CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

Archive for the ‘events’ Category

The easy-going and down-to-earth Taiwanese Celebrity Chef Chen Hong (陳鴻) is now in Penang on a mission to savor all the best food in Penang and to come out with his new cookbook entitled Hong’s Style (鴻食代). The former host of the famous Taiwanese TVBS Cooking Program, Ah Hong Cooking Up A Storm (阿鴻上菜), Hong’s Kitchen (阿鴻好主意) and also the author of the best-seller cookbook named A-Hong’s Healthy Medicated Diets (阿鴻養生藥膳), Chef Chen Hong or more affectionately known to his fans as “Ah Hong”, is also dubbed as the Culinary Prince (美食王子) in Taiwan. At a tender age of seven years old, he had already started pepping up impressive dishes. Until today, he’s still famous for his simple, practical and yet healthy recipes amongst the working groups, home makers and senior citizens. He enjoys working with Chinese herbs, traditional ingredients and vegetarian recipes, which is something he picked up from his maternal grandmother at a young age. The ever youthful and charismatic chef is currently the ambassador for many well-known brands and has hosted numerous culinary programs throughout Asia.

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At the press conference held at G Spot, G Hotel today which was graced by Penang State EXCO for Tourism Development and Culture, YB Danny Law and Food Digest Managing Editor, Tracy Lau, Chef Chen Hong was officially appointed as the ‘Penang Food Ambassador to Taiwan’. It was an honor for Penang to have such a seasoned Taiwanese Celebrity Chef to spread the words on all the unique blends of tastes, ranging from Nyonya cuisine to authentic street food to the world.

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During the press conference, specially brought to you by Food Digest Magazine, Malaysia’s No. 1 food and lifestyle magazine, Chef Chen Hong stated that Penangites are the best food critics due to their sharp tongues in deciding whether the food is good or bad. He jokingly stated that you would only need to understand a few phrases in the local Hokkien dialect… “Eh Jiak”, “Bay Jiak” or “Ho Jiak” (can eat, cannot eat or very good food), when seeking food in Penang.

Together with Penang food portal, FoodTok and GG, the Food Digest Team would be bringing Chef Chen Hong on an adventure to some of the recommended food spots in Penang, while playing judge to some of the most famous hawkers and restaurants throughout the little food paradise island of Asia. Try catching his whereabouts on his journey to find great food between 10 June 2011 and 12 June 2011 from as far as Batu Ferringhi, Gurney Drive, Pulau Tikus until the heart of George Town, through the Food Digest official site www.twitter.com/myfooddigest.

Also in attendance are renowned Chef Park Tae Yeong (from Korea) and Chef Billy Ng Yih Lee (runner-up of 8TV’s Hot Chef Season One).

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Chef Park took the bold step by leaving that corporate world’s comfort zone of 10 years in Seoul, Korea to pursue his culinary dream. A French graduate from Academie de Toulouse (The Baccalaureat Professionnel Restauration De Cuisine); the chef is a living proof that one is never too old to pursue their dreams. Brilliant in French and fusion style cuisine, he’ll be spending the coming year working on his first ever cookbook, travelling and opening a world of culinary experiences. I love his style of recording all his new creations in pictorial form and in colors too.

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Chef Billy was the runner-up in the inaugural 8TV’s Hot Chef (Season One). He specializes in Western cuisine. Originated from Klang, Selangor, he can converse well in English, Cantonese and Hokkien. He would be the next generation of chef that would follow the footsteps of his mentor, Chef Chen Hong. Currently, he’s an instructor with Berjaya University College of Hospitality.

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The 13th Penang International Salon Gastronomique or commonly known as the “Battle of the Chefs (BOTC)” is currently held at Straits Quay Penang from 3rd June 2011 until 5th June 2011. Ever since the inaugural event was held in July 1988 at the Shangri-La Hotel, Penang with only 60 chefs from major hotels in Penang, today it had attracted more than 750 participants from over 20 countries. Organized by the Malaysian Association of Hotels Penang chapter (MAH) and the Chef Association of Malaysia Penang chapter, this event has seen more and more promising talents walk away with many prestigious awards. The event was officiated by Tuan Haji Abdul Malik Kassim, Penang State Executive Councillor, in charge of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Committee, on behalf of the Chief Minister, YB Mr. Lim Guan Eng. The organizing of the event is led by Chef William Thong, Organizing Chairman for BOTC 2011, who is also the Executive Chef of Holiday Inn Resort Penang and Chef Marco Battistotti, Organizing Chairman for the 1st MAH Penang Chapter Hospitality Challenge 2011.

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There are many awards up for grab by the hotels, associations, organizations, institutions or competitors such as the most prestigious Penang Governor’s Challenge Trophy, Nestle Overall Best Chef Award, Most Outstanding Patissier, Most Outstanding Apprentice and more.

There were all together 3 sites for the competition participants to show off their culinary skills. There were over hundreds of dishes prepared on the first day and I would share with you some of those rather nicely presented ones here.

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As for the exhibition sections, there were many categories to be challenged. Firstly, there were sections on Bread Showpiece, Dummy Wedding Cake, Chocolate Work, Butter Sculpture, Roselle Supreme Dress The Cake (2-tier) as well as Fruit & Vegetable Carving (Theme: Fairy Tale). Let’s have a peep at those attractive ones here.

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It was also a privilege to be invited by Mr. Thomas See, PR Manager/Exhibition Booth Liaison, BOTC 2011, to be one of the judges for their Modern Western Cuisine Restaurant (3 chefs, 1 waiter & 1 bartender) Competition. There were 4 tables and each table was handled by a different hotel/institution. I had the opportunity to try out the Renaissance Melaka Hotel’s fine Western course dinner by judging them on presentation, taste, ingenuity and innovation. We were first served with Malacca Moon Rise, a mocktail with a concoction of orange juice, pineapple juice and grenadine, blended with ice cubes and served with cincau (herbal jelly), There was not much of a distinctive flavor here as the beverage tasted just like a normal glass of mixed fruit juice. It lacked that little touch of sourness to boost up the appetite on any meal. The starter was the Cold Medley, with Tuna on Cauliflower Mousse, Beetroot with Roasted Pumpkin Salad and Duck Broccoli Stack. This dish was rather unique as the cauliflower mousse was wonderfully prepared and the broccoli stack was just right with some mild seasoning. Unfortunately, the beetroot lacked in flavor although the combination was truly special. The Ocean Consomme was just right without the overpowering fishy taste. It had a crispy deep fried prawn with saffron with a hint of mild turmeric being used in the broth. The Chicken Roulade which had spinach and goat cheese (feta cheese) stuffed within a chicken fillet, actually blended in real well with the fruity persimmon reduction. Somehow, the chef did not provide the moist within the dish and a bit too much of herbs were used on the outer later. I wondered if they are aware that a bit of pumpkin paste added in would solve the problem of dryness. The next dish had lots of praises as the Rosemary Lamb served with garlic lemon vegetables was almost perfect if not for the slightly undercooked vegetables. The baby lamb racks had the texture, tenderness and taste just right for everyone. The Classic Chocolate Fondant with Crème Anglaise tasted great. If not for the malfunction of the oven, the chocolate fondant would be in a better shape rather than in a big clump. The crème anglaise would blend in better if it was not as concentrated as served. Overall, it was a pleasant dinner for all of us judges. Due to the problem with the Chicken Roulade, the hotel only secured a Diploma. The rest of the 3 competitors, namely Thailand Culinary Academy (Table 1), Sandy Bay Beach Resort (Table 2) and Eastin Hotel (Table 4) all secured Silver medals.

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There would be many stalls, scattered at the Straits Quay entrance, on the lower level as well as within the inside and outside of the conference hall for you to patronize. Some of them would be selling items while others would be given out free food samples.

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For your information, those who had not heard of Foodsion, a bilingual food and lifestyle magazine, you can now get a set of 5 recent issues, 5 mini recipe books, Heritage Coffee 10% discount cards, Raiya toothpaste, Penang White Coffee and Nyonya fish curry paste, all in a recycle bag for just RM25. Normal price is RM12 per book.

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THE LAUNCHING OF ACE PROGRAM AT HARD ROCK HOTEL

Posted by crizlai On May - 31 - 2011

A new trade program that would inspire trade partners to excel in their field was launched at Hard Rock Hotel, Penang yesterday. The program, known as the “A” Class Experience (ACE) Program, which was specially designed by Carlsberg Malaysia in collaboration with Taylor’s University, aims to provide supportive trade partners and F&B operators a series of educational and practical training in raising the bar to meet the growing expectations of customers in today’s competitive industry. Those who attended the launch included some of the top brewmasters for some of the leading brands in Malaysia, namely Mr. George Frank Reisch, Brewmaster for A-B InBev (Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Budweiser & Leffe), Mr. Sean Soh, Commercial Manager of Luen Heng F&B Sdn. Bhd. (leading supplier in the distribution of premium consumer beer, wine and spirits throughout East and West Malaysia), Mr. Lim Eng Wah, Penang Regional Manager, Carlsberg Manager, Mr. Eduardo G. Manas, Jr., Area Manager of Jagermeister Mast, representatives from leading brands such as Kronenbourg 1664, Corona Extra, Danish Royal Stout, Skol, Carlsberg Green Label Draught, etc and many participants as far as Langkawi. The ACE Program was officiated with the hand prints and signatures of the leading masters in the related F&B industry. Some cool items were given out to the media as well.

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ACE Program syllabus consist of both off-site and classroom training that will equip Carlsberg Malaysia’s trade partners with a better understanding of the brands under Carlsberg Malaysia as well as day-to-day bar operation skills and customer service excellence. In addition to that, participants will also be able to experience exclusive training with World Class Brewers.

Carlsberg Malaysia will reward the best performing participant of this ACE Program with a fully paid 14-day trip cum practical training to the Jacobsen Brewery and Visitor’s Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark in the year 2012. This winning participant will get the chance to gain exclusive experiences at the Carlsberg headquarters that brewed the first ever Carlsberg beer.

As for the lst and 2nd runner up, both will also be rewarded with a fully paid trip to one of the Luen Heng F&B top vineyards in Victoria, Australia. Luen Heng F&B Sdn. Bhd. is the leading supplier in the distribution of premium consumer Beer, Wine and Spirits throughout East and West Malaysia.

“Carlsberg is a brand that strongly believes in ‘Doing The Right Thing`. With that in mind, our partnership with Taylor’s University in this ACE Program aims to provide a rewarding and beneficial experience to our valued trade partners,” says Soren Ravn, Managing Director of Carlsberg Malaysia.

All of these training are made at no cost to the trade partners as Carlsberg Malaysia would like to ensure that this training will benefit the trade partners’ business. This is to showcase that Carlsberg Malaysia is 100% behind its trade partners that made Carlsberg Malaysia the preferred beer brand among its trade partners in Malaysia. “It is a privilege for Taylor’s to be a part of Carlsberg Malaysia’s ACE Program. We are positive that this collaboration will bring about favorable outcomes for all participants,” says Mr. Haresh Singh Gill, Associate Dean of Enterprise, School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts, Taylor’s University.

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Off-site Training
Carlsberg Malaysia hosted an off-site training, which consist of a series of practical and contemporary training modules conducted by World Class Brewmasters and expert partners. This training session will be conducted in 3 regions i.e. Penang, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur to allow exposure to various participants from different geographic regions. All these sessions include concise brand knowledge; technical and practical training that is aimed at providing a better understanding of the brands that their outlets represent.

The sessions are:
• Carlsberg Beer Portfolio bg Ms. Teh Chui Hoon, Marketing Manager of Carlsberg Brands
• Kronenbourg 1664, Corona Extra, Danish Royal Stout and Skol by Mr. Edwin Yeo, Marketing Manager of Portfolio Brands
• Art of Brewing by Mr. Gunnar Hepp, Brewmaster of Carlsberg Malaysia
• Imported Beer Segment (Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Budweiser & Leffe) by Mr. George Frank Reisch, Brewmaster for A-B InBev
• Wine segment by Mr. Sean Soh, Commercial Manager of Luen Heng F&B Sdn. Bhd.
• Jagermeister, Germany by Mr. Eduardo G. Manas, Jr., Area Manager of Jagermeister Mast
• Carlsberg Green Label Draught Excellence by Mr. Alvin Yap, Draught Beer Services Manager of Carlsberg Malaysia

Classroom Training
Carlsberg Malaysia aims to offer value-added knowledge to its trade partners via its collaboration with Taylor`s University. The recognized Bar & Beverage Management course by Taylor’s University is a 3-day course that will kick off in Penang on the 4th of July 2011 at the Equatorial Hotel, Penang.

Apart from that, there will also be a half day session on customer service excellence. This module will provide participants the techniques to improve service standards in their outlets. The ultimate objective is to uplift service standards that will result in customer loyalty, increased outlet traffic and enhance business profitability.

