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PENANG HERITAGE FINE DINING AT SUFFOLK HOUSE RESTAURANT

Posted by crizlai On September - 20 - 2010

Being one of the heritage prides of George Town, Penang, Suffolk House has been the residence of our founder, Sir Francis Light and many subsequent governors of Penang and Straits Settlements during the 1800’s. It was later bought by Mr. Lim Cheng Teik, the youngest Municipal Commissioner in the history of Penang, and after that being sold to the Methodist Church of Malaya to house the Anglo-Chinese High School (currently the Methodist Boys’ School). The building was later abandoned by the school in 1975 due to rapid deterioration. With the determination of the Penang state government to preserve this piece of Penang’s heritage, a neighboring plot of land was exchange with Methodist Boys’ School in 2000. Restoration funded by the state government and a few private sectors through the many years thereafter managed to refit the mansion to its present state. Within the compound of the present mansion was a restaurant – the Suffolk House Restaurant. The restaurant brought back many fond memories of the yesteryears by serving colonial style fine dining for lunch, tea and dinner daily.

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I managed to pay a visit to this fine heritage mansion one fine afternoon to try out their set lunch. Each set meal would come with a fresh homemade wholemeal roll and butter. For starter, we can have either salad which was the Watercress Salad with Citrus Poached Pears, Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, Walnut and Parmesan Cheese Shavings or a soup of the day which happened to be Potatoes & Leeks Soup. They could have put more dressing on the salad as it was a bit too raw and dry to my liking. The soup on the other hand was quite acceptable with some croutons and chopped spring onions as garnishes. I was hoping that it would be a bit creamier.

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As for main course, we have an option to choose one of the 5 listed ones in the menu. The Chargrilled Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Lamb Jus, Roasted Potatoes and Buttered Turned Vegetable (RM44+) has the necessary flavors. Unfortunately, they weren’t much meat on the lamb rack and accompanied radish, carrot and beetroot were rather tough for the teeth. The Beef Goulash with Timbale of Vegetables and Chunky Paprika Potatoes (RM42++) was rather tasty with hints of mixed herbs in the stew. The beef chunks were tender and juicy but lacked the flavors being seeped into the meat. Another option which I ordered was the Seafood Ravioli with White Wine Cream Sauce (RM36++). It tasted just like minced seafood wonton but had a Western approached of dressing the 5 pieces of ravioli with some tasty and creamy white sauce. Not a bad combination though.

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As for Desserts of the Day, I had a bite size Chocolate Mousse Cake with half a strawberry on some orange juice and an option to choose between a cup of Nespresso Coffee or Tea.

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The set lunch menu would change every few weeks so you would be expecting something different during your next visit. Other main courses (out of 5 choices) that were available during my visit included steamed red snapper with ginger soy sauce plus shallot rice pilaf, wilted kalian and cilantro leaves (RM40++) and roast chicken breast with feta cheese and spinach stuffing plus confit new potatoes and Persian style grilled vegetables (RM38++). As this is a fine dining concept, the portion served might not be enough for big eaters. So be prepared to order other items from their Ala Carte menu. English style tea time would be available at RM64++ per set, which would be enough for 2 persons. You can check out Steven Goh’s Tea Time Review. As for set dinner aka Table D’Hote Menu, there would be more items with main courses ranging from RM100++ to RM140++. You can check out CK Lam’s Dinner Review.

If you are into heritage buildings, you must not miss out the tour of this old Euro-Indian-Georgian mansion which went through a complete major restoration in March 2007. The wonders of the beautiful architecture and green gardens would surely amaze you further. It would cost you merely RM10 per adult on a self guided tour (free for children below 6 years old except on school excursions) or a guided tour of RM15 per pax for a group of ten persons or more. Tours would be available from 10.00am until 6.00pm (last admission at 5.30pm). You can contact Ms. Maiane at 604-228 1109 for further enquiries.

It could be quite a maze to locate the restaurant even if you are a Penangite as the place would not be visible by the main road but no worries as I have put it in a pictorial direction format to lead you there safely. 🙂 Please click on the map below for a larger view.

If you are coming from Penang Bridge through Jalan Mesjid Negeri, it would be quite easy. As you see the Penang State Mosque on your left, kept left and drive to the traffic lights below the flyover bridge. Turn right into Jalan Air Itam and do keep to your left. Immediately after the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Al-Manshoor Lelaki, keep a look out for a small lane on your left. Turn left and drive up to the T-junction. Turn right and do watch out for a smaller lane on your left. At this left junction, you would see sign boards showing you the way to Suffolk House, Malaysian German Society and Penang Japanese Association (Map D). Turn left into this junction and you would see another few signs leading you to Suffolk House (Map E). Drive further in and you can see a river/bridge on left with lots of parking spaces (Map F). Park your car there and walk into the compound.

For those coming from town, it would be a bit messier as there won’t be a U-turn for you to reach the restaurant. Just drive all the way the Padang Brown/Convent Dato’ Keramat traffic lights until you see the second traffic lights (Masjid Jamek Shaik Yusoff on your left before the traffic lights). Turn right into Jalan York and drive all the way until the end (Union High School on your right corner). Turn left into Jalan Scotland. Immediately after you see the Ramakrisna Orphanage on your left, slow down and keep to your left (Map A). Drive all the way and keep to the left of the flyover bridge (Map B). Turn left into the junction immediately after Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Al-Manshoor (Lelaki). Drive all the way passed the school (Map C) until you reach a lane on your left (Map D). You would see sign boards showing you the way to Suffolk House, Malaysian German Society and Penang Japanese Association as mentioned earlier. Turn left into this junction and you would see another few signs leading you to Suffolk House (Map E). Drive further in and you can see a river/bridge on left with lots of parking spaces (Map F). Park your car there and walk into the compound.

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Name: SUFFOLK HOUSE RESTAURANT @ SUFFOLK HOUSE
Address: 250 Jalan Air Itam, 10460 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-228 3930
Opening Hours: 12.00noon-2.30pm (lunch), 2.30pm-6.00pm (tea), 7.00pm-10.30pm (dinner)
GPS: 5.410361, 100.306183

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: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

A TOUCH OF ITALIAN DOWN THE PENANG HERITAGE TRAIL

Posted by crizlai On August - 16 - 2010

“Melaka and George Town, Cities of the Straits of Malacca” was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 32nd session of the World Heritage Committee on 7 July 2008. From then on, more and more little restaurants can be seen booming up along the George Town Heritage Trails within the beautiful island of Penang. One of the notable ones opened for business barely two months ago was a nice trattoria manned by a German-Malaysian couple, Tonio Neuhaus and Michele Yim along Lebuh Muntri. Kafe Soul Kitchen Trattoria is the name, food and music is their soul rejuvenating theme.

