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AN INSIGHT VIEW OF HAVEN DELIGHTS @ PENANG TIMES SQUARE

Posted by crizlai On April - 23 - 2009

Note: This restaurant has ceased its operations at Penang Times Square and has moved to Gurney Plaza, Penang, under the name of Xiao Nan Guo Cuisine.

INTERIOR

When I mention about insight, please do bear with me on a long post with a detailed study into Haven Delights. Ever since my first visit to Haven Delights, I must admit that I just could not get enough of their various ranges of cuisine from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Shanghai. It was not the food alone that attracted my attention but the friendliness, smiling faces and wonderful services from every level of the restaurant management. It has also been quite awhile ever since I had encountered innovative chefs and management that were so receptive to feedbacks and their willingness to post mortem mistakes to serve their best to meet the demands and requests of their patrons. This is the true quality of how good a restaurant should be and the success story behind Penang Times Square’s latest restaurant, Haven Delights.

TEAPOTS

It was truly a privilege to be invited by the management of Haven Delights and also a wonderful experience working closely with the Chairman & Managing Director, Mr. Ng Boon Tong, Executive Chef, Mr. Edwin Teo, Sous Chef, Mr. Alex and staff to provide some of the Food Blogging Community members the opportunity to try out their fabulous cuisines last Saturday. The turnout was marvelous with 19 of us from Penang and KL. Without much ado, let’s hit the review items that were served to us.

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COLD CUTS:

The Hotzzz Abalone (from the Buffet Menu) dish came as a real surprise for many of us as it was topped with the chef’s homemade spicy paste and eel sauce, then garnished with fried garlic and spring onions. This was the first time I had tasted abalone served in this method (the next closest would be the abalone salad I had at Sarkies Corner in E&O Hotel) where the chili paste was not too spicy and yet very appetizing. The Unagi Tofu (from the Buffet Menu) on the other hand was milder with a grilled eel slice being laid above a silky and smooth tofu with chopped fried garlic, spring onions and bonito flakes as garnishes. The accompanied sweet sauce combined well with each of the ingredients.

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MAIN DISHES:

The Chicken Ban Ban (RM10) which had fried chicken pieces, deep fried eggs and topped with the chef’s 3 types of special sauces and shredded nori was another great tasting dish. The only hiccup was that although the chicken pieces were juicy enough, it lacked a bit more of seasoning which would make the whole dish perfect. Moreover, the presentation for the night was kind of flat compared to the few times I had tasted out this dish. The kitchen had now reverted to the earlier style as shown in the comparison photos below. Try combining all the 3 sauces (mayo, wasabi mayo & sweet sauce) on the dish and you will feel the sensation of sweet, creamy and spiciness with each bite. With almost all the items being fried, there were hardly any signs of the dish being oily.

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The Red Dragon Prawn with Jammy Sauce (RM20) which was presented next was a colorful dish. It had giant battered prawns, ball-like white dragon fruit cooked with the chef special fruity sauce. The tangy and slightly spiced flavor from the dish was unique to many. Due to the existence of so many food critics in our group that night, I guessed the chef was a bit nervous and came out with a slightly overcooked dragon fruit ball. Most of us thought it was kiwi fruit instead. I hope the kitchen staff will take note that fruits are not meant to be overcooked or they would lose out on their Vitamin C nutrient. Overall, the dish was still great for many, especially when taken with the shredded radish side dish.

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Next on our review list was the Motoyaki Scallop (RM14 for 5pcs). Since I’m a heavier flavor and spicy rich eater, I have no problem with the scallops served that night, except that I found them to be potentially spicy for many people, especially children. Moreover, the tabasco pepper sauce-like spiciness and thousand island type of creaminess from the toppings had somehow overpowered the freshness taste of the scallops. I would recommend the kitchen to look into the possibility of coming out with a milder dish for those non-spicy food patrons, e.g. plain grilled scallops with some lighter flavored sauces.

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For those Korean food lovers, the next dish which was Korean Beef Kimchi (RM16) would be ideal. The homemade kimchi was good as it was just nice without the overpowering taste of chili and vinegar. The beef slices were tender and juicy. I won’t mind having this dish with a bowl of hot steaming rice.

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The Lamb Teriyaki (RM18 for 2 cuts) had a sweet and slightly grill-burned taste. It tasted nice except that the lamb cuts for that night was not as perfect as the ones I had earlier. It somehow lacked the little fatty portions that would be ideal for any grilled lamb cuts. That might be the reason why certain parts of the meat were not well flavored or tender enough for the consumptions of some of the floggers.

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I loved the uniqueness in taste of the restaurant sous chef, Alex’s creation – Homemade Spicy Chicken (RM15). The fried chicken pieces, chopped fermented black beans, red chilies, garlic, spring onions, curry leaves and sesame seeds were cooked in thick, sweet and spicy gravy and these complimented each ingredients wonderfully. This would be another great item to be taken with hot steaming rice or mantou.

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The newly menu added Shanghai Honey Spare Ribs (RM18) served for the night was the most disappointed dish to be served for the night as most of us considered the dish to be over salty. Somehow the saltiness overpowered the sweetness of the honey. Moreover, the meat on the ribs was rather hardy to be taken in a chopsticks serving dining. I would suggest that spare ribs be braised prior to frying as it would loosen the meat more on the ribs. On top of the awareness on the correct combination of taste, a fattier choice of ribs would be more ideal in this type of dish. As for presentation wise, the rearrangement of the ribs by our own flogger, Jason, would be better as the dish would not look so flat.

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NOODLES:

Although the next dish Japanese Yaki Udon (RM12) was a common dish, the paper thin bonito flakes made it livelier as they were moving along with the heat from the dish. Most of us found the dish to be a bit too wet and the high heat frying (wok hei) was a bit overpowering. The revised version served later was drier and tasted better.

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CHEF’S SPECIAL SURPRISE:

The Tempura Cheese Maki served to us individually was the new creation of Edwin Teo, the executive chef of Haven Delights. The mildly burn tempura unagi roll topped with creamy Mozarella cheese was wonderful. I wished I could have more serving of this dish on that night.

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There were also another two unexpected food testing from the kitchen for the event. One was the beautifully blue fuel gel flamed and aluminum foil wrap baked Chicken Bomb. The presentation was good but the spicy and thyme enhanced flavor of the mashed salmon somehow did not match well with the fiber texture of the chicken meat. The whole combination did not meet our likings much. I personally felt that salmon should be taken in bigger chunks or in thin slices and should not be mashed up to taste like tuna. Maybe a milder herb usage or a non spicy version would be better for the dish. Let’s leave this to the chef to figure out.

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The other unexpected dish was the HK Style Wan Than Mee (RM22). Most of us considered the price to be a bit high even if the wonton were to be big and fully filled with prawns. The dish had four big wontons and a generous amount of young kalian (Chinese broccoli/kale) on top of the springy thick wonton noodles. The soup broth was thick and suited the noodles well but the wontons had some problems. The usage of some blended squid paste resulted in the prawns to be rather soft and powdery taste like as though they were not fresh. I would personally prefer either a bit of minced meat were to be used for the extra bite sensation or some chopped spring onions/Chinese celery to be added to the fresh prawns with a drop or two of sesame oil and light seasoning. Having some chopped jicama, carrots or water chestnuts would surely be an added bonus to the wontons. I also felt that plain fried garlic oil on top of the chopped spring onions served as garnishes would give would give the extra fragrance to the noodles compared to using fried shallots.

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HOMEMADE DESSERTS:

We also had the options to try out two of their special homemade desserts which were Macha Ice Cream and Kuru Goma Ice Cream. The Macha Ice Cream (RM8) had thick green tea extract blended into the ice cream, served with two mochi (glutinous rice balls) and topped with red bean paste. There were many disputes over this dessert as some prefer it not to be so strong in green tea flavor and to be sweeter in taste. Some prefer the red bean paste to be blended finer and even suggested the usage of kidney beans so that it would go smoother with each luxurious mouthful. There were also feedbacks on a less chewy mochi or had the mochi filled with red bean paste instead. To me, it would be each individual’s preferences as not everyone will have the same taste bud. I would think this dessert would be suitable for those who love to indulge in having dessert but are afraid of their blood sugar level. On the other hand, the mochi were indeed chewy hard but it has a great scientific explanation to that. Which item would not turn hard at freezing point? Even the Tempura Ice Cream which I had tried during my earlier visit had harder tempura bits compared to the actual room temperature ones I had tried before. Maybe the kitchen might want to consider having a nutty, chocolate or fruity version by considering the usage of roasted peanuts, pistachio, chocolate rice or even bananas. Simplicity might even be the better solution for this dessert.

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Next of the dessert option was the Kuru Goma Ice Cream (RM8) which had a ratio of 3:7 of grinded black sesame seeds to the ice cream, topped with crushed peanuts. Most of the floggers loved this flavor as this dessert was sweeter compared to the Macha Ice Cream but there were still some who prefer to have more black sesame flavor in the ice cream. Moreover, some had also considered the presentation to be a bit too plain and lack in colors. I would think sprinkling some roasted black sesame seeds and garnish with a leaf or two of mint leaves would be the solution.

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The above items were the food specially arranged for us to review. There are still many hundreds more of new items available in the Ala Carte and Buffet menus. Buffet lunch and dinner would be priced at RM49.90+ per person (Children 50% off). You can order as many items as you like in their over 90 dishes buffet menu list within the allocated two hours duration from as early as 10.30am until 11.00pm daily. Do take note that wastage above 100gms would be charged accordingly. Here are some of the side dishes they may serve on the buffet line on top of those orders you can make from the buffet menu.

BUFFETSIDEDISHES

There were also some great dishes that I had tasted from this restaurant during my other visits other than the ones I had reviewed last month and I would like to share with you here. If you like to have a lighter meal, you can try out the Karapachio Salad (RM10). It would come with a variety of greens, some fish cake slices and served with their specially prepared sashimi raw fish mix sauce. It was indeed refreshing and unique.

