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YET ANOTHER GREAT FLOGGERS GATHERING AT JURIN EXPRESS

Posted by crizlai On April - 12 - 2010

Note: This restaurant has ceased its operation.

Yesterday marked another great gathering for the Penang floggers as we had our 5th Penang Floggers Gathering. This time, it was Japanese cuisine at Jurin Express aka Jurin Japanese Restaurant located within the notable mall, Gurney Plaza. At a specially arranged RM50 nett per pax deal, we had more than we had bargained for with everyone going home feeling contented.

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We had free flow of Hot or Cold Honey Green Tea. The beverages were thicker than the normal ones as they were specially prepared for us with loose green tea leaves instead of those in sachets.

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The meal started with 3 types of appetizers. The first was Tempura Kani. The dish had crabstick (kani kama) sushi rolls coated with tempura and deep fried until golden brown, topped with sweet soy sauce and garnished with some herbs and chili flakes.

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Next was the Sushi Combo with a colorful array of sushi rolls. It was simple but very filling.

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The last of the appetizers was the Sushi Fried Maki. This version was a bit different as it had nori rolled sushi in vinegar rice. These were then topped with some mayo and ebiko (shrimp roes).

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The specially arranged main meal consisted of 4 options.

Set A: Ginmutsu Teriyaki (Deep fried cod fish in sweet sauce), Chicken Ban Ban (Boneless fried chicken chunks served with Japanese sauce and mayo), Ebi Tempura (Deep fried shrimps in batter), Yaki Tamago (Sweet omelette), Garlic Fried Rice and Miso Soup.

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Set B: Salmon and Tuna Sashimi, Unagi (BBQ Japanese eel), Tamago Kikurage (Black fungus with chilies), Yaki Tamago (Sweet omelette), Garlic Fried Rice and Miso Soup.

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Set C: Salmon and Tuna Sashimi, Spicy Salmon (deep fried and topped with spicy sauce), Kakiage (Deep fried shrimps, squid and vegetables in batter), Yaki Tamago (Sweet omelette), Garlic Fried Rice and Miso Soup.

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Set D: Karubi Beef (Stir fried beef with onions), Nama Ika Teriyaki (Grilled cuttlefish in teriyaki sauce), Karaage (Deep fried soft shell crabs), Yaki Tamago (Sweet omelette), Garlic Fried Rice and Miso Soup.

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A scoop of Green Tea Ice Cream with Red Beans was served as dessert. The ice cream was not as smooth as I had expected and with a mild green tea flavor. On top of that, I would also prefer to have blended red beans instead of the whole ones for that extra smoothness.

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We ended the gathering with everyone bring some sponsored gifts home. We had the Vouch Magazine, a bottle of each of Chili Bao and Chili Red, sponsored by Bao Bao Restaurant from Puchong, Selangor, Stuffed You Tiao vouchers sponsored by Te Chang You Tiao Wang from Paya Terubong, Penang and Fried Fish Tom Yam Noodles vouchers by Siong Ho Fish Head Tom Yam Noodles & Porridge, Weld Quay, Penang.

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We had a small photography session after the gathering had ended. In presence were Daisy Lee (boss) & hubby, Alan Choong & Amanda Teoh, Eunice, SY, Kelvin Tan, CW Chan, Criz Lai, JK Beh, Cheryl Wee & hubby, Kok Ann, Lay Min, Sam Ong, Gill & Jason and Steven Goh. (Not in photo – Carrie & partner, Lilian Chan & son).

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Overall, I found the dishes served here were just average. The restaurant could have served a better quality of fresh seafood, thus less deep fried items for seafood related dishes. Fish cuts were a bit too thin for the value of money paid. The fried garlic rice was normal and lack of wok hei (high heat fragrant) as I believed that it was prepared much earlier before our arrival. However, these few hiccups did not spoil our moods in mingling around with old and new found friends. A special thanks to Jason & Gill for organizing this gathering.

I don’t think I would need to describe the way to Jurin Express as most people would know how to get to Gurney Plaza. Just walk towards the new wing of the mall and go to level 2. You would see the restaurant just next to Sushi King.

Name: JURIN JAPANESE RESTAURANT
Address:
170-02-59/60, 2nd Floor, Gurney Plaza (New Wing),
Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 604-227 7112
Business Hours: 11.30am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.437696, 100.309592

RATING:
Ambience: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7.5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

TRENDY & HEALTHY BREAD FROM WAHAHA BAKERY

Posted by crizlai On April - 4 - 2010

Many of you may not be aware but there is this simple bakery by the name of Wahaha Bakery in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, which had been supplying some great bread and rolls to some of the major health food outlets in mainland as well as on the island for quite some time. What made this bakery outshine in the baking market are some of their unique and trendy creations.

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The first thing that attracted me was their bamboo charcoal by-products. Bamboo charcoal has been used as early as in the Ming Dynasty in China for many purposes which include fueling, bedding products as it can emit far infra red rays to help in blood circulation, speed up the metabolism and encourage cell growth, the adjusting of humidity in the atmosphere, air and water purifier such as expelling bad odors, killing bacteria, dietary supplements in improving personal health as well as in beautifying the facial and body skin. Of course there are the bamboo charcoal powder and bamboo vinegar (pyroligneous acid) which had provided many benefits in the world of health and science.

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From the above bamboo charcoal powder, you would get some nice and soft Bamboo Charcoal Wholemeal Rolls (RM2.60 for 3pcs) in the shapes of croissants from this bakery. This product has been a craze for some years now as a popular health product especially in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. The product has cleansing properties that would help in blood circulation. The rolls here were lovely as they had the right ashy flavor to my liking. I could even consume them without any spreads of butter, fruity jam or even coconut jam (kaya). At least they do not taste as bitter and charcoal filled as some that I had tried in KL some years back.

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The next thing that attracted me was their latest creation – Vegetarian Green Tea Sushi (RM1.50 for 3pcs). The sushi was real cool! It has high quality Japanese seaweed (nori) wrapped around a layer of soft and spongy green tea bread, filled with freshly cut cucumber, carrots and pumpkin floss, with some sushi sauce added in too. This was another unique experience but there’s a drawback. It would be better to consume when it is fresh or the moist from the vegetables might make it soggy.

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There’s also the Green Tea Wholemeal Loaf (RM3.00) that was soft and fluffy. You can take it plain too as there were some sweetened red beans kneaded in them. You can also have the bread slices lightly toasted as an evening snack.

