Saturday, January 11, 2014

Loke Thye Kee (乐台居) @ Burmah Road, Georgetown, Penang.

Talk about the once-glorious Loke Thye Kee and older Penangites will be fired up with the mouth-watering authentic Hainanese Food; the restaurant named Loke Hai Kee, is said to be the oldest restaurant in Penang which started its operations in the year 1919. Known to some as "Love Boat" in which the architecture resembles a Chinese pleasure boat, the building took a prominent location of the junction to Penang Road and Burmah Road. The architecture itself has made it a landmark of Georgetown and its enthralling history and stories have made the place popular amongst tourists.

After its refurbishments in the recent years, Loke Thye Kee has finally reopened its doors, offering Malaysian Cuisine prepared in the traditional ways by their very own Malaysian Chefs. No longer serving only Hainese Food, Loke Thye Kee has a wide selection of their signature Malaysian dishes from different ethic origins (Malays, Chinese and Indians); set menus are available for both lunch and dinner. 

*The Malaysian Buffet will only be available on every Saturday Evening (Rm 60++ for Adults/ Rm 30++ for Children). Buffet Brunch will be served on every Sunday (Rm 28++ for Adults/ Rm 14++ for Children). As for Tuesday to Friday, only Ala-Carte dishes will be served.*

Many Thanks to Loke Thye Kee for extending the invitation.

Mango Kerabu

Macaroni dressed with Olive Oil 

Chicken Ham

Fresh Greens

Thai Fish Salad

Seafood Bar with Mussels and Prawns

The starters were not entirely "Malaysian" but with a Western-Fusion touch as from what could be seen there- Fresh Greens, Chicken Ham and Pasta. The Mango Kerabu was refreshingly appetizing, with a balanced medley of sweet, sour and spicy but a slightly refinement needed in terms of texture, in which I would suggest the use of unripened Mangoes for the sourish tinge, crunchy texture and unique flavor. Equally worth-trying will be the Thai Fish Salad where copious amount of Herbs (such as Torch Ginger) were added to the firm yet meaty Fish for a quick toss; simple, straight-forward but delectable. Improvements however, are needed for the Seafood, particularly the blanched Mussels and Prawns. A slipshod in preparation caused the texture to fall below par and the Mussels carried an unpleasing fish stench.

Chicken Herbal Soup

The heart-warming and invigorating Chicken Herbal Soup is definitely something to look for. The flavorful soup with a strong aroma of traditional Herbal (such as Dong Guai) and a slick of sweetness from the Goji Berries. I like the soup for being less-oily too, perfect even for weight-watcher. 

Fried Rice

Roasted Chicken

Steamed Red Snapper with Garlic and Ginger

Seafood Thermidor

Braised Duck with Yam

Deep Fried Prawns

Barbecue Chicken

A heaven for poultry lovers, the Roasted Chicken was further heightened with the accompaniment of Plum Sauce. The sweet-sour sauce gives an additional flavor to the chicken, awakening the taste buds. On the contrary, the Barbecue Chicken seems to be on the salty side as compared to the Roasted Chicken. Their Braised Duck with Yam was well-executed with the Yam perfectly cooked and robust with flavors but a little let down with the texture of the Duck which was apparently too hard to the bite. 

I was especially enamored with their Steamed Red Snapper with Ginger and Garlic, it was delectable and lip-smacking dish; my only gripe was the dish was not well-kept at appropriate temperature. Continued with Seafood Thermidor, it was a creamy and cheesy dish but with the thoughtfully chosen Seafood, it adds an interesting bite to the dish, a worth-savoring dish for seafood lovers. A short respite from the cheesy and meaty dishes, diners can help themselves with the Braised Broccoli with Mushrooms. 

Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodles

Served piping hot, their Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodles is a safe bet. Despite the dish was not mind-blowing, the broth was sweet and flavorful. I would also prefer mine to be slightly spicier for the extra kick. Nevertheless, especially seafood-lovers, you may have your additional add-ons with the seafood available in the buffet spread. 


Ice Kacang

Bubur Kacang Merah

Blueberry Pie

Chocolate Cake

Coffee and Tea

Fruits and Puddings

The dessert spread was not extensive but sufficient to please everyone's palate. To counter the sweltering heat, head over to the Ice Kacang kiosk and request one from the friendly staff, you may even opt to top it with a scoop of icy cold Ice Cream too! On the other hand, the Blueberry Pie was decent with the right balance of sweetness albeit the pastry skin may be slightly too thick to my liking. 

If you prefer your meal to end with fresh fruits, leap over to the corner for the Fruits (Honeydew, Papaya and Watermelon) or Rojak booth, you may even customize your own bowl of Rojak with your preferred fruits. For those who prefers a bowl of warm traditional dessert, help yourself with a bowl of their Bubur Kacang Merah with Sago added for the extra bite; albeit on the sweeter side but it will be a pleasingly comforting dessert that you can eat on a regular basis. 

We were also served with few dishes from their ala-carte menu. Hainanese Chicken Chop served with Vegetables and Fries (Rm 18), the battered Chicken Thigh was tender but the sauce was a let down. It tasted somewhat similar to Western Brown Sauce instead and I would prefer them to serve some simple sweet and sour dipping sauce of Tomato Ketchup, Chili Sauce and Worcestershire Sauce. 

Their Hainanese Chicken Rice served with Steamed Chicken Thigh (Rm 18) comes in a gigantic portion. The perfectly cooked tender and smooth Chicken Thigh was good on its own but even better with the addition of their home-made Ginger-Garlic Paste and Chili Sauce. However, the Rice itself was a disappointment. The rice was too oily and the texture was not right. I would prefer mine with a slightly chewy and resilient bite. A fine tune to the recipe is needed. 

Mac & Cheese lovers will go weak in the knees with the dish- Macaroni Pie baked in Cheesy Cream Sauce (Rm 20). The Egg-White and Cheese covering the Macaroni was heated and melted before serving to the table. The airy and fluffy texture of the Egg-White gives a more layered dimension to the dish. It might be too creamy and surfeit for one to finish it entirely, hence, sharing is recommended. 

The Ala-Carte menu for the restaurant 

Many thanks to Chef Effendy (Pastry Chef of Loke Thye Kee), Chef Lim (Hainanese Chef of Loke Thye Kee) and Chef Azlin (Head Chef of Loke Thye Kee) for preparing all the wonderful dishes. 

The roof terrace of Loke Thye Kee has been converted to a bar, offering a breath-taking view overlooking the bustling streets of Georgetown. A charming and perfect environment to retreat and unwind from all the hustle-bustle of city life, and enjoy a bottle of well-chilled imported alcohol as well as snacks without putting a dent on the wallet. You may also order your food from the kitchen if you wish to dine-in this al-fresco dining area for a more outdoorsy ambiance. 

The menu available for Loke Thye Kee's Bar

Additional Information:
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Government Tax: Yes 6%
Address: 2, Jalan Burmah, 10050, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 11am to 11pm. Closed on every Monday.
Contact Number: 604- 264 1919

2 Jalan Burma, Georgetown, 10050 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia