CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

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.

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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: 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)

 

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)

 

Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be having its Chinese New Year’s Buffet and Chinese Odyssey Promotion for the month of February 2013 (1-28 February 2013). This promotion would be under the skillful hands of the Jr. Sous Chef, Chef Ong Chin Hock and Chinese Chef, Chef Cheah Teik Huat. You would be offered a variety of Chinese cuisine such as roasted duck spring rolls, braised black chicken with snow pear soup, steamed sea bass with superior sauce and many more to tempt your appetite.

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Of course, each Chinese New Year it’s a must to have Yee Sang. Normally, Yee Sang is to be taken on the 7th day of Chinese New Year to celebrate Ren Ri (人日), the Day of Humankind, when according to the Chinese legend, Goddess Nu Wa created humanity on this day. But today, it’s taken just any day as the act of tossing the mixed ingredients in the air symbolizes “moving upwards” with the wish for our fortune to rise even more during the forthcoming year. The Fresh Salmon Yee Sang (鮮鮭魚撈魚生) would also available for take away from 4-23 February 2013 at RM68++ (4-6 persons) or RM88++ (8-10 persons).

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Another appetizer would be their Marinated Jellyfish with Shredded Chicken (海蜇凉拌雞絲). I quite like this dish as the jellyfish had that crunchiness, pepped up with a light spicy sweet sauce. However, the shredded chicken was a bit too dry to my liking due to the lack of dressing sauce. The dish would be better if a bit of coriander leaves being added in.

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The Roasted Duck with Mix Vegetables Spring Rolls (脆皮燒鴨春卷) was actually a disastrous dish for me. The usage of poh piah (spring roll) skin was just not right. The rolls tend to get rather soggy after awhile. I wondered why they did not use those egg crepes as served with Peking Duck.

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We were also served Double Boiled Black Chicken with Snow Pears Soup (雪梨燉黑雞湯). I must admit that the soup was filled with flavors with strong hints of sweetness from the pears and dates plus some usage of dong quai (當歸/Angelica sinensis).

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The Steamed Sea Bass with Superior Sauce (清蒸鱸魚配上等醬油) was simple but yet delicious. On top of the superior sauce being use, some slices of mushroom boosted up the flavor more. It would be great to have some sliced red dates added in too for some extra sweetness.

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The Braised Chinese Cabbage with Black Moss & Dried Oysters (燉白菜髮菜蠔乾) was somewhat different compared to how I would cook it. This dish has more gravy just like the banquet style of dishes. There were some added dried scallops. The dried oysters basically lost all the flavors into the gravy. It would be best if they were pan seared to lock in the flavors.

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Somehow the Stir Fried Tiger Prawns with Golden Pumpkin Sauce (南瓜醬炒大蝦) did not capture the appetite of most of us as the pumpkin sauce was too overpowering and hid the true flavors of the prawns. It would be better to just cook it the Kam Heong (Fragrant Fry) or Har Lok (Sweet Spicy) style where we get to taste the freshness of the prawns. Anyway, I don’t fancy tiger prawns being cooked this way too.

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As for dessert, we had Double Boiled Papaya with Fresh Milk (鮮牛奶燉木瓜). To some, it had a tad of bitterness but it was fine for me. However, I personally felt that the papaya used was rather too ripe. The whole concoction was like missing a bit of bites. Moreover, the dessert tasted rather mushy with traces of coagulated milk.

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Lastly, Baked Mandarin Orange Cheese Cake (烤橘子奶酪蛋糕) was served. Without knowing the name for the cake, I would have praised it heavenly for the balance in the usage of lemon zest was perfect. However, knowing that it was supposed to be mandarin orange flavor, I found it to lack that distinctive mandarin orange flavor. Moreover, only a small amount of orange flesh was noticeable.

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Overall, some of the dishes to be served during the Chinese New Year as well as during the Chinese Odyssey can be rather unique on its own. No doubt a bit of fusion can be quite good for a change but it defeated the purpose of celebrating the festive season with the taste of yesteryears since some of the dishes would only be cooked once a year during this season by many families. Other than that, it’s still a nice spread to welcome in the joyous Snake year.

Chinese New Year’s buffets and performances are listed as below:

Chinese New Year’s eve auspicious reunion buffet dinner with Yee Sang
9 Feb 2013, 6.30pm-10.00pm
RM98++ (adult), RM52++ (child)

Chinese New Year prosperity buffet dinner with Yee Sang
10 & 11 Feb 2013, 6.30pm-10.00pm
RM88++ (adult), RM44++ (child)

Chinese New Year special dynasty Hi-Tea with Yee Sang
10 & 11 Feb 2013, 12.00pm-3.00pm
RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)

Performances:
Meet & Greet the “Fok Lok Sau”: 9 Feb 2013, 8.00pm-9.00pm
Chinese Orchestra Performance: 9, 10 & 11 Feb 2013, 8.00pm-9.00pm
Meet & Greet the God of Prosperity: 10 & 11 Feb 2013, 12.30pm-1.30pm
Lion Dance performance: 11 Feb 2013, 10.00am

Fresh Salmon Yee Sang is also available for take away from 4-23 February 2013
Price: RM68++ (4-6 persons) or RM88++ (8-10 persons).

