CRIZ BON APPETITE

Savoring The Best All Over Town…

With National Day just around the corner, Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang is promoting its Marvelous Malaysia Cuisine for the whole month of August 2012 (1-31 August 2012). There would be an array of Malaysian dishes ranging from appetizers, main dishes and desserts to fill your appetite. This promotion would be arranged under the skillful hands of Jr. Sous Chefs, Chef Mohamad Bakri and Chef Mohd Fauzi. For the month of August, there would also be a 15% off the bill for all MAYBANKARD, VISA, CIMB and UOB card members.

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As for appetizer, there would be some juicy skews of Chicken Satay with Condiments. Of so many styles and flavors of satays I’ve tried from so many buffet lines, I would say that Swez Brasserie did a great job in maintaining the juiciness of the meat within each skew. The flavors were just right with the creamy and flavorful spicy peanut sauce. The satays were served with some onion, cucumber and ketupat cuts.

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Another option was the Pasembur with Peanut Sauce. The dish came with some julienned cucumber and jicama, topped with deep fried items such as potatoes, hard boiled eggs, fish balls, bean curds, chicken rolls, pita bread, prawns and more. It was appetizing.

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As for the main course, we were served with a variety of dishes accompanied by Nasi Briyani. Each grain of the used Basmati rice was evenly coated with briyani seasonings, topped with some raisins and chopped roasted almonds.

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One of the main dishes that I like was the Daging Rendang Tok. The dish had chunks of beef slowly simmered in herbs and spices until the meat prices were tender and nice. It was creamy dry with a large amount of coconut milk and desiccated coconut being used. The dish just lacked a bit more of ginger in it to cover the beefy taste as many of the guests could not get use to the overpowering flavors.

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Next was the Curry Chicken which was of a drier version compared to the normal style served elsewhere. The dish has a tad of Indian influence and would go well with chapatti or any types of bread.

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I love the Ikan Panggang (Grilled Fish) a lot as the kitchen made a right choice of choosing stingray as the flesh was the best for any type of grilling. The flavorful turmeric coating on the fish as well as the beautifully prepared condiment of sauce made the dish the perfect dish for all.

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The next dish which was the Assam Prawns was another well prepared Nyonya dish. The nicely fried tamarind with a light touch of sugar and soy sauce marinated prawns were quite a hit. However, due to the limitation of the prawn supply, tiger prawns were used instead of the ideal white/green shelled prawns.

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The Malaysian sea has an abundant supply of flower crabs, thus Flower Crab Curry was served. For crab lovers, this would be an ideal dish for you as those crabs were indeed super fresh.

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With such a humid weather in Malaysia recently, no one could resist the temptation of having a large bowl of Ice Kacang being served. You can choose all the ingredients you like such as corns, kidney beans, jelly, grass jelly, cendul, attap nuts, nutmeg strips and crushed peanuts for your shaved ice dessert, on top of having a large scoop of ice cream on it. How I wished there could be peanut ice cream as well. Haha!

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Other than cakes, pastries, local kuih or even fresh fruits as desserts, they also would serve some local fruits and vegetables fritters. There would be choices of batter fried Goreng Pisang, Goreng Ubi Keledek, Goreng Ubi Keladi, Goreng Cempedak, Goreng Buah Sukun (bread fruit) or even Kuih Kodok. They sure know how to handle the batter well as each piece of the fritter had a nice crispiness that won’t go soggy even left for a long time.

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Overall, Swez Brasserie do serves quite a variety of delicious Malaysian cuisine with a touch of kampong style. There dishes during our review were reasonably up to the required standards.

For MAYBANKARD, VISA, CIMB and UOB card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Marvelous Malaysia Semi Buffet Dinner (Monday – Thursday: 21 August 2012 onwards), Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday – Sunday) and Ramadan Buffet Dinner from 6.30pm – 10.00pm daily (21 July – 18 August, 2012).

