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APPETIZING SPREADS AT SAKAE SUSHI @ 1ST AVENUE PENANG

Posted by crizlai On June - 13 - 2012

The name Sakae Sushi is already well known throughout the Asian region since its establishment in Singapore in 1997. Today it had expanded to more than 70 branches in Malaysia (Penang, Perak, Selangor & Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam to as far as China. The menu is ever changing with special theme promotion monthly such as the Anago Promotion for the month of June 2012. Economically priced compared to most of the Japanese restaurants around, it catered to the demands and budgets of locals and tourists alike real well. On top of being the first Japanese restaurant to enrich its sushi rice with Vitamin E, it also flew in fresh supplies of Omega-3 rich Norwegian salmons to ensure the satisfactions of every Japanese food enthusiasts. There are many choices of items available just for anyone, ranging from their Sakae’s Signature Sushi & Sashimi, Appetizers, Tempura, Rice, Udon and Soba to simple yet impressive kids’ meals.

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We started off with a large bowl of Kaisen Salad (海鮮沙拉 – RM16.90++). The tantalizing salad was large enough for the consumptions of 2 persons. It came with refreshing selections of coral green and red lettuces, seaweed, cabbages, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, topped with fresh prawns, tuna flakes, snow crab leg meat, ebiko and dressed with their specially concocted goma dressing. What excelled here was the goma dressing. It had that earthly yet peanut nutty flavor with sesame oil, salad oil, soy sauce, sugar and rice vinegar and mayonnaise being added. It was so appetizing that we had to ask for more dressing to coat every part of the vegetables. Thumbs up!

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Well, one of my favorite at most Japanese restaurants would be the Chuka Idako (凉拌小八爪魚 – RM7.99++), a marinated boiled baby octopus flavored with mirin, teriyaki, miso, brown sugar, sesame oil, red food coloring with a mix of toasted sesame seeds. The portion served here came with 4 flavorful baby octopuses with a high hint of sesame oil just to my liking.

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Their Sakae Chawanmushi (榮茶碗蒸 – RM3.99++) was also nice as it had that thick high stock flavors. The dish had chicken, crabstick, ginkgo nut and shitake mushroom slices in the steamed egg and garnished with some vegetarian shark’s fin and fresh shimeji mushrooms.

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We were introduced to some of the innovative sushi creations and one of them was the Inari Avocado Ebi (稻禾酪梨蝦 – RM7.99++). It basically came with a sweet bean curd skin filled with some sushi rice and topped with some cuts from a whole prawn mixed with avocado and salad dressing plus a battered coated prawn head. The crispy prawn head can be eaten but do watch out for the spike on the head. The creaminess of the avocado blended in well for this combination.

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The next sushi which was the Sakae Blossom (榮之花 – RM9.99++) not only impressed us with its intricate design but also on its taste. The maki had cucumber and finely cubed crabstick in mayonnaise wrapped in nori (dry seaweed sheet) and sushi rice, rolled with some ebiko (shrimp roe) and topped with a flower shaped mildly grilled salmon, some mayonnaise and a petal of parsley. The whole combination was so smooth flowing in the mouth. 🙂

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Next on the list was the Soft Shell Crab Maki (辣味軟殼蟹卷 – RM5.99++). The maki had cucumber and battered deep fried soft shell crab wrapped in nori (dry seaweed sheet) and sushi rice, capped with sweet bean curd skin and dressed with some spicy mayonnaise. It was not bad but I wished the soft shell crab was a bit crispier.

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Another new introduction was the Ebi Crepe (黃金蝦卷 – RM5.99++). This was a totally out of the norm way of making sushi without nori and/or sushi rice. It had some lettuce, egg mayonnaise with slight butter peppery taste and prawn wrapped in a thin layered crepe. It was nice but too Westernized for a sushi.

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The next sushi which was the Hana Maki (鮭魚花卷 – RM9.99++) was also one of our favorites. It had a little sushi rice ball wrapped with a slice of fresh and appetizing salmon fillet, topped with some mayonnaise, garnished with some ebiko and a petal of parsley. It was heavenly smooth to the bite.

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For scallop lovers, there would be the Hotate Mentaiyaki (香烤明太子扇貝 – RM20.90) to savor. It had 4 half shell scallops topped with a combination of cod fish roes (mentaiko/明太子) extracts, mayonnaise and mozzarella cheese and grilled to perfection. With a mild squeeze of lemon juice, it was rather appetizing.

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On top of those sushi choices, we were served with Kaisen Pirikara Nabe (海鮮泡菜湯 – RM24.90++), an appetizing hot pot with prawns, scallops, squids, salmon, shitake & enoki mushrooms, tofu, onions, cabbages, leeks, carrots, spinach, kimchi (fermented vegetables of specific kind) and glass noodles. Although the soup had a rather red color, it was rather mild on the spiciness unlike those kimchi soup you would get from a Korean restaurant. It would be great if the restaurant have options for the level of spiciness. Moreover, it lacked some shoyu to pep up the salty flavor for the right balance. Overall, it was still an acceptable bowl of soup, considering that the seafood added were extremely fresh.

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We also tasted out their Curry Udon (日式咖哩雞烏冬麵 – RM12.90++). This bowl had quite a large portion of wheat noodles (udon) topped with a mild curry flavored potato stew like gravy. It has a generous amount of chicken meat, some fish cake slices, cubed potatoes and carrots. Personally, I would prefer to have chunks of chicken drumstick meat for the curry rather than chicken breast meat slices as they were rather bland to my liking.

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For those who yearn for some rice, there would always be the bento meals such as the Ebi Ten Jyu (海老天婦羅飯 – RM15.90++). The dish would be served with an onion omelette with sauce on steamed Japanese rice and topped with 3 tempura prawns. I personally found the tempura batter on the prawns to be a bit too thick to my liking, unlike those nice ones I had eaten at Miraku Japanese Restaurant, G Hotel, Penang. Moreover, I had to request for some tempura sauce since it was not provided for this set. At least, the sauce did pep up more flavors for my rice.

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Alternatively, there was also the Haru (春 – RM24.90++) which had salmon and chicken teriyaki served with plain steamed Japanese rice, chawanmushi and miso soup. The finely grilled salmon fillet with a salty sweet taste and the flavorful tender chicken pieces with a slightly sweeter teriyaki flavor went well with the rice. Even the chawanmushi and miso soup were up to their standards.

