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HUNGRYGOWHERE MALAYSIA PENANG FOOD TRAIL 2013 PRIZE GIVING DINNER

Posted by crizlai On November - 23 - 2013

The participating bloggers in the recent HGW Penang Food Trail 2013 were treated to a surprise prize giving dinner at a hidden eatery spot in Penang yesterday. Not knowing where their dining venue would be or for what occasion was the dinner celebrated upon, the bloggers were led to an open air eatery deep into the densely populated residential area of Green Lane, Penang. Ta Da! Dinner was served.

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Let’s have a closer look at all the delicious dishes served here.

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Finally, the purpose of gathering all the bloggers was revealed to them. It was an occasion to celebrate the winning of two best blog posts for the HGW Penang Food Trail 2013 event. With a panel of judges from HGW Singapore, the winners were decided. The winning entry for the Best Blog Post went to Mr. Henry Tan, whereas the 2nd Best Blog Post went to Ms. Jerilyn See. Each of them won a 1T External Hard Disc and a 12000mah Power Bank respectively.

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Though it was just a simple gathering for the bloggers, everyone went home contented with the food choices for the night. It won’t be hard for you to decide where would be the ideal place to dine in Penang. You might even find some hidden eateries you have yet to discover. All you have to do is download the HungryGoWhere Malaysia mobile app through IOS (version 5+) or Android (version 4.0+) or pay a visit to their website at www.hungrygowhere.my. Being a nation with rich and diverse food culture, HGW Malaysia users would get to gain new experiences in searching, discovering and locating the best dishes and eateries within a 10-30km radius. It would even be greater if you were to register yourself as one of the many users, a smart move to leave your tracks behind to recommend more new eateries to other users. After all, HGW Malaysia is a platform by users, for users, to archive pure and unbiased recommendations. HungryGoWhere Malaysia – Discover, Eat, Share today!

 

CHRISTMAS 2013 PROMOTIONS AT STARBUCKS® MALAYSIA

Posted by crizlai On November - 10 - 2013

I’m sure I need not have to mention much about Starbucks® in Malaysia as most of you would have known the brand throughout their 15 years of operations in Malaysia. It’s operated by Berjaya Starbucks® Coffee Company Sdn. Bhd., a joint-venture between Starbucks® Coffee International and Berjaya Group Berhad. With over 150 outlets and ‘drive-thru’s throughout Malaysia since their first store opening in Kuala Lumpur on 17 December 1998, Starbucks® promised to bring in more great deals during this Christmas 2013 (Promotion period: 6 November 2013 – 6 January 2014) based on the theme “Create Wonder and Share Joy with Favorite Seasonal Traditions”. We had a fun-filled briefing on the seasonal promotion at Starbucks® Drive-Thru, Tanjung Tokong, Penang recently.

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“Starbucks® Drive-Thru Tanjung Tokong is the most profitable drive-thru outlets amongst all six throughout Malaysia. It’s also the outlet with the most completed merchandises in Penang,” stated Sdyney Quays, Managing Director of Berjaya Starbucks® Coffee Company.

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Amongst the once-a-year favorites would be their freshly brewed Starbucks® Seasonal Favorite Coffees (RM40 for 250g coffee beans pack or RM33 for 12 sachets of ready brew packs), the perfect salute for each season. These are the Starbucks® Christmas Blend (Whole Beans or VIA Ready Brew Christmas Blend), a dark roasted coffee with a blend of lively Latin American coffees and smooth Asia Pacific coffees, including rare, aged Indonesian beans; full bodied, medium acidity with soothing sweet, spicy plus herbal aromas and Starbucks® Christmas Blend Espresso Roast, a darker espresso roast with sweeter and dense flavors to the mellow smoothness of the Asia Pacific beans.

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There are also 3 new flavors of delicious cakes introduced this year. All cakes would be priced at RM10.90/slice. The most notably one would be their Trio Forest, a rich moist chocolate cake, stuffed with juicy caramelized dark cherries, topped with a layer of chocolate ganache and beautifully presented with a generous amount of shaved chocolate flakes. The Mango Tango which had mango slices stuffed between layers of light sponge cake would be ideal to go with the Starbucks® Christmas Blend. The Midori on the other hand was also unique by itself. The trio layered sponge cake had a topping of cream cheese with slathered pistachio dressing.

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Christmas is a time to create wonder and share joy with family and friends over stories, memories and delicious Starbucks® food and beverages. Again this year, Starbucks® is bringing back their Christmas beverages with a bit of twist from last year’s. You can now enjoy their enhanced versions of Toffee Nut Latte, Toffee Nut Frappuccino® blended beverage, Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino® blended beverage and Cranberry White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino® blended beverage.

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Toffee Nut Latte Frappuccino® is a flavorful holiday beverage. It has the rich, buttery flavor of sweet toffee combined with toasted nuts, blended with their smooth espresso and velvety steamed milk. Topped with whipped cream and toffee-flavored sprinkles, it’s no surprise that this warm, heavenly beverage is sure to put you in the mood for Christmas.

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The Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino® is another great beverage for peppermint lovers. It has a combination of espresso, steamed milk, bittersweet chocolate and peppermint flavor in this seasonal favorite. Topped with classic whipped cream and a light sprinkles of Christmas cane candies, the Peppermint Mocha is brimming with Christmas cheer that is sure to please.

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Back by popular demand, the Cranberry White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino® is the perfect sweet treat to sip during this season. Starbucks® signature espresso is combined with freshly steamed milk and luscious white chocolate, then topped with whipped cream, a tart cranberry drizzle and crystallized cranberry sugar.

