CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

SPECIAL MALAY CUISINE AT D’DAPOR EXPRESS

Posted by crizlai On May - 29 - 2011

After a disastrous meal at Bahtera Santai Seafood & Ikan Bakar, finally there’s a nice and cozy Malay restaurant with some heritage feels down in the heart of George Town. At least I can have a proper venue to enjoy authentic Malay flavors in a more comfortable environment without the disturbance from some pesky insects. D’Dapor Express is a sophisticated Malay restaurant, located within one of the shop lots in the newly restored 140 years old pre-war building named Logan Building, along the banking district of Lebuh Pantai. Today, the building has been renamed as Logan Heritage and housed an arcade of food & beverage outlets and other retail outlets.

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Presently, D’Dapor Express is promoting its Set Lunch and Set Dinner with Kari Kepala Ikan D’Dapor (D’Dapor Curry Fish Head), Taugeh Tumis Ikan Masin Salted Fish Bean Sprouts), Telur Bawang (Onion Omelette), Ulam-ulaman (Raw Herbs with Sambal) and steamed rice at RM39.90++ (for 2-3 pax) or Kari Kepala Ikan D’Dapor (D’Dapor Curry Fish Head), Ayam Kelasan Malindo (Indonesian Fried Chicken), Taugeh Tumis Ikan Masin (Salted Fish Bean Sprouts), Telur Bawang (Onion Omelette), Ulam-ulaman (Raw Herbs with Sambal) and steamed rice at RM65.90++ (for 4-6 pax).

One of the new sets (RM39.90++ per set) we had tried out inclusive the Kari Kepala Ikan D’Dapor (D’Dapor Curry Fish Head – normal price at RM38++), an all-time favorite amongst the locals. A freshly chosen fish head was carefully prepared with curry spices, chilies, onions, tamarind juice with some dashes of coconut milk, served with sliced eggplants, ladies fingers and tomatoes, with some touches of spring onions and fresh mint leaves as garnishes. This dish was quite similar to the Nyonya style fish curry, without the strong traces of sweet basil (daun kesum) but with the usage of coconut milk. This was quite a reasonably good dish, especially when the dish was served piping hot. Well, the Telur Bawang (Onion Omelette – normal price at RM6.50++) and Kailan Masak Cendawan (Stir Fry Kailan with Mushrooms – normal price at RM8.80++/RM19.80++) were two common dishes you would get anywhere.

The next new set inclusive the Udang Buluh Perindu (Spicy Prawns served in bamboo which in this case it came on a plate – normal price at RM18++/RM27++). The dish came with four juicy prawns cooked in sweet and spicy gravy. The gravy tasted like the Oriental style sweet and sour crab minus the presence of vinegar. There was a strong hint of chili sauce being used in the dish. The Ayam Pandan Berbungkus (Screw Pine Leaves Wrapped Chicken – normal price at RM12.80++/RM22.80++) had some Thai influence with the usage of turmeric powder, ginger, onions and garlic as marinates to the chicken meat chunks, prior to being wrapped in pandan leaves and deep fried. Unfortunately, the marinate time was not enough to let the flavors seeped into the meat. Moreover, the size was rather small for reasonable bites. The Kari Ketam (Flower Crab Curry – normal price at RM25++) was a new addon in the menu. The cooking style again was so much like the Nyonya Masak Lemak Nenas, a spicy and pineapple fruity sweetness curry where seafood such as either some prawns, fish or squids were used as the main ingredient. This dish was rather tasty, considering that the sweetness from the crab has gone right into the gravy.

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Instead of going for the set meals, you can also try out some of the items in their ala carte menu. The Kari Ayam Kampung Melayu (Traditional Malay Chicken Curry – RM12.80++/RM22.80++) was quite tasty. The dish has thick gravy somewhat like the Nyonya Curry Kapitan Chicken minus the strong taste of Kaffir lime leaves. Another dish that would be quite a good appetizer would be the Kerabu Mempelam Tiga Serantai (Mango Salad Trio – RM8.80++/16.50++). The dish used finely sliced raw mango, onions, lemon grass and chilies with a light squeeze of lime juice to pep up the taste. It has a generous amount of crispy satay ikan bilis (deep fried spicy anchovies) and bunga kantan (ginger flower bulb) as garnishes.

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On top of this, there would also be a Buffet High Tea available on weekdays (Monday thru Friday from 3.00pm to 6.00pm). All you need to do is to indulge in any beverages more than RM5+ and you would get to enjoy a free flow of local delicacies. There would also be some quick set lunches on weekdays (with drink) as per shown below:

Monday (RM9.90++):
Set Kari Ayam / Set Ikan Berlada (Fillet) / Set Sotong Kapitan
Tuesday (RM11.90++):
Set Udang Berlada / Set Ikan Berkicap (Fillet) / Set Ikan Asam Pedas
Wednesday (RM12.90++):
Set Ikan Masak Lemak / Set Nasi Lemak D’Dapor / Set Seafood Kapitan
Thursday (RM13.90++):
Set Kari Ketam / Set Sapi Rendang / Set Ayam Berkicap
Friday (RM13.90++):
Set Briyani with Ayam Masak Merah / Ayam Rendang

To get there, just drive all the way along Lebuh Light until you see a roundabout where you would see an stainless steel betel nut structure being displayed there (or Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower) and turn 3’o clock into Lebuh Pantai. Just a few meters away, you would see the Standard Chartered Bank on your right. Turn right into Lebuh Union and you would see the restaurant on your left, right before Maybank Union Street Branch. Unfortunately, they do not have a prominent signage on their entrance yet but you won’t miss it. Parking spaces would be quite ample during off-peak period. If not, you can park in the multi-storey car park after Maybank or the Sri Weld Food Court car park (slightly after Hongkong Bank) along Lebuh Pantai during lunch hours.

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Name: D’DAPOR EXPRESS @ LOGAN HERITAGE BUILDING
Address: 7 Lebuh Union, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-262 9323
Business Hours:
12.00noon – 3.00pm (Lunch)
3.00pm – 6.00pm (Buffet Hi-Tea on weekdays)
6.00pm -10.00pm (Dinner)
GPS: 5.418615, 100.342871

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

THE BEST CHICKEN NASI LEMAK IN TOWN AT RESTORAN SEVEN STAR

Posted by crizlai On October - 10 - 2010

I had written earlier on Nasi Kandar Beratur in the heart of Georgetown, Penang, which got many people grumbling impatiently just to wait for their turn to get their plate of curry rice. Alternatively, out of the many Nasi Kandar shops scattered all over Penang island, I found one that has the same quality, if not better, that would cut down on your waiting time. It’s also located within the heart of Georgetown, Penang, with ample sitting places. It’s called Restoran Seven Star with only another branch in Changlun, Kedah. Just to compare the price of the food served here with Nasi Kandar Beratur (NKB), I ordered the same items. I had a plate of rice (RM1 – a bit more than NKB) with onion omelette (RM1), a chicken thigh (RM3 – NKB cheaper with a full drumstick at only RM4.50), a piece of beef (RM1.50) and 2 steamed lady fingers (60sen) which cost RM7.10 a plate. Although the price here can be considered a bit higher than NKB in term of the chicken pieces, the beef slices served here were indeed bigger, thicker and awesomely more flavorful. On top of that, there were more options here (flower crabs, fish egg, squid eggs, different style of mutton and fish curries. I personally felt that the combination of different curries on the rice here was indeed more heavenly than NKB. You should not miss out their Indian Onion Fried Chicken (RM3 per piece) as it’s extremely tasty with the rich flavors from the deep fried onions and spices.