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Another new introduction was the Kids’ Sushi Meal – Little Sushi Home (RM3.99++). It was a very creative sushi. The triangular sushi which had cucumber and crabstick stuffed nori and sushi rice, rolled in finely chopped parsley, came with a halved breadcrumbs battered scallop topped with some mayonnaise and a petal of parsley. From the side, it really looked like a house. Flavor wise, it was normal.

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We ended up the meal with a selection of 4 flavors of ice cream, namely Dragon Fruit Ice Cream (RM5.90++/scoop), Passion Fruit Ice Cream (RM6.90++/scoop), Goma Ice Cream (RM6.90++/scoop) and Matcha Ice Cream (RM5.90++/scoop). The Goma Ice Cream had the highest vote for being the best amongst the 4 flavors but I personally preferred the more sourness Passion Fruit Ice Cream as it was a great digestion remedy after such a heavy meal.

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Those who would love ice cream more than just a scoop would surely like the Matcha Parfait (RM13.90++). The parfait would also be available in other flavors such as strawberry and chocolate. The 6-layered parfait had corn flakes as the base, followed with sweet red bean, matcha ice cream, corn flakes, whipped cream and matcha ice cream, garnished with some sweetened red bean, whipped cream, strawberry and a wafer. Price wise, it was more economical than having just one scoop of matcha ice cream at RM5.90++ per scoop.

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Overall, those new dishes introduced were better than those common ones I have tasted during many visits. The pricing were also quite economical for diners. Some dishes as mentioned above truly needed that little touch to pep up the flavors further. I hope that more creations would be available soon for those Japanese food enthusiasts. Lastly, I would like to thank Foodsion for giving us the opportunity to try out these new dishes.

There are many branches of Sakae Sushi in Penang but the one we went to was located at 1st Avenue, Penang. Just find your way to the mall, go to Level 4 and you can find the outlet just opposite Carrefour. Alternatively, you can visit the surrounding Penang outlets as stated below or based on the other outstation outlets as shown in their website.

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Name: SAKAE SUSHI @ 1ST AVENUE
Address:
Lot 4-16, Level 4, 1st Avenue Mall Penang,
182 Jalan Magazine, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 2218
Website: http://www.sakaesushi.com.my/
Business Hours: 11.30am-10.00pm (Mon-Fri), 11.00am-10.00pm (Sat & Sun)
GPS: 5.413391, 100.331202

Surrounding Penang Outlets:

Sunway Carnival Mall
UG-28, Upper Ground Floor, Sunway Carnival Mall,
3068 Jalan Todak Pusat Bandar Seberang Jaya,
13700 Seberang Jaya, Penang.
Tel : 604-380 3368
Gurney Plaza
170-03-87/88/89, Plaza Gurney,
Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang.
Tel: 04-229 5930
Queensbay Mall
2F-49 Queensbay Mall, 100 Persiaran Bayan Indah,
11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang.
Tel: 604-643 0015
Tesco Tanjung Pinang
Lot G4, Tesco Tanjung Pinang, No.1, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang,
Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang.
Tel : 04-899 0063
1st Avenue Mall
4-16, Level4, 1st Avenue Mall
No.182, Jalan Magazine
10300 Penang
Tel : 604-261 2218
Auto City
1815-B Jalan Perusahaan, Auto-City,
North-South Highway Juru Interchange,
13600 Prai, Penang.
Tel : 604-508 0268

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

If you are a pork lover, you are in for a great treat as Sticky Bones from the reputable Morganfield’s, Kuala Lumpur, has finally set its foot up north in Penang since 1 June 2011, with the opening of its second outlet at Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang. The Western dining outlet with an American Midwest concept is set in a rustic, raw and retro ambience, serving appetizing soulful cuisine while enabling diners to relax in a blue-jazz tunes environment. Basically, the restaurant would serve a huge selection of pork related dishes with Sticky Bones being the main attraction. Other choices would include some mouth-watering appetizers, crispy garden salads, succulent steaks & chops, matching combos, fresh seafood from the sea, innovative poultry meals and glam burgers to delightful sandwiches. There would surely be something palatable available here to suit the liking of any non-Muslims regardless of age. All the pork ribs are imported from Holland, Spain, Belgium and Germany, thus you can be assured of the quality.

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We had quite a hearty appetizers and salad even before we started with the main course. The first dish that was served was the Spicy Chicken Wings (RM16.90++). It had 6 pieces of succulent deep fried chicken wing, tossed with spicy BBQ sauce and served with crunchy romaine lettuce and ranch salad dressing. They were reasonably tasty.

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The next appetizer was the Sauteed Mushrooms (RM14.90++). I love Eryngii mushrooms a lot as the fresh mushrooms have that nice crunchiness and earthly flavors to my liking. Morganfield’s would definitely be my next alternative venue to please my craving for Eryngii mushroom dishes other than at one of my most frequent café, Get’em Smack. This restaurant did a step further by infusing the flavors with merlot garlic butter. The mild flavors from the white and red wine used sure pepped up the mushy flavors in the dishes. The dish came garnished with some chopped spring onions and grated Parmesan cheese. Thumbs up!

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We also had the Appetizer Platter (RM34.90++). The platter came with 4 pieces of the Spicy Chicken Wings, 4 pieces of baked Russet Burbank Potato Skins and a basket of Corn Tortilla Chips (about 20 pcs) serve with the dip of your choice, either Crab & Spinach Dip or Chili Con Carne Dip. Both options would come with some ranch dressing and BBQ ranch dressing.

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Most of the diners would order the Crab & Spinach Dip, especially when you don’t have to peel them. Haha! The dip indeed had the creamy and cheesy flavors, which complemented the corn tortilla chips well. There were some mild presence of drained and chopped spinach, Parmesan cheese, garlic, yoghurt, salt and pepper on top of some chunky crab meats. This dip will be best taken fast when it’s served hot. I won’t mind having a few twist of freshly grounded black pepper added in too. Alternatively, you could substitute the dip with the Chili Con Carne. This Texas state official dish had chunky minced pork cooked with some tomatoes, various chili peppers, garlic, onions, herbs, pepper and salt. Although this wonderful dip had all the chili peppers added it, it was not as spicy as I expected. Thus, it would still suit any ages of diners.

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The next appetizer was the Pork Sausage Platter (RM32.90++) that would come with 4 different types of grilled pork sausages, namely the Spicy Hungarian (thick reddish brown), Bratwurst (thick beige), Smoked Sausage (thin & short) and Emmentaler Cheese Sausage (thin & long). These delicious pork sausages were served with garlic aioli, Dijon mustard and fresh coleslaw. Of the 4 sausages, I kind of like the Emmentaler Cheese Sausage as the meat was flavorful and has a mild cheesy flavor from the oozing Swiss cheese. As for the condiment, the garlic aioli was our favorite as it has that nice combination of minced garlic in mayonnaise with some mild mix of salt and black pepper and light squeeze of lemon juice.

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We also had the Chicken Caesar Salad (RM19.90++). The salad had some fresh Romaine lettuce tossed with their homemade Caesar dressing, topped with tender grilled ranch chicken breast meat and garnished with some crispy pork bacon bits, croutons, some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and some freshly grounded black pepper. The salad dressing had some eggy texture with a light hint of Dijon mustard. The salad was simply refreshing but it would be great if those croutons were replaced with garlic croutons for the additional flavor.

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Of course, a visit to Morganfield’s would not be complete without ordering their signature BBQ spare ribs – the Sticky Bones (RM38.90++ half slab, RM68.90++ full slab)! These heavenly and succulent spare ribs would come in 3 flavors, namely the Hickory BBQ Spare Ribs, Tuscan Baked Spicy Spare Ribs and Smoked Peppercorn Spare Ribs. We opted for half slab of the Hickory BBQ Spare Ribs. It was huge and meaty with some presence of cartilages compared to the size of the baby back ribs I had tried elsewhere. The meat on the tender and flavorful slow cooked spare ribs in coal and hickory wood just fell off easily from the bones. It was perfect with some sweet, hickory and cider tanginess flavored barbeque sauce glazed on the meaty ribs. Maybe I’m a strong flavor eater but it would be more than perfect if a bit more of liquid smoke being added in the BBQ sauce for that extra smoky flavor. Anyhow, this dish would still remain as my all-time favorite and would definitely fit your palate for delicious BBQ spare ribs.

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In case it might get a bit messy since the Sticky Bones are meant to be eaten the American way of using both the hands, a themed apron would be provided to avoid getting your attire dirty. Of so many versions, I kind of like this one most – “Money can’t buy me love, but it can buy me pork ribs”. Nice one there! 🙂

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On top of all the porky dishes, there would also be some poultry dishes. One of my favorites was the Chicken Roulade (RM32.90++). The dish had grilled bacon wrapped chicken thigh meat stuffed with juicy sausage and served with red skin mashed potatoes, blanched garden vegetables with pommery mustard sauce. The slices were amazingly flavorful with the heavenly creamy pommery mustard spiced sauce. The red skin mashed potatoes was also great, considering that it was coarsely mashed to my liking.

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There would also be some mouth-watering desserts to complete a meal. We had the Bread Pudding (RM12.90++), served warm in whiskey sauce with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Wow! The nicely baked bread pudding with some custard went so well with the whiskey sauce and ice cream. You would not have to worry on getting drunk as the alcohol content would have been evaporated after the whiskey has been sweetened on fire.

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Another great dessert would be their Chocolate Lava Cake (RM14.90++). The moist and warm chocolate cake with rich oozing dark chocolate on caramel sauce, served with vanilla ice cream was simply fantabulous! As semi sweet 46% dark chocolate was being used in making this cake, it looked quite charcoal black but the overall taste was superb.

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As Morganfield’s is one of those relaxing venues with only sports and cartoon channels being shown as entertainment, it’s a great place to unwind from the hustle and bustle of your busy schedules and spend some relaxing moments with the companionships of your group of friends, colleagues and guests. You can pick from more than 100 types of beverages such as mocktails, cocktails, wines, spirits and more for unwinding. They have the longest Happy Hours from 11.00am to 8.00pm (Monday – Saturday) and full operation hours on Sundays. Draught beers would be at “Buy 1 pint FREE 1/2 pint” and wines would be sold NETT per glass. Don’t you think it’s a great bargain to pair the alcoholic beverages with your meaty meals? For non-alcoholic drinkers, they do have some impressive chilled and blended coolers to quench your thirst. Some of those beverages we had included the Virgin Apple Mojito (RM13.90++: fresh apple juice, apple chunks, mint leaves & brown sugar in soda), Iced Cold Lemonade (RM9.90++: freshly squeezed lemon juice, splashed with lemon lime in soda), Mango & Lime Lassi (RM14.90++: mango puree with yoghurt, lemon and lime squeeze) and Lipstick (RM14.90++: blended strawberries, banana and crème of coconut). Well, I did not get my lips red after having this beverage. LOL!

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Do check out their 3 days promotion (15-17 June 2012) for Fathers’ Day 2012. It’s a great bargain at RM119++ for two persons. Please click on the menu below for a clearer picture on the menu.

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Overall, I’m quite happy with the choices of food served here compared to other quite related restaurants and the ambience was so cottage homely. Though the price might be a bit steep for some Penang diners, the portion served for major dishes can be quite filling. There would be 10% + 6% tax imposed on all items ordered. But no worries as Morganfield’s is giving away a “RM10 voucher for your next visit” for every receipt above RM100 for a limited period.

The Gurney Paragon Mall is just two blocks before the G-Hotel along the beautiful promenade of Gurney Drive. As you enter the place, you would see the east wing of the Gurney Paragon Residences/Condominium on your left and the west wing on the right. Walk right into the premises and you will see the skillfully reconstruction of the St. Joseph’s Novitiate which former used to house the Upland’s School. The restaurant is prominently located at the left side of the building with ample seating places indoor as well as at the el fresco area. You’ll surely get great views of the seaside as well as the fountain show daily.

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Name: MORGANFIELD’S @ GURNEY PARAGON MALL
Address: Lot 163-G-01, Gurney Paragon Mall, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 2487
Business Hours: 11.00am – 12.00am
Website: http://www.morganfields.com/
GPS: 5.436072, 100.311693

Other outlets:
Kuala Lumpur: C4.03.00, Level 4, Pavilion KL Shopping Mall. Tel: 603- 2141 3192
Singapore: To be opened at 1 North Buona Vista by September 2012

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

 

Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be having its Texas Grill Promotion for the whole month of June 2012 (1-30 June 2012). You can now savor all the mouth-watering dishes as how the cowboys would. This promotion would be under the skillful hands of the newly appointed Jr. Sous Chef, Chef Kelvin Cheong.

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We started with the Texas Wild Potato Soup (德式馬鈴薯浓湯). The soup had a slightly burned earthly flavor due to the fact that the USA imported potatoes were marinated with herbs and had gone through the process of baking prior to being blended and mixed in with some flour and cream. It had a brown creamy texture and was quite nice, though a bit salty to my preference. A light touch of fresh herbs added in with a gentle grind of fresh black pepper would have pepped up the taste even better.

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As appetizer, we were served with Grilled Shrimp and Strawberry Salad (草莓烤蝦沙拉). For non cheese lover, this salad might be quite intruding as it was slightly overpowering. Grilled prawns were tossed together with rocket lettuce, cherry tomatoes, fresh strawberry cuts, fresh herbs, black pepper in a dressing made from a combination of bleu cheese and fruity vinaigrette. The concoction was not bad except that I found the name to be a bit deceiving as there were no distinctive flavors of strawberries. Alternatively, if the cherry tomatoes and strawberry cuts were sun-dried or the strawberries be made into compote and added it, the salad would surely taste better.

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Another appetizer we tried out was the Texas Broccoli and Turkey Slices Salad (德式火雞片與西蘭花沙拉). I would say, this salad would suit the palate of everyone. The salad had tossed blanched broccoli, carrot cubes and fresh seedless grapes in a concoction of mayonnaise and desiccated coconut flakes dressing, garnishes with crispy turkey bacon and almond flakes. I was glad that the dressing has just the necessary mild touch of desiccated coconut flakes and was not too overpowering.

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As for the main course, we had the Texas BBQ Grilled Skewer (德州燒烤串). It consisted of 3 different options of grilled chicken, lamb and seafood (shrimp, mussel & squid) skews. All the skews were nicely marinated as they should.

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The main perfection for grilled skewers actually came from the accompanied dips to boost up the right combination of flavors. BBQ Sauce and Yoghurt Mint Sauce were provided. Although the BBQ Sauce had the right flavors and smoky taste from some added liquid smoke, it somehow lacked the puree thickness. It might be great as marinate for grilled ribs but it was a bit too diluted as a dip to stick well to the meat. Some chopped onions or tomato puree added in might help solve this issue. It also lacked a light spicy touch of Tabasco sauce. The Yoghurt Mint Sauce on the other hand tasted too “tandoori style” rather than “Texan style” to me. I personally prefer simple mint jelly/sauce to go with my grilled lamb.

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The Grilled Chicken with Honey Mustard Glaze (蜂蜜芥末醬烤雞) was one of the dishes I can’t get enough of. It was wise of the chef to use chicken drumstick fillet as that would be the best part of a chicken to get that tender and juicy texture. Even after some period of time, those choice pieces still maintained the moist within. Well done Chef Kelvin!

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The last dish was the Grilled Beef with Tortilla (烤牛肉片與玉米薄餅). These cut rolls of stuffed grilled beef tortillas were served on a bed of nachos dressed with salsa. My first impression was, “Gosh! They looked so dry!” The first bite had me in amazement. Not only were the roll soft and delicious with tender pieces of grilled beef, it had a light spicy crunch from the added capsicum slices. The chef was smart to add into two secret ingredients to moisten the roll – caramelized onions and garlic mayonnaise. Way to go Chef!

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More salsa was provided for dressing up the stuffed grilled beef tortilla rolls. I won’t mind if some sour cream was to be provided too to dip in the nachos.

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The desserts were just simple as how you would get from the buffet line. It was too American in general. It lacked the Texan feel and taste. We had the American Cheese Cake (美式乳酪蛋糕) and Texas Brownies (德州巧克力布朗尼).

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Overall, Swez Brasserie fairs rather well in their Texas Grill Promotion. After all, you can’t go wrong with grills if the cooking time were monitored carefully. Too bad they are concentrating more on grills rather than adding in more fried and Texas State Fair items which are also in the recommended top dishes in Texas. Their Texas Grill Promotion was more towards the Wild West Country Theme where the flavors were wild and suspense. I was rather surprise that they did not promote the #1 Texas State Food which is the Texas Chili. A bowl of the famed thick, hot and steamy chili con carne would add in more excitements in the dishes served, may it be tacos, tortillas, cornbread and more. Corn dogs are common in Texas and they are something that would attract just any age group who loves to have deep fried corn battered hotdogs. As for dessert, I hope they do come out with more options such as the delicious Pecan Pie as it’s the state tree of Texas, as I found the desserts served were too American in general.

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

TEXAS GRILL PROMOTION (1-30 JUNE 2012)

Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM48++ (adult), RM24++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM55++ (adult), RM28++ (child)
Festive Occasion (Fathers’ Day – 17 June 2012): RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Monday – Thursday
RM48++ per pax

FATHERS’ DAY SPECIAL PROMOTION (1-30 JUNE 2012)

A happy Dad dines for FREE with every 2 paying adults on all weekends in June 2012. Weekend buffet dinner themes are as following:
Friday – Seafood Supreme
Saturday – Japanese Night
Sunday – East Meets West

For MAYBANKARD & VISA card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for Texas Grill Semi Buffet Dinner (Monday to Thursday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday to Sunday) from 6.30pm – 10.00pm.

The Swez Brasserie is located at the ring wing of Eastin Hotel, Penang (next to Queensbay Mall). If you are coming from Georgetown towards Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone via Bayan Lepas Expressway, do watch out for the Pulau Jerejak signboard (leading to Pulau Jerejak jetty). Ignore the turning and drive on to the next left junction. Turn left into Jalan Aziz Ibrahim and drive on until you a roundabout. Turn 3 o’ clock and drive on until you see a big Eastin Hotel signboard at the first right junction. Turn right and drive on. Park your car at the basement car park. Take a lift to the first floor lobby and you would see the restaurant there.

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Name: SWEZ BRASSERIE @ EASTIN HOTEL
Address: 1 Solok Bayan Indah, Queens Bay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-612 1128, 604-612 1138
Business Hours: 12.00pm-2.30pm (Lunch), 6.30pm-10.00pm (Dinner)
GPS: 5.33643, 100.306345

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

 

Within the heritage area of George Town, along Lorong Stewart, Penang, lies 55 Café & Restaurant @ Coffee Atelier, a brand name that had been established amongst the locals and expatriates for its delicious Mediterranean dishes and aromatic coffee brews. The café has now extended its operation hours to 10.00pm on Thursday to Saturday, serving basically all tapas (40+ types) which would include items ranging from scallops, prawns, squids, salmons, vongole, other seafood, chicken, beef, pork, cheese, Spanish omelette, potatoes, vegetables, pickles and bread.

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We started the meal with some Cocktail Pickles (RM8+) or commonly known in Spain as Banderillas. These easy tapas basically consisted of ready pickles in a jar or homemade pickles, all skewed on a toothpick. The trick is to make them as colorful as possible with flavors that complement each other to excite your pallet. The ones served here had cocktail onions, pickled Jalapeno red pepper, stuffed Manzanilla olives, homemade sundried tomato and pickled gherkins.