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Another gifting option or even as collectible items would definitely be the Starbucks® Card. This year, Starbucks® had added another new card design named “Merry Christmas”. You would have the options to choose from the 3 distinctive designs, namely “Merry Christmas”, “Snowman” and “Christmas Tree”. Do grab either one of the limited edition designs or maybe all if you are into collecting them. Each card required a minimum activation fee of RM30.

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Also available this year would be their limited edition Starbucks® Planner 2014 which has a special compartment to store your iPad. Priced at RM159 each, this planner could also be redeemed FOC via certain termed purchases by mode of your Starbucks® Card. The requirement of purchases would be any 3 purchases of the Christmas beverages plus 15 purchases of “Grande sized” beverages. Terms & conditions apply.

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Planning to set the Christmas moods with more giving and sharing? There are more than 60 items at each Starbucks® outlet, ranging from Starbucks® Seasonal Favorite coffees, Starbucks® Card, Starbucks® Planner 2014, Starbucks® soft toys, Starbucks® mugs, Starbucks® tumblers, Starbucks® Christmas ornaments and more for you to choose.

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The most notable one would be the Swarovski crystal studded Starbucks® Christmas ornament priced at RM185.

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Thanks to Starbucks® for the invitation as well as the lovely bring home gifts~ 🙂

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Name: STARBUCKS® DRIVE-THRU @ TANJUNG TOKONG, PENANG
Address: 4-G, Jalan Pantai Molek, Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-890 6008
Business Hours: 6.30am-1.00am (Sun-Thurs), 24 hours (Fri & Sat)
Website: http://www.starbucks.com.my/
GPS: 5.446571, 100.305556

 

Herbs and spices (either freshly grown or dried ones) have been around for centuries and they are the main ingredients to pep up the flavors and aromas in our daily cuisine. For the month of November 2013 (1-30 November 2013), the Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be having its Herbs & Spices Promotion to send your taste bud tingling back to the days of the Maharajah. This promotion would be under the skillful hands of Chef Khalil bin Khazali, Chef de Partie (Malay Kitchen) and Chef Buvanessuaran a/l Muniandy, Commis 1 (Pastry Kitchen), supervised by Chef Mohamad Bakri, head of Malay Kitchen.

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We started off the meal with a soup called Chicken Mulligatawny Soup (印度香料雞湯). Mulligatawny is a traditional curry soup of Indian origin but it has many variations depending of which region it came from. The soup basically has the ingredients of your common Potato & Carrot Soup (ABC Soup as some locals may call it) but slightly spiced up with some curry powder, plus added green apple slices for some extra crunch and sweetness. This soup would normally be thickened up with some rice grains but there would also be the option to apply in some heavy cream. The mild spiciness of this soup would suit Westerners more. However, being a spicy lover, I personally find the soup to be a bit too mild and watery to my liking. On top of that, being towards a more Indian theme, it lacked the common garnishing of herbs such as cilantro and/or red chilies to bring out more depth in the dish, taste and flavor wise.

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Next we had a dish known as Achari Paneer (鮮辣芝士沙拉). Paneer is a kind of non-melting Indian style cottage cheese, processed by separating the curd from the whey by adding some food acid into hot boiling milk. The drained curd would then be soaked in chilled water for a period of time to get the almost bean curd hard like texture. This “either you like it or not” type of non-melting paneer is extremely versatile for any form of cooking, even as a pakora. The kitchen did it in a spicy way by stir frying those cubed paneer with a long list of herbs and spices. The aromatic accompaniment was nicely prepared with the right balance of flavors. However, I noticed that the paneer was not properly drained as there were still some traces of moisture oozing out from cooked cheese. The kitchen might pull through by preparing the dish this way but it would be a bit risky if they planned to deep fry those cubed cheese.

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Since I’m quite fond on Indian finger food such as the vadai, masala vadai, samosa and more, I find the next item to be simple and yet fulfilling. We had Deep Fried Pakoras (香酥炸蔬菜). Each pakora had some finely cut onions, chilies and spices mixed in gram flour prior to being mold into bite size for deep frying. These lovely crispy snacks went well with their Madras Curry Mayo dipping sauce.

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The Chicken Tikka Masala (馬薩拉香濃雞) was lovely. The meat was well marinated and tender with a high presence of garam masala usages. If you can get hold of a slice of lime, a little squeeze would pep up the flavors even more. Thumbs up!

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The Goan Fish Curry (印度傳統咖哩魚) was served next. The Goa style curry fish was normal. You practically get this style of cooking anywhere in Malaysia, whether they are from a Malay, Indian, Indian Muslim or even a Chinese economy rice stall.

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On the other hand, the Sindhi Kadhi (咖哩蔬菜鍋) was also another common dish served. This nutritious dish with a predominant use of various vegetables, complement each other beautifully in terms of color, taste and texture.

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We were also served with the Masala Aloo (香濃馬鈴薯咖哩). I was wondering if the kitchen named this dish wrongly as there were no “murgh” aka chicken in the dish. Thus, I had renamed it as Masala Aloo rather than Murgh Aloo Masala. The dish practically tasted almost like the Indian style Dhal Curry. However, instead of using lentils, these were replaced with chickpeas. This dish would go well with rice or any of the Indian bread, especially roti pratha and chapati.

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Lastly, there was also the Lamb Briyani (羊肉燜飯). I kind of like the tender and well marinated lamb pieces here. However, the rice somehow lacked the fragrance and texture I was expecting. Though Basmati rice grains were used, the amount of water used was not enough to ascertain the ideal al dente of the rice. The rice was rather dry and lacked of flavors to my liking.

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There would always be some sweet desserts for last to complete the contentment. Well, it’s almost always true but not as sweet as the Indian desserts. Though the kitchen had cut down on the sugar usage, I still find the Gulab Jamun (玫瑰黃金球) to be over excessive in sweetness. The deep fried dough basically consisted of flour, milk powder and baking soda and soaked in a pool of rose infused syrup. Somehow, the syrup lacked some significant flavors such as those from rose and notably cardamoms.

