Sister Cook (大姐中国沙县小吃) @ Cantonment Road, Pulau Tikus, Penang.
I am sure that many are not familiar with Sha Xian cuisine, a county within Fujian (China) province; Sister Cook at Cantonment Road makes an inaugural move for setting up the business, offering authentic Sha Xian cuisine. Helmed by husband and wife, Sister Cook offers a wide variety of simple and earnest home-cooked China and local eats at very affordable prices. The comfortable air-conditioned restaurant is a place to look for when it comes to family dinner or a quick lunch as they do offer different set lunches as well as dinner sets. Despite the fact that not all dishes served were mind-blowing, some of the dishes were indeed impressive and I would definitely come back for more! Do check out my recommendations and try them out yourself!
Sister Cook is located along Cantonment Road, adjacent to Maybank Pulau Tikus or few doors away from the famous vegetarian place- Evergreen Vegetarian House at Pulau Tikus. The friendly duo manning the restaurant provides genuine services, as though it feels like an intimate restaurant for us.
*Many Thanks to Sister Cook for extending the invitation.*
The dish Freezing Broccoli (冰镇西兰花/ Rm 10.90) was ethereal which received unanimous "top-favorite" votes from most of the bloggers. It was simple and straight-forward; perfectly blanched Broccoli was chilled and to serve with a concoction of Japanese Soy Sauce and Wasabi/ Japanese Green Mustard. The combination results in a refreshing, crunchy yet juicy bite that one will never forget; the dish truly fits the definition of "refreshing" and would be perfect for weight-watchers or the health-conscious. Thumbs up for this dish.
Fried Scallop with Egg (干贝金黄旦/ Rm 16.90) was delicate in its own way, veering towards the sweeter side. The extra touch of Chinese wine granted a pleasing aroma to further enliven the seafood sweetness. This dish is perfectly spooned over rice or to wrap with a lettuce for the refreshing crunch.
Wanton Soup (扁肉馄饨汤/ Rm 3.90 for 6) or dumplings, are not the usual ones that can be found anywhere. Authentic Sha Xian dumplings must be hand-made and the meat-filling must be pounded by hand. The result is a smooth meaty filling, as though it feels like the meat tucked within a sausage; unique in its own way. The soup, however, did not impress us with its flat and expected flavors. A rather safe and unsurprising dish.
Another star dish of the night was their Fried Sauce Noodles (炸酱面/ Rm 6.90), the well-executed dish comes with some flavorful minced Pork, julienned Cucumbers and Carrots, a braised Tofu as well as their home-made Chili flakes. The hand-pulled Noodles were bouncy and al-dente to my liking, perfectly complemented by their meat and vegetables, it was indeed a delectable dish to look for. The addition of Cucumber and Carrot offered a refreshing crunch of healthy greens, giving the noodles another layer of texture. I will definitely come back for their noodles.
Recommended by the owners, Scallop Fried Rice (干贝炒饭/ Rm 12.90) is apparently one of their signature dishes. It comes with a huge portion and 5 Deep Fried Dumplings as well. Possessed the standard "Wok Hei" and plenty of seafood goodness, the slightly sweet dish gives a standard satisfaction to my cravings for fried rice. Decent but not the best around just yet.
Seabass Cooked with Authentic Sauce (鬼子鱼) was not my type of dish albeit some bloggers did find the dish interesting and aesthetic. Battered Deep Fried Seabass served with their home-made sauce which consists of Fermented Beancurd, Bean Paste and some other ingredients that my untrained taste buds could not identify. I thought the dish was average but I do reckon that the dish goes better with rice. Diners may opt to add Rm 3 to make this dish a set (comes with a bowl of Soup, a Side dish and a Drink).
The flavors of the dish- Honey Style Chicken (蜜酥鸡) were somehow predictable, the sweet and thickly battered Chicken cutlets were a little less successful in my opinion, as though I have had such dish before elsewhere. It was also, slightly too sweet to my liking though a spoon of rice would do the trick. Diners may opt to add Rm 3 to make this dish a set (comes with a bowl of Soup, a Side dish and a Drink).
If you are someone who prefers Chinese Herbs, you may want to check out this worth-savoring dish Famous Prosperity Chicken (富贵鸡/ Rm 12.90); wrapped and steamed in an aluminium foil with Goji Berries and Dang Gui, the Chicken was robust in flavors. The Chicken was well-marinated and reasonably seasoned, nevertheless, the dish goes perfectly well with a bowl of steaming hot rice. My only gripe was the dish was slightly oilier to my liking.
Their Braised Tofu (卤豆腐/ Rm 3 for 2 pieces) on the other hand, is another noteworthy choice. The wobbly Tofu was braised till perfection, well-flavored inside out. Do note that Beancurd and Tofu are different in texture, Beancurds are tougher and chewier in nature while Tofus are soft and smooth. Perfectly balanced in taste, the dish would be perfect if served warm and I am sure it will make Tofu lovers weak in the knees.
There are more choices to offer in Sister Cook. Go for their Braised Combo Dish (卤味拼盘/ Rm 15.90) if you prefer bold flavors and innards. The pot consists of Braised Pork Belly, Egg, Chicken Feet, Chicken Drumstick, Pig's Ear and Intestines. Using only fresh Herbs in the making, Sister Cook ensures the flavors are unique and stand out from the average. Nonetheless, I am not quite a fan of this dish as it was way too oily to my liking. Some bloggers do seem to enjoy the dish though.
Address: 37E, Cantonment Road, 10350, Pulau Tikus, Penang.
Business Hours: 11am to 10pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 228 2377
Service Charge: Yes 6%
Government Tax: No