Friday, May 30, 2014

Around The World in 80 Dishes @ Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang.

The culinary Chefs of Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang take on a new challenge as the restaurant debuts a special buffet theme for the month of June 2014 (from 1st of June 2014 until 30th of June 2014). The new buffet theme- "Around the World in 80 Dishes" aims to take diners for an exciting and memorable culinary adventure where diners get to enjoy different types of cuisine in one-go. The buffet theme is especially challenging as the culinary team of Swez Brasserie has to come out with different types of dishes for every single day (though repetitive dishes may appear). Diners can expect to see a diverse range of Chinese, German, Japanese, Mexican, Thai and many other dishes from the rest of the world. 

Many Thanks to Eastin Hotel Penang for extending the invitation.

Prices for the buffets are as follow: 

Lunch: Monday - Friday
12:00pm - 2:30pm
Rm 50++ (adult) Rm 25++ (child)

Hi-Tea: Saturday and Sunday
12:00pm - 4:00pm
Rm 68++ (adult) Rm 34++ (child)

Semi Buffet Dinner: Sunday - Tuesday, Thursday
6:30pm - 10:00pm
From Rm50++ per person

June Credit Card Promotions:

American Express, Standard Chartered Bank, UOB Bank, OCBC Bank, CIMB Bank, Citibank, Maybank and MasterCard Worldwide card members, guests can enjoy 15% discount for Semi Buffet Dinner (Sunday to Tuesday, Thursday) and Weekend Buffet Dinner (Saturday) from 6:30pm to 10:00pm.

For inquiries or reservations, kindly contact Eastin Hotel Penang, Swez Brasserie at +04- 612 1128.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hock Seng Penang Rojak @ Macallum Street, Georgetown, Penang.

A question that pops up often among foodies will be: "Where to find the best X?" or "Where can I get the best Y?", and when it comes to Rojak, many raved about this place- Hock Seng Penang Rojak. Claims to be the best Rojak in Penang and self-crowned as "Rojak King", the Rojak stall has certainly attracted an appreciate following over the years; long queues are often spotted right beside the stall and it tends to be sold out by 5pm. Hock Seng's is famous of its thick, rich, sweet and gooey Rojak paste as well as the complementary condiments- Dried Shrimps and toasted Peanuts. Having tasted their Rojak, I did not think it was that great and definitely not good enough to "wow" me. It may be a decent Rojak for some but not good enough for that price and the queue. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Khoon Pastry House @ Argyll Road, Georgetown, Penang.

Khoon Pastry House is truly one of the hidden gems in Penang. Forgotten by many, the quaint little pastry house recently went through a change- revamping the whole dining area while one may still notice that there is a touch of tradition still prevails in this snug space. In business since 1957, Khoon has all the while been famous for its pastries, the old Penangites would have at least, heard of the name. With business being competitive, Khoon Pastry House decides to roll out its Hainanese dishes where diners can hunt for the authentic Hainanese flavors of the yesteryears. We were deeply impressed by the flavors and thought that this place is worth recommending. Shepherd Pie, Hainanese Chicken Chop and Hainanese Spring Rolls are some of their signature dishes. Diners can also enjoy their range of luscious cakes and pastries, traditional snacks can also be found from the refrigerated cake counter. To find Khoon Pastry House, locate Odeon Cinema along Upper Penang Road and make a right turn into Argyll Road, you should be able to see Khoon Pastry House on your left shortly. 

Ini KARI lah @ Jalan Masjid Negeri, Greenlane, Penang.

Who would have thought there is a restaurant nestled within the Penang Spastic Center? However, the strategic location at Greenlane and its eye-catchy green colored signboard have successfully drew many's attention. Amused by the name, I have decided to pay a visit to this restaurant and as the name would imply, the restaurant serves curry mainly, with a few Zhu Char dishes to go with rice. In fact, I was quite delighted to find out that they proffer vegetarian dishes too but it will be recommended to make advance reservation if you are on vegetarian diet. I reckon Ini KARI lah is a decent place for family meal, where everyone gets to select their preferred dishes. Penang Spastic Center can be found along Jalan Masjid Negeri, right next to Petronas and adjacent to BHP Petrol. 

