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DINING IN KAFFA KAFE AT STRAITS QUAY

Posted by crizlai On January - 6 - 2011

Some of you might not be aware of the latest attraction in Penang where life can become so breezy and exciting throughout the year. With spectacular views of the Andaman Sea and the historical skyline of George Town, Straits Quay, developed and run by Eastern & Oriental Berhad, is the first retail marina enclave within the fast development area of Seri Tanjung Pinang in Penang. The new destination for locals and tourist alike, promised strings of international food outlets, bistros, bars, boutiques, bakery to performing arts and learning centers. Presently, there are just a handful of shops in business but these would be enough to set the crowds in thrills with nice sea front restaurants and bistros everywhere. It’s also a great spot for photography with such great colonial style architecture. Other than visiting the place by car, Rapid Penang buses would also be available (No. 101 & 103). Water limousine service would be available soon via E&O Hotel Pier to enable you to explore the panoramic view of the beautiful island.

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While paying a visit to this newly established Straits Quay some time back, I came across a restaurant by the name of Kaffa Kafe. The place has great ambience with cozy corners and al fresco area for diners to get their best experiences dining by the sea.

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So how was my dining experience here? Well, let you judge for yourself on what I have to share here. First there was the Fresh Wild Mushroom Soup (RM12.90) which had a combination of shitake, enoki, portbello and swiss button mushrooms, supposedly served with toasted garlic bread. Instead, I had some crudely sliced croutons, floating soggily on my soup. The gross dark colored soup had that sour taste which I don’t quite like. Enoki mushrooms are delicate mushrooms that if you do not know how to keep them well refrigerated, they would have that sour fermented taste. At times, they would even spoil the whole taste of any soup base. The restaurant should have replaced enoki with crimini or even oyster mushroom for that extra earthy flavor. This was so far the worst fresh wild mushroom soup I had ever tasted and with a high usage of black pepper in it.

Next was one of the recommended Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken (RM16.90), served with steamed Basmati rice. My next question was whether they double grilled that chicken or even microwave the meat? From the look of such a basic kitchen, I guessed the latter answered me clearly. There was no moisture left in the meat. Neither was there much gravy left. The meat only has the basic taste of lemongrass and nothing else. It was truly bland. The chopped chilies were for decoration only and did not add in any flavors at all. What’s the use of serving the much reputable fragrant enriched Basmati grains but not knowing how to cook the rice well? It was simply tasteless and dry. Buttered Basmati rice would be a more ideal choice. That was not the worst of it yet. In fact for all the accompanying dishes, the vegetables were overcooked with some withered and pale yellowish green French beans. Moreover, the vegetables tasted like they have been blanched in the same pot of water continuously without ever changing the water. A pinch of salt and some olive oil would have given them a better taste too.

We also had their New Year offer of German Styled Chicken Bratwurst (RM20.90), served with mashed potatoes and assorted vegetables. Although the two foot sausages were tasty, both came rather cold within (didn’t microwave enough? LOL!). The potatoes were roughly mashed, not too bad for taste. The gravy was just average with a bit too much of salt in it. Just look at the color of the French beans and you would know my reasons for being pissed off. On top of that, I would think it was a bit too pricey for me for the amount served.

The Homemade Lamb Shank (RM26.90), served with mashed potatoes and assorted vegetables was a joke. I had better ones before. It looked like it was really cooked at home and brought to the outlet to be microwave to get rid of the juiciness. It was real obvious that the lamb shank was left exposed to air for a long period of time as the meat had changed color and was extremely dry. Now I know why AFC’s King of Grill, Robert Rainford, could be rather agitated when his diners were not on time to consume his grills within a stipulated time. The shank was bland too with only a hint of some wine based marinate. The texture of the meat was like 60% in the midst of meat floss preparation. The gravy tasted universal just like the rest of the dishes. I really hated those vegetables.

I just ordered the Crispy Calamari (RM13.90) to test out how well they did in their finger dishes. Well, you can never go wrong with most frozen packed stuff. The tempura coated rings were nice but the fries needed a bit more crispiness. The accompanied salad was normal with dressing neither salsa nor vinaigrette. The condiment was some sort of diluted Thai chili sauce which could hardly stick to my food. I would rather have some creamy mayonnaise to go with my dish.

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As for dessert and beverages, they fair much better than the food here. I tried out their Homebaked Apple Pie (RM8.90), served with a scoop of ice cream. It was supposed to be vanilla but I ended up having a miserable and almost melted scoop of strawberry ice cream, a cheap brand indeed. The Apple Pie crust was quite fine, although I would prefer it to be a bit more buttery in taste. The apple filling had the required tasted of grounded cinnamon but lacked in moisture. The Ice Kaffa Special (RM10.50) would be recommended as the overall combination was perfect. It had double shots of strong flavored coffee, double scoops of vanilla ice cream and topped with whipped cream. That made me wonder why I was not served vanilla ice cream for my Apple Pie. The Iced Lemongrass Tea (RM7.90) was fine, just nice for my liking. The Mocha Mocho Smoothie (RM9.90) was normal.

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Overall, the restaurant would be a nice place to relax over some drinks but not the food. The food quality needed to be revamped soon before they lose out more customers. The kitchen would need more dedicated staff as sloppiness and carelessness would not secure customers well. Price wise, it could be a bit pricey for most people. My total damage was RM141.55 (inclusive 10% service tax) in which I did not get my money worth of satisfaction. Moreover, two out of three of us had some mild stomach problems after the visit. What happened to the quality of food here? The photos and descriptions in the menu can be rather deceiving. For the price, customers ought to have what have been described in the menu and not any remains that they have left in their kitchen. Any restaurant should know that withered or gone bad items are not to be served to the customers. Lucky, none of us had serious food poisoning. As for the staff, they should be more discipline and educated in the happenings in the kitchen as well as dining etiquettes. Although it was great to have the table cleared before the next dish was served, but it was not so polite to ask for dish clearance when the food was not fully consumed. Standard kitchen orders must be briefed to all and not only to a handful of staff. Here I saw one staff turning down some clients while another asked us for the last order. Where’s the logic behind this? I usually don’t criticize business owner this way but it was rather saddening to encounter such bad experiences especially at a highly exclusive area like Straits Quay. There were too many flaws in the establishment.

The restaurant is just located within Straits Quay, the latest landmark in Tanjung Tokong area, Penang. If you are coming from town via Jalan Kelawai, just head towards Jalan Tanjung Tokong. There are two ways leading to Straits Quay but I’ll show you the easiest way as not to get lost within the maze. Drive all the way until you reach the Island Plaza traffic lights. You can turn right but it’s a long way to get to there. Alternatively, keep to your right and drive onwards to the second traffic lights after that and turn right into the road (Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang). You can see the almost completed Tesco building there. Drive on and a short distance away you can see straits Quay on your left. There will be ample parking areas all over.

