CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

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Malaysia’s all-time favorite Japanese restaurant, Sushi King from nationwide would be promoting several delectable auspicious dishes this festive season to usher in the Rooster this coming Chinese New Year 2017. Quality and Freshness have always been the priorities of Sushi King to ensure the fulfillment of its diners. The promotion would be “Doubly Fresh, Doubly Joyous” from 1 January 2017 until 28 February 2017. More surprises would be shared below.

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To start off a brand new season, do toss to a doubly joyous and prosperous year with the highlight of the season, Prosperity Yee Sang (RM45.88++ for 4-6 pax). The dish is made with fresh quality ingredients rather than those prepacked versions and served with premium Norwegian salmon, harvested from the clear blue waters of Norway. Sushi King’s Prosperous Yee Sang is indeed a version out from the norm as it has all the healthy julienned vegetables plus crunchiness coming from their daily made tempura bits. Moreover, what I like most about this version is that it has both sliced and minced salmon added. Thus, everyone would have a fair share of the delicacy. You would have an option to choose their Tangy Plum Sauce or with a combination of Tangy Plum Sauce & Wasabi Sauce. You can also have their Regular Yee Sang (RM38.88++ for 4-6pax) or Longevity Yee Sang (RM18.88++ for 2-3 pax). However, my preference would still be the Prosperity Yee Sang.

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For those who would like to try out their Yee Sang but do not have the crowd to join in, you can have your personal mini Yee Sang, by ordering their CNY Bento (RM19.90++). The bento would come with deep fried chicken, deep fried salmon and served with fragrant Japanese rice.

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Alternatively, if you do not like Yee Sang, you could also try out their Seafood Bento (RM18.90++). This dish has tempura batter fried salmon, squid, prawns, long bean and korokke (potato croquette), served with fragrant Japanese rice.

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For this festive season, you would also get to try our Sushi King’s own version of Salmon Don (RM8.88++). It has deep fried salmon belly and flying fish roe on top of their fragrant Japanese rice.

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On the other hand, their Ontama Salmon Don (RM8.88++) would be a little different as it has salmon flakes, soft boiled egg and flying fish roe on top of their fragrant Japanese Rice.

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There will also some special sushis exclusively created for this season such as the Spicy Salmon Teriyaki Sushi (RM5++), Salmon Teriyaki Sushi (RM5++), Fried Salmon Sushi (RM5++) and Assorted Sushi (RM6++).

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For dessert, we had Hanjuku Cheese Cake (RM4++/pc), a soft baked cheese cake that caught me yearning for more. It was extremely delicious for everyone, regardless of age, as the sweetness and fluffiness of the cake was just right. I would advise you to request for a chilled version as it was perfect to end any meal.

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Do check out on the current promotion (1 January 2017 – 28 February 2017) as each customer who spends RM68 and above in a single receipt at any Sushi King outlet, can receive an exclusive set of Sushi King Daruma Ang Pows and he/she would also be entitled in the running of the “Win an all expenses paid” trip to Tokyo.

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Overall, I’m contended with the dishes served, especially the fresh air-flown Norwegian salmon dishes. On top of that, the Prosperity Yee Sang with sliced and minced salmon is a great way to enjoy the dish to ensure that everyone has their share of raw salmon. The CNY Bento on the other hand was also a great dish to ensure that each diner would have their own portion of yee sang for the joyous occasion.

The Sushi King @ Gurney Plaza is located at level 2 of the new wing. Just use the escalator up to level 2 and you can see the outlet on the right.

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Name: Sushi King @ Gurney Plaza
Address: Lot No. Lot 170-02-58, Plaza Gurney, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-227 5285
Business Hours: 10.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.437096, 100.309867

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

 

TREE BAR @ G HOTEL PENANG IS OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED

Posted by crizlai On July - 11 - 2014

G Hotel Penang had officially launched its latest hip hangout spot, the Tree Bar, located at the al fresco area of the hotel today. Since its soft opening on 19 June 2014, this bar had been known to be the latest and the coolest hangout spot in Penang, serving the best beers and bites in town. Based on the bar’s slogan “Tree Bar – Not just a tree, it’s a bar”, this wonderful addition of both unpretentious and stress releasing place indeed did prove that they do serve the best beer and bites in town. After all, everyone would need a place to chill out after a hectic day without hurting the wallet too much. The Tree Bar was officially launched by Mr. Michael Hanratty, General Manager of G Hotel, witnessed by Mr. Phuah Choon Meng, Director of G Hotel.

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G Hotel did a great deed to Mother Nature by preserving the 80 over years old rain tree of Albizia Saman species and made great use of the surrounding space to build the Tree Bar. The leaves of the tree would fold during rainy weather and in the evening, hence locally known as “Pukul Lima” aka 5 o’clock tree.

Do check out their daily Happy Hours promotion below for their selected draught beers such as Carlsberg, Asahi, Connor’s, Stella Artois, Lowenbrau and Hoegaarden. They also do have other bottled beers as Tsing Tao, Guiness, Little Creatures Bright Ale and Pale Ale, Warsteiner, Somersby Cider and more for your drinking needs.

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Other than those alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages, customers can enjoy some hot munchies to accompany their sips. There would be bite options such as the nicely marinated with lemon, salt and black pepper, Moroccan Spiced Lamb Skewers. These skewers of goodies were grilled to just the right juicy perfection. Other options may include Garlic Bread, Deep Fried Calamari, Golden Chicken Wings and Smoked Salmon Rolls. For a healthier palate, you can try out their Caesar Salad, Nicoise Salad and Thai Beef Salad. Add-ons such as grilled chicken, seared tuna, smoked salmon or grilled shrimp are also available for a twist in your salad. For a heavier meal, there are six choices from the section of ‘Big Buns’ with the option to select from beef or chicken sausage or burger patty. Each style comes with different kind of condiments and a choice of breads. To add to it, pick from a choice of French fries, spicy wedges or truffle fries. A highlight in the menu also is the bucket of chilled shrimp that will definitely be a delight to seafood lovers of which comes with the homemade cocktail sauce. For those sweet tooth diners, you would have a selection of desserts ranging from Macadamia Brownies with Hazelnut Mousse, Coconut Panna Cotta, Apricot Cream Cheese Mousse, Banana Chocolate Tart, Gula Melaka Crème Brulee and Malaysian born Italian ice cream, Gelatomio. We were pampered with a few of their dishes such as the Quesadilla, Nachos, Chicken Satay, Deep Fried Calamari, Smoked Salmon Rolls and Moroccan Spiced Lamb Skewers, served with condiments. They were all so good, especially the Moroccan Spiced Lamb Skewers with mint sauce as condiment.

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Overall, the Tree Bar do provide a comprehensive arrays of alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages plus nice food ranging from finger food to hearty bites of the succulent burgers. I do find the pricing quite reasonable too. For more information on the spread, do click and enlarge the menus below.

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The Tree Bar is located at the al fresco area of G Hotel. If you walk in through the front entrance along Persiaran Gurney, just head towards the end of the building and you will see the little bar area right under the tree, next to the al fresco area of G Café.

