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NEW FLAVORS OF MOONCAKES FROM LEONG YIN PASTRY

Posted by crizlai On August - 26 - 2016

With more than 40 years of mooncake making experiences behind the name, Leong Yin Pastry had again impressed many with their innovations of flavors for their mooncakes this year. Their 2016 Mooncakes Series (RM19.93nett each) would consist of Gridelin Mellow (金芋满堂) – Custard Paste with Lotus Paste, Ardent Rhapsody (菊花台) – Chrysanthemum Pur Erh with Red Dates Paste, Aurulent Lavish (南洋风味) – Gula Melaka with Honey White Lotus Paste, Scarlet Missive (踏雪寻梅) – Cranberry Longan Paste and Wholesome Chocolate Macadamia with Chips (小巧玲珑).

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Overall, Leong Yin Pastry’s mooncakes are to my liking as all the fillings had subtle sweetness which was quite suitable for all ages, especially over some unsweetened and non-dairy hot beverages.

On top of coming out with good old traditional and fusion mooncakes, Leong Yin Pastry is also the top supplier of mooncake paste to many branded companies locally and internationally. Who could resist the temptation of being spoiled with over 200 types of choices?

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If you are not into mooncakes, you can also opt for their quality assured Moon Biscuits aka Doll Biscuit and Pineapple Biscuits during this Mid Autumn Festival 2016. Those 600g of Special Mixed Nuts Moon Biscuits (RM45.53) could be such a killer during tea breaks.

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With the success in gaining HALAL standards accreditation and others such as HACCP, GMP, ISO22000:2005 Food Safety Management System certification as well as the MeSTI certification, the products are now sold worldwide which includes Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brunei, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippine, USA, Australia, UK and Middle East. You can find their products being sold at some of the major malls throughout Malaysia such as at Gurney Plaza, Gurney Paragon, Gama, Sunshine Bayan Baru, Sunshine Farlim, M Mall O2O Penang, Sunway Carnival Mall, Pacific Megamall, Pacific Taiping Mall, Aeon Bukit Mertajam Alma, Aeon Kinta City, Aeon Queensbay Mall, Aeon Mall Taiping, CMart Aman Jaya Sungai Petani, CMart Simpang Empat Tambun, Sungai Petani Center Mall, Alor Setar Mall and The Store Kampar Road Ipoh. Do click on the photos below to check out the varieties available for this year.

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Leong Yin Pastry would also produce around 200 different flavors and combinations of mooncake paste. If you are interested, you could always pay them a visit at their HQ at 71, 73 & 82 Jalan Patani in Penang or call in +604-229 2943. They are also the supplier for their established Sang Yoon brand of noodles.

 

Diners would get the opportunity to dine in Foodcaller (富一碗) @ Queensbay Mall which had relocated from Bukit Mertajam, Penang. Though being at the currect venue for merely few months old, the management had gone through many years of R&D to come out with a menu that would be economical yet tasty for its diners. Located at Level 3 (North Zone) of Queens Street @ Queensbay Mall, Foodcaller promises to bring in exciting arrays of ramen and dumpling for every diner with a twist in adding in local flavors. Since the restaurant is still quite new, all prices would be nett, without GST and service charges.

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Let us have a look at the variety of dumplings available at Foodcaller. They have the Steamed Dumplings (RM6.70 [3pcs] / RM10.90 [5pcs] / RM19.90 [10pcs]), Salted Eggs Baked Dumplings (RM13.90 [5pcs] / RM25.50 [10pcs]) and Pan-Fried Dumplings (RM7.50 [5pcs] / RM11.50 [10pcs]). Though all the dumplings were nice with juicy bites, my personal favorite was the Salted Eggs Baked Dumplings. Somehow, the slightly crunchy skin plus the juicy filling, combined with the sandy saltiness from the added salted egg yolk attributed to the uniqueness of the dumplings.

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We were introduced to some of their recommended ramen dishes, starting with their Braised Pork Pickled Dry Ramen (RM16.70), served with a complimentary bowl of soup. I’m impressed with the texture of the ramen noodles which were al dente to my liking. As for the braised pork, the meat pieces were tender with just the right combination of flavors. The addition of the soft center hard-boiled egg was a bonus as the oozy yolk indeed made the ramen creamier to consume.