ACE Program Activities

Among the activities that will be implemented in line with this ACE Program are:

Mystery Shopper Program — Carlsberg Malaysia will deploy a group of mystery shoppers to rove into participating outlets and evaluate the implementation of trainings provided. If the bar staff meets the pre-set standards, RM50 cash will be rewarded on the spot. This is to motivate participating bar staff to deliver constant good performance in their daily work life.

Outlet Evaluation — Carlsberg Malaysia will deploy a special taskforce to go around participating outlets and collect feedback from consumers on their preferred bar team /bar outlet. These feedbacks will be translated into an inter-outlet challenge whereby the top preferred outlet will walk away with a RM30000 event sponsorship. In addition to that, this special taskforce will educate consumers on the appreciation of the perfect Carlsberg draught beer and promote upcoming Carlsberg promotions.

Digital Activation — A dedicated Facebook application that allows Carlsberg Malaysia trade partners to constantly monitor their outlets preferential ratings by consumers on real time basis. On top of that, this application will assist outlets to understand their customers better and facilitate improvements.

Carlsberg Malaysia brand new ACE program will end its semester in August 2011 and all participating trade partners will be rewarded with a fun-filled outdoor celebration cum graduation party.

The media were also briefed by Mr. George Frank Reisch (Brewmaster for A-B InBev such as Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Budweiser & Leffe) on the ingredients used to make all the alcoholic drinks in the world. Basically, those ingredients consist of chocolate malt, black malt, wheat malt, rice, hops, caramel malt and pale malt. Most of the beers around would use wheat malt or pale malt. Mr. Eduardo G. Manas, Jr. (Area Manager of Jagermeister Mast) briefed that there were actually many secret ingredients used in the preparation of Jagermeister from Germany but he could only disclose some of the common ones such as ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and orange peel. Resulting from the consumers’ preferences, Jagermeister had recently overtaken famous brand such as the Bailey’s.

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When there’s an event by any of the F&B companies, there would surely be beautiful models to represent the brand. Two of our food representatives, Sam Ong and Jacgy Chan, took the opportunity to have some shots with them.

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Lunch was served after the briefing and the buffet spread at Hard Rock Hotel was rather enjoyable as some of the dishes were uniquely prepared. We had different salads at the appetizer section, some South Western minestrone soup with dinner rolls, entrees such as seasonal vegetables, sautéed potatoes, slow cooked beef with smoked onion & thyme, risotto of roasted pepper & garlic, crab cakes with mango & green tomato salsa, cornmeal crusted fish with green tomato chutney and jerk chicken with pineapple mole sauce. The last two dishes were rather uniquely prepared. The fish fillet blended in real well with the mild sweet and sour chutney. The jerk chicken was full of spice enhanced flavors just by itself but with the chocolate mole (pronounced as mo-lay) sauce and the sweetness from some canned pineapples, it was totally a different taste with the richness from the dark chocolate and some hints of herbs and spices. On the dessert spread, there were the New York style cheese cake (my favorite), apple pie, devil’s food cake, mini lemon meringue pie, savarin with citrus syrup, strawberry short cake, chocolate mud cake and fresh fruit cuts.

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Overall, the experience was a great one as it’s the beginning of a new frontier where a product company, such as Carlsberg Malaysia has taken the initiative to ensure that their trade partners get the best out of their products while maintaining the quality of the products. I do hope that more product companies would come forward with such a great program in the near future.

YET ANOTHER GREAT FLOGGERS GATHERING AT JURIN EXPRESS

Posted by crizlai On April - 12 - 2010

Note: This restaurant has ceased its operation.

Yesterday marked another great gathering for the Penang floggers as we had our 5th Penang Floggers Gathering. This time, it was Japanese cuisine at Jurin Express aka Jurin Japanese Restaurant located within the notable mall, Gurney Plaza. At a specially arranged RM50 nett per pax deal, we had more than we had bargained for with everyone going home feeling contented.

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We had free flow of Hot or Cold Honey Green Tea. The beverages were thicker than the normal ones as they were specially prepared for us with loose green tea leaves instead of those in sachets.

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The meal started with 3 types of appetizers. The first was Tempura Kani. The dish had crabstick (kani kama) sushi rolls coated with tempura and deep fried until golden brown, topped with sweet soy sauce and garnished with some herbs and chili flakes.

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Next was the Sushi Combo with a colorful array of sushi rolls. It was simple but very filling.

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The last of the appetizers was the Sushi Fried Maki. This version was a bit different as it had nori rolled sushi in vinegar rice. These were then topped with some mayo and ebiko (shrimp roes).

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The specially arranged main meal consisted of 4 options.

Set A: Ginmutsu Teriyaki (Deep fried cod fish in sweet sauce), Chicken Ban Ban (Boneless fried chicken chunks served with Japanese sauce and mayo), Ebi Tempura (Deep fried shrimps in batter), Yaki Tamago (Sweet omelette), Garlic Fried Rice and Miso Soup.

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Set B: Salmon and Tuna Sashimi, Unagi (BBQ Japanese eel), Tamago Kikurage (Black fungus with chilies), Yaki Tamago (Sweet omelette), Garlic Fried Rice and Miso Soup.

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Set C: Salmon and Tuna Sashimi, Spicy Salmon (deep fried and topped with spicy sauce), Kakiage (Deep fried shrimps, squid and vegetables in batter), Yaki Tamago (Sweet omelette), Garlic Fried Rice and Miso Soup.

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Set D: Karubi Beef (Stir fried beef with onions), Nama Ika Teriyaki (Grilled cuttlefish in teriyaki sauce), Karaage (Deep fried soft shell crabs), Yaki Tamago (Sweet omelette), Garlic Fried Rice and Miso Soup.

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A scoop of Green Tea Ice Cream with Red Beans was served as dessert. The ice cream was not as smooth as I had expected and with a mild green tea flavor. On top of that, I would also prefer to have blended red beans instead of the whole ones for that extra smoothness.

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We ended the gathering with everyone bring some sponsored gifts home. We had the Vouch Magazine, a bottle of each of Chili Bao and Chili Red, sponsored by Bao Bao Restaurant from Puchong, Selangor, Stuffed You Tiao vouchers sponsored by Te Chang You Tiao Wang from Paya Terubong, Penang and Fried Fish Tom Yam Noodles vouchers by Siong Ho Fish Head Tom Yam Noodles & Porridge, Weld Quay, Penang.

