CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

You may have tried many hi-tea options in Penang, whether it’s by the beach, in heritage buildings or even in some cafes but are you aware that you can now have it at 59Sixty Dining Room & Lounge @ The Top, Penang, right up at the 59th floor of the iconic KOMTAR (Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak) Tower? It’s priced at 68nett for 2 pax or RM38nett/pax with a pot of your selected tea from 3.00pm until 5.00pm daily. Do make prior reservation so that you won’t have to wait too long for your freshly prepared items. The best part of the deal is that you would get to have a great 360° panoramic view of Penang. Who knows, you might even spot your house from the high angles~ 🙂

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Let’s have a look at what would be served for the 2 pax set. Firstly, you would get to choose your pot of tea (Sri Lanka’s Dilmah tea brand) from 4 options, namely English Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey, Green Tea with Jasmine and Pure Peppermint Leaves. There would be more options available in the near future. For the English Breakfast Tea and Earl Grey, you would get additional herbs and spices to infuse your tea with more flavors such as mint leaves, lemongrass, honey, lemon slices, cherries and cinnamon barks.

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As for the English style Hi-Tea, you would expect to get a 3-tier serving portion for two. The first tier would consist of items such as fruit mousse, cheesecakes and chocolate fruit tartlets. The second tier would consist of club sandwiches, muffins and cookies whereas the bottom tier would consist of 2 types of scones served with strawberry jam and clotted cream.

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Overall, I quite like the concept of having hi-tea with panoramic view of the whole Penang. The price of RM68 for 2 pax is reasonable with a quality pot of tea, especially with Earl Grey and English Breakfast Tea which would come with additional addons of herbs and spices. However, I do find the items served to be a bit out of balance as the whole set consisted of more sweet items rather than a good ratio of sweetness versus saltiness. It was at 9:1 ratio. It will be great if the pastry kitchen can come out with a 7:3 or even 3:2 ratio of items. Instead of just the 3-tier “club sandwich” as the sole savory item, it would be great to replace it with 3 other smaller items such as cucumber & cheese sandwiches, mini egg croissants, vol-au-vents with tuna/turkey/chicken filling or even simple mini dinner rolls with salmon/turkey ham rolls. At least the diners would not feel too surfeit over too much sweetness.

59SIXTY DINING ROOM & LOUNGE AT A GLANCE:

Buffet Lunch (Monday-Friday): 12.00pm-2.30pm: RM88nett/pax
Brunch (Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays): 11.30am-3.30pm: RM98nett/pax
Buffet Dinner (Daily): 6.30pm-10.00pm: RM168nett/pax
English Hi-Tea (Daily): 3.00pm-5.00pm: RM38nett per pax or RM68nett for 2 pax
Sixty Lounge (Daily): 4.00pm-2.00am: (Happy Hours: 4.00pm-8.00pm/In-House Band (Wednesday- Saturday): House rules of No Slippers, No Shorts, No Singlet/Vest and Above 18 years old apply.
Note: Senior Citizens (60 years old & above) and Children (3-7 years old) are entitled to 50% discount. Child below 3 years old is FOC.

The 59Sixty @ The Top, Penang can be accessible through the information counter next to Maybank Komtar @ Lebuh Tek Soon. Please make prior reservation prior to your dining there as it’s a restricted access area and only the authorized ushers could lead you up to the top of the building. To get there, you have to drive along Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong into Jalan Ria and then turn right into Lebuh Tek Soon. It’ll easier if you were to park nearby there. There are 3 car parks available here – Ground Floor Komtar (after Pos Malaysia Komtar), Komtar Multi-Storey Car Park (on your right), Open Space Car Park (after the Komtar Multi-Storey Car Park on your right via a small lane/exit for the car park). However, if you are dining until late, it’s advisable to park at other more brightly lighted car parks such as the Prangin Mall Car Park (1400 car lots), 1st Avenue Car Park (170 car lots) or even the Open Space Car Park opposite Hotel Jen/next to St Giles Wembley Hotel Penang (100 car lots) and walk over to the entrance as some car parks adjacent to Komtar will be closed as early as between 9.00pm and 10.30pm. For those visiting the Sixty Lounge until late, you can park at the Open Space Car Park (after the Komtar Multi-Storey Car Park on your right via a small lane/exit for the car park). However, if you are staying up until the wee hours of the day, please travel at least in pairs to the car park as it’s not so brightly lighted up. The Komtar area is currently under revitalization process, thus please give it some time to refurbish the conditions of all the surrounding car parks.

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Name: 59SIXTY DINING ROOM & LOUNGE @ THE TOP, PENANG
Address: Level 59 & 60 Komtar, Jalan Penang, 10000 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-262 5960/+6017-289 0255
Business Hours:
Buffet Lunch (Monday-Friday): 12.00pm-2.30pm
Brunch (Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays): 11.30am-3.30pm
Buffet Dinner (Daily): 6.30pm-10.00pm
English Hi-Tea (Daily): 3.00pm-5.00pm
Sixty Lounge (Daily): 4.00pm-2.00am (Happy Hours: 4.00pm-8.00pm/In-House Band (Wednesday- Saturday)
GPS: 5.414995, 100.329913
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/onlyworldgroup

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: 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)

 

For those who have frequent E&O Hotel (Eastern & Oriental Hotel), you would know that it has the reputation of pampering its diners with the best and freshest choice of dishes for their various promotions. Currently, Sarkies Corner at the old wing of E&O Hotel is having their Seafood Steamboat Promotion from 6.30pm until 10.30pm on a daily basis. Priced at RM88.00nett (adult) and RM35.00nett (child from 6-12 years old), diners would get to savor the fresh ingredients with their richly pepped up soup stocks. Of course, it’s best to enjoy the steamboat with your family members and friends. There won’t be fun when you are having the steamboat alone right?

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There would be 3 options for your soup base, namely clear chicken soup, Chinese herbal soup and tomyam soup. You can only choose one option and the soup is refillable.

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Basically, you would be served with 2 big plates of fresh ingredients for your order. The main “seafood/meat” plate would consist of crabs (one crab per person), prawns, scallops, mussels, bamboo clams, salmon slices, chicken slices, beef slices and fish balls. On the second “vegetable” plate would consist of napa cabbages, baby bok choy, enoki mushrooms, oyster mushroom, Shimeji bunapi mushrooms, wood ear fungus, Japanese tofu, eggs (one egg per person) and dried bean curd sticks. Condiments provided would include their spicy homemade chili ginger garlic sauce (this is spicy hot but I like it!), sesame oil, soy sauce, red sweet potato sauce, red chilies and garlic in oil. Note: If you are not a beef eater, please inform the kitchen so that they can replace something else for you.

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Overall, I quite like the concept of serving steamboats in Sarkies Corner @ E&O Hotel. At least I won’t have to wash up after all the hectic preparations in the kitchen~ LOL~ 😛 The best part on the steamboat was to have all the fresh seafood simmering inside the hot pot and infused the soup with lovely oceanic flavors. Well, the more people there are, the more seafood you would get, thus richer after cooking soup base.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang (next to Penang Bowl) is located along Lebuh Farquhar. If you are coming from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah towards Weld Quay, keep to your left immediately after passing by CitiBank. When you see the Penang Bowl building on your left (UMW Toyota opposite), please slow down. Turn left immediately after the Penang Bowl entrance. The E&O Hotel car park is situated just inside the Victory Annexe building. Parking charges would be a maximum of RM6 (weekdays: Monday-Thursday) and RM12 (weekends: Friday- Sunday). Sarkies Corner is located within the old wing of the hotel.

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Name: SARKIES CORNER @ EASTERN & ORIENTAL HOTEL
Address: 10 Lebuh Farquhar, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-222 2000
GPS: 5.423624, 100.334988

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

 

Many of you are aware that St Giles Wembley Hotel, Penang, is offering great spreads of buffet at their Wembley Café but are you aware that they do also have Cake & Coffee Promotion right at their Lobby Lounge? Currently, their Lobby Lounge is offering its Cake & Coffee Promotion from 2.00pm until 6.00pm daily right until the end of August 2015. For every piece of cake you order at RM23nett each, you would have a choice of in-house coffee or tea brew on the house. At the moment, they have 3 options such as their Raspberry Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Banana Cake and Durian Cheese Cake.

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If you are in need of a comfortable and quiet spot for a short meeting or even chill out with your friends or family members, this is the ideal venue. There are many secluded areas too for your total privacy. Other than just cakes and coffee, they do also have an extensive spread of main meals, snacks and beverages.

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Overall, if you are a dessert lover and like to chill out at a comfortable spot away from all those overcrowded cafes, you would find that the Lobby Lounge is the ideal place to indulge in your dessert with a calm peace of mind. After all, the pricing for a set of cake and coffee would not be as exorbitant as some of those cafes out there.

To get to the Lobby Lounge, just walk into the main entrance of the hotel and head to your right. You would see a bunch of friendly staff at your service.

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Name: LOBBY LOUNGE @ ST GILES WEMBLEY HOTEL
Address: 183, Jalan Magazine, 13000 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-259 8000
Business Hours: 12.00pm–12:00am (Sundays–Thursdays), 12.00pm–1.00am (Fridays & Saturdays)
GPS: 5.413164, 100.330428

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

 

BREAKFAST AT ZEST BAR CAFE @ GLOW BY ZINC PENANG

Posted by crizlai On August - 4 - 2015

ZEST Bar Café @ GLOW by Zinc, a cool and comfortable café within a modern and chic hotel, located right in the heart of George Town, do serve nice and balance spread of breakfast. Available from 7.30am until 10.30am daily, the breakfast do not only cater for in-house guests, you can also walk in to savor their spread at RM26.50nett per pax.

