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Archive for the ‘penang’ Category

Are you aware that there’s a fun spot within Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa premises named F.I.P. (Fun, Interactive & Play) Lounge? It’s a real cool spot to chill out and have frothing good fun with your friends and besties. Regardless your age, you would always feel young-at-heart while you are here. Currently, FIP Lounge is offering its Coffee & Cakes Buffet from 3.00pm until 6.00pm on all weekends (Saturday & Sunday) for RM47nett (adult) and RM24nett (child: 6-11 years old). You would expect to get at least 10 variety of cakes, scones, cake pops and more with free flow of in-house coffee and tea brews. Thanks to the hotel’s seasoned cake maven cum Executive Pastry Chef, Chef Dino Wan and his creative pastry team, you would get to savor the best of cakes and pastries right in the comfort of the lounge.

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The variety of cakes might be different from day to day. Let’s have a look at what would be on display on a typical Coffee & Cakes Buffet weekend. Here were the 10 cakes I have tried out with 4 as my personal favorites.

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Of course my first choice would be their Signature Baked Cheese Cake. It was moist and had that unique cheesy flavor from the best Kraft’s Philadelphia Soft Cream Cheese with some hint of yoghurt and lemon juice. It was heavenly over a cup of hot tea.

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Next on my list was the Strawberry Short Cake. What I loved about this cake was the strawberry mousse-like cream with some mild sweetness which made my guilt of consuming sweet desserts at its lowest level~ 😛

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The Carrot Cake was amazing tasty. In fact this cake was the favorite amongst many of us. The cake was rich and moist with some tasty bites on the nutrients packed finely shredded carrots.

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Since the invention in the 30’s until today, the Red Velvet Cake is something that will not go out of style. It’s not the striking red color that attracted me but the nice zesty frosting that caught my attention. The baker did quite a great job here by maintaining the moist and fluffiness of the cake while having a nice balance between the zesty and sweet buttermilk cream. It complemented the cake real well.

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They also do serve some great Popsicle (Pop) Cakes with flavors ranging from Chocolate Moist, Orange Poppy Seeds, Red Velvet and Cheese Cake. These are actually cakes rolled into a ball with popsicle sticks and coated with either white or dark chocolates. Of course, my favorite amongst the 4 options was the Cheese Cake Pop. It really felt young having one pop cake slowly melting into the mouth~ 😛

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There were also two versions of Cupcakes (Chocolate Moist & Orange Poppy Seeds) and Scones available at the buffet. Though the cupcakes were moist, flavorful and beautiful, I’m not a fan of so much of butter cream on the cupcakes. They tend to be surfeit after a bite or two to my liking. However, the scones were quite good except I would prefer mine to be slightly heated up before serving. You can have some scones with fresh cream and strawberries. On top of that, they do also serve 3 different flavors of mini jars gluten-free Bonne Maman fruit preserves. Just as its name, it’s how your granny would serve you with all natural ingredients. Bonne Maman has no preservatives, no additives, no corn syrup, sulfite-free and non-GMO.

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Of course, you can get high with as much Coffee & Tea as you like here. The beverages are all in-house brews with accompanied sugar and milk.

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If you are not into the Coffee & Cakes Buffet, you can still order a thing or two from their normal day menu. Well, the menu would be rather unique as it would come in the shape of a long forgotten childhood origami shaped flower. Flip & Flap and you would let fate decide your destiny – food wise~ LOL~ 😛

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At the F.I.P Lounge, it’s all about letting your hair down, stay young at heart, have all the fun you have missed and doing what you Momma would discourage you to do – “Eat nicely and stop playing with your food!” Shhh… Don’t tell my Momma about what I did and I won’t tell yours~ LOL~ 😛

Firstly, they have the Tic-Tac-Toe Macarons (RM41nett). They would serve 5 pieces each of two different macaron flavors with a Tic-Tac-Toe board. Just make sure you don’t gobble up the macarons before the start of at least a game~ 🙂

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Next, they have the Checkers Platter (RM42nett). You would be given a board with 12 pieces each of Crab Cake and Chicken Bourdin. Now the game would get to be real interesting as you can eat each other’s food.

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They do serve Churros (RM30nett) too with salted caramel and chocolate sauce.

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If you love fondue, you can always order their Dark Chocolate Fondue (RM53nett) with bananas, strawberries, marshmallows and dried apricots.

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My sweet favorite would always be the Black Forest Mini Dessert Pizza (RM24nett) with chocolate cherry brownie cake base, served with dark chocolate, cherry syrup, icing sugar and a large scoop of their homemade vanilla ice cream. This item is truly heavenly.

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For coffee and tea lovers, you can have other options such as Cappuccino (RM13nett), Irish Coffee (RM31nett – alcoholic), Hot Chocolate (RM13nett), Café Latte (RM13nett), Chamomile Tea (RM16nett/pot) and more. Some of the coffee might come with 2D or 3D latte art.

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In case you need a beer on a humid day, there do also have Beer in Ice Mug. The price may vary from brand to brand such as Guinness & Carlsberg (RM27nett/mug), Asahi & Heineken (RM30nett/mug) plus Victoria Bitter, Budweiser & Corona (RM33nett/mug).

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Overall, if you are a dessert lover, you would find that the F.I.P. Lounge’s Coffee & Cakes Buffet is worth every penny as you can gobble down all the cakes you love with some of their nice brews. Moreover, you can have all the fun you want with all the facilities they have in the lounge.

To get to the F.I.P Lounge, just park your car at the furthest right wing of the hotel upon entering the hotel premises. Walk through the main lobby and you can see the entrance to the lounge.

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Name: FIP LOUNGE @ RASA SAYANG RESORT & SPA
Address: Batu Feringgi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-888 8888, 604-888 8788 (C&C Buffet Reservation)
GPS: 5.478365, 100.253709

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

 

GARTIEN LAUNCHED ITS UJI MATCHA PINEAPPLE CAKES IN PENANG

Posted by crizlai On June - 16 - 2015

GREAT PROMOTIONS (1-3 JULY 2015): 100 boxes of the newly launched “Uji Matcha Pineapple Cakes” will be up for grab at RM1nett/box on 1 July 2015. The offer is only available for walk-in customers. Pay in the morning and collect after 1.00pm. Limited to one box per customer. If you miss this opportunity, you can also get the BUY ONE FREE ONE deal on 2 July 2015 and 3 July 2015. Due to overwhelming responses, the offer has been extended until 5 July 2015. Other products are given 15% discount until further notice. Cash Terms Apply.

From a humble set up in Penang barely 3 years ago, Gartien(小田佳園) now has expanded from a young player in the local confectionery industry to an experienced establishment with the state-of-the-art innovation to cater to the demands of its increasing clientele. This coming 20 June 2015, customers would get to experience a new flavor – Uji Matcha Pineapple Cakes. The newly launched product would incorporate Japan’s finest matcha (green tea) from the city of Uji in the Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. It’s also known as the Capital Tea City of Japan, a city that produces superior quality tea due to its unique soil composition. With the usage of such superior quality matcha, you can be assured of consuming quality Uji Matcha Pineapple Cakes, free from any preservative, artificial coloring or flavoring.

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The selling price per box with 6 pieces of Uji Matcha Pineapple Cakes is at RM36nett (self collect only). A fix courier charge of RM10 & RM40 will be applicable to all deliveries within Peninsular Malaysia & East Malaysia respectively.

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What makes Gartien’s Uji Matcha Pineapple Cakes so unique? Other than having freshly cooked Penang homegrown pineapple cubes minus the preservative and artificial coloring or flavoring, the crumbly shortbread pastry has added finest quality uji matcha powder and silky smooth soft butter. With the Malaysian humid weather, it’s advisable to keep them chilled to avoid the quality butter from becoming overly moist. As for the taste for the new flavor of Uji Matcha Pineapple Cakes, I would say that it has a unique flavor that many would be at a loss to describe in words. It’s just not like the usual grassy bitterness you would get from any other matcha products out there. It has that natural excitatory neuro-transmitted flavor I would call “umami”, a fifth savory taste from your normal sweetness, saltiness, sourness and bitterness. The “umami” taste is really a jigsaw in our gastronomic evolution, with us unknowingly loving our regionally made belacan, nampla, garum, spag bol, marmite, meat stocks and more, with parmesan cheese being the most Western known “umami” product. You may call this product the love-hate relationship but I did find it to be real addictive. Instead of killing the natural taste of the Uji Matcha Pineapple Cake by washing it down with a cup tea, it’s best to enjoy the delicacy over a glass of plain warm water. You would experience an almost cheese-like buttery and yet salty flavor with a hint of bitterness, followed by a mild burst of natural sweetness and sourness from the pineapple filling. This is truly a unique product with 5 flavors coming from a single product and I’m proud that it came from my hometown of Penang~ 🙂

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By the way, are you aware that matcha is great for your health? Not only is it a natural antioxidant and packed with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), it also enhances calmness, boosts the memory and concentration, plus increases the energy levels and endurances. So, when you are feeling stressed out and in need of something to liven up your day, try slowly nimble your way through a piece of Gartien’s Uji Matcha Pineapple Cake~ 🙂

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Finding the bakery won’t be hard as it is situated right in the heart of George Town, Penang. If you are coming from KOMTAR along Jalan Penang via Jalan Magazine, you would see the outlet just next to the famous Kek Seng Coffee Shop (格成茶室). Parking can be quite limited since it’s a main road. However, the good news is that Gartien had recently worked out a deal with the management of Hotel Central. You can now park your car at their car park via Lorong Bertam and Gartien can stamp your parking ticket for free parking. How convenient it is now, right? 🙂

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Name: GARTIEN @ 小田佳園
Address: 380, Jalan Penang, 10000 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 0068
Website: www.gartien.com
Email: info@gartien.com
FaceBook: www.fb.gartien.com/
Business Hours: 9.00am-6.00pm
GPS: 5.416298, 100.329380

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 5/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

BUKA PUASA RAMADAN BUFFET 2015 @ VISTANA HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On June - 14 - 2015

If you have been a regular at all the Vistana brand name hotels nationwide during the fasting month of Ramadan, you would have been pampered with their option for choices. Unlike last year’s “Tok Wan 101 Recipes” Ramadan Buffet Promotion, this year they have set up even more “warung” aka stalls to tempt your craving for more street food. The promotion which would start from 19 June until 16 July 2015, would be priced at RM65nett per adult and RM30nett per child (aged 4-12 years old). For more information, you can visit www.vistanahotels.com or call +604-646 8000 for enquiries and reservations. If you have a great appetite for the many different choices of Malay cuisine, you should not miss out this coming promotion. You’ll be having free flow of Air Sirap served on each table as well.

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Let’s have a look at what would be in store for you during this year’s Ramadan Buffet. The menu might consist of random dishes as stated below:

Ulam-Ulaman Tempatan (Local Salad): Ulam Raja, Ulam Pegaga, Daun Selon, Timun, Kacang Panjang, Kacang Botol, Petai, Tomato, Bendi, Kobis, Jantung Pisang, Daun Kaduk with different dressing such as Sambal Belacan Asli, Sambal Kicap Limau Kasturi, Budu & Cincaluk.

Pembuka Selera (Appetizer): Kerabu Ulam, Kerabu Mangga, Acar Jelatah, Tempe Ikan Bilis, Kerabu Sotong, Kerabu Ayam, Kerabu Taugeh, Kerabu Sayur, Kerabu Ikan Masin, Tauhu Sumbat dan Kuah Kacang, Telur Masin & Ikan Masin Goreng.

Keropok (Crackers): Keropok Ikan, Keropok Udang & Papadum.

Rojak Buah: Mangga Muda, Betik Muda, Jambu Air, Jambu Batu, Sengkuang, Timun, Belimbing, Nenas with Kuah Rojak, Kacang Tumbuk & Biji Bijian.

Warung-warung (Stalls): Pasembur Campuran (Ubi Kentang, Telur, Timun, Sengkuang, Taugeh, Kek Ikan, Sosej, Tauhu & Cucur Udang), Kerang Kukus, Murtabak (Murtabak Ayam, Sambal Bawang, Dalcha & Bawang Jeruk), Char Koay Teow, Asam Laksa, Sup Daging Periuk Besar, Ais Kacang Pelangi (Krim Jagung, Kacang Merah, Buah Nau, Cincau, Sagu Mata Ikan, Susu Sejat, Agar-agar, Sirap Gula Melaka, Sirap Ros, Coconut Milk) & Teh Tarik.

Warung Bakar (BBQ Stall): 2 Jenis Ikan, Ayam, Daging, Kambing, served with Sos Lada Hitam, Sambal Merah & Air Asam.

Masakan Malay Kawah: Ayam Goreng Berempah, Paru Goreng, Daging Rendang, Rebung Gulai Sotong, Bawal Goreng, Ikan Masak Asam Pedas & Siput Lala Masak Berlada.

Sayur-sayuran, Telur & Nasi (Vegetables, Egg & Rice): Kari Telur, Terung Bakar, Nenas Masak Pajerin Bombay, Sayur Kailan Ikan Masin, Sayur Asin Asin, Pucuk Paku Belacan, Kangkung Belacan, Kobis Goreng Kunyit & Kacang Panjang Goreng Sambal Belacan, Peria Goreng Telur, Labu Masak Lemak Cili Api, Sayur Kalio, Nasi Putih & Nasi Tomato.

Pencuci Mulut (Desserts): Bubur (Bubur Kacang, Bubur Pulut Hitam, Pengat Pisang) Aneka Kek Tradisional, Aneka Agar-agar Tradisional, Aneka Pudding, Aneka Jelly, Aneka Kuih Tradisional, Sagu Gula Melaka, Leng Chee Kang, Aneka Ais Krim (Pilihan Ais Krim Vanilla, Coklat, Jagung, Keladi & Strawberry)

Pilihan Buah Buahan Segar (Fresh Fruit Cuts): Tembikai, Nenas, Tembikai Susu, Buah Naga, Pisang Emas & Betik

Unlike last year where the main attractions were whole roasted lamb and satay, this year you have more choices at a specially set up BBQ Section outdoor. We had BBQ Stingray, BBQ Catfish, BBQ Chicken, BBQ Beef Slices and BBQ Lamb Shoulder. I kind of like the different style of marinates.

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Amongst all the set up hawker stalls for this Ramadan, I quite like the Mee Sup Daging, Laksa and Teh Tarik. The many hours of simmering the beef with various types of local herbs and spices sure did pep up a flavorful soup base. On the other hand, the soup base for the Laksa had just the right balance of flavors, more significantly in the usage of tamarind peel. Compared to last year where the Teh Tarik was pre-prepared, this year they had a staff making it fresh. It was good and up to my expectation with just the correct concoction of thick tea with condensed milk. It had just the right sweetness to my liking.

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The rest of the servings were rather standard as previous year. However, the dessert spread can be quite abundant with lots of local delicacies.

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Overall, the spread of dishes for the Ramadan promotion at that offered price is also very attractive and reasonable. However, I would still prefer the kitchen to consider other West and East Malaysia states’ traditionally prepared dishes to be included into their Ramadan menu. By the way, there would also be prayer rooms to further cater to its Muslim guests celebrating this blessed month. The ballroom can only cater up to 500 pax at one time, so do call in +604-646 8000 to make your advance reservations to avoid any disappointment.

The ballroom is located at the left side as you enter the hotel lobby of Vistana Hotel Penang along Jalan Bukit Gambir. Just follow your nose and it would surely lead you to the aromatic section of the hotel. You can park your car in the basement which would require you to get a token from the receptionist to scan your way out.