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What attracted me more to pay them an almost weekly visit was not the Nasi Kandar but their delicious Nasi Lemak Ayam. This restaurant served the best Fried Chicken Nasi Lemak I had tried so far. Every single piece of your choice chicken piece would be fried only upon ordering, while maintaining the juiciness within the meat and the crispiness on the outer layer. Even the normal set of Nasi Lemak (RM2.20), served with peanuts, deep fried anchovies (ikan bilis) and their special sambal sauce would be very tasty. Their hot steaming coconut milk rice (nasi lemak) had the right texture, fragrant and taste. The little chopped ginger that you can find within the rice gave it that extra flavor, which you don’t see in many other nasi lemak stalls. The sambal was just right without being overly spicy. What would be more perfect than having a nice and hot plate of normal Nasi Lemak, topped with a piece of delicious fried chicken (RM3) and an omelette/hard boiled egg (80sen)? It would surely be a fulfilling meal at RM6.00 nett. 🙂

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Finding the restaurant is rather easy as it is situated just at the corner of some new shop houses along Gat Lebuh Macallum, leading to the wholesale dry market and Harbour Trade Centre. If you are coming from the ferry terminal along Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay) towards Jelutong Expressway, just take note of three yellow colored medium cost apartments on your left (Sri Saujana 42A, 42B & 42C). Turn left into Gat Lebuh Macallum just before the traffic lights (Gat Lebuh Macallum/Pengkalan Weld). You can see the corner restaurant at the left side service road. WIFI would be available here and this is a nice place to hang out with friends, provided the weather is fine.

SEVENSTARMAP

Name: RESTORAN SEVEN STAR
Address: 40 Gat Lebuh Macallum, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-263 2580
Opening Hours: 24 hours, 6.00pm-4.00am (Nasi Lemak)
GPS: 5.407748, 100.332871

Kedah Branch:
Address: 4-A-Aked MDKP, Pekan Baru Changlun, 06100 Changlun, Kedah, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-924 1318

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: 8.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 6.5/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

LOCAL AND WESTERN CUISINE AT THE GATE CAFÉ

Posted by crizlai On August - 25 - 2010

Hunting for an early dinner in Taiping, Perak can quite tedious especially those good ones would only operate from 6.30pm onwards. I never had such problem in Penang at any odd hours. LOL! Anyway, after a few failed attempts to locate good hawker food stalls along the Taiping Lake Garden as well as at the Pusat Penjaja Taiping, I ended up at The Gate Café. Initially, I thought it was just another mamak store but upon checking, they have both local and western cuisine in their menu. Better still, all items were at nett price. Cool!

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Since I had a car load of other Taiping local goodies, especially the Huan Chu Leng, I decided to go for a light dinner. We just ordered a set each of Grilled Chicken with BBQ Sauce (RM8.90) and Grilled Chicken with Black Pepper Sauce (RM8.90). To my surprise, the grilled chicken drumstick fillet came out better than my expectation. The surface still had the crispiness from the grilling and the meat was tender and juicy. There was a hint of turmeric being used as marinates. Nice! The BBQ sauce was also great. Although the black pepper sauce was a bit diluted but it was quite flavorful to compliment the grills. Each set came with some greens and potato salad. The potato salad was beautifully prepared too. What a nice change from the usual fries.

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As for beverage, we had Iced Lemon Tea (RM2.50) and Sprite Float Jumbo (RM8.50). Just look at the size of the mug! I was wondering how my friend could gobble up that much liquid mixed with 3 large scoops of Vanilla ice cream. Amazing! Anyway, that drink was a good bargain.

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What amazed me were not the Western dishes but the spread of buffet dishes they have for breaking fast during this Ramadhan Al Mubarak period (16 August – 8 September 2010, 6.30pm-8.30pm). I should have waited to try out those dishes cooked by their Chef Emer, Chef Ahmad and Chef Hassan although driving back to Penang alone with a full stomach might not be a good idea after all. 😛 There was a little corner with all those ulam-ulam (raw vegetables with sambal belacan), Mee Kari Bali, cut fruits, local desserts (kuih-muih), rainbow jelly, cendul and many more. On the other corner were the main dishes with hot steaming rice or Nasi Briyani, Sayur Goreng Buncis Ala Malaysia, Ikan Keli Masak Lomak, Kari Daging Kampung and so on. The menu changes daily with at least another 20 proposed attractive dishes such as Ayam Rendang Trengganu, Daging Arab Utara and Udang Goreng Nestum. It’s only RM18.00 nett (per adult) or RM12.00 (per child). Hmm… maybe I shall visit the café in another visit. Those dishes sure gave out a nice and flavorful aroma.

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If you are driving in through the Simpang highway, go all the way up the flyover until you see a “Y” junction (Masjid India Jalan Kota). Turn right into Jalan Kota and drive all the way until you see Public Bank on your right. Turn right into the junction before the bank (Jalan Sultan Abdullah) and drive all the way pass a cross junction (Jalan Sultan Abdullah/Jalan Panggung Wayang). From here you can see Pusat Penjaja Taiping (Chu Chang Ka/樹下) on your right and Taiping Studio on your left. The Gate Café is just below the Taiping Studio at the cross junction between Jalan Sultan Abdullah/Jalan Maharajalela. There would be ample free parking spaces behind the building. For your information, if you turn left into Jalan Maharajalela, it would lead you directly to the Taiping Lake Garden/Taiping Zoo.

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Name: THE GATE CAFE
Shop Address: 33 Jalan Maharajalela, 34000 Taiping, Perak, Malaysia.
Contact: 05-805 7748
Opening Hours: 9.00am – 12.00am
GPS: 4.85038, 100.74421

RATING:
Ambience: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 6.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

EXPLORING INTO THE HEART OF KUALA JURU FISHING VILLAGE

Posted by crizlai On March - 7 - 2009

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Ever since my adventurous trip to Pulau Aman to discover the wonderful and tasty Mee Udang (Prawn Noodles), I have been yearning for the similar dish, if not the best, which would be much nearer to Penang island. Eventually after much searching around, I found a place right within mainland Penang – Kuala Juru, the river mouth of Juru. Located next to Persatuan Nelayan Kawasan Seberang Perai Kuala Juru Jetty, lies a quiet and scenic restaurant by the name of Restoran Nelayan Kuala Juru. This place served fresh and delicious seafood dishes. Let me start by recommending the food here prior to introducing other aspects which also did amaze me.

Coming so far away from the island, I would surely try out their seafood dishes rather than the Malay cuisine which they do also serve. They have Mee Udang (Prawn Noodles) and Mee Ketam (Flower Crab Noodles). Instead of having a plate of both, I had the mixed version with two fresh large prawns and a flower crab in halves. All for RM6!!! That’s real cheap considering the size of the prawns and crab although the noodles were a bit too little for my consumption.

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The broth with ingredients such as smashed garlic, chillies, cabbage, onion and a hint of tomato puree combined with the sweetness of the fresh seafood was superb. The prawns and flower crab were so fresh that I wanted to order more. I even bought home a few packets and my parents sipped everything until the last drop. You could imagine how delicious the noodles were. It’s a must try for all seafood noodle lovers.

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Since I was still a bit full with the 5.30am Char Koay Teow breakfast, I managed to try out the second dish which was the Nasi Goreng Udang. Most stalls that I had been to would just fried rice with a few medium sized prawns. The way the restaurant served the dish was totally different. It came with a plate of fried rice which was quite normal to me but the spicy large prawns curry was a real surprise. It may look like it would be a fiery dish from the look of the color but it was not chili hot at all. The thick gravy which consist some freshly grounded spices was very appetizing to be taken with the fried rice. I have a feeling that they did add in some belacan (prawn paste) to have that fragrant and delicious taste. This set was also priced at RM6.

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In case you might want to find out what else they have in this restaurant, you can click and enlarge the attached menu below.

MENU

**** UPDATED 15 MARCH 2009 ****

It was only during the 2nd visit to this restaurant did I know that the prawns used were neither green prawns nor tiger prawns. It was another species that I had never heard of or common in our wet markets. These prawns are called Udang Rotan (Cane Prawns as translated). They are the same family with the tiger prawns but with a harder shell. No matter what species they are, they sure tasted better than fresh water prawns.