KAFFACAFEMAP

Name: KAFFA KAFE @ STRAITS QUAY
Address: 3A-G-8, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, 10470 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-890 5136
Opening Hours:
10.00am-1.00am (last order 10.30pm – extended hours during peak period)
GPS: 5.458264, 100.313233

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

THE BEST OF THAI DISHES AT ANNATHAI-KITCHEN

Posted by crizlai On December - 14 - 2010

NOTE: The economy rice concept has ceased operation. Currently, they are serving ala carte dishes plus some set meals for LUNCH as well as DINNER.

If you are a Thai food lover but always find that it’s quite a hassle to order many dishes with only two persons or so, you should then check out the Annathai-Kitchen located within the Pulau Tikus district of Penang. You would find that there would be a wide spread of delicious Thai dishes on display daily for lunch (except on Monday) to choose from. In fact, the restaurant is the only Thai restaurant I have known in Penang to serve dishes in “economy rice” style. With the family members originated from Nakhon Si Thammarat in Southern Thailand, you can be assured that the dishes would be rich in usage of spices, fish sauce, palm sugar and thick coconut milk. On top of that, there’s also the little influence from the Teochew community there, thus making the dishes served here having some similarity with our local Chinese cuisine.

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To have a clearer picture of what they have in their daily spread, let me share with you what I have tasted through my few visits there. Firstly, there was the Thai favorite of Chicken with Bamboo Shoot Curry (Kang Nor-Mai Gai/แกงหน่อไม้ไก่). The rich usage of Thai basil leaves, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce (nam pla) with a hint of palm sugar plus the slight crisp from the sliced bamboo shoot made this dish very appetizing. There was also the Yellow Curry Chicken (Gaeng Ka-Ri/แกงกระหรี่ไก่). This dish was my all time favorite as I love the thick kaffir leaves flavored gravy combined with potatoes to go with my rice. There was also the Spicy Stir Fry Pork (Phat Phet Moo/ผัดเผ็ดหมู). How I wished pork belly meat slices were used instead for a more tender bite in that delicious red curry dish. 😛 The Prawn with Radish Curry (Gaeng Separut Koong/ แกงเขียวหวามนไก่) was perfect. I simply love the usage of kaffir lime leaves to pep up the taste of the curry. The Stir Fry Potatoes with Pork (Phat Mum Farang/ผัดมันฝรั่ง) was somewhat like our home cooked dish but minced meat was used instead of the normal pork slices. I love the usage of some tomato slices and spring onions that gave the dish the extra flavors. The Stir Fry Glass Noodles (Phat Wun Sen/ผัดมันฝรั่ง) was another simple dish. This dish had sliced cabbages, carrots, small shrimps on top of the al dente glass noodles. At least this dish was mild enough for everyone compared to the Spicy Glass Noodles Salad (Yum Wun Sen/ยำวุ้นเส้น) with lots of bird’s eye chilies (chili paddy/cili padi/พริกขี้หนู).

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Another non-spicy vegetable dish that was available was the Stir Fry Celery with Pork (Phat Ton Kin Chai/ผัดตนกินจ่าย), which would be great for those who like crunchy vegetables. Another favorite dish would be the Deep Fried Pork Chop (Moo Thord Ka-Tiam/หมูทอดขาเทียม). Although well marinated and tasty, I found this dish a bit too tough and dry for my liking. The Green Curry Chicken (Gaeng Kaew Wan Gai/ แกงเขียวหวานไก่) was another of my favorite dish. I simply love the taste of fresh ingredients being used here with a mild taste of Thai basil leaves and a touch of kaffir lime leaves. This was another remarkably tasty dish for me, considering that they did not use those pre-packed ingredients with green coloring such as the one I had during a Thai food promotion some time back in September 2010. The next dish was one of the more famous dishes from South Thailand namely the Fish in Sour Curry (Gaeng Som Pla/ แกงส้มปลา). They were using barramundi (siakap/石甲魚) fillet that day and it was indeed fresh to my liking. The sourness of the dish with a touch of lemongrass was lovely. The next dish was the Pork Spareribs Curry (Phat Phet Kra-Duk Moo/ผัดเผ็ดกระดุกหมู). The thick gravy dish had the strong flavor from the kaffir lime leaves, almost similar to the taste of the Nyonya Chicken Curry Kapitan, but minus the strong hint of some kaffir lime juice. If you love catfish, you should not miss out the Spicy Catfish Curry (Phat Phet Pla Duk/ ผัดเผ็ดปลาดุก). Wow! The flesh of the fish was so fine and combined with the spices used, it was perfect. But beware of those hidden “bombs” aka bird’s eye chilies within as they could be real fiery. I saw many people made takeaways with the next dish which was the Pork Leg in Black Vinegar (Kha Moo Phraew Wan/ขาหมูเปรี้ยวหวาน). The dish was indeed delicious with the extra flavor coming from some old ginger slices. Before I could have another helping, the meaty parts were all gone. If you love this hot selling item, I would advise you to patronize the restaurant the first few hours of their operation time.

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Do look out for their Steamed Curry Fish Custard (Hor Mok Pla/ห่อหมกปลา), locally known as “Otak-Otak”. Instead of individually packed in banana leaves like the Nyonya style, these came in small metal cups, laced with wild betel nut leaves (daun kaduk) and topped with some coconut cream. They were delicious. Another common dish you could get here would be the Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables with Pork (Phat Park Ruam Mit/ผัดผักรวมมิตร). The Spicy Stir Fry Eggplant (Phat Mak Kaer Yao/ ผัดมะเขือยาว) was another dish that I love. Somehow, the textures of the eggplants were just right and not overcooked. The chef, Mdm. Anna, who’s the mother of the proprietor, Mr. Jacky Choong, sure knows how to handle the chili combinations well. The dish came with some medium sized prawns. The Spicy Minced Pork Salad (Lab Moo Sub/ลาบหมู) was indeed appetizing and addictive. The boiled and broken up minced meat clumps were spiked with some lime juice, grounded chilies, fish sauce, salt and sugar before being tossed with some chopped mint leaves, cilantro stalks, shallots and many more. Can I request for some lettuces for wrapping this delicious salad now? 😛

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From time to time, the kitchen would also come up with whole fish dish such as the Thai Fried Fish in Fermented Bean Sauce (Pla Tao Jaew/ปลาเต้าเจี้ยว). There may also be halved fish being served at times. Small barramundi (siakap/石甲魚) was used for this dish. The differences between the Thai and the Chinese style would be that the former uses some tomato slices and more chilies in the cooking. If you have been constantly taking sweet food, then the next dish which was the Stir Fry Bitter Gourd (Phat Park Ma Ra/ผัดปาร์กมะระ) would be great for controlling the blood sugar level. The melon slices maintained their crunch while the adding in of pork slices and squids gave the dish the extra flavors. There was also the Stir Fry Spicy Winged Beans with Prawns (Phat Tua Phoo/ผัดถ้วพู). The Winged Beans are also known locally as Kacang Botol or Goa Beans and are rich in vitamins and minerals. I’m very fond of the Thai Fish Cake (Tod Man Pla/ทอดมันปลา) but the next dish got me asking for more. They were the Thai Prawn Cake (Tod Man Koong/ทอดมันกุ้ง). Each piece was richly filled with well marinated minced prawns and meat prior to being coated with special breadcrumbs and deep fried. Simply delicious! Of course during all dining spreads, there would be the Raw Vegetables served with Pounded Chilies in Thai Fermented Shrimp Paste (Nam Prik Kapi/น้ำพริกกะปิ). Three types of raw vegetables were served, namely cucumber, long beans and stinky beans (buah petai).

