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Sarkies @ E&O Hotel (Eastern & Oriental Hotel) would be having its “Selera Kampung” Buffet Dinner in conjunction to the holy month of Ramadhan this year from 6 June 2016 until 5 July 2016 from 7.00pm until 10.30pm daily. It would be priced at RM133.30nett (adult) and RM60.95nett (child from 6-12 years old & those below 6 years old get to eat free). You would get to savor not only kampung style Malay cuisine but also get to experience some international and local fares as well, both indoor and outdoor.

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Before even checking on the outdoor dishes, the dishes within the restaurant itself would already be enough to amaze anyone. From the salads and appetizer sections, Japanese dishes section, cold buffet section, hot kitchen section, action stalls until the main dishes section, there would always be something for everyone. Of course, you should not miss out some of their signature dishes such as the herbal soups, roasted duck, grilled meat, sushi, sashimi and more. There would be too many dishes to write in detail here as Sarkies had always been known as the grandest of all buffets. Let the photos speak for themselves below.

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There were abundance of Western and local fruits and desserts available for everyone, ranging from an assortment of fruit cuts, Malay kuih, sweet soup to cakes and finger pastries.

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Let’s start exploring the al fresco area now where a lots of mouth watering dishes await your arrival. You would find food counters for your quenching local beverages such as air bandung, teh tarik, dishes such as som tam, gulai kawah (bubur lambuk & flower crab curry), roti canai & murtabak with curries, grilled whole lamb with condiments and satay with ketupat served with spicy peanut sauce.

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Overall, Sarkies @ E&O Hotel has always impressed me with their international spread of dishes. It’s great to see that they have improved a lot over the past year with more innovative dishes. Even their appetizer section had some different flavors with some Japanese touches compared to the last time I was there.

You can click to enlarge and check out the menu on a rotation basis as below:

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Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang (next to Penang Bowl) is located along Lebuh Farquhar. If you are coming from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah towards Weld Quay, keep to your left immediately after passing by CitiBank. When you see the Penang Bowl building on your left (UMW Toyota opposite), please slow down. Turn left immediately after the Penang Bowl entrance. The E&O Hotel car park is situated just inside the Victory Annexe building. Parking charges would be a maximum of RM6 (weekdays: Monday-Thursday) and RM12 (weekends: Friday- Sunday)

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Name: SARKIES @ EASTERN & ORIENTAL HOTEL
Address: 10 Lebuh Farquhar, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-222 2000
GPS: 5.423624, 100.334988

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

 

NOTE: Effective November 2016, the Weekend Roast would be available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as shown in the poster below. Price and time would remain unchanged.

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For those who love to consume lots of meat, here one great news for you as Farquhar’s Bar @ E&O Hotel (Eastern & Oriental Hotel) would be having its Eat-All-You-Can Sunday Roast for only RM68nett/pax from 12.00 noon until 4.00pm on every Sundays until further notice. The place could be rather packed by lunch time, thus prior reservation should be made to avoid any disappointment.

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Basically there would be 3 options of meat such as Roasted Beef, Roasted Stuffed (sage & onions) Chicken Breast and Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder, served with Yorkshire Puddings, Goose Fat Roasted Potatoes, various gravy and condiments.

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As for side greens, you would have some seasonal vegetables, mashed potatoes and mushy peas.

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If these are not enough, you would also have a salad corner with a variety of mixed greens plus various dressings. There would also be the Soup of the Day served with fresh bakes from their reputable in-house bakery.

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Desserts would be rather simple as there would be some fruit cuts as well as the Dessert of the Day. What we had on that day was Spiced Bread & Butter Pudding, served with Vanilla Custard Sauce. This was super delicious and a great way to end a meaty meal.

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On top of that, do check out of their Cocktail of the Month below:

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Overall, I do love this Sunday Roast Promotion at Farquhar’s Bar @ E&O Hotel as it’s a simple and yet fulfilling meal with each bite. If you are a meat lover without any issue on consuming beef, lamb or chicken, this is the best deal you can ever find in Penang at the moment. However, it would be great if they could add in one more seafood dish or even some sausages for those who want to tag along with their friends and family but could neither consume beef nor lamb.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang (next to Penang Bowl) is located along Lebuh Farquhar. If you are coming from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah towards Weld Quay, keep to your left immediately after passing by CitiBank. When you see the Penang Bowl building on your left (UMW Toyota opposite), please slow down. Turn left immediately after the Penang Bowl entrance. The E&O Hotel car park is situated just inside the Victory Annexe building. Parking charges would be a maximum of RM6 (weekdays: Monday-Thursday) and RM12 (weekends: Friday- Sunday). Farquhar’s Bar is located just beside the main lobby at the old wing.

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Name: FARQUHAR’S BAR @ EASTERN & ORIENTAL HOTEL
Address: 10 Lebuh Farquhar, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-222 2000
GPS: 5.423354, 100.336294

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

 

During the holy month of Ramadhan, Spice Brasserie @ The Light Hotel, Seberang Jaya, Penang, would be serving Nostalgia Sajian Desa Ramadhan Buffet Dinner from 8 June 2016 until 3 July 2016 from 7.00pm onwards. The promotion would be priced at RM79+ (adult) and RM48+ (child), while senior citizens would be charged at RM60+/pax. For every 10 full paying adults, one person would get to dine for free. To avoid any disappointment, it’s advised to make your reservations by calling +604-382 1111. You would be entertained by the Rayyan Band with Nasyid, Arab and Malay songs. Muslim guests would also have access to their specially assigned prayer rooms to perform their Maghrib and Ishak prayers as well as tarawi hand. On top of that, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), 1500 tubs of bubur lambuk would be distributed to the public.

