CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

With the Chinese New Year 2019 barely a month away, what’s the best way to welcome in the Female Brown Earth Pig, the lunar zodiac animal for this year? We could start by indulging in a variety of promotions offered by Lexis Suites Penang this year. There are many packages available such as Chinese New Year Eve Reunion Buffet Dinner, 9-Course Set Dinner or simply enjoy their Prosperous Steamboat Set with your family members and friends. Prices stated are all in nett. For more details and reservations, please call +604-628 2888 or email to [email protected] today.

To start off, you could go for their Prosperous Reunion Buffet Dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year on 4 February 2019 from 6.30pm until 10.30pm for some great and unique selection of delicacies. You would also get to customize your own Prosperity Salmon Yee Sang.

You could also opt for their Prosperous Steamboat Set Dinner, starting 4 February 2019 until 19 February 2019, from 6.30pm until 10.30pm. For all the purchased steamboat set, you would get a complimentary set of Prosperity Salmon Yee Sang. You have the option to choose either two of the soup options such as creamy fish soup, herbal soup, clear soup or tomyam soup. Some of the ingredients for your steamboat would include chicken meat slices, fish fillets, flower crabs, prawns, mushrooms, fish balls, vegetables, noodles and more. Why trouble yourself with all the preparations when you could relax and enjoy your meals and be served like royals at Lexis Suites Penang?

For those planning for a table of 10 persons for the festive gatherings, there are 3 specially created Prosperous 9-Course Set Dinner menus available at Roselle Coffee House, from 4-19 February 2019. They are priced at RM888nett, RM1088nett and RM1388nett respectively. For all the purchased course meals, you would get a complimentary set of Prosperity Salmon Yee Sang.

You could also order their Prosperity Salmon Yee Sang for dine-in or takeaway at RM108nett (10 pax) from 4-19 February 2019 from 11.00am until 10.00pm.

Thanks to the management of Lexis Suites Penang for inviting us over to the wonderful Chinese New Year 2019 food review.

Lexis Suites Penang is located right at the end of Teluk Kumbar before the main road into Gertak Sanggul. In fact, it’s located just next to the Hao You Teluk Kumbar Seafood (公巴好友海鲜). The Roselle Coffee House is located at level 1 of Lexis Suites Penang. Just walk into the main lobby of the resort and move toward the right side of the lobby and you will see the elevator there. Take the lift to the first floor and you would see the restaurant there.

 photo LEXISSUITESMAP_zpsg9dtmwo7.jpg

Name: ROSELLE COFFEE HOUSE @ LEXIS SUITES PENANG
Address: 28, Jalan Teluk Kumbar, 11920 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-628 2888
Business Hours:
Breakfast: 6.30am-10.30am
All Day Menu: 11.30am-10.30pm
Buffet Menu: 6.30pm-11.00pm
Room Service: 24 hours
GPS: 5.287210, 100.232760

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)

About Lexis Hotel Group: Lexis Hotel Group provides discerning leisure and business guests with practical and luxurious accommodations across various properties in Malaysia. It is steadfast in offering professional management services for hotels and resorts, and has successfully built a strong, profitable and visible premier niche brand in the hospitality industry especially in managing award-winning unique water chalets as well as pool villas. The brand currently manages three properties, namely Lexis, Grand Lexis and the iconic Lexis Hibiscus, all located in Port Dickson. Another upscale property, Lexis Suites Penang, opened for business in the 1st quarter of 2016.
About Lexis Suites Penang: A luxurious resort by the beachfront that stands out as the only hotel on the island which offer guests the luxury of an individual private pool and steam room in every one of its 222 suites. Located at the idyllic Teluk Kumbar, Lexis Suites Penang is about ten minutes’ drive from Penang International Airport. The guestrooms feature two king-sized beds and a host of practical amenities in a spacious enclave, with an awesome view of the sea.

 

A DELICIOUS CHRISTMAS BUFFET FIESTA 2018 AT LEXIS SUITES PENANG

Posted by crizlai On December - 1 - 2018

In conjunction with the joyous and festive season of Christmas, Lexis Suites Penang, would be having its Christmas buffets at two venues, namely Hibiscus Grand Ballroom (Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner from 6.30pm to 1.00am at RM120nett for adult and RM70nett for child/senior citizen) and Roselle Coffee House (Christmas Day Buffet Lunch from 12.00pm to 3.00pm at RM88nett for adult and RM58 for child/senior citizen). Executive Chef, Chef Johnno and his team would be crafting mouth-watering spreads to pamper your presence. Diners will also stand a chance to win great lucky draw prizes during their Christmas Eve Buffet Dinner and at the same time get to enjoy special live band performances. Santa Claus and Santarina would also be making random appearances and giving out candies and gingerbreads. All prices quoted are not applicable with any other ongoing discounts or promotions. For more information and reservations, kindly contact Lexis Suites Penang at +604-628 2888 or email to [email protected]

The highlight of the night would always be the Roasted Turkey, Yorkshire Puddings and a variety of stuffings, served with different condiments such as roasted baby potato, chestnut and apple stuffing, and cranberry, giblet, butter vegetable sauce.

Kick off your buffet with a variety of hors d’oeuvres such as Smoked Salmon Platter, Cherry Tomato and Mozzarella with Balsamic Reduction, Australia Potato Salad, in savoury little bites that will get the appetite going. Then, it is on to the different types of salads such as Chicago Turkey Salad coupled with different types of dressing which will keep the taste buds wanting for more. To sooth down the throat, they do serve piping hot pumpkin golden soup, accompanied by freshly baked bread, rolls and butter. They would also be many classic dishes available such as Poached Sea Bass with Fresh Drill and Saffron Butter Sauce, Deep Fried Cheese Ball, Baked Creamy Seafood Stew, Homemade Chicken Roulade with Creamy Pomegranate Sauce, Grilled Lamb Chop with Mints Jerry, Fragrant Prawns with Nutmeg Mayo Sauce, Mini Burgers with Salami among others. Besides, one can also indulge in our western style Pan Fried Smoked Duck Breast for a different filling. Christmas would not be great if you missed out the sweet temptations. There would be the Chocolate Truffle Cake, Floating Island with Almonds and Caramel, Lexis style Bread Butter Pudding, Chocolate Fountain, Honey Dew Sago and many more, accompanied by Christmas Cookies, Stollen and Yule Log.

Here some peeps at the dishes prepared by the team to make your dining experiences memorable.

For those who are gearing up to celebrate the year 2018 and usher in the new year of 2019, Lexis Suites Penang will be having a grand countdown dinner and party on the 31st December 2018. Feast on a scrumptious buffet dinner at Hibiscus Grand Ballroom and then head up to Sky Terrace after that for the countdown party. While you are there, do enjoy the magic show, live band performance, games session and many more, all prepared exclusively for you. Diners also will stand a chance great lucky draw prizes as well. It is priced reasonably at RM188nett for adult and RM100nett for child/senior citizen.

Thanks to the management of Lexis Suites Penang for the memorable evening.

Lexis Suites Penang is located right at the end of Teluk Kumbar before the main road into Gertak Sanggul. In fact, it’s located just next to the Hao You Teluk Kumbar Seafood (公巴好友海鲜). The Roselle Coffee House is located at level 1 of Lexis Suites Penang. Just walk into the main lobby of the resort and move towards the right side of the lobby and you will see the elevator there. Take the lift to the first floor and you would see the restaurant there.

 photo LEXISSUITESMAP_zpsg9dtmwo7.jpg

Name: ROSELLE COFFEE HOUSE @ LEXIS SUITES PENANG
Address: 28, Jalan Teluk Kumbar, 11920 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-628 2888
Business Hours:
Breakfast: 6.30am-10.30am
All Day Menu: 11.30am-10.30pm
Buffet Menu: 6.30pm-11.00pm
Room Service: 24 hours
GPS: 5.287210, 100.232760

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

About Lexis Hotel Group: Lexis Hotel Group provides discerning leisure and business guests with practical and luxurious accommodations across various properties in Malaysia. It is steadfast in offering professional management services for hotels and resorts, and has successfully built a strong, profitable and visible premier niche brand in the hospitality industry especially in managing award-winning unique water chalets as well as pool villas. The brand currently manages three properties, namely Lexis, Grand Lexis and the iconic Lexis Hibiscus, all located in Port Dickson. Another upscale property, Lexis Suites Penang, opened for business in the 1st quarter of 2016.
About Lexis Suites Penang: A luxurious resort by the beachfront that stands out as the only hotel on the island which offers guests the luxury of an individual private pool and steam room in every one of its 222 suites. Located at the idyllic Teluk Kumbar, Lexis Suites Penang is about ten minutes’ drive from Penang International Airport. The guestrooms feature two king-sized beds and a host of practical amenities in a spacious enclave, with an awesome view of the sea.

Recently on 20 April 2107, Lexis Suite Penang which is located at the beautiful shoreline of Teluk Kumbar, Penang, hosted the Media & Blogger Appreciation Night 2017 at its beautifully Japanese themed decorated Hibiscus Ballroom with its staff all dressed up in traditional Japanese attires.

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It was a fun-filled event with great food, great entertainment with bridal show and martial art session plus lots of lucky draw items to be won by its guests. Guests were even pampered with a brief massage session by Lex Spa.

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The interior was with a setup of how Lexis Suite Penang would decorate the ballroom for a customized wedding banquet.

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Of course the dishes served on that night would be Japanese cuisine as well with options such as Ninniku Chahan, Fried Lotus Roots with Konnyaku, Tori Katsu, Oden with Condiments, Chilled Seafood Platters, Sushi, Sashimi, Teppanyaki, Roasted Meat, Yakitori and a variety of desserts, not forgetting the cocktail, mocktail and coffee section.

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Thank you to Lexis Suites Penang for extending the invitation for a great night out.

Lexis Suites Penang is located right at the end of Teluk Kumbar before the main road into Gertak Sanggul. In fact, it’s located just next to the Hao You Teluk Kumbar Seafood (公巴好友海鲜). The Roselle Coffee House is located at level 1 of Lexis Suites Penang. Just walk into the main lobby of the resort and move towards the right side of the lobby and you will see the elevator there. Take the lift to the first floor and you would see the restaurant there.

 photo LEXISSUITESMAP_zpsg9dtmwo7.jpg

Name: LEXIS SUITES PENANG
Address: 28, Jalan Teluk Kumbar, 11920 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-628 2888
Business Hours (Roselle Coffee House):
Breakfast: 6.30am-10.30am
All Day Menu: 11.30am-10.30pm
Buffet Menu: 6.30pm-11.00pm
Room Service: 24 hours
GPS: 5.287210, 100.232760

About Lexis Suites Penang: A luxurious resort by the beachfront that stands out as the only hotel on the island which offer guests the luxury of an individual private pool and steam room in every of its 222 suites. Located at the idyllic Teluk Kumbar, Lexis Suites Penang is about ten minutes’ drive from Penang International Airport. The guestrooms feature two king-sized beds and a host of practical amenities in a spacious enclave, with an awesome view of the sea.

 

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If you like to spend some time by the beach to watch the sunset along the horizon and then proceed to some nice indoor spaces for your dining and drinking needs during these festive seasons, there are a few restaurants and a sky bar at Lexis Suites Penang that would meet the criteria. This Christmas season, Roselle Coffee House @ Lexis Suites Penang, would be having its Christmas buffets on 24-25 December 2016 to tempt the diners with traditional and fusion mouth-watering Christmas dishes. Do check out the poster above for more details.

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The highlight of the night would always be the Roasted Turkey and Yorkshire Puddings, served with different condiments. What I love most at the carving section was the juicily pepped up turkey, accompanied by other delicious meaty dishes such as the Beef Wellington and Honey Glazed Chicken Roll.

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On top of the carving section, there would also be 6 other sections of delightful spreads such as the Appetizer, Salads, Salad Bar, Soup, Hot Dishes and Desserts. Do check out those freshly prepared sushi and sashimi as well as some of the fresh cold cuts.

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As for the Desserts Section, there would be some nice Christmas-theme decorated cakes and pastries for all your sweet-tooth needs, which might include the traditional Christmas Puddings, Yule Logs, Stollen and more.

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Do check out the items available in their Christmas menu as shown below:

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Other promotions for New Year Eve and New Year Day 2017 are also available. Check out the posters below:

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Overall, I quite love the simple yet delectable dishes served at Roselle Coffee House, especially on the spreads available at the Japanese, appetizer and carving sections. As for the rest of the sections, there are still some rooms for improvements as the eatery caters mostly for ala carte orders rather than buffets.

Lexis Suites Penang is located right at the end of Teluk Kumbar before the main road into Gertak Sanggul. In fact, it’s located just next to the Hao You Teluk Kumbar Seafood (公巴好友海鲜). The Roselle Coffee House is located at level 1 of Lexis Suites Penang. Just walk into the main lobby of the resort and move towards the right side of the lobby and you will see the elevator there. Take the lift to the first floor and you would see the restaurant there.

 photo LEXISSUITESMAP_zpsg9dtmwo7.jpg

Name: ROSELLE COFFEE HOUSE @ LEXIS SUITES PENANG
Address: 28, Jalan Teluk Kumbar, 11920 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-628 2888
Business Hours:
Breakfast: 6.30am-10.30am
All Day Menu: 11.30am-10.30pm
Buffet Menu: 6.30pm-11.00pm
Room Service: 24 hours
GPS: 5.287210, 100.232760

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

About Lexis Suites Penang: A luxurious resort by the beachfront that stands out as the only hotel on the island which offer guests the luxury of an individual private pool and steam room in every of its 222 suites. Located at the idyllic Teluk Kumbar, Lexis Suites Penang is about ten minutes’ drive from Penang International Airport. The guestrooms feature two king-sized beds and a host of practical amenities in a spacious enclave, with an awesome view of the sea.

 

Unless you are a hard knocked angler, you might not even be aware that such a seafood restaurant as the Gertak Sanggul Fishing Stage existed at the far south-east end of the Penang island. A paradise amongst anglers who prefer to relax under the shady areas next to the man-made fishing pond rather than heading up the hilly path of the Gertak Sanggul’s secondary jungle to the jackpot angling destination, this place would always be their favorite fishing spot. You can try your angling luck by paying RM40 for 3 hours of hooking up fishes such as the red snapper (ang cho), sea bass (siakap) or mangrove jack (ang ka tia). Presently, there’s an ongoing jackpot of over RM3,000 for whomever that can capture the sole goliath grouper (long tan). An additional RM200 would be given for the return of the prize fish. Business hours would be from 9.00am until 1.00am.

GSFS07

The setting up of the restaurant is simple with just a few tables by the pond and a few more along the patio area. It was amazing that you can’t find any menu here as they would just cook up anything upon your request, even with the fish that you had just landed. Dishes could include any fried rice or noodles, ala carte dishes to preordered course dinner with cold plate (RM80) as starter.

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As the few of us just dropped by impromptu, we tried out their ala carte dishes with rice. The first dish that arrived was their Steamed Thai Style Red Snapper (RM28). The fish was barely 500gms, thus we did not get much meat on this skinny fellow. Fortunately, the gravy with traces of onions, chopped garlic, button mushrooms, green pepper, tomatoes, tamarind and lemongrass was quite appetizing. It had the mild sourness and saltiness that could be just as good as the Wong Chau Jun sour fish vermicelli noodles down at Jalan Rangoon, Penang.

GSFS01

The next dish that was presented was the Marmite Chicken (RM10). All the crispy meat pieces were from a drumstick. The yeast extract, a by-product of beer brewing, combined with some sprinkle of sugar, caramelized and stir fried with some chopped onions and curry leaves blended in real well with the deep fried chicken pieces. They were rather tasty except that I would prefer to have deboned ones instead.

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Frankly speaking, the next dish which was the Kung Po Mantis Prawns (RM10), tasted quite similar to the Marmite Chicken as it also had some sugar added in rather than having the savory flavors as I had expected it to be. The dish had some chopped onions and dried chilies added in but there was not much spiciness in it as it lacked the more usage of dried chilies. Overall, the dish tasted quite nice with the crispiness from the batter infused mantis prawns but somehow this process drained the juiciness within the mantis prawns. I would recommend that you order either the former or the latter but not both due to the close similarity in taste.

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You should try out the Sambal Asparagus (RM10). It was palatable as the dish had that nice fragrance from some toasted prawn paste (belacan). Not only was the dish less oily, the crunch from the asparagus and the freshness from the prawns were just right. I only wished the portion was a bit bigger.

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The main highlight of the night was the Spicy Salted Egg Crabs (RM48). We had two huge and really fresh meat crabs stir fried in some curry based concoction together with salted duck eggs. The added curry leaves made the flavors from the dish even more irresistible. It had all the nice flavors but I found something missing from the dish. It was the significant amount of salted egg yolk bits. I guessed the chef would have used his bowl of pre-prepared salted eggs instead of providing one whole duck egg. What a joke! Moreover, the price of the dish had increased tremendously over a few months. It used to be around RM36 sometime last year. I actually don’t mind paying that amount if the crabs were filled with delicious but high cholesterol egg yolk~ 😛

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Overall, this restaurant could be quite nice for a family outing after an evening stroll along the beautiful beaches of Gertak Sanggul. Price wise, it could be a bit high considering that I can get quite similar quality dishes nearer to the town area without driving all the way through the dark corners of the beach stretches. Moreover, the brewed beverages here were too diluted for my liking.

If you are coming from the Bayan Lepas FTZ area along Jalan Bayan Lepas towards the Penang International Airport, drive over the overhead bridge towards Teluk Kumbar. Drive on for around 6-7km and watch out for a big “Hai Boey Seafood” direction signboard on your left at a junction. Turn left into the junction which would also lead you towards Gertak Sanggul. Drive on until you see the “Hai Boey Seafood” signboard on your left. Drive all the way until the end of the road and watch out for the old signboard (Pusat Makanan Laut dan Memancing Ikan Gertak Sanggul Fishing Stage) on your right which is just before to a bus stop (Bus Route #308). Turn right into the sandy road and you would see the restaurant on the left. Make sure you visit this restaurant as early as possible (as at 6.00pm) or you might have to drive back under quite dimly lighted stretch of road home.

GSFSMAP

Name: GERTAK SANGGUL FISHING STAGE
Address: 388, MK 8, Gertak Sanggul, Teluk Kumbar, 11910 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 6.00pm-12.00am (Closed Wednesday)
Contact: 604-649 1812, 012-494 7322, 012-470 8989, 016-480 9109
GPS: 5.283129, 100.191296

RATING:
Ambience: 6/10 (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)

A trip up Teluk Kumbar today proved fruitful for Chef Chen Hong (陳鴻) and his entourage as they finally get to visit the durian orchard that had named one of their native durians (土榴蓮) as 鴻榴槤/Hong Durian. Even before the chef’s arrival, this species of durians which has been in existence for over 2 decades and was nicknamed as “crocodile skin durian” were already selling like hotcakes amongst the locals.

HONGDURIAN01

It was amazing how the owner knew how to differentiate the dozens species of native durians here. One thing for sure, they chose the ideal one to name it after Chef Chen Hong. The dark yellow colored flesh of this durian has that smooth custard creamy sweetness with a hint of fermented wine after taste. The fruit was almost all meaty with small seed. The quality can be compared to the second hottest selling durian, Hor Lor (Calabash/葫蘆), just right after the hottest selling Ang Hae (Red Prawn/紅蝦). What an honor for Chef Chen Hong to have that fruit under his name. This durian would surely do well if exported to Taiwan.

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An expert in his culinary skills as always, Chef Chen Hong opened up a durian with ease. He charmingly remarked that the durians should be sold overseas not as a fruit but something exotic and unique that can be created in many forms of delicacies. He had even thought up of a few recipes which durian would be the main ingredient impromptu. They don’t address him as the Culinary Prince (美食王子) in Taiwan for no reasons, right? 🙂

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Chef Park (from Korea) and Chef Billy Ng (runner-up of 8TV’s Hot Chef Season One) also had their try outs in opening durians. I wonder if the owner was serious enough to name their two durians as “Korea” and “Billy Boy”. Chef Park who was not a lover for durians eventually took to a liking for them.