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There was also the Payasam (香料西米露) which was made up of super sweetened milk with a high usage of cardamoms with a light garnishing of fried cashew nuts. I could not ascertain the starch used as it could be either semiya, a type of vermicelli or even poha, a flattened rice, as the dessert was to0 sweet for my consumption.

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Last but not least, we had my favorite of the day – Mango Lassi (芒果拉西). This barely 100 calories yoghurt and milk based refreshing beverage was well chilled with added chunks of fresh Indian mangoes. It was great to slurp down the lassi after a heavy meal of herbs and spices infused cuisine.

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Overall, I find that the theme for this month was rather confusing as all the dishes served here were of Indian cuisine. It was not wrong altogether as the Indians do use the most herbs and spices in their daily cooking. However, I personally feel that diners would want more options of other origins such as Thai, Malay, Vietnamese, Nyonya and so on. I was really expecting some Nasi Ulam which is a dish that’s rather unique in this region as most countries won’t be able to acquire most of the herbs and spices from Malaysia. Even some local Nyonya dishes such as the Perut Ikan and Otak Otak would have impressed most of the foreign diners. On top of that, what about some simple herbs and spices usage Western cuisine? I do hope the kitchen would have a wider range of options for this promotion by coming out with more authentic flavored dishes rather than sticking to solely Indian cuisine. Moreover, there are the Northern and Southern Indian cuisine too with different flavors.

Here’s the summary of the Herbs & Spices Promotion.

HERBS & SPICES PROMOTION (1-30 NOVEMBER 2013)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM48++ (adult), RM24++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM55++ (adult), RM28++ (child)
Festive Occasion: RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Sunday – Thursday
RM48++ per pax

For MAYBANKARD, Standard Chartered Bank, OCBC Bank, CIMB Bank and CITIBANK card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Herbs & Spices Semi Buffet Dinner (Monday to Thursday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday to Sunday) from 6.30pm – 10.00pm.

The Swez Brasserie is located at the right 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.

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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: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (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)

 

THE FIRST EVER HUNGRYGOWHERE MALAYSIA FOOD TRAIL IN PENANG

Posted by crizlai On October - 21 - 2013

HungryGoWhere (HGW), Singapore’s most popular food website and mobile app, with the support of SingTel Digital Media Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), which had made their grand entry into Malaysia by setting a new record of “The Longest Line of Nasi Lemak Bungkus” in the Guinness Book of World Records on 24 August 2013, had organized their first ever food trail in Penang yesterday. A group of HungryGoWhere Malaysia mobile application users and bloggers were privileged enough to be invited to join in the fully sponsored eating trip to discover some of the best eateries in Penang. Moreover, everyone was also blessed to have the best weather throughout the whole week for the excursion during this wet season.

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The event started with the invited participants gathering at the lobby of Traders Hotel Penang as early as 8.30am. Thereafter, everyone was briefed on the social media sharing procedures by the two beautiful HGW community managers, Shing and Hanis.

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We were then directed into two comfortable 12-14 seaters chattered vans to start out our new adventure.

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The first eatery we visited for some delicious snacks was the Tan Jetty Fried Fritters, hidden within the vicinity of the Tan Jetty along the historic stretch of Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay). You can check out the video on the history of the clan jetties here. Basically, the little shed along a small lane into the Tan Jetty here served 3 types of delicious fritters namely Loh Bak (Pork Roll), Prawn Fritters and Bean Curd Fritters. Their homemade chili sauce which consisted of blended red chilies, lime juice, sugar and salt was the perfect condiment to enhance more flavors.

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The next stop was for breakfast. Hidden below a government flat was a small eatery named I Mum Mum, managed by a husband & wife team. Their pan mee noodles have the al dente that excels above others of the same trade. Notably, their Crispy Pork Pan Mee, Spicy Pan Mee and dumplings are the most sought after dishes by the locals. We had our options of Dry Pan Mee, Pan Mee Soup, Crispy Pork Pan Mee and Spicy Pan Mee here.

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After some basic starters, the real adventure began. We continued our journey for lunch over to Mainland Penang towards Pulau Aman, a 288 acres island, 25 nautical miles away from the mainland, to savor more goodies. At the Batu Musang Jetty prior to embarking onto a sampan ride to the island, the participants had an awesome panoramic view of Pulau Aman as well as the some nice views of the two Penang bridges. The sampan ride to the island was the first experience for many of the participants. Upon arrival on the island, we were directed to the Pulau Aman Floating Restaurant, a much sought after restaurant on the island, notably for its fresh seafood. We had Mee Udang Goreng, Mee Udang Kuah and Nasi Goreng Udang with a number of succulent fresh white prawns. After lunch, we had a nice stroll around the island to experience the lifestyle of the fishing villagers. Some of us managed to savor some deep fried breadfruit fritters (Buah Sukun Goreng) as the plant is quite in abundance on the island. The fruit has the texture of tapioca with a hint of jack fruit flavor.

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After some rest on Pulau Aman, we adjourned back to Penang Island for tea time. This time, we went over to savor the much acclaimed Assam Laksa at the Farlim Shell Station Laksa Café, in the heart of Farlim, Penang. Each bowl of the Assam Laksa would come with a whole boneless Ikan Kembong (Indian Mackerel), so fresh that you could still see the glitters on its body. On top of that, we also did try out their famous Spring Rolls, Fish Crackers, Steamed Buns with BBQ Meat, Ice Kacang, Cendul and a mix & match dessert called See Koh Th’ng.

