CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

THE OPENING OF BUKOTSU RAMEN HOUSE AT PENANG TIMES SQUARE

Posted by crizlai On May - 2 - 2009

NOTE: This restaurant has ceased its operation at Penang Times Square.

Thursday was the opening day for two new restaurants at Penang Times Square. Needless to say, most people would have known about the delicious ice creams served at Swensen’s. In fact, they have added some new local dishes that did look real impressive in terms of photos and pricing with the same “buy one eat the next one free concept”. The other newly opened restaurant would be Bukotsu Ramen House with a simple dining layout downstairs and a Japanese styled “sit-on-the-floor” concept upstairs.

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Since I’m a spicy food lover, I have decided to check out the Volcano Ramen (RM12.90). The texture and springiness of the ramen was good. The dish came with an almost curry noodles type of soup (except the taste of lemongrass), rich in flavorful stock, with a slice of the pinkish Japanese fish cake, half a hard boiled egg, a few large slices of BBQ pork (char siew), bean sprouts, chopped spinach, corn kernels, chopped spring onions and a spoonful of chili paste. The chili paste was somewhat like the Korean chili paste, chili hotness minus the oil. It was supposed to be a spicy hot dish but I found it to be real mild. Moreover, the portion was too little as a main dish for the price paid. Even with the side order (one discounted side order allowed per bowl of ramen), I did not feel full at all.

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The side order was Pan Pan Chi (RM2 in a smaller portion compared to RM8 for a larger serving from the ala carte menu). This is in fact a cold dish. The smoothness of the chicken slices was great, combined with the tenderness and juiciness of each slices. The dish has sliced cucumber with dressing that tasted quite like concentrated miso paste and garnished with some roasted sesame seeds. This dish would be beautiful as starter.

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The next order was the Chicken Teriyaki Bento (RM16). At least the price for this dish quite justified with the dishes ranging from miso soup, appetizer (kimchi), salad (finely sliced cabbage/purple cabbage and carrots with sesame oil and fish sauce, served with cucumber slices), chicken in teriyaki sauce, Japanese rice and dessert (fruit cuts). As for the soup, I prefer it to have a stronger miso flavored broth. The kimchi was normal as it contained more vinegar and was not as spicy as it should be. The salad was fine but it was nothing real special on the dressing. The chicken slices, cooked in teriyaki sauce has the quality of a good dish but it was too diluted to my liking, especially when I tried to dip my not so compact Japanese rice pieces. The chef should have made them more compact to avoid the rice to loosen wildly when use chopsticks. The fruits were just watermelon and papaya.

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Dobin Mushi (RM8) would be a must order for soup lovers. The soup has been double boiled for more than 24 hours and it was rich in flavor. It came in a cute ceramic teapot with a nice teacup and a slice of lime. In the teapot was some chicken slices, a prawn, carrot slices, a pinkish Japanese fish cake, mushrooms, ginkgo nut and some chopped spring onions. I prefer this dish to be taken in its original form although adding some squeezes of lime juice did give it a bit of sourness plus reducing the strong aroma of the chicken soup.

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Shochu Cheese Cake (RM7 for two slices) was served as dessert. Shochu or soju as it may also be called in the US export market is actually a distilled beverage made out of barley, rice or sweet potatoes starches. It has a 25% alcohol volume. It has a nutty taste compared to the fruity taste of sake. I found the cheese cake to be far less in the taste of shochu. It was too mild with the overpowering taste of milk with a less cheesy taste. In fact, the dessert had too much of gelatin added, thus it was rather hard. Moreover, too much of butter had been added to the digestive biscuit type of base and it was too salty to my liking. Maybe margarine would be a better choice to firm up the base for this dessert.

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Green Tea Ice Cream (RM3.50) was served free just for the opening day. The ice cream came with some sweetened boiled kidney beans and some pine nuts. The kidney beans were just nice for my sweetness but it would be better if they were to be a bit softer. The pine nuts were nicely roasted but the ice cream to me tasted a bit too artificial. Although it was creamy and smooth, it has a strong taste of commercially produced green tea powder. Let’s hope the restaurant would look into a better alternative or solution to this dessert.

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Iced Green Tea (RM1/glass) was served free flow for the day.

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The best way to reach the shop would be by using Jalan Magazine (Traders Hotel). Drive into Jalan Dato Kramat (2nd junction at the right of Gama Supermarket) until you have reached Penang Times Square on your left. Find a parking space along the road or within the allocated parking bay. Just walk into the mall and go to the open space area with all the fountains. The restaurant is located at the same row with Marrybrown, Tsuruya Sushi Bar and a few shops away from Swensen’s and Roti Bakar Kopitiam.

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Name: BUKOTSU RAMEN HOUSE
Address:
Lot BPC-G-7, Ground Floor, Penang Times Square,
73 Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150 Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 11.00am-10.30pm
Contact: 604-227 0053
GPS: 5.412683, 100.326141

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: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

BLACK VINEGAR STARCHED NOODLES & STARCHED PORK SOUP

Posted by crizlai On April - 16 - 2009

When you mention about Starched Noodles (Loh Mee), the first thing you will remember would be those hawker stalls selling this dark starchy broth based noodles at Lebuh Kimberley Kedai Kopi Seng Thor Loh Mee), Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (Kuan Yin Theng Loh Mee) or the Jones Road Hainanese Loh Mee. Even most of the local Hokkien Mee stalls have a milder taste of Loh Mee available. Have you ever tried Hokkien Loh Mee (福建滷麵) before? You can try it at Kedai Kopi Hwa Lam located along Lebuh Carnavon.

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The differences between this unique type of Loh Mee is in the broth as well as in the style it’s cooked. Normally, the ones you get from some of the famous stalls in Penang are those with jiggle drained yellow noodles, garnished with options such as pork slices, hard boiled eggs, pork skin, chicken legs, mushrooms, intestines and served with precooked starchy broth. The Hokkien Loh Mee instead has dark starch broth with black vinegar in it and each bowl is cooked individually in a wok with egg added in the broth, yellow noodles, prawns, fish, fish cake slices and cabbages. A one-person bowl would cost you RM3.80, two-person bowl at RM7.50 and 3-4 persons bowl at RM12. Here’s how my medium bowl of Hokkien Loh Mee looked like.

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If you are a person who loves to have black vinegar in your dishes, this version of Loh Mee would suit you well as the taste is rather unique. The prawns and fish fillets I had in the bowl were fresh and the noodles still maintained its chewiness without any hint of lye water. The dish simply blended in well with the specially prepared chili sauce.

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Another Hokkien dish that you do not see selling in most hawker food courts nowadays can also be found in this coffee shop. It’s Bak Kee Soup (Starched Pork Soup – RM5/bowl). The bowl of Bak Kee Soup was filled with lots of cabbages and chunks of large starched pork slices.

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What matters most in a good bowl of Bak Kee Soup would be in the bones enhanced stock combined with the sweetness of the cabbages and starched pork slices. The soup here tasted good with a little sprinkle of white pepper.

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Making your own bowl of Bak Kee Soup would not be hard at all if you know which tender part of pork you should use and also the right combination of seasoning for your pork slices. The lady owner was polite enough to show the whole processes (minus the secret recipe of course :P). Here’s a short video of the whole cooking processes.

What else do you think Penang is famous for? It’s nutmeg (豆蔻) right? You can get many types of by products from the miraculous nutmeg fruit. Every single part of this fruit, from the flesh, red skin attached to the seed and the seed are of medicinal values. Other than the added flavoring to some of our food, the fruits have been used widely by the locals as remedies to countless of internal and external treatments such as wounds, burns, sprains, bruises, earache, headache, fever, sore throat, food poisoning, shingles, colds, flu, hepatitis, mononucleosis, fungal infections, yeast infections, acne, skin diseases, heart diseases, blood disorders, kidney problems, digestive problems, ulcers, periodontal diseases, nerve disorders, malaria, fatigue, etc.

Most of the coffee shops over in Penang have the precooked nutmeg syrup for either hot or cold beverages. These are normally bottled with preservative and some brands could be real sweet. Thus, it would not be so ideal for those who are concerned with their health. The nutmeg beverage would come in reddish brown color (RM1.20/glass). Alternatively, you could get the rarely found Fresh White Nutmeg Juice with Salted Plum (RM1.50/glass) right here in Kedai Kopi Hwa Lam. The fresh juice was great. It has the milder taste of freshly blended nutmeg juice combined with the slightly salty and sour taste of the plum. It was simply refreshing!

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It’s really easy to find the shop as it’s located just a few shops away from the famous Hong Kong Roasted Duck Rice along Lebuh Carnarvon. If you are coming from Penang Road into Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong (Pacific Komtar/Prangin Mall), turn left into Lebuh Carnarvon and you will see the coffee shop right at the corner of a small lane. Since it’s a heavy trafficked road, it’s advisable to park your car further up at Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze (formerly known as Lebuh Hong Kong) and walk back to the shop. You can also try out the Belacan (Shrimp Paste) Fried Chicken and Fried Salted Fish Tofu from the shop.

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Name: KEDAI KOPI HWA LAM
Address: 266, Lebuh Carnarvon, 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 5.00pm-12.00midnight (Closed Tuesday)
GPS: 5.414017, 100.332925

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

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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).

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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.

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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)

PULAU AMAN FLOATING RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On December - 19 - 2008

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Please bear with me this time on the lengthy post as it involved traveling and trying out new food during a totally out of the way island hopping adventure trip. I was off exploring for great food again and this time it was an adventurous trip involving traveling by land and by sea. The destination was Pulau Aman, an island covering an area of 288 acres and is 25 nautical miles from the mainland just off the coast of Seberang Perai’s southern district of Penang, Malaysia. It’s quite a nice island to be on with affordable chalets. You could also book your lodging through KOPEL HomeStay Project or Ministry of Tourism HomeStay Project to stay with the locals and experience their daily lifestyles. There are many activities on Pulau Aman as well as nearby Pulau Gedung such as fishing, snorkeling, camping, hiking, jungle trekking, kayaking, canoeing, historic site visits or just a visit to the bullet warehouse plus the pirates’ cave. It’s truly a back-to-the-nature outdoor experience for those who won’t mind roughing it out in the wild.

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A 10-15 minutes boat ride from the Batu Musang new jetty brought us to Pulau Aman where there existed the famous floating seafood restaurant. The seafood is real fresh as you can see fishermen bringing in all the live catch, which include varieties of shell fish, fish, flower crabs, prawns and mantis prawns. You can even try catching your own and get the restaurant to cook for you at minimal charges.

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The only disadvantage of patronizing this restaurant is their limitation of food choices. There are only three choices of rice/noodles dishes for you to choose from. Each plate of rice or noodles would cost differently depending on the sizes of the fresh prawns given. It could be as low as RM5 and as high as RM10.

The first dish that arrived was the Prawn Noodle Soup (RM5.50). This was the best prawn noodles I had tasted so far. The soup base was slightly sweet but was rich in flavors with one fresh gigantic prawn, some slices cabbages and fried bean curd. The prawn was almost half the size of the plate of noodles. This is a must to have if you ever visit Pulau Aman. In fact, this dish is one of the most ordered in this restaurant.

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The next was the Fried Prawn Noodle (RM5.50). The fried noodles were cooked in a different way compared to the Indian style fried noodles which was slightly drier. It has 3 medium sized prawns, some cabbages and bean curd slices, garnished with chopped spring onions and chillies. Somehow the Malay lady cook knew the combination of sauces real well. The dish was also superb.

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Fried Rice with Large Prawns (RM5.50) was served next. I had frequent so many Malay styled hawker stalls and restaurants but normally found their fried rice to be a bit damp. This Malay lady cook surprised us with one of the best fried rice I had eaten. I could not had imagined how such an elderly lady would be able to provide us with a plate of wok hei (high heat cooking) filled fried rice full of flavors. Accompanied by 3 large and juicy prawns, I almost ordered a second round. Unfortunately, she was out of rice. What? At 1.10pm? She must have a great demand for the day.

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Since we had almost an hour and a half left before the next boat leaved the island, we went for some sightseeing. It was quite an experience witnessing the lifestyle of the Malay villagers on the island. Although the villagers were living a simple life with basic necessities, they were filled with smiles and contentment. Children were seen playing along the trekking paths and by the semi mud filled beaches but they were seen to be very happy. Even the school and clinic available were such a small scale compared to how fortunate we were to be in the city. One thing which caught my attention was the stray animals on the island. There were barely a handful of dogs but cats could be seen everywhere even by the beaches.

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Visiting a historic site on this island could be real taxing as every site seemed to be so far apart, although it did look near in the map provided on the sign board on the island. We were traveling almost a quarter of the island before we managed to find the Telaga Emas (Gold Well). History stated that a villager found some “gold” in the well. Eventually, those were discovered to be some colored stones. What amazed most of the visitors was that in it contained fresh, energizing and pure water. Although the well was dug just next to the sea, it did not contain any salt water taste in it.

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Strolling within the fishing village, we noticed an abundance of a certain 20m trees. It has leaves almost similar to that of a papaya tree, fruits with texture similar to our cempedak and flesh as white and powdery as tapioca. The locals called them Buah Sukun (Breadfruits), a fruit native to the Malay Peninsula and western Pacific islands.

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We happened to see a stall selling some fried chip-like food by the jetty and thought it was potatoes. As an adventurous foodie, I immediately bought a few packets of the fried chips home, after knowing that they were breadfruit chips. The taste was unique. It was like munching a cross breed of potato and tapioca chips with a hint of jackfruit flavor. After all, a pack was not expensive as it cost me only RM3.50 for a small one and RM5 for a big one. In fact, I bought 3 packets of the smaller ones for only RM10.

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The nearest way to reach the island would be at Batu Musang Jetty (GPS: 5.265888, 100.406928), Batu Kawan, Seberang Perai (Butterworth). A trip from this new jetty at Batu Musang to the island would take about 10-15 minutes or at the Bukit Tambun jetty which would take about 30 minutes (Update: all transports had been redirected to Batu Musang Jetty unless there are some private operator available). If you find it rather taxing to drive all the way to Batu Kawan, you could always board a boat at Batu Uban or Batu Maung jetties but the charges would differ as it would be run by private operators. It would take about 45 minutes to reach the island. Going to the floating restaurant won’t be a problem after all as it’s at the old jetty which is next to the new berthing area. Please get a sea sick pill or a sea sick wrist band from the nearest pharmacy if you are sea sick prone. Just as a precaution, make sure you call up to ensure that the restaurant would be open on the day of your visit (although it’s supposed to be open daily) or you might just waste your effort visiting the island to try out their delicious food. Boat trip charges for return ticket would be RM6 per person (collected at Pulau Aman dock). Operating time would be 8am-7pm (Scheduled ride from Batu Musang: 10am/1pm/4pm/7pm. From Pulau Aman: 8am/1pm/3pm/6pm. There are more trips on weekends and holidays or if there are more passengers to and fro.)

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As you come out from the toll plaza, you would reach a T-junction. Turn right and go over the overhead bridge towards Batu Kawan. Drive a few meters away and you would reach a cross junction. Turn left towards the Batu Kawan Stadium (There will be a signboard showing left towards the stadium. You would pass by the stadium on your left. Drive on until a roundabout. Drive towards your 12 o’clock (leading to Jeti Bandar Cassia) and go straight until you reach a turning on your left (no through road ahead). Turn left into the road (a quarry is on your left) and it would lead you to the Batu Musang Jetty. Take a 10-15 minutes boat ride to the floating restaurant.

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Name: RESTORAN TERAPUNG PULAU AMAN
Address: 120 Pulau Aman, 14100 Simpang Ampat, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-495 5125, 019-476 6125
Opening Hours: 11.00am-9.00pm (daily)
GPS: 5.268310, 100.391495

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

 

YONG PIN RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On November - 11 - 2008

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You may not know but there are about 13 dim sum shops in Georgetown area alone. Some are newly established with great ambience and choices, whereas there are still a few older but well established ones that regulars would still frequent. One such shop ios the Yong Pin Restaurant located along Jalan Sungai Ujung, Penang. Instead of covering on the not-so-many varieties but delicious dim sum they have, let me share with you their yummy noodles.

One such noodles that I have not seen from other dim sum shop is their Fried Duck Yee Foo Noodles (RM5.50). The yee foo noodles dish was great with all the gravy from the stewed duck seeped right inside the noodles, making the whole combination very tasty. The restaurant only serves this wonderful dish on Friday and Saturday.

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Another noodle dish that’s worth mentioning is the Hong Tu Wo Mian (RM5). It came with some yee foo noodles cooked in some thick soup, somewhat like the sharksfin soup. It had some pork, prawns and beaten eggs in it. You can add in some black vinegar if you want it to be more sourly. The dish tasted great too.

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The next dish we ordered was the Sheng Mian (RM5). The crispy noodles was actually fried wan than noodles which were topped with some gravy, prawns, fish slices, pork slices and vegetables. This is another dish worth eating.

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Most of you might not be aware of Sunday Metro’s SMS Pick of the Best Dim Sum in Malaysia as published on 6 July 2008. Yong Pin Restaurant was voted as one of the top choices in Penang, as highlighted.

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This restaurant sure did provide some great authentic dim sum such as the Black Vinegar Pork Legs, Broiled Fried Chicken Legs, Fried Paper Wrapped Chicken and so on. Although the varieties are not as many as those bigger dim sum shops, there are quite a few of their steam as well as fried dim sum that’s worth trying out.

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Of all the dim sum that I had in this shop, I would never miss out their Prawn Rolls and Fried Water Chestnut Cake. The Fried Water Chestnut Cake is soft and fragrant with lots of finely sliced water chestnuts inside while the outer layer has a bit of crispiness. I would have two to three plates on each visit as I find them to be not overly sweet. Do try them out if you ever visit this place.

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If you are coming from Jalan Penang into Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong (road leading to KOMTAR/Prangin Mall), keep to your left and turn into the second road on your left which is Jalan Sungai Ujung. Find a parking space as the shop is just on your right along a row of shop houses.

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Name: YONG PIN RESTAURANT
Address: 11-B&C, Jalan Sungai Ujung, 10100 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours:
6.00am – 12.00pm, 7.00pm – 12.00am (Closed Monday)

Contact: 604-261 1355
GPS: 5.415989, 100.332175

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: 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)

MEE MANJA

Posted by Criz Lai On October - 17 - 2008

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I have reviewed Mee Manja when I first started on food blogging but I guessed not many would have known about its existence except those regular customers. Manja is the Malay word for “Pampered”. You would have asked why the name “Pampered Noodles”? You might have interpreted it wrongly as that’s the family name for the cook cum owner Encik Aman Manja. He had followed his father and uncle as early as 13 years old when they were located just opposite the recently relocated premise at Jalan Hutton. For over 40 years and 3 generations, Encik Aman has served thousands of loyal customers with his delicious Mee Goreng and Mee Soup. Encik Aman is in fact the elder brother of the famous CRC Mee Goreng stall located in a coffee shop next to Dorsett Hotel, Jalan Larut, Penang.

While most of the Mee Goreng stalls in Penang are using the modern technology to blend their ingredients, Encik Aman believed in using the traditional way to grind his ingredients with the old fashion Batu Giling (Metate Millstone). According to him, that would preserve the original taste of the blended items. Mee Manja’s style of cooking the noodles is totally different compared to the rest. Their noodles (Mee, Bee Hoon or Koay Teow) are more towards the salty chicken bones soup based flavor, whether fried or soup. You can opt for plain, chicken, beef or mixed meat too. If you do not want spiciness, you would have to inform him.

The Chicken/Beef Mee Soup (RM4) is the most popular in his stall as you can taste the sweetness from the chicken stock. This is really good for eat in. Takeaway would make it soggy.

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Somehow, I preferred his Beef/Chicken Mee Goreng (RM4). I felt that the amount of spiciness and taste was just right for me. I do not even have to squeeze any lime juice or sprinkle any vinegar soy sauce served with fresh cut green chillies as provided.

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Encik Aman is quite a sociable and friendly person. You can ask him anything in English or Bahasa Malaysia. Finding the place now would be easier compared to previously. His shop is just on your right at the traffic lights between Jalan Penang and Jalan Hutton. Parking might be a problem as it is illegal to park next to a traffic light. You may opt to park your car at his previous shop at Lebuh Clarke or Lebuh Dicken (next to Mydin Supermarket) and walk to his shop.

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Name: MEE MANJA
Address: 1F Jalan Hutton, 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 6.00pm – 11.00pm (Closed on Tuesday)
Contact: 016-480 3568 (Encik Aman)
GPS: 5.419022, 100.331483

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: 9/10 (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)

TYE SIN STREET ECONOMY BEE HOON

Posted by Criz Lai On October - 15 - 2008

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I had a laugh when I asked Allen and Steven if they would like to join me for a round of “Teong Kok Hoo Chi” (Chinese shark’s fins) yesterday for dinner. Both of them thought that I was crazy enough to go for a RM40 small bowl of soup without realizing that this was the local term used for Economy Bee Hoon (Rice Vermicelli)/Mee (Yellow Noodle) which would cost me RM1-RM1.50 per plate. LOL! I have been using this term ever since I was in my primary school which was ten of years ago. We used to call this dish the “poor man’s shark’s fin”.

Anyway, after a few days of lavish dining, I thought of visiting such stall for a simple meal which is cheap yet delicious. I have tried many such stalls within the town area and find this one along Jalan CY Choy to be one of the best around. Other than having some add on like their ever delicious Lor Bak (Pork Roll), they have something better. Their noodles did not have the strong taste of unwashed Lye water. Here’s my large plate of the Economy Mee (RM1.50) with some sweet chili sauce and fried sweetened tofu sheet (Teik Gar Kee in Hokkien).


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If you feel that the noodles is too plain for your taste bud, you can always add in their delicious Lor Bak (RM1 each roll). If you want to try them, make sure you be there early as those yummy rolls will normally be sold out after 9pm. Anyway, you can also contact them if you would like to purchase some from them for your functions.

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There would be one disadvantage if you are a person who would want to have some cold drinks with your meal. They do not sell drinks. But you can always try out their desserts which are not so sweet. The Peanut Soup and Red Bean Soup are only selling at 80sen per bowl.

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The stall is just in front of SMJK (C) Sum Min at the junction of Lebuh Tye Sin (Si Teow Lor) and Jalan CY Choy. You sure won’t miss it.

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Name: TYE SIN STREET ECONOMY BEE HOON
Address: Lebuh Tye Sin, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 012-438 5348, 012-404 0466 (Mr. Koay)
Opening Hours: 6.30pm – 11.30pm (Close Saturday & Sunday)
GPS: 5.409604, 100.331247

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

HOU MEI NOODLE HOUSE

Posted by Criz Lai On August - 12 - 2008

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Before the Dreamz show started, we had decided to go for some food to fill up our tummies since we had skipped our lunches due to the rushing to catch a bus up Genting Highlands. After moving around the dining area in search of food, we tried out the latest in contemporary Asian cuisine, the Hou Mei Noodle House. At least that was where we could savor a unique fusion of Western and Asian Cuisine all in one place.

Since I can’t live without curry, I ordered the Curry Hor Fun Noodles (RM14.95). The dish came in a large bowl with 3 chunky pieces of chicken meat, 2 prawns, 5 half pieces of soy bean cakes (tau hoo pok) and some long beans. I would think it is a bit pricey but what else would I expect as I was in Genting. Of course food would be more expensive there. The soup base was spicy with a mild taste of lemongrass but it was not as spicy as I would like it to be although I did add lots of chili paste which was not hot enough. Moreover, I needed to add in some soy sauce to boost up the salty taste in it. Passable but not as tasty as those I can get from Penang.

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On the other hand, my friend decided to order the much recommended Hawaiian Chicken Chop (RM21.30). They have an average size of grilled chicken meat, topped with some sweet and sour gravy, a piece of canned pineapple and some vegetables. The portion and taste was fine but for me I would love to have some salad cream to go with my vegetables.

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Overall, the restaurant has the ambience to make one feel relax. We paid a total of RM44.85 for the meals, inclusive a plastic cup of cold Chinese tea (RM2.30) and sprite float (RM6.30). All prices have 5% Government tax and 10% service tax added in. Hou Mei Noodles House is just next to the entrance of the Starworld Casino within the First World Hotel premises.

Name: HOU MEI NOODLE HOUSE
Address:
Level 2, First World Plaza, Genting Highlands Resort,
69000 Pahang, Malaysia.

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

WONG CHAU JUN RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On August - 7 - 2008

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After having too much of rice related meals for the week, my friend and I decided to visit a restaurant along Jalan Rangoon for some fresh seafood noodles. That restaurant is called Wong Chau Jun Restaurant where they are famous for their Spicy Sour Fish Noodles. I saw that on all the tables, there was at least an order. Since I was not able to consume something spicy and sour that day, I ordered something milder.

The first dish that came was the Steamed Fish with Ginger and Hor Fun (RM8). The perch fillet was real fresh and the time used to cook the fish was just right. It came with some hor fun. Although this looked like a simple steamed fish with soy sauce, ginger and some Chinese wine, the combination of ingredients was really nice. This is a must to try out on a hot and humid weather.

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The Fried Maggi Mee (RM4) came next. Nothing special about the dish except that it has 3 big and fresh prawns. The taste was fine but the restaurant could have done better by using a more springy type of noodles.

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What I like most was their special homemade Deep Fried Tofu with Dried Shrimps (RM6). The tofu was soft and smooth. The way they fried the deep fried tofu with some dried shrimps was simple and yet the taste wonderful. I would highly recommend this dish.

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If you are coming from Komtar into Jalan Burmah, just drive further up until you reach the second traffic light in front of New Word Park. Turn left into Jalan Rangoon. Drive forward until almost the end of that road and you will see the restaurant on your left (two more shops and you will reach Jalan Macalister).

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Name: WONG CHAU JUN RESTAURANT
Address: 73 Jalan Rangoon, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 012-555 9046, 012-470 9549
Opening Hours: 8.00am – 2.30pm (Closed Tuesday)
GPS: 5.416559, 100.323737

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

CHINESE CHIVES FLOWER ROASTED PORK FRIED HOR FUN

Posted by Criz Lai On July - 20 - 2008

I got up real early this morning just to prepare a meal for my family today although it is a Sunday. Have you ever encountered trying to think of what to buy back for lunch on a Sunday? If it is not Fried Rice then it would be the usual noodle dishes that I got rather bored with. With a little of creativity, I came out with something you cannot buy from any stalls around, which I would like to share with you all. Here is the recipe to my CHINESE CHIVES FLOWER ROASTED PORK FRIED HOR FUN.

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INGREDIENTS
1.5 kg hor fun (open up and cut into 1.5” strips)
600gms roasted pork (chopped)
300gms Chinese chives flower (cut into 1” length)
1 piece thick fish cake (halves and cut into strips)
2 pieces artificial crabsticks (cut into 4mm thickness)
5 eggs (beat with 1 Tspn sesame oil, 2 Tspn soy sauce and pepper)
10 porcelain spoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
6 Tspn soy sauce
1 Tspn dark soy sauce
3 Tspn sesame oil
3 Tspn oyster sauce
Pepper
Salt
Sugar

PREPARATION

1. Heat up wok with 6 porcelain spoons of oil and saute some chopped garlic. When the garlic becomes slightly brown, lower fire, pour in the hor fun. Add in 1 Tspn of dark soy sauce, 3 Tspn of soy sauce, 1 Tspn oyster sauce, 1 Tspn sesame oil and some pepper. Higher fire and stir until it looked slightly dried up. Scoop and leave aside.
2. Put in some oil and chopped garlic. Stir fry the fish cake for two minutes. Scoop and leave aside together with the diced crabsticks.
3. Put in 3 porcelain spoons of oil and sauté some garlic until brown. Pour in the roasted pork, 1 Tspn soy sauce, 1 Tspn sesame oil, 2 Tspn oyster sauce, pinch of sugar, and some pepper and stir fry for about two minutes. Add in the Chinese chives flower and stir until cook. Scoop and leave aside.
4. Add in the balance oil, sauté some garlic on high fire. When slightly brown, pour in the beaten eggs and scrambled it until loose.
5. Lower the fire. Pour in the fried hor fun and stir thoroughly. Next, pour in the rest of the ingredients and stir thoroughly.
6. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste (if not enough)
7. Scoop into dishes and serve while it is hot. You can garnish with fried shallots and serve with shrimp paste chili (sambal belacan).

(Serves: 4-6)

YOU CAN CHECK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES.

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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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