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The Garlic Bread (RM6+ for 2 slices) served here was perfect. The kitchen managed to get the slices to maintain the crispiness on the outer layer while maintaining the softness inside. These were served with some fresh rocket lettuce, cherry tomatoes and roasted garlic.

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One of my favorite tapas here has always been the Gambas el Pene (RM18+). It has a marinated large prawn, sprinkled with some paprika and chives, folded in between a thin slice of baguette and baked until perfection. The dish was beautifully prepared but not as moist and fragrant as my homemade ones. Well, I was using virgin coconut oil instead of olive oil for the extra fragrance with lots of chopped garlic.

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The Grilled Stuffed Squid Tube (RM16+) was awesome. It had a combination of diced prawns, tomatoes, chopped black olives, onions, chives, bread with a light sprinkles of spices as stuffing. It went well with some baguettes.

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We had two versions of sauces for the grilled salmon. The first one was the Grilled Salmon with Teriyaki Sauce (RM20+). The flavors from the sauce combined with the freshness of the salmon would make this dish a great tapas dish.

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Compared to the former dish, the Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Dips (RM20+) was real refreshing and it came with some rich flavored sautéed Shitake mushrooms. However, I personally felt that it would be a better main dish than served as tapas.

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If you are a fan of all species of clams, you will surely fall in love with the next dish which was the Vongole in White Wine Sauce (RM18+). Apart from the freshly selected clams, the sauce was heaven! It had the flavors of some virgin olive oil, chives, white wine, black pepper, salt, garlic and more. I was happily dipping in my baguette to clean up the bowl~ LOL! 😛 We had a bonus that day as some seasonal mini crabs were added in for that extra flavor as well as crunch.

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We also had two types of sauces served with our pan-grilled beef tenderloin. The first was the Beef Tenderloin with Roasting Jus (RM28+). The beef was done medium rare, just right for that wonderful bite. The roasting jus was tasty as you can taste the tedious task of reducing the beef stock to a thick consistency almost like the Bovril. The flavorful extract with a slight saltiness went well with the baguettes. This meat was served with some mashed kumara with some sprinkles of olive powder.

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The next dish which was the Beef Tenderloin with Bearnaise Sauce (RM28+) was served exactly the same way but with Bearnaise sauce replacing the roasting jus. The traditionally used light yellow, opaque, smooth and creamy sauce for steak, had a mild herbs and spices eggy after taste, most probably with the added in chervil, terragon, shallots, coarsely crushed peppercorns with egg yolk and butter. No doubt it was nice but my preference would go to the lovely roasting jus.

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The Albondigas (RM16+) or commonly known as pork meatballs in gravy was something nice to go with your baguettes. The marinated minced pork with some herbs and seasoning went well with the tomato puree like gravy. It would be great if more breadcrumbs, onions or even other tenderizer be added in to soften the meat a bit more.

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The next dish was the Spanish Omelette with Mushroom & Thyme (RM12+). It was just a somewhat stuffed omelette with a slight Tabasco sauce flavor topped with some deep fried potatoes.

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For those who love to have vegetable tapas, you can try out their Leek Fondue (RM10+). It was just a creamy spread for your baguette.

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As it was rather filling with all the food, we still managed to try out their Creme Brulee (RM13+). Their version has a thin layer of burnt sugar. It went well with their homemade berries compote.

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Overall, the food served here has its own unique flavors with a slight touch of fusion and can be well accepted by the locals as well as foreigners. Please also note that there would be a 10% service charge applicable for all purchases.

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

55CAFEMAP

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

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

 

SUCCULENT HOMEMADE PORK BURGER @ 43 CAFÉ PENANG

Posted by crizlai On May - 15 - 2012

Pork Burger has been a booming business recently in Penang from night market (pasar malam) to posh cafes such as BeerBQ Bistro at Precinct 10, Tanjung Tokong, Penang. However, nothing would beat homemade ones which are tasty and economical. With the opening of 43 Café located along the main road of Jalan Sungai Dua, Penang, you would be able now to savor those succulent and flavorful pork burgers from as low as RM5.00nett each. Thanks to Mr. Jacgy Chan, who had brainstormed the idea of serving such heavenly treats, for the consumptions of the many pork lovers around Penang.

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The uniqueness of the Pork Burger served here, lies in the preparations as well as the cooking method used. The pork patties were approximately 90gms in weight each and had selected minced choice meat with less fat, evenly combined with breadcrumbs, black pepper, mixed herbs and a light touch of seasoning. Moreover, it uses a special method of thermo grilling where barely any oil was needed and yet maintaining the flavors and moist within. Each patty would come with a slice of melted cheese.

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There are 3 selections of pork burgers served here, namely the Pork Burger with Cheese (Original – RM5.00nett, BBQ Sauce – RM5.50nett, Black Pepper Sauce – RM5.50nett). Each burger would have a butter toasted spongy bun with lots of sesame seeds, iceberg lettuce, tomato and onion on top of the beautifully prepared pork patty. Even without the sauce, the cheesy flavor from the melted cheese blended real well with everything. I personally love the BBQ Sauce more as it had that nice smoky flavors from the liquid smoke used. As I’m a spicy food taker, the Black Pepper Sauce was a bit mild but this sauce would be great for general intake, even for kids.

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If you feel that the bun were a bit too thick for your liking, you can always go for the Original Double Trouble Pork Burger (RM8.00nett). This set has a double boost of pork burger with cheese. I’m sure they would also serve triple patties upon request too.

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There are also other add-ons such as additional cheese (RM1.00nett/pc) and bacon (RM1.50nett/pc). I love the extra flavors on my Original Pork Burger with Bacon (RM6.50nett).

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Do keep a watch out on the sign board with special offers for the day. There could be some specially prepared dishes that are not stated in the menu or even package set meals available for the day. One of the dishes might be their home cooked Mushroom Soup (RM3.00nett) served with a slice of nicely toasted garlic bread. It had a combination of blended mushrooms in it with a light touch of herbs.

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Other dishes might be their Egg Pecah (RM2.00nett) served with toasted bread/bun. This dish would have an egg stir fried in spicy chili paste in a semi raw presentation and garnished with some chopped spring onions.

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Occasionally, you would get to savor their freshly marinated chicken satay called Nom Nom Nom (RM1.00nett per skew with minimum order of 6 skews) served with some onions. This dry version of satay without any dipping peanut sauce would be great enough for any appetite boosting as there would be the presence of sweetness, sourness and spiciness on each juicy skew.

