CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

NOSTALGIC MOMENTS AT LOKE THYE KEE RESTAURANT & BAR PENANG

Posted by crizlai On January - 11 - 2014

For those who had attended family functions such as matchmakings, weddings and birthdays at Loke Thye Kee Restaurant in the late 1920s, you can now rekindle those memories at the newly refurbished and renovated building after more than 8 decades. There will be a maximum seating capacity of 118 pax at the restaurant with an additional seating capacity of 80 pax at the rooftop terrace. Loke Thye Kee, which in Hainanese means “House of Happiness”, resembles the architecture structures of a Chinese “Love Boat”, traditionally served Hainanese Chinese and Western Cuisine. Today, Loke Thye Kee Restaurant serves Malaysian cuisine from the different ethnic origins, namely Malay, Chinese and Indian with an occasional twist of Hainanese and Western dishes. The pork-free restaurant would be managed by their appointed Malaysian chefs, led by Chef Azlin (Head Chef), Chef Lim (Hainanese cuisine), Chef Effendy (Pastry Chef). All their dishes are pork-free and they are in the process of applying for ‘Halal’ certification.

LTK01 photo LTK01_zps84086cfe.jpg

The restaurant would have ala carte dishes and set menus for lunch and dinner daily except on Mondays. They would offer signature Malaysian dishes from the different ethnic origins such as Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisine, with a selection of Hainanese cuisine. You can check out their menu below.

ALACARTEMENU1 photo ALACARTEMENU1_zps486d9847.jpg

Some of those items in the ala carte/set dishes would include some Hainanese dishes such as the Hainanese Chicken Rice, Hainanese Chicken Chop, Macaroni Pie and more. The Hainanese Chicken Rice is one of the hot selling dishes in the restaurant as the preparation to get the dish served can be real tedious from the steps to prepare the fragrant fully flavored rice, getting tender meat until the concoction of the many condiments. Do check out this dish.

LTK07 photo LTK07_zpsc21511e4.jpg

On the other hand, they have the Hainanese Chicken Chop. Flavor and texture wise, it was a fine dish. However, it was not as authentic as I would have preferred. The chicken meat was over coated with batter instead of a mildly breadcrumbs coat and the gravy served was practically brown sauce, a far differences compared to the traditional sweet onion based gravy. The gravy should actually consist of rich chicken stock, a bit of tomato ketchup (optional), HP sauce, Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and pepper to taste and thickened with some corn flour. Of course, there would be presence of onions, tomato slices and green peas added in to pep up more sweetness and some freshly cut deep fried potato wedges served. I do hope the kitchen would get the dish to be as authentic as it should be.

LTK08 photo LTK08_zps281ee625.jpg

The Macaroni Pie on the other hand was also not as authentic as it should be. Something seemed to be missing on the bi-colored crust. The white and yellow (egg white and egg yolk) crust somehow tasted rather eggy without some presence of vanilla essence to pep up some flavors. Moreover, the filling itself was “too instant”. It practically has some macaroni, chicken ham, button mushrooms, some diced onions, cream sauce and herbs. It tasted more Western than the Hainanese style which uses spices such as cinnamon bark, cloves and star anise instead. Again, this dish would need more tweaking from the kitchen.

LTK09 photo LTK09_zpsa9e13303.jpg

Loke Thye Kee Restaurant would also provide diners with a taste of Malaysia within the nostalgic surroundings with their weekend buffets. I would want to share with you how a typical Saturday Malaysian Buffet would look like. We would start with the cold dishes and salad section. You would find items such as mussels, prawns, cold cuts and some ready pepped up Nyonya/Malay salads (kerabu).

LTK02 photo LTK02_zps38e93907.jpg

On the hot/main dishes section, you would expect to try out items such as herbal soup, steamed rice, yong chow fried rice, crispy noodles, fried chicken, barbeque chicken, braised lamb, assam prawns, braised duck with yam (or ark), seafood thermidor, steamed fish, assorted vegetables and deep fried tempura vegetables.

LTK03 photo LTK03_zpsa3c317ca.jpg

At the dessert section, you would expect some cakes, puddings, local kuih-muih, bubur kacang, ice cream and coffee.

LTK05 photo LTK05_zps02e104f0.jpg

There will also be some hawker fares at the action counter such as ice kacang, hokkien mee and rojak.

LTK04 photo LTK04_zpsccc0ec5c.jpg

What most people are not aware of is that there’s a rooftop terrace with 360° view of George Town, most notably the 65-storey Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR), constructed in 1974. Other than the option to dine on the rooftop, there’s also a bar up there serving both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, snacks and cakes from 11.00am until 11.00pm daily (except Monday). The rooftop area would be quite an ideal place to chill out with family and friends, have a small gathering party or even office function since it can fit up to 80 pax. It’s also a great place to watch football on TV.

LTK10 photo LTK10_zpsf5b5570d.jpg

You can check out the Rooftop Terrace menu here:

ALACARTEMENU2 photo ALACARTEMENU2_zps2e7986a2.jpg

Overall, the dishes served here can be real value for money with so much different spread of seafood, meat, poultry, desserts and hawker dishes. However, there are still some rooms for improvements for more options on Malaysian cuisine throughout the whole nation.

Here’s the summary of the promotion and opening hours.

Tuesday-Sunday: 11.00am-11.00pm (Last call 10.30pm)
Ala Carte Menu/Set Lunch/Set Dinner
Saturday Malaysian Buffet Dinner: 6.30pm-10.30pm
RM60++ (adult)/RM30++ (child)
Sunday Buffet Brunch: 11.00am-3.00pm
RM28++ (adult)/RM14++ (child)
Rooftop Terrace Bar: 11.00pm-11.00pm daily (except Mondays)

Getting to Loke Thye Kee Restaurant & Bar is rather easy as it’s located just at the junction of Jalan Penang/Jalan Burma. There are ample parking spaces beside and behind the restaurant which can be accessed through a small lane via Jalan Transfer.

LTKMAP photo LTKMAP_zpsff1d3a20.jpg

Name: LOKE THYE KEE RESTAURANT & BAR
Address: 2 Jalan Burma, 10050 George Town, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-264 1919
Business Hours: 11.00am-11.00pm (Closed on Monday)
GPS: 5.416996, 100.329916

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

 

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

PAVILIONCOFFEE01 photo PAVILIONCOFFEE01_zps483e6b92.jpg

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

PAVILIONCOFFEE02 photo PAVILIONCOFFEE02_zpsae716e67.jpg

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

PAVILIONCOFFEE03 photo PAVILIONCOFFEE03_zps897e3b43.jpg

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

PAVILIONCOFFEE04 photo PAVILIONCOFFEE04_zpsef8d916a.jpg

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

PAVILIONCOFFEE05 photo PAVILIONCOFFEE05_zpsc95d9e48.jpg

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

PAVILIONCOFFEE06 photo PAVILIONCOFFEE06_zps264e7964.jpg

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

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

PAVILIONCOFFEE07 photo PAVILIONCOFFEE07_zpse053b333.jpg

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

PAVILIONCOFFEE08 photo PAVILIONCOFFEE08_zps22bf9950.jpg

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

PAVILIONCOFFEE09 photo PAVILIONCOFFEE09_zps2f4d2e85.jpg

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

PAVILIONCOFFEE10 photo PAVILIONCOFFEE10_zps1233ac5b.jpg

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

PAVILIONCOFFEE11 photo PAVILIONCOFFEE11_zps4d78399d.jpg

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

PAVILIONCOFFEE12 photo PAVILIONCOFFEE12_zps40d2f547.jpg

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

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

PAVILIONCOFFEEMAP photo PAVILIONCOFFEEMAP_zps479fb696.jpg

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

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

 

SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR MY READERS: Just print this banner by showing my blog URL (http://www.crizfood.com/2283/chef-petrs-catch-seafood-buffet-sarkies-eastern-oriental-hotel-penang/) and make an early reservation with the hotel (604-222 2000 ext 3601/3602) before 24 April 2013 and you are entitle to dine in with a discounted rate of RM80++/pax (adult) and RM38++/pax (child). Offer only limited to the first 80 early reservations. One printout is for one pax only. Terms & Conditions apply.

 photo EampOSEAFOODBANNER_zps1e18ec20.jpg

If you are in for a seafood buffet of a different kind, do check out Chef Petr’s Catch at Sarkies @ E&O Hotel, Penang. Priced at RM110++/pax (adult) and RM48++/pax (child), you’ll get to savor quite a variety of imported seafood such as Alaskan Snow Crab Claws, Boiled River Cray Fish, Duo of Gravlax, Fresh Oysters on Ice, Marinated Cuttlefish, Seasoned Squid, Deep Fried Snow Crab Claws, Poached Black Mussels, Oyster Omelette and many more on a rotation basis. The seafood promotion which would be held on every Wednesday of the month would last until the end of April 2013. The seafood promotion would be headed by Chef Petr Feher, Executive Chef of E&O Hotel.

E&OSEAFOOD01 photo EampOSEAFOOD01_zps1900b624.jpg

There were a few sections for this seafood buffet, starting with the Salad Section, Appetizer Section, On Ice Section, Baked, Grilled, Fried & Roasted Section, Hot Dishes Section, Action Counters, Fresh Fruit Cuts Section, Sweet Dessert Section to Hot Beverages Station. Let’s start the meal healthy with the Salad Section. This section practically has a variety of items such as frisee, rocket, romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, red & green corals, iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, olives, onion rings, pickles, dried fruits, croutons, pine nuts, sauteed mushrooms & garlic, capers and more with a selection of 8 dressings. On top of that, there was also a section where you can have some crackers to go with a variety of cheese such as Cheddar, Emmenthaler, Limberger, Camembert and more plus vegetable sticks for your crudités.

E&OSEAFOOD02 photo EampOSEAFOOD02_zps0721a012.jpg

As for the Appetizer Section, there are many choices ranging from raw to cooked items. Some of the dishes included Salmon Sashimi, Assorted Sushi/Maki, Chuka Wakame, Chuka Idaho, Duo of Gravlax, Gado Gado, Grilled Vegetables, Canapes, Assorted Ready Made Salads, Smoked Mackerel (Tenggiri), Pan Seared Tuna and more.

E&OSEAFOOD03 photo EampOSEAFOOD03_zps24de3742.jpg

On Ice Section was where all the imported seafood attractions were located. We have the famed Alaskan Crab Claws, River Cray Fish, Prawns, Black Mussels and Fresh Oysters.

E&OSEAFOOD04 photo EampOSEAFOOD04_zps0d831e45.jpg

Along this stretch would be the Baked, Grilled, Fried & Roasted Section where you can savor the famed E&O Roasted Duck. It was indeed one of the best in town. On top of that, you can have some Cheese Baked Oysters, Oyster Omelette, Herbs Roasted Beef & Lamb, Grilled Meat (Beef, Lamb, Satay & Sausages), Grilled Seafood (Salmon & Scallop), Deep Fried Prawns, Spring Rolls, Samosa & Pandan Wrapped Chicken.

E&OSEAFOOD05 photo EampOSEAFOOD05_zps835190d2.jpg

While waiting for your grilled items, you could always pay a visit to the Hot Dishes Section. Of course, there would be the Soup Station here where we had Onion Soup plus Tomyam Soup served with some bread and dinner rolls. On top of that, there would also be some Steamed Rice to be taken with a variety of hot dishes such as Masak Kicap Kambing (Dark Sauce Lamb), Roasted Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce, Sweet & Sour Fish (Deep Fried Sea Bass), Stir Fried Fish with Dried Chilies, Prawns in Coconut Paste, Thai Style Beef in Yellow Curry, Baked Potatoes and Chinese Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables.

E&OSEAFOOD06 photo EampOSEAFOOD06_zps19a048d0.jpg

There was also the Action Counters where you can order your choice of Fried Noodles plus Stir Fried Seafood.

E&OSEAFOOD07 photo EampOSEAFOOD07_zpsc7b9441b.jpg

As for the Dessert Section, there would be two stations. One station would have a variety of fresh fruit cuts while the other would serve all the sweet temptations such as cakes, pastries and ice cream. You could also gather some sweet treats at the so called “Dessert Tree” in the middle of the dining room.

E&OSEAFOOD08 photo EampOSEAFOOD08_zps719b3198.jpg

Scattered around the dining area would be two Hot Beverages Stations. There would be some Brewed Coffee & Tea and a machine for you to make your choice of coffee. You can be creative here too just like how I made my Affogato with 2 scoops of Vanilla ice cream plus double shots espresso. 😛

 photo EampOSEAFOOD09_zps0a9242b7.jpg

Overall, the quality of the seafood is there with quite a number of imported seafood. However, since it’s a seafood theme with such an amount charged, the combination of seafood ought to be improved further with more options rather than using the same few seafood species and preparing them differently. Moreover, the combination of dishes is 3:2 for seafood versus meat. Ideally, it should be 7:3 or 4:1 combinations. For example, preparations of oysters have 3 types, namely fresh, cheese baked and omelette. Prawns also have 3 styles, boiled, fried and curry. The usage of salmon is definitely in abundance from sashimi, sushi, canapés, gravlax or even grills. Personally, I felt that the kitchen should infuse more local seafood with Asian flavors into the theme to make it more interesting. I’m sure both locals and tourists would love to try out our Banana Leaves Grilled Stingray, Sambal Stuffed Hardtail Mackerel or even various Portugese Seafood Grills, right? Even without the usages of the local seafood, the seafood theme should be more international. It could just be with the addition of the Spanish’s Gambas Al Ajillo or Stuffed Grilled Squids or the French’s way of Simple Baked Fish with herbs, salt & pepper. On top of that, some of the dishes served tend to be on the salty side while others were under flavors. The desserts may be attractively colorful and abundant but somehow they consisted mostly of different versions of cupcakes and macarons or a mix & match of both, a bit lack in unique choices.

Current Promotions by E&O Hotel can be viewed clearer by clicking and downloading the photo below:

E&OPROMOTION photo EampOPROMOTIONS_zpsff295ee6.jpg

Sarkies is located at the new wing of Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang (next to Penang Bowl) 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 building. Parking charges would be a maximum of RM6 (weekdays: Monday-Thursday) and RM12 (weekends: Friday- Sunday)

E&OMAP photo EampOMAP_zps7887a7a5.jpg

Name: SARKIES @ EASTERN & ORIENTAL HOTEL
Address: 10 Lebuh Farquhar, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-222 2000
Business Hours: 7.00pm-10.30pm (Chef Petr’s Catch on Wednesday only)
GPS: 5.423624, 100.334988

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

 

AFORDABLE JAPANESE CUISINE AT JAPIN RESTAURANT 1ST AVENUE PENANG

Posted by crizlai On January - 16 - 2013

For the last few years, more and more Japanese restaurants are popping up in Penang. Some of these restaurants are charging quite an exorbitant pricing for their cuisine and did not quite suit the budget of many locals. However, one restaurant with quite a few branches has always been receiving endless streams of loyal diners. The name is Japin Restaurant.

JAPIN01

We managed to pay a visit to one of the branches at 1st Avenue recently. This outlet’s kitchen is managed by Chef Wong Wai Ming.

JAPIN02

For ramen lovers, you would not regret ordering their signature Kakuni Japin Ramen (Stewed Pork in Rich Soup Noodles/滷肉絕品拉面 – RM16.80+). You can practically taste the thick flavors in the broth which had been carefully simmered for more than 72 hours. The noodles were served together with some succulent and tender pieces of pork belly meat, wood ear fungus, a runny Ajitama soft boiled egg plus some chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds as garnishes.

JAPIN03

Instead of the thick broth type of ramen, you can also try out their Kara Ramen (Spicy Soup with Noodle/香辣拉面 – RM13.80+) with has a light strength of soup with some kicks of spiciness. The noodles were served with some slices of specially prepared pork, some vegetables plus some chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds as garnishes. You can request for the spiciness to be adjusted based on your preference.

JAPIN04

There would also be some udon dishes available such as their recommended Kaisen Kimuchi Udon (Seafood & Kimchi Soup with Udon Noodle/海鮮泡菜烏冬面- RM20.30+). The soup base was almost similar to the Korean’s Haemultang (해물탕), a spicy hot seafood stew. It was like having a chili boasted rich bowl of seafood stock with a nice al dente bite from the udon noodles. The dish had some scallops, prawns and squids, wood ear fungus, kimchi with some chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds as garnishes.

JAPIN05

Somehow, I always like to order rice dishes such as the Tori Katsudon (Fried Chicken Chop & Egg with Rice/炸雞扒盖飯 – RM12.80+) as it’s more filling for me. Each bowl of sweet sauce boosted Japanese rice would be topped with a piece of chicken chop carefully folded in with some egg and onions. The dish here was not overly drenched in sweet sauce as those I had tasted before. This version had some nori (seaweed) as garnish.

JAPIN06

A set meal would never go wrong in any visit to a Japanese restaurant. I was impressed with the pricing for their Tori Teriyaki Tei (Teriyaki Chicken Set/蜜汁雞套餐 – RM17.80+). On top of the nicely prepared succulent piece of chicken, there was also the hot steaming rice, salad with their own special dressing, miso soup and a few fruit cuts. It was a value for money set deal.

JAPIN07

As for side orders, Gyoza (Fried Dumpling/日式餃子 – RM6.80+) was one dish that was simple and yet filled with a punch of goodness. There was a bit of crisp on the surface form a thin layer of batter used and the filling had that moisture just like when you have your Siu Long Bao. These dumplings would be best consumed when hot with a bit of the accompanied black vinegar. I won’t mind having some julienned young ginger added in the condiment as well.

JAPIN08

I was surprised that their Mikkusu Yakiniku (BBQ Sauce Fried Mixed Meat/日式醬燒 – RM13.80+) was categorized as part of their “Side Dishes”. It was a portion that might be even too much for a small diner. However, ever since my visit to Kannichikan (KNK) Yakiniku Restaurant not long ago, I’ve been longing for some nice meat. The mixed meat palate here was awesome with choices of beef, chicken and pork, in whatever combination suit you best.

JAPIN09

As for dessert, we had the Azuki-An-Nin (Almond Soup with Red Bean/甜豆杏仁 – RM6.80+). The named “soup” can be rather deceiving as what we had were some almond jelly cubes in mildly sweetened syrup topped with some sweetened red beans. No doubt it was simply refreshing for me, it might not be the type of dessert for those who detested the flavors of Chinese almonds. If you love it, this could be one of the nice desserts after a hefty meaty meal.

JAPIN10

Overall, Japin Restaurant does provide a substantial amount of good quality dishes that would please the appetite of major diners. On and off, they do also come out with impressive promotions that would be value for money.

Japin Restaurant is located at the basement of 1st Avenue, Penang. This outlet has been in operation since May 2012. To find the restaurant, just walk towards Kim Gary and you will see the restaurant just on the right side of the restaurant with quite a number of standing banners displayed outside the outlet.

JAPINMAP

Name: JAPIN RESTAURANT @ 1ST AVENUE PENANG
Address: LG-10, 1st Avenue, 182 Jalan Magazine, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 5098
Business Hours: 11.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.413188, 100.331342

Branches:
Japin Queensbay
2F-147, Queensbay Mall, 100 Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-641 5098

Japin Desa Sri Hartamas
34, Ground Floor, Jalan 27/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Contact: 603-2857 0212

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

 

While visiting Penang, most tourists would look for some gifts to take home to share with their family members and friends. What gifts could those be since Penang has a vast variety of traditional and local products that would impress just anyone? Could they be some handicrafts, herbs & spices, pickled fruits, fermented seafood by products or confectioneries of many kinds? Why not Pineapple Cakes? Huh? Isn’t that the local product of Taiwan? Yup! You’re right but as in concept. However, the pineapple filling itself is 100% home grown in Nibong Tebal, Penang, carefully handpicked and processed under strict quality control right in the heart of George Town, Penang. Where else can you get these delicious pineapple cakes except from Gartien (小田佳園), located within a heritage house along Lorong Macalister, Penang.

GARTIEN01

You may ask me why I chose Gartien’s Pineapple Cakes (RM38nett/box of 10 pcs) over other almost similar product on the market. Firstly, I support local products as the ingredients used were extremely fresh from the farm. Secondly, it was the texture of the pineapple filling that caught me by surprise. Instead of the normal blending the pineapple into puree form prior to cooking, brunoised pineapples (pineapple cubes) were used. The brunoised pineapples were then simmered with minimal amount of raw sugar and honey for 12 hours to produce a tasty, tangy and yet juicy pineapple jam that was perfect as filling. On the other hand, the slightly golden brown baked pastries had just the right amount of flour, pure butter, egg and milk powder to give them the perfect buttery and milky flavors, not forgetting its fluffiness. With a good combination of 3:2 on filling versus pastry, each bite was heavenly~ 🙂

GARTIEN02

The handmade pineapple cakes, which do not contain any preservatives and artificial coloring, would be sealed in little internal laminated packages to maintain its freshness up to a month. I’m sure such delicious temptations would not even last more than 2 days in any household~ LOL!

GARTIEN03

I also did some personal tests on the best beverages to complement these heavenly sweet treats by preparing a series of hot and cold beverages such as coffee, chocolate, water and various Chinese & English teas. Hot beverages were unanimously voted as the best, especially unsweetened teas with unique fragrance such as Oolong (烏龍茶), Jasmine (茉莉花茶), Ginseng Tie Guan Yin (人參鐵觀音) and sugarless Earl Grey with a slice of lemon. Pu Er (普洱茶) and Lok Pou (六寳茶) with chrysanthemum (菊花) were nice but the thick black tea somehow overpowered the natural sweetness from the pineapple cakes.

GARTIEN04

Other than having the pineapple cakes as your breakfast, tea, supper or anytime in between when you need your boost of sweet temptations, when else can you purchase them? Of course, you can also purchase them during any festive season. Since the pineapple cakes would come in a nicely printed box in a beautifully designed paper bag, it would be ideal as gifts to your family members, relatives and friends. You can even serve them during auspicious occasions such as Chinese New Year or house warming parties as pineapples carry a deep meaning in the Penang Hokkien dialect – “Ong Lai”, meaning “Prosperity Comes”.

GARTIEN05

Since pineapples also bring about a good gesture of great beginning (Hou Yi Tao) in the Cantonese community, the pineapple cakes would also be ideal to be served during weddings or as token of appreciation door gifts during wedding receptions. Who knows? A little package might even brighten up the face of a beneficiary with a sweet smile during any charitable event? The option is vast as per your imagination. You can practically serve these delightful sweet treats at anytime and anywhere throughout the year.

GARTIEN06

Overall, I find the pineapple cake to be awesome, not only through its freshness and real pineapple texture but also due to its versatility to be served during any occasion. After all, pineapples are low in fat and cholesterol and contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, Vitamin B1, B6 & C and dietary fiber, which are rich in nutrients for the body.

Finding the bakery won’t be hard as it is situated right in the heart of George Town, Penang. If you are coming from KOMTAR along Jalan Penang into Jalan Burma, just keep to your left. Immediately when you see Hong Leong Bank, turn left into Lorong Macalister. Drive on for about another 200m and you would see the shop on your left right before Lorong Bertam. For those staying in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, you are in luck as Gartien has a few retailers located there. Just check out the address below. For those who yearn for the delicious pineapple cakes but not in Penang, there’s always the postal order link. Shipping fee is RM8/box within Malaysia. The shipping fee may vary depending on the quantity ordered as stated in the checkout form.

GARTIENMAP

HEADQUARTER & FACTORY:
Name: GARTIEN @ 小田佳園
Address: 68, Lorong Macalister, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 0068
Website: www.gartien.com
Email: [email protected]
FaceBook: www.fb.gartien.com/
Business Hours: 10.00am-5.00pm (weekdays), 9.00am-6.00pm (weekends)
GPS: 5.416195, 100.328433

ALSO AVAILABLE IN MELBOURNE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA:
• DRAGON BOAT PALACE (龍坊酒家)
149 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3175, Australia.
• STRAITS KITCHEN
Pinewood Shopping Centre (Centreway), Mount Waverley VIC 3149, Australia.
• LAGUNA QV
QV Retail 221 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 30000, Australia.
• WING CHEONG CHINATOWN (WING CHEONG TRADING & CO)
14-22 Heffernan Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.

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

 

It looked like Penang has its personal halal street burger challenges amongst the burger stalls surrounding the island as more and more stalls are coming out with more innovative ways to promote their burgers. Initially, it was the “Ramly Burger” style where the owners tried to outdo each other by increasing the factory made patties until double burger special with added eggs, cheese, etc, such as the one at Old Trafford, Lebuh Chulia, Penang. Then, it was a matter of adding in more extras such as potatoes as at Post Burger, Jalan Gelugor, Penang. As it got harder to tower up the burgers, the diameter of the bun has increased tremendously until 8”-10” such as at Zul’s Burger, Sungai Nibong, Penang. As more and more people got to watch Asian Food Channel through the Astro channel, the burger cooking methods has changed to grilling over cooking grids. One such method of cooking was the sloppy burger style with homemade beef patties and grilled chicken at Hero Burger Bakar, Astaka Stadium Bandaraya, Jalan Perak, Penang. The latest opening of yet another stall with grilling style is the Street Grill – Burger Bakar Penang, Lebuh Sungai Pinang 1 (beside Ocean View Apartment), Sungai Pinang, Penang.

STREETGRILL01

The differences between Street Grill and Hero Burger Bakar, lies in an additional supply of mutton patties. Street Grill would serve you with boneless chicken thighs, homemade beef and mutton patties, all marinated with their secret recipes. All the meat would be grilled on their custom-made cooking grids. The other difference was that each meat piece would have a special BBQ sauce brushed on to maintain the moist and served with your choice of dressing such as their homemade black pepper sauce, thousand island sauce or mushroom sauce, on top of the normal dressing of chili sauce, tomato sauce and mayonnaise. Only chopped up iceberg lettuce and slices tomatoes were provided as some of the sauces had some chopped onions added in. The buns were also grilled with a little crisp.

STREETGRILL02

We were first served with the Grilled Chicken with Cheese (RM5.50nett), topped with Black Pepper Sauce. The grilled boneless chicken was indeed flavorful with the nicely sealed in marinates. However, the evenly balanced bite was not there. Somehow, the meat shrunk quite a lot after grilling. Thus, it looked as though the bun was bigger than the grilled meat. Alternatively, they can seek smaller buns or spread cut the meat to ensure a balance bite size in ratio to the bun. On the other hand, the black pepper sauce was rather spicy and the onions were a bit too chunky to stay within the bun. They should have finely chopped the onions further and evenly break them apart to ensure they stay in the bun with each mouthful. The chopped iceberg lettuces were also falling apart due to the lack of sauce to hold them together. Maybe they could just serve each burger with one whole leaf? They would have to look into the stacking steps to ensure the perfect bite.

STREETGRILL03

The next was the Grilled Beef Patty Burger (RM4.50nett). The grilled beef patty had chunky bite and obviously with less veins in it. It had the necessary marinates to subtle up the beefy flavors. This burger came with their homemade thousand island sauce. Personally, I felt that it would go better with black pepper sauce. I also find the patty to be rather fibrous and lack of moist. I wonder if it would be wise to ask for a medium rare version during my next visit? 😛

STREETGRILL04

The Grilled Mutton Patty Burger (RM6.00nett) was actually our target as you would hardly find this burger in the menu of most stalls. Indeed it was the best pick of the night as the meat was more tender and flavorful with the right amount of marinates. It was undeniable the best choice of meat for the burgers served here.

STREETGRILL05

There also do serve half kilograms homemade meat patties (beef: RM15.00nett, mutton: RM25.00nett). One day advance booking would be required. Obviously, we opted for the 1/2kg Grilled Mutton Patty Burger (RM25.00nett) since it was rather rare. The burger would come with an 8” custom-made bun. Taste wise, the mutton patty was perfect except for a little hiccup in the utilized bun. The 8” diameter 500gms mutton patty eventually shrunk to almost 5.5” in diameter after grilling. Thus, the ratio of the patty versus the bun was 1:2, resulting in a double amount of bread compared to the provided patty. The management was aware of this issue and would rectify it with their vendor for a custom-made 6” bun after the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. It would be a good move too as I also found the bun texture to be drier compared to the rest of the buns.

STREETGRILL06

Just look at the juiciness of the mutton patty below. Isn’t it delicious? However, let’s hope that they rectify the size and texture of the bun soon.

STREETGRILL07

It has been said that interesting food would always get the attention first rather than the hungry tummies~ LOL! Regardless of gender, there would always be the camwhoring session amongst the guys and ladies~ 😛

STREETGRILLGROUP

Overall, the taste for the burgers here can be quite good, especially the mutton burger. However, there were no proper sitting places for savoring the burgers straight from the grill. Even if there were stools provided, there were no sales of any beverages to quench the thirst. It would be advisable to bring along some personal drinks if you planned to dine there. The other suggestion I have would be on the availability of egg usages. With the current setup of only cooking grids, there was no way they could have cooked any egg to go with the burgers. I kind of like the one served at Hero Burger Bakar as the given runny egg was a great complement to moist up the overall bite.