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We had a small photography session after the gathering had ended. In presence were Daisy Lee (boss) & hubby, Alan Choong & Amanda Teoh, Eunice, SY, Kelvin Tan, CW Chan, Criz Lai, JK Beh, Cheryl Wee & hubby, Kok Ann, Lay Min, Sam Ong, Gill & Jason and Steven Goh. (Not in photo – Carrie & partner, Lilian Chan & son).

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Overall, I found the dishes served here were just average. The restaurant could have served a better quality of fresh seafood, thus less deep fried items for seafood related dishes. Fish cuts were a bit too thin for the value of money paid. The fried garlic rice was normal and lack of wok hei (high heat fragrant) as I believed that it was prepared much earlier before our arrival. However, these few hiccups did not spoil our moods in mingling around with old and new found friends. A special thanks to Jason & Gill for organizing this gathering.

I don’t think I would need to describe the way to Jurin Express as most people would know how to get to Gurney Plaza. Just walk towards the new wing of the mall and go to level 2. You would see the restaurant just next to Sushi King.

Name: JURIN JAPANESE RESTAURANT
Address:
170-02-59/60, 2nd Floor, Gurney Plaza (New Wing),
Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 604-227 7112
Business Hours: 11.30am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.437696, 100.309592

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

HERBAL SOUP FOR YOUR FAVORITE HOT POT

Posted by crizlai On February - 22 - 2010

Instead of the usual stock for hot pot (steamboat) during this Chinese New Year reunion dinner, I had decided to opt for herbal stock. The ginseng enriched stock was a refreshing experience for my family. Are you aware that ginseng could help in stimulating the physical and mental activity of a tired or weak body? On top of that, it’s ideal for defending the body system from the effects of prolonged physical strain as well as a stimulant for the endocrine glands which would include the sex glands. Did I just say that? Haha! Anyway, it’s good for the general health of everyone.

The amazing part of brewing this stock would be that it’s concentrated. You could easily store in small containers and deep freeze it for your future cooking. The stock would be almost gelatin like with no preservative or seasoning. All you need to do is to add half a container of water to a container of stock and put in some pepper and salt to taste. It’s just as simple as that. Let me show you how you could create this HERBAL STOCK for your favorite hot pot. It’s mild anyway for the consumption of all ages.

INGREDIENTS:

Stock:
2kg pork bones (big bones/tua kut)
3 whole chicken bones
50gms ginseng roots (人參鬚/Panax schinseng roots)
20 sweetened dates
10 liter water

Serving:
Dried Chinese wolfberry (枸杞/kay chee/gouci/goji berry)
Pepper
Salt

PREPARATION:
1. Bring to boil 12 liters of water in a 20L pot.
2. Wash all the bones clean with salt and slowly put all of them into the big pot of boiling water. Add in the ginseng roots and dates. Lower the fire, close the pot partly with a lid and let it simmer for about 6-8 hours. Filter out all the bones and you would get about 6-7 liters of stock left.
3. Scoop the required amount of stock for your hot pot into a new pot. Add in half that amount of hot water (2:1). Add in some dried Chinese wolfberry (about less than 1 tablespoon will do as too much will make the soup turn sour). Bring to boil and sprinkle some pepper and salt to taste. NOTE: Try to be lighter in salt usage as some of the hot pot ingredients such as the meatballs and fish balls have salt in them. Thus the longer the hot pot boils, the saltier it will get. Anyway, I will be sharing the dipping sauce recipe next to allow you to adjust to your taste bud.

Recommended Vegetables for Hot Pot:
Crown daisy chrysanthemum leaves (tang oh/茼蒿) and other vegetables such as Chinese Cabbage (菜心/choy sum), cabbage, spring onions (tied up), young corn, mushrooms, etc. Please take note that the usage of too much Enoki mushrooms might cause the soup base to be sour.

Recommended Add-in for Hot Pot:
All types of meat and fish balls which would be available at your location, either fresh or frozen, chicken fillet slices and seafood of any kind such as crab, clam, mussel, squid, cuttlefish, prawn or fish.

Simple Alternative Soup with the stock:
– Chicken fillet slices, white fungus and ginkgo nuts.
– Chicken fillet slices, lotus seed and lily bulb (百合/bai he/ pak hup).
– Chicken with chopped water chestnut balls, cabbage and rice vermicelli.
– Pork dumpling (sui kow/水餃), Chinese cabbage (菜心/choy sum) and wonton noodles.

(Serves: 10 and above)

YOU CAN CHECK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES.

MEMORABLE REUNION DINNER FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR 2010

Posted by crizlai On February - 18 - 2010

As you can see, I have been rather busy during this year’s Chinese New Year. There were just too many projects to handle prior to the forth coming long stretch of holidays in which some of my Chinese based suppliers would be closed for business for almost 2 weeks. On top of that, I was mostly in the kitchen preparing some feasting goodies prior to the reunion dinner. Those included a few of my own recipes which included my delicious concoction of oysters and scallops and 30 liters of home brewed Herbal Tea to serve my guests during their visits on a humid day.

This year was one of the rarest celebration moments in my family as it so happen that the Chinese New Year which fell on 14 February 2010 coincided with Valentine’s Day. It’s a FIVE-IN-ONE CELEBRATION for the Lai Family! The celebration included the reunion dinner to usher in the Tiger year, my brother’s birthday on the eve, Valentine’s Day, my brother’s lunar birthday as well as his wedding anniversary which fell on Valentine’s Day. It was indeed a fun-filled celebration.

This year’s reunion dinner dishes were somewhat unique compared to the previous ones. In fact, other than the purchases of different types of meat and fish balls, the steamboat stock was another new creation for the family. It was ginseng roots based herbal stock for the first time in our steamboat reunion dinner history. Simple as it may look but it took more than 8 hours of low fire simmering and tedious filtering just to cook this up. Our steamboat side dishes this year was rather simple as we had other extra dishes as well. They included lots of crown daisy chrysanthemum leaves (tang oh/茼蒿), cabbages, wolfberry, prawns, silver pomfret (tao tay fish), chicken drumstick fillet, hair moss fish balls, vegetable fish balls, squid balls, large meatballs, 3 different types of wolf herring (sai to/ikan parang/西刀) fish balls, prawn & pork dumpling (sui kow/水餃), seafood tofu, Fuzhou fish balls (福州魚丸/Hock Chew fish ball – stuffed with minced meat), fish dumplings (魚餃/hoo keow/thin fish batter skin stuffed with minced meat) and fried chopped garlic as garnishing. The whole experience was rejuvenating after so many days of tiring preparations.