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I don’t think I’ll have to stress on all the individual items as photos would definitely speak for themselves well. That would also include your free flow of morning juices and coffee. To start off, let’s view the photos below.

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There’s surely something in the spread for everybody, whether you like your breakfast to be light or something to lead to brunch hours.

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Overall, I would consider the spread of dishes served here are better than most hotels of the same standard. What I loved most here were the availability of the many choices of salads and fresh fruit cuts plus the high quality bread rolls supplied by a reputable bakery in Penang.

ZEST Bar Cafe @ GLOW by Zinc is located at the 1st floor of the hotel along Jalan Macalister just opposite Red Rock Hotel. There are about 20 car park spaces in this hotel with 10 spaces available right in front of the hotel and another 10 spaces behind the hotel via Jalan Naning (opposite Sum Sum Motors). There are also many coupon based parking spaces available surrounding the hotel. Please make sure you have your parking coupons ready as you would need to pay between 9.00am and 5.00pm (Except Saturday until 1.00pm and free on Sunday).

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Name: ZEST BAR CAFÉ @ GLOW BY ZINC
Address: 101 Jalan Macalister, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 0084
Business Hours: 7.30am-11.00am (breakfast), 11.30am-5.00pm (lunch), 6.00pm-10.30pm (dinner by booking)
GPS: 5.416638, 100.322952

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

 

Are you aware that ZEST Bar Café @ GLOW by Zinc, a cool and comfortable café within a modern and chic hotel, located right in the heart of George Town, is currently having their Thai food promotions? With 4 others Glow hotels in Thailand, namely Koh Yao Yai, Pratunam, Trinity Silom and Sukhumvit, I won’t be surprise that Thai cuisine remains their main theme. Whether it’s for individual serving or with a group of family members and friends, there will always be something for everyone. Moreover, it’s also a great time to pay them a visit and play with their latest props for their Most Creative Selfie Competition to be eligible to win free night stays at one of their leading Thailand hotels. More information is available here.

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Do check out their Thai Set Lunch Menu and Ala Carte Menu as shown below. The meals will be available from 11.30am until 5.00pm daily. Click on the menu below for a better view.

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Let’s have a look at their Ala Carte Menu to check out some of the great dishes for your lunch. To start off the meal, you can always order their Miang Kam (เมี่ยงคำ – RM8+) or commonly known as “one biteful” in Thai cuisine. The dish will consist of wild betel leaves, toasted grated coconut, dried shrimps, shallots, peanuts, mini ginger cubes with a punch of bird’s eyes chili, served with their own concoction of sweet oozy like palm sugar based sauce.

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Alternatively, you can also try out their Som Tam (ส้มตำ – RM10+), a lime zesty and pungently spiced up young papaya salad with dried shrimps, cabbages, long beans, tomatoes, garlic, toasted peanuts, bird’s eyes chilies, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar. It’s a great appetizer in most Thai food servings.

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If you are not a fan of papayas, then you can try out their Yam Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น – RM12+), a glass noodles appetizer filled with punches from the vegetables, herbs and added steamed prawns. The dish had all the 5 main flavors (wan, kem, brieow, ped & kom/ หวาน, เค็ม, เปรี้ยว, เผ็ด & ขม) in Thai cuisine, mainly a balance of sweetness, saltiness, sourness, spiciness and bitterness (from the added cilantro and mint leaves).

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The eatery also does serve various soups. One of them being the Tom Kha Gai (ต้มข่าไก่ – RM12+), a thick herbs and spices packed chicken soup with hints of galangal and lemongrass. However, I personally felt that the broth was slightly too thick for me, thus felt rather surfeit after just a few mouthful. I have the feeling that box coconut milk, which was much thicker than freshly squeezed ones, was used in the recipe. Moreover, it lacked the fragrance and flavors from the herbs used. In Thai cuisine, you can’t be slicing everything so delicately. Ingredients such as galangal, lemongrass or even chilies have to be smashed prior to cooking to obtain the optimum flavors. More kaffir lime leaves should be added in too for that distinctive zesty flavor. I hope the kitchen is aware of the proper cooking methods in Thai cuisine.

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Another soup option will be their Tom Yam Goong (ต้มยำกุ้ง – RM18+). Unlike the Tom Kha Gai, this soup is pepped up with various flavors, especially from the freshness of the king prawns. However, it still lacked something important – the fragrance from the used herbs and spices. It was again the cooking methods all gone wrong again. I hope they rectify this basic rule in Thai cooking.

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As for main dishes, there’s a mix & match of Thai dishes as well as some Western for those who can’t consume too spicy food. You can start with just Pad Thai (ผัดไทย – RM15+), the Thai version of flat noodles wok fried with prawns, bean curds and served with some raw bean sprouts, Chinese chives, crushed peanuts, chili flakes, sugar plus a slice of lime. The version served here was with an additional egg wrap. Notably, a great Pad Thai would consist of a balance of yin and yang flavors from the usage of fish sauce, tamarind paste and lime juice. Of course, there’s the need of the perfect “wok hei” aka high heat stir frying from a super hot wok.