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If you are keen on trying out cold noodles, you should try the Tenzaru Soba (RM14). It would come with a rack of noodles on ice cubes, served with tempura prawns and vegetables, a thick broth for dipping and some condiments for you to adjust your level of flavor. I loved every items served in this dish.

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Even the Silky Lau Mee (RM12), almost similar to the taste of the tested HK Style Wan Than Mee except for the wonton, tasted great with broiled young kalian, crab stick strips and boiled chicken slices. The taste of the broth blended well with the springy thick wonton noodles.

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Another quite similar to the Tempura Cheese Maki dish was the Aburi Ebi Cheese Maki (RM18). This was a marvelous dish indeed. It has 6 pieces of lovely Mozarella cheese enriched rolls (maki) and 2 pieces of tempura prawn rolls. There were also a lot of tobiko (flying fish roes) sprinkled on them. It was simply yummylicious!!

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Just to prove to you that the restaurant would do anything to accommodate to the request of its customers, I had presented them with a task of coming out with a dish with a packet of mixed flavored beans and seaweed as rice garnishes I had received from Japan. The result was amazing… A well presented plate of triangular shaped Traditional Onigiri (三角形日式飯糰), a cooked Japanese white rice finger food wrapped in nori (edible seaweed). Thanks to Mr. Melvin Loo, the sushi assistant, for coming out with this wonderful out-of-the-menu item. You have indeed proven your worthiness to be amongst the top in sushi making.

ONIGIRI

Last but not least, I would like to thank the management and staff of Haven Delights for giving us, the Food Blogging Community, the opportunity to try out the food and in trusting us in our feedbacks for further improvement to the quality of food in Penang.

MANAGEMENT

I would also like to thank the following attendees for making this review gathering an enjoyable one with constructive feedbacks to the management of Haven Delights. Thank you guys and ladies… you were great!

Rebecca Saw
Steven Goh
Nicholas Chan
Jason & Gill
Cariso
CK Lam
Mary
Allie
Bee
Allen Ooi
Lingzie
Ken Chan
Sidney, Sunny & Alex
Albert Yap
Huat Koay

The best way to reach the shop would be by using Jalan Magazine (Traders Hotel). Drive into Jalan Dato Kramat (2nd junction at the right of Gama Supermarket) until you have reached Penang Times Square on your left. Find a parking space along the road or within the allocated parking bay. Just walk into the mall and go to Level 1. The restaurant which is facing the main road of Jalan Dato Keramat is very prominently located either by mode of escalator or elevator.

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Name: HAVEN DELIGHTS
Address: 77-L1-34, Jalan Dato Kramat, 10150 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-210 8855, 210 8856, 016-492 1658 (Ms. Angie Ng)
Opening Hours: 10.30am-11.00pm
Buffet Hours: 10.30pm-11.00pm (2 hours duration per person)
GPS: 5.414701, 100.331871

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

A FUN GATHERING AT LOUIS CAFE

Posted by crizlai On February - 9 - 2009

NOTE: THIS CAFE HAS CEASED ITS OPERATIONS

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If you are looking for a place where you can savor great food with rich and quality ingredients, you should take note of the latest Western and Asian fusion restaurant in Penang. Opened barely two months ago on 22 December 2008, Louis Café had impressed its customers with its wide arrays of dishes. Most of the dishes served are the own concoctions of their few experienced chefs. Thanks to Lingzie for arranging this gathering yesterday as some of us were able to review on their food quality, taste, flavor and ambience. I would say this is a cool place for group meetings, family functions and a romantic evening for love birds with their averagely lighted atmosphere.

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Let’s start the food introduction in proper sequence. Salads were first and we were served with three different varieties – Our House Rules Organic Salad (RM15), Classic Caesar Salad (RM18) and Scallop Salad (RM20). The Organic Salad was filled with lots of fresh greens and a mixture of apple cider, olive oil, some herbs and a hint of chopped lemongrass. This would be a great appetizer for those who love crunchy greens but I find the dressing a bit sour to my liking. Maybe a pinch of salt and some raw brown sugar might help pep up the flavor. The Classic Caesar Salad was loaded with lots of fresh greens, fried bacon bits, salmon strips, mixed herbs and garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and toasted croutons. I simply love this salad as it was rich in flavors except that I would prefer the croutons to be oil fried instead. The Scallop Salad was indeed another irresistible choice. On top of the fresh greens, the seared fresh scallops still maintained their juiciness. The searing definitely brought out the flavor in the scallops and with the special apple salsa sauce. This salad was one of the best I had tasted for ages. It even had some chopped onions, tomatoes, apples and chives for that extra bite.