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Some people might think that Thai food would only be suitable for those with strong stomachs to withstand spiciness and sourness. Well, not all Thai dishes are fiery hot. The restaurant would also prepare some nice set meals daily that would even suit the taste buds of children, nevertheless adults. I for one loved their Thai Chicken Rice (Khao Mun Gai/ข้าวมันไก่ – RM5). The meat was so tender and flavorful. The specially prepared condiment was so tasty that I did ask for more on top of ordering another bowl of rice. 😛 Another of their most sought after set meals would be the Braised Pork Leg with Rice (Khao Kha Moo/ข้าวขาหมู – RM5). The one served here was indeed much tastier and meatier than the one I had at Genting Café. Moreover, the price here was also reasonable for that many dishes served. While you are there, don’t miss out their Thai Rice Noodles with Fish Curry Paste aka Laksa (Kha Nom Chin/ขนมจีันน้ำยา – RM3). This dish would be served with sliced raw cucumber and long beans. The noodles were of a thinner version and less al dente than those as in the Penang Nyonya Laksa but the taste was great. Another set meal that has raw vegetables added in would be the Southern Thai Style Rice Salad (Khao Yam/ข้าวยำ – RM5). The ingredients included steamed rice, toasted grated coconut, pomelo, sliced kaffir lime leaves, bean sprouts, winged beans, wild betel nut leaves, long beans, lemongrass stalk and bird’s eye chilies. Just mix everything up and apply some of the provided sauce before consuming. Taste wise, I’m not too fond of this dish as there were just too much raw vegetables in it to flow smoothly though my mouth. I still prefer my Nyonya Nasi Ulam recipe. 😛

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Desserts are something that would be very common in Thailand and most of the time they would be rather colorful. A large number of these desserts would be sweet and rich in the usage of coconut cream and glutinous rice. Some of the desserts you can get here would be the Jackfruit with Glutinous Rice (Khao Niao Kha Noon/ข้าวเหนียวขนุน) and Mango with Glutinous Rice (Khao Niao Ma Muang/ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง). Both would be topped with sweetened coconut cream and sprinkled with some toasted sesame seeds. Another one would be the Glutinous Rice with Steamed Custard (Khao Niao Sang Kaya/ข้าวเหนียวสังขยา). The one I loved most was the Mixed Sweetmeat in Coconut Milk (Gaeng Buat Ruam Mit/แกงบวดรวมมิตร), somewhat like our local Bubur Cha Cha. The taste of the added corn kernel had absorbed into the coconut milk thoroughly, thus giving the dessert a sweet corn after taste. A few varieties of steamed sweet potatoes and yam were added in together with some sago and jellied corn starch. You must have this served hot. The Water Chestnut & Jackfruit in Coconut Milk (Tub Thim Krob/ รวมมิตรทับทิมกรอบ) served here had some extra screw pine flavored rice flour jellies (pandan cendol) compared to those I have tried elsewhere. If you are lucky, you might get to try out their Steamed Pumpkin Custard (Sang Kaya Fak Thong/สังขยาฝักทอง) and Steamed Banana in Glutinous Rice (Khao Tom Mat/ข้าวต้มมัด), which would only be prepared on certain days throughout the week. As for the beverage that would cool down the burning sensation in your mouth, do try out their Nam Daeng (red – sala flavored syrup) and Nam Kaew (green – cream soda flavored syrup). Both will be served with tadpole eggs. Huh? You must be joking right? Haha! Those would actually be soaked sweet basil seeds. 😛

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Overall, most of the dishes served here are delicious and reasonable based on market rates. In fact, the ingredients used were of high standards. Even the chicken cuts used consisted of drumsticks and thighs. The only complaints I heard so far were the excessive usage of coconut milk in their dishes and their desserts could be a bit too sweet for many, especially for those who are concerned about their health. Well, there’s always a price to pay for rich food consumption. It’s either you take it or leave it. Anyhow, anything too much would not be good for your body… even healthy diets! 😛 Other than that, there was the “great food ran out too fast” issue, which of course was not an issue if you patronize the place not too near to their closing time. LOL! Anyway, their ala carte dishes during dinner time were superb, especially their freshly cooked Prawn Tom Yam Soup (Tom Yam Koong), Chicken in Turmeric Soup (Gai Tom Ka Min), Spicy Bitter Gourd with Prawns (Phat Ma Ra Koong) and the specialty of the day – Crispy Fried Chicken (Gai Tod).

The restaurant is just located nearby the Pulau Tikus market. To avoid the market traffic in the morning, I’ll direct you through an easier route. If you are coming from town (ex Jalan Perak) along Jalan Burma towards Pulau Tikus district, keep a look out for a Shell Petrol Kiosk on your left. Drive further up and you’ll see the PERKESO (SOCSO) on your left. Immediately after the building, turn left into Lebuhraya Codrington. Drive on until you see the second junction on your right (Jalan Yeoh Guan Seok). Turn right into the road and again right into Jalan Moulmein. There’s a big car park on your right. Park your car there. The restaurant is just opposite the car park.

ANNATHAIMAP

Name: ANNATHAI-KITCHEN
Address: 26 Jalan Moulmein, Pulau Tikus, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-2277 599
Opening Hours: 10.30am-2.30pm (economy rice), 5.30pm-9.30pm (ala carte) (Closed Monday)
GPS: 5.429693, 100.312099

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

 

If you are thinking of having a wide spread of dishes for your buffet dinner, why not pay Palms Coffee House at Hydro Hotel Penang a visit? You sure won’t regret as there are so many varieties of sweet and savory dishes for you to choose from Friday to Sunday. As for Friday Fiesta (RM55++), there would be a selected theme each week, namely Little China Town, Country & Western, Al Arabia Affair and Hawaiian Dazzle. You may want to call up 604-890 5999 ext 170 to check out the theme for that day. As for Saturday Special, it would be Saturday BBQ Buffet (RM65++). The Sunday Servings would be Oodles of Noodles at RM28++. Children would get to dine for half the price.

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Just to let you have an idea of what we had for the Saturday Buffet Dinner, I’ll show you section by section of the food served. For those who love starters, there was the salad corner with so many items to choose from ranging from just some DIY & ready-made salads, cold cuts, Japanese Sashimi, Oriental deep fried finger food to even our local favorite – the rojak (mixed local fruits and vegetables with shrimp paste). This section was very impressive and healthy indeed.

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As for the main buffet line, you would get some buns, soup, vegetables, clams, tofu, spaghetti to fried rice. What? Where those the only items I would get for paying RM65++? Where were the rest of meat, poultry and seafood then? Everyone was stunned!

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Unknowingly, some surprises awaited us by the pool side. A wide variety of well marinated meat, poultry and seafood were waiting for our orders to be grilled by the skillful staff of the hotel. There were chicken and beef satay, lamb, beef, chicken, prawns, stingrays, dory fish fillet, squids, flower crabs, mussels, chili stuffed Indian mackerel (ikan cincalok), mackerel (ikan kembung) and sausages available for us to choose from.

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For sweet tooth lovers, the dessert section would be heaven. There were endless rows of delightful bites ranging from local delicacies, tarts, cakes, jelly, mousse, pudding, ice cream and fruit cuts. The whole section was simply colorful and delicious!

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We were also lucky to be in the same venue as our local Ferrari Club members on that night. Everyone was drooling over the cars… err… and whoever in them. Now I have a problem choosing which car/human model. 😛

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By the way, the 4-stars Hydro Hotel Penang has some great suites if you intend to spend your vacation here. The sea facing suites sure give you a nice view of the horizon overseeing the Andaman Sea. Dawn and dusk sceneries can be quite beautiful for couples and families. You can always check up http://hydrohotelpenang.com/ for more information on the rooms and rates.

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Anyway, you can also get more discounts on food and lodging if you purchase the Friends of Hydro membership card. It’s only RM10 each. You would get 30% off the total food bill (buffet or ala carte), 15% off non alcoholic drinks and 50% off published room rates or 10% off best available rate, whichever is lower. Do also check out their other promotions too.

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It won’t be hard to locate the Palms Coffee House as it’s just within the premises of Hydro Hotel Penang. Drive all the way from Jalan Tanjung Tokong towards Batu Ferringhi/Teluk Bahang. When you see Mar Vista Resort on your left, you would be going into a hilly road. Immediately after the hilly stretch, you would see the Hydro Hotel Penang signboard on your left. Just turn left into the road and you would see the hotel on your right. You sure won’t miss it as there’s only one pedestrian bridge from the hotel leading to Miami Beach front.

PALMSHYDROMAP

Name: PALMS COFFEE HOUSE @ HYDRO HOTEL PENANG
Address: Miami Beach, Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-890 5999
Opening Hours: 6.30pm – 11.00pm
GPS: 5.477555, 100.269488

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

WALKING DOWN MEMORY LANE AT LITTLE COTTAGE CAFÉ 2

Posted by crizlai On November - 25 - 2010

Walking into this restaurant reminded me of the good old childhood days when I had regular meals with my family in such a comfortable and family-oriented ambiance. A branch out from the Little Cottage Café (LCC1) located along the busy street of Jalan Burma, this restaurant within the premises of Hotel Waterfall carries the name of Little Cottage Café 2 (LCC2). Established somewhere at the end of 2006, LCC2 has been serving Western and Italian meals as its successor, LCC1. On top of its Ala Carte dishes, their set meals and Sunday Buffet Lunch remains the two top choices of the public.

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A few of us managed to pay a visit to LCC2 prior to my hectic office relocation some time back. It was a totally different experience altogether as the Sunday Buffet Lunch (RM25.90+ adult/RM13.90+ child) crowd was there. Set Lunch (from RM9.90+) and Set Dinner (from RM25.90+) were also available for the day. We started off with some signature cocktails and mocktails – Red and White Wine Cooler (RM9.90/glass), Little Cottage Mocktail (RM7.90), Little Cottage Fruit Shake (RM12.90) and Homemade Sparking Golden Lime Juice (RM6.90). The Little Cottage Fruit Shake remained the favorite of many.

Some of the house specialties were introduced to us. The Clam Chowder in Bread Bowl (RM19.90) came first. It had this thick and creamy soup, served within a local bun called “Penggali” bread (later mispronounced by many and commonly called Benggali bread today). The taste of the chowder was fine but there were just too much potato cubes which overshadowed the already minute-sized local softshell clams (lala). I would also prefer the bun/bun slices to be slightly toasted for that extra flavor. It’s a bit pricey though.

The next dish was the Cream of Mushroom (RM6.90) which had a varieties of fresh mushroom blended. It tasted not bad except that I would like mine to be a bit thicker with some crème added in.

The “Ossu Buccu de Angelo” aka Lamb Shank (RM29.90) got all of us yearning for more. In fact, I would say this was my favorite dish of the day. It had finely stewed, juicy and tender lamb shank served with some fragrant Italian mushroom rice and grilled/fresh vegetables. I can have this dish the whole day! Most recommended! 🙂

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The next on the list was the Seafood “Olio” Spaghetti (RM28.90) which you can have an option for spicy or non spicy (children). The spaghetti came with a combination of prawns, half-shelled mussels and squids in special white sauce. Taste wise, it wasn’t that bad provided you love the fresh fishy taste of seafood. Well, it wasn’t as spicy as I would have expected. Some paprika please~

There was also the Chicken Sausages and Turkey Ham Combo (RM29.90) which would suit kids more but it came with a hefty sum to pay, though the amount of food would be enough to two kids or an adult. It had a combination of chicken sausages, turkey ham streak, baked potato and fresh vegetables, served with house sauce and tartar sauce. The house sauce was really mild.

LCC2 has some impressive set lunches from as low as RM9.90. You would have an option to choose from the 15 items available daily. Each set would come with a butter roll, soup of the day, main choice of set meal, dessert and coffee/tea. For a healthy start, you can order the Garlic Lingguine (RM9.90). It had flat pasta cooked with some chopped onions, chillies, black olives and fried garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Since I’m a garlic lover, I have no problem with this dish although it might not be enough for a big guy like me. This dish would be more suitable for ladies who are rather conscious about their waistline.

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If you think you would like to have something a bit heavier but not too meaty, one ideal set lunch choice would be the Grilled Almond Fish (RM15.90). This dish would come with a grilled fish fillet topped with a generous amount of almond flakes and served with baked potato, boiled vegetables, fresh greens and tartar sauce. This was not a bad dish either except I would prefer some dressings on my fresh greens. Overall, it was kind of “dry”.

Not meaty enough for your set lunch? You may want to try out their Lamb Shoulder (in Black Pepper Sauce) – RM19.90. The dish came with two large slices of lamb shoulders in black pepper sauce and served with baked potato, boiled vegetables and fresh greens. Well, make sure you did state your choice of cooking method here. We should have ordered medium rare instead of getting the well done as it was rather tough with certain bite.

As for set dinner, there would be 10 choices daily from as low as RM25.90. Each set would come with a butter roll, soup of the day, main choice of set meal, dessert and coffee/tea. You would also have the option to add on a piece of Tiramisu Cake (RM4.90) or a change of soup to Clam Chowder Soup (RM5.90 – Friday to Sunday only). What we had was the most expensive item on the list – the Lobster Combo Special (RM49.90). It had a cheesy baked lobster thermidor with a choice of fish, chicken, lamb, steak or mussels. We opted for chicken. Although the lobster was nice, I felt that the price was a bit too high, considering it was just a baby-sized lobster. Moreover, there was nothing so special about the grilled chicken topped with a funny combination of black pepper and house sauce.

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If you intend to have a more romantic meal, LCC1, which has been in operation since 2003, would also be a better choice as it caters food on both floors with a dimmer setting and romantic corners. Do watch out for some of their promotions during off peak days (Monday to Thursday), festive seasons and special occasions.

Getting yourself there won’t be hard as LCC2 is located within the premises of Hotel Waterfall right at the end of T-junction between Jalan Gottlieb and Jalan Kebun Bunga/Jalan Utama. If you are coming from Jalan Burma, turn left into Jalan Jalan Gottlieb/Jalan Bagan Jermal traffic lights. Drive all the way until the end until you see Jalan Ayer Rajah on your left. You can see a big cake house and Hope Children Hospital there. Slow down and watch out for a small service road on your left. Turn left into the service road and turn right. You can easily see the Hotel Waterfall sign there. There should be ample car parks there during non peak period.

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Name: LITTLE COTTAGE CAFÉ 2 @ WATERFALL HOTEL
Address: 31 Jalan Gottlieb, 10450 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-228 1128
Opening Hours: 11.00am-3.00pm, 6.00pm-10.00pm
GPS: 5.430484, 100.299531

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

THE LATEST RESTAURANT FOR BANQUET AT TIANYI RESTAURANT

Posted by crizlai On October - 19 - 2010

Despite so many restaurants around Penang that can cater for ala carte menus as well as to hold banquet functions, there emerged another one right in the heart of Georgetown, Penang. Barely in business for two months and located within the compound of the Loh Si Tong Chong Seah, is a newly opened restaurant by the name of Tianyi Restaurant. The heritage style building can cater up to 50 tables (about 500 pax) at one time. On top of the 8-course meal (RM388 nett, RM438 nett and RM588 nett) and the ala carte menus, you can even order a simple meal of fried rice, noodles or roasted chicken/pork rice (RM10 and above from the stall at the entrance).

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Since it was a birthday function with a few dozens of celebrators, we opted for the most expensive of the 8-course lunch meal at RM588 nett. Let’s judge how long this new establishment would excel in catering to the needs and taste of its patrons. The first dish that arrived was as usual the starter as what any wedding banquet would have or many more. It was the Five Hot & Cold Combination (五福喜臨門). It had a cold salad and four hot dishes. There was the Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables with Fresh Scallops & Chinese Crullers (油條/youtiao). This was rather nice as there was the freshness of the scallops and the slight crunch from the water chestnuts and Chinese crullers. The next dish was the Deep Fried Sea Cucumber with Black Pepper. It had the right combination of flavor except that it would not be suitable for children with the overpowering black pepper usage. I was hoping that the Cold Jelly Fish Salad would not fall short to my expectation but indeed it was the only item left on most of the plates on each table as majority of the senior citizens detested the hotness and sourness of the dish. The Prawn Dumplings has the beauty of Snow White but the taste of flavored water. They were totally bland. Even the gravy was almost colorless. Luckily the Breaded Meat Balls saved the day as it had the nice crisp from the rolled bread cubes over the juicy meatballs.

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The next course was the Shark’s Fin Soup with Special Eight Treasures (八珍燴生翅). For one thing, I don’t think real sharks fin would be used nowadays due to the strong protest worldwide against the killing of sharks for their fins. Anyway, those served here did not taste real. The soup was done quite well considering that it had a strong hint of Angelica sinensis (當歸/dong quai) in rich stock. The only problem I had was to identify the 8 treasures. Out of the 3 bowls I had taken to hunt for the “treasures”, I could only manage to detect a strong trace of dried scallops, crab meat, prawns, mushrooms and of course the mock sharks fin. Although the taste was superb, this dish lacked the value as the one I had taken from Starview Restaurant which was fully filled with ingredients.

We also had the Roasted Whole Suckling Pig (出骨南乳豬). The piglet was not really well prepared as the skin could really be tough for weaker teeth and the meat was not as tender and flavorful as I would have expected. Starview Restaurant still remains my best choice for this dish after numerous try out at other restaurants.

Steamed Chinese Pomfret Fish in Hong Kong Style (港式蒸斗底) was served next. You would never go wrong with steamed fishes unless your over steamed it. Fortunately, the restaurant did a great job in getting the right texture for the priced fish. The only few preferences that I like would be the addition of some deep fried chopped garlic and a dash of Shaoxing wine. Sliced young ginger is quite irrelevant if you have fresh fish such as at my most recommended restaurant in Penang, Chin Bee Tea Café. Moreover, you can really taste the differences in the quality of soy sauce used at Chin Bee compared to the one used in this restaurant.

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As usual, there would be a braised dish in every restaurant’s 8-course menu. We had the Stewed Vegetables with Sea Cucumber & “Bai Ling” Mushrooms (海參白靈菇). Bai Ling Mushroom or scientifically known as Bai-ling Pleurotus Ferulse Lanze is a rare species of valuable edible mushroom which originates from the desert of northwest China. When these sliced mushrooms are being used in dishes, they resemble abalone slices. What we had was some broiled broccoli, sea cucumber, bai ling mushroom slices with added shitake mushrooms. The gravy was rather bland and the shitake mushroom had too much sugar added in the marinating process. What a waste indeed.

The Pan Fried Prawns with Nutmeg Sauce (豆蔻爆大蝦) was quite tasty but some had that sandy texture, meaning that these prawns were not thawed properly prior to cooking. Moreover, the back of the prawns were not sliced at all, leaving us hell of a time trying to peel them with chopsticks. LOL!

The Fried Seafood Ee-Fu Noodles was a laugh. It had barely a few strands of Chinese chives flowers (ku chai hua). Where are the rest of the vegetables? On top of that, it had some prawns and squid stir fried in minimal gravy and poured over the over soaked Ee-Fu noodles, with some deep fried onions garnished at the side. I won’t be serving this lazy way of cooking to my customers if I were to be the chef. The chef should have done something unique such as my ever favorite Gui Hua Mien (桂花麵).

One thing you have to admit is that the restaurant sure has a unique recipe for dessert – Chef’s Specialty Dessert aka Blended Sweet Peach with Ice Cream (蜜桃冰淇淋). When everyone thought that it was the usual honeydew with sago dessert, but it turned out to be something different. In fact, the color was yellowish instead of greenish. The dessert had scoops of vanilla ice cream, blended sweet peach, sago with a light squeeze of lemon juice. Truly unique!

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Overall, I did not think that the dishes served here is valued for money, considering that I could have better quality and tastier dishes served elsewhere by paying only tens of ringgit more. Maybe they are still new and needed more time to accustom to the taste buds of the public. Let me try them out a few months from now to see if my verdict was wrong all the way.

If you are coming from Komtar/Prangin Mall area through Jalan Burma towards Gurney Drive, drive until the Jalan Anson/Jalan Burma traffic lights (Giant Supermarket is on your right). Turn left into Jalan Anson, keep to your right and drive all the way up to the second right T-junction (Methodist Girls’ School is at the junction). Turn right into Jalan Logan and drive all the way to almost the end of the road and you would see the restaurant on your right within the compound of Loh Si Tong Chong Seah Clan House. The Specialists Centre (formerly known as Loh Guan Lye Hospital) is diagonally opposite the restaurant. Please also note that this restaurant is managed by the former major shareholder of Tian Tian Restaurant at Red Rock Hotel.

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Name: TIANYI RESTAURANT
Address: 34 Jalan Logan, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-229 8828
Opening Hours: 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.00pm-10.30pm
GPS: 5.421056, 100.318497

RATING:
Ambience: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 8/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 6/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

THE BEST CHICKEN NASI LEMAK IN TOWN AT RESTORAN SEVEN STAR

Posted by crizlai On October - 10 - 2010

I had written earlier on Nasi Kandar Beratur in the heart of Georgetown, Penang, which got many people grumbling impatiently just to wait for their turn to get their plate of curry rice. Alternatively, out of the many Nasi Kandar shops scattered all over Penang island, I found one that has the same quality, if not better, that would cut down on your waiting time. It’s also located within the heart of Georgetown, Penang, with ample sitting places. It’s called Restoran Seven Star with only another branch in Changlun, Kedah. Just to compare the price of the food served here with Nasi Kandar Beratur (NKB), I ordered the same items. I had a plate of rice (RM1 – a bit more than NKB) with onion omelette (RM1), a chicken thigh (RM3 – NKB cheaper with a full drumstick at only RM4.50), a piece of beef (RM1.50) and 2 steamed lady fingers (60sen) which cost RM7.10 a plate. Although the price here can be considered a bit higher than NKB in term of the chicken pieces, the beef slices served here were indeed bigger, thicker and awesomely more flavorful. On top of that, there were more options here (flower crabs, fish egg, squid eggs, different style of mutton and fish curries. I personally felt that the combination of different curries on the rice here was indeed more heavenly than NKB. You should not miss out their Indian Onion Fried Chicken (RM3 per piece) as it’s extremely tasty with the rich flavors from the deep fried onions and spices.

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What attracted me more to pay them an almost weekly visit was not the Nasi Kandar but their delicious Nasi Lemak Ayam. This restaurant served the best Fried Chicken Nasi Lemak I had tried so far. Every single piece of your choice chicken piece would be fried only upon ordering, while maintaining the juiciness within the meat and the crispiness on the outer layer. Even the normal set of Nasi Lemak (RM2.20), served with peanuts, deep fried anchovies (ikan bilis) and their special sambal sauce would be very tasty. Their hot steaming coconut milk rice (nasi lemak) had the right texture, fragrant and taste. The little chopped ginger that you can find within the rice gave it that extra flavor, which you don’t see in many other nasi lemak stalls. The sambal was just right without being overly spicy. What would be more perfect than having a nice and hot plate of normal Nasi Lemak, topped with a piece of delicious fried chicken (RM3) and an omelette/hard boiled egg (80sen)? It would surely be a fulfilling meal at RM6.00 nett. 🙂

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Finding the restaurant is rather easy as it is situated just at the corner of some new shop houses along Gat Lebuh Macallum, leading to the wholesale dry market and Harbour Trade Centre. If you are coming from the ferry terminal along Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay) towards Jelutong Expressway, just take note of three yellow colored medium cost apartments on your left (Sri Saujana 42A, 42B & 42C). Turn left into Gat Lebuh Macallum just before the traffic lights (Gat Lebuh Macallum/Pengkalan Weld). You can see the corner restaurant at the left side service road. WIFI would be available here and this is a nice place to hang out with friends, provided the weather is fine.

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Name: RESTORAN SEVEN STAR
Address: 40 Gat Lebuh Macallum, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-263 2580
Opening Hours: 24 hours, 6.00pm-4.00am (Nasi Lemak)
GPS: 5.407748, 100.332871

Kedah Branch:
Address: 4-A-Aked MDKP, Pekan Baru Changlun, 06100 Changlun, Kedah, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-924 1318

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: 8.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 6.5/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

QUEUING UP FOR LATE DINNER AT NASI KANDAR BERATUR

Posted by crizlai On October - 5 - 2010

I had thrown this question to many of my friends on how to find great food in Penang. Towards the end of the day, the most frequent answer would be, “If you see a long waiting line or a crowded eatery, you can be assured of the best food.” Well, that would not be true always as there are many different types of patrons with different urges, needs and budget. Let’s have a study on one of the more famous eateries in Penang – the Nasi Kandar Beratur who has been operating at the present premises since 1943. Do you have the patience to queue up for hours just to have your plate of rice with your selected curry dishes? Do you consider them as one of the best in Penang in terms of taste and price?

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With more than 6 decades of experiences and a claim of having the most original taste amongst the rest of the Nasi Kandar restaurants in Penang, indeed the ingredients used were freshly grinded and tasteful. As for price wise, it was quite standard in Penang, nevertheless cheaper than those from other states. Just for comparison, a plate of rice (RM1) with onion omelette (RM1), a full drumstick (RM4.50), a piece of beef (RM1.50) and 2 steamed lady fingers (60sen) would cost you RM8.60. On the other hand, a plate of rice (RM1), 3 pieces of beef (RM4.50), onion omelette (RM1) plus 2 steamed lady fingers (60sen) would come up to RM7.10. The beverages available here were quite standard in terms of price. You can check the price list for the dishes here.

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I’m sure you would like to know my verdict here. Due to the food server’s experience and skill in combining the right curries for your plate of Nasi Kandar, the overall taste was good. The onion omelette was very tasty and flavorful just like what you would get in a murtabak. The beef slices were tender but was a rather small cut. Somehow, I felt that the beef was either imported frozen ones or over simmered during the process of cooking. It lacked the beefy taste and was rather bland to my liking. The taste for the Ayam Ros was good too but unfortunately my meat was rather over fried, thus loosing the juiciness within the meat. Unless I have a lot of time to spare, I find queuing up for such a long time was a waste of precious time, especially when one has to bear with a growling tummy. I wondered why after so many decades, they still have only one person to serve you food? They could have many servers just like the rest, thus shortening the waiting time. Is it because of maintaining the name of “Queuing Nasi Kandar”? I won’t know for sure. What would your verdict be then?

Finding the stall won’t be hard as it is situated just next to the heritage Masjid Kapitan Keling along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (formerly Pitt Street). You sure won’t miss it as there would be a long queue slightly before the start of their business at 10.00pm. Parking could be quite tough here as it’s located along a heavy trafficked road.

