Sunday, July 31, 2011

Viva Dim Sum Delight (东城点心) @ Viva Food Court, Tanjung Bungah.

*** This place has since ceased its operations.***

Shanghai Dumplings or Xiao Long Bao (上海小笼包)have always been the favourite Shanghainese food for Penangites. However, it is not easy to find a decent outlet that sells Shanghai dumplings in penang and they are rather pricey normally. This dim sum outlet in Tanjung Bungah offers Shanghai dumplings at a very affordable price. Other than that, they do sell a wide range of dim sum as well, aside from those normal ones like fish balls (鱼旦), har kaw(prawn dumplings,虾饺) and siew mai(pork dumplings,烧卖); they do offer some fried noodles either. Some of the dim sum are considered rare and uneasy to find in Penang too.

The main focus here--Shanghai Dumplings (3 for Rm4.90) The dumplings contain scorching hot pork soup where the soup is meant to be found in Shanghai dumplings or rather, that's the essence that make Shanghai Dumplings so famous and tasty. A few slices of gingers and vinegar to go with them are simply the best way of tasting them. As for the taste, I would say that they weren't shabby at all considering the price and the juiciness in the dumplings.

Custard Buns(奶油流沙包), as what you can see from the pictures above, the custard will flow out just like lava after you peeled off the skin. Unlike the ordinary custard, the custard was specially made and mixed with salted egg yolk to increase the flavour. Surprisingly custard and salted egg yolk mix well and create a very rich and tasty flavour. Credits given to the fluffy bun either. Together they are the best custard buns in town.

Aside from dim sum and fried noodles, congee can also be found. Chinese people love to have congee as their breakfast, particularly Cantonese, don't they ? Chopped century egg, chopped pork meat and some spring onions were added to increase the flavour and the texture too. Of course it depends on your own preference, you may add some soya sauce either. The congee had a very smooth texture making it suitable for aged people as their breakfast.

Fried Glutinous Rice Balls (red bean paste). One of my favourite dishes as I adore the springy texture together with the aromatic yet sweet red bean paste. The sesame coated outside the glutinous rice balls increase the texture and flavour too.

Some buns with sweet potato paste and topped with sesame seeds. I think the buns were fried before as the outer layer looks a bit brownish to me. Taste was okay to me as I don really like sweet potatoes, perhaps they should substitute it with yam paste instead ? Would definitely love to try that.

Common stuff seen in most of the dim sum outlets. The portion was rather big here, by looking at the buns and Shanghai dumplings, although the price might be a little higher compared to others, but I think its worth it. Taste good too.

Taste: 8.5/10
Price: 7/10
Parking: 10/10
Government Tax: NO
Service Charge: NO

Additional Information:
Address: Lot 303, Jalan Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Penang (beside the Penang Swimming Association)
Phone Number: 04- 890 2549 (you can call them for take away and they'll prepare for you)
Business Hours: 7am - 2pm

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Satay & Skewer Lok Lok Celup Buffet @ Paradise Hotel, Penang.

Ever heard of the famous satay celup in Malacca ? Its something like a steamboat where by instead of using the ordinary soup, it uses satay sauce instead. A steamboat that people do not drink the soup. Simply dip your prefered ingredients into the satay sauce, while it's cooked, the satay sauce should be fully absorbed. Additional satay sauce can be added too if you prefer a stronger satay flavour. Asian Heritage Restaurant in Paradise Hotel is having this promotion, where you buy 5, you get 1 person free. This was what we had last night:

Grilling by our ownself wasn't allowed. Means you do not get to grill anything on the grilling side on the bottom of the pot. Anyway, the satay 'soup' wasn't thick and fragrant enough to satisfy us. Its way too oily either where you can see those oil from floating on the pot.

The selection was rather few when it comes to the satay celup. As you what can see, we were just given some fish balls and meat balls. No seafood nor vegetables given. They should at least give us some prawns or squids to be cooked in the satay 'soup'.

As the name suggested, they are serving satay buffet, a wide selection of satay available and you can request as much as you can. The satay available were the usual chicken satay, beef satay, lamb satay. The more unique ones were the seafood(prawns and squid) and chicken kidney satay, well they do have some unknown organs to be grilled either (I do not be bothered to ask). Some odd satay can be found too, have ever seen ladies finger being grilled before ? Or even green chilies ? It sounds fresh and creative to me, but it doesnt work me as the taste was rather odd either.

After you have selected your own desired satay, the chef will grill for you instantly, just right beside the booth. The grilling takes time so its advisoble to leave the satay to him earlier just in case you need to wait for a long time before the satay gets ready.

I don't think some skewers can make any of us full, but no worries. The restaurant will provides some other local delicacies either like fried rice noodles, fried noodles, fried rice and some fried fish balls. Just usual ones and nothing special about them.

Some cold plates (sausages with mayonnaise, stir fried mushrooms with capsicum) and salads (potato salad and egg salad) were also available. They come in a rather small portion but were nicely presented. Taste was decent but they work best together with the satay as in you will feel more refreshing after taking those grilled meats and fish balls.

Cakes and puddings were also provided as dessert as well. However, nothing is interesting as most of the cakes were the ordinary cream cakes (cheap stuff) and can be found any where; so do the puddings. The texture was horrible and they tasted like fruit jams (not too sweet tho).

I would conclude that the meal was just okay, was abit disappointing due to the quality of the dessert. As for the satay celup (from what I knew), the 'soup' for satay celup should be much thicker and shouldn't contains too much oil. The satay flavour should be kept stronger instead to enhance the satay flavour as it doesn't feel like I am having satay celup now due to the rather tasteless satay celup 'soup'.

Taste: 6.5/10
Price: 6/10 (They should lower the price after looking at the choices)
Parking: 9/10
Service: Good
Government Tax: No
Service Charge: Yes

Additional Information:
Price for the buffet: Rm29.90+(adult), Rm15.90(senior citizen, above 60; children) promotion of buy 5 free1
Address: 527, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Penang.
Phone Number: 04- 899 9999
Business Hour: Daily 6pm - 10pm


Saturday, July 23, 2011

88 Steamboat Buffet Dinner @ Ayer Itam, Penang.

Told by my friend about this online voucher promotion happening on everyday coupon website, was attracted by the price which was Rm 10.80 per person only. So I decided to try it out since its affordable and I am pretty free since my new semester just started. Located in Ayer Hitam, opposite SJKC Sin Kang, you will find a hawker center, named 3288 around there. The place for the steamboat to be held is just exactly beside the 3288 hawker center. The place was a little bit dull and unattractive. It was not that hard to locate it as banners were everywhere giving you directions.

The stove has been set in the tables with a huge gas tank below the table. The tables are rough so try not to knock or hit them with your hands. I am not sure whether it has something to do with the structure itself or it was a windy night, the fire was just too weak and it took us a long time to boil the food. For a whole chunks of meat and fish balls, it took us like 15-20 minutes to boil them ? 

The standard set up for steamboat where you can pick your own favourite sauce. Although there were many kinds of sauce out there (sambal, sweet sauce, mayonnaise, chili sauce, Thai sauce etc), but they were just unappealing so I just picked the usual sauce - chopped chilies with soya sauce.

The fish and seafood were not fresh at all. The meats were disappointing either, it was too obvious as the colour changed to dark and pale. No appetite at all after looking at those meats.The vegetables were okay though. I like that they are including bitter gourds in the vegetables section which normally the other steamboat outlets would not do.

More and more usual and common steamboat ingredients, amongst them, the one i find it most interesting was the scallops. However, you must possess lightning speed in order to grab yourself one.

A crab will be given for every 2 purchases of the voucher. There were 4 of us and we were given 2 crabs. The crabs were just okay but they were too small in size, nothing much left after you cooked it.

I am not a cheapskate or trying to act like an "auntie" since I just paid Rm10 and should not be too picky, but I would really hope that they improve more on the stove as we really used a lot of time to cook our food. Drinks were provided too but they were just sugar syrup, disappointment. Other desserts are available too like pudding, ice cream and some cakes. Did not try them out but from the looks, I think they should be okay. The normal price is Rm18.80 instead of Rm10.80.

