CRIZ BON APPETITE

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CHINESE STYLE APPETIZER BOOSTER SOUP

Posted by crizlai On March - 20 - 2013

Everyone knows that a healthy appetite would reflect positive health on a person. What would happen when a person had a reduced or sudden loss of appetite? Most of the time, it might just be the causes of some prescribed medications or even emotional stress. Little do we know that loss of appetite might also be triggered by the presence of soon-to-come infections such as hepatitis, lungs/kidney infections, influenza, liver inflammation, etc. What you need would be a booster to strengthen your body’s immune system by having some brewed homemade soup such as the CHINESE STYLE APPETIZER BOOSTER SOUP (中式開胃湯).

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Here are the recipes:

INGREDIENTS:
400g-500g of any white meat ribs (skinless chicken drumsticks would be best)
2 large carrots (remove skin & cut into coarse pieces)
10 Chinese mushrooms (soak & cut into 2-3 pieces)
3-4 cloves garlic (remove skin and slightly smash)
4g Ginseng slices (人參)
4g Polygonatum odoratum (玉竹)
3g Angelica sinensis (當歸)
3g Poria cocos (Tuckahoe/茯苓)
3g Cyperi (香符)
3g Glycyrrhizae (甘草)
1/2 tsp grounded pepper
2L water
Salt & soy sauce to taste

PREPARATIONS:
• Bowl 2L of water in a pot.
• While waiting for the water to boil, wash your ribs with some coarse salt and put them into a bowl. Pour some hot water into the bowl and let the ribs soak for about 5 minutes to get rid of any slimy stuff.
• As the water boils, pour in the ribs and the rest of the ingredients (except carrots).
• Lower the fire and let the soup simmer for 15 minutes.
• Add in the carrots and let the soup simmer for another 30-40 minutes.
• Add in salt and soy sauce to taste.

Note:
1. If you have a pressure cooker, it would be even easier to cook the soup. It would just take about 12 minutes for the soup to be ready.
2. If you are not sure what are the ingredients, just print the recipe and get any Chinese medicine shop people to combine them for you.

(Serve: 4)

YOU CAN CHECK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES.

 

DRIED WOOD APPLE (BAEL) SOUP

Posted by crizlai On March - 19 - 2013

With such unpredicted hot and wet weather, who won’t get sick? Occasionally, we’ll need something to strengthen our immune system. Little known to the world is a miracle fruit that has been used as far back as the 1st millennium BC. Bael or commonly known as wood apple (Aegle marmelos/Bengal quince/beel/maja/maja batu/stone apple/golden apple/matam/木橘/硬皮橘), is a species of fruit with great medicinal properties, originated from native India but available throughout Southeast Asia. It’s also one of the ten best herbs frequently used in Ayurvedic medicines due to its strong digestive and carminative properties. All parts of the tree are believed to have many health benefits such as the improving digestion, remedy for respiratory infections, scurvy, peptic ulcer, diabetes, fever, chronic inflammation and more.

Well, there are no side effects in consuming this fruit whether it’s fresh or dried. Thus, let me share with you a simple soup that would keep the whole family free from any undesired illness during this period of crazy weather. As the health guru always state, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Let’s consume this different species of apple instead. Do enjoy this slightly bitter fragrant DRIED WOOD APPLE (BAEL) SOUP. 🙂

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Here are the recipes:

INGREDIENTS:
400g-500g of any white meat ribs
5-6 slices dried bael fruit
6 red dates
100g dried longan
2L water
Salt to taste

PREPARATIONS:
• Bowl 2L of water in a pot.
• While waiting for the water to boil, wash your ribs with some coarse salt and put them into a bowl. Pour some hot water into the bowl and let the ribs soak for about 5 minutes to get rid of any slimy stuff.
• As the water boils, pour in the ribs and the rest of the ingredients.
• Lower the fire and let the soup simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the meat on the ribs become tender.
• Add in salt to taste.

Note: If you have a pressure cooker, it would be even easier to cook the soup. It would just take about 15 minutes for the soup to be ready.

(Serve: 4)

YOU CAN CHECK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES.

 

CHICKEN BORSCHT SOUP

Posted by crizlai On July - 11 - 2012

Our daily meals would mostly contain many sinful feasts that would make us worry about the consequences of overloading. At times, I would just pep up a simple Chicken Borscht Soup to control my fat, carbohydrates and calories intakes. Not only is the antioxidant packed dish colorful, it’s also rich in vitamins and minerals. The soup can be one meal that would provide you with all the necessary nutrients without undermining your health goals. It’s a great dish that most dieters would love to have constantly. 🙂

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Here’s the simple and healthy recipe:

INGREDIENTS:
1 large chicken breast meat (skin & bone removed, wash with salt and cut into cubes)
3 cloves garlic (smash and remove skin)
1 large onion (fine wedges)
1 stalk celery (peel off the fibrous skin, slice 5mm thickness)
1-2 tbsp chopped parsley stalk
2 large red tomatoes (seeds removed, cut into wedges)
1 big carrot (peel the skin, slice 10mm thickness)
1 small head of broccoli (cut into small petals)
1 small head of cauliflower (cut into small petals)
1 small cabbage (cut into 50mm x 50mm squares)
4 small bay leaves
1 tsp mixed dry herbs
1 can tomato puree
5 cans chicken broth/stock
1/4 cup olive oil
Black pepper
Salt
Sugar

OPTIONAL:
Potatoes (regular julienne 5mm x 5mm x 50mm)
Beetroot
Sour cream or yoghurt for some extra creaminess

MARINATES (FOR CHICKEN):
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
Some sprinkles of black pepper

GARNISHES:
Parsley leaves

PREPARATIONS:
• Marinate the chicken cuts with the sesame oil, soy sauce and some dashes of pepper for about an hour.
• Heat up the olive oil in a deep pot on MEDIUM-HIGH fire.
• Add in the garlic cloves and big onions. Saute thoroughly until caramelized.
• Add in the cubed chicken meat and bay leaves. Saute until meat cook.
• Add in the can of tomato puree, mixed herbs and chopped coriander stalks. Stir for about 5 minutes.
• Add in the red tomatoes, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower and stir for another 10 minutes.
• Pour in 5 cans of chicken broth/stock (using back the same can as the tomato puree). Add more if you prefer the soup to be a bit more diluted but not advisable as the vegetables would emit some juices. Bring to boil.
Note: If you do not have chicken broth/stock available, you can always use 5 cans of filtered water plus 4-5 tablespoon of Vegeta No MSG added, a multi-purpose seasoning.
• Cabbages to be added in last. Let it cook for another 5-10 minutes or more until the cabbages are roughly softened.
• Add in coarsely blended black pepper, salt (more Vegeta if using the seasoning) and sugar (about 1/2 – 3/4 tablespoon or minimal for a healthier lifestyle) to taste.
• Serve hot or chilled with some parsley leaves as garnishing. Serving some toasted garlic bread would be nice too.

(Serves: 6-8)

YOU CAN CHECK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES.

 

BALANCING YOUR YIN AND YANG QI AT YOU SHAN FINE SOUP HOUSE

Posted by crizlai On May - 15 - 2011

Penangites finally have the opportunity to lead a healthier lifestyle with the opening of You Shan Fine Soup House, located at Auto World Complex, Penang. The restaurant was officially opened on 14 May 2011 by our YB Ms. Betty Chew, wife of the Penang Chief Minister, YB Mr. Lim Guan Eng. The one and only of such restaurant in Penang, would help diners to balance their Yin and Yang Qi, two hidden forces that would cause illness if found to be out of balance. This is something that most of us ignored with our hectic lifestyles as we find the lack of time in spending hours brewing nutritious soup for our own health. Leave it to the experts to help you in your food therapy as the restaurant has the strong backup of their advisor, Mr. Chew Hock Eam, a Chinese Physician, who has over 3 decades of experience in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medication), to help you in seeking out the healing powers from their selected soups.

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There will be over 60 types of soups, whether savory or sweet, available at this restaurant, ranging from as low as RM5 to as high as RM68. Most of the soup would need to be preordered at least 24 hours before dining. This would enable the kitchen to slowly select the best herbs to brew up your personalized bowl of nutritious soup. You don’t have to worry too if you missed out ordering your favorite soup as they would also be having 3 different types of soups available each day. To avoid the disappointment, I have attached below the full menu of the soups. Please do click on the individual photo for a clearer view of your PREORDERS.

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Two soups were served during the opening day. One of them was the Fine Soup King which contained sea cucumber, fish maw and scallop. This soup would help in relaxing the body muscles, promote blood circulation and delay the process of aging. It would be suitable for those with bone degradation and high blood pressure. The other soup was the Yang Xin Ning Shen Soup. The rejuvenating soup has the citrus flavor of tangerine to strengthen the stomach and lily bulbs to reduce the body heat.

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You might think that this is just a soup house from the name but you are wrong as they do serve dishes just like any other Chinese restaurants. There would be options such as fish, crabs, frogs, prawns, squids, pork, chicken, venison, vegetables, tofu to general soups. The price, depending on serving size, would range from RM8 to RM 30 or based on market rate for some seafood dishes.

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If you think the items from the ala carte would be a bit too much for a small group, you should also check out their daily set lunch and set dinner deals. Each set would come with individual portion of 3 dishes, a soup plus a drink, ranging from RM12 to RM19.

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If you are coming from Penang Bridge towards the North-South Highway, you would see the Juru Rest Area on your left. Drive further a bit and you would see an overhead bridge which would lead you to the Juru Interchange. Do not drive up the overhead bridge but turn left instead until you see a traffic light. Turn right into Jalan Kebun Nenas. Drive on until you see the second traffic lights at a T-junction (Jalan Kebun Nenas/Jalan Perusahaan). At the traffic light, turn right into Jalan Perusahaan. A few meters away, keep a look out for Maybank at Kompleks Auto World on your right. The restaurant is just on the left of the bank.

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Name: YOU SHAN FINE SOUP HOUSE
Address:
1797-G-12, (Beside Maybank), Kompleks Auto World,
Jalan Perusahaan, Juru Interchange, 13600 Perai, Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours:
11.00am-2.00am (Lunch), 2.00pm-5.00pm (Tea), 5.00pm-9.30pm (Dinner)
Contact: 017-488 3400
GPS: 5.33994, 100.429605

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

HERBAL SOUP FOR YOUR FAVORITE HOT POT

Posted by crizlai On February - 22 - 2010

Instead of the usual stock for hot pot (steamboat) during this Chinese New Year reunion dinner, I had decided to opt for herbal stock. The ginseng enriched stock was a refreshing experience for my family. Are you aware that ginseng could help in stimulating the physical and mental activity of a tired or weak body? On top of that, it’s ideal for defending the body system from the effects of prolonged physical strain as well as a stimulant for the endocrine glands which would include the sex glands. Did I just say that? Haha! Anyway, it’s good for the general health of everyone.

The amazing part of brewing this stock would be that it’s concentrated. You could easily store in small containers and deep freeze it for your future cooking. The stock would be almost gelatin like with no preservative or seasoning. All you need to do is to add half a container of water to a container of stock and put in some pepper and salt to taste. It’s just as simple as that. Let me show you how you could create this HERBAL STOCK for your favorite hot pot. It’s mild anyway for the consumption of all ages.

