CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

GPFLYER photo GPFLYER_zpsdcd97396.jpg

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

GP01 photo GP01_zps897e98bd.jpg

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

GP02 photo GP02_zps9b902413.jpg

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

GP03 photo GP03_zps977b2618.jpg

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

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

GP04 photo GP04_zpsdc2d8c02.jpg

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

GP05 photo GP05_zps811cf2a5.jpg

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

GP06 photo GP06_zps1fa18762.jpg

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

GP07 photo GP07_zps21749e3e.jpg

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

GP08 photo GP08_zpsc06f87ed.jpg

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

GP09 photo GP09_zps604bc08a.jpg

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

GP10 photo GP10_zpsf84a78e6.jpg

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

GPMENU photo GPMENU_zps2c7713fb.jpg

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

EQHOTELMAP photo EQHOTELMAP_zpse89dd544.jpg

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

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

 

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

 photo KS01_zpsae4e1f63.jpg

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

 photo KSO2_zpsbb797bfa.jpg

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

 photo KS03_zps0df32384.jpg

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

KS04 photo KS04_zps91c28fe5.jpg

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

KS05 photo KS05_zps5e088568.jpg

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

KS06 photo KS06_zps1888e0cb.jpg

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

KS07 photo KS07_zpsb8a98574.jpg

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

KS08 photo KS08_zps415cd435.jpg

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

KS09 photo KS09_zpsfb1c0c83.jpg

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

KS10 photo KS10_zps5a613162.jpg

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

KS11 photo KS11_zpse5ceb68f.jpg

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

 photo KSDIPS_zpsf35a757c.jpg

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

 photo KSMENU_zpsf5ef8baa.jpg

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

If you are coming from Georgetown towards Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone via Bayan Lepas Expressway, do watch out for the Pulau Jerejak signboard (leading to Pulau Jerejak jetty). Ignore the turning and drive on to the next left junction. Turn left into Jalan Aziz Ibrahim and drive on until you a roundabout. Turn 3 o’ clock and drive on until you see a big Eastin Hotel signboard. Queensbay Mall is just after the block of shop houses. Find your parking space either at the open space car park or drive further up after the roundabout and turn around towards the mall to find more parking spaces. As you walk into the mall, move towards the North Zone of the mall and you will see Kürtős Spiroll just after the Habanero Mexican Restaurant.

KSMAP photo KSMAP_zps6bf18829.jpg

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

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

 

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.

EASTINLOUNGE01

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.

EASTINLOUNGE02

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

EASTINLOUNGE03

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).

EASTINLOUNGE04

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.

EASTINLOUNGE05

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++).

EASTINLOUNGE06

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.

EASTINLOUNGE07

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.

GERMANGALORE01

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!

GERMANGALORE02

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.

GERMANGALORE03

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.

GERMANGALORE04

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.

GERMANGALORE05

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.

GERMANGALORE06

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.

GERMANGALORE07

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!

GERMANGALORE08

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!

GERMANGALORE09

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.

GERMANGALORE10

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, would be having its Peranakan Cuisine Promotion for the whole month of July 2012 (1-31 July 2012). The Peranakan cuisine or commonly known as Nyonya cuisine, is a combination of Chinese (different origins), Malay and other influences such as Thai and Indian into a unique blend of its own. This promotion would be under the skillful hands of the Jr. Sous Chef, Chef Ong Chin Hock and Pastry Chef, Chef Franco Ho.

EASTINPERANAKAN01

We were served with the Nyonya Acar Awak (娘惹阿渣泡菜), a spicy mixed vegetables which consisted of cabbages, carrot, cucumber and cauliflower, stir mixed in a spicy sauce which has hints of shallots, garlic, chilies, turmeric, coarsely pounded toasted peanuts and toasted sesame seeds and more. The Acar Awak served here was extremely simplified and was not anywhere near the authentic version. Firstly, the vegetables were overcooked. The dish should have fast blanched vegetables rather than cooked vegetable to preserve the mild crunchiness. Moreover, long beans were not added. The overall taste lacked the creaminess from more added pounded peanuts, the fragrance from some added red and green chilies and a more distinctive sourness from some added vinegar.

EASTINPERANAKAN02

The Nyonya Kerabu Ayam (Nyonya Chicken Salad/娘惹涼拌雞肉) was a better choice for me as it had a Thai twist to the authentic recipe without the usage of wood ear fungus. It was creamier than the normal Nyonya version with distinctive flavors from the added ginger flower, lemongrass and toasted desiccated coconut (kerisik). However, the red chilies should be julienned rather than sliced for a more fine display and they should not be too overpowering as served.

EASTINPERANAKAN03

Another appetizer that we had was the Nyonya Kuih Pie Tee (娘惹金杯薄餅) or commonly known as the Singapore Top Hats. The version served here was totally different as it had stir fried minced chicken filled in each cup and topped with some fried shallots and chopped spring onions. I would say they were too dry to my liking as the filling lacked some vegetables such as julienned carrot and jicama for some moist bites.

