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VIETNAMESE STREET FOOD TASTING @ MISS SAIGON

Posted by Criz Lai On November - 16 - 2008

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It was a great experience for some of us here who had never tasted Vietnamese Street Food during the food tasting gathering organized by Miss Saigon, Vietnamese Cuisine at E-Gate, Penang yesterday. We were given the privilege to try out all the items in the pork-free menu prior to the launching of the promotion which would start this coming Friday to cater for those who would like lighter treats. There are all together 31 items in the newly promoted menu, ranging from summer rolls, exotic spreads, salads, rice noodles and sandwiches.

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To start off the event, we were presented with 10 different types of fresh and fried rolls with different kinds of sauces. Those dishes included the Traditional Northern Rolls (RM6.80) with prawns, Traditional Southern Rolls (RM7.80) with chicken slices, Farmer’s Egg Rolls (RM6.80), Mini Prawn Paste on Sugar Cane (RM10.80) to be wrapped in rice paper, Crispy Gourmet Seafood Rolls (RM9.80), Crisp Fried Hanoi Rolls (RM8.80), Fresh Vegetable Rolls (RM5.80), Southern Fish Rolls (RM7.80) and Classic Hor Fun Rolls (Beef – RM10.80, Chicken – RM9.80). Overall, the rice paper wrapped rolls tasted almost the same with lots of fresh vegetables except for the different types of meat in it. The ones that stood out and tasted great for my personal liking included the Mini Prawn Paste on Sugar Cane, Crispy Gourmet Seafood Rolls, Crisp Fried Hanoi Rolls and Hor Fun Beef Rolls.

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The next set of meals was the exotic side of the Vietnamese cuisine. We were presented with 8 dishes, namely the Cinnamon Beef Chunks La Lot (RM11.80), Grilled Chicken T-shaped Wings (RM9.80), Wok Fried Flower Chicken (RM14.80), Wok Fried Flower Beef (RM14.80), Spiced Grilled Eel Cake (RM12.80), Villagers Grilled Snail Cake (RM12.80), Street Style Salty Soft Shell Crabs (RM13.80) and Royal Seafood Skewer (RM10.80). The Cinnamon Beef Chunks La Lot was tender and juicy with that special taste from the Vietnamese spice leave. The Grilled Chicken T-shaped Wings was also nice as they were marinated and grilled to perfection with the chef’s secret BBQ sauce. Other than that, my preference would be the two Wok Fried Flower Chicken/Beef dishes. The taste of the Pergularia wild flowers sure did enhance the dishes which came with a bit of tangy and salty after taste. The Eel and Snail cakes were average. Both tasted like chicken burger expect that the snail version had a bit of springiness in them. The Street Style Soft Shell Crabs was quite nice too except that I found it to be a bit over salty to my taste bud. The Royal Seafood Skewer is nothing special compared to other BBQ skewer dishes but the salmon served was indeed fresh.

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The restaurant’s salad dishes were next on the list. We were served with 5 different kinds of salad namely their most recommended Sour Green Mango Salad (RM7.80), Miss Saigon Salad (RM9.80), Cold Glass Noodle Salad (RM6.80), Crunchy Papaya Salad (RM7.80) and Jelly Fish Salad (RM8.80). The dressing for all the salad tasted almost the same except for the Cold Glass Noodle Salad which has a touch of shredded ginger flower bud added. I love this salad most as it tasted like Yee Sang which would be served during Chinese New Year minus the crunchiness of the fried flour biscuits. The Sour Green Mango Salad and Miss Saigon Salad were also not bad in taste but I would prefer the chef to add in more fresh bean spouts as the dishes lacked of some crunchiness of fresh vegetables.

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The rice noodles dishes were served next. There are all in 6 dishes from the menu such as the Crunchy Eel Glass Noodle Soup (RM13.80), Villagers Snail Noodle Soup (RM13.80), Traditional Southern Beef/Chicken BUN (RM14.80/RM12.80) and the Traditional Vietnamese Chicken/Beef PHO (RM12.80/RM14.80). I found that the eel strips were a bit too small in size after being fried as I could not get the fish taste in it. I normally prefer fresh fish fillet in my noodle soup, although I do take some fried ones which were in a bigger chunks. The Villagers Snail Noodle Soup was not bad. Although the snail meat was not as thinly sliced as I would expect, it blended well with the sour taste of the soup. The soup tasted like our local Laksa minus the pungent taste of the soup. Even the chewy noodles were exactly the same as those in Laksa. Both the Traditional Southern Beef/Chicken BUN tasted great. They looked like our local “Kerabu” and tasted the same too. I quite like the chicken version as sauce blended in real well. The Traditional Vietnamese Chicken/Beef Noodles were normal but the beef version would be quite suitable for those who do not like the overpowering taste of beef.