What would be new to most families would be our unique dipping sauce. It’s definitely not any hoisin sauce, chopped garlic with bird’s eyes chilies in soy sauce or bottled chili sauce but a concoction of red sweet sauce (甜醬), ginger and chicken fat. The fragrant gingery sauce with each bite of meat, seafood or balls would surely make you yearn for more.

As it was rare to have my brother’s birthday on such an auspicious gathering, we totally ignored on the fat and cholesterol intakes. LOL! I ordered one of my favorite Korean food – Jokbal (족발 – RM77), glazed pig feet meat slices. I believed that Sa Rang Chae Korean Restaurant is the sole restaurant in Penang to have this wonderfully cooked dish. It caught my brother’s attention immediately as I saw him applying nonstop the accompanied sweet and/or salty sauces onto the accompanied lettuce endlessly. Cool! At least he’s happy. Err… what happened to your diet plan bro? 😛

Now comes the interesting part of the suspense since my last post on reserving some of my home cooked Hokkien Mee stock and chili paste for this new recipe. What would a birthday be without any birthday noodles? Let me introduce you to my latest fusion recipe – Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles! The delicious dish had yellow noodles carefully stir fried in thick prawn stock, dried shrimps, meat, prawns, fish cake and flowering Chinese cabbage (chye sim/chai sim/菜心) with deep fried crab stick strips and fried shallots as garnishing. You can adjust your level of spiciness by adding more of the chili paste. Everybody, inclusive my two teenage nieces could not stop having this dish as it had a unique seafood fragrant. The more you take this, the more you want it for every meal!

I will not touch on the recipes here but I will share the recipes in the next few posts. Wishing everyone one a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year! Do drive carefully if you are traveling! Check out for more update here soon.

ADVENTUROUS AND WET EXPEDITION TO PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

Posted by crizlai On January - 19 - 2010

Feeling stressed out from working? You should get a group of friends and head towards Pulau Payar Marine Park, about 35km (19 nautical miles: 1nmi~1.85km) south of Pulau Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia, 28km (15 nautical miles: 1nmi~1.85km) west of Kuala Kedah or 59km (32 nautical miles: 1nmi~1.85km) north of Penang Island, Malaysia for a day out adventure to explore one of Asia’s most beautiful coral reefs. That was what a few of us Malaysian bloggers and friends did last Sunday by applying through the online “Kempen Cuti-cuti MyKad” special promotion package (RM180 per pax) and it was a fun-filling experience for all.

We started out by gathering at the newly constructed Swettenham Pier check-in building and by 8.30am, we were already on our way, leaving behind the scenic view of the Penang island. Some of us did recharge our energy during the journey by having some siesta to get the best out of the package. We finally arrived at Langkawi Coral Reef Platform (100m from the shore of Pulau Payar) about 2 hours later.

Pulau Payar, being the largest and 3 other smaller islands, namely Pulau Kaca (northeast of Pulau Payar), Pulau Lembu (northeast of Pulau Payar and just next to Pulau Kaca) and Pulau Segantang (southwest of Pulau Payar) and have been collectively gazetted as the Pulau Payar Marine Park. These islands are the sanctuary for extensive range of marine organisms and fishes. Stretching 1.75km x 500m with an area of 31.2 hectres, Pulau Payar is rich in flora and fauna on top of the magnificent coral reefs. The island has small stretches of white sandy beaches for those who love sunbathing and casual strolling. Don’t forget to bring more sun-block lotion if you intend to do so, unless you are those who would want to be as tan as the Africans… LOL! If you are lucky, you might even catch some live actions of creatures on the shore during daylight.

There are also a few trekking trails for those nature shutterbugs. You can expect to see endemic flying fox, monitor lizards, shore pit viper, white-bellied sea eagle, crested serpent eagle, imperial pigeon and many other feathered friends. You would also see some amenities which would include picnic tables, barbecue pits, gazebos and restrooms at strategic locations for your personal needs. Picnics and camping are allowed but cutting of trees and open burning would be strictly prohibited. How I wished I had more time to explore the other side of the island for more nature shots.

What impressed visitors most would be the availability of Langkawi Coral, Malaysia’s first and only reef platform located at the Pulau Payar Marine Park. The 49m x 15m well equipped floating platform (with numerous changing/wash rooms, snack bar and dining area) would facilitate activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, sunbathing, fish feeding to panoramic viewing of the marine kingdom. If that alone could not captivate your attention, glass bottom boat rides or diving can be arranged to various coral gardens to amaze you further.

If you do not intend to get yourself wet, there’s a tunnel-like Underwater Observation Chamber at the bottom of the platform (about 10 feet below sea level) to catch glimpses of the beautiful seabed filled with various seashells, shellfishes and slugs. With an average visibility of 9 to 15 meters of crystal clear blue water, I’m sure you would be impressed easily.

Do watch out for colorful soft corals and hard corals such as the deer antler like Staghorn, Boulder and Brain as well as fishes of all stripes, dots, spots and rainbow colors. It was a bonus in here for me as I caught shots of two main pelagic predators out there. One of them was the around 1m long Barracuda (locally known as alu-alu) which I would expect to be around 10kg or so, hiding under the platform awaiting its prey. The next was the Black Tipped Reef Shark of almost the same length as the Barracuda. Both were wonderful sights indeed.

While snorkeling deep in the crystal clear water, I managed to see some beautiful colored fishes such as the rock fish, yellow fin goatfish, schooling bannerfish, yellow boxfish (related to the pufferfish family), blue dot grouper, goldband fusiliers, horse-eyed jacks, tiera batfish, lawnmower blenny, sea goldie, raccoon/blackbacked butterflyfish, orange striped cardinalfish, percula clownfish (which did not have the lighter orange color as my favorite “Nemo”), yellowfin clownfish (of course I still missed my “Nemo”.. where did it hide itself this time? LOL!), tangaroan goby, yellow clown goby, arc eye hawkfish, large sized parrotfish, moon wrasse, juvenile trevally, black snapper, remora (suckerfish), mirror fish, needlefish and many more that I had lost track of their names. The more common ones that would invade the platform would be the four striped damselfish (sometimes known as sergeant major by some anglers), streaked spinefoot and queenfish (ikan talang/sampan thiao). There were quite a lot of sea urchins (locally known as sea rambutans) too on the seabed but be careful not to get poke or step on them as the only temporary cure to soothe the pain would be urine.

I was praying hard that I could get glimpses of some of the more unique sea creatures as those shown on National Geographic Channel such as the moray eel, giant grouper (long tan 龍旦), ghost pipe fish, lionfish, nurse shark, giant trevally (kam koay) or even lobsters but they were so hard to detect in such a vast area within the few hours we had. Moreover, I was not in any diving gears nor having any underwater camera. What a waste! Anybody want to sponsor me an underwater camera? LOL! Anyway, here are some of the underwater shots taken by Chan with his water-proofed Lumix camera:

There was to be a shark feeding session in the package but it had been cancelled until further notice by the management. I guessed this could be due to too many of their staff been bitten while feeding those aggressive predators. Maybe those sharks had gotten larger than before and thus one day they would be as large as those in the “Jaws” movie. Well, at least I was lucky to capture the shot of one earlier. 😛 Don’t be despair as you would still have the opportunity to feed other smaller fishes that would not bite. Errr… unless they are real hungry as I got my butts pinched quite a few times while feeding them in the water. How careless! Haha!

Buffet lines featuring international and local food would also be provided in this package deal. There was more than 25 items on the buffet spread which included appetizers such as over fresh buns, butter and cabbage & carrot soup, salads such as capsicums, onions, cucumber, tomatoes, Cameron lettuce with a choice of thousand island or spicy Italian dressings, mixed fruit salad, coleslaw, chicken sausage with corn salad and tuna with French bean salad, tempting entrée such as five spice chicken rolls, vegetable spring rolls, spicy potato wedges, fish fillet, Western, Malaysian & Oriental cuisine such as beef slices stew, sweet & sour prawns, braised mushroom with mixed vegetable, fried turmeric chicken, spaghetti bolognese, fried seafood vermicelli, oriental fried rice. Desserts included fruits such as watermelon, pineapple and oranges, pudding and jellies such as or raspberry mixed fruit jelly, orange mixed fruit jelly, mango pudding and honeydew pudding, local delicacies such as brown sugar steamed cake (malai ko) and kuih lompang pandan. Tea, coffee and cold water are free flow too. Overall, the food was reasonable enough to fill the tummy after the many hours of sea activities.

One of the main highlights of our trip was the photo shooting of our current Miss Malaysia World 2009 1st runner-up, Stefanie Chua. All eyes, especially from those male foreigners, were glued to her almost at all times. Stefanie Chua, who was no stranger to many beauty pageants, also held the Miss Schwarzenbach Beach Beauty during the recent competition and also countless of titles from other pageants. The photography was shot by none other than our Heritage Wedding Photography 2009 winner and founder of Studio Moonspell, Mr. Patrick Soon. Here are some glimpses of the photography session.

Let’s hope Stefanie recovered fast from a little mishap that happened during the photography session. We won’t want this expression in her photos right? Here’s a complimentary photo by Patrick Soon. Boy! If I were to be younger, I would surely get him to shoot my autobiography. What a beautiful shot… minus that candid expression of course. Haha!

Here’s a short video on my experience there in Pulau Payar. Let’s hope I can share many more of such trips with you in the near future. Do enjoy watching. 🙂

Hey! Why are you still gazing the photos and videos in here? By now you should have booked the package deals for your coming holiday. All you need to bring along would be yourself, a large towel, your swim wear and some cash for some extra hired excitements at Langkawi Coral Reef Platform. Our package deal included return boat fares, taxes, PA Insurance coverage, buffet lunch and fun-packed activities. There’s always something to do for everyone in Pulau Payar and getting bored would be the last thing you would hear. Please book early to avoid any disappointments. Have a nice holiday!

Important Not-To Do Note:
1. Pulau Payar Marine Park is a protected marine ecosystem area and no angling of any sort would be allowed under the Malaysian Fisheries Act 1991.
2. Collection of any coral and aquatic life would be prohibited.
3. Never vandalize or stand on any coral reef as it took thousands of years for them to form.
4. No shampoo or soap is allowed.
5. Do not litter. Pick up your rubbish when you leave the island.

Other Useful Information:
1. Do check out the Marine Park Centre, operated by the Fisheries Department for further information by means of brochures, maps and videos. Make sure you get more information on the do’s and don’ts while visiting the island.
2. There are no accommodation facilities on the island and camping permit would be required to stay on. Permit applications can be obtained at Pulau Langkawi’s Kuah Fisheries Office (604-966 6464), Kuala Kedah Fisheries Office (604-7621 6700), Kedah/Perlis State Fisheries Office (604-734 2137), Penang State Fisheries Office (604-626 1002), Department of Fisheries Malaysia (Ministry of Agriculture) in Kuala Lumpur (603-298 2011). Get enough of drinking water and food if you intend to stay back for more days.

It’s rather hard to show you how to get there as the islands are so small that even Google Map would not show up. Luckily, Chan brought had a GPS around. Here’s how’s the islands would look like if we were to blow up the scale.

Name:
LANGKAWI CORAL REEF PLATFORM
c/o Langkawi Saga Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd
16 Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Georgetown, 11200 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: 604-899 8822
Fax: 604-890 6068
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.langkawicoral.com
GPS: 6.0654, 100.0433

RATING:
Ambience: 9/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8.5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (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)

On holiday:
Criz Lai, Steven Goh, Kim Peng, Stefanie Chua, Patrick Soon, Tiffany Thor, David Khoo, Nana Khor, Lay Min, Kok Ann, Chan Chee Wah and Shirley See.

CBA 2ND ANNIVERSARY DIM SUM PARTY AT FUN TEA GARDEN

Posted by crizlai On December - 21 - 2009

More than two years of food blogging was nothing to brag about. In fact, it’s not the experience that I had acquired through time that pushed me to withstand the pressure and pleasure to get the best detail on the greatest places for dining. It’s the support and encouragement from you, my fellow floggers and readers. The friendship, the communication, the interpersonal skills and most of all the mini gatherings and reviews we had together indeed fostered our relationships even closer. We are like a big family now and hope to remain so for years to come. Even the responses and comments from readers (although I saw quite a large number of silent stalkers :P) surely kept Criz Bon Appetite moving even more diligently to bring the best place to eat to you. One thing I have noticed, Penangites are always in search of great food. It’s even obvious when it’s free as I had posted up in my anniversary giveaway. Within a mere two weeks, almost RM3,000 of free food vouchers had been sent out through snail mails from Northern up to Central Malaysia.