Here’s the summary of the Chinese Odyssey Promotion.

CHINESE ODYSSEY PROMOTION (1-28 FEBRUARY 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 – ThursdayRM48++ per pax

For MAYBANKARD, Standard Chartered Bank and VISA card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Chinese Odyssey 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)

 

WINE MAKER’S NIGHT 2012 @ EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On December - 7 - 2012

The Eastin Hotel Penang together with The Wine Shop recently held a Wine Maker’s Night at its Angsana Room, Level 3, Penang, on 5 December 2012. Priced at RM280nett/pax, the enjoyable 7-course set dinner with pairing of fabulous wine from the orchards of Chile and South Australia was a great experience for the diners and media personnel.

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Prior to the formal dinner, some canapés were served with the full bodied Wolf Blass Red Label Chardonnay Pinot Noir sparkling wine, a subtle light green wine in fruity sweet citrus notes with underlying strawberries. The wine coupled well with the light canapés, especially those with cheese and fruit cuts.

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The rest of the wine came paired with the dishes as per courses served.

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To start off the meal, we had some warm dinner rolls and Laugen Broetchen bread roll (pretzel/lye roll) to choose from on top of the provided butter and herbed butter.

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The first of the 7-course meals was the Portobello, Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Crostini served with Seared Scallop. This dish was paired with Luis Felipe Edwards Pupila Sauvignon Blanc. The Chilean produced wine with crisp acidity and citrus flavors from some hints of lemon peel and pineapple, blended in real well with the combination of light dishes.

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Next in line was the Chicken Consomme with Morchella and Lobster paired with Saltram Makers Table Sauvignon Blanc. Though the Chicken Consomme was a bit too light for my palate, the grassy aromatic dry white wine with hints of clean fruity flavors added some justice to the overall flavors.

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Poached Salmon with Shitake Quinoa and Orange Emulsion was also served. The salmon was well prepared with the right texture and flavors. It went well with the orange emulsion with traces of some orange peels. On the other hand, I kind of like the Shitake Quinoa served on some blanched asparagus. The almost barley texture-like quinoa with high protein and fiber went well with the slightly buttered grilled shitake mushrooms. This dish was paired with Wolf Blass Bilyara Chardonnay, a rich and soft Chardonnay with ripe fruit flavors of green melon and white peach, supported by subtle oak. Somehow, I felt that the wine was a bit strong and overpowering for the more mild seafood flavored salmon. I would think it would suit those shellfish seafood better.

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To clear off our mouth prior to more fabulous dishes, we were served with a scoop of Lime Lemongrass Sorbet. This in-between meals mouth washing dessert caught my attention most as the beautifully crafted bowl it has the sorbet served on was made of 100% ice with a few petals of flowers as decorations. The sorbet was chilling nice with the right balance of lime citrus flavor and sweetness. The light touch of lemongrass flavor added in made the whole combination extremely refreshing.

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The best of all the dishes was the Oven Slow Baked Lamb Shank with Feta Cheese Tortellini and Ratatouille paired with Saltram Makers Table Cabernet Sauvignon. The fork shredded pieces of the lamb was heavenly drowned in its rich thicken gravy. The meat just melted in the mouth easily. The feta cheese stuffed tortellinis were something to yearn for too as each piece had the nice flavors from the evenly coated presto in olive oil. On the other hand, the ratatouille was presented in a fusion way with more finely cubed choices of vegetables. The dry red cabernet wine with strong structure and character proved to be the best pair for this dish.

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As for dessert, we had the Dark Chocolate Volcano, Caramel Panna Cotta with Vanilla Gelato paired with Cranswick Estate Aspen Moscato. The Dark Chocolate Volcano was basically an almost chocolate brownie type of cake topped with some dark chocolate and vanilla sauce. The Caramel Panna Cotta was thick and creamy with the right amount of oozing caramel as topping. What I liked most was the Vanilla Gelato served on some sesame crumbles. The sweet and fruity flavored white wine with a light fizz bundled the whole dessert well.

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Lastly, we had an option of coffee or tea. I opted for unsweetened Black Coffee to go with some assorted pralines.

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The Assorted Pralines came in different shapes, sizes with a variety of flavors.

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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 Level 3 and you would reach the Angsana Room easily.

EASTINHOTELMAP

Name: EASTIN HOTEL PENANG
Address: 1 Solok Bayan Indah, Queens Bay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-612 1111
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: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

WILD WILD WEST PROMOTION AT SWEZ BRASSERIE @ EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On October - 28 - 2012

If you love the Texas Grill Promotion in June 2012, you would surely love the Wild Wild West Promotion at Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, for the whole month of November 2012 (1-30 November 2012). This promotion would be under the skillful hands of the Jr. Sous Chef, Chef Kelvin Cheong with the help of Chef Evon Chiang from the Cold Kitchen. In this promotion, you would have more options with a combination of Texan and Mexican cuisine. You can now eat as how the cowboys from the West would. Please note that there will be a 15% discount for all MAYBANKARD, VISA, CIMB and UOB card members. More details below.

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We started with some appetizers namely some Nachos with Assorted Dipping Sauce (烤玉米片沾醬). The imported Tex-Mex tortilla chips came served with 3 types of dipping sauces such as Chili Con Carne, Guacamole and Ranch BBQ sauces. All of us preferred the ranch BBQ sauce over the others as the smoky flavor complemented the chips real well. The second was the Guacamole which basically consisted of blended avocado, garlic, and onions mixed with some finely brunoised tomatoes and capsicum plus a light touch of salt, pepper and lemon juice. The taste was quite equivalent to that of sour cream dip but creamier with the added avocado. The last was the Chili Con Carne. The rich tomato paste dip came with minced meat, corn kernels, kidney beans, etc. Taste wise, it was a bit spicy with some sourness and sweetness. It was not that the dip was not tasty but due to it being a bit too heavy as an appetizer.

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Next was the Mexican Burrito Mustard Bites (芥末醬卷餅) which consisted of fresh wheat flour tortilla laced with a thinly spread of mustard, filled with lots of fresh greens, meat plus sauce and folded like our local “Poh Piah” aka Spring Rolls. The rolls had a wasabi after taste and would be best consumed when they are freshly prepared or the tortilla would get slightly dry after being exposed too long to air.

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There would also be some cowboy bread available to be spread with some jam and butter or even to be dipped into the available soup of the day. Some of the types available might include Country Bread and grinded maize made Polenta Bread.

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As for the main course, we had the Classic Beef Ribs Stew (美式牛肉炖排骨) served on a bed of Grilled Vegetables with Coyote Canyon Red Chili Sauce (香烤沾醬蔬菜). I immediately felt in love with the beef ribs stew as the meat was tender and the gravy was just right to my liking. The dish had almost a similar taste as those BBQ Ribs but without the strong hickory smoked flavors. Now you know what would be best with those country breads~ 😛 On the other hand, the grilled vegetables were just normal.

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There was also the Grilled Raw Honey Chicken (香烤蜜糖雞腿). The flavor on the grilled chicken was quite subtle with a light touch of honey sweetness and rosemary. However, I personally felt that the meat needed a longer period of marinate as they were not flavored in balance. Chef Kelvin’s Grilled Chicken with Honey Mustard Glaze (蜂蜜芥末醬烤雞) tasted way better than this dish.

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The Fish Tostadas with Veracruzana Salsa (墨西哥貝拉克魯斯沙司魚餅) was awesome as the dish was salty, acidic and sweet to my liking. The Mexican state of Veracruz along the Gulf of Mexico indeed had a high Spanish influence as can be seen quite obviously in the usage of their herbs and spices. The choice of using sea bass fillet was perfect as it was thick and had as a simple marinates of just dill, salt and pepper. What impressed me most was the Veracruzana Salsa. Instead of the normal raw based salsa, it had more complex flavors all combined into one. The rich tomato based sauce wasn’t spicy at all. It had hints on the usage of bay leaves, thyme and marjoram, other than garlic, onions, cilantro and chili pepper, plus with a light touch of capers and black olives. The salsa complemented the fish dish extremely well. The only confusing thing is the word “fish tostada” and “餅”, which would translate as crispy/crunchy biscuit in English. Is the fish dish supposed to be served on a tostada aka toasted corn tortilla as it would be in Mexico or it just meant toasted fish? Only the chef would be able to answer to this confusion.

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There were also some Crispy Cheesy Potato Skins (香脆芝士馬鈴薯) to go with the dishes. I was just some crispy deep fried potatoes with cheesy sauce and a light sprinkle of paprika. I could have this side dish alone for the whole day~ Haha! 😛

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Desserts were super nice. Everyone presence were praising the Texas Double Chocolate Mud Cake (濃郁巧克力泥蛋糕). The rich chocolate mousse between the fluffy light and moist cake plus a touch of oozing ganache on the cake, melted in the mouth heavenly. Can I have another piece please? 😛

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Another great dessert would be the Cowboy Raspberry Cobbler (牛仔紅莓果餡餅). It had almost the same bite of the flaky crumbles but with added chocolate chips and walnut. A simple topping of ganache and fresh raspberries made this cobbler the perfect dessert to end a meal.

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Overall, the dishes served in this coming Wild Wild West Promotion were up to the standard required. Of course, you won’t expect to get fine dining dishes from the cowboys but you can feel that each and every dish served at Swez Brasserie during this coming had the hearts of the assigned chefs in it. It’s all about hard work and commitment to get the best dish to please the appetite of the diners. Way to go Chef Kelvin, Chef Franco and Chef Evon as it was another job well done! Keep it up!

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

WILD WILD WEST PROMOTION (1-30 NOVEMBER 2012)
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, VISA, CIMB and UOB card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Wild Wild West 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: 7.5/10 (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)

 

THE RELAUNCHING OF THE LOUNGE @ EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On October - 1 - 2012

Invited guests from the multi-national corporations surrounding the FIZ, Bayan Lepas, were exposed to a totally new concept of relaxation with the re-launching of the lobby lounge, The Lounge @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, on 28 September 2012. With the theme “Under the Sea”, The Lounge was transformed into an underwater world filled with vibrant colors and fun. Gosh! Look at that “live mermaid” at the entrance! I was seeing blue the whole night~ 😛 Many activities were held during the occasion with the opening speech by the General Manager of Eastin Hotel Penang, Mary Ann Harris, followed by an opening performance by an invited dance troupe. The Lounge was officially launched by one of the Eastin Hotel director, Su Chen and the GM, Mary Ann Harris. A wet drum performance proceeded. A beer drinking competition was held thereafter with winner getting a free stay at the hotel. There was also a short wine talk by Anna Yap, Managing Director of Cana Premier Marketing Sdn Bhd on their latest wine product, Wamssler’s Sparkling Mead (Honey Wine), the earliest wine known to man with aphrodisiac properties. This was followed by a good laugh with standup comedian, Papi Zak, who came all the way from Kuala Lumpur and a live house band performance by D’Upbeat Soul.

