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MUSICAL SOIREE AT 1885 @ EASTERN & ORIENTAL HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On October - 15 - 2013

LATEST MUSICAL SOIREE AT 1885: 15 MARCH 2014

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It was a unique dining experience when we were treated with a robust Musical Soiree by three excellent performers which consisted of Zhang Chi (pianist), Teresa Ong (soprano) and Sean Ooi (tenor), during a recent visit to 1885@ E&O Hotel recently. The first segment of an ongoing project, to be held for 5 consecutive months, was the brainchild of loyal hotel residents, Mr. & Mrs. Martin Rutherford, and the Resident Manager of E&O Hotel, Mr. Harold Rainfroy. The performance would be held on the first Thursday of each month. Please check the E&O Hotel Facebook for more information on the coming events. Price is at RM200++ per pax.

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Their performances were in 3 sessionss. The first one included Etude Op.15″ (Zhang Chi), “O Holy Night” (Sean Ooi), “Xue Hua” (Teresa Ong), “If You Loved Me” (Sean Ooi) and “Il Ba Cio” (Teresa Ong). The second session included “Liu Yang River” (Chang Zhi), “Nella Fantasia” (Sean Ooi), “E Pur Cosi/ Piangero La Sorte” (Teresa Ong), “Non Ti Scordar Di Me” (Sean Ooi) and “Laughing Song” (Teresa Ong). The finale session had Zhang Chi rendering the “Waltz Op. 64 No.2 & Op. 34 No. 5”, followed by “All I Ask of You” and “The Prayer” (Duet by Sean Ooi & Teresa Ong). The numerous awards winning song “The Prayer” written by the famous songwriter, David Foster, made famous by Canadian singer, Celine Dion and blind Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, has always remained as my personal favorite.

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At 1885 @ E&O Hotel, meals would always start with some lovely dinner rolls, served with their creamy butter. The aroma emitted from the freshly bakes combined with the fine soft yet fluffy textures from the in-house made dinner rolls would always be the best starter for any meal.

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Our actual fine dining experience kicked off with a palate dinner of awesomely presented Trio Appetizers which consisted of Hokkaido Scallop Tataki served with Citrus Mango Salsa, Foie Gras Terrine with Cinnamon Brioche and Vichyssoise with Norwegian Salmon Tartare. This appetizers came paired with the Hole In The Water Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

The Hokkaido Scallop Tataki served with Citrus Mango Salsa was actually a briefly seared fresh scallop which had firm and creamy texture in each bite. It was served on a fruity yet mildly spiced up citrus mango salsa with bursting omega-3 fatty acid filled salmon roes as garnishing. It was a perfect combination.

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Next on the plate was the Foie Gras Terrine with Cinnamon Brioche. The foie gras terrine was one of the best I had tasted as it had added roasted shitake mushroom slices added in to tame the richness in the fatty duck liver. Combined with the light yet fluffy mildly cinnamon pepped up toasted brioche, it was another perfect dish. The appetizer also came with a slice of ripen fig to sweeten up the savory flavors.

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Finally the last of the appetizers was the Vichyssoise with Norwegian Salmon Tartare. The cold soup which had a combination of pureed potatoes, leeks, onions, stock and cream was smooth flowing with the complemented Norwegian salmon tartare, topped with some sauteed tomato and a drizzle of spiced olive oil.

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After another session of great performances by the trio, we were served with the main course – Pan Seared Chilean Cod Fish & Poached Jumbo Prawn with Chickpea Puree, served with some semi dried tomatoes and some fresh basil sauce. The remarkable light and creamy textures of the thick slab of white fish, pan seared to perfection and the firm texture of the poached jumbo prawn, went well with the mildly butter spiced chickpea puree. With a magical drizzle of some freshly made basil sauce, the whole concoction had unique flavors of the next level. This dish came paired with the Matua Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir. Thumbs up!

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The much awaited desserts were presented to us after another session of the performances. Again, these desserts were served in trio such as the Valrhona & Almond Chocolate Cannoli, Chantilly Cinnamon Mango and Bavarois Berry Lava Cake.

It always has been my priority to savor those with a sweeter note first before ending with something with fruitiness with light touch of sourness. I started off with the Bavarois Berry Lava Cake. I would say this dessert was a lava cake made too perfect as it ended up as a brownie without the much expected chocolate oozing out. No doubt it was still a great dessert with a generous amount of ganache topping with some mildly sweetened berry compote.

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The Valrhona & Almond Chocolate Cannoli on the other hand would suit chocolate lovers well. You can imagine the contentment of having luxurious French chocolate filled ricotta like cream and topped with some toasted chopped almonds. It was heavenly but I personally feel that it was a bit too much of chocolate items for the day.

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I made a wise choice leaving the Chantilly Cinnamon Mango as the last option. The almost light cheesecake texture cake blended in real nice with a fresh piece of mango. It was indeed a refreshing and most palatable dessert of the evening.

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The night ended with an astounding finale performance by the trio with diners being served with either a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a selection from their gourmet tea choices.

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Overall, it was a great evening of different genre with great food, wine and musical performances. Finally, I would like to thank Eileen Chong, Communications & Public Relations Manager of E&O Hotel, for a great evening.

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 building. Parking charges would be a maximum of RM6 (weekdays: Monday-Thursday) and RM12 (weekends: Friday- Sunday)

E&OMAP photo EampOMAP_zps7887a7a5.jpg Name: 1885 @ 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: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices) Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent) Pricing: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive) Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

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The Golden Phoenix @ Hotel Equatorial, Penang has launched its “All You Can Eat Dim Sum Semi Buffet Lunch” promotion recently. For dim sum fans, it’s the time of the year for you to dine in the comfort of the restaurant while snacking your way through the 28 options of dim sum delicacies from Golden Phoenix. The promotion will be available for lunch (12.00noon – 2.30pm) on weekdays only (except weekends & public holidays) from 1 October 2013 until 30 November 2013. Price is at RM42++ (adult) and RM23++ (child).

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Let’s have a look at the semi buffet spread first before going into the dim sum selections. On the main spread, there would be some savory dishes for you to start off your appetite while waiting for your dim sum orders to be served. Savory dishes served would be on a rotation basis and you might get items such as Sichuan Hot & Sour Soup, Pei Tan Chok, Fried Singapore Bee Hoon, Yong Chow Fried Rice and Stir Fry Yau Mak with Garlic.

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On the other hand, there would be a dessert corner with items such as Sweet Potatoes in Syrup, Chilled Honeydew Sago, Assorted Cakes and Fresh Fruit Cuts.

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Some of the dim sum items in the ala carte menu would be worth mentioning as they excelled above the rest on the market, whether these are from hawkers or restaurants.

The first recommended dish on the list would be the XO Sauce Siew Mai (#1 in the menu). Amazingly, the kitchen could still come out with its own “halal” XO sauce as this sauce normally contains chopped bacon, ham and Chinese sausages. I guessed they have their ways to replace pork items with chicken items instead. XO sauce is a rich sauce filled with flavors from some dried seafood and meat and this combination of minced prawns, chicken and sauce indeed pepped up the unique flavors in this dim sum.

