CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

I heard a lot about the many cat cafes around the world, with the opening of the first cat café in Taipei in 1998 (Café Dog & Cats/貓花園) and subsequently went viral in Japan, which received tremendous responses from the public. I was hoping all these while that they would have one here in Penang though there’s already one being set up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, not long ago. Finally, someone caught up with the concept and set up one such café in Penang. Since the end of last quarter in 2013, the news had spread to my ears that there would be a cat café opening soon in Penang. Being a pet lover ever since my childhood days and also as a cat blogger during the days when most of my little furry angels were still here running around on earth, the amazing news was something to be happy about. Finally, Purrfect Cat Café was officiated by our Penang Chief Minister, YAB Lim Guan Eng, on 26 January 2014. It’s the first of its kind in Penang, located along Lebuh Muntri, within the buffer zone of the UNESCO World Cultural City of George Town, Penang.

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Here’s a video clip on the Grand Opening by our Chief Minister, YAB Lim Guan Eng.

Unlike the one in Kuala Lumpur which also provides pet supplies, pet hotel and also pet grooming, Purrfect Cat Café basically sells cat related merchandizes at the ground floor and the café would utilize the top floor. The merchandizes range from T-shirt for both genders, bags, stationeries, soft toys, mugs, cute cat figurines, earrings, key chains and more. I do hope that they would also sell some cat supplies as well in the near future. Here’s a peep at what you would be expecting upon entering the premises.

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Currently, Purrfect Café is charging a minimum spending of RM18/pax. Depending on what their menu are on that day, there will be a fuss-free range of cakes, pastries, coffee and tea for you to choose from. The cakes at times would include crepe cakes and would be priced at RM11.90+/RM13.90+ per piece. The pastries on the other hand might include puff (RM6.90+ to RM8.90+/pc), pies (RM9.90+/pc to RM11.90+/pc), quiches (RM12.90+/pc) and pizzas (RM13.90+/pc). Beverages would include Brewed Coffee (RM7.90+ to RM10.90+), Germany’s Ronnefeldt Tea by the Pot (RM12.90+), Dark Chocolate (RM12.90+), Fruit Champagne (RM8.90+) and Sparkling Ice Signature Drinks (RM12.90+). You would surely be impressed with the cat shaped teapots and mugs they utilized.

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Prior to visiting the cats, you have to sanitize your hands and take off your shoe before moving upstairs where the cats are. Moving up the white wooden stairways of the premises would lead you to an enclosed area where there would be two segregated zones. One zone would be cat-free where you could sit down and enjoy your food and beverages while watching the adorable cats in their play room. The other zone would be the cats’ personal play room and guest room where they would mingle with the guests while showing off their cuteness. Please take note that the cats’ play room is out of bound for unauthorized humans.

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There’s also the Terms & Conditions (as shown in photo below) while patronizing the cat café. Do take some time to digest the information stated within before moving into the cats’ play room. Failing to do so, you might get yourself slapped with a heavy fine of RM100. Another new term would be that children below 10 years old cannot go into the room by themselves, unaccompanied by adults.

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The cat café has 8 cats at the moment. They are the café mascot, Snowy, Orange, Bear, Teddy, Leo, Molly, Marble and Nala. To find out more on the breed and characteristics of the cat, please check out CRIZ CATS SANCTUARY.

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Generally, there are many complaints by the locals on the exorbitant charges of minimum RM18 for a two-hour session, which would be based on the accumulative cost of the food and beverages you have ordered. Just to be fair before I pass on any verdict, let’s study the other cat cafes’ charges in Malaysia as well as from overseas. In Kuala Lumpur, the “Country Cat Café” is charging RM14.90 per person per hour inclusive of one drink. In Japan first cat café, “Cat Store @ Neko no Mise”, is charging RM5 (USD1.50) for every 10 minutes, meaning RM30 (USD9) an hour and they do have a special three-hour plan for RM72 (USD21.50). In Korea such as in the “Cat Attic” in Gangnam, no entrance fee or minimum hours limitations but you have to purchase at least one RM19 (USD6) worth of drink. Most patrons would spend around 1-2 hours of their time there. In Singapore, there’s also the entrance fee of SGD14 (about RM36) plus a drink but unlimited time frame. So, you see, Purrfect Cat Café is not overcharging exorbitant fees compared to the rest of the same themed cafés throughout the world. Much like renting a pet, people do need to pay a surcharge to spend time with the cats and rules may vary from cafe to café. After all, such cat cafes would need to find ways to survive with the high cost of maintenance, especially when most of their cats are pedigrees. A true animal lover would understand this well. On top of that, it’s also a way to keep away cheapskates and curious visitors, thus to avoid unwanted attention, distraction and stress towards the welfare of the cats.

However, it would be great if Purrfect Cat Café would have an hourly rate instead or maybe a minimum purchase of a drink. This would generate more turnovers and at the same time would cut down with the unnecessary overcrowded situations resulting in the lack of sitting spaces. Sadly, this also means that regulars such as yours truly would have to spend more by the hours. I do hope they have special memberships for regulars in the near future too. Overall, I love the café a lot but it won’t do much good to my pockets if I were to visit those cute cats in a long run.

Purrfect Cat Café is located just 2 shop houses away from the Camera Museum along Lebuh Muntri. Finding a parking space along the narrow heritage stretch of road can be rather painstaking. The most practical way to get to the café would be by parking your car opposite the Cititel car park (Jalan Penang/Lebuh Muntri corner), along Leith Street or along Lorong Love (next to the St. Xavier’s Institution) and go by foot towards the café. Please remember to buy your parking coupons or you would be slapped with a parking fine.

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Name: PURRFECT CAT CAFE
Address: 53 Lebuh Muntri, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 1197
Business Hours:
Merchandize: 10.00am-7.00pm
Café: 11.00am-9.30pm
Cat Entry: 12.00pm-9.30pm
GPS: 5.419947, 100.335707
FB: www.fb.com/penangcatcafe

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Another new heritage building has popped up in Penang within the buffer zone of the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place has been named Nostalgie, a French word for nostalgia. It sure got me nostalgically yearning to be stuck in the days of my ancestors where life has been much simpler and uncomplicated as today. Nostalgie has been refurbished with cool heritage settings while maintaining its colonial days architectural structures. The place has a comfortable ambience with some genuine Nyonya style structures, a mini garden and some state-of-the-art decors, to give you the feel of the good old days with a touch of the modern lifestyle. If you are an antique lover, you would surely chance upon some skillfully crafted structures with embedded ancient iridescent nacre or also known as the “Mother of Pearl”. The nacre consists of blends of minerals that are secreted by oysters and other mollusks and deposited inside their shells, coating and protecting their bodies from parasites and foreign objects. It has the same compounds as in pearls and you would experience the optical phenomenon of hues changes as you view them from different angles, thus giving you the iridescence effect.

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Nostalgie is still quite new in this business with its operation started just a few weeks’ ago. It’s a family run café cum hotel business, managed and operated by siblings, Jean Lee and Jason Lee. Currently, they have started their café while waiting for their rooms to be fully furnished. The rooms would probably be available in December 2011. As for the café, they do serve some delicious and homemade pastas, pizzas, sandwiches and dessert. All the items are freshly made daily without the usage of any preservatives. The menu has a rather limited selection at the moment as they have plans to expand it in due course when the place is officially opened for business. Nevertheless, the chef had the passion to pep up dishes that would woo any diners.

We started the meal with their Spaghetti Marinara with Prawns (RM24). This dish came with two super king sized pan-fried prawns freshly obtained from the nearest fisherman’s wharf. The marinara sauce was thick and flavorful with a light touch of saltiness from the accompanied grated parmesan cheese. The pasta had just the right al dente and each mouthful had all the taste of freshness from the tomatoes, onions and chopped basils used. It was a heavenly dish although it needed a bit more of extra virgin olive oil for that extra moisture. With prawns being used, it would be great too if the chef would have added in some dashes of white wine and chopped parsley or oregano to pep up the herby taste even more. By the way, you could request for additional parmesan cheese to tempt your cheesy taste bud.

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Another of their signature pasta would be their Chicken and Basil Pesto Fettuccine (RM21). This dish would also come served with linguine upon availability. The dish was awesome. The chef did a great job in preparing the sauce that complemented well with the pasta. The sauce had that nutty flavor from what I presumed was blended walnuts as it was much drier and less oily than that of pine nuts, with stronger hints from the sweetness of basil leaves and garlic. It also had a much lighter hint of crushed black peppers in which I would prefer them to be a bit stronger. The pasta came with some slightly sautéed cherry tomatoes, a skillfully pan-fried chicken breast meat and garnished with a mixture of pesto, red chilies and Kalamata black olives. The chicken breast meat was much juicier than I anticipated. A job well done! Alternatively, instead of Parmesan cheese being used in the pesto, Romano cheese would also be great for that extra cheesy and creamy flavor.

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If you are a pizza lover, you would love the next dish. It’s their Prawn & Chilies Pizza (RM30). The pizza came with their homemade thin base, spread with their moist tomato sauce, topped with fresh prawns, onions, mozzarella cheese, chopped basils and red chilies. It may look Italian but had some Asian flavors in it. Simply Irresistible with the cheesiness! Although the pizza tasted great, I have a feeling that the chef loved basils a lot. A bit of chopped parsley/oregano would provide a better justice to any cheese based dishes, regardless of seafood or meat.

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Another of their good pizza would be the Chicken with Feta Cheese Pizza (RM28). The pizza came with their homemade thin base, spread with their homemade basil pesto (the same recipe as above), topped with cubes of chicken meat, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and feta cheese with some sprinkles of dried oregano. I could have this pizza for the whole day. The combination of mozzarella cheese and feta cheese was great as it had that unique and fragrant cheesiness. Each bite was heaven with a little squeeze of juices coming from the baked cherry tomatoes. You should not leave this place without trying this pizza out!

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They also serve sandwiches here. One of their hot items is the Teriyaki Chicken Sandwich (RM14). It had a juicily pan-grilled chicken fillet in teriyaki sauce, served with lettuce, onion and mayo between a pair of whole meal bread slices and some French fries. I would say that the teriyaki chicken fillet was nicely done but the usage of this kind of bread might not be suitable as it was rather dry. It would be nice if these were to come with some steamed dinner rolls. Even if the kitchen had decided to use whole meal bread in the future, it would be recommended if they had a thicker spread of mayo with some thinly sliced fresh tomatoes. At least with these solutions, diners would have a much juicier bite, even if those slices of bread were toasted more.

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Currently, they only have their homemade Carrot Cake with Crème Cheese Frosting (RM12/slice) for dessert. More options would be available in due course. This was one great secret recipe by Jean Lee. The carrot cake was moist and flavorful from the sweet grated carrots with a hint from some grounded cinnamon. It had some little bites from the added roasted walnuts and raisins. Combined with the creamy cheese frosting with a touch of lemon zest, the cake would be a target for dessert lovers. Unfortunately, I’m not such a sweet tooth and I found the cake to be a bit sweet to my liking. I prefer mine to be more towards the healthy version with the natural sweetness coming from some sweet Australian carrots and raisins. The cake would go well with a cup of hotly brewed coffee… minus the sugar for me. 😛

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As for beverages, it was more of a kopitiam style with fresh juice, chilled juice, coffee, tea and soft drinks. More options would be available in due course such as cocktails and mocktails. What we had were some iced/hot coffee/white coffee (RM5) and a Chilled Cranberry Juice with Longan (RM9).

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Here’s a little sneak preview of the unfurnished rooms and their surroundings. The rates would definitely be much cheaper than some of the scattered boutique hotels along that heritage zone. The rooms are scheduled to be available somewhere in December 2011.

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Overall, Nostalgie is a great place for some relaxations with the companionships of family members and friends. The charges for the food and accommodation would also be reasonable and affordable for all walks of lives. The only problem would be the scarcity of finding a comfortable parking space. Well, that won’t be a problem if you would park your car a bit further away and take a mild stroll towards the venue while enjoying the heritage of George Town.

The café is located just a stone throw away from 55 Café @ Coffee Atelier. If you are driving along Lebuh Farquhar into Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling, keep a watch out for the Goddess of Mercy Temple on your right. Immediately after the temple, turn right in Lorong Stewart and make a zig zag turn and you will see the café on your right, just right after to the only mansion there with a compound. Parking can be quite limited during peak hours. I would advise you to find whatever parking space you can along some of the lanes there and walk to the venue. Alternatively, you can drive a bit further up after the Goddess of Mercy Temple and park your car at the designated metered car park. Be warned here that the local Municipal Council can be quite strict in unpaid meter. Make sure that you have enough of coins inserted to last your visit to the café. Another warning would be that the place would be quite flood-prone during heavy rains but on VERY RARE occasion. Do pick a nice and sunny day for your visit.

