Formosa (台湾风味馆) @ The CEO, Bayan Lepas, Penang.
Introduced by Criz from Crizfood, Formosa (台湾风味馆), a newly opened Taiwanese restaurant which situated at a new office building, The CEO (right beside/ next to Vistana Hotel Penang). I'm aware of this building but never intended to find/hunt for a restaurant there. Since the location is pretty near to my college, so I figured out that I'll check it out someday and coincidentally, I had the chance to try some of the dishes today. To find Formosa, try to locate Vistana Hotel Penang, The CEO is just right beside Vistana Hotel. Formosa is located at ground floor, corner unit (facing Kayu Nasi Kandar) of The CEO. As for parking, you may opt to park inside the building or outside (the open air car park), both are very convenient. Formosa has quite a lot of variety to offer and are priced reasonably. Service was attentive, ambiance was good either, they do have a small area upstairs of the restaurant which suitable for friends/family gathering too, try to give them a call first if you wish to reserve the area, you find some comfortable chairs up there too.
Dry Noodles With Bean Sauce (炸酱干面, Rm7.90, with additional noodles added, Rm2) We were too greedy to add some additional noodles (top up Rm2) on top of the usual portion. We just could not believe our own eyes, the portion was so gigantic that everyone of us whom added the noodles, can't even finish third quarter of the noodles. As per written on their menu, all of the noodles were hand-made and no preservatives added. Back to the Dry Noodles With Bean Sauce, it comes with a generous amount of vegetables, namely cucumber slices, carrot slices, and bean sprouts. Some braised pork was topped on the noodles. The portion was too big until the noodles were a bit dry but no worries, you can always ask for additional sauce if you feel that the noodles were too dry for you. The springy noodles did work well with the fragrantly done braised pork, together with bites of refreshing vegetables, not too shabby.
Spicy Dry Noodles (麻辣干面, Rm9.90, additional noodles added, Rm2). Similar to the noodles above, the portion was too big that we couldn't even finish this bowl of noodles. Taste-wise, was spicy, it has some chopped wood ear (木耳), black edible fungus, vegetables and some squids added too. Unfortunately, same problem exists, the portion was too big and the noodles were a bit dry to my liking.
Spicy Beef Noodles (麻辣牛肉面, Rm11.90, additional noodles added, Rm2). It comes with a few slices of beef, some vegetables and one small plate of pickled vegetables was given as well. The beef was not as tender as I thought they will be and it lacked of some taste in my opinion, would prefer those with heavier "beef-y flavor". The pickled vegetables complemented the soup perfectly, bringing a hint of sourness to the spicy soup. The soup was okay but I would prefer a stronger flavor's.
Moved on to the rice set, this was their Deep Fried Chicken Chop Rice (香酥鸡扒饭, Rm9.90). For every rice set, it comes with four side dishes, which will keep changing everyday, depending on the restaurant itself, for today, we had stir fried cabbage, fried egg with tomatoes, stir fried celery and some fried chicken. The rice was very fragrant according to my friend, it has some tossed sesame seeds topped on the rice too and comes with a bowl of soup as well. The deep fried chicken chop was indeed, very flavorful and crispy to my liking, with such a portion and many sides given; good value of money.
Fried Salty Chicken Rice (香酥鸡饭, Rm9.90). Similarly to the set above, it comes with a rice, together with four side dishes, but the deep fried chicken chop was replaced with this fried salty chicken instead. It looks like pop corn chicken, but the perfectly done fried salty chicken was very impressive, the chicken still remained the juiciness within, it would be better if they could have provided some special home made chili sauce.
Another option other than the deep fried chicken chop and fried salty chicken will be Crispy Deep Fried Fish Rice (香脆鱼扒饭, Rm9.90). The lightly battered fish fillet was deep fried till perfection, it possesses a very unique fragrant and was very good to my taste, thick cut and crispy. Recommended.
We had also tried their Braised Egg (卤蛋, Rm1.50 each), the egg was nicely cut and split into four equal portions, and some special sauce, which tasted like some sort of Japanese sauce (it tasted like some oyster sauce too), the sauce has a good blend of sweet and saltiness, it would be very salty if too much of this sauce added.
Taiwan Tempura (自制甜不辣, Rm5.00), it should be made of fish cake, but instead, the texture feels like Tofu instead, I would personally prefer the Tempura to have a more al-dente texture instead. Some sour plum powder was sprinkled over the Tempura, hence, it has some sweet and sourish taste blended well within.
Rice Burger With Sausage (大肠包小肠, Rm9.50). If you have been paying attention to the street food in Taiwan, you should be quite familiar with this, Rice Burger With Sausage. Its not too common here in Penang. As the name suggested, a Taiwanese sausage was sandwiched using a roll of "rice burger" which made of glutinous rice, the roll was deep fried first to give the crispy texture on the outer layer. It has some cucumber and pickled vegetables added as well, and had some of their home made sauce poured over the burger. Too much of sauce added, ended up the dish was more to the salty side, but the overall taste was good, especially the crispy and chewy glutinous rice burger. Recommended.
Bubble Black Tea (泡沫红茶, Rm3.50 Cold). The tea was very good in my opinion, it was not too sweet and was just nice to quench my thirst.
Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7.5/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Service: 8.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: Yes 5%
Government Tax: No
Address: The CEO, 31-1-16, Lebuh Nipah 5, Bayan Lepas, 11900 Penang.
Business Hour: 11am to 10pm, Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 611 1988