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There will be quite a variety of “one dish – one rice” options here starting with the Kaeng Phet (แกงเผ็ด – RM18+). This is basically the authentic Thai version of spicy coconut milk based red curry recipe, with the option to have the dish pepped up with either prawns or chicken. We had this dish cooked with prawns. However, my personal preference would still be with chicken as it would be more harmonious with the texture.

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Another version would be the Gaeng Keow Wan (แกงเขียวหวาน – RM18+), an all-time signature Thai green curry dish loved by many food critics. It had an immaculate blend of green curry paste combined with coconut cream with your preference of either prawns or chicken to create that delicious thick curry that would complement your hot steaming rice well. We had boneless chicken cuts for this option. Though the dish may look tame by its color, it could be somewhat spicy for some. As for taste wise, the dish was fine except that I wondered why was broccoli being added instead of the commonly use eggplant. Somehow, the bite sensation and texture were somewhat different.

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Next on the list was a dish loved by all of us. It was the Pad Kra Prao (ผัดกะเพรา – RM18+), a minced meat dish stir fried with Thai basil leaves, served with rice and an omelette. Here you have an option of either minced chicken or beef. We chose minced chicken instead. This complete street food meal deal can be quite abundant in Thailand. The simple salty sweet flavors from the added garlic, chilies and Thai basils, combined with soy sauce, oyster sauce and a dash of dark soy sauce would make you crave for more.

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Of course, there will be the world’s #1 dish in the menu. Do try out their Gaeng Massaman (แกงมัสมั่น – RM18+), a Southern Thai dish with Indian influence. Compared to the red, green, yellow curries of Thailand, you can find the usage of many dry spices such as cardamom, cinnamon or even nutmeg being used in the recipe. With a long list of needed ingredients, the flavors of Massaman Curry can be quite complicated and yet delish to the palate of anyone. You can have the option of chicken or beef for this dish. The dish would come with added potatoes and toasted peanuts.

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Who would miss the many mouth-watering Thai desserts? This dessert would surely tempt those sweet tooth diners. Firstly, we have the Sang Kaya Fak Tong (สังขยาฟักทอง – RM7+), sometimes also known as the Thai Pumpkin Custard. It’s a unique dessert with eggy sweet coconut cream custard steamed in a whole kabocha squash (Japanese mini pumpkin). The slice of dessert was served with added coconut cream and toasted sesame seeds syrup.

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You would get to try out of the street desserts such as the Khanom Khao Mao (ขนมขาวเมา- RM7+), a sinfully sugary ripe banana wrapped in grated coconut and sticky rice, deep fried to perfect crispiness and served with extra coconut cream. Though sinful for your diet, it’s the ultimate dessert to end your meal.

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Overall, some of the dishes served here can be real fulfilling though they have been tweaked to suit the taste buds of the diners in this region. I’m sure most of us can’t really consume the 100% authentic ones as they can be quite overpowering in terms of spiciness, sourness and sweetness. Anyway, Zest Bar can still be the perfect place to relax and dine while admiring the scenic view of George Town.

ZEST Bar Cafe @ GLOW by Zinc is located at the 1st floor of the hotel along Jalan Macalister just opposite Red Rock Hotel. There are about 20 car park spaces in this hotel with 10 spaces available right in front of the hotel and another 10 spaces behind the hotel via Jalan Naning (opposite Sum Sum Motors). There are also many coupon based parking spaces available surrounding the hotel. Please make sure you have your parking coupons ready as you would need to pay between 9.00am and 5.00pm. However, effective 1 July 2014, valet services would be available for your convenience.

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Name: ZEST BAR CAFÉ @ GLOW BY ZINC
Address: 101 Jalan Macalister, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 0084
Business Hours: 11.30am-5.00pm (lunch), 6.00pm-10.30pm (dinner by booking)
GPS: 5.416638, 100.322952

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

 

NOTE: The July Buffet Promotion has been cancelled until further notice. The management is sorry for any inconveniences.

For the month of July 2014, ZEST Bar Café @ GLOW by Zinc, would be having its July Weekend Buffet Dinner (4-27 July 2014), within its modern and chic hotel, located right in the heart of George Town. The timely arranged buffet dinner would also be in line with the holy month of Ramadhan where diners would get to savor their specially handcrafted Malay cuisine in the confort of the café. The promotion would be priced at RM45+ (adults)/RM25.50+ (children) from 7.00pm until 10.00pm, only of Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Special arrangements can be made for groups of 30 pax and above. Do call +604-226 0084 now to make your reservation.

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Basically, the spread would include starters and appetizers such as dates, assorted pickles, assorted crackers, assorted fresh greens with dressings, assorted local (herbs & vegetables) ulam-ulaman with dressings such as sambal belacan, budu and cincalok, Gado Gado with Peanut Sauce, Kerabu Ayam, Kerabu Manga Muda, Acar Jelatah Acar Awak, assorted salted fish and salted duck eggs.

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As for main dishes, you could expect to have Chicken Tomyam Soup, Vegetables Dalcha, Grilled Lamb with Rosemary Sauce, Udang Masak Lemak Cili Padi, Grilled Dory with Cheese Sauce, Rendang Daging, Sotong Goreng Kunyit, Ayam Masak Merah, to be served wiyh Nasi Briyani with Raisins or plain white rice. I rather like the Rendang (Beef Rendang) as the beef slices were tender and juicy to my liking. Flavor wise, it was like a crossed between Rendang Tok Perak and Opor Daging Pahang. Another dish which was packed with flavors would be the Ayam Masak Merah.

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For desserts and drink, you could savor some assorted fresh tropical fruit cuts, cakes, jellies, puddings, bubur kacang, local Malay kuih and free flow of jus kurma and sirap bandung.

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Overall, I find the dishes served here lacked of options and to my preferred quality compared to the price charged. Some of the dishes such as the Gado Gado, Vegetables Dalcha and Chicken Tomyan Soup had gone over the border of fusion or lacking of some major ingredients, thus losing their authentic flavors. For example, though the peanut sauce was great, the Gado Gado lacked of potatoes and “melinjo nuts” emping crackers. The Vegetables Dalcha on the other hand had too many unnecessary vegetables such as celery, tomatoes, yardlong beans when simple usages of just lentils, carrots, potatoes and eggplants would just be sufficient to go with the spiced rice. The Chicken Tomyam Soup was also a disappointment as it tasted like a sweetened chicken soup with vegetables with some added chili oil. I also wondered what had happened to the basic five flavors (sweetness, saltiness, sourness, spiciness and herb aroma) for the famous dish. One top of the lacking in saltiness to balance up the sweetness in any dish, the soup tend to lack the sourness from some lime juice, the spiciness from some added cili padi and the fragrance from the usages of abundant lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Moreover, the desserts were too normal and lacked of choices. In fact, all of them were towards sweetness. Malay kuih would also consist of savory items such as popiah goreng with chili sauce, cucur badak, karipap, cucur udang and more. With the Pasar Ramadhan available throughout the month, I can’t see why they couldn’t get in more options. Frankly speaking, I would rather have those set dinner meal for the weekend buffet as what they did for Fathers’ Day at a lesser price rather than seeing them serving these common spread of dishes at such pricing. At least the kitchen would be more manageable and thus would also be able to cut down on food wastages.

ZEST Bar Cafe @ GLOW by Zinc is located at the 1st floor of the hotel along Jalan Macalister just opposite Red Rock Hotel. There are about 20 car park spaces in this hotel with 10 spaces available right in front of the hotel and another 10 spaces behind the hotel via Jalan Naning (opposite Sum Sum Motors). There are also many coupon based parking spaces available surrounding the hotel. Please make sure you have your parking coupons ready as you would need to pay between 9.00am and 5.00pm. However, effective 1 July 2014, valet services would be available for your convenience.

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Name: ZEST BAR CAFÉ @ GLOW BY ZINC
Address: 101 Jalan Macalister, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 0084
Business Hours: 7.00pm-10.00pm (July Weekend Buffet: Friday-Sunday only)
GPS: 5.416638, 100.322952

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

 

HUONG QUE VIETNAMESE FOOD

Posted by crizlai On June - 22 - 2014

* Published in HungryGoWhere Malaysia Food Guide: HUONG QUE VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT @ Penang

With lots of factories in Penang employing Vietnamese workers, more and more Vietnamese restaurants are popping up on the little food paradise island. The latest would be Huong Que Vietnamese Food located a stone throw away from the Penang Times Square. Quietly tucked within one of the colonial-style houses along Lebuh Melaka, Penang, you could find the humble restaurant bustling with regulars. As it’s quite a normal practice in Penang that if you see crowds, the food must be good. Well indeed, the dishes served here are very homely style and at times you could find some exotic choices too. The menu here could be quite simple. However, there would be a photo album menu for you to choose your meal since most of the items are labeled in the Vietnamese language. All prices are nett.

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The first thing to check out at any of the Vietnamese restaurants would be the quality of their signature Huong Que Pho (Vietnamese Beef Noodles – RM8.70). I’m impressed with their rich stock which has obviously gone through many hours of simmering. It had sweet and flavor spices-spiked boney rich flavors with some magical touches of their fish sauce. The noodles’ texture was silky smooth with the right al dente. The portion served was also quite huge with generous amount of beef slices for the price paid. Each set would come with a basket of fresh basils, bean sprouts and a slice of lime. This is the far best pho I had taken in Penang.

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Alternatively, for those non-beef takers, you can always opt for their Hu Tieu Gio Heo (Vietnamese Pork Noodles – RM8.70). The taste is almost similar to that of the local Koay Teow Th’ng but with the extra fragrant from their added fish sauce. The big bowl of noodles would come with some minced meat balls, bean sprouts, prawns and some innards. You can always request to omit the innards since most Vietnamese dishes would surely have them.

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Another item in their menu would be quite exotic for the palate of major diners but it could be the staple food of another. That would be the Hot Vit Lon (Boiled Fertilized Developing Embryo Duck Egg – RM3.00 each) or also known as Balut. These commonly found street food of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Philippines are quite rare in Penang. I was having the phobia of consuming something not in my daily diet. However, being a food writer, it’s a must to try out anything that’s edible. I would say, the outlook could be quite deceiving as the taste was something like a boiled hard-boiled egg with distinctive duck flavors, though some parts could have a bit of oozy raw aftertaste. Basically, it’s more like chewing the cartilage of a stingray, which was not too bad. The duck egg came with a condiment of pounded chilies, some spiced salt and lime. My advice would be to consume the Balut while it’s warm plus the provided condiments to prevent the strong flavors of rawness from emitting further. For those courageous newbies, quickly pop it into your mouth with as much sauce as you could, give it a few fast chews before swallowing the mass and do ignore the sneaking suspicion that your tongue might detect faintly the fibrous tickle of feathers. Try not adding in the basil leaves as it would require more chews. To the natives of those countries, Balut can be considered a natural source of Viagra to prove your manliness. Is it? LOL~

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Huong Que Vietnamese Food | Address: 37 Lebuh Melaka, 10400 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. | Tel: 604-228 8727 | Opening hours: 12.00pm-11.00pm (Closed on Tuesdays) | GPS Coordinates: 5.413001, 100.323058 | Non-Halal

 

What are your plans for Fathers’ Day which would fall on 15 June 2014 this year? Instead of celebrating this memorable day the traditional way of dining out during dinner, why not celebrate the day earlier for lunch so that you can have more time for more family activities after the meal? Do check out ZEST Bar Café @ GLOW by Zinc, a cool and comfortable café within a modern and chic hotel, located right in the heart of George Town. The café would be promoting its Fathers’ Day 3-Course Set Lunch at RM35nett per pax on 15 June 2014 from 11.30am until 5.00pm. As the promotion is value for money, do make earlier reservation to avoid disappointment. Do call +604-226 0084 now to make your reservation~ 🙂

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Let’s have a look at the Fathers’ Day Set Lunch Menu at ZEST Bar Café @ GLOW by Zinc, Penang below.

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You would have the Starter which would be the Grilled Prawn with Caviar Cream and Salad Roll. You would have two well marinated king prawns grilled to perfection and topped with some “caviar” cream and served with a salad roll, accompanied by some honey mustard sauce topped with some black sesame and Thai chili sauce. Though the prawns were grilled with a nice aromatic burn flavors, the “caviar” cream were however a bit deceiving in my opinion. It was basically mayonnaise with some ebiko (prawn roe) which did not fall into the caviar category (fish roe). Instead of using the expensive black caviar from the sturgeon or red caviar from salmon, at least proper caviars should be used such as the black caviar from a less expensive lumpfish. I do hope the kitchen do get their terms right to avoid disputes from the public.

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As for the Main Course, there would be 2 options, either beef or fish. Firstly, it would be the Yin & Yang Tenderloin,a thick slab of grilled beef tenderloin on a slice of roasted pumpkin, served with black (black pepper) and white (coconut plus crème) sauce. For beef lovers, this dish would be the ideal choice, especially if you ordered it as medium-rare. The meat pieces would just melt in your mouth. Though some of the bloggers considered the black pepper sauce to be overwhelming, thus covering the true taste of the beef, I found the sauce to be just nice for my palate. However, the so-called “white” sauce did not give that extra flavor as it was too mild to be distinctive. It could merely be for decorative purposes only. To bring more justice to the white sauce, maybe a combination of béchamel sauce, toasted shitake mushroom plus some herbs might be a better choice.

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The second Main Course would be the White Pan-Fried Fillet Sea Bass. It was two generous pieces of pan-fried Sea Bass fillets on a bed of potato wedges, served with béchamel sauce (butter, flour & milk) and Thai chili sauce, garnished with some citrus flavored cucumber pickles. Overall, it was still a reasonably good combination.

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As for Dessert, there was the Avocado Chocolate Trifle, a large serving indeed. Though the dessert was quite nice with the uniqueness of the added avocado pudding layer, chocolate ganache and milky crème plus some nicely roasted pistachio as topping, the amount was sort of a bit too much after a heavy meal. It ended up being too surfeit for the consumption of the lighter diners. It would be great if some Graham crackers or digestive biscuit crumbles being added at the base to cut down on the heaviness of the serving. Alternatively, a fruit trifle might be a better choice as it’s a lighter dessert to end a heavy meal.

