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Archive for the ‘penang’ Category

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE BEST DEALS ARE BACK AT SOHO PENANG

Posted by crizlai On June - 10 - 2011

If you are not aware where to get to the best dining and entertainment scenes in Penang, you should take a more serious note now on the SOHO Group’s outlets. For over a decade, the Group has provided Penangites with 6 great venues from vibrant restaurants to club scenes, namely SOHO Free House, SOHO Penthouse, SOHO Country House (Auto City), QEII, Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine and Chin-Chin Bar. The settings at all the outlets are unique by itself, from a British-style pub with great beer, a relaxing upstairs dining area with colonial style ambience, an old English manor setting with high ceiling, a sea front restaurant overseeing the city’s only inland marina, an award winning fine dining Chinese restaurant to a sophisticated bar right next to the Chin’s. Recently, the best deals in town are back due to popular demand by the public at 3 of the outlets, mainly SOHO Free House, SOHO Penthouse and SOHO Country House. One main dish would only cost RM7.80nett, with the option to choose from 5 main dishes.

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The first option would be the Roasted Herbed Chicken which would be served with mashed potatoes and mixed greens. The taste was quite similar to the one I had at Dave’s Deli. You can practically taste the herbs being well seeped into the tender chicken drumstick and the skin still has that little crisp from the roasting. Combined with the brown sauce, the whole dish was quite tasty. The only exception was the mash potatoes as it was a bit too fine to my liking. I would prefer those with some coarse potatoes bits in them.

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The next option would be the Traditional Shepherd’s Pie. You can have either chicken or beef. I tried out the chicken version and found out that the filling was a bit too little compared to the level of the mashed potatoes (which again was too fine). Although the taste had all the necessary fragrance, somehow minced beef would be a better choice as it would be juicier than minced chicken. This dish was served with some peas and greens.

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The SOHO Spaghetti as just average as the sauce was a bit too sweet to my liking. I prefer those with fresher ingredients just like the Italian way of preparation. Moreover, minced chicken was used which gave it a more sandy and dry sensation. Alternatively, some added minced pork or a total minced beef would do the dish more justice. Some parmesan cheese granules were served with the dish.

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Banger ‘n’ Mash is basically a pub grub, something easy to cook yet tasty to go along with any beer. Well, it was one large sausage compared to the Bratwurst sausage I had elsewhere. This traditional English dish blended in real well with the gravy which I suspected was some rich onion gravy with some sprinkles of herbs. It came with some mashed potatoes and peas. The chef did a great job of not over grilling the sausage while maintaining the juice within.

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The last option would be the Beef Burger. You can either have it with chicken or vegetarian patty. I had tried the Chicken Burger through one of the takeaway but find it to be a bit dry and bland in taste, even with all the ketchup and chili sauce added. Fortunately, the Beef Burger was awesome. There were some hints of black pepper, LP sauce and some herbs being used in the marinating process and the usage of breadcrumbs was just right. Moreover, the amount of fat used was just right to maintain the moisture of the burger. The burger was served with some fries and greens.

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With the concept of being a pub and a bistro, there would never be a shortage of beverages here, regardless of whether it would be a plain glass of juice, beers of any imports and various wines. Currently, they have a 1/2 pint glass draught promotion for Tiger and Carlsberg at RM8.50nett per glass all day long. On top of that, with every RM120 or more of any draught beer purchases on a single receipt, you’ll get to redeem a cute mini glass of either Kilkenny, Heineken, Tiger or Guiness as collectible items while stocks last.

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If you are driving down from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah from City Bayview Hotel, turn left into Jalan Penang after the traffic lights. Drive a bit further and you would the Red Garden Café parking lot. Park your car inside the car park. SOHO Free House & Penthouse is just opposite the car park next to Peking Hotel. Please take note that the car park fees can be quite expensive as it’s located near all the night entertainment area. Alternatively, you can drive further up and turn left into Lebuh Muntri to find some empty car parks.