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The next set was the soup served with some dinner rolls. We had the opportunity to try out some of the existing as well as newly created soup. There were all together 5 varieties which included Italianese Wild Mushroom Soup (RM10), Pumpkin Soup (RM9), Cream of Broccoli (RM9), Cream of Cauliflower (RM9) and Cream of Tomato (RM9). All the soups were creamy and tasty in their own ways. Except for my favorite Pumpkin Soup which came with some toasted almonds slices garnishes, I personally find that these could be further improvised by adding some bites into them such as toasted wild mushroom slices, oil fried croutons, chopped tomatoes as all the ingredients were blended too fine.

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We were then served with another 8 main course dishes such as the Vegetarian Cutlet (RM15.90), Classic Fish Cordon Bleu (RM25), Sirloin Steak with Red Wine Sauce (RM28), Grilled Lamb Chop with Peppercorn Sauce (RM22), Grilled Lamb Chop with Brown Mushroom Sauce (RM22), Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce (RM38), Pan Seared Salmon Steak with Dijon Sauce (RM30), Red Snapper with Cream of Tomato Pulp (RM25) and Baked Stuffed Chicken with Brown Mushroom Sauce (RM20). The Vegetarian Cutlet was unique as it came in the shape of a leaf. It was made from a mixture of buttered mashed potatoes, carrot dices, chopped onions, corn kernels, chopped broccoli, mixed herbs, coated with breadcrumbs and fried to perfection. This would be a great dish for those who like to have a meatless meal. The Classic Fish Cordon Bleu was another hit amongst us. Instead of red snapper fillet, Pacific dory fillet was used. The combination of the fresh fillet with filling such as ham and cheese, was so well balanced that it was gone within minutes. The Sirloin Steak with Red Wine was also a dish that got us drooling as the air flown Australian Striploin maintained its juiciness and tenderness after being grilled medium rare. The red wine sauce complemented the whole combinations perfectly.

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The Grilled Lamb Chop came in two flavors – Peppercorn Sauce and Brown Mushroom Sauce. Most of us preferred the latter as the former had a rather strong pepper taste which overpowered the natural lamb flavor. The Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce was also nice except for the strong peppercorn sauce as mentioned. The Pan Seared Salmon Steak with Dijon Sauce was also nice combination except for the fillet which I personally find a bit too thick to allow whatever marinates to seep deeply into the meat. The Red Snapper with Cream of Tomato Pulp was grabbed up real fast too. The freshness and smoothness of the red snapper fillet blended in well with the accompanied creamy tomato pulp sauce. The Baked Stuffed Chicken with Brown Mushroom Sauce was another cool dish as the chicken thigh fillet had a whole cheese sausage stuffed inside, breaded and baked until golden. The brown mushroom sauce combined well with this dish.

On top of the main courses, we also had Spaghetti Arrabiata (RM16), Fettucine Carbonara (RM16) and Spicy Chicken Tortilla (RM15.90). The Spaghetti Arrabiata was nice for those who love a spicier version. I personally find the herbs and ingredients were a bit too spicy and over rich in flavors. The Fettuccine Carbonara was my favorite as it had lots of bacon slices, ham strips, chopped onions, sautéed garlic, buttered wild mushroom slices, mixed herbs, cream and grated Parmesan cheese which made the whole combination perfect. Instead of the fettuccine pasta, linguine pasta was used and this made each mouthful even smoother and flavorful. Spicy Chicken Tortilla was a surprise to us as it was not stated in the menu. The filling was marvelous as the chicken pieces and potatoes were mildly spiced with some curry spices and curry leaves. Each bite left us yearning for more.

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Since all of us were fully stuffed by the café’s management (Thanks to Ms. Teoh), I managed to try out one of the desserts which was the White Fungus with Ginkgo Nuts (RM5). The dessert was marvelous as the soup was mildly sweetened with red dates and rock sugar. The ginkgo nuts were cooked just right and the white fungus still maintained their crunchiness. You can also opt for their other desserts such as Bird’s Nest at RM45 per bowl or the Herbal Snow Jelly at RM10 per bowl.

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Overall, we enjoyed ourselves dining in the café. With the great Penang Floggers there, it was even more fun and exciting. There would be a 5% service tax applicable to all the meals ordered but you can always check with the proprietor, Ms. Teoh, for group discounts if you would want to hold some functions. Tour groups are always welcome. On top of the Ala Carte dishes as mentioned above, the café do have a different Set Lunch menu daily which consist of appetizer of the day, choice of main course, choice of beverages and free flow of ice cream at only RM18.90+. Set Dinners are also available with an additional soup of the day and the option to choose between beverages and fresh cut fruits at only RM26.90+. Moreover, they also have finger snacks such as Fried Chicken Wings, Deep fried Squid Balls, French Fries, Potato Wedges and Deep Fried Calamari Rings from as low as RM6. If you fancy some local hawker fares, you could also look into their Asian menu which has Seafood Singapore Bee Hoon, Seafood Fried Rice, Thai Seafood Tom Yam Bee Hoon Soup, Seafood Hokkien Char, Seafood Hor Fun, Seafood Ramen and BBQ Pork Ramen (between RM8-RM12).