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During the promotion, Spice Brasserie, a fully Halal restaurant, would be having 7 menus on rotation basis. Each menu would comprise of salads, appetizers, main courses (at least 11 types), 2 types of soup with assorted breads & rolls, traditional bubur lambuk, 6 live stalls. At the Roast & Grill Station, you would get to indulge in the many carvery items, deep-fried items, pastas and noodles. At Chinese and Western Stations, there would be more dishes satisfy your palate.

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To start off, you might want to have some kurma (dates) and glasses of air bandung or bandung smoothie, especially during such humid weather. A must have bubur lambuk along side sup ayam berempah mutiara are lined up to tease the taste buds. Then head on to the appetizer section where there’s an array of salads, kerabu, dates, jeruk, ikan masin, pasembur, taukua sumbat with peanut sauce and cold cuts as well as crunchy keropok.

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You would expect to savor main courses such as nasi briyani, nasi kerabu, nasi kacang, gulai gading nangka muda, sambal tumis udang petai, rendang daging tok, Indian style fish curry, sotong sumbat pulut, chicken shawarma, kambing vindalo, Nyonya style fried fish, ayam ros, lamb kebab, telur itik masak lemak, butter prawns, roasted lamb leg, beef and more. These are just some of the signature dishes you would get to try out during the promotion.

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For dessert lovers, there would be many different types of irresistible Ramadan desserts and fruits known nationwide to pamper you. Do try out the Teh Tarik as it was one of the best I had around.

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Overall, I like the Ramadhan Buffet as they have many traditional and new dishes that brought back many fond memories of my childhood days. Some of the items which were packed with flavors to my personal liking were the nasi briyani with grilled lamb rack, rendang daging tok, Sri Lanka spring rolls, sambal tumis petai, labu masak daun manis lemak and more.

You can check out more of their promotions below:

The Light Hotel is located along Lebuh Tenggiri 2 at Seberang Jaya, Penang. Upon entering the main entrance of the hotel, just drive around to find your parking space at the front of the premises. Walk into the lobby of the hotel and you can see Spice Brasserie on your left.

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Name: [email protected], The Light Hotel
Address: Lebuh Tenggiri 2, Bandar Seberang Jaya, 13700 Seberang Jaya, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-382 1111
Business Hours: 7.30am-11.00am (Breakfast), 12.00pm-2.30pm (Set Lunch), 7.00pm – 10.30pm (Set Dinner)
Ramadhan Buffet: 7.00pm-10.00pm (8 June – 3 July 2016)
GPS: 5.394646, 100.397951

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

About The Light Hotel: The Light Hotel is wholly owned and managed by The Light Hotel (M) Sdn Bhd. It is located in a fast developing industrial area of Seberang Jaya, Penang. The 5 star Hotel offers a luxury resort-style experience with a total of 303 rooms of 6 different categories. The Light Grand Ballroom, 9 meeting rooms, Spice Brassiere, [email protected] and Lumino Lounge are refined food and beverage outlets that cater for in-door and Al fresco style dining. The beautiful outdoor landscaped swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna room, spa are namely some of the facilities on the 3 floors, whereas kiddies club and wedding show room are located on the Mezzanine floor. The Light Hotel represents the perfect combination of luxurious destination of Delightful Mix of Business and Comfort for a truly unique experience. Visit www.thelighthotelpg.com

 

“Don’t play with your food. Sit quietly and eat politely with your fork and spoon without spilling anything on the table.” Those statements sounded familiar to you, right? It was some of those table manners that your parents had instilled into you when you were young. However, the current trend would be otherwise. You are encouraged to leave your table manners behind, start playing with your food and make as much mess as you could. Well, the messier it gets, it would show that you are enjoying your food to the max. So, where would this place in Penang be that would let you loosen yourself without any house rules or anyone watching over your table manners? It’s at The Bungalow @ Lone Pine Hotel located at Batu Ferringhi, Penang.

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Currently, the restaurant is having its Crabby Claws Seafood Promotion on every Thursdays of the month from 7.00pm until 10.30pm until further notice. For reservations and more information on the promotion, please contact +604-886 8566 or email to [email protected].

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Who needs cutleries anyway while enjoying your seafood dishes? Seafood is best enjoyed using your bare hands by peeling, picking, prodding, smashing, cracking, and the best part is to share out the communal dishes in the companionships of your family and friends. The ordering is simple. Choose either Set A (RM79nett) or Set B (RM138nett with an additional 500g of mud/flower crab from Set A), your choice of carbo (White Rice, Garlic Bread or Mantou), your choice of sauce (Sweet & Sour, Indonesian Curry or Kam Heong) and the live stall staff would tactfully prepare your selections. My favorite sauce would be the Indonesian Curry which had the mild spiciness with a lot flavors emitting from the mixed herbs and spices.

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Below would be some of the combinations you could order as shown below.

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On top of that, you could always order extra dishes from their ala carte menu which has the freshest catches of the day, charged at market price. Do check out more in the poster below.

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Here are some of the ala carte dishes with condiments.

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There would also be the special Drink Menu for the night.

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You do not have to about messing up your clothes while you crazily indulge in the heavenly prepared seafood dishes as a set of plastic bib with a pair of gloves (just in case someone doesn’t want to get too messy with his/her bare hands), napkins and a bowl of water with lemon slice for washing your hands. There would be some crab claws cracker aka nutcrackers scattered around for your usages. Just look at how my friend, Steven Goh, enjoyed his food while wearing his new attire for the night~ LOL~ There would be tables topped with plastic sheets everywhere and you can start digging into the piles of seafood spreaded on it. Don’t worry~ Mama and Papa are not looking at how you eat but it’s best if you could bring them along to watch the expressions on their faces~ 😛

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Overall, I’ve no regret dining here as the dinner was awesome with the great company of friends. It was all fun, seeing the reactions of my friends flinching and swaying the eyes away, trying to avoid the cracking of the gravy filled crab claws right in front of them. I would definitely go back for more of the finger licking goodies when my craving strikes again~ 🙂

Do check out more of the May/June 2016 promotions below:

The Bungalow @ Lone Pine Hotel is located at the beach front of the hotel. After passing Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa on your right, you would reach a cross junction with traffic lights. After the traffic lights slow down, keep to your right and you would a small sign leading to Lone Pine Hotel just right after the Golden Sands Resort. Find a parking space within and just walk into the entrance of the hotel. You would see the Batubar on your right. Just keep to your right walk until the end where you can see the entrance to a bungalow. You won’t miss the restaurant.

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Name: The Bungalow @ Lone Pine Hotel
Address: 97 Batu Ferringhi, 11100Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-886 8686
Business Hours (For this promotion only): 7.00pm-10.30pm (Every Thursday)
GPS: 5.476144, 100.250041

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

About Lone Pine Hotel: Lone Pine Hotel is the first hotel along Penang’s picturesque Batu Ferringhi coastline and since 1948 and is known to this day for its unpretentious accommodation and genuine hospitality. It was given a new lease of life after undergoing extensive refurbishment and expansion in 2009/2010. It reopened in 2010 with an additional 40 rooms (bringing the total to 90) and an upgraded swimming pool, wellness spa, shop and gym, business centre and meeting rooms. Guests, especially loyal long time followers of Lone Pine, were relieved to see that the hotel has not lost its quintessential charm and character, including its signature casuarina trees and lawn. The successful refurbishment and expansion of Lone Pine was recognised by the architect fraternity when it won the PAM Gold Award (commercial category) at the Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) bi-annual awards for architectural design excellence. Lone Pine’s recent accolades include the TripAdvisor® Top 10 Boutique Beach Resorts in the World 2011, Top 25 Trendiest Hotels in Malaysia (TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice® 2012) and TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence for the fifth consecutive year from 2011 till 2015
The E&O Group: The E&O Group (Eastern & Oriental Berhad) is a listed company on Bursa Malaysia that has established a reputation as the premier lifestyle property developer of exclusive addresses for the discerning. In Kuala Lumpur, E&O’s landmark properties include The Mews, St Mary Residences, Dua Residency, Idamansara and Seventy Damansara, all located in the most prime and prestigious neighborhoods of the capital city. In Penang, Seri Tanjung Pinang is the island’s first masterplanned seafront development that is now a highly sought-after and thriving community to locals as well as expatriates from over 20 nationalities. In Johor’s southern development corridor of Iskandar Malaysia, E&O has embarked on Avira, a 207-acre wellness-themed development within Medini that has easy accessibility to the Second Link connection to Singapore. In its expansion overseas, E&O’s international foray into real estate investment and development is focused within prime locations in London, including Princes House along Kingsway, ESCA House in Bayswater, and a commercial property in Hammersmith. E&O’s leading position as a lifestyle developer is anchored by its niche in luxury hospitality derived from its namesake, the iconic Eastern & Oriental Hotel, a cherished heritage landmark in George Town established in 1885. Along the popular beachfront, Lone Pine Hotel stands as the only boutique resort on Batu Ferringhi and the Group has further leveraged on its experience and expertise in hospitality management with the opening of E&O Residences serviced apartments in Kuala Lumpur.

Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be having its Ramadhan Peninsula’s Delectable Buffet Dinner 2016 from 7 June until 5 July 2015 (7.00pm-10.00pm). Diners would get to experience various dishes from the different states of the peninsula. The price would be at RM110nett/pax (Adult/Senior Citizens 60 years old and above will get 50% off). Selected cardholders would be charged RM90nett/pax while early birds (pre-booking by 31 May 2016) would be charged RM85nett/pax. Moreover, a convenient surau would also be set up to ease guests to break fast. There would also be a special room package during the holy month for guests to unwind at RM480/night, inclusive of buffet dinner and breakfast for two pax. For restaurant booking, please contact +604-612 1128 or for room booking, please contact +604-612 1111 for more information.

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Some of the attractive dishes would include the Kambing Golek Beratur Panjang (Roasted Lamb) served with Nasi Briyani Pak Raj, Kampung Melayu Lambuk (spiced up porridge), Sup “Gearbox”, Lemang (bamboo grilled glutinous rice) & Serunding (meat floss), Rendang Daging Tok, various Kerabu & Salad and more delicacies from the buffet spread and action stall. Check out the slide show below for more photos.

The dessert section this year was quite abundant with many options for local kuih-muih, Raya cookies and Western cakes. Check out the slide show below for more photos.

Overall, the Ramadan Buffet Dinner spreads at Swez Brasserie have always been my favorites as I like the kampong-style and family-oriented dishes options.

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

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Name: SWEZ BRASSERIE @ EASTIN HOTEL
Address: 1 Solok Bayan Indah, Queens Bay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-612 1128, 604-612 1138
Business Hours: 7.00pm-10.00pm (Ramadan Buffet Dinner only)
GPS: 5.33643, 100.306345

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

 

NEW MENU LAUNCH AT PLAN B @ QUEENSBAY MALL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On May - 4 - 2016

Under the umbrella of The Big Group, Plan B has been around for quite a few years in Malaysia, serving diners with artisan coffee and creative cuisine ranging from salads, sandwiches, pastas, main dishes and a variety of cakes. Recently, the Aussie-meets-New York conceptualized deli has reduced its menu to a smaller selection to stay more focused in delivering a better culinary experience for its diners. We were invited to test out some of their latest spreads from their new menu recently at Plan B @ Queensbay Mall, Penang and it was a totally different approach towards how we look at food. Prices shown are inclusive of 6% GST. There won’t be any additional service charge.

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We started off the meal with Skin on Fries with Dip (RM9) with a choice of dip. You have options for the sauce such as salted egg, cheese, Singapore Chili, curry, ranch, ice cream, lime mayonnaise or halal guys white sauce.

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The Kristy’s Krunchy Kale Salad (RM18) was rather unique and it reminded me of how fun my childhood days were. There were crunchy bits of Mamee! Cool right? The salad had finely julienned Kale (which I presumed were Chinese Kale aka kalian as it was rather hard to source for imported Kale), carrots, purple cabbages, some crunchy bits of deep fried noodles, hazelnuts, tossed in peanuts dressing and garnished with toasted sesame seeds. It was so nutritionally good that we had to order another serving.

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The Buttermilk Fried Chicken (RM33) was also quite unique as the buttermilk batter fried chicken was placed on a waffle and topped with almost coleslaw like salad and served with some tomato ketchup. It was quite tasty except that I hope the kitchen would drain up more of the excess oil on the batter fried chicken.

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For those who prefer meatless pastas, they do have the Zucchini Spaghetti (RM22). It was Aglio Olio style with added blistered cherry tomatoes, garlic confit, sweet basils, julienned zucchini, garnished with shaves of Parmesan cheese and served with a wedge of lemon. It was indeed a hearty and healthy plate of spaghetti to my liking.

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We also tried out their Asian Salmon Rice Bowl (RM33). You could also request for an additional poached egg for this dish at RM3. It came with a bowl of steamed rice, topped with grilled salmon, lots of fresh greens, avocado, edamame with a light sprinkles of furikake (Japanese rice garnish with mixed ground fish, sesame seeds, nori, etc) and served with chili soy dressing.

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As for Desserts, we tried out their Jaffa Cake (RM15), Springfield Donut (RM18) and Black Forest Pavlova (RM18). I personally think that it’s better to consume the desserts with some hot beverages such as coffee or tea as they could be rather heavy and sweet after a heavy meal.

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As for beverages, we tried out their Elderflower Mint Lemonade (RM12), Passionfruit Iced Tea (RM10), Iced Chocolate (RM10) and Cham Affogato (RM10). The best part on the beverages was that all of them were presented quite uniquely.

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The Cham Affogato was something real cool too as it had coffee on “teh tarik” ice cream.

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Overall, I quite like how innovative some of the dishes were at Plan B, especially the Kristy’s Krunchy Kale Salad, which brought back many fond memories during my childhood days. I would love to see what other creative dishes the kitchen could come out with in the near future. You can also check out their sea facing outlet at Gurney Paragon to try out these dishes.

You can view the new menu as below. Do click on the photo for a clearer view.

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Upon entering the main entrance of Queensbay Mall (Central Zone), turn right and walk towards the North Zone (J.Co, Morganfield, T.G.I. Friday’s, Maybank, etc). Just walk a bit further up pass J.Co Donuts and you can see the deli there on your right.

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Name: PLAN B @ QUEENSBAY MALL
Address: GF-112, 113(A) & 146 (A) Ground Floor, Queensbay Mall, 100 Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604- 640 8820
Business Hours: 10.00am-11.00pm
GPS: 5.333909, 100.306759

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

 

MENYA MIYABI HOKKAIDO RAMEN @ QUEENSBAY MALL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On May - 3 - 2016

Just like our Malaysian Nasi Lemak, various versions of ramen are ubiquitous throughout Japan, from small roadside stalls, restaurants to even within 7-Eleven shops. Each region in Japan would offer their unique versions of ramen with their “secret” soup base which might consist of a mix and match of salt, soy sauce, pork bones and fermented soy beans (shio, shoyu, tonkotsu and miso), served with various toppings. With the globalization of the ramen, competitions had found many eateries serving innovative versions of the noodles with peanut butter or coffee infused broth or even making the ramen into ramen burger. However, Menya Miyabi @ Queensbay Mall, Penang, still insist on pepping up their authentic Hokkaido ramen, using mostly imported ingredients, to ensure that diners would get the best ramen experience as how the people of Hokkaido would consume. The flavors of the ramen dishes are so strictly monitored that the big boss (with 4 other ramen chains in Hokkaido) would fly in every quarterly to check on the food quality. A 10% service charge would be imposed on all orders.

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The first dish which was the Hokkaido Chilled Ramen Salad (RM19+), had us all at cloud 9 with its unique combinations of flavors and textures as most of us had never tried out chilled ramen before. With just some al dente textured ice-chilled ramen with some goma mayo dressing, served with sides of hard-boiled egg, julienned chashu, cucumber, buttered corn kernels and tomato slices, it was a simple yet appetizing salad for everyone.

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For our main, we had their Signature Tonkotsu Ramen (Pork Broth Flavor – RM23+). Wow! I’m impressed with the rich and creamy broth which was filled with collagen with a light tone of natural saltiness. The ramen dish has slices of nicely braised chashu, served with some wood ear fungus, marinated soft-boiled egg, nori (seaweed) and some light sprinkles of spring onions. It was indeed a hearty bowl of perfect ramen, obvious from the time consuming and tedious processes of slow simmering the choice pork bones.

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We also tried out their Yaki-Miso Ramen (Fried Soybean Paste Flavor – RM23.50+). The broth was similar to the Tonkatsu Ramen but with some added fried miso paste to give the broth an extra earth flavor. The toppings were somewhat different slightly with bamboo shoots replacing the wood ear fungus as the former. Taste wise, it was indeed the authentic taste of Japan, which was a bit heavier in saltiness.

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Somehow, the Kara Miso Ramen (Hot & Spicy Miso Ramen – RM24+) tasted superb. Though the broth tasted almost similar to that of the Yaki-Miso Ramen with added chili paste but the overall flavors were quite balanced up with no overpowering saltiness. I guessed raw miso paste was added instead of the fried miso paste which would surely contain more concentrated sodium content. The ramen came with toppings such as chashu cubes, marinated soft-boiled egg, bamboo shoots, salted mustard stems, nori (seaweed) and some chopped spring onions. For spicy lovers, this might be your ramen dish to go for.

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For those who prefer rice over noodles, you can always try out their Katsu Curry (Katsu Kare – RM24+), a steaming hot Japanese rice dish with non-spicy Japanese style curry gravy, topped with a piece of breadcrumbed deep fried pork cutlet and served with some pickled daikon. Now only was I aware that traditional Japanese Curry would be served plain without the addition of potato and carrot bites as I had consumed elsewhere. The most important ingredient in a Japanese kare is to extract the sweetness from the caramelized onions and traditional recipe might just include only onions, flour and oil. From a clarification by my Japanese friend, potatoes and carrots were later added into the recipe to make the filling bulk when rice supplies were scarce during one period of the past.

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To add on to our orders of ramen, we ordered some Croquettes (Korokke – RM9+ for 2pcs). The potato cakes had a concoction of mashed potatoes, minced meat and some finely chopped vegetables before being coated with panko breadcrumbs and deep fried to perfection. Though the korokke was simple and tasty, I somehow prefer my croquettes to contain more coarsely mashed potatoes such as the Indonesian/Malaysian Bergedil with more bites.

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We also ordered some Gyozas (RM12+ for 6 pcs, RM18+ for 10 pcs). Each bite was filled with the nice juiciness from the well marinated minced meat within. If I were not told by the chef, I would not have realized that each piece was machine made. Menya Miyabi is the only Japanese eatery in Penang having that customized machine specially imported all the way from Japan.

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Overall, I quite like the simplicity of the dishes served at Menya Miyabi. It might depend on the taste buds of the locals to accept a more authentic style of Japanese cuisine which would be stronger in flavors. With mostly imported ingredients used in their cuisine, the prices of their dishes are still competitive on the market.

Upon entering the main entrance of Queensbay Mall (Central Zone), turn right and walk towards the North Zone (J.Co, Morganfield, T.G.I. Friday’s, Maybank, etc). Take the escalator to Level 1 and you can see Espresso Lab kiosk. The restaurant is just opposite the kiosk on the right.

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Name: MENYA MIYABI – HOKKAIDO RAMEN
Address: 1F-152, Level 1, North Zone, Queensbay Mall, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-645 3811
Business Hours: 11.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.334311, 100.306685

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

 

Diners would get the opportunity to dine in Foodcaller (富一碗) @ Queensbay Mall which had relocated from Bukit Mertajam, Penang. Though being at the currect venue for merely few months old, the management had gone through many years of R&D to come out with a menu that would be economical yet tasty for its diners. Located at Level 3 (North Zone) of Queens Street @ Queensbay Mall, Foodcaller promises to bring in exciting arrays of ramen and dumpling for every diner with a twist in adding in local flavors. Since the restaurant is still quite new, all prices would be nett, without GST and service charges.

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Let us have a look at the variety of dumplings available at Foodcaller. They have the Steamed Dumplings (RM6.70 [3pcs] / RM10.90 [5pcs] / RM19.90 [10pcs]), Salted Eggs Baked Dumplings (RM13.90 [5pcs] / RM25.50 [10pcs]) and Pan-Fried Dumplings (RM7.50 [5pcs] / RM11.50 [10pcs]). Though all the dumplings were nice with juicy bites, my personal favorite was the Salted Eggs Baked Dumplings. Somehow, the slightly crunchy skin plus the juicy filling, combined with the sandy saltiness from the added salted egg yolk attributed to the uniqueness of the dumplings.

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We were introduced to some of their recommended ramen dishes, starting with their Braised Pork Pickled Dry Ramen (RM16.70), served with a complimentary bowl of soup. I’m impressed with the texture of the ramen noodles which were al dente to my liking. As for the braised pork, the meat pieces were tender with just the right combination of flavors. The addition of the soft center hard-boiled egg was a bonus as the oozy yolk indeed made the ramen creamier to consume.

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We also tried out their Signature Ramen with Homemade Dumplings (RM15.90). Basically, the filling and taste for all the dumplings were the same as those steamed one. However, what amazed me more was on the broth for the ramen which was filled with rich and creamy flavors. According to the chef, the broth had gone through the process of slow simmering for 7 hours before being extracted. The broth might not be as tasty as from those authentic Japanese restaurants with some “hidden ingredients” but it was good enough for my personal consumption. Again~ I could not get enough of the heavenly prepared soft center hard-boiled egg~ 😛

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Another of their signature dish was the Japanese Chashu Signature Ramen (RM16.90). Basically, the taste was the same as the Signature Ramen with Homemade Dumplings with the dumplings being replaced with slices of Japanese style chashu (braised rolled pork belly). However, I personally felt that chashu should be braised a bit longer as it did not have the melt-in-the-mouth experience as I had tried elsewhere. Moreover, I also felt that the kitchen should garnish the dish with some blended black sesame oil to pep up this dish further.