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Name: NOSTALGIE (CAFÉ & BOUTIQUE HOTEL)
Address: 34, Lorong Stewart, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 0977
Business Hours: 10.00am – 9.00pm (Closed Thursday)
GPS: 5.419378, 100.337458

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

 

HAVING MY CHECK OUT AT CLINIC CAFE

Posted by crizlai On March - 20 - 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HAVING A BREAK AT KOPITIAM YUE LAI

Posted by crizlai On March - 2 - 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEVEN SISTER CAFE & RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On December - 5 - 2008

NOTE: THIS RESTAURANT HAS CEASED OPERATION BUT THE PUB IS STILL IN OPERATION

SEVENSISTER01

If I mention about Restoran Zim Sum along Jalan Anson or its sister companies, Town Steamboat Restaurant and Dim Sum Food Restaurant along Jalan Macalister, most Penangites would know about them. What about another sister company by the name of 7’S (Seven Sister) Café & Restaurant just a few blocks away along Jalan Nanning? Quite a number of people who passes by this nice bungalow lot would think that it’s just another pub in town. You are wrong as this place served one of the cheapest set lunches in town.

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I was there to try out their set menu recently and found their food quality to be real impressive at the price I was paying. The set menu came in 3 categories – Noodle Soup & Pasta Set (RM7.80nett), 4-course Western Set (RM14.80nett) and Rice Set (RM10.80nett). All sets will come with a Dessert of the Day (Ice Cream) and a Drink of the Day (Iced Lemon Tea, Soft Drink, Coffee or Tea).

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Since there were only two of us there for lunch, we tried out two of the set meals. I had the Western set which also included Appetizer of the Day (Classic Caesar Salad) and Soup of the Day (Fresh Mushroom Soup). The salad portion was big and has a few fried sausages in it.

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The Fresh Mushroom Soup was great too with lots of mushroom slices in it. It might not be the best around but it was quite creamy and tasty.

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I get to select my main meal from a list which comprised of Grilled Chicken Chop with Mushroom Sauce, Pan Fried Salmon Steak with Lemon Cream Sauce and Black Pepper Grilled Lamb Chop. I opted for the latest. I did not regret ordering this dish as the presentation was marvelous and the black pepper sauce was thick and tasty. There were lots of potato wedges and greens hidden under 3 big pieces of juicy medium rare grilled lamb meat.

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Dessert of the Day was next. It was just a plain scoop of Strawberry Ice Cream. Who would want to complain? That was a bonus!

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My friend on the other hand tried the Rice Set thinking that it would be small serving. He chose the Seafood Japanese Tofu from a list of dishes which also included Stir Fried Chicken with Dried Chilies, Sweet & Sour Fish Fillet, 7’S Homemade Steamed Chicken in Ginger Sauce and Fried Lamb Cubes in Teriyaki Sauce. The dish came in a clay pot with lots of Japanese Tofu and mixed seafood. The gravy was nice.

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A large bowl of rice with an omelette above and some fresh tomato slices was accompanied with the dish. Dessert followed.

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I would surely drop in to try out their Noodle Soup and Pasta sets when I am down that area again. The list of food listed such as Egg Noodles in Homemade Abalone Soup, Yellow Noodles in Homemade Light Ginger Soup, Spaghetti with Grilled Chicken, and Spaghetti with Grilled Dory Fish was quite impressive.

This place also does provide Happy Hour from as early as 4pm until 9pm.

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Moreover, there’s a public karaoke area for you to sing your heart out until 3am in the morning.

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If you are coming from KOMTAR area (Jalan Magazine and Jalan Dato Kramet) into Jalan Macalister, you would see its sister companies, Town Steamboat Restaurant and Dim Sum Food Restaurant on your left. Drive on and turn into the second junction (Lebuh Nanning) on your left. You will see a big white bungalow with red trims on your right. The famous Lorong Seratus Tahun curry mee is just opposite this restaurant.

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Name: 7’S (SEVEN SISTER) CAFE & RESTAURANT
Address: 26 Lebuh Nanning, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-228 2653
Opening Hours:
Restaurant: 11.30am – 3.00pm, 6.30pm-10.00pm
Pub: 4.00pm-3.00am (Karaoke), 4.00pm-9.00pm (Happy Hours)
GPS: 5.415253, 100.322270

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: 8.5/10 (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)

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