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A flash mob which consisted of some dance troupe dancers and the hotel’s staff was also in presence during the launching and here’s a short clip of their performance at the hotel’s lobby.

When it comes to having a cocktail party, Eastin Hotel Penang sure did a great job in giving their best effort in coming out with the best food and beverages for the guests. Free flow of red wine, white wine, mead (honey wine), beer and healthy fruit juices were served on the night with of course a colorful and mouth watering spreads of seafood, canapés and desserts. As starter, there were some Grissini Cheese Sticks, Crudités with Thousand Islands dressing, Roasted Peanuts and Sesame Batter Coated Chick Peas on each of the cocktail table.

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From the dessert section, we had some Strawberry & Mocha Macarons, Chocolate Pralines, their signature Mini Opera Cakes and some Assorted Fruits Vol Au Vent.

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At the chilled food section, there was the Chilled Fresh Oyster with Mango & Caviar Salsa, Fresh Oyster with Condiments, Grilled Prawn & Scallop with Melon Salsa, Assorted Sashimi Skewer with Condiments which basically consisted of Sake (Salmon), Maguro (Tuna), Hokkigai (Surf Clam), Tako (Octopus) and Ika (Squid).

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At the canapés section, there were some impressive items such as the Lobster Skewer with Citrus Salsa, Mini Sandwiches, Unagi Crispy Bun (Mantou) Open Face, Smoked Salmon Ball with Herbs Cheese, Cod Fish Ceviche on Toast, and Assorted Cheese Canapés with Dried Fruits and Nuts.

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The Lounge is not just a place with comfortable sofas, entertainment stage and bar counter, serving pastries and cakes, paired with alcoholic beverages. It would also be the place for a healthier lifestyle by powering your day up with a healthy boost. There would be sugarless mixed fruit and/or vegetables juices such as the Breakfast Fruit Blend (Grapefruit + Orange: RM23++), Detoxify the Body (Apple + Carrot + Spinach: RM23++), Banana Apple Oatmeal (Banana + Apple + Fresh Yogurt + Oats: RM25++), Greenday (Apple + Celery: RM25++), Heartburn Reliever (Carrot + Spinach: RM23++), Almond Milky (Almond + Low Fat Milk: RM25++), The Hangover Juice (Apple + Broccoli + Cauliflower: RM25++) and Key Limi Kiwi (Honey + Kiwi + Lime + Pear: RM25++).

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The pastries and cakes that you might get for the day may include Chicken Curry Puff (RM8++/pc), Egg Tart (RM8++/pc), Apple Pie (RM8++/pc), Shepherd Pie (RM8++/pc), Fruit tart (RM8++/pc), Baked Cheese Cake (RM12++/pc), Mango Mousse Cake (RM12++/pc), Opera Cake (RM10++/pc), Ivory Cake (RM12++/pc, RM60++ for 500g or RM90++ for 1kg) and more. Currently, there is a promotion for all confectioneries at 50% off from 5.00pm until 10.00pm daily.

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Overall, The Lounge is a nice place to chill out with friend and family over some light snacks and beverages. It would also be a great place to meet up with business contacts for any discussion.

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

 

GERMAN GALORE PROMOTION AT SWEZ BRASSERIE @ EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On September - 26 - 2012

For meat lovers, especially beef and poultry lovers, you are in for a meaty treat this coming October 2012 as Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be having its German Galore Promotion for the whole month of October 2012 (1-31 October 2012). You can now savor all the delectable spread of German cuisine under the skillful hands of the Jr. Sous Chef, Chef Kelvin Cheong. However, you won’t be able to try out any pork related items the Germans are famous for as the restaurant is halal. For MAYBANKARD, VISA, CIMB and UOB card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Semi Buffet Dinner (Monday to Thursday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday to Sunday) from 6.30pm – 10.00pm.

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One of the main appetizers of the day would surely be the German Potato Salad (德式馬鈴薯沙拉). This nicely chilled authentic German salad recipe had me digging in for more. It was a simple dish with just a few ingredients and yet the slight creamy and sour flavors in it were truly refreshing and appetizing. Can you imagine a dish with just diced potatoes, diced onions, diced turkey ham, black pepper, vinegar, salt & sugar to taste with a light sprinkles of chopper spring onions can be so fulfilling? Yummy!

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The next appetizer was the German Sauerkraut Salad (德式酸菜沙拉). The sauerkraut which is basically shredded cabbage and sugar under pickling processes through lacto-fermentation, had that slight sourness. When combined with some sliced celery, capsicum, onions and tossed with some sliced bratwurst, it was another great dish to start off prior to a heavy and meaty meal.