Finding the restaurant would be easy but not prominently noticeable as it’s situated along a row of pre-colonial houses along Jalan Argyll. The best way to reach the café would still be from Upper Penang Road. Coming in from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah into Upper Penang Road where Hotel Continental, Hotel Malaysia, Cititel are, drive onwards until you see Veenai Odeon Cinema on your right. Turn right into the road, that’s Jalan Argyll. Drive on until you have reach the cross junction (Jalan Transfer/Jalan Argyll). Drive across Jalan Transfer and you would see the café just a few houses away on your left (directly opposite Mingood Hotel).

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Name: LOUIS CAFE
Address: 161-C, Jalan Argyll, 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 11.00am-11.00pm
Contact: 604-228 7729, 012-470 1666 (Ms. Teoh Chua Tee)
GPS: 5.421778, 100.330472
WIFI: Yes

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

Attended Floggers:
Criz Lai of Criz Bon Appetite
Lingzie of Lingzie’s Tummy Treats
CK Lam of What2See Online
Huat Koay of PenangTuaPui
Rebecca of The Nomad Gourmand
Steven Goh of Steven Goh dot com
Allen Ooi of Yummy Station
Gill & Jason of Gourmet Garden
Carrie of Cariso Delicacies Corner
Mary of Food Paradise
Bee of Buzzing Life
Mr. Lee of Kwong Wah Yit Poh

 

YOUNG HEART RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On January - 7 - 2009

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With the inspiration from a plant with heart shaped leaves called Sweetheart Hoya, a restaurant known as Sweet Heart Restaurant was established since 2005. Strategically located nearby the hustle and bustle of the Pulau Tikus market, this restaurant surprisingly gives you the relaxing environment with the peace and tranquil one would hardly expect. It’s a cool place to be in as the whole theme would be based on their motto “The Fragrance of the Refreshment comes from the Heart”. What would be the best way than to present them in edible forms?

The best part of indulging yourself in such a restaurant is that the food served here would be of home cooked styles without any unnecessary flavorings. The dishes would be cooked in the simplest and most healthy way and yet bringing out the best in each dish. Even those fragrant flower tea drinks served there were refreshingly healthy. It’s indeed a healthy place for everyone.

Other than their famous dumplings, noodles and impressive set lunch menus, the restaurant has recently cooked up some promotions to cater for the Chinese New Year crowds. A few of the Penang floggers had the privilege to try out the dinner last night. Prior to starting the food tasting for the Chinese New Year promotion, we were given a few types of sauces. There were fried onions, ginger in black vinegar and chili powder in oil meant for the jiaozi and guotie which we would be having later on. On top of that, we were also given some Chinese, Japanese and Siam sauces too.

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Lotus Root with Sugar & Vinegar (RM3) was also served as an appetizer where slices of lotus root were marinated in sugar and apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is believed to be able to lower cholesterol level. This is indeed something different for us.

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During most Chinese dinners, soup would always be the first to be served. We were treated with Hot & Sour Soup (RM5/bowl). The soup contained 3 types of vinegar, namely black, white vinegar and apple cider vinegar with cube of bean curds, crabsticks, wood ear fungus, pickled shanghai vegetable, chopped chilies, fish maws, beaten egg white and so on. It was indeed appetizing.

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Another few appetizers worth mentioning would be their paper rice rolls. We had the opportunity to try out their Prawn Vegetable Rolls (RM7.60), Egg Vegetable Rolls (RM6.60) and Unagi Vegetable Rolls (RM7.60). They were perfect as each roll was filled with freshly sliced vegetables.

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There were also the restaurant’s in-house specialties such as Fried Bean Curd (RM4.80), Prawn & Leeks Guotie (RM9.60) and Cheese & Chicken Guotie (RM10.80). The Fried Bean Curd was extremely tasty as the inner part has so many ingredients in it. The outer part has the crunchiness of the special batter, making the whole mouthful very delightful. It was great having these with the Siam Chili Sauce provided.

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Next on the list was the 7-course Chinese New Year Promotion, which consists of Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables with Mushroom (RMRM16.80), Golden Scallop Dumpling (RM18.80), Fried Prawns with Garlic (RM18.80), Steamed Cod Fish with Bean Curd (RM29.80), Prosperous Year in Malaysia (RM6.80), Snake Squash with Pork (RM11.80) and Sponge Gourd with Pork (RM13.80).

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The Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables with Mushroom had some nice and sweet gravy with lots of greens and mushroom in it. Simple but yet it contained great vitamin and minerals to the body. The Golden Scallop Dumpling which has some carrot juice made skin contained a juicy fresh scallop each. The Fried Prawns with Garlic was another great dish as the prawns were mixed with some chopped garlic batter and oil fried to perfection, giving each prawn the fragrant bite. The Steamed Cod Fish with Bean Curd did not let anyone down as some even ordered some rice to be taken with the tasty gravy. The Prosperous Year in Malaysia was actually deep fried chicken wings and drumlets. What made this dish stood out was the smell and taste of sliced Kaffir lime leaves and shallots within the marinated pieces. The Snake Squash with Pork was a rather unique dish for many as most of us had not known the existence of such a vegetable. The taste was somewhat like munching cooked celery minus the strong celery herby taste. The Sponge Gourd with Pork was somewhat different compared to the rest as it was cooked with Angelica sinensis (dong guai or female ginseng). This would be an ideal dish for those who like Chinese herbs cooking.

The meal ended up with noodles, namely Black Jelly Mushroom Fried Noodles (RM8.80), Shredded Pork Noodles (RM7.50) and Ground Pork with Spicy Bean Sauce Noodles (RM7.50). All the handmade noodles tasted great with their own unique tastes, except that the Ground Pork with Spicy Bean Sauce Noodles could be rather pungent for some.

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On top of the food, we were also served with two unique combinations of beverages. One would be the Honey Lemon with Aloe Vera (RM6/glass) and sweetened Chamomile & Chrysanthemum Tea (RM4.50/glass). The Honey Lemon with Aloe Vera was lovely as it has cubes of jelly-like Aloe Vera cubes in it. The Chamomile & Chrysanthemum Tea on the other hand was refreshing as Chamomile is believed to be good for the digestive system as well as fighting against fatigue and insomnia. Chrysanthemum has the medicinal value of fighting against flu related viruses.

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Attended Floggers:
Criz Lai of Criz Bon Appetite
CK Lam of What2See Online (Organizer – Thanks!)
Tam Chiak & Huat Koay of PenangTuaPui
Steven Goh of Steven Goh dot com
Allen Ooi of Yummy Station
Gill & Jason of Gourmet Garden
Carrie of Cariso Delicacies Corner
Mary of Food Paradise
Allie of Heavenly Allie
Bee of Buzzing Life

Reaching the restaurant would be easy if you are coming from Jalan Burmah into Jalan Cantonment. Just drive along Jalan Cantonment until you reach the first left junction (Pulau Tikus Market – Jalan Pasar). Just go further up after this junction and you will see Wisma Kota Kembar – Pulau Pinang-Medan Information and Promotion Centre on the corner lot. The restaurant is just next to this centre.

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Name: YOUNG HEART RESTAURANT
Address: 44A, Jalan Cantonment, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 12.00noon-10.00pm (Closed Monday)
Contact: 604-228 8084, 016-410 8098 (Ms. Ann Kee)
GPS: 5.430508, 100.311350

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

3RD PENANG FLOGGERS MEET – POTLUCK GATHERING

Posted by Criz Lai On December - 7 - 2008

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The Third Penang Food Bloggers (Floggers) Potluck Meet at Gill & Jason’s Place on 6 December 2008 was another great experience for many. The food was so wonderful that I do not think anyone else would ever experience such an international spread. We had food ranging from Western, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, etc. This would not have happened if it were not the effort of everyone who had sweated it out in the kitchen to come out with something great to make the gathering such a success.

There were all together 12 attendees at the gathering from 10 food websites. To start the ball rolling, let me start with what I had bought to the gathering.

Criz Lai of Criz Bon Appetite – Western & Oriental Fusion (Nutmeg Cherry Tomatoes / Spicy Chicken & Abalone Salad / Jack Fruit Pork Strips / Fragrant Sambal Prawns). I had a fun theme for my self created recipes. I had the cherry tomatoes stuffed with sugared nutmeg strips. Each tomato had a mild tomato taste with a touch of the sweetness from the stuffed nutmeg strips.

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The Spicy Chicken & Abalone Salad was quite a blast with the floggers. It contained some roasted chicken chunks, fresh Pacific abalone slices, wood ear fungus, ginger flower, kaffir leaves, dried grated coconut, roasted sesame seeds mixed with chili paste, dried shrimp powder and lime juices.

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The stir fried Jack Fruit Pork Strips was another hit for a few floggers. It had a mixture of fresh jack fruit strips, turmeric flavored pork chop slices, cooked with some special sauce with a touch of Shao Xing wine.

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The Fragrant Sambal Prawns was cooked with a fusion between Indian and Nyonya Style. Some large prawns were cooked in sambal hae bee (spicy pounded dried shrimps) with onions and curry leaves to bring in that special fragrance in the dish.

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Jason & Gill – Cheese Fondue with Baguettes / Salsa Salad / Lemonade with Pomegranates. Our loving couple came out with Cheese Fondue, imported directly from Europe. The frozen mixture has that unique liquor taste in it. Although the alcohol content is not that intoxicating, I love it best with the fresh German sausages Ken brought.

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The Salsa Salad goes well with the meaty dishes as it has that pungent and sour taste in it – a great appetizing salad indeed. Sorry to say, I forgot about taking shots of the tasty lemonade drink.

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Ken Chan – Cantonese Style Spicy & Sour Pork Ribs / Fresh German Sausages / Roasted Stuffed Chicken. Ken brought a whole pot of the sour pork stew. It has a mild touch of some herbs with lots of cabbage. The pork ribs were tasty and tender.

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The fresh German sausages which Ken brought all the way from Kuala Lumpur were huge but juicy. We even have a small BBQ area for that.

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The Roasted Stuffed Chicken took quite some time to be defrosted and roasted to perfection. The waiting time was not disappointing at all as the meat had all the herby taste from the coating and ham stuffing absorbed deeply into the meat.

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Lilian Chan – Smoked Salmon & Herb Focaccia Appetizer. Lilian did a great job by creating her own herb focaccia bread for the gathering. Her dish has a spread of mayonnaise on the bread slice and topped with a rolled smoked salmon and some cream cheese. It was something great that you won’t get from any buffet appetizer menu.

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Lingzie of Lingzie’s Tummy Treats – Cheesecake Brownies & Lime Pie. The Cheesecake Brownies Lingzie made was rather rich. It has a thick chocolate taste in it. Sweet for some but it was a lovely treats for us.

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Although the Lime Pie was rather soft and sour in taste, it was very appetizing. It has crushed digestive biscuits as base, baked eggs, condensed milk and lime juice as topping and was served with whipped cream. Simply delicious! I even had three helpings to the dessert.

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Steven Goh – Kimchi Fried Rice. The Kimchi Fried Rice was tasty. It has lots of chicken meat and prawns in it and the overall combination of the Kimchi with rice was just right.

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Allen Ooi of Yummy Station – Mashed Potatoes. Allen tried his best to come out with a recipe he had not tried before. That was a good effort indeed. The Mashed Potatoes was quite nice, although it could be slightly improved with some added sour cream and black pepper to make the dish more creamy and spicy.

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CK Lam of What2See Online – Sushi Rolls. CK brought along a big tray of Sushi Rolls with many varieties to choose from. We have Chopped Baby Octopus Sushi, Fish Roe Sushi, Crab Stick Sushi and Unagi Sushi. All the sushi tasted real fresh and yummy but the Wasabi plus the soy sauce accompanied was real fiery. Both my ears and nose almost caught fire due to my carelessness of applying too much on my sushi… haha 😛

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Rebecca of The Nomad Gourmand – Fruits. We have the privilege to meet up with Rebecca from KL. She had prepared what we needed most – fresh fruits. She served us with Vietnamese dragon fruit, Australian mangoes, Malaysian yellow watermelon and Thai wax apple (jambu air). Even the fruits were rather international too. 😛

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Min aka 550ml Jar of Faith of After Giovanni – Hakka Dish (Stir Fry Sohn Pan Tzai – 算盘子or Àbacus Beads) & Disposable Utensils. Min, also came all the way from KL, came out with a rather unique Hakka dish – Stir Fry Sohn Pan Tzai. The dough is formed by mixing tapioca and yam, cut into abacus-bead shapes and boiled until it looked translucent. The cooked dough is then fried with sliced cuttlefish, dried shrimps, wood ear fungus, some chopped celery stalks with a touch of light soy sauce, sesame oil and some seasonings. The taste was great as I had never tasted this Hakka dish before.

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The gathering sure did foster closer relationships amongst the floggers. I could not wait for the next gathering. Most probably it would be held after the Chinese New Year which will fall on 26-27th January 2009.

2ND PENANG FLOGGERS MEET @ EDELWEISS CAFE

Posted by Criz Lai On September - 27 - 2008

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The second Penang Food Bloggers (Floggers) Meet at Edelweiss Café on 27 September 2008 was a huge success. Thanks to Gill & hubby Jason for arranging for the place, Lingzie for organizing the event so skillfully. Not forgetting those who have helped out in one way or another to make the event memorable. Thanks CK Lam and PenangTuaPui for helping out too.


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More than 25 people gathered under one roof to meet who’s the person behind the respective food blogs. Some of them came as far as UK. Welcome to Malaysia, Nigel & Diane.

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There were door gifts filled with discount vouchers, tarts (courtesy of CK Lam) and Chocolate Brownies (Courtesy of Shi Hui) for everyone.

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We were privileged to have our seasoned flogger, Lilian Chan of Malaysiabest.net to join us in the wonderful evening. Amongst those who had attended were Buzzing Bee (I want more fruit tarts as the ones in the first meet :P), Carrie (Where’s the Green Tea Red Bean Cake you owed me? Hehe!), and Andrew (What’s dish do you want to cook next? :P) & wife (Psss… you sure he did not mess up your kitchen?), Durianberry (I was hoping you would bring some of your bread rolls for me to dip in the soup. :P), Nick Chan (What have you to say for being the youngest active blogger? Gosh! How old are you now? :P), Allen Ooi (Taiwanese Crispy Chicken nearby? Come my house lar.. I can cook better. Haha!), Alvin Ng, Steven Goh (Nice knowing you there. ), Yi Phing, Ken and many other guests.