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What made Soul Kitchen a nice venue for some relaxation for families and couples was the simplicity of the layout with great Italian food. Every single item in their menu was personally created by Tonio and his wife fresh from the kitchen. What could be better than having some healthy breakfast to start your day off? One of the most recommended breakfasts would be the Tramezzini (grilled sandwich-RM10) with a choice of salami, mushroom, tuna, turkey ham and gammon ham. You also have another option of choosing your preferred sauce such as roasted balsamic garlic, sweet onions or mustard. Tramezzini with gammon ham and roasted balsamic garlic grilled perfectly between two slices of sesame seeds wholemeal bread was my favorite.

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It had been quite some time since I last had scrambled eggs for breakfast. Now I can have them at ease with the availability of two types of scrambled eggs set over at Soul Kitchen Cafe such as Scrambled Eggs with Bacon (RM8) or Scrambled Eggs with Mushroom (RM6). These would be perfectly served with the chef’s special magic touches.

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What about having something fresh and healthy to inspire your day? Do try out their hot item which was the Yoghurt Muesli on Papaya (RM9). The sweetness of the papaya, the freshness of their homemade yoghurt, combined with the multi bites of the muesli made my day. It was indeed refreshing. What a great way to start my day! 🙂

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As for lunch and dinner, there were a few great options. Boy! I can assure you that you would lick the plates dry. Every single dish in the main menu was the chef’s own concoctions. He sure knew how to handle pasta well by having the right al dente (firm texture) with every bite. I could not get enough of their Penne Amatriciana (RM19). The freshness and natural sweetness from the tomato puree, onions and some chopped carrots, the nice fragrant from the bacon slices, garnished with some oregano herbs, chopped parsley and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese was awesome! I could have this daily.

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Their Spaghetti Carbonara (RM17) was also unique. Normally what you get elsewhere would be some diluted cream based sauce. The one served here had a cool way of thickening the sauce while maintaining the flavors within. I had egg yolk added in on top of bacon, onions, garlic, herbs and parmesan cheese. Another perfect item I would say.

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The next pasta dish was also a unique one as it was the chef’s secret recipe – Penne Chicken Al Limone (RM19). The ladies would love this well as the dish had some nice sour taste in it and was extremely appetizing. It came with some tender chicken chunks, capsicum, carrot, herbs, chopped parsley, lemon juice and a generous amount of parmesan cheese. This is one combination of pasta that you must not miss out during your visit.

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I must admit I can be such a playful kitty cat at times and growing fat is my hobby. LOL! Some do address me as Garfield and guess what’s my favorite food? Haha! Of course it’s Lasagne (RM19). What could be a more perfect dish for me than having that delicious dish right before of my eyes? In fact, I fell in love with what the chef had cooked up with the perfect combination of fresh ingredients such as tomatoes, carrot, minced pork, herbs, parmesan cheese and a crispy mozzarella cheese based topping. Can I have more for a growing cat chef? 😛

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Pizza! I want more pizzas now! That’s was my reaction when I visited the place subsequently for more good food. You can have a few options on your pizza such as Pork Salami (RM9), Mushroom (RM8) or Anchovies & Olive (RM7). What I love most was the crispy thin crust that won’t be too filling. The pizza was presented in the simplest way with fresh tomato puree, mozzarella cheese, herbs and ingredient of your choice. Do try out the Pork Salami Pizza. I can’t get enough of this either.

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If you need a place with free WIFI for a little discussion, this would be a great place to hang out. You can check out their available cakes for the day. Sometimes, there would be a discounted price on the cakes for each main meal you ordered. The one I had was heavenly and I could be so sure that no other place would provide you with such a nice Tiramisu Cake (RM10). The chef even made his own mascarpone cream for this cake. The cake was soft and fluffy and the cream was so light that it just melted in my mouth. Each mouthful had a strong taste of some sweet wine. What a perfect dessert for any occasion!

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You could even get a piece of Moist Chocolate Cake (RM7) to tempt your sweet tooth.

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As for beverage, Café Latte (RM6) or Iced Café Latte (RM7) would be mild enough to go with your cakes for tea.

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You could even order yourself Papaya Orange Smoothie (RM7) to cool yourself down on a hot and humid day.

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Here’s a short interview (in Mandarin) with the nice couple:

I would like to thank CK Lam and the lovely couple for the invitation as well as my friends who had to bear with me while drooling over the food during the photo shooting. LOL! It’s not hard at all to locate Soul Kitchen as it’s just opposite Cititel, Jalan Penang at a cross junction between Lebuh Leith (Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion) and Lebuh Muntri (leading to Kuan Yin Temple).

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Name: KAFE SOUL KITCHEN TRATTORIA
Address: 102 Lebuh Muntri, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 3118, 012-594 3522 (Michele/Tonio)
Opening Hours:
10.00am-3.00pm, 6.00pm-9.00pm (Closed Tuesday – Breakfast until 12.00noon)
GPS: 5.420565, 100.334127

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

DISHES THAT WOULD FIT A KING AT CHIN BEE TEA CAFE

Posted by crizlai On June - 24 - 2010

I have written some time back in early 2009 when Chin Bee Tea Café first opened up its door to give the best of what Chinese cuisine was all about. It’s time for me to share with you in depth why until today I still claim them as my most recommended restaurant in Penang as this restaurant is not just any Chinese restaurant you would find scattered all around Penang island but one that would provide you with a personalized dining experience (私房餐廳). Thanks to the last remaining of the top few Chinese cuisine chefs in Penang, Sifu Malai Chong, I was able to have so many wonderful dining experiences.

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Over the last one year plus, there were endless streams of famous people such as dignitaries, celebrities and food critics patronizing this small and simple restaurant located along the secluded area of Georgetown. From then on, it had not stopped anyone from coming back to try out more of their delicious dishes. To some, dining here would be quite exorbitant but I can assure you that quality is the main virtue of this restaurant. All ingredients used are of high standards and freshness. Even the teas they served were of a higher grade since they are also one of the main distributors of tea leaves in Penang. Their Ginseng Tie Kuan Yin would always remain as my energy booster. Simply refreshing!

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Let’s start with the introduction of one of the most sought after dishes that even the Hong Kong food critic, Mr. Hugo Leung Man-to aka Toto would not deny during his visits to Malaysia. Can you guess what would be the main ingredient in that dish? It’s the most expensive freshwater fish in Malaysia – the Empurau (wild mahseer/ 忘不了aka unforgettable). What made the Empurau so different compared to its other mahseer family members, namely the Kelah? It’s a slowing growing fish, living in the natural habitat in Sarawak and would take around 5-6 years to reach a “so-called” recommended 3kg dining size as it’s believed that the flesh would be firmer from 3kg onwards. This omnivorous fish’s diet consists of smaller fishes, algae, crustaceans, insects, frogs and also fruits, namely from the endemic irregular fruit bearing engkabang (illipe/Shorea macrophylla/light red meranti/pontianak illipe) trees. It’s the flavors from the fruits that gave the fish that unique fragrant, even when uncooked. The price for a cooked Empurau would range safely between RM800 and RM1000 per kilo, depending on where the fish comes from. Wild Empurau would fetch a higher price compared to those reared ones. By having prior booking, the restaurant would assure you the best Wild Empurau you would have in your life by serving you with their signature Steamed Empurau (上湯浸忘不了). As you can see from the RM2200 Steamed Empurau dish below, even the scales are edible. They were carefully scraped off the fish and given some deep frying. It was like biting onto some crunchy crackers. You can even see that the bones were uniquely constructed. Nature’s wonder right?

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If you feel that the above fish dish would be a bit taxing to your budget, you could always check out what’s new in their fish menu. Anything that’s not fresh or having a muddy taste would surely not be served on your table. At times, you might even get some exotic freshwater fish that even I could not get any scientific name for it, namely the Steamed Ngan Wu (上湯浸銀湖). Depending on the weight, a cooked fish would cost between RM100 and RM150. From the outlook, the freshwater fish resembled a cross between the shape of a Chinese pomfret (tao tay/斗底魚/正鯧) and the color of a golden pomfret (金昌) but with bigger eyes. The flesh of the fish tasted just like the smoothness you would get in a Chinese pomfret, except that it was thicker and meatier. I love the simplicity of this dish with only some quality soy sauce, a dash of Shao Xing Wine, some garlic oil and a generous garnish of chopped coriander.

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Although many people are against the brutal killing of sharks for their fins but there still existed some limited supplies for the consumption of those sharksfin lovers here. The Dragon & Tiger Sharksfin (龍虎扒翅: RM250-RM300) was another unforgettable seafood dish. Porcelain spoons of stir fried mixed shredded vegetables with eggs combined with sharksfin were steamed to be in shape. These would then be displayed in the center of a large plate and topped with a generous amount of sharksfin, crab meat, scallops and prawns in a thick stock of gravy. This dish is the most value for money dish I have ever encountered so far.

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Another of the exotic seafood dishes that you can try out here would be their Spicy Fish Bladder (甘香魚鰾: RM100-RM150). The fish bladders were not just any ordinary fish bladder but of a higher quality ones. They were rare eel bladders. This mildly spicy dish was a hit amongst us as it had the chewiness from the fish bladders and the crunchiness from the added vegetables. The whole combination was perfect!

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If you feel like having some lighter dish in between your meal, you can preorder some Fragrant Crispy Duck (香酥鴨: RM80-RM120). This is another way of serving compared to the normal roasted Peking Duck style. Instead of roasting, the duck meat pieces were marinated in their special sauce and deep fried until crispy. These would then be sliced into smaller bite sizes and served with some chopped pickled ginger, shredded cucumber, Chinese wheat flour crepe (popiah skin) and some lining sauce. This was a fun DIY dish and the combined taste was remarkably delicious.

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The next dish had a funny name – Granny Asking Direction (婆婆問路 – RM20). Haha! In another word, it’s another poor man’s dream of having an expensive sea cucumber dish. The sifu did a good job in braising the fuzzy melon/squash (毛瓜/mo kua) to look just like sea cucumbers and the dish had some seafood, vegetables and mushrooms. The whole presentation was rather exclusive. If I did not take a bite into the melon, I would think those were sea cucumbers instead. As for taste, the thick gravy matched well with the rest of the ingredients. Unfortunately, the chewy bite on the “sea cucumber” was not there. What would you expect from a braised melon right? 😛

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This restaurant seemed to have many catchy names for their dishes. The next dish was a common dish but the name can be quite bombastic – United Nation Mixed Vegetables With Tofu (聯合國炒菜與豆腐 – RM20). I always love the Cantonese way of preparing stir fry mixed vegetables as they have a way of preserving the bright colors of the vegetables and at the same time giving them a taste of its own. The accompanied deep fried tofu slices were the specialty of the restaurant as well. They would simply melt in your mouth. It was simple and yet very appetizing.

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Do you know that there’s one dish that would almost always appear in my dining receipt? It’s another of my recommended Special Spareribs (家好骨 – from RM12 onwards). Each piece of the spareribs was specially selected for this dish with a bit of fat and lean meat still attached to the bones. In fact, the ribs came from the best part of a pig. I always have a phobia of ordering sparerib dishes as some would be too tough to bite. However, the way the ribs were prepared here got me yearning for more. From each bite, you could feel the crispiness of some mildly coated batter on the surface while the meat within maintained the tenderness, juiciness and right flavors.  Even the fatty parts melted in my mouth. There were strong hints of Lea & Perrins Worchester sauce and tomato sauce being used here. Yummilicious always!

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Another of the signature dish you would get here would be their Mixed Seafood Curry (from RM30 onwards). This is another of the sifu’s concocted chili paste recipe. Other than being very fragrant and appetizing, the prawns and fish fillet within were real fresh. Do keep a watch out soon as the sifu has every intention to market his special chili paste to the public.

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Other than the restaurant’s smooth and delicious Three Jewels Steamed Egg (三黃蛋), there’s another dish that the sifu cooked up impromptu for me – Hot Plate Egg Wrapped Mixed Vegetables (蛋包炒菜 – RM20). Wow! I’m impressed! Although it did look like any egg wrap dishes but the amount of vegetables and ingredients used were very generous. Even the gravy of the stir fry vegetables complimented each other well. Delicious!

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Chin Bee Tea Café does not only serve dishes with rice. In fact, you could also order ala carte dishes (upon availability of noodles) such as Oriental Fried Rice, Hot & Spicy Fried Rice (特色炒飯), Hong Tu Noodles (鴻圖麵), Seafood Noodles (海鮮炒麵) and many more. My favorite would always be their Gui Hua Mien (桂花麵 – from RM15 onwards). The noodles were of a deep fried noodles (Ee Mee/伊麵), skillfully stir fried with generous amount of crab meat, scallops, prawns and egg, garnished with lots of sliced lettuce. I must admit. I’m so stuck with this delicious and flavorful plate of noodles.

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Another flavorful noodle choice would be their Fried Glass Noodles (炒冬粉 – from RM12 onwards). Each strain of the noodles was evenly flavorful with the right wok hei (high heat fragrance) and the ingredients used were generous too.

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My post title may have sounded like the restaurant is meant for the rich and famous. Do not get me wrong as there are many more dishes available here to fit the budget of any income group earners. You would surely not regret stepping into this restaurant ever after.

If you are coming from Trader’s Hotel along Jalan Magazine, keep to your left and drive on until you have reach the second traffic light. Turn into the first road on your left (Jalan Gurdwara – left of the Gama Supermarket) and then the first left turning into Lebuh Noordin. The shop is just somewhere in the middle on your right within a row of heritage houses. In fact, this shop is just two houses away from another recommended confectionery manufacturer by the name of Hock Lok Siew Biscuit Trading. Please make sure you call up for reservation as this place could be packed during lunch or dinner hours.

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Name: CHIN BEE TEA CAFE
Address: 124, Lebuh Noordin, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 1761, 012-499 9972 (Mr. Ong)
Opening Hours:
12noon – 3.00pm, 6.00pm-9.30pm (Closed Alternate Wednesday)
GPS: 5.412361, 100.329541

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

GOING GAGA OVER A NYONYA

Posted by crizlai On June - 14 - 2010

I was at one time crazy over “Little Nyonya – 小娘惹”, a Singaporean TV series being aired on our local channel some time last year. The storyline was based on the lives of a large Peranakan (Baba Nyonya) family during the 30’s where traditions and cuisines played important roles in their daily affairs. What impressed me most were not the great performances by the artistes nor the beautiful arrays of fine dining wares or building architectures but the tedious food preparation time each Nyonya (female) would spend in the kitchen to ascertain that their Baba (male) would be well taken care of. In this modern era, most of the olden methods of using the batu giling (granite grinder) or batu tumbuk (granite mortar and pestle) to get the best flavors and textures out of the many spices available were gradually replaced by the convenience and speedy processing time of the electric blenders. Part of this cooking tradition might be gone but the recipes for these delicious Nyonya cuisines still remained in our generation. One of the restaurants which are real keen in preserving the taste of the good old days is Nyonya Breeze, located right in the heart of Georgetown, Penang.

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The first dish that was served to us was the tedious dish which required much patience in slicing, cutting and chopping of herbs and ingredients – the Nasi Ulam (RM7.00). This healthy dish contained many raw jungle herbs (basically about 6-8 types but different races would have other different add-ons) tossed with cold-down steamed rice plus toasted grated coconut (kerisik), dried shrimps, toasted belacan powder, fried salted fish and other raw spices. You can check out more in detail from my Nasi Ulam recipe here. What was served at Nyonya Breeze was nice, considering that it was meant for commercial consumption. However, some further enhancements could have pep up the taste more. For example, each rice grain could have been a bit more moist and soft to avoid having such dryness in the overall dish. Sliced shallots should be used instead of big onions for that extra spiciness. Dried shrimps and fried salted fish could have been added more generously to bring out the combined fragrance and saltiness in the dish.

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Sambal Goreng (RM14.40 small, RM19.20 large), a deceiving name for a dish that looked rather pale white minus the red color of pounded chilies got us dumbfounded. It was not spicy and the dish had thumbs up from everyone. The unique fragrance emitted from the eggplant and prawn dish clearly shown the existence of lemongrass and thick coconut milk with a trace of some tamarind juice, belacan and blended spices, colored by a few chili slices and garnished with fried garlic and cashew nuts. Simply delicious!

Note: The Indonesian version might add in some deep fried bean curd cubes and tempe (fermented soybean).

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Next on the line up was the Heh Ya Kay Char Bak (RM12.00 small, RM16.80 large – stir fry pork belly slices with fermented krill aka cincalok). Cincalok is actually the fermentation of small shrimps (krill) in salt and rice. What I expected was a dish with the signature saltiness from the cincalok but was presented with one in an overpowering sweetness. I guessed the chef should have added a bit more of the cincalok and reduced the sugar usage for a healthier dish.

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There was also the Inche Kabin (RM12.00 small, RM16.80 large) served with some prawn crackers. The Inche Kabin is actually a type of Nyonya deep fried chicken. Some families would marinate their choice chicken pieces with just Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins) plus some chili or curry powder. Some would add in turmeric powder for that extra spiciness or even some ginger juice to tenderize the meat. Overall, the end result would still be a plate of juicy and crispy fried chicken. The restaurant did a good job here in ascertain the crispiness of the chicken while maintaining the golden brown color of the chicken. As for the taste, it would need more hours of marinating as the chicken pieces were not flavorful enough for my liking. This dish was served with “Ang Mo Tao Ewe” aka Worcestershire sauce and sliced red chilies.

Note: The secret to a crispier fried chicken lies in double frying the chicken pieces in low fire. Dip the fried chicken pieces in the existing marinate for a second time and deep fry it again. You have to make sure your timing right to avoid overcooking the meat. Secondly, you can make your own dipping sauce for future usage if you have the time. It needed the brewing some first grade soy sauce with some mustard powder, cloves and cinnamon barks. For every 3 bottles of soy sauce, you would get only two bottles left after brewing and filtering the spices.

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Assam Pedas Ikan Selah (RM16.80) was also served. Fresh and chubby ikan selah (yellowtail scads) were used in this moderately spiced sweet and sour dish. This taste of the soup was almost similar to that of the Penang Nyonya Laksa but with a more prominent sourness from the sliced pineapple. The ladies would surely love this dish.

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We were also served with Pee Hu Char (RM8.40 small, RM12.00 large & RM2.40 for additional lettuce to wrap in). The distinctive differences between this dish and its sister, Jiu Hu Char, lied in the cutting of the vegetables and usage of the dry seafood. The latter would be in strips, a bit moist and using Jiu Hu Si (cuttlefish strips) whereas every ingredient in the Pee Hu Char would in cubes, a bit dry and using deep fried sole fish (pee hu). The ingredients included pork slices, jicama (sengkuang), carrots, cabbages, onions, Shitake mushrooms and of course the boss of the dish, dried sole fish. What lacked in this dish here were the standard thickness and size cutting of the vegetables and the scarcity of the deep fried dried sole fish cubes. The vegetables should have been a bit smaller in size with equal thickness. It was obvious that they have been using a “kitchen helper” to slice them in a hurry as the vegetables were too thin for bites, especially for this dish. Moreover, the deep fried dried sole fish were chopped into too tiny bits and not sufficient enough for me to taste their presence. Although it’s understandable that dried sole fish fillets are rather expensive in this region, I would suggest that they are cut in bigger cubes sizes. After all, that’s the name of the dish and we should enjoy it as it is instead of having some stir fry vegetable cubes.

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I also did request for an additional Nyonya-style Mee Sua Tao (RM6.00, additional crab meat at RM2.40) to try out their ala carte menu. The dish had some mee sua (salted wheat flour vermicelli) cooked in a broth like soup with some sliced pork, prawns and fuzzy melon/squash (毛瓜/mo kua). Although it did look healthy but it was a bit too bland for my liking. I suspected that they were not using thick stock (上湯) to add more flavors into the dish. I guess my home cooked Mee Sua Tao recipe would be a bit too much to ask for. 😛

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As for dessert, we had Seh Liu Chi (RM2.50), a pomegranate flavored jelly served in ice with jackfruit cubes and coconut milk. This much forgotten colorful Nyonya dessert once dominated the dessert scene when I was a kid until more and more of the fusion desserts came into the scene during the 90’s. As for me, I would prefer Cendol instead as it gave more flavors and bites. Moreover, this dessert would be better if served on shaved ice instead of ice cubes.

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As for beverages, you can try out their hot or cold Ginger Tea (RM2.00/RM2.20), Nutmeg Juice (RM2.00/RM2.20), or Chrysanthemum Tea (RM1.30/RM1.40).

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Overall, the food served here can be much better with a bit more adjustments in the recipes. Moreover, from the point of a seasoned diner, I felt that they should look into the availability of certain dishes and desserts for more options.

If you are coming from Traders Hotel/Komtar along Jalan Magazine, you would reach a traffic light (Jalan Magazine/Jalan Penang/Jalan Macalister). Drive all the way straight into Jalan Macaslister. You would see Menara UMNO on your right next to Jalan Zainal Abidin. Drive on until you see Red Rock Hotel on your right. Turn right into Lorong Abu Siti. About 50m away on your left, you would see the single storey restaurant (directly opposite Red Rock Commercial Centre).

NYONYABREEZEMAP

Name: NYONYA BREEZE
Address: 50, Lorong Abu Siti, 10400 Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 604-227 9646
Business Hours:
11.30am-2.30pm (lunch), 6.30pm-10.00pm (dinner)
Closed every Tuesday except public holidays
GPS: 5.417325, 100.323079

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

Attendees: Criz Lai, Steven Goh, Carrie Soon, Sam Lee

OH LAY OH LAY OH LAY EE

Posted by crizlai On April - 19 - 2010

Is this another new theme song for since the English Premier League season is still on? Of course not! This was another of my crazy food expedition during the wee hours of the morning when I could not get much sleep with such a humid and sweaty weather. Huh? Breakfast at 5.00am? I thought having Char Koay Teow at 4.30am was crazy enough! 😛 This hidden treasure lies right in the heart of Georgetown where you can get a rich bowlful of Penang Hokkien Mee (prawn noodles) and Loh Mee (starched noodles) manned by Oh Lay Ee (Auntie Oh Lay) and her husband for the last 3 decades.

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When I say rich, it really meant rich as the stock for the soup had been tediously boiled for hours with bones and prawn shells, somewhat similar to how I cooked it earlier this year. On top of that, there were so many ingredients that I can add into my bowl of noodles. A plain bowl of Hokkien Mee here would cost you merely RM2.30 with a generous amount of prawns, pork slices and egg. My hot steaming bowl of Hokkien Mee was priced at RM4.40 since I had added in some extras such as pork rib, crab roll (chim choe), fried and steam dumplings (siew mai), fried meatball, small and big fish balls. The only setback was the right saltiness in the soup which can be corrected by adding in some soy sauce to your liking. It was indeed filling and cheap for just anyone.

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You can also opt for the Loh Mee (RM2.30) which would come with the same ingredients as above except that there would be some extra blended garlic added in and the soup base would be thick and starchy. I found this dish to be rather normal as it did not contain the thick flavors of bones stock. Moreover, the prawns could not soak up the juice from the soup. Thus, those sliced prawns were a bit too hard to my liking.

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If you are coming from Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay) towards the Jelutong Expressway, slow down and keep to your right when you reach the Pengkalan Weld/Gat Lebuh Macallum traffic lights. Make a U-turn at the traffic lights and keep to your left. Turn left into the first junction you see (Gat Lebuh Presgrave). Drive further up and you would see the stall on your right in front of a row of old houses. This stall normally caters to those early factory workers.

OHLAYEEMAP

Name: OH LAY EE HOKKIEN MEE
Address: 13 Gat Lebuh Presgrave, 103000 Penang, West Malaysia.
Business Hours: 5.00am-11.40am
(Closed on 1st & 15th Day of Chinese Lunar Calendar)
GPS: 5.409713, 100.332705

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: 7.5/10 (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)

FAMILY DINNER AT STARVIEW RESTAURANT

Posted by crizlai On March - 26 - 2010

My family members (7 adults & 2 child) recently had a dinner at the Starview Restaurant, located right within the New World Park premises. This restaurant has been in establishment for many years and specialized in Chinese cuisine. One of the more famous dishes would be their delicious fish steamboat that had endless streams of loyal patrons.

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Do you know what attracted me most during the start of a meal in any Chinese restaurant nowadays? It’s the tidbits. It’s neither the fried or roasted peanut, crackers but the braised peanuts. I’ll never have enough of these nicely flavored peanuts. It was a bonus at Starview Restaurant as they do serve both the peanuts. 🙂

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The first dish that was served was the Four Treasures (四寳 – RM80). In fact, it had a fifth dish on the palate which was some mixed fruits and vegetables salad. Refreshing! The first dish was Fried Sweet & Spicy Fish Balls. The handmade fish balls was nicely stirred in some fragrant secret sauce and presented on a bed of deep fried crabstick strips with some toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on. Delicious! The next dish was their popular Stuffed Aubergine in Egg White. I was so much in love with the stuffed aubergine as the filling of minced prawns and pork were just right and the egg white gravy flowed smoothly into my mouth as if consuming some silky smooth tofu. These were served on a bed of deep fried glass noodles. Wonderful! The third dish was Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables with Fish Bladder. I loved this dish especially when it had some much of crunchy asparagus in it and the fried fish bladder indeed added the extra flavor. Slurps! The last of the combination consisted of Deep Fried Vietnamese Rolls. The mixed vegetables rolls had coats of batter. I find these to be a bit common on the palate.

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Scallops with Seafood & Sharks Fin Soup (乾貝海味翅 – RM100) was served next. Whichever time I dine in this restaurant, the taste of the soup served here has never fail my taste bud. The chef sure did a great job in preparing their tasty stock (上湯). If you had notice in the photo, I would say that there were more ingredients than the broth. Haha! Other than the over generously serving of crab meat, there were traces of diced prawns, sliced fish bladder, fish lips, sharks fin and deep fried scallops as garnishing. Simply delicious!

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The Suckling Piglet (片皮乳豬 – RM138) served next was simply irresistible! What’s the secret? Go there early to get served with the choice piglet that just came out from the roaster. 😛 The skin of the roasted piglet was real crispy. So was the tender and juicy meat with the right amount of baby fat. This dish came with some flower-shaped mantou (steam buns) for stuffing in the roasted pork slices.

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The actual way of eating this dish would be by spreading some of the specially prepared sweet sauce onto the meat, together with a stalk of spring onions, wrapped in the mantou. One bite on this combination and you would see yourself yearning for more. Perfect!

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With all the meat from the last dish, we needed something not so meaty fat. We had Sweet & Sour Fried Red Fish (甜酸紅獅 – RM45). The red fish which looked quite identical to the red snapper family was around 1kg and it was real fat. The chef did a great job in frying the fish with a mild touch of flour with the outer layer having the crisp while the inner flesh remained its juices. The gravy poured onto the fish was just right. It had the right sourness from the mildly used tomato ketchup and sweetness from the fresh chopped tomatoes, onions and capsicums. Beautiful!

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When I thought that would be the last seafood dish we would have for the night, we were served with the Salted Egg Yolk Prawn Balls (金皇蝦球 – RM50). This was just a simple recipe with some smashed salted egg yolk, combined with some pepper, flour and deep fried until golden brown but the chef had added in some sliced bird’s eye chilies and curry leaves to make the dish more fragrant. These were served on a bed of sliced iceberg lettuce. Amazingly tasty!

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Finally, we had the last dish for the night which was Chilled Blended Honey Dew Sago with Lychee (蜜汁西米荔枝- RM25). We were lucky that the honey dew used that night was ripe enough to produce the natural sweetness for this dessert. I like this combination even without the added canned lychee.

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Overall, the food here would be a bit pricey but real delicious if you know how to order. I had heard many good and bad reviews on this restaurant but I have yet to face any problems. Sometimes, I would say it’s the combination of dishes one would order due to their own preferences but I always left the ordering to my favorite supervisor as she would know better. Do seek Ms. S. W. Ng to recommend your dishes as she had never let me down ever.

It’s real easy to locate the restaurant as it’s just within the New World Park premises. The best way and the nearest way to reach the restaurant would be by the Jalan Burma entrance. Immediately after you had passed the Tune Hotel Downtown Penang on your right, slow down and keep a watch out for the entrance a shop away. Drive in and you would see the signboard not far away on your left. Find a parking space nearby and take note that you can pay for the parking ticket through the many automated ticket machine located strategically within the premises.

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Name: STARVIEW RESTORAN SDN. BHD.
Address:
102-B-1 to 102-B-4 New World Park, Jalan Burma, 10050 Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 04-226 6544, 226 5213, 227 4507
Business Hours: 11.00am-10.30pm
GPS: 5.420106, 100.327153

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 9/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

FANCY HAVING FRIED CHEE CHEONG FUN FOR SUPPER?

Posted by crizlai On January - 11 - 2010

Note: I was rather surprised that this outlet was closed within a short period of time. You could still try them out at Kuta Bali Food Court, Paya Terubong, Air Itam, Penang or sometimes at some night markets.

Visitors to Penang would often go for the authentic type of Chee Cheong Fun where there would be some generous topping of sweet sauce, fragrant prawn paste (heko), chili paste and toasted sesame seeds such as the famous stall at Genting Café, Green Lane, Penang. In the era of fusion food, a new breed has emerged at Star City Food Court, located at the outskirt of Georgetown area.

How would you fancy a plate of Seafood Fried Chee Cheong Fun (RM2.50 for 3 rolls)? Basically the Chee Cheong Fun looked like any normal ones you can get from the streets but this version had some surimi crab sticks and fresh prawns wrapped in them. Upon each order, these pre-prepared rolls would be dipped into batter and deep fried until golden brown. Prior to serving, you have an option of two sauces such as mayonnaise and KL rojak sauce. I opted for mayonnaise sauce on these cut pieces of fried chee cheong fun and had some crushed toasted peanuts sprinkled on them. I’m sure children would love this version well although I did not find much attraction in them compared to my favorite authentic ones.

On top of the above as well as the plain version which would cost you RM2 for 3 rolls, there was also something else to bite on – Toasted Stuffed Bean Curd Puff (RM1.80 each). Each piece of the large bean curd puff would be stuffed with shredded jicama and cucumber prior to being toasted in an oven. Again, there would be two options. This time, I opted for the KL rojak sauce. The surface of the puff was crisp while the interior confined the moist from the shredded vegetables. The slices of the bean curd puff were then topped with the KL rojak sauce and garnished with crushed toasted peanuts as well. This combination tasted not bad, except that I found that the KL rojak sauce to be a bit milder in spiciness and rich prawn paste flavor as those found in some of the famous rojak stalls we have in Penang.

Overall, I found only one unique food that ought to be mentioned here from this food court. The rest of the food from the hawker stalls were just average and nothing to brag about. If you are adventurous to try them out, drive all the way from the Penang Ferry Terminal along Pengkalan Weld until you have reach the Pengkalan Weld/Gat Lebuh Macallum traffic lights. Turn left into Gat Lebuh Macallum and drive all the way until you see Harbour Trade Centre on you left. Turn right and drive on and you would see the food court at the junction of Gat Lebuh Macallum/Gat Lebuh Cecil 1 on your right. Parking space would be quite ample here except on Thursday night when there would be a pasar malam (night market) there.

Name: FRIED CHEE CHEONG FUN @ STAR CITY FOOD COURT
Address: Gat Lebuh Cecil 1, 10300 Penang, West Malaysia.
Business Hours: 5.30pm-11.30pm (Closed on Alternate Tuesday)
GPS: 5.404303, 100.334164

RATING:
Ambience: 7/10 (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: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

ALL YEAR ROUND BUFFET SPREAD AT HARDWICKE HOUSE

Posted by crizlai On December - 18 - 2009

Note: This place has ceased operation in mid 2010.

Most of the time, major hotels within the Pearl of Island, Penang, would only hold buffet during weekends and special occasions. With the opening of Hardwicke House BBQ & Buffet Restaurant barely few months back, you can now have the opportunity to have buffet any day during lunch and dinner.

What is the difference between the food served at Hardwicke House and hotels? Well, practically none. Both of them have the same style of serving dishes from appetizers, salads, meat dishes to desserts but Hardwicke excels one step ahead with the availability of fresh seafood and meat grill DAILY for dinners at RM38++ per pax. Lunch would be at RM18++ minus the grill menus. Let us have a peek at what style of food would be available on a typical dinner evening.

As starters, we had Cream of Asparagus with some dinner rolls accompanied with butter cubes and some jars of crispy papadam and some crackers.

The salad section was quite impressive. Other than the usual salad greens, there were also some corn kernels, kidney beans, cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, olives, raisins, cherries, pea sprouts (豆苗,dou miao) and swirl pasta for us to mix and match to our own liking. As for dressing, there were quite many choices such as mayonnaise, creamy French, vinaigrette, coleslaw, creamy Italian, thousand island and of course some mustard too.

The main buffet spread for the night consisted mainly of some local, Indian and Western cuisines. We had fried rice, fried noodles, cabbage poriel, brinjal sambal, dhal, lamb rogan josh, chicken curry, roast beef, baked cured salmon with cheese, chicken lor bak (chicken rolls), crispy Vietnam prawn roll and spaghetti and beef Bolognese sauce. This was not a bad spread for those lamb and beef lovers.

As for the grill section which would only be available for those dinner patrons, the options would be more. There would be roast lamb leg, steaks, sausages, prawns, squids, fish, clams and of course there would also be tandoori chicken. You can also choose what you want as side dishes such as mash potatoes, baby carrots and corn kernels. On top of that, you can choose whichever gravy you would like to have such as BBQ sauce, mushroom sauce or even black pepper sauce.

Sweet tooth lovers would surely love their desserts section. On top of their many options such as homemade cakes, tarts, mousse, jelly, fruits, brewed coffee and tea, there are also many flavors of ice cream with your choice of toppings such as strawberry, caramel and chocolate.

If you think the beverages would not have the “boost” to energize you, there’s always the option to order some good old hot cup of “special” coffee. Of course these would not be covered under the buffet menu. They have Guatemala SHB Arabia, Kenia AA Arabia, Java WIB Robusta, Costarica Arabia SHB, Espresso Coffee Pod “Oro”, Decaffeinated Espresso Coffee Pod “Oro” to give you your favorite Espresso, Ice Berg, Regular Black, Cappucino, Flat White or even just a Latte.

Some people might want to have some wine to go with the meal. There would be many unique and established brand of wine for you to choose from the wine house. Some of the recommended would be the Friulvini Verduzzo IGT, a straw yellow colored wine with a pleasantly, amiable, slightly acidulous and full bodied which had a hint of fruity taste. This would go well with confectionery, salads and fruits. The next would be the Chilean Terranoble Sauvignon Blanc 2005. This slightly yellowish colored wine would be fresh, dry and well balanced for your consumption. It would be ideal to go with fish and seafood. There would also be the New Zealand produced Schubert Hardwicke Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, the deeply red colored wine would exhibit an intense nose of blackberries, plum, chocolate with notes of walnut and spice. This red wine would be great with your meaty meals.

There are many ongoing promotions from Hardwicke House this festive season. You might want to click and enlarge the photo below to view more on their December-January promotion.

For Christmas, check out their Christmas promotion too. It’s best that you call up to reserve your table to avoid disappointment.

If you are coming from town along Jalan Burma, drive all the way until you see a “Y” junction. Left would lead you to Pulau Tikus. Right would lead you to Gurney Drive. Turn left into Jalan Pangkor (keep to your right). Immediately after you see Gleneagles Medical Centre on your right, slow down. Turn right into the service road and you would see a purplish building (Northam Tower). Hardwicke House is just in front of the building. You would not miss the white colored colonial architectural building.

Name: HARDWICKE HOUSE BBQ & BUFFET RESTAURANT
Address: 67 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, 10050 Penang, West Malaysia.
Business Hours: 12.00noon-2.30pm (lunch), 7.00pm-10.30pm (dinner)
Contact: 604-226 4998
GPS: 5.427643, 100.320806

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: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8.5/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

AFFORDABLE FAMILY DINING AT KIM HOOI SEAFOOD

Posted by crizlai On October - 9 - 2009

In my earlier post on the 2828 Café Famous Beef Koay Teow Soup stall, I did mention about the dinner spread you can get from the same café. If you are one who can appreciate authentic Chinese dishes, you had come to the right place as the dishes served here are a mixture of Cantonese and Hakka. Not only are the dishes here are having the taste of a family dinner spread, the pricing here would definitely please those with a big household. The stall here is none other than Kim Hooi Seafood which has been operating in the present premises for over 7 years.

On top of those common dishes you can get in any stir-fry dishes restaurant, this place had the extras effort to introduce their specialties daily. Here was one of the dishes. It’s Braised Pork Ribs with Radish (RM7). Choice pieces of pork ribs were marinated with red fermented bean curd (nam yu/tau joo/乳腐), fried and then braised with some chopped radish and chilies. Initially I thought this was another Hakka dish but eventually I was told that it was also called Thai Ribs (泰骨). The taste was remarkably unique and the ribs were tender and melted in my mouth.

The next special dish was indeed Hakka. It was the Hakka Fried Pork Belly with Wood Ear Fungus (客家炸肉-RM7). The method of preparation was somewhat like the pork ribs except that the gravy had a stronger red fermented bean curd taste. This dish would be best with a hot steaming bowl of rice.

If you do not want to have so much of pork dishes, the Plum Sauce Chicken (梅子雞-RM7) would be quite ideal, even for kids. Although there was the presence of some chopped chilies, the dish was not spicy at all. One whole boneless chicken drumstick was coated with some batter, deep fried, topped with some hot boiling plum sauce with chopped chilies and garnished with some chopped spring onions. Not only was the chicken slices crispy, the gravy itself was enough to boost up my appetite. I found that there was something in there that made the dish different compared to others. It had some chopped pickled ginger added. No wonder the dish was so delicious.

As for seafood, the next dish which was the Stir Fry Grouper Fish Fillet with Fresh Enokitake (金針菇石斑魚片-RM15) was wonderful. The fillets were indeed fresh. Together with the rest of the ingredients which included sliced carrots, button mushroom, snow peas, enokitake (enoki mushroom/golden needle mushroom/金針菇) with a dash of Shao Xing wine, the whole dish was healthy and hearty. Moreover, I found that the amount of grouper fillets given was rather generous.

The next dish was rather interesting – Fried King Prawns with Stout (黑啤酒蝦 – RM18). Four king size white prawns were deep fried and then stirred into some thickened stout beer with a soft touch of salt and chopped chilies. It had lots of sliced spring onions and big onions as salads. The sweetness from the stout blended in nicely with the salads. The prawns were so fresh that I had some trouble peeling off the skins. Although I love this dish a lot, the only hiccup I had was on the preparation. The prawns should have been slightly sliced at the side prior to cooking to allow the delicious gravy to seep into the flesh.

For those who love bitter gourd, the next specialty would be great – Stuffed Bitter Gourd (RM8-4pcs/RM12-6pcs). Each slice of bitter gourd was stuffed with the chef’s own recipe which included fish paste, minced pork, chopped salted and century eggs. These stuffed bitter gourd slices would then be steamed for a period of time before being topped with some oyster sauce based gravy.

For those who love to have same tofu dishes, this place served the best house special tofu I had tasted. The tofu slices were silky smooth and they just melt in your mouth. Although I could order other types tofu such as Japanese tofu which would also be available, I rather have their house special tofu which were preservative-free. One way of cooking the House Special Tofu (招牌豆腐 – RM6) would be in some mild gravy accompanied with some sliced Chinese mushrooms, peas, dried scallops and a touch of Shao Xing wine. Delicious!

Another version would be the Deep Fried House Special Tofu (紅燒招牌豆腐 – RM7). This dish may look quite similar to the earlier one but the gravy had a stronger taste due to the usage of some sliced carrot, leek, roasted pork, garlic and of course the Shao Xing wine. This is another great dish to go with rice.

When you have kids around, one of the common dish you might order would be the Foo Yong Omelette (RM5). There’s nothing special about this dish as it only contained eggs, sliced onions, chopped grilled pork (char siew) with a touch of flavorings.

There were so many types of fresh vegetable dishes available here but I always like to have something simple such as the Stir Fry Romaine Lettuce with Garlic (RM5). What I like most about their preparation was the maintaining of the crunchiness of the lettuce. It was simple yet healthy!

For those soup lovers, you should try out their daily double boiled soups other than their impromptu cooked soups. They should have at least two types available daily. I managed to try out their Double Boiled Winter Melon Soup (冬瓜湯 – RM5.50). I thought it would be just a simple bowl of soup but I was wrong. The thick and aromatic bowl of soup contained lots of meaty pork ribs, red dates, dried mussels and winter melon cubes. I did not regret ordering this bowl of soup.

I was also lucky to try out their Double Boiled Beet Root Soup (地瓜湯 – RM5.50). I expected this bowl of soup to be purplish red as in a fresh beet root but I was wrong again. It has the color of a normal pork ribs based soup. There was nothing much in the bowl of soup except some chopped beet roots, meaty pork ribs and some dates but the soup has that special natural sweetness in it. This bowl of soup is believed to protect the liver, lower cholesterol, hypertension, blood pressures and so on. It can also be taken for general health. Hmmm… I should cook this soup at home too from time to time. 🙂

Overall, this would be a great place to dine in after you are bored with all those restaurant/hawker/fast food. After all, we should also have some healthy meals from time to time right?

It’s easy to find the stall as it is located at a corner lot of Perak Plaza, Jalan Perak. The easiest way to reach the place from town would be by using Jalan Macalister (as you would not be able to turn right from Jalan Dato Keramat). Drive all the way until you see the Jalan Macalister/Jalan Anson traffic lights (EON Automobile Showroom on your left). Turn left into Jalan Anson and drive all the way until you see the Jalan Anson/Jalan Perak T-junction traffic lights. Turn right into Jalan Perak and keep left. You can see the corner café immediately after a stretch of the General Hospital Officers’ residence on your left. Turn left into Jalan Lim Khoon Huat and park your car along the service road in front of the Perak Plaza.

Name: KIM HOOI SEAFOOD @ 2828 CAFE
Address: 56K, Perak Plaza, Jalan Perak, 10460 Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 6.00pm-10.30pm (Closed Wednesday)
Contact: 012-498 8453 (Mr. Lo)
GPS: 5.416874, 100.316519

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

SHABU SHABU ON A RAINY DAY?

Posted by crizlai On October - 8 - 2009

It was a cold and chilly afternoon, thus Steven and I decided to go food hunting for something hot that would warm up our bodies. We ended up at a corner café located along Jalan Perak for our lunch. Was our meal Shabu Shabu? Well, not exactly but the beef slices was indeed thinly sliced and there was the hot pot that was solely manned by the ever smiling boss, Mr. Tiger. Yup, we were at the 2828 Café Famous Beef Koay Teow Soup stall.

On top of those few famous beef noodles stalls in Penang, this stall also has its own loyal followers. You can practically see that the whole café would be packed during lunch time and majority of the patrons would go for the beef noodles. There are so many beef parts available here which you could select for your bowl of soup. The soup base here would be of a clearer and milder herb version compared to the rest and one thing you can be sure of is that it would not contain too heavy beef taste. Your bowl of beef soup (as low as RM6) can go well with your bowl of rice (RM0.60).

Another option you can have here would be the selected ingredients taken with noodles. There are two types available here, namely the yellow noodles (mee) and flat noodles (koay teow). Each bowl would cost as low as RM6.

There’s one thing that I find rather inappropriate for my bowl of beef noodles – the condiment. It was too chili sauce sweet like. I rather have my beef slices dipped into a blended version of red chilies, garlic and ginger. At least that would cut down on the strong taste of certain beef parts.

Overall, this is still a great place for those who do not like their beef soup to be overpowering with herbs and beefy taste and the price here is still reasonable for all. Do also watch out for my next post on what to get from the same café during dinner time – affordable home cooked dishes at Kim Hooi Seafood stall.

It’s easy to find the stall as it is located at a corner lot of Perak Plaza, Jalan Perak. The easiest way to reach the place from town would be by using Jalan Macalister (as you would not be able to turn right from Jalan Dato Keramat). Drive all the way until you see the Jalan Macalister/Jalan Anson traffic lights (EON Automobile Showroom on your left). Turn left into Jalan Anson and drive all the way until you see the Jalan Anson/Jalan Perak T-junction traffic lights. Turn right into Jalan Perak and keep left. You can see the corner café immediately after a stretch of the General Hospital Officers’ residence on your left. Turn left into Jalan Lim Khoon Huat and park your car along the service road in front of the Perak Plaza.

Name: 2828 CAFÉ FAMOUS BEEF KOAY TEOW
Address: 56K, Perak Plaza, Jalan Perak, 10460 Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 10.30am-3.00pm (Closed Monday)
Contact: 012-450 8177 (Mr. Tiger)
GPS: 5.416874, 100.316519

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

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