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If you think that a loaf of bread would be too much for your consumption, do try out their Black Sesame Wholemeal Rolls (RM2.80 for 6 pcs). Black sesame seeds are high in calcium, iron, copper, magnesium and phosphorus. The copper would strengthen blood vessels, joints and bones, thus is good for relieving arthritis whereas magnesium would support vascular and respiratory health. The calcium would improve your bone health. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it’s believed that the seeds would promote kidney and liver health as well as to treat constipation and to regulate bowel movements.

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Do you know red has a very high attractive power? I was also attracted by the natural color of the Red Dragon Fruit Cinnamon Roll (RM3.50 for 3 pcs). The red dragon fruit or pitaya is good for those with Type 2 Diabetes as it would help in lowering the blood glucose level. The grounded cinnamon on the other hand would lower the LDL cholesterol level. These fruity flavored soft and delicious rolls had some raisins and sesame seeds added. They were also glazed with some natural honey. I had a real nice tea time.

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I also had a High Fibre Wholemeal Pumpkin Bun (RM1.80) for tea. The natural sweetness of the pure pumpkin puree within the bun was heaven. The moisture from the filling blended in real nice with the texture of the wholemeal bun.

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There were also the Assorted Muffins (RM1.30 each or RM6.00 for 5 pcs – chocolate, blueberry, green tea & black sesame) and Carrot Walnut Muffin (RM1.50 each) that I almost did not have the opportunity to try out. My nieces gobbled them up immediately! Haha! They seemed to be a favorite amongst kids. Well, I love them too as they had the right moist to my liking compared to some that I had tried which were rather hard and dry.

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There are also many other products available at this simple bakery which I alone could not cover all but you have to check them out yourself if you happen to be around that area. If you do not intend to go all the way to Bukit Mertajam just to get your healthy bread and rolls, you could always check up some of the outlets below to get some of the products. Make sure you call up first to check on the availability.

Healthy DIY
G-05 Pangsapuri Seri Melur, Jalan Raja Uda, 12300 Butterworth, Penang.
Contact: 012-503 7880 (Jessie)

Kedai Organik Olive Green (opposite Sunshine Bayan Baru)
34 Jalan Mayang Pasir,Bayan Baru, 11950 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang.
Contact: 604-645 2404

Kedai Minuman Nutrisi Healthy Life House (beside Eyewear Shop)
1-G-22, Suntech Penang Cyber City, Lintang Mayang Pasir 3,
Bayan Baru, 11950 Bayan Lepas,Penang.
Contact: 012-431 8805 (SK Tan)

Kafe JenxDan Lifestyle
21 Jalan Chow Thye, 10050 Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 8414, 019-471 9123

If you are coming from Penang Bridge towards Bandar Perda along Jalan Permatang Batu in Bukit Mertajam, keep a lookout for the beautifully designed TNB building within Bandar Perda on your left. Slow down when you reach the traffic lights and turn right into Jalan Padang Lalang. Drive over the railway track and move on until you see the second traffic lights (Mayban is on your right before the traffic lights). Turn right into Jalan Tembikai and drive on until you see another traffic lights (Jalan Tembikai/Lorong Tembikai Satu cross junction). You will see the famous night time Gaik Fong Bak Kut Teh shop on your right. Turn left into Lorong Tembikai Satu and drive on until almost the end and you would see the bakery on your right, third shoplot at the last row of shop houses.

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Name: WAHAHA BAKERY
Address:
54 Lorong Tembikai Satu, Kawasan Perindustrian Sungai Rambai,
14000 Bukit Mertajam, Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 014-247 0018 (Hoyyee), 012-552 4118 (Mr. Chee)
Business Hours: 9.30am-9.30pm
GPS: 5.358054, 100.448329

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

FAMILY DINNER AT STARVIEW RESTAURANT

Posted by crizlai On March - 26 - 2010

My family members (7 adults & 2 child) recently had a dinner at the Starview Restaurant, located right within the New World Park premises. This restaurant has been in establishment for many years and specialized in Chinese cuisine. One of the more famous dishes would be their delicious fish steamboat that had endless streams of loyal patrons.

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Do you know what attracted me most during the start of a meal in any Chinese restaurant nowadays? It’s the tidbits. It’s neither the fried or roasted peanut, crackers but the braised peanuts. I’ll never have enough of these nicely flavored peanuts. It was a bonus at Starview Restaurant as they do serve both the peanuts. 🙂

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The first dish that was served was the Four Treasures (四寳 – RM80). In fact, it had a fifth dish on the palate which was some mixed fruits and vegetables salad. Refreshing! The first dish was Fried Sweet & Spicy Fish Balls. The handmade fish balls was nicely stirred in some fragrant secret sauce and presented on a bed of deep fried crabstick strips with some toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on. Delicious! The next dish was their popular Stuffed Aubergine in Egg White. I was so much in love with the stuffed aubergine as the filling of minced prawns and pork were just right and the egg white gravy flowed smoothly into my mouth as if consuming some silky smooth tofu. These were served on a bed of deep fried glass noodles. Wonderful! The third dish was Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables with Fish Bladder. I loved this dish especially when it had some much of crunchy asparagus in it and the fried fish bladder indeed added the extra flavor. Slurps! The last of the combination consisted of Deep Fried Vietnamese Rolls. The mixed vegetables rolls had coats of batter. I find these to be a bit common on the palate.

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Scallops with Seafood & Sharks Fin Soup (乾貝海味翅 – RM100) was served next. Whichever time I dine in this restaurant, the taste of the soup served here has never fail my taste bud. The chef sure did a great job in preparing their tasty stock (上湯). If you had notice in the photo, I would say that there were more ingredients than the broth. Haha! Other than the over generously serving of crab meat, there were traces of diced prawns, sliced fish bladder, fish lips, sharks fin and deep fried scallops as garnishing. Simply delicious!

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The Suckling Piglet (片皮乳豬 – RM138) served next was simply irresistible! What’s the secret? Go there early to get served with the choice piglet that just came out from the roaster. 😛 The skin of the roasted piglet was real crispy. So was the tender and juicy meat with the right amount of baby fat. This dish came with some flower-shaped mantou (steam buns) for stuffing in the roasted pork slices.

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The actual way of eating this dish would be by spreading some of the specially prepared sweet sauce onto the meat, together with a stalk of spring onions, wrapped in the mantou. One bite on this combination and you would see yourself yearning for more. Perfect!