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Name: GROUND FLOOR BALLROOM @ VISTANA HOTEL PENANG
Address: 213 Jalan Bukit Gambir, 11950 Bukit Jambul, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604- 646 8000
Business Hours: 6.30pm-10.30pm (Ramadan Buffet from 19 June until 16 July 2015)
GPS: 5.336334, 100.291527

RATING:
Ambience: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 9/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be having its “Eastin Ku Kampung Ku” Ramadan Buffet Dinner from 18 June until 18 July 2015 (7.00pm-10.00pm). The price would be at RM104nett/pax (Adult/Senior Citizens 60 years old and above will get 50% off) and RM52nett/pax (Child). If you are thinking of purchasing for 20 pax and above, there are some great voucher offers at good bargain prices stated below. The Ramadan Buffet Dinner would consist of traditionally prepared authentic and favorite kampung style Malay cuisine, under the experienced hands of the hotel’s Malay Kitchen.

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Here are some of the sections you might find interesting during the “Eastin Ku Kampung Ku” Ramadan Buffet Dinner.

GARDER OF GREEN SALAD (Tomato, Carrot, Cucumber, Corn Kernel, Onion Ring, Mix Lettuce) with DRESSING AND CONDIMENTS (Thousand Island, Cheesy Mayo, Italian, Mango & Vinaigrette)

INTERNATIONAL APPERTIZER (Semi-Dried Tomato & Mozzarella Salad with Basil Corn Relish, Cajun Squid Flower & Soba Noodles with French Dressing, Pan Seared Fish with Grill Zucchini Salad, Tomato, Aubergine & Citrus Dressing, Asparagus with Turkey Ham & Pineapple Salad, Ulam-Ulaman Serantau, Kerabu Perut, Kerabu Kacang Botol, Kerabu Ayam Dara, Kerabu Betik Muda & Kerabu Udang Suhun)

SAVORIES AND MALAYSIAN SAMBALS (Sambal Belacan, Sambal Cincaluk, Sambal Mempelam, Sambal Kelapa, Sambal Budu, Jelatah, Acar Buah, Keropok Ikan, Keropok Lekor, Keropok Udang, Papadam, Serunding Ayam, Serunding Daging, Acar Rampai, Sambal Ikan Bilis, Lemang, Ketupat Nasi, Ikan Masin, Telur Masin & minimum 5 types of Jeruk aka pickles)

SEAFOOD ON ICE WITH CONDIMENTS (Slipper Lobster, Tiger Prawn, Mussels, Crab)

SOUP & BREAD (Pumpkin Soup, Soup Ekor Cendawan, Bread Roll & Butter)

CITARASA MASAKAN KAMPUNG & MALAYSIAN FAVORITES (Ikan Asam Pesad, Gulai Daging Kacang Panjang, Gulai Asam Rom Sayuran, Ayam Pongteh, Rendang Ekor, Siput Sedut Lemak Cili Api, Pucuk Ubi Masak Lemak Putih, Stir Fried Crab with Basil Leaves, Thai Yellow Chicken Curry, Poached Indonesian Sea Bass with Cilantro Sauce, Sauté Squid with Macaroni in Tomato Herb Sauce, Fried Mussel with Chili & Hot Bean Sauce, Wok Fried Tiger Prawn with Butter Sauce, Nasi Putih & Nasi Tomato)

NASI LEMAK KUKUS ACTION COUNTER (Sambal Bawang, Ayam Goreng Berempah, Telur Rebus, Timun, Kacang & Ikan Bilis)

HAWKER STALL (Roasted Whole Lamb for minimum 80 Pax & above, Shawarma Corner, Ice Kacang with Condiments, Gearbox Soup with Condiments & Bubur Lambuk)

ACTION COUNTER (Mee Rebus, Panggang Station with at least 6 types of seafood & meat & sauces such as Mushroom Sauce, Black Pepper Sauce, Kam Hiong Sauce, Thai Chili Sauce, Assam Jawa & Kicap Bawang)

HOMEMEMADE MALAYSIAN PIZZA (Seafood Pizza & Beef Rendang)

DESSERT (Buah Kurma Madu Yusut Taiyoob’s, Assorted Fruits Platter, minimum 8 types of Assorted French Pastry, minimum 6 types of Whole Cakes, Fruits Jelly In Glass, Coffee Mousse, Apple Crumble, Bubur Kacang, Linzer Torte, Pavlova With Fruit & minimum 7 types of Local Malay Kuih)

BEVERAGE STALL (Air Bandung/ Soya Milk with Cincau/ Mata Kucing/ Young Coconut, Teh Tarik, Kopi Tarik, Coffee & Tea)

What are the “MUST TRY DISHES” at Eastin Hotel Penang during this coming Ramadan?

1. There are many different types of sambal such as the sambal cincaluk, sambal mempelam and sambal kelapa to go with your dishes. Various kinds of sambal are must in most Malaysian cuisine and only during Ramadan do they produce certain varieties.

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2. You should try out the Malaysian version of Oxtail Soup with added mushrooms known as Sup Ekor Cendawan. It’s an impactful yet flavorful soup with the uses of local herbs and spices plus beef bones stock.

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3. Another dish to take note will be the Gulai Asam Rom (Asam Rong/Aserong/Asrong) Sayuran/Siput Sedut, an appetite booster. This famous Pahang dish is quite rare in modern days as the main ingredient of buah perah (kelampai/rampeh/Elateriospermum tapos) is rather hard to obtain due to our fast development, except maybe from the jungle of Pahang, Sabah, Sarawak, Indonesia or Thailand. As it tastes just like the rubber tree seeds, some might use the rubber tree seeds instead. The curry has unique flavors and can be quite addictive.

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4. You might have heard about Oxtail Soup but hardly would you get Oxtail Rendang aka Rendang Ekor from your usual Malay restaurants. This is the secret recipe of the chef’s mother. It’s best not to miss out the chance to savor this unique dish.

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5. Do check out the Nasi Lemak Kukus Action Counter for Malaysian’s favorite dish. It may look simple but once you have a mouthful of the fragrant coconut milk infused rice accompanied with the flavorful sambal tumis, hardboiled egg, ikan bilis, fried peanuts and ayam goreng berempah, you would want to seek for more. It’s truly an addictive dish for all.

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6. You would hardly see a Whole Roasted Lamb unless it’s for grand occasions. The tender yet juicy meat had been marinated with special herbs and spices for 3 days prior to being roasted until perfection. This will be served with Middle East style of Bukhari Rice, using basmati rice cooked with tomato paste and various spices. One word~ Lazeez!

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7. One of my favorite dishes to hunt at Pasar Ramadan will always be the Turkish style Chicken Shawarma and they have it here as one of the dishes for buffet. Perfect! Instead of my usual bread wrap, they are using pita bread pockets with their special dressing. Who’s to complain since I can have as many as I ever wanted? 😛

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8. For more energy and stamina during the puasa month, you should try out their signature Sup Gearbox. It’s one great dish that I would always look forward to each year at Eastin Hotel Penang. The spices and herbs used in slowly simmering the bull’s thigh bones combined with some potatoes and carrots were indeed “powerful”. A bowl of this heavenly dish would surely keep the body energetic and rejuvenated for any activities during the fasting month.

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9. One of the popular Ramadan specialties would be an energy packed porridge known as Bubur Lambuk. The porridge is normally prepared by volunteers in mosques throughout the country and served to the public for free. The ingredients used from state to state might be different, ranging from poultry, meat and seafood. The most popular one would be the spice and energy packed porridge with the use of rich beef bone stock for that extra power.

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10. You should check out the Panggang Station for more flavorful grilled dishes. Depending on the stock available for the day, there will be at least 6 types of meat and seafood served daily during the fasting month.

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Overall, the Ramadan Buffet Dinner spreads have always been one of my favorites, considering that the kampung-style and family-oriented dishes were flavorfully prepared by the experienced Malay Kitchen team. Well done chefs~ 🙂

Promotions for Eastin Ku Kampung Ku Ramadan Buffet:

Early Bird F&B Promotion: Ramadan Voucher at RM80nett/pax
– For every 20 vouchers purchased FREE 1 voucher
– For every 50 vouchers purchased FREE 3 vouchers
– For every 60 vouchers purchased FREE 1 room of 2D1N DH
– For every 100 vouchers purchased FREE 2 room of 2D1N DH plus FREE 2 vouchers.

CITIBANK
RM88nett/pax for the Ramadan Buffet Dinner from18th June to 18th July 2015.

AEON Member
15% discount for members during the Ramadan Buffet Dinner.

Note: Senior citizens will get 50% discount.

The Swez Brasserie is located at the ring wing of Eastin Hotel, Penang (next to Queensbay Mall). 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 at the first right junction. Turn right and drive on. Park your car at the basement car park. Take a lift to the first floor lobby and you would see the restaurant there.

EASTINHOTELMAP

Name: SWEZ BRASSERIE @ EASTIN HOTEL
Address: 1 Solok Bayan Indah, Queens Bay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-612 1128, 604-612 1138
Business Hours: 7.00pm-10.00pm (Ramadan Buffet Dinner only)
GPS: 5.33643, 100.306345

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

 

When was the last time you have taken a break from your hectic lifestyle and spend a calming day with your family members and friends up Penang Hill for some fresh air while be mesmerized with the beautiful panoramic scenery of the island? For MyKad holders, it’s RM10/pax (adult) or RM4/pax (senior citizen, child & student). As for visiting tourists, it’s RM30/pax (adult & senior citizen) or RM15/pax (child & student). Daily train operation hours will be 6.30am-11.00pm (last train from top station). Now there’s a good reason for you to pay Penang Hill a visit as in conjunction with David Brown’s Restaurant & Tea Terrace’s 8th Anniversary, they are throwing in a superb set dinner deal for 2 pax at only RM100nett (regardless of nationality). The redemption period will be from June 2015 until 30 July 2015, excluding eve of public holiday and public holiday. Terms and conditions apply.

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However, the deal is solely for those who had purchased their voucher during their selected dated Road Show venues as shown below. Please take note that the vouchers won’t be on sale at the restaurant. Normal walk-in diners will be charged RM90++/pax for the set meal. Group purchases for the vouchers can be arranged by contacting the management in advance. Their Road Show Schedules are stated as below.

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Autocity: 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th June 2015 (Saturday)
Time: 6.30pm-9.30pm

Botanical Garden/Youth Park: 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th June 2015 (Saturday)
Time: 7.30am-10.30am

Occupy Beach Street: 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th June 2015 (Sunday)
Time: 7.30am-10.30am

Bayan Baru Pasar Food Court: 10th, 17th & 24th June 2015 (Wednesday)
Time: 12.00 noon-2.00pm

The menu for the Special Set Dinner for 2 Pax @ RM100nett is indeed value for its money as it’s a 4-course set dinner (appetizer, soup, main course & dessert) plus coffee or tea. Do enlarge the poster below for a clearer view.

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Prior to the start of our dinner, we were served with a bread roll each, accompanied with chili sauce, butter and tomato ketchup. I was just wondering who could be the Smart Alec who came out with this wasteful method of serving diners? Can’t we just have butter and save up the sauce until requested? Anyway, their warmly served in-house made buns were amazingly tasty and were rather compact compared to those served elsewhere.

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The first dish started off with an Appetizer of mixed green, dressed with honey lemon vinaigrette and topped with some slices of smoked duck. It was a palatable dish to start off the meal.

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This was followed with Seafood Corn Soup. The soup had a rather unique combination of flavors with sweetness from the creamy corn kernels and a mild hint of lemongrass. It was garnished with some mixed herbs. The soup had chunks of scallops and prawn for the extra bites. Though the soup was to my liking, I somehow prefer diced fish fillet to replace the scallops as it would pep up the taste for the soup further. Some light sprinkles of paprika and chopped spring onions would be great add-ons too.

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We were given the options to choose one main course out of 4 options, namely poultry, fish, beef or lamb. The first option was the David Brown’s Grilled Chicken Chop, served with roasted baby potato, steamed vegetables and a slice of corn cob with grilled jumbo sausage as bonus. The kitchen used their homemade BBQ sauce for the grilling and it came out quite perfect with the slightly burned after taste. It’s not a bad dish to order though. However, the bonus of jumbo sausage would need a bit of adjustment. Instead of directly grilled over the skillet, it could have gone through a process of boiling then grill to maintain the juiciness within. Alternatively, the kitchen could get the boil version as to maintain the yin and yang of the overall dish. I also do hope that the kitchen would look into having a small saucer of BBQ sauce or even some chicken jus for those who do not like their dish to be served so dry.

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The second option was the Pan Seared Sushi Grade Norwegian Salmon, served with potato cream, citrus salsa, pea sprout and aioli. I like how the salmon fillet was pan seared to perfection with the flesh still juicy and the skin having that nice aromatic crispiness. The fresh egg based mild hint of lemon citrus flavor complemented the fish real well.

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The third option was the Pan Seared Grain-fed Sirloin Steak served with roasted baby potatoes, onion marmalade, mixed green, balsamic reduction and au jus was also one of the most sought after dish amongst us. You could always ask the chef to cook it up to your preference such as medium-rare, medium or even well done (well.. I won’t recommend this option as it would toughen the meat).

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The fourth option would be the Braised Lamb Short Loin, served with potato cream, onion confiture and steamed vegetables. This was one of the more flavorful ones amongst the four options as all the flavors were extracted into the gravy. It had hints of apple sourness with a light touch of balsamic vinegar. However, the braising time of 3 hours for the lamb should be adjusted slightly lesser as the meat lost some of its biting texture. Overall, it was still a nice dish to savor over a glass of wine.

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Finally, it was dessert time with the serving of their mouth-dripping Chocolate Mousse Cake, skillfully decorated with a sweet flaky pistachio tuile, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on crumbled Oreo soil and mixed berry compote. It was heavenly and the whole combination had just the right sweetness to my liking.

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Lastly, you have the option to choose between Tea or Coffee to end your meal.

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For those who had missed out on purchasing their vouchers or having gone up during lunch time (11.00am-3.00pm), you could always check out their ala carte menu. One of their unique and signature dishes would be their Chicken & Mushroom Pie (RM48++). It’s one of its kinds in this region or maybe in the world. Instead of the normally enclosed filling of a pie, their version will consist of a plate of nicely stewed chicken chunks with mushroom, served with steamed vegetables plus a ball of mashed potatoes and topped with a freshly made puff pastry. Taste wise, it was just like the traditional style of cooking chicken stew with an add-on piece of butter infused flaky pastry.

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For those who would just love to enjoy the breezy cool air of the “hill on a hill” aka Strawberry Hill on Penang Hill, you could always come over to the restaurant their Afternoon Tea (3.00pm-6.00pm). The most recommend and sought after set on their menu would be the David Brown’s Petit Four (for 2 pax – RM78++), serving you with their finest tea for two, fresh fruits, tarts, sandwiches, fruit cake and English scones with their homemade strawberry preserve and cream.

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So what would you do after a hearty dinner or even finding a place just to relax after a long walk around Penang Hill? You can always laze about at David Brown’s Sky Terrace, one tier below the restaurant, over some light snacks and beverages. There will also be band performance during Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holiday. They will operate from 9.00am until 11.00pm daily. Please do take note that the last train downhill will be at 11.00pm. Unless you are staying uphill for the night, do take heed of this reminder. On top of their English Breakfast Set Meal (RM25++), you can still order their Devonshire Cream Tea (RM25++) which would come with a pot of hot tea, 2 scones and their homemade strawberry preserve and cream. Do check out their cakes too. My recommendation would be their Tiramisu (RM15++). Since I was in the mood for watching the panoramic night scene, I stayed on over a pot of Peppermint Tea (RM12++) and a steaming hot cup of Coffee Latte (RM12++). I was impressed with their use of the Italian brand Caffe Vergnano Espresso Rico ‘700 which has an intense and full-bodied flavor with hints of chocolate finishing. This blend had just the right balance of fragrantly roasted Arabica combined with the rich and full-bodied Robusta. The Coffee Latte served here was one of the best milk-based espresso beverages I have tasted.

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While waiting for the sky to get even darker for the perfect night lights shots, I was also munching some of their Crunchy Breaded Calamari Rings (RM20++), served with their homemade tartare sauce. It was nothing great to shout about but at least there was something to keep my mouth moving~ LOL!

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Overall, I do find some of the dishes served here to be quite impressive. However, there are still rooms for improvements, considering that time has changed and so do the taste buds of the diners out there. The simple and traditional way of preparing food might no longer attract diners of the younger generations. Price wise (other than the set dinner promotion which is a great bargain), some may find the menu pricing to be exorbitantly steep. As a Penangite, I would consider myself lucky having a cool, breezy and relaxing place to fall upon when I needed a short getaway to rid my body and mind from the stressful city life. Compared to travelling to another hill resort outside Penang to dine out, don’t you think that it’s even cheaper to pay a friction of the travelling cost and pamper yourself more often like a King or Queen over some meals at David Brown’s Restaurant & Tea Terraces? The choice is yours. I rest my case.

It’s not hard to find David Brown’s Restaurant and Tea Terraces as it’s located above the small Strawberry Hill next to the train station. Upon disembarking from the train, just walk towards the end and turn right and you can see a stairways leading up to the restaurant.

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Name: DAVID BROWN’S RESTAURANT & TEA TERRACES
Address: Lot 400, MK 17, Daerah Barat Daya, Strawberry Hill, Bukit Bendera, 11300 Air Itam, Penang, Malaysia
Contact: +604-828 8337 or +6018-409 6277
Business Hours: 11.00am-3.00pm (lunch), 3.00pm-6.00pm (tea), 6.00pm-10.00pm (dinner – last order at 9.00pm)
GPS: 5.424210, 100.268632

RATING:
Ambience: 9/10 (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)

 

“Every day is Earth Day in the Shangri-La’s Kitchen” as Shangri-La Group of Hotels and Resorts worldwide launched their “Rooted in Nature” campaign on 22 April 2015 last month. It’s a part of the group’s initiative to maintain culinary sustainability, thus raising the awareness on consuming freshly farmed food which had gone through strict international standard requirements without harming the environment. Today, Shangri-La’s Golden Sands Resort, Penang had invited a special guest to join them in the journey of “Rooted in Nature”. He’s none other than the Iconic American Chinese Chef, Chef Martin Yan.

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Most of us have grown up with Chef Martin Yan’s award winning cooking show, “Yan Can Cook” with his catchy phrase line of “If Yan can cook, so can you!” Chef Martin Yan simply made cooking looks so easy, especially on how he uses his customized knife to prepare ingredients with barely any effort. I’ve tried using his knife and it indeed had that balance, lightness and sharpness as claimed by the chef himself. Chef Martin Yan sure knows his kitchen utensils’ precisions well.

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Chef Martin Yan who is currently in Malaysia for the filming of the upcoming TV Program, “Taste of Malaysia”, to be aired somewhere in late third quarter of this year, paid a visit to GST Group Fish Farm, one of the sustainable food partners of the resort offshore of Pulau Jerejak, Penang, to discover the source of sustainable seafood. According to him, we are lucky to have such fresh fishes of such huge sizes easily available for our consumptions unlike in USA. He later teamed up with Golden Sands Resort’s Executive Chef, Chef Adrian Lim, to pep up a delicious Nyonya Curry Kapitan Fish dish with their morning’s fresh catches. The recipe used fresh sustainable seafood, combined with some organic and locally produced herbs and spices.

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We also had a try-out on some of the “Rooted in Nature” dishes at the resort’s Sigi’s Bar & Grill (the other Rooted in Nature participating eatery is their Garden Café). Diners can identify the Rooted in Nature dishes by spotting a “pea shoot” logo printed alongside the dish description. We started off with their Grilled Free Range Chicken & Organic Tofu Salad. It was truly a well balanced diet with lots of fresh romaine lettuce and onion rings dressed with balsamic vinegar, topped with some perfectly grilled yet juicy free range chicken breast meat and accompanied with some organic tofu cubes. It was indeed a great salad before your main meal.

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As for main, we tried out the Rosemary Scented Broiled Chicken served with vegetables of the day, mashed potatoes and brown jus. The half free range broiled chicken was just the right size to give that flavorful yet juicy impact.

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Lastly, we were served with their Double Scoops of Yam & Coconut Ice Cream topped with whipped cream. I must say this was the heaven of the day as it was not just any ordinary ice cream but one with real yam bites. Combined with the creamy texture of the coconut ice cream, it was a hit amongst us.

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Overall, it was a fun outing having to catch up with Chef Martin Yan once again on his Malaysian tour. At 66+ years old, he’s still as comical and humorous as he was on the TV shows. As for the Shangri-La Group of Hotels and Resorts worldwide, I would want to wish them all the best in achieving their goal of serving 75% more sustainable sourced food on the menus within the next 5 years.

The restaurant is just located within the premises of Golden Sands Resort. Drive all the way up towards Batu Ferringhi. When you see the Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa on your right, slow down and watch out for the Golden Sands Resort entrance which is right after the Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa. Park your car at the ample car park there and walk into the main lobby of the resort. Head towards the beach area and you would see Sigi’s Bar & Grill on your right.

SIGIMAP
Name: GOLDEN SANDS RESORT
Address: Batu Feringgi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-886 1911
GPS: 5.476330, 100.251440

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)

 

Penang, the food paradise of Malaysia, has long being known for its diversity in many choices of cuisine due to its heritage as well as the different ethnic populations living within. From every nooks and corners of Penang, you would surely find something that would suit your taste bud well. However, to savor all the few hundreds of delicious items in Penang could be quite an impossible feat, even for the locals. Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang has now made your life easier by pepping up great Penang dishes, all under one roof, with its current Chiak Penang Buffet Lunch Promotion from now until June 2015. You would get to savor Penang own local delicacies plus a slight mix of international cuisine. The Chiak Penang promotion is priced at RM66nett (adult) and RM33nett (child) with different menus rotation daily. You can also get more discounts with credit cards as mentioned below.

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Let’s start with a typical menu you might get for lunch during weekdays. At the Salad Bar, Appetizer & Cold Dishes Section, you would expect to get a selection of fresh greens, condiments and dressings, accompanied by some ready-made salads and cold cuts such as Kerabu Telur, Kerabu Mango, Roasted Chicken with Mushroom Salad, Gado Gado, Fajita-Marinated Beef with Avocado Cream, Penang Famous Fruit Rojak, Cold Cuts, Prawn Crackers, Fish Crackers and Papadum.

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As for the Soup Section, you would get items such as Chinese Style Bitter Gourd Chicken Soup, Chicken and Smoked Sausage Soup and Assorted Bread Roll & Butter.

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At the Main Dishes Section, you would have a selection of local cum international dishes such as Ikan Panggang dengan Air Assam, Wok Fried Mussels with Black Bean Sauce, Fried Okra with Belacan, Nyonya Chicken Pong Tei, Ayam Masak Madu, Kambing Masak Merah, Dhall Masak Sayur, Kari Ikan Kepala dengan Bendi, Mee Mamak, Steamed Rice, Nasi Minyak Hujan Panas (also known as Nasi Dhalca), Minced Lamb Kofta on Onion Compote, Chicken Scaloppini with Beef Bacon and Sage, Oven Baked Red Snapper Fillet Lemon Infused Cream Sauce, Baked Fennel with Pepper and Tomato, Homemade Mushroom Cannelloni Filled with Cheese and Spinach and more.

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There will also be the Action Counter where you can get other deep fried items for your Nasi Kandar, such as Udang Goreng, Ayam Goreng, Ketam Goreng and Ikan Goreng. Do also take note that there might also be a special dish of the day such as the Telur Ikan Masak Lemak Seri Kayangan being served here. Other than that, you might find dishes such as Yong Tau Foo, Mamak Popiah, Murtabak Ayam, Teppanyaki Chicken, Ais Kacang and Cendol available here.

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At the Desserts Section, other than your fresh fruit cuts, you would get an assortment of cakes, pastries, jellies and Nyonya kuih here. Free flow of ice creams, coffee and tea are also available.