Well, don’t thank me for that. I’m only the postman. If not for the wonderful sponsors who wished to share out the best there are in Penang/Butterworth, you won’t have the privilege to try out their wonderful culinary skills. Let’s officially thank them for promoting Penang’s best to the dining community. They are Fun Tea Garden Dim Sum, Ki Xiang Klang Bak Kut Teh, Village Café Tom Yam Fish Head Noodles, I Mum Mum Pan Mee, Ivy’s Kitchen Nyonya Cuisine, Kowloon Hainan Chicken Rice and Magazine Road Tang Yuan. Let’s hope there would be more sponsors around next year since there were some late requests during the end of the project. I sincerely hope that those who had received their free vouchers had a great dining experience. 🙂

Last Friday night was the ending of the giveaways and saw a memorable anniversary celebration for close friends and floggers at Fun Tea Garden for the “eat-until-you-drop” dim sum and noodles party. Everyone was indeed stuffed until the brim by trying out almost everything from the restaurant. Well, that’s another few inches to the waistline. LOL! In fact, the whole atmosphere was filled with the laughs of the wackiest floggers and shutterbugs around town. Jokes can be heard at every table while ghost stories at another. I hope Steven Goh did not have bad dreams that night for the story telling. Haha! It was indeed a fun filling event for many including our new flogger-to-be in town, Lay Min and friend, Kok Ann, who drove all the way from Butterworth to attend this function. You would be surprised that the oldies and the newbies can click really well that night. Won’t it be great if we were to have more of such happy moments? Gals and guys… plan more in 2010! Hehe!

Since I was the host for the night, shooting great shots was quite impossible. Why not let the rest of the attendees show you how great the food was that night? Here’s a glimpse of some of the food we had.

The celebration ended with a large anniversary Marble Cheese Cake from Jenni Homemade Cakes, courtesy of Carrie, Mary and CW Chan. It was a bonus for all of us and also a few more pounds gained. Haha!

Here’s the group photo of the attendees with the boss of Fun Tea Garden, Mr. Danny, courtesy of CW Chan who has also bought a new RM3.1K Lumix camera on that night to provide better shots for his readers in the future. Thanks for de“virgin”ized your camera for that night. LOL!

Not in photo: NKOTB & hubby

ATTENDEES:
Criz Lai
Alan & Amanda
NKOTB & hubby
Little Inbox & hubby
Eunice, Siew Ying & Kelvin
Lay Min & Kok Ann
Jason & Gill
CW Chan
Steven Goh
Mary Teo
Carrie Soon
Jian Ming

A WEDDING RECEPTION AT THE FORUM CHINESE CUISINE PENANG

Posted by crizlai On December - 8 - 2009

Finally, a group of us floggers managed to attend the first Penang flogger’s wedding reception. Who could that be? It was none other than our beloved Steven Goh tying the knot with his beautiful wife, Kim Peng. The memorable event was held at The Forum Chinese Cuisine on 5 December 2009. Let us all wish the couple happy and prosperous days ahead with lots of bubbly “tiger” babies. Next year is the Year of the Metal Tiger in the Chinese Lunar Calendar and based on the Chinese Zodiac, such tigers are said to be lucky, lively and engaging with courageous attributes to protect his family against many evils. The Metal element gives the 2010 born tigers their sharpness in action and speed of thoughts, which would likely make them stand out in a crowd. With an inspiring assertiveness and competitive demeanor, they determine their goals and then do anything necessary to achieve them. Well Steven, you should know your 2010 planning now right? LOL!

Anyway, let us go right into food now as when there are floggers around food would be the main news. Hehe! Although there was a minor hiccup by the management of the restaurant in the serving of the dishes, it did not spoil the moods of the occasion. We had Braised Shark’s Fin Soup with Dried Scallops & Crab Meat served first. It was just a normal wedding banquet type of serving but what caught my attention was the usage of “glass noodle texture-like” shark’s fin and surimi (crab sticks). I guessed many sharks and decapod crustaceans were spared in this eco-friendly dish. LOL!

Next was the Deluxe Hot & Cold Dish Combination which consisted of hot steaming crystal skin “money bag” dumplings, stir fried prawns with cashew nuts and bell peppers, Minced pork and waxed sausage rolls and minced pork cutlet in plum sauce which tasted somewhat like our local “bak kua” minus the red rose wine flavor and coloring. It was an interesting combination.

Braised Chicken with Chest Nuts wrapped in Aluminum Foil followed. Although the roasted chicken was a bit bland in taste due to over steaming, the tender meat went well with the stuffing of chest nuts, mushrooms, waxed sausages and carrots with some mild seasonings. The best part lied in the gravy where it had a rich and flavorful chicken essence.

When it came to giving fresh and succulent large prawns, the restaurant had its best. The Deep Fried Prawns coated with Oats & Crispy Minced Egg was perfect. Some of us were caught savoring the delicious condiments instead.

We were then served with Stewed Assorted Mushroom with Broccoli in Oyster Sauce. Other than broccoli, straw mushrooms and Chinese mushrooms, there were another thinly sliced abalone-like texture ingredient. We were not too sure what that was but to me it tasted more like an edible sea snail meat.

As for the Steamed Grouper Fish “Teow Chew” Style, it was just a normal serving due to the mass production. Somehow ours was sort of “handicapped” (from the sign of the tilted head) and overcooked. The fish lost the firmness in texture. Moreover, a touch of more pickled sour plums and Shao Xing wine would make the dish more tasteful.

Steamed Lotus Leaf Rice with Waxed Sausage was served next. Simple as it may look, each grain of rice was well flavored with the taste from the lotus leaves.

The last course was of course dessert. We were served with Sweetened Honeydew Melon Cream with Sago. I suspected the cream came in powder form as the coloring was somewhat artificial. I surely preferred something more natural like blended honeydew instead.

Other than the free flowing wine, beer and cordial, we were each presented some gift by the couple – a piece of fruit cake and a silky pouch filled with a pair of heart-shape lollipops. From my observation, this memento pleased many of the guests. The elderly were happy with a little something to keep their coins, whereas the younger ones were happy with something to share with their friends and partner-to-be. After all, wedding is all about sharing the love together for eternity.

To Steven & Janice…
Your happiness begins
With your wonderful wedding day.
You’ll share everything together;
Through it all, your love will stay.
Congratulations to you,
As you begin your happy life.
May all good things be yours,
As new husband and new wife.

For those who had missed the memorable event, here’s a short video of the couple walking down the aisle.

The Forum Chinese Cuisine is located at Level 3 within Island Plaza, Penang. It won’t be hard to find the way as it’s just along Jalan Tanjung Tokong on your right.

