Savoring The Best All Over Town…

Archive for the ‘penang’ Category


Posted by crizlai On September - 10 - 2009

It was indeed an evening of “Fun, Wild & Intimate” as the theme was when we gathered for the 4th Penang Floggers Gathering at Vintage Bulgarian Restaurant & Bar not long ago. Other than the usual faces we had seen, many new flogging friends had decided to show up from as far as Kuala Lumpur. Who they are? You can find out about them at the end of the post. Now let’s start with the main topic – FOOD! Since it was a specially arranged menu just for us and many other patrons of the restaurant for the night, we had a great package deal at only RM40/pax. Thanks to Alan and Allie for organizing this memorable event.

The dinner started with a choice between two soups. The Mushroom Soup with Vintage Garlic Bread was freshly prepared with a mixture of different types of mushrooms, accompanied by a slice of creamy garlic bread. The soup had the earthly taste that I love a lot and the garlic bread was marvelously prepared with lots of cheese topping.

The Seafood Soup on the other hand had a totally different taste. It has the freshness of the seafood ingredients somewhat like seafood chowder but a bit spicier. There were hints of crabsticks, fish cubes, crab meat and herbs that made the whole taste a unique experience.

There were 5 options for the main meal and we shared amongst our table of 6 persons so that everyone would have a taste of the food. The first that arrived was the Bulgarian Pork Djolan, a traditional roasted pork knuckle. Sometimes also known as ham hock or hough, the meat has been well marinated with hints of light wine, salt, honey, herbs and spices. This was then roasted until perfection with slightly crispy skin and tender yet juicy meat. The dish alone had enough of flavor without applying the accompanied BBQ sauce.

The next dish was the Chicken Stroganov which consists of boneless chicken drumstick cut into stripes and cooked with mushroom, wine, cream, herbs and spices. This again was well received by many of us although the portion was not as remarkably large as the former dish.

The Bulgarian Platter was served next. The dish had a mixed grill trio of kebapche (front row in sausage shape), kyufte (back row in oval shape) and karnatche (center row with sausage like texture). The differences between kebapche and kyufte are in shapes and the additional usage of chopped onions in the later. Both are actually made out of minced meat (pork, beef or mixed) with some signs of cumin, salt and grounded black pepper. Karnatche is actually the Bulgarian style of stuffing sausages with pure meat patty and then grill to perfection. Taste wise for everything was fine, except that they could be a bit salty for the local consumption.

For those ribs lover, the Plovdiv Ribs might be a good choice. It came with a few choice pieces of pork ribs, marinated with the chef’s secret recipe and roasted until tender. The ribs were meaty enough too. To me, there were no uniqueness in this dish compared to any regular BBQ ribs and it was a bit sweet to my liking.

With all the meaty stuff, it was great to see a seafood dish. Baked Cod Fish Fillet served with chopped mushroom in creamy mushroom sauce was next. The thick cut cod fish fillet was slightly bake to maintain the gel like freshness within blended in real well with the slightly cheesy taste like sauce.

Even before our desserts were served, we were given sweet treats courtesy of Winter Butterfly Homemade Cakes and gelatos from Gelatisimo. Here are the Oreo Cheese Cake, Chocolate Brownies and Cream Cheese Mousse Cake.

The sample tryout by Gelatisimo was indeed different. The different flavored gelato itself was smooth, creamy, flavorful and not overly sweet – the healthy way that I love. We had flavors such as green tea, mango, chocolate, rum & raisins, etc. There are around 50 more flavors in their outlets.

After all the treats, we had more desserts from the restaurant. The first dessert was the Chocolate Soup with Vanilla Ice Cream. It indeed reminded me of how I used to take my ice cream when I was in my earlier years – mildly sweetened chocolate beverage with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream. The only difference here was the sprinkles of some chocolate rice. In fact, I still do make this dessert quite often but with milky coffee instead. I personally felt that the aroma and slight bitterness of the coffee combine well with vanilla ice cream.

The next dessert was the Chocolate Crème Brulee. It was indeed another great dessert which was not as sweet as it looked. The crème was perfectly whipped and to take a spoonful with some caramelized sugar on the surface was like heaven. The creamy substance oozing down your throat while your teeth slowly munching the crunchy caramelized sugar, was simply refreshing. This dessert came with some fresh fruit cuts.

It might be quite hard to locate the restaurant for those from outstation but it would be worth your effort to try out their wonderful food. Vintage Bulgaria Restaurant is actually situated just behind Mutiara Selera Food Court at the base of Pearl Hill. To go to this restaurant, just drive towards Batu Ferringhi from town. When you reach the Penang Swimming Club on your right, drive ahead until you see Caltex petrol kiosk on your left. It’s just a short distance before reach another traffic light (Mutiara Selera Food Court). Turn left before the food court and you would see a Y junction. You can either turn left and find a parking space somewhere near the 7-ELEVEN outlet as the restaurant is right in the middle or the same row of shop houses or turn right until you see another Y junction then turn left into Jalan Sungai Kelian. Turn left again into the sloppy service road. You would see the restaurant on your right. There’s a mini car park opposite the restaurant but it’s up to your luck to find a parking space as normally it would be full during dining hours.

Address: 1E, Jalan Sungai Kelian, Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-898 1890
Business Hours: 12.00noon-12.00am (Last order at 10.00pm)
GPS: 5.464654, 100.292526

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: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

Attended Floggers:
Alan Choong
Allen Ooi
Allie Sun
Carrie Soon
Chan Chee Wah
Cheryl Wee
CK Lam
Criz Lai
Desmond Ch’ng
Gill Giam
Huat Koay
Jason Wong
Jessica Tan
Kathleen Tan
Ken Chan
Leong Mei Yi
Mary Teo
Rebecca Saw
SP Moi
Steven Goh
Wong, Zi Yi
Yong Shi Hui


Posted by crizlai On August - 21 - 2009

NOTE: This restaurant has ceased its operation.

Prior to our 4th Penang Floggers Gathering scheduled to be held later in the evening, we were given a treat at 75 Celsius Restaurant & Bar, located along the promenade of the beautiful Gurney Drive last Saturday. Thanks to Ken and William for giving us this privilege to savor almost all that they have in the menu.


Although I did pass through the Gurney Drive stretch quite often, little did I know that the little hidden treasure could provide such a wide range of western cuisine to please my forever craving appetite. Let’s start with what they have in their menu. Initially, they were 3 types of soup being served here. The Creamy Mushroom Soup (RM6.90) came with 3 freshly mixed mushrooms stewed to perfection, garnished with some cream, herbs and served with a slice of garlic bread. The taste was great compared to others except that it would be better if they cut down a bit on the level of saltiness. The Creamy Tomato & Bacon (RM6.90) was my favorite as it was mild enough for my liking and the sautéed beef bacon chips did add in that extra flavorful taste. This was served with a slice of garlic bread as well. The Oxtail Soup (RM8.50) was good too as it had the right amount of herbs and spices usage and the oxtail was tender and superb. This soup was also accompanied with a slice of garlic bread.


Next on the menu were the salads. The Crispy Chicken Salad (RM12.90) came with some pieces of golden fried bread crumbed chicken, sliced and laid on a bed of mix greens, dressed by some mayonnaise like oriental dressing. Except for the meat slices which were a bit dry to my liking, the whole combination justified each other well. The next salad which was the Chef’s Salad (RM11.90) was normal except that it had additional tuna flakes and crab filament stick slices added in, topped with Thousand Island dressing.


For those who would like to have some light meal with loads of greens, you should check out the Sandwiches section in the menu. The Turkey Fresco (RM11.90) was indeed lovely with a slightly butter toasted croissant filled with turkey ham, greens and oozing dressing. The Hamburger Delight (RM16.90) was our favorite as the beef patty was firm and tasty. The Cheezy Beef Roll (RM15.90) did not impress me much as it was just some marinated beef slices baked with cheese. The Tuna Supreme (RM12.90) was just another common tuna filled croissant but it was delicious as the filling was rather moist. All the above sandwiches would be presented with some green salads and French fries.


If you like to have something even lighter, you could always look into their Snacks sections. You could try out their Cheezy Garlic Bread (RM6.90), Tempura Prawns (RM9.90), Tempura Calamari (RM8.50), Fish Cocktail (RM8.50), Mushroom Bruschetta (RM7.90) and Lamb Bruschetta (RM8.90). All snack meals would come with some green salad. Except for the Fish Cocktail which had some blended fish, prawns and squids being a bit too soft for my liking, I loved the Lamb Bruschetta a lot. The lamb slices was stewed perfectly in their own secret recipe until the meat were tender. The only problem I had was the understanding on bruschettas. All along I thought they would be served with filling on top of the bread slices. Instead I had 5 slices of garlic bread served with a bowl of lamb stew. I guessed that would be their way to avoid the bread being soiled by the lamb gravy.


There would also be pasta dishes available here to tempt your appetite for Italian cuisine. We had the Aglio Olio (RM15.90). This dish was kind of fusion as it had some aubergine (eggplant/brinjal), ham slices and tiger prawns added in on top of the usual garlic, herbs, chili flakes and olive oil. Overall, the taste was still superb as it was just right for my level of spiciness. The Alla Carbonara (RM10.90) was also good with the right amount of creaminess but I would prefer a bit more sauce. It would be even better if only the beef bacons were not chopped so fine and linguini pasta be used instead of spaghetti pasta. My preference would still be the one I had at QEII. The next two pasta dishes which were the Alla Marinara (RM16.90) and Baked Cheezy Seafood Pasta (RM16.90) was a bit disappointment for most of us as both dishes lacked the special unique taste of some white wine and cognac. Moreover, I’m still pondering which item in the ingredients caused the overpowering fishy taste.


Now, let’s look at the colorful Main Course dishes. The Tagarashi Salmon (RM17.90) was uniquely presented. It had Nori (seaweed) rolled into salmon fillet, mildly grilled and topped with some spicy curry cream sauce. This was served with ratatouille on mashed potatoes and green salad. Each flake of the salmon with the sauce was delicious, so was the ratatouille with the mashed potatoes.


The Lemon Butter Fish (RM12.90) was next. It had some French fries laid on a pool of buttered lemon cream sauce, topped with a battered fried fish fillet and some shredded carrot strips as garnish. The tangy flavored white sauce blended in well with the whole presentation.


The Jacuzzi Beef (RM16.90) was presented on a bed of fresh lettuce and was served on a hot plate. It had some paprika sprinkled French fries and black pepper sauce as gravy. Everything on the hot plate was good except that I found the gravy to be a bit mild for my taste bud. This dish would be mild enough for a kid’s consumption.


For those Ribeye Steak (RM17.90) lovers, the next dish would be a great bargain. The accompanied simple yet fragrantly sautéed potato slices with onions itself was a kill. The steak was cooked medium and the pepper mushroom sauce clicked well.


The Spice Lamb Leg (RM18.90) was presented on some sautéed potatoes with rosemary. The meat was grilled fragrantly and served with some Pineapple Jack Daniels (JD) sauce. Except for the meat which was a bit dry, that was a great way to have lamb minus the mint sauce.


There was also the Lamb Cutlet (RM20.90) served with ratatouille on mashed potatoes and mint yogurt sauce. The mint yogurt sauce was something new to me and it was delicious with the grilled cutlets. The ratatouille was as tasty as before. Now, that made me missed Remy from Walt Disney’s Ratatouille more and more. 😛


Teriyaki Chicken (RM15.90) was served next. Except for the beautiful presentation, everything tasted quite normal. I would suggest to the chef that the chicken be marinated longer to get the best out of the teriyaki taste.


The Roasted Chicken Drumstick (RM15.90) looked great with the sautéed potatoes with rosemary and orange ginger sauce. The combination might be unique for many but my preference would still be the classic gravy where some chicken broth are to be pan cooked with some remain juices from the roasting, some flour, salt and black pepper to taste. A dash of dry white wine would surely boost up the taste further.


Everybody was complimenting on the Chicken Chop (RM10.90). It may be the most common item in any Western food menu but the one served here was rather unique. Maybe it was our luck that day but the chicken drumstick fillet was indeed thick and juicy. The outer crust was still crispy after being exposed so long for our photo shooting and the oriental sauce on it was delicious. It’s a great bargain here!


The last of the main course we had was the Black Pepper Mushroom Chicken (RM10.90). It looked as if the drumstick had shrunk compared to the chicken chop earlier. It surely had something to do with the frying flour as this was grilled. Overall the taste was still fine. This would suit me better if the gravy was a bit spicier for my taste bud.


Hmm… I had just realized something here. They do not have any desserts in their menu. I think they should consider on having some for those for visiting families with kids. Nevertheless, they do have a wide selection for beverages, ranging from coffee, ice coffee, coffee with liquor, chocolate, blended, milkshake, juice, tea, special, sodas, cocktails, liquor and beer. Here are some of the non-alcoholic drinks some of us had ordered (except for Caffe Baileys which contained some Baileys Irish Whisky Cream). They are Cappuccino (RM5.00), Hazelnut Cappuccino (RM5.50), Ice Expresso (RM7.00), Caffe Baileys (RM8.00), Ice Blended Green Tea Special (RM9.50), Ice Blended Chocolate (RM9.50), Ice Blended Wildfruit (RM9.50), Vanilla Milkshake (RM8.00), Strawberry Milkshake (RM8.00), Lemon Temptation (RM7.00), Philadelphia (RM7.50) and Dawn of The Beauty (RM7.00).


As for the alcoholic section, I found something interesting. Don’t you think some of the names given were rather kinky? LOL!


There are over 30 types of cocktails, hard liquor and beers for you to choose here. Some of the alcoholic drinks ordered by us included Michael Jackson (RM10), Lemon Drop (RM10), AK47 (RM18.00), Tequila Sunrise (RM13.00) and Screwdriver (RM13.00).


Dining here can be rather humid during sunny afternoon as the place is open air. I would advise you to dress casually or dine during late evening. Please take note that all prices would be subjected with a 10% service charge.

The shop is strategically located along the sea front of the famous Gurney Drive (right before Coffee Island and Crepe Cottage). If you are coming from town into Jalan Kelawei, turn right at the first junction (Jalan Lim Chin Guan) where Gurney Tower is. Drive towards the end and turn left. You would pass through Evergreen Laurel Hotel and a stretch of hawker centers on your left. Slow down as 75 Celsius is immediately after the last hawker center (Song River Café). I would advise you to park your car in the Jalan Birch Car Park (the road after Song River Café) and walk up to the restaurant cum bar, especially during weekends.


Address: 75, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-227 3775
Business Hours: 11.00am-2.00am
GPS: 5.433140, 100.316246

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


Posted by crizlai On August - 10 - 2009

I can still remember vividly more than a year ago when I was asking my friends what they would want to drink in a restaurant and they would reply “Anything” or “Whatever”. Those were what Out Of The Box Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) and Tongee (KL) Sdn. Bhd. stormed the market with in early 2008. One consisted of different flavored tea whereas the other consisted of different flavored fizzy drinks. The thrill lies in what you would get in the can. You would have to open up a can of “Anything” or “Whatever” to find out the flavor yourself. This is a genius way to promote a product right? Well, the same goes for our dinners after years of having the same type of food in Penang. Where to eat? No idea! Hey! That’s a great place to dine now – No Eye Deer! Let’s go! 🙂


Since you now know you can only get your “Anything” or “Whatever” in any of the 7-Eleven outlets, why not head up to the first floor of Prima Tanjung to get your “No Eye Deer”? The restaurant has been there for many years serving a nice array of unique fusion meals that would tempt and spoil anyone’s desires to have a great dining experience. With a cozy ambience, soft background music and great artistic displays of the proprietor, Ken Low, this restaurant would be ideal for those who love to dine in style.

So, what’s cooking in the kitchen of No Eye Deer? What came out on our dining table was a surprise as all the time many of us had perceived that this was a total Western cuisine restaurant. We were served Beef and Chicken Laotian Laksa (RM12.80+/bowl). These two were their signature dishes. Each bowl would come with springy firmed rice noodles, richly flavored in the stock from the respective meat choices and topped with bean sprouts and basils. Of the two options, I loved the beef dish better as the tender beef slices gave the spicy and piquant soup base a richer taste. Thumbs up!


This was followed by the Soup of the Day – Pumpkin Soup (RM7.80+). This was something unique as the sweetness of the blended pumpkin, herbs and cream, garnished with some croutons was good.


The next dish which was the Pan Grilled Sea Bass with White Sauce (RM19.80+) was presented with tangy white sauce and served with fresh crisp salad and mashed potatoes. The fish was done perfectly as it had a bit of charred taste while maintaining its juiciness. The white sauce was wonderfully prepared too as it had just the right creaminess and blended in real well with the double scoops of homemade mash potatoes which were marvelous.


We then had the Jumbo Vienna Sausage (RM15.80+) which consisted of two smoked cheddar stuffed chicken sausage served with mash potatoes and salad. The gravy for this dish was just right as it was not so salty when taken with the slightly salty cheese filled sausages.


Chicken Parmigiana (RM18.80+) was next. This Italian styled chicken fillet was served with freshly stewed tomato and Mozarella cheese. It had mash potatoes and salad as side dressing. I would advise you to consume this chef’s recommended dish soonest possible as the moist from the stewed tomatoes would eventually soil it swiftly. With so many of us taking photos, it did turn soggy but the taste was still great for those who love the sweetness of fresh tomatoes.


No Eye Deer has many surprises for its patrons daily as the Special of the Day was the Meaty Beef Pie (RM16.80+) which was served with golden French fries, fresh crisp lettuces and a cup of their specially prepared gravy. The crust was nicely baked and the gravy was delicious with the tender beef chunks. My only complain was that the ingredients used were a bit too strong and it overpowered the natural taste of the beef chunks within. Maybe the restaurant should consider looking into this by having the meat more towards the savory taste than being so sweet.


Their Traditional Grilled Steak (RM29.80+) which had char-grilled tender beef steak, served with traditional rich brown gravy, homemade mashed potato, broccoli and carrots, looked so burned and was drowned in a pool of gravy but the look can be deceiving. It was darn delicious as the meat was tender and juicy. The only comment I had was that there were too much of diluted gravy on the meat. I hope the chef would thicken the gravy more as it tasted quite normal and it did kill the fragrance of the char-grilled steak a bit.


I thought those were all since I was not the one who ordered the dishes when a gigantic Caveman Platter (RM68.00+) was presented right in front of me. Gosh! It was meant to serve 3-5 persons! The dish had a mixed platter of char-grilled lamb, chicken kebabs, chicken sausages, chicken wings and pepper lamb sausages. Although served with some gravy, I found most of the items rather dry to my liking. Maybe I’m not a fan of barbeque stuff. But the pepper lamb sausages kept me eating more. They were unique as I had not seen them being served anywhere around town before. Anyway, this dish would be great for those who love lots of meat in their diet.


The meal finally ended with a dessert – Coffee Jelly (RM5.80+). This dessert was voted as the Best Jelly in Malaysia by readers of ‘The Star’ Newspaper dated 23rd March 2008. The Japanese jelly was mildly flavored with coffee and was served chilled in some mixture of fresh cream and syrup with some sprinkles of cocoa powder. It was remarkably wonderful for coffee lovers like me.


The restaurant also had a unique way to serve scoopful of ice creams in a cone – the Upside Down Ice Cream (RM4.80+). It had two scoopful of Vanilla ice creams served on a plate with a cone upside down and sprinkled with a generous amount of chopped roasted peanuts and glazed with some melted chocolate. This dessert would surely be great amongst kids.


Choosing your beverages here can be real interesting as the beverage would come in many unique names. We had Drama Queen (RM8.80+) – glamarous smoothie of pink guava and pineapple with sour plum, Wacky Wizard (RM8.80+) – delicious & wacky smoothie of mango yoghurt and pineapple and also Chunky Monkey (RM8.80+) – rich and delicious banana smoothie with ice cream and chunky peanuts. All the beverages had their own specific uniqueness in taste and presentation.


Please take note that all prices would be subjected with a 10% service charge. The restaurant would be easy to spot as it’s located at level one above the 7-Eleven Prima Tanjung outlet, facing the direction of Island Plaza along Jalan Tanjung Tokong. There would be ample parking space surrounding the multi-level shop houses.


Address: 98-1-26, Prima Tanjung, Jalan Fettes, Tanjung Tokong, 11200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-899 0488
Business Hours:
6.00pm-11.00pm (weekdays), 12.00noon-11.00pm (weekends), (Closed Tuesdays)
GPS: 5.450906, 100.305169

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


Posted by crizlai On July - 31 - 2009



I have been thrown this question many times by my readers and friends on where would be the ideal place for dining if they would want to stay healthy without having their worries over their cholesterol, triglycerides, fat or even glucose levels. As we know, Penang is the food paradise of Malaysia and dining healthily would be almost impossible unless we cook our own food at home. This would be quite a hassle for most modern families as most of them are working individuals. Ever since my first visit to Young Heart Restaurant (养心殿) earlier this year, I knew that this would be the ideal restaurant for those people around town who would yearn for some home cooked food but without having the time to cook in. Most of the ingredients used here are fresh from the nearby wet market and they use rock sugar instead in their beverages. Some of the dishes are even traditionally prepared with the usage of charcoal.

So, what’s new in the recently revamped menu as well as the facilities? It actually had some of the items from the earlier menu with some newly created items added in to make the menu a more complete one for all ages such as Junior Meal and Vegetarian Meal. On top of that, they had set up a cozy and air-conditioned dining room upstairs with a DVD player and TV for the comfort and relaxation of a small private event of up to 12 persons. Booking has to be made in advance.


A group of us managed to relax ourselves prior to the food feasting with some hot beverages. To start off, we had Ginseng Oolong Tea (人參烏龍茶-RM15.00 for 1-2pax with unlimited refills). The bulb shaped oolong tea leaves mixed with some powdered ginseng was indeed refreshing. It surely booted out the tiredness in me after weeks of endless projects.


The next pot was from one of our selections in the Natural Flower Tea list – Rosehip, Hibiscus and Green Apple Tea (雙花蘋果茶-RM9.00). The tea tasted somewhat like a rosy flavored blackcurrant drink but with the sour but fragrant taste from the green apple slices. Some of us preferred to add in some rock sugar syrup to sweeten up the sourness but I like it the way it is – natural. Rosehip has been used for generations to strengthen the body’s resistance to infection, reinforces digestive function, combats all kinds of illnesses with fever, flushes out the kidneys and urinary tract and relieves mild rheumatic pain. The fleshy red sepals of the Hibiscus flowers (Malaysian National Flower) have been used as traditional remedies against cough, dyspepsia, fever and hypertension. With the combination of vitamin rich green apples, this beverage sure would help in a person’s general health. Do check out with Ms Ann on Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni or commonly known as Stevia aka Sweet Leaf, the FDA approved natural substitute for sugar. They do have the dried leaves form here for your tea.


The meal started off with a bowl of carefully monitored charcoal boiled Soup of the Day – Lotus Roots & Peanuts Soup (蓮藕花生湯-RM6.00(M)/RM9.00(L)) as starter. It was exactly how Grandma would cook it. The collagen filled soup had many ingredients and herbs that constituted to its richness in taste. Prominently you would see some lotus root slices, fresh peanuts, dried cuttle fish, chicken feet with the rich taste coming from the red dates (紅棗), Angelica sinensis (Dong Quai-當歸), dried Ophiopogon japonicus tuber (Mai Dong-麥冬) and dried Codonopsis pilosula (Dang Shen-黨參). The soup was so rich that I’m sure I can form gelatin if chilled properly. This is a must have for soup lovers.


Deep Fried Prawn Dumpling (蝦仁炸餃-RM6.00/4pcs) was served next as appetizers. The golden colored mixed minced meat and prawn filled dumplings alone were impressive with some tails sticking out. The exterior remained its crunchiness while the interior had the required moisture in it. These would be great to be taken with some Thai chili sauce.


Although I had many encounters with a chayote fruit (佛手瓜) in fresh and preserved ways before, the next dish came as a surprise as I had not seen a live version of the shoots (龍鬚菜) except from some Taiwanese TV channels. The Stir Fry Chayote Leaves with Roasted Duck Meat (RM5.00(M)+RM4.00(Duck Meat)/RM8.00(L)-龍鬚菜炒燒鴨肉) was awesome with the fragrantly roasted duck meat. The gravy of the dish was mildly flavored with some basic seasoning.


Some might want their vegetables added with some meat or seafood but I love mine to be plain. In fact, I found that I love the plain Stir Fry Chayote (清炒龍鬚菜) tasted better, considering that I can have the actual bite of these fibrous vegetable in their natural state. Moreover, too much of duck meat would not be good for health as they are high in fat and uric acid, leading to gout, kidney stone, diabetes type 2 and many other diseases. On the other hand, the fruits and leaves of a chayote plant have diuretic, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory properties. Even the leaves that had been made into tea had been practiced in the treatment of arteriosclerosis, hypertension and to dissolve kidney stones. Maybe for this case, the combination of duck meat and chayote leaves might not be so bad after all.


The next few orders consisted rice and noodles. Some came from the handmade noodles, rice and personal meal sections. Each dish in the Personal Meal section would come with some meat, a vegetable of the day plus a bowl of white rice. In case you prefer their handmade noodles instead of white rice, just pay an additional RM1.00 to the price. On top of that, another RM1.00 extra would make you eligible for a drink of the day (if you dine between 12noon and 2.00pm).