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With all the meat from the last dish, we needed something not so meaty fat. We had Sweet & Sour Fried Red Fish (甜酸紅獅 – RM45). The red fish which looked quite identical to the red snapper family was around 1kg and it was real fat. The chef did a great job in frying the fish with a mild touch of flour with the outer layer having the crisp while the inner flesh remained its juices. The gravy poured onto the fish was just right. It had the right sourness from the mildly used tomato ketchup and sweetness from the fresh chopped tomatoes, onions and capsicums. Beautiful!

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When I thought that would be the last seafood dish we would have for the night, we were served with the Salted Egg Yolk Prawn Balls (金皇蝦球 – RM50). This was just a simple recipe with some smashed salted egg yolk, combined with some pepper, flour and deep fried until golden brown but the chef had added in some sliced bird’s eye chilies and curry leaves to make the dish more fragrant. These were served on a bed of sliced iceberg lettuce. Amazingly tasty!

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Finally, we had the last dish for the night which was Chilled Blended Honey Dew Sago with Lychee (蜜汁西米荔枝- RM25). We were lucky that the honey dew used that night was ripe enough to produce the natural sweetness for this dessert. I like this combination even without the added canned lychee.

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Overall, the food here would be a bit pricey but real delicious if you know how to order. I had heard many good and bad reviews on this restaurant but I have yet to face any problems. Sometimes, I would say it’s the combination of dishes one would order due to their own preferences but I always left the ordering to my favorite supervisor as she would know better. Do seek Ms. S. W. Ng to recommend your dishes as she had never let me down ever.

It’s real easy to locate the restaurant as it’s just within the New World Park premises. The best way and the nearest way to reach the restaurant would be by the Jalan Burma entrance. Immediately after you had passed the Tune Hotel Downtown Penang on your right, slow down and keep a watch out for the entrance a shop away. Drive in and you would see the signboard not far away on your left. Find a parking space nearby and take note that you can pay for the parking ticket through the many automated ticket machine located strategically within the premises.

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Name: STARVIEW RESTORAN SDN. BHD.
Address:
102-B-1 to 102-B-4 New World Park, Jalan Burma, 10050 Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 04-226 6544, 226 5213, 227 4507
Business Hours: 11.00am-10.30pm
GPS: 5.420106, 100.327153

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

HAVING MY CHECK OUT AT CLINIC CAFE

Posted by crizlai On March - 20 - 2010

Well, you did not read wrong in the title. I’m checking out and not checking up at the Clinic Café, another new themed cafe located just two blocks away from the Sunway Carnival Mall, Seberang Jaya, Penang. The last time I visited such themed cafe was at a jail house themed cafe, just opposite the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, Penang and it was real fun there. At the first glance, you might think that the red and white walled café with a big cross would be just another of those labs such as BP Lab or PMS, an outlet selling medical supplies but what caught my attention was the “Heinekken” sign up there. Hmmm… Medical products and alcohol? They won’t match at all. LOL!

Standing right at the outside window area, you would see some wheel chairs being turned into dining chairs. Those were what gave many passer-bys the wrong impression of the place being a medical supplies shop. As you move inside, you can see the walls covered with display frames of the human body functions posters and some medical instruments. Some of the sofas have been reconstructed to look like hospital beds and you have some operation theatre lamps above your head. On top of that, there’s also a screen for your karaoke session (4.00pm until late) and a corner for a 2-pc band to perform (10.00pm until late)

Don’t you love it too to have sexy nurses (hmmm… I wonder why she’s in a sailor’s uniform here… more revealing? :P) and handsome male nurses and doctor to serve your meal?

Since this cafe is running on a bistro cum pub concept, you would expect to have lots of beverage choices such as non-alcoholic, cocktail, bottled beer and hard liquor. I managed to try out the Mix Fruit Yogurt Shake (RM7.80). It had some orange and strawberry cordial, blended with fresh banana and yogurt. It was not a bad combination in taste except that the ice could have been a bit smoother. The Iced Lemon Tea (RM5.80) was somewhat presented in a different style. Instead of the normal iced tea with a few slices of fresh lemon, it had lemon syrup at the base and topped with iced tea.

As this is a newly opened cafe since 4 February 2010, choices of food here were still a bit limited. There were only a few selections (20 plus choices) on Western cuisine, Rice & Pasta and Snacks. Anyhow, the kitchen would be planning to widen the options within the next few weeks. But with the limitation, the restaurant can have some great blessings too as the Black Pepper Prawn with Pasta (RM11.80) turned out to be real delicious with a generous amount of fresh prawns and greens. The spaghetti had the right biting texture and taste. It was cooked somewhat like the Aglio Olio style with some freshly grounded black pepper sprinkled on the dish. The only two drawbacks were that the black pepper was a bit too much for non spicy food diners. A separated bottle would be great for the diner to adjust to his level of spiciness. Secondly, it would be the amount of oil used. Somehow, there was a small pool of oil present right below the provided vegetables.

Please take note that you can order this black pepper dish with either prawns or chicken slices from opening time until 6.00pm and a complimentary Iced Lemon Tea would be provided – all for only RM11.80.

My next order was the recommended Kampung Fried Rice (RM7.80). It was indeed good with the right wok hei (high heat frying), generous amount of prawns and the flavor suited my taste bud. The dish came with some smashed bird eye chilies and sambal belacan for that extra kick.

Snacks wise, there would be quite a number of choices to choose from. We ordered the Buffalo Chicken Wings (RM12.80 for 4 wings). The wings tasted like yogurt marinated tandoori chicken with added sour cream. Although they were quite tasty in their version of marinates, I preferred those with the presence of some sweet and hot sauce with a crispier surface. Maybe the kitchen might consider adding in some black pepper or praprika and a coat of honey to give the wings the extra flavors.

There were also the Money Bags (RM7.80 for 6 pcs). The snacks had some minced chicken, prawns and mixed vegetables wrapped in wanton skin. These would be best taken when served as they would become a bit hard when taken cold. It had a syringe filled with chili sauce as a dip. I’m not sure whether the supplier had used the right version of wanton skin as I found these to be a bit too thick. There are actually two kinds of skins for wanton. One would be the deep fried version which would be thin and crispier, whereas the other would be meant for soup base wanton. The filling should be a bit more too as there were hardly much bite in each of the money bag.

Overall, the café would be a great place to chill out and some of the food can be quite tasty too. Let’s hope that there would be more options during my future visits. Well, I did find some parts which needed some improvements.

Firstly, it’s the food options. There should be more main courses and set meals rather than snacks and beverages. Roasted baby bird might be a great choice as you could have one of the staff dressed in the green colored operation attire to perform some surgical cuts in front of the diner. This would surely add some magical touches in setting the atmosphere right.