THE FORUM

Name: THE FORUM CHINESE CUISINE @ ISLAND PLAZA
Address: 803-01, 3rd Floor, Island Plaza, 118 Jalan Tokong, 10470 Penang.
Business Hours:
11.30am-3.00pm, 6.30pm-10.00pm (Monday-Saturday)
9.30am-3.00pm, 6.30pm-10.00pm (Sunday & Public Holiday)
Contact: 604-899 0088
GPS: 5.450371, 100.305946

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: 7/10 (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)

ATTENDEES:
Criz Lai
CK Lam
Alan & Amanda
NKOTB & hubby
CW Chan
Eunice & Siew Ying

MOON CAKES YOU WOULD GET FOR MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL 2009

Posted by crizlai On September - 18 - 2009

Do you realize that what we consume today has evolved into something that even if our ancestors were still alive, they would no longer recognize those traditionally prepared products anymore? Well, time has changed. So have the needs and tastes of the modern generations. Here’s just a little project that I did in introducing Traditional Moon Cakes versus Fusion Moon Cakes based on my findings on 4 companies, namely Hock Lok Siew Biscuit Manufacturer (HLS), Tho Yuen Restaurant (TYR), The Baker’s Cottage (TBC) and Yan Wo Wang (YWW). So which one would you choose? Would you still choose Traditional Moon Cakes over Fusion Moon Cakes, vice versa?

Let’s start by introducing the basic cookies that you would get on top of the mooncakes. We call them the Moon Biscuits/Cookies (Mid Autumn Cookies/Gong Zai Peng/Ang Kong Na Pia/公仔餅). Traditionally, these biscuits would come with plain flour mixed with some golden syrup, bicarbonate soda, corn oil, alkaline water and so on before being baked until golden brown. Today, the method has evolved with many manufacturers having them with nuts and fillings. There are 7 versions I found at HLS (see photo below – top left clockwise) namely Melon Seed Moon Biscuit (RM7.00/500gms), Plain Moon Biscuit (RM5.00/500gms), Black Sesame with Pumpkin Seeds Moon Biscuits (RM5.00/pack), Red Bean Paste Moon Biscuit (RM4.00/10pcs), Lotus Seed Paste Moon Biscuit (RM4.00/10pcs), Durian Paste Moon Biscuit (RM5.00/10pcs) and Coconut Silk Moon Biscuit (RM4.00/10pcs).

Basically, some of these biscuits come without any surface designs but you can always find some around with designs such as the ones Steven’s mum baked – fish and minis. You would have to ask him if his mum sells those. You can even find some mini ones at HLS at RM4.00 for a pack of fours.

As for moon cakes, the traditionally prepared ones would be either with plain pastry skins or snow skins (glutinous rice flour). Sorry to say, you won’t get the snow skin versions from HLS as they are solely into biscuit manufacturing but I had made the effort to get one from TYR just for the photo shot. (Clockwise from top left) You can see the Single Yolk Red Bean Paste Snow Skin Moon Cake (RM7.70 – TYR), Lotus Seed Paste Moon Cake (RM6.50 – HLS), Single Yolk Coconut Silk Moon Cake (RM5.00 – HLS), Mixed Nuts Moon Cake (RM6.50 – HLS) and Durian Moon Cake (RM6.50 – HLS). You can visit them for more flavors (RM7.00/RM8.00) such as the Red Dates, Pandan Lotus Seed, Green Tea and Mixed Nuts with Ham.

Hock Lok Siew Biscuit Manufacturing: 120 Lebuh Noordin, 10300 Penang. Tel: 604-262 2162
Tho Yuen Restaurant: 92 Lebuh Campbell, 10100 Penang. Tel: 604-261 4672

Isn’t the spread of moon cakes stated above great? Yes it is but it did not stop there with the creativity of mankind. Thus, came in companies such as TBC with other fusion flavors. (Clockwise from top left) You can see the latest product from them namely the Precious Black (RM11.90 – pure charcoal powder butter pastry skin/white lotus seed paste with chunky dried longan meat and wolfberry lotus seed paste “yolk”), Rich Chocolate Peanut Praline (RM11.90 – pure chocolate butter pastry skin/dark chocolate lotus seed paste and peanut praline “yolk”), Pearl of Prosperity (RM11.80 – pandan lotus paste/yellow mung bean paste and egg yolk), Chestnut Japanese Jingsa (RM11.90 – chestnut lotus seed paste and Japanese Jingsa with seaweed flake “yolk”) and Blueberry Blackcurrant Cheese (RM11.90 – fruity blueberry lotus seed paste with dried blackcurrant chunks and cheesy “yolk”). Do check out some of the TBC counters at shopping malls for some discounts. For more information, visit the TBC website.

Well, that’s not all the moon cake you would find. There’s the Single Yolk Shanghai Moon Cake (RM11 – TYR). The filling would normally be lotus seed paste but you might find some with red bean paste as well. The differences lie within the skin pastry. This version has a flaky skin.

You thought the creativity of the bakers stopped there? No, it did not. Let’s looked at what YWW had come out with – the fruity snow skin version. My best recommendation would be the Snow Skin Strawberry Moon Cake (RM13.90 – YWW). It has the fruity strawberry paste minus the extreme sweetness compared to other moon cakes and it has a fresh strawberry as the “yolk”. I would think it’s a bit pricey but it’s one product that would suit the taste buds of different generations. Don’t you think this would be the ideal “courting” product for this season? LOL!

Check out the flyer below for more flavors:

YWW is also the producer of Crystal Moon Cake. This is actually the jelly version but YWW has moved one step ahead of others by inserting pure bird nest since they are also one of the bird nest distributors in Malaysia. Let’s look at some of the moon cakes they have to offer – Mango Crystal Moon Cake (RM12.90 – pure mango jelly skin, mango milk jelly and carrot “yolk”), Red Bean Bird Nest Crystal Moon Cake (RM16.90 – soy bean skin, bird nest, red bean jelly and carrot “yolk”) and Honey Dew Bird Nest Crystal Moon Cake (RM16.90 – plain skin, bird nest, honey dew milk jelly and carrot “yolk”).

There are also many other flavors such as cappuccino, dragon fruit, mixed fruit, kiwi available and they come in a beautifully design box of 2’s and 6’s.

Check out the flyer below for more flavors and also visit some of their counters at Gurney Plaza basement, Pacific Megamall basement, Sunway Carnival Mall basement or I Mum Mum Restaurant, the Pan Mee Specialist at Lebuh Macallum.

Overall, this is just an informative post to enlighten my readers on what to expect out there during this Mid Autumn Festival celebration (3 October 2009). I would like to take this opportunity to wish my readers a Happy Mid Autumn Festival 2009. Happy reunion with your loved ones! To my Muslim readers who would be celebrating the Hari Raya this coming Monday – Salam Aidil Fitri!

 

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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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