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The up the hill durian orchard was still untarnished with man-made pollution. The stream was so clean that you can still drink from it. Many fishes and prawns were sighted swimming about happily without the intrusion of human kind. The atmosphere was fresh and clean with abundant flora and fauna blossoming everywhere. Even a rare species of butterfly flew over and landed on my hand. What a beautiful sight that was. The orchard which spanned from Teluk Kumbar to Tanjung Asam (“chui cheang” where angling trips to the nearby Pulau Kendi was often planned) had many other famous branded durians such as the Ang Hae (Red Prawn/紅蝦), Hor Lor (Calabash/葫蘆), XO, Kapili Susu, Lipan, D2, D24, 604, Ooi Keong Ong (Turmeric King/Kunyit King/黄姜王), Xiao Hong (Small Red/小紅), Ganja (Cannabis), Chneh Poay Kia (Green Skin Boy/青皮仔), Bakuli (Marbles), Phua Cincu (Half Pearl) and many more. Other local fruits such as rambutans, mangosteens, cempedak, etc are also available here.

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The evening event was also attended by the entourage of Chef Chen Hong, Chef Park, Chef Billy Ng, Food Digest crew members, FoodTok, family members and friends of the owner, food bloggers and reporters. It was indeed a fun-filled outing for everyone after some hectic weeks of planning, organizing and food hunting for the best food in Penang.

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If you are coming from the Bayan Lepas FTZ area along Jalan Bayan Lepas towards the Penang International Airport, drive over the overhead bridge towards Teluk Kumbar. Drive on for around 6-7km and watch out for a big “Hai Boey Seafood” direction signboard on your left at a junction. Turn left into the junction which would also lead you towards Gertak Sanggul. Drive on until you see the “Hai Boey Seafood” signboard on your left. Slow down. Drive on for another 400m and watch out for a small slope on your right (GPS: 5.283556, 100.209471). Drive up the slope and you would see a small temple on your right. Just follow the sign boards available and you would reach your destination within 5 minutes.

SONGHAIDURIANMAP

Name: SONG HAI’S DURIAN ORCHARD
Address: Teluk Kumbar until Tanjung Asam, 11910, Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: To call up
Contact: 016-467 5233 (Mr. Tang Song Hai)
GPS: 5.292088, 100.211914
Sales Office: 26 Lintang Merak, Sg. Dua, 11700 Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia. (Opp. Tesco Extra)
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Song-Hais-Durian/129590123727593

RATING:
Ambience: 5/10 (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: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

FRUIT HUNT AT SUNGAI BATU DURIAN STALL

Posted by crizlai On July - 8 - 2009

It’s the time of the year for fruit feasting as there are lots of fruits on sales just anywhere you go along the roads of Penang. From May until August each year, you would get to enjoy many of the seasonal fruits especially durians – the King of Fruits. The different species of the fruits can come in shapes such as oblong and round with yellow, green or brown husks and the flesh would either be in white, pale yellow, yellow, orange to red. These thorn covered fruits are famous for their large sizes and unique smell that made them the love and hate of many people. I don’t think anyone had created a name for its intruding odor but to some it may just well be the combination of pungent cat pee, musty gym shorts, smelly socks and gas leak. I even heard someone mentioning that his neighbors called in 911 to report a rotten corpse. LOL!

Penetrating odor as the nicknames have suggested above, the fruits have the same reputation as the Hong Kong Stinky Tofu – the scent of smell could be overpowering but the scent of taste would sent many floating in heaven. There are many species of durian available in the South East Asian regions of Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia but most of the durian lovers would still prefer those from Balik Pulau, Penang, Malaysia and its surrounding areas as the texture are finer with stronger acquired taste.

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Thanks to Steven’s contact with the daughter of a durian seller, an entourage of the few of us was able to have the first hand experience in tasting the best of this stinky fruit. There are many species of durians available here such as Kor Teh (Bitter Herbal Tea), Kucing Tidur (Sleeping Cat), Susu (Milk), Capri, D15, D2, COB, Ganja (Cannabis), Seven Goddess (七仙女), Bak Ewe (Lard), Ang Hae (Red Prawn), Ooi Keong (Turmeric/Kunyit) and many more. We started by tasting the more common ones and later to those award-winning and branded ones.

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We started with the so called Ooi Keong Ong (Turmeric/Kunyit/黄姜王 – approx. RM10). It was fibrous, custard creamy and sweet with a hint of fermented wine after taste. Although the fruit was filled with lots of meaty flesh, it was just average to my taste bud as it lacked the strong aromatic taste of durian. Even though so, it would still be ideal for general consumption as it was rather filling.

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We were then given a test on our preferences for the following two branded durians of almost the same quality – Hor Lor versus Kim Poh. Comparing the colors of these two different species, Kim Poh (Golden Treasure/金寳 – approx. RM15) had a more inviting color of mixed orange and yellow. Taste wise, it had a smooth creamy and custard like flesh with slight bitterness. To me, it was a bit over ripe but that was the uniqueness that made the fruit having its strong fermented wine after taste and likeable by many.

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The moment everyone tried the Hor Lor (Calabash/葫蘆 – approx. RM15), there was a moment of silence as everyone was enjoying the beauty of the taste. The flesh was so smooth that it just melted in our mouth like ice cream. The creamy sweetness and bitter end taste obviously showed which species won the contest. Thumbs up for Hor Lor!

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The next durian which was the Chneh Poay (Green Skin/青皮 – RM8-RM20) tasted more like native durians as it did not have much of the durian flavor “strength”. More fibrous compared to the rest, it only taste sweet towards the end nearing the pulp with more obvious bitterness.

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I thought the next durian served was the laugh of the day – That Kah Chui (Stuffed Buttock/塞屁股 – approx. RM10) but that was indeed the name given by Ah Joo for this native durian (durians from the older unnamed trees/土蓮). This was just another typical native durian with thinner flesh and larger seeds. Although sweet with fine texture, it definitely would not satisfy my craving for better and more fulfilling durians. I’ll need more meaty flesh, regardless of branded or native as some native durians could taste far better than branded ones.

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Here are a shot of some native durians which you could get a large bagful for less than RM20.

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The Man of Honor aka Ang Hae (Red Prawn/紅蝦 – RM10-RM30) came out last as we had had decided to save the best for last. The fruit was indeed the best as it has won many awards in the local durian scene. The flesh was the finest around with smooth custard like creaminess. There was the distinctive sweetness and wine taste with a slight touch of bitterness. I would recommend this species. There’s a secret when consuming Ang Hae. The fruit should not be eaten once collected from the plantation. It should be left aside for a few hours to enable it to gather that powerful “booster”!

ANGHAE

On top of having durian fresh or having them with steamed white glutinous rice topped with thick and slightly salted coconut milk and fine sugar, there are many other by products available here such as the local durian paste cake (durian kuih), dried durian meat cracker, durian cream cake, coconut durian glutinous rice cake (dodol), durian ice cream, durian nian gao (glutinous rice cake available during Chinese New Year) served with shaved coconut, etc. Phew! There are just too many to mention here. For me, I love to have the seeds roasted or boiled until cooked. They tasted just like chestnuts. Wonderful!

However, when you have the King of Fruits, you would also have the Queen of Fruits during the season – Mangosteens (RM2/kg or RM5/3kg)! These proud looking tangy and peachy flavored ladies in deep purple dresses with Brazilian party like greenish headgears and white pinkish undergarments have been believed to be the antidote for those who had consumed too many of the “kings”. Its nutritious richness and antioxidant strength would surely compromise with the sugar level, carbohydrates, protein and fat that of durians. Isn’t it great to have the “cooling effect” of mangosteens versus the “bodily heatiness” of durians? But have a pair of watchful eyes when peeling as the purplish natural dye from the fruit might stain your attire terribly. The edible endocarp of the mangosteen would normally have few segments of so called wedges like flesh. The bigger ones would have seeds. At the bottom of the exocarp would be some embossed wheel spokes like ridges. That would determine the amount of “wedges” the fruit will have within.

MANGOSTEEN

Other than the kings and queens, we have the hairy like fruits called Rambutans (RM2/kg or RM5/3kg). These fruits may come in many colors such as red, yellow, reddish green, green (unripe) or maroon (shorter hair). The species sold here were from Balik Pulau, Penang. They have thinner skins with a much thicker coconut crunch like texture. The taste of rambutans would be somewhat different compared to other tropical fruit as it has a unique mild acidic sweetness. Some older generations might even pickle them in salt. It actually tasted real good as pickles. One advice for those with asthmatic or throat problems – Do not take the fruit with the skin from the seed intact. It would cause continuous irritation to the throat.

RAMBUTAN

Another tropical fruit that would be quite famous, especially amongst the Malays would be the Buah Langsat (RM2/kg). These fruits are normally oval in shape and would come in bunch of 30 fruits or less. The yellow and leather like skin fruit has 5-6 peels of translucent juicy flesh inside. Just like the mangosteen, it has whitish like seed in bigger peels. As for taste, it has a sweet and slightly sour acidic flavor with a hint of bitterness if not fully ripened.

LANGSAT

Last but not least my so called Prince of the Fruits – Cempedak (RM3/kg). The sausage like fruit practically grows on the trunk of the tree. The unique South East Asia native fruit has red, orange and yellow arils and taste somewhat like a stronger jackfruit with a hint of durian (without the intruding smell of course). I actually wanted the stronger and sweeter fruit with red arils but it would take a month or two more before they would be available. We ended up with the yellow ones which tasted just as great. Although some people would love to have them fresh, my favorite teatime snack would still be the double batter fried ones. Why double batter fried? The first batter dip would be to get the flesh cook and the next batter dip would get the seed within cooked well and to give that extra crunch. Just like the durian seed, the cempedak seed has the unique chestnut flavor but a bit softer than the former.

CEMPEDAK

I would surely archive Ah Joo’s contact for the remaining months and also for years to come as this has been one of the great fruit stalls around. Even their Buffet Durian Promotion (5-10pax at RM25/adult and RM15/child) shone out amongst the rest as there will be unlimited supplies of branded durians for your consumption. If you feel like having a durian fiesta right in the comfort of your home, delivery service can be arranged for an order of more than 10 fruits. Do check out the delivery time below.