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Name: G CAFE @ G HOTEL
Address: 168-A Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-238 0000
Business Hours: 11.00am-1.00am daily
GPS: 5.437455, 100.309934

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

 

RAMADHAN BUFFET DINNER 2014 AT G CAFE @ G HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On June - 29 - 2014

For those who would enjoy Malay cuisine from every part of Malaysia as well as Middle East, you should check out what G Café @ G Hotel, Penang, is offering during the holy month of Ramadhan. G Café’s Ramadhan Dinner Buffet is available daily starting from 29 June 2014 until 28 July 2014 (6.30pm to 10.00pm) at RM88++ per person (Children below 12 years old eat for free & Senior Citizen above 60 years old at 50% off). On top of that, there will be the Aidilfitri Lunch and Dinner priced at RM68++ and RM88++ respectively available on the 29 & 30 July 2014. The Ramadhan spread would be under the culinary skills of Sous Chef, Chef Harmizi.

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Summary of the various themes for the G Café’s Ramadhan Buffet:
Monday: Rasa Utara
Tuesday & Wednesday: Selera Pantai Timur
Thursday & Friday: Juadah Selatan
Saturday & Sunday: Middle East & Peranakan Fiesta

Rasa Utara offers interesting and tasty dishes from the North such as Laksa Kuala Kedah, Nasi Hujan Panas and Kari Kepala Ikan. As for Selera Pantai Timur, the stars of the line will be Ayam Percik Kelantan, Laksam, Kari Ikan Tongkol and Nasi Dagang. Meanwhile, Juadah Selatan offers delightful Sup Tulang Sum Sum, Briyani Gam, Laksa Johor and Ikan Tenggiri Masak Asam Pedas. If those are not enough, something different for you to chew on is a choice from the Middle East and Peranakan recipe too such as Nasi Chicken Manday, Hokkien Mee and Lamb Kofta. All these lines will be set on different days throughout the whole month of Ramadhan as stated in the summary above.

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Let’s have a look at all the spreads for this Ramadhan with a mix and match of all the items in the respective themes as a preview starting with the appetizers and salads. The Appetizer & Salad Sections might consist of some Asian Tapas, Tauhu Sumbat, Pasembur, Kerabu Ayam, Kerabu Taugeh, Acar Awak, Prawn Salad, Telur Masin, Ikan Masin, various fresh greens, pickles, ulam-ulaman plus their respective dressings and condiments. There are also various pickles and dried fruit to start your appetite going.

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On top of that, you would have the Soup Section where you can savor Chinese Chicken Herbal Soup and Sup Ekor Berempah and more.

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For the Action Section, you might get to try out some roasted items such as the Roasted Lamb and hawker fare such as the Laksa Kuala Kedah.

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For the Main Dish Section, you can start off with some Singapore Fried Bee Hoon, followed by the chef’s special Nasi Briyani, a smooth and moist spiced up steamed rice, marinated overnight with milk, yoghurt and various herbs and spices. This is one flavorful rice dish to go with the other main dishes such as Fish Curry, Lamb Roganjosh, Ayam Piru Rendang (Turkey Rendang), Redang Daging (Beef Rendang), Ayam Percik, Deep Fried Fish Fillet with Thai Sauce, Black Pepper Prawns, Vegeatable Au Gratin, Curry Kapitan and Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables.

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To clear off the heavy meals, you would have a selection of Fresh Fruit Cuts, Cakes, Tarts, Strudel, Jellies, Puddings, Mousse, Gelato Ice Cream, Chocolate Fountain and local desserts such as the Rojak, Bubur Gandum and an assortment of Malays Kuih Muih.

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Since it’s the durian season in Penang, my award winning dessert would go to the Durian Mousse filled with fresh durian meat.

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Overall, G Hotel has an advantage over other hotels as their Ramadhan packages do cover all the different themes from all over Malaysia as well as Middle East and Peranakan cuisine. Some of the dishes served can really be rather unique for the diners at the Northern region here.

OTHER OFFERS: Please refer to their online brochure

G Hotel also offers Ramadhan Meeting Package from RM50++ per person onwards. This package includes the usage of a conference hall for up till eight hours, free wi-fi internet and also complimentary fitness session, head and shoulder massage and usage of Nintendo Wii. This will allow participants to have a break after sessions of meetings.

G Hotel also do provide Private Buka Puasa Dinner Buffet priced at RM 65++ per person. Both the Private Buka Puasa Private Dinner and Ramadhan Meeting Package are available till the end of July 2014. With a minimum persons of 30, this dinner buffet is inclusive of free flow air bandung, individually packed red dates and usage of surau.

In addition to make your Ramadhan better, the Ramadhan Room Package offers you modern and stylish room accommodation for only from RM498++. The benefits include free WiFi throughout the hotel and non-alcoholic mini bar with chocolate bar on daily replenishment. Staying period is from 29 June to 25 July 2014.

For dinner reservations at G Café, please call 604 238 0000 or email [email protected] For Meeting Package, Room Package and Private Buka Puasa Dinner Buffet, call 604 238 0000 or email [email protected]

The G Cafe is located at the ground floor of G Hotel. If you walk in through the front entrance along Persiaran Gurney, just head towards the end of the reception counter and you will see the café on your left. The café has an al fresco area too.

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Name: G CAFE @ G HOTEL
Address: 168-A Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-238 0000
Business Hours: 7.00pm-10.30am (Ramadan Buffet only)
GPS: 5.437637, 100.310567

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

 

Many people would have passed through the stretch of Jalan Kelawei without noticing that there’s this little cozy yet simple setting restaurant just two doors away from Meijiya, a Japanese products crockery store. Named Eighty Eight Restaurant, after the birth year of the chef-cum-owner, Chef Danny Ng (center in photo below), the restaurant has proven to be one of the best of the best in Penang. Trained at the reputable At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy in Singapore, Chef Danny Ng has brought home many international style of cooking techniques that not many restaurants in Penang are executing as it involved humongous investment and is rather time consuming. To the chef, getting a dish done perfectly in taste and texture to the fulfillment of a diner is what he’s passionate about and time is another matter. Sous-vide, a vacuum cooking technique, is regularly practiced in this restaurant. We were glad to be invited to try out their ala carte dinner menu for the month. Set lunch would also be available at RM30+ daily, except for their off day on Tuesday.

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As the meal starter, we were served with hot Muffin Bread with Burned Butter. The clean sliced homemade muffin bread had the texture which I like as it has a bit chewy consistency. It went well with the chef’s burned butter, a browning process of unsalted butter until the required almost nutty flavor. Everyone was pleased with this starter and was eagerly waiting for the chef’s next surprise.

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The chef’s version of Caesar Salad (RM20+) was served. Though simple as it may look, the cold starter was indeed a master piece by itself. It had sliced crispy baby romaine lettuce, confit cherry tomatoes, anchovies, shredded egg white and yolk, dressed in their homemade caesar dressing, garnished with a sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano and some thinly sliced muffin bread crouton. It was perfect for any occasion.

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In case you might want to try a different cold starter, I would strongly recommend the Jamón Ibérico (RM30+). The cold starter came with some paper thin slices of Spanish Cured (Black Iberian Pig) Ham, drizzled with balsamic reduction, Spain imported extra virgin olive oil, garnished with some leafy baby rockets and served with their homemade fried dough, Gnocco Fritto, little pillows as they have been known.

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The crispy surface of the fried dough, wrapped with a slice of the cured ham, combined with a leaf of baby rocket was amazing. I could have this starter all night long without any main course~ LOL~ 😛

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As for hot starter, we tried out their Saute Clams (RM20+). It was a totally new experience at all compared to the Vongole in White Wine Sauce I had tried elsewhere. The clams here were cooked differently as in prawn stock, fresh tomatoes, oven dried tomatoes, basil and parsley with a light touch of brandy. The light bitter sweetness sauce was heavenly. How I wished I could dip some toasted bread in it and drained up any remaining of the sauce. Of course, the clams were super fresh and cooked with just the right texture.

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We were also served with bowls of Prawn Bisque (RM26+), a soup that was milder than the Lobster Bisque I had in another restaurant. Though it had a quite intrusive roasted white prawn shells flavor which some might not be used to, I found the soup to be quite interesting. It had chunks of squids and clam meats added in on top of halved big prawn, some diced tomatoes and chopped parsley plus sprinkles of grounded black pepper with a light pep up in taste from some parsley oil. The whole concoction was very flavorful, though I quite like it to have some additional white wine and cognac flavors in it for some extra boosts~ 😛

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The restaurant was kind enough to compliment us with their homemade Strawberry Sorbet (normal price for a larger scoop is RM8+) for clearing off the lingering seafood after taste. The sorbet had some light sprinkles of fleur de sel, a hand harvested and expensive salt to pep up the flavors.

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We also had their signature Seafood Linguine (RM45+) next. Instead of the usual pasta which consisted of basically tomato puree, the version here had the pure flavors from the fish broth used. The ala-minute pasta came with some sundried tomatoes, black olives, cherry tomatoes, capers, clams and prawns with a mild touch of fresh herbs. Though it was a bit pricey for most of us, the contentment was until the extreme. It was the best pasta I had tasted for ages and every bite was worth the value paid.

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As for main, we were served with a fish dish of the month – France imported Whole Baked Sea Bream (RM75+), which was air-flown directly from France with the best care to ensure its freshness. The fish was marinated simple with just some chopped parsley, salt and lemon zest, to ensure that we get the best natural sweetness from the fish. The oven-roasted fish was served with some mashed potatoes, white wine sauce and rocket salad. The texture of the fish was lean and coarse-grained, almost similar to that of the sea bass but thinner. I personally find the price for the barely 400g sea bream to be rather costly. Even though the chef was rather selective in his fish choices, there are still options for other fish species in the local market for self caught fish other than those reared ones. At least, it would enable more diners to savor his skills in preparing his fish dish.

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Another great main dish would be their Oven Roasted Baby Lamb Rumps (RM68+). The Australian imported lamb rumps had gone through many stages of herbs infused pan searing to seal in the flavors prior to being oven roasted until perfection. I would say this dish was the best ever with my experiences in consuming lamb dishes. The tenderness of the lamb pieces were just right without the oozing blood as you would get from most restaurant. The evenly coated charcoal powder added some smoke flavors which complemented the meat real well. The skillfully prepared lamb rumps came served with some Japanese pumpkin pureé, mint jus and baby rocket.

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Finally, desserts were served. We were served one of their signature desserts which was their “Chocolate & Banana” 2012 (RM22+). The dessert had a combination of some frozen Varlhona chocolate mousse with some banana mousse, sprinkled with some chocolate & coffee crumbles and served with their homemade banana ice cream. This was so far one of the most luxurious desserts I have taken, considering that the Varlhona brand is a high-grade luxury chocolate marketed and this choice had 50% dark chocolate content.

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Another of my award winning choice would be their Gratin Sabayone (RM18+). I would anytime choose this dessert over Crème Brulee as the flavors were spectacularly undeniable over the latter. It had some fresh strawberry cuts, dressed with some fortified Marsala wine infused egg based custard prior to being torch burned. This dessert was served with their homemade and non-stabilizer used vanilla ice cream. Be sure to consume the ice cream as it would melt fast.

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We also had a try out on their Vanilla Panna Cotta (RM20+). This Italian style pudding had the natural usage of fresh Vanilla pods as you can clearly see the seed at the base of the pudding. The taste of the Vanilla Panna Cotta served here was way more superior in quality than those served elsewhere with the usage of Vanilla Essence. It was served with mixed berries compote which gave the dessert an extra fruity flavor.

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Overall, I personally felt that this is one of the best fine food restaurants in Penang, considering that all the dishes served here were of fresh ingredients and homemade with the strictest possible discipline to ensure that diners get the best in freshness, taste and presentation. No doubt some of the dishes may look rather simple, you could sense that each dish had the heart of the chef in it, ensuring that every single detail in the dish has the right balance in taste right from the basic stock alone. The creativity of the young chef is beyond his age through his knowledge and experiences throughout his overseas culinary journey. In short, he knows his stuff all too well~ 🙂

If you are coming from George Town towards Tanjung Bungah/Batu Ferringhi along Jalan Kelawei, just watch out for a tall orange flat (Pulau Tikus UDA Flats) at the junction of Jalan Jones/Jalan Kelawei on your left. Slow down and switch on your left indicator, Eighty Eight Restaurant is just right after Kitchen Shop on your left. There would be ample parking spaces right in front of the restaurant.

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Name: THE EIGHTY EIGHT RESTAURANT
Address: 49-A Jalan Kelawei, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 2821
Business Hours: 12.00noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.00pm (Closed Tuesday)
GPS: 5.431671, 100.314493

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

 

From the largest and famous Fengjia Night Market (逢甲夜市) in Taichung, Taiwan, emerged a delicious new concept Taiwanese snack called Squidto (黄金贼) which had endless queues of seafood enthusiasts lining up nightly to have their boost of the mouth watering snack. This succulent deep fried Argentina-imported giant squid stuffed with seafood baked rice snack has finally arrived with the sole franchise outside Taiwan outlet located at Basement 1 Gurney Plaza, Penang.

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Just take a look at the mock at the counter and you would be amazed at how gigantic each squid snack is in comparison to the pen size. Each of the Argentina-imported giant squid would be evenly sized at approximately 6 inches each. Wow! That would be huge for a snack. Some diners were believed to even consume it as a main meal since it had the 3 basic items such as vegetables (julienned cabbage), protein (deep fried squid) and starch (seafood baked rice).

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Prior to being deep fried in a timely preset fryer, each of the squid would be coated in a specially imported breadcrumbs mixture which gave the snack a crispy exterior while maintaining the moist and juiciness within.

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The stuffing for the squid can be quite filling as it used a special graded rice grains which had the glutinous rice texture. Cooked almost similar to how the Italians would cook their risotto, this creamy stuffing had many secret ingredients added in. Visually you can find some finely diced kani crabstick, baby anchovies, baby dried shrimps, finely chopped squid bits and corn kernels with light hints of sweetness and saltiness coming from some onions, butter and cheese. It was not bad at all as the taste from the stuffing was not too strong to overpower the freshness of the squid.

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Basically, the squids were all coated and deep fried in the same way, except for the choice of different dressings. There are 4 standard international flavors available such as the French Honey Mustard Sauce (法式蜂蜜芥末醬), Japanese Sesame (Goma) Sauce (日式和風芝麻沙拉醬), Thai Hot & Sour Sauce (泰式酸辣醬) and Italian Basil Green Sauce(意式羅勒青醬). Other local flavors would also be available for limited period such as the currently promote Cheesy Sauce (奶酪醬). Though the French and Thai sauces remained the two top favorite in Taiwan, my personal liking would be for the French and Italian sauces. As for visual only, here are the 4 standard flavors as shown in the photo below. You are allowed to CHOOSE ONE FLAVOR ONLY. All the 4 standard orders would cost RM8.90nett each while other flavors under promotion might differ such as the Cheesy Sauce set at RM9.90nett. Other promotion included One Set Plus One Drink at RM10.80nett.

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Here’s a comparison between the flavors for the French Honey Mustard Sauce versus the Japanese Sesame (Goma) Sauce here. The former sauce is definitely the best choice for deep fried and grilled items. The Goma Sauce on the other hand needed some acquired taste. I would personally prefer the latter sauce to be dressed on vegetables rather than protein.

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The Thai Hot & Sour Sauce and Italian Basil Green Sauce were quite acceptable by all. The Taiwanese liked the Thai Hot & Sour Sauce more but I found it to be too mild to my liking. Instead, I prefer the Italian Basil Green Sauce more as I love the taste of herbs and spices more.

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There are only 2 types of drinks available here such as the Iced Honey Green Tea (RM2.90nett) and Iced Winter Melon Tea (RM2.90nett). Both beverages were just at an acceptable level considering that they are not the expert in tea drinks.

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Overall, the flavors for the items are within the acceptable level. It would be best to consume the items at the outlet as takeaways might get cold too soon and affect the quality of crispiness and juiciness.

Find your way to Gurney Plaza and use the escalator to go one level down to the basement. As you reach the basement, turn right and walk towards the middle and you would see the outlet right in between Scallop-Q and Mr Teppanyaki. You won’t miss it as it has a steady flow of customer there almost always.

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Name: SQUIDTO (黄金賊) @ GURNEY PLAZA
Address: 170-B1-K5, Plaza Gurney, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 012-481 3832, 017-400 3618
Business Hours: 10.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.437391, 100.309453

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

 

If you are a pork lover, you are in for a great treat as Sticky Bones from the reputable Morganfield’s, Kuala Lumpur, has finally set its foot up north in Penang since 1 June 2011, with the opening of its second outlet at Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang. The Western dining outlet with an American Midwest concept is set in a rustic, raw and retro ambience, serving appetizing soulful cuisine while enabling diners to relax in a blue-jazz tunes environment. Basically, the restaurant would serve a huge selection of pork related dishes with Sticky Bones being the main attraction. Other choices would include some mouth-watering appetizers, crispy garden salads, succulent steaks & chops, matching combos, fresh seafood from the sea, innovative poultry meals and glam burgers to delightful sandwiches. There would surely be something palatable available here to suit the liking of any non-Muslims regardless of age. All the pork ribs are imported from Holland, Spain, Belgium and Germany, thus you can be assured of the quality.

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We had quite a hearty appetizers and salad even before we started with the main course. The first dish that was served was the Spicy Chicken Wings (RM16.90++). It had 6 pieces of succulent deep fried chicken wing, tossed with spicy BBQ sauce and served with crunchy romaine lettuce and ranch salad dressing. They were reasonably tasty.

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The next appetizer was the Sauteed Mushrooms (RM14.90++). I love Eryngii mushrooms a lot as the fresh mushrooms have that nice crunchiness and earthly flavors to my liking. Morganfield’s would definitely be my next alternative venue to please my craving for Eryngii mushroom dishes other than at one of my most frequent café, Get’em Smack. This restaurant did a step further by infusing the flavors with merlot garlic butter. The mild flavors from the white and red wine used sure pepped up the mushy flavors in the dishes. The dish came garnished with some chopped spring onions and grated Parmesan cheese. Thumbs up!

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We also had the Appetizer Platter (RM34.90++). The platter came with 4 pieces of the Spicy Chicken Wings, 4 pieces of baked Russet Burbank Potato Skins and a basket of Corn Tortilla Chips (about 20 pcs) serve with the dip of your choice, either Crab & Spinach Dip or Chili Con Carne Dip. Both options would come with some ranch dressing and BBQ ranch dressing.

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Most of the diners would order the Crab & Spinach Dip, especially when you don’t have to peel them. Haha! The dip indeed had the creamy and cheesy flavors, which complemented the corn tortilla chips well. There were some mild presence of drained and chopped spinach, Parmesan cheese, garlic, yoghurt, salt and pepper on top of some chunky crab meats. This dip will be best taken fast when it’s served hot. I won’t mind having a few twist of freshly grounded black pepper added in too. Alternatively, you could substitute the dip with the Chili Con Carne. This Texas state official dish had chunky minced pork cooked with some tomatoes, various chili peppers, garlic, onions, herbs, pepper and salt. Although this wonderful dip had all the chili peppers added it, it was not as spicy as I expected. Thus, it would still suit any ages of diners.

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The next appetizer was the Pork Sausage Platter (RM32.90++) that would come with 4 different types of grilled pork sausages, namely the Spicy Hungarian (thick reddish brown), Bratwurst (thick beige), Smoked Sausage (thin & short) and Emmentaler Cheese Sausage (thin & long). These delicious pork sausages were served with garlic aioli, Dijon mustard and fresh coleslaw. Of the 4 sausages, I kind of like the Emmentaler Cheese Sausage as the meat was flavorful and has a mild cheesy flavor from the oozing Swiss cheese. As for the condiment, the garlic aioli was our favorite as it has that nice combination of minced garlic in mayonnaise with some mild mix of salt and black pepper and light squeeze of lemon juice.

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We also had the Chicken Caesar Salad (RM19.90++). The salad had some fresh Romaine lettuce tossed with their homemade Caesar dressing, topped with tender grilled ranch chicken breast meat and garnished with some crispy pork bacon bits, croutons, some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and some freshly grounded black pepper. The salad dressing had some eggy texture with a light hint of Dijon mustard. The salad was simply refreshing but it would be great if those croutons were replaced with garlic croutons for the additional flavor.

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Of course, a visit to Morganfield’s would not be complete without ordering their signature BBQ spare ribs – the Sticky Bones (RM38.90++ half slab, RM68.90++ full slab)! These heavenly and succulent spare ribs would come in 3 flavors, namely the Hickory BBQ Spare Ribs, Tuscan Baked Spicy Spare Ribs and Smoked Peppercorn Spare Ribs. We opted for half slab of the Hickory BBQ Spare Ribs. It was huge and meaty with some presence of cartilages compared to the size of the baby back ribs I had tried elsewhere. The meat on the tender and flavorful slow cooked spare ribs in coal and hickory wood just fell off easily from the bones. It was perfect with some sweet, hickory and cider tanginess flavored barbeque sauce glazed on the meaty ribs. Maybe I’m a strong flavor eater but it would be more than perfect if a bit more of liquid smoke being added in the BBQ sauce for that extra smoky flavor. Anyhow, this dish would still remain as my all-time favorite and would definitely fit your palate for delicious BBQ spare ribs.

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In case it might get a bit messy since the Sticky Bones are meant to be eaten the American way of using both the hands, a themed apron would be provided to avoid getting your attire dirty. Of so many versions, I kind of like this one most – “Money can’t buy me love, but it can buy me pork ribs”. Nice one there! 🙂

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On top of all the porky dishes, there would also be some poultry dishes. One of my favorites was the Chicken Roulade (RM32.90++). The dish had grilled bacon wrapped chicken thigh meat stuffed with juicy sausage and served with red skin mashed potatoes, blanched garden vegetables with pommery mustard sauce. The slices were amazingly flavorful with the heavenly creamy pommery mustard spiced sauce. The red skin mashed potatoes was also great, considering that it was coarsely mashed to my liking.

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There would also be some mouth-watering desserts to complete a meal. We had the Bread Pudding (RM12.90++), served warm in whiskey sauce with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Wow! The nicely baked bread pudding with some custard went so well with the whiskey sauce and ice cream. You would not have to worry on getting drunk as the alcohol content would have been evaporated after the whiskey has been sweetened on fire.

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Another great dessert would be their Chocolate Lava Cake (RM14.90++). The moist and warm chocolate cake with rich oozing dark chocolate on caramel sauce, served with vanilla ice cream was simply fantabulous! As semi sweet 46% dark chocolate was being used in making this cake, it looked quite charcoal black but the overall taste was superb.

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As Morganfield’s is one of those relaxing venues with only sports and cartoon channels being shown as entertainment, it’s a great place to unwind from the hustle and bustle of your busy schedules and spend some relaxing moments with the companionships of your group of friends, colleagues and guests. You can pick from more than 100 types of beverages such as mocktails, cocktails, wines, spirits and more for unwinding. They have the longest Happy Hours from 11.00am to 8.00pm (Monday – Saturday) and full operation hours on Sundays. Draught beers would be at “Buy 1 pint FREE 1/2 pint” and wines would be sold NETT per glass. Don’t you think it’s a great bargain to pair the alcoholic beverages with your meaty meals? For non-alcoholic drinkers, they do have some impressive chilled and blended coolers to quench your thirst. Some of those beverages we had included the Virgin Apple Mojito (RM13.90++: fresh apple juice, apple chunks, mint leaves & brown sugar in soda), Iced Cold Lemonade (RM9.90++: freshly squeezed lemon juice, splashed with lemon lime in soda), Mango & Lime Lassi (RM14.90++: mango puree with yoghurt, lemon and lime squeeze) and Lipstick (RM14.90++: blended strawberries, banana and crème of coconut). Well, I did not get my lips red after having this beverage. LOL!

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Do check out their 3 days promotion (15-17 June 2012) for Fathers’ Day 2012. It’s a great bargain at RM119++ for two persons. Please click on the menu below for a clearer picture on the menu.

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Overall, I’m quite happy with the choices of food served here compared to other quite related restaurants and the ambience was so cottage homely. Though the price might be a bit steep for some Penang diners, the portion served for major dishes can be quite filling. There would be 10% + 6% tax imposed on all items ordered. But no worries as Morganfield’s is giving away a “RM10 voucher for your next visit” for every receipt above RM100 for a limited period.

The Gurney Paragon Mall is just two blocks before the G-Hotel along the beautiful promenade of Gurney Drive. As you enter the place, you would see the east wing of the Gurney Paragon Residences/Condominium on your left and the west wing on the right. Walk right into the premises and you will see the skillfully reconstruction of the St. Joseph’s Novitiate which former used to house the Upland’s School. The restaurant is prominently located at the left side of the building with ample seating places indoor as well as at the el fresco area. You’ll surely get great views of the seaside as well as the fountain show daily.

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Name: MORGANFIELD’S @ GURNEY PARAGON MALL
Address: Lot 163-G-01, Gurney Paragon Mall, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 2487
Business Hours: 11.00am – 12.00am
Website: http://www.morganfields.com/
GPS: 5.436072, 100.311693

Other outlets:
Kuala Lumpur: C4.03.00, Level 4, Pavilion KL Shopping Mall. Tel: 603- 2141 3192
Singapore: To be opened at 1 North Buona Vista by September 2012

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

 

Located at a secluded corner lot of the newly renovated level 6 F&B section of Gurney Plaza, this unadorned yet quaint little eatery may have been overlooked by many as just another dessert café in the mall. Carrying the name Macaron Café and with a vast display of delicious yet colorful treats, I won’t be surprise that many passers-by would have the misperception. Other than desserts, Macaron Café would also serve other items ranging from appetizers, salads, soups, pastas and many little snacks of the day.

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Indeed as the name depicts, this cafe serves one of the best macarons I have tasted. They were as crispy, chewy and flavorful as they should be. Those served here were to my liking as the chefs had created a version that had the minimal usage of sugar for the best texture. Thus, those macarons were not overly sweet as others. The meringue base confectioneries are practically made out of egg whites, a combination of different types of sugar, almond powder, permissible food flavors and colorings. The café would serve at least one third of the over 30 flavors that would be available daily. Although it would take a skillful chef to come out with great shaped macarons, the dessert is quite versatile for great creativity. You can have it just by itself with butter cream or jam filling or even use it for dessert decorations. One thing I would love to see from this café would be a Macaron Burger since it looked just like one except for the filling. This would surely attract more out-of-curiosity diners for the uniqueness. Hmm… I’m now thinking of macarons filled with fresh/butter cream, fresh fruit cuts with some toasted almond flakes~ 😛 At the time of my visit, there were about 9 flavors of macarons left. My personal pick: Rum & Raisins, Jaffa (orange macaron with chocolate filling) and Chocolate.

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Left – (back to front): Black Sesame, Chocolate & Coffee, Right (back to front): Rum & Raisins, Lemon, Jaffa, Strawberry Bubble Gum, Mint Chocolate and Double Mint. Price Range: 1 pc-RM3.00+, 5pcs-RM14.00+ and 10pcs-RM27.50+

There are a few types of beverages available here such as coffee, tea, chocolate and fizzy drinks. What would be the best beverage to go for with macarons or other sweet treats? It’s none other than latte! I had the Irish Cream Latte (RM8.90+) and it went well with my desserts.

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The café also serves a few different types of cakes daily. The selection varies daily based on the creation of its pastry chef. One of the favorite pick by customers would be the Rainbow Cake (RM8.90+). It has seven layers of colored vanilla butter cakes filled with strawberry jam and butter cream at alternative layers. It was soft and spongy with a mild sweetness. If you had a hard time remembering the colors of a rainbow, here’s a tip. Just remember the first character of this phrase: “Royal Of Yolk Goes Battle In Vain” meaning R-Red, O-Orange, Y-Yellow, G-Green, B-Blue, I-Indigo and V-Violet.

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It happened that the pastry chef had created a new cake for the day and I had the opportunity to try it out. It was the Black Sesame Cheese Cake (RM12.90+). Due to the earthly color of the black sesame combined with the milky white color of the cheese, the presentation might look like a sliced strawberry on a concrete floor but this concoction indeed gave a unique flavor to the cheese cake. The fragrance emitted from the blended black sesame seeds complemented the cheesy cream cheese taste well except that it was a tiny bit on the salty side. It might be a good idea to reduce a bit more salt from the recipe as cheese itself has the existing tad of saltiness. The base for the cheese cake was also handmade. Instead of the normal digestive biscuit texture, it had strusel, the same sandy compound used for crumbles.

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There was also the Chocolate Brownie (RM7.50+) studded with a generous amount of chopped walnuts.

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If you need something lighter, you could always go for the Lamington (RM2.50+). It was just a cuboid shaped sponge cake, coated with a thin layer of chocolate and desiccated coconut.

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As I had mentioned above, Macaron Café do serve other savory items ranging from appetizers, salads, soups, pastas and many little snacks of the day. As appetizer, you can try out the Chicken Roulade (RM10.90+). The preparation was almost similar to the Chicken Cordon Bleu but without the bread crumbs. This dish had pan seared chicken breast meat rolled up with turkey ham, cream cheese and spinach served on a salsa-like salad consisted of diced tomatoes, onions, sweet basil with a squeeze of kaffir lime juice. It was a simple yet fulfilling dish to start a meal.

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As for soup, there was the Forest Mushroom Soup (RM12.00+), topped with some cream and served with 4 slices of toasted garlic bread. The soup had 4 types of fresh mushrooms blended in such as shitake, button, shimeji white and brown. Although the creaminess of the soup was just right but it lacked more earthly mushroom flavors. Somehow I would think that the kitchen should add in more distinctive flavored mushrooms such as the fresh Portobello mushroom aka matured Swiss brown mushroom since I personally considered the pricing to be a bit too high for just a soup. I had better ones before at my regular Western cuisine stall at a much lower price of RM5.00nett.

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The Penne Pollo (RM16.90+) had penne pasta mixed in sauteed shimeji white mushroom, shitake mushroom and chicken slices in a creamy pesto sauce. Sweet basil is the main ingredient in any pesto sauce, all blended in with garlic, pine nuts, parmesan cheese and olive oil. The café has twisted the recipe a bit by adding in some Thai basil for the extra flavors, thus it had that super strong basil taste which some non basil lovers might detest. Moreover, the dish lacked the color presentation. The whole dish looked rather green and overly sauced. Maybe they should try out what other eateries had done in terms of flavors and presentation such as at Nostalgie along Lorong Stewart, Penang. I personally would prefer pan-fried chicken over sautéed chicken breast meat with some fresh greens such as some cherry tomatoes to suppress the overwhelming taste of basil leaves. This dish was garnished with some parmesan cheese.

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The café would also serve some ad hoc ala carte dishes occasionally such as American Beef Burger (RM16.90+), Chicken Picatta (RM18.90+), Chicken Parmagiana (RM18.90+), Croque Monsieur (RM14.90+), Croque Madame (RM15.90+), Pavlova (RM10.90+) and many more. Overall, the café fair better in sweet treats rather than savory dishes. I guessed they would need more time to balance up the best of both worlds to be a super star in the culinary industry. All items would have a 10% service tax imposed.

If you know how to get to Gurney Plaza, you won’t have any problem finding the café as it’s just next to the escalator up at level 6 of the mall, somewhat hidden behind a big square pillar.

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Name: MACARON CAFÉ @ GURNEY PLAZA
Address:
170-06-01A, 6th Floor, Gurney Plaza (Old Wing),
Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 4389
Business Hours: 10.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.437204, 100.308844

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: 7/10 (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)

 

A GENTLE TOUCH OF FUSION AT KOI JAPANESE GURNEY PLAZA PENANG

Posted by crizlai On March - 22 - 2012

If you need something Japanese and with a touch of fusion by infusing some parts of the Western culture into the Eastern ways, then Koi Japanese would be the ideal place for you. Not only were the dishes prepared in many unique ways, they are also economical for the consumers. Thus, you won’t get your pocket burned when dining here. The design of the restaurant was simple and yet elegant enough for any crowd.

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I had the opportunity to pay a visit to this restaurant to try out some of their signature dishes. The first dish which was the Popeye Salad (RM18.80+) may look simple at the first glance but each mouthful was very refreshing. Who would have thought that just some sautéed dried shrimps and garlic in olive oil plus a mild dash of soy sauce on a big plateful of fresh Chinese spinach would have giving the overall taste such a punch? The crunchy sensation from the slightly salty dried prawns combined with the fragrance from the garlic was a great experience for me. It was indeed a perfect salad for any ages.

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They also serve a number of colorful and tasty signature maki with catchy names such as the Pink Sakura, Surf & Turf, Hawaii, Rock & Roll and more. What caught my attention was the Bread Crunch (RM14.80+/8pcs or RM7.80+/4pcs). The maki stood out amongst the rest as it did not contain any vinegar boosted steamed Japanese rice (sushi rice) but instead it used soft and fluffy bread. It had a piece of bread on a nori (dried seaweed sheet) rolled up with crabstick, cream cheese, ebiko (prawn roe), shredded cucumber, sweetened egg, crunchy butter toasted croutons with a light touch of mayonnaise. Each square shaped maki had some coarsely pounded cheese roasted peanuts garnished on it. I love the slightly chewy yet crunchy bite, especially with some added wasabi~ 🙂 You should not miss out this dish!

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As for the Koi Signature Cold Dishes section, I tried out two of their most ordered items. One of them was the Salmon Kelp Roll (RM24.80+/8pcs). The roll had a thinly and translucent piece of salmon wrapped with crabstick, cream cheese, chopped spring onions and garnished with some ebiko. These rolls were served on a plate with some mayonnaise and the chef’s signature dressing which had a sandy grated daikon (radish) texture plus some sweet soy sauce and vinaigrette. This would be one dish that would be worth ordering, especially when there’s the seasonal 35% discount (RM16.12+ only) until end of March 2012.

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The next of the cold dish would be the Australian Beef Tataki Koi Style (RM38.80+/10slices). For non beef eater, you can have the option for tuna too. The grounded black pepper marinated Australian beef was seared to perfection and cut into thin slices, dressed with a special sauce and garnish with some chopped spring onions and grated daikon. The sauce had some hints of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, olive oil, rice vinegar, grated ginger and most probably with a touch of sake or rice wine as it had that mild sourness.

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As for the Koi Signature Hot Dishes section, I tried out the Tuna Steak (RM28.80+). Other than having the tuna raw for my sashimi, I have yet to try out a thick slab of red tuna fillet seared medium-rare. If you like steak, you would love this meaty black pepper crusted tuna steak. It had that nice and tender rawness to my liking. From the texture of the tuna steak, I’m sure that the fish was seared for barely 2 minutes on each side. Instead of serving plain or with teriyaki sauce, this tuna steak had the chef’s signature sauce with some deep fried garlic slices garnished on it. The sauce had some apple fruity sweetness with hints from some grated ginger, shallots, garlic, radish, soy sauce, mirin sauce, miso paste and some spices. This is one of my favorite fish dishes so far.

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As for the desserts which were quite limited here, I opted for the Ice Cream Tempura (RM6.80+ with either green tea or vanilla ice cream). It tasted just like the fried ice cream recipe I did, except it had that extra tempura crisp. The green tea ice cream was awesome as it was homemade with a rich macha flavor. Unfortunately, the bread use was a bit on the thick side, thus not having that extra crispiness and got soiled easily by the melting ice cream. The chef should have rolled the bread flat before wrapping in order to have a more dense texture to avoid the sogginess issue. Other than that, it was still a nice hot and cold dessert. The dessert was served with a squeeze of honey.

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As for beverages, you can have teas, juices, sodas, floats, soft drinks, beers, sake or even sochu. I tried out the Tokyo Blue (RM5.80+) in the soda section. It had a concoction of blue curacao syrup and pineapple juice, jazzed up by some fizzy soda water. It was quite thirst quenching.

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Overall, some of the dishes served here were quite extraordinary compared to most of the Japanese restaurants I have been to. The culinary team members were quite innovative in incorporating some of the Western spices into the Asian cuisine. Price wise, some of the dishes could be on the high side but they do have seasonal and membership (RM20 per annum) discounts throughout the year to enable diners to savor their dishes comfortably and economically. For more information on their menu and promotions, you can check out their website at http://koijapanesecuisine.com/

I don’t think I would need to describe the way to Koi Japanese as most people would know how to get to Gurney Plaza. Just walk towards the new wing of the mall and go to level 2, above McDonald’s and next to Sushi King.

KOIMAP

Name: KOI JAPANESE
Address:
170-02-59 & 60, 2nd Floor, Gurney Plaza (New Wing),
Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 604-227 7112, 012-414 5885 (Ms. Daisy Lee)
Business Hours: 10.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.437696, 100.309592
Website: www.koijapanesecuisine.com/

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

 

Ever since the mushrooming of many Thai restaurants in Pulau Tikus, the district has recently become the newest target for local and overseas dessert outlets. Outlets such as Tang Bo Fu (Pulau Tikus), ZenQ (Gurney Plaza), Lucky Desserts (Gurney Plaza) and the latest being BlackBall – Original Taiwanese Tea & Dessert, which would be officially open on 20 December 2011. Ever since its establishment in 2006, BlackBall now stands as one of the biggest dessert chains in Taipei with over 20 outlets and still expanding. Today, our fellow Malaysians would get the chance to savor the delicious desserts and teas from Taiwan at 5 strategically located outlets, starting with the first outlet in SS15 (PJ), followed by KSL City Mall (JB), Sri Petaling (KL), Pulau Tikus (Penang) and Damansara Uptown (PJ).

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I would say this would be one of the first few dessert chains in Malaysia with a state-of-the-art gadget when ordering. Each order would come with a unique gadget which would beep and blink when your orders are ready for collections at a specific counter. What a great way to find yourselves comfortably seated while waiting for your desserts to be prepared.

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As a trade secret, the company would not disclose much information on the compound on some of the ingredients. One thing for sure is that they do use a herbal plant known as Xian Cao (仙草). This magical plant is also commonly known as Jiao Gu Lan (绞股蓝/ Gynostemma pentaphyllum/ twisting vine orchid/ herb of immortality). It’s reputed to lengthen your life with its powerful antioxidant and adaptogenic effects, so much so that it had become a key inclusion in most traditional desserts across Taiwan as well as being made into tea bags. It also had been clinically proven that by consuming Xian Cao, one would have a lower blood pressure and cholesterol, a better body immune system and cancer risk free.

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Basically, the desserts consisted of BlackBall Signature, BlackBall Combo, Signature Drink, Winter Melon Tea Series, Traditional Tea, QQ Drink Series, Smoothie Series, “Jiu Fen” Taro Ball Series and BlackBall Crushed Ice, all within the range of RM4.90 nett to RM6.50 nett. Additional topping would be charged at an additional RM1 per topping. The toppings are Taro Ball (scallop shape), Taro Q (rectangular shape), Pearl, Red Bean, Green Bean, Sweetened Bean, Chinese Barley, Lotus Seed, Coco Jelly, Brown Sugar Jelly (Taiwanese version of a more QQ local “leong fun” cubes), Aloe Vera, Sky (White) Pearl, Sweetened Taro and Fresh Milk. All beverages come in 700cc size. You can enlarge the menu below for a clearer view.

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We had the BlackBall Signature (Hot & Cold – RM6.50) which came with Taro Ball, Taro Q, Pearl, grass jelly and red beans served with some fresh milk. Both the hot and cold desserts were nice with the hot version having a more distinctive herbal after taste. The Taro Ball had a more al dente texture whereas the Taro Q has a more powdery taro taste as lesser potato flour was added in. The orange ones were made from red potatoes and the yellow ones were of sweet potatoes.

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There were also the BlackBall Combo (with Taro Ball and Pearl): BlackBall Crushed Ice (Combo D with additional Chinese Barley & Lotus Seed – RM6.50) and BlackBall Combo (with Taro Ball and Pearl): Grass Jelly Ice (Combo H with additional Green Bean & Lotus Seed – RM6.50). The one with crushed ice came with some brown syrup and this tasted a bit like our Malaysian palm sugar.

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The “Jiu Fen” Taro Ball Crushed Ice (RM6.50) had a special type of pale color sweetened bean added in on top of the Pearl, Taro Ball and crushed ice. The beans tasted quite similar to the sweetened red kidney beans. As usual, anything with crushed ice would come with a small canister of brown syrup.

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As for beverages, we had quite a few choices. We tried out the Fresh Milk with Grass Jelly (RM5.90). This would be a nice choice for those fresh milk lovers. The whole concoction had a slight saltiness but creamy taste from the fresh milk with a mild touch of herbal after taste. Not bad but surely not my kind of unsweetened beverage.

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The Winter Melon Tea with Sky Pearl (RM5.90) was quite a hit amongst some of us. The quite highly concentrated brew went well with the sky pearls.

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Somehow, most of the ladies loved the QQ Cranberry Lemon Juice (RM5.90). Well, some guys did too. Hmm… I thought it would only benefit the ladies only against bacterial infections in the urinary system or commonly known as urinary tract infection? Haha! Well… no worries as cranberry juice would also help to level up the HDL (good cholesterol) against the LDL (bad cholesterol). Moreover, it’s great to destroy some stomach problem causing bacterias. The cranberry juice served here was rather highly concentrated compared to those other brands I obtained from the supermarkets. I love it especially with a mild twist of lemon juice! It came with some pearls and coco jellies.

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The Signature “Xian Cao” Tea with Grass Jelly (RM5.90) had that unique herbal taste, quite similar to having Guilinggao (龜苓膏/Tortoise Jelly),less bitter and in a more diluted form. I love the way this beverage had been prepared without much sweetening.

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The combination of the 3Q Passion Fruit Green Tea (RM5.90) was also special but a bit too sweet to my liking. Maybe I ought to get them to reduce the sweetness for my cup of beverage. This beverage came with some added pearls, coco jellies and jade jelly (愛玉冰/Aiyu Jelly/O-Gio/噢橋) with some traces of the passion fruit pulps and seeds. Note: AiYu Jelly is actually made by rubbing the seeds from a variety of figs (無花果) in which would exude a sticky gel that would form into jelly at certain cool temperature.

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The do have Yoghurt Green Tea (RM5.90) too. The green tea taste was a bit overpowering in proportion to the yoghurt used. I’m not sure if they were using the Japanese probiotic milk/yoghurt-like product named Yakult as it did not have that unique yoghurt taste as the ones I had at Tea Secret, Queensbay Mall, Penang.

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There’s the term “save the best for last” and indeed the last beverage we had which was the Boba Milk Tea (RM5.90) was a hit amongst some of us. This beverage came with some added pearls. The sweetness was just right for me and the tea used indeed blended in well with the fresh milk used.

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Since the 3rd to the 5th Blackball outlets [Sri Petaling (KL), Pulau Tikus (Penang) and Damansara Uptown (PJ)] would be officially open on the same day on 20 December 2011, there would be some ongoing promotions. From 20-28 December 2011, the Damansara Uptown and Sri Petaling outlets would be having the BUY ONE FREE ONE promotion. As for the Penang outlet, there will be the BUY TWO FREE ONE promotion from 20-22 December 2011. You can enlarge the poster below for a clearer view.

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It’s not hard to locate the dessert outlet 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, 3 shoplots away on the right of Sukhothai Beef Noodles House (formerly Strada).

BLACKBALLMAP

Name: BLACKBALL – ORIGINAL TAIWANESE TEA & DESSERT
Address: 232 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-466 1886
Business Hours: 12.00pm – 12.00am
GPS: 5.429939, 100.313319

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

 

BUSINESS SET LUNCH AT THE SOY RESTAURANT G HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On October - 30 - 2011

A lot of people are not aware that there is a Business Set Lunch available at the “Soy” @ G Hotel at RM30++ per pax. This restaurant is one section of the “Sesame+Soy”, a Pan Asian Chinese restaurant that offers a luxurious new dining experience for the most discerning food connoisseurs about town. The “Sesame+Soy” restaurant’s uniqueness lie in its dual dining ambience in one space. “Sesame” is the epitome of fine dining while “Soy” is casual yet elegant. Both specialize in tantalizing fusion contemporary and classic Chinese cuisine.

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As for the Business Set Lunch, you would be served with Soup of the Day, either steamed rice or fried rice accompanied by any 2 items from the menu of 8 dishes and followed by Dessert of the Day, all within the cool and cozy ambiance of the restaurant. It would be great if you could have a company of 4 pax to share out all the dishes from the menu. The menu items would be changed every few weeks.

To start the meal off, we were served the Soup of the Day which was the Radish Chicken Soup. It was just a simple home cooked soup with radish, carrot, wolfberries and chicken. Taste wise, it was just a normal soup with the natural sweetness from the vegetables. It somehow lacked the most important item to create that unique flavor which was the toasted baby cuttlefish. Moreover, it did not have that purity as in all clear soups. There were traces of blood remnants present, normally due to the meat (especially chicken), being dropped into water not at its boiling point. Let’s hope the kitchen would be more aware of this golden rule in cooking clear soup.

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We had the option to choose either steamed rice or fried rice for the set meal. Since we had quite a number of people present, we chose both equally. The steamed rice consisted of rice from a good quality grain. So was the rice for the fried rice. Although the fried rice was just nice to go with the dishes, it would be great if it were to have some toasted garlic slices added in (just like those Japanese Teppanyaki style) to boast up the flavor.

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As we had more than 4 pax, it was just nice to try out all the dishes from the menu. The first dish was the Stewed Bean Curd. Instead of the normal style of cooking this dish with oyster sauce in starch, this tofu dish had that rich flavors from some seafood stock with traces of crab meat and crab roes. The chef was wise enough to add in some cut snap peas for the extra crunch rather than having those soft and thin snow peas. It was appetizing.

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Next on the list was the Jin Dou Chicken with some honey dew cubes. The batter coated chicken pieces were stir fried in Jin Dou sauce. I could be wrong but the chicken tasted like it had been marinated in some fermented bean curd (nam joo) as the meat indeed had that distinctive flavor. The Jin Dou sauce was good as there were hints of LP sauce, black vinegar, plum sauce, tomato sauce, 5-spice powder and sugar being used here, together with some fruity flavors from the cubed honeydew. Overall, the dish was good but I would rather have the meat pieces to be boneless as well as from some drumsticks for a more juicy bite.

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We were also served the Steamed Snapper Fillet. The snapper fillet was steamed on a bed of angled luffa (kak kua/丝瓜) and wood ear fungus (black fungus/黑木耳) in superior soy sauce and garnished with deep fried bean curd crumbs, sautéed garlic and coriander. It was a simple dish but the fish was indeed fresh.

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The next dish which was the Hunan Style Beef Cubes had us yearning for more. It was delicious with the flavorful beef cubes immediately melting in our mouth. Hunan cuisine has always been very flavorful with the liberate usage of garlic, shallots and chili pepper. This dish had a little bit of twist with the usage of celery and some chopped dried shrimps on top of the usual usage of chili pepper, oyster sauce and black pepper corns. The meat was tender and juicy. It was super good!

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Braised Moi Choi Duck Breast was also presented to us. It was just a small amount on a huge plate. Somehow the taste of the whole dish was overpowered by the deep flavors from the duck meat. Moreover, the moi choi (pickled Chinese cabbage either salty or sweet) basically lost its taste by being soaked too long. The kitchen should take note that the unique taste from the pickled cabbage should not be lost totally when preparing such a dish no matter with what type of meat they would be using.

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There was also the Stewed Baby Chinese Cabbage with enoki mushrooms, shitake mushroom slices and dry scallops garnished with some wolfberries. Although this dish was healthy with the mild taste from some oyster sauce in starch, it tasted rather bland to us. Alternatively, this dish should have the mushroom being marinated in some ginger juice, soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper and sautéed slightly to pep up some flavors. Moreover, the soaked dry scallops should be deep fried and served as garnish instead.

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They do serve another beef plus vegetable dish in the menu as well – Stir Fried Snake Beans with Beef Bisket Slices in Shrimp Paste. The dish was good with a notable taste from the wet shrimp paste (belacan) but it was a bit salty by itself. This dish would go well with steamed rice.

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The 8th and last dish in the menu was the Crispy Snapper Fillet. It had batter coated snapper stir fried with some red curry paste. It had a touch of Indian flavor and tasted more toward the tandoori style of preparation. Not a bad choice too.

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The Dessert of the Day was the Palm Sugar Brulee with Homemade Ice Cream. The whole concoction was marvelous. The natural sweetness from the palm sugar (Gula Melaka) blended in just nice with the crème brulee. It would be great if the brulee was torch burned a bit more for that burnt flavor. The hotel’s homemade ice cream was something not to miss out too. It was served on some sprinkles of crushed toasted peanuts and had that fineness and creaminess to my liking.

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They also have a Taipei Specialty Cuisine Promotion for September/October 2011. We did try out a few main courses from the selection of 8 dishes. Each set of the selected main course would come with Chilled Braised Bean Curd, Century Egg with Pickled Ginger and Taiwanese Stewed Rice with Minced Pork & Mushroom.

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The first main course consisted of Stewed Chicken with Basil Leaves & Taiwanese Chinese Wine (RM26++). This dish tasted quite similar to the Cantonese style of Gu Lou Yoke (Sweet & Sour Pork) with the freshness of some tomatoes but with a stronger taste from the added basil leaves. This dish would taste better if boneless chicken especially from those drumstick and thigh parts were used for a smoother bite.

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The next main course was the Braised Duck Web & Duck Wing with Spicy Master Stock (RM24++). This dish would suit people with acquired taste with the strong spicy taste from the duck as well as the flavors from the master stock.

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The last of our choices was the Braised Beef Cubes with Stir Fried Tomatoes (RM42++). No wonder the price was the most expensive on the menu. This was a superb dish just like the Hunan Style Beef Cubes. The chef did a great job here in serving another tender yet flavorful palate here.

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The Soy Restaurant is located at the first floor of G Hotel. If you walk in through the front entrance along Persiaran Gurney, just head for the stairways on your left, just right before the reception. Walk up and you will see the restaurant entrance.

SOYGHOTELMAP

Name: SESAME + SOY @ G HOTEL
Address: 168-A Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-238 0000
Business Hours: Soy: 12.00pm-2.30pm, Sesame: 6.30pm-10.30pm
GPS: 5.437637, 100.310567

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (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)

 

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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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