Friday, January 20, 2017

Texas Chicken Opens in Penang 1st Avenue Mall, Georgetown, Penang.

Hailed from Texas, one of the biggest names in the fast food chain industry- Texas Chicken has recently expanded its business operation to the Northern Region of Malaysia, opening its first store in 1st Avenue Mall Penang. The newly opened store in Georgetown is the first store outside of Klang Valley and Negeri Sembilan. It all started with the demands posted by the fried chicken enthusiasts on the Facebook Page and with careful planning, it finally materialized. We were also told that there will be a few more new stores opening in the northern region in the near future. The menu offered in all Texas Chicken stores is standardized across (save for the seasonal offers) and the quality is controlled to ensure the highest standards are met.

Brazilian Churrascaria Buffet @ Qba Bar & Grill, The Westin Kuala Lumpur.

With a name like Churrascaria, one would expect the restaurant to churn out heaps of mouth-watering barbecued meats. Qba Bar & Grill, one of the restaurants housed within The Westin Kuala Lumpur, one of the most exclusive hotels in the heart of Kuala Lumpur; offers all you can eat Brazilian-inspired churrascaria-style buffet. The award-winning restaurant earns its reputation for serving some of the best grills in town, head there with a big appetite and expect a constant carving of not only meat but a generous offer of Seafood as well. The dining area behind the drinking place (of Qba) has a rustic, vibrant and easy-going atmosphere; making it a fun place to hangout (alcohols can be ordered at additional costs). There are basic buffet counters right in front of the kitchen bar (with rotisserie in live action) that offer starters while mains are served to your table. With the help of a red and green stand, diners can decide whether they can still go on or put the indulgence to a halt. Dessert on the other hand, shall be served (though repeat orders is allowed, there will be only one type of dessert at all times). For the best value deal, check with the staff on the credit card discounts available.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Taste of Penang- Penang Craft Beer

Seasoned drinkers rejoice! The Penang beer scene has just got a little more interesting with the introduction of "Penang Craft Beer". Craft Beers are often small, independent and traditionally made in small scale in small breweries. The Penang Craft Beers are brewed in San Diego, California but being imported to Penang. In its journey to obtain local license, it was somehow marketed as "Penang Craft Beer", with the approval by the Penang State Government. The Penang Craft Beer series carries 3 flavors- "Ang Moh Leng Teh", "Red Door" and "India Pale Ale"; each bottle (of 355 ml) is sold between Rm 23 to Rm 36 (depending on the restaurant/ bar). Beer enthusiasts can now find the craft beer at selected restaurants and bars in Penang Island. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ri Cafe @ Bahari Parade, Georgetown, Penang.

One of the latest additions to Bahari Parade is Ri Cafe, it did take us a while to figure out the name of the cafe but we later found out that it is somehow associated with the first name of the owner. Situated at the corner lot of Bahari Parade, Ri Cafe offers adventurous eaters a playful but well-thought of local-fusion cuisine... dishes are wonderfully paired with both eastern and western elements; the menu is small but the surprise-factor is big. The cafe has a homey and relaxed atmosphere, it is definitely worth checking out if you are in the vicinity. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Dining in a Private Kitchen in the Middle of the Sea @ Aqua Green Fish Farm

Dining in the middle of the sea is no longer a dream nor imaginary right now as one of the largest fish farms in Penang- Aqua Green runs a private kitchen that opens to the public. At a very reasonable price of Rm 120 nett per diner, diners will be welcomed with 5-6 course lunch (subject to availability) and the price includes return trip to the fish farm from Batu Uban Fishing Village. Food aside, we thought the real pull factor was the breath-taking scenery and once-in-a-life-time experience; I mean... how often do you get to visit a fish farm and have a healthy, home-cooked meal there? For those who are concerned, the fish farm is rather "stable" and not "wavy". The open-space dining hall welcomes soothing sea-breeze and offers spectacular view over the Sea (with a side facing Pulau Jerejak). Diners will also receive a complimentary tour around the fish farm while the owner- Sean Cheah, will explain to you how Aqua Green raises the fish. The meal will start shortly after the tour and shall include healthy dishes churned out from Sean's wife- Doris' kitchen; diners can expect at least a fish dish (farmed by Sean) and several healthy dishes (Doris only supports organic and sustainable farmers in Penang, she will cook whatever the farmers deliver to her on that day, subject to suitability). A minimum 6 pax is required for such booking to Aqua Green and preferably 7-day advance reservation (contact number can be found at the bottom of the article). 

Many Thanks to Sean and Doris for hosting us that day.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Burger & Lobster @ Sky Avenue, Resort World Genting Highlands, Pahang.

One of the most exciting news in the F&B scene (2016) in Malaysia was the announcement on the famous Burger and Lobster chain restaurant from United Kingdom, opening its first branch in Southeast Asia. The UK-based chain restaurant picked Sky Avenue, Genting Highlands as its first outpost and has since then, received spotlight from food connoisseurs. Resorts World Genting has been marketing the restaurant as one of the top picks to dine-in above 6,000 feet in the hills, all the lobsters are imported and air-flown in from deep Atlantic Waters to Resorts World Genting. Not only that the restaurant here (in Malaysia) shares identical menu to the ones in London, the price structure is quite similar too (20 GBP for a Burger OR Lobster/ at the point of writing- Rm 110). A basic Burger would cost Rm 65 here while the standard Lobster order costs Rm 138 (if you are a Genting Rewards Card Member). Burger & Lobster can be found at ground floor of Sky Avenue, near to the entrance from First World Hotel (where the main Genting Casino is located).

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Pho Viet @ Beach Street, Georgetown, Penang.