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Overall, the food served here can be quite interesting as you would get to try out multi-national Malaysian cuisine as well as different Penang street food on different days during this promotion.

Here’s the summary of all the promotions throughout the year.

SWEZ BRASSERIE PROMOTION 2015 (JANUARY-DECEMBER 2015)
Monthly Themed Buffet Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM66nett (adult), RM33nett (child)
Seafood Extravaganza 6.30pm – 10.00pm) : Friday & Saturday
RM106nett (adult), RM53nett (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday & Sunday
RM77nett (adult), RM38.50nett (child)

For Citibank card members, you can enjoy a “Buy 1 Free 1” offer for Buffet Lunch until September 2015. Other than that, Maybank and Citibank car members get to enjoy a 15% discount for the Full Buffet Dinners from 6.30pm – 10.00pm until end of 2015. Terms and conditions apply.

The Swez Brasserie is located at the ring wing of Eastin Hotel, Penang (next to Queensbay Mall). 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 at the first right junction. Turn right and drive on. Park your car at the basement car park. Take a lift to the first floor lobby and you would see the restaurant there.

EASTINHOTELMAP

Name: SWEZ BRASSERIE @ EASTIN HOTEL
Address: 1 Solok Bayan Indah, Queens Bay, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-612 1128, 604-612 1138
Business Hours: 12.00pm-2.30pm (Lunch), 6.30pm-10.00pm (Dinner)
GPS: 5.33643, 100.306345

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

 

GARTIEN@小田佳園, Penang’s foremost pineapple cake manufacturer, has recently launched their limited edition of Seasonal Crystal Pineapple Confiture, retailed at RM16.80 per bottle. It’s basically chopped up pineapple slices, slowly stewed under pasteurized conditions with minimal added sugar, combined with a mild touch of lemon zest. The differences between confiture and jam is that confiture contains more fruits and is normally prepared using a whole or chopped up piece of fruits while jam is normally mashed up and cooked until a puree like consistency. Gartien’s Seasonal Crystal Pineapple Confiture is almost near the natural flavors of pineapple with just the right amount of sweetness to make it the perfect, convenient and versatile ingredient to complement with many sweet and savory dishes.

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Before I show you how versatile this confiture is with my own creations, let me show you the many ways you can get your hands on the product. Firstly, you can purchase a bottle off the counter. However, please take note that the crystal pineapple species is seasonal, thus the supplies are quite limited. Secondly, you can try to win yourself a bottle by joining in the simple requirements as listed below.

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The Gartien Crossover Partners are:

Name: ZI ZAI RESTAURANT (自在飯店)
Address: 1239-G, Ground Floor, Jalan Paya Terubong, 11600 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-826 5173
Business Hours: 5.30pm – 10.30pm (Closed Tuesday)
GPS: 5.387212, 100.274013
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/zizairestaurant
Seasonal Dish Promotion: CRYSTAL PINEAPPLE SWEET & SOUR PORK (RM12)
Other recommended dishes: Poon Choi, Salted Fish Steamed Minced Pork, Sambal Lala, Braised Hammock, Belacan Chicken and more.

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Name: KAI CURRY BAR
Address: 15, Jalan Phuah Hin Leong (Off Jalan Burma), 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +604-226 0322
Business Hours: 11.00am-3.00pm, 6.00pm-9.00pm (Closed Sunday & Monday)
GPS: 5.423637, 100.322570
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kai-Curry-Bar-15-Jalan-Phuah-Hin-Leong-Off-Jalan-Burma-Penang/1513938712195108 and http://www.facebook.com/UmaiKitchen
Seasonal Dish Promotion: CRYSTAL PINEAPPLE JAPANESE CURRY RICE (RM18.90)
Other recommended dishes: There will be options for pork, chicken, fish and hamburg on rice/udon with either pork gravy or vegetarian gravy.

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Name: 43 CAFE
Address: 43, Jalan Sungai Dua, 11700 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +6016-430 7009
Business Hours: 5.00pm-10.00pm (Daily)
GPS: 5.353265, 100.303813
FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/43Cafe
Seasonal Dish Promotion: CRYSTAL PINEAPPLE TOPPING ON HOMEMADE ICE CREAM (RM9)
Other recommended dishes: Dry-aged Pork Belly, Dry-aged Pork Steak, Sous-vide Chicken, Pork Satay, Egg Pecah and a wide selection of homemade alcoholic & non-alcoholic ice cream.

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Name: SOUL CAFE
Address: 12, Jalan Kek Chuan, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: +6016-430 7009
Business Hours: 11.00am-11.00pm (Closed Sunday)
GPS: 5.415079, 100.324503
FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/yourSoulCafe
Seasonal Dish Promotion: ANANAS PUNCH (RM11)
Other recommended dishes: Linguine al Vongole Pesto, Spaghetti al Amatriciana, Chicken Roulade with Aioli Sauce, Salmon Steak with Mustard Tarragon Sauce, Gula Melaka Cheese Cake and more.

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Since I have some of the Gartien’s Seasonal Crystal Pineapple Confiture around, I created some healthy recipes out of the product and the end products were excellent.

The first creation was Prawn & Meat Ball with Crystal Pineapple Salsa. The prawn and meat ball had a little marinate of soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper, sugar, corn starch with lots of chopped onions. The inner part was moist and juicy while the crust had that mild crisp from slow pan searing. The Salsa basically consisted of chopped crystal pineapple confiture, onions, cherry tomatoes, parsley with some light touches of extra virgin olive oil and salt. The whole concoction will be great for tapas parties.

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The next creation was the Crystal Pineapple Mint Tuna Yoghurt on Cheese Toast. As for the bread, I had a piece each of round cut and ring cut wholemeal bread with a piece of cheese stuffed in between. These were oven toast for 5 minutes to bind them into a “cup” base. The filling had yoghurt, chopped mint leaves, dry herbs, tuna chunks in olive oil and chopped crystal pineapple all stirred together to get the right balance in flavors. I had some sprinkles of ebiko and sweet paprika to boost up some colors. This would be another great party idea to impress your healthy guests.

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Since most of us have been indulging in rich meals most of the time, I had decided to come out with a healthy beverage to help you all in detoxification. LOL~ 😛 I called this drink – Healthy Detox Juice with Crystal Pineapple and it’s full of digestion-boosting enzymes. You can either juice or blend the ingredients. However, I only have a blender in hand, thus I just sieved the end product and pour it into a glass filled with a scoopful of the Gartien’s Seasonal Crystal Pineapple Confiture. Just top up with some ice cubes and you can start enjoying your refreshing drink. The recipe is rather easy as you need to blend in just a green apple, 10 mint leaves, a cup of fresh coconut water, a teaspoon of honey and a mini pinch of salt. Sieve and serve chill.

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You can also check out Nicole’s Homemade Delicacies. She came out with a nice Crystal Pineapple Cheese Cake to share with some of us. Nicole is not new in the game of making and baking delicious homemade cakes. Some of her orders include Mango Cake, Belgium Chocolate Cake, Party Cupcakes, Tambun Biscuit, Bak Kua, Bak Hu and so on. Do check out her FaceBook for more information. Please also take not that she’ll also be producing the limited edition of Crystal Pineapple Cheese Cake for the month of May 2015. You can call Nicole Ann Ng at +6012-492 1648 to make your order now~ 🙂

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Overall, I personally feel that this is a great add-on product to ease many kitchens. Not only will it save a long period of time in pepping up some confiture for a dish, it also adds some boosting flavors to many dishes. In short, it’s a miraculous creation for just any dish, from meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables to desserts. I have created some recipes here and let’s see what else you can create with this product. So, go grab a bottle or more at Gartien now before the season is over. Lastly, let’s hope Gartien can keep the supplies ongoing by coming out with other pineapple species as well?

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Name: GARTIEN @ 小田佳園
Address: 380, Jalan Penang, 10000 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 0068
Website: www.gartien.com
Email: info@gartien.com
FaceBook: www.fb.gartien.com/
Business Hours: 9.00am-6.00pm
GPS: 5.416298, 100.329380

 

While Earth Day will fall on 22 April each year, “Every day is Earth Day in the Shangri-La’s Kitchen,” said Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman, Director of Communications, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa and Golden Sands Resort, Penang. With the theme “Rooted in Nature”, Shangri-La Group of Hotels and Resorts worldwide support sustainable food produces from its local agriculture and aquaculture sectors. It’s an initiative to raise awareness on consuming freshly farmed food which had gone through strict international standard requirements without harming the environment. Not only will this campaign support the livelihood of its local farmers and fishermen, it will also enable diners to have fresher and healthier choice of diet without worrying about the presence of pesticide, hormone or antibiotic in their food. Moreover, dishes on offer will include produce and herbs grown on hotel grounds, locally sourced organic vegetables and fruits, line-caught fish, free-range poultry and beef, honey from a hotel’s own beehive, etc. According to Peter Finnegan, Shangri-La’s Group Director of Food and Beverages, “Our goal is to serve 75% more sustainable sourced food on the menus by year 2020.”

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While engaging local partners such as the GST Group (seafood) and Ayamplus Food Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (poultry) in their “Rooted in Nature” campaign, we were fortunate to be given the opportunity to attend a food source trail at GST Group Fish Farm located offshore of Pulau Jerejak, Penang. GST Group is also the only European Union compliant fish farm in Malaysia, with two other fish farms in Pulau Aman and Pulau Pangkor plus a retail shop located in Simpang Ampat, Penang. The initial GST actually came from the founder’s name, Goh Siong Tee, 90 years old, decades ago and not to be confused with the recently implemented GST (Goods & Services Tax). “The name did draw a lot of attentions but in a good way too as it helps us to promote our business better,” jokingly stated by Joey Ong, Senior Business Development Executive. After having some breakfast sponsored by the hotels, we embarked on our journey via 3 fishing boats towards our destination. Anyway, we did not spot any mermaids or mermen on the way~ LOL~ 😛

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We were briefed by En, Mohd Addin Aazif, Senior Aquacultural Technician, as well as by Mr. Goh Chin Twan, GST Group Marketing Manager, on the ecologically and ethically farmed fishes which ranged from species such as red (crimson) snapper (ikan merah pucat/ang sai/紅雞), golden snapper (ikan jenahak/ang cho/紅鰽), giant (goliath) grouper (ikan kertang/long dan/龍膽), pearl grouper (kerapu mutiara/long hu ban/龍虎斑 – a 2006 hybrid species between giant grouper and tiger grouper), cobia (ikan haruan tasik/hai lay/海鱺 – sashimi species), giant trevelly (ikan gerepuh/gu kang cheoh/牛港鰺 – commonly known as GT) and more.

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Of course, the chefs from both Golden Sands Resort (Chinese Chef, Chef Danny Tan) and Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa (Executive Chef, Chef Lim Soon Leong & Chef de Cuisine, Chef Matthias Tretbar) could not resist camwhoring with some “edible fishes”, especially with the juvenile 17kg Giant Grouper (Ikan Kertang/Long Dan/龍膽). The Giant Grouper can reach to a maximum size of 2.5m and weigh more than 350kg.

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After a fun-filled and knowledgeable expedition, we continued our journey up Batu Ferringhi towards the two participating Penang hotels – Golden Sands Resort and Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa. Each hotel has two participating eateries. Diners can identify the Rooted in Nature dishes by spotting a “pea shoot” logo printed alongside the dish description. It’s to ensure that the fresh ingredients used strictly follow at least one of the 5 guidelines, which are local produces, pesticide-free products, free-range livestock & poultry, sustainably sourced food and organic & fair trade products. You can check out the “pea shoot” logo as printed on the hot beverage below.

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At Golden Sands Resort, we were led to Sigi’s Bar & Grill (the other Rooted in Nature participating eatery is their Garden Café). At the venue, we had the opportunity to try out some of the chefs’ skillfully prepared dishes from their “Rooted in Nature” menu from Grilled Sea Bass, Grilled Free Range Chicken & Organic Tofu to SIGI’s signature dessert of Double Scope Yam and Coconut Ice Cream with Fresh Whipped Cream.

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On the other hand, Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa’s Spice Market (the other Rooted in Nature participating eatery is their Feringgi Grill) indeed do serve an extensive varieties of fishes, namely the Pearl Groupers and Red Snappers, cooked in a few unique flavors. These dishes will be available amongst the buffet spread from time to time.

We actually started the meal off with a bowl of Double-Broiled Free-Range Chicken Herbal Soup. Wow! I was impressed by the flavorful and nourishing herbal soup. It was indeed a great bowl of soup to replenish all the sweat and energy lost under the scorching sun during our field trip earlier. In fact, it was one of the best soups I’ve tasted with the usage of quality herbs, combined with the rich flavors from the hormone-free and antibiotic-free range chicken.

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Amongst the many fish dishes served on the day, we were presented first with the non-spicy Chinese Style Steamed Pearl Grouper with Superior Sauce. It was just a commonly prepared banquet style dish but you could ascertain that it was at its freshest. How would you judge a fresh and mud-free fish from any restaurant? It’s in the basic ingredients used to pep up the flavors without the presence of julienned ginger.

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We were also served with the Indian Style Red Snapper Curry. It may be another commonly available dish at most Indian and Mamak restaurants but again Spice Market lived up to its name by infusing quality herbs and spices into the dish. Moreover, the added sliced tomatoes and lady’s fingers were great complements. Can I have more steamed rice with this dish?

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We then had the Malay Style Ikan Merah Masak Tiga Rasa (Malay Style 3-Flavors Red Snapper). I guessed each restaurant has its own style of presenting this dish. Most of the time, it was just batter fried fish in sweet and sour sauce with added bird eye chilies (cili padi). However, the chef here presented the dish with their own concocted gravy. It was indeed a dish favorable to my taste bud.

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Somehow, the next dish which was the Nyonya Style Steamed Pearl Grouper had me indulged sinfully with more steamed rice. It was heavenly. Most the distinctive flavors from the usage of fresh ingredients used in Nyonya cooking were present with the additional refreshing flavor from the added mint leaves. However, I found the gravy to be too finely presented as in the herbs and spices being too finely blended. It would be great if the kitchen would coarsely blend them to give that little bit of bites. A little bit more of added ginger flower (bunga kantan) would surely pep up the dish further too.

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The last of the fish dish was the humongous sized Italian Style Baked Pearl Grouper Parmigiana. If my guess were to be right, it could be around 5kg or more. It was like having pizza but with fish instead of dough as base. Though it was real presentable as a whole fish, it would be better to work with fish fillet instead. The whole dish was delicious but somehow the thick slab of flesh did not absorb the flavors from the ingredients used. This could be my personal preference dealing with meaty fish but I can assure you that the fish was extremely fresh without any trace of muddy after taste.

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We ended up with a sweet treat created by their skillful pastry chef. It was the Lemongrass Crème Brulee with Coconut & Pandan Sauce. It had a smooth texture with a mild spiced up flavor from the lemongrass. The dessert went well with the condiment of coconut and pandan sauce.

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Somehow, something got the sweet tooth out of me on that day which was never a norm for me. I could not have enough of desserts! LOL~ In the end, I adjourned to the FIP (Fun, Interactive & Play) Lounge next door and ordered the first thing that caught my attention. It was the Black Forest Chocolate Pizza served with Fresh Vanilla Pods Ice Cream. It was a decision I would never regret as the pizza had just the right ratio of bitterness against sweetness, from the base, shaved chocolate, black forest right up to the ice cream. By then, I was already up Cloud 9, indulging in the heavenly dessert. By the way, you could always check out FIP’s Weekend Coffee & Cakes Buffet at RM47nett/adult and RM24nett/child, serving from 3.00pm until 6.00pm (Saturday & Sunday).

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Overall, from my previous dining experiences at both Golden Sands Resort’s Sigi’s Bar & Grill and Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa’s Spice Market, compared to now, the quality of dishes always gets better, with their assurance on the usage of the freshest ingredients plus high quality herbs and spices. Do support them on their mission to accomplish the best out of their Rooted in Nature campaign. It’s not only a WIN-WIN working relationship between the hotels and local suppliers but a WIN-WIN-WIN scenario for us diners as we are served with healthier and sustainable sourced food.

