Monday, January 21, 2013

Soft Opening of Kampai Restaurant @ E-Gate, Penang.

Last Saturday (18/01/2013) marked the soft opening of Kampai Restaurant by Tao Authentic Asian Cuisine, and I was very honored to be invited to their media launching. Kampai Restaurant is located at the place where the previous "Tao Restaurant" located, at E-Gate (opposite to Tesco) Penang. The word "Kampai" simply means "Cheers" in Japanese and it has been very common for Taiwanese to shout "Kampai" instead of saying it in Mandarin or local dialects as they are so getting used to the mixed culture resulted of  the colonialism happened decades ago. Having the concept of offering the "upgraded" version of Taiwanese "Chu-Char" to Penangites, Kampai Restaurant offers more than 100 dishes of Taiwanese Stir-Fried dishes at very affordable prices. Most of the dishes are priced at Rm 9.90 following the market rate in Taiwan (NTD 99). The restaurant has a very homely ambiance as the owner wishes to let diners feel that they are actually enjoying their alcoholic beverages at Izakaya (居酒屋 or pub in English).

They have an array of fresh seafood for diners to choose, prices are as shown (subject to 10% service charge and 6% government tax). Some of the notable ones were Salmon Fish Head, Sea Cucumber, Fresh Scallop, Squid, Crabs, Claims, Oysters etc....

Beer lovers should take note of this as Kampai Restaurant imports fruit-flavored Taiwanese Beers and these are hardly be seen in the market! There will be 4 flavors available namely Pineapple, Mango, Grapes and Lychee (Rm 12++ each) and I personally like Pineapple the most due to its piquant flavor. There were bloggers who find Grapes and Lychee suit them the best too. The Taiwan Beer (Rm 12++) was okay for me but not for those who prefer a slightly stronger flavor as it was rather mild in flavor.

The meal kick started off with their Sashimi Moriawase (盛合刺生,Rm 29.90++) and to my surprise, it comes with a huge portion! The Sashimi slices were fresh and sweet but it would be even better if they could have sliced it in a thicker manner for a better texture. Anyway, no complaints for such portion, good value of money too.

Smoked Duck Breast (烟熏鸭,Rm 9.90++) was definitely one of the most enjoyable dishes served that day, not that their Smoked Duck Breast were too special but the Vinegar-ed Cucumbers instead. No, they were not being pickled but more to a fair-tossed of Vinegar with a touch of Chilies and Garlic. Truly appetizing and best served with a bottle of icy cold beer.

Garlic Water Frog (酸味田鸡汤,Rm 19.90++) was one of the two soups served. I did not quite like this soup as I find it lacked of the "kick" and it tasted very ordinary to me. I was expecting more of the Garlicky flavor to be infused in the soup but unfortunately it does not.

In fact I find this Clam with Ginger Soup (蛤蜊姜丝汤,Rm 9.90++) more flavorful as compared to the previous one, although both of the soups do not possess any significant differences but it was obvious that this Clam soup has more Pepper added as it has a hint of spiciness.

I was rather amused by the name Seafood Omelette (海鲜芙蓉,Rm 9.90++) at first but I was surprised to see that their Seafood Omelette was just a mixed of Squid topped with a piece of Fried Omelette. It tasted like Squid being sandwiched with some Omelette and that was all about it.

Stir Fried Tiger Prawns (干烧虎虾,Rm 9.90++). Served with a sizzling hot plate, the dish did not actually impress me as it tasted very normal again, plain Deep Fried Prawns topped with some sauce of theirs. No doubt the texture of the prawns was okay but....... just too normal I guess.

Their Barbecue Lamb (酱烧羊排,Rm 15.90++) was a huge disappointment. The Lamb was a tad dry and the worst part was they did not even marinate and have given it enough time to absorb the flavors. The texture was rough and the meat was bland. Nothing to hype over for this dish.

Taiwanese Chicken Nugget (咸酥鸡,Rm 9.90++) was a worth-mentioning dish. No, not about the Chicken (the name of the dish hinted that it should be spicy but it turned out that it does not even has a hint of spiciness) but the Onions underneath instead. The sourish-Onion strips did make an impressive and appetizing combination with the Chicken, balancing the oiliness and boosting the crunchy and juicy texture. Not forgetting to mention that this dish comes with a huge portion too.

Taiwanese Spicy Chicken (台式椒麻鸡,Rm 9.90++) was another great-to-go-with-rice dish. The Chicken was first deep fried till golden brown and stir fried with some Chilies and Onions for the aroma. It was not spicy at all and and I reckon that this dish should go well with some piping hot steamed Rice.

Additional Information:
Address: 1-01-05 & 1-01-06, Ground Floor, E-Gate, Lebuh Tunku Kudin 2, 11700, Gelugor, Penang.
Business Hour: 12pm to 2:30pm; 5:30pm to 2am. Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 658 7826

*Please do note that prices are subject to 10% service charge and 6% government tax*