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For Teppanyaki dishes, each main dish would be served with a bowl of hot steaming fragrant rice topped with some minced meat, some stir fried cabbages with dried chilies, an omelette, a bowl of soup. The portions served were rather large and would be great for diners with great appetite. We tried out 3 options such as the Chef Bean Sauce Fish Teppanyaki (RM18.70), Sour Sambal Curry Prawns Teppanyaki (RM17.80) and Garlic Roast Pork Teppanyaki (RM19.80). Though each main dish had its own unique flavors my liking, I would still chose the Sour Sambal Curry Prawns Teppanyaki as my favorite set due to its aromatic yet generously portioned prawns which indeed was an appetite booster.

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For tomyam lovers, you would be in for a great surprise as Foodcaller has 2 great dishes to tempt your craving. Firstly, we tried out their Tomyam Seafood Fried Ramen (RM18.90) and it impressed all of us as the aromatic yet fragrant flavors of the tomyum indeed seeped into each strain of the ramen and at the moment it was filled with the wok hei (high heat cooking) to my liking. Moreover, it was a heavenly plate of ramen with generous amount of prawns, squids and scallops~ I sure would want to order this dish during my next visit.

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However, for the Tomyam Grilled Chicken Ramen (RM17.90), it could somewhat be a love-hate relationship for some diners. The broth had almost the Southern Thailand’s style of tomyam which was rich, creamy and yet sweet but only with mild sourness. It could be a bit on the sweeter side for some.

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One of the latest additions to the menu was the Hot-Stone Noodles Series (Mixed – RM33.20, Sliced Pork – RM23.50, Fresh Scallop – RM26.70 and King Prawns – RM30.80) with various options and add-ons. The hot-stone dish was served with a basket of flat broad noodles (hor fun), garnished with Chinese Kale (kailian). Either you can pour the noodles into the hot-stone bowl or you pour the soup over the noodles. My advice would be the latter as it would prevent the noodles from getting over soggy with the highly heated broth in the bowl. Please note that you have to pour in the soup as soon as the dish has been served on your table as the broth would evaporate quite fast. Additional request for the broth would be chargeable. The richness and sweetness of the broth was something you just can’t enough of as it has been slow simmered for over 10 hours to extract the natural sweetness from the bones. I’ve never seen or heard of Hot-Stone Noodles before and this could well be the only restaurant serving it this way in Malaysia.

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There are quite a number of hot and cold beverages you could choose from such as those below.

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Overall, the quality of the dishes served here were quite good, comparing to some of those other eateries within the same complex. Price wise, it might be a bit over average for diners but you can be assured of the quality of the food. However, Foodcaller has many ongoing promotions to help you save up more. Do check out their daily promotions (T&C: for FB & WeChat users only) as well as tea time special (not valid on public holidays).

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For more items from the menu, you can view the slides below:

Upon entering the main entrance of Queensbay Mall (Central Zone), turn right and walk towards the North Zone (J.Co, Morganfield, T.G.I. Friday’s, Maybank, etc). Take the escalator to Level 3 and walk towards the Queens Street area. You can see Foodcaller on your right, taking over the former shop lot of Okomen Japanese Restaurant, in between Curry House Coco Ichibanya and Golden Triangle Thai Restaurant.

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Name: FOODCALLER (富一碗)
Address: 3F-03A, Queens Street, Level 3, North Zone, Queensbay Mall, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-638 6602
Business Hours: 11.00am-10.00pm (Last order 9.30pm)
GPS: 5.335052, 100.306708
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/foodcaller/

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

 

Dining Room @ Macalister Mansion has always been known for its delectable yet innovative gastronomy by utilizing high quality ingredients in their dishes all around the globe. Under the helm of its Head Chef, Chef Johnson Wong, 25 years old, whom had years of experiences overseas under Michelin starred restaurant and chef, Dining Room is on its way towards the next level of excellence. Currently, Dining Room is promoting its “from farm to table” 8-course tailor-made Chef’s Tasting Menu at RM268nett/pax, with the option to top up an additional RM160 for wine pairing. The menu would showcase the chef’s talented modern French cooking techniques by incorporating some Malaysia flavors into the dishes.

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Even before the first dish was being served, we were already impressed on how those cute little warm bread rolls were being served with burned butter. With some mild yet aromatic coffee flavor within the rolls and boosted up further with some coffee beans in the serving tray, it was indeed one of the ingenious methods to stimulate the body with enthusiasm to be alert for more good food ahead.

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The first dish of Garden of Macalister Mansion indeed showed the romantic side of the chef towards the local Malaysian produce. The organic green salad featured a variety of flowers, herbs and vegetables from the local farm. The greens were presented in different textures and colors with a combination of smoked salmon at the base to boost up further smoky flavor. The salad was well plated with some added cappuccino foam to give it that misty yet mysterious effect. It was too beautiful to eat but too irresistible not to consume the healthy salad. Well, everything was wiped out within seconds~ LOL~ 😛

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We were then served with Carabineros, a heavy saline flavored Spanish red prawn, renowned for their jumbo size and striking bright red color. The carefully time-monitored seared prawn was stuffed with pineapple and peppercorn. It was served alongside with sweet Japanese Momotaro tomato, white balsamic vinegar and olive pesto, which gave some refreshing yet zesty touches to the dish. The prawn was presented in an almost sashimi-like texture but that was not the main point of consuming a Carabinero prawn. Crustacean enthusiasts would go for its head first as that’s where all the oozy goodness lies. Sucking a prawn head might be quite embarrassing in a fine dining restaurant such as Dinner Room but don’t get discourage as that’s what they would expect you to do to fully enjoy the intensely flavorful innards. Though I could be quite adventurous while trying out new food, but to consume this prawn, it might require an acquired taste bud for some diners.

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I was truly impressed with the next dish which was the 62.5°C Slow Cooked Egg. The time-consuming process by the kitchen just to serve the Japanese inspired egg dish should be well complimented. The egg had gone through an hour of sous vide cooking temperature of 62.5°C, followed by crumbling it with kataifi phyllo and deep fried to golden perfection, before being served in a puddle of Leek and Matcha Emulsion, together with Hokkaido Scallop and Anchovy to enhance the neutral taste of the egg further. You have to try out this heavenly dish as the crunchiness from the shredded phyllo, combined with the ooziness from the egg yolk plus the freshness from the added seafood and earthliness of the added matcha, was one dish that caught the umami taste bud in my mouth. Ichiban!

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The Foie Gras Cappuccino was another impressive dish that caught my attention, not only through its flavorful yet balanced taste but also on its presentation. The Foie Gras soup was presented in a cappuccino texture with classic Italian combinations such as Arugula and Aged Balsamic. Pomelo shreds were added to reduce the surfeit oiliness from the Foie Gras. I must admit that this was one of the better foie gras I’ve tasted so far. The kitchen would have imported such a quality piece of foie gras with such a balanced creaminess and fattiness. Combined with the perfectly flavorful aged balsamic, nutty flavored arugula and bitter sweet pomelo shred, it was a perfect dish for the evening.

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For any fine dining experience, there would almost always be a Palate Cleanser in between courses. The cleanser was practically a quenelle spoonful of apple sorbet, garnished with a hazelnut, mint leaf and pennywort leaf (daun pegaga). It was something so refreshing that I would ask for more, if possible~ 😛

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We continued with yet another remarkable dish which was the Blue Lobster, another signature dish from Chef Johnson. An upscale ingredient from Brittany, France, the blue lobster was very well prepared and served with a Satay peanut sauce like foamy sauce minus the pungent spiciness but with a distinctive roasted lobster shells flavors. It came with a mildly blanched stalk of kalian (the same family as kale) which has that earthly bitterness to balance off the overall flavors. The freshness of the blue lobster combined with the fusion Asian sauce was another perfect dish to my liking.

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We had Grain Fed Chicken next which did not look like chicken at all as it was presented in two different styles. In one style, there were a few pieces of phyllo fried wraps filled with slow cooked chicken, blue mussel and basil. The other style consisted of mushroom cepes powder layered and compressed slow-roasted chicken mousse. The dish was served with dried chili Escabeche sauce and creamy ricotta puree to balance off the spiciness. The wraps were simply delicious with the flavors emitted from the added sweet basil leaf. However, the layered chicken piece was a bit too dry for my liking. Maybe it would be great if the kitchen could add in some finely chopped water chestnuts or jicama to make the bite juicier.

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For pre-dessert, we had their self concocted Penang Native which consisted of local Penang flavors such as Lemon Granite, Candied Nutmeg and White Fungus. It was indeed a refreshing treat before a heavier dessert next. Personally, I would prefer if some lemongrass extracts were to be added into the lemon granite to further boost up the flavors. Moreover, it would be great too if grated nutmeg pickles were to be added in instead of the candied nutmegs as they were a bit over dehydrated for the bite.

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Their dessert of Café Mocha was heavenly. The chef embedded the elements from Mocha and reconstructed them into a beautifully plated dessert. The dessert had a pate sablee frozen cookie base, architecturally constructed upwards with coffee mousse and chocolate crunches and served with coffee ice cream. It was a great combination of bitterness and sweetness (70% dark chocolate) with a twist of crunchiness plus the bonus of having the aromatic and earthly coffee flavors infused into the dessert.

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Overall, I quite like the quality, creativity and taste of the dishes served here, especially those playfully concocted dishes that were beautiful to the eyes and flavorful with each bite. Chef Johnson has done a great job here for placing the culinary scenes in Penang to a higher level. If you enjoy a great dining experience without worrying about the bill, Dining Room @ Macalister Mansion would be the ideal place for you. After all, trying out the Chef’s Tasting Menu at below 50% off from the ala carte prices, is not something that you would get to indulge in always~ 🙂

Apart from the Chef’s tasting menu, Dining Room do also offer the 4 courses MM’s Discovery Menu which is another trademark of Macalister Mansion. The 4 courses MM’s Discovery Menu is priced at RM168nett per pax or guest could also opt for ala carte. For the coming promotion, you can also check out the Black Truffle Dinner experience on 29 April 2016 as below:

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Since Macalister Mansion is situated along a one-way street, there are only two roads leading into Jalan Macalister – 2 different stretches of Jalan Perak. Either way, when you drive via Jalan Perak into Jalan Macalister, slow down and keep to your left or you might miss the entrance into Macalister Mansion. Macalister Mansion is located just immediately after the Loh Guan Lye Specialist Centre. There will be ample space within the compound for your parking need.

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Name: DINING ROOM @ MACALISTER MANSION
Address: 228 Jalan Macalister, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-228 3888
Business Hours: 7.00pm-11.00pm (Closed Monday)
GPS: 5.418900, 100.318746

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: 9/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

About Macalister Mansion: Located along the historic Macalister Road, Macalister Mansion is a design boutique hotel honors Sir Norman Macalister. Being the first Malaysian member of design hotel, Macalister Mansion promises a quirky and sophisticated new lifestyle destination to relax and refresh. Within Macalister Mansion, each space within its food & beverage outlets together with the hotel is branded as distinct rooms found in a mansion. Designed around the idea of an old English mansion, Macalister Mansion aims to provide hospitality of an actual home to the hotel guest to unwind through its modern facilities and impeccable service standards. Facilities include The Lawn (swimming pool), Dining Room (restaurant), Living Room (café), The Cellar (wine lounge), The Den (whisky bar), Eight Rooms (hotel), guest lounge and weight room. For more information, please contact Macalister Mansion at +604 2283 888 or access to its website at http://www.macalistermansion.com

 

US POTATO CULINARY FESTIVAL PENANG 2016

Posted by crizlai On April - 24 - 2016

With the successes of the US Potato Culinary Festival Kuala Lumpur in 2013 and 2015, the US Potato Festival Penang 2016 was finally held in the Pearl of the Orient, Penang, where the culinary scenes are well known to the world. Organized by the United States Potato Board of Malaysia with the support of the Penang Chefs Association, the month long festival would last from 1-31 May 2016 with 20 participating eateries showcasing the best they could offer with U.S. potatoes, either using fresh, frozen and/or dehydrated. Each eatery would feature some mouth-watering assortments of their creative delicacies from finger food, appetizers, entrées, soups, main courses to unique desserts, fully utilizing the versatility of the quality and nutritious U.S. potatoes. The launching of the festival was held at Straits Court @ Straits Quay, Penang recently on 23 April 2016.

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According to Eddie Saw from the United States Potato Board of Malaysia, the humble looking potatoes had faced many bad reputations for being one of the most fattening food items to consume. In fact, one medium size (5.3 oz) skin on U.S. potato merely contains 110 calories per serving, boosts more potassium (620g) than a banana, and provides almost half the value of Vitamin C (45%) and contains no fat, no sodium and no cholesterol at all. He could be right with the facts and figures as potatoes surely have their fans and foes depending on how you cook them. Some of the healthier ways might include baking, roasting, mashing, scalloping or even steaming rather than dunking them into a deep fryer and dressing them up with fatty and greasy toppings. Fat-free sour cream, salsa or even simple toss in extra virgin olive oil could be your best alternative. It’s about time we give these spuds the respect they deserve, considering that they do have many nutritional benefits as well~ 🙂

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Here were some of the interesting and unique dishes pepped up by the participating eateries during the launch as shown in the photos below.

A few of the dishes caught my attention. One of them was the Stuffed Egg with U.S. Potato from What The Duck Restaurant. It had slightly sweetened mashed potatoes wrapped around a quail egg, breadcrumbed, deep fried and drizzled with some mayonnaise. I could have mistaken them as dessert as the filling was almost mung beans like as you get from those in mooncakes. Anyway, it was quite a cheeky play on the usage of potatoes.

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Another dish that I was quite impressed with was the Rib Eye (120 days Grain Fed) served with Oxtail US Potato Cake, Buttered Spinach & Brandy Sauce by Healy Mac’s Irish Bar & Restaurant. The well grilled rib eye combined with the crispy yet creamy potato cake, dressed in the sauce was something I would go for when I visit the eatery soon.

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Hotel NEO+ Penang came out with a skillfully prepared Millefuille of Braised Lamb Shank infused with Herbs, accompanied with US Gratin Potato on Grilled Scallop Shell.

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Café 32 @ Segi College Penang also did impress me with their Deep Fried Cris Cut with Pandan Cream & Palm Sugar. It was something out from the norm.

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Georgetown City Hotel also came out with a creative dessert of Chocolate Brownie with US Potato Chunks. On top of the little nutty crunch within, you would get some soft and moist potato bites as well.

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Naughty Nuri’s Warung could be real cheeky as their name with their pub grub style Wicked US Potato Chips with Salted Egg Mayo. Be warned~ The dip could be real fiery with some hidden red bird’s eye chilies~ LOL~ 😛

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As for creativity, I would think that Evergreen Laurel Hotel excelled above the rest for its colorful yet tastefully plated arrays of dishes such as their Deep Fried Bird Nest US Potato with Sliced Herbed Potatoes, Grilled Cherry Tomatoes, Fruits Salsa & Baked Capsicum Sauce plus their US Potato Wrapped with Seaweed, Vegetables and Mash, accompanied with Waffle Potato in Balsamic Reduction Sauce.

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THE 20 PARTICIPATING OUTLETS:

1. Bayview Beach Resort
2. Bayview GeorgeTown Hotel
3. Black Kettle Café
4. Blue Reef Fish & Chips
5. Crazy Cowboy Bar & Grill
6. Evergreen Laurel Hotel
7. Gala House Café & Restaurant
8. Georgetown City Hotel
9. Hamburger Inc.
10. Harvest Time Café
11. Healy Mac’s Irish Bar & Restaurant
12. Moulmein Gourmet
13. Naughty Nuri’s Warung
14. Hotel NEO+ Penang
15. Rakkii Izakaya
16. Segi Café 32
17. Sunway Hotel Seberang Jaya
18. The Chambers Restaurant
19. Uncle Albert Fish & Chips
20. What the Duck Restaurant

 

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