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Name: SOHO FREE HOUSE & SOHO PENTHOUSE
Address: 50 (Ground & Upper Floor), Jalan Penang, 10000 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-263 3331, 604-507 0079 (SOHO Country House, Auto City)
Business Hours: 12.00pm – 12.00am, Beer Hours: until late
GPS: 5.421829, 100.333806

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: 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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THE HUMBLE CURRY MEE AUNTIE ALONG JALAN DELIMA

Posted by crizlai On June - 6 - 2011

If you are a Curry Mee lover, you would have noticed that the price for a good bowl of the noodles can be rather costly now. Even with an average price of RM3.50 per bowl, you can hardly get substantial ingredients in it. If you were to add in more “fresh toppings”, a bowl might cost you more than RM5. Do you always face this problem while dining out? With the increasing cost of living in Penang, most of us would seek the next cheapest alternative which might not be to our likings. Well, you should pay this humble Curry Mee auntie along Jalan Delima a visit as she’s doing the business not for profit but to pass time and she has been doing this for almost a decade. A normal bowl of her Curry Mee with lots of ingredients would cost you only RM2.80 and her portion would be based on your body size WITHOUT additional charges. Amazing! You can always add on more ingredients as per your liking but just wait until you see her large bowl of Curry Mee at only RM3.20. The bowl would come with FIVE FRESH PRAWNS plus lots of seafood. This bowl would at least cost you RM5-RM6 elsewhere.

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You can either choose yellow noodles, bee hoon (rice vermicelli) or a mix of both for your Curry Mee. Each bowl would come with bean sprouts, prawns, cuttlefish, cockles, pig’s blood jelly, tofu puff (tau hoo pok), garnished with fresh mint leaves and served with a spoonful of sautéed shallots chili paste. The chili paste here would not be as spicy hot as most stalls she did not add in dried chilies.

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Overall, the Curry Mee served here was quite nice to my liking as it did not have that much coconut milk usage. The dish is more towards the clear soup version with a slight salty sweet taste. What attracted me most was the size and freshness of the prawns as she would only cook them when necessary. Now you know why I rather order a large bowl of the Curry Mee? It’s because I love fresh seafood~ Haha! There is one important note to those who wishes to dine in her humble little place. PLEASE BRING YOUR OWN BEVERAGE as the old auntie here DOES NOT SERVE any drinks. Most of her patrons are workers and housewives, thus barely anyone would dine at her place. Another thing would be the operating hours. Most of the time, her Curry Mee would be sold out by 9.30am. So do try to go as early as possible. I’m sorry I can’t provide her contact here as she had requested for some privacy.

It’s not that hard to locate the place as the stall within a row of houses is just towards the end of Jalan Delima, leading to Jalan Yeap Chor Ee. If you are driving towards the Penang Bridge along Jalan Mesjid Negeri, keep to your right and watch out for the second traffic lights right after Lam Wah Ee Hospital. Turn right into Jalan Delima. You can see the former N.G. Lighting shop (on the left) and a car seller shop (on the right) of the junction. Drive all the way up until you have passed two large fields. Immediately after Field 2, slow down and keep to your left. The stall, within the compound of a house with BLUE awnings, is just 10 houses away from the second left junction.

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Name: AUNTIE’S CURRY MEE
Address: 9B Jalan Delima, Island Glades, 11700 Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 7.30am – 10.00am
GPS: 5.380291, 100.301852

RATING:
Ambience: 5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 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: 3/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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THE LAUNCHING OF ACE PROGRAM AT HARD ROCK HOTEL

Posted by crizlai On May - 31 - 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ACE Program Activities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPECIAL MALAY CUISINE AT D’DAPOR EXPRESS

Posted by crizlai On May - 29 - 2011

After a disastrous meal at Bahtera Santai Seafood & Ikan Bakar, finally there’s a nice and cozy Malay restaurant with some heritage feels down in the heart of George Town. At least I can have a proper venue to enjoy authentic Malay flavors in a more comfortable environment without the disturbance from some pesky insects. D’Dapor Express is a sophisticated Malay restaurant, located within one of the shop lots in the newly restored 140 years old pre-war building named Logan Building, along the banking district of Lebuh Pantai. Today, the building has been renamed as Logan Heritage and housed an arcade of food & beverage outlets and other retail outlets.

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Presently, D’Dapor Express is promoting its Set Lunch and Set Dinner with Kari Kepala Ikan D’Dapor (D’Dapor Curry Fish Head), Taugeh Tumis Ikan Masin Salted Fish Bean Sprouts), Telur Bawang (Onion Omelette), Ulam-ulaman (Raw Herbs with Sambal) and steamed rice at RM39.90++ (for 2-3 pax) or Kari Kepala Ikan D’Dapor (D’Dapor Curry Fish Head), Ayam Kelasan Malindo (Indonesian Fried Chicken), Taugeh Tumis Ikan Masin (Salted Fish Bean Sprouts), Telur Bawang (Onion Omelette), Ulam-ulaman (Raw Herbs with Sambal) and steamed rice at RM65.90++ (for 4-6 pax).

One of the new sets (RM39.90++ per set) we had tried out inclusive the Kari Kepala Ikan D’Dapor (D’Dapor Curry Fish Head – normal price at RM38++), an all-time favorite amongst the locals. A freshly chosen fish head was carefully prepared with curry spices, chilies, onions, tamarind juice with some dashes of coconut milk, served with sliced eggplants, ladies fingers and tomatoes, with some touches of spring onions and fresh mint leaves as garnishes. This dish was quite similar to the Nyonya style fish curry, without the strong traces of sweet basil (daun kesum) but with the usage of coconut milk. This was quite a reasonably good dish, especially when the dish was served piping hot. Well, the Telur Bawang (Onion Omelette – normal price at RM6.50++) and Kailan Masak Cendawan (Stir Fry Kailan with Mushrooms – normal price at RM8.80++/RM19.80++) were two common dishes you would get anywhere.

The next new set inclusive the Udang Buluh Perindu (Spicy Prawns served in bamboo which in this case it came on a plate – normal price at RM18++/RM27++). The dish came with four juicy prawns cooked in sweet and spicy gravy. The gravy tasted like the Oriental style sweet and sour crab minus the presence of vinegar. There was a strong hint of chili sauce being used in the dish. The Ayam Pandan Berbungkus (Screw Pine Leaves Wrapped Chicken – normal price at RM12.80++/RM22.80++) had some Thai influence with the usage of turmeric powder, ginger, onions and garlic as marinates to the chicken meat chunks, prior to being wrapped in pandan leaves and deep fried. Unfortunately, the marinate time was not enough to let the flavors seeped into the meat. Moreover, the size was rather small for reasonable bites. The Kari Ketam (Flower Crab Curry – normal price at RM25++) was a new addon in the menu. The cooking style again was so much like the Nyonya Masak Lemak Nenas, a spicy and pineapple fruity sweetness curry where seafood such as either some prawns, fish or squids were used as the main ingredient. This dish was rather tasty, considering that the sweetness from the crab has gone right into the gravy.

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Instead of going for the set meals, you can also try out some of the items in their ala carte menu. The Kari Ayam Kampung Melayu (Traditional Malay Chicken Curry – RM12.80++/RM22.80++) was quite tasty. The dish has thick gravy somewhat like the Nyonya Curry Kapitan Chicken minus the strong taste of Kaffir lime leaves. Another dish that would be quite a good appetizer would be the Kerabu Mempelam Tiga Serantai (Mango Salad Trio – RM8.80++/16.50++). The dish used finely sliced raw mango, onions, lemon grass and chilies with a light squeeze of lime juice to pep up the taste. It has a generous amount of crispy satay ikan bilis (deep fried spicy anchovies) and bunga kantan (ginger flower bulb) as garnishes.

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On top of this, there would also be a Buffet High Tea available on weekdays (Monday thru Friday from 3.00pm to 6.00pm). All you need to do is to indulge in any beverages more than RM5+ and you would get to enjoy a free flow of local delicacies. There would also be some quick set lunches on weekdays (with drink) as per shown below:

Monday (RM9.90++):
Set Kari Ayam / Set Ikan Berlada (Fillet) / Set Sotong Kapitan
Tuesday (RM11.90++):
Set Udang Berlada / Set Ikan Berkicap (Fillet) / Set Ikan Asam Pedas
Wednesday (RM12.90++):
Set Ikan Masak Lemak / Set Nasi Lemak D’Dapor / Set Seafood Kapitan
Thursday (RM13.90++):
Set Kari Ketam / Set Sapi Rendang / Set Ayam Berkicap
Friday (RM13.90++):
Set Briyani with Ayam Masak Merah / Ayam Rendang

To get there, just drive all the way along Lebuh Light until you see a roundabout where you would see an stainless steel betel nut structure being displayed there (or Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower) and turn 3’o clock into Lebuh Pantai. Just a few meters away, you would see the Standard Chartered Bank on your right. Turn right into Lebuh Union and you would see the restaurant on your left, right before Maybank Union Street Branch. Unfortunately, they do not have a prominent signage on their entrance yet but you won’t miss it. Parking spaces would be quite ample during off-peak period. If not, you can park in the multi-storey car park after Maybank or the Sri Weld Food Court car park (slightly after Hongkong Bank) along Lebuh Pantai during lunch hours.

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Name: D’DAPOR EXPRESS @ LOGAN HERITAGE BUILDING
Address: 7 Lebuh Union, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-262 9323
Business Hours:
12.00noon – 3.00pm (Lunch)
3.00pm – 6.00pm (Buffet Hi-Tea on weekdays)
6.00pm -10.00pm (Dinner)
GPS: 5.418615, 100.342871

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

BAHTERA SANTAI SEAFOOD BY THE BEACH

Posted by crizlai On May - 28 - 2011

With the success of Hammer Bay Seafood next to the Gold Coast Resort Condominium, Bayan Lepas, Penang, more and more of such beachside seafood sheds wannabes have started to mushroom along the coastal highway nearby the inhabited beach areas of Bayan Mutiara near to the jetty to Pulau Jerejak, Penang. How successful are those “I donno if it’s legal to set up there” stalls? One such place would be the Bahtera Santai Seafood & Ikan Bakar stall, with romantic settings, dim lights and under the canopy type of dining ambience with a panoramic view of the Penang Bridge.

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The stall would serve lots of fresh seafood obtained from fresh daily catches of the local fishermen.

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Now come to the part of taste, price and attitude of the staff. I have been quite lenient and frank about food quality of the Penang’s food industry, regardless of whichever type of cuisine, but whatever being served here were way beyond my expectation. On top of that, the serving system was rather chaotic with our second order of drinks never came at all. Let’s just have a look at the Mee Hailam (RM4.00). As for price wise, it was at normal market rate. As for taste wise, I would advise you to get some health insurance, just in case you have kidney problem resulting from too much of the food here. The “lye water” enriched yellow noodles with some vegetables combined with the barely traceable small chunks of chicken meat were practically swimming in a pool of fishy stench salt water. What pondered me was the presence of the fishy taste when there were not even any traces of seafood inside the dish. The Fried Salted Fish Rice (RM4.00) was another disastrous dish. They were using the cheapest salted fish (mackerel/ikan kembong), without even deep frying the flesh. The whole plate of fried rice was overpowered by the salty and fishy salted fish chunks. The Deep Fried Squids in Batter (RM23) tasted quite fine although they were a bit “over-battered”. Well, you’ll never get them wrong with the easily available “KFC frying flour” and Thai chili sauce. However, I was fumed over the price! How could 3 six inches squids cost as much as RM23? Even those famous Malay seafood places, such as the Hammer Bay Seafood is charging merely RM5 per plate. Are they trying to slash our throat just because we were not locals there? I did asked the cashier if the price charged was for the whole list of items ordered and she just ignored me and continuing calculating the bill. What an attitude! After passing me the bill, I kept asking at least 3 times if the amount charged was right and she nodded. Well, all the proof of the squid sizes and bills are displayed below. Do I need to say more?

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It would be easier to reach the restaurant if use the Jelutong/Bayan Lepas Expressway. Just follow the direction towards Queensbay Mall. Drive on until you see an overhead pass when nearing the mall. Watch out for a signboard (as shown below) to Pulau Jererak Resort & Spa. Turn left into the road and drive until the T-junction. Just turn left and drive a bit more and you will see the beach stall on your right.

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Name: BAHTERA SANTAI SEAFOOD & IKAN BAKAR
Address: Bayan Mutiara, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 5.30pm – 1.00am
GPS: 5.344851, 100.312126

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: 4/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 9/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

If you feel like having some BBQ and steamboat at an open area while enjoying the cool and soft breeze from the Andaman Sea, you should check out Asian Heritage Restaurant within the premises of Paradise Sandy Beach Resort Penang. The “Eat All You Can” BBQ and Steamboat would only cost you RM28+ (adult) / RM14+ (child) with lot of spreads to choose from, starting from appetizer, fresh seafood and vegetables to local and Western desserts.

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To start off while waiting for your pot of soup to be boiled (option of clear chicken soup and tom yam soup), do check out the appetizer section for a light bite. There would be some salads and snacks of different dressings to get your appetite started.

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At the steamboat section, there would be at least 8 types of fresh seafood and shellfish available daily. You would also get different shape and sizes of meat balls and fish balls, noodles and fresh vegetables abundantly displayed here.

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To maintain the freshness of the BBQ items, they have a menu for you to choose from, ranging from marinated chicken, lamb, beef and fish. Don’t miss out the Char Siew Chicken, Barbeque Beef, Black Pepper Lamb and Curry Dory Fish. These few selections are simply irresistible!

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There are a few desserts too for the package and that would include some local Nyonya delicacies, cakes, mousse and jellies.

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Do keep a watch out for their coming promotion (most probably in June 2011) as they would be having a twist in their regular BBQ and Steamboat serving style. Don’t you love to have all your food on a bamboo skewer? Of course, you would be having Satay and Skewer Lok-Lok Celup Buffet – RM29.90+ (adult) / RM15.90+ (child & senior citizen). Your chosen skewers would be barbequed and delivered right to your table, with some spicy crushed peanuts dipping sauce (satay sauce). At the same time, you get to experience the Malacca Satay Celup, where you get to cook your skewers in a pot of boiling peanut sauce.

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Well, some may think that having a buffet for dinner might be a little too heavy prior to going to bed. Don’t worry as they do have a wide range of dishes available in their ala carte menu. I did try out their Mushroom Bruschetta (RM13.50+) and Beef Lasagna (RM19.90+). Both the items were amazingly delicious. The bruschetta had sautéed mushrooms, mixed in creamy white sauce and served on toasted French loaf slices. The lasagna had layers of generously spread minced beef in tomato puree and topped with mixed cheese. I would think Garfield will frequent here more now. LOL!

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Other than the above promotion, they also have Beer Festival all day long with a bucket of 5 bottles of Tiger Beer at only RM35+ or a choice of over 30 types of imported beers at normal price. If you feel bored during the weekend and felt like having a day off at the beach, do check out their Hi-Tea Buffet at RM8.90+ only. Don’t feel like drenching yourself in sweat during lunch hours under the humid weather? You can try out their Lunch Special Promotion (RM5+ per dish for the first 99 orders from Monday to Friday). Items available daily are as shown below:

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Overall, Asian Heritage Restaurant is a great place to hang out, whether for a short meeting, family gathering, having some light snacks or even chilling out with friends. The only thing I feel the management should revise is the exclusion of beverages in their buffet promotions. All beverages ordered are additionally charged based on the price stated in their beverage menu.

It’s not hard to locate the restaurant as it’s within the premises of Paradise Sandy Beach Resort Penang. Drive all the way up towards Tanjung Bungah. As you see the Toy Museum (in front of Copthorne Hotel) on your right, keep to your right and make a U-turn at a junction further up before the traffic lights. The restaurant is just right inside the shoplots area of the Paradise Sandy Beach Resort’s car park. There will be a security guard house there. Don’t hesitate to ask for direction from the guard if you are not sure of the location.