EASTINPERANAKAN04

As main course served with steaming rice, we had the Itik Tim (Duck & Salted Vegetable Soup/鹹菜鴨湯). The duck pieces had the right tenderness. The soup had the right flavors from the salted green mustard (kiam chye), preserved salted plum, tomatoes, peppercorns, onions, dried chilies and young galangal but it was rather salty. This Nyonya duck soup may look easy to cook but without the right skills to get rid of the excess saltiness in the salted vegetables and the right tuning in saltiness and sourness from the preserved salted plums, the whole dish may end up disastrous. I was also wondering why young galangal were used in this recipe as old ginger would be a better choice to pep up the flavors with a more gingery spice taste. Moreover, this was one great ingredient to get rid of the “gas” as believed in the traditional Nyonya cooking.

EASTINPERANAKAN05

As for the Nyonya Yellow Curry Chicken (娘惹風雞肉黃咖哩), it did not amaze me much as the usage of curry powder was overwhelming. It was not even near Nyonya, Malay or even Indian style of cooking. The flavor was rather flat, sweet and sandy without the prominent flavors from star anise, cloves, cinnamon bark, cardamom and more. There were no traces of tomatoes too for that mild sourness and a pinch or two of salt would have given the dish a better justice.

EASTINPERANAKAN06

The next dish which was the Assam Prawns (阿參蝦) also had a big twist in the recipe. Other than the normal marinate of tamarind, sugar and salt, the prawns had some shrimp paste (belacan) added in. I won’t say it was a totally bad fusion but it indeed tasted out from the norm. As this is a hotel and having white shelled prawns which were costlier would be quite impossible for their budget, tiger prawns were used instead. It really did not bring out the flavors as I would have expected.

EASTINPERANAKAN07

Their Jiu Hoo Char (Stir Fried Jicama with Dried Cuttlefish/魷魚炒甜蘿蔔絲) would have made my Mum screamed for originality. I would rather have this filled in my Kuih Pie Tee instead. Basically, the dish consisted of unevenly julienned jicama, carrots and French beans stir fried with some dried cuttlefish. The taste was just average considering that no meat pieces were added in and no extra fragrance from some thinly sliced Chinese mushrooms at all. I won’t even consider this dish as Nyonya at all although this is one of the signature dishes in Peranakan cuisine.

EASTINPERANAKAN08

As for dessert, we had some Bee Koh Moy (Black Glutinous Rice Porridge/黑糯米粥) topped with some slightly salted coconut milk. Somehow the dessert lacked some white glutinous rice added in to give it the extra thickness. They could have added in some dried longan as well for some natural sweetness and flavor.

EASTINPERANAKAN09

We also had an assortment of Nyonya Kuih such as the Mini Ang Koo, Cai Tao Kuih (Radish Cake with Pounded Peanuts), Kuih Bingka Ubi (Tapioca Cake), 9 Layers Kuih Lapis (Gao Chan Gou) and Kuih Bengkang (purple color).

EASTINPERANAKAN10

Since it’s still the durian season in Penang now, Chef Franco treated us with his latest creation, Durian Layer Cake. It had a mix of some fresh branded durian flesh added in.

EASTINPERANAKAN11

Overall, I would still prefer the authentic Peranakan/Nyonya cuisine rather than the fusion versions served at Swez Brasserie. This dishes served here might suit the taste buds of foreigners but to us Penangites who were born and bred in the Peranakan influenced tradition, the dishes were too mild. Peranakan cuisine is all about making the best usage of herbs and spices to storm out dishes that would be filled with rich flavors for the palate of a family. Some cuisine can’t be too fusion at all as it would kill the authentic flavors of yesteryears. Personally, my preference would still be Ivy’s Kitchen in the heart of George Town for a more authentic Peranakan cuisine.

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

PERANAKAN CUISINE PROMOTION (1-31 JULY 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 (George Town World Heritage Day – 7 July 2012): 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 the Peranakan Cuisine 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: 6/10 (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 Texas Grill Promotion for the whole month of June 2012 (1-30 June 2012). You can now savor all the mouth-watering dishes as how the cowboys would. This promotion would be under the skillful hands of the newly appointed Jr. Sous Chef, Chef Kelvin Cheong.

EASTINTEXAS01

We started with the Texas Wild Potato Soup (德式馬鈴薯浓湯). The soup had a slightly burned earthly flavor due to the fact that the USA imported potatoes were marinated with herbs and had gone through the process of baking prior to being blended and mixed in with some flour and cream. It had a brown creamy texture and was quite nice, though a bit salty to my preference. A light touch of fresh herbs added in with a gentle grind of fresh black pepper would have pepped up the taste even better.

EASTINTEXAS02

As appetizer, we were served with Grilled Shrimp and Strawberry Salad (草莓烤蝦沙拉). For non cheese lover, this salad might be quite intruding as it was slightly overpowering. Grilled prawns were tossed together with rocket lettuce, cherry tomatoes, fresh strawberry cuts, fresh herbs, black pepper in a dressing made from a combination of bleu cheese and fruity vinaigrette. The concoction was not bad except that I found the name to be a bit deceiving as there were no distinctive flavors of strawberries. Alternatively, if the cherry tomatoes and strawberry cuts were sun-dried or the strawberries be made into compote and added it, the salad would surely taste better.

