Friday, August 18, 2017

[Nasi Melayu] Cafe Pinggiran Laut @ Batu Maung, Penang.

There is no shortage of Malay food at Batu Maung but navigating the area requires experiences, especially without the aid of proper road signage and small alleys connecting the villages. One of the most popular places for Malay Rice at Batu Maung is Cafe Pinggiran Laut, an unassuming place by the seaside. Not to be confused with Kak Ani Kari Ikan Sembilang operating side by side, Cafe Pinggiran Laut is easily recognized by the clamoring crowd. The place starts as early as 11 am but expect the crowd to throng in slightly before noon. Most dishes will be gone by noon, so visiting before noon will be wiser choice... for the spread. There is a good variety here, from some uncommonly seen Kerabu to myriad of curry dishes (though most of them are Fish curries), down to the quintessential Fried Chicken and Ulam-Ulaman. The wallet-friendly price tag is also one of the pulling factors to draw the factories workers working nearby.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Chicken Rice @ Restaurant Green Flow (頂好茶餐室), Sungai Petani, Kedah

Chicken Rice is one of the Malaysian staple comfort food, everyone has his/her own favorite(s). To pick the best will likely stir up a passionate debate but let's agree to disagree, this hauntingly mouth-watering Malaysian delight is never easy to cook and has no definite recipe to it. For a plate of simple, straight-forward Chicken Rice; navigate your way to Restaurant Green Flow (頂好茶餐室) at Pekan Lama, Sungai Petani (Kedah). This is definitely one of the long-established ones around; with more than 38 years of experience (since 1979), this humble stall has garnered an appreciate following, most coming for their remarkably luscious Chicken (the stall is known as 喜相逢爱芬鸡饭). But a good Chicken Rice is not just about the Chicken, purists will argue that the flavored-Rice and the addictive Chili dip is part of the package.... and this stall has it all. 

Many Thanks to Leong for hosting us that afternoon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Ancient Road Seafood Restaurant (古代一路泥土鸡) @ Bagan Jermal, Butterworth, Penang.

Beggar's Chicken (叫花鸡) has been one of the signature China Chinese dishes and its history can be traced back to the Ming-Qing Dynasty in China; today, the dish is popular in Jiangsu Province (of China). Inspired by this great dish, this Chinese restaurant tucked in a terrace house along the bustling Jalan Bagan Jermal has recently gained the attention of netizens for serving this old Chinese delicacy. But Ancient Road Seafood Restaurant is not a one trick pony, it has a great selection of Chinese Zhu Char dishes as well; in fact, we thought some of the Zhu Char dishes outshined the signature Chicken dish. Prices are most affordable except for the Chicken but if you appreciate the interactive process (diners ordering the Chicken may proceed to "unwrap and release" the Chicken from the Soil by hammering it), you will probably find it worth it. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Cia Siang Seafood (Claypot Crab Rice/ 佳乡海鲜蟹皇饭) @ Bukit Tambun, Simpang Ampat, Penang.

It's all about Seafood at Bukit Tambun, a small fishing village famous amongst seafood lovers. While there are many seafood restaurants in the vicinity, not many offer Claypot Crab Rice and Cia Siang Seafood Restaurant (at the junction of Simpang Ampat and Bukit Tambun) claims to be the first to offer this specialty. It's hard to miss Cia Siang, the restaurant has a huge facade with gigantic signage and ample parking space. Though the restaurant is not air-conditioned, the high ceiling allows natural wind to flow in and the ventilation is good. There is no standard menu, once you entered the restaurant, you will be ushered and seated quickly. The cantankerous proprietor will then approach you in lightning speed and rush you for orders. While the food did not disappoint, they did not shine either; we thought the food was of standard-average quality but... with outrageous price tags. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hakka Noodles (夜來香海鮮茶餐室) @ Yeh Lai Siang Food Court, Sungai Petani, Kedah.

It's always fun to have a short getaway from home and one of the nearest cities to Penang- Sungai Petani (Kedah), a city that is often overlooked by many. It offers a good selection of traditional delicacies, some can no longer be found in urbanized cities like Penang. For this reason, the quiet town of Sungai Petani makes a great short trip to search for the lost flavors of yesteryears. For a bowl of classic, authentic Hakka Mee, make your way to Yeh Lai Siang Food Court near the old town of Sungai Petani. Possibly the only authentic Hakka Mee in Sungai Petani, this 14-year old noodle stall uses recipes passed down from previous generations to churn out home-made springy, flat noodles. But they are not a one-trick pony, their home-made Dumplings are not be forsaken as well. The Dumpling skin is home-made and the Dumplings are wrapped on the spot. Freshness is of essence here and they take it seriously. This humble stall housed within the classic local food court setting is definitely one of the best to savor the Hakka-influenced delicacy.

*Many Thanks to Leong for hosting us the other day.*

Friday, August 11, 2017

Dandy Modern Food @ Arena Curve, Bayan Lepas, Penang.

Western and Fusion food are commonly found in the Penang cafe scene but Middle Eastern cuisine has not gotten the same attention and limelight. Dandy Modern Food is making a breakthrough here... a new kid on the block at Arena Curve that offers Mediterranean fare with a Fusion touch in a comfortable-cozy cafe atmosphere. The cafe uses an open-kitchen concept and allows diners to have visual access to the Shawarma meat-carving process or reassuring the hygiene conditions of the cafe. The menu covers an interesting array Middle Eastern food and some Western dishes; price points are standard-average but the entire package, including the service level and quality is somewhat spectacular. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary cafe fare in the vicinity, Dandy Modern Food might be a good option.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Souper Tang (汤师傅) @ Gurney Plaza, Penang.

Most Malaysians can relate their diets with Soup as most of us growing up associating with Soup so when the proud Malaysian brand- Souper Tang (汤师傅) opened a new branch at Gurney Plaza, we were not surprised to see the long queue of curious gourmands scouting the new restaurant. Souper Tang is known to offer invigorating Chinese double boiled Soups that are believed to bring medicinal health benefits and a variety of wholesome Chinese dishes. Price points are high and the service staff lacked proper training so the waiting time can be rather long. Souper Tang is just opposite to Canton-I at 1st floor of Gurney Plaza.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Miga Korean BBQ Restaurant @ Bay Avenue, Bayan Lepas, Penang.

Miga Korean BBQ Restaurant is a new Korean restaurant near Bay Avenue, Queensbay Mall that places real emphasis on Korean traditional and classic delights. Not only does the place has the standard Korean restaurant setting, the menu offers plates and set menus with options like Korean Barbecue, Hot Pots, Bibimbap, Jap Chae, Tteokbokki and various Korean noodles. Playful creations are not found here but clean, straight-forward Korean cuisine. This new kid on the block does the classics well, with slightly more polished service (though foreigners) than many established spots in town. But let's be frank, it would not a cheap meal here but the quality and attentive service set it apart from its competitors. 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Tasty Toasty @ Cantonment Road, Pulau Tikus, Penang.

Long before the rise of artisan European bread, local Toasts were staples for any working class in Penang; the locals' favorite way of enjoying a crisp-fluffy toast would be none other than Kaya Butter Toast with soft-boiled Eggs. But Tasty Toasty is churning out Toast with style... giving the bread an upgrade. Unlike the typical cafe fare, Tasty Toasty has a menu dedicated entirely to Toast/ Bun, with a small selection of Pasta dishes. We were told that all Toast/ Bun are made in-house so there will be no preservatives or artificial flavoring. Competitive price points but they don't skimp on food ingredients... impressively done for a humble beginning. Tasty Toast can be found in front of Bandar Baru Supermarket at Cantonment Road (behind Pulau Tikus Wet Market).

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Gayo Coffee @ Beach Street, Georgetown, Penang.

More choices for cafe hoppers in Georgetown with the opening of Gayo Coffee... near the artsy corner of central Georgetown- Armenian Street. Right next to China House, Gayo Coffee is a big contender to the former name; it boasts over its long structure (claims to be the longest cafe in Penang) with a touch of heritage. Massive works have been done to upgrade the place but retaining its vintage facade; every corner of the building is picturesque and most suitable for taking vintage-styled photographs. Note-worthy is the center air-well with an old vine tree that exudes a mysteriously calm and tranquil atmosphere... seeks to embolden the beauty of Georgetown. On the menu, Gayo Coffee offers a good European spread with slightly above-average price points. Servers are attentive but the food quality can be further improved. It's a place where we find the atmosphere outshines the food; if we ever were to recommend, it would be the environment only.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Foo Chow Delights @ Cowboy Street Cafe, Georgetown, Penang.

Traditional-classic Foo Chow delights are not common in Penang's food scene, at least not ubiquitously found in any hawker centers but one particular coffee shop in town has been dishing out Foo Chow delicacies for years. Right smack in town, Cowboy Street Cafe is a stone's throw distance away from the famous mural art paint at Armenian Street. Foo Chow classics basically make up the menu, along with some localized Western dishes and nibbles but the price points are slightly above average (imagine Koay Teow Th'ng with Foo Chow Fish Balls at Rm 10). Hefty price tags but if you in dire need to satiate your craving for Foo Chow dishes, this is the place you should go.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Ah Zhong Chicken Rice (Hainan F&B/ 亚忠海南鸡饭) @ Kampung Malabar, Georgetown, Penang.

Chicken Rice is one of the staples for Penangites and it can be found anywhere in the State but it is not easy to find one that offers variety- dishes that work alongside with roasted Chicken. Ah Zhong Chicken Rice at Kampung Malabar is one of the latest Chicken Rice specialists that offers these delicacies. Apart from the usual Chicken Rice, it offers Bean Sprouts Koay Teow, Porridge, Tom Yum and Cantonese stir-fry Noodles etc. We thought the place was decent and would be suitable if someone would like something else (then the ordinary Chicken Rice) for a change. Ah Zhong is good for the variety.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Grand Opening of Regiustea @ Queensbay Mall, Penang.

Traditional Tea is usually consumed in an unadulterated way sans any outlandish ingredients; it was until recent years that the health-promoting beverage being modernized. One of the latest trends landed in Malaysia amongst excitement and thirst is to marry Tea with Cheese. The revolutionary beverage was introduced by Regiustea (one of the first few brands that started the trend), a brand based in Hong Kong and recently entered into the Malaysian market (in April 2017). Regiustea currently has 3 outlets in Malaysia- one in central region, one in southern and the newly opened branch at Queensbay Mall is its 3rd outlet in Malaysia (also the only one in northern region). 

Flavors are imaginative at Regiustea- not only pairing Cheese with Tea, the Hong Kong brand also mixed Durian with Tea. This may sound playful but all flavors are meticulously thought-through; whether you are a fan of Cheese or Durian lovers or merely seeking for something to quench the thirst, the menu with 32 choices (flavors) will have something for you. It is also noteworthy that all ingredients are natural and imported from overseas; Regiustea uses special brewing method (simmer the tea using cold water) so the Caffeine of the Tea will not be extracted (Caffeine-free). A truly unique yet lip-smacking beverage that you don't want to miss.  

Many thanks to Regiustea for hosting us.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Lim Aik Chew Curry Prawns (林翼洲) @ Nibong Tebal, Penang.

Though well-hidden at a secluded corner of Nibong Tebal, Lim Aik Chew is a long-unearthed hidden gem, the place is known through words of mouth and in recent years, the rise of social media. The place is near to Sungai Udang, a fishing village near the river mouth of the Kerian River. Geographically near to the source of supplies, Lim Aik Chew churns out both fresh River produce and Seafood daily but the most notable dish is their Fresh Water Curry Prawns, served with bread. It does not have a big menu but the regular patrons just know what to order, the friendly proprietor would be able to recommend a few otherwise (usually the signature Curry Prawns and a Deep Fried Fish slathered with home-made sauce). One important to note: do make sure you make a call to Lim Aik Chew before your visit, it closes randomly in a month and we've only managed to dine-in after 2 failed attempts.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Jaloux @ King Street, Georgetown, Penang.

Cozy in the Rocket was once known as one of the best places to get good Pasta in Penang but it was closed for redirection few months ago. The guys behind the now defunct Cozy in the Rocket has relocated and opened a new cafe in the Georgetown heritage zone and is now known as Jaloux. Few doors away from Disted Student Hostel (on the same street) is an old-fashioned concrete house but behind the timeworn wooden door is a clean, cozy and inviting space furnished with wooden tables and chairs. The guys behind Cozy in the Rocket brought the much-lauded menu here, offering the familiar Pasta dishes with a touch of European flair. Price points are above average but the quality is set to please.