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The last on the menu were the Frog Curry with Garlic Spiced Baguette (RM10.80) and Vietnamese Street Beef/Chicken Baguette (RM9.80). The latter was nothing but a part of a baguette filled with some beef and chicken cold cuts. The Frog Curry was worth mentioning as the curry was delicious and had a quite unique taste from all the herbs within. Even the garlic topped baguettes combined well with the curry.

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Overall, the taste for the Vietnamese street food could be quite an experience for many but I find the pricing to be a bit too steep for some of the items in the menu. If you are a frequent wet market customer, you would realize that the ingredients used in the preparation of some of the dishes would be around 30% of the price charged, excluding the rental, ambience and worker’s salaries. I would like to advice the management to lower to a reasonable price in order to let more people try out the Vietnamese food. 10% service charge is applicable to all orders and major credit cards would only be accepted for bill above RM50.

The restaurant is situated within the E-Gate building next to Penang’s Tesco along Jalan Tunku Kudin, Gelugor, Penang. It is facing the Jelutong Expressway and is just next to the Old Town Kopitiam.

SAIGONMAP

Name: MISS SAIGON VIETNAM CUISINE
Address: 1-01-15, E-Gate, Lebuh Tunku Kudin 2, 11700 Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 12.00pm – 12.00am
Contact: 604-377 6083, 012-402 2909 (Mr. Leslie Loh)
GPS: 5.376253, 100.315558

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

Other attendees:
Steven Goh from Steven Goh
Allen Ooi from Yummy Station
Michelle & Jason Law from Let’s Chat and Chew
PenangTuaPuis from PenangTuaPui
CK Lam from What2seeOnline
Gill & Jason from Gourmet Garden
Lingzie from Lingzie’s Tummy Treats
Allie & friend from Havenly Allie
Nicholas Chan from Shiok Or Not
Carrie Soon from Cariso Delicacies Corner

ROSLI NASI AYAM @ LORONG KULIT

Posted by Criz Lai On November - 14 - 2008

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The Malay version of chicken rice is totally different compared to the Hainanese Chicken Rice. Instead of roasting with some sauce on the outer layer of the chicken, they would coat the chicken pieces with a thin layer of batter and deep fried them until they become crispy. One of the nicer ones which I had recently was from a stall within the surrounding of the Penang City Stadium along Lorong Kulit. The stall has been there since 1995, serving their yummy chicken rice to all walks of people. The name of the stall is Rosli Nasi Ayam.

You have a choice of ordering the different parts of the chicken meat but as for me I would always like to have the chicken thigh. The Chicken Rice set will come with a large bowl of rice and a bowl of soup and it only cost me RM3.50. Surprisingly, the meat within the crispiness of the batter still maintained its tenderness and was very delicious.

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As for photography purposes, I requested for the specially prepared soy sauce and chili sauce to be separated. The rice which is fragrant and not dry at all also came with a bowl of chicken soup garnished with some sliced lettuce and fried onions.

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If you are driving from Georgetown towards Air Itam along Jalan Dato Kramat, you will reach a traffic light (The Patani Road Police Headquarter is on your left). Drive on until you have reached the second traffic light (Padang Brown is on your right). Drive on until you see another traffic light (Maybank is on your left). Turn left into Lorong Kulit and you will see the stall at the junction of Lorong Kulit and Persiaran Stadium. This place is where the City Stadium is and has a flea market from as early as 8.00am until 1.00pm.

ROSLINASIAYAMMAP

Name: ROSLI NASI AYAM @ LORONG KULIT
Address: Lorong Kulit, 10460 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 8.00am – 3.00pm
Contact: 016-433 2517 (Kak Min)
GPS: 5.412817, 100.313233

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

THAI STATION @ PRANGIN MALL PENANG

Posted by Criz Lai On November - 12 - 2008

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Some of the shoppers might not know that there is a Thai restaurant hidden in the more low traffic area of Prangin Mall, Penang. The restaurant, Thai Station Café & Restaurant at Atrium A of Prangin Mall is actually a subsidiary company of the HK Wong Kok Group of Restaurants. There’s a branch of HK Wong Kok at Level 3, Atrium B, Prangin Mall too.

Whenever I’m in Prangin Mall, I would drop by for some food or just savor some of their Thai desserts. Although this is not the best Thai restaurant in town due to their fusion way of preparing some of the dishes, this could be a great place for a quiet discussion. I have tried out a large number of their dishes even before I started my flood blogging such as their Kway Teow Nger (Beef Koay Teow Soup – RM7.30), Khow Phad Krapi (Shrimp Paste aka Belacan Fried Rice – RM7.50), Phad Thai (Thai Fried Koay Teow – RM7.50) and so on.

The recent one I had was their Phad See Eu (Stir Fried Hor Fun with Kailan aka mustard greens – RM7.50). The noodle was smooth but the mustard greens were a bit too old and fibrous. Luckily with a big serving and lots of pork slices make the overall taste quite passable.

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My friend ordered the Khow Phad Subprarod (Pineapple Fried Rice – RM6). It has a slightly spicy look compared to those we get from the local hawker stalls. I guessed they might have added some turmeric powder to make it so yellowish. As for taste, it’s just slightly above average although it had quite a lot of raisins, pineapples and chick chunks in the dish.

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We also tried out their Hor Mouk (Fish Mousse aka Fish Otak Otak – RM3.50). The fresh piece of fish fillet and the combination of spices were great. The only hiccup is that they did not use any wild betel leaves (daun kaduk) at the base, instead they used lots of Thai basil leaves (daun selasih). To me it’s fine as I love the unique taste of green curry. It might not be suitable for some.

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For dessert, my friend ordered the Tub Tim Krob (diced water chestnuts coated with red starch jellies, somewhat like the seeds of a pomegranate, diced jack fruits and served with sweetened coconut milk – RM3.90). The taste was great as it’s not too sweet as those I had taken in Thailand.

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I ordered their Ruam Mid (diced water chestnuts coated with red starch jellies, diced glass jellies aka leong fun, attap seeds in syrup – RM3.90). The taste is just mediocre.

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Overall, the food there is just slightly above average to my liking as I had got my taste bud accustomed to somewhat more authentic Thai cuisines. By the way, they do charge a 5% service tax. If you are in Prangin Mall, Penang, walk towards the entrance of the Parkson Grand Supermarket at Level 1, Atrium A. There are actually two entrances at each floor. If you cannot see the restaurant, it means you are at the wrong entrance. Try moving to the next entrance.

THAISTATIONMAP

Name: THAI STATION @ PRANGIN MALL
Address:
33-01-118A, 1st Floor, Prangin Mall, Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong, 10100 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours:
12.00pm – 9.00pm
Contact: 604-262 8080
GPS: 5.414464, 100.331683

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

YONG PIN RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On November - 11 - 2008

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You may not know but there are about 13 dim sum shops in Georgetown area alone. Some are newly established with great ambience and choices, whereas there are still a few older but well established ones that regulars would still frequent. One such shop ios the Yong Pin Restaurant located along Jalan Sungai Ujung, Penang. Instead of covering on the not-so-many varieties but delicious dim sum they have, let me share with you their yummy noodles.

One such noodles that I have not seen from other dim sum shop is their Fried Duck Yee Foo Noodles (RM5.50). The yee foo noodles dish was great with all the gravy from the stewed duck seeped right inside the noodles, making the whole combination very tasty. The restaurant only serves this wonderful dish on Friday and Saturday.

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Another noodle dish that’s worth mentioning is the Hong Tu Wo Mian (RM5). It came with some yee foo noodles cooked in some thick soup, somewhat like the sharksfin soup. It had some pork, prawns and beaten eggs in it. You can add in some black vinegar if you want it to be more sourly. The dish tasted great too.

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The next dish we ordered was the Sheng Mian (RM5). The crispy noodles was actually fried wan than noodles which were topped with some gravy, prawns, fish slices, pork slices and vegetables. This is another dish worth eating.

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Most of you might not be aware of Sunday Metro’s SMS Pick of the Best Dim Sum in Malaysia as published on 6 July 2008. Yong Pin Restaurant was voted as one of the top choices in Penang, as highlighted.

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This restaurant sure did provide some great authentic dim sum such as the Black Vinegar Pork Legs, Broiled Fried Chicken Legs, Fried Paper Wrapped Chicken and so on. Although the varieties are not as many as those bigger dim sum shops, there are quite a few of their steam as well as fried dim sum that’s worth trying out.

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Of all the dim sum that I had in this shop, I would never miss out their Prawn Rolls and Fried Water Chestnut Cake. The Fried Water Chestnut Cake is soft and fragrant with lots of finely sliced water chestnuts inside while the outer layer has a bit of crispiness. I would have two to three plates on each visit as I find them to be not overly sweet. Do try them out if you ever visit this place.

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If you are coming from Jalan Penang into Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong (road leading to KOMTAR/Prangin Mall), keep to your left and turn into the second road on your left which is Jalan Sungai Ujung. Find a parking space as the shop is just on your right along a row of shop houses.

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Name: YONG PIN RESTAURANT
Address: 11-B&C, Jalan Sungai Ujung, 10100 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours:
6.00am – 12.00pm, 7.00pm – 12.00am (Closed Monday)

Contact: 604-261 1355
GPS: 5.415989, 100.332175

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: 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)

RESTORAN AZIZAH (RESTORAN MAK LONG)

Posted by Criz Lai On November - 8 - 2008

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If you are in Georgetown area, you could always try out the kampung style cooking at Restoran Azizah, a subsidiary restaurant of the famous Restoran Mak Long in Bayan Lepas. This little Malay restaurant serves quite a variety of Malay dishes with rice at a very reasonable price. Some of the vegetable dishes would be as low as RM3.00, whereas fish would be charged according to market price. If you do not want to have rice with dishes, you could always order their fried rice and noodles which won’t cost you more than RM4, unless you order their special which would be RM1 additional.

Here are some of the dishes I had tried out in this restaurant. The Tom Yam Udang or Prawn Tom Yam (RM4) has 6 medium sized prawns, some fresh mushrooms and tomatoes. The dish was quite tasty and appetizing to start the meal.

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Next was the Sotong Goreng or Squid Fritters (RM4). The flour used was of a different kind. They were using plain flour which did not give the crunchiness I had expected. That was quite a disappointment.

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Sayur Campur or Mixed Vegetables (RM3.50) was next. Nothing to fuss or boast about as they did give quite a lot of squid slices there.

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I also tried out their Telur Bungkus or Wrapped Omelette with Minced Chicken (RM4). There were quite a lot of minced chicken, chopped onions and mixed vegetables cooked with a touch of tomato puree wrapped inside the omelette. This dish is normal but at least the filling and the omelette blended in quite nicely.

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As I saw many customers ordered their set fried rice, I decided to try out their Nasi Goreng Padprik Ayam or Padprik Chicken Fried Rice (RM4). I was impressed by the generous amount of chicken meat and vegetables given, considering the amount I had paid. As for the taste, it was a new experience as the gravy from the dishes blended in very nicely with the fried tomato rice.

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I was chatting with the person-in-charge of the restaurant on what were the most ordered dishes in the restaurant. He recommended me the above fried rice as well as the Nasi Goreng Special (RM5) which has a few more seafood added in. Maybe I can try that next time.

If you are coming from Jalan Penang into Jalan Burma, keep to your right and turn into the second road on your right which is Jalan Transfer. Drive on until you have reached the third junctions on your left (Jalan Dinding). That’s where the restaurant is located. You can always park your car along Jalan Dinding.

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Name: RESTORAN AZIZAH (RESTORAN MAK LONG)
Address: 162, Jalan Transfer, 10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 4.00pm – 1.30am
Contact: 604-641 4450 (Restoran Mak Long)
GPS: 5.419714, 100.330077

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: 7/10 (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)

BRAISED BEEF BRISKET WAN THAN MEE @ KEDAI KOPI KEAN LAI SENG

Posted by Criz Lai On November - 3 - 2008

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Nowadays, Braised Beef Brisket Wan Than Mee, a Cantonese delicacy, is getting to be quite scare in the list of hawker food available in Penang. The younger generation of hawkers today barely wanted to continue with this traditional yet delicious dish as it involved a lot of preparations. Choices of beef, mainly the brisket part (the lower chest area, above the shank, which overlies the sternum, ribs and connecting costal cartilages), were braised in some spices (eg. fermented red beancurd, fermented soy bean, etc.) until the meat became soft and tender. The braised beef is then topped on your chosen noodles with some soup broth.

Braised Beef Brisket Wan Than Mee (RM5) also known as Ngau Lam Mee has a more herbal taste compared to the usual beef noodles. Recently, I brought Steven and Allen to try out this dish in Georgetown area. You can opt for either the thick or thin Wan Than Mee noodles.


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If you are not adventurous to try out the Braised Beef Brisket Wan Than Mee, you can always choose to have the plain Wan Than Mee served with Char Siew and Chicken slices or you can even order an additional bowl of Shui Kow Soup (RM3 for 5 pcs). But I can assure you that the soup does not have the overpowering taste of beef, neither is the braised beef brisket.

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It is very easy to find this stall as it is strategically located along the roadside of Jalan Kampung Malabar off the main road of Jalan Penang. If you are coming from Upper Penang Road, just keep to your left. You would pass Jalan Chulia (Opposite Odean Theatre which aired Tamil movies). Just turn in the road on your left after that. You can see there is another coffee shop by the name of Kedai Kopi Ho Ping at the junction. The stall is just on your right next to this coffee shop.

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Name:
BRAISED BEEF BRISKET WAN THAN MEE
@ KEDAI KOPI KEAN LAI SENG
Address: 55, Lorong Kampung Malabar, 10200 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 11.00am – 8.00pm (Closed Monday)
GPS: 5.419103, 100.332319

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)

SUNSHINE BAY SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On November - 2 - 2008

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If you are not familiar with the dining places of Tanjung Bungah, you may just missed out this fine seafood restaurant there. From the front signboard “Kedai Kopi Sin Eng Huat”, it may look like another ordinary coffee shop but what lied within the premises is the Sunshine Bay Seafood Restaurant. Most people would just overlook this restaurant as it is out of convenience or not knowing that they do have a parking space behind.

Recently, I revisited the place with a friend. Instead of going for the usual noodles dishes that they have, we opted for dishes served with rice. The restaurant has many types of seafood available but their main specialties are steamed fish and baby stingray. Since there were only two of us, we chose their Spicy “Kam Heong” White Prawns (RM20 for 8 large prawns). The prawns were rather spicy with loads of big onion slices, curry leaves, curry paste and pounded dried shrimps. The dish was very appetizing except that I would prefer it to be a bit less oily.


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The Green Beans (Or Kooi Tao) with Dried Shrimps (RM6) was served next. Some chopped onions and dried shrimps were fried in dark soy sauce and then stir fried with fried green beans. I love this dish as the green beans still maintained their crunchiness.

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Next was the Royal Stout Fried Chicken (RM8). Choice pieces of chicken thigh meats were marinated well, fried and then cooked with some stout and ingredients. This dish is great. I won’t mind ordering this more next time. It tasted like spare ribs BBQ sauce but it has that unique taste that is rather hard to describe unless you try it out yourself. There’s no alcoholic taste in it at all. I guessed they might have used Royal rather then Guinness.

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The last dish was their Homemade Tofu with Soy Sauce (RM8), garnished with chopped spring onions. The fried tofu was real soft and the soy sauce was not too salty. Everything blended in real well except that I found the dish to be overpriced. It’s ridiculous to charge this amount as there wasn’t even any meat in it.

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Overall, I find the food here rather satisfying. By the way, they charged the rice separately but who would complain at 80sens each? Of course you won’t be charged any service or government tax in this type of environment too.

Going to the restaurant from town would be quite a headache as the place is on the other side of the road with a stone divider separating both sides. The easiest way would be driving along Jalan Tanjung Bungah towards Batu Ferringhi until you have reached the traffic lights of Jalan Permai (Vale of Temp). You can see Maybank at the corner shop lot. Drive on until you have reached another traffic light (about 30m away) and turn left into Jalan Chan Siew Teong to make a U-Turn. The restaurant is actually opposite Jalan Chan Siew Teong. When the traffic turns green, turn right and then left into a small lane next to the restaurant. There are ample parking spaces behind the restaurant. Alternatively, you can drive on after the traffic light and turn right into the Tanjung Bungah Floating Mosque to make a U-Turn. Be careful to watch out for oncoming vehicles. You can also park your car in Restoran Khaleel (next to the restaurant) but be prepared to pay RM2 as parking fees.

SUNSHINEBAYMAP

Name: SUNSHINE BAY SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Address: 569-B, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 6.30pm – 10.30pm (Closed Tuesday)
Contact: 012-473 7276, 016-468 9168
GPS: 5.466144, 100.279989

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: 8/10 (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)

CHILI’S @ G HOTEL

Posted by Criz Lai On October - 31 - 2008

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If you are in for a large portion of food served to you, then you should pay Chili’s located within the premises of G Hotel a visit. The restaurant has a long history in the food chain business as early as 1975 with its first restaurant opened in Texas, USA. Presently, it has over 1,000 restaurants all over the world. This Texas-Mexican influenced American food chain had woos many nationalities with their huge amount of food as well as free meals for children below the age of 12 years. Of course you would have to order at least two main meals to be entitled to this offer.

Chili’s offers a wide selection of food and beverages ranging from Specialty Drinks, Margarita Bar, Starters, Soup, Salads and Sides, Big Mouth Burgers, Sandwiches, Fajitas, Steaks, Grilled Entrees, Favorites and Desserts. They would also recommend the Lunch Favorites as well as the Top 5 New Flavors of all time.


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Recently, I was there for the birthday of my niece. We shared out some of the recommended items in the menu. The first dish that was served was the Quesadilla Explosion (RM22.95). It has fajita marinated chicken, corn relish, mixed chesses, cilantro, diced tomatoes and crispy tortilla strips, garnished with chipotle ranch drizzle, cheese quesadilla wedges and citrus balsamic dressing. Well, it tasted just like any common salad. There’s nothing to boast about except the serving was huge.

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Next was the Classic Nachos (RM21.95). The nachos have some thinly blended beans, queso and seasoned beef hidden under baked cheese and jalapenos. These were served with some mixed greens and sour cream. I found these to be too sour for my liking even without dipping into the sour cream. The nachos are best taken while they are hot as cold classic nachos would taste a bit out of this world.

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We also ordered the Fish & Chips (RM22.95). There’s nothing special about the crispy batter fried fish fillet served with lots of fries and tartar sauce at a first glance. Well, looks can be deceiving as the fish was real fresh and the crispy batter brought out the best of this dish. It’s worth the amount spent for this dish.

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The Southwestern Eggrolls (RM13.95) came next. There were some smoked chicken chunks, black beans, corn relish, jalapeno cheese, red peppers and spinach wrapped in a crispy flour tortilla and served with avocado dipping sauce. I found these to be real good as the combination of ingredients was just nice and the avocado dip blended in great.

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The next dish was the Crispy Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers (RM24.95) served with lots of fries, a sweet corn on the cob and topped with their special honey chipotle sauce. I found these to be just normal, if only they were to marinate the chicken with some herbs to get that extra flavor. Maybe it was the chicken breast meat that they were using that caused the dryness and blandness in the taste.

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The last dish from our orders was the BBQ Beef Ribs (RM46.95) served with lots of fries, sweet corn on the cob and topped with their special BBQ sauce. The dish tasted great, only if it was for a person who liked the “broiled” meat to come out from the ribs easily. No doubt the ribs were tender and juicy but it tasted like it was broiled soft and topped with some BBQ sauce. There was no charcoal burnt taste at all and it lacked the special aroma. I had tried better ones in Penang but the best still remained at Tony Roma’s in KL.

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Overall, the meal was rather filling and they do charge service and government tax (15%) into your bill. In order to reach this restaurant, just find your way to Gurney Plaza along Persiaran Gurney (Gurney Drive). You can see the restaurant at the Al Fresco (Gurney Walk) area between the plaza and G Hotel.

CHILISMAP

Name: CHILI’S @ G HOTEL
Address:
(G-05) G Hotel Penang, 168A Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-210 1111
Opening Hours:
11.00am – 11.00pm (Weekdays & Sunday)
11.00am – 12.00am (Friday & Saturday)
GPS: 5.437644, 100.310269

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

CIFU OMAR HOKKIEN MEE

Posted by Criz Lai On October - 30 - 2008

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As a Penangite, most Chinese would go for non-halal Hokkien Mee where the soup is pork based. Have you tried the Malay version of the Hokkien Mee (Mee Udang) before? There is this old house along Jalan Tanjung Tokong selling this yummy hawker delight solely manned by Pakcik Omar. There would always be endless stream of customers from all different races patronizing this stall on weekdays. Well, they would only open their business for 3 hours from 11.00am until 2.00pm daily except weekends.

The taste of the soup is different as it is chicken based. Moreover, it has the sweet taste of rock sugar and prawns. Even the color of the chili paste looked so mild and yet can be real fiery to taste. You can choose your noodles to be either koay teow, bee hoon, yellow mee or mixed. You also have choices of the meat to be either chicken, beef or mixed. My friend tried out the mixed koay teow and mee Chicken Hokkien Mee (RM3.30). The dish came with lots of chicken meat, some crab sticks, prawns, eggs and chicken gizzards. The serving was large.


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I ordered the mixed Chicken and Beef Hokkien Mee (RM3.30). The ingredients are the same as the above but with additional tender beef slices. The dish was great.

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They also do serve Fried Chicken Legs Stew. The taste is totally different compared to those sold in Chinese stalls where those chicken legs were stewed with garlic, dark soy sauce, soy sauce, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, pepper and sugar. The one sold here has ginger, carrot, mushrooms and dried chillies. Although I prefer the Chinese version more, who would complain paying just RM1 for 4 large pieces of chicken legs here? It’s dirt cheap!

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Just drive along Jalan Tanjung Tokong until you have reached the Island Plaza traffic lights. Turn right and then turn left into the service road where the Desa Tanjung shoplots are. Find a parking and walk towards the end of the shoplots. You would see an old house between Desa Tanjung and Ubi Food Court. That’s where the Malay Hokkien Mee stall is.

CIFUOMARMAP

Name: CIFU OMAR HOKKIEN MEE
Address: Jalan Tanjung Tokong, 11200 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 11.00am – 2.00pm (Closed Saturday & Sunday)
GPS: 5.451883, 100.305992

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

JIT SENG HONG KONG ROASTED DUCK RICE

Posted by Criz Lai On October - 27 - 2008

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Penang is one of the states where you can savor quite a few types of duck rice. You can have the Peking Duck Rice, Pei Pa Duck Rice, Braised Duck Rice and the Hong Kong Roasted Duck Rice. One of the famous one would be the Jit Seng Hong Kong Roasted Duck Rice situated along Lebuh Carnarvon. The sole chef cum owner, Mr. Lam, has been in this business for the last 3 decades, selling his freshly roasted duck rice daily.

Even before he opens up his business around noon, you can see that the whole coffee shop would be crowded with people. What makes his duck rice so unique that people would queue up for half an hour just to eat it? Firstly, the duck is real tender with so much of ingredients stuffed in it prior to roasting. Secondly, the skin of the duck is coated with his special sauce which would include some molasses (Ba Lei Ko in Hokkien or Melaco in Portugese). Thirdly, the portion served is very generous.

Most of the time, he would include a duck drumstick for a serving for two and above such as the photo below.


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On top of his famous roasted duck, he also has Roasted Pork, Roasted Chicken and Char Siew (Sweet Roasted Pork) topped with his special sweet bean sauce.

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Since the crowd was rather huge that day, I had decided to get some mixed combination takeaways with an extra bowl of rice. Can you imagine I had problem finishing the whole packet of rice? You hardly could see the rice with the generous amount of Roasted Duck Meat, Roasted Pork and Char Siew covering every inches of the rice. The whole pack cost me only RM5.

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If you are a keen duck meat lover, you should try him out. It’s worth the wait. On top of the never ending flow of locals, tourists as far as Australia and UK patronize his place regularly. You could also contact him for takeaway of a full bird. Roasted Duck would cost RM36-38, Roasted Chicken at RM18 and Roasted Pork or Char Siew at RM35 per kg.

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It is very easy to find this stall if you know where Lebuh Carnarvon is. If not, then move along Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong until you reach a traffic light. Pizza Hut is on your right. Keep left and drive forth until you reach the next traffic light. Turn left into Lebuh Carnarvon. The duck rice stall is just within the Star Hotel premise next to Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze (formerly known as Lebuh Hong Kong).

JITSENGDUCKRICEMAP

Name: JIT SENG HONG KONG ROASTED DUCK RICE @ STAR HOTEL
Address: 246, Lebuh Carnarvon, 10100 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-262 2172 (Mr. Lam)
Opening Hours: 12.00pm – 3.00pm (Closed Public Holidays)
GPS: 5.414319, 100.333386

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

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