If you know where the new Sungai Pinang coastal area is or where the Sungai Pinang “Si Ki Tiang aka 4 tall blue pillars” is, you won’t get lost. LOL! If you are coming from the Penang Bridge coastal highway via Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu Expressway, you would drive pass eGate/Tesco. Drive on ahead. Go over the first flyover. As you are about to reach the second flyover when you see Shell petrol kiosk on the opposite direction, keep to your left and follow the sign towards Sungai Pinang. At the traffic lights (Sg. Pinang Food Court at the left corner), turn right into Lebuh Sungai Pinang 1. Move on until the next traffic lights and turn left. You would see the roadside van stall with a standing banner stating Street Grill just 100m away on your left before the Ocean View Apartment entrance.

STREETGRILLMAPwidth=”432″

Name: STREET GRILL – BURGER BAKAR PENANG
Address: Lebuh Sungai Pinang 1 (in front of Ocean View Apartment), 10500 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 012-571 1050 (En. Abu Hasan Abdul Rahman)/012-465 9066 (En. Zain)
Business Hours: 7.00pm-1.00am (Closed Sunday)
GPS: 5.398042, 100.327887

FB: https://www.facebook.com/streetgrillburger

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

 

George Town, Penang is truly a food paradise when it comes to having multiple choices of cuisine to suit the palate of locals as well as tourists. The wide exposure to channels such as the Asian Food Channel has brought about a huge change in the cooking methods of street food vendors. More and more of them are investing hugely on proper kitchen equipments by the thousands to serve diners with the best ever cooking solutions for the best taste. One such person is Encik Mohd Hilmey Ibrahim, an entrepreneur with a long history of burger making. He’s the brainchild behind the barely few weeks old Hero Burger Bakar, located within the Astaka Stadium Bandaraya premises along Jalan Perak, Penang.

HEROBURGERBAKAR01

So what’s the difference between Encik Hilmey’s burger compared to the rest? Obviously, it’s his homemade beef patties and specially marinated boneless chicken drumsticks, all with his secret recipes. Secondly, it’s his method of cooking. The beef patties are BBQ grilled on cooking grids over high heated lava stones while his meaty chicken fillets are skillet grilled. Thirdly, it’s a sloppy burger where you would have dressings such as black pepper sauce, cheesy sauce, chili sauce and mayonnaise splattered all over the juicy grilled meats for all orders. Lastly, it’s the egg… runny egg with the semi cooked yellow yolk oozing out to provide that extra creamy richness on your burger.

HEROBURGERBAKAR02

Most of the diners here would opt for a combination of beef and chicken. Do try out their Double Trouble (RM14.50nett). The set would come with the usual burger bun laced with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum and onions topped with one BBQ grilled beef patty, one grilled chicken, 2 pieces of cheese and 2 semi cooked eggs. Of course, the black pepper sauce, cheesy sauce, chili sauce and mayonnaise would be on each burger ordered. Alternatively, you can also custom make this set with less one egg and one cheese for RM12.50nett.

HEROBURGERBAKAR03

For non beef eater, there’s always the Duo Boneless Chicken Special (RM14.00nett). This set would have two pieces of grilled chicken, topped with a piece of cheese and a semi cooked egg. This order would also have the standard 4 dressings.

HEROBURGERBAKAR04

For a lighter meal, you can have the Solo Boneless Chicken Burger (RM7.00nett) with the standard 4 dressings.

HEROBURGERBAKAR05

Alternatively, you can have the Solo Boneless Chicken Burger Special with Cheese & Egg (RM9.00nett) with the standard 4 dressings.

HEROBURGERBAKAR06

For those who love to have only the lighter version of their delicious herb packed beef patty, you can opt for their Solo Beef Patty Burger with Cheese (RM7.50nett) with the standard 4 dressings.

HEROBURGERBAKAR07

You can also try out their Solo Beef Patty Burger Special with Cheese & Egg (RM8.50nett) with the standard 4 dressings.

HEROBURGERBAKAR08

Here’s a quick reference with what they have in their menu and the pricing you would be expecting. Please click to view a larger size.

HEROBURGERBAKARMENU

The taste for the burgers here was quite good to my liking, although I usually do not quite like my dish to be overdressed and sloppy. The balance of the dressings was quite good, having the nice combination of black pepper sauce, cheesy sauce, chili sauce and mayonnaise. The only few things lacking are the choice of serving dish and food presentation. Styrofoam plates are not the in-trend for a “Going Green” Penang’s choice even though it would cut down on washing time. If other choices of firmer serving dishes were to be utilized, then a better food presentation would surely boost up the interest of diners. It could just some fresh green salad or even some fries as side dishes. The beef patty (~170gms each) was superb as it has all the beefy flavors and chunky bites with the necessary herbs and seasonings. The meaty and juicy boneless chicken (~200gms each) was also flavorful but only on the surface. If only they could pierce some holes onto the meat with a multi-spike ice picker, the meat would be able to seep in more flavors from their secret marinates. Overall, their “Burger Bakar” would be quite ideal for those who love to have their burgers in a sloppy wet way.

If you know where the City Stadium is, it won’t be hard to locate the food court as it’s just next to the Shell petrol kiosk along Jalan Perak. If you are not sure, let me lead you there. If you are coming from Jalan Dato Keramat via KOMTAR, when you see Padang Brown, keep to your left. At the traffic lights (Jalan Dato Keramat/Jalan Perak), turn left into Jalan Perak and keep to your right. Drive on about 100m and you would see a Shell petrol kiosk on your right. Turn right into the lane (Lilitan Stadium) after the kiosk. Find your parking space within the vicinity of the food court located just next to the petrol kiosk.

HEROBURGERBAKARMAP

Name: HERO BURGER BAKAR
Address: Astaka Stadium Bandaraya, Jalan Perak, 10150 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 011-2642 0334 (En. Mohd Hilmey Ibrahim)
Business Hours: 6.00pm-12.00am (Closed Tuesday)
GPS: 5.411073, 100.315807

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

 

APPETIZING SPREADS AT SAKAE SUSHI @ 1ST AVENUE PENANG

Posted by crizlai On June - 13 - 2012

The name Sakae Sushi is already well known throughout the Asian region since its establishment in Singapore in 1997. Today it had expanded to more than 70 branches in Malaysia (Penang, Perak, Selangor & Kuala Lumpur), Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam to as far as China. The menu is ever changing with special theme promotion monthly such as the Anago Promotion for the month of June 2012. Economically priced compared to most of the Japanese restaurants around, it catered to the demands and budgets of locals and tourists alike real well. On top of being the first Japanese restaurant to enrich its sushi rice with Vitamin E, it also flew in fresh supplies of Omega-3 rich Norwegian salmons to ensure the satisfactions of every Japanese food enthusiasts. There are many choices of items available just for anyone, ranging from their Sakae’s Signature Sushi & Sashimi, Appetizers, Tempura, Rice, Udon and Soba to simple yet impressive kids’ meals.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE01

We started off with a large bowl of Kaisen Salad (海鮮沙拉 – RM16.90++). The tantalizing salad was large enough for the consumptions of 2 persons. It came with refreshing selections of coral green and red lettuces, seaweed, cabbages, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, topped with fresh prawns, tuna flakes, snow crab leg meat, ebiko and dressed with their specially concocted goma dressing. What excelled here was the goma dressing. It had that earthly yet peanut nutty flavor with sesame oil, salad oil, soy sauce, sugar and rice vinegar and mayonnaise being added. It was so appetizing that we had to ask for more dressing to coat every part of the vegetables. Thumbs up!

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE02

Well, one of my favorite at most Japanese restaurants would be the Chuka Idako (凉拌小八爪魚 – RM7.99++), a marinated boiled baby octopus flavored with mirin, teriyaki, miso, brown sugar, sesame oil, red food coloring with a mix of toasted sesame seeds. The portion served here came with 4 flavorful baby octopuses with a high hint of sesame oil just to my liking.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE12

Their Sakae Chawanmushi (榮茶碗蒸 – RM3.99++) was also nice as it had that thick high stock flavors. The dish had chicken, crabstick, ginkgo nut and shitake mushroom slices in the steamed egg and garnished with some vegetarian shark’s fin and fresh shimeji mushrooms.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE13

We were introduced to some of the innovative sushi creations and one of them was the Inari Avocado Ebi (稻禾酪梨蝦 – RM7.99++). It basically came with a sweet bean curd skin filled with some sushi rice and topped with some cuts from a whole prawn mixed with avocado and salad dressing plus a battered coated prawn head. The crispy prawn head can be eaten but do watch out for the spike on the head. The creaminess of the avocado blended in well for this combination.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE03

The next sushi which was the Sakae Blossom (榮之花 – RM9.99++) not only impressed us with its intricate design but also on its taste. The maki had cucumber and finely cubed crabstick in mayonnaise wrapped in nori (dry seaweed sheet) and sushi rice, rolled with some ebiko (shrimp roe) and topped with a flower shaped mildly grilled salmon, some mayonnaise and a petal of parsley. The whole combination was so smooth flowing in the mouth. 🙂

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE04

Next on the list was the Soft Shell Crab Maki (辣味軟殼蟹卷 – RM5.99++). The maki had cucumber and battered deep fried soft shell crab wrapped in nori (dry seaweed sheet) and sushi rice, capped with sweet bean curd skin and dressed with some spicy mayonnaise. It was not bad but I wished the soft shell crab was a bit crispier.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE05

Another new introduction was the Ebi Crepe (黃金蝦卷 – RM5.99++). This was a totally out of the norm way of making sushi without nori and/or sushi rice. It had some lettuce, egg mayonnaise with slight butter peppery taste and prawn wrapped in a thin layered crepe. It was nice but too Westernized for a sushi.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE06

The next sushi which was the Hana Maki (鮭魚花卷 – RM9.99++) was also one of our favorites. It had a little sushi rice ball wrapped with a slice of fresh and appetizing salmon fillet, topped with some mayonnaise, garnished with some ebiko and a petal of parsley. It was heavenly smooth to the bite.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE07

For scallop lovers, there would be the Hotate Mentaiyaki (香烤明太子扇貝 – RM20.90) to savor. It had 4 half shell scallops topped with a combination of cod fish roes (mentaiko/明太子) extracts, mayonnaise and mozzarella cheese and grilled to perfection. With a mild squeeze of lemon juice, it was rather appetizing.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE08

On top of those sushi choices, we were served with Kaisen Pirikara Nabe (海鮮泡菜湯 – RM24.90++), an appetizing hot pot with prawns, scallops, squids, salmon, shitake & enoki mushrooms, tofu, onions, cabbages, leeks, carrots, spinach, kimchi (fermented vegetables of specific kind) and glass noodles. Although the soup had a rather red color, it was rather mild on the spiciness unlike those kimchi soup you would get from a Korean restaurant. It would be great if the restaurant have options for the level of spiciness. Moreover, it lacked some shoyu to pep up the salty flavor for the right balance. Overall, it was still an acceptable bowl of soup, considering that the seafood added were extremely fresh.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE09

We also tasted out their Curry Udon (日式咖哩雞烏冬麵 – RM12.90++). This bowl had quite a large portion of wheat noodles (udon) topped with a mild curry flavored potato stew like gravy. It has a generous amount of chicken meat, some fish cake slices, cubed potatoes and carrots. Personally, I would prefer to have chunks of chicken drumstick meat for the curry rather than chicken breast meat slices as they were rather bland to my liking.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE10

For those who yearn for some rice, there would always be the bento meals such as the Ebi Ten Jyu (海老天婦羅飯 – RM15.90++). The dish would be served with an onion omelette with sauce on steamed Japanese rice and topped with 3 tempura prawns. I personally found the tempura batter on the prawns to be a bit too thick to my liking, unlike those nice ones I had eaten at Miraku Japanese Restaurant, G Hotel, Penang. Moreover, I had to request for some tempura sauce since it was not provided for this set. At least, the sauce did pep up more flavors for my rice.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE14

Alternatively, there was also the Haru (春 – RM24.90++) which had salmon and chicken teriyaki served with plain steamed Japanese rice, chawanmushi and miso soup. The finely grilled salmon fillet with a salty sweet taste and the flavorful tender chicken pieces with a slightly sweeter teriyaki flavor went well with the rice. Even the chawanmushi and miso soup were up to their standards.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE15

Another new introduction was the Kids’ Sushi Meal – Little Sushi Home (RM3.99++). It was a very creative sushi. The triangular sushi which had cucumber and crabstick stuffed nori and sushi rice, rolled in finely chopped parsley, came with a halved breadcrumbs battered scallop topped with some mayonnaise and a petal of parsley. From the side, it really looked like a house. Flavor wise, it was normal.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE16

We ended up the meal with a selection of 4 flavors of ice cream, namely Dragon Fruit Ice Cream (RM5.90++/scoop), Passion Fruit Ice Cream (RM6.90++/scoop), Goma Ice Cream (RM6.90++/scoop) and Matcha Ice Cream (RM5.90++/scoop). The Goma Ice Cream had the highest vote for being the best amongst the 4 flavors but I personally preferred the more sourness Passion Fruit Ice Cream as it was a great digestion remedy after such a heavy meal.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE11

Those who would love ice cream more than just a scoop would surely like the Matcha Parfait (RM13.90++). The parfait would also be available in other flavors such as strawberry and chocolate. The 6-layered parfait had corn flakes as the base, followed with sweet red bean, matcha ice cream, corn flakes, whipped cream and matcha ice cream, garnished with some sweetened red bean, whipped cream, strawberry and a wafer. Price wise, it was more economical than having just one scoop of matcha ice cream at RM5.90++ per scoop.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUE17

Overall, those new dishes introduced were better than those common ones I have tasted during many visits. The pricing were also quite economical for diners. Some dishes as mentioned above truly needed that little touch to pep up the flavors further. I hope that more creations would be available soon for those Japanese food enthusiasts. Lastly, I would like to thank Foodsion for giving us the opportunity to try out these new dishes.

There are many branches of Sakae Sushi in Penang but the one we went to was located at 1st Avenue, Penang. Just find your way to the mall, go to Level 4 and you can find the outlet just opposite Carrefour. Alternatively, you can visit the surrounding Penang outlets as stated below or based on the other outstation outlets as shown in their website.

SAKAESUSHI1STAVENUEMAP

Name: SAKAE SUSHI @ 1ST AVENUE
Address:
Lot 4-16, Level 4, 1st Avenue Mall Penang,
182 Jalan Magazine, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 2218
Website: http://www.sakaesushi.com.my/
Business Hours: 11.30am-10.00pm (Mon-Fri), 11.00am-10.00pm (Sat & Sun)
GPS: 5.413391, 100.331202

Surrounding Penang Outlets:

Sunway Carnival Mall
UG-28, Upper Ground Floor, Sunway Carnival Mall,
3068 Jalan Todak Pusat Bandar Seberang Jaya,
13700 Seberang Jaya, Penang.
Tel : 604-380 3368
Gurney Plaza
170-03-87/88/89, Plaza Gurney,
Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang.
Tel: 04-229 5930
Queensbay Mall
2F-49 Queensbay Mall, 100 Persiaran Bayan Indah,
11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang.
Tel: 604-643 0015
Tesco Tanjung Pinang
Lot G4, Tesco Tanjung Pinang, No.1, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang,
Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang.
Tel : 04-899 0063
1st Avenue Mall
4-16, Level4, 1st Avenue Mall
No.182, Jalan Magazine
10300 Penang
Tel : 604-261 2218
Auto City
1815-B Jalan Perusahaan, Auto-City,
North-South Highway Juru Interchange,
13600 Prai, Penang.
Tel : 604-508 0268

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)

 

Within the heritage area of George Town, along Lorong Stewart, Penang, lies 55 Café & Restaurant @ Coffee Atelier, a brand name that had been established amongst the locals and expatriates for its delicious Mediterranean dishes and aromatic coffee brews. The café has now extended its operation hours to 10.00pm on Thursday to Saturday, serving basically all tapas (40+ types) which would include items ranging from scallops, prawns, squids, salmons, vongole, other seafood, chicken, beef, pork, cheese, Spanish omelette, potatoes, vegetables, pickles and bread.

55CAFE301

We started the meal with some Cocktail Pickles (RM8+) or commonly known in Spain as Banderillas. These easy tapas basically consisted of ready pickles in a jar or homemade pickles, all skewed on a toothpick. The trick is to make them as colorful as possible with flavors that complement each other to excite your pallet. The ones served here had cocktail onions, pickled Jalapeno red pepper, stuffed Manzanilla olives, homemade sundried tomato and pickled gherkins.

55CAFE302

The Garlic Bread (RM6+ for 2 slices) served here was perfect. The kitchen managed to get the slices to maintain the crispiness on the outer layer while maintaining the softness inside. These were served with some fresh rocket lettuce, cherry tomatoes and roasted garlic.

55CAFE303

One of my favorite tapas here has always been the Gambas el Pene (RM18+). It has a marinated large prawn, sprinkled with some paprika and chives, folded in between a thin slice of baguette and baked until perfection. The dish was beautifully prepared but not as moist and fragrant as my homemade ones. Well, I was using virgin coconut oil instead of olive oil for the extra fragrance with lots of chopped garlic.

55CAFE304

The Grilled Stuffed Squid Tube (RM16+) was awesome. It had a combination of diced prawns, tomatoes, chopped black olives, onions, chives, bread with a light sprinkles of spices as stuffing. It went well with some baguettes.

55CAFE305

We had two versions of sauces for the grilled salmon. The first one was the Grilled Salmon with Teriyaki Sauce (RM20+). The flavors from the sauce combined with the freshness of the salmon would make this dish a great tapas dish.

55CAFE306

Compared to the former dish, the Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Dips (RM20+) was real refreshing and it came with some rich flavored sautéed Shitake mushrooms. However, I personally felt that it would be a better main dish than served as tapas.

55CAFE307

If you are a fan of all species of clams, you will surely fall in love with the next dish which was the Vongole in White Wine Sauce (RM18+). Apart from the freshly selected clams, the sauce was heaven! It had the flavors of some virgin olive oil, chives, white wine, black pepper, salt, garlic and more. I was happily dipping in my baguette to clean up the bowl~ LOL! 😛 We had a bonus that day as some seasonal mini crabs were added in for that extra flavor as well as crunch.

55CAFE308

We also had two types of sauces served with our pan-grilled beef tenderloin. The first was the Beef Tenderloin with Roasting Jus (RM28+). The beef was done medium rare, just right for that wonderful bite. The roasting jus was tasty as you can taste the tedious task of reducing the beef stock to a thick consistency almost like the Bovril. The flavorful extract with a slight saltiness went well with the baguettes. This meat was served with some mashed kumara with some sprinkles of olive powder.

55CAFE309

The next dish which was the Beef Tenderloin with Bearnaise Sauce (RM28+) was served exactly the same way but with Bearnaise sauce replacing the roasting jus. The traditionally used light yellow, opaque, smooth and creamy sauce for steak, had a mild herbs and spices eggy after taste, most probably with the added in chervil, terragon, shallots, coarsely crushed peppercorns with egg yolk and butter. No doubt it was nice but my preference would go to the lovely roasting jus.

55CAFE310

The Albondigas (RM16+) or commonly known as pork meatballs in gravy was something nice to go with your baguettes. The marinated minced pork with some herbs and seasoning went well with the tomato puree like gravy. It would be great if more breadcrumbs, onions or even other tenderizer be added in to soften the meat a bit more.

55CAFE311

The next dish was the Spanish Omelette with Mushroom & Thyme (RM12+). It was just a somewhat stuffed omelette with a slight Tabasco sauce flavor topped with some deep fried potatoes.

55CAFE312

For those who love to have vegetable tapas, you can try out their Leek Fondue (RM10+). It was just a creamy spread for your baguette.

55CAFE313

As it was rather filling with all the food, we still managed to try out their Creme Brulee (RM13+). Their version has a thin layer of burnt sugar. It went well with their homemade berries compote.

55CAFE314

Overall, the food served here has its own unique flavors with a slight touch of fusion and can be well accepted by the locals as well as foreigners. Please also note that there would be a 10% service charge applicable for all purchases.

If you are driving along Lebuh Farquhar into Jalan Mesjid Kapitan Keling, keep a watch out for the Goddess of Mercy Temple on your right. Immediately after the temple, turn right in Lorong Stewart and make a zig zag turn and you will see the café on your left at the junction of Lorong Stewart/Lorong Chulia. Parking can be quite limited during peak hours. I would advise you to find whatever parking space you can and walk to the café.

55CAFEMAP

Name: 55 CAFÉ & RESTAURANT @ COFFEE ATELIER
Address: 47-55, Lorong Stewart, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 2261, 016-469 8228 (Lorina Gehrig), 016-464 8118 (Stefan Gehrig)
Business Hours: 8.30am-10.00pm daily
GPS: 5.419143, 100.337772

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: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

I’m sure most of you would have heard of Tao Authentic Asian Cuisine (Juru Auto-City, E-Gate & KL Kota Damansara), an upscale restaurant that serves All-You-Can-Eat buffet with specialties ranging from Japanese, Chinese, Thailand and other foreign or ethnic food. You should be happy now to hear that they have a different concept outlet by the name of Yea Japanese BBQ & Shabu Shabu, officially opening for business on 30 November 2011 at Penang Times Square, George Town, Penang. This new All-You-Can-Eat outlet can accommodate up to 300+ pax with many cubicles for private gatherings. Charges would be RM53++ per pax (Adult), RM26.50++ (Child from 90cm to 140cm in height). Currently, they have a promotion where a second person would get a 50% off the bill from 10.00pm onwards. The promotion will be on until further notice.

Important Note: Each table would only be allocated only 2.5 hours of buffet session. There will be certain days that they will fix the buffet session time, especially during weekends and public holidays. It’s advisable to call up to make your reservation as well as to check on the session timing.

YEA01

What’s so unique about this outlet compared to others will be the usage of a custom made crystal stone grill on charcoal instead of gas stove on individual table. This is a first indeed in Malaysia! With Korean technology, this crystal stone can withstand and store heat up to a few hundred °C (normally around 450 °C / 842 °F). At least this material is more hygienic and bacteria free compared to lava/black stone which would have cracks after a long period of usage. Cooking with such stone grill can be considered a healthier alternative as it would not have oil or fat added in if compared to other grilling methods such as the metal grills. They have over 70 pieces of such innovative crystal stone grills in the restaurant.

YEA02

So what’s so special about dining here? Well, it’s a fun and adventurous way to create your own food with the different sauces available on each table. You would have many ingredients to test out such their special slightly sweetened soy sauce, pepper & salt, cheese powder (with a mixture of milk & icing sugar), lemon juice, black pepper, wasabi powder (great with seafood items) and Japanese 7 taste chili powder (Shichimi Togarashi – chili flakes, white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, dried orange peels, seaweed (nori), dried ginger and poppy seeds). There was also a bottle of water for you to wash your grilling stone.

YEA03

If you are not so familiar on how to cook your BBQ items well with the right marinates, I’ll advise you to take some time to view the documentary on “how to” on the TV. Here’s a short clips on how to cook some of the items as shown on their TV.

All the BBQ and Shabu Shabu items can be obtained from the respective areas. As for Shabu Shabu, there are over 30 types of vegetables and meat/fish ball section for you to choose. Some of the items included different types of meat balls and fish balls, cuttlefish, quail eggs, crab sticks (kanikama), bean curd sticks, artificial abalones (processed calamari slices), Taiwanese sausages, clams, different type of pork innards, romaine lettuce, bean sprouts, cabbages, enoki mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, abalone mushrooms, lotus roots (need a longer cooking time as it was rather hard), crown daisy chrysanthemum leaves (tang oh/ 茼蒿) and many more.

YEA04

As for the BBQ items, the meat and seafood are kept in designated refrigerator to maintain their freshness. Some of the items included saba (mackerel/鯖魚), ayu (sweetfish/香魚), snapper (鯛魚), shishamo (willow-leaf fish/柳葉魚), salmon (鮭魚), shrimps (in fact they are big green shelled prawns), oden (fish cake quite similar to onion omelette with basils but with a more al dente texture), baby octopus, pork intestines, garlic scallops, garlic oysters, fried bean curd, beef brisket, sticky pork, lean pork slices, lamb shoulder slices and many more. They will never be shortage of any meat slices as the staff would always be there to slice more.

YEA05

As for Shabu Shabu, you have an option to choose ONLY ONE SOUP from 5 types of available soups, namely shabu shabu (昆布柴魚湯), miso soup (味噌湯), malak soup (麻辣湯), tomyam soup (東炎湯) and salted vegetable duck soup (咸菜老鴨湯). Since we had so many people in our group, we managed to try out some of the options. The shabu shabu soup base which actually consisted of kelp or large seaweed boiled with fish bones. It had that clear non-fishy taste with a gelatin-like after taste. It was mild but suitable for more seafood based items. The miso soup base had that mild fermented bean taste but was on a sweeter side. This soup would be quite good with those bean curds and meat items. The salted vegetable duck soup base had more of the salted vegetable flavors minus the overpowering ducky taste. It was great initially with some bean curds and meat items. As you boil the soup longer, it got saltier and thus with slightly bitter after taste (salt reduction reaction, same as for sour based liquids). I won’t recommend this soup base as you would end up becoming thirstier.

YEA06

As for dipping sauces, they do provide more than 10 options such as the sachai sauce (a type of Hypnea seagrass sauce/沙菜醬), chili bean curd sauce (豆乳醬), miso sauce (白味噌醬), chili bean sauce (辣豆瓣醬), spicy soy sauce (魚烧辣醬), cumin sauce (孜然醬), seafood chili spicy sauce (海鮮酸辣醬), spring onions, garlic, chili paddy and more. Although the sachai sauce was highly recommended, I preferred the miso sauce more as it had that slight salty sweet flavor that went well with my food. It would be great if the restaurant would also provide some sweet sauce (甜醬) and spicy dried shrimp sauce (蝦米辣醬) just like those served with the Hong Kong Style Chee Cheong Fun as both sauce would be great condiments to BBQ and steamboat items.

YEA07

You do not have to worry not having something to bite on while waiting for either your stone grill to heat up or your shabu shabu pot to boil as the restaurant would also provide some salad, cold and hot dishes to start on. At the salad station, you can always mix and match whatever vegetables you like and top them up with whatever dressings available on that day. They have orange dressing, thousand islands dressing and wafu dressing (commonly known as Japanese vinaigrette which had some twists of apple cider, soy sauce, sesame oil and seeds, lime juice, sugar, vegetable oil and some grated radish). All the dressings were nice for my plate of salad.

YEA08

The cold dishes included some Japanese style potato salad with Japanese cucumber and carrot, silky smooth tofu in sweet soy sauce, some pork salads, honey fried shrimps, pickles and so on.

YEA09

The hot dishes station was awesome. It had dishes that were flavorful with the evidence of high usage of quality ingredients. The dishes served on that day included Mambo Fish with XO Sauce (XO醬炒龍肉), Black Pepper Beef Fillet (黑胡椒牛柳), Sweet & Sour Pork (糖醋里肌) and many more dishes which I could not savor any more due to too much food available. LOL!

YEA10

By the way, you could also try out their Bibimbap, a Korean Stone Bowl Rice. Just get any of the waiters or waitresses to bring you one. The dish would come with steamed Japanese rice in a super hot stone bowl, topped with some cut omelettes, carrots, cucumber, morning glory, mushroom, kimchi and chicken, to be mixed thoroughly with a special sauce. The whole concoction tasted quite similar to our local sotong kangkung (cuttlefish with morning glory). It had that sweet sauce taste with a hint of sesame oil. Unfortunately, the stone bowl was not hot enough and the rice was a bit too wet. Thus, we did not get that fragrant flavors emitted from some burns through the stone bowl.

YEA11

As for dessert, they have quite a variety of items ranging from Western cakes, tarts, jelly, Japanese style mocha to fresh fruits and ice creams, not forgetting the Chinese/Nyonya style tong sui such as peanut soup, red bean soup, bu bu cha cha, etc. Do not miss out the Japanese green tea (mocha) mochi with lotus filling. They were awesome! You could check out on their chocolate fountain too.

YEA12

Beverage wise, you can order anything from carbonated drinks, cordial, coffee and tea. Most of the beverages are refillable.

YEA13

Beers and sake are charged separately. As for sake, it’s only RM10 nett for a 150ml jar or RM130 nett for a 1.8L bottle. Beers are at RM50 nett for a bucket of 5 bottles.

YEA29

Here are some of the items we had taken during our visit during the pre-opening day. Don’t you think it’s valued for money at RM48++? The quality is just as good as Sarkies Sunday Buffet Hi-Tea at E&O Hotel, George Town, Penang.

YEA14

YEA15

YEA16

YEA17

YEA18

YEA19

YEA20

YEA21

YEA22

YEA23

YEA24

YEA25

YEA26

YEA27

YEA28

The café is located at the right wing of Penang Times Square right under Sunshine City Supermarket. It consists of two floors – ground floor and mezzanine floor. The easiest way to reach there would be to park your vehicle at the open car park at the entrance of Penang Times Square, and walk all the way through the automated glass door next to Swensen’s. Walk straight until the end of another automated glass door. As you exit the automated door, you would see a wooden door on your right. It’s actually another automated door to go into the restaurant.

YEAMAP

Name: YEA JAPANESE BBQ & SHABU SHABU @ PENANG TIMES SQUARE
Address: Ground Floor, Penang Times Square, Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 7826
Business Hours:
6.00pm – 1.00am (Monday – Thursday)
12.00pm – 1.00am (Friday – Sunday & Public Holidays)
GPS: 5.411728, 100.324879

RATING:
Ambience: 9/10 (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: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

VIDEO

TAG CLOUD

LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs

About Me

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

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

Photos

Twitter

    LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs