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Archive for the ‘penang’ Category

CECIL STREET CHAR KOAY TEOW

Posted by crizlai On March - 5 - 2009

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If you want to know the success story of a Char Koay Teow stall, you should check out the stall located at a corner shop lot named Kedai Makan Teong Ah along Lebuh Cecil (Cecil Street). I had to wake up real early this morning at 5.00am just to make an effort to visit the place and have a chat with the cook, Mr. Leow, who has started frying Char Koay Teow as early as 1967. For the past 40 years, Mr. Leow has been frying along the roadside of Magazine Road before he was forced to move out due to a road expansion project. Currently, he has shifted to this new premise for more than a year.

Why is Mr, Leow’s Char Koay Teow so unique and famous that he has to open up for business so early in the morning? It’s very obvious as his Char Koay Teow and Fried Rice has been the hot favorite of many factory workers. By the time I was there at 5.40am, he had already packed more than 50 packets of Char Koay Teow and fried over 20 plates. What is so different in his style compared to some of the famous ones around? He uses almost the same ingredients as the others but there’s one hidden secret. He uses charcoal and his high heat frying skills that I could hardly take a proper shot from his hyper motions.

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Another reason is that his Char Koay Teow is believed to be the cheapest within the whole of Penang Island. A plate of Char Koay Teow with an egg, three large prawns, cockles and some sliced Chinese sausage fried with some lard, bean sprouts and chopped chives cost only RM2.60. I had mine added with extra fresh prawns and it was only RM3.30. You can also opt for the Char Koay Teow fried with duck egg. It’s only RM3.

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The Char Koay Teow was not oily at all and it had a banana leaf laid on the plate prior to serving. Somehow, not many Char Koay Teow stalls are applying this method nowadays although this would give that additional aroma to the noodles. On top of that, the dish had the right saltiness, spiciness and a bit of burn flavor in it.

Since the Char Koay Teow was so delicious, I was tempted to try out the Fried Rice as well even though it was a bit too heavy for such an early breakfast. The price was the same as the Char Koay Teow but instead of the ingredients stated above, he used only rice, chopped char siew (bbq pork) and fresh prawns. The Fried Rice was indeed another good experience. The dish had that unique burn flavor again with a well combined taste to my liking. Every single grain of the rice was well coated with rich flavor. This is also a must to try out.

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If you would like to have many packets of takeaways, I would advise you to call him up prior to collecting. From my observation during the one hour of patronizing his Char Koay Teow stall, his handphone was like a hotline.

Searching for the Char Koay Teow stall would not be hard at all as it’s just right at the junction of the Cecil Street evening wet market (七條路巴刹). If you are coming from Jalan C.Y. Choy, it’s just right at the corner with a large signboard “Kedai Makan Teong Ah – 中亞茶室) as you turn right into Lebuh Cecil.

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Name: CECIL STREET CHAR KOAY TEOW @ KEDAI MAKAN TEONG AH
Address: 246 Lebuh Cecil, 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 016-485 8210 (Mr. Leow)
Opening Hours: 5.30am-10.00am (Closed Monday, 1st&15th day lunar calendar)
GPS: 5.407442, 100.329381

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

SIN HWA CAFÉ LAKSA

Posted by crizlai On February - 27 - 2009

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Laksa is another one of the great hawker dishes one should not miss if you were to be in Penang for a visit. Originated from the Peranakan (Baba and Nyonya) culture, this dish will come in two different flavors, namely assam (tamarind) soup base or lemak (in coconut milk) soup base. The fish used for this delicious delicacy may differ for each store as some may use ikan parang (wolf herring), belut (eel), ikan kembong (Indian mackerel) or ikan selar (yellow tail scad). Most commercially used would be the latter two as the wolf herring contained too many tiny bones to work with and eel would be rather expensive.

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The most common Laksa you will get easily throughout the state of Penang, either in Chinese, Malay or Indian styles, would be the Assam Laksa. The other not so commonly found would be the Laksa Lemak, a spicy version of fish soup base with the use of coconut milk. I found a few such stalls selling in Penang but I personally love the one served in Sin Hwa Café where the reputable Char Koay Teow stall is. What matters most in a Laksa dish is not the ingredients served but lies within the tastiness of the soup broth and the quality of the prawn paste used (heko). In a typical bowl of Laksa, you would get the laksa noodles, sliced cucumber, lettuce, onions, pineapple and mint leaves, garnished with sliced ginger flower buds (bunga kantan) and red chillies, topped with some diluted prawn paste (heko).

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Sin Hwa Café Assam Laksa is somewhat different as in taste as the cook would use tamarind juice instead of tamarind peels as some of the other stalls. It has just the right amount of sourness to my liking. Some ladies may want the soup to be a bit more sour in taste but as a guy here, I like it just the way it is with many spoonful of the yummy prawn paste. A normal bowl would cost RM3 whereas a larger bowl would be at RM4.

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The other version I had tried was the Laksa Lemak. On top of the typical serving of ingredients, it has that special spicy and milky taste that I like very much. The soup broth had the pungent taste of lemongrass, a hint of fresh turmeric and not too overpowering taste of coconut milk. This would be perfect for those who prefer a spicier dish and prawn paste lovers. The price would be the same as the Assam Laksa.

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You would be surprised if I were to tell you that the above two were not my most favorable choices, it’s the third choice – Laksa Assam Lemak. Yes, it’s a combination of both the soup broths. The best combination would be 2/3 of the Lemak soup and 1/3 of the Assam soup. You have to inform the seller on your preference as he would always combine half of each soup broth.

Please also take note that the Penang Assam Laksa and Laksa Lemak are totally different from those served in other states such as the Laksa Perlis, Laksa Kedah, Laksa Ipoh, Laksa Kuala Kangsar, Laksa Johor, Laksa Sarawak, Laksa Kelantan or even the Laksa Katong as some of these are actually a variant of Penang Curry Mee (a thicker coconut milk soup base). Moreover other ingredients used may include fried tofu puff, fried/hard boiled eggs, chicken meat, prawns, fish cakes, fish balls, char siew, and more.

The Laksa stall in also in Sin Hwa Café in Pulau Tikus. If you are coming from town along Jalan Burma, you would a service road after Lebuhraya Codrington on your left. That’s where the Pulau Tikus 7-11 branch is. Try finding a parking space there. If you can’t find one, you will have to come out of the service road into the main road and turn left into Jalan Moulmein (between two coffee shops). Drive further until you have reached a crossroad (Jalan Pasar/ Jalan Moulmein/ Persiaran Cantoment) and you will see a huge car park at a corner just opposite along Persiaran Cantonment. Park your car there and walk back up Jalan Moulmein, turn left and walk further up and you will see the stall within the premise of Sin Hwa Café.

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Name: SIN HWA CAFÉ LAKSA
Address: 329 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 017-471 7330 (Mr. Max)
Opening Hours: 10.30am-4.30pm (Closed Thursday)
GPS: 5.430656, 100.312400

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

SIN HWA CAFÉ CHAR KOAY TEOW

Posted by crizlai On February - 26 - 2009

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One of the more famous hawker dishes in Penang would be the Char Koay Teow. Everyone, regardless locals or tourists would swarm around these fragrantly fried koay teow (he fen or rice cake strips as some may call the noodles) stalls at any time of the day. In Penang alone, there are many versions of Char Koay Teow. Some would be fried dry whereas some would be cooked in a rather wet method. The ingredients alone differ from stall to stall. The basic ingredients would be the noodles, shrimp, bean sprouts, chives and cockles fried with special sauce with the option of added chili boh, chicken or duck eggs. Nowadays, with the competition from so many stalls, you can have other options such as squids, Chinese sausages, fish cakes, mantis prawns or even large king prawns. You would be amazed with what other seafood they would be adding in next.

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One such famous stall would be the one situated along the heavily traffic area of Pulau Tikus – Sin Hwa Café Char Koay Teow. For a few generations, the household members of this well known stall in Penang has been frying out some good Char Koay Teow ever since they had moved from the Jalan Gottlieb food stalls decades ago. With the main stall still within the premise of Sin Hwa Café in the early evening and another stall located in the Pulau Tikus Market Street Food Corner at night, many people have been patronizing them ever since. A normal plate without egg would cost you RM3, with egg would be RM3.50 and with duck egg at RM4.

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I visited the main stall recently to check out whether the taste had changed since it is now managed by the 3rd generation. The ingredients still maintained the same with the similar quality of lard oil, taste and spiciness but the style of cooking has differed quite substantially. Here’s what I was served.

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Due to the cooking style and the amount of heat applied (wok hei) during the frying process by another new generation member (the grandson of the original seller to be precise), I personally felt that the taste was a bit out from what I had tasted before. It was not as dry and fragrant as before. On top of that, the noodles were not loosened up well. Certain parts of the noodles were still stuck together, thus were not evenly flavored. Other than that, everything else was fine. I hope the cook would take note of this minor hiccup so that his client won’t be further disappointed.

Sin Hwa Café is located along a heavy trafficked area. To find a parking space would be rather hard. I will show you where would be the best few places to park your car. If you are coming from town along Jalan Burma, you would a service road after Lebuhraya Codrington on your left. That’s where the Pulau Tikus 7-11 branch is. Try finding a parking space there. If you can’t find one, you will have to come out of the service road into the main road and turn left into Jalan Moulmein (between two coffee shops). Drive further until you have reached a crossroad (Jalan Pasar/ Jalan Moulmein/ Persiaran Cantoment) and you will see a huge car park at a corner just opposite along Persiaran Cantonment. Park your car there and walk back up Jalan Moulmein, turn left and walk further up and you will see the stall along the five foot way of the old shop houses. You won’t miss it if you have a strong sense to follow the emitted aroma from the Char Koay Teow.

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Name: SIN HWA CAFÉ CHAR KOAY TEOW
Address: 329 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 10.30am-5.30pm on weekdays
GPS: 5.430656, 100.312400

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

UNCLE BOB TAIWAN STYLED SNACKS

Posted by crizlai On February - 23 - 2009

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When you mention about Uncle Bob’s Taiwan Styled Fried Chicken (RM5), most frequent night market (pasar malam) goers would surely heard about them. Being the first to bring in this Taiwanese snack concept to Malaysia, Uncle Bob has been operating this business since 2002, spreading its mobile snack vans all over peninsular and east Malaysia. Well, being a successful pioneer in this food industry has always a drawback. More and more competitors have mushroomed all over the country plagiarizing this successful story. In fact, I had noticed that some competitors even offered more flavors than the existing original and spicy recipes Uncle Bob has.

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What made Uncle Bob so successful in this business? All you can see is just a piece of chicken breast meat or boneless drumstick coated with some bread crumbs, deep fried and sprinkle with some flavoring. That’s nothing special right? What many did not notice is that those chicken meat pieces have their skins and fat removed prior to the frying process. This is a healthier version? Maybe not but at least the consumption of fat would be lesser than most of the existing fried chicken stalls around. Uncle Bob has just two flavors to their bite sized crunchy chicken cutlets, namely original and spicy. The spicy ones were the most sought after.

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On top of the smooth selling product stated above, Uncle Bob has its Research & Development (R&D) group based in Taiwan to find out more products that would the local market. One of the products that launched not long ago was the Sweet Batter Coated Cheese Hot Dog Stick (RM2). It has a jumbo sized cheese filled sausage coated with a specially formulated batter and deep fried to golden brown. The end product has a sweet tasting crispy crust that tasted a bit sweeter than our local pancake (ban chang kuih) base.

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The combination of the sweet and salty taste of the product complimented each other well. The best part would be squirting out some existing juice from the sausages as well as some melted cheese oozing out of your mouth. This is such a cool to snack while exploring more bargains in the night markets!

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As the vans would be on the move each day, I could not provide a specific location map or GPS reading for you to track them down. Maybe a detailed venue of the night markets each day (Penang Island and Mainland) would ease you more in your food hunting expedition. Gook Luck!

Name: UNCLE BOB TAIWAN STYLED SNACKS
Penang Area Contact: 013-4316868 (Mr. David Yong)
Penang Mobile Van Whereabouts: 016-459 4433 (Nee), 016-481 6963 (Wei)

PENANG – ISLAND (NIGHT MARKETS)
Monday– McCallum Street (Opposite Li Tek School entrance)
Tuesday -Tanjung Bungah Market (Next to Bus Station/Market)
Wednesday– Farlim Padang, Air Itam
Thursday-Paya Terubong, Air Itam & McCallum Street (opposite market)
Friday-Taman Kheng Tian (off Van Pragh Road/Hamilton Road)
Saturday-Sungai Dua (opposite Tesco Extra)

PENANG – MAINLAND (NIGHT MARKETS)
Wednesday-Kampung Juru
Thursday-Kampung Valdor
Friday-Taman Permata
Saturday-Mega Mall Food Court (Pacific Shopping Centre) & Kuan Nam Coffee Shop (Chai Leng Park)

OTHER STATES IN PENINSULAR & EAST MALAYSIA
Please check out here for the whereabouts of the mobile vans for each state in Malaysia.

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

AUTHENTIC MALAY CUISINE IN THE HEART OF GEORGETOWN

Posted by crizlai On February - 19 - 2009

Note: This restaurant has changed management in 2010. The original owner was said to have shifted to KL. Her where about is unclear.

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“Simply Irresistible! Aromatic! Colorful! Fresh! Delicious!” These were the words that shouted out from my mind when I first stepped into this barely 5 months’ old authentic Malay cuisine restaurant right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Georgetown, Penang. Kuali-kuali Café, as the restaurant was named, took over the former Craven Café premise located at the junction of Jalan Dato’ Kramat and Jalan Macalister and had since grown to be a favorite eating place for Malay cuisine lovers from all parts of the island as well as tourists. I even saw some factory workers in uniforms from the Bayan Lepas FTZ area patronizing them.

A brainchild of a former St. George’s High School girl, Cik Sharifah Haslina, together with her husband, Encik Mohd Sophian, catered to the needs of its customer from breakfast until supper. As for breakfast, they would prepare some simple dishes such as Nasi Lemak (Steam Coconut Milk Rice) served with fried anchovies, eggs, sliced vegetables and a few types of curries or you can also try out their ingredients filled noodles such as Bee Hoon (rice vermicelli), Mee (yellow noodles) and Koay Teow (rice cake strips).

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The breakfast dishes may look simple but the taste was great. What impressed me more was their spreads for their lunch and dinner, served with plain hot rice or occasionally with tomato rice. Could you imagine having around 60 dishes served in cute looking mini woks and rattan trays under that rustic village style attap roof buffet line? This would surely be a great experience for many as you would only get this type of buffet spread at the hotels. Moreover, most of the dishes were not as spicy hot as their fiery looking colors and they do change a small percentage of their dishes daily.

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As there were just too many dishes to share you here, I would just brief you on some of the dishes such as their appetizing ulam (Malay salad), seafood, poultry and soup. Let’s start with the salad part. There were many varieties of fresh vegetables and wild herbs served with two types of dressing. One was the Sambal Belacan which has pounded red chillies, chilli paddy, lime juice and some toasted shrimp paste powder. The other was another diluted dressing that would go well with grilled fish. The dressing has some cut red chillies, chili paddy, big onions and tomatoes mixed with some lime juice. Both dressing complimented the vegetables as well as the dishes real well.

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Do you know that before I went into the restaurant, there was this man outside preparing some grilled fish? The scent coming from the smoke got me even more prepared to jump right into the many varieties of fresh fish dishes they have in there. From the look of the tender yet juicy grilled stingray pieces, you can be assured of its freshness. Even the stuffed hardtail mackerels (ikan cencaru) and chubb mackerels (ikan kembong) had those crystal clear eyes.

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I can say that they sure know how to prepare their seafood dishes well and with different combination of spices and ingredients. I was surprise to see many seafood dishes that I had not taken for a long time such as the Cockles Salad and Salted Fish Curry. On top of that, the taste of each individual fish curry had its own unique flavors. There were just too many to taste out at one visit. Maybe a slide of the seafood dishes would prove me right.

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The poultry section was also impressing. They have so many options from a simple Beansprouts with Beef Stomach Salad, Indonesian Dry Beef Curry (Rendang Minang) to their house specialty such as the Red Curry Chicken (Ayam Masak Merah) and Village Style Fried Chicken. The delicious Village Fried Chicken was crispy, a bit like a spicier KFC Original Chicken.

POULTRY

If you feel that there would be too much of seafood and poultry dishes in your meal, you could always check out their little vegetarian corner. There would be around 10 dishes such as tofu, mixed vegetables, and many assorted vegetables cooked in different styles to meet your desire.

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Do also watch out for their popular demanded Beef Bone Soup (Sup Tulang Lembu). The aromatic smell of the piping hot soup and the tender meat on the bone is a sure must have dish if you love thick and flavorful soups. Each bowl would cost between RM4.50 to RM6, depending on the amount of meaty bones you have scooped.

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Well, it took me quite some time to study all the dishes in the restaurant but it’s worth the effort to know more of these wonderful authentic Malay cuisines. I ended up with a plate filled with the different types of gravy to try out their cooking style. Moreover, I had a piece of Chicken Thigh cooked with Sweet Dark Sauce, some Turmeric Fried Tofu cubes, Indonesian Dry Beef Curry and a piece of Onion Omelette – all for only RM5. It’s cheap right? You should try to make a visit there and I can assure that you would not regret the experience.

Note: If you are real adventurous to try out all the gravy – Do not put too much as my plate of rice ended up with too much oil. But then, I did finish to the last bit as the food was simply too delicious. Another thing to take note would be the visiting hours. The best time would be 7.30am for breakfast, 11.30am onwards for lunch as all the food would be out hot and fresh. They do not cook more dishes for dinner. The dishes would be whatever left during lunch but you can always order other items such as fried rice, noodles soup, etc.

MYMEAL

Although the restaurant was located at a heavy traffic area with quite limited parking areas, you could see it filled up with customers any period of the day. It would not be too hard to spot the place as the restaurant would be located just at the junction of Jalan Dato’ Kramat and Jalan Macalister. Prominent landmarks to watch out would be the GAMA Supermarket and KOMTAR.

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Name: KUALI-KUALI CAFE
Address: 2 Jalan Dato’ Kramat, 10150 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 7.00am-12.00am (Mon-Fri), 7.00am-4.00pm (Sat)
Contact: 016-426 2184 (Cik Sharifah Haslina Mufazzal)
GPS: 5.413997, 100.328167

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

SAM HUI CAFÉ @ PRANGIN MALL

Posted by crizlai On February - 12 - 2009

UPDATED 16 MARCH 2009: The Sam Hui Prangin Mall has ceased its operation and had moved to the ground floor of 1-Stop Midlands Park. Will the standard of the food still maintain as good as in Prangin Mall? You would have to find out yourself. 😛 (More updates on their main branch below – 15 February 2009)

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The legendary 70’s Hong Kong actor/singer Samuel Hui (Sam Hui) has a food franchise business in Penang? Generally, this is what I have heard from some of the older generations around here. Well, the proprietor is definitely named Sam Hui, a Malaysian. You would not get him to sing to you with his unique voice or break any humor but he would surely impress you with his range of Hong Kong style cuisine. I have tried out one of the franchises recently and was really impressed by their choices of food, tastes, food presentations and pricing. It was in fact better than some of the known Hong Kong style restaurants around town.

The Hong Kong Style Tong Por Pork Rice (RM5.50) tasted real good. It may look like a plate of normal economy rice with some meat and vegetables but one bite into the sliced meat and you would be asking for more. The meat was nicely stewed until soft and tender with their special fragrant herbs and spices. It would just melt right in your mouth. It would have a stewed egg and some vegetable to balance off the meal.

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Their Orange Fried Fish Rice (RM6.80) was also quite unique. It has quite a generous amount of deep fried tempura based fish slices cooked in mild spicy orange sauce and topped with mayonnaise, served with rice and accompanied with some salad. The taste would suit any ages.

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You could also try out their Sharks Fin Gravy Rice (RM7). This is another wetter version of rice served with a generous amount of shark fins and fried baby anchovies. The gravy was nothing more than some rich broth with some beaten eggs. It tasted quite normal to me except that the fried anchovies did bring out some fragrance in the dish. Moreover, I was quite skeptical about the amount of shark fins given at such a low price. It could well be mock shark fins as the bite was not as chewy as the real ones. Well, at least some sharks were spared in this process. LOL!

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I also tried out their Shanghai Noodles with Dried Tong Por Meat (RM5.50). The juicy meat slices were as great as mentioned above and the noodles blended in well with the Tong Por meat gravy and a hint of sesame oil. The Shanghai noodles tasted like a combination of ramen and pan mian. It has a springy sensation and tasted real nice.

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You should also try out their salad and lighter snacks such as the fried and soup based dumplings, spring rolls combined with different salad dressings. I quite like the Deep Fried Breadstick with Pineapple Salad (RM6.80). Each piece of the sliced breadstick or commonly know as You Tiao or Chinese Crullers were stuffed with some prawn paste and deep fried until golden. The crunchy yet delicious breadstick slices (10 pieces) were then laid on some fresh green lettuce and topped with some pineapple salad and fresh carrot strips. This is a must to have.

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The café do also serve Siew Long Bao (Little Basket Dumpling – 6pcs) for a mere RM9. Each piece of the dumpling contained some soup with seasoned minced meat mixed with some chopped Chinese celery. Watch out when you take these dumplings as you might spurt some of the juices at your friend. LOL! Anyway, I found those served here to be quite fine except for the minced meat which has a bit too much of corn starch added, making the meat a bit too soft. On top of that, the accompanied black vinegar with ginger strips was a bit too diluted for my liking.

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The café do not have many choices for desserts as there were only three options such as Sweetened Barley with Egg and Tofu Skin (RM3), Red Bean Paste (RM3) and Fruit Cocktail with Herbal Jelly (RM3.50). I managed to try out the Sweetened Barley with Egg and Tofu Skin. The barley broth was mildly sweetened with rock sugar, accompanied with some barley grains, dried tofu skin and a hard boiled egg. This is an ideal dessert for a hot and humid weather.

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Overall, the place served some good food at a reasonable price and without any taxes added onto your bill. They also have a few unique ice blended juices such as Markisa (Indonesian Passion Fruit) and Red Plum for you to try out. There are just too many items to introduce here. I will just attach their order menu to let you have a better idea of what they have. You can just click the photo to see the enlarged version.

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Although the location of the café was at a secluded area of the mall, it’s actually quite easy to find the place. Try to find your way to Prangin Mall Atrium A (where Bread History, Secret Recipe, Starbucks, 7-ELEVEN, etc are). Use the main bubble lift to level 2. Look out for the striking S&J orange signboard or Digi yellow and blue signboard. Immediately after these two shoplots, you would see the café located along an inner lane between the Chocolate Gift & Souvenir and Glantz shoplots.

SAMHUIMAP

Name: SAM HUI CAFE
Prangin Mall Branch:
Level 2-30, Atrium A, Prangin Mall-Komtar,
33, Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong, 10100 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 11.30am-9.00pm
Contact: 016-453 0350 (Mr. Kelvin Khor)
GPS: 5.414814, 100.331286

You can also check out their main branch located within the 1-Stop Midlands Park Centre in Pulau Tikus. Just walk into the main entrance of the mall (Jalan Burma). The café is at level 2 on your left.

1-Stop Midlands Park Branch:
488B-2-26, Level 2, 1-Stop Midlands Park Centre
Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 11.30am-9.00pm
Contact: 016-458 2979 (Mr. Sam Chong)
GPS: 5.433139, 100.306547

UPDATED 15 February 2009: I thought after having some reasonably nice food at their Prangin Mall branch, the food at the main branch would be even better. My whole family was extremely disappointed with the taste and quality of the food served here. It was real embarrassing to me. To me, it should not the main excuse of us being the earliest patrons there. Moreover, the rude service of certain staff had added to the wound.

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The five of us had ordered 5 different dishes and none of those ordered met our expectations. The taste for Shanghai Noodles with Tong Por Meat (RM5.50) was totally different compared to the one I took from the other branch which was filled with flavors. Except for the Shanghai noodles, the meat was hard and the gravy was so diluted with hardly any herb taste in it. The Kimchi Noodles (RM5.50) was a disaster. The wantan noodles used was soggy and the soup was rather tasteless except for the mild chili flavor. The Guangdong Crispy Noodles (RM5.50) was still fine but it was not the best around. It lacked of fragrant. The Pork Rib Rice (RM6.00) was a laugh. It was merely some sliced pieces of pork chop and it was so chili hot that it won’t fit the taste bud of a child. It’s supposed to be sweet and sour and not sweet and spicy. The last order which was Hong Kong Style Roasted Pork Rice (RM5.50) got me dumbfounded. I expected the dish to be somewhat different in taste but ended up with some roasted pork slices fried with fermented beans. I could have cooked that myself instead of visiting a restaurant just for that.

Overall, the food here is way below par compared to any of those roadside stir fry stalls. I would expect the café to look into a better qualified chef than to simply serve the public with such kind of food. If the other branch can provide quality food, why can’t the main branch? I might be wrong in this review but with two seasoned cooks, one elderly father and two children complaining, something is just not right. The menu here was slightly different with an additional 10 set meals priced at RM15. You can click to enlarge the menu below.

SAMHUIPTMENU

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: 4.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 6/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

A FUN GATHERING AT LOUIS CAFE

Posted by crizlai On February - 9 - 2009

NOTE: THIS CAFE HAS CEASED ITS OPERATIONS

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If you are looking for a place where you can savor great food with rich and quality ingredients, you should take note of the latest Western and Asian fusion restaurant in Penang. Opened barely two months ago on 22 December 2008, Louis Café had impressed its customers with its wide arrays of dishes. Most of the dishes served are the own concoctions of their few experienced chefs. Thanks to Lingzie for arranging this gathering yesterday as some of us were able to review on their food quality, taste, flavor and ambience. I would say this is a cool place for group meetings, family functions and a romantic evening for love birds with their averagely lighted atmosphere.

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Let’s start the food introduction in proper sequence. Salads were first and we were served with three different varieties – Our House Rules Organic Salad (RM15), Classic Caesar Salad (RM18) and Scallop Salad (RM20). The Organic Salad was filled with lots of fresh greens and a mixture of apple cider, olive oil, some herbs and a hint of chopped lemongrass. This would be a great appetizer for those who love crunchy greens but I find the dressing a bit sour to my liking. Maybe a pinch of salt and some raw brown sugar might help pep up the flavor. The Classic Caesar Salad was loaded with lots of fresh greens, fried bacon bits, salmon strips, mixed herbs and garnished with grated Parmesan cheese and toasted croutons. I simply love this salad as it was rich in flavors except that I would prefer the croutons to be oil fried instead. The Scallop Salad was indeed another irresistible choice. On top of the fresh greens, the seared fresh scallops still maintained their juiciness. The searing definitely brought out the flavor in the scallops and with the special apple salsa sauce. This salad was one of the best I had tasted for ages. It even had some chopped onions, tomatoes, apples and chives for that extra bite.

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The next set was the soup served with some dinner rolls. We had the opportunity to try out some of the existing as well as newly created soup. There were all together 5 varieties which included Italianese Wild Mushroom Soup (RM10), Pumpkin Soup (RM9), Cream of Broccoli (RM9), Cream of Cauliflower (RM9) and Cream of Tomato (RM9). All the soups were creamy and tasty in their own ways. Except for my favorite Pumpkin Soup which came with some toasted almonds slices garnishes, I personally find that these could be further improvised by adding some bites into them such as toasted wild mushroom slices, oil fried croutons, chopped tomatoes as all the ingredients were blended too fine.

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We were then served with another 8 main course dishes such as the Vegetarian Cutlet (RM15.90), Classic Fish Cordon Bleu (RM25), Sirloin Steak with Red Wine Sauce (RM28), Grilled Lamb Chop with Peppercorn Sauce (RM22), Grilled Lamb Chop with Brown Mushroom Sauce (RM22), Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce (RM38), Pan Seared Salmon Steak with Dijon Sauce (RM30), Red Snapper with Cream of Tomato Pulp (RM25) and Baked Stuffed Chicken with Brown Mushroom Sauce (RM20). The Vegetarian Cutlet was unique as it came in the shape of a leaf. It was made from a mixture of buttered mashed potatoes, carrot dices, chopped onions, corn kernels, chopped broccoli, mixed herbs, coated with breadcrumbs and fried to perfection. This would be a great dish for those who like to have a meatless meal. The Classic Fish Cordon Bleu was another hit amongst us. Instead of red snapper fillet, Pacific dory fillet was used. The combination of the fresh fillet with filling such as ham and cheese, was so well balanced that it was gone within minutes. The Sirloin Steak with Red Wine was also a dish that got us drooling as the air flown Australian Striploin maintained its juiciness and tenderness after being grilled medium rare. The red wine sauce complemented the whole combinations perfectly.

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The Grilled Lamb Chop came in two flavors – Peppercorn Sauce and Brown Mushroom Sauce. Most of us preferred the latter as the former had a rather strong pepper taste which overpowered the natural lamb flavor. The Beef Tenderloin with Peppercorn Sauce was also nice except for the strong peppercorn sauce as mentioned. The Pan Seared Salmon Steak with Dijon Sauce was also nice combination except for the fillet which I personally find a bit too thick to allow whatever marinates to seep deeply into the meat. The Red Snapper with Cream of Tomato Pulp was grabbed up real fast too. The freshness and smoothness of the red snapper fillet blended in well with the accompanied creamy tomato pulp sauce. The Baked Stuffed Chicken with Brown Mushroom Sauce was another cool dish as the chicken thigh fillet had a whole cheese sausage stuffed inside, breaded and baked until golden. The brown mushroom sauce combined well with this dish.

On top of the main courses, we also had Spaghetti Arrabiata (RM16), Fettucine Carbonara (RM16) and Spicy Chicken Tortilla (RM15.90). The Spaghetti Arrabiata was nice for those who love a spicier version. I personally find the herbs and ingredients were a bit too spicy and over rich in flavors. The Fettuccine Carbonara was my favorite as it had lots of bacon slices, ham strips, chopped onions, sautéed garlic, buttered wild mushroom slices, mixed herbs, cream and grated Parmesan cheese which made the whole combination perfect. Instead of the fettuccine pasta, linguine pasta was used and this made each mouthful even smoother and flavorful. Spicy Chicken Tortilla was a surprise to us as it was not stated in the menu. The filling was marvelous as the chicken pieces and potatoes were mildly spiced with some curry spices and curry leaves. Each bite left us yearning for more.

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Since all of us were fully stuffed by the café’s management (Thanks to Ms. Teoh), I managed to try out one of the desserts which was the White Fungus with Ginkgo Nuts (RM5). The dessert was marvelous as the soup was mildly sweetened with red dates and rock sugar. The ginkgo nuts were cooked just right and the white fungus still maintained their crunchiness. You can also opt for their other desserts such as Bird’s Nest at RM45 per bowl or the Herbal Snow Jelly at RM10 per bowl.

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Overall, we enjoyed ourselves dining in the café. With the great Penang Floggers there, it was even more fun and exciting. There would be a 5% service tax applicable to all the meals ordered but you can always check with the proprietor, Ms. Teoh, for group discounts if you would want to hold some functions. Tour groups are always welcome. On top of the Ala Carte dishes as mentioned above, the café do have a different Set Lunch menu daily which consist of appetizer of the day, choice of main course, choice of beverages and free flow of ice cream at only RM18.90+. Set Dinners are also available with an additional soup of the day and the option to choose between beverages and fresh cut fruits at only RM26.90+. Moreover, they also have finger snacks such as Fried Chicken Wings, Deep fried Squid Balls, French Fries, Potato Wedges and Deep Fried Calamari Rings from as low as RM6. If you fancy some local hawker fares, you could also look into their Asian menu which has Seafood Singapore Bee Hoon, Seafood Fried Rice, Thai Seafood Tom Yam Bee Hoon Soup, Seafood Hokkien Char, Seafood Hor Fun, Seafood Ramen and BBQ Pork Ramen (between RM8-RM12).

Finding the restaurant would be easy but not prominently noticeable as it’s situated along a row of pre-colonial houses along Jalan Argyll. The best way to reach the café would still be from Upper Penang Road. Coming in from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah into Upper Penang Road where Hotel Continental, Hotel Malaysia, Cititel are, drive onwards until you see Veenai Odeon Cinema on your right. Turn right into the road, that’s Jalan Argyll. Drive on until you have reach the cross junction (Jalan Transfer/Jalan Argyll). Drive across Jalan Transfer and you would see the café just a few houses away on your left (directly opposite Mingood Hotel).

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Name: LOUIS CAFE
Address: 161-C, Jalan Argyll, 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 11.00am-11.00pm
Contact: 604-228 7729, 012-470 1666 (Ms. Teoh Chua Tee)
GPS: 5.421778, 100.330472
WIFI: Yes

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

Attended Floggers:
Criz Lai of Criz Bon Appetite
Lingzie of Lingzie’s Tummy Treats
CK Lam of What2See Online
Huat Koay of PenangTuaPui
Rebecca of The Nomad Gourmand
Steven Goh of Steven Goh dot com
Allen Ooi of Yummy Station
Gill & Jason of Gourmet Garden
Carrie of Cariso Delicacies Corner
Mary of Food Paradise
Bee of Buzzing Life
Mr. Lee of Kwong Wah Yit Poh

 

PANICKY IMPROMPTU DINNER PREPARATIONS

Posted by Criz Lai On February - 4 - 2009

In a Chinese family, serving “Lam Mee” or Birthday Noodles at a birthday celebration is important as the long noodles are meant to represent longevity in a person’s life. When I thought a simple noodle dinner with the family members to further celebrate my Dad’s birthday was fine, I had received news that there would be two more guests joining us. I got panicked. With all lethargy from helping out and cooking during the festive season, I had decided to just order some “Lam Mee” from a nearby stall, although not my favorite one. By the time I had received the call, it was already too late as the stall was closed. Help! What should I do now?

The dinner was expected to be around 6.30pm that day and it was almost 3.00pm here. When I thought the best alternative was to go around town to search for good food to compliment with the noodles, the results was none as all my favorite places were still closed for the celebration. My mind went berserk seeking for solutions. Should I cook up something? What have I left in the refrigerator that I can cook up in less than 3 hours? Luckily, I’m a person who would always keep my fridge well stocked or else it would be dooms day.

I rushed to the nearest shopping mall and grabbed whatever ingredients I needed for the rest of the meal. The noodle dish would need to be pepped up with flavors as the taste was not as I wanted. Even the soup needed some fine tuning. Moreover, the ingredients and garnishing were not that impressive to be served to my guests. I had to cut the meat slices smaller and halves all the large prawns that came with the order and marinate them again with some pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil and fry them with chopped garlic. On top of that, I had some pounded dried flounder to garnish the noodles as this pounded ingredient would give the noodle a unique fragrance. I then gave the noodles a final touch by garnishing with some scrambled eggs, chopped spring onions and coriander. Viola! The “LAM MEE” had a total makeover!

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One dish settled. The next was another headache as the clock was clicking real fast and I did not even know what would impress my guests. I needed to think of a dish that would require minimal cooking time. I grabbed some apples, pears, hami melon slices and cherry tomatoes that I had in the fridge and cut them into cubes. I then diluted some mayonnaise and mixed with some fine sugar, pepper, pasta herbs, milk powder and a dash of sesame oil. I folded in the fruit cubes. Since I had just bought some chicken fillets a day ago, I sliced them thinly and marinated the slices with some sesame oil, soy sauce, some grounded black pepper and ginger juice. I then coated them with some multi purpose frying flour and deep fried them to golden brown. These pieces were then garnished on the fruit salad with an additional sprinkle of mixed herbs. Here’s the masterpiece – Crunchy Chicken with Fruit Salad.

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Two dishes on the table sounded odd as three would be a great number for a Chinese family. Three means “San” which has a similar intonation and meaning of “alive”. Now what else could I cook to make up the number? I remembered having some roasted chicken in the fridge. Half a large bird would be enough for everyone but serving that plain would be quite embarrassing, especially in the eyes of my guests. Well, I had the bird chopped up into bite sizes. I then sautéed some chopped garlic in some oil, throw in some ginger slices and stir fry them until fragrant. I added in some soy sauce, a pinch of fine sugar, some pepper, some dark say sauce, some oyster sauce, some sesame oil and mixed them well in the wok. I then pour in some stock and let the chicken simmer for awhile. To thicken the gravy, I had used some corn starch. When the gravy thickened, I poured in some Chinese wine (Shao Xing) to add that special taste into the dish. I called this dish Braised Roasted Chicken in Wine.

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It was 6.30pm right on the dot when I heard someone came into the house. Phew! I had everything handled well except that I did not have time left to prepare desserts. To my surprise, both guests brought in an ice cream cake each. I was saved!

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I just hope that I won’t have to face such limited time again to come up with an impromptu dinner. It could really be stressful mentally and physically.

SET LUNCH AT SALSAS RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On February - 1 - 2009

It was another reunion meal and a birthday celebration for my Dad on the fourth day of Chinese New Year. Most of our chosen restaurants were either closed or fully booked on that day. To avoid any disappointments, we had booked a long table at the Salsas Restaurant at Hotel Continental for early lunch instead. The restaurant was indeed very crowded. Walking into the restaurant, you can feel the coziness of the whole setup. Here’s a glimpse of the whole place.

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Salsas Restaurant does not provide many ala carte dishes. Instead, it has 26 impressive set lunches in the menu, ranging from as low as RM13.50 to a higher range as much as RM27.50. Every single set lunch would come with Soup or Salad of the Day, Main Course, Coffee, Tea, Iced Lemon Tea or Fruit Juice, and Dessert of the Day. It’s quite a good money-for-value meal. Just click and enlarge the below photos to know what they have in their menu.

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Let us just look at how a typical set lunch at the Salsas Restaurant would look like. First you would be asked on whether you would wan coffee, tea, iced lemon tea or mango juice on top of the plain glass of water you would be served.

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They would also serve everyone with a hot toasted bun each with butter while waiting to the set lunch courses to start.

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We were given the option to choose between the Soup of the Day and the Salad of the Day. The Soup of the Day was Asparagus Soup. It was creamy enough for my liking. The Salad of the Day was some fresh lettuce and tomatoes with mayonnaise and garnished with toasted bread cubes. It was refreshing.

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We ordered the main course from 3 different price ranges in the menu. The first range was RM13.50. We had Double Jumbo Chicken Sausages and Grilled Dory Fish Fillet with Salsa. The sausages were good but a bit salty to my liking. The dory fillet was also good combined with the tomato salsa it came with.

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The next range was RM15.50. We had Baked Penne Pasta and Lamb Pepperpot. The pasta tasted great with lots of chicken cubes and creamy cheese. On the other hand, the Lamb Pepperpot was braised with the right herbs and had the tenderness I would like. This dish came with 3 slices of richly toasted garlic bread.

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The next range was RM18.50. We had ordered Grilled Sole Fish Fillet and Grilled Lamb Leg. The fish was fresh and it went well with the lemon crème and shrimp butter. It has some salty breadcrumbs garnished on the boiled cauliflower. It was very yummy indeed. Next was the Grilled Lamb Leg. The lamb leg was grilled well and the tenderness blended in real well with the accompanied salsa.

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The set meal ended with Dessert of the Day which consist a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a fruit cocktail and two mini cakes. It was nothing to brag about but the presentation was great.

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All the set lunches would come with a 10% service charge and 5% government tax. The total bill was RM162.73 for 9 persons. I would say it’s rather reasonable although the main course size was a bit too small to fill me up. I would surely visit them again to try out their other set dishes.

If you are driving down from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah into Jalan Penang, you will see the restaurant right at a corner within Hotel Continental’s premise. As the road there can be quite jammed up, I would advise you to park your car at the Red Garden Café parking lot just a block away and walk to the restaurant.

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Name: SALSAS RESTAURANT @ HOTEL CONTINENTAL
Address: Ground Floor, 5 Jalan Penang, 10000 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-263 3923
Opening Hours: 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30pm-11.00pm
GPS: 5.421928, 100.334470

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

REUNION EVENTS FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR

Posted by Criz Lai On January - 28 - 2009

(Warning: This is another long post to cover the many reunions within the last 3 days)

There were so many reunions during the recent Chinese New Year celebration that I had practically lost track of what I had consumed for the last 3 days. LOL! In fact, the meals may look simple but the preparations for all the yummy goodies could be real tedious and tiring towards the end of the day. Let’s just look at the simple beverage itself. Most people would just buy those package/can/bottle drinks to serve their guests. I, on the other hand would brew my own preservative-free beverage to quench the thirst of my guests. Who would resist a drink which would relax the body and purify the blood systems on a hot and humid day? It sounded simple right? Try preparing 20 liters and you would see the amount of sweat dripping furiously down your forehead for the next 3 hours. Haha!

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The beverage is mainly formulated by boiling with water a combination of special grade and/or first grade of chrysanthemum, honeysuckle, liquorice/licorice roots and minimal sugar. Chrysanthemum can be remedies for anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antihypertensive, clears heat, disperses wind, soothes the liver and improves vision. Honeysuckle can clear heat, detoxify, detumescence, improves vision, evacuate chill, cure hot poisonous swollen disease, ache subcutaneous ulcer, hot warm disease, blood dysentery, haemorrhoids, throat aching and fever caused by internal hot or external infection, etc. Liquorice roots are commonly used in herbal formulae to relieve a spasmodic cough, to prevent cavities and to treat canker sores or ulcers.

My family reunion dinner has since switched to steamboat gathering for quite a few years already as it would at least ease my Mum from cooking up too many delicious dishes which would require days of preparations. Well, preparing steamboat dinner could be real tedious as well… for me. It would start from the “simple task” of buying of all the fish and meat balls, seafood, vegetables, boiling of stock and arranging the many varieties of items on small serving dishes. By the end of the day, I was even too exhausted to eat, needless to say to shoot too many photos of the annual event. Just to summarize everything, we had 20 types of fish and meat balls, tofu, mushrooms, chicken meat, pomfret, prawns, cuttlefish, sea cucumber, fish bladder, 3 types of vegetables and spinach noodles and all of them subsequently ended up in a hot pot of gelatin filled chicken/pork bones stock.

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There were a few of the fish balls that would be worth mentioning here. One of them caught the attention of all my family members. “Gosh! Are you going to ask us to eat that disgusting brain-like thing?” Seriously, the way the fish balls were produced, they do look like brains from one angle. If you display it the other way, they looked like cute flower blooms. The fish balls came in two flavors, plain and spinach flavored. In fact, they were not as flavorful as I had expected. They would surely be out from my list next year.

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Another two worth mentioning would be the seafood tofu and cheese fish balls. The seafood tofu pieces were smooth inside with some blended seafood and the cheese fish balls had creamy cheese oozing out with every mouthful.

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That was part of my family reunion dinner on Chinese New Year eve as I do not have more photos to share due to exhaustion. The first day of Chinese New Year went on with the usual visiting to my relatives’ houses. How I wished if not for the economy downturn this year, I would have collected more $$ in the ang pows (red packets). LOL!

Well the next reunion was with Mother Nature. Coincidentally, the first solar eclipse of 2009 fell on the first day of Chinese New Year, 26 January 2009, between 4.30pm and 7.00pm and Malaysians were to be able to watch the eclipse partially. With the bad gloomy weather and clouds of dark clouds floating about, it was a disappointment. All I caught was a patch of sunlight hidden behind some gloomy clouds. Let’s hope I would not miss it again this coming 22 July 2009, where it would be the longest total solar eclipse (almost 6 minutes) of the 21st century in Anji (near Hangzhou and Shanghai), China. Malaysians would be able to watch it partially from 10.34am.

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The night was another reunion with my Singapore friends. It was at another hidden treasure on Penang island itself with cool breeze and nice soothing background music which brought back many fond memories. I won’t touch on that at the moment but you could have a glimpse on how beautiful the place was.

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The second day of Chinese New was another yearly reunion at my aunt’s place with beautifully cooked and rich flavored dishes to yearn for. Being a part of my demise grandmother who was a great cook, my aunt had learned a lot in pepping up great dishes to make everyone craving for more. The first dish was very local – Fried Belacan Chicken (Shrimp Paste Fried Chicken). In fact, this dish is very famous in the Northern part of Malaysia. I would share the recipe in another post. The secret to this recipe is that the chicken had to be marinated with the specific amount of shrimp paste in order not to have the overpowering taste and smell. Secondly, the marinated pieces would have to be fired in high heat to get the crunchiness on the surface while maintaining the juiciness of the meat.

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The next dish may look simple but it has the fragrance from the specially prepared fried wheat vermicelli (mee suah). It has cabbages, Chinese mushrooms, button mushrooms and large prawns in it. It was a hit amongst my family.

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Choon Pneah or Spring Rolls was next. The process to prepare this crunchy dish was indeed very time consuming as it involved a lot of delicate work of chopping, cutting, mincing and frying of the filling before being wrapped together with fresh crabmeat in square spring roll skins. These would then be oil fried until golden. You could image how long it would take to extract the meat from the steamed crabs too. We had two of these spring rolls each as they were too delicious. Even the special sauce served with the spring rolls was specially prepared by brewing special soy sauce with mustard powder and accompanied by cut red chilies. Now you should know why they charged so much for each roll in restaurants. Haha!

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Here’s a glimpse of how the filling and unfried spring rolls looked like prior to frying.

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There was also a bowl of very richly cooked soup for everyone. The stock itself was boiled for hours using more than 6kg of rib bones. The stock was later filtered and boiled with choice chicken drumstick pieces, together with carrots, jicama slices, mushrooms, ginkgo nuts, fish bladder and served with steamed meatballs. Every single spoonful of the rich tasty soup left a sticky sensation to our lips. It was indeed the greatest soup I had in ages.

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As the meal came to the end, we had a simple yet fulfilling dessert – Canned Longan served with Shaved Grass Jelly and ice cubes.

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I would surely look forward to the next gathering at my aunt’s place next year. I wondered what else she would cook up next. After all the feasting during this festive season, I guessed I would have to go for more exercises. Now I know why some of the food bloggers were so busy this season as most of then were so engrossed in eating and having the fiesta of their lifetime… LOL!

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