At RM38nett, we were served with delicious set dinners. Our loving couple, Gill and Jason, did a great job on liaising with the management of the restaurant to come up with our own special menu. I’m still licking my fingers from the leftover of the Vanilla Ice Cream with the Apple Flan guys. LOL! Without much delay, let’s jump into the food photos now.

Starter: Toasted Roti Benggali with Cheese and Onions

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Soup: Pumpkin Orange Soup (served with garlic bread)

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Main course – A choice of:

1) BBQ Pork Ribs (served with french fries and salad)

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2) Curry Pork Sausage (served with French fries and salad) – has tomato sauce and curry powder sprinkled on top

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3) Roast Leg of Lamb (served with mashed potatoes, gravy and mint sauce)

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4) Gammon Ham (served with mashed potatoes, onion gravy and salad)

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5) Smoke Pork Belly (served with mashed potatoes and salad)

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Dessert: Apple Flan with Vanilla Ice cream

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Drink: Coffee/Tea

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The night ended up with an additional lucky draw prizes for everyone, arranged by yours truly.

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Going to the restaurant won’t be hard as it is located within the heritage trail of Penang. If you are coming from Prangin Mall along Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong, you will reach a traffic light. Drive on until you have reached the second traffic light and turn left into Lebuh Panta
i. Start counting the roads on your left until you have reached the 5th road. That’s Lebuh Armenian. The restaurant is on your right next to a medical supplies wholesaler. Parking might be a problem here as the roads here are quite narrow. You might want to consider parking further up or along Lebuh Ah Quee and walk to the restaurant by using the small lane nearby.

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Name: EDELWEISS CAFE
Address: 38 Lebuh Armenian, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 8935
Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Friday: 11.00am – 3.00pm, 6.30pm – 10.00pm
Saturday: 12.00noon – 10.00pm
Sunday: 12.00noon – 7.00pm
Closed on Monday
GPS: 5.415243, 100.337770

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

NOTE: WE HAVE TENTATIVELY SET THE 3RD FLOGGERS MEET ON 6 DECEMBER 2008. MORE DETAILS WOULD BE AVAILABLE AT A LATER DATE.

2ND PENANG FLOGGER GATHERING

Posted by Criz Lai On September - 25 - 2008

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A NIGHT WITH PENANG FLOGGERS AT HAI NAN TOWN RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On August - 3 - 2008

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Yesterday marked an unforgettable day as I got to meet up with some of the food bloggers in Penang. Finally, I get to see those real faces behind the virtual food blogs. Those who attended the mini gathering included the three brains behind PenangTuaPui, Lingzie, CK Lam, Buzzing Bee, Carrie, Gill & hubby Jason and me. I wanted to arrive earlier to take some snap shots of the vicinity but ended up quite late at 7.45pm due to some unexpected delay. Why? Because my little gift packs only came out from the oven only at 7.20pm. LOL!

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Anyway, the gathering started with us guessing who and who were Tam Jiak, Huat Koay and Fei Fei from the PenangTuaPui trio. We all were in stitches after knowing the story behind this trio. In fact the whole group of floggers who gathered there last night was a bunch of jokers. Not only do they know their taste buds well, they also know how to make everyone felt at home. Not long later, the food was served. Here were the dishes we had ordered.

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The food served that night was just average and nothing to fuss about. What really got us excited was when BuzzingBee brought out her homemade fruit tarts. Everybody was like busy shooting those 20 pieces of tarts being nicely arranged on the lazy susan. The tarts were amazing. Bee had the tarts baked to perfection with some not-so-sweet chocolate glazed at the base. She then topped the tarts with freshly sliced banana, kiwi fruit, orange and lychee. What a nice dessert for all of us.

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Finally, a beautiful and moist Green Tea Cake bought by Lingzie came in. Coincidentally it was Carrie’s Birthday. How old was she? We dare not ask. As you know most ladies would not like to disclose their age, especially when they get a year older on their birthday. LOL! Anyway, we had lots of fun fooling around with her cake as who should get the strawberries and so on. In the end, they ended up on Carrie’s plate. Here was what she had on her plate.

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Somehow, something made my mind go wild when she made her birthday wish. Is this what she had in her mind? We won’t know for sure… hahaha!

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Finding the restaurant won’t be hard as it is located within the vicinity of Penang’s Inshore Marina, Church Street Pier and QEII along Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay). It’s a great place for gathering and to have a drink while enjoying the scenic view of the seaside.

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Name: HAI NAN TOWN RESTAURANT
Address: 8A Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay), 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-263 8633
Opening Hours: 6.00pm – 11.00pm
GPS: 5.414577, 100.343311

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

NOTE: THE NEXT GATHERING IS SCHEDULED ON 20 SEPTEMBER 2008. IT’S GOING TO BE A POTLUCK DINNER. VENUE AND TIME WOULD BE NOTIFIED NEARER TO THAT DATE. PLEASE KEEP YOURSELF FREE IF YOU WANT TO JOIN US. SEE YOU ALL THEN FLOGGERS!

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