CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

MALAYSIAN PANCAKE FOR TEA

Posted by crizlai On March - 17 - 2009

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You would be amazed by how many times a Malaysian would eat a day, especially those Penangites with so many options available from breakfast right up to supper. You have so many choices at each and every corner of every district such as Adam’s Karipap Ayam (chicken curry puff – RM1.50 each) in Pulau Tikus Market along Jalan Pasar, Te Chang You Tiao Wang (the longest Chinese cruller at 14” length – RM1 each) along Jalan Paya Terubong, 8o varieties of kuih-muih (local finger snacks – 40sen each) at Mat Relax Corner along Jalan Jones or even some authentic Cantonese snacks at Guangzhou Cake House along Lebuh Carnarvon. Who could resist such temptation even at odd hours of the day?

Another great snack would be the Malaysian Pancake, commonly known as Apom Balik by the Malays and Ban Chang Koay by the Chinese community. Where could you get such great snack then? One prominent place would be right in town itself. With a continuous flow of buyers from all races, En. Noor Azam has been selling his Apom Balik right in front of the General Post Office (Pos Besar Pulau Pinang) along Downing Street (Lebuh Downing) for more than a decade.

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What made his Apom Balik (60sen each) so demanding compare to many other sellers in town? His Apom Balik has the right texture, thickness, sweetness, buttery taste, freshness of the pounded peanuts and most importantly the crunchiness on the crust at all time. There are actually two types available at his roadside stall. One would be a thinner version with crunchy crust. You could opt for plain or with cream corns.

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Another version would be the thicker type being slowly cooked in a large pan. This version would be more fluffy and soft in the center.

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If you are at that area, do try his Apom Balik out. I had not stopped patronizing his stall each time I’m around that area as I find his skills in preparing this wonderful snack had maintained its consistency throughout all the years. It’s a great snack for tea.

Finding the stall would not be hard if you frequent Lebuh Pantai (Beach Street) often for your banking transactions as this is the road where all the major banks are located. Just drive along Lebuh Pantai until you have reached Hongkong Bank. The road next to the bank is Lebuh Downing. Drive right until the end and you would see the General Post Office at the junction of Lebuh Downing and Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay). The stall is just in front of the GPO, next to a Chinese iced drink seller. Do try out the corn drink here too as it’s one of the good ones around.

APOMBALIKMAP

Name: NOOR AZAM APOM BALIK
Address: Lebuh Downing, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 12.00noon-6.00pm
GPS: 5.417557, 100.344192

RATING:
Ambience: 5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

SIONG HO FISH HEAD NOODLES AND PORRIDGE

Posted by crizlai On March - 11 - 2009

Note: Please refer to http://www.crizfood.com/1019/siongho/ for the update on the relocation of the stall effective 18 March 2010.

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If you are thinking of having some fresh seafood noodles or porridge (especially during this humid and contagious flu and fever season), you can always head over to the newly open branch of Siong Ho Fish Head Bee Hoon (Sg. Tiram, next to Shell petrol kiosk Bayan Lepas) along Weld Quay, Georgetown, Penang. The owner, Mr. Teh (Ah Ho) had more than 20 years of experience in cooking up fresh seafood noodles and porridge just for you. If the ingredients were not fresh as it should, they will definitely not pass the regular QC check of the boss.

There are two types of soup you can choose from on top of the different arrays of seafood and meat. One would be the clear soup broth which was boiled with lots of chicken bones, dried shrimps with their secret recipe. The other would be a spicier choice with tom yam paste.

TYPE

Firstly, you have 5 options for your bowl of hot steaming meal. You can either choose thin rice vermicelli (bee hoon), thick rice vermicelli (cho bee hoon), wheat flour vermicelli (mee sua), instant noodles (maggi mee) or porridge (moey).

NOODLES

The next step would be choosing your main ingredients such as large white prawns, grouper fish head, grouper fillet, fried bass fillet, minced meat, frog, pork kidney, meat balls, fish ball and dried bean curd. More ingredients such as crabs, squids and so on would be available at a later date.

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One of the most sought after dish would be the fresh Frog Porridge (RM6/100gms). One look at the color of the skinless frogs, you will know that they are real fresh. Those frogs may look rather gross to some but their flesh can be as smooth and tender as chicken meat. That’s how the frogs got the name “Water Chicken” as in “水雞” in Chinese.

FROG

Here’s an inside peep at what are the other ingredients that they would use make each bowl of the dish delicious. The best part is that the meals served here are MSG free, thus you won’t feel thirsty after consuming.

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Since this is a “pick & choose” what you like concept, the pricing might be different for each individual bowl of order. Basically, a bowl of minced pork related noodles/porridge would cost you as low as RM3.50 to “God knows how much you love seafood” type of order which would cost you tens of dollars. Just to be on a safe side for those budget food hunters, let me share some of the basic pricing with you.

Majority of patrons over there would order fried bass fillet meals. All types of noodles or porridge with only fried fish fillets with vegetables would cost you RM5 per bowl.

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I managed to try out both the clear soup as well as the tom yam noodles. Let me share with you my experience on each bowl of the noodles. Firstly, it was the Tom Yam Bee Hoon without any fresh seafood. My bowl consisted of only fish balls, meat balls and dried bean curd together with bee hoon. It was priced at RM5. The color was fiery red but it was not chili hot at all for me. The soup was thick, sweet and tasty with the fragrance coming from the added Kaffir lime leaves and mint leaves but somehow it lacked some vegetables such as tomatoes, young corns or abalone mushrooms. I had suggested these additional items to the boss and hopefully he would have them during my next visit.

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The next was my “pick & mix” items for my instant noodles with clear soup. I had picked fish balls, meat balls, dried bean curd with fresh grouper fillets. Although the bowl cost me RM10.50, it was worth the amount spent considering that there were a generous amount of grouper fillets inside the bowl. The taste of the soup was amazing. It has the sweetness from the fresh fish fillets with a hint of preserved vegetables (Dong Cai/冬菜 – salted dried cabbage with leeks and sea salt water). On top of the added ingredients, this bowl of noodles was rather fulfilling.