Secondly, it’s the utensils. The only few things that captivated my attention here were the stainless steel kidney tray, stainless steel container to hold the dining utensils and the syringe filled sauces. There should be more hospital like utensils such as the serving trays with compartments for set meals, dish cover for dish served or even a trolley to push the dishes out just like those in a hospital. Somehow, the serving style looked rather common. So were the beverages. They could have had a syrup filled syringe in the glasses to allow the diners to adjust their level of sweetness as I found the drinks to be on a sweeter side.

Thirdly, the café lacked a shelf for some reading materials while waiting for the food to be served. It could be on entertainment or some medical journals or pamphlets on some medical awareness. If they were to be more adventurous, a mock skeleton would be quite fun to play with. I won’t mind shooting some shots with a skeleton for my Facebook profile. LOL! Well, I won’t suggest more as the management would be in a better position to set the mood right for their themed café.

Finding Clinic Café won’t be hard as it’s just 2 blocks away from Sunway Carnival Mall within the Seberang Jaya vicinity. If you are exiting from Penang Bridge towards Alor Setar, just turn left besides the second flyover until you see the traffic lights (Butterworth-Kulim Expressway). Turn left into the highway and watch out for KFC on your left. Drive on until you see a junction on your left. Turn left in Jalan Todak and you would see the Sunway Carnival Mall not far away on your left. Drive further up and you would see the Billion Supermarket. Turn left into Jalan Todak 3 and you would see the brightly red and white colored Clinic Café on the right hand side. Try to maneuver your way for some parking spaces around here.

Name: CLINIC CAFE
Address:
7 Jalan Todak 3, Bandar Sunway, Seberang Jaya, 13700 Perai, Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 04-399 1991, 016 444 6118
Business Hours: 10.30am-3.00am
GPS: 5.396731, 100.397931

You can also check out their newest branch at Gurney Plaza, Penang.

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

TEMPTING SEAFOOD DISHES AT RESTORAN FATTY SANG

Posted by crizlai On March - 16 - 2010

Hidden right into Kepong Baru, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur, is a corner lot restaurant which carries the name Restoran Fatty Sang. This restaurant had become the talk of the residents there as not only were the seafood dishes served there delicious, the pricing was so reasonable that it stunned me as a person coming from the sea surrounded Penang Island. Well, I managed to visit this place with a group of “hungry” friends (9 adults and a kid). LOL! So, do not expect to get clear photos as this was a quick point and shoot food expedition.

The first dish that arrived was the Szechuan styled Kung Po Chicken in Yam Basket (佛后本宫保鸡丁-RM20). The Kung Po Chicken was amazingly tasty with lots of chicken chunks, capsicum, onions wonderfully stir fried with dried chilies and garnished with a generous amount of cashew nuts. Somehow the mashed steamed yam basket was a bit of disappointment. It could have been prepared early as the inner portion was rather cold and the outer layer lacked the crispiness. This dish was served on a bed of deep fried glass noodles.

The aluminum foil and cellophane paper wrapped Herbal Steamed Chicken (藥材雞-RM27 for half bird) was real nice as all the herbs had seeped right into the meat, giving each bite a flavorful and herb filled sensation. The portion was large too for half a bird. There were traces of Chinese wolfberries (枸杞/杞子/gouchi), Angelica sinensis (Chinese Angelica root/dang gui/當歸), dried Chinese yam (huai shan/淮山), Codonopsis pilosula (dang shen/poor man’s ginseng/當參), Astragalus root (黃蓍/pak kei), red dates (紅棗), ginger, rice wine and some sesame oil.

The next dish which was Stir Fry Broccoli with Fresh Scallops (西蘭花炒帶子-RM25) had the right flavorful gravy to get me to order more rice. The crunchiness of the broccoli plus the freshness of the fresh scallops, some prawns and Chinese mushroom was indeed appetizing.

The size of the fish for the next dish was huge. It was about a foot in length. The Steamed Golden Pomfret with Wolfberry (杞子蒸金昌-RM33) was extremely delicious with the right amount of wolfberries, ginger, soy sauce, garlic oil and rice wine. Considering the size and thickness of the fish, I can’t even get this pricing in Penang. It’s real cheap!

The last dish was the chef’s House Special Tofu (招牌豆腐-RM16). The silky smooth deep fried tofu dish had some added Chinese cabbage and prawns on top of the thick beaten egg white gravy. You should check out this tasty dish as well.

Overall, the total bill which included rice and tea came out to RM135.60, an amount that was quite reasonable for the portions and quality of food served. If you are coming from KL City towards Jalan Kepong, watch out for the MWE Kepong Commercial Park on your left. Drive further up and you would see a road on your left. Turn left into Jalan Ambong Kiri and take the second right turning into Jalan Ambong 2. Drive straight until the end and you would see the restaurant at the left corner shop lot. You won’t miss it. There are ample parking spaces along this road.

Name: RESTORAN FATTY SANG (肥仔生海鮮飯店)
Address:
30 Tingkat Bawah, Jalan Ambong 2, Kepong Baru, 52100 Kuala Lumpur, West Malaysia.
Contact: 012-361 5605, 012-205 5116
Business Hours: 12.00noon-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.00pm
GPS: 3.211194, 101.646612

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

SUMPTUOUS BEEF STEAMBOAT AT KANG BEEF HOUSE

Posted by crizlai On March - 14 - 2010

After all the Chinese New Year feasting with great food throughout the period of the celebration, we had another great feasting of steamboat. This time, it was beef steamboat at Kang Beef House located within the Jelutong district. This restaurant has operated since early February this year and has served many varieties of mouth watering and lips-sticky beef cuisines.

The taste of the beef steamboat stock here was a bit different compared to those I have tried elsewhere. On top of the many hours of simmering of the bovine bones, it had the sweetness from some chopped radish and the salty sour taste from some salted vegetables. It was quite unique I would say and the cost for a minimum twin pax order would be RM20 per person.

With an array of many smaller dishes of beef parts and vegetables, I was able to cook up a nice bowl of delicious beef soup.