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As for main, we had an assortment of German Sausages (Bratwurst) and Chicken Schnitzel served on Rotkohl, with Onion Sauce (with diced turkey ham) and Dijon Mustard as condiments.

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The Germans are the experts in making wurst (sausages) for centuries and they claimed to have created more than a thousand types of wurst throughout Germany, with variants in different regions of course. Their wurst basically falls into 4 categories such as Rohwurst (fresh/raw), Kochwurst (cooked), Buchwurst (boiled/scalded) and Bratwurst (grilled/pan-fried). There are also the schinken (hams) such as the Rohschinken (fresh/raw), Kochschinken (cooked) which would be ideal for topping breads. We managed to try out 5 types of the wurst (chicken & beef) such as the Bratwurst, Foot Long and Weisswurst.

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The Chicken Schnitzel (德式雞排) on the other hand was a hit amongst us. The golden breadcrumbs crusted boneless chicken thigh meat had just the right marinates with a mild touch of parmesan cheese, butter, pepper and a light hint of lemon juice. It was perfect with some sprinkles of roasted almond flakes for the extra crunchiness.

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One of the side dishes that came severed with the main dishes was the Rotkohl (Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage), another staple dish in Germany. Compared to the Sauerkraut, this dish had a more distinctive tangy sweetness from some added apple cider and spices such as cloves and cinnamon barks. Some toasted turkey bacons were added in for a mild tad of saltiness. This dish went well with all the meat dishes.

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Another of the main dishes served was the Beouf (Beef) Stroganoff on some puff pastry. This is quite a flexible dish as it can be use to top any of the starches such as rice, noodles, pasta, bread and more. The taste of this dish was quite similar to those beef stews except that it was rather mild in spices. Basically, you can taste the natural sweetness from a high usage of onions, mild peppery taste from some mustard and black pepper, earthly taste from some mildly sauteed mushrooms and some creamy and sour flavors from the added sour cream. The only doubt I had was on the origin of the dish. It was to be a Russian dish but got famous throughout the surrounding countries and the Germans also claimed it as theirs. LOL!

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A meal won’t be complete if you did not have the national dessert of Germany – the Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cake) or simply known as the Black Forest Cherry Torte. Resident Pastry Chef, Chef Franco Ho did a great job here by producing the most amazing slice of cake I had for a long time. The cake was filled with the right sweetness of cream with added juicy black forest cherries. Thumbs up!

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Another two desserts that got the Germans munching practically any time of the day was the Berliner (Berlin Donuts) and Pretzels. The Berliners were simply deep fried yeast dough balls with custard, crème or jam fillings. On the other hand, the Southern Germany favorite of Pretzels came plain with some sprinkles of icing sugar. This light snack would be great if dunked into some black coffee, especially those filtered coffee.

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Overall, Swez Brasserie had its limitation in serving the German cuisine as pork remains the most popular choice of meat in Germany. Due to the restriction in serving pork related dishes, you would see more of chicken, beef or turkey being used as alternative ingredients. The taste of the dishes might differ significantly from the authentic ones by this substitution of meat choices. I do hope there would also be some German schinken (hams) being served during the actual promotion dates rather than having only German wurst (sausages). For bread, it would be great if they also have some of the famous ones such as those with sourdough and/or Pumpernickel, a deep brown colored steamed, sweet-tasting rye bread. These bread choices would be lovely to go with the meaty dishes such as the Beef Stroganoff or maybe Kartoffelsuppe, a potato and wurst soup. I guessed the kitchen should consider serving some German soup as well for those light eaters. There are many soup options in Germany such as the Gebundene Ochsenschwanzsuppe (German Oxtail Soup), Ueberbackene Zwiebelsuppe (German Onion Soup), Graupensuppe Eintopf (German Barley Soup with Bacon) or even a simple Erbsensuppe (German Pea Soup) to consider.

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

GERMAN GALORE PROMOTION (1-31 OCTOBER 2012)
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 & VISA card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for Texas Grill 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)

 

Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang is promoting its Chinese Cuisine for the whole month of September 2012 (1-30 September 2012). There would be an array of halal Chinese dishes ranging from appetizers, main dishes and desserts to fill your appetite. This promotion would be arranged under the skillful hands of Chinese Chef, Chef Cheah Teik Huat and Jr. Sous Chef, Chef Ong Chin Hock. For the month of September, there would also be a 15% off the bill for all MAYBANKARD, VISA, CIMB and UOB card members.

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As for appetizer, we started with a bowl of Herbal Chicken Soup each. The soup was rich in herbs flavors which basically consisted of Chinese Angelica (Dong Quai/當歸), Codonopsis Pilosula (Dang Shen/黨參), Rhizoma Polygonati Odorati (Polygonatum odoratum (Mil.) Druce/Yu Zhu/玉竹), Red Dates (Jujubes/紅棗) and Wolfberries (Goji Berries/枸杞). Based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice, this herbal soup is great to enhance energy (Qi), nourish the Yin, moisturize the lungs, Alleviate dryness and promote blood circulation. This was one soup most Cantonese would love to have in their meals occasionally.

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The next appetizer was Kerabu Jelly Fish. Although I quite like the chewy texture on the jelly fish, I found the dish to be out of the Chinese cuisine ingredient list. It was more of a Peranakan (Nyonya) cuisine. I would think that this dish would be best served chilled the traditional Chinese method by mixing with some soy sauce, sesame oil, chili oil and vinegar with a light touch of sugar.

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As for main courses, we had Fried Rice in Lotus Leaves. You can taste the flavor of the lotus leaves richly infused into the fried rice. It had some dried shrimps, mushrooms and cubed chicken slices added into the rice. However, it lacked the flavors from some added Chinese sausages – the halal version, since they can’t serve pork ingredients in the restaurant.

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Next on the list was the Stir Fry Vegetables Treasure. It was just a simple starch gravy dish with various blanched vegetables added in such as white cabbages, mustard stems, water chestnuts, Chinese mushrooms, button mushrooms, ginkgo nuts, asparagus and carrots.

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The Roasted Garlic Marinated Chicken was quite nice indeed as you can taste the right combination of seasoning on each of the chopped pieces. The condiment which consisted of slightly sauteed chopped garlic, blended ginger, spring onions, Chinese parsley, sesame oil with a light touch of salt was perfect. The sauce would also be great with just plain steamed white chicken the Hainanese style.

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We also had some Wok Fried Butter King Prawns. The dish had some king Tiger prawns stir fried with some chilies, curry leaves in butter and garnish with some egg floss. However, I still think that this dish is more towards Asian fusion than traditional Chinese cuisine.

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The last of the main course presented was the Sweet and Sour Fish. This was another common Chinese household dish. The dish had batter coated sea bass fillet topped with tomato ketchup based stir fried pineapple, tomatoes, cucumber, onions and red chilies. Simple as it may look but the fillet still had the slight crispiness that I like.

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Last but not least, we had some Double Boiled Snow Fungus with Pears as dessert. This was another common Chinese household dessert which would be quite beneficial to strengthen the Yin in the body with the current weather which caused many people to be down with flu and cough. The dessert had snow fungus, Asian pear slices, dried longan, red dates and wolfberries. The only ingredient missing here was the Chinese almonds or commonly known as apricot seeds, which would be great to strengthen the respiratory system. Moreover, the chefs used sugar rather than rock sugar for this dessert, thus having a stronger sugar sweetness. You can also try out my personal recipe for this wonderful dessert.

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Since the Mid Autumn Festival would be celebrated on 30 September 2012 (15th day of 8th lunar month in the Chinese calendar), you would expect to savor the delicious mooncakes during the month of September 2012. Eastin Hotel Penang would also be selling their brand of Eastin Mooncakes at the hotel lobby from 1-30 September 2012. There would be 6 choices ranging from Red Bean Paste (RM16.50/pc), Assorted Fruits, Nuts & Chicken Bits (RM17.00/pc), Jade Custard (RM17.00/pc), Low Sugar White Lotus (RM17.50/pc), Golden Honey Grapefruit with Pineapple (RM17.50) and Lotus Paste Single Yolk (RM18.00/pc). Takeaway mooncakes would be subjected to 6% service tax while dine in would incur a 10% service charge and 6% service tax. You can place your order through +604-612 1128 (Tel), +604-612 1199 (Fax) or email to [email protected]

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Overall, the spreads served in this promotion were a bit too common in my opinion just like how you would get during any wedding banquet. They lacked the creativity. The dishes have more localized flavors rather than exploring further into the international Chinese cuisine scenes from countries such as China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. There are so many regions in China alone and the chefs could have come out with some of the regional cuisine based on the Eight Cuisines of China such as Hui (Anhui), Yue (Guangdong), Min (Fujian), Xiang (Hunan), Su (Jiangsu), Lu (Shandong), Chuan (Sichuan) and Zhe (Zhejiang). Somehow, the dishes served lack the sourness and spiciness as you would get in certain regional Chinese cuisine. I hope the chefs would look into this matter further to provide more options to the diners.

For MAYBANKARD, VISA, CIMB and UOB card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Chinese Cuisine Promotion for the whole month of September 2012.

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

CHINESE CUISINE PROMOTION (1-30 SEPTEMBER 2012)
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 (From 21 August 2012)
RM48++ per pax
Weekend Themed Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm):
Friday: Seafood Supreme
Saturday: Japanese
Sunday: East Meets West
RM80++ (adult), RM40++ (child)

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

 

AFFORDABLE MEALS AT TAIPEI 101 @ BAYAN INDAH PENANG

Posted by crizlai On August - 6 - 2012

Taipei 101 – Taiwan Cuisine Restaurant has been in operation for almost 3 years and I had just managed to pay them a visit recently. The restaurant would serve quite a number of Taiwanese dishes but tweaked to suit the locals’ taste buds. The food here could be real economical for all consumptions as prices would be in nett.

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The restaurant practically served quite a variety of bento sets just like the one I had at Kim Tavern @ Sunway Carnival, Bandar Sunway, Penang. One of the sets was the Sweet & Sour Garlic Pork Bento (蒜泥白肉便當 – RM9.90nett). The bento set came with some stir fried sweet and sour garlic pork, a bowl of rice, half a braised egg, some vegetables and some bean curd stick and seaweed soup. The deep fried eggplants were somehow rather hardy and the stir fried mixed vegetables were somewhat overcooked, thus losing the crunchiness. The dishes were just some simple home cooked dishes which was nothing much to brag about. It would be better if they could give those pork slices a touch of batter and presented it in a semi dry sauce just like how Kim Tavern mentioned above did.

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The next bento set was the Deep Fried Lemongrass Chicken Rice (檸檬香茅雞腿排飯 – RM9.90nett). The crispy chicken drumstick portion was humongous but somehow the taste was not up to my expectation as it lacked the taste of the lemon and lemon grass marinates as the said name. Maybe some finely chopped lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves added in the batter would have given the chicken choice piece a better flavor. Alternatively, some thick lemongrass gravy on the crispy chicken would be another good solution. This dish also came with some steamed rice with braised pork sauce, spicy chili tofu and half a braised egg. Unfortunately, the sauce did not have the fragrance as in the traditionally served Taiwanese Braised Pork Rice just like the one I had at my favorite Formosa Restaurant. It lacked the lard flavors.

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They do also serve claypot dishes sets which would come with a bowl of rice, some spicy chili tofu and some egg. One of the dishes would be the Spicy Pork Ribs Claypot (辛辣排骨 – RM11.50nett/set or RM9.50nett ala carte). This dish was somewhat like the dim sum version of Steamed Pork Ribs with some fermented black soy beans (黑豆豆豉/tao see) and some spicy spices but with more gravy. Though the pork ribs were tender and packed with flavors, the gravy was rather diluted. The kitchen should simmer the gravy more to thicken it or use less water in the process of cooking. Else, the gravy was quite nice to go with hot steaming rice.

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We were also served with the Braised Pork Trotter Claypot (滷豬手 – RM12.50nett/set or RM10.50nett ala carte). Obviously, some pork belly meat had been added into the dish to create more bulk as pork trotters usually would not contain much meat. The sweet black vinegar based dish had some mushrooms added in too. I personally prefer more old ginger added in to pep up the flavor but overall the dish was still great enough to go with a hot steaming bowl of rice.

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Another claypot dish that you would hardly get at any Taiwanese fast food restaurant chain would be duck dishes. Taipei 101 do serve Braised Ginger Duck Claypot (子姜鴨砂煲 – RM11.50nett/set or RM9.50nett ala carte). The dish had some choice duck pieces braised in ginger and Chinese wine with some wood ear fungus added in. Not a bad dish but the flavors from the Chinese wine might be overpowering for some diners.

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A visit to any Taiwanese restaurant won’t be complete if you did not try out their mee suah (麵線/wheat grass noodles). Taipei 101 has the options for ingredients such as oyster, mushroom, squid, mock abalone, mussel and scallop. We had their Neptune Mian Xian (海皇麵線- RM7.80nett/1 ingredient, RM10.80nett/2 ingredients or RM12.80nett/3 ingredients) with mock abalone (貴妃鮑魚/processed calamari slices). Instead of using the Taiwan imported noodles, Taipei 101 was using a local version which had been deep fried. Thus, the noodles had more al dente than the Taiwanese’s but still flavorful for the dish. The almost miso taste-like soup has a distinctive bonito flakes flavor with additional omelette slices, crabstick slices and some spring onions added as garnishing on top of the mock abalone slices.

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The noodle dish would go well with some dry chilies in oil from the table.

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Snacks most probably play an important part in the lives of any Taiwanese. One of the snacks that I like most was their Deep Fried Kumara Potatoes with Plum Powder (甘梅地瓜 – RM4.80nett). The sweet red potatoes were done with the perfect crispiness and they were generous with the plum powder too.

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Another of their snack was the Popcorn Chicken (鹽酥雞 – RM5.00nett). Great chunks of chicken were used but the batter was not up to my expectation as there were some parts of the coating which were rather hardy. Moreover, the juiciness of the meat seemed not to be in presence as drumstick meat pieces were not used in the preparation. Some seasoning powder with high hints of salt and pepper were tossed into the chicken chunks but it lacked the slight spiciness from some finely grinded chili flakes. I wish they could have done up the dish as great as Formosa Restaurant.

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We were also served with their Taiwanese Sausage (臺灣香腸 – RM5.00nett). There were two sausages given compared to other places with only single serving. It was a great bargain. However, the lightly grilled sausage slices were obviously not handmade as the meat within was rather finely minced. Taste wise, they were still acceptable except for the missing chunky bites.

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As for beverages, the options were rather standard except for some with a slight twist. We tried out their Winter Melon Lemon Tea (檸檬冬瓜茶 – RM3.90nett), Chocolate Pearl Milk Tea (朱古力珍珠奶茶 – RM3.90nett), Mango Smoothie (芒果沙冰 – RM5.90), Ice Blended Red Bean (紅豆冰沙 – RM4.90nett) and Papaya Milk Shake (木瓜牛奶 – RM4.50nett). The own created recipe of Winter Melon Lemon Tea was rather unique.

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Overall, Taipei 101 could be quite an ideal place for a quick and simple meal without worrying much on your budget. Food wise, they are not much into the authentic Taiwanese cuisine but a bit more towards fusion food. There are still rooms for improvements as some of the dishes were a bit out of track with more localized flavors. I also hope the kitchen would improve on their balance in flavors as I found a large amount of their dishes lacked the required usage of ingredients. Let’s hope they could revamp a better menu in the future with the help of some qualified professionals in the industry. Free delivery services would be available for purchase over RM25.