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

MARVELOUS MALAYSIA PROMOTION (1-31 AUGUST 2012)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM48++ (adult), RM24++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM55++ (adult), RM28++ (child)
Festive Occasion (National Day- 31 August 2012): RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Monday – Thursday (From 21 August 2012)
RM48++ per pax
Weekend Themed Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm):
Friday: Seafood Supreme
Saturday: Japanese
Sunday: East Meets West
RM80++ (adult), RM40++ (child)

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: 7.5/10 (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)

 

The month of fasting for the Muslims is just around the corner and Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be having its Ramadan Buffet Dinner from 21 July until 18 August 2012 (6.30pm – 10.00pm) for those who want to “buka puasa” in a comfortable environment. Adult would be at RM85++/pax while child would be at RM43++/pax. The Ramadan Buffet Dinner would consist of delicious authentic Malay cuisine the traditional kampong style under the experienced hands of the Jr. Sous Chefs, Chef Mohamad Bakri and Chef Mohd Fauzi.

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Together they would storm out some of the greatest Malay kampong recipes to please the taste buds of diners.

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Of course appetizers such as the Lemang & Serunding Ayam (Steamed Bamboo Glutinous Rice & Spicy Chicken Floss) would be a must have, may it be during the Ramadan month or during the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. Though it quite hard for the chef to bake the Lemang in green bamboo in open space, the duo did quite a good job in preparing the Lemang through steaming. The Lemang was soft and filled with the nice fragrant from the coconut milk used. Even the Serunding Ayam was done in a superb way. Every strand of the chicken was evenly spiced up with a nice crunch.

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Another of the appetizers would be the Kerabu Nangka Muda (Young Jackfruit Salad). The young jackfruits were specially cooked in such a way that the flesh remained tender such as the texture of young coconut flesh. These would be then tossed with some ginger flowers, kerisik (toasted desiccated coconut), toasted belacan (shrimp paste), cooked squids and more with a squeeze of lime juice. Overall, the dish was nice but the nice sweetness and flavor from ripe jackfruit was not present.

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No matter which Malay cuisine outlet you would visit, Ulam-ulaman (assorted fresh greens) would be available. They would consist of raw vegetables, herbs and occasionally with tempeh (fermented soybean).

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The only difference at Swez Brasserie is that you might get different condiment such as the Sambal Cincaluk (Salted Baby Shrimps Sambal) and Sambal Mempelam (Mango Sambal). The Sambal Cincaluk could be a bit salty for many while the Sambal Mempelam would be a great alternative for something spicy sweet.

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One of the more notable dished for more energy and stamina would be their Gearbox Soup. The spices and herbs used in slowly simmering the bull’s thigh bones combined with some potatoes and carrots were indeed “powerful”. A bowl of this heavenly dish would sure keep anyone’s body energetic for any activities during the fasting month.

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As for main course, there will be quite a variety of dishes to go with their fragrantly cooked Nasi Tomato (Tomato Rice). You can taste out the rich flavors from each rice grain with has fresh tomatoes, cloves, star anise, cardamom, curry leaves with chopped almonds and raisins as garnishing. Thumbs up! I love this rice a lot as the texture was just as fluffy as I would have expected.

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Some of the main dishes would include Ayam Masak Ros (Rose Chicken). The supposing red colored curry was not spicy at all as it had more of tomato puree plus a combination of herbs and spices to give it the necessary oomph~ What I like most was the thick gravy which has some hints of coconut milk for the extra creaminess.

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Next on the list was the Ikan Keli Goreng Cili Merah (Fried Cat Fish in Red Chili Paste). The fish was indeed fresh and the mild sourness from the tamarind used plus some hints of lemongrass and coconut milk really complemented each flavor well.

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Another unique dish would be the Pucuk Paku Masak Lemak (Stir Fry Fern Shoots in Coconut Cream). The creamy gravy with some turmeric and lime juice was quite good, except that the fern shoot were rather old for a smoother bite.

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As for dessert, we had an assortment of Malay Kuih which consisted of Kuih Cara, Ketayap and Goreng Pisang (Banana Fritter). The chefs did a great job in maintaining the crispiness of the banana fritters, most probably with a light touch of bicarbonate soda in the batter.

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Since the durian season is still around, we were also treated with some Bubur Kacang Hijau with Durian. It had some durian flesh added in the mung bean porridge. It was a totally great experience having dessert this way except that I would prefer a stronger touch of coconut milk added in for the extra creaminess.

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Overall, the Ramadan Buffet Dinner spreads fairs better in term of choices and taste as the dishes were prepared by the two Malay chefs who know their cuisine real well. The dishes were rather family-oriented with a nice touch of kampong style cooking. I love the way the chefs pepped up dishes that would impress even the non-Muslims like me. Well done~ 🙂

For MAYBANKARD, VISA, CIMB, UOB and CitiBank card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Ramadan Buffet Dinner from 6.30pm – 10.00pm daily (21 July – 18 August, 2012).

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: 6.30pm-10.00pm (Ramadan Buffet Dinner only)
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: 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)

 

Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, would be having its Peranakan Cuisine Promotion for the whole month of July 2012 (1-31 July 2012). The Peranakan cuisine or commonly known as Nyonya cuisine, is a combination of Chinese (different origins), Malay and other influences such as Thai and Indian into a unique blend of its own. This promotion would be under the skillful hands of the Jr. Sous Chef, Chef Ong Chin Hock and Pastry Chef, Chef Franco Ho.

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We were served with the Nyonya Acar Awak (娘惹阿渣泡菜), a spicy mixed vegetables which consisted of cabbages, carrot, cucumber and cauliflower, stir mixed in a spicy sauce which has hints of shallots, garlic, chilies, turmeric, coarsely pounded toasted peanuts and toasted sesame seeds and more. The Acar Awak served here was extremely simplified and was not anywhere near the authentic version. Firstly, the vegetables were overcooked. The dish should have fast blanched vegetables rather than cooked vegetable to preserve the mild crunchiness. Moreover, long beans were not added. The overall taste lacked the creaminess from more added pounded peanuts, the fragrance from some added red and green chilies and a more distinctive sourness from some added vinegar.

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The Nyonya Kerabu Ayam (Nyonya Chicken Salad/娘惹涼拌雞肉) was a better choice for me as it had a Thai twist to the authentic recipe without the usage of wood ear fungus. It was creamier than the normal Nyonya version with distinctive flavors from the added ginger flower, lemongrass and toasted desiccated coconut (kerisik). However, the red chilies should be julienned rather than sliced for a more fine display and they should not be too overpowering as served.

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Another appetizer that we had was the Nyonya Kuih Pie Tee (娘惹金杯薄餅) or commonly known as the Singapore Top Hats. The version served here was totally different as it had stir fried minced chicken filled in each cup and topped with some fried shallots and chopped spring onions. I would say they were too dry to my liking as the filling lacked some vegetables such as julienned carrot and jicama for some moist bites.

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As main course served with steaming rice, we had the Itik Tim (Duck & Salted Vegetable Soup/鹹菜鴨湯). The duck pieces had the right tenderness. The soup had the right flavors from the salted green mustard (kiam chye), preserved salted plum, tomatoes, peppercorns, onions, dried chilies and young galangal but it was rather salty. This Nyonya duck soup may look easy to cook but without the right skills to get rid of the excess saltiness in the salted vegetables and the right tuning in saltiness and sourness from the preserved salted plums, the whole dish may end up disastrous. I was also wondering why young galangal were used in this recipe as old ginger would be a better choice to pep up the flavors with a more gingery spice taste. Moreover, this was one great ingredient to get rid of the “gas” as believed in the traditional Nyonya cooking.

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As for the Nyonya Yellow Curry Chicken (娘惹風雞肉黃咖哩), it did not amaze me much as the usage of curry powder was overwhelming. It was not even near Nyonya, Malay or even Indian style of cooking. The flavor was rather flat, sweet and sandy without the prominent flavors from star anise, cloves, cinnamon bark, cardamom and more. There were no traces of tomatoes too for that mild sourness and a pinch or two of salt would have given the dish a better justice.

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The next dish which was the Assam Prawns (阿參蝦) also had a big twist in the recipe. Other than the normal marinate of tamarind, sugar and salt, the prawns had some shrimp paste (belacan) added in. I won’t say it was a totally bad fusion but it indeed tasted out from the norm. As this is a hotel and having white shelled prawns which were costlier would be quite impossible for their budget, tiger prawns were used instead. It really did not bring out the flavors as I would have expected.

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Their Jiu Hoo Char (Stir Fried Jicama with Dried Cuttlefish/魷魚炒甜蘿蔔絲) would have made my Mum screamed for originality. I would rather have this filled in my Kuih Pie Tee instead. Basically, the dish consisted of unevenly julienned jicama, carrots and French beans stir fried with some dried cuttlefish. The taste was just average considering that no meat pieces were added in and no extra fragrance from some thinly sliced Chinese mushrooms at all. I won’t even consider this dish as Nyonya at all although this is one of the signature dishes in Peranakan cuisine.

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As for dessert, we had some Bee Koh Moy (Black Glutinous Rice Porridge/黑糯米粥) topped with some slightly salted coconut milk. Somehow the dessert lacked some white glutinous rice added in to give it the extra thickness. They could have added in some dried longan as well for some natural sweetness and flavor.

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We also had an assortment of Nyonya Kuih such as the Mini Ang Koo, Cai Tao Kuih (Radish Cake with Pounded Peanuts), Kuih Bingka Ubi (Tapioca Cake), 9 Layers Kuih Lapis (Gao Chan Gou) and Kuih Bengkang (purple color).

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Since it’s still the durian season in Penang now, Chef Franco treated us with his latest creation, Durian Layer Cake. It had a mix of some fresh branded durian flesh added in.

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Overall, I would still prefer the authentic Peranakan/Nyonya cuisine rather than the fusion versions served at Swez Brasserie. This dishes served here might suit the taste buds of foreigners but to us Penangites who were born and bred in the Peranakan influenced tradition, the dishes were too mild. Peranakan cuisine is all about making the best usage of herbs and spices to storm out dishes that would be filled with rich flavors for the palate of a family. Some cuisine can’t be too fusion at all as it would kill the authentic flavors of yesteryears. Personally, my preference would still be Ivy’s Kitchen in the heart of George Town for a more authentic Peranakan cuisine.

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

PERANAKAN CUISINE PROMOTION (1-31 JULY 2012)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM48++ (adult), RM24++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM55++ (adult), RM28++ (child)
Festive Occasion (George Town World Heritage Day – 7 July 2012): RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Monday – Thursday
RM48++ per pax

For MAYBANKARD & VISA card members, you can enjoy 15% discount for the Peranakan Cuisine Semi Buffet Dinner (Monday to Thursday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Friday to Sunday) from 6.30pm – 10.00pm.

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

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

 

FABULOUSLY FRENCH AT SWEZ BRASSERIE @ EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

Posted by crizlai On May - 1 - 2012

Bonne fête~ Happy holidays everyone~ 🙂 After a tantalizing Thai cuisine promotion, Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, is currently having a Fabulously French promoting for the whole month of May 2012 (1-31 May 2012). You can now savor mouth-watering and delicate French cuisine ranging from délicieux soup, prawn persillade, baked mussel Provancal to a spread of sweetness from desserts such as caramelized crepe suzette, macarons and more, under the skillful hands of Chef Daniel Tan, Senior Sous Chef and Chef Franco Ho, Pastry Chef. There would also be a 15% off the bill for all MAYBANKARD & VISA card members.

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As for starter, Crevettes et Avocat en Salade (French Shrimps with Avocado Salad/南美梨鮮蝦沙拉) was served. The orange color of the salad looked as though it was dressed with thousand islands dressing but it was not. It had that fruity citrus flavor with a slight peppery cream filled spiciness. I could be sure there was some Dijon mustard being added in with a mild touch of balsamic vinaigrette or maybe Tabasco sauce. It was light and refreshing to start off the meal.

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I love the next one which was the Petite Salade de Fruit de Mer en Vol-au-Vent (Marinated Seviche of Seafood/酸橘汁腌海鮮沙拉) most. It was like having very creamy rich seafood chowder with added fruit cubes served on a buttery puff pastry. The combination of flavors was perfect as finger food. Anyone going to make these lil’ heaven for canapé party, please count me in~ 😛

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The French are good in preparing their soup with the abundance of fresh crustaceans, herbs and spices available. The Bisque de Crabe Armoricaine (Crab Bisque/法式螃蟹浓湯) was good, even better than the lobster bisque I had at QEII. Somehow, even without the usage of wine or cognac, the soup was filled with flows of seafood freshness that were not too intruding with heavy brine taste. Each scoopful was filled with rich aromatic flavors from the accumulated roasted crab shell, slight bitterness at first followed by a fresh and buttery aftertaste. I just hope they will reduce a bit of salt in there as crab meat would absorb some salt water too. There were bits of chunky crab meat, some cream and a sprinkle of chopped chives.

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On the other hand, the seafood boasted Bouillabaisse (Mediterranean Seafood Soup/地中海風味海鮮湯) came with clearer soup. This soup tasted rather different compared to the ones I had tried before. Maybe it’s due to the hotel being HALAL certified and can’t add wine in their dishes. The taste was quite similar to onion vegetables soup, a bit saffron spiced, with mild sourness from the added tomatoes, carrots and a light touch of lemon juice. It has large prawns, scallops and mussels to pep up the seafood richness.

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As entrees, you could also be served with the Canard al’Orange (Roasted Duck with Orange Sauce/橘子醬烤鴨) as one of the options. Well, the roasted duck meat tasted just like any other boiled meat without the distinctive roasted flavor. I still love the smoked duck served here though. The meat was not to the tenderness of my choice and the orange sauce was just as thin as orange juice. I would prefer something thicker like puree base to blend in well with the meat. I hope the kitchen would improve more on this dish.

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The Carre d’agneau Provencale (Rack of Lamb Provencal/普羅旺斯烤羊排) was something to yearn for. The roasted rack of lamb had just the right texture, flavors and juiciness as it was done medium rare. What was killing was the crust. It was awesomely prepared with just some mixture of basic herbs (thyme & rosemary), lots of chopped garlic, onions, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard and egg for the glue effect. Each slice had the fragrant and aromatic flavors. It went well with the brown sauce and mint sauce served.

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The Riz Pilaf au Poulet et Pois (Chicken and Peas Pilaf/雞肉豌豆烤米飯) was how the French cook their rice dishes such as how the Spanish would cook their paella like the one I had at Sigi’s Bar & Grill on the Beach, Golden Sands Resort, Penang. To me, it tasted more like stewed chicken meat mixed with buttered steamed rice with added green peas, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and capsicum. There was nothing much to shout about on this dish.

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French desserts have been internationally known as one of the finest in the world. In fact, their pastries had gotten many dessert lovers going crazy over them. One of such dessert served here is their Tarte aux Pommes (French Apple Tart/法式苹果塔). This version is different in the sense that it’s healthier and less sugar content than what you would get from an American Apple Pie. It’s totally not McD’s version. Think about Portugese Egg Tart with semi cooked Granny Smith green apple slices and you would get your Tarte aux Pommes.

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The one dessert that I can’t get enough of is the Creme Brulee (Trinity Cream/焦糖雞蛋布丁). The ones served here were the best I had so far although they were just plain. These were smooth, melt-in-the-mouth goodies with just a light touch of burnt sugar on the surface. In fact, this is the right way to make Crème Brulee rather than some outlets with a thin layer of caramelized sugar on its surface. It’s a double thumbs-up for this dessert! 🙂

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Wherever you go, you would surely spot those colorful mini burger lookalike treats that got the whole world crazy over them. Those are macarons, a sweet meringue based confectionery which are made from egg whites, sugar, almond powder and food coloring, then sandwiched with some sweet cream. The ingredients may sound simple but this is one of the hardest recipes to manage. I loved the Assorted Macarons (馬卡龍蛋白杏仁餅) as Chef Franco had decided to stick to the basic without using much artificial colorings. I have to declare that these macarons were the best! Both the macarons served had the minimum sweetness with the right balance of Yin and Yang. The first one was the Vanilla Macaron with Coffee Cream. The sweetness of the vanilla meringue cookies went well with the bitter sweet coffee cream. The next macaron was the Pandan Macaron with Lemon Vanilla Cream. Sweetness plus sourness have always been a great combination for desserts.

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Overall, Swez Brasserie fairs better in Western cuisine. Chef’s Daniel’s knowledge in utilizing Western herbs and spices sure made the dishes more appetizing. Moreover, now is the best time to savor all his nicely cooked French cuisine. On the other hand, I’m beginning to love their desserts even more. It looked as though the pastry chef has moved towards a healthier lifestyle by lessening the sugar content in all his pastries. I truly support that move, Chef Franco! 🙂

Here’s the summary of the promotion.

FABULOUSLY FRENCH PROMOTION (1-31 MAY 2012)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM48++ (adult), RM24++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays
Normal weekend: RM55++ (adult), RM28++ (child)
Festive Occasion (Mother’s Day): RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Monday – Thursday
RM48++ per pax

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: 8/10 (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)

 

If you are an adventurous diner looking for exotic dishes from other Asian countries, you would realize that Vietnamese restaurants no longer exist in Penang as far as some years back. For the month of March 2012, it’s great to have Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel, Penang, to come out with such a promotion named Vivacious Vietnam. A large number of Vietnamese dishes would be added in their daily buffet spread. Here’s the summary of the promotion.

VIVACIOUS VIETNAM (1-31 MARCH 2012)
Lunch (12.00 noon – 2.30pm): Monday – Friday
RM48++ (adult), RM24++ (child)
Hi-Tea (12.00 noon – 3.00pm): Saturday & Sunday
Normal weekend: RM55++ (adult), RM28++ (child)
Festive Occasion: RM68++ (adult), RM34++ (child)
Semi Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Sunday – Thursday
RM48++ per pax
Seafood Supreme Themed Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Friday
RM80++ (adult), RM40++ (child)
Mongolian Grill Themed Buffet Dinner (6.30pm – 10.00pm): Saturday
RM80++ (adult), RM40++ (child)

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Let’s start from the Soup and Salad Bar Sections. The Soup Section basically consisted of two types of soup such as the Vietnamese Pineapple Chicken Soup which had traces of chicken cubes, bamboo shoots, pineapple and tomatoes. It was mild and nothing special at all as it lacked the strong flavor from the bamboo shoots. At least the second soup which was the Crab Meat Soup with Asparagus had a richer seafood taste that suited me well. There were two “Make Your Own Salad” stations. One station had coral red lettuce, iceberg lettuce, frisee, boiled kidney bean, alfalfa sprouts, corn kernel, cherry tomatoes, pea sprouts, croutons, raisins, pickled olive, pickled onions, pickled zucchini, red pepper in oil, pickled black olive, pickled capers and cheese powder, to be topped with either vinaigrette dressing, French dressing, pesto dressing, thousand island dressing or Italian dressing. The other station had a more meaty selections such as roasted chicken slices, deep fried hams, coral red lettuce, frisee, black olive, cheese cube, carrots, cherry tomatoes, red & green capsicums, cucumber and onions, to be dressed with a citrus tasting green salad dressing and ranch salad dressing. There were also some bread rolls and loaves available with butter and margarine spreads.

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Also at the Salad Bar were two types of Western Cold Platters being served such as the Beef Salami and Smoked Duck Breast cold cuts. The Smoked Duck Breast excelled better in terms of smoky flavor, taste and cuts. Some ready-made salads were also available such as the Bamboo Shoot Salad, Ground Meat & Crab Meat with Grapefruit Salad, Mixed Celery & Sea Bass Fillet Salad, Grilled Eggplant Salad with Vietnamese Dressing, Asparagus Salad, Grilled Paprika Chicken Salad, Fresh Crystal Spring Rolls with Beef and a selection of canapés.

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Three items were served at the Action & Noodle Counter. Firstly, it was the Shrimp on Sugar Cane. As for texture and taste, it was quite fine but on a saltier side. Luckily, the condiment of a lightly fresh greens sweet sauce saved the dish from being too disastrous.

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The Egg Pancake with Prawns was one of my favorite since it was done fresh. The fragrantly cooked prawns with some capsicum slices cooked in some sweet chili sauce blended in real well with some sliced iceberg lettuce, wrapped in an egg pancake.

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The Beef Noodles Soup did not suit my taste bud at all. It lacked the sweetness from some marrow or knuckle bones as it tasted more like chicken stock being used instead. Moreover, local “koay teow” flat noodles were used instead of the Vietnamese bahn pho or Thai chantaboon rice sticks, thus the noodles became too soggy if left alone for a long period of time. On top of the beef slices, fresh bean sprouts, red chili slices, cilantro, spring onions and chili paste being added in, the whole dish lacked the spicy and herb filled punch. I guessed the kitchen has to look more into some additional usage of ginger, clove, cinnamon stick, star anise and fish sauce to push up the flavors for this noodle soup.

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The Hot Dishes Section mainly consisted of a mix and match dishes not only from Vietnam but also from other countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Germany, France, Italy and India. The spread included Nasi Tomato, Rendang Ayam, Goreng Sayur Campur, Stuffed Crabs, Sauteed Cauliflower with Prawns, Sliced Beef with Lemongrass, Fried Shrimp with Coconut Sauce, Stewed Sea Bass in Claypot, Stir Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts, Stir Fried Bitter Gourd with Egg, Stir Fried Rice Vermicelli with Assorted Meat, Sauteed Vegetables with Almonds, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Grilled Lamb Chop, Steamed Rice, Spring Rolls, Vegetarian Fried Rice, Long Bean Sambal and Aloo Gobi.

Personally, I quite like some of the dishes from the hot dishes section. The Nasi Tomato was full of fragrance from some of the nicely added spices. The Rendang Chicken cut was rather large and went perfectly well with the tomato rice. The Goreng Sayur was common just like those served at the Nasi Kandar stalls with added turmeric powder. The Stuffed Crab was just average as the stuffing had the texture of fish balls and tasted just like spiced fish balls without some added crab meat. The Sauteed Cauliflower with Prawns was also common. The Sliced Beef with Lemongrass had tender beef slices but lacked the spicy flavors. The Fried Shrimp with Coconut Sauce practically had the taste of frozen prawns without flavors. The back of the prawns should have some slits to allow flavors to seep in the flesh. The Stewed Sea Bass in Claypot tasted quite fine and it had chunks of fresh fish being used. The Stir Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts was nice. The chicken cuts were juicy and tender. With the nutty flavors from the cashew nuts, the whole combination was perfect. The Stir Fried Bitter Gourd with Egg was simple but it had a nice fragrance from the added chili oil. The Stir Fried Rice Vermicelli with Assorted Meat was just average. The Sauteed Vegetables with Almonds no doubt was a simple dish but the roasted almond flakes sure pepped up the flavors. The Roasted Sweet Potatoes was just another simple stir fried dishes with added capsicums and onions. The Grilled Lamb Chop somehow was under marinated and a bit too tough. The chops had a strong lamb taste. Steamed Rice was just steamed rice. The Spring Rolls was normal. The Vegetarian Fried Rice basically was not my type of fried rice dish as it lacked flavors. The Long Bean Sambal which had some added deep fried bean curd was just nice. The Aloo Gobi which had cauliflower stir fried with some turmeric powder and cumin was totally out from the ones I had elsewhere. The dish was rather dry and lacked the taste from more spices and cilantro as garnishing. I saw only gobi (cauliflower) but where were the aloo (potatoes) then?

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The Dessert Section had 6 flavors of Nestle Ice Cream with different types of toppings, Assorted Fruit Platters, Assorted Cakes and Pastries, Jelly, Pudding, Green Bean Soup, Assorted Local Nyonya Kuih and a few choices of Vietnamese delicacies.

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Basically, there were a few of the Vietnamese desserts that caught my attention. One of them was the Banana in Rich Coconut Sauce. It had cooked banana with young coconut meat in slightly sweetened fresh coconut milk. It was perfect to end the meal. Without the availability of shaved iced, I added in some Vanilla ice cream for that extra creaminess. Slurps~ 😛

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Another great dessert was the Glutinous Rice Ball in Gingered Brown Syrup (Che Troi Nouc). The soft glutinous rice ball with either red bean paste or pandan kaya paste went well with the gingered syrup.

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There was also the Vietnamese Rice Cake. The filling tasted like out Malaysian ketupat but with green bean powder sprinkled on those small piece of rice cakes. There was nothing special about this dessert as it was not sweetened at all.

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Another of the dessert that caught my curiosity was the Vietnamese Potato Cake. It looked just like apple pie with sprinkled grounded cinnamon but the taste was not up to my expectation. I was surprised that normal French fries potatoes were used instead of sweet potatoes. Somehow the taste did not blend in real well as a sweet dessert.

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Overall, the spread served here were more towards international dishes with at least half of the dishes consisted of Vietnamese cuisine. No doubt it was a well balanced mix and match dishes that would suit just anyone but I personally found that the taste and flavors for the Vietnamese dishes were too mild to my liking. The dishes somehow did not have much of the authentic Vietnamese cuisine. The kitchen should have looked into dishes with a much heavier usage of fish sauce, shrimp paste, fermented beans, spices and herbs.

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: 8/10 (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)

 

Make this Valentine’s Day your soulful journey towards greatest love by sharing what’s the best for both parties. Nothing can turn out as romantic as a candlelight dinner. Let the experts serve both of you as king and queen on this special day. Let yourself enjoy all the romantic and precious moments you have together. Let Swez Brasserie @ Eastin Hotel Penang, offer you the ultimate ardent indulgence of a delectable Valentine’s Day Set Dinner at RM198++ per couple while being serenaded by sentimental music on this romantic evening.

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Other than getting a beautiful and fluffy pair of imported teddy bears, you would be complimented with either a glass of red wine or mocktail. You have the option to choose the Argentina produced Merlot 2010 red wine or Lover’s Isle mocktail. The mocktail would consist of a concoction of pineapple juice, orange juice, mango juice with grenadine syrup.

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As for Appetizer, you would be served with Chilled Ocean Tartar with Pickled Mushroom, Asparagus and Beetroot Dressing. The freshly peeled crab meat, chopped prawns, onions, parsley with a hint of chopped red chilies all mixed up in some tartar sauce was a great seafood experience. This concoction was topped on some vinegar picked button mushroom slices and blanched asparagus, garnished with some black colored sturgeon caviars and served with some beetroot dressing. The beetroot dressing had a hint of chopped onions, vinegar and sugar. The taste was simply refreshing when combining a bit of everything in the mouth. This appetizer with a tad of creaminess, sweetness and sourness sure boosted up my appetite for more dishes to come.

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As for Soup, we were served with the Oven Baked Pumpkin Soup with Crispy Pumpkin Seeds. One sip and you would realize that it was not simply done. The soup had that sweetness not only from the baked pumpkin but also from some thick vegetable stock. Combined with the creaminess from the whipped butter cream and coarsely crushed roasted pumpkin seeds, it was indeed my perfect kind of soup. You can get the waiter to grind in some black pepper for that extra peppery flavor.

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As for the Main Course, it was either fish or chicken. We were first served with Pan Fried Cod Fish on Sweet Potato Puree with Carrot Mustard Sauce. For fish lovers, this dish would indeed suit you well. It was a thick slab of cod fish, mildly herbed, salted and pan fried to perfection with the juiciness still locked within the fillet. With a little twist of some lemon juice, a small scoop of the sweet potato puree and a little dab on the carrot mustard sauce, it was a mouthful of freshness.

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The next main course option was the Baked Chicken Wellington with Spinach and Gravy. Well, I did fell in love with the Baked Beef Wellington dish once at the Swez Brasserie and this dish was done just as good as the other. The preparation of this poultry dish was somewhat quite similar to the chicken cordon bleu with rolled up chicken fillet. Instead of having ham and cheese rolled up and coated with breadcrumbs prior to deep frying, this dish had a sprinkle or two of paprika, chopped onions and mushroom rolled up and wrapped in puff pastry prior to baking. It went well with the accompanied brown sauce and sautéed baby spinach with chopped garlic.

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The Dessert truly would express your love for each other significantly with the Endless Love being served. It had a chocolate fenced up heart shaped strawberry mousse served with two mini jackfruit filo pastry wraps with clear vanilla sauce, a strawberry and a chocolate stick. You would also get a Valentine’s Day Mocha Praline on that day. It was a simple dessert to me but was very well presented.

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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
Business Hours: 6.30pm-10.00pm (Valentine’s Day only)
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: 8/10 (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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