You might be curious to find out what we had poured into the pot of beef stock right? We had a plate of raw local beef with an egg (牛肉 – 6 pax), beef tendon (牛筋), sirloin (牛腩) & tenderloin (裡脊肉), finely & coarsely minced beef balls (细與粗牛肉丸), honeycomb tripe (牛肚), omasum (leaf tripe/牛百葉), Enoki mushroom, iceberg lettuce and chopped cilantro (Chinese parsley/香菜). It was just a simple setup but it was enough for us considering that we had the opportunity to try 2 out of the four stomachs that a cow/bull has. 😛

Having beef steamboat without the proper chili sauce would be a “no-no”. The restaurant did well in providing us with their delicious homemade chili sauce. Combined with the sinful deep fried lard and garlic in oil (supposed to be for garnishing the beef soup :P), it became my favorite dipping sauce. It was just like the sweet and crunchy sauce I made for my Chinese New Year reunion dinner. Perfect!

There are also noodles and white rice (80sen/bowl) to order to go with your bowl of steamboat soup. The yellow noodles contained less lye water, thinner and flatter just like the wanton noodles. The rice noodles or commonly known as koay teow were also thinner and more translucent as the Vietnamese Beef Pho noodles.

If you feel that having steamboat would be too heavy for you, do try out their Beef Noodles (-RM6/RM8/RM10/RM12/RM15). The price will vary depending on what additional items you would like to add in on top of the regular sized one. Although the stock for this noodle dish was the same as our steamboat, somehow I personally felt that this combination tasted better. It could be I’m a noodle lover. 😛

The next option would be the Herbal Beef Soup (十全牛什-RM7/RM8/RM10/RM12/RM15). The soup base is actually brewing of 10 complete Chinese herbs being cooked with bovine bones. It is also sometimes known as Shi Quan Da Bu Tang (十全大補湯) which is normally used in traditional medicine to alleviate symptoms of fatigue, loss of appetite, dry or scaly skin, night sweating, dryness of mouth and for cancer treatment. The formulae comprised of Panax ginseng (ginseng root/人參), Angelica sinensis (Chinese Angelica root/dang gui/當歸), Paeonia lactiflora (Chinese Peony root/shao yao/芍藥), Atractylodes macrocephala (white atractylodes rhizome/bai zhu/白朮), Poria cocos (tuckahoe mushroom/fu ling/茯苓), Cinnamomum cassia (Chinese cinnamon bark/rou gui/肉桂), Astragalus membranaceus (astragulus root/huang qi/黃蓍), Liqusticum wallichii (ligusticum rhizome/chuan xiong/川芎), Glycyrrhiza uralensis (Chinese licorice root/gan cao/甘草) and Rehmannia glutinosa (Chinese foxglove root/shu di huang/熟地黃). The dark colored soup with a slight bitter sweet taste went well with the meat and noodles but it could be rather “heaty” for the internal organs especially taken during hot weather. I tried that during one humid afternoon and eventually had one pimple popping out on my nose (even with the consumption of a 1.5L herbal tea/五花茶). Well, this could be a special case as I lacked in sleep. LOL!

If you prefer some fried dish instead, you could always try out the Crystal Beef Fried Rice (水晶牛肉炒飯 – RM12.80+beef ball soup). The beef slices were with the right tenderness and the rice had that special hidden crunch. It actually had two type of rice within such as white rice and deep fried rice for that extra crunch. This was indeed a great dish not to miss.

You could also try out their special Dry Fried Hor Fun with Beef (干炒牛河 – RM9.80+beef ball soup). The hor fun (broad rice noodles/河粉) had the right wok hei (high heat cooking), smoothness and taste even without the beef slices as it was prepared specially for one of our non beef eaters. The dish only came with hor fun, bean sprouts, egg, button mushroom slices, chopped onions, spring onions and some chili slices as garnishing. My advice would be not to have any non beef eater around as this is a beef specialty restaurant and no other meat and seafood would be available for any special requests.

There were also a few beef related dishes available if you decide to have them with steamed rice, namely Beef with Ginger & Spring Onion (RM15/RM28), Kai Lan Beef (RM15/RM28) and Black Pepper Beef (RM15/RM28). I quite like the Black Pepper Beef (the only dish we ordered since all of  us were quite full) as it had just the right amount of black pepper and the beef slices were very tender.

You might want to order their Claypot Beef Soup (RM8/RM15/RM22/RM28) to go with your meal or even some golden Crispy Beef Ball (RM4.80/6pcs) as light snack. I simply loved these bread cubes coated beef balls.

Overall, the food here can be real nice except that the pricing may cost a bit more for some diners. You can check out the below menu for a clearer picture of the items served there.

There are two entrances to this restaurant. One would be at Jalan Jelutong whereas the other would be at Jalan Perak. I would advise you to use Jalan Perak instead as there would be no parking space available at the heavily trafficked Jalan Jelutong. The easiest and smoothest way to reach this restaurant would be via Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim (Lam Wah Ee Hospital entrance). Drive all the way until the T-junction (Jelutong Police Station on your left) and turn left into Jalan Perak. You will see the restaurant about 100m away on your right. You can check if there are free parking spaces within the restaurant’s compound. If not, try turning left into Jalan Bagan Serai for more car parks. Parking space could be real limited during peak hours.

Name: KANG BEEF HOUSE (江祖傳牛肉小鎮)
Address: 474 Jalan Jelutong, 11600 Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 04-281 0892, 016-416 5373 (Steve Kang)
Business Hours: 12.00noon-2.30pm, 4.30pm-10.00pm (Closed Tuesday)
GPS: 5.391811, 100.313605

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

A HIDDEN FOOD PARADISE IN RAWANG – FEI KEE FOOD STALL

Posted by crizlai On March - 9 - 2010

If you are seeking for cheap and good food around the central region of Malaysia, you should not miss out this simple and yet fulfilling food stall located within Rawang, Selangor, Malaysia. Goes by the name of Gerai Makan Fei Kee, this little corner lot food stall is just at the main road of Jalan Batu 18, leading to Kampung Dato’ Lee Kim Sai. Although quite secluded within the housing estate, their unique and down to earth dishes have not stop people from all walks of life to frequent their stall.

The husband and wife team, Lau Lian Kee and Lai Tsuey Ngoh, started this food business a few years back. Their signature dish which comprises of steam freshwater fish head had attracted many people due to its freshness, non-muddy taste and lastly its cheap pricing. Instead of the usage of Tilapia (非洲魚) as served by many restaurants within the KL/Selangor regions, they used another fish species known as the Chinese Carp (Tongsan/Song Yu). Thus, you have their signature Steamed Carp with Salted Black Beans (RM20 for a 10” long fish head). I have a phobia in taking muddy-taste fish but this dish turned out to be fine. Mr. Lau sure knows how to get rid of the earthy smell in the flesh. The dish had some salted black beans (douchi/豆豉), lots of ginger strips, sliced red chilies, mildly sprinkled with some quality soy sauce and shaoxing wine, followed with chopped coriander and spring onions as garnishing.

Another of the home cooked dishes that I like was their Steamed Pork with Salted Fish (RM16). The balance in the fatty and lean parts of the pork slices, mildly marinated in some pepper, soy sauce and corn starch, mixed with some quality salt fish slices and topped with some ginger strips and red chilies did impress me. Each bite just melted into my mouth. It was delicious indeed.

With such a big fish head and a pork dish, we needed some vegetables. We tried out their Fried Sambal Belacan Kangkung (RM9). The kangkung (water spinach/water morning glory/空心菜) were young and crunchy. The sambal belacan had the right combination of pounded chilies and toasted shrimp paste and it was not too spicy for us. I found some dried shrimps being used in this dish too. It was a refreshing dish for us.

We also had some Stir Fry Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish (RM9). I found this dish to be a bit pricey since bean sprouts were supposed to be dirt cheap but I’m not complaining. The bean sprouts were stir fried just right while maintaining their crunchiness and the usage of deep fried salted fish was just right.

On top of the above dishes, we also did order the Steamed Tofu with Garlic (RM5). It was just one of those boxed tofu you can get easily at the supermarket. I could easily cook that at home with the exact amount of fried chopped garlic, soy sauce and chopped spring onion garnishing but I was again fooled by the chef as there were some deep fried dried shrimps added too. This was another of those simple and yet delicious dish to go with our rice.

Overall, the total bill came out to RM70 for the 6 of us, excluding the special tea leaves we brought in for our beverages. I expected the meal to hit the RM100 mark for such a big fish head and dining in the central region where the cost of living is higher but it ended up so cheap. Unbelievable! No wonder The StarMetro and Dong Fan Ri Bao (東方日報) wrote about them in 2009 and 2008 respectively.

For those without a GPS or are not familiar with the Rawang area, you might get lost. But no worries, you could always ask those around the area how to get to Kampung Dato’ Lee Kim Sai. From there it would be real easy to find the food stall. If you are using the North-South Highway, turn into the Rawang Interchange. Drive all the way until a T-junction and turn right into Jalan Bakar Arang. Drive on all the way passed Jalan Ciku (right) and Jalan Kuala Garing (left) until you see a sign leading to Stesen KTM Rawang. Ignore that and drive straight until you see a cross junction below a flyover. Turn right into Jalan Rawang and take the first right turn into Jalan Batu 18. The food stall is just on the right, diagonally opposite Jalan Batu 18/3 (leading to Kampung Dato’ Lee Kim Sai). You can see a big Hino signboard at the left corner shop lot of the small lane and Poh Huat Auto Air Cond Service/Yik Lee Motor at the right side.

Name: GERAI MAKAN FEI KEE
Address:
No. 1C, Batu 18, Jalan Besar Rawang/Ipoh, 48000 Rawang, Selangor, West Malaysia.
Contact: 012-203 1938, 016-694 7309
Business Hours: 11.30am-8.30pm (Closed Wednesday)
GPS: 3.314804, 101.577191

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

MY EDIBLE ANIME CHARACTERS & FRIENDS

Posted by crizlai On March - 4 - 2010

Gosh! I had just realized that I have not been updating my Anime Kopitiam on new releases for more than a year. Time really flies when you have so many delicious food to concentrate on to keep you occupied and filled all the time. LOL! Anyway, I found some unique anime characters during my business trip to Jinjang, Kepong, Kuala Lumpur a few days’ back. If I can get myself attracted to those colorful little characters, so would any child in Malaysia. I’m sure most parents would want to get them for their children’s lunch box as I have seen many of these cute products available only in Japan. I guessed someone over here had decided to tap the market for these cute and beautiful products. Anyone craved for some Anime Mantou (RM7/box of 6 or RM13 for 2 boxes) right now?

I guess you would be curious to find out what’s inside each and every mantou (steamed buns) here. From the look of Snoopy’s ears, you would know it had chocolate in it. As for Hello Kitty, it was filled with lotus seed paste. Porky Pig would come with red bean paste. The Halloween pumpkin, Jack O’Lantern had lotus seed paste. That would leave two Pokemon characters, Sandslash (beigh – kaya/coconut jam) and Tyranitar (green – pandan kaya/screwpine coconut jam).

Overall, I found the mantou to be cute and reasonably good for consumption but it would be best if the filling were a bit more. It would be best to consume when they are steaming hot or they would be stale hard. There are also many food stalls within the market area. Some of the food you might get here are Pan Mee (RM3.50), Pork Noodle (RM3.50), Hainan Chicken (RM12) and so on. The hawker dishes here were just the market style standard and average in taste.

Those people staying the surrounding Kepong area would be familiar with the morning market but for those from the outskirt of the area, a GPS would be quite handy to locate this place. Find your way to Jalan Kepong and drive towards KL City (Jalan Kuching). As you pass the junction leading to Taman Fadason, keep to your left. Drive on until you see the Petronas petrol kiosk on your left. Slow down and watch out for the DBKL Toll Vehicles Reserve Depot and turn left into Jalan Jinjang Utama. You would find the market a short distance away on your left. Finding a parking space could be quite hard here, so try to be there earlier to avoid any disappointment.

Name: JINJANG UTARA MORNING WET MARKET (KEPONG)
Address: Jalan Jinjang Aman, Jinjang Utara, 52000 Kuala Lumpur, West Malaysia.
Business Hours: 7.00am-9.30am
GPS: 3.210867, 101.658584

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

HAVING A BREAK AT KOPITIAM YUE LAI

Posted by crizlai On March - 2 - 2010

You would be surprised that some of the “kopitiam”s (coffee shops) in Penang has become so modernized today that your comfort and cleanliness preferences would always be their priority. One of the recent ones I had visited has some simple menu which would tempt your appetite as well as to allow you some comfort for your business discussions. It’s none other than Kopitiam Yue Lai, located along Jalan Argyll in the heart of Georgetown, Penang. Other than the availability of WIFI for your internet convenience, this kopitiam has a very systematic and categorized area for business persons to leave their name cards for that extra publicity mileage. It’s so cool!

Barely a few weeks old, Kopitiam Yue Lai has some light breakfast and meals without you having to worry about paying the additional taxes. All items are priced nett. You could always enjoy a hot cup of Kopi “O” (local black coffee – 90sen) or a glass of Iced Penang White Coffee (RM1.90) while escaping from the burning heat of the humid weather.