Taipei 101 Taiwan is located just opposite 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 traffic lights. Drive on until you see a stretch of shop houses before the open space car park opposite Queensbay Mall. Taipei 101 is at this stretch of shop houses. The entrance is just before the open car park. Turn left and drive one round to find your parking space.

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Name: TAIPEI 101 TAIWAN CUISINE RESTAURANT
Address: 35G Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-642 1339
Business Hours:
11.00am-3.00pm (Lunch), 5.30pm-10.00pm (Dinner), 11.00am-10.00pm (Weekends)
GPS: 5.334662, 100.307305

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

 

With National Day just around the corner, Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang is promoting its Marvelous Malaysia Cuisine for the whole month of August 2012 (1-31 August 2012). There would be an array of Malaysian dishes ranging from appetizers, main dishes and desserts to fill your appetite. This promotion would be arranged under the skillful hands of Jr. Sous Chefs, Chef Mohamad Bakri and Chef Mohd Fauzi. For the month of August, there would also be a 15% off the bill for all MAYBANKARD, VISA, CIMB and UOB card members.

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As for appetizer, there would be some juicy skews of Chicken Satay with Condiments. Of so many styles and flavors of satays I’ve tried from so many buffet lines, I would say that Swez Brasserie did a great job in maintaining the juiciness of the meat within each skew. The flavors were just right with the creamy and flavorful spicy peanut sauce. The satays were served with some onion, cucumber and ketupat cuts.

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Another option was the Pasembur with Peanut Sauce. The dish came with some julienned cucumber and jicama, topped with deep fried items such as potatoes, hard boiled eggs, fish balls, bean curds, chicken rolls, pita bread, prawns and more. It was appetizing.

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As for the main course, we were served with a variety of dishes accompanied by Nasi Briyani. Each grain of the used Basmati rice was evenly coated with briyani seasonings, topped with some raisins and chopped roasted almonds.

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One of the main dishes that I like was the Daging Rendang Tok. The dish had chunks of beef slowly simmered in herbs and spices until the meat prices were tender and nice. It was creamy dry with a large amount of coconut milk and desiccated coconut being used. The dish just lacked a bit more of ginger in it to cover the beefy taste as many of the guests could not get use to the overpowering flavors.

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Next was the Curry Chicken which was of a drier version compared to the normal style served elsewhere. The dish has a tad of Indian influence and would go well with chapatti or any types of bread.

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I love the Ikan Panggang (Grilled Fish) a lot as the kitchen made a right choice of choosing stingray as the flesh was the best for any type of grilling. The flavorful turmeric coating on the fish as well as the beautifully prepared condiment of sauce made the dish the perfect dish for all.

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The next dish which was the Assam Prawns was another well prepared Nyonya dish. The nicely fried tamarind with a light touch of sugar and soy sauce marinated prawns were quite a hit. However, due to the limitation of the prawn supply, tiger prawns were used instead of the ideal white/green shelled prawns.

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The Malaysian sea has an abundant supply of flower crabs, thus Flower Crab Curry was served. For crab lovers, this would be an ideal dish for you as those crabs were indeed super fresh.

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With such a humid weather in Malaysia recently, no one could resist the temptation of having a large bowl of Ice Kacang being served. You can choose all the ingredients you like such as corns, kidney beans, jelly, grass jelly, cendul, attap nuts, nutmeg strips and crushed peanuts for your shaved ice dessert, on top of having a large scoop of ice cream on it. How I wished there could be peanut ice cream as well. Haha!

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Other than cakes, pastries, local kuih or even fresh fruits as desserts, they also would serve some local fruits and vegetables fritters. There would be choices of batter fried Goreng Pisang, Goreng Ubi Keledek, Goreng Ubi Keladi, Goreng Cempedak, Goreng Buah Sukun (bread fruit) or even Kuih Kodok. They sure know how to handle the batter well as each piece of the fritter had a nice crispiness that won’t go soggy even left for a long time.

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Overall, Swez Brasserie do serves quite a variety of delicious Malaysian cuisine with a touch of kampong style. There dishes during our review were reasonably up to the required standards.

For MAYBANKARD, VISA, CIMB and UOB card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Marvelous Malaysia Semi Buffet Dinner (Monday – Thursday: 21 August 2012 onwards), Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday – Sunday) and Ramadan Buffet Dinner from 6.30pm – 10.00pm daily (21 July – 18 August, 2012).

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

MARVELOUS MALAYSIA PROMOTION (1-31 AUGUST 2012)
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 (National Day- 31 August 2012): RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Monday – Thursday (From 21 August 2012)
RM48++ per pax
Weekend Themed Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm):
Friday: Seafood Supreme
Saturday: Japanese
Sunday: East Meets West
RM80++ (adult), RM40++ (child)

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: 7.5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 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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Howdy from the Isle of delicious Asian food and the UNESCO Heritage City of Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Just call me Criz Lai and I am here to share with you on what’s the best food you can get in town as well as from many other parts of Malaysia.

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