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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The BERJAYA University College of Hospitality (BERJAYA UCH) recently held the 2nd Uhrenholt Young Chef Dinner 2012 (UYC 2012) on 25 April 2012 at its “Manhattan V” function room. The UYC 2012 fundraising dinner for the Chefs Association of Malaysia (CAM) Youth Chef Club was a huge success with distinguished executive chefs from several 5-star hotels namely Chef Rajesh of Sheraton Imperial, Chef Martin of Ritz Carlton, Chef Sabri of Royal Chulan Hotel, Chef Antoine of Le Meridien, Chef Andrea of Renaissance Hotel, Chef Rudolph of Shangri La and Chef Nikolaj corporate chef of Uhrenholt Food Service, mentoring 43 students from the Klang Valley (BERJAYA UCH, Legand International College, INTI, Malaysian Institute of Baking, KL Metropolitan University and Cilantro Culinary Academy) based on the theme “Teamwork & Mentorship” to serve invited guests. Amongst the VIPs in presence were Sune Uhrenholt, CEO of Uhrenholt, Helle Sejersen Myrthue, Danish Embassy personnel, Lars Kruse Thomsen, Uhrenholt Country Manager in Malaysia & Singapore, Mae Ho, COO of BERJAYA UCH, Chef Chern Chee Hong, President of CAM and Chef Billy Ng, CAM Youth Club President & BERJAYA UCH Junior Chef Lecturer.

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Prior to the formal sit down 5-course meals, guests were served with canapés by two teams. The first 3 canapes came from Chef Rajesh’s team. The first canapé was the Slow Poached Beef Tenderloin with Tuna Sauce & Micro Grated Grana Cheese. It was one of the best canapé I had for the night. The rolled up beef tenderloin with some capers and parsley filling was served on a thinly sliced butter toasted baguette, topped with tuna sauce and finely grated grana cheese and garnished with micro greens. It was an awesome combination of meaty, cheesy with a light touch of seafood flavor.

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The second canapé from the team was monitored by Chef Ellis, also from the Sheraton Imperial. It was the Steamed Chicken and Prawn Siew Mai (Chinese dumpling) with Tangy Peanut Sauce. I was a cross between Chinese and Malay cuisine. The dumpling was one of the best around with flavorful minced chicken and prawn filling, complemented even further with some mildly spiced up earthly and tangy flavored peanut sauce. It was also another hit amongst the diners. This dish was served with a lemongrass stalk for easy handling.

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The third canapé was the Shoyu Marinated Watermelon with Wasabi, Cream Cheese and Spiced Salmon Tartare, under the supervision of Chef Bob, another chef from the hotel. The combination was rather unique as the spiced raw salmon tartare blended in real well with the cream cheese, a fruity squeeze from torched shoyu marinated watermelon cube, with a tad of spiciness from the mini wasabi ball and pickled ginger.

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The next 3 canapes came from Chef Martin’s team. The first canape was the Sarawak Peppered Tuna with Compressed Yellow Watermelon, Feta and Coriander Drops. The canapé had Sarawak black pepper rolled seared tuna fillet slices topped on two slices of compressed red and yellow watermelon, dressed with some feta cream cheese and garnished with a leaf of coriander. It was a colorful presentation.

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The second canapé was the “Pie Tee” Crispy Basket with Smoked Halibut and Ginger Flower Salad. The Pie Tee or commonly known as the Singapore “Top Hat” was crispy but had a fusion type of filling instead of the common carrot and jicama combination. It had smoked halibut with a mixture of herby salad more toward a stronger kaffir lime leaves flavor. These little finger food treats had some crunchy crumbles garnished on them. Somehow, they were on a salty side unless you couple them with a glass of beer or wine.

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The next canapé which was the South Asian Spicy Prawn with Coconut and Crumbled Chili Oil had a state-of-the-art method of preparation. It had prawn fritters matched with a gelatin-like ball filled with oozy “tom kha” aka white tom yam broth, some chili oil and garnishing. The soft and juicy balls were using a food science method of shaping the algae based sodium alginate combination of “filling” into calcium chloride solution. This was an innovative way of presentation indeed.

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Dinner commenced an hour later with the first appetizer being served by Chef Sabri’s team. It was the Steamed Prawn Roll with ‘Otak-Otak’ Filling, Chilled Custard Flower with Crab Meat and Galangal Fish Floss. This was a very delicate presentation almost like those you get from fine dining as there were some sauce, mango cubes and micro greens used for lacing the plate. The steamed prawn’s filling of “otak-otak” was somewhat mild in herbs and spices unlike those you get from the authentic Nyonya cuisine. On the other hand, the chilled custard flower was the savory version of the Thai’s Tako Haew (Water Chestnut with Coconut Custard). It has ebiko (prawn roe) and bits of crab meat (I might be wrong but the bits tasted more like fish than crab meat), topped with coconut custard. The third appetizer was the baked phyllo pastry wrapped galangal fish floss. The filling had a nice aromatic flavor but it lacked a light touch of brushed butter on the pastry as it was rather dry.

