Monday, June 27, 2016

Paper Lobster Bistro @ Bayan Baru, Penang.

Surfing the tide with one of the latest dining concepts- serving Seafood on the table, Paper Lobster Bistro is one of the latest associates that supports this messy affair. The new seafood restaurant is located at Olive Tree Commercial lots, those shop houses right beside Olive Tree Hotel and same row as Arang Cafe. The concept is similar to Crab & Lobster's but the menu's slightly different, as well as the offering on sauces and dips. The restaurant is brilliantly spaced with comfortable seating while the ambiance sets the correct tone. As far as balanced diet is concerned, Paper Lobster has a Salad Bar for diners to fill in the diet-gap, everything's free-flow and complimentary but choices are limited. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

20 Chulia Lane Cafe @ Chulia Lane, Georgetown, Penang.

To be frank, 20 Chulia Lane Cafe did not give me the feeling that I was stepping into a cafe. The interior decor makes it looks like a Chinese restaurant. The whole place feels very homey, as though I have just entered someone else's house in the neighborhood. But the menu is quite Western-centric, just a couple of Asian-Oriental offering. There seems to be many old-fashioned knick-knacks inside but we did not explore the place too much (we just had a quick lunch there). All in all, some dishes were alright but the "X" factor was not there. The management needs to come out with something unique to survive in this competitive market. 20 Chulia Lane Cafe is tucked in one of the heritage houses at the quiet alley- Chulia Lane, off Chulia Street in Georgetown. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Yue Ping Chicken Rice (月萍豆芽鸡) @ Kimberley Street, Georgetown, Penang.

More than 15 years back, my parents used to bring me to a place at Air Hitam... somewhere opposite Shell Petrol Station. There's a small alley right next to a row of shop houses and over there, one could find some delicious yet comforting Chicken Hor Fun... Rice and Porridge. They were no longer there since 1995 (or 1996) and recently, we hear that they have recently resumed their business operation at a new location... Kimberley Street. The new shop is located somewhere in the middle of Kimberley Street, facing the junction of Jalan Pintal Tali. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

[Travel/ Food Guide] Itinerary to Seoul (首尔), South Korea (韩国).

Seoul, the metropolitan city, is the capital of South Korea and is often seen as the melting pot for culture and central business hub for the country. The country's economy has boomed in recent years and is now, in the top 10 list of the world's most economically powerful country while the country's tourism has received a lot of international spotlight due to Hallyu, the Korean Wave. There are countless of exciting things to do in Seoul but with such a limited time, we could only complete a handful of them:

1) Gyeongbokgung Palace (景福宫) 
Direction: Exit 5 of Gyeongbokgung Station (subway line 3) and walk towards Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Opening Hours: 9 am to 6 pm on March to May, September to October; 9 am to 6:30 pm on June to August; 9 am to 5 pm on November to February. Closed on Tuesdays.
Admission: 3,000 KRW for adults

Friday, June 17, 2016

Wa-kao (哇-靠) Cafe @ Beach Street, Georgetown, Penang.

Right under the signage of the cafe, it says "be polite, speak no vulgar languages"; the first thought that crossed our mind? We don't fit to be here. But my instinct told me to check the place out and so I did. For the uninitiated, Wa-Kao is an exclamation of excitement (Taiwanese slang). The seemingly curious cafe has a dark and unappealing facade, we literally had no clue on what it could offer. We walked in and found the place to be an Ice Cream Parlor that cleverly marry local Chinese Tong Shui (Dessert) with artisan home-made Ice Cream. If that does not sound amazing to you, they even pair Nyonya Kuih with Bee Koh Moy; all combinations seem to work well for me though. The place is fully air conditioned but the seating could be more comfortable (only bar chairs). To find Wa-Kao, drive along Beach Street, you will find Wa-Kao Cafe right next to the junction of Armenian Street.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

[Travel/ Food Guide] Itinerary to Jeju Island (济州岛), South Korea (韩国).

Known as the "Hawaii of South Korea", Jeju Island is no doubt one of the most popular holiday destinations by both domestic travelers and international tourists. The natural wonders- Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes were inscribed into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The island is 45% larger than Penang State as a whole (1,848 sq km for Jeju VS 1,031 sq km for Penang State) but less populated. The island is fairly big but the transportation system is less-advanced as compared to the country's metropolitan cities.

How to go to Jeju-do from Seoul, South Korea?

We departed from Gimpo International Airport, Seoul and flew with T'way (47,900 KRW per person/ return ticket) to Jeju International Airport. The experience flying with the carrier was alright (they provide complimentary 15kg check-in baggage allowance) but there were slight delays in schedule. Checking in was smooth and easy. Considering the prices we paid were lower than the famous Jeju Air, we thought it was a good deal.

Car Rental in Jeju Island?

Jeju Island is not small and the tourist attractions can scatter around the island. Public transportation is not as convenient as it seems and the bus-waiting period can be quite long. After some research over the internet and we thought it would be wiser for us to rent a car. To drive legally in South Korea, Malaysians are required to present International Driving License to car-rental provider. Getting one is easy, in case you are wondering, it costs Rm 150 and you may check out their website for more information.

We booked via RentalCars.com and it costs us approximately USD $110 for Kia Morning *Picanto in Malaysia* (including full insurance for 3 days 2 nights). The process of getting the car was easy and fast but with AJ Rent A Car (the car rental provider), we had to take a Bus (free) to their office (not within walking distance from the airport) and proceed with the booking. Hertz on the other hand, has an office directly opposite the airport (within walking distance). Driving on Jeju Island was fun, the road users were generally friendly but South Korea is a left-driving country. Do get yourself familiarized on the rules before you hit the road. Also, another word of caution... the petrol in Jeju Island is not cheap. On our trip, though we did not drive a lot (we've only used up 20% of the full tank Petrol) and it costs us 19,000 KRW!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Urban Daybreak @ Beach Street, Georgetown, Penang.

There are many good Chefs in Penang but not many are as dedicated and driven as Chef Aldrien, the young executive Chef has been committed to constantly offer good food to the folks in Penang. In his latest venture- Urban Daybreak at Beach Street, the cafe seeks to offer Western Brunch (Australian-influenced) menu at a different level. Brunch is no longer about the ubiquitous Big Breakfast but extended to a range of Waffle-goodies and artisan Waffle-items. Prices seem to be on the higher side but they commensurate with bountiful servings (ominous warning to those with small appetites). Urban Daybreak settled in a heritage unit along Beach Street and minimal renovation is done to the place. It is truly a space that marries heritage with modern cooking style. The fully air-conditioned cafe is easily noticeable from far but it does take some effort to locate the signage. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

[Year 2016] Food Hunting @ Hong Kong- Lady M Cake Boutique New York and Yat Lok Roast Goose (一乐烧鹅)

On our recent trip to South Korea (only one post thus far, more to come!), we flew with Cathay Pacific and intentionally picked a long transit so we could sneak out for some food (and shopping of course) in Hong Kong. The shopaholic in us convinced that we should go for shopping and thus, the food hunting time was compromised. We did not get to try a lot of food this trip (we only had 10 hours). Also, luck was not on our side, we wanted to try the Afternoon Tea by the One Michelin Starred restaurant- Seasons, Olivier E but was told that the bookings were full and they could no longer accommodate us. Nevertheless, we had Lady M New York and Yat Lok Roast Goose; the reviews are as follows:

1) Lady M Cake Boutique Mille Crepe New York 
Address: 2096A, 2nd Floor, International Finance Centre (IFC) Mall, Central, Hong Kong.
Business Hours: 10 am to 9 am on every Monday to Saturday; 10 am to 8 pm on Sundays.
Contact Number: +852 2295 3308
Service Tax: Yes 10%
Government Tax: No
Wifi Available
Direction: Take MTR to Central Station and Exit A. Cross the famous Central Bridge and walk for approximately 10 minutes walk to IFC Mall. Lady M is on the second floor (a stone's throw away from Starbucks and Apple Store).

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Feng Yi Dumplings (凤姨粽子) @ Weld Quay, Georgetown, Penang.

Bak Chang or Glutinous Rice Dumpling is probably one of the favorite festive foods for many and it takes a lot of trouble and effort to make a good one. The preparation can be strenuous. Feng Yi Dumplings, one of the oldest Glutinous Rice Dumpling establishments in Penang; has been serving their regular patrons for many years. In the recent few years, they have managed to expand their business and opening a new outlet at Weld Quay (they were previously selling in one of the houses in a small alley at Weld Quay). Most regular patrons would opt for takeaways but if you are in the mood to dine in, there are a few tables with simple setup available either. 

Monday, June 6, 2016

[Travel/ Food Guide] Itinerary to Busan (釜山), South Korea (韩国).

The second largest city of South Korea (after Seoul) is Busan Metropolitan City, which located at the southeastern tip of the country. Busan gained its popularity and international spotlight through its annually-held event- Busan International Film Festival (BIFF). Celebrities, film directors, producers from other countries all over the globe will gather and hence, receives international spotlight. The event started many years ago; fast-forward to now, the city has turned into a center for medical tourism. Nevertheless, Busan is also famed for its astonishing natural landscape.

Busan is easily accessible whether by plane (internationally/ domestic) or train (domestic). If you are flying in from Malaysia, you should land at Gimhae International Airport, approximately 30 minutes away from Busan Station. If you must know, we flew in to Incheon International Airport, Seoul and transferred to KTX Train to Busan. 


If you are planning to visit Busan soon, check out HotelsCombined for the best hotel deals for your stay! 

Transportation to Busan Station from Seoul Station: KORAIL/ KTX
Cost: 3 Day KORAIL Pass (back and forth- from Seoul Station to Busan Station) @ 97,800 KRW (would be cheaper if you travel in a group). For your reference, we bought 2 tickets in one go at 175,800 KRW.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Kith & Kin @ Vantage Desiran Tanjung, Tanjung Tokong, Penang.

A new kids-friendly restaurant just started its business operation at Vantage Desiran Tanjung over the weekend (many weekends ago/ this article was written many weeks back then) and was well-welcomed by the nearby residents. There is a small corner- "The Playroom" dedicated for children to hangout, with some toys for them. The interior decor has shades of Plan B... the greyish-industrial vibe with hanging light bulbs and funky paints adorning the walls. Seating is comfortable with well-spaced out table and chair arrangement; the menu certainly looks promising... with a range of Western-Oriental dishes but none of the dishes we had were impressive. Unless you are a parent with kids (and you wish to let your kids to hangout with others), you must be prepared to sign up for an exquisite dining experience- with kids chasing and screaming over each other, the noise level is of a new league.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

De Paella Spanish Restaurant @ Lebuh Melayu, Georgetown, Penang.

Don't be surprised if you could not locate the main entrance to De Paella, as the Spanish restaurant is housed within the two-storey pre-war heritage house along Lebuh Melayu. The restaurant's on the second floor, the first floor's occupied with a Chinese Steamboat Restaurant- Little Yong Sing Hot Pot. Push open the doors and you will welcomed by a server, if you wish to dine in De Paella, you will be escorted through the narrow path right beside the restaurant. Traipse yourself up the flight of stairs and you will find De Paella there. The soft but warm lighting seems to have set the tone perfectly but the distance between tables is too near. On the menu, it features some of the classic Spanish items like Paella, Octopus and Clams but the offerings are limited. We found most pleasure in the Paella.