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If your timing is right, there would be the Roasted Honey Chicken Wing (RM1.80/pc) available on that day. The wing had just the right marinates with light touch of sweetness from the coated honey.

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Another roasted version would be their Roasted Rosemary Chicken. The price has yet to be ascertained.

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As for desserts, there would be selected item daily ranging from homemade cakes, ice cream, jellies and more. One of the more notable ones would be their Homemade Peanut Paste (RM3.00nett). Each bowl would have freshly blended toasted peanuts with some chunky bits.

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Another notable one would be their Homemade Black Sesame Paste which would be available from time to time.

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As for beverages, you should not miss out their freshly made Tomato Plum Juice (RM3.50nett). It had 100% fresh tomato juice blended in with sweet & sour plum and ice cubes with no added water or sugar. It’s a super healthy drink on a humid weather. Other drinks would include as the photo below. Chilled canned drinks such as Coca-Cola and 100Plus would also be available at RM2.50nett each whereas Chilled Mineral Water would be at RM1.50nett per bottle.

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[Left to right: Back – Tomato Plum Juice (RM3nett), Iced Lemon Tea (RM2.50nett), Homemade Hot Ginger Tea (RM1.50nett), Iced Chocolate (RM3.00nett), Iced White Coffee (RM2.50nett); Front – Hot White Coffee (RM2.00nett), Hot Chocolate (RM2.50nett)]

You can click on the photo below for a clearer view of 43 Café’s menu.

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Presently, one of their hot selling items here would be their Homemade Glutinous Rice Pork Dumplings aka Bak Chang (RM5.00nett each). They are freshly made daily and only limited quantity would be available per day. Instead of the usual boiling in hot water for hours, these delicious dumplings would be steamed to bind in their rich flavors. Moreover, it has extra azuki beans added in for that nutty and aromatic texture. Other than the beans and rice, each dumpling would come with lean but tender choice pieces of pork, mushroom, dried shrimps, chestnut and specially ordered salted duck egg yolk. For glutinous rice lovers, this is one item you would not want to miss out.

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Overall, the café do keep to their reputation for serving cheap and good pork burgers. As for the rest of the dishes, there are still rooms for improvements for better taste and more varieties. The food served here basically caters for those university students or working personnel staying nearby that vicinity.

43 Cafe is located along Jalan Sungai Dua just opposite the Universiti Sains Malaysian, nearer to the Jalan Sungai Dua/Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah traffic lights (Sunny Point Complex). If you are coming from town via Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, you would reach the traffic lights with Sunny Point Complex on your left. Turn right into Jalan Sungai Dua (USM main entrance) and keep to your left. About 100m away, turn left into the service road. Turn right and drive on for another 250m and you would see the corner unit double-storey house next to a photostating shop. That’s where the 43 Café is. There are ample parking spaces around the café.

43CAFEMAP

Name: 43 CAFE
Address: 43, Jalan Sungai Dua, 11700 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-430 7009 (Mr. Jacgy Chan)
Business Hours: 5.30pm-10.00pm
GPS: 5.353265, 100.303813
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/43cafe

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

Located within one of Penang’s newest premium food and beverage hub venues, Precinct 10, along Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Penang, is a little bistro by the name of BeerBQ Bistro. A large percentage of their dishes are cooked with bee. It had such a German concept of dining where they would pair different type of beer with selected dishes. The thing that the bistro did best was to watch out for the usage of over hoppy beers that would sometimes emit unpleasant bitterness in dishes. Thus, the dishes served here would be mild enough for the consumption of any age group of diners.

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The first thing that caught our eyes was the special of the day which was the BeerBQ Pork Burger (RM21.90++) as it was rather hard to get great pork burgers in Penang. The approximately 250gms pork patty was superb as it has the right proportion of meat and fat with the right thickness and flavors. The juicy patty went well with the slightly crisp toasted sesame bun with fresh greens and fries. The BBQ sauce dressing was awesome as it had that rich, tangy and thick liquid hickory smoke flavors that complemented the grilled patty real well. I wondered if the kitchen did add in some beer in the sauce as it was not distinctive at all. If you see this dish on their special of the day, do not hesitate to order one. You sure won’t regret even though the pricing might be a bit high.

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The beer pairing session started when we started off our appetizer meal with Roast Pork (RM16.90++) paired with Belgium’s pale lager, Stella Artois (RM22++/bottle). The dish had some crispy and crackling pieces of herb roasted pork belly. No doubt it was a flavorful plate of heavenly meat but the pieces were somehow a bit dry. It could be due to the lack of some fatty layers or the pre-roasted was exposed too long in the air. I guessed they would have to find a way to prevent the meat from drying off or it would turn away many roasted pork lovers.

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The next appetizer was the Smoked Salmon Salad (RM19.90++) paired with USA’s pale lager, Budweiser. The smoked salmon was wrapped around a small stalk of skinned celery and served with some homemade cheese sauce and Mesclun lettuce with their special dressing. I personally felt that the celery stalks were rather obsolete as they looked clumsy in the whole presentation. It would be better if some juicy cucumber strips were used instead. The smoked salmon went well with the cheese sauce which had a light hint of bleu cheese. The dressing for the salad was unique as it had sweet and fruity vinaigrette flavors from some grapes used.

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We also had the BeerBQ Pork Ribs (RM38.90++) paired with Germany’s dark lager, Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Dunkel. The chargrilled pork ribs were tender and filled with flavors from their special BBQ sauce. However, I personally felt that the sauce was not enough as it did not cover every part of the pork ribs thoroughly. This was served with some crispy potatoes wedges and fresh greens with their special dressing.

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One of the recommended dishes here would be their BeerBQ Seafood Platter (RM40.90++) paired with Germany’s light lager, Lowenbrau (RM22++/bottle). It had quite a number of BBQ large prawns, scallops, squids and mussels cooked with their signature BeerBQ sauce and served on a big bed of mashed potatoes. This dish came with some greens. The sauce blended in real well with the seafood and mashed potatoes. The setback would be that it could be a bit too filling for a person’s portion.

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We also tried out their Fish and Chips (RM21.90++) paired with Belgium’s witbieren (white beers), Hoegaarden White (RM20++ for 1/2 pint, RM30++ for 1 pint) since it had crispy beer battered fish fillet. The dish came with some fries, greens, tartar sauce and malt vinegar. Somehow, the crispiness did not maintain long as I presumed that the batter lacked some baking powder, self rising flour or even cornmeal flour? Moreover, frozen dory fish was used in this dish and that did not give the freshness that I would have expected. It would be great if options would be given for other species of fish such as seabass, grouper, mahi mahi, cod, etc would be served too. Of course, those would come with a different price range.