Central Georgetown is a real food hub with no shortages of International cuisine... and that includes Vietnamese food. The name Pho Viet certainly rings a bell... and we were right, their specialty- Vietnamese Pho. The place was previously known as Yellow Lips (at Beach Street) but has since taken over by a new Vietnamese team that offers a variety of Vietnamese delicacies. Prices are on the higher side (20-30% higher than other Vietnamese joints in town) but they have certainly delivered the quality; service was impeccable as well. Not only did they offer complimentary dessert but they try to explain every dish in great details (they politely advised me on the correct way of eating Vietnamese Pho). If price is not your concern, do give this place a try. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Rockin' Reunion Buffet Dinner & Rock of Prosperity Seafood Buffet Dinner for Chinese New Year @ Hard Rock Hotel Penang.

Join in the tradition and usher in Chinese New Year by feasting a sumptuous reunion dinner and Chinese New Year dinner with Hard Rock Hotel Penang. For the Year of the Rooster, the beach front hotel offers a one-off Reunion Buffet Dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year (27 Jan 2017) and Chinese New Year Buffet Dinner on the first Chinese New Year day (28 Jan 2017). Diners can expect a wide variety of traditional Chinese New Year delicacies such as Yee Sang, Steamed Fish, Seafood Treasure Pot, Glutinous Rice Balls etc to commemorate the auspicious season. Seats are selling out fast and if you haven't booked yours, do call in for advance reservation.

Many Thanks to Hard Rock Hotel Penang for hosting us that evening.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Wholey Wonder @ Hin Bus Depot, Georgetown, Penang.

Once an anomaly in Penang, vegetarians can now find aplenty of options in town. Nestled in the artsy space of Hin Bus Depot, Wholey Wonder is an excellent place for vegetarians and vegan. The menu is completely plant-based and the dishes are designed to appeal all palates. Options range from Pizza, Pies to home-made pastries; and the prices are well-commensurate with generous serving portion. The first floor is a space dedicated for Yoga classes and ground floor is where cafe located. Wholey Wonder has a nice relaxed atmosphere with vines crawling on the rustic walls, swings in front of the coffee bar and calming-soft background music; the place is not only good for a casual meal but over a cup of Joe as well. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Garden Feel Cafe @ Jalan Ong Yi How, Butterworth, Penang.

Garden Feel Cafe... a newly established garden centre-turned cafe at Jalan Ong Yi How, Butterworth that has become the talk-of-the-town. The pull factor is the magical atmosphere as though diners are dining in a garden surrounded by plants; cool concept and fun ambiance but the offering is a lackluster and run-of-the-mill variety. It offers the local Western breakfast- your typical processed Sausages, Bread with Eggs and heavily doused with sauces. We have certainly set our expectations right prior to the visit but the actual service on our visit was way beyond our imagination.... we had to wait for 45 minutes before our orders were served (orders were messed up and the servers were not really helpful). We overheard that some waited for an hour so if you are planning to visit the place, expect no less than 30 minute wait. Garden Feel Cafe can be found at the junction to Bagan Jaya High School, to your right before reaching Chung Ling Butterworth/ Jalan Ong Yi How from Bagan Lallang.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pak Man Mee Kuah Ketam To' Kun @ Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

Hikers that frequent Cherok To'Kun Hill at Bukit Mertajam, Penang should not be new to the name- Pan Man Mee Kuah Ketam. It is highly visible from the bustling Jalan Kulim, right at the junction to the foot of the hill. Many hikers usually stretch their hiking legs or take a quick recharge at the coffee shop before continuing their journey while some reward themselves with a serving of lip-smacking Mee Kuah Ketam (vice versa). I hope the name "Mee Kuah Ketam" rings a bell. "Kuah" refers to "gravy" in Malay and the direct translation would be "Noodles with Crab gravy". The seemingly thick, rich and starchy gravy was cooked for hours- boiling the (flower) crabs to fully accentuate the flavors. The result is a sweet, gooey gravy with bold crustacean sweetness; the dish is often served with Yellow noodles and extra condiments such as Baby Cuttlefish, Meat, fried Beancurd, boiled Potatoes and fried Fritters. While there are a few good ones around, Pak Man is one of the famous ones. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Get Your Unlimited Supplies of Japanese Goodies at Sakura Living Store (樱花生活馆) @ M Mall, Penang.

Penang is home to a vast array of different cultures and for that, there is no shortage of imported delights from expats' homeland. Recently, M Mall (otherwise known as Times Square Penang) welcomes a new tenant- Sakura Living Store, a Japanese-focused store where one gets to experience a taste of Japan sans the hustle of traveling to the land of rising sun. Unlike other Asian stores where there is limited shelf space dedicated for Japanese food, Sakura Living Store occupies two huge lots at M Mall, entirely dedicated for Japanese goods. The ambitious shoppers will be glad to know that Sakura Living Store not only offers an extensive selection Japanese food (or snacks/ beverages) but household items such as Vacuum Flask, Facial Mask, Hairdo Products, Shampoo, Toothbrush, handicrafts or even Yukata-Kimono (Japanese dress) are on sale either. Time seems to move slower than usual in that space so do spare some time to explore the goodies. All items are fully imported from Japan. Our recommendations are Shiroi Koibito, Akai Boshi Cookies, Pocky Biscuit Sticks (plenty of exotic flavors!), Jagabee Potato Snacks, Maruchan Instant Ramen, Sparkling Japanese Rice Wine (Sake) and Plum Wine. Sakura Living Store can be found at ground floor of M Mall, right next to Bon-Ga Korean Restaurant (previously One Garage Slappy Cakes).

Many Thanks to Sakura Living Store (樱花生活馆) for hosting us.