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Savoring The Best All Over Town…

NEW MENU LAUNCH AT PLAN B @ QUEENSBAY MALL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On May - 4 - 2016

Under the umbrella of The Big Group, Plan B has been around for quite a few years in Malaysia, serving diners with artisan coffee and creative cuisine ranging from salads, sandwiches, pastas, main dishes and a variety of cakes. Recently, the Aussie-meets-New York conceptualized deli has reduced its menu to a smaller selection to stay more focused in delivering a better culinary experience for its diners. We were invited to test out some of their latest spreads from their new menu recently at Plan B @ Queensbay Mall, Penang and it was a totally different approach towards how we look at food. Prices shown are inclusive of 6% GST. There won’t be any additional service charge.

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We started off the meal with Skin on Fries with Dip (RM9) with a choice of dip. You have options for the sauce such as salted egg, cheese, Singapore Chili, curry, ranch, ice cream, lime mayonnaise or halal guys white sauce.

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The Kristy’s Krunchy Kale Salad (RM18) was rather unique and it reminded me of how fun my childhood days were. There were crunchy bits of Mamee! Cool right? The salad had finely julienned Kale (which I presumed were Chinese Kale aka kalian as it was rather hard to source for imported Kale), carrots, purple cabbages, some crunchy bits of deep fried noodles, hazelnuts, tossed in peanuts dressing and garnished with toasted sesame seeds. It was so nutritionally good that we had to order another serving.

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The Buttermilk Fried Chicken (RM33) was also quite unique as the buttermilk batter fried chicken was placed on a waffle and topped with almost coleslaw like salad and served with some tomato ketchup. It was quite tasty except that I hope the kitchen would drain up more of the excess oil on the batter fried chicken.

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For those who prefer meatless pastas, they do have the Zucchini Spaghetti (RM22). It was Aglio Olio style with added blistered cherry tomatoes, garlic confit, sweet basils, julienned zucchini, garnished with shaves of Parmesan cheese and served with a wedge of lemon. It was indeed a hearty and healthy plate of spaghetti to my liking.

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We also tried out their Asian Salmon Rice Bowl (RM33). You could also request for an additional poached egg for this dish at RM3. It came with a bowl of steamed rice, topped with grilled salmon, lots of fresh greens, avocado, edamame with a light sprinkles of furikake (Japanese rice garnish with mixed ground fish, sesame seeds, nori, etc) and served with chili soy dressing.

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As for Desserts, we tried out their Jaffa Cake (RM15), Springfield Donut (RM18) and Black Forest Pavlova (RM18). I personally think that it’s better to consume the desserts with some hot beverages such as coffee or tea as they could be rather heavy and sweet after a heavy meal.

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As for beverages, we tried out their Elderflower Mint Lemonade (RM12), Passionfruit Iced Tea (RM10), Iced Chocolate (RM10) and Cham Affogato (RM10). The best part on the beverages was that all of them were presented quite uniquely.

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The Cham Affogato was something real cool too as it had coffee on “teh tarik” ice cream.

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Overall, I quite like how innovative some of the dishes were at Plan B, especially the Kristy’s Krunchy Kale Salad, which brought back many fond memories during my childhood days. I would love to see what other creative dishes the kitchen could come out with in the near future. You can also check out their sea facing outlet at Gurney Paragon to try out these dishes.

You can view the new menu as below. Do click on the photo for a clearer view.

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Upon entering the main entrance of Queensbay Mall (Central Zone), turn right and walk towards the North Zone (J.Co, Morganfield, T.G.I. Friday’s, Maybank, etc). Just walk a bit further up pass J.Co Donuts and you can see the deli there on your right.

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Name: PLAN B @ QUEENSBAY MALL
Address: GF-112, 113(A) & 146 (A) Ground Floor, Queensbay Mall, 100 Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604- 640 8820
Business Hours: 10.00am-11.00pm
GPS: 5.333909, 100.306759

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

 

MENYA MIYABI HOKKAIDO RAMEN @ QUEENSBAY MALL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On May - 3 - 2016

Just like our Malaysian Nasi Lemak, various versions of ramen are ubiquitous throughout Japan, from small roadside stalls, restaurants to even within 7-Eleven shops. Each region in Japan would offer their unique versions of ramen with their “secret” soup base which might consist of a mix and match of salt, soy sauce, pork bones and fermented soy beans (shio, shoyu, tonkotsu and miso), served with various toppings. With the globalization of the ramen, competitions had found many eateries serving innovative versions of the noodles with peanut butter or coffee infused broth or even making the ramen into ramen burger. However, Menya Miyabi @ Queensbay Mall, Penang, still insist on pepping up their authentic Hokkaido ramen, using mostly imported ingredients, to ensure that diners would get the best ramen experience as how the people of Hokkaido would consume. The flavors of the ramen dishes are so strictly monitored that the big boss (with 4 other ramen chains in Hokkaido) would fly in every quarterly to check on the food quality. A 10% service charge would be imposed on all orders.

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The first dish which was the Hokkaido Chilled Ramen Salad (RM19+), had us all at cloud 9 with its unique combinations of flavors and textures as most of us had never tried out chilled ramen before. With just some al dente textured ice-chilled ramen with some goma mayo dressing, served with sides of hard-boiled egg, julienned chashu, cucumber, buttered corn kernels and tomato slices, it was a simple yet appetizing salad for everyone.

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For our main, we had their Signature Tonkotsu Ramen (Pork Broth Flavor – RM23+). Wow! I’m impressed with the rich and creamy broth which was filled with collagen with a light tone of natural saltiness. The ramen dish has slices of nicely braised chashu, served with some wood ear fungus, marinated soft-boiled egg, nori (seaweed) and some light sprinkles of spring onions. It was indeed a hearty bowl of perfect ramen, obvious from the time consuming and tedious processes of slow simmering the choice pork bones.

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We also tried out their Yaki-Miso Ramen (Fried Soybean Paste Flavor – RM23.50+). The broth was similar to the Tonkatsu Ramen but with some added fried miso paste to give the broth an extra earth flavor. The toppings were somewhat different slightly with bamboo shoots replacing the wood ear fungus as the former. Taste wise, it was indeed the authentic taste of Japan, which was a bit heavier in saltiness.

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Somehow, the Kara Miso Ramen (Hot & Spicy Miso Ramen – RM24+) tasted superb. Though the broth tasted almost similar to that of the Yaki-Miso Ramen with added chili paste but the overall flavors were quite balanced up with no overpowering saltiness. I guessed raw miso paste was added instead of the fried miso paste which would surely contain more concentrated sodium content. The ramen came with toppings such as chashu cubes, marinated soft-boiled egg, bamboo shoots, salted mustard stems, nori (seaweed) and some chopped spring onions. For spicy lovers, this might be your ramen dish to go for.

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For those who prefer rice over noodles, you can always try out their Katsu Curry (Katsu Kare – RM24+), a steaming hot Japanese rice dish with non-spicy Japanese style curry gravy, topped with a piece of breadcrumbed deep fried pork cutlet and served with some pickled daikon. Now only was I aware that traditional Japanese Curry would be served plain without the addition of potato and carrot bites as I had consumed elsewhere. The most important ingredient in a Japanese kare is to extract the sweetness from the caramelized onions and traditional recipe might just include only onions, flour and oil. From a clarification by my Japanese friend, potatoes and carrots were later added into the recipe to make the filling bulk when rice supplies were scarce during one period of the past.

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To add on to our orders of ramen, we ordered some Croquettes (Korokke – RM9+ for 2pcs). The potato cakes had a concoction of mashed potatoes, minced meat and some finely chopped vegetables before being coated with panko breadcrumbs and deep fried to perfection. Though the korokke was simple and tasty, I somehow prefer my croquettes to contain more coarsely mashed potatoes such as the Indonesian/Malaysian Bergedil with more bites.

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We also ordered some Gyozas (RM12+ for 6 pcs, RM18+ for 10 pcs). Each bite was filled with the nice juiciness from the well marinated minced meat within. If I were not told by the chef, I would not have realized that each piece was machine made. Menya Miyabi is the only Japanese eatery in Penang having that customized machine specially imported all the way from Japan.

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Overall, I quite like the simplicity of the dishes served at Menya Miyabi. It might depend on the taste buds of the locals to accept a more authentic style of Japanese cuisine which would be stronger in flavors. With mostly imported ingredients used in their cuisine, the prices of their dishes are still competitive on the market.

Upon entering the main entrance of Queensbay Mall (Central Zone), turn right and walk towards the North Zone (J.Co, Morganfield, T.G.I. Friday’s, Maybank, etc). Take the escalator to Level 1 and you can see Espresso Lab kiosk. The restaurant is just opposite the kiosk on the right.

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Name: MENYA MIYABI – HOKKAIDO RAMEN
Address: 1F-152, Level 1, North Zone, Queensbay Mall, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-645 3811
Business Hours: 11.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.334311, 100.306685

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Apart from their spread of dishes inspired by their international acclaimed Chinese chefs, this year Dragon-i Group of Restaurants again would introduce their Spring Festival Special Treasure Pot, a symbol of love and affection during this festive reunion. A few of us recently managed to pay a visit to one of their branches here at Queensbay Mall, Penang, headed by seasoned Chinese cuisine chef, Chef Chau Sze Lun (周泗麟) from China. Dragon-i has a variety of delicious spread of cuisine from China especially from the regions of Shanghai, Szechuan, Beijing and Lanzhou to cater to the increasing demands of locals as well as tourists in Penang.

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During this Chinese New Year 2014, the Dragon-i Group of Restaurants is giving all Malaysians the chance to enjoy the Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot, either to dine-in or takeaway to be enjoyed in the comfort of your home. The promotion is from 1 December 2013 until 28 February 2014. There will be two options available this season such as the Signature Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot (RM688++) and the Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot (RM388++). (Please click on the photo below for a clearer picture)

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The takeaway package for both the Signature Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot and the Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot is rather unique. Each selection would have the ingredients frozen in a high quality steel pot, a bottle of the respective high stock, placed in a heat-insulated gift bag. Each bag would be able to sustain the cold ingredients up to 4-5 hours. Thus, you would be able to bring your Abalone Treasure Pot for a long journey at ease, prior to easy reheating before your meal. Please take note that the take away service on 30 January 2014 (Chinese New Year’s Eve) is before 3.00pm. A minimum of 4 days is required for pre-orders. Here’s how the whole takeaway package would look like.

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Dragon-i’s Signature Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot (RM688++ for 8-10 pax) is specially concocted for customers who want something even more supreme and exquisite. It is packed with 18 premium delicacies, namely Braised Premium Chilean Abalone (10 heads), Premium Sea Cucumber, Shark’s Fin, Japanese Dried Scallops, Japanese Dried Oysters, Fish Maw, Goose Web, Roasted Chicken, Braised Pork Belly, Pork Balls, Premium Mushrooms, Brazilian Matsutake Mushrooms, Shaggy Mane Mushrooms, Black Moss, Dried Beancurd Skin, Deep-fried Bean Curd Skin and Bamboo Piths in their Special Broth. It weighs a total of 9 lbs.

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What we tried that night was the Prosperity Treasure Pot (RM388++ for 6-8 pax). The Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot was packed with 18 delicacies as well such as Braised Premium Chilean Abalone (12 heads), Sea Cucumber, Japanese Dried Scallops, Japanese Dried Oysters, Premium Mushrooms, “Pantai Remis” Fresh Sea Prawns, Roasted Chicken, Braised Pork Belly, Golden Money Bags, Pork Balls, Dried Bean Curd Skin, Yam, Black Moss, Chinese Cabbage, Broccoli, Deep-fried Bean Curd Skin and Radish, all cooked in a superior Pork Bone Stock. It weighs a total of 9 lbs.

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Special Discount: For Dragon-i Card and Hong Leong Credit & Debit Card holders, the Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot is now available at an amazing price of RM338++ (original price RM388++).

What amazed me more was the superior Pork Bone Stock, a simple clear soup base with rich bone flavors compared to the Poon Choi I had at Zi Zai Restaurant which had rather concentrated and complicated flavors from the flavored ingredients such as fermented beans and fermented bean curd. Overall, both eateries had their own unique soup concoction for this blessed dish.

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On top of that, they also do have Chinese New Year Set Meals at Dragon-i and Canton-i. You can check out the different packages here. This year, Dragon-i Group of Restaurants is also launching their “Blissful Combo” deal for takeaways. It would include seven delicious dishes, namely the two main dishes – Fried Glutinous Rice with Waxed Meats @ RM48++ and Lao Sheng (Raw Salmon Fish with Jelly Fish Yu Sheng @ RM48++/RM68++ or Australian Abalone with Raw Salmon Fish Yu Sheng @ RM98++/RM138++). The other five dishes would include Braised Pork Knuckle Shanghainese Style (RM68++), Braised Chicken with Sea Cucumber and Abalone (RM118++), Traditional Char-Roast Goose (RM118++/RM198++), Braised Sea Cucumber with Mushrooms (RM68++) and Sautéed Mushroom with Five Treasure Vegetables (RM48++). (Please click on the photo below for a clearer picture)

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I would say they have one of the best Lao Sheng (Yee Sang) I have tasted. Not only was the dish filled with colors of prosperity, the fresh raw salmon fish fillets blend in real well with their specially pepped up sauce. On top of that, it had just the right sweetness and moist to my liking.

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On the other hand, there was also the Fried Glutinous Rice with Waxed Meats. Each mouthful, you can practically taste out the premium-quality waxed meats, good grade mushrooms and fresh crunchy vegetables. The skillful “wok hei” frying sure did added in some bonus flavors to this delicious dish.

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We were also served with Braised Pork Knuckle Shanghainese Style. The dish also came with some added deep fried hardboiled eggs and vegetables. The tender and juicy prok knuckle would surely go well with some steamed rice.

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During this Chinese New Year, with every purchase of Dragon-i blissful products which include our Auspicious Glutinous Rice Cake, Radish Cake with Dried Scallops & Preserved Meats, and Water Chestnut Cake with Osmanthus, we will donate RM10 to World Vision Malaysia. The donation will be used to bring Gifts of Hope in the form of animals and agricultural aid to poor communities living in the Congo, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Do check out more on their website at www.dragon-i.com.my.

You can also add in some of their signature dishes such as their Xiao Long Bao (Shanghainese Steamed Meat Dumplings/小籠包 – RM10.30++) while waiting for the treasure pot to be heated up or even order their Water Chestnut Cream with Sea Coconut (清潤海底椰焞馬蹄露 – RM8.00++) as after meal dessert.

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Name: DRAGON-i @ QUEENSBAY MALL
Address:
2F-115, 2F-116, 2F-117 & 2F-118, Queensbay Mall, Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 604-646 6888
Business Hours: 11.00am-10.00pm, 10.30am-10.00pm (Sat, Sun & Public Holidays)
GPS: 5.333482, 100.306757
Website: www.dragon-i.com.my

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

 

For your information, Kürtős Kalács is a traditional Hungarian pastry (with or without addon ingredients) which is hollow and eaten by unwinding the twirl like pastry, torn in between and taken plain or with selected dips. The pastry is baked on wooden dowels, rolled slowly on an open fire or a customized oven until golden brown. Kürtős Kalács is the oldest Hungarian pastry which stems from the Hungarian words kürtő that refers to “chimney” and kalács meaning “milk loaf or cake”, thus getting its nickname as “chimney cake” or “stove cake”. Kürtős Kalács was first made in Covasna County (Transylvania region) by Hungarian settlers and the recipe is one of the best kept secrets of Eastern Europe. For maximum taste and aroma, the dough has gone through 16 hours of yeast-raised process. The next step would be to ribbon roll onto the dowel and to leave aside for further yeast raising. Prior to being baked in a customized oven, the dough has been brushed with some sunflower oil and heavily sprinkled with castor sugar. Thus, the baked pastry would have a crispy caramelized surface while maintaining its soft and smooth interior. Now you can try the delicious pastry at Kürtős Spiroll, located at Queens Street, Level 3 (North Zone) of Queensbay Mall, Penang.

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So what are the topping flavors available at Kürtős Spiroll? You can start with the Original Kürtős Kalács (RM3.70 each), followed by Favorites Kürtős Kalács (RM4.50 each) such as Sesame Seeds, Chocolate Rice, Sunflower Seeds, Hawaiian Coconut and Cinnamon Sugar or the Premium Kürtős Kalács (RM5.90 each) such as Premium Chicken Floss, Nutella Walnut and Peanut Butter n Chocolate Chips.

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Somehow one of the favorites (4 types as shown at the front row on the above photo) amongst the rest was the Original. You can simply taste the milky and buttery flavors from the soft pastry and at the same time savor the sweet caramelized exterior.

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The next topping would be Sesame Seeds. I somehow found that the sesame seeds were not thoroughly toasted well enough to emit that fragrant flavor as you would have expected from sesame seeds products. It would be great if they could mix some black sesame seeds as well since the black ones are more flavorful than the white ones.

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No doubt Chocolate Rice are widely used in pastries, I do find them to be normal to my preference. I would say this topping would suit children more than adults.

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For those whole love the earthly flavors of Sunflower Seeds. The next option would suit you real well. The portions given were very generous.

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There was also the imported Hawaiian Coconut as one of the toppings. It tasted like having some sort of dehydrated fiber without the distinctive flavor of coconut. I would think that the grated local coconut has more flavors but then keeping them fresh daily might be an issue for an outlet which might go franchised in the future. Somehow, I don’t find this topping an ideal one for long term usage.

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The Cinnamon Sugar was a hit as it was just the perfect evening snack to go with a cup of coffee or tea. The flavor of the grounded spice merged perfectly with the milky and buttery pastry. It would be great if some raisins or even thin apple slices were to be added into the dough with just a light sprinkle of grounded cinnamon. It would be even perfect just like the Cinnamon Bun.

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Premium Chicken Floss may be the in-trend of most bakeries in Malaysia but I found the ones served here to be quite normal without the distinctive toasted flavors. Maybe they should consider a spicier version by replacing it with Spicy Prawn Floss (Sambal Hae Bee) instead? Moreover, I found that the thin spread of mayonnaise was not sufficient enough to give that moist to the chicken floss.

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Nutella has always been the favorite chocolate spread for any pastry and it has proven that the Nutella Walnut was also a hit here. The Kürtős Kalács with a thin spread of Nutella and added slightly salted toasted walnut was my favorite. At least the light usage of salt here did neutralize some sweetness on the product which suited me well.

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Lastly, there was the childhood favorite of Peanut Butter n Chocolate Chips. This was not a bad salty sweet combination but still a bit too sweet to my liking. The culprit might be the generous usage of sweetened chocolate chips rather than dark chocolate chips. Ideally, I would prefer to have some nicely toasted crushed peanuts on mine than any chocolate chips for that extra nutty experience.

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There were also some homemade dips such as Butterscotch, Garlic Cheese and Chocolate (RM1.50 each or RM0.90 each for a combo of 3 flavors) available for extra boost on your Kürtős Kalács. I found the Butterscotch Dip to be a bit too sweet and lack of creaminess and buttery flavor to my liking. The Garlic Cheese Dip on the other hand was a hit amongst us as the savory flavors blended in well with the pastry, especially on the original one. The Chocolate Dip on the other hand was a bit too much for me as there were already a few products with chocolate base. Alternatively, I would recommend jam instead such as passion fruit butter jam or even a bitter sweet marmalade ginger jam. Who knows maybe our coconut jam (kaya) might go well with the pastries?

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Here’s the menu on the 9 topping flavors available at Kürtős Spiroll:

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Overall, Kürtős Kalács would be best taken when they are fresh and hot from the oven or you won’t get the best in texture and taste. I personally find that the products here would suit those more feminine consumers as they are the ones with higher urges for sweetness. Personally, I do find that the outlet lacked choices as those toppings tend to be quite normal on the market. They should consider having more fusion savory options such as cheese spread with garlic flakes, tomato puree with diced mushroom plus gherkins or even tomyam paste with kani sticks. As for nuts, there might be quite a large group of nuts lovers around and they could consider adding more options such as crushed peanuts, hazelnuts, pistachio nuts or toasted almond flakes. There are still more rooms for improvement here to think of some combinations that would be more localized to suit the general taste buds.

If you are coming from Georgetown towards Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone via Bayan Lepas Expressway, do watch out for the Pulau Jerejak signboard (leading to Pulau Jerejak jetty). Ignore the turning and drive on to the next left junction. Turn left into Jalan Aziz Ibrahim and drive on until you a roundabout. Turn 3 o’ clock and drive on until you see a big Eastin Hotel signboard. Queensbay Mall is just after the block of shop houses. Find your parking space either at the open space car park or drive further up after the roundabout and turn around towards the mall to find more parking spaces. As you walk into the mall, move towards the North Zone of the mall and you will see Kürtős Spiroll just after the Habanero Mexican Restaurant.

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Name: KÜRTŐS SPIROLL @ QUEENSBAY MALL, PENANG
Address:
3F-01B, Queens Street, Level 3, North Zone, Queensbay Mall, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/kurtosspiroll
Contact: 012-5020 331 (Ernie Goh)
Business Hours: 10.00am-10.00pm
GPS: 5.335073, 100.306268

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: 6/10 (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)

 

ALL YOUR NEEDS UNDER ONE ROOF AT STEVEN’S HOTSPOT

Posted by crizlai On May - 13 - 2009

Note: This restaurant has ceased its operations in Penang.

Basically this is not a food post but just an awareness post that there is a new outlet in Penang, Malaysia, that would cater for all your basic business and personal needs. Located near Queensbay Mall and within the newly constructed BayAvenue, there existed a little corner café like shop by the name of Steven’s Hotspot. It was a privilege for a few of us to be invited by the marketing team of STG Resources Sdn. Bhd. to witness the soft launching of the latest hotspot outlet and a briefing on the history of the company by the Marketing Director, Mr. Michael Ng. Thanks Mr. Edward Tan for the special arrangement.

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Initially started as a mamak stall by the name of Steven’s Corner in OUG Garden in the late 70’s, the business has now expanded with the opening of another two outlets in Pandah Indah and Setapak in Kuala Lumpur. To provide Malaysians with the experience of dining freshly concocted ingredients imported directly from India in a more comfortable environment, Steven’s Tea Garden was formed with the state-of-the-art ambience in major shopping complexes, namely Sunway Pyramid, MidValley, Bukit Bintang, AEON Ampang, AEON Bukit Tinggi and Semenyih TESCO.

To provide further services to the community, Steven’s Hotspot was formed with the first outlet being officiated in Kuala Lumpur, followed by Penang on 9 May 2009. Ipoh and Johor Bahru hotspots would follow suit within the next few months. The concept behind Steven’s Hotspot is totally different compared to Steven’s Corner and Steven’s Tea Garden. The setting up of the hotspots in strategically located prime townships within Malaysia is to ease the community in their daily running of errands. It’s a one-stop centre for business appointments with the facilities of having WIFI services, printing, photocopying and faxing of documents. Moreover, it also served as a utility, telecommunication bill payment and purchasing of prepaid outlet for your personal need.

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In case you might want to grab something a drink while waiting for the arrival of your clients, you could always try out their 1997 & 1999 Malaysian Tourism Board, Mix FM and The Sun ‘Best Teh Tarik Award’ winning beverage, the Teh Tarik (Malaysian style pulled tea with milk – RM2.50).

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There are other options too such as canned drinks and flavored tea.

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There are also light meals and snacks supplied by quality Halal certified local food vendors available here. You could always try out their local delicacies such as Nasi Lemak and kuih-muih or cakes and pastries from the counter.

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We had tried out their Tuna and Seafood Croissants (RM8/set), Blueberry Cheese Pie (RM6), Lychee and Tiramisu Cakes (RM8.50/pc). There were nothing to shout about on the taste and quality as their main concentration was based on providing convenient services as a business centre.

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The mission and vision of Steven’s restaurant chain of restaurants is to expand the business with the expectation of 100 outlets in Malaysia within the next few years as well as to expand aboard. This can only be made possible with their Customer Loyalty Program managed by STG Resources Sdn. Bhd. There are four types of memberships available such as the Classic, Silver, Gold and Platinum memberships. If you are interested in any of their memberships and want to know the benefits available, you can check them out. There is also opportunity for you to own your franchise restaurant through their partnership program.

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It would be easier to reach Steven’s Hotspot if use the Jelutong/Bayan Lepas Expressway. Just follow the direction towards Queensbay Mall. Drive on until you see an overhead pass when nearing the mall. Watch out for a signboard leading to Pulau Jererak Resort & Spa. Turn left into the road and drive until the T-junction. Turn right and drive on until the roundabout. On the way, you would see JJ café on your left. Drive 12 o’clock after the roundabout until you see a junction on your right where Shanghai Ding – House of Dumpling is located. OXO Café would be at the next building. Opposite the café (on your right) would be the newly construction BayAvenue business centre. Drive through the parking meter, drive straight and make a left turn at the first junction and you would see Steven’s Hotspot at a corner shoplot.

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Name: STEVEN’S HOTSPOT
Address: B-16-1, Lorong Bayan Indah 3, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 11.00am-11.00pm
GPS: 5.337456, 100.307114

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

SWENSEN’S QUEENSBAY MALL

Posted by Criz Lai On September - 23 - 2008

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I wondered if anyone has been around when Swensen’s first started its operation up in Mount Pleasure in Batu Ferringhi area. I used to be a regular there until I got out from being a teen. LOL! My favorite has always been the Earthquake – 8 scoops of ice cream of your choice, plus 8 toppings. Who would resist that as a teenager? Even now! However, I have decided to try out their other products this visit.

Being an American franchise, they should be good in burgers. I tried out their BBQ Mushroom Chicken Burger (RM16.90). It has a piece of chicken patty topped with BBQ mushrooms, some eggplants and served with French fries and coleslaw. The portion was big and the taste was great except for the burger was a bit dry. Well, chicken meat has always been dry as it does not contain as much fat as beef.


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Next was the Fish Baked Rice (RM17.90). There were quite a lot of chunky pieces of grilled fish fillet on top of some rice with some white sauce and baked with cheese. Not bad for the taste except for the dryness of the fish. They could have done better by not over grilling the fish as the baking alone would have made the fish cooked. The portion looked normal but it can be quite filling.

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Since I was there late in the afternoon, I dreaded the idea of jumping around having my lunch as my actual intention of visiting them was to grab their ice creams. Well, I was not totally disappointed too. What came next was heaven. I ordered the Sizzling Pan Apple Crumble (RM24.90) to be shared. What? That price for a scoop of ice cream with a piece of cake? I must be crazy! The dish did not disappoint me at all. The apple crumble came in a hot pan with a big scoop of Vanilla ice cream on top. The waiter then poured some syrup with some chopped apples in it over the pan. It was bubbling furiously. He then poured some butterscotch over the ice cream. This is truly wonderful. I was expecting this to be too sweet for my liking but the combination of everything was just nice. It’s worth a try.

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Some people might think that it’s rather costly to dine in Swensen’s but one thing you need to realize is that their portion is rather big to fill you up. On top of that, if you are lucky to be in Penang Island itself, you have the opportunity to try them out in Queensbay Mall with their latest promotion up to 30 November 2008. They will rebate you with cash vouchers worth the amount on your bill for your next visit. So hurry up if you have yet to try them up.

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Swensen’s has two branches in Penang. One is in Auto City down in Juru, mainland and the other one having the promotion now is in Queensbay Mall. To find the restaurant is easy. Just shop around the mall and you will see the corner shop at level 2, central zone area.

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Name: SWENSEN’S QUEENSBAY MALL
Address:
2F-50, 2nd Floor, Queensbay Mall (Central Zone)
100 Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-646 6593
Opening Hours: 10.00am – 10.00pm
GPS: 5.333661, 100.306506

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

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About Me

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

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

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