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Since there were pastas being served here too, we decided to try out their Spaghetti Vongole (RM18.90++). The al dente of the spaghetti was just right together with the freshness from the local clams. The clams were cooked with chopped garlic, chili flakes, mixed herbs, salt and pepper in olive oil with a very mild dash of white wine. Somehow, the dish lacked the fresh herbs flavors from either flat leaf parsley or chives. Moreover, the soup was not thick in flavors as I expected since clams do not have that distinctive seafood richness. They could have thought out of the box by adding in some baby anchovies, baby shrimps or even the seasonal baby crabs to pep up the extra seafood flavors.

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As dessert, there were not many choices as there was only one alcohol boosted cake available which was the Stout Chocolate Cake (RM12.90++). However, this was one flavorful dessert as the warm stout chocolate cake, topped with melting chocolate sauce with a light touch of whipped cream was heaven.

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Here’s a chart where you would find out more on which type of beer would pair well with which type of food, cheese and dessert. Please click to have a larger view of the chart below:

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There are two types of beer cocktails that attracted quite many drinkers. One would be the Blue Ocean Beer (RM22.90++), a concoction of lager beer, blue curacao with a slice of lemon and also the Chili Beer (RM22.90++) which had a concoction of lager beer, bird’s eye chili (cili padi), black pepper, and a dash or two of Tabasco sauce.

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For those non-alcoholic drinkers, there would always be the mocktail to quench your thirst. You can try out the BeerBQ Triple (RM9.90++) which had a combination of orange, apple and pineapple juices.

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Overall, the food served here can be a bit too mild for those who prefer to have stronger hop flavors. Fortunately, they are still quite good at pairing the beers with food based on the basic 3 rules: matching beer strength with food strength, food harmony and balancing of the bitterness (hops), sweetness (malt), bubbles (carbonation), spiciness (hot peppers) and richness of the beers with the dishes. A 10% Service Tax and 6 % Government Tax would be imposed on all orders.

Precinct 10 is just next to the Island Plaza along Jalan Tanjung Tokong. If you are coming from town area towards Batu Ferringghi, just take note of the second traffic light (Jalan Tanjung Tokong/ Jalan Fettes/ Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang). Island Plaza is on your right. Make a U-Turn at the traffic lights and you will see Precinct 10 right after Island Plaza on the left. There are ample parking spaces at the premises. Parking fees would be around RM1/hour. You can visibly see BeerBQ Bistro at the far left corner next to SOHO.

BEERBQBISTROMAP

Name: BEERBQ BISTRO @ PRECINCT 10
Address: 10-B-06, Precinct 10, Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-890 5157
Business Hours:
12.00pm-3.00pm, 6.00pm-11.00pm (Monday-Wednesday)
12.00pm-3.00pm, 6.00pm-12.00am (Friday-Sunday)
GPS: 5.448970, 100.306020

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

 

FABULOUSLY FRENCH AT SWEZ BRASSERIE @ EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On May - 1 - 2012

Bonne fête~ Happy holidays everyone~ 🙂 After a tantalizing Thai cuisine promotion, Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, is currently having a Fabulously French promoting for the whole month of May 2012 (1-31 May 2012). You can now savor mouth-watering and delicate French cuisine ranging from délicieux soup, prawn persillade, baked mussel Provancal to a spread of sweetness from desserts such as caramelized crepe suzette, macarons and more, under the skillful hands of Chef Daniel Tan, Senior Sous Chef and Chef Franco Ho, Pastry Chef. There would also be a 15% off the bill for all MAYBANKARD & VISA card members.

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As for starter, Crevettes et Avocat en Salade (French Shrimps with Avocado Salad/南美梨鮮蝦沙拉) was served. The orange color of the salad looked as though it was dressed with thousand islands dressing but it was not. It had that fruity citrus flavor with a slight peppery cream filled spiciness. I could be sure there was some Dijon mustard being added in with a mild touch of balsamic vinaigrette or maybe Tabasco sauce. It was light and refreshing to start off the meal.

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I love the next one which was the Petite Salade de Fruit de Mer en Vol-au-Vent (Marinated Seviche of Seafood/酸橘汁腌海鮮沙拉) most. It was like having very creamy rich seafood chowder with added fruit cubes served on a buttery puff pastry. The combination of flavors was perfect as finger food. Anyone going to make these lil’ heaven for canapé party, please count me in~ 😛

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The French are good in preparing their soup with the abundance of fresh crustaceans, herbs and spices available. The Bisque de Crabe Armoricaine (Crab Bisque/法式螃蟹浓湯) was good, even better than the lobster bisque I had at QEII. Somehow, even without the usage of wine or cognac, the soup was filled with flows of seafood freshness that were not too intruding with heavy brine taste. Each scoopful was filled with rich aromatic flavors from the accumulated roasted crab shell, slight bitterness at first followed by a fresh and buttery aftertaste. I just hope they will reduce a bit of salt in there as crab meat would absorb some salt water too. There were bits of chunky crab meat, some cream and a sprinkle of chopped chives.

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On the other hand, the seafood boasted Bouillabaisse (Mediterranean Seafood Soup/地中海風味海鮮湯) came with clearer soup. This soup tasted rather different compared to the ones I had tried before. Maybe it’s due to the hotel being HALAL certified and can’t add wine in their dishes. The taste was quite similar to onion vegetables soup, a bit saffron spiced, with mild sourness from the added tomatoes, carrots and a light touch of lemon juice. It has large prawns, scallops and mussels to pep up the seafood richness.

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As entrees, you could also be served with the Canard al’Orange (Roasted Duck with Orange Sauce/橘子醬烤鴨) as one of the options. Well, the roasted duck meat tasted just like any other boiled meat without the distinctive roasted flavor. I still love the smoked duck served here though. The meat was not to the tenderness of my choice and the orange sauce was just as thin as orange juice. I would prefer something thicker like puree base to blend in well with the meat. I hope the kitchen would improve more on this dish.

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The Carre d’agneau Provencale (Rack of Lamb Provencal/普羅旺斯烤羊排) was something to yearn for. The roasted rack of lamb had just the right texture, flavors and juiciness as it was done medium rare. What was killing was the crust. It was awesomely prepared with just some mixture of basic herbs (thyme & rosemary), lots of chopped garlic, onions, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard and egg for the glue effect. Each slice had the fragrant and aromatic flavors. It went well with the brown sauce and mint sauce served.