Taste: 6.5/10
Price: 6/10
Parking: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Government Tax: No
Service Charge: No

Additional Information:
Address: 4, Lintang Kampung Melayu, 11500 Bandar Baru Ayer Itam, Penang. (beside 3288 hawker center)
Phone Number: 016- 406 6892 (call for reservation after 3pm)
Business Hours : Monday - Sunday (even for public holidays) 5pm - 1am 
88 Steamboat Facebook Page

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Clinic Cafe @ Gurney Plaza, Penang

** This restaurant has since ceased its operation.**

Themed restaurants are getting more and more attention nowadays, this creative restaurant had successfully caught my attention as well, mainly due to their openings in Gurney Plaza and Straits Quay. The restaurant was designed to fit in the theme - a clinic. The waiters and waitresses were wearing clinical uniforms as well. I must also praise the use of some technical tools such as surgery plates and syringes(with no needles attached) so do a couple set of surgery knives and wheel chair can be seen near the entrance of the restaurant too. As for the food, they serve both western and local cuisine, fusion in other words. Presentation of food comes in a creative as well, as mentioned, surgery plates will be used and syringes will be used for tomato ketchup or chili sauce.

As you can see from the pictures, they even turned their kitchen into a surgery room ! How is it not interesting ? But for the few of us who went in a big group of people, we had to sit in a very poor lighting place with hospital beds, quite comfortable and suitable for chill out with friends too.

Black Pepper Chicken Pasta Set (Rm 13.80+). They are having this set meal promotion on weekdays (11am-5pm) where you can pick one main course and a drink from the menu. Served in a surgery plate, together with some salad which i find it not necessary and annoying as the pasta tends to tangled with the vegetables. The taste wasn't shabby, just that I do not like the salad being placed together.

Clinic Chicken Pasta Set (Rm 13.80), unlike the previous Black Pepper Pasta which was using black pepper sauce, clinic chicken pasta uses tomato paste instead. It sounds more ordinary and casual to me, the taste was very normal, nothing is special or worth to mention, same problem as the above, they should place the salad and pasta separately.....

Grilled Lamb Chop (Rm 26.80) It doesn't come in a set, so you will need to order your drinks separately, the lamb comes in a rather small portion as what you can see from the picture, some french fries and salad will be given as well. A syringe of chili sauce will be given too, the lamb chop was just okay, which makes me feel that Rm26.80 wasn't really worth the money....

Clinic Chicken Rice Special Set (Rm 15.80) was the worth most money set in this restaurant. It comes in an extremely big portion with 3 fried prawns, salad, rice and 1 huge fried chicken. The little bowl in the middle contains a specially made hot and spicy sauce which can be really hot and spicy ( abit sour too). I think its meant to go with the fried chicken. Request for some chili sauce or tomato sauce if you would prefer some of them to go with the chicken or prawns. Taste was okay but the texture for the prawns was too dry. I think the prawns' shell weren't peeled off so you might be having a hard time in chewing the prawns.

As for the drinks, since most of them will be included in the set meal, you do not have to order extra or pay more. But do note that if you would wish to have something like cold yen yang (tea+coffee) or cold teh tarik (milk tea), extra Rm1 will be charged. This doesn't apply to carbonated drinks like coca cola or miranda orange.
More interesting photos on clinic cafe. Frankly speaking, the food doesn't seem special to me, just ordinary stuff, but the environment that matters. Its really a new and fun experience to dine in in such restaurants. I do hope that there will be more themed restaurants coming up in Penang. Previously we had jail, and now we are having clinic, what's next ?

Food: 7/10
Price: 7/10
Service: 7.5/10
Parking: 8/10
Government Tax: No
Service Charge: Yes (10%)

Additional Information:
Address: 170-04-01 4th Floor Gurney Plaza, Pesiaran Gurney 10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Phone Number: 04- 229 4373
Business Hour: 11am - 10pm daily.