Finding the stall would not be hard if you know how to get to the Penang International Airport by using Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah. As you reach the airport entrance “Y” junction, turn right and go over the flyover into Jalan Bayan Lepas. Drive on until you have reached the Jalan Permatang Damar Laut junction. Drive straight until next prominent landmark which would be the Emerald Park/Krystal Country Homes on your left. Drive further until you see the Teluk Kumbar Mosque, Kampung Sungai Batu. Slow down and watch out for Ah Joo’s Durian Stall just a few meters away on your right next to Forever Star Electrical and Plumber Trading.

AHJOOMAP

Name: Ah Joo Durian Stall
Branch Address: 1238 Jalan Bayan Lepas, 11900 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 017-422 2248 (Ah Joo), 012-453 1812 (Delivery-Kelly)
Business Hours: 10.00am-12.00am (daily)
Delivery: After 5.00pm (weekdays), business hours (weekends)
GPS: 5.285736, 100.238872

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

Invited Reviewers:
Criz, Cariso, Food Paradise, Steven Goh, Chan CW

A HILLY ADVENTURE TRIP TO BUKIT GENTING

Posted by crizlai On March - 30 - 2009

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Ever since my crazy adventurous island trip to Pulau Aman just to try out the famous Mee Udang (prawn noodles), who would have expected that I would go for another two food hunting trips along the river of Sungai Juru on the Penang Mainland district of Juru, i.e. Restoran Kampung Nelayan Kuala Juru and Warung Pak Su. From the island hopping adventure (Pulau Pinang aka Penang to Pulau Aman) and the panoramic river dining, this time I had driven up a hill by the name of Bukit Genting (Genting Hill) on Penang island itself for some dining experience.

Well, I almost did not make it for I was spooked on the way up the sloppy hill. Although it was just 10.30am, I felt a presence watching over my movements. Sure enough there was a moving shadow in sight amongst the trees and it made my hair stood up in fright. Can you guess what made that shadows? It was this playful villain!!

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I would not have expected such a handsome peacock roaming so freely amongst the area but that was not the only reason I almost did not make it to the top. Well, I almost rammed into another one in the middle of the sloppy track and it almost killed my constantly braked stationed car with overheated engine.

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Guys! Since when will they stop wooing a lady? LOL! Anyway, the peahen was a beauty too. I saw a few scammed for hiding as my car passed by. In fact, I saw around 8 peacocks and peahens roaming freely as if someone have been breeding them there.

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Before I knew it, I saw some smokes emitted at the front portion of my car and had to rush all the way up without making any more stops on the tracks. Luckily, the destination was not that far away and the wound was not that serious. My advice, it’s better to get a 4-wheel drive up there. The view there was great. I could see the township of Teluk Kumbar on one side of the hill. It was a surprise how much the place had developed now with sight of some beautiful buildings by the beach front.

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On the other side of the hill where the restaurant was situated had another great view. It was the township of Balik Pulau, a haven for durian lovers. You could even see clearly Pulau Betong, the turtle shaped island on the southern west part of Penang.

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I had inspected every loops and corners of the leisure park and found them to be real cool during the day. I could not imagine how beautiful it’s going to be when all the lights were switched on during the late evening.

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You can also have the option to dine in some of the chalet like dining areas by reservation or during bad weather. I guessed there might be a small price to pay for some privacy.

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Now, let’s look at what the place has to offer for their Thai cuisine. There were just the three of us (myself, a guy and a gal friend who happened to share the same birth date. :P) and ordering a few dishes was not that difficult.

The first order had already given me doubt on the quality of the food we will be getting next. The Luo Han Guo (Siraitia grosvenorii – RM1.20) and Iced Chinese Tea (RM0.70) were so diluted as in taste and color that they were like drinking flavored water. I regretted not ordering canned drinks at RM2.20 per can.

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We started the meal with EVERYTHING arriving at the same time. 8 dishes at one go? That was such an express service and I guessed I knew the reason later on. The Pandan Chicken (spiced chicken meat wrapped in screwpine leaves – RM1.30 each) looked impressive but the filling was dry. It tasted just like those frozen ones.

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The Spring Rolls (RM1.60 each) tasted normal with not much of filling. Another pre-packed frozen product? It obviously was as there would always be that defrosted dryness especially on certain types of vegetables no matter how well a restaurant would freeze them.

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The Pucha (Stuffed Crab Shell – RM3.50 each) somehow had the crab meat lost somewhere. I wondered if it had gone into another dish. The minced chicken meat plus a few chopped vegetables was still fine except that they were over fried as well. I has suspected that the above 3 items were all fried in the same wok, thus the lost of juices in the food.

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The next dish which was Fried Kailan with Salted Fish in Oyster Sauce (Chinese Broccoli – RM8) was the worst dish I had ordered. The greenery and crunchiness of the vegetable was gone. It was as though the chef broiled the vegetables for hours in bland tasting oyster sauce gravy. Moreover, the Kailan was old and there wasn’t much presence of any salted fish. They should have used baby kalian instead.

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It’s a blessing that the Pineapple Fried Rice (RM6) was still acceptable. At least the pineapple cubes were fresh and the taste was right to our taste buds.

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The Gai Pud Pet (Red Curry Chicken – RM12) was the best amongst our orders. The meat was tender and at least the gravy has the taste of a true Thai cuisine but it was rather pricey for just a small quantity of sliced chicken meat curry.

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Next was the Yam Woon Sen (spicy glass noodles salad/kerabu – RM8). This dish was filled with the spiciness from all the red and green chilles. It was rather spicy hot of some of us. Moreover, the dish had too much of lime juice in it. At least, this dish was edible compared to the “swollen” ones I had at Yellow Light Restaurant in Georgetown, Penang.

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We had also tried out the White Tom Yam Seafood (RM16). The soup had some squids, prawns and perch fillet. The taste was normal. Somehow I felt that the chef has too much of a light touch in throwing in more herbs and spices. If not, this soup would be quite good.

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The lunch ended up with some desserts and the list was very limited. We had only 3 options and of course we tried out everything. Tang Yuan in Ginger Soup (RM4) was the most expensive item on the menu. I had two colors (yellow and white) of black sesame filled tang yuan (glutinous rice balls) with some ginkgo nuts served in ginger soup. The ginger soup had the overpowering taste of old ginger and it was not well sweetened at all. In fact, it was bitter. The normal tasting tang yuan was of course frozen ones and the soup broth was misty. I would have thought that the chef would have known that tang yuan should be cooked separately and later added on to the soup base to preserve the clarity of the soup.

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Tub Tim Krob (jellied waterchestnuts with jackfruit and coconut milk – RM2.50) was not as creamy and sweet as it should be. There was too much of shaved ice in the dessert that resulted in further dilution in taste. The jackfruit should also be cubed to have a smoother mouthful. This was served in a styrofoam bowl which eventually got my shirt dirtied due to the windy atmosphere. I wonder why they did not use a normal bowl as the rest of the dishes.

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At least the Mixed Ice Cream (RM1.50) has the normal standard. There were a scoop each of chocolate and vanilla flavored ice cream, topped with some raspberry syrup and two halved cashew nuts.

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Overall, the place would be suitable for those who enjoy the beauty of nature as well as to stay away from the hustle and bustle of city lives. This is a great place for testing out your photography skill.

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For entertainment wise, it’s dead quiet except for the frequent crowd there towards the late evening to watch the panoramic view of the sunset at Pulau Betong. The surrounding small gardens would be quite boring after a short visit as it did not have playgrounds for families with children. I won’t blame them too as it would be quite risky to leave children unattended with cliffs on both sides.

As for the food (as in Thai food), it was just edible. There’s nothing to brag about. Now that made me wonder why this place did not get much publicity and tourism support although it has been in existence for more than 5 years.

There are actually two ways you can use in order to start your journey to Bukit Genting. One way would be using the Jelutong Expressway and drive straight up towards Batu Maung traffic lights and move straight on using Jalan Permatang Damar Laut to reach Jalan Bayan Lepas and turn left towards Teluk Kumbar/Balik Pulau. Another way would be using the old road (Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah/Jalan Bayan Lepas) until you reach the Penang International Airport. Use the flyover (instead of the left road leading to the airport) towards Teluk Kumbar/Balik Pulau.

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It’s going to be just one straight road leading to Bukit Genting. All you need to do would be to watch out for my attched landmarks. Firstly, drive on until you have reached Emerald Park/Krystal Country Homes (MAP A) on your left. From here onwards, all the landmarks would be on your left. You would need to drive until you see the Hai Boey Seafood signboard (MAP B), Sekolah Kebangsaan Teluk Kumbar (MAP C), Restoran Ayam Misai (MAP D) and Pusat Pemeriksaan Kenderaan Berkomputer Teluk Kumbar (PUSPAKOM). The journey after this is going to be a short but winding road to reach your destination. You would see a signboard showing the way to Kem PLKN White Resort (National Service Camp Site – MAP E), constructions of new bridges (MAP F&G). Slow down after the bridge/road and keep a look out for the entrance to Bukit Genting Leisure Park and Restaurant (MAP H). In case you have a GPS installed in your car, here’s the reading for the entrance (GPS: 5.315771, 100.22590). Do watch out and if you see a big and white water tank (MAP I) on your right, it means that you have missed the entrance. The rest would be easy as there would be mini sign boards showing how many kilometers left on your way up to Bukit Genting. (You can click on the maps below for a clearer view.)

IMPORTANT NOTE: DO WATCH OUT FOR THE FREE ROAMING BIRDS!! MAKE SURE YOU ARE AN EXPERIENCE DRIVER AS COMING DOWN ANOTHER ZIG-ZAG CEMENTED SLOPPY TRACK CAN BE REAL SUSPENSE. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE FUNCTIONALITY OF YOUR BRAKES AND WATER IN YOUR CAR BEFORE ATTEMPTING TO GO UP THIS HILL.

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Name: BUKIT GENTING LEISURE PARK & RESTAURANT
Address: Jalan Teluk Kumbar, Balik Pulau, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 11.30am-10.30pm
Contact: 604-827 9801/5, 019-465 7100
GPS: 5.308917, 100.220533

RATING:
Ambience: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 5.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

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