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On top of the above fried rice and noodles, we also tried out their Nasi Goreng Padprik (Padprik Fried Rice – RM4). The cook sure knew how to use the stove well as the fried rice has the required grainy texture and the high heat cooking was just right. The accompanied stir fry mixed vegetables with fresh squids in some spicy tomato gravy combined well with the fried rice. You should check this dish out.

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**** END UPDATE ****

Although there are two more such restaurants at Sungai Sembilang and another three restaurants along Jalan Kuala Juru, I like this restaurant the most. Not only was I amazed by the great food and simplicity of the village folks, it’s also a heaven for nature photographers. You just won’t know what you would expect to find along your way to your gastronomic destination. I had seen a few stray otters playfully along the swampy area, a monitor lizard by the roadside, a Haliaeetus leucogaster (white bellied sea eagle) soaring the sky seeking its prey, a low flying stork, hungry looking stray cats and many other unique looking shell fish such as the Horseshoe Crab/King crab along the river banks.

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One main type of shell fish that you would see here would be the cockles. Kuala Juru is one the many areas in Malaysia that harvests and processes cockles for distribution to the local markets. It was indeed an eye-opening experience to see how cockles were in their original state and the processes to get them clean. I managed to catch the whole action on camera and would like to share with you. As the cockles arrived in sampans, they had that dirty and muddy look mixed with lots of rubbish. After they had been put into a rotating machine that filters out the mud, tiny objects and other dead shells with a constant spray of clean water, they would end up at section where larger objects would be filtered out. Towards the end of the process, these cleaned cockles would be packed in large nylon sacks to be distributed to the local markets. The steps may look simple but it did involve a lot of manpower.

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It would be easier to reach the restaurant if you know your way to Auto City. As you come to the Juru Interchange, you would pass through 3 traffic lights to reach Auto City. At the last traffic light at the T-junction (McDonald’s), turn left and drive all the way up Jalan Perusahaan/Jalan Tok Kangar until you have reach a traffic light at Jalan Juru (Map A), turn right into Jalan Juru (Juru Villa Show House) and drive all the way until the end. You would pass through a few sign boards of the district on your left namely Kampung Sekolah Juru (Map B), Bagan Nyior (Map C), and a sign board showing direction to Sungai Sembilang and Kuala Juru (Map D). At the T-junction (Map E), turn right and drive all the way to Kuala Juru (Map F). You would reach a playground not far away (Map G). Find a parking space there as the restaurant is just opposite the playground. You can click to enlarge the two maps below for a clearer direction.

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Name: RESTORAN NELAYAN KUALA JURU
Address: Persatuan Nelayan Unit Kuala Juru, MK12, SPT, 14100 Bukit Mertajam, Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 12.00noon-11.00pm (Closed Tuesday)
Contact: 012-567 2423, 019-549 7134, 017-446 7194
GPS: 5.340084, 100.408500

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: 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)

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.

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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)

RELAXING MYSELF AT JJ CAFE

Posted by Criz Lai On January - 9 - 2009

Note: This restaurant has ceased operation. In its place is a seafood restaurant. Will review them soon.

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I had just realized that I have been in quite an adventurous trend for the past few weeks visiting restaurants by the beach or on an island within the Penang areas. This time it was a combination of both. I was by the beach watching the scenic view of the Penang Bridge while being opposite an island – Pulau Jerejak. LOL! Although this cool “more than a year in business” restaurant named JJ Café is within the premise of the Penang island jetty to Pulau Jerejak and near to the Queensbay Shopping Mall, not many people knew about its existence. Most would just assume this Malay restaurant as part of the jetty. The restaurant’s patrons were still guests and visitors to the nearby Pulau Jerejak Resort & Spa and some workers within the surrounding areas. I would just show you some clips of how relaxing this place could be after a hard day’s work.

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Don’t expect to get all the traditional Malay cooking in this restaurant as it merely served some light meals and finger food. Who’s to complain when the most expensive dish in the menu would cost you only RM6 and it is tax-free. I was there to find some inspirations and to relax mentally and physically on a few occasions and managed to collect some shots to share with my readers. The drinks served there were big and cheap. The thick Iced Milo was only RM2.10. Iced Black Tea was at RM1.70, whereas Can Drinks would be at RM2 each (with ice cubes).

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There would light meals such as the Nasi Lemak (steamed coconut milk rice – RM4) served with chicken curry, potato slices, half an egg, peanuts, fried anchovies and some cucumber slices. The rice was cooked in a different way and did not have the strong taste of coconut milk (santan). The chicken curry did not contain any santan as well. Overall, it was cheap but tasted just average.

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The Curry Noodles (RM4) tasted better as the soup base had all the natural ingredients in it but it could be real tongue burning for some. The dish came with some yellow noodles, lots of baby cockles, some cubes of fish cakes & balls, chicken slices, vegetables and half an egg. It had the spiciness that I love. Argh! Bring me more water please! 😛

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As I had mentioned earlier, the most expensive item would be the Chicken Lasagna (RM6). It had some layers of lasagna pasta with some tomato puree based minced chicken meat in between. Somehow the dish lacked the taste of mixed crushed herbs such as oregano, thyme, garlic, etc. On top of that, the serving was small with only a slice of tomato and some lettuce as garnishes.

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As tea time prior to my dinner appointment, I ordered some Roti Bakar Double (toasted bread slices with coconut jam and butter – RM2) as snacks. Although it was nice and cheap to have as tea, I still prefer my kaya (coconut jam) to have more eggy taste in it.

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I also ordered some Chicken Samosa (RM3) to try out. The popiah (spring roll) skin was crunchy but somehow there were more spicy potatoes inside then chicken meat. I guessed they would have over minced their chicken to have that meaty mouthful bite.

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Overall, JJ Café would be a great place to hang out with friends for a drink but the food quality has to be improvised and improved further. I found that not all the dishes had the required herbs and spices as I would have expected from a Malay establishment.

It would be easier to reach the restaurant if use the Jelutong/Bayan Lepas Expressway. Just follow the direction towards Queensbay Mall. Drive on until you see an overhead pass when nearing the mall. Watch out for a signboard (as shown below) to Pulau Jererak Resort & Spa. Turn left into the road and drive until the T-junction. Turn right and drive on a bit more and you will see the jetty on your left. JJ Café is within its premise.

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JJACAFEMAP

Name: JJ CAFE
Address: 1 MK13 Daerah Timur Laut, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 012-401 2779 (Azhar), 017-553 2105 (Zamani)
Opening Hours: 3.00pm-11.00pm (Closed Monday)
GPS: 5.342083, 100.311763

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: 6/10 (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)

ROSLI NASI AYAM @ LORONG KULIT

Posted by Criz Lai On November - 14 - 2008

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The Malay version of chicken rice is totally different compared to the Hainanese Chicken Rice. Instead of roasting with some sauce on the outer layer of the chicken, they would coat the chicken pieces with a thin layer of batter and deep fried them until they become crispy. One of the nicer ones which I had recently was from a stall within the surrounding of the Penang City Stadium along Lorong Kulit. The stall has been there since 1995, serving their yummy chicken rice to all walks of people. The name of the stall is Rosli Nasi Ayam.

You have a choice of ordering the different parts of the chicken meat but as for me I would always like to have the chicken thigh. The Chicken Rice set will come with a large bowl of rice and a bowl of soup and it only cost me RM3.50. Surprisingly, the meat within the crispiness of the batter still maintained its tenderness and was very delicious.

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As for photography purposes, I requested for the specially prepared soy sauce and chili sauce to be separated. The rice which is fragrant and not dry at all also came with a bowl of chicken soup garnished with some sliced lettuce and fried onions.

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If you are driving from Georgetown towards Air Itam along Jalan Dato Kramat, you will reach a traffic light (The Patani Road Police Headquarter is on your left). Drive on until you have reached the second traffic light (Padang Brown is on your right). Drive on until you see another traffic light (Maybank is on your left). Turn left into Lorong Kulit and you will see the stall at the junction of Lorong Kulit and Persiaran Stadium. This place is where the City Stadium is and has a flea market from as early as 8.00am until 1.00pm.