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As for Beverages, you also have the option to choose from Coffee, Tea or Ice Lemon Tea. All the beverages would come with free refills. However, you could also request for other beverages such as Cappuccino or Latte and that would also be on the house as well.

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Instead of dropping by just for the Fathers’ Day Set Lunch Promotion, you could also drop by the café anytime to savor their ala carte dishes. One of the more notable ones would be their GLOW Signature Beef Burger (RM22+), served with some potato wedges. Indeed the in-house made beef patty was one of the top ones on the market. It had just the right combination of minced beef, marinates, bread crumbs, herbs and spices to give the patty the right texture and flavors. Thumbs up for this burger!

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Another alternative would be their GLOW Signature Chicken Club Sandwich (RM18+). The dish had layers of cheese, omelette and grilled chicken plus greens sandwiched in between 3 thick slices of wholemeal bread slices. This dish was also served with some potato wedges. However, I personally found this dish to be too dry to my liking, mostly because of the bread being too thick as my ideal choice.

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Please also take note that during the Ramadhan month, Ramadhan Buffet can be arranged for groups with a minimum of 30 pax booking at RM49nett/pax. Please contact +6017-488 2108 for further information.

Overall, the dishes served here had an almost fine dining style of experiences. The dishes here were presented beautifully with quite a large portion given. Taste wise, the quality is there plus the innovative of the chef to come out with excellent flavors. Though there are still some further improvements needed to be rectified by the kitchen, I do find the café to be quite a nice place to relax and dine while admiring the scenic view of George Town.

ZEST Bar Cafe @ GLOW by Zinc is located at the 1st floor of the hotel along Jalan Macalister just opposite Red Rock Hotel. There are about 20 car park spaces in this hotel with 10 spaces available right in front of the hotel and another 10 spaces behind the hotel via Jalan Naning (opposite Sum Sum Motors). There are also many coupon based parking spaces available surrounding the hotel. Please make sure you have your parking coupons ready as you would need to pay between 9.00am and 5.00pm. However, effective 1 July 2014, valet services would be available for your convenience.

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Name: ZEST BAR CAFÉ @ GLOW BY ZINC
Address: 101 Jalan Macalister, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 0084
Business Hours: 11.30am-5.00pm (Fathers’ Day), 11.30am-10.30pm (Normal Days)
GPS: 5.416638, 100.322952

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

 

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)

 

VEGETARIAN EXPERIENCES AT COYA HEALTHY CUISINE PENANG

Posted by crizlai On January - 16 - 2014

On and off, it’s great to stay away from all the rich fatty food and go for a total meatless meal to detoxify the body. Penang may be the food paradise of this region. However, most Penangites are also health conscious in general with more and more healthy cuisine outlets opening up to jump onto the healthy lifestyle trend. One of the latest around town would be the Coya Healthy Cuisine (Vegetarian House). Now, let’s understand a bit more on the differences between vegans and vegetarians. Vegans would eliminate all animal products from their diet which is inclusive of eggs and dairy products. They would also avoid any products made from animals. In general, those following a vegan lifestyle would avoid any products made from animals. On the other hand, we have the Vegetarians who would not consume any meat, fish or poultry but some tend to consume dairy products and eggs. We have the Lacto-Vegetarians whom would consume dairy products but not eggs, the Ovo-Vegetarians whom would consume eggs but not dairy products and the Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarians whom would consume both eggs and dairy products. At Coya Healthy Cuisine, they would serve Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian dishes minus the usages of garlic, any bulb or leafy onions or gluten.

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The restaurant would serve ala carte dishes as well as set meals for some of the dishes. Here’s how the set meal would look like with a main dishes, a bowl of white rice/noodles, 2 side dishes of the day, one dessert and one glass of traditional drink. There’s also the option of additional RM1.00 to exchange the white rice/noodles with brown rice for any of the meal.

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One of their signature dishes would be the Hakka Style Smoked Pork Belly (客家燜腩肉 – RM9.90 for ala-carte/RM15.90 for set). You would be surprised at how real those pieces of pork belly were with the “fatty” layers. Those layers of “fat” were actually natural konjac flour (konnyaku/蒟蒻) while the “meaty” parts were actually soybean protein with added starch, grain spices, salt, etc. These pork belly pieces together with some Shitake mushrooms had been braised with soy sauce and spices to create that ideal earthly flavored pork belly stew which would be best taken with a hot bowl of steamed rice.

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For those who love the taste of ginger and sesame oil, the Salted Vampire (Ginger with Salted Fish/ 姜絲炒咸鱼 – RM9.90 for ala-carte/RM15.90 for set) would also be nice with a hot bowl of steamed rice. Those little pieces of soy protein made “salted fish” combined with lots of julienned young ginger in soy based gravy with distinctive usage of sesame oil, can be real appetizing, though it might be a bit salty if taken by itself.

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You can also try out their healthier version of Minced Meat Rice (素肉醬飯 – RM7.90 for ala-carte/RM12.90 for set). This dish has a bowl of hot steamed rice topped with protein rich “soya meat” cooked with their special sauce and garnished with a variety of fresh vegetables.

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Alternatively, you can also opt for their handmade noodles – Xiang Chun Mee (香椿面 – RM7.90 for ala-carte/RM12.90 for set). It had a rather earthly and powdery textured noodles stir with some dark soy sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil, topped with some vegetables and soya protein made “barbeque pork (char siew)”.

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I got curious when I spotted there was the Lion Heads (獅子頭 – RM9.90 for ala-carte/RM15.90 for set) in the menu. Lion Head or Lion’s Head as it’s normally known as originated from eastern China. It’s basically big “pork meatballs” cooked in many different styles. At Coya, the “meatballs” were stewed with napa cabbages (大白菜) in a flavorful soup stock made with napa cabbages, some salt and sugar to taste. Miraculously, those impromptu pepped up “meatballs” were delicious. Each deep fried “meatballs” contained frying flour, mashed bean curd, mushroom stems and soy protein. Since the usage of onions is prohibited in their cooking, the “meatballs” though delicious tend to lack a bit of sweetness. It would be great if some finely chopped water chestnuts or jicama be added in for that extra sweetness and crunch.

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One unique soup you should take note of is the Night Blooming Cereus Herbal Soup (霸王花炖湯 – RM12.90 for ala-carte/RM18.90 for set). Scientifically known as Epiphyllum or with a common name of Queen of the Night/Dragon Flower, this Dragon Fruit like cactus plant would bloom flowers only at night. According to the Chinese belief, it also symbolizes great fortune. With the right concoction of ingredients, the tasty soup would be great to strengthen the lungs against flu related symptoms. However, this soup is not advisable to be consumed by those with hypertension. This soup had some bean curds, bean curd sticks, Chinese almond and wolfberries.

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Another simple yet nourishing soup to have would be the Mint Leaves Egg Soup (薄荷蛋花湯 – RM9.90 for ala-carte/RM15.90 for set). Mint leaves are great alternative to treat respiratory disorders such as cold, cough and flu related headaches. The soup had some soy protein meatballs slices added in to enhance the flavor more.

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For side dishes, you should not miss out their delicious Deep Fried Mushroom (炸香菇 – RM9.90). I find this dish to be rather appetizing considering that the mushroom slices were only dried shitake mushrooms. The chef did a great job in getting the best out of the mushrooms in texture and flavors. The deep fried batter coated mushroom slices were mild crispy with some sweet and sour sauce plus a little sprinkles of toasted sesame seeds. They were awesomely addictive. 🙂

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Alternatively, there was also the Devil’s Eggs (魔鬼蛋 – RM4.90 for 3 eggs/RM7.90 for 6 eggs). The spicy curry with high hints of candlenuts, galangal and vinegar usages is from the Eurasian Kristang culinary tradition, a festive dish commonly found in Singapore and Malacca. If you need a hot and spicy punch in your palate of vegetarian dishes, this is one dish you should not miss out.

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As for beverages, there are quite a few unique concoctions such as the Olive Tea (橄欖茶 – RM3.90), Mango Lassi (芒果拉西 – RM9.90), CC Lemonade (RM9.90), Carrot Julius (RM9.90), Herbal Mint Tea (薄荷夏枯草 – RM3.90), Nangka (Jackfruit) Lassi (木波羅拉西 – RM10.90) and more. I personally like both the lassi as they have the natural sweetness from the blended fruits and just the right smoothness. On the other hand, the traditional drinks have some unique options. The Olive Tea has the flavors almost similar to dried sour plum and the Herbal Mint Tea was rather refreshing on a hot day.

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Overall, the dishes served here are more creative and flavorful than most of the healthy cuisine eateries on the market. The set meals can be real value for money. However, there are still some rooms for improvements for more options on less fried and less oily dishes. On top of that, it would be great if the restaurant could provide more spicy flavored dishes from other ethnic groups such as the Malays and Indians to pull in more diners. I guessed they might need to pick up one or two of my vegetarian dish recipes in my blog with a bit of tweaks to their liking~ 😛 Moreover, the restaurant also lacked the options for some desserts. It would be great if they have some Fruity Konnyaku Jelly or some home brewed bean soup to make the meal complete.

If you are coming from Komtar into Jalan Macalister, keep a look out for the fifth junction on your right. Turn right into Lorong Selamat. Drive on for another 400m and keep a look for the shop on your left. It’s just opposite the end of the Pangsapuri Jalan Zainal Abidin (with an open space padang) on your right nearing Jalan Burma. There would be at least 2 parking spaces in front of the premises.

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Name: COYA HEALTHY CUISINE (VEGETARIAN HOUSE)
Address: 4A Lorong Selamat, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 2357, 012-486 4127 (Summer)
Business Hours: 11.00am-3.00pm, 5.30pm-9.30pm (Closed on Monday)
GPS: 5.419108, 100.326188

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)

 

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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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