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The Riz Pilaf au Poulet et Pois (Chicken and Peas Pilaf/雞肉豌豆烤米飯) was how the French cook their rice dishes such as how the Spanish would cook their paella like the one I had at Sigi’s Bar & Grill on the Beach, Golden Sands Resort, Penang. To me, it tasted more like stewed chicken meat mixed with buttered steamed rice with added green peas, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and capsicum. There was nothing much to shout about on this dish.

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French desserts have been internationally known as one of the finest in the world. In fact, their pastries had gotten many dessert lovers going crazy over them. One of such dessert served here is their Tarte aux Pommes (French Apple Tart/法式苹果塔). This version is different in the sense that it’s healthier and less sugar content than what you would get from an American Apple Pie. It’s totally not McD’s version. Think about Portugese Egg Tart with semi cooked Granny Smith green apple slices and you would get your Tarte aux Pommes.

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The one dessert that I can’t get enough of is the Creme Brulee (Trinity Cream/焦糖雞蛋布丁). The ones served here were the best I had so far although they were just plain. These were smooth, melt-in-the-mouth goodies with just a light touch of burnt sugar on the surface. In fact, this is the right way to make Crème Brulee rather than some outlets with a thin layer of caramelized sugar on its surface. It’s a double thumbs-up for this dessert! 🙂

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Wherever you go, you would surely spot those colorful mini burger lookalike treats that got the whole world crazy over them. Those are macarons, a sweet meringue based confectionery which are made from egg whites, sugar, almond powder and food coloring, then sandwiched with some sweet cream. The ingredients may sound simple but this is one of the hardest recipes to manage. I loved the Assorted Macarons (馬卡龍蛋白杏仁餅) as Chef Franco had decided to stick to the basic without using much artificial colorings. I have to declare that these macarons were the best! Both the macarons served had the minimum sweetness with the right balance of Yin and Yang. The first one was the Vanilla Macaron with Coffee Cream. The sweetness of the vanilla meringue cookies went well with the bitter sweet coffee cream. The next macaron was the Pandan Macaron with Lemon Vanilla Cream. Sweetness plus sourness have always been a great combination for desserts.

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Overall, Swez Brasserie fairs better in Western cuisine. Chef’s Daniel’s knowledge in utilizing Western herbs and spices sure made the dishes more appetizing. Moreover, now is the best time to savor all his nicely cooked French cuisine. On the other hand, I’m beginning to love their desserts even more. It looked as though the pastry chef has moved towards a healthier lifestyle by lessening the sugar content in all his pastries. I truly support that move, Chef Franco! 🙂

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

FABULOUSLY FRENCH PROMOTION (1-31 MAY 2012)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM48++ (adult), RM24++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM55++ (adult), RM28++ (child)
Festive Occasion (Mother’s Day): RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Monday – Thursday
RM48++ per pax

The Swez Brasserie is located at the ring wing of Eastin Hotel, Penang (next to Queensbay Mall). If you are coming from Georgetown towards Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone via Bayan Lepas Expressway, do watch out for the Pulau Jerejak signboard (leading to Pulau Jerejak jetty). Ignore the turning and drive on to the next left junction. Turn left into Jalan Aziz Ibrahim and drive on until you a roundabout. Turn 3 o’ clock and drive on until you see a big Eastin Hotel signboard at the first right junction. Turn right and drive on. Park your car at the basement car park. Take a lift to the first floor lobby and you would see the restaurant there.

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Name: SWEZ BRASSERIE @ EASTIN HOTEL
Address: 1 Solok Bayan Indah, Queens Bay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-612 1128, 604-612 1138
Business Hours: 12.00pm-2.30pm (Lunch), 6.30pm-10.00pm (Dinner)
GPS: 5.33643, 100.306345

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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I was lucky to get his autograph too. 😛

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

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

EASTINHOTELMAP

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

 

A SIMPLE MEAL AT KHAM KEE BEEF NOODLES STALL IN PENANG

Posted by crizlai On April - 17 - 2012

For those who were from the older generation, the name Kham Kee would have brought back many memories. It was a trademark for the earliest beef steamboat in Penang. Initially located along the row of shop houses as Waterfall Hotel, Jalan Gottlieb, Penang, it has now moved to a residential area along Jalan Gajah, Tanjung Tokong, Penang, for years where it only cater for private bookings. Fear not as they have now set up a stall named Kham Kee Beef Noodles along Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim, serving a simple spread of beef items with either noodles or rice.

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The bowl of beef noodles (Minimum RM7.00) is quite similar to the famous beef noodles stall at 2828 Café along Jalan Perak, Penang, with a clearer and not too beefy soup base. One thing you can be sure of is that it won’t be as oily as the rest as they do not add in lard in oil. Sorry lard lovers, it’s time to stay healthier~ LOL!

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Basically, there’s not much to brag about what sizes of bull “bazooka” or “bombs” you had here as they only serve 4 basic items, namely beef balls, beef tendon, beef tripe and beef slices, to go with your noodles or rice. The trademark of Kham Kee has always been their special handmade beef balls. They always have that bouncy al dente bite that you can hardly find elsewhere and they were bigger in size than others. Their chili sauce was also superb as it was a handed down recipe for decades. It was sassy recipe with hints of red chilies, bird eyes chilies and ginger with some pinches of salt. It was fiery spicy but I love it! The dish would come with a generous garnishing of chopped Chinese celery and some oil drained fried garlic. It was a simple yet fulfilling hot bowl of noodles on a rainy day~ 🙂

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Overall, the taste for the beef noodles soup was not as great as it was during the old days where it had a thicker taste but still better than some beef noodles stalls in term of less oil and not much weird innards in the dish. Simplicity can still be the best for me. Do watch out as the chili sauce can be super spicy. Special arrangement can be made for takeaway steamboat ingredients and soup from RM100 onwards.

Kham Kee Beef Noodles stall is located within the premises of New B Garden Café along Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim, a bit further up from Lam Wah Ee Hospital. If you are coming from Jalan Mesjid Negeri from Air Itam, just watch out for the ESSO petrol kiosk on you left. Immediately after the petrol kiosk, turn left into Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim (next to an overhead bridge). Drive on for another 300m or so and you will see the RHB Bank there. Park your vehicle there and walk over the opposite direction. You would see a large blue signboard with “New B Garden Café” at the corner of Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim and Lintang Batu Lanchang. The stall is in there.

KHAMKEEMAP

Name: KHAM KEE BEEF NOODLES @ NEW B GARDEN CAFE
Address: 139 Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim, 11600 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-411 9365 (Ms. Sally)
Business Hours: 4.00pm-11.00pm (Closed Alternate Thursday)
GPS: 5.392467, 100.306438

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

 

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