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Here’s a rough summary of all the possible combination of ingredients and prices (either with noodles or porridge in clear soup or tom yam):
Grouper Fish Head: RM9
Grouper Fish Fillet: RM7.50
Prawns (3 pcs): RM8
Frog: RM6/100gms
Fried Bass Fillet/Fish Head: RM5
Minced Meat: RM3.50 – RM5
Miscellaneous items such as pork kidney, fish balls, meat balls and dried bean curd: RM3+ per item or combined

If you are coming from Prangin Mall along Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong, drive straight pass the Lebuh Carnarvon traffic light. You will reach another traffic light (Lebuh Pantai). Drive straight again until you have reached the Weld Quay (Pengkalan Weld) traffic light. Turn left and drive on until you have reached the first left junction (Lebuh Melayu). The shop is just diagonally opposite the newly constructed building in brown color.

If you are coming from the ferry terminal, keep a watchful eye on the landmarks on your left, especially those Jetty signboards. You would pass by Lim Jetty (temple), Chew Jetty (hawker area), Tan Jetty (Xen Teck Café), Lee Jetty and Mixed Surname Jetty. Immediately after the Mixed Surname Jetty, slow down your car. The shop is just after signboard maker, Chuan Advertising and next to Chun Heng Auto Repair. You won’t miss it as the boss and his workers are all dressed in chef uniforms and cute Bermudas. 😛 You may find parking a bit hard along the heavy trafficked road as it’s the main road leading to the Jelutong Expressway/Penang Bridge. Try driving a bit further up to Yeoh Jetty. You should be able to see some open space there. If not, you have to drive a bit further up to Lebuhraya Merdeka where Ghee Seng Seafood Restaurant is located.

SIONGHOMAP

Name: SIONG HO FISH HEAD NOODLES AND PORRIDGE @ VILLAGE CAFE
Address: 107-A, Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay), 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 12.00noon-11.30pm
Contact: 019-458 8693 (Mr. Teh/Ah Ho)
GPS: 5.411414, 100.336897

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

CECIL STREET CHAR KOAY TEOW

Posted by crizlai On March - 5 - 2009

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If you want to know the success story of a Char Koay Teow stall, you should check out the stall located at a corner shop lot named Kedai Makan Teong Ah along Lebuh Cecil (Cecil Street). I had to wake up real early this morning at 5.00am just to make an effort to visit the place and have a chat with the cook, Mr. Leow, who has started frying Char Koay Teow as early as 1967. For the past 40 years, Mr. Leow has been frying along the roadside of Magazine Road before he was forced to move out due to a road expansion project. Currently, he has shifted to this new premise for more than a year.

Why is Mr, Leow’s Char Koay Teow so unique and famous that he has to open up for business so early in the morning? It’s very obvious as his Char Koay Teow and Fried Rice has been the hot favorite of many factory workers. By the time I was there at 5.40am, he had already packed more than 50 packets of Char Koay Teow and fried over 20 plates. What is so different in his style compared to some of the famous ones around? He uses almost the same ingredients as the others but there’s one hidden secret. He uses charcoal and his high heat frying skills that I could hardly take a proper shot from his hyper motions.

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Another reason is that his Char Koay Teow is believed to be the cheapest within the whole of Penang Island. A plate of Char Koay Teow with an egg, three large prawns, cockles and some sliced Chinese sausage fried with some lard, bean sprouts and chopped chives cost only RM2.60. I had mine added with extra fresh prawns and it was only RM3.30. You can also opt for the Char Koay Teow fried with duck egg. It’s only RM3.

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The Char Koay Teow was not oily at all and it had a banana leaf laid on the plate prior to serving. Somehow, not many Char Koay Teow stalls are applying this method nowadays although this would give that additional aroma to the noodles. On top of that, the dish had the right saltiness, spiciness and a bit of burn flavor in it.

Since the Char Koay Teow was so delicious, I was tempted to try out the Fried Rice as well even though it was a bit too heavy for such an early breakfast. The price was the same as the Char Koay Teow but instead of the ingredients stated above, he used only rice, chopped char siew (bbq pork) and fresh prawns. The Fried Rice was indeed another good experience. The dish had that unique burn flavor again with a well combined taste to my liking. Every single grain of the rice was well coated with rich flavor. This is also a must to try out.

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If you would like to have many packets of takeaways, I would advise you to call him up prior to collecting. From my observation during the one hour of patronizing his Char Koay Teow stall, his handphone was like a hotline.

Searching for the Char Koay Teow stall would not be hard at all as it’s just right at the junction of the Cecil Street evening wet market (七條路巴刹). If you are coming from Jalan C.Y. Choy, it’s just right at the corner with a large signboard “Kedai Makan Teong Ah – 中亞茶室) as you turn right into Lebuh Cecil.

TEONGAHCKTMAP

Name: CECIL STREET CHAR KOAY TEOW @ KEDAI MAKAN TEONG AH
Address: 246 Lebuh Cecil, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-485 8210 (Mr. Leow)
Opening Hours: 5.30am-10.00am (Closed Monday, 1st&15th day lunar calendar)
GPS: 5.407442, 100.329381

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: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

AUTHENTIC MALAY CUISINE IN THE HEART OF GEORGETOWN

Posted by crizlai On February - 19 - 2009

Note: This restaurant has changed management in 2010. The original owner was said to have shifted to KL. Her where about is unclear.

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“Simply Irresistible! Aromatic! Colorful! Fresh! Delicious!” These were the words that shouted out from my mind when I first stepped into this barely 5 months’ old authentic Malay cuisine restaurant right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Georgetown, Penang. Kuali-kuali Café, as the restaurant was named, took over the former Craven Café premise located at the junction of Jalan Dato’ Kramat and Jalan Macalister and had since grown to be a favorite eating place for Malay cuisine lovers from all parts of the island as well as tourists. I even saw some factory workers in uniforms from the Bayan Lepas FTZ area patronizing them.

