CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

For dim sum lovers, you should check out the All-You-Can-Eat Halal Dim Sum Buffet Promotion, impressively prepared by the experienced Chinese Sous Chef, Chef H’ng Weng Kiang and his dedicated team, at [email protected] at the Light Hotel at Seberang Jaya, Penang. The promotion would run throughout March until May 2016 on every Sundays. The price is at RM48+ (adult) and RM29+ (child). It’s recommended to make prior reservation to avoid disappointments to indulge in the freshly made dim sum assortments.

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The selection of your freshly made dim sum would be simple as you have an impressive selection of more than 15 mid-high range a la carte items to order from.

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Just tick on the provided order chit then hand over to the waiters and you are on the way to feast on the dim sum buffet.

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Here are some of the options from steamed buns, steamed dim sum to fried dim sum:

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While waiting for your orders to be prepared by the kitchen, you can indulge in other delicacies from their main, action stalls and desserts sections.

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Overall, I quite like the halal dim sum, especially the deep fried items as they were prepared fresh from the kitchen upon request. Moreover, the condiments served were far from the norm where you would get only the basic commercialized chili sauce. The concoction of their own made chili sauce may look dull on colors but was remarkably appetizing with some hints of chopped garlic and sweet potato sauce (thnee cheong/甜麵醬). Please also take note that there would be charges levied on every 100g of wastage.

You can check out more of their promotions at Spice Brasserie, [email protected], Garden Bar and Lumino Lounge below:

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The Light Hotel is located along Lebuh Tenggiri 2 at Seberang Jaya, Penang. Upon entering the main entrance of the hotel, just drive around to find your parking space at the front of the premises. Walk into the lobby of the hotel and head straight towards the furthest end and you will see some elevators. [email protected] is located at Level 3 of the hotel. Go up to Level 3 and you can see the eatery just next to the swimming pool.

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Name: [email protected], The Light Hotel
Address: Lebuh Tenggiri 2, Bandar Seberang Jaya, 13700 Seberang Jaya, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-382 1111
Business Hours: 7.30am-11.00am (Breakfast), 12.00pm-2.30pm (Set Lunch), 7.00pm – 10.30pm (Set Dinner)
GPS: 5.394646, 100.397951

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: 7/10 (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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The Golden Phoenix @ Hotel Equatorial, Penang has launched its “All You Can Eat Dim Sum Semi Buffet Lunch” promotion recently. For dim sum fans, it’s the time of the year for you to dine in the comfort of the restaurant while snacking your way through the 28 options of dim sum delicacies from Golden Phoenix. The promotion will be available for lunch (12.00noon – 2.30pm) on weekdays only (except weekends & public holidays) from 1 October 2013 until 30 November 2013. Price is at RM42++ (adult) and RM23++ (child).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

DELICATE DISHES AT SHANGHAI DING HOUSE OF DUMPLINGS

Posted by crizlai On March - 7 - 2012

Shanghai Ding House of Dumplings (上海鼎) has been in Penang coming to a decade now with another branch in Pulau Tikus barely 3 months’ old. The restaurant served some delicate dim sum from steamed, deep fried, fried, pan fried, baked, desserts to starch items such as rice, porridge and ramen. Thus, this restaurant has been a frequent dining place for those who wished to have something light and out of the norm.

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Their Xiao Long Bao aka Mini Meat Dumplings have been one of the hot selling items since day one. You would have a choice for 4 types, namely original, crabmeat, scallop or superior. We opted for the original Shanghai Juicy Meat Dumpling (上海小籠包 – RM6.80+ for 4pcs or RM12.80+ for 8pcs) just to try out the authentic taste. Although the price was relatively cheap compared to other establishments, somehow the broth within was not as flavorful as those I have tasted. Moreover, the meat was rather mushy to my liking. A little bit of sesame oil and rock sugar in the broth plus a bit more of rice wine and corn flour added to the minced meat for a firmer texture would have done more justice to this delicacy. By the way, most people are not aware of the right way of having a Xiao Long Bao and got splattered with juice. The right way (view here) would be to gently pick up the dumpling and place onto a spoon. Nibble a small corner and sip up the soup. Apply some sliced ginger in black vinegar on it and enjoy the dumpling.

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There were also two types of prawn dumplings. I chose the Scallop and Prawn Dumpling (帶子餃 – RM5.00+). The combination was just right – simple and fresh. It went well with the easily available homemade chili sauce and sweet potato sauce (甜醬).