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Name: NASI KANDAR BERATUR @ RESTORAN LIYAQAT ALI
Address:
98 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, 10200 Penang, Malaysia. (next to Kapitan Keling Mosque)
Opening Hours: 10.00pm-9.00am
GPS: 5.416815, 100.337582

RATING:
Ambience: 6/10 (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: 6/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

MY REGULAR VISIT TO OLD TRAFFORD AT CHULIA STREET

Posted by crizlai On September - 22 - 2010

If you think I’m that crazy enough to drop by the Old Trafford, an all-seater football stadium in the Trafford borough of Greater Manchester, England and the home of Premier League Club Manchester United, you are not all wrong! I really did visit the place quite regularly not for the football game but for the burger. Haha! In fact, Old Trafford is just a burger stall in Penang and it served the best burger amongst the rest that I had tried on the island.

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What really made the Old Trafford Burger Stall so unique compared to the rest of the burger stalls (even McDonald’s) you can find abundantly scattered all over the island? You may say that the burger patties available here are the same as from other local burger stalls but there are some distinctive differences in the way the burgers here were prepared. It all lies within the skills of Encik Halim in providing the right crispiness on the patty, crunchiness from the vegetables, moist of some sauces and overall taste of each end product. Most of the cook would just fry whole chicken or beef patties in a pool of lard. Encik Halim on the other hand would slowly grill the patties with some butter instead, gradually cutting each patty into halves while grilling the inner part for that extra crispiness with some sprinkles of Lea & Perrins sauce. As for my favorite Double Burger Cheese Burger Special (only RM5.80nett), the patty would be topped with a slice of Kraft cheddar cheese, some thick mayonnaise, some black pepper sauce and a dash of black pepper prior to laying another patty on top before being wrapped in an egg. This would then be laid on a slightly butter toasted bun with a generous amount of vegetables such as cucumber, tomatoes, mixed cabbages with some dashes of chili sauce and tomato ketchup.

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Now you know why I love the Old Trafford Burger more than any other. Just look at the layer by layer of the filling within the bun. The oozing sauces combined with the melted cheese made this burger perfect for any meal. It’s even cheaper and tastier than all the fast food chains in Malaysia with that size. If you are craving for more cheese on your burger, just order the Double Burger Double Cheese Special at RM6.20, a mere 40sen difference.

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If you intend to call in to make a preorder or go for their other products such as hotdog, oblong burger, lamb burger or even rabbit burger, click on the Old Trafford Burger Menu & Price List to know the exact change to prepare.

Finding the stall won’t be hard as it is situated along Lebuh Chulia, the same stretch as the famous night Wan Than Mee and Curry Mee. Just try to locate the 7-11 at the junction of Lorong Love/Lebuh Chulia and you can see the stall along the road, directly opposite the convenient shop, just in front of a tattoo shop and in between two cafes cum guest houses.

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Name: OLD TRAFFORD BURGER STALL
Address: Lebuh Chulia, 10200 Penang, Malaysia. (opposite 7-11 Lebuh Chulia)
Contact: 016-497 2591 (Encik Halim)
Opening Hours: 4.00pm-4.00am (daily)
GPS: 5.418386, 100.336138

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

PENANG HERITAGE FINE DINING AT SUFFOLK HOUSE RESTAURANT

Posted by crizlai On September - 20 - 2010

Being one of the heritage prides of George Town, Penang, Suffolk House has been the residence of our founder, Sir Francis Light and many subsequent governors of Penang and Straits Settlements during the 1800’s. It was later bought by Mr. Lim Cheng Teik, the youngest Municipal Commissioner in the history of Penang, and after that being sold to the Methodist Church of Malaya to house the Anglo-Chinese High School (currently the Methodist Boys’ School). The building was later abandoned by the school in 1975 due to rapid deterioration. With the determination of the Penang state government to preserve this piece of Penang’s heritage, a neighboring plot of land was exchange with Methodist Boys’ School in 2000. Restoration funded by the state government and a few private sectors through the many years thereafter managed to refit the mansion to its present state. Within the compound of the present mansion was a restaurant – the Suffolk House Restaurant. The restaurant brought back many fond memories of the yesteryears by serving colonial style fine dining for lunch, tea and dinner daily.

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I managed to pay a visit to this fine heritage mansion one fine afternoon to try out their set lunch. Each set meal would come with a fresh homemade wholemeal roll and butter. For starter, we can have either salad which was the Watercress Salad with Citrus Poached Pears, Lettuce, Cherry Tomatoes, Walnut and Parmesan Cheese Shavings or a soup of the day which happened to be Potatoes & Leeks Soup. They could have put more dressing on the salad as it was a bit too raw and dry to my liking. The soup on the other hand was quite acceptable with some croutons and chopped spring onions as garnishes. I was hoping that it would be a bit creamier.

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As for main course, we have an option to choose one of the 5 listed ones in the menu. The Chargrilled Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Mint Lamb Jus, Roasted Potatoes and Buttered Turned Vegetable (RM44+) has the necessary flavors. Unfortunately, they weren’t much meat on the lamb rack and accompanied radish, carrot and beetroot were rather tough for the teeth. The Beef Goulash with Timbale of Vegetables and Chunky Paprika Potatoes (RM42++) was rather tasty with hints of mixed herbs in the stew. The beef chunks were tender and juicy but lacked the flavors being seeped into the meat. Another option which I ordered was the Seafood Ravioli with White Wine Cream Sauce (RM36++). It tasted just like minced seafood wonton but had a Western approached of dressing the 5 pieces of ravioli with some tasty and creamy white sauce. Not a bad combination though.

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As for Desserts of the Day, I had a bite size Chocolate Mousse Cake with half a strawberry on some orange juice and an option to choose between a cup of Nespresso Coffee or Tea.

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The set lunch menu would change every few weeks so you would be expecting something different during your next visit. Other main courses (out of 5 choices) that were available during my visit included steamed red snapper with ginger soy sauce plus shallot rice pilaf, wilted kalian and cilantro leaves (RM40++) and roast chicken breast with feta cheese and spinach stuffing plus confit new potatoes and Persian style grilled vegetables (RM38++). As this is a fine dining concept, the portion served might not be enough for big eaters. So be prepared to order other items from their Ala Carte menu. English style tea time would be available at RM64++ per set, which would be enough for 2 persons. You can check out Steven Goh’s Tea Time Review. As for set dinner aka Table D’Hote Menu, there would be more items with main courses ranging from RM100++ to RM140++. You can check out CK Lam’s Dinner Review.

If you are into heritage buildings, you must not miss out the tour of this old Euro-Indian-Georgian mansion which went through a complete major restoration in March 2007. The wonders of the beautiful architecture and green gardens would surely amaze you further. It would cost you merely RM10 per adult on a self guided tour (free for children below 6 years old except on school excursions) or a guided tour of RM15 per pax for a group of ten persons or more. Tours would be available from 10.00am until 6.00pm (last admission at 5.30pm). You can contact Ms. Maiane at 604-228 1109 for further enquiries.

It could be quite a maze to locate the restaurant even if you are a Penangite as the place would not be visible by the main road but no worries as I have put it in a pictorial direction format to lead you there safely. 🙂 Please click on the map below for a larger view.

If you are coming from Penang Bridge through Jalan Mesjid Negeri, it would be quite easy. As you see the Penang State Mosque on your left, kept left and drive to the traffic lights below the flyover bridge. Turn right into Jalan Air Itam and do keep to your left. Immediately after the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Al-Manshoor Lelaki, keep a look out for a small lane on your left. Turn left and drive up to the T-junction. Turn right and do watch out for a smaller lane on your left. At this left junction, you would see sign boards showing you the way to Suffolk House, Malaysian German Society and Penang Japanese Association (Map D). Turn left into this junction and you would see another few signs leading you to Suffolk House (Map E). Drive further in and you can see a river/bridge on left with lots of parking spaces (Map F). Park your car there and walk into the compound.

For those coming from town, it would be a bit messier as there won’t be a U-turn for you to reach the restaurant. Just drive all the way the Padang Brown/Convent Dato’ Keramat traffic lights until you see the second traffic lights (Masjid Jamek Shaik Yusoff on your left before the traffic lights). Turn right into Jalan York and drive all the way until the end (Union High School on your right corner). Turn left into Jalan Scotland. Immediately after you see the Ramakrisna Orphanage on your left, slow down and keep to your left (Map A). Drive all the way and keep to the left of the flyover bridge (Map B). Turn left into the junction immediately after Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Agama Al-Manshoor (Lelaki). Drive all the way passed the school (Map C) until you reach a lane on your left (Map D). You would see sign boards showing you the way to Suffolk House, Malaysian German Society and Penang Japanese Association as mentioned earlier. Turn left into this junction and you would see another few signs leading you to Suffolk House (Map E). Drive further in and you can see a river/bridge on left with lots of parking spaces (Map F). Park your car there and walk into the compound.

SUFFOLKHOUSEMAP

Name: SUFFOLK HOUSE RESTAURANT @ SUFFOLK HOUSE
Address: 250 Jalan Air Itam, 10460 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-228 3930
Opening Hours: 12.00noon-2.30pm (lunch), 2.30pm-6.00pm (tea), 7.00pm-10.30pm (dinner)
GPS: 5.410361, 100.306183

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: 8.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

SET DINNER AT MAA ROY THAI SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

Posted by crizlai On September - 15 - 2010

สวัสดีครับ. Sa wat dee krap! Welcome to another Thai food adventure within the month. LOL! Ever since the day I set foot on Tree Monkey @ Tropical Spice Garden, Terrace Bay Restaurant (Copthorne Orchid Hotel Penang), here I was at another Thai restaurant outlet at Krystal Point, Penang – Maa Roy Thai Seafood Restaurant. The outlet is managed by another partner from the existing Maa Roy Thai Food Restaurant (6A, Lorong Abu Siti, 10400 Penang. Tel: 604-227 8616), Ms. Patricia Phannluck Lim. The halal-certified restaurant served up to almost 50 types of authentic Thai dishes daily.

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Since the restaurant is located within the vicinity of many offices and factories, you would expect to see a few interesting set meals for lunch and dinner. You can have a single pax lunch meal on weekday at RM6.90+. There would be 8 sets to choose from with a free ice lemon tea. There would also be the 2 pax lunch set meal (with different set dishes daily), which would come with 3 dishes, 2 rice and 2 lemongrass drinks (weekdays: RM25.90+, weekends: RM29.90+). As for dinner, there would be 2 different family set meals available – Set A: 3 dishes + 2 rice + 2 Chinese tea (RM37.00+) and Set B: 4 dishes + 4 rice (RM55.00+).

As there were only two of us, I tried out the RM37.00+ set which came with Green Curry, Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables and Deep Fried Chicken with Lemongrass, 2 rice and 2 Chinese Tea. The Green Curry with chunks of chicken slices was good. The dish was flavorfully prepared with a strong hint of Thai basil and red chili slices as garnish. The color may look mild for many but it did give a good punch of spiciness. The Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables (other than the other option of Thai Kangkung which my friend would not take) tasted normal in some light gravy but there were lots of abalone mushroom slices added in. The Deep Fried Chicken with Lemongrass was normal too as it was a bit dry to my liking. Slices of mildly marinated and deep fried batter coated chicken were stirred together with some deep fried batter coated lemongrass slices. Somehow, the fragrance from the lemongrass did not seep into the meat. It tasted just like plain batter coated chicken slices. I would rather have some lemongrass slices stir fried in some butter and then mixed with the chicken slices to get the moist in the dish and the necessary flavors. Luckily, there was the Thai chili sauce to save the day. The Chinese Tea might taste foreign to some as there was a strong hint of screwpine leaves (pandan) added in.

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As we have two guys here with big appetite, we also ordered some additional dishes. The Pineapple Fried Rice (RM7.00+) which came in the shape of a heart was rather mild. It came with turmeric flavored rice fried with some prawns, mixed vegetables, pineapple, chicken and egg. As for taste wise, it was fine, except that I would prefer a spicier version with more signs of riper pineapple cubes. Next was the Pandan Chicken (RM7.50+ for 3 pcs). The spices used on the chunky pieces of chicken meat and the pandan emitted fragrance were just nice except that it was a bit too salty to be taken alone. I suspected that too much salt has been added into the coconut milk used in the preparation. Lastly, we had Tub Tim Krob (RM3.90+) as dessert. We had two bowls with lesser ice, served with red jelly coated water chestnut cubes, jackfruits in creamy coconut milk. Although the chef was careless enough to miss out the syrup, the sweetness from the water chestnuts and jackfruits blended in well with the creamy coconut milk.

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There would be a 5% service tax included in all orders. Psss… That was not the end of the story. I had more craving for Thai food. The following day, I had visited Lang Sae Lee Thai Restaurant at Tan Jetty, Weld Quay, Penang, which had gone through a beautiful facelift with more than 15 tables now, more choice of dishes and more friendly service staff to handle the increasing multi-national patrons. The Thai dishes here are still as delicious, cheap and traditionally cooked as ever even with a bit of price increase.

If you are driving from town towards Bayan Lepas, upon seeing Queensbay Mall, keep to your left and go over the flyover leading to Bayan Baru (Lebuhraya Sungai Nibong). Drive until you reach the traffic lights at the roundabout and make a U-turn back to the other side of Lebuhraya Sungai Nibong. Turn left into the first junction you see and drive a bit further and you would see the restaurant on your right, between TCE Tackles Sdn. Bhd., a vacant lot and Chin Dental Surgery.

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Name: MAA ROY THAI SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Address:
B303-1-27, Krystal Point, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-643 0752
Opening Hours: 11.00am– 3.00pm, 6.00pm-10.00pm
GPS: 5.331544, 100.297069

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)

For more information, please visit <http://www.tourdirections.com.my/directory/>. Planning your Penang food tour? TourDirections Penang helps you discover Penang cafes and restaurants, Penang hawker food, Penang budget hotel and Penang homestay at TourDirections.com.my.

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