EASTINTEXAS03

Another appetizer we tried out was the Texas Broccoli and Turkey Slices Salad (德式火雞片與西蘭花沙拉). I would say, this salad would suit the palate of everyone. The salad had tossed blanched broccoli, carrot cubes and fresh seedless grapes in a concoction of mayonnaise and desiccated coconut flakes dressing, garnishes with crispy turkey bacon and almond flakes. I was glad that the dressing has just the necessary mild touch of desiccated coconut flakes and was not too overpowering.

EASTINTEXAS04

As for the main course, we had the Texas BBQ Grilled Skewer (德州燒烤串). It consisted of 3 different options of grilled chicken, lamb and seafood (shrimp, mussel & squid) skews. All the skews were nicely marinated as they should.

EASTINTEXAS05

The main perfection for grilled skewers actually came from the accompanied dips to boost up the right combination of flavors. BBQ Sauce and Yoghurt Mint Sauce were provided. Although the BBQ Sauce had the right flavors and smoky taste from some added liquid smoke, it somehow lacked the puree thickness. It might be great as marinate for grilled ribs but it was a bit too diluted as a dip to stick well to the meat. Some chopped onions or tomato puree added in might help solve this issue. It also lacked a light spicy touch of Tabasco sauce. The Yoghurt Mint Sauce on the other hand tasted too “tandoori style” rather than “Texan style” to me. I personally prefer simple mint jelly/sauce to go with my grilled lamb.

EASTINTEXAS06

The Grilled Chicken with Honey Mustard Glaze (蜂蜜芥末醬烤雞) was one of the dishes I can’t get enough of. It was wise of the chef to use chicken drumstick fillet as that would be the best part of a chicken to get that tender and juicy texture. Even after some period of time, those choice pieces still maintained the moist within. Well done Chef Kelvin!

EASTINTEXAS07

The last dish was the Grilled Beef with Tortilla (烤牛肉片與玉米薄餅). These cut rolls of stuffed grilled beef tortillas were served on a bed of nachos dressed with salsa. My first impression was, “Gosh! They looked so dry!” The first bite had me in amazement. Not only were the roll soft and delicious with tender pieces of grilled beef, it had a light spicy crunch from the added capsicum slices. The chef was smart to add into two secret ingredients to moisten the roll – caramelized onions and garlic mayonnaise. Way to go Chef!

EASTINTEXAS08

More salsa was provided for dressing up the stuffed grilled beef tortilla rolls. I won’t mind if some sour cream was to be provided too to dip in the nachos.

EASTINTEXAS09

The desserts were just simple as how you would get from the buffet line. It was too American in general. It lacked the Texan feel and taste. We had the American Cheese Cake (美式乳酪蛋糕) and Texas Brownies (德州巧克力布朗尼).

EASTINTEXAS10

Overall, Swez Brasserie fairs rather well in their Texas Grill Promotion. After all, you can’t go wrong with grills if the cooking time were monitored carefully. Too bad they are concentrating more on grills rather than adding in more fried and Texas State Fair items which are also in the recommended top dishes in Texas. Their Texas Grill Promotion was more towards the Wild West Country Theme where the flavors were wild and suspense. I was rather surprise that they did not promote the #1 Texas State Food which is the Texas Chili. A bowl of the famed thick, hot and steamy chili con carne would add in more excitements in the dishes served, may it be tacos, tortillas, cornbread and more. Corn dogs are common in Texas and they are something that would attract just any age group who loves to have deep fried corn battered hotdogs. As for dessert, I hope they do come out with more options such as the delicious Pecan Pie as it’s the state tree of Texas, as I found the desserts served were too American in general.

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

TEXAS GRILL PROMOTION (1-30 JUNE 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 (Fathers’ Day – 17 June 2012): RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Monday – Thursday
RM48++ per pax

FATHERS’ DAY SPECIAL PROMOTION (1-30 JUNE 2012)

A happy Dad dines for FREE with every 2 paying adults on all weekends in June 2012. Weekend buffet dinner themes are as following:
Friday – Seafood Supreme
Saturday – Japanese Night
Sunday – East Meets West

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: 7.5/10 (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)

 

TAIWAN FRANCHISED FORMOSA RESTAURANT HAS SET FOOT IN PENANG

Posted by crizlai On April - 15 - 2012

More and more Taiwanese restaurants and dessert houses have popped up in Penang recently with the latest being the Formosa Restaurant (臺灣風味館) which opened two weeks ago at Penang’s first smart office – The C.E.O, Penang. The restaurant is the 7th branch in Malaysia with the other 6 branches based in the central. Some of the best Taiwanese delicacies with some homemade touches would be served here daily. I went over to the restaurant recently and tried out some of their signature dishes. Basically, the menu was simple and consisted of 4 categories – noodles, rice, appetizers and beverages.

FORMOSA01

We started off with their signature noodles – Dry Noodles with Bean Sauce (炸醬乾麵 – RM7.90+). The dish has quite a generous amount of nice al dente textured ramen topped with bean sprouts, sliced cucumber and carrot with some sinfully delicious braised pork belly in bean sauce. It had a mild saltiness as there were loads of vegetables in it. Although flavorful with nice bites, the kitchen should take note of the surplus oil at the base. It has chopped spring onion and fried shallots as garnishes.

FORMOSA02

There was also the spicy version of the dry noodles – Spicy Dry Noodles (麻辣乾麵 – RM9.90+). The noodles basically was stirred in some spicy chili in oil and garnished with some Chinese cabbage, wood ear fungus, boiled deep fried pork skin, squids and fried shallots. Well, this dish was not in my favorite list as there was only the spiciness in the noodles and nothing else. They should have followed how I Mum Mum Pan Mee handled their cooked noodles by tossing in some dark soy and soy sauce for that extra flavors on each strand of the noodles. There were also too much water taste in the soggy pork skin and the squids were tasteless. Seriously, there should be some soy sauce, pepper and chili oil available on each table for us to tweak the taste to our liking. Maybe I’m an extreme spicy eater as I found the level of spiciness was too low for me.

FORMOSA12

I also tried out their Beef Noodles (牛肉麵 – RM10.90+) since I’m also a fan the Taiwanese style of recipe. Since this is a franchised restaurant, there was nothing much that can be done to pep up the flavors further. The ramen noodles were perfect as it should be but the soup base was a bit too mild for me. It lacked the thick flavor that it should have from the herbs and spices used. It practically tasted more towards the soup for tempura dip rather than for a beef soup. There were hints of star anise, soy sauce and some brown sugar without flavors from some dried orange peels, garlic, scallions, ginger and rice wine. The beef slices also lacked the beefy taste as all the flavors had gone into the soup. The kitchen should time the cooking time of the beef better in the future to maintain its flavors. The noodles were served with beef slices, Chinese cabbage, chopped spring onions, pickled mustard greens and some mala chili sauce. The only garnishing missing was the chopped cilantro which would also add in some extra flavors. This dish would be suitable for those who prefer a lighter soup base.

FORMOSA03

The next dish which was the Braised Pork Rice (滷肉飯 – RM5.90+) was a hit amongst the diners. It may look simple with just the braised pork plus pickled mustard greens on some steamed rice, but each bite was filled with awesome melting moments from the flavorful pork belly cuts. This is a must have dish for those who would not mind some fatty meat occasionally.

FORMOSA04

We also tried out their signature Deep Fried Pork Chop Rice (排骨飯 – RM 10.90+). The dish came with a plate of deep fried pork chop, sprinkled with some seasonings and paprika, a bowl of soup and a plate of steamed rice with four side dishes, namely deep fried eggplant, stir fry cabbage, stir fry celery with carrots and tomato omelette. It was a fulfilling set meal at an affordable price.

FORMOSA05

There were also some delicious appetizers available here such as their signature homemade Taiwan Sausage (自製臺灣香腸 – RM6.90+). This plump looking sausage is a killer. Not only were the thinly sliced sausage pieces sweet and flavorful, they were juicy for each bite. The dish would go well with some sliced raw garlic. It would be best if the garlic were to be sliced thinner (7-8 slices instead of the current 2 cuts) for a more delicate presentation.

FORMOSA06

The was also the Stewed Pork Steamed Sandwich (割包 – RM4.90+/pc). The delicacy had a piece of specially seasoned steamed pork belly slice sandwiched in between a flat steamed bun, together with some chopped cilantro, pickled mustard greens and some pounded roasted peanuts. The pork belly was actually stewed in a recipe almost similar to the Nyonya Hong Bak (Stewed Pork Belly in Fermented Bean Sauce). The concoction was nice but it lacked a bit of thick sauce on the meat for a more moist bite. It would be better if the meat were to be stewed with red fermented bean curd (tao joo/nam joo/南乳) rather than fermented beans paste (tao cheong/豆醬) for more flavors.

FORMOSA07

Another light and refreshing appetizer would be their Century Egg with Tofu (柴魚皮蛋豆腐 – RM5.90+). It had a small block of chilled tofu and four quarters of a century egg, dressed with their homemade sauce and topped with a generous amount of katsuobushi shavings (bonito flakes). The sauce tasted like a concentrated version of the tentsuyu sauce with some hints of dashi, mirin and shoyu. There was a mild taste of kelp (large seaweed), most probably from the dashi sauce which has an extract from the boiling of kelps and bonito flakes. There were requests from diner for additional bonito flakes on the dish but I felt that the abundant cuttlefish taste like flakes overpowered the natural taste of the whole dish. Personally, I would rather go for the delicious Japanese style Agedashi Tofu which would be served in a hot tentsuyu broth.

FORMOSA08

Other than the Deep Fried Pork Chop, they also have the Shi-Lin Chicken Chop (士林大雞排 – RM7.90+). I love how they prepared this dish as the coated batter was just right, not too thick and not too thin. Combined with the seasoning and paprika, it was heaven! I prefer this chicken chop more than the pork chop as it was more tender and juicy than the former. It was more delicious than Uncle Bob’s for sure. Beware when you bite it as it may contain some tiny bones which are quite common in Taiwanese chicken snacks.

FORMOSA09

For a boneless version, there was the Taiwan Salted Chicken (臺灣咸酥雞 – RM6.90+) that got me munching endlessly. Talk about juiciness and flavors and this dish had it all. Although the coating was similar as the Shi-Lin Chicken Chop, I prefer these cubed chicken pieces more. You can forget about other Pop Pop Chicken as I would call them, this dish rules! It’s a dish not to miss~ 🙂

FORMOSA13

Do you fancy glutinous rice? If you do, you can try out their Rice Burger with Sausage (大腸包小腸 – RM9.50+). It had a sausage bun like deep fried glutinous rice mixed with peanuts, stuffed with fresh cucumber and pickled mustard green, topped with the delicious Taiwanese sausage. The dish had a special thick soy sauce (豆油醬) dressed on it. The slightly crisp glutinous rice blended in real well with the vegetables and the sausages, except it was a bit salty due to the dressing. It would be best if the dressing were to be served separately for diners to adjust to their level of saltiness. This dish is best taken when served hot or it would be a bit chewy when cold.

FORMOSA14

If you are a fresh oyster lover, the next dish which was the Oyster Mee Sua (蚵仔麵線 – RM6.90+), better known as Oh Ah Misua in Taiwan, might suit you well. The dish had Taiwan imported tan-brown salted wheat grass noodles (misua/mee sua/mee suah) served in a starched broth with some mildly blanched fresh oyster in boiling water with some dashes of pepper, sesame oil and shallot oil. This dish would be best taken hot when served. Although the dish was slightly cold after my photography session, I found the soup base lacked in thick broth flavors. Somehow, it did not have the flavors as I would get in a bowl of rich sharksfin soup with high quality broth (上湯). The usage of some shaoxing wine plus some deep fried shallots/garlic in oil might pep up the taste better. I also found this dish to have too much soup than mee sua. Moreover, they did not serve this dish with some black vinegar.

FORMOSA10

As for beverages, there are tea, milk tea and others which you could add on either magic crystal, coffee jelly or pearl at an additional RM1.00 per cup. Obviously, you can see clearly from the photos below that my favorite was the Lavender Milk Tea (RM4.50+). The milk tea had just the right sweetness to my liking with a fragrant lavender flavor coming from the added lavender seeds. This refreshing drink would be great for sleep and relaxation. The next drink that I quite like was the Taro Milk Tea (RM4.50+). The creaminess and sweetness for this beverage was just right for me too. The honey used in this restaurant was rather unique. It had a flowery chrysanthemum after taste in it. The lemon juice too had that sourness unlike the usual ones as I can taste that there were some Calamansi (Calamondin/Limau Kasturi) juice added in. Thus, you should not miss out their beverages such as the Honey Lemon Jasmine Green Tea (RM4.50+) or even the Honey Lemon Juice (RM3.50+). I also tried out the Honey Black Tea with Coffee Jelly (RM3.90+ plus RM1.00+ for add on). It was a perfect combination with a distinctive coffee flavor coming from the al dente jelly cubes.

FORMOSA11

Overall, the items served here can be considered real reasonable in price compared to those within malls, considering that only a 5% service fee would be charged. Taste wise, some of the dishes can be real delicious while others were quite common. As a franchised restaurant, it has the necessary standards to please any diner. This restaurant would be a great venue to hang out with family, friends and colleagues over some nice Taiwanese cuisine.

Formosa Restaurant is located just opposite Kayu Nasi Kandar at the ground floor of Penang’s first smart office, The CEO. If you are driving up towards Bukit Jambul via Jalan Yeap Chor Ee/Jalan Bukit Gambier, just take note of the USM traffic lights. Immediately after the traffic lights, take note of the 4th traffic lights (1st traffic lights to Taman Perkaka/USM, 2nd traffic lights to Bukit Jambul/Equatorial Hotel, 3rd traffic lights to Taman Lip Sin/Super Tanker Food Court, 4th traffic lights to Kayu Nasi Kandar/The CEO – Penang’s first smart office). At the 4th traffic lights (Jalan Bukit Gambier/Lebuh Nipah 5), turn left into Lebuh Nipah 5 and drive until the T-junction (Lebuh Nipah 5/Lebuh Nipah). Turn right into Lebuh Nipah and take the first right turning into Lebuh Nipah 7 (as stated in Google map but Kayu address is stated as Lebuh Nipah whereas the opposite CEO address is stated as Lebuh Nipah 5~ A bit of confusion here~ LOL!). You can see the double floors restaurant on your left. In case you cannot find parking spaces surrounding that area, you can park your car at the CEO multi-storey cark behind the restaurant.

FORMOSAMAP

Name: FORMOSA RESTAURANT @ THE CEO PENANG
Address: The CEO, 31-1-16 Lebuh Nipah 5, Sg. Nibong, 11950 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-611 1988, 012-286 9912 / 016-629 1632 (Mr. Brandon Ong)
Business Hours: 11.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.336566, 100.292797

BRANCHES:
Kuchai Lama (HQ):
No. 5, Jalan 10/116B, Kuchai Entrepreneur’s Park, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, 58200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 603-7980 1888
Sunway Pyramid (New Wing):
Unit 167, Asian Avenue, 1st Floor, Bandar Sunway, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
SS Two Mall:
No. 40, Jalan SS2/72 (PT21680), 47000 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Sungai Wang Plaza:
TC 037 & 038, Third Floor, Sungai Wang Plaza, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 50250 Kuala Lumpur.
Seri Kembangan:
KG03, Ground Floor, Mines 2, The Street Mall, Jalan Balakong,
Mines Resort City, 43300 Seri Kembangan, Selangor.
Setapak:
25, Jalan Prima Setapak 3, Off Jalan Genting Kelang, 53300 Kuala Lumpur.

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

 

You might get an 8-inch pizza anywhere throughout the world but I won’t think you could get any 8-inch halal burger from anywhere in Malaysia except at Zul’s Burger in Penang. At Encik Zulkifle’s humble little corner stall located right towards the end of the Kompleks MPPP Lebuh Nipah (opposite Kayu Nasi Kandar Penang), you could find a variety of burgers and hot dogs in super huge size. All would come with custom ordered buns which I have yet to see from any other street burger stalls in Penang.

ZULSBURGER01

The most impressive of all the burgers would be the super huge 8” Diameter 3-Tiers Giant Burger (RM30nett) which would be big enough to feed 2-4 pax.

ZULSBURGER03

Just look at how big it was compared to my friend’s hand.

ZULSBURGER02

In between the 3 tier potato bun like texture burger would be 5 meat patties (chicken and/or beef), 5 chicken sausages, 5 eggs and 5 pieces of cheese, topped with lots onions, mixed vegetables, lettuce, mayonnaise, baked beans, black pepper sauce and chili sauce.

ZULSBURGER04

All eyes were on the burger as we were wondering how we could gobble down such a huge size. It was truly an oozy experience for us. Taste wise, the burger was just like any other common burgers except for the size. All the meat patties and sausages were slightly cut up and pan fried on the skillet with the eggs prior to being evenly spread out on the buns.

ZULSBURGER05

Effective 11 April 2012, it would be another tough challenge for many as the burger diameter size would be increased to 11 inches (RM30nett). Not only would it be the biggest halal burger, it would be the biggest burger in Malaysia with the nearest competitor being Euro Deli group of restaurants for their 9 inches Matterhorn (non halal) burger. The filling would be the same as the former 8 inches burger.

ZULSBURGER09

Another version of this giant burger would come in 7 inches by 12 inches rectangular shaped bun (RM30nett), another unique size and shape I have yet to see anywhere in Malaysia. I presumed it’s the only one in Malaysia too. The filling for this version would also be the same as the 8” burger.

ZULSBURGER10

The rectangular giant burger weighed about 1.6kg (total weight 1913gms minus plate weight 286gms). It was heavy but not as heavy as the Matterhorn burger which would be about 2.75kg in weight (1.5kg meat patty plus 1.25kg of bun and vegetables). If you can’t finish this burger, don’t even think of winning the Matterhorn Challenge with a RM100 cash reward.

ZULSBURGER11

Well, creamy and sweet cakes for birthdays may be gone with the birth of this 11” giant burger. Won’t it be great to have one giant 11” Birthday Burger Cake (RM30nett) instead? 😛

ZULSBURGER12

For those FaceBook users, there was also a burger named after the famous social network site – the FaceBook Burger (RM10nett).

ZULSBURGER13

The burger had 3 burger patties (chicken or beef or mix) with 3 eggs, a piece of cheese and vegetables. It was also another tall and filling burger for many.

ZULSBURGER14

We also had the longest Chicken Hot Dog (RM10nett). The custom made bun had a foot long sausage with onions, mixed vegetables, lettuce, mayonnaise, baked beans, black pepper sauce and chili sauce. At least this hot dog was still within my consumable size.

ZULSBURGER06

Just a comparison on how long this hot dog was can be seen at the photo below.

ZULSBURGER07

Here the man, Encik Zulkefli Bin Hassan, who had started the huge craze amongst the Penangite ever since his opening on 23 October 2011. He had vast experiences dealing in food businesses from Vietnam to Thailand. He’s well versed in Vietnamese language too~ 🙂

ZULSBURGER08

There are more items available here such as rabbit burger, lamb burger as well as fish burger. You can click on the menu below for a clearer view.

ZULSBURGERMENU

Overall, the items served here were of a slightly above average taste and texture. No doubt the portions were super huge out of the norm but there are still rooms for improvements in term of taste. The usage of the chili sauce was a bit too overpowering for those who could not savor too spicy stuff. Their self concocted mayonnaise and black pepper sauce also needed some extra tweaking for a more flavorful “kick”. Instead of the Anchor brand “light” cheese, they should consider using another brand for more cheesiness. Their most important task would be on the balancing of the sauces for the right bite. I found the giant burgers and long hot dogs to be a bit too oozy wet to my liking. I love the nice sauce balance just like the way my food were presented to me at one of my regular street burger stalls down at Georgetown Penang.

Note: If you visit the place too late in the night (after 10.00pm or so), you might not have any drinks to go with your food. Just walk to the convenient store next to Kayu Nasi Kandar to purchase your drinks.

Zul’s Burger Penang is located just opposite Kayu Nasi Kandar within an isolated Malay food court named Kompleks MPPP Lebuh Nipah. If you are driving up towards Bukit Jambul via Jalan Yeap Chor Ee/Jalan Bukit Gambier, just take note of the USM traffic lights. Immediately after the traffic lights, take note of the 4th traffic lights (1st traffic lights to Taman Perkaka/USM, 2nd traffic lights to Bukit Jambul/Equatorial Hotel, 3rd traffic lights to Taman Lip Sin/Super Tanker Food Court, 4th traffic lights to Kayu Nasi Kandar/The CEO – Penang’s first smart office). At the 4th traffic lights (Jalan Bukit Gambier/Lebuh Nipah 5), turn left into Lebuh Nipah 5 and drive until the T-junction (Lebuh Nipah 5/Lebuh Nipah). Turn right into Lebuh Nipah and take the first right turning into Lebuh Nipah 7 (as stated in Google map but Kayu address is stated as Lebuh Nipah whereas opposite The CEO address is stated as Lebuh Nipah 5~ A bit of confusion here~ LOL!). Take note that there’s a left turning into the Kompleks MPPP Lebuh Nipah. Drive until the end and you’ll see Zul’s Burger Penang at the last corner lot next to a residence house.

ZULSBURGERMAP

Name: ZUL’S BURGER PENANG @ KOMPLEKS MPPP LEBUH NIPAH
Address: 30Y, Kompleks MPPP Lebuh Nipah, Sg. Nibong, 11900 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 012-578 8771 (En. Zulkefli Bin Hassan)
Business Hours: 7.00pm-2.00am
GPS: 5.335989, 100.293376

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

 

In conjunction with the Thailand’s Songkran Festival, Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be promoting mouth watering Thai cuisine named Tantalizing Thai for the whole month of April 2012 (1-30 April 2012). The Songkran Festival 2012 would be over 3 days from Friday, 13 April 2012 to Sunday, 15 April 2012. Mahasongkran on 13 April 2012 would mark the end of the old year. Wan Nao (14 April 2012) is the day after and 15 April 2012 is Wan Thaloeng Sok, the start of the Thai’s lunar calendar aka New Year Day. The Songkran Festival is also known as the Water Festival where locals as well as tourists would splash strangers on the streets with water, all in the spirit of good fun.

EASTINTHAI01

Some of the dishes in the promotion would include dishes like appetizer such as the Spicy Seafood Salad (Yum Talay/ยำทะเล/泰式海鮮沙拉). The dish would have a seafood combination of cooked prawns, mussels and squids, together with some big onions, tomatoes and spring onions, all tossed in a spicy, sweet and sour dressing. The dressing was simple as it had some chopped garlic, red chilies, green chilies, some sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Although the salad was fresh and appetizing, it lacked the authentic Thai flavors. It would be better if some mint and cilantro leaves were to be added in. Furthermore, the sugar should be replaced with palm/brown sugar for that unique sweetness. I won’t mind having some juicy scallops and fish fillet added in this dish too~ 😛

EASTINTHAI02

Thailand’s Spicy Prawn Soup with Lemongrass & Lime Juice (Tom Yam Goong/ต้มยำกุ้ง/泰式酸辣鮮蝦東炎湯) would be one dish that you should not miss out in any Thai cuisine due to the unique unity of tastes from the 4S – spicy, sour, sweet and salty. If not, the dish won’t be ranked #8 in the Top 50 Most Delicious Food in CNNGO recently. With the teaming of flavors from the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, shallots, garlic, chilies, fish sauce and lime juice, it was a bowl of heavenly dish. The dish had straw mushrooms instead of the usual abalone mushrooms. The flavor was rather mild for a spicy lover like me but it would be subtle enough for general consumers. I would love to have the dish with a mild touch of nam prik pow (น้ำพริกเผา/Thai chili paste) added in plus some natural fresh taste from some cilantro and fresh tomatoes. This dish had some evaporated milk added in for that extra creaminess. The prawns used were from a harder shelled species. I still prefer mine with white shelled prawns.

EASTINTHAI03

Thai style steamed fish would also be another dish not to miss out as it has all the nice flavors from the freshly used ingredients. We had the Steamed Sea Bass with Spicy Garlic & Lemon Sauce (Pla Kapong Neung Manao/ปลากะพงนึ่งมะนาว/泰式酸辣蒸石甲魚). The dish had cilantro roots flavor boosted sea bass fillet topped with a spicy, sweet and sour dressing. The dressing basically consisted of chopped garlic, red chilies, Serrano pepper fiery like local chili paddy with a mild sprinkle of sugar and lemon juice.

EASTINTHAI04

Great Thai style duck dishes would be quite limited outside of Thailand but Swez Brasserie managed to come out with one flavorful duck dish such as the BBQ Roasted Duck in Red Curry (Gaeng Phed Ped Yang/แกงเผ็ดเป็ดย่าง/紅咖喱燒烤鴨). This curry had a sweet, creamy and salty taste from double coconut cream, red chili paste, sugar and fish sauce, enhanced with flavors from Thai basil, Thai apple eggplant, pineapple, cherry tomatoes and seedless grapes. This was an awesome dish as the roasted duck slices had all the flavors soaked within the meat. Although it was a nice dish to go with hot steaming rice, I found the creaminess to be a bit too thick to my personal liking. Moreover, the sweetness was not close at all to the sweetness from the usage of some natural palm sugar.

EASTINTHAI05

There would always be some Thai street food served during the promotion. One such dish would be the Thai Style Fried Noodles with Prawns (Pad Thai Goong/ผัดไทยกุ้ง/泰式鮮蝦炒粿條). The noodles were Thai made flat rice noodles, soaked to soften to get the right al dente. The noodles were fried with some garlic, shallots, unsalted turnip, dried shrimps, deep fried bean curd, fish sauce, tamarind paste, some sprinkles of sugar and a squeeze of lime juice. These fried noodles would then be wrapped into a thin layer of fried egg and serve with some deep fried prawns. The noodles would be served with some coarsely crushed peanuts, chili flakes, sugar, raw spring onions and raw bean sprouts. You can adjust your level of spiciness and sweetness by adding in the chili flakes and sugar a bit at a time.

EASTINTHAI06

Thai desserts are something to crave about especially when you need some sweetness to boost up your day. We had the Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Niao Mamuang/ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง/香芒糯米粒) which had coconut milk steamed glutinous rice, served with sweet golden Thai mangoes and slightly salted coconut cream. It had some deep fried mung beans garnished for that extra crunch. The whole combination was perfect to end a meal. It would be great if the kitchen would add in some screwpines (pandan) flavored steamed glutinous rice too.

EASTINTHAI07

Overall, the dishes served here were more towards the taste buds of the general consumers. Thai dishes used a lot of fresh ingredients such as fiery hot chilies and fresh herbs to enhance the flavor of its cuisine in which the kitchen did not level up to that extent. It would be good for the general consumption who could not take much spiciness but the dishes were nowhere near to the authentic flavors of the real Thai cuisine such as what I had at my favorite Annathai-Kitchen at Pulau Tikus, Penang. The good news would be that you would be served with lots of fresh seafood.

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

TANTALIZING THAI PROMOTION (1-30 APRIL 2012)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM48++ (adult), RM24++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday & Sunday
Normal weekend: RM55++ (adult), RM28++ (child)
Festive Occasion: RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Sunday – Thursday
RM48++ per pax
Seafood Supreme Themed Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Friday
RM80++ (adult), RM40++ (child)
Mongolian Grill Themed Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Saturday
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: 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)

 

Make this Valentine’s Day your soulful journey towards greatest love by sharing what’s the best for both parties. Nothing can turn out as romantic as a candlelight dinner. Let the experts serve both of you as king and queen on this special day. Let yourself enjoy all the romantic and precious moments you have together. Let Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel Penang, offer you the ultimate ardent indulgence of a delectable Valentine’s Day Set Dinner at RM198++ per couple while being serenaded by sentimental music on this romantic evening.

EASTINVALENTINE01

Other than getting a beautiful and fluffy pair of imported teddy bears, you would be complimented with either a glass of red wine or mocktail. You have the option to choose the Argentina produced Merlot 2010 red wine or Lover’s Isle mocktail. The mocktail would consist of a concoction of pineapple juice, orange juice, mango juice with grenadine syrup.

EASTINVALENTINE07

As for Appetizer, you would be served with Chilled Ocean Tartar with Pickled Mushroom, Asparagus and Beetroot Dressing. The freshly peeled crab meat, chopped prawns, onions, parsley with a hint of chopped red chilies all mixed up in some tartar sauce was a great seafood experience. This concoction was topped on some vinegar picked button mushroom slices and blanched asparagus, garnished with some black colored sturgeon caviars and served with some beetroot dressing. The beetroot dressing had a hint of chopped onions, vinegar and sugar. The taste was simply refreshing when combining a bit of everything in the mouth. This appetizer with a tad of creaminess, sweetness and sourness sure boosted up my appetite for more dishes to come.

EASTINVALENTINE02

As for Soup, we were served with the Oven Baked Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Pumpkin Seeds. One sip and you would realize that it was not simply done. The soup had that sweetness not only from the baked pumpkin but also from some thick vegetable stock. Combined with the creaminess from the whipped butter cream and coarsely crushed roasted pumpkin seeds, it was indeed my perfect kind of soup. You can get the waiter to grind in some black pepper for that extra peppery flavor.

EASTINVALENTINE03

As for the Main Course, it was either fish or chicken. We were first served with Pan Fried Cod Fish on Sweet Potato Puree with Carrot Mustard Sauce. For fish lovers, this dish would indeed suit you well. It was a thick slab of cod fish, mildly herbed, salted and pan fried to perfection with the juiciness still locked within the fillet. With a little twist of some lemon juice, a small scoop of the sweet potato puree and a little dab on the carrot mustard sauce, it was a mouthful of freshness.

EASTINVALENTINE04

The next main course option was the Baked Chicken Wellington with Spinach and Gravy. Well, I did fell in love with the Baked Beef Wellington dish once at the Swez Brasserie and this dish was done just as good as the other. The preparation of this poultry dish was somewhat quite similar to the chicken cordon bleu with rolled up chicken fillet. Instead of having ham and cheese rolled up and coated with breadcrumbs prior to deep frying, this dish had a sprinkle or two of paprika, chopped onions and mushroom rolled up and wrapped in puff pastry prior to baking. It went well with the accompanied brown sauce and sautéed baby spinach with chopped garlic.

EASTINVALENTINE05

The Dessert truly would express your love for each other significantly with the Endless Love being served. It had a chocolate fenced up heart shaped strawberry mousse served with two mini jackfruit filo pastry wraps with clear vanilla sauce, a strawberry and a chocolate stick. You would also get a Valentine’s Day Mocha Praline on that day. It was a simple dessert to me but was very well presented.

EASTINVALENTINE06

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)

 

VIDEO

TAG CLOUD

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs

About Me

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

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

Photos

Twitter

    LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs