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SENSATIONAL SPREADS AT T.G.I. FRIDAYS PENANG BRANCHES

Posted by crizlai On May - 23 - 2014

I’m sure T.G.I. Fridays (TGIF) is no longer a new name in the F&B industry as it’s an international chain of casual dining venues spread all over 58 countries. In Malaysia alone, there are 18 outlets in four major states such as Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor and Penang. Penang itself has two outlets located at Queensbay Mall and Gurney Paragon Mall. So what’s so great about visiting TGIF? It’s famous for mouthwatering American classics ranging from appetizers to memorable burgers and delicious desserts. It’s also a great venue to hang out with family and friends as their serving portions can be real huge, not forgetting its distinctive and different spread of choices on its menu.

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To start off, it would be great if you could order a starter to share out prior to waiting for your main dishes to arrive steaming hot from the kitchen. Great food would need some time to be prepared to perfection right? Let’s start with the Fridays Three-For-all (RM41.90++), a favorite amongst diners. It’s one big platter with their famous Loaded Potato Skins with beef bits (You can request to opt for chicken bits if you are not a beef consumer), Fried Mozzarella and their spicy Buffalo Wings, served with sour cream & green onions, marinara sauce and celery sticks with Bleu cheese dressing.

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The Americans love steaks and what would be the best than to order their recommended Australian air-flown grain-fed beef. The Sirloin Steak (RM47.90) was seasoned well and fire-grilled based on my preference of medium-rare texture. The steak was topped with my choice of black pepper sauce and served with my choice of 2 side dishes which were broccoli with garlic butter and cheddar cheese mashed potatoes. Other choice of sauces include wild mushroom butter and chimichurri pesto while side dishes options may also include grilled New Orleans corn cob, crispy fries, herbed rice and bean 7 broccoli blend.

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For a lighter and less meaty meal, you may also opt for their Key West Whitefish (RM32.90++), a mildly roasted whitefish topped with a sparkling citrus splash, served with seasonal vegetables and herbed rice. The tanginess of the sauce went well with the herbed rice.

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A meal won’t be complete minus desserts. Of course, I would surely go for their all-time favorite of Brownie Obsession (RM18.90++). The oozy warm brownie covered in chocolate-fudge and caramel sauce, served with vanilla ice cream was something any sweet tooth diner won’t miss.

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Overall, the dishes served at both the Penang outlets were up to par. The portions served were huge for an Asian appetite. Moreover, there were quite a lot of options even for burgers, pastas and desserts lovers.

Name: T.G.I. FRIDAYS
Gurney Paragon Mall Branch:
Address: Lot 1-32, Level 1, Gurney Paragon Mall, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-228 7554
GPS: 5.436491, 100.311398

Queensbay Mall Branch:
Address: Lot GF 131 & 139, Ground Floor, Queensbay Mall, 100 Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Lepas, 11900 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-641 3363
GPS: 5.334331, 100.306709

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

 

Kali Orexi! Bon Appétit! Welcome to the Greek Grandeur Promotion for May 2014 (1-31 May 2014) at Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang. Jr. Sous Chef, Chef Mohamad Bakri with the help of his team members. The Greek cuisine has a history of thousands of years with the usage of fresh ingredients from the land and sea from the Mediterraneans.

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We started with some appetizers namely the Greek Mezze Platter (希腊小吃拼盘) which consists of assorted vegetables, risotto and minced lamb wraps, crispy tortilla and three type of dipping sauces, namely tuna yoghurt, cheesy dressing and Madras curry mayo. It was a total experience for many as we hardly had this type of almost similar middle-east appetizer.

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We also had the Classic Greek Salad (传统希腊沙拉), a basic salad with olives, capsicum, tomatoes zucchini and feta cheese dressed in olive oil, herbs and a light sprinkles of salt. It was simple but yet refreshing. Sometimes, this dish is also known as Horiatiki Salata.

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We were also served with the Garides Saganaki (虾仁与番茄羊乳酪), another variant of Greek salad with added shrimps and a heavier usage of tomatoes. However, it was a bit different compared to the ones I had taken as ripened tomatoes were used instead to give the dish a more puree tomato like sweetness.

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Next on the list was the Avgolemono (希腊鸡汤与蛋), a Greek Chicken Soup with Egg Lemon Sauce. As for taste, it really has the flavors those Campbell’s canned chicken mushroom soup. The soup somehow lacked the sweetness from the added vegetables and some fragrant from the usage of more bay leaves. By right there should be some risotto like rice texture in the soup but they could have been blended and mixed into the soup. Though it’s just a simple soup to cook, some adjustments are needed to perfect this soup.

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Basically, the Greek Beef Bifteki (希腊铁板牛肉) tasted like the beef burger but a roll-up version. It had more herbs infused in it with a mild cheesy flavor from the added feta cheese. This dish was served together with the Spanakorizo. The Spanakorizo (Traditional Spinach and Rice/传统菠菜与米) on the other hand is a Greek vegetarian dish which has a Risotto creamy and al dente type of texture. As for an Asian who’s so used to consume a softer texture of steamed rice, you may need some time to get use to this dish.

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The main dish of Classic Greek Moussaka with Eggplant (希腊慕沙卡茄) is the Greek version of Lasagna-like dish with added eggplant. If you are a fan of lamb, you would surely like the strong flavors in the dish.

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For pie lovers, you would surely like the Spanakopita (Spinach Pie/菠菜馅饼). It was filled with spinach and flavored with some eggs and feta cheese. Combined with the buttery crust, it was one dish I would love to have while watching movies. Haha~ 😛

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Who said the Greeks never skew grill their dishes? One lovely dish would be their Greek Chicken Souvlaki (希腊鸡肉蔬菜串). The skews had small chunks of well marinated chicken pieces and vegetables and grilled to perfection. These were served with a condiment of sour mint sauce.

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As for dessert, we were served with Baklava (果仁蜜饼), a nice flaky textured dessert made from layers of phyllo sheets and chopped nuts plus some honey.

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There was also the Amygdalota (Almond Cookies/杏仁曲奇). However, all of us found them to be of a harder texture which made biting a bit tough without dipping in a cup of hot beverage.

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The Galaktoboureko (Greek Custard Pie/希腊蛋奶饼) on the other hand tasted like a grainy and soaked up butter cake without the presence of added phyllo sheets for that crispiness. Though it was not the perfect dessert to my liking, it had a zesty flavor with a very light touch of added spices.

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Overall, the dishes served in the Greek Grandeur Promotion 2014 would suit those cheese lovers more as Greek cuisine utilized quite a lot of cheeses, olives, olive oil, eggplant, zucchini, yoghurt, mixed herbs, etc.

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

GREEK GRANDEUR PROMOTION 2014 (1-31 MAY 2014)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM50++ (adult), RM25++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 4.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Festive Occasion: RM78++ (adult), RM39++ (child)
Weekend Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Friday & Saturday
Friday (Free Flow Friday with Wine): RM128++ (adult), RM48++ (child)
Saturday (Pirate Seafood Night): RM80++ (adult), RM48++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm):
Sunday – Tuesday & Thursday
RM50++ per pax
Wednesday (Wine & Dine)RM95++ per pax

For American Express, CIMB Bank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, MasterCard Worldwide, Maybank and UOB Bank card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Semi Buffet Dinner (Sunday to Tuesday & Thursday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Saturday) from 6.30pm-10.00pm.

The Swez Brasserie is located at the ring wing of Eastin Hotel, Penang (next to Queensbay Mall). If you are coming from Georgetown towards Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone via Bayan Lepas Expressway, do watch out for the Pulau Jerejak signboard (leading to Pulau Jerejak jetty). Ignore the turning and drive on to the next left junction. Turn left into Jalan Aziz Ibrahim and drive on until you a roundabout. Turn 3 o’ clock and drive on until you see a big Eastin Hotel signboard at the first right junction. Turn right and drive on. Park your car at the basement car park. Take a lift to the first floor lobby and you would see the restaurant there.

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

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

 

Sunday might not be the same again if you were to visit Four Points by Sheraton Penang to savor their Sunday Buffet in style. Under the leadership of the newly appointed Executive Chef, Israel Lazaroo, this Sunday Brunch would surely be a carefree family gathering for all to enjoy good times, great food and casual fun, whether within the indoor dining area or at the scenic alfresco outdoor areas. Furthermore, kids as well as young-at-heart adults would get to be in a carnival-filled ambience with ongoing activities with the presence of clowns and magicians. Priced at RM60+ (per adult) or RM30+ (per child 12 years old & above/per senior citizen 55 years old & above) per pax, there are many more discounts in store such as 20% off for Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) members and discounts for selected credit card holders as high as 45% off. You can check out the dining offers at the hotel’s website. Terms and conditions apply. Children below 3 years old get to eat for free.

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The layout for the buffet spread for the Sunday Brunch differs compared to many hotels I have been to. Dishes would differ from week to week on a rotation basis. At the Appetizer Section where you would have dishes such as the International Salad Bar with selected greens and choices of dressings such as Thousand Island, Mayonnaise, Italian, Herb Basil. On top of that, there would also be some pre-prepared salads such as Seaweed in Sesame Oil, Thai Chicken Salad, Beef Salad, Crab Stick Salad and so on.

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For a lighter eater, you would be impressed with their Live Sandwich Bar where you could create your own sandwiches. There would be a selection of breads such as Plain White, French Baguette, Whole meal and Croissant with selections of fillings and toppings such as Tuna, Eggs Mayo, Beef Bacon, Chicken Toast, Sardine, Smoked Salmon, Cheese, Tomato, Lettuce, Cucumber and more.

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Noodles lover would surely like their Noodles Station where selected hawker fare spreads would be available. The highlight for the day was Prawn Noodles, an impactful Penang favorite hawker dish filled with rich aroma and flavors.

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There would also be the “Under the Sham” station where you could get a quick bite of Mini Chicken Burgers, Mini Seafood Pizza and more.

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As for starter, you would have the Soup Station with Soups of the Day such as Herbal Soup and Tomato Basil Soup, accompanied by fresh breads and butter. On top of that, you would also have the Steamed Basket with a selection of Dim Sums.

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Now let’s dig into the wide selections of hot dishes. Firstly, there’s the Chicken Rice Station where you would have some Steamed or Roasted Chicken Rice with Condiments served with tactfully prepared aromatic steamed rice. This buffet line would continue with more plain steamed rice and other hot dishes such as Chicken Piccata, Beef Stew, Sheppard’s Pie, Baked Pasta, Braised Lo Han Chai Vegetables, Chicken Curry with Roti Jala, Sweet & Sour Fish Fillets and Vegetarian Chicken Masala with Coriander. I would say all the dishes served here had the impactful flavors from the usages of different types of herbs and spices.

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Last but not least, dessert lovers would love their Chef Eddie’s Dessert Collections where you would find items such as Tropical Fresh Fruit Platter, French & Danish Pastries, Assorted Malay Kuih, Bread & Butter Pudding, Green Beans Sweet Porridge, Chilled Iced Longan, Ice Cream & Ice Kacang with Condiments, and so on.

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Overall, the dishes served had improved tremendously ever since Chef Israel Lazaroo, a Malaysian and maestro in Italian, French & Fusion cuisine, took over as the Executive Chef of Four Points by Sheraton Penang. With his two decades plus culinary experiences serving various hotels throughout Asia, he’s set to bring more surprises to the F&B sectors of the hotel.

The Eatery @ Four Points By Sheraton is located along the main road of Jalan Tanjung Bunga. To get there, just use the road going towards the beaches of Batu Ferringhi. As you reach a curving part of the road, keep to your right after the first traffic lights (Chinese Swimming Club on your right). At the second traffic lights, turn right into the hotel’s premises to find a car park. Walk straight into the lobby and you can find The Eatery located at the ring wing of the hotel.

Honest and uncomplicated, Four Points by Sheraton Penang is located on the main road connecting UNESCO World Cultural Heritage city Georgetown and Batu Ferringhi, a popular beach area. The hotel is situated on a stretch of white sandy beach overlooking the shimmering sea of Tanjung Bungah. Ideal for leisure and business travelers looking for a peaceful, yet convenient getaway, the hotel is 12 minutes from the bustling city center and 45 minutes from the Bayan Lepas International Airport by bus or taxi.

Known as the “Pearl of the Orient”, the what-to-do-list on the island of Penang is plenty. It attracts visitors with its flavorful cuisine, vibrant culture and rich history. For those who are interested in the history and heritage of this island, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is just 15 minutes away from the hotel with numerous old architectures, shops and cafés to admire. Alternatively, take in the spectacular views of Georgetown and the iconic Penang Bridge from a distance on top the Penang Hill, via a cable car ride up. For more information or to make reservation please call +604-371 8888 or email reservations.03947@fourpoints.com or visit www.fourpoints.com/penang.

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Name: THE EATERY @ FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON PENANG
Address: 505 Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-371 8888 (General), 604-371 8707 (The Eatery)
Business Hours: 6.30am-11.00pm (Daily), Sunday Brunch: 12.00pm-3.00pm
GPS: 5.463681, 100.301836
Please refer to: The Eatery Menu

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

 

I heard a lot about the many cat cafes around the world, with the opening of the first cat café in Taipei in 1998 (Café Dog & Cats/貓花園) and subsequently went viral in Japan, which received tremendous responses from the public. I was hoping all these while that they would have one here in Penang though there’s already one being set up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, not long ago. Finally, someone caught up with the concept and set up one such café in Penang. Since the end of last quarter in 2013, the news had spread to my ears that there would be a cat café opening soon in Penang. Being a pet lover ever since my childhood days and also as a cat blogger during the days when most of my little furry angels were still here running around on earth, the amazing news was something to be happy about. Finally, Purrfect Cat Café was officiated by our Penang Chief Minister, YAB Lim Guan Eng, on 26 January 2014. It’s the first of its kind in Penang, located along Lebuh Muntri, within the buffer zone of the UNESCO World Cultural City of George Town, Penang.

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Here’s a video clip on the Grand Opening by our Chief Minister, YAB Lim Guan Eng.

Unlike the one in Kuala Lumpur which also provides pet supplies, pet hotel and also pet grooming, Purrfect Cat Café basically sells cat related merchandizes at the ground floor and the café would utilize the top floor. The merchandizes range from T-shirt for both genders, bags, stationeries, soft toys, mugs, cute cat figurines, earrings, key chains and more. I do hope that they would also sell some cat supplies as well in the near future. Here’s a peep at what you would be expecting upon entering the premises.

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Currently, Purrfect Café is charging a minimum spending of RM18/pax. Depending on what their menu are on that day, there will be a fuss-free range of cakes, pastries, coffee and tea for you to choose from. The cakes at times would include crepe cakes and would be priced at RM11.90+/RM13.90+ per piece. The pastries on the other hand might include puff (RM6.90+ to RM8.90+/pc), pies (RM9.90+/pc to RM11.90+/pc), quiches (RM12.90+/pc) and pizzas (RM13.90+/pc). Beverages would include Brewed Coffee (RM7.90+ to RM10.90+), Germany’s Ronnefeldt Tea by the Pot (RM12.90+), Dark Chocolate (RM12.90+), Fruit Champagne (RM8.90+) and Sparkling Ice Signature Drinks (RM12.90+). You would surely be impressed with the cat shaped teapots and mugs they utilized.

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Prior to visiting the cats, you have to sanitize your hands and take off your shoe before moving upstairs where the cats are. Moving up the white wooden stairways of the premises would lead you to an enclosed area where there would be two segregated zones. One zone would be cat-free where you could sit down and enjoy your food and beverages while watching the adorable cats in their play room. The other zone would be the cats’ personal play room and guest room where they would mingle with the guests while showing off their cuteness. Please take note that the cats’ play room is out of bound for unauthorized humans.

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There’s also the Terms & Conditions (as shown in photo below) while patronizing the cat café. Do take some time to digest the information stated within before moving into the cats’ play room. Failing to do so, you might get yourself slapped with a heavy fine of RM100. Another new term would be that children below 10 years old cannot go into the room by themselves, unaccompanied by adults.

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The cat café has 8 cats at the moment. They are the café mascot, Snowy, Orange, Bear, Teddy, Leo, Molly, Marble and Nala. To find out more on the breed and characteristics of the cat, please check out CRIZ CATS SANCTUARY.

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Generally, there are many complaints by the locals on the exorbitant charges of minimum RM18 for a two-hour session, which would be based on the accumulative cost of the food and beverages you have ordered. Just to be fair before I pass on any verdict, let’s study the other cat cafes’ charges in Malaysia as well as from overseas. In Kuala Lumpur, the “Country Cat Café” is charging RM14.90 per person per hour inclusive of one drink. In Japan first cat café, “Cat Store @ Neko no Mise”, is charging RM5 (USD1.50) for every 10 minutes, meaning RM30 (USD9) an hour and they do have a special three-hour plan for RM72 (USD21.50). In Korea such as in the “Cat Attic” in Gangnam, no entrance fee or minimum hours limitations but you have to purchase at least one RM19 (USD6) worth of drink. Most patrons would spend around 1-2 hours of their time there. In Singapore, there’s also the entrance fee of SGD14 (about RM36) plus a drink but unlimited time frame. So, you see, Purrfect Cat Café is not overcharging exorbitant fees compared to the rest of the same themed cafés throughout the world. Much like renting a pet, people do need to pay a surcharge to spend time with the cats and rules may vary from cafe to café. After all, such cat cafes would need to find ways to survive with the high cost of maintenance, especially when most of their cats are pedigrees. A true animal lover would understand this well. On top of that, it’s also a way to keep away cheapskates and curious visitors, thus to avoid unwanted attention, distraction and stress towards the welfare of the cats.

However, it would be great if Purrfect Cat Café would have an hourly rate instead or maybe a minimum purchase of a drink. This would generate more turnovers and at the same time would cut down with the unnecessary overcrowded situations resulting in the lack of sitting spaces. Sadly, this also means that regulars such as yours truly would have to spend more by the hours. I do hope they have special memberships for regulars in the near future too. Overall, I love the café a lot but it won’t do much good to my pockets if I were to visit those cute cats in a long run.

Purrfect Cat Café is located just 2 shop houses away from the Camera Museum along Lebuh Muntri. Finding a parking space along the narrow heritage stretch of road can be rather painstaking. The most practical way to get to the café would be by parking your car opposite the Cititel car park (Jalan Penang/Lebuh Muntri corner), along Leith Street or along Lorong Love (next to the St. Xavier’s Institution) and go by foot towards the café. Please remember to buy your parking coupons or you would be slapped with a parking fine.

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Name: PURRFECT CAT CAFE
Address: 53 Lebuh Muntri, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-261 1197
Business Hours:
Merchandize: 10.00am-7.00pm
Café: 11.00am-9.30pm
Cat Entry: 12.00pm-9.30pm
GPS: 5.419947, 100.335707
FB: www.fb.com/penangcatcafe

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

 

Apart from their spread of dishes inspired by their international acclaimed Chinese chefs, this year Dragon-i Group of Restaurants again would introduce their Spring Festival Special Treasure Pot, a symbol of love and affection during this festive reunion. A few of us recently managed to pay a visit to one of their branches here at Queensbay Mall, Penang, headed by seasoned Chinese cuisine chef, Chef Chau Sze Lun (周泗麟) from China. Dragon-i has a variety of delicious spread of cuisine from China especially from the regions of Shanghai, Szechuan, Beijing and Lanzhou to cater to the increasing demands of locals as well as tourists in Penang.

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During this Chinese New Year 2014, the Dragon-i Group of Restaurants is giving all Malaysians the chance to enjoy the Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot, either to dine-in or takeaway to be enjoyed in the comfort of your home. The promotion is from 1 December 2013 until 28 February 2014. There will be two options available this season such as the Signature Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot (RM688++) and the Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot (RM388++). (Please click on the photo below for a clearer picture)

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The takeaway package for both the Signature Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot and the Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot is rather unique. Each selection would have the ingredients frozen in a high quality steel pot, a bottle of the respective high stock, placed in a heat-insulated gift bag. Each bag would be able to sustain the cold ingredients up to 4-5 hours. Thus, you would be able to bring your Abalone Treasure Pot for a long journey at ease, prior to easy reheating before your meal. Please take note that the take away service on 30 January 2014 (Chinese New Year’s Eve) is before 3.00pm. A minimum of 4 days is required for pre-orders. Here’s how the whole takeaway package would look like.

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Dragon-i’s Signature Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot (RM688++ for 8-10 pax) is specially concocted for customers who want something even more supreme and exquisite. It is packed with 18 premium delicacies, namely Braised Premium Chilean Abalone (10 heads), Premium Sea Cucumber, Shark’s Fin, Japanese Dried Scallops, Japanese Dried Oysters, Fish Maw, Goose Web, Roasted Chicken, Braised Pork Belly, Pork Balls, Premium Mushrooms, Brazilian Matsutake Mushrooms, Shaggy Mane Mushrooms, Black Moss, Dried Beancurd Skin, Deep-fried Bean Curd Skin and Bamboo Piths in their Special Broth. It weighs a total of 9 lbs.

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What we tried that night was the Prosperity Treasure Pot (RM388++ for 6-8 pax). The Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot was packed with 18 delicacies as well such as Braised Premium Chilean Abalone (12 heads), Sea Cucumber, Japanese Dried Scallops, Japanese Dried Oysters, Premium Mushrooms, “Pantai Remis” Fresh Sea Prawns, Roasted Chicken, Braised Pork Belly, Golden Money Bags, Pork Balls, Dried Bean Curd Skin, Yam, Black Moss, Chinese Cabbage, Broccoli, Deep-fried Bean Curd Skin and Radish, all cooked in a superior Pork Bone Stock. It weighs a total of 9 lbs.

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Special Discount: For Dragon-i Card and Hong Leong Credit & Debit Card holders, the Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot is now available at an amazing price of RM338++ (original price RM388++).

What amazed me more was the superior Pork Bone Stock, a simple clear soup base with rich bone flavors compared to the Poon Choi I had at Zi Zai Restaurant which had rather concentrated and complicated flavors from the flavored ingredients such as fermented beans and fermented bean curd. Overall, both eateries had their own unique soup concoction for this blessed dish.

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On top of that, they also do have Chinese New Year Set Meals at Dragon-i and Canton-i. You can check out the different packages here. This year, Dragon-i Group of Restaurants is also launching their “Blissful Combo” deal for takeaways. It would include seven delicious dishes, namely the two main dishes – Fried Glutinous Rice with Waxed Meats @ RM48++ and Lao Sheng (Raw Salmon Fish with Jelly Fish Yu Sheng @ RM48++/RM68++ or Australian Abalone with Raw Salmon Fish Yu Sheng @ RM98++/RM138++). The other five dishes would include Braised Pork Knuckle Shanghainese Style (RM68++), Braised Chicken with Sea Cucumber and Abalone (RM118++), Traditional Char-Roast Goose (RM118++/RM198++), Braised Sea Cucumber with Mushrooms (RM68++) and Sautéed Mushroom with Five Treasure Vegetables (RM48++). (Please click on the photo below for a clearer picture)

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I would say they have one of the best Lao Sheng (Yee Sang) I have tasted. Not only was the dish filled with colors of prosperity, the fresh raw salmon fish fillets blend in real well with their specially pepped up sauce. On top of that, it had just the right sweetness and moist to my liking.

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On the other hand, there was also the Fried Glutinous Rice with Waxed Meats. Each mouthful, you can practically taste out the premium-quality waxed meats, good grade mushrooms and fresh crunchy vegetables. The skillful “wok hei” frying sure did added in some bonus flavors to this delicious dish.

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We were also served with Braised Pork Knuckle Shanghainese Style. The dish also came with some added deep fried hardboiled eggs and vegetables. The tender and juicy prok knuckle would surely go well with some steamed rice.

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During this Chinese New Year, with every purchase of Dragon-i blissful products which include our Auspicious Glutinous Rice Cake, Radish Cake with Dried Scallops & Preserved Meats, and Water Chestnut Cake with Osmanthus, we will donate RM10 to World Vision Malaysia. The donation will be used to bring Gifts of Hope in the form of animals and agricultural aid to poor communities living in the Congo, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Do check out more on their website at www.dragon-i.com.my.

You can also add in some of their signature dishes such as their Xiao Long Bao (Shanghainese Steamed Meat Dumplings/小籠包 – RM10.30++) while waiting for the treasure pot to be heated up or even order their Water Chestnut Cream with Sea Coconut (清潤海底椰焞馬蹄露 – RM8.00++) as after meal dessert.

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Name: DRAGON-i @ QUEENSBAY MALL
Address:
2F-115, 2F-116, 2F-117 & 2F-118, Queensbay Mall, Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, West Malaysia.
Contact: 604-646 6888
Business Hours: 11.00am-10.00pm, 10.30am-10.00pm (Sat, Sun & Public Holidays)
GPS: 5.333482, 100.306757
Website: www.dragon-i.com.my

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

 

To further celebrate the Chinese New Year 2014, Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be having its Chinese Odyssey Promotion for the month of February 2014 (2-28 February 2014). The promotion would be under the skillful hands of the Asian Kitchen Chef, Chef Chan Teik Onn. You would be able to savor the many varieties of authentic and fusion Oriental cuisine during this month.

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Some of the dishes that would be highlighted in the Chinese Odyssey Promotion in February 2014 would included dishes such as the Roasted Duck Roll with Spring Roll Skin (烤鴨春卷). Some fragrantly roasted duck slices would be wrapped together with some julienned vegetables such as cucumber and carrots in the traditional poh piah skin (spring roll skin) and served with their specially pepped up sauce.

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You would also get to savor the herbal soup – Braised Black Chicken with Snow Pear Soup (上禮雪梨烏雞湯). Black chicken or sometimes known as silkie, is a superfood that has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. It contains an antioxidant known as carnosine which is beneficial to slow down the oxidation of other chemicals in the human body. Snow pear on the other hand is a great immune booster. It also has some cooling effect to lower the inner heat within the human body.

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Another good dish to try out would be their Wok Fried Prawn with Mayonnaise and Nutmeg (豆蔻蝦). You would sure be impressed with how our local nutmeg would infuse a unique flavor into the dish.

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The Chinese New Year festive would not be complete with the symbolic Fatt Choy (sea moss) which carries the meaning of abundance in wealth. Thus, you would get to savor the Braised Trio Mushroom and Fatt Choy with Garden Green (發菜好旺市).

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Of course, you would also get to try out their XO Fried Rice (頂级XO飯), created with their special XO sauce.

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Since Malaysian is a tropical country with lots of local fruits, you would also get to taste their Double Boiled Papaya with Fresh Milk (木瓜燉奶). Papaya is a delicious tropical fruit which has a great taste, mouthwatering flavor and great health benefits. Some of its benefits include preventing constipation, lowering blood cholesterol, anti-aging, promoting weight loss.

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Overall, the choices of dishes served here have the balance of yin and yang for general wellness. The kitchen are also quite creative this time round to make full use of the local ingredients to pep up the flavors of their dishes more. Great work!

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

SWEZ BRASSERIE PROMOTION 2014 (JANUARY-DECEMBER 2014)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM50++ (adult), RM25++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 4.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM58++ (adult), RM29++ (child)
Festive Occasion: RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Weekend Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Friday & Saturday
Friday (Free Flow Friday with Wine): RM128++ (adult), RM48++ (child)
Saturday (Pirate Seafood Night): RM80++ (adult), RM48++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm):
Sunday – Tuesday & Thursday:
RM50++ per pax

Wednesday (Wine & Dine): RM95++ per pax

For Standard Chartered Bank, CIMB Bank, Citibank and MasterCard Worldwide card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Semi Buffet Dinner (Sunday to Thursday, excluding Wednesday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday & Saturday) from 6.30pm – 10.00pm.

The Swez Brasserie is located at the ring wing of Eastin Hotel, Penang (next to Queensbay Mall). If you are coming from Georgetown towards Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone via Bayan Lepas Expressway, do watch out for the Pulau Jerejak signboard (leading to Pulau Jerejak jetty). Ignore the turning and drive on to the next left junction. Turn left into Jalan Aziz Ibrahim and drive on until you a roundabout. Turn 3 o’ clock and drive on until you see a big Eastin Hotel signboard at the first right junction. Turn right and drive on. Park your car at the basement car park. Take a lift to the first floor lobby and you would see the restaurant there.

EASTINHOTELMAP

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

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

 

Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang is offering their Chinese New Year 2014 8-course meal this year at RM888++ per table, from the eve of Chinese New Year (30 January 2014) until the 15th day of the Chinese Lunar calendar (14 February 2014/Valentine’s Day). The scrumptious meals would be specially prepared by the hotel’s Chinese Chef, Chef Cheah Teik Huat and his team. Prior reservation is required for the lunch or dinner table bookings.

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Here’s the menu for the CNY 2014 8-course meal.

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We started off the meal with Prosperity Yee Sang Salmon Fish (鴻運七彩魚生). It was great moments to be with closed friends to “lou sang”. The Yee Sang had abundance of fresh salmon slices.

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The next dish was the Double Boiled Village Chicken with Dried Scallops, Shark’s Fin & Ginseng (大展鴻圖翅). The herbal richness of the stock combined with the sweetness from the dried scallops plus some springy bites from the shark’s fins was awesome.

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The chef also did well with a new creation of the Duo of Chicken: Crispy Golden Pa Fa & Wok Fried Chicken with Strawberry Sauce (金雞來報喜). The Pa Fa Chicken slices had the texture of almost similar to roasted pork (Swez Brasserie is pork free) with the crunchiness coming from some added almond flakes. On the other hand, the wok fried chicken with strawberry sauce was a new experience for me. The savory pieces of chicken meat, combined with the fresh and mild sourness from the added strawberry dish was cool.

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The Braised Sea Cucumber with Dried Oyster, Sea Moss, Flower Mushrooms & Broccoli (好事定發財) may look like just another banquet dish of mushrooms and broccoli. However, when you dig into the dish, you would find more treasures from the sea. There was also some braised sea cucumber, dried oyster and sea moss added it. The overall dish was filled with unique flavors.

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To further extend my excitement, Stir Fried King Prawn Balls with Macadamia Nuts (彩龍喜迎春) was served. Wow! The chef sure knew how to use rich ingredients to stir up balls of pearl like treasures. It’s another thumbs up for the effort in taste and creativity here.

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We were also served with the Steamed Grouper with Chinese Herbs & Vegetables (年年慶有餘). This would be one dish that would symbolize the abundance in wealth. I love the fresh texture of the fish plus the sweetness from the added mushroom slices and wolfberries.

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The chef also did a special dish for us – Chef’s Special Yam Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaves (八仙齊報喜). The lotus leaves infused flavor onto the rice plus some added deep fried yam dices and some added dried ingredients was amazing flavorful to my liking.

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To end the meal with some sweet memories of the occasion, we were served with the Double Boiled Dried Longan & Red Dates with Glutinous Rice Balls (家家慶團圓). The black sesame filled tang yuan (glutinous rice balls) complemented well with the sweetness form the double boiled dried longan and red dates.

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Overall, the spread of dishes served here were way above the standards I was expecting. The choice of ingredients used surely excelled over many other eateries who are promoting CNY meals during this festive season.

Do also check out Eastin Hotel’s other special festive promotions for this coming Chinese New Year from 30 January 2014 until 1 February 2014 as below:

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

SWEZ BRASSERIE PROMOTION 2014 (JANUARY-DECEMBER 2014)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM50++ (adult), RM25++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 4.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM58++ (adult), RM29++ (child)
Festive Occasion: RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Weekend Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Friday & Saturday
Friday (Free Flow Friday with Wine): RM128++ (adult), RM48++ (child)
Saturday (Pirate Seafood Night): RM80++ (adult), RM48++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm):
Sunday – Tuesday & Thursday:
RM50++ per pax

Wednesday (Wine & Dine): RM95++ per pax

For Standard Chartered Bank, CIMB Bank, Citibank and MasterCard Worldwide card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Semi Buffet Dinner (Sunday to Thursday, excluding Wednesday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday & Saturday) from 6.30pm – 10.00pm.

The Swez Brasserie is located at the ring wing of Eastin Hotel, Penang (next to Queensbay Mall). If you are coming from Georgetown towards Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone via Bayan Lepas Expressway, do watch out for the Pulau Jerejak signboard (leading to Pulau Jerejak jetty). Ignore the turning and drive on to the next left junction. Turn left into Jalan Aziz Ibrahim and drive on until you a roundabout. Turn 3 o’ clock and drive on until you see a big Eastin Hotel signboard at the first right junction. Turn right and drive on. Park your car at the basement car park. Take a lift to the first floor lobby and you would see the restaurant there.

EASTINHOTELMAP

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

RATING:
Ambience: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (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: 8/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

 

2014 marked the first year The Eatery @ Four Points by Sheraton Penang would be promoting their Chinese New Year festive dining packages since their official opening on 30 October 2013. The promotion this year would be managed by Chef Wong who had many years of culinary experiences. You may book a table for 10 for Lunch or Dinner at RM850+ or just join in the Chinese New Year Buffet Dinner at RM88+ per person. Prosperous Yee Sang Platter would be served in every meal. Price is exclusive of a 6% government tax.

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A few of us managed to try out the dishes for the Menu B for 10 persons. Of course, we started off the Chinese New Year dining with the Prosperous Yee Sang Platter with Salmon (風生水起-三文魚生), a symbol of good fortune. Takeaways are also available.

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Next in the list was the Braised Superior Soup with Crab meat and Dry Scallop (財通四海-干貝蟹肉羹). There was a generous amount of crab meat and dried scallop added in the rich flavored stock. However, I personally find the soup to be a bit starchy minus the fragrance from a bit of added deep fried scallops as garnishing.

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The Roasted Chicken with Plum Sauce (風凰報喜-梅醬燒雞) was superb with juicy and tender pieces of meat and crispy skin. I personally find the serving with plum sauce was a bit too common. The kitchen should have thought of other options such as spiced salt or other unique condiment for this dish.

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On the other hand, we were served with Steamed Sea Bass Fish in Superior Soya Sauce (年年有餘-清蒸石甲魚). Thought the fish was super fresh, I found the flavors to be lacking in something aromatic and fragrant to boost up the overall serving. I guessed some deep fried julienned young ginger plus some garlic oil would be great to pep up the dish more.

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We also had some Braised Black Mushrooms and Gluten with Garden Green (萬事如意-冬菇,豆根,時蔬). Flavor wise, it was just another common banquet style dish.

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The Stir-fried Tiger Prawn with Chef Special Sauce (笑口常開-特式炒蝦) was indeed fresh. It tasted almost similar a milder flavored Szechuan Prawns.

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As for the New Year Fried Rice with Silver Anchovies (遍地黄金-新年炒飯), I personally found the dish to be a bit over stressed as scattered gold. It was just Yong Chow Fried Rice garnished with some deep fried baby anchovies. I would prefer the presentation to be more distinctive with more rich filled ingredients added on top such as deep fried scallops, prawns and fish fillet. Items that could be deep fired until golden to symbolize the wealth abundance.

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Lastly, it was the Warm Sea Coconut and White Fungus in Honey Syrup (新年快樂-蜜汁雪耳海底椰). Somehow, there was the slight sour aftertaste in this warm dessert. There could be 2 errors in the cooking process. One would be the overused of red dates which occasional would have slight sourness. The other would be the quality of the honey used as some brands of honey would turn sour upon mixing/cooking in certain boiling temperature. I hope the kitchen would rectify this minor hiccup and alternatively maybe they could consider using just plain rock sugar or lo han guo as sweetener for this dessert.

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Overall, the dishes served are just like how you would get from a normal banquet serving during weddings except that the first course would be replaced with Prosperous Yee Sang Platter. There are still rooms for more improvements.

Here’s the summary of the Chinese New Year Promotion:

Chinese New Year Buffet
Date: 30 January-1 February 2014
Time: 6.00pm-10.00pm
Price: RM88.00+ per person
Reservations:
+604-371 8888 (General)
+604-371 8707 (The Eatery)

Chinese New Year Set Lunch/Dinner
With a minimum of 10 persons, select your choice of menu and enjoy a private Chinese New Year lunch or dinner with your loved ones!
Date: 30 January-13 February 2014
Price: RM850.00+ per table
Reservations:
+604-371 8888 (General)
+604-371 8833 (Low Ee Ling, Catering Manager)
+604-371 8834 (Phang Sue Ann, Catering Sales Executive)

Please click the photo below for a clearer view of the 2 options:

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Yee Sang Takeaways
Prosperous Yee Sang Platter with Salmon
Price: MYR58+
Servings: 10 pax
Reservations:-
+604-371 8888 (General)
+604-371 8707 (The Eatery)

The Eatery @ Four Points By Sheraton is located along the main road of Jalan Tanjung Bunga. To get there, just use the road going towards the beaches of Batu Ferringhi. As you reach a curving part of the road, keep to your right after the first traffic lights (Chinese Swimming Club on your right). At the second traffic lights, turn right into the hotel’s premises to find a car park. Walk straight into the lobby and you can find The Eatery located at the ring wing of the hotel.

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Name: THE EATERY @ FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON PENANG
Address: 505 Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-371 8888 (General), 604-371 8707 (The Eatery)
Business Hours: 6.30am-11.00pm (Daily)
GPS: 5.463681, 100.301836
Please refer to: The Eatery Menu

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

 

Let’s eat like the pirates at Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang with their themed buffet Pirates Seafood Night on every Saturday throughout the year 2014. There will be an array of delectable international seafood cuisine for everyone ranging from Canadian lobster, snow crab leg, lobster bisque, grilled lobster, grilled king prawns with cilantro salsa, wok fried mantis prawns with salted eggs and more to tempt your urge for fresh seafood dishes. The promotion is priced at RM80++ (adult) and RM48++ (child) with different menus rotation each week. You can also get more discounts with credit cards mentioned below.

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Let’s start at the Salad Bar, Salads & Cold Dishes Section where you would expect to get items such as Tomato, Carrot, Cucumber, Corn Kennel, Onion Ring, Lettuce, Thousand Dressing, French dressing and Italian Dressing with condiments, Pickled Garlic, Pickled Mushrooms, Pickled Cherry Tomato, Pickled Zucchini, Seafood on Ice (Fresh Oyster, Mussels, Prawn, Slipper Lobster, Canadian Lobster and snow crab leg with condiments), Individual Salad in Shooter Glass (4 types), Japanese Baby Octopus Salad, German Potato Salad, Thai Egg Salad, Grilled Chicken Salad, Shrimp and Fruits Salad, Seafood Terrine, Chicken Ham, Beef Salami, Smoked Salmon Platter, Smoked Mackerel Platter, Assorted Sushi & Sashimi (6 types each) with Condiments.

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As for the Soup Section, you would get items such as Italian Seafood Tomato Soup, Sichuan Hot and Spicy Soup with Crab Meat and Assorted Bread Roll & Butter.

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At the Hot Dishes Section, you would have the Grilled Lobster with Seafood Broth, Sauteed Mussels with Garlic and Herbs, Seafood Lasagna, Seafood Pie, Oyster Kilpatrick, Wok Fried Scallop Meat with Celery and Pine Nut, Sweet and Spicy Chili Flower Crab (Served with Man Tao), Braised Sea Cucumber with Broccoli & Mushrooms, Wok Fried Wanton Noodles with Scallop and Prawn, Wok Fried Mantis Prawn with Salted Egg, Curry Squid, Sambal Ketam Kampung Style, Portuguese Baked Seabass, Thai Style Steamed Tiger Prawns and Steamed White Rice.

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At the end of the hot dishes, you would have the Carving Station where you might expect to get Roasted Whole Fish with Spicy Mayo.

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There will also be the Action Counter where the Grill Station would have at least 20 seafood and meat choices for grilling with 12 sauces as condiments. There will also be the Pasta Station (Prawn Aglio Olio, Seafood Marinara, Pasta with Clam and Garlic with a selection of pasta choices such as Spaghetti, Fettuccini, Angel Hair and Penne). You will also get the Dessert Station serving Thai Classical Tub Tim Krob.

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At the Desserts Section, you would get 8 types of Tropical Fresh Fruits, Chocolate Fountain, Marshmallow Sticks, Dried Fruit Sticks, Fruit Jelly, Cream Caramel, Panna Cotta, Chocolate Mousse in Glass, Chocolate Brownies, Sherry Triffle, Baked Cheese Cake, Butter Cake, Blueberry Crumble with Vanilla Sauce, Assorted French Pastries and Nyonya Kuih.

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You would also find a Kid’s Corner with lots of candies plus brewed coffee and tea.

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Overall, you would surely be impressed with the varieties of seafood dishes served during the Saturday Themed Buffet and it’s really value for money on the options for international seafood species.

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

SWEZ BRASSERIE PROMOTION 2014 (JANUARY-DECEMBER 2014)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM50++ (adult), RM25++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 4.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM58++ (adult), RM29++ (child)
Festive Occasion: RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Weekend Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Friday & Saturday
Friday (Free Flow Friday with Wine): RM128++ (adult), RM48++ (child)
Saturday (Pirate Seafood Night): RM80++ (adult), RM48++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm):
Sunday – Tuesday & Thursday:
RM50++ per pax

Wednesday (Wine & Dine): RM95++ per pax

For Standard Chartered Bank, CIMB Bank, Citibank and MasterCard Worldwide card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Semi Buffet Dinner (Sunday to Thursday, excluding Wednesday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday & Saturday) from 6.30pm – 10.00pm.

The Swez Brasserie is located at the ring wing of Eastin Hotel, Penang (next to Queensbay Mall). If you are coming from Georgetown towards Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone via Bayan Lepas Expressway, do watch out for the Pulau Jerejak signboard (leading to Pulau Jerejak jetty). Ignore the turning and drive on to the next left junction. Turn left into Jalan Aziz Ibrahim and drive on until you a roundabout. Turn 3 o’ clock and drive on until you see a big Eastin Hotel signboard at the first right junction. Turn right and drive on. Park your car at the basement car park. Take a lift to the first floor lobby and you would see the restaurant there.

EASTINHOTELMAP

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

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

 

VEGETARIAN EXPERIENCES AT COYA HEALTHY CUISINE PENANG

Posted by crizlai On January - 16 - 2014

On and off, it’s great to stay away from all the rich fatty food and go for a total meatless meal to detoxify the body. Penang may be the food paradise of this region. However, most Penangites are also health conscious in general with more and more healthy cuisine outlets opening up to jump onto the healthy lifestyle trend. One of the latest around town would be the Coya Healthy Cuisine (Vegetarian House). Now, let’s understand a bit more on the differences between vegans and vegetarians. Vegans would eliminate all animal products from their diet which is inclusive of eggs and dairy products. They would also avoid any products made from animals. In general, those following a vegan lifestyle would avoid any products made from animals. On the other hand, we have the Vegetarians who would not consume any meat, fish or poultry but some tend to consume dairy products and eggs. We have the Lacto-Vegetarians whom would consume dairy products but not eggs, the Ovo-Vegetarians whom would consume eggs but not dairy products and the Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarians whom would consume both eggs and dairy products. At Coya Healthy Cuisine, they would serve Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian dishes minus the usages of garlic, any bulb or leafy onions or gluten.

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The restaurant would serve ala carte dishes as well as set meals for some of the dishes. Here’s how the set meal would look like with a main dishes, a bowl of white rice/noodles, 2 side dishes of the day, one dessert and one glass of traditional drink. There’s also the option of additional RM1.00 to exchange the white rice/noodles with brown rice for any of the meal.

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One of their signature dishes would be the Hakka Style Smoked Pork Belly (客家燜腩肉 – RM9.90 for ala-carte/RM15.90 for set). You would be surprised at how real those pieces of pork belly were with the “fatty” layers. Those layers of “fat” were actually natural konjac flour (konnyaku/蒟蒻) while the “meaty” parts were actually soybean protein with added starch, grain spices, salt, etc. These pork belly pieces together with some Shitake mushrooms had been braised with soy sauce and spices to create that ideal earthly flavored pork belly stew which would be best taken with a hot bowl of steamed rice.

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For those who love the taste of ginger and sesame oil, the Salted Vampire (Ginger with Salted Fish/ 姜絲炒咸鱼 – RM9.90 for ala-carte/RM15.90 for set) would also be nice with a hot bowl of steamed rice. Those little pieces of soy protein made “salted fish” combined with lots of julienned young ginger in soy based gravy with distinctive usage of sesame oil, can be real appetizing, though it might be a bit salty if taken by itself.

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You can also try out their healthier version of Minced Meat Rice (素肉醬飯 – RM7.90 for ala-carte/RM12.90 for set). This dish has a bowl of hot steamed rice topped with protein rich “soya meat” cooked with their special sauce and garnished with a variety of fresh vegetables.

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Alternatively, you can also opt for their handmade noodles – Xiang Chun Mee (香椿面 – RM7.90 for ala-carte/RM12.90 for set). It had a rather earthly and powdery textured noodles stir with some dark soy sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil, topped with some vegetables and soya protein made “barbeque pork (char siew)”.

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I got curious when I spotted there was the Lion Heads (獅子頭 – RM9.90 for ala-carte/RM15.90 for set) in the menu. Lion Head or Lion’s Head as it’s normally known as originated from eastern China. It’s basically big “pork meatballs” cooked in many different styles. At Coya, the “meatballs” were stewed with napa cabbages (大白菜) in a flavorful soup stock made with napa cabbages, some salt and sugar to taste. Miraculously, those impromptu pepped up “meatballs” were delicious. Each deep fried “meatballs” contained frying flour, mashed bean curd, mushroom stems and soy protein. Since the usage of onions is prohibited in their cooking, the “meatballs” though delicious tend to lack a bit of sweetness. It would be great if some finely chopped water chestnuts or jicama be added in for that extra sweetness and crunch.

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One unique soup you should take note of is the Night Blooming Cereus Herbal Soup (霸王花炖湯 – RM12.90 for ala-carte/RM18.90 for set). Scientifically known as Epiphyllum or with a common name of Queen of the Night/Dragon Flower, this Dragon Fruit like cactus plant would bloom flowers only at night. According to the Chinese belief, it also symbolizes great fortune. With the right concoction of ingredients, the tasty soup would be great to strengthen the lungs against flu related symptoms. However, this soup is not advisable to be consumed by those with hypertension. This soup had some bean curds, bean curd sticks, Chinese almond and wolfberries.

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Another simple yet nourishing soup to have would be the Mint Leaves Egg Soup (薄荷蛋花湯 – RM9.90 for ala-carte/RM15.90 for set). Mint leaves are great alternative to treat respiratory disorders such as cold, cough and flu related headaches. The soup had some soy protein meatballs slices added in to enhance the flavor more.

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For side dishes, you should not miss out their delicious Deep Fried Mushroom (炸香菇 – RM9.90). I find this dish to be rather appetizing considering that the mushroom slices were only dried shitake mushrooms. The chef did a great job in getting the best out of the mushrooms in texture and flavors. The deep fried batter coated mushroom slices were mild crispy with some sweet and sour sauce plus a little sprinkles of toasted sesame seeds. They were awesomely addictive. 🙂

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Alternatively, there was also the Devil’s Eggs (魔鬼蛋 – RM4.90 for 3 eggs/RM7.90 for 6 eggs). The spicy curry with high hints of candlenuts, galangal and vinegar usages is from the Eurasian Kristang culinary tradition, a festive dish commonly found in Singapore and Malacca. If you need a hot and spicy punch in your palate of vegetarian dishes, this is one dish you should not miss out.

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As for beverages, there are quite a few unique concoctions such as the Olive Tea (橄欖茶 – RM3.90), Mango Lassi (芒果拉西 – RM9.90), CC Lemonade (RM9.90), Carrot Julius (RM9.90), Herbal Mint Tea (薄荷夏枯草 – RM3.90), Nangka (Jackfruit) Lassi (木波羅拉西 – RM10.90) and more. I personally like both the lassi as they have the natural sweetness from the blended fruits and just the right smoothness. On the other hand, the traditional drinks have some unique options. The Olive Tea has the flavors almost similar to dried sour plum and the Herbal Mint Tea was rather refreshing on a hot day.

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Overall, the dishes served here are more creative and flavorful than most of the healthy cuisine eateries on the market. The set meals can be real value for money. However, there are still some rooms for improvements for more options on less fried and less oily dishes. On top of that, it would be great if the restaurant could provide more spicy flavored dishes from other ethnic groups such as the Malays and Indians to pull in more diners. I guessed they might need to pick up one or two of my vegetarian dish recipes in my blog with a bit of tweaks to their liking~ 😛 Moreover, the restaurant also lacked the options for some desserts. It would be great if they have some Fruity Konnyaku Jelly or some home brewed bean soup to make the meal complete.

If you are coming from Komtar into Jalan Macalister, keep a look out for the fifth junction on your right. Turn right into Lorong Selamat. Drive on for another 400m and keep a look for the shop on your left. It’s just opposite the end of the Pangsapuri Jalan Zainal Abidin (with an open space padang) on your right nearing Jalan Burma. There would be at least 2 parking spaces in front of the premises.

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Name: COYA HEALTHY CUISINE (VEGETARIAN HOUSE)
Address: 4A Lorong Selamat, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-226 2357, 012-486 4127 (Summer)
Business Hours: 11.00am-3.00pm, 5.30pm-9.30pm (Closed on Monday)
GPS: 5.419108, 100.326188

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

 

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