The first rice dish made me broke a heart. LOL! The Hearty Pumpkin Fried Rice (愛心金瓜炒飯-RM7.80) indeed came in the shape of a heart and I was quite reluctant to be the first one to break it apart. Hmm… I forgot who did that first! Haha! Anyway, the fried rice had the required Wok Hei (high heated cooking) as each grain of rice was well fragranced with the minimal seasoning and yet providing the fresh taste of the small pumpkin cubes and shredded carrots within. The fried rice came garnished with some fried shallots, cucumber slices, a set of specially and freshly seasoned wings and a dish of vegetable of the day. The chicken wings were delicious and were just as good as the Kaffir leaves enhanced chicken wings we had earlier this year.


The next rice dish was the Lotus Roots & Wax Sausage Fried Rice (莲藕腊肠炒饭-RM8.80). Since fresh lotus roots are bland in taste, the combination of chopped wax sausages and some shredded carrots added that special touch to boost up the overall taste of the “wok hei” filled fried rice. This dish tasted saltier compared to the sweeter pumpkin fried rice and I love this more. The order also came with a separated plate of the vegetable of the day.


What? 3+1 Cup Chicken Noodle (3+1杯雞麵-RM8.80)? I thought the recipe was to be a cup each of sesame oil, soy sauce and Shao Xing/Hua Tiao wine (花雕酒)? That was my first impression when I saw the name in the menu. The “+1” appeared to be a mixture of red chilies and bird’s eye chilies. In fact, the chef had their own combination of this dish, thus the sauce for the noodles tend to look lighter in color but still delicious with the pungent taste from the added “little bombs”. The thick and springy handmade noodles were superb. Each mouthful was smooth flowing. Aiks! Some more please! 😛


For those spicy food lovers, you would love the next handmade noodles as well. Fiery Hot Noodles (紅油拌麵-RM8.80) was the name of the noodles I had ordered but it was not as fiery hot as I had expected. One sauce dish of some dried shrimp enhanced chili paste in red hot oil was kid’s stuff to me. The next full dish had my tongue burning and ears having steams. I just could not believe how anyone could gobble down such hot stuff? Anyway, I survived the ordeal as I was not in tears as my dinner the night before. That hotness was Level 5! LOL! It’s actually up to us to adjust our own chili intake but I was a bit too adventurous. The noodles came with some minced meat, a semi cooked omelette, fried anchovies and garnished with lots of chopped spring onions and lettuce. This was in fact my most loved noodles so far in this restaurant. I simply love the taste!


A seafood dish was next – Pan Fried Salmon Head (豉油王煎三文魚頭-RM15.00/half head). The salmon fish head was grilled in a specially prepared sweet soy sauce. Although I do not fancy fish head a lot, I found the fish to be real “fresh” amongst those frozen ones I had tried before. LOL! It was indeed well prepared with its juices still maintained within. Well, my preference would still be on sashimi and sushi over this spiky teethed fish.


“OMG! What a pathetic fella! Who asked you to stuff yourself with so much pickled cabbage until you end up on the table?” Haha! The Pickled Cabbage Stuffed Chicken (梅菜雞 (須預定)-RM28.00/whole bird (pre-booking needed)) really had that miserable look on its face after so many hours of steaming. Overall, the taste was just normal and the pickled cabbage was rather sweet to my liking. Anyhow the management had rectified the problem as the brand of pickled cabbage used that night was sweeter than others. Moreover, the bird was a bit too large for the fragrance from the pickled cabbage to seep right into the meat. Let’s hope it would be better during my next visit. Well, this bird can feed 4-6 persons and the price for so much meat was way much cheaper than the “one person share” salted chicken I bought from Ipoh, Perak which cost me RM16 per bird. A bowl of hot steaming rice would be good with this dish.


Braised Duck with Special Bean Paste (狗仔鸭(須預定)- RM20.00/half bird or RM38.00/whole bird (pre-booking needed)) was served next. The English name might sound normal but this was supposed to be a very strong herbs and spices recipe for “woof woof” during the olden China. Instead, duck has been used as both have the extra strong scent in the meat. Specially selected galangal ginger (南薑), star aniseed (八角), fermented bean sauce and chopped red chilies had been used in the preparation of this juicy and tender duck dish.


We also tried out their Braised Sweet & Sour Black Trotter (炭煮猪手醋-RM9.00(M)/RM16.00(L)). Although the meat served were healthily lean minus the fat, it somehow made the whole piece of meat rather hard. I would suggest that the fat be kept to maintain the tenderness of the meat. We could always get rid of them if we felt that they were bad for our health. Tenderizing the meat with grated ginger juice prior to cooking might help too. Moreover, the black vinegar used was a bit too overpowering as it was too sweet for our liking. The dish also lacked in the gingery taste from crushed old ginger. Young ginger would not be strong enough to boost up the taste. Since this was a precooked dish, heating up might be to be blamed as slow steaming and microwave would give a different meat texture. Let’s hope they would improve on this aspect of customer feedback for this dish soon.


Desserts were wonderful as we had something unique. Firstly, it was the Old School Pan Fried Water Chestnut Cake (花香馬蹄糕-RM5.00/4pcs). The sweetness from the mixture of osmanthus (桂花) and chamomile (洋菊) brew, combined with some water chestnut flour, water chestnut slices plus a touch of rock sugar to make this jelly-like delicacy perfect. Each piece would be pan fried carefully to have that extra crispiness on the surface. This dessert was delicious although I personally felt that the texture should be a bit firmer by adding more water chestnut flour.


Yellow petals with a tint of white stamens and purple anthers were what I saw in the next dessert. It has the beautiful colors of an attractive flower. The dessert was actually chilled Mango Puree and Sago Pudding (芒果花園-RM4.50/bowl) garnished with some diced red dragon fruit. It was awesome in every part of presentation and taste. The sago was soft and mildly sweetened with some rock sugar syrup and combined with the mango puree, some fresh young coconut meat slices and juice plus the colorful red dragon fruit made this dessert the gem of the night. Perfect!


If you happened to have the urge to grab something light for tea (between 3.00pm and 6.00pm), do look out for their coming soon promotion which would be their tea time deal for two at RM19.90. You could even grab some light snacks and finger food ranging from bean curds, dumplings, chicken wings or even their Crispy Bean Curd Puff (RM5.00/5pcs) with stuffed meat.


Beverage wise, there are more iced, chilled, fresh, blended or beer for you to choose from. We had the Honey Lemon Sea Coconut (蜂蜜檸檬海椰-RM6.00). It would be best to consume this drink while there are still ice cubes as a warmer version would have the sour reaction of the lemon affecting the taste to be rather fermented. Anyway, it was nice that way too. The Pumpkin Soy Bean Milk (黃金豆漿-RM6.00) was my favorite as it was mildly sweetened with rock sugar syrup and it had that unique fresh taste from the blended ripe pumpkin. The Banana, Black Sesame & Soy Bean Milk (無間道-RM6.80) was another unique combination as it had the rich creamy taste of blended bananas combined with the fragrant fro the roasted black sesame seeds. For the juniors, the would surely like the Ice Blended Mixed Berry Vanilla drink (香草綜合莓果-RM6.00) – sweet but lovely.


For those who are interested to know the full range of the latest menu, you can click and save the YOUNG HEART MENU here. Now here’s the Discount eVoucher, especially for my readers as promised. You can print it (color or black & white) and present it to the restaurant management (prior to billing) to enjoy the privilege from 31 July 2009 until 31 August 2009. Have a great and healthy dining then! 🙂


Reaching the restaurant would be easy if you are coming from Jalan Burmah into Jalan Cantonment. Just drive along Jalan Cantonment until you reach the first left junction (Pulau Tikus Market – Jalan Pasar). Just go further up after this junction and you will see Wisma Kota Kembar – Pulau Pinang-Medan Information and Promotion Centre on the corner lot. The restaurant is just next to this centre. There would be a 5% service charge for the food ordered here.


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

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: 8.5/10 (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)


Posted by crizlai On July - 28 - 2009

Note: Due to parking problems, Yaw’s Roast & Grill has shifted their business back to their previous premises (1, Gerbang Midlands, 10350 Penang, Malaysia) as at March 2010.


Aww… I really missed this western food corner previously located somewhere in the residence area of Pulau Tikus. It was a dimly lighted, cozy and romantic place to be in for some quiet moments. If not for the local municipal council’s pressure to shut down the place, it would be indeed a love nest for couples. Anyway, the little homely restaurant had recently relocated to a brighter and more spacious venue along Jalan Transfer, just next to the Caltex petrol kiosk. The menu had remained the same but the pricing had increased a bit since my last visit there. After all, it was not exorbitant as we have to understand that the price of ingredients had increased quite a lot recently. Moreover, the price of food ordered here are net priced.

As usual, garlic toasts were given complimentary from the kitchen, slightly toasted to perfection with yummy garlic butter and herbs. A piece each was not really enough for two persons but what would a person expect when they are free right? Anyway, you can always order more but I did not find out how much they would cost.


Since it was their opening day, there were no special dishes of the day. I ordered the Cream of Mushroom Soup (RM4.50) as starter. The soup was creamy with chunks of finely chopped mushroom. It was normal for me as what you would get from any of those economical western food stalls around town. Somehow, I felt that what I had at Louis Café, just a block away, tasted better. Again, you can’t compare a RM10 (excluding tax) bowl of Italianese Wild Mushroom Soup with something less than half the price here, right?


The main meals were served quite promptly. It was my favorite Black Pepper Chicken Chop (RM8.00). The chicken was finely fried with the chef’s special breaded flour and it was crunchy indeed. As usual, I would request for a separate but additional amount of black pepper sauce for me to dip in my fries. The gravy was as thick as ever but mild in hotness as this place was also the western food venue for a lot of families with children.


The next meal was the Spaghetti in White Mushroom Sauce (RM8.50). The amount served was quite reasonable with 6 large meatballs garnished on top. The dish had some sliced mushroom, chopped coriander and sprinkled with some mixed herbs. The texture for the spaghetti was softer than the ones I had at QEII, which was based on the Italian’s choice of springiness. The mushroom gravy was just normal with not much distinctive flavors, except for the taste of the herb garnishing. The fried meatballs tasted great with the right amount of flavoring. They had a hint of some cheese like substance inside. The only drawback was that they could have added in more corn flour to make them a bit softer.


Since the waitress did mention that they have some local dishes served as well, I ordered their famous Hainanese Fried Noodles (RM4.50). It was in fact Hokkien Char. The serving was a bit small for an individual but the amount of ingredients such as meat slices, large prawns and a generous amount of Chinese cabbage (choy sum) justified the price well. The dish was indeed quite tasty.


They do also have beverages of all kinds, from iced tea, coffee, beers and brew of the day. I had their special Iced Winter Melon (RM3.00). It was a perfect beverage for such a humid weather. Fresh as well as sugared winter melon slices were brewed with red dates to come out with this refreshing drink. I would recommend this drink to everyone (upon availability). It would even better if they brew the beverage with some dried longan meats. 🙂


It’s so much easier to locate this newly relocated restaurant compared to the earlier one. If you are coming from Jalan Penang into Jalan Burmah, keep to your right and turn into Jalan Transfer. You can see a used car shop just at the junction. Just drive until the traffic light. After the traffic light, keep to your right and drive until you see the Caltex petrol kiosk. The restaurant is just located right before the petrol kiosk under the name Dim Dim Yuen (serving dim sum and chicken rice in the morning).


Address: 25 & 27, Jalan Transfer, 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: 012-412 9957 (Telephone order), 012- 484 8178 (Mr. Yaw)
Opening Hours: 5.30pm – 11.00pm (Closed Monday)
GPS: 5.421095, 100.330811

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

The experience there was like gazing through the horizon of the Straits of Malacca as the orange orb danced with the blueness of the sky, waving one last ray before slipping itself behind the hills of a scenic Penang. The soft, breezy cold wind and the view of the sailboats and moving ferries being thrown into silhouettes indeed made QEII an ideal place for romantic couples to dine in. Tourists of all nationalities arriving from visiting international cruisers, berthed at the nearby Frank Swettenham Pier, can be seen flowing into the bar and grill for some early celebrations.


By the year 2012, you would see more changes along the Weld Quay stretch with the ongoing RM500 million “The Pier at Weld Quay” projects, where there would be the “old meet new” restoration and construction of a boutique hotel (The RiceMiller), commercial plaza (Straits Capital Plaza), tourism school (Georgetown College – Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Studies), retail podium (Pier Market), apartment suites (The RiceMiller Residences) and townhouses (Heritage Suites). Upon completion, this urban landmark, facing the present Tanjung City Marina, will not only enhance the skyline, but rank Penang alongside other renowned port-cities of the world.


Located at one of Penang’s heritage piers named Church Street Pier, Tanjung City Marina, QEII Restaurant claimed to serve the best of the best in terms of quality food with equal finesse to make each meal a memorable one, whether within the bar area or al fresco. Moreover, they are also providing a great place for people to chill out with many unique styles of lounges. From my first time experience there, they had indeed proven their worthiness with what they had promised.


Dinner was simple and yet elegant as my intention of going there was for their much acclaimed pizzas. Somehow, there were just too many choices in their carefully selected menu that tempted me to order more. The Lobster Bisque (RM16) was rather special. It was creamy rich with smooth flowing lobster puree stirred in white cream with a touch of white wine and cognac. The soup had a very distinctive shellfish flavor with chunks of fresh lobster meat, garnished with some chopped coriander. It could be rather intruding for those who are not in favor of strong shellfish taste but I was fine with it.


Carbonara pasta has always been my favorite and thus I tried out their Linguini Carbonara (RM23). The serving was large. The dish had a generous amount of sautéed beef bacon and egg in white cream sauce. The usage of fresh and dried herbs together with some smashed garlic and sliced mushroom was just right. This was one of the best carbonara I had so far from any of my visits elsewhere. Although the linguini pasta was as bit hard for the Asian’s preference (but that’s how the Italians loved it), the whole combination blended in perfectly.


While enjoying our starters, the aroma of freshly baked pizza began to drift into our nostrils. The pizza we ordered which was nicknamed as The Godfather (8”-RM26, 12”-RM32) was presented not long after that. It had freshly made dough, rolled thinly and spread with freshly made tomato puree, sautéed spicy clams (lala), dried chili, sweet & spicy sauce and topped with lots of Mozzarella cheese and cilantro, baked to perfection in a wood fire oven. With the first bite, I could not stop eating. The crust was well baked without any sign of flimsiness as none of the toppings fell down on my plate. 😛 It was truly the work of an experience chef as this sort of pizza required quite a tedious time shifting and rotating in high heat within the wood fire oven.


For those who love to have a simpler topping, you can always opt for Soho (8”-RM39, 12”-RM45). On top of the crispy thin crust, the pizza had a generous amount of pepperoni, fresh pears, onions, pine nuts, topped with 3 different types of cheese such as Cheddar, Mozzarella and Gorgonzola, garnished with field greens. The taste was remarkably unique and tasty.


If you are in a creativity mood, you can always combine your own in the Pizza La Vostra (8”-RM34, 12”-RM40). Just select 5 ingredients from the following ingredients such as grilled chicken, chicken ham, turkey bacon, tuna, egg, beef salami and pepperoni, red and green pepper, artichoke, mushroom, roma tomatoes, Kalamata olives, Virgin green olive, capers, mozzarella, gorgonzola, cheddar or feta cheese. Here the 12” order with grilled chicken, chicken ham, pepperoni, mushroom and mozzarella cheese. It was extremely filling.


One of the most ordered pizza here would be the Penang Hot (8”-RM30, 12”-RM36). The pizza would have lots of fresh prawns in spicy sauce, topped with onions, garlic, chopped basil and mozzarella cheese. Who do you think was behind all the passionate baking of these delicious pizzas? It was none other than the experience Chef Joe who had worked alongside with Chef Emmanuel Stroobant (Chef In Black) when he was working in Meritus Hotel, Singapore. Unfortunately, Chef Joe had now left QEII but do not be sad as he would now be overseeing the Italian restaurant at Hard Rock Hotel, Penang, which would be officially launched on 19 September 2009.


The dinner ended with some beautifully presented desserts. One of them was the Chocolate Volcano (RM12). Instead of a piece of rich chocolate moist cake as per menu, they gave me a piece of warm and moist butter cake with layered white chocolate mousse. I did not mind too as the cake was light and fluffy and truly delicious. It was dressed with oozing melted chocolate, one fresh strawberry, some chopped walnuts and presented with some sweet and tasty raspberries in jam sauce. It was heaven!


The next was the Pear Crumble (RM8). The warm grounded cinnamon cooked pears had the right sweetness for my taste bud. Although I would prefer a crunchier oat and hazelnut crust, the whole combination with white Anglaise cream, strawberry and raspberries in jam sauce did not disappoint me at all.


If you are coming from Lebuh Light, you will see a roundabout with a stainless steel betel nut structure (Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower is just beside it). Drive straight after the roundabout and you will be right in Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay). Just follow the road and you will see the Frank Swettenham Pier on your left. Drive a bit further and you will see the Church Street Pier on your left. QII Penang is just right at the end of the pier, just before Hai Nan Town Restaurant within the Tanjung City Marina. The ferry terminal is just after that.


Address: Tanjung City Marina, Church Street Pier, 8A Pengkalan Weld, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 2126
Business Hours: 12.00noon-12.00am (Dining), 12.00noon-3.00am (Entertainment)
GPS: 5.415150, 100.343764

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


Posted by crizlai On July - 11 - 2009

Note: This restaurant has ceased its operation.

It’s has been quite some time since I had the opportunity to drop by my favorite yam rice shop at Chai Leng Park, Butterworth, Penang. Moreover, my most frequent Bak Kut Teh stall, Super Lai Lai Bak Kut Teh has also ceased operation late last year with an “imitation” opening up just few shops away and I was not impressed with the taste of the bak kut teh there. What should I do then with one shop so far away in mainland Penang and another lost from the face of earth? Frankly speaking, it has been a tough time finding those equivalents on the island. The nearest to the best that I had found, surprisingly both under different management, are located in a newly open café right in the heart of Georgetown. The café which was barely two weeks old is called San Dian Shui Specialize Cafe (三點水美食專門店).


The stall within the café which carries the name of Yam Rice King is supposed to be one of the outlets from the original BM Salted Vegetables and Pork Soup stall. You can have the many sections of the pork ranging from lean meat, belly meat, liver, kidney, intestines, meat balls and salted vegetables.


Well, every ingredients and cooking style looked the same but taste wise, it’s another story. Somehow the taste of the soup (RM8 for two pax) was not as I had expected. The meaty sweetness and presence of the salty vegetable was not so prominent at all. Maybe it was still early as I had patronized the café around 10.00am in the morning. That should not be the excuse since it’s supposed to open for business at 9.00am right? The sliced salted vegetables were indeed soaked too long until there was no taste in them. It was like munching some crunchy but tasteless pickles. Moreover, the taste of pepper was overpowering, especially towards the base of the soup. If not for the wonderful combination of sambal with dark soy sauce, it would be a total disaster.


As for the yam rice (RM1/bowl), it was world of a difference compared to the one I had at Chai Leng Park. The rice was not fragrant form the dark soy sauce and soft with juiciness as the former. There were barely much signs of yam and the dried shrimps were minute and soaked too long too. Something ought to be done to the style of cooking. I guessed using a rice cooker and using a large pot to cook the rice over slow gas cooker heat indeed would give a different texture and taste.


The life saving sambal with dark soy sauce was indeed good. In fact, it was spicier than the one at Chai Leng Park.


I might have to revisit the place at a later date as it was still new and I guessed they will still need time to adjust the right taste of the public. Moreover, I did not get to try out their dark soy sauce braised knuckles as it was not ready yet. Let’s hope it would be as nice as the Chai Leng Park stall. If you like to try them out, they will serve from 9.00am until 5.00pm. Do check out the map at the bottom of the post.

Branch Address: 231 Jalan C Y Choy, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-486 7937, 016-423 9937 (Mr & Mrs Ng)
Business Hours: 9.00am-5.00pm
GPS: 5.407678, 100.330156

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

Another stall which would also serve yam rice, from 5.00pm until 10.00pm, would be the See Yang Yang Claypot Bak Kut Teh stall.


The taste of the soup was almost similar to my much admired Fei Kay Klang Bak Kut Teh I had last year in Selangor. It had the mild herbal but with a stronger licorice tangy taste. It was just nice with my bowl of rice. The clay pot bak kut teh which was filled almost to the brim with choice pieces of soft pork ribs, belly meat, pig’s stomach (too thor), meat balls and fried bean curd cost me just RM5.50. I would say it was the cheapest around with that amount of ingredients provided.


They do also have Braised Black Vinegar Pork Knuckles (Too Kar Chor – RM6) served in a clay pot. The whole dish was not that bad at all (except a bit sweet to my taste bud as I do not like my savory dishes to be over sweet) with the heat from the clay pot thickened the gravy within. The knuckles were nicely braised with old ginger and some dried chilies. It was real appetizing to go with my yam rice.


The Cameron Lettuce with Pork Floss (RM4/plate) came just exactly like I had wanted. The lettuce was crunchy with the right combination of soy sauce. The amount of pork floss garnished on top was generous and it had something I love – fried pork lard! Oops! I have to watch my fat consumption here. 😛


They also do have Chinese Crullers (You Tiao) to go with your bak kut teh. I just wondered why they did not get from the famous stall at People’s Court since they are so near there. It would be great if they get their supply there for the extra crispness.


There yam rice in this evening session stall was indeed better. Although dry a bit due to my visit at 9.15pm, it has the right amount of yam and dried shrimps. The rice was also better than the morning session pork soup stall. It has a nice, thick and welcoming aroma with the right taste to go with my clay pot dishes. Hmm… but I still prefer the Chai Leng Park yam rice. LOL! Well, this is a healthier version with a lesser use of oil compared to the Chai Leng Park stall. Overall, it’s still good for me.


Branch Address: 231 Jalan C Y Choy, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 017-445 9487, 012-613 7492
Business Hours: 5.00pm-10.00pm
GPS: 5.407678, 100.330156

Ambience: 7/10 (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: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

It would not be hard at all if you know your way to the Cecil Street evening wet market (七條路巴刹). The café is just on your left hand side between Lebuh Katz and Lebuh Cecil. If you are coming from Jalan C.Y. Choy, you will see the Lebuh Macallum traffic lights. Immediately after the traffic lights, slow down and you will see the shop with attap leaves awnings on your left. Parking can be quite a hassle here as it’s located along a heavy trafficked area. It’s even worst if it’s during the evening market operation hours. I will advise you to park at the limited parking space at Lebuh Katz or within the Cecil Street wet market car park and walk up to the shop.




Posted by crizlai On July - 8 - 2009

It’s the time of the year for fruit feasting as there are lots of fruits on sales just anywhere you go along the roads of Penang. From May until August each year, you would get to enjoy many of the seasonal fruits especially durians – the King of Fruits. The different species of the fruits can come in shapes such as oblong and round with yellow, green or brown husks and the flesh would either be in white, pale yellow, yellow, orange to red. These thorn covered fruits are famous for their large sizes and unique smell that made them the love and hate of many people. I don’t think anyone had created a name for its intruding odor but to some it may just well be the combination of pungent cat pee, musty gym shorts, smelly socks and gas leak. I even heard someone mentioning that his neighbors called in 911 to report a rotten corpse. LOL!

Penetrating odor as the nicknames have suggested above, the fruits have the same reputation as the Hong Kong Stinky Tofu – the scent of smell could be overpowering but the scent of taste would sent many floating in heaven. There are many species of durian available in the South East Asian regions of Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia but most of the durian lovers would still prefer those from Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia and its surrounding areas as the texture are finer with stronger acquired taste.


Thanks to Steven’s contact with the daughter of a durian seller, an entourage of the few of us was able to have the first hand experience in tasting the best of this stinky fruit. There are many species of durians available here such as Kor Teh (Bitter Herbal Tea), Kucing Tidur (Sleeping Cat), Susu (Milk), Capri, D15, D2, COB, Ganja (Cannabis), Seven Goddess (七仙女), Bak Ewe (Lard), Ang Hae (Red Prawn), Ooi Keong (Turmeric/Kunyit) and many more. We started by tasting the more common ones and later to those award-winning and branded ones.


We started with the so called Ooi Keong Ong (Turmeric/Kunyit/黄姜王 – approx. RM10). It was fibrous, custard creamy and sweet with a hint of fermented wine after taste. Although the fruit was filled with lots of meaty flesh, it was just average to my taste bud as it lacked the strong aromatic taste of durian. Even though so, it would still be ideal for general consumption as it was rather filling.


We were then given a test on our preferences for the following two branded durians of almost the same quality – Hor Lor versus Kim Poh. Comparing the colors of these two different species, Kim Poh (Golden Treasure/金寳 – approx. RM15) had a more inviting color of mixed orange and yellow. Taste wise, it had a smooth creamy and custard like flesh with slight bitterness. To me, it was a bit over ripe but that was the uniqueness that made the fruit having its strong fermented wine after taste and likeable by many.


The moment everyone tried the Hor Lor (Calabash/葫蘆 – approx. RM15), there was a moment of silence as everyone was enjoying the beauty of the taste. The flesh was so smooth that it just melted in our mouth like ice cream. The creamy sweetness and bitter end taste obviously showed which species won the contest. Thumbs up for Hor Lor!


The next durian which was the Chneh Poay (Green Skin/青皮 – RM8-RM20) tasted more like native durians as it did not have much of the durian flavor “strength”. More fibrous compared to the rest, it only taste sweet towards the end nearing the pulp with more obvious bitterness.


I thought the next durian served was the laugh of the day – That Kah Chui (Stuffed Buttock/塞屁股 – approx. RM10) but that was indeed the name given by Ah Joo for this native durian (durians from the older unnamed trees/土蓮). This was just another typical native durian with thinner flesh and larger seeds. Although sweet with fine texture, it definitely would not satisfy my craving for better and more fulfilling durians. I’ll need more meaty flesh, regardless of branded or native as some native durians could taste far better than branded ones.


Here are a shot of some native durians which you could get a large bagful for less than RM20.


The Man of Honor aka Ang Hae (Red Prawn/紅蝦 – RM10-RM30) came out last as we had had decided to save the best for last. The fruit was indeed the best as it has won many awards in the local durian scene. The flesh was the finest around with smooth custard like creaminess. There was the distinctive sweetness and wine taste with a slight touch of bitterness. I would recommend this species. There’s a secret when consuming Ang Hae. The fruit should not be eaten once collected from the plantation. It should be left aside for a few hours to enable it to gather that powerful “booster”!


On top of having durian fresh or having them with steamed white glutinous rice topped with thick and slightly salted coconut milk and fine sugar, there are many other by products available here such as the local durian paste cake (durian kuih), dried durian meat cracker, durian cream cake, coconut durian glutinous rice cake (dodol), durian ice cream, durian nian gao (glutinous rice cake available during Chinese New Year) served with shaved coconut, etc. Phew! There are just too many to mention here. For me, I love to have the seeds roasted or boiled until cooked. They tasted just like chestnuts. Wonderful!

However, when you have the King of Fruits, you would also have the Queen of Fruits during the season – Mangosteens (RM2/kg or RM5/3kg)! These proud looking tangy and peachy flavored ladies in deep purple dresses with Brazilian party like greenish headgears and white pinkish undergarments have been believed to be the antidote for those who had consumed too many of the “kings”. Its nutritious richness and antioxidant strength would surely compromise with the sugar level, carbohydrates, protein and fat that of durians. Isn’t it great to have the “cooling effect” of mangosteens versus the “bodily heatiness” of durians? But have a pair of watchful eyes when peeling as the purplish natural dye from the fruit might stain your attire terribly. The edible endocarp of the mangosteen would normally have few segments of so called wedges like flesh. The bigger ones would have seeds. At the bottom of the exocarp would be some embossed wheel spokes like ridges. That would determine the amount of “wedges” the fruit will have within.


Other than the kings and queens, we have the hairy like fruits called Rambutans (RM2/kg or RM5/3kg). These fruits may come in many colors such as red, yellow, reddish green, green (unripe) or maroon (shorter hair). The species sold here were from Balik Pulau, Penang. They have thinner skins with a much thicker coconut crunch like texture. The taste of rambutans would be somewhat different compared to other tropical fruit as it has a unique mild acidic sweetness. Some older generations might even pickle them in salt. It actually tasted real good as pickles. One advice for those with asthmatic or throat problems – Do not take the fruit with the skin from the seed intact. It would cause continuous irritation to the throat.


Another tropical fruit that would be quite famous, especially amongst the Malays would be the Buah Langsat (RM2/kg). These fruits are normally oval in shape and would come in bunch of 30 fruits or less. The yellow and leather like skin fruit has 5-6 peels of translucent juicy flesh inside. Just like the mangosteen, it has whitish like seed in bigger peels. As for taste, it has a sweet and slightly sour acidic flavor with a hint of bitterness if not fully ripened.


Last but not least my so called Prince of the Fruits – Cempedak (RM3/kg). The sausage like fruit practically grows on the trunk of the tree. The unique South East Asia native fruit has red, orange and yellow arils and taste somewhat like a stronger jackfruit with a hint of durian (without the intruding smell of course). I actually wanted the stronger and sweeter fruit with red arils but it would take a month or two more before they would be available. We ended up with the yellow ones which tasted just as great. Although some people would love to have them fresh, my favorite teatime snack would still be the double batter fried ones. Why double batter fried? The first batter dip would be to get the flesh cook and the next batter dip would get the seed within cooked well and to give that extra crunch. Just like the durian seed, the cempedak seed has the unique chestnut flavor but a bit softer than the former.


I would surely archive Ah Joo’s contact for the remaining months and also for years to come as this has been one of the great fruit stalls around. Even their Buffet Durian Promotion (5-10pax at RM25/adult and RM15/child) shone out amongst the rest as there will be unlimited supplies of branded durians for your consumption. If you feel like having a durian fiesta right in the comfort of your home, delivery service can be arranged for an order of more than 10 fruits. Do check out the delivery time below.

Finding the stall would not be hard if you know how to get to the Penang International Airport by using Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah. As you reach the airport entrance “Y” junction, turn right and go over the flyover into Jalan Bayan Lepas. Drive on until you have reached the Jalan Permatang Damar Laut junction. Drive straight until next prominent landmark which would be the Emerald Park/Krystal Country Homes on your left. Drive further until you see the Teluk Kumbar Mosque, Kampung Sungai Batu. Slow down and watch out for Ah Joo’s Durian Stall just a few meters away on your right next to Forever Star Electrical and Plumber Trading.


Name: Ah Joo Durian Stall
Branch Address: 1238 Jalan Bayan Lepas, 11900 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 017-422 2248 (Ah Joo), 012-453 1812 (Delivery-Kelly)
Business Hours: 10.00am-12.00am (daily)
Delivery: After 5.00pm (weekdays), business hours (weekends)
GPS: 5.285736, 100.238872

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: 9/10 (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)

Invited Reviewers:
Criz, Cariso, Food Paradise, Steven Goh, Chan CW


Posted by crizlai On June - 26 - 2009

Note: This restaurant has ceased its operation in early March 2010.


This restaurant with a nice view of the Gurney Drive promenade reminded me of the day when our local internet advertiser, Nuffnang, had its first community event titled “The Orient’s Voice” for the Penang bloggers at the then named Foodloft. Gosh! That was about two years’ ago. Today, the restaurant had been revamped under a different management and renamed as Ko-Fu-Loft. The new restaurant now serves dim sum as well as some Chinese cuisine with a touch of Mamak style beverages. Not long ago, more than 20 floggers from Penang (many oldies and newbies) and one mummy flogger from Singapore were given the privilege to try out the food there. Thanks to Jian for extending the invite to all of us.

The meal started with Ko Fu Sesame Seed Ball (口福芝麻球 – RM10.90). The presentation was rather simple but impressive with the sesame balls laid on some spoons. With some many ingredients added into the minced meat, somehow the appetizer lacked the moisture within. It was rather dry for many of us and the outer lacked the fragrance from the sesame seeds. By adding a bit of chopped onions, some corn flour, a few drops of sesame oil and some sprinkles of pepper would have made them better.


The next appetizer was the Crystal Spring Roll Skin Stuffed with Vegetables & Chicken Meat (公主水晶卷 – RM6.90). The skin was perfectly done as the name itself as it was almost crystal clear but the filling was not as compactly rolled as it was supposed to be. Moreover, I personally felt that the vegetables and chicken meat were left exposed to the atmosphere for too long and had lost their moisture and sweetness. The sugar content within the accompanied sauce was also too overwhelming for most of us. There would still much room for improvement for this healthy meal and hopefully it could be as good as the ones I had at Metro Café.


The following were some of the selected dim sum from the restaurant. Both the Steamed Fresh Prawn Dumpling – Har Kau (鲜明虾饺 – RM5.50) and Pork Dumpling with Fish Roes – Siew Mai (鱼子烧卖皇 – RM5.50) had the standard presentation. The prawns within the dumpling were indeed fresh and steamed just right to melt in the mouth.


As for the pork dumpling, I found too much of fat been added in thus it has the slightly rough bite. Overall, it was still a fine dish.


The Minced Squid with Crab Claw Meat (百花酿蚧蚶 – RM6.90) which was next was very well presented. The squids were well minced until one would think that it was fish ball instead. It was soft and juicy combined with the freshness of the crab claws. The accompanied gravy was mild enough for us to taste out the true beauty of the fresh seafood.


The hot and fluffy Signature Steamed Custard Creamy Bun (美味流砂奶黄包 – RM5.50) was next. The texture for the steamed bun could be improved further as it was not as finely textured as it should. Although the custard within suited my taste bud well, the skin somehow was a bit too thick for my preference. Moreover, there were signs of some crystallized parts that made each bite not so smooth flowing.


The next dim sum which was the Deep Fried Yam Paste with Minced Pork (蜂巢炸芋角 – RM4.50) has always been my favorite in any dim sum restaurant. The crispy outer layer with the smoothly blended yam paste filled with juicy sweetened pork slices (char siew) was good. It could have been even better if some toasted sesame seeds and chopped coriander were to be added to pep up the taste.


After all the savory dim sum presented, we were served with Deep Fried Pandan Lotus Paste Dumpling (翡翠煎堆仔 – RM4.50). Somehow, I felt that the glutinous rice used was rather thick. Even the screwpine leaves (pandan) flavored lotus paste tasted too artificial. They should have used those freshly squeezed flavoring instead.


I was looking forward to trying out their Szechuan Aromatic Duck (四川香酥鸭 – RM18.90) as I had from many other restaurants but somehow the restaurant got everything wrong. The crepe like egg wrapper was too dry. It even got torn even before I could wrap anything in it. Even the duck meat slices were tough and coated with some sort of batter. I wondered if this was the right way to serve this dish as what I had before as in Claypot Restaurant was the shredded duck meat version where each mouthful does not require much chewing into the tough meat. Maybe the restaurant would need to look into ways to tenderize the duck meat if they were to present it in this way.


We were then served with Jingdo Pork Ribs (京都排骨 – RM14.90). I’m normally not a fan of pork ribs, except the ones I had at Chin Bee Tea Cafe, as most of the time I had bad experiences with tough bites. Surprisingly, the ones served here was not as bad as I thought except that a bit too much of black pepper had been added that made the dish a bit too spicy for many. It would be better if this dish were to be taken with steamed rice.


Although the Deep Fried Five Spices Calamari (五香盐炸墨门 – RM13.90) looked like any fritters, it has the unique taste of some five spice powder and salt that made it appetizing and the calamari was tender and juicy. However, it was just another version of tempura coated calamari.


We also did try out their Deep Fried Homemade Bean Curd (香炸黄金豆腐 – RM12.90). Although the bean curd was smooth, it lacked the taste of soy bean in it. Moreover, it was also rather bland in taste. To me, it was nothing special except some batter coated bean curd slices. If only they could consider adding some spring onions, finely slices wood ear fungus and so on that would add a little more texture in the dish and make the bean curd taste better.


The All in 1 Roasted Meat with Vegetables (盆菜 – RM19.90) served here is actually an economical version of “Poon Choy”. The authentic version from other restaurants could cost anything between RM300 – RM600. The restaurants used the basic ingredients here with some stewed cabbage as base, topped with some roasted pork, chicken, duck, broccoli, mushrooms, deep fried prawns and few slices of abalone. The dish would be quite a bargain as it would come with some pickles, stir fry greens and a bowl of rice. However, when you have 4 pots served, you might get different taste as what we had experienced. There were a bit of inconsistency detected here during our review as each has their own unique taste. We had stronger oyster sauce flavored, cabbage flavored, meaty flavored and another one with the right combination of the other three. That’s the suspense you might get when ordering this dish.


The Fried Seafood Emperor Noodle (香炒海鲜王帝面 – RM12.90) served was not as impressive as the name. Somehow, everything was rather mild in taste. The noodles were rather dry and it lacked the wok hei (high heat cooking). There were not even any obvious hints of sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce or even pepper in the dish. Moreover, some gravy on top of the suggested sauces on such noodles would be nice for the overall taste and presentation.


Lastly, the dessert of the day was Water Chestnut and Sago in Coconut Milk (热马蹄西米椰酱汤 – RM3.50). The dessert did not get many of us interested as the color and aroma from it did not get many of our attention. The water chestnut practically has been boiled for hours and lacked the sweetness in taste. The sago was a bit too soft and the combination of coconut milk served with these two ingredients just did not match well. Moreover, the coconut milk has the strong “packet” taste in it. I guessed the restaurant would have to seek other alternatives to this dessert.


Overall, the restaurant has a milder way to cook up food for its patrons. It might be good for those with a healthy diet in mind but it might not be such ideal for the Penangites who have stronger taste buds. It would be great if the restaurant would revamp their existing menu to suit both parties.

If you are familiar with the roads in Penang, it would be easy to find the restaurant as it is located within the premises of Gurney Plaza, facing the beach front of Gurney Drive. Once you have parked your car in the complex car park, just move up to level 4 and you can see the restaurant at the far end of the complex.


Branch Address: 170-04-59, Level 4, Plaza Gurney, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 5011
Business Hours: 10.00am-10.00pm (weekdays), 9.00am-10.00pm (weekends)
GPS: 5.438375, 100.308784

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

Invited Reviewers:
Buzzing Bee
Nutty Eve
Food Paradise
Food Promotions
Gourmet Garden
Now Eating
Penang Tua Pui
Steven Goh
Yummy Station
Yum Yum Bites
Chef Khoon from KDU


Posted by crizlai On June - 20 - 2009

Before I elaborate more on the following dishes I had for lunch few days back, let’s have a look at the dishes and you tell me what would be the first thing that would come into your mind? Here was the meal which consisted of a meat dish, a seafood dish, a vegetable dish and a soup served with two bowls of rice. These dishes would be the ideal balance meal right? To any typical Chinese staying in Malaysia, you would also realize that during certain period of the year you would get dishes like this quite abundantly in most households, especially after some “praying”.


To be frank, I was not so impressed at all with the dishes served and they were not even cooked by anyone in my household but from a new restaurant right in the heart of Georgetown. Those dishes were exactly like those served in tour trips to China where most of the dishes contained fatty meat and floated in pool of oil. This was the Chef’s Special Set Meal (RM10 per pax – minimum order two pax) that was recommended for my lunch. For those who know how to read in Chinese, please tell me what do you understand with “粗糧細做套餐” compared to the English name? It literally meant rough dishes made fine set meal. The English name was rather deceiving.

Although the set meal was served quite promptly, the dishes got both our eyes staring at each other for minutes with mouth widely opened. “Huh? Everything’s so plain? Not even any added ingredients?” was our silent exclamation! There was just a piece of fried fish fillet to be shared between the two of us. No doubt it was fresh, thick and non-fishy taste but it was served just like that minus any presentation.


The next was just a few pieces of chopped roasted pork and two pieces of chicken meat served with chili sauce. This dish was barely enough for our consumptions.


Fried baby cabbage with some irregular sized prawns was also in the set menu. It had nothing more than some oyster sauce and sliced chilies. The amount of oil used was unhealthy and it did look as though the oil had been used for frying something yellow.


The soup which was Chop Suey (Kiam Cai Boey) was a complete laugh. It was just some leftover meat boiled with some mustard plants and salt. There were no signs of dried chilies, tamarind and lemon grass to pep up the fragrance and taste of this reputable dish. It was a disastrous bowl of soup. I could barely find pieces of meat in there as all of them had been cooked until floss like. Moreover, I was also trying to avoid the thick layer of oil floating on the soup. Something ought to be done by the kitchen to improve on this dish.


Since the staff also claimed to have one of the best vegetarian dishes around, I tried out two of their vegetarian “pork rolls” which were so small and cost me RM2 each. Each roll had some yam paste and some vague bites of jicama and carrot. The fillings were not so generous after all. Moreover, the serving was cold.


As for dessert, there were none. We only had a glass of herbal tea (RM1.50) and a glass of passion fruit cordial drink (RM2.50) to wash down our food.


Overall, I found the restaurant barely has any dishes in the menu, except for different types of tea, hot and cold beverages, fizzy soda, beers, some over priced hawker food (RM7.50 –RM12) and some normal rice sets and vegetarian dishes. I did order a bowl of the pork ribs prawn noodles which was not served (although I did tick in their order chit) but I overheard from the next table that it was just average. Let’s hope this would be just their temporary menu until they have their official launch sometime next week. I sincerely hope that they would seriously look into their food section as it would be a huge disaster on top of the large amount of money spent on the refurbishment of such a beautiful building.

Can you guess the name of the restaurant? It’s the subsidiary company of the joss stick manufacturer, Bee Chin Heong – Old House Cafe.


If you are driving from Jalan Penang into Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong, turn left into Jalan Sungai Ujong upon seeing Komtar Walk on your right. The restaurant is located at the junction of Lebuh Kimberley and Jalan Sungai Ujong. Parking can be quite a headache here during peak hours as Lebuh Kimberley and the surrounding Lebuh Cintra areas are popular with their hawker food.


Branch Address: 145-153 Lebuh Kimberley, 10100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-262 2113
Business Hours: 10.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.416478, 100.332298

Ambience: 9/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 6/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 6/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 9/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 6/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)



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About Me

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

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



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