ROSLINASIAYAMMAP

Name: ROSLI NASI AYAM @ LORONG KULIT
Address: Lorong Kulit, 10460 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 8.00am – 3.00pm
Contact: 016-433 2517 (Kak Min)
GPS: 5.412817, 100.313233

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: 8/10 (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)

RESTORAN AZIZAH (RESTORAN MAK LONG)

Posted by Criz Lai On November - 8 - 2008

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If you are in Georgetown area, you could always try out the kampung style cooking at Restoran Azizah, a subsidiary restaurant of the famous Restoran Mak Long in Bayan Lepas. This little Malay restaurant serves quite a variety of Malay dishes with rice at a very reasonable price. Some of the vegetable dishes would be as low as RM3.00, whereas fish would be charged according to market price. If you do not want to have rice with dishes, you could always order their fried rice and noodles which won’t cost you more than RM4, unless you order their special which would be RM1 additional.

Here are some of the dishes I had tried out in this restaurant. The Tom Yam Udang or Prawn Tom Yam (RM4) has 6 medium sized prawns, some fresh mushrooms and tomatoes. The dish was quite tasty and appetizing to start the meal.

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Next was the Sotong Goreng or Squid Fritters (RM4). The flour used was of a different kind. They were using plain flour which did not give the crunchiness I had expected. That was quite a disappointment.

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Sayur Campur or Mixed Vegetables (RM3.50) was next. Nothing to fuss or boast about as they did give quite a lot of squid slices there.

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I also tried out their Telur Bungkus or Wrapped Omelette with Minced Chicken (RM4). There were quite a lot of minced chicken, chopped onions and mixed vegetables cooked with a touch of tomato puree wrapped inside the omelette. This dish is normal but at least the filling and the omelette blended in quite nicely.

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As I saw many customers ordered their set fried rice, I decided to try out their Nasi Goreng Padprik Ayam or Padprik Chicken Fried Rice (RM4). I was impressed by the generous amount of chicken meat and vegetables given, considering the amount I had paid. As for the taste, it was a new experience as the gravy from the dishes blended in very nicely with the fried tomato rice.

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I was chatting with the person-in-charge of the restaurant on what were the most ordered dishes in the restaurant. He recommended me the above fried rice as well as the Nasi Goreng Special (RM5) which has a few more seafood added in. Maybe I can try that next time.

If you are coming from Jalan Penang into Jalan Burma, keep to your right and turn into the second road on your right which is Jalan Transfer. Drive on until you have reached the third junctions on your left (Jalan Dinding). That’s where the restaurant is located. You can always park your car along Jalan Dinding.

AZIZAHMAP

Name: RESTORAN AZIZAH (RESTORAN MAK LONG)
Address: 162, Jalan Transfer, 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 4.00pm – 1.30am
Contact: 604-641 4450 (Restoran Mak Long)
GPS: 5.419714, 100.330077

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

CIFU OMAR HOKKIEN MEE

Posted by Criz Lai On October - 30 - 2008

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As a Penangite, most Chinese would go for non-halal Hokkien Mee where the soup is pork based. Have you tried the Malay version of the Hokkien Mee (Mee Udang) before? There is this old house along Jalan Tanjung Tokong selling this yummy hawker delight solely manned by Pakcik Omar. There would always be endless stream of customers from all different races patronizing this stall on weekdays. Well, they would only open their business for 3 hours from 11.00am until 2.00pm daily except weekends.

The taste of the soup is different as it is chicken based. Moreover, it has the sweet taste of rock sugar and prawns. Even the color of the chili paste looked so mild and yet can be real fiery to taste. You can choose your noodles to be either koay teow, bee hoon, yellow mee or mixed. You also have choices of the meat to be either chicken, beef or mixed. My friend tried out the mixed koay teow and mee Chicken Hokkien Mee (RM3.30). The dish came with lots of chicken meat, some crab sticks, prawns, eggs and chicken gizzards. The serving was large.