Do you want to have some toasts to go with your beverage? You could try out their Yue Lai Kaya Butter Toast (RM1.20). From the first look, I thought it would be another extremely sweet caramelized coconut jam that you would get from the mamak roti man. It turned out just like what I always wanted to have – a mildly sweetened with fragrant eggy taste kaya. This order was not bad at all.

There are also savory version of toasts and sandwiches for you to choose from ranging from mayo egg to mayo tuna. Here’s how the Triangle Toasted Mayo Tuna Set (RM2.20) would look like.

Not enough still for your breakfast? Well, there’s always the Half Boiled Eggs (RM1.40 for 2) with a dash or two of soy sauce and pepper to your liking.

There are also some heavier dishes for your lunch such as the nasi lemak (steamed coconut rice), spaghetti and noodles. You could try out the Yue Lai Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken (RM5.00). This dish would be served with a bowl of rice, some cucumber pieces, half a hard-boiled egg, some deep fried anchovies with peanuts, curry potato and of course with a juicy yet well marinated piece of fried chicken drumstick. This was quite a good bargain for the price paid.

There goes the same for the Yue Lai Nasi Lemak with Curry Chicken (RM5.00). Every side dish would be the same except for the chicken drumstick curry.

They do serve Hokkien Prawn Mee (RM4.00) too. I was quite surprise to find this local hawker dish here as it would involve a lot of preparation to get a great bowl such as the Hokkien Prawn Noodle recipe I had earlier. Although the bowl of noodle (instant noodle used here) looked quite simple with only two halves of a hard-boiled egg, 3 medium sized prawns with a few strands of water spinach and garnished with some fried shallots, it tasted quite good. It would be better if the kopitiam were to add in a few pieces of chicken shreds or pork slices for more bites.

Other than those few dishes mentioned above, there’s also the Yue Lai Mee Soup (RM3.50) which was basically your home cooked version of instant noodles. The bowl of noodles came with some cabbages, egg, half a ham and two halves of a sausage. This is another great bargain for all the ingredients given.

Since this kopitiam is still quite new, more delicious dishes and snacks would be added next month onwards. Do check them out for some simple break time food. It would not be hard to find this kopitiam as it is strategically located just behind the Island Girl’s School along Jalan Argyll, Penang. As you pass the Jalan Argyll/Jalan Transfer junction, drive all the way towards the end of Jalan Argyll and you would see a newly constructed building on your left. Kopitiam Yue Lai is at the ground floor.

Name: KOPITIAM YUE LAI
Address: 203-G, Jalan Argyll, 10050 Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 0181
Business Hours: 8.00am-6.00pm (Closed on Sunday)
GPS: 5.422347, 100.328613

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

ADVENTUROUS AND WET EXPEDITION TO PULAU PAYAR MARINE PARK

Posted by crizlai On January - 19 - 2010

Feeling stressed out from working? You should get a group of friends and head towards Pulau Payar Marine Park, about 35km (19 nautical miles: 1nmi~1.85km) south of Pulau Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia, 28km (15 nautical miles: 1nmi~1.85km) west of Kuala Kedah or 59km (32 nautical miles: 1nmi~1.85km) north of Penang Island, Malaysia for a day out adventure to explore one of Asia’s most beautiful coral reefs. That was what a few of us Malaysian bloggers and friends did last Sunday by applying through the online “Kempen Cuti-cuti MyKad” special promotion package (RM180 per pax) and it was a fun-filling experience for all.

We started out by gathering at the newly constructed Swettenham Pier check-in building and by 8.30am, we were already on our way, leaving behind the scenic view of the Penang island. Some of us did recharge our energy during the journey by having some siesta to get the best out of the package. We finally arrived at Langkawi Coral Reef Platform (100m from the shore of Pulau Payar) about 2 hours later.

Pulau Payar, being the largest and 3 other smaller islands, namely Pulau Kaca (northeast of Pulau Payar), Pulau Lembu (northeast of Pulau Payar and just next to Pulau Kaca) and Pulau Segantang (southwest of Pulau Payar) and have been collectively gazetted as the Pulau Payar Marine Park. These islands are the sanctuary for extensive range of marine organisms and fishes. Stretching 1.75km x 500m with an area of 31.2 hectres, Pulau Payar is rich in flora and fauna on top of the magnificent coral reefs. The island has small stretches of white sandy beaches for those who love sunbathing and casual strolling. Don’t forget to bring more sun-block lotion if you intend to do so, unless you are those who would want to be as tan as the Africans… LOL! If you are lucky, you might even catch some live actions of creatures on the shore during daylight.

There are also a few trekking trails for those nature shutterbugs. You can expect to see endemic flying fox, monitor lizards, shore pit viper, white-bellied sea eagle, crested serpent eagle, imperial pigeon and many other feathered friends. You would also see some amenities which would include picnic tables, barbecue pits, gazebos and restrooms at strategic locations for your personal needs. Picnics and camping are allowed but cutting of trees and open burning would be strictly prohibited. How I wished I had more time to explore the other side of the island for more nature shots.

What impressed visitors most would be the availability of Langkawi Coral, Malaysia’s first and only reef platform located at the Pulau Payar Marine Park. The 49m x 15m well equipped floating platform (with numerous changing/wash rooms, snack bar and dining area) would facilitate activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, sunbathing, fish feeding to panoramic viewing of the marine kingdom. If that alone could not captivate your attention, glass bottom boat rides or diving can be arranged to various coral gardens to amaze you further.

If you do not intend to get yourself wet, there’s a tunnel-like Underwater Observation Chamber at the bottom of the platform (about 10 feet below sea level) to catch glimpses of the beautiful seabed filled with various seashells, shellfishes and slugs. With an average visibility of 9 to 15 meters of crystal clear blue water, I’m sure you would be impressed easily.

Do watch out for colorful soft corals and hard corals such as the deer antler like Staghorn, Boulder and Brain as well as fishes of all stripes, dots, spots and rainbow colors. It was a bonus in here for me as I caught shots of two main pelagic predators out there. One of them was the around 1m long Barracuda (locally known as alu-alu) which I would expect to be around 10kg or so, hiding under the platform awaiting its prey. The next was the Black Tipped Reef Shark of almost the same length as the Barracuda. Both were wonderful sights indeed.