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Name: ASIAN HERITAGE RESTAURANT @ PARADISE SANDY BEACH RESORT PENANG.
Address: Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-890 3076, 016-660 9295
Opening Hours:
BBQ & Steamboat Buffet Dinner: 6.00pm – 9.30pm (Daily)
Daily Lunch Special: 12.00 noon – 5.00pm (Monday – Friday)
Hi-Tea Buffet: 3.00pm – 5.30pm (Saturday & Sunday)
GPS: 5.467431, 100.289339

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

BALANCING YOUR YIN AND YANG QI AT YOU SHAN FINE SOUP HOUSE

Posted by crizlai On May - 15 - 2011

Penangites finally have the opportunity to lead a healthier lifestyle with the opening of You Shan Fine Soup House, located at Auto World Complex, Penang. The restaurant was officially opened on 14 May 2011 by our YB Ms. Betty Chew, wife of the Penang Chief Minister, YB Mr. Lim Guan Eng. The one and only of such restaurant in Penang, would help diners to balance their Yin and Yang Qi, two hidden forces that would cause illness if found to be out of balance. This is something that most of us ignored with our hectic lifestyles as we find the lack of time in spending hours brewing nutritious soup for our own health. Leave it to the experts to help you in your food therapy as the restaurant has the strong backup of their advisor, Mr. Chew Hock Eam, a Chinese Physician, who has over 3 decades of experience in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medication), to help you in seeking out the healing powers from their selected soups.

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There will be over 60 types of soups, whether savory or sweet, available at this restaurant, ranging from as low as RM5 to as high as RM68. Most of the soup would need to be preordered at least 24 hours before dining. This would enable the kitchen to slowly select the best herbs to brew up your personalized bowl of nutritious soup. You don’t have to worry too if you missed out ordering your favorite soup as they would also be having 3 different types of soups available each day. To avoid the disappointment, I have attached below the full menu of the soups. Please do click on the individual photo for a clearer view of your PREORDERS.

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Two soups were served during the opening day. One of them was the Fine Soup King which contained sea cucumber, fish maw and scallop. This soup would help in relaxing the body muscles, promote blood circulation and delay the process of aging. It would be suitable for those with bone degradation and high blood pressure. The other soup was the Yang Xin Ning Shen Soup. The rejuvenating soup has the citrus flavor of tangerine to strengthen the stomach and lily bulbs to reduce the body heat.

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You might think that this is just a soup house from the name but you are wrong as they do serve dishes just like any other Chinese restaurants. There would be options such as fish, crabs, frogs, prawns, squids, pork, chicken, venison, vegetables, tofu to general soups. The price, depending on serving size, would range from RM8 to RM 30 or based on market rate for some seafood dishes.

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If you think the items from the ala carte would be a bit too much for a small group, you should also check out their daily set lunch and set dinner deals. Each set would come with individual portion of 3 dishes, a soup plus a drink, ranging from RM12 to RM19.

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If you are coming from Penang Bridge towards the North-South Highway, you would see the Juru Rest Area on your left. Drive further a bit and you would see an overhead bridge which would lead you to the Juru Interchange. Do not drive up the overhead bridge but turn left instead until you see a traffic light. Turn right into Jalan Kebun Nenas. Drive on until you see the second traffic lights at a T-junction (Jalan Kebun Nenas/Jalan Perusahaan). At the traffic light, turn right into Jalan Perusahaan. A few meters away, keep a look out for Maybank at Kompleks Auto World on your right. The restaurant is just on the left of the bank.

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Name: YOU SHAN FINE SOUP HOUSE
Address:
1797-G-12, (Beside Maybank), Kompleks Auto World,
Jalan Perusahaan, Juru Interchange, 13600 Perai, Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours:
11.00am-2.00am (Lunch), 2.00pm-5.00pm (Tea), 5.00pm-9.30pm (Dinner)
Contact: 017-488 3400
GPS: 5.33994, 100.429605

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