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I ordered the mixed Chicken and Beef Hokkien Mee (RM3.30). The ingredients are the same as the above but with additional tender beef slices. The dish was great.

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They also do serve Fried Chicken Legs Stew. The taste is totally different compared to those sold in Chinese stalls where those chicken legs were stewed with garlic, dark soy sauce, soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and sugar. The one sold here has ginger, carrot, mushrooms and dried chillies. Although I prefer the Chinese version more, who would complain paying just RM1 for 4 large pieces of chicken legs here? It’s dirt cheap!

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Just drive along Jalan Tanjung Tokong until you have reached the Island Plaza traffic lights. Turn right and then turn left into the service road where the Desa Tanjung shoplots are. Find a parking and walk towards the end of the shoplots. You would see an old house between Desa Tanjung and Ubi Food Court. That’s where the Malay Hokkien Mee stall is.

CIFUOMARMAP

Name: CIFU OMAR HOKKIEN MEE
Address: Jalan Tanjung Tokong, 11200 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 11.00am – 2.00pm (Closed Saturday & Sunday)
GPS: 5.451883, 100.305992

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

DEE TOM YAM

Posted by Criz Lai On October - 22 - 2008

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I must admit that I have been going to so many Chinese stir fry restaurants and hawker stalls in Penang that I tend to have overlooked on the Malay stir fry stalls. In fact, some of these stalls can provide food as delicious as any of the food stalls out there. Hidden within the compound of Farlim’s apartment, Block 1B, is a small Malay stall providing cheap, good and yet delicious Malay cuisine. Although it has no signage on the stall, it runs the business by the name of Dee Tom Yam. At times, you can see patrons of all races queuing up to order his delicious food. The wonderful thing about this place is that you can opt to sit inside the coffee shop (Huat Huat) or relax yourself on the field between the two blocks of apartments.

You can either order dishes to be taken with rice or simply ask the boss to cook up some fried/soup rice or noodles items for your meal. The menu list is not long but it is good enough for a simple meal. What else would you expect as nothing in the menu (except fish based on market price) costs more than RM4.50? You could easily order Masak Pedas Daging (Stir Fry Spicy Beef), Tom Yam Udang (Prawn Tom Yam) and Kangkong Belacan (Fried Shrimp Paste Water Spinach) for just RM10. Rice would be at RM1 each plate.

As I did not have to crowd to test out all the dishes, I managed to order his Nasi Goreng Ikan Masin (Salted Fish Fried Rice) at RM3.50. The combination was great as it did not contain the overpowering taste of the salted fish and the rice maintained its softness. Moreover, there are a lot of vegetables and squid slices in the dish.


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Dee’s Nasi Pattaya (RM4) was great too. The portion for the dish was large. The fried rice was beautifully wrapped in a thin layer of omelette and garnished decoratively with some chili sauce. By tearing open the omelette, you could smell the fragrance emitted from it. The rice was tastefully fried with mixed vegetables and prawns.

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This is again another maze as I could not locate any road name to this place but you can always ask around the Farlim (Bandar Baru Air Itam) residents where Block 1B is located. If you are coming from the main road at Jalan Air Itam into Farlim (Jalan Thean Teik), you would pass by one traffic light until you reach a crossroad traffic light (Block 7A is on your left). Turn right into Lebuhraya Thean Teik. Keep to your right and turn into the first road on your right (Jalan Ru 1). You can see Block 1B on your right. Turn into the small lane and try to find a parking space. The stall is just next to a Chinese temple and directly opposite Huat Huat Coffee Shop at the corner of the field.

DEEMAP

Name: DEE TOM YAM @ HUAT HUAT COFFEE SHOP
Address:
Block 1B (off Jalan Ru 1), Bandar Baru Air Itam, 10500 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 017-554 8089 (Encik Dee)
Opening Hours: 4.00pm – 12.00am (Closed Alternate Thursday)
GPS: 5.392530, 100.282383

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

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About Me

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

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