While snorkeling deep in the crystal clear water, I managed to see some beautiful colored fishes such as the rock fish, yellow fin goatfish, schooling bannerfish, yellow boxfish (related to the pufferfish family), blue dot grouper, goldband fusiliers, horse-eyed jacks, tiera batfish, lawnmower blenny, sea goldie, raccoon/blackbacked butterflyfish, orange striped cardinalfish, percula clownfish (which did not have the lighter orange color as my favorite “Nemo”), yellowfin clownfish (of course I still missed my “Nemo”.. where did it hide itself this time? LOL!), tangaroan goby, yellow clown goby, arc eye hawkfish, large sized parrotfish, moon wrasse, juvenile trevally, black snapper, remora (suckerfish), mirror fish, needlefish and many more that I had lost track of their names. The more common ones that would invade the platform would be the four striped damselfish (sometimes known as sergeant major by some anglers), streaked spinefoot and queenfish (ikan talang/sampan thiao). There were quite a lot of sea urchins (locally known as sea rambutans) too on the seabed but be careful not to get poke or step on them as the only temporary cure to soothe the pain would be urine.

I was praying hard that I could get glimpses of some of the more unique sea creatures as those shown on National Geographic Channel such as the moray eel, giant grouper (long tan 龍旦), ghost pipe fish, lionfish, nurse shark, giant trevally (kam koay) or even lobsters but they were so hard to detect in such a vast area within the few hours we had. Moreover, I was not in any diving gears nor having any underwater camera. What a waste! Anybody want to sponsor me an underwater camera? LOL! Anyway, here are some of the underwater shots taken by Chan with his water-proofed Lumix camera:

There was to be a shark feeding session in the package but it had been cancelled until further notice by the management. I guessed this could be due to too many of their staff been bitten while feeding those aggressive predators. Maybe those sharks had gotten larger than before and thus one day they would be as large as those in the “Jaws” movie. Well, at least I was lucky to capture the shot of one earlier. 😛 Don’t be despair as you would still have the opportunity to feed other smaller fishes that would not bite. Errr… unless they are real hungry as I got my butts pinched quite a few times while feeding them in the water. How careless! Haha!

Buffet lines featuring international and local food would also be provided in this package deal. There was more than 25 items on the buffet spread which included appetizers such as over fresh buns, butter and cabbage & carrot soup, salads such as capsicums, onions, cucumber, tomatoes, Cameron lettuce with a choice of thousand island or spicy Italian dressings, mixed fruit salad, coleslaw, chicken sausage with corn salad and tuna with French bean salad, tempting entrée such as five spice chicken rolls, vegetable spring rolls, spicy potato wedges, fish fillet, Western, Malaysian & Oriental cuisine such as beef slices stew, sweet & sour prawns, braised mushroom with mixed vegetable, fried turmeric chicken, spaghetti bolognese, fried seafood vermicelli, oriental fried rice. Desserts included fruits such as watermelon, pineapple and oranges, pudding and jellies such as or raspberry mixed fruit jelly, orange mixed fruit jelly, mango pudding and honeydew pudding, local delicacies such as brown sugar steamed cake (malai ko) and kuih lompang pandan. Tea, coffee and cold water are free flow too. Overall, the food was reasonable enough to fill the tummy after the many hours of sea activities.

One of the main highlights of our trip was the photo shooting of our current Miss Malaysia World 2009 1st runner-up, Stefanie Chua. All eyes, especially from those male foreigners, were glued to her almost at all times. Stefanie Chua, who was no stranger to many beauty pageants, also held the Miss Schwarzenbach Beach Beauty during the recent competition and also countless of titles from other pageants. The photography was shot by none other than our Heritage Wedding Photography 2009 winner and founder of Studio Moonspell, Mr. Patrick Soon. Here are some glimpses of the photography session.

Let’s hope Stefanie recovered fast from a little mishap that happened during the photography session. We won’t want this expression in her photos right? Here’s a complimentary photo by Patrick Soon. Boy! If I were to be younger, I would surely get him to shoot my autobiography. What a beautiful shot… minus that candid expression of course. Haha!

Here’s a short video on my experience there in Pulau Payar. Let’s hope I can share many more of such trips with you in the near future. Do enjoy watching. 🙂

Hey! Why are you still gazing the photos and videos in here? By now you should have booked the package deals for your coming holiday. All you need to bring along would be yourself, a large towel, your swim wear and some cash for some extra hired excitements at Langkawi Coral Reef Platform. Our package deal included return boat fares, taxes, PA Insurance coverage, buffet lunch and fun-packed activities. There’s always something to do for everyone in Pulau Payar and getting bored would be the last thing you would hear. Please book early to avoid any disappointments. Have a nice holiday!

Important Not-To Do Note:
1. Pulau Payar Marine Park is a protected marine ecosystem area and no angling of any sort would be allowed under the Malaysian Fisheries Act 1991.
2. Collection of any coral and aquatic life would be prohibited.
3. Never vandalize or stand on any coral reef as it took thousands of years for them to form.
4. No shampoo or soap is allowed.
5. Do not litter. Pick up your rubbish when you leave the island.

Other Useful Information:
1. Do check out the Marine Park Centre, operated by the Fisheries Department for further information by means of brochures, maps and videos. Make sure you get more information on the do’s and don’ts while visiting the island.
2. There are no accommodation facilities on the island and camping permit would be required to stay on. Permit applications can be obtained at Pulau Langkawi’s Kuah Fisheries Office (604-966 6464), Kuala Kedah Fisheries Office (604-7621 6700), Kedah/Perlis State Fisheries Office (604-734 2137), Penang State Fisheries Office (604-626 1002), Department of Fisheries Malaysia (Ministry of Agriculture) in Kuala Lumpur (603-298 2011). Get enough of drinking water and food if you intend to stay back for more days.

It’s rather hard to show you how to get there as the islands are so small that even Google Map would not show up. Luckily, Chan brought had a GPS around. Here’s how’s the islands would look like if we were to blow up the scale.

Name:
LANGKAWI CORAL REEF PLATFORM
c/o Langkawi Saga Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd
16 Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Georgetown, 11200 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: 604-899 8822
Fax: 604-890 6068
Email: sales@langkawicoral.com
Website: http://www.langkawicoral.com
GPS: 6.0654, 100.0433

RATING:
Ambience: 9/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8.5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

On holiday:
Criz Lai, Steven Goh, Kim Peng, Stefanie Chua, Patrick Soon, Tiffany Thor, David Khoo, Nana Khor, Lay Min, Kok Ann, Chan Chee Wah and Shirley See.

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