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We also tried out their Signature Ramen with Homemade Dumplings (RM15.90). Basically, the filling and taste for all the dumplings were the same as those steamed one. However, what amazed me more was on the broth for the ramen which was filled with rich and creamy flavors. According to the chef, the broth had gone through the process of slow simmering for 7 hours before being extracted. The broth might not be as tasty as from those authentic Japanese restaurants with some “hidden ingredients” but it was good enough for my personal consumption. Again~ I could not get enough of the heavenly prepared soft center hard-boiled egg~ 😛

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Another of their signature dish was the Japanese Chashu Signature Ramen (RM16.90). Basically, the taste was the same as the Signature Ramen with Homemade Dumplings with the dumplings being replaced with slices of Japanese style chashu (braised rolled pork belly). However, I personally felt that chashu should be braised a bit longer as it did not have the melt-in-the-mouth experience as I had tried elsewhere. Moreover, I also felt that the kitchen should garnish the dish with some blended black sesame oil to pep up this dish further.

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For Teppanyaki dishes, each main dish would be served with a bowl of hot steaming fragrant rice topped with some minced meat, some stir fried cabbages with dried chilies, an omelette, a bowl of soup. The portions served were rather large and would be great for diners with great appetite. We tried out 3 options such as the Chef Bean Sauce Fish Teppanyaki (RM18.70), Sour Sambal Curry Prawns Teppanyaki (RM17.80) and Garlic Roast Pork Teppanyaki (RM19.80). Though each main dish had its own unique flavors my liking, I would still chose the Sour Sambal Curry Prawns Teppanyaki as my favorite set due to its aromatic yet generously portioned prawns which indeed was an appetite booster.

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For tomyam lovers, you would be in for a great surprise as Foodcaller has 2 great dishes to tempt your craving. Firstly, we tried out their Tomyam Seafood Fried Ramen (RM18.90) and it impressed all of us as the aromatic yet fragrant flavors of the tomyum indeed seeped into each strain of the ramen and at the moment it was filled with the wok hei (high heat cooking) to my liking. Moreover, it was a heavenly plate of ramen with generous amount of prawns, squids and scallops~ I sure would want to order this dish during my next visit.

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However, for the Tomyam Grilled Chicken Ramen (RM17.90), it could somewhat be a love-hate relationship for some diners. The broth had almost the Southern Thailand’s style of tomyam which was rich, creamy and yet sweet but only with mild sourness. It could be a bit on the sweeter side for some.

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One of the latest additions to the menu was the Hot-Stone Noodles Series (Mixed – RM33.20, Sliced Pork – RM23.50, Fresh Scallop – RM26.70 and King Prawns – RM30.80) with various options and add-ons. The hot-stone dish was served with a basket of flat broad noodles (hor fun), garnished with Chinese Kale (kailian). Either you can pour the noodles into the hot-stone bowl or you pour the soup over the noodles. My advice would be the latter as it would prevent the noodles from getting over soggy with the highly heated broth in the bowl. Please note that you have to pour in the soup as soon as the dish has been served on your table as the broth would evaporate quite fast. Additional request for the broth would be chargeable. The richness and sweetness of the broth was something you just can’t enough of as it has been slow simmered for over 10 hours to extract the natural sweetness from the bones. I’ve never seen or heard of Hot-Stone Noodles before and this could well be the only restaurant serving it this way in Malaysia.

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There are quite a number of hot and cold beverages you could choose from such as those below.

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Overall, the quality of the dishes served here were quite good, comparing to some of those other eateries within the same complex. Price wise, it might be a bit over average for diners but you can be assured of the quality of the food. However, Foodcaller has many ongoing promotions to help you save up more. Do check out their daily promotions (T&C: for FB & WeChat users only) as well as tea time special (not valid on public holidays).

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For more items from the menu, you can view the slides below:

Upon entering the main entrance of Queensbay Mall (Central Zone), turn right and walk towards the North Zone (J.Co, Morganfield, T.G.I. Friday’s, Maybank, etc). Take the escalator to Level 3 and walk towards the Queens Street area. You can see Foodcaller on your right, taking over the former shop lot of Okomen Japanese Restaurant, in between Curry House Coco Ichibanya and Golden Triangle Thai Restaurant.

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Name: FOODCALLER (富一碗)
Address: 3F-03A, Queens Street, Level 3, North Zone, Queensbay Mall, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-638 6602
Business Hours: 11.00am-10.00pm (Last order 9.30pm)
GPS: 5.335052, 100.306708
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/foodcaller/

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

 

The concept behind Granny’s Country Kitchen (娘家傳統手工面) is simple. They just want you to relax and enjoy yourself with their home style dishes without the hassles of going into the kitchen to prep up dishes yourself. There are quite a variety of selections from their menus which may include some different set meal packages as well as handmade noodles.

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The first set option would be one main dish, one bowl of rice, one soup of the day, 2 side dishes of your choice and a glass of herbal drink, all for RM10.90nett. There are 5 main dishes for you to choose such as Fried Chicken (香酥雞), Fried Garlic Pork (蒜香炸肉), Sesame Oil Chicken (麻油雞腿), Hakka Pork Leg (客家豬腳) and Secret Sauce Chicken (秘汁雞). Somehow, the Fried Garlic Pork could be quite addictive. The more you munch on the crispy pork slices, the more you yearn for them. Another dish that I quite like was their Hakka Pork Leg, braised until tender and yet filled with the flavors of yesteryears. Alternatively, you can go for their Sesame Oil Chicken which was mild enough for anyone.

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The next set option would consist of one main dish, one bowl of rice, 1 side dish of your choice and free flow of Chinese tea, all for RM9.90nett. There are also 5 options in this set menu such as Sauteed Sliced Pork (姜葱炒肉片), Secret Sauce Chicken (秘汁雞), Pineapple Sweet & Sour Fish (鳳梨酸甜魚肉片), Salted Vegetables Tofu Soup (鹹菜豆腐豬雜湯) and Sour Plum Chicken Soup (梅子雞湯). One signature dish that’s available in both sets is actually the Secret Sauce Chicken. The dish has its own unique gingery sour flavors that’s unlike any ordinary oyster/mushroom sauce used. The highlight of the set would definitely go to the Sour Plum Chicken Soup. Somehow, the perfect combination of the salty and sourness indeed boost up my appetite.

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For the set menus above, there are about 4 side dishes daily (upon availability) for you to choose from. There could be dishes such as stir fry bok choy, braised fried bean curd, stir fry spicy eggplants, stir fry pumpkin with dried shrimps, fried wanton, etc.

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As for noodles, there are 3 set options all at RM7.90nett/bowl with an additional bowl of soup, namely Clear Soup Handmade Noodles (清湯手工面), Minced Pork Handmade Noodles (肉碎手工面) and Spicy Handmade Noodles (麻辣手工面). For spicy food lovers, you should try out their Spicy Handmade Noodles. Not only were the textures of the noodles having the al dente to my liking, the combination of the sauce was superb to my liking.

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For drink wise, there are a few home brews, notably their Homemade Lime & Dried Plum Juice (RM4.00nett – also locally known as 932 in coffee shops).

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You can also check out with them on other items that might be available for the day such as Pineapple Sweet & Sour Chicken Rice (RM8.00nett), Stir Fry Fish Fillet with Bean Paste (RM18.00nett), Traditional Loh Bak (RM5.00nett), Fried Wanton (RM6.00nett), Handmade Dumpling Soup (RM8.00nett), Spicy Century Eggs (RM6.00nett) and more.

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Overall, I quite like their dishes here as the taste of some of the dishes could be quite similar to those you would have in China, especially on how they would prepare certain spicy condiments with various types of imported chilies to suit each dishes. Please be pre-warned that some of the dishes could be quite pungent for the palate of some diners.

As you come into Jalan Rangoon via Jalan Burma, just watch out for Granny’s Country Kitchen on your left just right after Tong Yan Travel & Tours almost towards the end of the road. Parking can be quite troublesome during certain peak hours throughout the day. If you can’t find a parking space, I would advise you to park opposite along Lebuh Nanning and walk over to the restaurant.

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Name: GRANNY’S COUNTRY KITCHEN (娘家傳統手工面)
Address: 77 Jalan Rangoon, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-218 9592
Business Hours: 11.30am-3.00Pm, 6.00pm-10.00pm (Closed Sunday)
GPS: 5.416995, 100.324038

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

 

STIR FRY CHICKEN & MUSHROOM NOODLES WITH TOMATO SWIRLS

Posted by crizlai On August - 2 - 2012

At one time of our lives, we might have taken instant noodles in whatever form, whether they were in packet form or in a cup. Why don’t we make it a bit more interesting by adding in some ingredients to make it more appetizing? Let me share with you my STIR FRY CHICKEN & MUSHROOMS NOODLES WITH TOMATO SWIRLS recipe. This dish has balanced fragrant flavors with a tad of sourness from the tomato swirls to boost up any appetite.

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INGREDIENTS:
6 pcs instant noodles
250gms chicken breast meat (thinly slice, marinate with a bit soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil)
10 dried Shitake mushrooms (soaked, drain, slice thinly & marinate with ginger juice, a bit soy sauce, a pinch of sugar, pepper and sesame oil)
1 thumb size young ginger (grate & juice)
1 carrot (fine julienne)
1 stalk spring onions (cut into 1” length, leave some finely chopped ones for garnishing)
1 clove garlic (finely chop)
2 eggs
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
3 tbsp oyster sauce
Soy sauce
Sesame Oil
Oil
Sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
Sambal belacan (optional)

SAMBAL BELACAN RECIPE:
3 fresh red chilies (remove seeds & cut into chunks)
2 tsp belacan (shrimp paste) granules
1-2 limes (juice)
Pound the red chilies until small bits, add in the belacan granules. Add in lime juice when serve.

GARNISHES:
Spring onions (finely chop)
Red chilies (optional)
Deep fried shallots (optional)
Tomato swirls

PREPARATIONS:
• Beat up the eggs with the tomato ketchup, some sprinkles of pepper, a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil.
• Heat up your pan (18-20cm pan) and fry the beaten eggs in 2 batches.
• Roll the cooked eggs up tightly and leave aside.
• Heat up a pot of water and cook the instant noodles until you get the al dente required. Drain well.
• In a wok, heat up 4 tablespoons of oil and sauté the chopped garlic until brown.
• Put 3/4 of the sauteed garlic and oil onto the cooked noodles, together with the oyster sauce, one tablespoon of sesame oil, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and some sprinkles of pepper. Mix thoroughly.
• Heat up the remaining oil in the wok and sauté the marinated mushroom, slices until brown. Scoop out.
• Add in some more oil and sauté the chicken until cook. Add in the cooked mushroom and mix well. Scoop out.
• Add some oil and saute the carrots for about 2 minutes.
• Add in the seasoned noodles and mix well.
• Pour in the mixed chicken and mushrooms and mix thoroughly. Add in pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
• Add in the 1” cut spring onions and give it a stir or two.
• Scoop up the noodles onto a serving plate and garnish with some chopped spring onions, sliced chilies and some thinly sliced tomato swirls.
• Serve hot.

(Serves: 3-4)

YOU CAN CHECK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES.

 

STIR FRY SPICY LOBSTER NOODLES

Posted by crizlai On July - 30 - 2012

My friend recently presented me with a frozen Boston lobster and I thought why not I cook it the Oriental way instead of the normal Western cheesy bake. The dish turned out to be amazingly tasty with a mild tad of spiciness. It’s not hard at all to pep up a noodle dish with the lobster. Let me share with you my STIR FRY SPICY LOBSTER NOODLES recipe.

Since lobsters do not have much flesh for the consumption of more than a pax, I have added in some prawns, meat and fish cakes to make the bulk. Each individual added items gave the noodles superb flavors.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 Boston lobster (about 800gms – brush to clean it well)
1.5L water
300gms young morning glory/kangkung (pluck the leaves only)
200gms bean sprouts (remove roots if possible)
200gms lean meat (thinly slice, marinate with a bit soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil)
300gms medium sized prawns (peel and remove vein, marinate with a bit soy sauce, pepper and a pinch of sugar)
1 cup lobster stock
1 cup meat stock
2-3 pieces of fish cake (slice thinly)
3 shallots (slice)
1 clove garlic (finely chop)
7-8 tsp chili boh (refer below for recipe)
600gms yellow noodles (wash away the lye water in running water)
Soy sauce
Sesame Oil
Oil
Salt & pepper to taste

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INGREDIENTS FOR CHILI BOH:
In case you can’t get the ready blended chili paste, just blend all the ingredients below with a bit of water. Freeze the balance until needed.
20gms dried chilies (remove seed, soak in hot water for 10minutes, drain)
4 fresh red chilies (remove seed & cut into chunks)
1/2 tsp salt

GARNISHES:
4 sticks crabsticks (cut into strips, deep fried until crispy)
1 stalk spring onions (finely chop)
Iceberg lettuce (optional)
Lobster shell (brush some oil on the hot boiled lobster to maintain the shiny shell)

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PREPARATIONS:
• Heat up the 1.5L water in a wok on MEDIUM-HIGH heat and add in 1 tsp of salt.
• When the water boils, put in the lobster and cook for about 12-15 minutes.
• Remove the lobster and apply some oil on the shell to maintain the shining red color.
• Take out the lobster flesh and cut into bite chunks.
• Sift the boiled stock to be used later.
• Heat up 2 tablespoons of oil, add in the chopped garlic and stir fry until fragrant.
• Add in 1 teaspoon of chili boh and fry until fragrant.
• Pour in the prawns and stir fry until curl. Do not overcook it. Scoop up and cut the prawns into halves. Stir fry again until they are in twisted curls. Add in the boiled lobster flesh and sliced fish cakes. Stir evenly. Scoop up and leave aside.
• Add in another 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 teaspoon of chili boh, the sliced meat and stir fry until cook.
• In the same wok, add in some more oil and saute the sliced shallot until golden brown.
• Add in 4-5 teaspoons of chili boh (depends on your spicy level) and stir fry until fragrant.
• Pour in the cups of lobster and meat stock and let it boil.
• Add in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, a pinch of salt and a light sprinkle of pepper to taste.
• When the soup boils, add in the morning glory, noodles and stir thoroughly until the soup almost dry.
• Add in the bean sprouts and stir until translucent.
• Add in the cooked items such as the lobster flesh, prawns, meat and fish cake. Stir mix thoroughly.
• Scoop up the noodles onto a serving plate. Garnish with some deep fried crabsticks and chopped spring onions.
• Serve hot.

(Serves: 3-4)

Enjoy your appetizing noodles~ Good Luck!

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YOU CAN CHECK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES.

 

A SIMPLE MEAL AT KHAM KEE BEEF NOODLES STALL IN PENANG

Posted by crizlai On April - 17 - 2012

For those who were from the older generation, the name Kham Kee would have brought back many memories. It was a trademark for the earliest beef steamboat in Penang. Initially located along the row of shop houses as Waterfall Hotel, Jalan Gottlieb, Penang, it has now moved to a residential area along Jalan Gajah, Tanjung Tokong, Penang, for years where it only cater for private bookings. Fear not as they have now set up a stall named Kham Kee Beef Noodles along Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim, serving a simple spread of beef items with either noodles or rice.

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The bowl of beef noodles (Minimum RM7.00) is quite similar to the famous beef noodles stall at 2828 Café along Jalan Perak, Penang, with a clearer and not too beefy soup base. One thing you can be sure of is that it won’t be as oily as the rest as they do not add in lard in oil. Sorry lard lovers, it’s time to stay healthier~ LOL!

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Basically, there’s not much to brag about what sizes of bull “bazooka” or “bombs” you had here as they only serve 4 basic items, namely beef balls, beef tendon, beef tripe and beef slices, to go with your noodles or rice. The trademark of Kham Kee has always been their special handmade beef balls. They always have that bouncy al dente bite that you can hardly find elsewhere and they were bigger in size than others. Their chili sauce was also superb as it was a handed down recipe for decades. It was sassy recipe with hints of red chilies, bird eyes chilies and ginger with some pinches of salt. It was fiery spicy but I love it! The dish would come with a generous garnishing of chopped Chinese celery and some oil drained fried garlic. It was a simple yet fulfilling hot bowl of noodles on a rainy day~ 🙂

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Overall, the taste for the beef noodles soup was not as great as it was during the old days where it had a thicker taste but still better than some beef noodles stalls in term of less oil and not much weird innards in the dish. Simplicity can still be the best for me. Do watch out as the chili sauce can be super spicy. Special arrangement can be made for takeaway steamboat ingredients and soup from RM100 onwards.

Kham Kee Beef Noodles stall is located within the premises of New B Garden Café along Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim, a bit further up from Lam Wah Ee Hospital. If you are coming from Jalan Mesjid Negeri from Air Itam, just watch out for the ESSO petrol kiosk on you left. Immediately after the petrol kiosk, turn left into Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim (next to an overhead bridge). Drive on for another 300m or so and you will see the RHB Bank there. Park your vehicle there and walk over the opposite direction. You would see a large blue signboard with “New B Garden Café” at the corner of Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim and Lintang Batu Lanchang. The stall is in there.

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Name: KHAM KEE BEEF NOODLES @ NEW B GARDEN CAFE
Address: 139 Jalan Tan Sri Teh Ewe Lim, 11600 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-411 9365 (Ms. Sally)
Business Hours: 4.00pm-11.00pm (Closed Alternate Thursday)
GPS: 5.392467, 100.306438

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

 

DELICIOUS MEALS AT SUKHOTHAI BEEF NOODLES HOUSE

Posted by crizlai On September - 1 - 2011

Note: This eatery had moved to Gurney Paragon, Penang.

If you are observant enough, you might realize that more and more Thai restaurants have mushroomed within the district of Pulau Tikus, Penang. Hot tourist spots such as the Wat Chayamangkalaram Temple (Reclining Buddha/Sleeping Buddha) and the Dhammikarama Burmese Temple, had daily attracted a steady flow of locals and tourists, who by any chance would love to have a taste of some nice Thai dishes. With Thailand having 6 regions with 76 provinces (excluding Bangkok which is the capital city), these restaurants have gone all out to serve diners with their unique specialties from their own province. Some of the notable ones include Annathai-Kitchen, Aroi Thai Restaurant, Wang Thai Restaurant and the latest being Sukhothai Beef Noodles House.

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As the name has been described quite clearly, Sukhothai Beef Noodles House specialized more towards beef noodles and other street food from the Sukhothai Province. The Sukhothai Beef Noodle (RM12.90) would come in 3 options, namely the original, glass noodles or instant noodles. We had the original which had thin Thai noodles, served with a variety of beef chunks (3 different parts of meat), beef balls, bean sprouts and garnished with lots of chopped coriander. Each bowl would come with some additional raw bean sprouts and Thai basil leaves for you to add in. The soup had the taste of some selected herbs (somewhat milder than our local Bak Kut Teh) and a mild sweetness from some rock sugar. The beef chunks were tender to my liking. I love the beef balls the most as they have the bounciness texture. There would be some chili flakes, fish sauce, sugar and Thai chili sauce to pep up the taste of the soup to your preferences but beware of the Thai chili sauce as it could be too spicy hot for many.

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Since having another version of the beef noodles with instant noodles would be a bit too common. We decided to go for the Sukhothai Beef Noodles (RM12.90) with glass noodles. Most of us felt that this version tasted better than the previous one although the soup base was the same. Somehow with the soup seeped right into the glass noodles, the whole concoction tasted better. This is a must try dish!

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There was also the Thai Fried Rice (RM12.90). The chef sure knows how to handle the heat for frying rice well. The dish was awesome with some distinctive taste of fish sauce with a mild sprinkle of sugar. Each grain of rice was well flavored with a nice aroma from the high heat cooking (wok hei). This would be a nice dish for all ages.

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I actually have a phobia for Phad Thai (RM12.90) as most of the ones I had tasted contained too much of sugar to my liking. This restaurant indeed changed my perception on this dish as it had just the right sweetness and taste which suited me well. The dish had deep fried bean curd cubes, prawns, bean sprouts, chopped chives, Chinese sausage slices and a sprinkle of some coarsely pounded roasted peanuts. What surprised me was the usage of the Chinese sausages as I have not seen anyone in town using them. Moreover, the whole presentation looked so much like our local Char Koay Teow, except that they were using the thin Thai noodles instead.

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If you think that having beef noodles or the fried stuff might be a bit too heat strong for your internal organs, do try out their Fish Maw Soup (RM19.90). This soup was starch-like, similar to the Oriental Sharksfin Soup. The outlook was more dish-like than soup-like as it would go well with rice too. The whole mini pot had a generous amount of well flavored fish maw, pork chunks, mushrooms and quail eggs, garnished with chopped coriander, filled with a punch of tasty flavors.

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Although the menu was quite limited to only 4 main dishes, the dessert section which also had limited 3 options did not let us down. The Durian Sticky Rice (RM8.90) was heaven! Instead of using solely the white glutinous rice, the restaurant also combined some black glutinous rice. It had some mildly sweetened coconut milk with almost no fiber and creamy local durian flesh. This is a must have dessert after your meal. Another option would be the Mango Sticky Rice (RM8.90). It tasted nice with ripened mango but somehow it was still incompatible to the smoothness from the former dessert. There was also the Banana Sago (RM4.90) which tasted just as great as the rest. The dish had sago in mildly sweetened coconut milk and steamed banana slices. The banana was from the dwarf Pisang Mas (Bee Chio) breed. Most of the Nyonya households would use steamed Pisang Raja instead for a more sweetened taste. As for beverage, we decided to try out their Sweet & Sour Roselle Juice (RM4.90) and Green Tea (without milk – RM3.90/with milk – RM4.90). All the drinks ordered were thick and nice.

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Overall, the food here is quite healthy as the dish did not have overused of oil and sugar as in some of the Thai restaurants scattered everywhere in town.

It’s not hard to locate the restaurant as it situated along a row of shop houses in Pulau Tikus, Penang. If you are coming from Jalan Burma towards Pulau Tikus, watch out for Lebuhraya Codrington on your left. Immediately after the junction, turn left into the service road (TanMark Bookstore/7-11) and park your car there. The restaurant is just across the road next to Klinik Bala.

SUKHOTHAIMAP

Name: SUKHOTHAI BEEF NOODLES HOUSE
Address: 238, Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-227 9262, 016-438 7788 (Joanne Ang), 016-433 5588 (Ce Ang)
Business Hours: 11.00am-3.00pm, 6.00pm-10.00pm (Closed Wednesday)
GPS: 5.430093, 100.313247

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

 

SIMPLE AND DELICIOUS MEAL UNDER THE BIG TREE

Posted by crizlai On January - 19 - 2011

Sometimes, it’s great to dine in where no one else would ever take a second look at when passing by the place. Who knows you might just stumble upon another hidden food treasures of Penang. Located within the heritage stretch along Church Street Ghaut (Gat Lebuh Gereja) right under a big huge tree, is a little shed, that had been pepping up delicious meals for those office workers around that area for many years. The place looked like it has been worn out through time but no one could have imagined that such a place would churn out meals that got many loyal customers coming back for more. Commonly known as Under the Big Tree by the locals, this little kopitiam is manned by Ah Lai and his wife, Ah Lim and their son.

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So what’s the fuss over this kopitiam when they would just serve any common meals like some of the old coffee shops or mamak stalls scattered around Georgetown? You would be surprised as they have a truly 1-Malaysia concept here where all races would come in daily to have a boost of their delicious meal, basically instant noodles soup and toasted bread. Huh? Are you serious? Indeed I am! They do serve delicious instant noodles (RM3.50 per bowl – Maggi Mee to be precise) just like how you would cook at home, boiled with some cabbages, carrots and big onion, topped with a poached egg and 4 parts of a sausage. Next you would be asking why you should be paying for that amount when you could easily cook your own at home, in fact much cheaper than that pricing. The secret lies within the soup base. You surely won’t get that taste as you would here. On top of maintaining the al dente of the noodles, Ah Lai somehow managed to perfect his secret paste to be added into the soup. On top of that, some of the noodles had some evaporated milk added in for that extra creaminess. There are four types of noodles you can choose from here ranging from Clear Soup Noodles, Duck Noodles, Curry Noodles and Tom Yam Noodles. The Curry and Tom Yam Noodles are the two most sought after noodles here, a bit spicy for many but they were definitely delicious.

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Their toasted breads here are indeed done to the crisp I always like. This place has been my second alternative for toasted bread after Ah Wang’s Cafe at Tanjung Tokong. The Toasted Butter & Kaya Bread (RM1.40/set) has the eggy type of coconut jam (kaya) just like how my granny would have made. What got the customer coming back for more were not these toasted breads or their half boiled eggs but their Toasted Sandwich Special (RM3.80). This item was so uniquely prepared that it would only be available at this place. The bread would be laced with some cheese, topped with omelette, sausage slices and sauce prior to being toasted. The sausage has been carefully peeled to get even thickness, thus you would get an even flavor throughout your bites. Other than these, there would also be some Nasi Lemak in-a-box (RM2 each) with different combinations, supplied by other vendors, for you to choose from.

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It would rather easy to find this kopitiam as it is situated right under the biggest tree you can find along Gat Lebuh Gereja. If you are coming from Lebuh Light, you would come to a roundabout (aluminium betel nuts sculptures/Queen Victoria’s Memorial Clock Tower). Make a 270 degrees right turn into Lebuh Pantai. Drive all the way and make a second left turn into Gat Lebuh Gereja. You can see the stall on your left. There would be ample parking space there.

BIGTREEMAP

Name: AH LAI KOPITIAM @ UNDER THE BIG TREE CAFE
Address: 15, Gat Lebuh Gereja, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-477 1332 (Ah Lai/Ah Lim)
Opening Hours: 9.00am-5.00pm (Mon-Fri), 9.00am-3.00pm (Sat) – off Sunday & Public Holidays
GPS: 5.416629, 100.34294

RATING:
Ambience: 5.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 6/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

MEMORABLE REUNION DINNER FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR 2010

Posted by crizlai On February - 18 - 2010

As you can see, I have been rather busy during this year’s Chinese New Year. There were just too many projects to handle prior to the forth coming long stretch of holidays in which some of my Chinese based suppliers would be closed for business for almost 2 weeks. On top of that, I was mostly in the kitchen preparing some feasting goodies prior to the reunion dinner. Those included a few of my own recipes which included my delicious concoction of oysters and scallops and 30 liters of home brewed Herbal Tea to serve my guests during their visits on a humid day.

This year was one of the rarest celebration moments in my family as it so happen that the Chinese New Year which fell on 14 February 2010 coincided with Valentine’s Day. It’s a FIVE-IN-ONE CELEBRATION for the Lai Family! The celebration included the reunion dinner to usher in the Tiger year, my brother’s birthday on the eve, Valentine’s Day, my brother’s lunar birthday as well as his wedding anniversary which fell on Valentine’s Day. It was indeed a fun-filled celebration.

This year’s reunion dinner dishes were somewhat unique compared to the previous ones. In fact, other than the purchases of different types of meat and fish balls, the steamboat stock was another new creation for the family. It was ginseng roots based herbal stock for the first time in our steamboat reunion dinner history. Simple as it may look but it took more than 8 hours of low fire simmering and tedious filtering just to cook this up. Our steamboat side dishes this year was rather simple as we had other extra dishes as well. They included lots of crown daisy chrysanthemum leaves (tang oh/茼蒿), cabbages, wolfberry, prawns, silver pomfret (tao tay fish), chicken drumstick fillet, hair moss fish balls, vegetable fish balls, squid balls, large meatballs, 3 different types of wolf herring (sai to/ikan parang/西刀) fish balls, prawn & pork dumpling (sui kow/水餃), seafood tofu, Fuzhou fish balls (福州魚丸/Hock Chew fish ball – stuffed with minced meat), fish dumplings (魚餃/hoo keow/thin fish batter skin stuffed with minced meat) and fried chopped garlic as garnishing. The whole experience was rejuvenating after so many days of tiring preparations.

What would be new to most families would be our unique dipping sauce. It’s definitely not any hoisin sauce, chopped garlic with bird’s eyes chilies in soy sauce or bottled chili sauce but a concoction of red sweet sauce (甜醬), ginger and chicken fat. The fragrant gingery sauce with each bite of meat, seafood or balls would surely make you yearn for more.

As it was rare to have my brother’s birthday on such an auspicious gathering, we totally ignored on the fat and cholesterol intakes. LOL! I ordered one of my favorite Korean food – Jokbal (족발 – RM77), glazed pig feet meat slices. I believed that Sa Rang Chae Korean Restaurant is the sole restaurant in Penang to have this wonderfully cooked dish. It caught my brother’s attention immediately as I saw him applying nonstop the accompanied sweet and/or salty sauces onto the accompanied lettuce endlessly. Cool! At least he’s happy. Err… what happened to your diet plan bro? 😛

Now comes the interesting part of the suspense since my last post on reserving some of my home cooked Hokkien Mee stock and chili paste for this new recipe. What would a birthday be without any birthday noodles? Let me introduce you to my latest fusion recipe – Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodles! The delicious dish had yellow noodles carefully stir fried in thick prawn stock, dried shrimps, meat, prawns, fish cake and flowering Chinese cabbage (chye sim/chai sim/菜心) with deep fried crab stick strips and fried shallots as garnishing. You can adjust your level of spiciness by adding more of the chili paste. Everybody, inclusive my two teenage nieces could not stop having this dish as it had a unique seafood fragrant. The more you take this, the more you want it for every meal!

I will not touch on the recipes here but I will share the recipes in the next few posts. Wishing everyone one a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year! Do drive carefully if you are traveling! Check out for more update here soon.

SHABU SHABU ON A RAINY DAY?

Posted by crizlai On October - 8 - 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About Me

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

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

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