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Well, it’s always the best for last when we ended up at Zi Zai Restaurant for our dinner. Their signature dish would be their Poon Choi aka Basin Feast, a basin filled with 14 ingredients such as meat (Nam Joo Pork Belly, Hainan Chicken, Roasted Duck) seafood (Abalone, Prawns, Hock Chew Fish Balls, Fish Maw, Sea Cucumber, Fish Fillet) and vegetables (Cabbages, Yam, Jicama, Broccoli, Chinese Mushroom) on a stove to be shared amongst 10-12 pax. What we had was a small sized Poon Choi with additional add ons which cost about RM328nett. All the participants were eagerly digging into the Poon Choi for more hidden treasures. LOL! It was also the first time experience for most of the participants to try out this “basin” of scrumptious delicacy. On top of that, we were also served with old days’ favorite dishes where they were at their simplest best. The dishes included Assam Prawns, Stir Fry Sambal Lala, Deep Fried Belacan Chicken, Stir Fry Bean Sprouts with Salted Fish and Stir Fry Yao Mak (Baby Romaine Lettuce). It was so far the best experience the participants had to rekindle old memories.

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The fun and joyful moments of the whole Penang Food Trail did not stop there. Everyone went home with some souvenirs, namely a notepad and a multi-usage pen courtesy of HungryGoWhere Malaysia.

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In fact, two lucky winners went home with a unit of imported 12000mah Powerbank each, another surprise lucky draw session held by HGW Malaysia. Both the prizes were presented by the two HGW Community Managers, Shing and Hanis respectively.

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The whole event ended after more than 11 hours of fun-filled eating. 😛 This food trail was organized by HungryGoWhere Malaysia – Discover, Eat, Share today!

About HungryGoWhere Malaysia: You can download the HungryGoWhere Malaysia mobile app through IOS (version 5+) or Android (version 4.0+) or pay a visit to their website at www.hungrygowhere.my. Being a nation with rich and diverse food culture, HGW Malaysia users would get to gain new experiences in searching, discovering and locating the best dishes and eateries within a 10-30km radius. It would even be greater if you were to register yourself as one of the many users, a smart move to leave your tracks behind to recommend more new eateries to other users. After all, HGW Malaysia is a platform by users, for users, to archive pure and unbiased recommendations.

Here’s a short video of the 11 hours plus excursion in 110s~ 🙂


 

MUSICAL SOIREE AT 1885 @ EASTERN & ORIENTAL HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On October - 15 - 2013

LATEST MUSICAL SOIREE AT 1885: 15 MARCH 2014

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It was a unique dining experience when we were treated with a robust Musical Soiree by three excellent performers which consisted of Zhang Chi (pianist), Teresa Ong (soprano) and Sean Ooi (tenor), during a recent visit to 1885@ E&O Hotel recently. The first segment of an ongoing project, to be held for 5 consecutive months, was the brainchild of loyal hotel residents, Mr. & Mrs. Martin Rutherford, and the Resident Manager of E&O Hotel, Mr. Harold Rainfroy. The performance would be held on the first Thursday of each month. Please check the E&O Hotel Facebook for more information on the coming events. Price is at RM200++ per pax.

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Their performances were in 3 sessionss. The first one included Etude Op.15″ (Zhang Chi), “O Holy Night” (Sean Ooi), “Xue Hua” (Teresa Ong), “If You Loved Me” (Sean Ooi) and “Il Ba Cio” (Teresa Ong). The second session included “Liu Yang River” (Chang Zhi), “Nella Fantasia” (Sean Ooi), “E Pur Cosi/ Piangero La Sorte” (Teresa Ong), “Non Ti Scordar Di Me” (Sean Ooi) and “Laughing Song” (Teresa Ong). The finale session had Zhang Chi rendering the “Waltz Op. 64 No.2 & Op. 34 No. 5”, followed by “All I Ask of You” and “The Prayer” (Duet by Sean Ooi & Teresa Ong). The numerous awards winning song “The Prayer” written by the famous songwriter, David Foster, made famous by Canadian singer, Celine Dion and blind Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, has always remained as my personal favorite.

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At 1885 @ E&O Hotel, meals would always start with some lovely dinner rolls, served with their creamy butter. The aroma emitted from the freshly bakes combined with the fine soft yet fluffy textures from the in-house made dinner rolls would always be the best starter for any meal.

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Our actual fine dining experience kicked off with a palate dinner of awesomely presented Trio Appetizers which consisted of Hokkaido Scallop Tataki served with Citrus Mango Salsa, Foie Gras Terrine with Cinnamon Brioche and Vichyssoise with Norwegian Salmon Tartare. This appetizers came paired with the Hole In The Water Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

The Hokkaido Scallop Tataki served with Citrus Mango Salsa was actually a briefly seared fresh scallop which had firm and creamy texture in each bite. It was served on a fruity yet mildly spiced up citrus mango salsa with bursting omega-3 fatty acid filled salmon roes as garnishing. It was a perfect combination.

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Next on the plate was the Foie Gras Terrine with Cinnamon Brioche. The foie gras terrine was one of the best I had tasted as it had added roasted shitake mushroom slices added in to tame the richness in the fatty duck liver. Combined with the light yet fluffy mildly cinnamon pepped up toasted brioche, it was another perfect dish. The appetizer also came with a slice of ripen fig to sweeten up the savory flavors.

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Finally the last of the appetizers was the Vichyssoise with Norwegian Salmon Tartare. The cold soup which had a combination of pureed potatoes, leeks, onions, stock and cream was smooth flowing with the complemented Norwegian salmon tartare, topped with some sauteed tomato and a drizzle of spiced olive oil.

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After another session of great performances by the trio, we were served with the main course – Pan Seared Chilean Cod Fish & Poached Jumbo Prawn with Chickpea Puree, served with some semi dried tomatoes and some fresh basil sauce. The remarkable light and creamy textures of the thick slab of white fish, pan seared to perfection and the firm texture of the poached jumbo prawn, went well with the mildly butter spiced chickpea puree. With a magical drizzle of some freshly made basil sauce, the whole concoction had unique flavors of the next level. This dish came paired with the Matua Valley Marlborough Pinot Noir. Thumbs up!

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The much awaited desserts were presented to us after another session of the performances. Again, these desserts were served in trio such as the Valrhona & Almond Chocolate Cannoli, Chantilly Cinnamon Mango and Bavarois Berry Lava Cake.

It always has been my priority to savor those with a sweeter note first before ending with something with fruitiness with light touch of sourness. I started off with the Bavarois Berry Lava Cake. I would say this dessert was a lava cake made too perfect as it ended up as a brownie without the much expected chocolate oozing out. No doubt it was still a great dessert with a generous amount of ganache topping with some mildly sweetened berry compote.

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The Valrhona & Almond Chocolate Cannoli on the other hand would suit chocolate lovers well. You can imagine the contentment of having luxurious French chocolate filled ricotta like cream and topped with some toasted chopped almonds. It was heavenly but I personally feel that it was a bit too much of chocolate items for the day.

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I made a wise choice leaving the Chantilly Cinnamon Mango as the last option. The almost light cheesecake texture cake blended in real nice with a fresh piece of mango. It was indeed a refreshing and most palatable dessert of the evening.

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The night ended with an astounding finale performance by the trio with diners being served with either a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a selection from their gourmet tea choices.

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Overall, it was a great evening of different genre with great food, wine and musical performances. Finally, I would like to thank Eileen Chong, Communications & Public Relations Manager of E&O Hotel, for a great evening.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang (next to Penang Bowl) is located along Lebuh Farquhar. If you are coming from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah towards Weld Quay, keep to your left immediately after passing by CitiBank. When you see the Penang Bowl building on your left (UMW Toyota opposite), please slow down. Turn left immediately after the Penang Bowl entrance. The E&O Hotel car park is situated just inside the building. Parking charges would be a maximum of RM6 (weekdays: Monday-Thursday) and RM12 (weekends: Friday- Sunday)

E&OMAP photo EampOMAP_zps7887a7a5.jpg Name: 1885 @ EASTERN & ORIENTAL HOTEL Address: 10 Lebuh Farquhar, 10200 Penang, Malaysia. Contact: 604-222 2000 GPS: 5.423624, 100.334988 RATING: Ambience: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy) Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices) Taste: 8/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent) Pricing: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive) Service: 9/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

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The Golden Phoenix @ Hotel Equatorial, Penang has launched its “All You Can Eat Dim Sum Semi Buffet Lunch” promotion recently. For dim sum fans, it’s the time of the year for you to dine in the comfort of the restaurant while snacking your way through the 28 options of dim sum delicacies from Golden Phoenix. The promotion will be available for lunch (12.00noon – 2.30pm) on weekdays only (except weekends & public holidays) from 1 October 2013 until 30 November 2013. Price is at RM42++ (adult) and RM23++ (child).

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Let’s have a look at the semi buffet spread first before going into the dim sum selections. On the main spread, there would be some savory dishes for you to start off your appetite while waiting for your dim sum orders to be served. Savory dishes served would be on a rotation basis and you might get items such as Sichuan Hot & Sour Soup, Pei Tan Chok, Fried Singapore Bee Hoon, Yong Chow Fried Rice and Stir Fry Yau Mak with Garlic.

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On the other hand, there would be a dessert corner with items such as Sweet Potatoes in Syrup, Chilled Honeydew Sago, Assorted Cakes and Fresh Fruit Cuts.

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Some of the dim sum items in the ala carte menu would be worth mentioning as they excelled above the rest on the market, whether these are from hawkers or restaurants.

The first recommended dish on the list would be the XO Sauce Siew Mai (#1 in the menu). Amazingly, the kitchen could still come out with its own “halal” XO sauce as this sauce normally contains chopped bacon, ham and Chinese sausages. I guessed they have their ways to replace pork items with chicken items instead. XO sauce is a rich sauce filled with flavors from some dried seafood and meat and this combination of minced prawns, chicken and sauce indeed pepped up the unique flavors in this dim sum.

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Next on the list would be the Hak Chiew Kwei Mei Gai (#2 in the menu). Normally this dish would come with small pieces of pork ribs. The kitchen did a great job in tenderizing the chicken pieces with some ginger juice and pepped up with enough coarsely crushed black pepper and salt, prior to steaming, indeed made this dish my favorite of the day.

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Next on the list would be the Tian Suan Yuan Yang Xia (#15 in the menu). This is practically just two deveined prawns steamed with 2-flavor sauce but the freshness of the prawns was remarkably appetizing.

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Next on the list would be the Hoi Tong Gor (#17 in the menu). These dumplings were quite identical to the taste of the usual Har Mai (prawn dumplings) but with the added dried scallops did emit extra rich seafood flavors in the concoction.

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Next on the list would be the Fried Lor Mai Fan (#18 in the menu). Steaming glutinous rice would be quite an easy task but to boost up the fragrance of the rice grains to get the extra aromatic flavors would require more effort. The kitchen did a good job in stir toasting the grains with just the right amount of seasoning prior to steaming them.

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Next on the list would be the Char Wu Kok (#21 in the menu). This is indeed another of my favorite item while having dim sum. Delicious char siew BBQ sauce marinated minced chicken wrapped in mashed yam paste and deep fried to perfection. The flakiness of the outer crust combined with the ooziness of the sauce within would make this item a great snack for any occasion.

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The last recommended dish on the list would be the Lor Pak Gou (#28 in the menu). The firmness and texture of this delicacy were just right. On top of the grated radish, the little pieces of added dried shrimps and Chinese sausages (chicken) flavored up the whole combination real well. By pan frying the cake slices, the fragrance from the slightly crispy crust combined with the soft interior made this dish delicious.

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Overall, there are still rooms for improvements as the taste and flavors of some of dished were rather localized. However, being a halal restaurant with the limitation of ingredient usages, that would be the best you can get without the use of pork for the dim sum. Here’s a look at the items available in the menu. Click on the photo to enlarge for a better view.

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If you are coming from Bayan Baru area towards Jalan Tun Dr Awang, make a right turn into Persiaran Bukit Jambul at the second traffic lights. Drive all the way up the sloppy road until you see INTI International College on your left. Drive about another 150m onwards and turn right into Jalan Bukit Jambul at the first junction you see. You will see the hotel on your left. The easiest way to get there would be by parking your car on the left side of the building (office block area) as your enter the hotel’s car park. Take the nearest stairway up a level and you will see the restaurant on your left. The Golden Phoenix is located at the same level as the Grand Ballroom overseeing the golf courses of Bukit Jambul Country Club.

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Name: GOLDEN PHOENIX @ HOTEL EQUATORIAL
Address: Jalan Bukit Jambul, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-632 7166
Business Hours (Promotion Period): 12.00pm-2.30pm (excluding weekends & public holidays)
GPS: 5.337122, 100.285308345

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8/10 (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, for the month of May 2013 (1-31 May 2013) will be having its Italian Flair Promotion to serve you the delectable spread of Italian cuisine from the Land of Michelangelo. This promotion would be under the skillful hands of the Jr. Sous Chef, Chef Kelvin Cheong and Chef de Partie, Chef Rizal bin Hashim.

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To start off the meal, there would be a few selections of appetizers for you to savor. One of them would be the Panzanella Salad (新鮮番茄乳酪沙拉), a fresh tomato salad with crusty bread and cheese. This Florentine salad which basically would consist of tomatoes and bread is also quite popular during summer in Italy. The version here had added mozarella cheese and sweet basils in some olive oil and vinegrette. It was simply refreshing.

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The next appetizer was the Assorted Bruschetta (意大利式烤麵包). Simple as it was, the bruschettas came in 3 variants such as mushroom, chicken and seafood. Taste wise, they were not bad except I personally felt the baguette slices were a bit too thick for such a small bite size. Luckily, we had some soup to moisten them up.

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The Cream of Tomato & Basil Soup (番茄香菜奶油濃湯) was awesome. You can practically taste the freshness and sweetness of the tomatoes used. With the some added dashes of basil oil and cream, it was a great bowl of soup. I won’t mind having more croutons in it too.

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There would be some main dishes presented during the promotion too. One of the notable ones would be the Chicken Milanese (米蘭式燴雞) which you can have with other starch dishes such as Tomato Rice or with other green salads. The chicken was basically a lightly breaded piece of nicely marinated boneless chicken which would suit just any diner. There would be some gravy served with it as well.

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Another of the main dishes would be the Verze alla Capuccina (意大利式燜洋菜), a Capuchin Savoy Cabbage dish which basically had some boiled purple cabbage, carrots and tomatoes tossed in parsley, butter, Parmesan cheese, anchovies, salt, pepper with some toasted almond flakes. Though creamy, this dish was not to my liking as it was overpowered with saltiness. I would prefer to have some fresh greens salad instead.

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There would also be 3 options of main dishes available during their semi buffet dinners. One of them would be Lasagna al Spinaci (菠菜芝士千層面). This main course dish would be quite ideal for those who love to have something not so heavy. The lasagna sheets had some stuffed boiled spinach in creamy cheesy sauce. Though it was a nice combination, I found the spinach to be rather fibrous for a smooth bite. Either the kitchen should find a younger spinach sprout or the vegetables should be chopped finer to avoid choking any diner.

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Another option would be the Braised Osso Bucco or you can just call it Italian Braised Lamb (燜燉小羊頬), a Milanese specialty of braised cross-cut veal shanks. Though the meat was braised to the perfect texture and tenderness with just the right usage of herbs, it somehow lacked a specific sweetness – white wine. How I wished the restaurant were to be “non-halal” to be able to apply the usage of alcohol in their dishes.

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The last option would be the Beef Meat Balls with Cheese (芝士牛肉丸) served with pasta. The meat balls were rather flavorful with just the right amount of herbs and Parmesan cheese used. However, they have to tweak well on the usage of cheese as I personally found the meat balls to be rather salty. Moreover, I prefer my meat balls not to be so tough with the addition of some chopped onions.

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As for dessert, there would be quite a number of delicious treats. One of the dessert to aim for would be the Tiramisu (提拉米蘇). The non-alcohol version of the cake was still fine but with a rather heavily boosted coffee flavor. I somehow quite like the bitter sweet taste of the whole combination.

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Another dessert we had was the Banana Pudding (香蕉布丁) served with vanilla sauce. It was not bad with some nice chunks of banana inside.

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Overall, the taste and flavors of the dishes were still within the acceptable level. The only little thing they would need to monitor is on the usage of salt as some of the dishes were rather heavily salt infused for this round. I do also hope to see more dishes during this coming promotion such as the many kinds of bread, pizza, pasta, rice, seafood as well as cured meat available too.

Here’s the summary on the promotion.

ITALIAN FLAIR PROMOTION (1-31 MAY 2013)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM48++ (adult), RM24++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM55++ (adult), RM28++ (child)
Festive Occasion: RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Monday – Thursday
RM48++ per pax

For MAYBANKARD, Standard Chartered Bank, OCBC Bank, CIMB Bank and CITIBANK card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Italian Flair Semi Buffet Dinner (Monday to Thursday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday to Sunday) from 6.30pm – 10.00pm.

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.

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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: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 6.5/10 (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)

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Our lovable pair of floggers finally tied the knot after so many years of courtship. It was about time too. LOL! The owner of 43 Café, Jacgy Chan, sealed the vows with his beautiful wife and co-partner of their food blog, Cynthia Lim, at the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, Penang, and thereafter to a wedding dinner reception at the new CRC Chinese Restaurant on 7 April 2013. Let’s wish our lovely couple here many happy and prosperous days ahead with at least an energetic “fire horse” baby next year. Haha! Being the 7th animal on the Chinese Zodiac Calendar, the horse carries the characteristics of nobility, class, speed and perseverance to strive for the best in life. With a “valid license”, I’m sure Jacgy would know what to do next, right? Haha!

Here’s the video on their grand entrance:

Since Jacgy is into pork burger and ice cream business, the event was indeed a porky affair. Even their wedding cake had a pair of cute pigs on it with multi-tiers of red velvet cupcakes, specially created for them by another of flogger/baker, Lingzie.

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Don’t you think those 2 pigs (errrr… I meant the ones on the cake) are so adorable? 😛

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Here are some quick snapshots of the newly wedded~ 🙂

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Here’s a peep at my personalized ang pow packet I had designed specially to be given to the couple. Only two couples in my lifetime had received it and they are one of the lucky couples~ 🙂

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As usual, a flogger (food blogger) would always take any advantages to blog on any food on any given opportunity. LOL! Let’s dig into the dishes served on that night. Firstly, it was the unexpected starter – Ice Scream!!! There were 4 choices of flavors to try out for the early birds (White Bunny, Purple Magic, Malta & Black Dog), all courtesy from Jacgy’s own homemade ice cream choices from his 43 Café and with toppings of your choice as well. No commercial ice cream would have these unique flavors. It was simply delicious~ 🙂

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Next was the “thank you” gift, a red velvet cupcake with lemon cream cheese topping. This was another moist and flavorful cupcake baked by Lingzie. Thumbs up!

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The actual dishes which cost around RM500 were served once the couple, family members, relatives and friends were seated. The first dish was the Hot & Cold Platter. The weird part was that it had 3 items rather than the usual 4-5 items palate. I guessed 3 which meant “alive” in Cantonese would be a significant number for weddings.

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One of the items in the platter was the Deep Fried Bacon Wrapped Fish Cake. It was nice and filled with the flavors from the bacon.

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Next was the Almond Fish Paste on Toast. This was another nice item with the flavors coming from the almond flakes used. At least, the restaurant did drain the oil well.

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The third item which was the Prawn Salad on Fruits was quite fine. It had a generous portion of cooked fresh prawns on green apple, honey dew and carrots. The only setback was that the mayonnaise used was a bit too much for the likings of many healthy conscious diners.

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The second main dish was the Eight Jewels Soup which had mock sharksfin, crab meat, ham, fish maw, sea cucumber, wood ear fungus, dried scallops and prawns, was somewhat normal without the flavors from the usage of some high stock. Somehow the whole combination lacked the sweet flavors from some meat stock. Compared to my regular one at Starview Restaurant down the road, the version here was rather diluted.

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Why the next dish had the name Dragon & Phoenix or sometimes known as Double Phonenix as roasted chicken and roasted duck would always come onto the same plate during wedding dinners as a symbol of prosperity. I would say both the dishes were prepared rather tastily. However, it lacked the actual condiment which was plum powder and salt. Instead, we were served with just plum sauce.

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From the look of the eyes, the next dish which was the Steamed Red Lion was slaughtered in a brutal manner – a sign of shock! Very obviously, it was a reared fish as the flesh was fresh but did not have the firmness as it should have after steaming. Soy sauce wise, it was just a normal grade of sauce.

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When we thought we would have the normal Broccoli with Mushrooms, we had a surprise instead. We were served with Braised Mushrooms & Scallops, a higher grade of dish normally meant for Chinese New Year which symbolized prosperity. The dish had a base of steamed white cabbage, topped with braised mushrooms, hair moss and dry scallops, dressed in abalone sauce. Overall, it had the required taste but the dried scallops would have tasted even better if they were to be steamed in high stock with a few slices of ginger.

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The last second dish would always be rice based and we had another surprise. We had one of the rarest serving for any Chinese banquet meal which was the Steamed Glutinous Rice with Waxed Duck & Assorted Chinese Sausages. I would say this dish was the best I ever had in any banquet dinner. The glutinous rice was steamed to the perfect texture and combined with the waxed duck, Chinese meat sausages and Chinese innards sausages, this dish was the next best to heaven. Though lacked a bit in the taste of pepper and saltiness, it was still awesome.

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We had double desserts. One of them was basically canned local mixed cocktail and jellies in ice cubes. The usage of canned local mixed fruit with the presence of papaya cubes just did not blend in well as a dessert. I found the dish to be rather weird tasting and extremely sweet.

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On the other hand, the Sesame Glutinous Rice Balls with Pandan Flavor Lotus Seed Paste were bonuses. The texture and the fragrant from the mixed sesame seeds were bite perfect.

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We were entertained by one of the top bands in Penang – Starz Band. The duo had very serenading voices, just the kind that I like for a nice cozy evening.

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Overall, the dishes served here are of a better standard than most of the banquet dinners I had attended. However, they still need to buck up on the flavors of some of their dishes. Somehow, I really detested having canned stuff for my dessert.

The new venue for the CRC Chinese Restaurant is located just opposite the club’s sport field along Jalan Pangkor. As you turn in through Jalan Burma into Jalan Pangkor, you can see the new restaurant located within the premises of a clan association named North Malaya Cheah Si Chong Soo.

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Name: NEW CRC CHINESE RESTAURANT (美麗華魚翅海鮮酒家)
Address: 22 Jalan Pangkor, 10500 Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours: 12.00noon-2.30pm, 6.00pm-10.00pm
Contact: 604-229 9737, 604-229 9757
GPS: 5.425386, 100.317358strong>

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

 

WHO’S BRYAN @ ALL SEASONS PLACE FARLIM PENANG

Posted by crizlai On April - 6 - 2013

If you are driving into Farlim, Penang, via Lebuhraya Thean Teik, you would notice that there’s a premier lifestyle destination known as the All Seasons Place built by Belleview Group, where they promised that the whole family would get to enjoy the best shopping, dining and entertainment experiences all year round. I would say there are quite a number of eateries over there ranging from fruit tea, desserts to many overseas franchised cafes and restaurants. What caught my attention was the café named Who’s Bryan, which has another two outlets in Butterworth as well as in the heart of George Town, Penang. Food choices would range from breakfast/brunch, afternoon tea (1 pax: RM21+, 2 pax: RM38+ with 8 different types of cakes & snacks), salad, soup, chicken, fish, red meat, sandwiches, burger, croissant, tortilla wrap, pasta cheese bake, pizza, pasta, local cuisine and light bites.

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To start off the meal, we had Pumpkin Cappuccino Soup (RM8.90+). Who said we can’t have pumpkin soup the cappuccino style? Of course, surely there won’t be any espresso added into the soup but it’s the frothing of the added milk as in cappuccino that had the soup named this way. The serving came with a deep fried mantou rather than croutons as shown in their menu. Frankly speaking, I would rather have some croutons in my soup than a quite dry and chewy mantou. Moreover, it would be great if they had garnished the soup with some chopped spring onions and/or toasted pumpkin seeds or pine nuts. Overall, the soup was reasonably nice to my liking.

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Next we had their much recommended Who’s Crumbly Chicken. It was a piece of well marinated boneless chicken drumstick plus thigh coated with some batter and lots of cornflakes prior to deep frying. It came served with some fries, fresh greens salad and mushroom gravy. Taste wise, it was fine except that I personally felt that they used too thick a batter in order to get such a thick coat of cornflakes. Moreover, the cornflakes were a bit too hard to munch. They should consider another brand with thinner flakes.

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They also do serve pasta. We tried out their Carbonara Seafood (4 choices: Vegetables–RM13.90+, Turkey Ham–RM15.90+, Chicken–RM15.90+, Beef Bacon–RM15.90+ and Seafood – RM16.90+). I guessed I made the right choice as they dish was remarkably delicious for the price paid. It was creamy and the seafood (scallop, mussel, fish, squids & octopus tentacles) was rather fresh and there was a large amount of added Parmesan cheese. Yummy! However, they only use carrots, onions and celery to sweeten the sauce. I would have expected some sprinkles of mixed herbs on the dish.

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For lighter bites, you could always order their Mushroom Chicken Bruchetta (RM10+). The dish would come with 5 thin slices of toasted baguette, some fresh greens salad and a container of mushrooms and chicken chunks in cheesy sauce. I quite like the flavor of cheese. However, I found the sauce to be a bit too salty to my liking. Moreover, the sauce lacked the flavors from some black pepper and herbs.

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Finally, it was dessert time. Currently, they have a promotion for two pieces of cakes from their chiller at only RM13+. The Green Tea Marble Cheese Cake (RM9.90+) looked impressive but it was one of the most disappointing cakes I ever had. How could they use sponge cake as the base? With such a heavy based cream cheese, the cake would have been squashed flat. Moreover, the moist within the cream was drained by the sponge cake until it was so dry and thus having the sandy texture from the green tea powder used. Whoever produced this cake was a total failure. The cake was not fit for consumption at all.

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The second cake which I ordered was the Chocolate Banana Cake (RM10.90+). This was again another miserable product. I did not expect the banana used to be so limited and filled with sap taste from what I suspected to be unripe banana being used. On top of that, the cream was filled with an overpowering taste from added banana essence. The ganache was still fine but the decorated macaron was really soiled. This is another flopped dessert.

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As for beverages, we had an Iced Peach Tea (RM6.50+) which was a bit overpriced for a sachet made version. However, I should give compliment to their Bee’s Latte (RM8.90+). It had added honey and the espresso flavor was really distinctive. It came served with a slice of biscotti which was just average tasting.

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Overall, this café would still be a great place to hang out over some cups of coffee and some light snacks. They do have some in-house bands to entertain you but the music could be quite loud to the ears at times. However, from my point of view, the desserts were totally not presentable and not up to par if you are looking for something to tempt your sweet tooth. They were rather cheap looking but would come with a high price tag.

Who’s Bryan is located at the center span of All Seasons Place, Farlim, Penang. If you are coming from Penang Bridge along Jalan Mesjid Negeri, keep a look out for the traffic lights at the flyover next to Convent Green Lane. Turn left into Lorong Batu Lanchang and drive on while keeping left until you reach another traffic lights T-junction. Turn left into Lebuhraya Thean Teik and drive on for about 600m and you would see the mall on your left. The entrance to the mall would be near the Giant Supermarket. There would be ample parking space there, provided it’s not a weekend when shoppers would do their weekly groceries intake.

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Name: WHO’S BRYAN @ ALL SEASONS PLACE
Address: 6H-1-1, All Seasons Place, Lebuhraya Thean Teik, 11500 Farlim, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-826 9951
Business Hours: 11.00am-11.00pm (Weekdays), 10.00am-11.00pm (Weekends)
GPS: 5.397044, 100.290785

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

 

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