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The next dish under Chef Antoine’s team was the Asian Broth with Pacific Halibut, Vannamei Shrimps (Whiteleg Shrimps), Shredded Young Coconut and Diced Vegetables. With Chef Antoine’s experience in Thailand for many years, this soup was a sure win to boost up our appetite. The mild and flavorful soup based was almost like the tom kha (White Tom Yam). It was poured onto a dish filled with halves Vannamei shrimps, halibut fillet, cherry tomatoes, carrot slices, coriander leaves, sliced kaffir lime leaves and thinly sliced fresh young coconut meat, topped with some foam like garlic cream. It was an awesome dish! This dish was served with two side dishes which consisted of a slice of nicely Toasted Mantou with Basil, Plum Tomatoes & Various Cheese and a beautifully done Raw Papaya, Japanese Cucumber & Roasted Peanuts Salad with hints of flavors from nam pla (Thai fish sauce), Thai chili sauce, olive oil and chopped coriander.

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Chef Andrea’s team came out with Cinnamon Sautéed Bee Hoon (Rice Vermicelli) on Fondue, Buah Keras (Candlenuts) & Prawns Terrine with Dry Longan Reduction. The cinnamon sautéed rice vermicelli was baked rather than sautéed and it was rather tough for our bites. If not, it would blend in real well with the Mornay sauce (Bechamel sauce + cheese) fondue. The prawn terrine was fine except a bit too soft. The candlenuts were sugar caramelized and the dry longan had the sweetness as how it should be. Somehow, this dish had a savory and sweet combination which some of us did find the combination a bit out of place.

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The main dish from Chef Rudolph’s team was the Asian Style Slow Braised Angus Beef Cheek with Bleu Cheese Macadamia Crust, Kumara Mash and Eryngii Mushrooms, served with Five Spice Flavored Beef Jus Reduction was yet another perfect dish for me. The juicy and tender beef blended in real well with the slightly herb boasted bleu cheese baked macadamia nuts crust. The usage of kumara (orange sweet potatoes) mash was something different.

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Finally it was dessert time and Chef Nikolaj’s team came out with an additional pre-dessert dish – The 5 Way Cheese Canape. It had a spoon shaped like canapé filled with cubes of Edam, Fontina, Cheddar, Bleu cheese and cream cheese with some jam and a sprinkle of Pumpernickel bread bits. Well, some of us were not used to the waxy flavor from some of the cheeses.

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The dessert that excelled better was the Sweet Cream Cheese ‘Tofu’ in Gula Melaka (Palm Sugar) Consommé with Sea Coconut, Sesame Two Ways and Passion Fruit Curd. Everyone seemed to love this concoction. On top of those mentioned above, sago was added in too. The sesame two ways actually consisted of candied black sesame and sesame cake crumbles.

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Everyone indeed put on their best effort to make this fundraising dinner a successful and memorable one. I would love to see more of this sort of opportunity given to other young chefs nationwide as well in the future. “It was a great experience for the participating students from the different colleges to be under the real life working experiences with respective executive chefs and to forge new bonds and friendships,” said Matthew Lee, a BERJAYA UCH student under the Diploma of Culinary Arts program. To all the participants and sponsors of the UYC 2012, it was a job well done! Congratulation!

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Here’s a short video behind the kitchen scene by Chef Arif Maula. Do enjoy~ 🙂

Name: BERJAYA UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF HOSPITALITY
Address: Level 14, East, Berjaya Times Square, 1 Jalan Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Contact: 603-2687 7073
GPS: 3.142152, 101.710618

 

The Eastin Hotel Penang held a charity dinner entitled “Don’t Just Play Play, Give Away Also” in aid of the Tun Sardon Foundation (Yayasan Tun Sardon) at the Grand Ballroom yesterday. This is in line with the hotel’s philosophy of sharing their success with the less fortunate. The event began with an entertaining drum performance, followed by speeches by the Executive Chairman, Dato’ CP Tan and Chairman of Tun Sardon Foundation, Dato’ Mohd Rizal Al-Amin bin Tun Sardon. In between the 4-course dinner, we had performances by the Penang Cheshire Home, a string quartet by Digital Music, games session with Ah Beng and King Kong, lucky draw prizes such as a 4D3N cruise to Phuket and Krabi on board Superstar Libra, Venessa Diamonds pearls and Danai Spa treatment vouchers.