A brainchild of a former St. George’s High School girl, Cik Sharifah Haslina, together with her husband, Encik Mohd Sophian, catered to the needs of its customer from breakfast until supper. As for breakfast, they would prepare some simple dishes such as Nasi Lemak (Steam Coconut Milk Rice) served with fried anchovies, eggs, sliced vegetables and a few types of curries or you can also try out their ingredients filled noodles such as Bee Hoon (rice vermicelli), Mee (yellow noodles) and Koay Teow (rice cake strips).

BREAKFAST

The breakfast dishes may look simple but the taste was great. What impressed me more was their spreads for their lunch and dinner, served with plain hot rice or occasionally with tomato rice. Could you imagine having around 60 dishes served in cute looking mini woks and rattan trays under that rustic village style attap roof buffet line? This would surely be a great experience for many as you would only get this type of buffet spread at the hotels. Moreover, most of the dishes were not as spicy hot as their fiery looking colors and they do change a small percentage of their dishes daily.

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As there were just too many dishes to share you here, I would just brief you on some of the dishes such as their appetizing ulam (Malay salad), seafood, poultry and soup. Let’s start with the salad part. There were many varieties of fresh vegetables and wild herbs served with two types of dressing. One was the Sambal Belacan which has pounded red chillies, chilli paddy, lime juice and some toasted shrimp paste powder. The other was another diluted dressing that would go well with grilled fish. The dressing has some cut red chillies, chili paddy, big onions and tomatoes mixed with some lime juice. Both dressing complimented the vegetables as well as the dishes real well.

ULAM

Do you know that before I went into the restaurant, there was this man outside preparing some grilled fish? The scent coming from the smoke got me even more prepared to jump right into the many varieties of fresh fish dishes they have in there. From the look of the tender yet juicy grilled stingray pieces, you can be assured of its freshness. Even the stuffed hardtail mackerels (ikan cencaru) and chubb mackerels (ikan kembong) had those crystal clear eyes.

FRESH

I can say that they sure know how to prepare their seafood dishes well and with different combination of spices and ingredients. I was surprise to see many seafood dishes that I had not taken for a long time such as the Cockles Salad and Salted Fish Curry. On top of that, the taste of each individual fish curry had its own unique flavors. There were just too many to taste out at one visit. Maybe a slide of the seafood dishes would prove me right.

SEAFOOD

The poultry section was also impressing. They have so many options from a simple Beansprouts with Beef Stomach Salad, Indonesian Dry Beef Curry (Rendang Minang) to their house specialty such as the Red Curry Chicken (Ayam Masak Merah) and Village Style Fried Chicken. The delicious Village Fried Chicken was crispy, a bit like a spicier KFC Original Chicken.

POULTRY

If you feel that there would be too much of seafood and poultry dishes in your meal, you could always check out their little vegetarian corner. There would be around 10 dishes such as tofu, mixed vegetables, and many assorted vegetables cooked in different styles to meet your desire.

VEGETARIAN

Do also watch out for their popular demanded Beef Bone Soup (Sup Tulang Lembu). The aromatic smell of the piping hot soup and the tender meat on the bone is a sure must have dish if you love thick and flavorful soups. Each bowl would cost between RM4.50 to RM6, depending on the amount of meaty bones you have scooped.

SOUP

Well, it took me quite some time to study all the dishes in the restaurant but it’s worth the effort to know more of these wonderful authentic Malay cuisines. I ended up with a plate filled with the different types of gravy to try out their cooking style. Moreover, I had a piece of Chicken Thigh cooked with Sweet Dark Sauce, some Turmeric Fried Tofu cubes, Indonesian Dry Beef Curry and a piece of Onion Omelette – all for only RM5. It’s cheap right? You should try to make a visit there and I can assure that you would not regret the experience.

Note: If you are real adventurous to try out all the gravy – Do not put too much as my plate of rice ended up with too much oil. But then, I did finish to the last bit as the food was simply too delicious. Another thing to take note would be the visiting hours. The best time would be 7.30am for breakfast, 11.30am onwards for lunch as all the food would be out hot and fresh. They do not cook more dishes for dinner. The dishes would be whatever left during lunch but you can always order other items such as fried rice, noodles soup, etc.

MYMEAL

Although the restaurant was located at a heavy traffic area with quite limited parking areas, you could see it filled up with customers any period of the day. It would not be too hard to spot the place as the restaurant would be located just at the junction of Jalan Dato’ Kramat and Jalan Macalister. Prominent landmarks to watch out would be the GAMA Supermarket and KOMTAR.

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KUALIKUALICAFEMAP

Name: KUALI-KUALI CAFE
Address: 2 Jalan Dato’ Kramat, 10150 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 7.00am-12.00am (Mon-Fri), 7.00am-4.00pm (Sat)
Contact: 016-426 2184 (Cik Sharifah Haslina Mufazzal)
GPS: 5.413997, 100.328167

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

SAM HUI CAFÉ @ PRANGIN MALL

Posted by crizlai On February - 12 - 2009

UPDATED 16 MARCH 2009: The Sam Hui Prangin Mall has ceased its operation and had moved to the ground floor of 1-Stop Midlands Park. Will the standard of the food still maintain as good as in Prangin Mall? You would have to find out yourself. 😛 (More updates on their main branch below – 15 February 2009)

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The legendary 70’s Hong Kong actor/singer Samuel Hui (Sam Hui) has a food franchise business in Penang? Generally, this is what I have heard from some of the older generations around here. Well, the proprietor is definitely named Sam Hui, a Malaysian. You would not get him to sing to you with his unique voice or break any humor but he would surely impress you with his range of Hong Kong style cuisine. I have tried out one of the franchises recently and was really impressed by their choices of food, tastes, food presentations and pricing. It was in fact better than some of the known Hong Kong style restaurants around town.

The Hong Kong Style Tong Por Pork Rice (RM5.50) tasted real good. It may look like a plate of normal economy rice with some meat and vegetables but one bite into the sliced meat and you would be asking for more. The meat was nicely stewed until soft and tender with their special fragrant herbs and spices. It would just melt right in your mouth. It would have a stewed egg and some vegetable to balance off the meal.

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Their Orange Fried Fish Rice (RM6.80) was also quite unique. It has quite a generous amount of deep fried tempura based fish slices cooked in mild spicy orange sauce and topped with mayonnaise, served with rice and accompanied with some salad. The taste would suit any ages.

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You could also try out their Sharks Fin Gravy Rice (RM7). This is another wetter version of rice served with a generous amount of shark fins and fried baby anchovies. The gravy was nothing more than some rich broth with some beaten eggs. It tasted quite normal to me except that the fried anchovies did bring out some fragrance in the dish. Moreover, I was quite skeptical about the amount of shark fins given at such a low price. It could well be mock shark fins as the bite was not as chewy as the real ones. Well, at least some sharks were spared in this process. LOL!

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I also tried out their Shanghai Noodles with Dried Tong Por Meat (RM5.50). The juicy meat slices were as great as mentioned above and the noodles blended in well with the Tong Por meat gravy and a hint of sesame oil. The Shanghai noodles tasted like a combination of ramen and pan mian. It has a springy sensation and tasted real nice.

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You should also try out their salad and lighter snacks such as the fried and soup based dumplings, spring rolls combined with different salad dressings. I quite like the Deep Fried Breadstick with Pineapple Salad (RM6.80). Each piece of the sliced breadstick or commonly know as You Tiao or Chinese Crullers were stuffed with some prawn paste and deep fried until golden. The crunchy yet delicious breadstick slices (10 pieces) were then laid on some fresh green lettuce and topped with some pineapple salad and fresh carrot strips. This is a must to have.

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The café do also serve Siew Long Bao (Little Basket Dumpling – 6pcs) for a mere RM9. Each piece of the dumpling contained some soup with seasoned minced meat mixed with some chopped Chinese celery. Watch out when you take these dumplings as you might spurt some of the juices at your friend. LOL! Anyway, I found those served here to be quite fine except for the minced meat which has a bit too much of corn starch added, making the meat a bit too soft. On top of that, the accompanied black vinegar with ginger strips was a bit too diluted for my liking.

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The café do not have many choices for desserts as there were only three options such as Sweetened Barley with Egg and Tofu Skin (RM3), Red Bean Paste (RM3) and Fruit Cocktail with Herbal Jelly (RM3.50). I managed to try out the Sweetened Barley with Egg and Tofu Skin. The barley broth was mildly sweetened with rock sugar, accompanied with some barley grains, dried tofu skin and a hard boiled egg. This is an ideal dessert for a hot and humid weather.

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Overall, the place served some good food at a reasonable price and without any taxes added onto your bill. They also have a few unique ice blended juices such as Markisa (Indonesian Passion Fruit) and Red Plum for you to try out. There are just too many items to introduce here. I will just attach their order menu to let you have a better idea of what they have. You can just click the photo to see the enlarged version.

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Although the location of the café was at a secluded area of the mall, it’s actually quite easy to find the place. Try to find your way to Prangin Mall Atrium A (where Bread History, Secret Recipe, Starbucks, 7-ELEVEN, etc are). Use the main bubble lift to level 2. Look out for the striking S&J orange signboard or Digi yellow and blue signboard. Immediately after these two shoplots, you would see the café located along an inner lane between the Chocolate Gift & Souvenir and Glantz shoplots.

SAMHUIMAP

Name: SAM HUI CAFE
Prangin Mall Branch:
Level 2-30, Atrium A, Prangin Mall-Komtar,
33, Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong, 10100 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 11.30am-9.00pm
Contact: 016-453 0350 (Mr. Kelvin Khor)
GPS: 5.414814, 100.331286

You can also check out their main branch located within the 1-Stop Midlands Park Centre in Pulau Tikus. Just walk into the main entrance of the mall (Jalan Burma). The café is at level 2 on your left.

1-Stop Midlands Park Branch:
488B-2-26, Level 2, 1-Stop Midlands Park Centre
Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 11.30am-9.00pm
Contact: 016-458 2979 (Mr. Sam Chong)
GPS: 5.433139, 100.306547

UPDATED 15 February 2009: I thought after having some reasonably nice food at their Prangin Mall branch, the food at the main branch would be even better. My whole family was extremely disappointed with the taste and quality of the food served here. It was real embarrassing to me. To me, it should not the main excuse of us being the earliest patrons there. Moreover, the rude service of certain staff had added to the wound.

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The five of us had ordered 5 different dishes and none of those ordered met our expectations. The taste for Shanghai Noodles with Tong Por Meat (RM5.50) was totally different compared to the one I took from the other branch which was filled with flavors. Except for the Shanghai noodles, the meat was hard and the gravy was so diluted with hardly any herb taste in it. The Kimchi Noodles (RM5.50) was a disaster. The wantan noodles used was soggy and the soup was rather tasteless except for the mild chili flavor. The Guangdong Crispy Noodles (RM5.50) was still fine but it was not the best around. It lacked of fragrant. The Pork Rib Rice (RM6.00) was a laugh. It was merely some sliced pieces of pork chop and it was so chili hot that it won’t fit the taste bud of a child. It’s supposed to be sweet and sour and not sweet and spicy. The last order which was Hong Kong Style Roasted Pork Rice (RM5.50) got me dumbfounded. I expected the dish to be somewhat different in taste but ended up with some roasted pork slices fried with fermented beans. I could have cooked that myself instead of visiting a restaurant just for that.

Overall, the food here is way below par compared to any of those roadside stir fry stalls. I would expect the café to look into a better qualified chef than to simply serve the public with such kind of food. If the other branch can provide quality food, why can’t the main branch? I might be wrong in this review but with two seasoned cooks, one elderly father and two children complaining, something is just not right. The menu here was slightly different with an additional 10 set meals priced at RM15. You can click to enlarge the menu below.

SAMHUIPTMENU

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: 4.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 6/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

A FUN GATHERING AT LOUIS CAFE

Posted by crizlai On February - 9 - 2009

NOTE: THIS CAFE HAS CEASED ITS OPERATIONS

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If you are looking for a place where you can savor great food with rich and quality ingredients, you should take note of the latest Western and Asian fusion restaurant in Penang. Opened barely two months ago on 22 December 2008, Louis Café had impressed its customers with its wide arrays of dishes. Most of the dishes served are the own concoctions of their few experienced chefs. Thanks to Lingzie for arranging this gathering yesterday as some of us were able to review on their food quality, taste, flavor and ambience. I would say this is a cool place for group meetings, family functions and a romantic evening for love birds with their averagely lighted atmosphere.

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Let’s start the food introduction in proper sequence. Salads were first and we were served with three different varieties – Our House Rules Organic Salad (RM15), Classic Caesar Salad (RM18) and Scallop Salad (RM20). The Organic Salad was filled with lots of fresh greens and a mixture of apple cider, olive oil, some herbs and a hint of chopped lemongrass. This would be a great appetizer for those who love crunchy greens but I find the dressing a bit sour to my liking. Maybe a pinch of salt and some raw brown sugar might help pep up the flavor. The Classic Caesar Salad was loaded with lots of fresh greens, fried bacon bits, salmon strips, mixed herbs and garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and toasted croutons. I simply love this salad as it was rich in flavors except that I would prefer the croutons to be oil fried instead. The Scallop Salad was indeed another irresistible choice. On top of the fresh greens, the seared fresh scallops still maintained their juiciness. The searing definitely brought out the flavor in the scallops and with the special apple salsa sauce. This salad was one of the best I had tasted for ages. It even had some chopped onions, tomatoes, apples and chives for that extra bite.

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The next set was the soup served with some dinner rolls. We had the opportunity to try out some of the existing as well as newly created soup. There were all together 5 varieties which included Italianese Wild Mushroom Soup (RM10), Pumpkin Soup (RM9), Cream of Broccoli (RM9), Cream of Cauliflower (RM9) and Cream of Tomato (RM9). All the soups were creamy and tasty in their own ways. Except for my favorite Pumpkin Soup which came with some toasted almonds slices garnishes, I personally find that these could be further improvised by adding some bites into them such as toasted wild mushroom slices, oil fried croutons, chopped tomatoes as all the ingredients were blended too fine.

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We were then served with another 8 main course dishes such as the Vegetarian Cutlet (RM15.90), Classic Fish Cordon Bleu (RM25), Sirloin Steak with Red Wine Sauce (RM28), Grilled Lamb Chop with Peppercorn Sauce (RM22), Grilled Lamb Chop with Brown Mushroom Sauce (RM22), Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce (RM38), Pan Seared Salmon Steak with Dijon Sauce (RM30), Red Snapper with Cream of Tomato Pulp (RM25) and Baked Stuffed Chicken with Brown Mushroom Sauce (RM20). The Vegetarian Cutlet was unique as it came in the shape of a leaf. It was made from a mixture of buttered mashed potatoes, carrot dices, chopped onions, corn kernels, chopped broccoli, mixed herbs, coated with breadcrumbs and fried to perfection. This would be a great dish for those who like to have a meatless meal. The Classic Fish Cordon Bleu was another hit amongst us. Instead of red snapper fillet, Pacific dory fillet was used. The combination of the fresh fillet with filling such as ham and cheese, was so well balanced that it was gone within minutes. The Sirloin Steak with Red Wine was also a dish that got us drooling as the air flown Australian Striploin maintained its juiciness and tenderness after being grilled medium rare. The red wine sauce complemented the whole combinations perfectly.

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The Grilled Lamb Chop came in two flavors – Peppercorn Sauce and Brown Mushroom Sauce. Most of us preferred the latter as the former had a rather strong pepper taste which overpowered the natural lamb flavor. The Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce was also nice except for the strong peppercorn sauce as mentioned. The Pan Seared Salmon Steak with Dijon Sauce was also nice combination except for the fillet which I personally find a bit too thick to allow whatever marinates to seep deeply into the meat. The Red Snapper with Cream of Tomato Pulp was grabbed up real fast too. The freshness and smoothness of the red snapper fillet blended in well with the accompanied creamy tomato pulp sauce. The Baked Stuffed Chicken with Brown Mushroom Sauce was another cool dish as the chicken thigh fillet had a whole cheese sausage stuffed inside, breaded and baked until golden. The brown mushroom sauce combined well with this dish.

On top of the main courses, we also had Spaghetti Arrabiata (RM16), Fettucine Carbonara (RM16) and Spicy Chicken Tortilla (RM15.90). The Spaghetti Arrabiata was nice for those who love a spicier version. I personally find the herbs and ingredients were a bit too spicy and over rich in flavors. The Fettuccine Carbonara was my favorite as it had lots of bacon slices, ham strips, chopped onions, sautéed garlic, buttered wild mushroom slices, mixed herbs, cream and grated Parmesan cheese which made the whole combination perfect. Instead of the fettuccine pasta, linguine pasta was used and this made each mouthful even smoother and flavorful. Spicy Chicken Tortilla was a surprise to us as it was not stated in the menu. The filling was marvelous as the chicken pieces and potatoes were mildly spiced with some curry spices and curry leaves. Each bite left us yearning for more.

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Since all of us were fully stuffed by the café’s management (Thanks to Ms. Teoh), I managed to try out one of the desserts which was the White Fungus with Ginkgo Nuts (RM5). The dessert was marvelous as the soup was mildly sweetened with red dates and rock sugar. The ginkgo nuts were cooked just right and the white fungus still maintained their crunchiness. You can also opt for their other desserts such as Bird’s Nest at RM45 per bowl or the Herbal Snow Jelly at RM10 per bowl.

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Overall, we enjoyed ourselves dining in the café. With the great Penang Floggers there, it was even more fun and exciting. There would be a 5% service tax applicable to all the meals ordered but you can always check with the proprietor, Ms. Teoh, for group discounts if you would want to hold some functions. Tour groups are always welcome. On top of the Ala Carte dishes as mentioned above, the café do have a different Set Lunch menu daily which consist of appetizer of the day, choice of main course, choice of beverages and free flow of ice cream at only RM18.90+. Set Dinners are also available with an additional soup of the day and the option to choose between beverages and fresh cut fruits at only RM26.90+. Moreover, they also have finger snacks such as Fried Chicken Wings, Deep fried Squid Balls, French Fries, Potato Wedges and Deep Fried Calamari Rings from as low as RM6. If you fancy some local hawker fares, you could also look into their Asian menu which has Seafood Singapore Bee Hoon, Seafood Fried Rice, Thai Seafood Tom Yam Bee Hoon Soup, Seafood Hokkien Char, Seafood Hor Fun, Seafood Ramen and BBQ Pork Ramen (between RM8-RM12).

Finding the restaurant would be easy but not prominently noticeable as it’s situated along a row of pre-colonial houses along Jalan Argyll. The best way to reach the café would still be from Upper Penang Road. Coming in from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah into Upper Penang Road where Hotel Continental, Hotel Malaysia, Cititel are, drive onwards until you see Veenai Odeon Cinema on your right. Turn right into the road, that’s Jalan Argyll. Drive on until you have reach the cross junction (Jalan Transfer/Jalan Argyll). Drive across Jalan Transfer and you would see the café just a few houses away on your left (directly opposite Mingood Hotel).

LOIUSCAFEMAP

Name: LOUIS CAFE
Address: 161-C, Jalan Argyll, 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 11.00am-11.00pm
Contact: 604-228 7729, 012-470 1666 (Ms. Teoh Chua Tee)
GPS: 5.421778, 100.330472
WIFI: Yes

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

Attended Floggers:
Criz Lai of Criz Bon Appetite
Lingzie of Lingzie’s Tummy Treats
CK Lam of What2See Online
Huat Koay of PenangTuaPui
Rebecca of The Nomad Gourmand
Steven Goh of Steven Goh dot com
Allen Ooi of Yummy Station
Gill & Jason of Gourmet Garden
Carrie of Cariso Delicacies Corner
Mary of Food Paradise
Bee of Buzzing Life
Mr. Lee of Kwong Wah Yit Poh

 

SET LUNCH AT SALSAS RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On February - 1 - 2009

It was another reunion meal and a birthday celebration for my Dad on the fourth day of Chinese New Year. Most of our chosen restaurants were either closed or fully booked on that day. To avoid any disappointments, we had booked a long table at the Salsas Restaurant at Hotel Continental for early lunch instead. The restaurant was indeed very crowded. Walking into the restaurant, you can feel the coziness of the whole setup. Here’s a glimpse of the whole place.

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Salsas Restaurant does not provide many ala carte dishes. Instead, it has 26 impressive set lunches in the menu, ranging from as low as RM13.50 to a higher range as much as RM27.50. Every single set lunch would come with Soup or Salad of the Day, Main Course, Coffee, Tea, Iced Lemon Tea or Fruit Juice, and Dessert of the Day. It’s quite a good money-for-value meal. Just click and enlarge the below photos to know what they have in their menu.

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Let us just look at how a typical set lunch at the Salsas Restaurant would look like. First you would be asked on whether you would wan coffee, tea, iced lemon tea or mango juice on top of the plain glass of water you would be served.

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They would also serve everyone with a hot toasted bun each with butter while waiting to the set lunch courses to start.

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We were given the option to choose between the Soup of the Day and the Salad of the Day. The Soup of the Day was Asparagus Soup. It was creamy enough for my liking. The Salad of the Day was some fresh lettuce and tomatoes with mayonnaise and garnished with toasted bread cubes. It was refreshing.

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We ordered the main course from 3 different price ranges in the menu. The first range was RM13.50. We had Double Jumbo Chicken Sausages and Grilled Dory Fish Fillet with Salsa. The sausages were good but a bit salty to my liking. The dory fillet was also good combined with the tomato salsa it came with.

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The next range was RM15.50. We had Baked Penne Pasta and Lamb Pepperpot. The pasta tasted great with lots of chicken cubes and creamy cheese. On the other hand, the Lamb Pepperpot was braised with the right herbs and had the tenderness I would like. This dish came with 3 slices of richly toasted garlic bread.

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The next range was RM18.50. We had ordered Grilled Sole Fish Fillet and Grilled Lamb Leg. The fish was fresh and it went well with the lemon crème and shrimp butter. It has some salty breadcrumbs garnished on the boiled cauliflower. It was very yummy indeed. Next was the Grilled Lamb Leg. The lamb leg was grilled well and the tenderness blended in real well with the accompanied salsa.

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The set meal ended with Dessert of the Day which consist a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a fruit cocktail and two mini cakes. It was nothing to brag about but the presentation was great.

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All the set lunches would come with a 10% service charge and 5% government tax. The total bill was RM162.73 for 9 persons. I would say it’s rather reasonable although the main course size was a bit too small to fill me up. I would surely visit them again to try out their other set dishes.

If you are driving down from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah into Jalan Penang, you will see the restaurant right at a corner within Hotel Continental’s premise. As the road there can be quite jammed up, I would advise you to park your car at the Red Garden Café parking lot just a block away and walk to the restaurant.

SALSAMAP

Name: SALSAS RESTAURANT @ HOTEL CONTINENTAL
Address: Ground Floor, 5 Jalan Penang, 10000 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-263 3923
Opening Hours: 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30pm-11.00pm
GPS: 5.421928, 100.334470

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

YELLOW LIGHT RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On January - 16 - 2009

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Most Penangites would have known about this Thai Restaurant with no signboard except for a yellow round light along Jalan Fettes since 1982. Yellow Light (Thai Food) Restaurant was one of the finest Thai cuisine restaurants ever existed in Penang, managed by the then founder, Madam Yoke Payong. Subsequently her daughter, Chef Loh took over the business and continued to serve great Thai cuisines to patrons from all over the world. The business eventually moved to 8 Row along Jalan Krian off Jalan Macalister. Somehow, I guessed another golden opportunity knocked at the right time and she’s right now with her new restaurant along East Coast Road, Singapore.

The continuity of the current restaurant, under the same name, is under a different management now. Will the food be as good as before ever since Chef Loh had moved to Singapore since January? Let’s look at some of the dishes I had ordered here compared to the one I had tasted by Madam Yoke as well as her daughter, Ms Loh.

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The first dish that was served was just another simple dish in any household, Phad Phak Ruam (Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables – RM9). Except for some Chinese cabbage, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and wood ear fungus, there was not a piece of meat or prawn in it. The taste was just normal without any Nam Pla (fish sauce) to bring out the best in the dish.

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Next was Yam Woonsen (Glass Noodles Salad – RM12). The dish has cooked glass noodles, prawns, dried shrimps, chicken dices, onions and chili paddy mixed all together with some sauces and garnished with some coriander. The dish was a bit too sour and the glass noodles were so soggy that all were lumped up. We had to request for a pair of scissors to cut them up.

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Thailand is famous for some of their seafood dishes. We tried out the Poo Cha (Deep Fried Stuffed Crab – RM6/pc) and Poo Neung (Steamed Stuffed Crab – RM6/pc). Both had the same ingredients such as minced meat, prawns, crab meat, water chestnut, Chinese celery, chopped chillies and topped with some salted egg yolk. The fried one came with some breadcrumbs. As for the taste, I find the stuffing rather soft to my liking. I guessed the cook might have put too much of corn starch into the mixture, thus making the stuffing too sticky and slimy.

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One of my most ordered dishes in Thailand other than Tom Yam Gung would be the Thod Nam Pla (Deep Fried Fish Cake –RM2.50/pc). The ones served here was not as spicy and thick as those I had taken before. I find the whole fish cake rather bland to my liking. Moreover, the amount of vinegar in the chili sauce provided was too strong.

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A Thai meal would not be complete if you do not try out the Gai Bai Toei (Fried Pandan aka Screwpine Chicken – RM2.50/pc). This was another let down as I could not really bite out the toughness of the chicken pieces. There were just too much of spices in each wrapping than the actual meat. Moreover, the meat was over marinated until they became over soft like minced meat.

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As for dessert, I ordered the Tub Tim Krob (diced water chestnut in colored starch and jackfruit strips served with thick coconut milk –RM2.50). The dessert was rich with coconut milk but was too sweet to my liking.

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Maybe I could have ordered the wrong dishes from the drastically reduced food list compared to the previous ones I had at the original house but if the basic dishes from a Thai cuisine had failed my taste bud, it would mean that the rest would not be as interesting anymore. The damages were RM55.35 for all the food ordered with drinks, optional wet towels and 5% service tax. I hope that the new management would try to improve further with the food quality. I also hope that I don’t get to see the good image and reputation of the former heavenly Yellow Light tarnished and vanished from the face of Penang.

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If you are driving down from Komtar into Jalan Macalister, you will see a petrol kiosk on your left and then Grand Paradise Hotel. Immediately after the hotel and before the traffic light, there is a left turning, Jalan Krian (Krian Road), where the 8 Row heritage restaurants are situated. The restaurant is occupying the first two shop houses.

YELLOWLIGHTMAP

Name: YELLOW LIGHT RESTAURANT
Address: 2-4, Jalan Krian, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-227 6072 (Mr. Ooi/Ms. Wong)
Opening Hours:
Restaurant: 11.00am-11.00pm
Bistro & Karaoke (upstairs): 9.30pm-2.00am (min 3 tables)
GPS: 5.416714, 100.322076

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: 5/10 (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)

CUISINE EXTRAVAGANZA AT CHIN BEE TEA CAFE

Posted by Criz Lai On January - 12 - 2009

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Who would have expected hidden amongst some of the heritage houses in Georgetown would have a tea café that served quality choices of tea as well as food? Of course, that would be Chin Bee Tea Café, an established tea supplier to most of the restaurants and hawker centers in Penang. I found out about this place a few months’ ago when they were still undergoing renovation works and this place ended up as a treasure to me and I would strongly recommend them to my friends. I have even lost count of how many visits Steven Goh, whom I had first introduced this cafe, had brought his family along to patronize this place.

From the exterior of this place, most people would just assume it as a place serving solely tea and some light bites as most tea houses. If you look into the clear glass panels, you would even see rows of cupboards and urns filled with tea leaves and flower tea buds. Anyone would surely have that wrong perception.

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Going into the café is like moving into a place filled with hospitality. You would be served by the members of this family run business with all smiles. The service is remarkable. You would be given a menu with a list of tea which you would like to have as well as a simple menu for the food.

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Do try out their quality Chrysanthemum bud tea which would give you the unique sweet after taste as well as their Ginseng Tie Guan Yin which would energize your moods and alertness.

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Do not be fooled by the simple list of food as shown in the menu as there are still many other wonderful dishes that the over 60 years old Sifu (Grand Master of the Kitchen), Mr. Malai Chong, have under his sleeves. I was truly surprised on how impromptu and creative this Sifu was in coming up with dishes that will make anyone drool just by looking at it. This showed that with his seasoned experiences, he could just combine any ingredients in the kitchen to make great dishes. What else would you expect from a chef who had work in overseas restaurants such as Ireland and UK, and also in reputable Malaysian hotels and restaurants for the past 40 plus years?

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Let us now looked at some of the dishes the café is famous for such as the Special Pork Ribs (RM3/pc). The inner part of the ribs will always been soft while the outer layer has that crunchiness from the chef’s secret formulated flour. The dish would be served in some sweet and delicious sauce. This dish is highly recommended for those who would not mind some fatty layers on the belly cum ribs portion of pork.

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The next dish was a surprise. I wanted something nice mixed with some greens. The Sifu concocted a new dish called the Smooth Journey (一帆風順 – RM12). From the outlook of the long and round food on the plate, I was not sure what they were until I sliced open both of them. The long one appeared to be stuffed capsicum with some juicy minced pork and prawns. It was unique and yummy. The round one appeared to be stuffed button mushrooms with the same type of fillings. The slightly sweet and sour sauce made both simply irresistible.

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I wanted something lighter next and the Sifu recommended a homely dish called Three Jewels Steam Egg (三黃蛋 – RM8). It had three types of eggs, basically chicken eggs, salted duck egg and century eggs, all whipped up with some seasoning and steamed to perfection. The dish would then be garnished with some quality soy sauce, some fried garlic & oil and chopped spring onions. It was marvelous too as the texture of the steamed egg was without much bubbles and it was as smooth as consuming Japanese tofu.

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Next, I got my “sort of personal chef now” (LOL!) to serve me with some chicken dish that he did not have in his menu. Again I was stunned by how well he had presented in the next dish which was the Sweet & Sour Chicken (燒汁雞 – RM10). It was basically a large chicken drumstick (the size as you would get from Western food) but the preparation was ten times tastier than I have tasted anywhere. I guessed the Sifu used only the best sauce to come out with something as great as this dish. The batter coated chicken was very crispy. It blended real well with sliced onions, chillies, sugar snap peas (mange tout) with some touches of sweet and sour sauce.

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The next dish which was the Rakkyo In-house Tofu (蕎光豆腐 – RM12) was another eye opening dish for me. When I thought it was just the usual fried in-house made special tofu cooked with minced meat and mixed vegetables, the taste was totally not as I had expected. It was so appetizing. It has that unique sweetness combined with quality Chinese wine. The added sliced sugar snap peas, carrots and button mushrooms made the dish real colorful.

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Do you want to know the secret behind the appetizing dish? Here they are. The dish has finely sliced pickled ginger (調味醋姜片) and pickled Rakkyo bulbs (酸甜蕎頭). You might want to know what Rakkyo is. It is a native plant in South East Asia, mostly grown in China, Japan and certain parts of Malaysia (Cameron Highlands) where the bulbs would me made into pickles. It also believed to have some medicinal properties such as the prevention of thrombosis, treatment of heart diseases in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), remedy for fever, stomachache and eye infections. There are many names to this midget spring onion or allium-like plant such as the widely used English term which sounded so Japanese – Rakkyo, Japanese scallion or Allium chinense.

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Another dish that the Sifu had specially prepared for the Chinese New Year season would be the Dried Oyster, Scallop & Black Moss Stew (大蠔燉乾貝髮菜 – RM20-40). This is a wonderful dish as the dried oysters and scallops were braised in some seasonings such as ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce and Shao Xing wine until soften. These would then be simmered along with some young lettuces and black moss. This specially prepared dish would normally be served in family reunion dinners on the eve of Chinese New Year.

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On top of the above dishes with would be taken with rice, you could always opt for something lighter. They have only rice or Ee Foo noodles. Either you can ask the Sifu to cook Fried Ee Foo Mee or their famous Hong Tu Mian (鴻圖面 – RM8-15). This would be best taken with some black vinegar.

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If you feel that you would like something drier, you can try out their Yong Chow Fried Rice, Egg Wrapped Fired Rice or my favorite Hot & Spicy Fried Rice (特色炒飯 – RM5-RM15). The “Wok Hei” aka high heat frying for this fried rice dishes is real good.

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Overall, Chin Bee Tea Café is a great place to buy various quality tea leaves/flower teas as well as for family dine-in. There would always be surprises for you as you would not know what other delicious food the Sifu would stir up for you. The price for the food is reasonable, so are the selections of quality tea drinks. I will surely drop in to try out their other reputable dishes such as the exotic deer meat and fish head curry. By the way, the Sifu would also like to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year in the coming Ox year.

MALAICHONG

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) 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.

CHINBEEMAP

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-9.00pm (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: 9/10 (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)

 

CARNARVON STREET FRIED KOAY KAK (RICE CAKE)

Posted by Criz Lai On December - 17 - 2008

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As you know, Penang is the Food Paradise of Malaysia. What would you do if you want to try out something cheap, nice and yet not too filling? There are many options but you can always try out one of the local delicacies called Fried Koay Kak (Fried Rice Cake), which is made out of rice flour added with some water and some seasonings. The mixture would then be steamed until you get a white and soft rice cake. The cake would then be cut into cubes using a mesh wire frame before the actual frying. This is how it would look like when mixed with some dark soy sauce in a large pan.

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There is one stall along Lebuh Carnarvon that served one of the cheapest Fried Koay Kak in town from as low as RM1.50 (small). You can opt for either chicken or duck eggs. I would recommend the Fried Koay Kak with Duck Egg (RM2.50). Somehow, the duck egg has that special flavor that made the dish even better. I love to frequent this stall as the lady is one of the more pleasant and generous one around. She would ask you if the ingredients such as the preserved turnip (chai po) or bean sprouts would be enough for your consumption or whether you would need more chili paste and chives. That’s what I call VIP treatment. 🙂

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I would say the price to try out this dish is cheap. Just look at the price list. If you are adventurous enough, you can always try out another version of the recipe which is the Fried Radish Koay Kak (Char Chai Tau Koay).

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It’s really very easy to find the stall. The stall is at café is just diagonally opposite the Te Chang You Tiao Wang stall which I wrote about earlier. If you are coming from Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong along Prangin Mall, you will pass by two traffic lights. Keep left and drive on to the second traffic light. Wan Lee Brothers (toys wholesaler) is on the left. Turn left into Lebuh Carnarvon and drive until the end of the road. You would pass by a police station on you left and then a market after a junction (Lebuh Carnarvon/Pesara Claimant). Drive on. You would reach another junction (Lebuh Carnarvon/Lebuh Campbell). Drive on. Try to find a parking space here. The stall is just on your left hand side at the end of this street (Lebuh Carnarvon/Lebuh Chulia).

CARNARVONSTKOAYKAKMAP

Name: CARNARVON STREET FRIED KOAY KAK
Address: Carnarvon Street, 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 8.30pm-1.00am (Closed Wednesday & Thursday)
GPS: 5.393019, 100.276342

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

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