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One of the steamed buns caught my attention. It was the Pockey Mouse (奶皇刺猬包 – RM4.80+). They were cute looking and looked just like the Porcupine Pokemon~ LOL! The filling was different compared to another available steamed bun called the Creamy Salted Bun with oozing salted custard. This one had that more sandy texture and milky taste with the color coming from a very orange egg yolk. The buns tasted great but it would be nicer if some finely chopped salted eggs were added in.

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Mini Egg Tarts (酥皮小蛋撻 – RM3.80+ for 3pcs) were also available during weekends. The overall taste was fine without overpowering sweetness but the crust was not as flaky as I expected. I simply love those which came out straight from the oven.

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On the other hand, the newly introduced Yam Puff (芋泥卷 – RM4.80+ for 3pcs) was amazingly appetizing. Not only were the puffs flaky, they were mildly sweetened to my liking.

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The chef was also good in his skills and creativity. Next on the list were some Fatty Birds (小神雕 – RM3.80+ for 3pcs). Those were some sweetened red bean paste filled pastry in the shape of mini birds.

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Roasted Pork Bun or so called Bo Lo Bao aka Pineapple Bun (菠蘿叉燒包 – RM3.00+ for 2pcs) has a combination of sweet and savory pastry. These buns are famous especially in Hong Kong. The bun actually does not contain any pineapple as named but has a sugar cookie like crusting on top depicting the texture of a pineapple. The baked bun here did not have that design but was great to consume as the sweet crusty topping complemented well with the moist honey roasted pork (char siew) within the bun.

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You can also get Honey BBQ Pastry (叉燒酥 – RM3.00+ for 2pcs) during weekends. Each roll had moist honey roasted pork wrapped with flaky pastry.

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One of the most ordered items here is the Fried Radish Cake with Seafood (海鮮炒蘿卜糕 – RM7.80+). The radish cake which has been steamed with flavors coming from the finely chopped dried shrimps and Chinese sausage were cut in cubes and stir fried with prawns, squids, salted turnip (菜脯), dried chili paste, egg and lots of bean sprouts. It had that wok hei (high heat cooking) that I liked but the texture of the radish cake was a bit too soft to my liking. Moreover, it was a bit overpriced with barely a few cubes of radish cake present but with loads of bean sprouts.

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You can also order some side dishes to go with your meal such as the Stir Fry Broccoli with Scallops (西蘭花炒帶子 – RM15.80+). This was just a normal household dish with blanched broccoli topped with stir fried scallops and prawns in oyster sauce.

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There were also a few types of dry and soup ramen from as low as RM4.80+ available here. One of the restaurant recommended ones was the Shanghai Pork Ribs Ramen (上海排骨拉麵 – RM7.80+). The dish hand smooth and silky ramen with the right al dente, served with clear pork stock with some Chinese cabbage aka baby bok choy (小白菜) and steamed pork ribs. This dish was marked as spicy but it was really mild. The only mild spiciness was from the tender steamed pork ribs which had been marinated with some chopped garlic, chili paddy, soy sauce and rice wine. Overall, it was still a nice bowl of ramen except that the kitchen should have taken note on the choice of pork ribs. My serving had too much of bone splinters from the pork ribs.

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The next dish was amazingly rich in natural sweetness from the 7-8 hours fish bones simmered stock. For those fish lovers, you would love this Yunnan Rice Noodles with Grouper Fillet (雲南石斑魚米綫 – RM19.80+ for 2 pax). I loved everything in this dish from the texture of the imported rice noodles, the freshness of the grouper fish fillet, the baby romaine lettuce (yaw mak/油麥菜) and rich in flavors fish soup. The added Chinese wolfberries sure boosted up the soup with extra sweetness and the gingery flavor from the quality ginger used pepped it up further. The rice noodles looked almost like the traditional laksa rice noodles but had a firmer al dente bite. This was one awesome dish!

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Another of the new ramen dish introduced was the Prawn Ramen (老火上湯鮮蝦拉麵 – RM28.00+ for 2-3pax). This was another great noodle dish by the restaurant. The stock had the flavors from loads of bones and prawn shells which I believed had been sautéed to extract the creamy sweetness. There were hints of some secret ingredients being used such as licorice, a light touch of rock sugar and more. The ramen had all the flavors soaked in and was my perfect bowl of noodles. The dish came with 4 big fried prawns, bamboo pit, some baby romaine lettuce plus some sprinkles of wolfberries and chopped spring onions. Most recommended!

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As for dessert, we had the Ginger Tea with Black Sesame Filled Glutinous Rice Ball (姜茶黑芝麻湯圓 – RM3.80+). I loved the strong gingery taste from the soup, obviously extracted from the reputable old ginger from Air Itam. The tang yuan (glutinous rice ball) was nice and soft with fragrant flavor from the filled black sesame seeds. It would be great if some coarsely crushed toasted peanuts (just like the traditional tang yuan I had in town) were added in for that extra crunch. This dessert would be ideal for those with regular “stomach wind”.

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You can also have Durian Pancake (榴蓮煎糕 – RM7.80+ for 2 pcs) regardless of the season served here. The screwpine (pandan) flavored crepe-like pancake had some durian meat and cream all wrapped up within. Taste wise, it was acceptable but it lacked the strong local branded durian taste as the ones I had at Lucky Dessert (發記甜品) kiosks at Queensbay Mall and Gurney Plaza.

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All items will have a 5% service tax for both branches. Overall, the restaurant would be an ideal place for those who prefer to dine in air-conditioned restaurants. As for taste and price, dishes served here are still within the acceptable level but the pricing can be a bit high for some of the items. As for food choices, there are still rooms for improvement. I do hope that they would have more options for their dim sum such as my regular dim sum shop in town.

The Shanghai Ding House of Dumplings is located just at the entrance leading to 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) on your left. Ignore the turning and drive on to the next left junction with the Eastin Hotel sign. 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 you will see the restaurant at the corner lot. There are limited car park spaces in front of the restaurant. If you can’t find a parking space, there are many car parks surrounding that area.

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Name: SHANGHAI DING HOUSE OF DUMPLINGS
BAYAN BAY BRANCH:
Address: Block H, 4/G, Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Bay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-644 1644
Business Hours: 8.00am-10.00pm (Daily)
GPS: 5.336099, 100.307502
PULAU TIKUS BRANCH: (view map)
Address: 417 Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-473 9930
Business Hours:
10.00am-10.00pm (Daily except Closed on Wednesday)
9.00am-10.00pm (Saturday & Sunday)
GPS: 5.431805, 100.310448

Note: The PT branch is hidden from the main road of Jalan Burma. The best way to reach this branch would be through Jalan Cantonment into Jalan Berjaya then turn right into Lorong Aman. The branch would be right at the end of the lane on your left. This building formerly housed the Old Xaverian Association.

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

 

MADE TO ORDER DIM SUM AT VIVA DIM SUM DELIGHT

Posted by crizlai On August - 14 - 2010

If you think that made to order dim sum would only be available in hotel-class restaurants, you would be in for a surprise. One of Penang’s newest food court, Viva Local Food Haven (formerly Golden Horse Food Court) has just launched its newest dim sum kitchen, Viva Dim Sum Delight (東城點心) on 10 August 2010. The main objective of the outlet opening is to provide more quality and affordable priced dim sum within the reach of the public. In fact, most of their ingredients were Hong Kong based imports.

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Let’s have a look at how reasonable those delicacies are from the menu. There would be over 30 variety of items for you to choose from, ranging from steamed, deep fried to stir fried food. Click on the photo below for a larger view.

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To start the fiesta, we had the Traditional Steamed Glutinous Rice (古法糯米雞-RM3.80). There was a strong hint that the glutinous rice was flavorfully stir fried prior to steaming with precooked chunks of chicken, Chinese sausage and BBQ pork (char siew). The whole combination was quite fine except I still prefer mine to have a few Chinese mushrooms and wrapped in lotus leaves for that extra flavor.

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The next was the Crispy Dragon Roll (香脆升龍卷-RM3.80). This is indeed the gigantic version of the usual prawn roll, with larger prawns too. It was served on a bed of the chef’s specially created mayo sauce with a hint of mustard added. It was a nice combo deal.

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When I thought I could only get the Shanghainese Meat Dumpling (小籠包-RM4.80) from posh restaurants, I was surprised by the next presentation. What? 3 Xiao Long Bao at that price when others are double or triple fold that pricing? The soup within each dumpling was indeed abundant and tasty. When combined with the provided ginger strips in black vinegar, it was heaven! The only fallback was the amount of meat inside. One can’t complain for the price paid right?

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There was also a manual showing the right way to consume the dumpling without spilling all over your body. Cute!

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What would be dim sum without some beautifully created and tasty buns? The chefs sure know how to tempt the taste buds of their patrons with their delicious sweet and savory buns. One such product would be their recommended Steamed Bun with Butter Cream & Egg Yolk (特制流沙包-RM4.80). Indeed it was the best bun I had in ages. Even the texture of the bun was remarkably smooth and fine. A small nibble at the side saw a large flow of golden egg yolk colored cream oozing out furiously. Well, there’s a skill in consuming this bun as well without drowning your fingers in sweetness. The method of eating is just like the Xiao Long Bao stated above.

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There was such a term as “sweetness will come in pairs”. The next bun which was Steamed Bun with Premium Lotus Paste and Egg Yolk (蛋皇蓮蓉包-RM3.80) was a double happiness. It had a lot of finely ground lotus paste and a big salted egg yolk. A bit sweet for my liking but having 3 buns as a set would surely please those sweet lovers.

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Next was the Steamed Bun with Supreme Barbequed Pork (蜜汁叉燒包-RM3.80). The overall taste was nice except that it was a bit too dry to my liking. I prefer to have mine with some added toasted sesame seeds mixed with the ingredients too.

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The next set of buns got all the “wives” rolling their eyes at their “husbands”. How dare you touch these Shanghainese “Mistress” Bun (上海二奶包-RM4.80)? Just look at that shape! Don’t you think they do resemble something? LOL! Anyway, these buns have some nice custard-like buttery cream within.

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You could also get some savory type of buns with some sweet crust on the surface – Baked Hong Kong Style Polo Bun (香港菠蘿包-RM3.80). Each bun would be filled with some barbeque pork slices.

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Do also check out with the staff there on their weekend specials. One of the specials we had was the Scallop and Fish Roe Dumpling (鳳眼帶子餃). I would say this was one of the great fusion combinations as the dumpling was filled with large prawns, topped with fresh scallop and garnished with fish roe, spring onion stalk and a leaf of coriander.

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Another of the weekend specials was the Dragon Whiskers Roll (龍鬚卷). Sweet indeed and it had a rather unique combination of filling. The deep fried delicacy was filled with blended avocado, custard cream, butter and wrapped with a type of rice noodles. Those sweet tooth lovers would surely love this crispy product.

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If you are driving from town towards Batu Ferringhi beach area, you would pass by Island Plaza shopping mall on your right. Drive all the way until you meet with a curve. You would see a traffic light (UDA Flats on your right). The food court is actually a bit further up on your right but you need to make a U-turn to reach the venue. So, drive on and keep to your right until you see the next traffic lights (Tanjung Bungah Beach Hotel on your right). Make a U-turn until you see the Chinese Swimming Club on your left. Immediately after the building you would see a lane on your left (Jalan C M Hashim leading to Naza Hotel). Turn left and you would the food court on your right with ample parking space behind.

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Name: VIVA DIM SUM DELIGHT (东城点心)
Address: Lot 303, Jalan Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 6.00am-2.00pm
Contact: 604-890 2549
GPS: 5.462813, 100.305056

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

BEACH VIEW DINING AT KO-FU-LOFT

Posted by crizlai On June - 26 - 2009

Note: This restaurant has ceased its operation in early March 2010.

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This restaurant with a nice view of the Gurney Drive promenade reminded me of the day when our local internet advertiser, Nuffnang, had its first community event titled “The Orient’s Voice” for the Penang bloggers at the then named Foodloft. Gosh! That was about two years’ ago. Today, the restaurant had been revamped under a different management and renamed as Ko-Fu-Loft. The new restaurant now serves dim sum as well as some Chinese cuisine with a touch of Mamak style beverages. Not long ago, more than 20 floggers from Penang (many oldies and newbies) and one mummy flogger from Singapore were given the privilege to try out the food there. Thanks to Jian for extending the invite to all of us.

The meal started with Ko Fu Sesame Seed Ball (口福芝麻球 – RM10.90). The presentation was rather simple but impressive with the sesame balls laid on some spoons. With some many ingredients added into the minced meat, somehow the appetizer lacked the moisture within. It was rather dry for many of us and the outer lacked the fragrance from the sesame seeds. By adding a bit of chopped onions, some corn flour, a few drops of sesame oil and some sprinkles of pepper would have made them better.

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The next appetizer was the Crystal Spring Roll Skin Stuffed with Vegetables & Chicken Meat (公主水晶卷 – RM6.90). The skin was perfectly done as the name itself as it was almost crystal clear but the filling was not as compactly rolled as it was supposed to be. Moreover, I personally felt that the vegetables and chicken meat were left exposed to the atmosphere for too long and had lost their moisture and sweetness. The sugar content within the accompanied sauce was also too overwhelming for most of us. There would still much room for improvement for this healthy meal and hopefully it could be as good as the ones I had at Metro Café.

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The following were some of the selected dim sum from the restaurant. Both the Steamed Fresh Prawn Dumpling – Har Kau (鲜明虾饺 – RM5.50) and Pork Dumpling with Fish Roes – Siew Mai (鱼子烧卖皇 – RM5.50) had the standard presentation. The prawns within the dumpling were indeed fresh and steamed just right to melt in the mouth.

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As for the pork dumpling, I found too much of fat been added in thus it has the slightly rough bite. Overall, it was still a fine dish.

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The Minced Squid with Crab Claw Meat (百花酿蚧蚶 – RM6.90) which was next was very well presented. The squids were well minced until one would think that it was fish ball instead. It was soft and juicy combined with the freshness of the crab claws. The accompanied gravy was mild enough for us to taste out the true beauty of the fresh seafood.

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The hot and fluffy Signature Steamed Custard Creamy Bun (美味流砂奶黄包 – RM5.50) was next. The texture for the steamed bun could be improved further as it was not as finely textured as it should. Although the custard within suited my taste bud well, the skin somehow was a bit too thick for my preference. Moreover, there were signs of some crystallized parts that made each bite not so smooth flowing.

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The next dim sum which was the Deep Fried Yam Paste with Minced Pork (蜂巢炸芋角 – RM4.50) has always been my favorite in any dim sum restaurant. The crispy outer layer with the smoothly blended yam paste filled with juicy sweetened pork slices (char siew) was good. It could have been even better if some toasted sesame seeds and chopped coriander were to be added to pep up the taste.

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After all the savory dim sum presented, we were served with Deep Fried Pandan Lotus Paste Dumpling (翡翠煎堆仔 – RM4.50). Somehow, I felt that the glutinous rice used was rather thick. Even the screwpine leaves (pandan) flavored lotus paste tasted too artificial. They should have used those freshly squeezed flavoring instead.

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I was looking forward to trying out their Szechuan Aromatic Duck (四川香酥鸭 – RM18.90) as I had from many other restaurants but somehow the restaurant got everything wrong. The crepe like egg wrapper was too dry. It even got torn even before I could wrap anything in it. Even the duck meat slices were tough and coated with some sort of batter. I wondered if this was the right way to serve this dish as what I had before as in Claypot Restaurant was the shredded duck meat version where each mouthful does not require much chewing into the tough meat. Maybe the restaurant would need to look into ways to tenderize the duck meat if they were to present it in this way.

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We were then served with Jingdo Pork Ribs (京都排骨 – RM14.90). I’m normally not a fan of pork ribs, except the ones I had at Chin Bee Tea Cafe, as most of the time I had bad experiences with tough bites. Surprisingly, the ones served here was not as bad as I thought except that a bit too much of black pepper had been added that made the dish a bit too spicy for many. It would be better if this dish were to be taken with steamed rice.

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Although the Deep Fried Five Spices Calamari (五香盐炸墨门 – RM13.90) looked like any fritters, it has the unique taste of some five spice powder and salt that made it appetizing and the calamari was tender and juicy. However, it was just another version of tempura coated calamari.

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We also did try out their Deep Fried Homemade Bean Curd (香炸黄金豆腐 – RM12.90). Although the bean curd was smooth, it lacked the taste of soy bean in it. Moreover, it was also rather bland in taste. To me, it was nothing special except some batter coated bean curd slices. If only they could consider adding some spring onions, finely slices wood ear fungus and so on that would add a little more texture in the dish and make the bean curd taste better.

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The All in 1 Roasted Meat with Vegetables (盆菜 – RM19.90) served here is actually an economical version of “Poon Choy”. The authentic version from other restaurants could cost anything between RM300 – RM600. The restaurants used the basic ingredients here with some stewed cabbage as base, topped with some roasted pork, chicken, duck, broccoli, mushrooms, deep fried prawns and few slices of abalone. The dish would be quite a bargain as it would come with some pickles, stir fry greens and a bowl of rice. However, when you have 4 pots served, you might get different taste as what we had experienced. There were a bit of inconsistency detected here during our review as each has their own unique taste. We had stronger oyster sauce flavored, cabbage flavored, meaty flavored and another one with the right combination of the other three. That’s the suspense you might get when ordering this dish.

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The Fried Seafood Emperor Noodle (香炒海鲜王帝面 – RM12.90) served was not as impressive as the name. Somehow, everything was rather mild in taste. The noodles were rather dry and it lacked the wok hei (high heat cooking). There were not even any obvious hints of sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce or even pepper in the dish. Moreover, some gravy on top of the suggested sauces on such noodles would be nice for the overall taste and presentation.

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Lastly, the dessert of the day was Water Chestnut and Sago in Coconut Milk (热马蹄西米椰酱汤 – RM3.50). The dessert did not get many of us interested as the color and aroma from it did not get many of our attention. The water chestnut practically has been boiled for hours and lacked the sweetness in taste. The sago was a bit too soft and the combination of coconut milk served with these two ingredients just did not match well. Moreover, the coconut milk has the strong “packet” taste in it. I guessed the restaurant would have to seek other alternatives to this dessert.

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Overall, the restaurant has a milder way to cook up food for its patrons. It might be good for those with a healthy diet in mind but it might not be such ideal for the Penangites who have stronger taste buds. It would be great if the restaurant would revamp their existing menu to suit both parties.

If you are familiar with the roads in Penang, it would be easy to find the restaurant as it is located within the premises of Gurney Plaza, facing the beach front of Gurney Drive. Once you have parked your car in the complex car park, just move up to level 4 and you can see the restaurant at the far end of the complex.

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Name: KO-FU-LOFT
Branch Address: 170-04-59, Level 4, Plaza Gurney, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 5011
Business Hours: 10.00am-10.00pm (weekdays), 9.00am-10.00pm (weekends)
GPS: 5.438375, 100.308784

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

Invited Reviewers:
Allie
Buzzing Bee
Cariso
Criz
Food4tots
Nutty Eve
Food Paradise
Food Promotions
Gourmet Garden
Now Eating
Penang Tua Pui
Steven Goh
What2SeeOnline
Yummy Station
Yum Yum Bites
Chef Khoon from KDU

THE CHEAPEST DIM SUM IN PENANG?

Posted by crizlai On April - 13 - 2009

After patronizing more than 14 dim sum restaurants within the Georgetown vicinity, I had found one that suited my taste best. Surprisingly, this barely a year old restaurant is the sister company of the famed Restoran Zim Sum along Jalan Anson and they do share the same premise with another sister company named The Steamboat Restaurant along Jalan Macalister, Penang. The name of this restaurant is Dim Sum Food Restaurant.

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When I mention about being the cheapest, do not have the wrong perception as in monetary terms or on the restaurant serving extremely cheap food. I had based my judgment on the quality, freshness and amount of ingredients used in each of the dishes. Moreover, the food here did fill the two of us here until the beam. Let me share with you my experiences of dining in this restaurant.

Not many restaurants in town would provide quality and delicious dim sum from Shanghai or Hong Kong and at the same time at an affordable price but this restaurant proved me wrong. The have Gyoza (Jiaozi – 餃子) , Egg Dumpling (蛋餃), Shanghai Sheng Jian Mantou (生煎饅頭) and many more at less than RM3 for a plate of threes. Just to try them out without overeating, I just ordered one of each at RM1 per piece. That’s cheap in my context as I had paid RM8+ before just to savor 5 pieces of smaller sized Gyoza in other restaurants.

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The Gyoza was great and had the mild crisp still on the skin and the filling was well stuffed wile maintaining its juiciness. It went well with lots of young ginger strip soaked in black vinegar. The Egg Dumpling tasted great as well although it looked just like an egg coated dumpling. What impressed me more was the Sheng Jian Mantou (Pan Fried Steamed Bun), a common street food in Shanghai. The filling within was so compact and it has lots of ingredients such as minced pork, chopped shrimps, jicama and mushroom seasoned with a mild fragrant taste from some dashes of sesame oil. This is a must try.

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Just for information purposes, you might want to know how to differentiate the many versions of the Chinese dumpling, Jiaozi (餃子). Depending on the way these dumplings are cooked, boiled ones are called Shuijiao (水餃), shallow pan fried ones are called Guotie (鍋貼) and steamed ones are called Zhengjiao (蒸餃). Some people may use egg as the wrapper or coat the Jiaozi with beaten eggs prior to frying. These would be called Danjiao (蛋餃/蛋餃子).

Next was the Har Gao (Shrimp Bonnet due to its pleated shape). The skin was so thin that the basket of three looked so translucent. With the freshness of the mildly seasoned prawns, the whole dumpling just melted smoothly inside my mouth.

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In most of the dim sum restaurants locally as well as those from Taiping, Perak, you would get Siu Mai (Pork Dumpling) as a common item. This restaurant had put in the extra effort to have some prawns in the dumpling, thus making them into Har Mai (Prawns and Pork Dumpling). The best part was that they have four in the basket compared to the normal three I get elsewhere. With the fresh juicy prawn dumpling served steaming hot on my table, they were one of the best around.

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I also realized something unique in this restaurant. They do not use Kani Kama, artificial crab sticks which have no crab meat in it but processed to resemble snow crab legs with surimi (grounded) white fish meat (pollock or hake). Most dim sum restaurants would use Kani Kama to dress each dumping differently but with the same type of filling just to impress on the look. I guessed this restaurant believed in freshness of each dim sum they serve. I had chunks of fresh crab meat garnished on my richly prawn filled dumpling. Moreover, it’s really cheap at RM4 for a basket of threes.

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The next order was something that I have not had in ages. It’s Steamed Prawns on Pan Fried Tofu and served with egg white gravy. The minced prawns were mildly flavored and the fried tofu was silky smooth.

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A visit to any dim sum restaurants would not be complete if you did not try out the Hong Kong Style Prawn/Char Siu Chee Cheong Fun (Rice Noodle Roll with Prawns/Honey BBQ Pork). Although the rolls were not as soft and as translucent as they should be, the tasty special soy sauce, fried onions and blended dried shrimp chili paste complimented each other well.

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The waitress also recommended their hot selling Nam Yu Bao (Red Fermented Bean Curd Roasted Pork Steam Bun). It was superb! Choice pieces of roasted pork belly meat were marinated with red fermented bean curd, sugar, salt and some sauces and steamed until tender prior to rolling them into the steamed bun dough. These would then be steamed until the dough rose up beautifully. This is another must try in this restaurant if you love fatty meat items.

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The last order which was supposed to be our first order came last. It was a mistake order, not as in quality but in quantity. We did not expect our small order to end up so big. The Fried Grouper Fillet Hor Fun was enough to feed three persons and it was priced at only RM8. The dish had lots of snow peas, carrot slices, cabbages, onions, roasted pork slices on top of the generously garnished fried grouper fillets. The first taste of the gravy was beautiful but we ended up felling disgusted due to the oversized portion of the hor fun (broad rice noodles). The chef should have fried the noodles dry instead of serving them plain. That would have cut down on the soggy feeling.

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With our tummies being over expanded, we did not manage to try out the remaining fried items out of their over 80 types of dim sum served there. I was also being informed by the chef that they would still be coming out with new items by the end of the week. Although I did have some takeaway, it would unfair to judge them when the food had cooled down but I can assure you that the taste of the brought back items were rich in flavors. Some of the items which I could not manage to capture on shots included the Fish Bladder Prawn Dumpling and Shark’s Fin Prawn Dumpling. Gosh! Those eaters sure know how to grab good food fast. Anyway, I would just share what I had photographed below.

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Overall, the whole dim sum breakfast meal came up to RM30 nett inclusive of a pot of chrysanthemum tea for two. Do you think the food here is expensive then?

Dim Sum Food Restaurant is just located along Jalan Macalister between Jalan Kek Chuan and Lorong Susu. The most prominent landmark would be Menara UMNO which is directly opposite the restaurant. In case you might miss the restaurant, just look out for The Steamboat Restaurant sign as both share the same premises.

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DSFOODRESTAURANTMAP

Name: DIM SUM FOOD RESTAURANT
Address: 63, Lorong Macalister, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 7273
Business Hours:
9.00am-3.00pm (Monday-Friday)
8.00am-3.00pm (Saturday, Sunday & Public Holiday)
GPS: 5.415606, 100.324736

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

YONG PIN RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On November - 11 - 2008

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You may not know but there are about 13 dim sum shops in Georgetown area alone. Some are newly established with great ambience and choices, whereas there are still a few older but well established ones that regulars would still frequent. One such shop ios the Yong Pin Restaurant located along Jalan Sungai Ujung, Penang. Instead of covering on the not-so-many varieties but delicious dim sum they have, let me share with you their yummy noodles.

One such noodles that I have not seen from other dim sum shop is their Fried Duck Yee Foo Noodles (RM5.50). The yee foo noodles dish was great with all the gravy from the stewed duck seeped right inside the noodles, making the whole combination very tasty. The restaurant only serves this wonderful dish on Friday and Saturday.

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Another noodle dish that’s worth mentioning is the Hong Tu Wo Mian (RM5). It came with some yee foo noodles cooked in some thick soup, somewhat like the sharksfin soup. It had some pork, prawns and beaten eggs in it. You can add in some black vinegar if you want it to be more sourly. The dish tasted great too.

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The next dish we ordered was the Sheng Mian (RM5). The crispy noodles was actually fried wan than noodles which were topped with some gravy, prawns, fish slices, pork slices and vegetables. This is another dish worth eating.

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Most of you might not be aware of Sunday Metro’s SMS Pick of the Best Dim Sum in Malaysia as published on 6 July 2008. Yong Pin Restaurant was voted as one of the top choices in Penang, as highlighted.

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This restaurant sure did provide some great authentic dim sum such as the Black Vinegar Pork Legs, Broiled Fried Chicken Legs, Fried Paper Wrapped Chicken and so on. Although the varieties are not as many as those bigger dim sum shops, there are quite a few of their steam as well as fried dim sum that’s worth trying out.

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Of all the dim sum that I had in this shop, I would never miss out their Prawn Rolls and Fried Water Chestnut Cake. The Fried Water Chestnut Cake is soft and fragrant with lots of finely sliced water chestnuts inside while the outer layer has a bit of crispiness. I would have two to three plates on each visit as I find them to be not overly sweet. Do try them out if you ever visit this place.

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If you are coming from Jalan Penang into Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong (road leading to KOMTAR/Prangin Mall), keep to your left and turn into the second road on your left which is Jalan Sungai Ujung. Find a parking space as the shop is just on your right along a row of shop houses.

YONGPINMAP

Name: YONG PIN RESTAURANT
Address: 11-B&C, Jalan Sungai Ujung, 10100 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours:
6.00am – 12.00pm, 7.00pm – 12.00am (Closed Monday)

Contact: 604-261 1355
GPS: 5.415989, 100.332175

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

FUN TEA GARDEN / DYNAMIC CAFE

Posted by Criz Lai On June - 7 - 2008

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Do you want to have freshly cooked dim sum with freshly peeled prawns? You should consider checking out this new dim sum shop called Fun Tea Garden in town, just opposite Pizza Hut, Prangin Mall. There are many varieties of food to choose from ranging from century eggs broth, dumplings, steamed buns of different fillings (Bao), deep fried prawn roll, egg custards, sesame glutinous rice balls, paper wrapped chicken, sweet vinegar pork legs, and many more. On top of these yummy choices, you can also order noodles such as fried hor fun, fried ee mee, fried fish bee hoon and so on.

Presently, with the new opening in late May, the dim sum tea house will waive any teas ordered in June with a minimum order of RM5.00. Not bad right? You could at least save up some charges on drinks. We tried out a few plates of their recommendation and paid barely RM15.


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Here are some other types of the dim sums served in the tea garden.

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The dim sums would be served up to 12 noon but you can opt for their economy rice. The tea garden also provides many tasty dishes with rice up to 1am. The menu changes daily too. Here are some of the dishes served there.

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It is not hard to find the tea garden as it is strategically located opposite the Prangin Mall’s Pizza Hut. Drive from Penang Road into Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong (previously Prangin Road), and you will reach a traffic light. The tea garden is on your left. You can find some parking by the road side or in a car park on your left before the next traffic light.

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Name: FUN TEA GARDEN / DYNAMIC CAFE
Address:
150 & 152, Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong, 10100 Penang, Malaysia.

Tel: 013-421 1274 (Danny Ooi)
Opening Hours:
Dim Sum: 7.30am – 6.00am (Closed Thursday)
Economy Rice: 5.30pm – 3.00am (Closed Thursday)
GPS: 5.414822, 100.332148

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


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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!

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