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Upon entering the ballroom, everyone was served with free flow of Fruit Punch as a welcoming drink. The drink had orange juice combined with grenadine syrup. Just look at those neatly folded yellow napkins in the shape of Phua Chu Kang’s famous yellow boots. Aren’t they cute?

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We started with an appetizer namely the Seafood Terrine, Grilled Mussel served with Pickled Carrot, Beet Root Puree and Sun-Dried Tomato Essence. It was light and yet refreshing to start off the meal. There were some bits of salmon found in the flavorful terrine. The grilled mussel went well with the rest of the condiments, namely the pickled carrot slices which had some hints of sugar and lime juice.

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The Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Pine Nuts was something I enjoyed most. It had a creamy and natural sweetness with a slight touch of herbs. The added pine nuts complemented the dish further with some nutty bites. It was a perfect dish.

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Next on the list was the main course which consisted of Baked Chicken Stuffed Horseradish Topped with Tomato Basil Jam, Shitake & Lentil and Orange Emulsion with Asparagus. Since it was a stuffed chicken breast meat, I had expected the texture to be on the dry side but the tomato basil jam with some drips of orange emulsion gave the dish an aromatic and flavorful bite. The sautéed shitake mushrooms with lentils was something rather unique. It had an earthly yet nutty flavor. Unfortunately, it was a bit dry to my liking. Some additions of cream and butter or just some nice gravy would have done the side dish more justice.

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We ended the meal with a simple Classic Tiramisu with Clear Vanilla Sauce and some coffee/tea. The dessert was light and fluffy and I love it. The clear vanilla sauce was rather mild to go with this dessert.

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Of course the best was saved for the last. We had a grand entrance by none other than the multi-faceted comedian, singer and actor, Mr Gurmit Singh aka Phua Chu Kang. He started the show by having some easy games on stage with some volunteered diners. You would hear many funny jokes from him too.

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Well… this Gurmit Singh sure gave us a nice surprise by rendering a few cool ballads. Who would have expected that this Singh can sing so well? He has a great voice indeed. Here are some videos on his singing skills.

He was so comical when he invited 4 persons from the crowd as his background dancers. They have to follow all his dancing steps. Hilarious!

The charity dinner ended with a short autograph and photography session with Gurmit Singh.

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I was lucky to get his autograph too. 😛

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Thanks to the Eastin Hotel Penang team who had put in the extra effort to fly in Gurmit Singh for a great experience for Penangites and at the same time make the lives of the less fortunate more bearable through this charity event. A job well done! 🙂

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

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Name: EASTIN HOTEL PENANG
Address: 1 Solok Bayan Indah, Queens Bay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Ticket Purchase: 604-612 1111
Event Date: 23 April 2012 (Monday)
Event Hours: 6.30pm-9.30pm
GPS: 5.33643, 100.306345

 

THE GRAND OPENING OF COFFEE ATELIER IN PENANG

Posted by crizlai On November - 20 - 2011

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

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

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

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

 

THE GRAND OPENING OF TEA SECRET AT QUEENSBAY MALL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On November - 11 - 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

BORA BORA BY SUNSET PENANG PAREO PARTY 2011

Posted by crizlai On September - 5 - 2011

Criz Bon Appetite together with a few bloggers had the privileges to be invited to the Bora Bora By Sunset’s Pareo Party 2011 at Batu Ferringhi, Penang, on Saturday night. The pareo party was a blast with a huge crowd of ladies and men trying to outwear each other with their best pareo displays. We have Shahriman Gunter as the emcee for the night.

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Thanks to Ms. Melynda Soon and the Bora Bora staff for making our presences there so enjoyable and fun-filled. Almost everyone is aware of the existence of Bora Bora By Sunset by now and the ever friendly staff sure knows how to keep their patrons happy with great food, cool beverages, electrifying entertainment in a nice Balinese style setting by the beach.

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The event started with a contest to test out the drinking power of both sexes. Finally, we did find out that certain ladies can drink faster than the other even though they have shapely figures. Amazing! There was also the men’s category. I don’t have to disclose which blogger was one of the winners right? It was so obvious~ LOL! Well, all of them must thank Carlsberg for giving them free beers. Haha!

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The staff of Bora Bora By Sunset also did put on their best costumes to present us with a Hawaiian number. All the ladies were so sexily dressed. Oops… did I say all ladies? Well, it did take lots of courage for Wipeout Jacob to be cross dressed as a female dancer. Well done Jacob but I hope those “inspectors” did not harass you much at all. Haha!

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Here’s the video of their performance:

Next in the program were the Best Dressed Women and Men in Pareo Contest. I guessed the men chickened out as they have nothing much to show in public. LOL! The women excelled better in pareo dressings as you can see them at all the corners of the bistro. Eventually, the winners went to a lady with the most creative way of dressing in pareo and a tourist with his “sarung” and Scottish cap. Haha! Each of the winners won a bottle of wine home, courtesy from the management of Bora Bora By Sunset.

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Educators always say that it would not be too late to learn something new. Teacher “Ernest” sure has “her” way to teach the guys how to wear a pareo well. Of course, those “students” needed to be taught the right way, with wigs and hamburger buns stuffed in front to be more “feminine”. We all had a good laugh!

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There was also the special fire show by Anita (nicknamed Nita by the locals) during the night. It was an energetic and superb performance under the dimly lighted surroundings.

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Do catch part of her performances in the video below:

Eventually, the staff did a catwalk in their best pareos while dragging more of the patrons up onto the stage for a few dance numbers.

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A display of fireworks presentation was set off to mark the bistro’s appreciation to the patrons for a wonderful night there.

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The party went on until the wee hours of the morning.

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If you love great food and beverages in a relaxing and breezy place, do head to Bora Bora By Sunset for your next great dining and entertainment experience. They do have fusion local and Western delights to please all taste buds. 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/RM5 on weekends) 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

 

THE GRAND OPENING OF DRAGON9INE AT BELLISA ROW PENANG

Posted by crizlai On July - 24 - 2011

NOTE: The restaurant has ceased its operation and in place are Chatime and 102 – Taiwanese Cuisine.

Yesterday marked another great milestone in the journey of Dragon9ine (九龍餐廳) with its Grand Opening after being in operation for more than 5 months. It now proved a better menu, a better style and a more mature chef who had extensive experiences from overseas, Chef Pele Khor. There was a lion dance troupe presence during the opening to give them blessings for a successful business venture.

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Dragon9ine is not too new in the scene of the F&B world in Malaysia as they are indirectly linked to other food & lifestyle outlets such as the BED Belissa Row, BED Autocity and BED E-Gate, RED Lounge & Karaoke, Sixty9ine Mansion (Batu Ferringhi) and MOIS. Dragon9ine has a unique ambience to suit the needs of different clientele. There are many dining areas with a touch of Chinese culture handy craftsmanship. It gives the al fresco feel but enclosed within the premises itself, suitable for any small gathering of friends and family. The upper level of the restaurant was built to suit more private dining, with the availability of a private room upon reservation. Rows of comfortable sofas with a much cooler and dimmer lighting, would suit those executives who would like to discuss some serious matters over some hot meals.

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There were some food served during the grand opening day but let’s just not touch on those dishes as they were just as typical as what any opening function would provide. The dishes included steamed rice, stir fried yellow noodles, chicken curry, squid curry, fragrant butter prawns, stir fry mixed vegetables, fish in oyster sauce, spring rolls, potato samosa and pandan chicken wraps.

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Instead of the ala carte dishes which consist of their cool & light snack delights, shark’s fins, prawns, fish, chicken, beef, pork & spare ribs, tofu, vegetables, double boiled soups, noodles, congee, rice, desserts, fresh juices and coffee, I would concentrate more on what they have to offer for their fine dining dinner experience. At RM69.90+ (10% service tax – min order 2 pax), you would be served with 11 items, ranging from entrée, main course, dessert to beverages. Please note that the items would be changed from time to time to suit the needs of the diners. The entrée consisted of 4 items served on an individual square plate.

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The first item was the Golden Sand Soft Shelled Crab (金沙軟殼蟹). It had half a batter deep fried soft shelled crab garnished with a concoction of chili flakes, garlic flakes, five spice powder, salt and toasted sesame seed. It was simple but yet appetizing to my liking.

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The next dish was the Fresh Oyster in Bloody Mary Cocktail. The name itself is self described. The dish had one big fresh oyster drowned in a shot glass filled with some Bloody Mary cocktail. The cocktail was actually a bit of fusion from the original with pure tomato juice, HP sauce, balsamic vinegar, Tabasco sauce and lemon juice with a dash or two of vodka. Although the oyster was fresh, not all of us could consume the acquired taste of the seafood. Moreover, the Bloody Mary recipe was more towards cocktail rather than as a sauce to complement the oyster. It was rather mild with the lack of distinctive spicy flavor from the Tabasco sauce and a bit of black pepper sprinkles. Overall, it was still fine for most of us.

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There was also the Ginger & Spring Onions Fried with Chicken. The chef played a safe hand in having chicken slices in this serving rather than having beef slices as not many people here are acceptable to beef. Overall, the taste from the ginger slices and spring onion stalks matched well with the chicken slices too.

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The last dish on the entrée included the Mango Prawn Spring Roll. We were all impressed with how the chef could come out with this delicious combination. The tempura-like texture spring roll has the freshness from the well marinated pounded prawn paste plus the unique flavors from the mango. Perfect!

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The Main Course also consisted of 4 items, served on individual plate. The first course was the Smoked Duck Breast Meat with Mongolian Sauce. The serving style was quite similar to that of the Peking Duck or Roasted Piglet. It has four pieces of thinly sliced smoked duck breast meat served with crepes, spring onions, sliced cucumber and served with their version of Mongolian sauce. All you need to do is to place everything onto the crepe, wrap it up and enjoy the nice flavors from the combination of ingredients. Everything was just fine, except that I would prefer the sauce to be a bit more concentrated with a stronger taste from the blended ginger. Moreover, spring onion bulbs should be used here for that extra flavor rather than sliced leaves from the spring onions.

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The next course was the Fried Tofu and Minced Prawns in XO Sauce. I always could not resist the taste of XO sauce cook with just any dish. The spicy seafood sauce which originated from the Hong Kong Cantonese cuisine scene was something that could be rather addictive for spicy food lovers just like me. The fragrance from the dried scallops and dried shrimps soaked in Sake (as some do) prior to cooking, combined with the nice flavors from the sliced Chinese ham, shallots, garlic, oyster sauce, dried chilies, black pepper, brown sugar with a touch of salt, had the unique taste that would make just anyone yearning for more. With the extra flavor coming from some stir fried minced prawns, capsicum, snow peas and snap peas (I wished they would just get rid of the fiber for a smoother bite), this combination was almost perfect. If not for the deep fried tofu which I found to be lacking in some silky smooth beaten eggs, I could have just this dish over a few bowls of hot steaming rice.

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More seafood dishes were served as the main course such as the Crispy Sea Bass with Butter Orange Sauce and Tempura Greens. The chef had marinated the sea bass fillet with some salt and herbs prior to pan grilling it to get that crispy sensation. Well, it was salty indeed, almost like the fillet has been salt-baked, but it went well with the chef’s special concocted butter orange sauce. This fish was served on a bed of fresh young corns, capsicum and asparagus, along with some salsa like condiment of chopped tomatoes, onions, lime juice and herbs. It was a nice dish, except that they should have got rid of the fibrous skins from the asparagus stems for a smoother bite.

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The last main course was the Stir Fried Seafood “Yee Mee” Noodles with Grandma Sauce. The name of the dish had me in stitches which made me asked the chef why there was no Grandpa sauce. LOL! This dish had almost the same taste as Aglio Olio with a more significant flavor coming from some stir fried dried chilies. It had a mild spiciness and combined with the toasted sesame seeds, it was a palate of heavenly fried noodles. Although the flavorful noodles dish was perfect to sum up the meal, it would even be better if wanton noodles were being used here for a more al dente texture.

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Sweet desserts are always the best dish to have towards the end of most oriental cuisine and Dragon9ine did not disappoint me by serving us with their Sweetened Red Beans served with Tang Yuan (glutinous rice ball). The blended azuki beans dessert had just the right sweetness to my liking. Moreover, the tang yuan was another bonus to us as it came with sweetened black sesame seeds filling. The combination was perfect.

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The set dinner package also included two types of beverages such as the Provence Lavender Black Tea and a glass of Red Wine. These beverages would also be dependable on the availability. Instead of the “Herbs de Provence”, they might replace with another type of herbal tea. As for the wine, I would think that the management would be glad to replace it with other beverages for those not alcohol consuming diners.

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Overall, the fine dining dinner menu was creative and up to par compared to my other visit here during their initial shop opening. I hope with a new and committed chef, this restaurant would be the next ideal place for diners to enjoy their food in a stress-free and comfortable environment. However, the service here is still a bit slow as per before. I hope the staff would be more service oriented and knowledgeable in the future.

It’s not hard to locate the double shoplots restaurant as it situated along Bellisa Row in Pulau Tikus, Penang. If you are coming from Jalan Burma towards Mt. Erskine, drive all the way pass the Jalan Burma/Jalan Cantoment traffic lights. About 300m away, you would see Bellisa Row just before the Church of The Immaculate Conception (Roman Catholic Church). Turn right into the service road and find a parking space. The restaurant is just along the row of shoplots just next to the RED Lounge & Karaoke.

DRAGON9INEMAP

Name: DRAGON9INE
Address: 368-1-5 & 6, Belissa Row, Pulau Tikus, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 4099
Business Hours: 11.00am-3.00am
GPS: 5.432788, 100.309939

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

 

SIGI’S BAR & GRILL ON THE BEACH ARABIAN NIGHT 2011

Posted by crizlai On June - 27 - 2011

Sigi’s Bar & Grill on the Beach (SBG) held its Arabian Night Beach Party on 25 June 2011 for a second time after receiving tremendous responses in 2010. It was indeed a more successful one this year with more delicious Middle Eastern dishes and a unique setup in line with the exotic theme of Arabian nights. The entrance had an arch depicting a mosque like structure with lacey curtains. Walking through the passageway, there were tents scattered everywhere on the beach side garden with low tables and low cushioned stools, bean bags, banquet tables with beautiful ribbon tied on the chairs and an ejected stage by the sandy beach to entertain the guests. Some street vendors can be seen displaying their unique looking items as well. At RM158++ per pax, it included Arabian themed buffet, live action cooking stations, MYO (make your own) stations, free flow soft drinks, wine and beer plus loads of activities, fun and games.

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Classic Arabian music with mix of modern ones can be heard playing on the stage with acts by the band, fire jugglers, snake charmers and belly dancers, wooing the guests with their great performances. One of the main attractions would be the snake charming act. Would you be interested to kiss a king cobra live on stage? Well, I won’t but the snake charmer did. Catch some glimpses of his act here in the video below.

Classic Arabian music with mix of modern ones can be heard playing on the stage with acts by the band, fire jugglers, snake charmers and belly dancers, wooing the guests with their great performances. One of the main attractions would be the snake charming act. Would you be interested to kiss a king cobra live on stage? Well, I won’t but the snake charmer did. Catch some glimpses of his act here in the video below.

The belly dancers also did a great job in entertaining the guests. In one of the performances, you can practically see every part of the belly dancer moved energetically with hardly any pauses. Maybe I should learn some moves like hers to trim down my waistline. LOL! Anyway, let’s have a look on how she moved that body~ 🙂

Varieties of exotic and modern food were served at many scattered stations in food market styles starting with dinner rolls with Lentil Soup. It tasted like a thick an Indian dhal-like curry with strong hints of thyme and bay leaves. The next few stations consisted of salads and mezze (a selection of small dishes served in the Mediterranean and Middle East as dinner or lunch). On one table was the MYO Caesar Salad station while the other had Lavash, Panzenella Salad, Marinated Olives, Marinated Feta, Marinated Mushrooms and Sundried Tomato. I loved the Lavash (commonly known as cracker bread), a crunchy flatbread topped with some poppy seeds. This went well with the rest of the condiments, especially with the lovely marinated feta in herbs and olive oil.

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The next station consisted of Fattoush, Tabbouleh, Stuffed Vine Leaves, Falafel, Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and SBG Slovaski Pizza. The Fattoush was practically some Arabian salad with fresh greens, mixed with some lemon juice and olive oil. The Tabbouleh on the other hand looked like our local Nasi Ulam but the ingredients were very different. Instead of rice, it had bulgur, a wheat processed cereal-like food, combined with chopped parsley, tomatoes, onions, mint, etc, with lemon juice and olive oil. It had a very unique sour herby taste. The Lebanese Stuffed Vine Leaves somewhat had that overpowering sour and salty taste. The stuffing tasted almost similar to the Tabbouleh but with a stronger sourness. Next was the Falafel. To me, it tasted almost like our Indian street food, the Parippu Vada, with traces of cumin being used. This went well with the Hummus, a spread made from blending cooked chickpeas with grounded sesame paste (tahini), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. It had some cooked chickpeas and kalamata (black olives) as decoration. Another spread which went well with the pita bread was the classic, slightly pungent Middle Eastern Baba Ghanoush. This is a healthy spread with mashed roasted aubergine (eggplant) mixed in with some chopped garlic, parsley, cumin, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and garnished with some chopped tomatoes and parsley.

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At the main grill station, we had the Grilled Morrocan Prawns and Seafood Kebabs. The Seafood Kebabs was lovely as it had well marinated prawns, calamari, fish and capsicum skewed and grilled to perfection. The next station was the Pita Bread Pocket Station with Spit Roasted Lamb and Chicken Shawerma.

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There were also the Chicken Briyani Rice, Eggplant Rice to go with Moussaka and Lamb Meat Balls. The casserole dish of Moussaka, made by layering eggplant with a spiced meat filling, topped with a creamy bechamel sauce with hints of Parmesan cheese and baked to golden brown was the perfect dish to go with the rice. The Lamb Meat Balls were also marvelous as it got me going for more. Next to this was the beverage station with free flow soft drinks, wine and beer for everyone.

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The dessert section was places within the passageway near to the entrance with many delicacies such as Baklava, Muhalabia, Bassboussa, Rosewater Crème Brule, Warm Apple Crumble Vanilla Anglaise, Chocolate Brownie, Mini Fruit Tartlets, Baked Cheese, Lemon Delicious and Cream Caramel.

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This beach party was one of the uniquely planned ones by SBG and of course it was a memorable one which I would remember for some time with the great taste and party moods. Chef John Brock, the Executive Sous Chef of SBG sure did a great job in pepping up great dishes for this party.

The restaurant is just located within the premises of Golden Sands Resort. Drive all the way up towards Batu Ferringhi. When you see the Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa on your right, slow down and watch out for the Golden Sands Resort entrance which is right after the Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa. Park your car at the ample car park there and walk into the main lobby of the resort. Head towards the beach area and you would see Sigi’s Bar & Grill on your right.

SIGIMAP

Name: SIGI’S BAR & GRILL ON THE BEACH @ GOLDEN SANDS RESORT
Address: Batu Ferringhi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-886 1852 (Direct Restaurant Line)
Business Hours:
11.00am-6.00pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm (Bar: 11.00am-11.45pm)
GPS: 5.477405, 100.251657

RATING:
Ambience: 9/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7.5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

I was honored to be invited to grace the launching of Time Out Penang, The Insider’s Guide to Penang 2011/2012 yesterday, together with the honorable Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Lim Guan Eng at Aseana Café & Bar, Straits Quay, Penang. This guidebook is published by Mongoose Publishing (M) Sdn Bhd, and showcased the wonderful state of Penang, from the historic architecture and the unique street food culture to the world class hotels and resorts. “Here’s a guidebook which captured the spirit of Penang. I felt like I was being shown around Penang by a proud Penangite,” said YAB Lim Guan Eng.

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Time Out Penang, The Insider’s Guide to Penang 2011/ 2012 is a 150 pages, A4 sized, glossy magazine-guide, presenting a typically comprehensive, honest and trustworthy account of Penang’s travel hotspots for the high-end tourists, business travelers, expatriates, and huge affluent local readership who enjoy and act upon what they were told by Time Out. This annual publication is distributed to relevant countries across the region and key international destinations around the world. This well-traveled audience is eager to explore more of the world and cannot wait to read and see more about the breathtaking sights and sounds of Penang, from the historic architecture and the unique street food culture to the world class hotels and resorts.

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Time Out is an international, multimedia publisher of cultural experiences that provides inspiration to city dwellers around the world. Currently operating regular magazines in 40 cities around the world and guidebooks in several more, the Time Out brand is instantly recognized and trusted by residents from the world’s top cities. “Time Out Penang is no exception as it derives deep into Penang and presents the best that this beautiful state has to offer, as recommended by insiders who know the best,” said Graham Paling, Group Managing Director of Mongoose Publishing. We are glad to have CK Lam, one of the best food writers around Penang to be part of the Time Out Penang team.

The invited guests were served with some refreshments during the Time Out Penang 2011/2012 launch by Aseana Café & Bar, Straits Quay, Penang at their sophisticated yet cozy restaurant. Some of their finger food could be quite impressive in terms of presentation and taste.

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On top of that, there were numerous ongoing programs that kept the Straits Quay visitors occupied. Amongst them were the weekend flea market and promotional booths that had interesting items up for sales, ranging from natural soap, herbs and spices, cakes, magazines and books, toys, costume jewelries, hotel promotions, tea & wine and more.

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Many fun-filled activities were held throughout the day such as dance performance by the Burlesque troupe from SuperStar Libra, traditional Nyonya dance, fashion show by the Bran et Daguet boutique, Straits Quay, which specializes in elegantly cut couture and ready-to-wear cocktail dresses and occasion wear with international appeal and local bands.

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I guessed the highlight from the one-day event would be the belly dancing from the SuperStar Libra’s Burlesque troupe that caught most of the ladies there putting on their best pair of binoculars to stare at the handsome and hunky European dancers. On top of that, the guys were not excluded as I saw some jaws dropping with eyes fixed on the belly dancer from Ukraine. Well, here’s the video on the dance performance in case you missed it~ LOL! 😛

If you would love to get your hand on a copy of the newly launched Time Out Penang 2011/2012 or the soon to release Time Out Malaysia 2011/2012, do check out your nearest newsstands or any leading bookstores. Each book would cost you RM38. You could also buy direct and get a 10% discount if you purchase online through their website. Those who would like to enquire more about their coming issues, whether it’s Time Out KL, Time Out Malaysia, Esquire, Expatriate Lifestyle, Gold Vacations, RSGC’s The Circular, Al Musafir, Essential Education or the newly launched Time Out Penang, can do so by filling up their contact form or call up +603-2166 6650.


A trip up Teluk Kumbar today proved fruitful for Chef Chen Hong (陳鴻) and his entourage as they finally get to visit the durian orchard that had named one of their native durians (土榴蓮) as 鴻榴槤/Hong Durian. Even before the chef’s arrival, this species of durians which has been in existence for over 2 decades and was nicknamed as “crocodile skin durian” were already selling like hotcakes amongst the locals.

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It was amazing how the owner knew how to differentiate the dozens species of native durians here. One thing for sure, they chose the ideal one to name it after Chef Chen Hong. The dark yellow colored flesh of this durian has that smooth custard creamy sweetness with a hint of fermented wine after taste. The fruit was almost all meaty with small seed. The quality can be compared to the second hottest selling durian, Hor Lor (Calabash/葫蘆), just right after the hottest selling Ang Hae (Red Prawn/紅蝦). What an honor for Chef Chen Hong to have that fruit under his name. This durian would surely do well if exported to Taiwan.

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An expert in his culinary skills as always, Chef Chen Hong opened up a durian with ease. He charmingly remarked that the durians should be sold overseas not as a fruit but something exotic and unique that can be created in many forms of delicacies. He had even thought up of a few recipes which durian would be the main ingredient impromptu. They don’t address him as the Culinary Prince (美食王子) in Taiwan for no reasons, right? 🙂

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Chef Park (from Korea) and Chef Billy Ng (runner-up of 8TV’s Hot Chef Season One) also had their try outs in opening durians. I wonder if the owner was serious enough to name their two durians as “Korea” and “Billy Boy”. Chef Park who was not a lover for durians eventually took to a liking for them.

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The up the hill durian orchard was still untarnished with man-made pollution. The stream was so clean that you can still drink from it. Many fishes and prawns were sighted swimming about happily without the intrusion of human kind. The atmosphere was fresh and clean with abundant flora and fauna blossoming everywhere. Even a rare species of butterfly flew over and landed on my hand. What a beautiful sight that was. The orchard which spanned from Teluk Kumbar to Tanjung Asam (“chui cheang” where angling trips to the nearby Pulau Kendi was often planned) had many other famous branded durians such as the Ang Hae (Red Prawn/紅蝦), Hor Lor (Calabash/葫蘆), XO, Kapili Susu, Lipan, D2, D24, 604, Ooi Keong Ong (Turmeric King/Kunyit King/黄姜王), Xiao Hong (Small Red/小紅), Ganja (Cannabis), Chneh Poay Kia (Green Skin Boy/青皮仔), Bakuli (Marbles), Phua Cincu (Half Pearl) and many more. Other local fruits such as rambutans, mangosteens, cempedak, etc are also available here.

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The evening event was also attended by the entourage of Chef Chen Hong, Chef Park, Chef Billy Ng, Food Digest crew members, FoodTok, family members and friends of the owner, food bloggers and reporters. It was indeed a fun-filled outing for everyone after some hectic weeks of planning, organizing and food hunting for the best food in Penang.

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If you are coming from the Bayan Lepas FTZ area along Jalan Bayan Lepas towards the Penang International Airport, drive over the overhead bridge towards Teluk Kumbar. Drive on for around 6-7km and watch out for a big “Hai Boey Seafood” direction signboard on your left at a junction. Turn left into the junction which would also lead you towards Gertak Sanggul. Drive on until you see the “Hai Boey Seafood” signboard on your left. Slow down. Drive on for another 400m and watch out for a small slope on your right (GPS: 5.283556, 100.209471). Drive up the slope and you would see a small temple on your right. Just follow the sign boards available and you would reach your destination within 5 minutes.

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Name: SONG HAI’S DURIAN ORCHARD
Address: Teluk Kumbar until Tanjung Asam, 11910, Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: To call up
Contact: 016-467 5233 (Mr. Tang Song Hai)
GPS: 5.292088, 100.211914
Sales Office: 26 Lintang Merak, Sg. Dua, 11700 Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia. (Opp. Tesco Extra)
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Song-Hais-Durian/129590123727593

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

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About Me

Howdy from the Isle of delicious Asian food and the UNESCO Heritage City of Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Just call me Criz Lai and I am here to share with you on what’s the best food you can get in town as well as from many other parts of Malaysia.

By the way, you might not notice it but CRIZ BON APPETITE is iPhone/Mobile Compatible. Please do feel free to hop over to http://ip.crizfood.com to get the latest updates! If you want to contact me for any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at crizlai [at] hotmail [dot] com. Spamming would not be tolerated – you are being tracked here!

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