INGREDIENTS:

Stock:
2kg pork bones (big bones/tua kut)
3 whole chicken bones
50gms ginseng roots (人參鬚/Panax schinseng roots)
20 sweetened dates
10 liter water

Serving:
Dried Chinese wolfberry (枸杞/kay chee/gouci/goji berry)
Pepper
Salt

PREPARATION:
1. Bring to boil 12 liters of water in a 20L pot.
2. Wash all the bones clean with salt and slowly put all of them into the big pot of boiling water. Add in the ginseng roots and dates. Lower the fire, close the pot partly with a lid and let it simmer for about 6-8 hours. Filter out all the bones and you would get about 6-7 liters of stock left.
3. Scoop the required amount of stock for your hot pot into a new pot. Add in half that amount of hot water (2:1). Add in some dried Chinese wolfberry (about less than 1 tablespoon will do as too much will make the soup turn sour). Bring to boil and sprinkle some pepper and salt to taste. NOTE: Try to be lighter in salt usage as some of the hot pot ingredients such as the meatballs and fish balls have salt in them. Thus the longer the hot pot boils, the saltier it will get. Anyway, I will be sharing the dipping sauce recipe next to allow you to adjust to your taste bud.

Recommended Vegetables for Hot Pot:
Crown daisy chrysanthemum leaves (tang oh/茼蒿) and other vegetables such as Chinese Cabbage (菜心/choy sum), cabbage, spring onions (tied up), young corn, mushrooms, etc. Please take note that the usage of too much Enoki mushrooms might cause the soup base to be sour.

Recommended Add-in for Hot Pot:
All types of meat and fish balls which would be available at your location, either fresh or frozen, chicken fillet slices and seafood of any kind such as crab, clam, mussel, squid, cuttlefish, prawn or fish.

Simple Alternative Soup with the stock:
– Chicken fillet slices, white fungus and ginkgo nuts.
– Chicken fillet slices, lotus seed and lily bulb (百合/bai he/ pak hup).
– Chicken with chopped water chestnut balls, cabbage and rice vermicelli.
– Pork dumpling (sui kow/水餃), Chinese cabbage (菜心/choy sum) and wonton noodles.

(Serves: 10 and above)

YOU CAN CHECK HERE FOR MORE RECIPES.

A SEAFOOD EXPERIENCE AT SIONG HO

Posted by crizlai On May - 18 - 2009

Even before their signboard was up, I had paid umpteen visits to Siong Ho Fish Head Bee Hoon to savor some of their noodles and porridges. To show some appreciation to my frequent support, the boss, Mr. Teh (Ah Ho) had decided to throw in a small feast for a handful of us to try out all the seafood items he has in his café. Due to the choices of either clear or tom yam soup based dishes, just a few floggers had the privilege to get the invitation, namely myself, Steven, Gill & Jason, Buzzing Bee, NKOTB and Jian.

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What was my reason for visiting this café for my noodles and porridges so frequently? It’s definitely not due to humid weather, the signs of feeling sick soon or my huge appetite for spicy food but the secret lied in the soup.  The soup has a specific recipe of chicken bones, some hint of dried shrimps and some of their secret ingredients. Even the tom yam paste they used was from a reputable brand from overseas.

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To start your meal, you would have 6 options to your bowl of hot steaming dish. You can either choose thin rice vermicelli (bee hoon), thick rice vermicelli (cho bee hoon), wheat flour vermicelli (mee suah), instant noodles (maggi mee), soya noodles (tao chiam) or porridge (moey).

NOODLES

Next would be your choice of main ingredients such as large white prawns, grouper fish head, grouper fillet, fried “kalak” fish head, fried “kalak” fish fillet, mud crabs, flower crabs, mantis prawns, squids or frog. Some of the main items here would depend on market availability as the boss would only accept fresh ones from his suppliers. I will also like to give a short description here on the fishes. The grouper fish (kerapu, 石斑魚) is one of the most sought after fish locally due to the fine texture in the flesh. It’s also one of the more expensive fish in the local market. The “kalak” fish (ibu kerisi or goldband jobfish) as it is more commonly known as locally is loved for the softness in flesh and less fishy taste. Most local western cuisine restaurants would use them fresh for fish and chips rather than the frozen dory fish.

SEAFOOD

You could also have some addons to your dish such as pork kidney, minced meat, meat balls, fish ball, quail’s eggs and dried bean curd.

ADDONS

To spice up your bowl of noodles, you might get some of these vegetables and herbs.

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No dishes would be presentable minus the colors of some garnishing. You could expect some cut red chillies, chili paddy and a bottle of dried fried chopped garlic available on each table for your preferred intake.

GARNISHES

Let’s start the ball rolling with the presentation of the first dish which was the Tom Yam Prawn Noodles (東炎蝦麵 – RM9-RM10 for 3 large prawns). This was served with instant noodles (Vit’s Mee to be exact). This dish had improved a lot since my last visit as the boss had taken steps to add in some tomato and abalone mushroom slices for the value-for-money bowl of noodles. The soup was thick and spicy enough for me with the fragrance coming from the added Kaffir lime leaves and mint leaves. The prawns were large and super fresh. It was a hit amongst us. Now you know why I love that brand of tom yam paste. Haha!

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The next dish was the Fried “Kalak” Fish Head Noodles (炸魚頭清湯粗米粉 – RM6). It has many chunky pieces of fried goldband jobfish head served with thick rice vermicelli (bee hoon) in clear soup. This combination is one of the most favorite orders in the café. The sweetness in the soup and the freshness of the fish blended in real well.

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Prawn Noodles in Clear Soup (大蝦清湯米粉 – RM9-RM10 for 3 large prawns) came up next. It came with the thinner type of rice vermicelli. I truly love this dish better compared to the earlier dish as the freshness and sweetness of the prawns brought out the best in taste in the bowl of soup. After all, better quality food sure cost almost double right? It’s really value for money considering the size of those fresh prawns.

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We were then served with Squid Noodles (魷魚清湯麵 – RM6). This time, it was served with instant noodles. Although the squids were fresh and cooked just nice plus some with eggs (ooo.. the cholesterol level), the dish somehow tasted a bit bland due to the true nature of squids being tasteless. I would prefer them cooked with tom yam soup instead.

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There’s nothing better than to have a bowl of hot steaming porridge served with fresh grouper fillet. That was what we had next – Grouper Fillet Porridge (石斑魚肉粥 – RM8/75gms). The texture of the porridge was just nice and combined with the freshness of the grouper fillet, it was delicious.

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Another of their most sought after dishes would be the fresh Frog Porridge (田雞粥 -RM6/100gms). We had a large frog and this dish cost RM12. The flesh was smooth and tender as braised chicken meat. It was a delicious dish as well.

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It was a surprise to me that the boss chose the largest crab he has for our next dish. The Crab Noodles (螃蟹清湯粗米粉 – RM5/100gms), which came with thick rice vermicelli (bee hoon) cost just RM10. The unique freshness and sweetness of the mud crab indeed proved this dish to be another favorite amongst us. You can also opt for the blue flower crab (RM5/100gms – if available). You would be even luckier if you can get to try out another species by the name of Charybdis feriatus (紅螃蟹). This species is quite rare in the local water and taste just as great as the blue flower crabs.

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The Fried “Kalak” Fish Fillet Mee Suah (炸魚肉清湯麵綫 – RM6) also tasted great with the mee suah (wheat flour vermicelli) cooked just nice and not too soggy.

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We were all quite full after gobbling down so many bowls of noodles and porridges when the boss decided to throw in another large bowl of Mixed Seafood Tom Yam Soup (RM17 based on the selection of ingredients) just for us. This dish was indeed a blessing to please our craving for more tom yam soup. There were lots of ingredients in it too with the availability of all the fish and meat balls, fried fish head and fillets, squids, pig kidney, etc without any trace of prawns. Can you guess the reason? The boss was so happy to see us that he forgot to add those in. He even showed me proof that he had without any intention left out the prawns. LOL! Anyway, the dish was good enough for our filled tummies. You can order this “only items based” soup if you crave for more delicious soup.

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Here’s a rough summary of all the possible combination of ingredients and prices (either with noodles or porridge in clear soup or tom yam):
Grouper Fish Head: RM9
Grouper Fish Fillet: RM8
Prawns (3 pcs): RM9-RM10
Mud Crab/Flower Crab: RM5/100gms
Mantis Prawn: RM5/100gms
Frog: RM6/100gms
Fried “Kalak” Fillet/Fish Head: RM6
Minced Meat: RM4.50 – RM6
Miscellaneous items such as pork kidney, fish balls, meat balls and dried bean curd: RM3+ per item or combined

If you are coming from Prangin Mall along Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong, drive straight pass the Lebuh Carnarvon traffic light. You will reach another traffic light (Lebuh Pantai). Drive straight again until you have reached the Weld Quay (Pengkalan Weld) traffic light. Turn left and drive on until you have reached the third left junction (Gat Lebuh Armenian). The stall is just within the Kedai Makanan dan Minuman CF. Turn left into Gat Lebuh Armenian and left again into Lebuh Victoria and you would see some parking spaces behind the coffee house for its patrons.

If you are coming from the ferry terminal, keep a watchful eye on the landmarks on your right, especially those Jetty signboards. You would pass by Lim Jetty (temple), Shell Petrol Kiosk, Chew Jetty (hawker area), Tan Jetty and you would see the coffee house by the name New Ocean (next to Pan Malaysia shop) directly opposite the Tan Jetty. There would be some parking spaces next to the coffee house for its patrons.

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Name:
SIONG HO FISH HEAD NOODLES & PORRIDGE
@Kedai Makanan and Minuman New Ocean
Address: 116A, Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay), 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 12.00noon-12.00 midnight
(Closed on 1st & 15th Day of Chinese Lunar Calendar)
Contact: 019-458 8693 (Mr. Teh/Ah Ho)
GPS:
5.41191,100.337319

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: 8.5/10 (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)

 

SUPER LAI LAI BAK KUT TEH

Posted by Criz Lai On May - 21 - 2008

Please take note that the stall has ceased operation in 2008 and the present coffee house has been renamed as Yummy Cafe. What you get from the coffee house and whichever stalls that carry the same name were not the original.

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Bak Kut Teh is a popular Chinese soup in which contain meaty pork, simmer with many herbs and spices. This popular soup is taken with white rice or dark oil rice. There are quite a number of Bak Kut Teh stalls scattered all over Penang area. All of them have their own different recipes and thickness of the soup. The one that I like to frequent is situated in a corner coffee shop along Jalan Macalister. The stall is called Lai Lai Bak Kut Teh.

The reason we like to go there is that the owner is very generous with the soup as he will make sure that each clay pot he served will not be out of soup. We ordered our own selection of choice meat, a plate of boiled Cameron lettuce topped with a lot of meat floss, a plate of You Tiao (Yau Char Gwai or You Char Kway from the famous Penang shop) and four big bowls of white rice. Everything cost us only RM27.50 and the amount of meat in the clay pot could easily feed 3 adults. We managed to pack some back for lunch the next day. What I did with that is another story… haha. Could you believe that this portion is meant for only 2 persons?

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In fact, there are still many other options you can add into the Bak Kut Teh clay pot as shown in the photo.

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The shop is just opposite Red Rock Hotel. If you are driving down from Komtar into Jalan Macalister, you will see a petrol kiosk on your left. The shop is just right after that.

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Name: SUPER LAI LAI BAK KUT TEH (Opposite Red Rock Hotel)
Address: 97, Jalan Macalister, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 012-473 1471
Opening Hours: 6.00pm – 1.00am (Closed Thursday)
GPS: 5.416585, 100.323029

RATING:
Ambience: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 810 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7/10 (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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