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Next on the list would be the Hak Chiew Kwei Mei Gai (#2 in the menu). Normally this dish would come with small pieces of pork ribs. The kitchen did a great job in tenderizing the chicken pieces with some ginger juice and pepped up with enough coarsely crushed black pepper and salt, prior to steaming, indeed made this dish my favorite of the day.

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Next on the list would be the Tian Suan Yuan Yang Xia (#15 in the menu). This is practically just two deveined prawns steamed with 2-flavor sauce but the freshness of the prawns was remarkably appetizing.

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Next on the list would be the Hoi Tong Gor (#17 in the menu). These dumplings were quite identical to the taste of the usual Har Mai (prawn dumplings) but with the added dried scallops did emit extra rich seafood flavors in the concoction.

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Next on the list would be the Fried Lor Mai Fan (#18 in the menu). Steaming glutinous rice would be quite an easy task but to boost up the fragrance of the rice grains to get the extra aromatic flavors would require more effort. The kitchen did a good job in stir toasting the grains with just the right amount of seasoning prior to steaming them.

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Next on the list would be the Char Wu Kok (#21 in the menu). This is indeed another of my favorite item while having dim sum. Delicious char siew BBQ sauce marinated minced chicken wrapped in mashed yam paste and deep fried to perfection. The flakiness of the outer crust combined with the ooziness of the sauce within would make this item a great snack for any occasion.

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The last recommended dish on the list would be the Lor Pak Gou (#28 in the menu). The firmness and texture of this delicacy were just right. On top of the grated radish, the little pieces of added dried shrimps and Chinese sausages (chicken) flavored up the whole combination real well. By pan frying the cake slices, the fragrance from the slightly crispy crust combined with the soft interior made this dish delicious.

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Overall, there are still rooms for improvements as the taste and flavors of some of dished were rather localized. However, being a halal restaurant with the limitation of ingredient usages, that would be the best you can get without the use of pork for the dim sum. Here’s a look at the items available in the menu. Click on the photo to enlarge for a better view.

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If you are coming from Bayan Baru area towards Jalan Tun Dr Awang, make a right turn into Persiaran Bukit Jambul at the second traffic lights. Drive all the way up the sloppy road until you see INTI International College on your left. Drive about another 150m onwards and turn right into Jalan Bukit Jambul at the first junction you see. You will see the hotel on your left. The easiest way to get there would be by parking your car on the left side of the building (office block area) as your enter the hotel’s car park. Take the nearest stairway up a level and you will see the restaurant on your left. The Golden Phoenix is located at the same level as the Grand Ballroom overseeing the golf courses of Bukit Jambul Country Club.

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Name: GOLDEN PHOENIX @ HOTEL EQUATORIAL
Address: Jalan Bukit Jambul, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-632 7166
Business Hours (Promotion Period): 12.00pm-2.30pm (excluding weekends & public holidays)
GPS: 5.337122, 100.285308345

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: 7/10 (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)

 

Ever since Penang had been honored with the UNESCO World Heritage Site status, more and more heritage houses had been refurbished and turned into little eateries, some with lodging facilities as well. One of the new ones that had mushroomed not long ago on 18 February 2013 is the Pavilion Coffee, which is also in the midst of equipping its rooms for homestay with the adequate furniture and fittings. Located within the heart of George Town, this small and yet long architectural constructed entity, would surely give the Penang state an extra boost in hospitality tourism. The brainchild project of business partners, Jason Ng and Johnny Wu, Pavilion Coffee would be the next best destination for boarding, relaxation, art, coffee and dining for years to come.

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Pavilion Coffee is not just a place for relaxation over a cup of coffee or meals ranging from light snacks until main meals, it has the ambience of the heydays as far back as the era of our ancestors with a light touch of some state-of-the-art memorabilia. Thanks to Johnny Wu, a Taiwanese jewelry designer, who has a nice collection of unique items for the shutterbugs. In fact, Pavilion Coffee would be quite an interesting place for Peranakan style and bridal photography in contrast to those beautiful colored tiles and wooden structures settings as well as an ideal venue for some small gatherings.

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One of the main attractions that caught my attention was the division of the yellow and blue lightings. It was fun playing with the effects of the lighting as if the “human form” is from another “ghostly” dimension. Cool!

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As the name mentioned, Pavilion Coffee is a relaxing place for a cup of coffee, may it be hot or cold. Though the quality of the coffee beans were not from the top range which might cost any coffee lover tens of ringgit per cup, the reasonable pricing itself would drive you back there for more frequent visits. There are quite many options of beverages available from coffee to tea. One of their main attractions would be their Cold Drip Coffee (RM12.90/glass), more often known as Dutch Ice Coffee. No doubt you would need to have all the patience to wait for the fluid to flow through drip by drip as it may take as long as an hour plus for the whole dripping process. In any case that you might not have so much time in hand, it’s recommended to pre-order this drink at least 2 days in advance. Being chilled for 2 days would result in a stronger full bodied acidic brew most coffee lovers would love to have.

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Two of their signature beverages that you should not miss out would be their Rose Latte Ice (RM8.90) and Classic Fruit Tea (RM6.90). Somehow, the rose syrup that the café utilized was a far better quality one in terms of fragrance and flavor. The overall combination was superb. On the other hand, the Classic Fruit Tea had some mild fruity flavors, tough I would prefer mine to be a bit stronger.

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Another reasonable good latte would be their Hot Hazelnut Latte (RM6.90), though they really need to brush up their coffee art skills. LOL!

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As for food wise, you’ll be surprised how some of the dishes faired so well in my “food to eat” directory. Basically, the dishes served here have a mixed selection of Taiwanese, Japanese and Chinese cuisines with a light tweak towards Taiwanese flavors.

The first dish I had was the Fried Four Season French Beans (乾扁四季豆- RM7.90) served with mantou. You can also opt for rice. The sauce which was somewhat like the kanro shoyu (甘露醬油) or “sweet shoyu” was amazingly flavorful for dipping with just anything. The sweet sauce flavored French beans came topped with some fragrantly stir fried minced meat and prawns, followed by some garnishing of chopped red chilies, spring onions and wood ear fungus. Thumbs up!

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We had also added on the Kung Poh Century Eggs (宮保皮蛋 – RM9.90). Boy! I fell in love with this dish at first sight. The deep fried century egg slices depicted the feel of biting into springy fish slices. Combined with the flavors from some ginger slices, spring onion bulbs, garlic, small crispy pork bits, cabbages, dried red chilies, and dark sauce with a light touch of vinegar, it was a perfect dish to go with hot steaming rice.

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As for some additional rice item to go with my dishes, I tried out their special for the day – Cherry Blossom Fried Rice (櫻花炒飯 – RM7.90). It was basically a common plate of fried rice with some bits of pork and prawns. However, it had the required “wok hei” with the adequate seasonings on every grain of rice. This dish was also pepped up in taste with some deep fried dried shelled shrimps and chopped spring onions as garnishes.

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Another rice dish that you can go for would be their Tainan Braised Pork Rice (台南肉燥飯 – Bowl: RM4.50, Set: RM7.90). We opted for the bowl version as it was getting to be rather filling. The bowl of rice came with some nicely braised pork chunks, some crunchy pickled vegetables, half a hard-boiled egg and some pork floss. Surprisingly, the whole mouthful of rice was not as oily as what I had expected compared to the Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice (臺灣滷肉飯). Based on the chef’s explanation, they had chosen a less fatty pork portion with a little tweak in flavors to suit the local taste. To me, it had a high hint of spices used, almost similar to the authentic style of Nyonya Tau Ewe Bak.

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Ah! Rubber Duck! My hand got rather itchy and decided to get the adult version of Rubber Duck Curry Rice (大黃鴨咖哩飯 – RM7.90, Child Version: RM6.90). Just in case you are not aware of the Rubber Duck craze recently, you can check out here. The rice was nothing more than some steamed rice stirred with some turmeric powder, shaped into a duck and served with a rather mild version of curry with a combination of potatoes, carrot, apples and little bits of meat. I found the curry to be lacked in texture. It was not as creamy and flavorful as the Kare Raisu (Japanese Curry Rice). I guessed the kitchen would have to puree the apples as well as the onions with a heavier touch of flour and butter for a better texture.

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As for light snack, we tried out their signature Deep Fried Prawn Cakes (太陽餅 – RM3.90/pc). I immediately fell into love with this light bite as I loved crispy stuff with juicy fillings. This snack is actually quite common in Taiwan though you don’t find many restaurants serving them this way. Basically, the crispy skin is the same as the skin for the Chinese Jiaozi (dumplings) and the filling was nothing more than just a combination of minced pork, prawn, Chinese celery with a light touch of sesame oil. The end product was simply irresistibly delicious.

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Overall, Pavilion Coffee fairs better than most of the newly opened café in town in terms of ambience and taste of food. As for coffee, their pricing can be considered quite reasonable compared to those outlets with the same quality. What I found really nice was the friendliness of the bosses there to listen to the opinions of their customers for personal advancement. Though they still need a bit of time for certain adjustments and improvements, interior and food quality wise, I can be sure that they would be more successful with the opening of their homestay in full swing soon.

Pavilion Coffee is located just opposite Kwong Wah Yit Poh main office along Lebuh Presgrave. If you are driving along Lebuh Pantai towards Jalan CY Choy, watch out for a right junction (Lebuh Presgrave) before the Lebuh Macallum traffic lights. Turn right into Lebuh Presgrave and immediately find a parking space as parking space can be quite limited during peak hours. Alternatively, you can find some parking spaces at Gat Lebuh Presgrave, which is on your left. Walk further up Lebuh Presgrave and you would see a small round light box with the word “Pavilion Coffee”, just opposite Kwong Wah Yit Poh multi-level private car park.

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Name: PAVILION COFFEE
Address: 26, Lebuh Presgrave, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 9366
Business Hours: 11.00am-6.00pm (Monday), 11.30am-10.00pm (Tuesday-Sunday)
GPS: 5.410577,1 00.331431
FB: http://www.facebook.com/pavilioncoffee26

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

 

Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, for the month of May 2013 (1-31 May 2013) will be having its Italian Flair Promotion to serve you the delectable spread of Italian cuisine from the Land of Michelangelo. This promotion would be under the skillful hands of the Jr. Sous Chef, Chef Kelvin Cheong and Chef de Partie, Chef Rizal bin Hashim.

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To start off the meal, there would be a few selections of appetizers for you to savor. One of them would be the Panzanella Salad (新鮮番茄乳酪沙拉), a fresh tomato salad with crusty bread and cheese. This Florentine salad which basically would consist of tomatoes and bread is also quite popular during summer in Italy. The version here had added mozarella cheese and sweet basils in some olive oil and vinegrette. It was simply refreshing.

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The next appetizer was the Assorted Bruschetta (意大利式烤麵包). Simple as it was, the bruschettas came in 3 variants such as mushroom, chicken and seafood. Taste wise, they were not bad except I personally felt the baguette slices were a bit too thick for such a small bite size. Luckily, we had some soup to moisten them up.

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The Cream of Tomato & Basil Soup (番茄香菜奶油濃湯) was awesome. You can practically taste the freshness and sweetness of the tomatoes used. With the some added dashes of basil oil and cream, it was a great bowl of soup. I won’t mind having more croutons in it too.

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There would be some main dishes presented during the promotion too. One of the notable ones would be the Chicken Milanese (米蘭式燴雞) which you can have with other starch dishes such as Tomato Rice or with other green salads. The chicken was basically a lightly breaded piece of nicely marinated boneless chicken which would suit just any diner. There would be some gravy served with it as well.

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Another of the main dishes would be the Verze alla Capuccina (意大利式燜洋菜), a Capuchin Savoy Cabbage dish which basically had some boiled purple cabbage, carrots and tomatoes tossed in parsley, butter, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, salt, pepper with some toasted almond flakes. Though creamy, this dish was not to my liking as it was overpowered with saltiness. I would prefer to have some fresh greens salad instead.

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There would also be 3 options of main dishes available during their semi buffet dinners. One of them would be Lasagna al Spinaci (菠菜芝士千層面). This main course dish would be quite ideal for those who love to have something not so heavy. The lasagna sheets had some stuffed boiled spinach in creamy cheesy sauce. Though it was a nice combination, I found the spinach to be rather fibrous for a smooth bite. Either the kitchen should find a younger spinach sprout or the vegetables should be chopped finer to avoid choking any diner.

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Another option would be the Braised Osso Bucco or you can just call it Italian Braised Lamb (燜燉小羊頬), a Milanese specialty of braised cross-cut veal shanks. Though the meat was braised to the perfect texture and tenderness with just the right usage of herbs, it somehow lacked a specific sweetness – white wine. How I wished the restaurant were to be “non-halal” to be able to apply the usage of alcohol in their dishes.

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The last option would be the Beef Meat Balls with Cheese (芝士牛肉丸) served with pasta. The meat balls were rather flavorful with just the right amount of herbs and Parmesan cheese used. However, they have to tweak well on the usage of cheese as I personally found the meat balls to be rather salty. Moreover, I prefer my meat balls not to be so tough with the addition of some chopped onions.

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As for dessert, there would be quite a number of delicious treats. One of the dessert to aim for would be the Tiramisu (提拉米蘇). The non-alcohol version of the cake was still fine but with a rather heavily boosted coffee flavor. I somehow quite like the bitter sweet taste of the whole combination.

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Another dessert we had was the Banana Pudding (香蕉布丁) served with vanilla sauce. It was not bad with some nice chunks of banana inside.

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Overall, the taste and flavors of the dishes were still within the acceptable level. The only little thing they would need to monitor is on the usage of salt as some of the dishes were rather heavily salt infused for this round. I do also hope to see more dishes during this coming promotion such as the many kinds of bread, pizza, pasta, rice, seafood as well as cured meat available too.

Here’s the summary on the promotion.

ITALIAN FLAIR PROMOTION (1-31 MAY 2013)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM48++ (adult), RM24++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM55++ (adult), RM28++ (child)
Festive Occasion: RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Monday – Thursday
RM48++ per pax

For MAYBANKARD, Standard Chartered Bank, OCBC Bank, CIMB Bank and CITIBANK card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Italian Flair Semi Buffet Dinner (Monday to Thursday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday to Sunday) from 6.30pm – 10.00pm.

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

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

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 6.5/10 (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)

 

For your information, Kürtős Kalács is a traditional Hungarian pastry (with or without addon ingredients) which is hollow and eaten by unwinding the twirl like pastry, torn in between and taken plain or with selected dips. The pastry is baked on wooden dowels, rolled slowly on an open fire or a customized oven until golden brown. Kürtős Kalács is the oldest Hungarian pastry which stems from the Hungarian words kürtő that refers to “chimney” and kalács meaning “milk loaf or cake”, thus getting its nickname as “chimney cake” or “stove cake”. Kürtős Kalács was first made in Covasna County (Transylvania region) by Hungarian settlers and the recipe is one of the best kept secrets of Eastern Europe. For maximum taste and aroma, the dough has gone through 16 hours of yeast-raised process. The next step would be to ribbon roll onto the dowel and to leave aside for further yeast raising. Prior to being baked in a customized oven, the dough has been brushed with some sunflower oil and heavily sprinkled with castor sugar. Thus, the baked pastry would have a crispy caramelized surface while maintaining its soft and smooth interior. Now you can try the delicious pastry at Kürtős Spiroll, located at Queens Street, Level 3 (North Zone) of Queensbay Mall, Penang.

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So what are the topping flavors available at Kürtős Spiroll? You can start with the Original Kürtős Kalács (RM3.70 each), followed by Favorites Kürtős Kalács (RM4.50 each) such as Sesame Seeds, Chocolate Rice, Sunflower Seeds, Hawaiian Coconut and Cinnamon Sugar or the Premium Kürtős Kalács (RM5.90 each) such as Premium Chicken Floss, Nutella Walnut and Peanut Butter n Chocolate Chips.

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Somehow one of the favorites (4 types as shown at the front row on the above photo) amongst the rest was the Original. You can simply taste the milky and buttery flavors from the soft pastry and at the same time savor the sweet caramelized exterior.

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The next topping would be Sesame Seeds. I somehow found that the sesame seeds were not thoroughly toasted well enough to emit that fragrant flavor as you would have expected from sesame seeds products. It would be great if they could mix some black sesame seeds as well since the black ones are more flavorful than the white ones.

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No doubt Chocolate Rice are widely used in pastries, I do find them to be normal to my preference. I would say this topping would suit children more than adults.

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For those whole love the earthly flavors of Sunflower Seeds. The next option would suit you real well. The portions given were very generous.

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There was also the imported Hawaiian Coconut as one of the toppings. It tasted like having some sort of dehydrated fiber without the distinctive flavor of coconut. I would think that the grated local coconut has more flavors but then keeping them fresh daily might be an issue for an outlet which might go franchised in the future. Somehow, I don’t find this topping an ideal one for long term usage.

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The Cinnamon Sugar was a hit as it was just the perfect evening snack to go with a cup of coffee or tea. The flavor of the grounded spice merged perfectly with the milky and buttery pastry. It would be great if some raisins or even thin apple slices were to be added into the dough with just a light sprinkle of grounded cinnamon. It would be even perfect just like the Cinnamon Bun.

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Premium Chicken Floss may be the in-trend of most bakeries in Malaysia but I found the ones served here to be quite normal without the distinctive toasted flavors. Maybe they should consider a spicier version by replacing it with Spicy Prawn Floss (Sambal Hae Bee) instead? Moreover, I found that the thin spread of mayonnaise was not sufficient enough to give that moist to the chicken floss.

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Nutella has always been the favorite chocolate spread for any pastry and it has proven that the Nutella Walnut was also a hit here. The Kürtős Kalács with a thin spread of Nutella and added slightly salted toasted walnut was my favorite. At least the light usage of salt here did neutralize some sweetness on the product which suited me well.

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Lastly, there was the childhood favorite of Peanut Butter n Chocolate Chips. This was not a bad salty sweet combination but still a bit too sweet to my liking. The culprit might be the generous usage of sweetened chocolate chips rather than dark chocolate chips. Ideally, I would prefer to have some nicely toasted crushed peanuts on mine than any chocolate chips for that extra nutty experience.

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There were also some homemade dips such as Butterscotch, Garlic Cheese and Chocolate (RM1.50 each or RM0.90 each for a combo of 3 flavors) available for extra boost on your Kürtős Kalács. I found the Butterscotch Dip to be a bit too sweet and lack of creaminess and buttery flavor to my liking. The Garlic Cheese Dip on the other hand was a hit amongst us as the savory flavors blended in well with the pastry, especially on the original one. The Chocolate Dip on the other hand was a bit too much for me as there were already a few products with chocolate base. Alternatively, I would recommend jam instead such as passion fruit butter jam or even a bitter sweet marmalade ginger jam. Who knows maybe our coconut jam (kaya) might go well with the pastries?

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Here’s the menu on the 9 topping flavors available at Kürtős Spiroll:

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Overall, Kürtős Kalács would be best taken when they are fresh and hot from the oven or you won’t get the best in texture and taste. I personally find that the products here would suit those more feminine consumers as they are the ones with higher urges for sweetness. Personally, I do find that the outlet lacked choices as those toppings tend to be quite normal on the market. They should consider having more fusion savory options such as cheese spread with garlic flakes, tomato puree with diced mushroom plus gherkins or even tomyam paste with kani sticks. As for nuts, there might be quite a large group of nuts lovers around and they could consider adding more options such as crushed peanuts, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts or toasted almond flakes. There are still more rooms for improvement here to think of some combinations that would be more localized to suit the general taste buds.

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. Queensbay Mall is just after the block of shop houses. Find your parking space either at the open space car park or drive further up after the roundabout and turn around towards the mall to find more parking spaces. As you walk into the mall, move towards the North Zone of the mall and you will see Kürtős Spiroll just after the Habanero Mexican Restaurant.

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Name: KÜRTŐS SPIROLL @ QUEENSBAY MALL, PENANG
Address:
3F-01B, Queens Street, Level 3, North Zone, Queensbay Mall, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/kurtosspiroll
Contact: 012-5020 331 (Ernie Goh)
Business Hours: 10.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.335073, 100.306268

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

 

Our lovable pair of floggers finally tied the knot after so many years of courtship. It was about time too. LOL! The owner of 43 Café, Jacgy Chan, sealed the vows with his beautiful wife and co-partner of their food blog, Cynthia Lim, at the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, Penang, and thereafter to a wedding dinner reception at the new CRC Chinese Restaurant on 7 April 2013. Let’s wish our lovely couple here many happy and prosperous days ahead with at least an energetic “fire horse” baby next year. Haha! Being the 7th animal on the Chinese Zodiac Calendar, the horse carries the characteristics of nobility, class, speed and perseverance to strive for the best in life. With a “valid license”, I’m sure Jacgy would know what to do next, right? Haha!

Here’s the video on their grand entrance:

Since Jacgy is into pork burger and ice cream business, the event was indeed a porky affair. Even their wedding cake had a pair of cute pigs on it with multi-tiers of red velvet cupcakes, specially created for them by another of flogger/baker, Lingzie.

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Don’t you think those 2 pigs (errrr… I meant the ones on the cake) are so adorable? 😛

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Here are some quick snapshots of the newly wedded~ 🙂

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Here’s a peep at my personalized ang pow packet I had designed specially to be given to the couple. Only two couples in my lifetime had received it and they are one of the lucky couples~ 🙂

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As usual, a flogger (food blogger) would always take any advantages to blog on any food on any given opportunity. LOL! Let’s dig into the dishes served on that night. Firstly, it was the unexpected starter – Ice Scream!!! There were 4 choices of flavors to try out for the early birds (White Bunny, Purple Magic, Malta & Black Dog), all courtesy from Jacgy’s own homemade ice cream choices from his 43 Café and with toppings of your choice as well. No commercial ice cream would have these unique flavors. It was simply delicious~ 🙂

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Next was the “thank you” gift, a red velvet cupcake with lemon cream cheese topping. This was another moist and flavorful cupcake baked by Lingzie. Thumbs up!

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The actual dishes which cost around RM500 were served once the couple, family members, relatives and friends were seated. The first dish was the Hot & Cold Platter. The weird part was that it had 3 items rather than the usual 4-5 items palate. I guessed 3 which meant “alive” in Cantonese would be a significant number for weddings.

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One of the items in the platter was the Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Fish Cake. It was nice and filled with the flavors from the bacon.

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Next was the Almond Fish Paste on Toast. This was another nice item with the flavors coming from the almond flakes used. At least, the restaurant did drain the oil well.

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The third item which was the Prawn Salad on Fruits was quite fine. It had a generous portion of cooked fresh prawns on green apple, honey dew and carrots. The only setback was that the mayonnaise used was a bit too much for the likings of many healthy conscious diners.

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The second main dish was the Eight Jewels Soup which had mock sharksfin, crab meat, ham, fish maw, sea cucumber, wood ear fungus, dried scallops and prawns, was somewhat normal without the flavors from the usage of some high stock. Somehow the whole combination lacked the sweet flavors from some meat stock. Compared to my regular one at Starview Restaurant down the road, the version here was rather diluted.

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Why the next dish had the name Dragon & Phoenix or sometimes known as Double Phonenix as roasted chicken and roasted duck would always come onto the same plate during wedding dinners as a symbol of prosperity. I would say both the dishes were prepared rather tastily. However, it lacked the actual condiment which was plum powder and salt. Instead, we were served with just plum sauce.

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From the look of the eyes, the next dish which was the Steamed Red Lion was slaughtered in a brutal manner – a sign of shock! Very obviously, it was a reared fish as the flesh was fresh but did not have the firmness as it should have after steaming. Soy sauce wise, it was just a normal grade of sauce.

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When we thought we would have the normal Broccoli with Mushrooms, we had a surprise instead. We were served with Braised Mushrooms & Scallops, a higher grade of dish normally meant for Chinese New Year which symbolized prosperity. The dish had a base of steamed white cabbage, topped with braised mushrooms, hair moss and dry scallops, dressed in abalone sauce. Overall, it had the required taste but the dried scallops would have tasted even better if they were to be steamed in high stock with a few slices of ginger.

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The last second dish would always be rice based and we had another surprise. We had one of the rarest serving for any Chinese banquet meal which was the Steamed Glutinous Rice with Waxed Duck & Assorted Chinese Sausages. I would say this dish was the best I ever had in any banquet dinner. The glutinous rice was steamed to the perfect texture and combined with the waxed duck, Chinese meat sausages and Chinese innards sausages, this dish was the next best to heaven. Though lacked a bit in the taste of pepper and saltiness, it was still awesome.

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We had double desserts. One of them was basically canned local mixed cocktail and jellies in ice cubes. The usage of canned local mixed fruit with the presence of papaya cubes just did not blend in well as a dessert. I found the dish to be rather weird tasting and extremely sweet.

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On the other hand, the Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls with Pandan Flavor Lotus Seed Paste were bonuses. The texture and the fragrant from the mixed sesame seeds were bite perfect.

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We were entertained by one of the top bands in Penang – Starz Band. The duo had very serenading voices, just the kind that I like for a nice cozy evening.

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Overall, the dishes served here are of a better standard than most of the banquet dinners I had attended. However, they still need to buck up on the flavors of some of their dishes. Somehow, I really detested having canned stuff for my dessert.

The new venue for the CRC Chinese Restaurant is located just opposite the club’s sport field along Jalan Pangkor. As you turn in through Jalan Burma into Jalan Pangkor, you can see the new restaurant located within the premises of a clan association named North Malaya Cheah Si Chong Soo.

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Name: NEW CRC CHINESE RESTAURANT (美麗華魚翅海鮮酒家)
Address: 22 Jalan Pangkor, 10500 Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 12.00noon-2.30pm, 6.00pm-10.00pm
Contact: 604-229 9737, 604-229 9757
GPS: 5.425386, 100.317358strong>

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

 

WHO’S BRYAN @ ALL SEASONS PLACE FARLIM PENANG

Posted by crizlai On April - 6 - 2013

If you are driving into Farlim, Penang, via Lebuhraya Thean Teik, you would notice that there’s a premier lifestyle destination known as the All Seasons Place built by Belleview Group, where they promised that the whole family would get to enjoy the best shopping, dining and entertainment experiences all year round. I would say there are quite a number of eateries over there ranging from fruit tea, desserts to many overseas franchised cafes and restaurants. What caught my attention was the café named Who’s Bryan, which has another two outlets in Butterworth as well as in the heart of George Town, Penang. Food choices would range from breakfast/brunch, afternoon tea (1 pax: RM21+, 2 pax: RM38+ with 8 different types of cakes & snacks), salad, soup, chicken, fish, red meat, sandwiches, burger, croissant, tortilla wrap, pasta cheese bake, pizza, pasta, local cuisine and light bites.

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To start off the meal, we had Pumpkin Cappuccino Soup (RM8.90+). Who said we can’t have pumpkin soup the cappuccino style? Of course, surely there won’t be any espresso added into the soup but it’s the frothing of the added milk as in cappuccino that had the soup named this way. The serving came with a deep fried mantou rather than croutons as shown in their menu. Frankly speaking, I would rather have some croutons in my soup than a quite dry and chewy mantou. Moreover, it would be great if they had garnished the soup with some chopped spring onions and/or toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts. Overall, the soup was reasonably nice to my liking.

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Next we had their much recommended Who’s Crumbly Chicken. It was a piece of well marinated boneless chicken drumstick plus thigh coated with some batter and lots of cornflakes prior to deep frying. It came served with some fries, fresh greens salad and mushroom gravy. Taste wise, it was fine except that I personally felt that they used too thick a batter in order to get such a thick coat of cornflakes. Moreover, the cornflakes were a bit too hard to munch. They should consider another brand with thinner flakes.

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They also do serve pasta. We tried out their Carbonara Seafood (4 choices: Vegetables–RM13.90+, Turkey Ham–RM15.90+, Chicken–RM15.90+, Beef Bacon–RM15.90+ and Seafood – RM16.90+). I guessed I made the right choice as they dish was remarkably delicious for the price paid. It was creamy and the seafood (scallop, mussel, fish, squids & octopus tentacles) was rather fresh and there was a large amount of added Parmesan cheese. Yummy! However, they only use carrots, onions and celery to sweeten the sauce. I would have expected some sprinkles of mixed herbs on the dish.

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For lighter bites, you could always order their Mushroom Chicken Bruchetta (RM10+). The dish would come with 5 thin slices of toasted baguette, some fresh greens salad and a container of mushrooms and chicken chunks in cheesy sauce. I quite like the flavor of cheese. However, I found the sauce to be a bit too salty to my liking. Moreover, the sauce lacked the flavors from some black pepper and herbs.

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Finally, it was dessert time. Currently, they have a promotion for two pieces of cakes from their chiller at only RM13+. The Green Tea Marble Cheese Cake (RM9.90+) looked impressive but it was one of the most disappointing cakes I ever had. How could they use sponge cake as the base? With such a heavy based cream cheese, the cake would have been squashed flat. Moreover, the moist within the cream was drained by the sponge cake until it was so dry and thus having the sandy texture from the green tea powder used. Whoever produced this cake was a total failure. The cake was not fit for consumption at all.

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The second cake which I ordered was the Chocolate Banana Cake (RM10.90+). This was again another miserable product. I did not expect the banana used to be so limited and filled with sap taste from what I suspected to be unripe banana being used. On top of that, the cream was filled with an overpowering taste from added banana essence. The ganache was still fine but the decorated macaron was really soiled. This is another flopped dessert.

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As for beverages, we had an Iced Peach Tea (RM6.50+) which was a bit overpriced for a sachet made version. However, I should give compliment to their Bee’s Latte (RM8.90+). It had added honey and the espresso flavor was really distinctive. It came served with a slice of biscotti which was just average tasting.

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Overall, this café would still be a great place to hang out over some cups of coffee and some light snacks. They do have some in-house bands to entertain you but the music could be quite loud to the ears at times. However, from my point of view, the desserts were totally not presentable and not up to par if you are looking for something to tempt your sweet tooth. They were rather cheap looking but would come with a high price tag.

Who’s Bryan is located at the center span of All Seasons Place, Farlim, Penang. If you are coming from Penang Bridge along Jalan Mesjid Negeri, keep a look out for the traffic lights at the flyover next to Convent Green Lane. Turn left into Lorong Batu Lanchang and drive on while keeping left until you reach another traffic lights T-junction. Turn left into Lebuhraya Thean Teik and drive on for about 600m and you would see the mall on your left. The entrance to the mall would be near the Giant Supermarket. There would be ample parking space there, provided it’s not a weekend when shoppers would do their weekly groceries intake.

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Name: WHO’S BRYAN @ ALL SEASONS PLACE
Address: 6H-1-1, All Seasons Place, Lebuhraya Thean Teik, 11500 Farlim, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-826 9951
Business Hours: 11.00am-11.00pm (Weekdays), 10.00am-11.00pm (Weekends)
GPS: 5.397044, 100.290785

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

 

If you are in for an exotic spread of spicy, sweet and sour dishes from the regions of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, you should check out the Golden Triangle Promotion at Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, for the month of April 2013 (1-30 April 2013). This promotion would be under the skillful hands of the Executive Sous Chef, Chef Daniel Tan and Guest Chef, Chef Tan Kian Seng (陳湕勝), who has over 2 decades of culinary experiences in various local hotels, specializing in Chinese and Thai cuisine.

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To start off the meal, we had a Laotian appetizer called Larb Ped (老撾辣鴨沙拉). This salad is also quite popular in Thailand until some diners would have the thoughts that it was originated from there. The preparations between both regions were in fact quite similar except that the Laotian had a milder spiciness from the strong usage of bird eye chilies. I quite like this Laotian version though it lacked the burning sensation of the Thai’s “Larb/meat salad” version such as the Spicy Minced Pork Salad (Lab Moo Sub/ลาบหมู) which contained a secret ingredient – coarsely blended toasted raw rice grains.

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Another appetizer that I quite like was the Yum Talay (Thai Spicy Mixed Seafood Salad/泰式香辣海鮮沙拉/ยำทะเล). The dish had a seafood combination of cooked prawns, and mussels, together with some big onions, cucumber, tomatoes, red chilies, coriander, and spring onions, all tossed in a spicy, sweet and sour dressing. Though nice, I personally felt that it needed a little more pepping up of fish sauce (nam pla/น้ำปลา) to bring out the authentic Thai flavors.

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Of course, we also had the ranked #4 dish in the Readers’ Choice: Top 50 Most Delicious Food by CNNGoTom Yam Goong (Thailand’s Spicy Prawn Soup with Lemongrass & Chili/泰式香茅鮮蝦東炎湯/ต้มยำกุ้ง) which has the unique unity of the 4S tastes – spicy, sour, sweet and salty. However, we had a bonus too as the soup also came with some mixed seafood of fish, squids and mussels. I guessed they should have named it Tom Yam Ruam Mit Talay (Thai Spicy Mixed Seafood Tom Yam/泰式酸辣海鮮東炎湯/ตมยามรวมมีดทะเล) instead. Do consume this soup while it’s hot or it may have a heavier salty aftertaste.

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As for the main course, you would have the Gaeng Keaw Wan Gai (Thai Green Curry Chicken/泰式青咖哩雞/แกงเขียวหวานไก่). Thai Green Curry Chicken has always been my favorite as I always love the fresh taste Thai basil leaves, kaffir lime leaves and Thai eggplant. However, I detested the bright green coloring on the chicken pieces though they have been marinated naturally overnight with the fresh juices of capsicums and parsley. I rather have them in their natural state.

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Another of the main courses would be the Mohinga (Burmese Fish Noodles/Burmese Laksa/緬甸魚面). I’m a frequent consumer of the Mohinga, cooked the traditional way by actual Burmese and I found the ones served here to lack the volume and balance in ingredients. Basically, it was just fish gravy on rice vermicelli (the local version instead of the actual version where gram flour/chickpea flour/chana dahl is used) with Thai basil and red chilies as garnishes. Though the fish gravy had the standard flavors but the whole dish lacked the crunch, creaminess and spiciness. They should have added in some sliced raw snake beans, hard boiled eggs, fried split chickpea fritters, fish cakes and sliced coriander leaves with a separate serving of chili flakes for that extra spiciness. At least, by doing so, it would not be so astray from the traditional recipe.

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You would also get to try out the Or Lam (Laos Green Vegetables Stew/老撾燜蔬菜). There is actually no fixed recipe for Or Lam as you can practically put in whatever you have in small quantities, may it be vegetables, meat or fish (sometimes can be known as Or Ro). What we had here basically consisted of morning glory, mushrooms and eggplant stewed together in a mildly spicy and thick meat broth with a mild hint of lemongrass being used. The dish was nothing fanciful but was good enough for those who love mushrooms a lot.

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You might also get Khao Mok Gai (Laos Steamed Chicken Rice/老撾雞飯). This dish is almost similar to the Malaysian Style Nasi Briyani, except this hybrid Laos/Thai version had a milder or non usage of turmeric or saffron. The taste of the Laos version had some slight differences in fragrance as it was not as aromatic as the Malaysian’s without the usage of ghee or butter.

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This Laos steamed rice may come with a deep fried chicken as one of the options during semi-buffet.

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Another option for the semi-buffet would be the Pad Thai (Thai Style Stir Fry Flat Noodles/泰式炒粿條/ผัดไทย), ranked #5 in the revamped list of Readers’ Choice: Top 50 Most Delicious Food by CNNGo. I’m sure you would like this stir fried flat noodles with eggs, fish sauce, tamarind juice, deep fried bean curd, chives and prawns with some condiments of crushed peanuts, sugar, chili flakes, lime and more.

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As for dessert, we had Khao Neaw Mamuang (Mango Sticky Rice/香芒椰漿糯米/ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง). The coconut milk steamed glutinous rice was served with some slices of hybrid local mangoes and some slightly salted coconut cream. Taste wise, it was normal as I prefer those with fresh coconut cream instead. Moreover, it lacked some extra flavors from some deep fried mung beans or toasted sesame seeds as garnish.

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Another dessert we had was the Tub Tim Krob (Jellied Water Chestnut Rubies with Jackfruit in Coconut Milk/泰式馬蹄椰漿露/ทับทิมกรอบ). Frankly speaking, I do not quite like this dessert here. Firstly, it was the boxed coconut milk being used. Secondly, it was the jellied water chestnut rubies was diced too fine and lost their crunch. Thirdly, they can forget about adding the cendul in there as the frozen texture of the “pandan noodles” was totally out. I guessed the kitchen ought to revamp the whole dessert properly before serving its diners.

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Overall, some of the dishes served here still have rooms for improvements as the taste and flavors were rather localized. Somehow, the recipes for the dishes were a bit way too out in flavors compared to those traditional ones and did not attract much of my attention anyway. Let’s hope they will come out with more authentic flavored dishes for this promotion.

Here’s the summary of the Golden Triangle Promotion.

GOLDEN TRIANGLE PROMOTION (1-30 APRIL 2013)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM48++ (adult), RM24++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM55++ (adult), RM28++ (child)
Festive Occasion: RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Monday – Thursday
RM48++ per pax

For MAYBANKARD, Standard Chartered Bank, OCBC Bank, CIMB Bank and CITIBANK card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Golden Triangle Semi Buffet Dinner (Monday to Thursday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday to Sunday) from 6.30pm – 10.00pm.

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

EASTINHOTELMAP

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

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

 

SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR MY READERS: Just print this banner by showing my blog URL (http://www.crizfood.com/2283/chef-petrs-catch-seafood-buffet-sarkies-eastern-oriental-hotel-penang/) and make an early reservation with the hotel (604-222 2000 ext 3601/3602) before 24 April 2013 and you are entitle to dine in with a discounted rate of RM80++/pax (adult) and RM38++/pax (child). Offer only limited to the first 80 early reservations. One printout is for one pax only. Terms & Conditions apply.

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If you are in for a seafood buffet of a different kind, do check out Chef Petr’s Catch at Sarkies @ E&O Hotel, Penang. Priced at RM110++/pax (adult) and RM48++/pax (child), you’ll get to savor quite a variety of imported seafood such as Alaskan Snow Crab Claws, Boiled River Cray Fish, Duo of Gravlax, Fresh Oysters on Ice, Marinated Cuttlefish, Seasoned Squid, Deep Fried Snow Crab Claws, Poached Black Mussels, Oyster Omelette and many more on a rotation basis. The seafood promotion which would be held on every Wednesday of the month would last until the end of April 2013. The seafood promotion would be headed by Chef Petr Feher, Executive Chef of E&O Hotel.

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There were a few sections for this seafood buffet, starting with the Salad Section, Appetizer Section, On Ice Section, Baked, Grilled, Fried & Roasted Section, Hot Dishes Section, Action Counters, Fresh Fruit Cuts Section, Sweet Dessert Section to Hot Beverages Station. Let’s start the meal healthy with the Salad Section. This section practically has a variety of items such as frisee, rocket, romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, red & green corals, iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, olives, onion rings, pickles, dried fruits, croutons, pine nuts, sauteed mushrooms & garlic, capers and more with a selection of 8 dressings. On top of that, there was also a section where you can have some crackers to go with a variety of cheese such as Cheddar, Emmenthaler, Limberger, Camembert and more plus vegetable sticks for your crudités.

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As for the Appetizer Section, there are many choices ranging from raw to cooked items. Some of the dishes included Salmon Sashimi, Assorted Sushi/Maki, Chuka Wakame, Chuka Idaho, Duo of Gravlax, Gado Gado, Grilled Vegetables, Canapes, Assorted Ready Made Salads, Smoked Mackerel (Tenggiri), Pan Seared Tuna and more.

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On Ice Section was where all the imported seafood attractions were located. We have the famed Alaskan Crab Claws, River Cray Fish, Prawns, Black Mussels and Fresh Oysters.

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Along this stretch would be the Baked, Grilled, Fried & Roasted Section where you can savor the famed E&O Roasted Duck. It was indeed one of the best in town. On top of that, you can have some Cheese Baked Oysters, Oyster Omelette, Herbs Roasted Beef & Lamb, Grilled Meat (Beef, Lamb, Satay & Sausages), Grilled Seafood (Salmon & Scallop), Deep Fried Prawns, Spring Rolls, Samosa & Pandan Wrapped Chicken.

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While waiting for your grilled items, you could always pay a visit to the Hot Dishes Section. Of course, there would be the Soup Station here where we had Onion Soup plus Tomyam Soup served with some bread and dinner rolls. On top of that, there would also be some Steamed Rice to be taken with a variety of hot dishes such as Masak Kicap Kambing (Dark Sauce Lamb), Roasted Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce, Sweet & Sour Fish (Deep Fried Sea Bass), Stir Fried Fish with Dried Chilies, Prawns in Coconut Paste, Thai Style Beef in Yellow Curry, Baked Potatoes and Chinese Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables.

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There was also the Action Counters where you can order your choice of Fried Noodles plus Stir Fried Seafood.

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As for the Dessert Section, there would be two stations. One station would have a variety of fresh fruit cuts while the other would serve all the sweet temptations such as cakes, pastries and ice cream. You could also gather some sweet treats at the so called “Dessert Tree” in the middle of the dining room.

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Scattered around the dining area would be two Hot Beverages Stations. There would be some Brewed Coffee & Tea and a machine for you to make your choice of coffee. You can be creative here too just like how I made my Affogato with 2 scoops of Vanilla ice cream plus double shots espresso. 😛

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Overall, the quality of the seafood is there with quite a number of imported seafood. However, since it’s a seafood theme with such an amount charged, the combination of seafood ought to be improved further with more options rather than using the same few seafood species and preparing them differently. Moreover, the combination of dishes is 3:2 for seafood versus meat. Ideally, it should be 7:3 or 4:1 combinations. For example, preparations of oysters have 3 types, namely fresh, cheese baked and omelette. Prawns also have 3 styles, boiled, fried and curry. The usage of salmon is definitely in abundance from sashimi, sushi, canapés, gravlax or even grills. Personally, I felt that the kitchen should infuse more local seafood with Asian flavors into the theme to make it more interesting. I’m sure both locals and tourists would love to try out our Banana Leaves Grilled Stingray, Sambal Stuffed Hardtail Mackerel or even various Portugese Seafood Grills, right? Even without the usages of the local seafood, the seafood theme should be more international. It could just be with the addition of the Spanish’s Gambas Al Ajillo or Stuffed Grilled Squids or the French’s way of Simple Baked Fish with herbs, salt & pepper. On top of that, some of the dishes served tend to be on the salty side while others were under flavors. The desserts may be attractively colorful and abundant but somehow they consisted mostly of different versions of cupcakes and macarons or a mix & match of both, a bit lack in unique choices.

Current Promotions by E&O Hotel can be viewed clearer by clicking and downloading the photo below:

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Sarkies is located at the new wing of Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang (next to Penang Bowl) 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 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
Business Hours: 7.00pm-10.30pm (Chef Petr’s Catch on Wednesday only)
GPS: 5.423624, 100.334988

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

 

If you love someone, whether if that person is your girl friend, wife, mother, daughter, etc, let them know how much you appreciate them in your life by showering them with more love during this coming Valentine’s Day. Let the dedicated staff of Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel Penang, provide you with the memorable Valentine’s Day Set Dinner at RM238++ per couple, inclusive of 2 glasses of house wine or mocktail and a surprise gift. This dinner would be under the skillful hands of the Executive Sous Chef, Chef Daniel Tan Chia Yang.

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As for Appetizer, you would be served with Duck Confit Lasagna with Lily Pulp, Spinach & Sun Dried Tomato Essence. The award winning entry by Chef Daniel Tan in Bangkok, was indeed something unique in flavors and had the perfect combination to start a meal. The 3 layers of round shaped pastas had some well braised duck meat, young spinach and lily pulps stuffed in between them and topped with a slice of sun dried tomato and some alfalfa. Just a taste of the gravy and you would know that the duck had undergone long hours of braising to extract that flavorful taste. The young spinach wasn’t fibrous at all and the lily pulps added some extra crunches. Thumbs up! This appetizer was indeed of top class.

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As for Soup, there would be the Seafood Consommé with Pearl Vegetables and Egg Custard. Compared to last year’s soup option, this year’s soup was of a clearer version. It was light and without distinctive seafood taste. The consommé came with some colorful Parisian cut carrots, green and yellow cucumber, on top of a slice of egg custard, a tiger prawn, topped with some monk fish black caviars and garnished with some chopped spring onions.

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As for the Main Course, it was either a fish or a chicken dish. The first option would be the Oven Roasted Sea Bass rolled with Lobster Mousse served with Spicy Sauce. No doubt this dish would be quite unique on its own but the sauce could be a bit too spicy sweet for many. Unless you favor dishes like Thai style sweet & sour fish, you might want to consider having the next option.

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The next main course option was the Grilled Chicken Supreme rolled with Asparagus & Cheese served with Morels Cream Sauce. The grilled chicken was almost similar to how you would stuff a chicken cordon bleu with ham and cheese. Instead, the choice chicken meat was stuffed with asparagus and cheese instead. What excelled in this dish was the morel cream sauce which was heavenly delicious. The creamy and flavorful sauce had a high usage of morels (also known as Morchella, a wavy shaped edible mushroom species) and the earthly flavor combined with the usage of heavy cream with some herbs was a perfect match for the grilled chicken.

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As for dessert, a combination of Spicy Mango Cheese Cake, deep Fried Iced Chocolate & Praline was served.

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The unique one amongst the 3-in-1 palate of dessert would be the Spicy Mango Cheese Cake. It was the chef’s special creation to depict love. It would be quite a complicated dessert for many couples but once you start the first mouthful, you would get to accept its hidden meaning. Love is not so complicated after all. 😛 Here’s how I would interpret the overall dessert presented for the night. “LOVE sparks when there are lots of NATURAL SWEETNESS (SWEET strawberry, dragon fruit & apple). Though, some would experience some SOURNESS (SOUR strawberry, dragon fruit & apple). At the base, it’s filled with lots of UNCERTAINTIES & BOUNCINESS (sponge cake). Then, slight HARDSHIP (nutmeg bits) seeps in when you began to linger in the CREAMY RELATIONSHIP (cream cheese – some love it & some detest it). As the relationship becomes FIRMER with some SPICINESS (mango gelatin with bits of chili paddy and red chili), more HARDSHIP might set it (cream cheese with nutmeg bits) when you tried to stay on with what might not be yours. If you are strong to overcome the relationship with more STRENGTH & SPICINESS (top mango gelatin with bits of chili paddy and red chili) plus a bit more of BITTERNESS (accompanied deep fried iced chocolate & dark chocolate praline), you would feel that there’s a TRUE SWEETNESS hidden at the end of your feast when you gobble all down at once. That’s LOVE~ COMPLICATED as it may sound but SWEET if you know how to appreciate it right from the beginning.” Quoted by Criz Lai~ 🙂

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Here’s a peep at how the dinner setting would be.

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As for the surprise gift, it would be a set of teddy bears as shown below.

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Overall, the quality for the Valentine’s Day Dinner was better than the previous year. On top of that, Eastin Hotel Penang would also be throwing in a special stay over room rate of RM120++/night for only dine-in couples. This offer is only valid on Valentine’s Day.

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.

EASTINHOTELMAP

Name: SWEZ BRASSERIE @ EASTIN HOTEL
Address: 1 Solok Bayan Indah, Queens Bay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-612 1128
Business Hours: 6.30pm-10.00pm (Valentine’s Day only)
GPS: 5.33643, 100.306345

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: 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)

 

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