province. Some of the notable ones include Annathai-Kitchen, Aroi Thai Restaurant, Wang Thai Restaurant and the latest being Sukhothai Beef Noodles House.

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As the name has been described quite clearly, Sukhothai Beef Noodles House specialized more towards beef noodles and other street food from the Sukhothai Province. The Sukhothai Beef Noodle (RM12.90) would come in 3 options, namely the original, glass noodles or instant noodles. We had the original which had thin Thai noodles, served with a variety of beef chunks (3 different parts of meat), beef balls, bean sprouts and garnished with lots of chopped coriander. Each bowl would come with some additional raw bean sprouts and Thai basil leaves for you to add in. The soup had the taste of some selected herbs (somewhat milder than our local Bak Kut Teh) and a mild sweetness from some rock sugar. The beef chunks were tender to my liking. I love the beef balls the most as they have the bounciness texture. There would be some chili flakes, fish sauce, sugar and Thai chili sauce to pep up the taste of the soup to your preferences but beware of the Thai chili sauce as it could be too spicy hot for many.

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Since having another version of the beef noodles with instant noodles would be a bit too common. We decided to go for the Sukhothai Beef Noodles (RM12.90) with glass noodles. Most of us felt that this version tasted better than the previous one although the soup base was the same. Somehow with the soup seeped right into the glass noodles, the whole concoction tasted better. This is a must try dish!

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There was also the Thai Fried Rice (RM12.90). The chef sure knows how to handle the heat for frying rice well. The dish was awesome with some distinctive taste of fish sauce with a mild sprinkle of sugar. Each grain of rice was well flavored with a nice aroma from the high heat cooking (wok hei). This would be a nice dish for all ages.

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I actually have a phobia for Phad Thai (RM12.90) as most of the ones I had tasted contained too much of sugar to my liking. This restaurant indeed changed my perception on this dish as it had just the right sweetness and taste which suited me well. The dish had deep fried bean curd cubes, prawns, bean sprouts, chopped chives, Chinese sausage slices and a sprinkle of some coarsely pounded roasted peanuts. What surprised me was the usage of the Chinese sausages as I have not seen anyone in town using them. Moreover, the whole presentation looked so much like our local Char Koay Teow, except that they were using the thin Thai noodles instead.

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If you think that having beef noodles or the fried stuff might be a bit too heat strong for your internal organs, do try out their Fish Maw Soup (RM19.90). This soup was starch-like, similar to the Oriental Sharksfin Soup. The outlook was more dish-like than soup-like as it would go well with rice too. The whole mini pot had a generous amount of well flavored fish maw, pork chunks, mushrooms and quail eggs, garnished with chopped coriander, filled with a punch of tasty flavors.

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Although the menu was quite limited to only 4 main dishes, the dessert section which also had limited 3 options did not let us down. The Durian Sticky Rice (RM8.90) was heaven! Instead of using solely the white glutinous rice, the restaurant also combined some black glutinous rice. It had some mildly sweetened coconut milk with almost no fiber and creamy local durian flesh. This is a must have dessert after your meal. Another option would be the Mango Sticky Rice (RM8.90). It tasted nice with ripened mango but somehow it was still incompatible to the smoothness from the former dessert. There was also the Banana Sago (RM4.90) which tasted just as great as the rest. The dish had sago in mildly sweetened coconut milk and steamed banana slices. The banana was from the dwarf Pisang Mas (Bee Chio) breed. Most of the Nyonya households would use steamed Pisang Raja instead for a more sweetened taste. As for beverage, we decided to try out their Sweet & Sour Roselle Juice (RM4.90) and Green Tea (without milk – RM3.90/with milk – RM4.90). All the drinks ordered were thick and nice.

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Overall, the food here is quite healthy as the dish did not have overused of oil and sugar as in some of the Thai restaurants scattered everywhere in town.

It’s not hard to locate the restaurant 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 next to Klinik Bala.

SUKHOTHAIMAP

Name: SUKHOTHAI BEEF NOODLES HOUSE
Address: 238, Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-227 9262, 016-438 7788 (Joanne Ang), 016-433 5588 (Ce Ang)
Business Hours: 11.00am-3.00pm, 6.00pm-10.00pm (Closed Wednesday)
GPS: 5.430093, 100.313247

RATING:
Ambience: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 6/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 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)

 

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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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