Name: GOLDEN SANDS RESORT
Address: Batu Feringgi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-886 1911
GPS: 5.476330, 100.251440

Name: RASA SAYANG RESORT & SPA
Address: Batu Feringgi Beach, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-888 8888
GPS: 5.478365, 100.253709

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)

 

Are you aware that ZEST Bar Café @ GLOW by Zinc, a cool and comfortable café within a modern and chic hotel, located right in the heart of George Town, is currently having their Thai food promotions? With 4 others Glow hotels in Thailand, namely Koh Yao Yai, Pratunam, Trinity Silom and Sukhumvit, I won’t be surprise that Thai cuisine remains their main theme. Whether it’s for individual serving or with a group of family members and friends, there will always be something for everyone. Moreover, it’s also a great time to pay them a visit and play with their latest props for their Most Creative Selfie Competition to be eligible to win free night stays at one of their leading Thailand hotels. More information is available here.

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Do check out their Thai Set Lunch Menu and Ala Carte Menu as shown below. The meals will be available from 11.30am until 5.00pm daily. Click on the menu below for a better view.

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Let’s have a look at their Ala Carte Menu to check out some of the great dishes for your lunch. To start off the meal, you can always order their Miang Kam (เมี่ยงคำ – RM8+) or commonly known as “one biteful” in Thai cuisine. The dish will consist of wild betel leaves, toasted grated coconut, dried shrimps, shallots, peanuts, mini ginger cubes with a punch of bird’s eyes chili, served with their own concoction of sweet oozy like palm sugar based sauce.

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Alternatively, you can also try out their Som Tam (ส้มตำ – RM10+), a lime zesty and pungently spiced up young papaya salad with dried shrimps, cabbages, long beans, tomatoes, garlic, toasted peanuts, bird’s eyes chilies, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar. It’s a great appetizer in most Thai food servings.

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If you are not a fan of papayas, then you can try out their Yam Woon Sen (ยำวุ้นเส้น – RM12+), a glass noodles appetizer filled with punches from the vegetables, herbs and added steamed prawns. The dish had all the 5 main flavors (wan, kem, brieow, ped & kom/ หวาน, เค็ม, เปรี้ยว, เผ็ด & ขม) in Thai cuisine, mainly a balance of sweetness, saltiness, sourness, spiciness and bitterness (from the added cilantro and mint leaves).

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The eatery also does serve various soups. One of them being the Tom Kha Gai (ต้มข่าไก่ – RM12+), a thick herbs and spices packed chicken soup with hints of galangal and lemongrass. However, I personally felt that the broth was slightly too thick for me, thus felt rather surfeit after just a few mouthful. I have the feeling that box coconut milk, which was much thicker than freshly squeezed ones, was used in the recipe. Moreover, it lacked the fragrance and flavors from the herbs used. In Thai cuisine, you can’t be slicing everything so delicately. Ingredients such as galangal, lemongrass or even chilies have to be smashed prior to cooking to obtain the optimum flavors. More kaffir lime leaves should be added in too for that distinctive zesty flavor. I hope the kitchen is aware of the proper cooking methods in Thai cuisine.

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Another soup option will be their Tom Yam Goong (ต้มยำกุ้ง – RM18+). Unlike the Tom Kha Gai, this soup is pepped up with various flavors, especially from the freshness of the king prawns. However, it still lacked something important – the fragrance from the used herbs and spices. It was again the cooking methods all gone wrong again. I hope they rectify this basic rule in Thai cooking.

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As for main dishes, there’s a mix & match of Thai dishes as well as some Western for those who can’t consume too spicy food. You can start with just Pad Thai (ผัดไทย – RM15+), the Thai version of flat noodles wok fried with prawns, bean curds and served with some raw bean sprouts, Chinese chives, crushed peanuts, chili flakes, sugar plus a slice of lime. The version served here was with an additional egg wrap. Notably, a great Pad Thai would consist of a balance of yin and yang flavors from the usage of fish sauce, tamarind paste and lime juice. Of course, there’s the need of the perfect “wok hei” aka high heat stir frying from a super hot wok.

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There will be quite a variety of “one dish – one rice” options here starting with the Kaeng Phet (แกงเผ็ด – RM18+). This is basically the authentic Thai version of spicy coconut milk based red curry recipe, with the option to have the dish pepped up with either prawns or chicken. We had this dish cooked with prawns. However, my personal preference would still be with chicken as it would be more harmonious with the texture.

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Another version would be the Gaeng Keow Wan (แกงเขียวหวาน – RM18+), an all-time signature Thai green curry dish loved by many food critics. It had an immaculate blend of green curry paste combined with coconut cream with your preference of either prawns or chicken to create that delicious thick curry that would complement your hot steaming rice well. We had boneless chicken cuts for this option. Though the dish may look tame by its color, it could be somewhat spicy for some. As for taste wise, the dish was fine except that I wondered why was broccoli being added instead of the commonly use eggplant. Somehow, the bite sensation and texture were somewhat different.

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Next on the list was a dish loved by all of us. It was the Pad Kra Prao (ผัดกะเพรา – RM18+), a minced meat dish stir fried with Thai basil leaves, served with rice and an omelette. Here you have an option of either minced chicken or beef. We chose minced chicken instead. This complete street food meal deal can be quite abundant in Thailand. The simple salty sweet flavors from the added garlic, chilies and Thai basils, combined with soy sauce, oyster sauce and a dash of dark soy sauce would make you crave for more.

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Of course, there will be the world’s #1 dish in the menu. Do try out their Gaeng Massaman (แกงมัสมั่น – RM18+), a Southern Thai dish with Indian influence. Compared to the red, green, yellow curries of Thailand, you can find the usage of many dry spices such as cardamom, cinnamon or even nutmeg being used in the recipe. With a long list of needed ingredients, the flavors of Massaman Curry can be quite complicated and yet delish to the palate of anyone. You can have the option of chicken or beef for this dish. The dish would come with added potatoes and toasted peanuts.

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Who would miss the many mouth-watering Thai desserts? This dessert would surely tempt those sweet tooth diners. Firstly, we have the Sang Kaya Fak Tong (สังขยาฟักทอง – RM7+), sometimes also known as the Thai Pumpkin Custard. It’s a unique dessert with eggy sweet coconut cream custard steamed in a whole kabocha squash (Japanese mini pumpkin). The slice of dessert was served with added coconut cream and toasted sesame seeds syrup.

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You would get to try out of the street desserts such as the Khanom Khao Mao (ขนมขาวเมา- RM7+), a sinfully sugary ripe banana wrapped in grated coconut and sticky rice, deep fried to perfect crispiness and served with extra coconut cream. Though sinful for your diet, it’s the ultimate dessert to end your meal.

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Overall, some of the dishes served here can be real fulfilling though they have been tweaked to suit the taste buds of the diners in this region. I’m sure most of us can’t really consume the 100% authentic ones as they can be quite overpowering in terms of spiciness, sourness and sweetness. Anyway, Zest Bar can still be the perfect place to relax and dine while admiring the scenic view of George Town.

ZEST Bar Cafe @ GLOW by Zinc is located at the 1st floor of the hotel along Jalan Macalister just opposite Red Rock Hotel. There are about 20 car park spaces in this hotel with 10 spaces available right in front of the hotel and another 10 spaces behind the hotel via Jalan Naning (opposite Sum Sum Motors). There are also many coupon based parking spaces available surrounding the hotel. Please make sure you have your parking coupons ready as you would need to pay between 9.00am and 5.00pm. However, effective 1 July 2014, valet services would be available for your convenience.

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Name: ZEST BAR CAFÉ @ GLOW BY ZINC
Address: 101 Jalan Macalister, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 0084
Business Hours: 11.30am-5.00pm (lunch), 6.00pm-10.30pm (dinner by booking)
GPS: 5.416638, 100.322952

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

 

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