Curry Fish Head- "Kalak" Fish/ Snapper (Market Price) is one of their signature dishes. Diners are to choose between "Kalak Fish", Salmon or Grouper Fish for the Curry Fish Head. Tofu Puffs, Aubergines and Okras can be found inside the Curry too. It was served piping hot and the curry was thick and creamy. However, we did not think it was that great as though it lacked of an "X" factor, probably we were expecting the curry to be spicier. It felt like an ordinarily-average Curry Fish Head and definitely nothing to shout about. If you must know, it costs us Rm 35 for this small-sized Fish Head (the serving size was meant to be 2 person).

We had an extra order- "Kwai Fa" Egg (Rm 15) which was the only dish we enjoyed. It was lovely, with a pleasing "wok-hei", deftly seasoned, I love how the egg worked with the complementing ingredients- Glass Noodles, chopped Chilies and Onions. It was a very simple but well-executed dish. 

There are a few noodle-choices for those who prefer noodles over rice. Tom Yum Bee Hoon Soup (Rm 8.50) comes in a substantial portion, with some fish balls, crab sticks, squid and shrimps found in the soup. However, I thought the soup was a mediocre dish, the quality was below par. The soup was bland and no, it was not spicy at all. The absence of Tom Yum flavor left me underwhelmed either. It was a huge disappointment and mistake to order this dish. 

Taste: 6.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 6.5/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Pork-Free/ Vegetarian Options Available

Additional Information:
Address: 425, Jalan Masjid Negeri, 11600, Greenlane, Penang. (Penang Spastic Center)
Business Hours: 11:30am to 2:30pm for Lunch, 6pm to 10pm for Dinner. Closed on every Monday.
Contact Number: 604- 655 4158

425 Jalan Masjid Negeri, Jelutong, 11600 Jelutong, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Love & Latte Cafe @ Love Lane, Georgetown, Penang.

Love and Latte is a new cafe at Love Lane that has affordable all-day-breakfast dishes on its menu. Step into the cafe and you will be greeted by the resplendent and colorful chairs, the air-conditioned cafe has a cozy ambiance that seems to be the perfect location for you to unwind during weekends. The service was certainly attentive and the staff was friendly. However, I would not make a special trip here but if you are in the vicinity and in need of a good place to wind down, this is a pleasant place to enjoy a cup of coffee and to rest your feet. The place may be a little inconspicuous and can be easily missed. You can find Love & Latte Cafe beside a small alley at Love Lane, facing Reggae Mansion.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Lightbulb @ Jalan Zainal Abidin, Georgetown, Penang.

A long stroll along Jalan Zainal Abidin, you will find The Lightbulb, a newly opened yet curious cafe (right next to the UMNO building) which seeks to serve more than an ordinary cup of coffee and all day breakfast menu. It can be easy to miss this place, they do not have catchy sign board nor attractive exterior design. It is also likely that this cafe will be covered up by cars parking right in front of the cafe. The interior of cafe was carefully decorated with many light bulbs to suit the theme- some entangled on pipes while some are left hanging around in the air; glowing with mellow yellowish light that bestows a romantic atmosphere. While the laid-back ambiance does score some marks but sitting on the low wooden storage stool for some time might not be too comfortable for the back. I would suggest you to go for the ordinary chairs if you are about to spend some time in the cafe. Prices are certainly wallet-friendly and service was attentive but there were some hits and misses for the food, we wondered if we did not order the right dishes; well I guess that calls for a second visit. Nevertheless, this is a decent place to have a quick recharge in the afternoon. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chin Chai Chiak @ Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Georgetown, Penang.

*This place has since ceased its business operation.*

Explosion of cafes opening up in Penang recently and Chin Chai Chiak is definitely one of the unique ones. Going on a different path than most cafes do, Chin Chai Chiak proffers local eats instead of Western menu. Some of the examples are Hainanese Chicken Chop, Assam Laksa, savory Pies, Kaya-Butter Toast just to name a few, and of course, with a few types of home-made Cakes. The snug quaint little cafe seats up to 12 person only which might not be too accommodating for larger groups. One thing that irks me was the staff insists on having 4 diners for a larger table, even though the cafe appears to be rather empty. Also, I thought the serving staff could be friendlier. Not a bad place if you are in the vicinity and I do hope that they are able to learn about the importance of customer service and improve over time. Chin Chai Chiak can be found at a stone's throw distance away from the mural paint along Armenian Street, facing The Boutique Residence. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pearl Hill Soya Bean @ Lembah Permai, Tanjung Bungah, Penang.

Nearby residents of Tanjung Bungah should not be unfamiliar with the name- Pearl Hill Soya Bean, which has been in business for more than few decades. The humble kiosk at the hawker center of Hill Side is still in operation while the son has started another branch at Jalan Lembah Permai. The new branch rolls out a new series of quirky, playful but creative dishes (Eg: Soya Icicles, Soya Cendol etc) as well as some local eats like Laksa and Nasi Lemak. While the taste was averagely-okay to me, what impressed me were the very affordable prices and comfortable dining area equipped with air-conditioners. A good place to quell the blistering heat with a bowl of their icy cold Soya Cendol. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Nellcis Passion Heart Cafe @ Muntri Street, Georgetown, Penang.

Tucked within one of the heritage houses along Muntri Street, Nellcis Passion Heart Cafe is one of the latest members to the Penang cafe scene. Be sure to check the place out if you have exquisite taste buds. Reason? They have Durian and Cempedak Cakes. Do expect to see some cakes with quirky and playful combinations, Black Forest with Red Wine cake just to name one; best of all, all the cakes are priced at unbelievably affordable prices and the cakes will be generously sliced. However, I do not see this place as a good place to retreat or for gathering, it does not have the perfect setting. The lack of air-conditioners could be frustrating for the heat-intolerant either. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a simple cafe to enjoy a decent slice of cake, you are at the right place. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Chun Cheon Dak Galbi Korean Food @ Vantage Desiran Tanjung, Tanjung Bungah, Penang.

It's easy to miss Chun Cheon Dak Galbi Korean Food which nestled within the Vantage Desiran Tanjung commercial building. Reason is simple, the building is rather empty and the restaurant is situated at first floor. Fortunately, if you were to have a closer look at those shop houses, you will be attracted by the colorful and resplendent sign board of this Korean restaurant. As the name would imply, the restaurant specializes in serving Dak Galbi (a type of Korean dish made of stir-fried Chicken with Gochujang sauce) and Barbecue. They do have some rice and noodle dishes but are of limited choices. The place is rather simple and might not have sophisticated setting that could up the dining ante like Dao Rae, but the dishes are priced reasonably and service is certainly attentive. However, I thought the ventilation system could be better. Also, I did not think the foods were good enough to "wow" me but its a good place for novelty, especially if you have never had Dak Galbi. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Koay Teow Th'ng @ Seang Teik Road, Georgetown, Penang.

Tucked within a very old prewar heritage house along Seang Teik Road, the humble and unpretentious Koay Teow Th'ng stall has been selling for more years and since, garnered an appreciate following. The absence of sign board makes it hard for others to find the place, those who are able to make their ways here are in the know. In spite that the place serves Koay Teow Th'ng only but the prices are certainly very wallet-friendly. However, the operating hours may be a little odd, it should be noted that they are opened from 1:30pm to 6:30 pm everyday except on Sundays. A worth-trying place if you are in the vicinity. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Hillside Cafe Bar & Restaurant @ Hillside, Tanjung Bungah, Penang.

The Hillside Cafe is yet one of the newest cafes that joins an already clamoring crowd in Penang. Manned by expats, the cafe offers a wide range of breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes ranging from the conventional western breakfast to some pasta dishes, sandwiches and burgers; of course, salads for the health-conscious as well. The cafe itself is an inviting and artsy space with personal touch, this can be seen from the paints adorning the walls. Decor is minimalist, in shades of rustic wooden beam with cozy and comfortable couches and chairs. While prices could be slightly on the higher side for some dishes but we did not leave feeling shortchanged due to the substantial portion. However, there were some hits and misses both in terms of food and serving speed (probably due to first day jitters); but as the place is still pretty new, it is worth a second look and I reckon that this place has the perfect setting to wind down and enjoy your hearty breakfast. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Fish Head Bee Hoon @ Hsin Chu Garden Food & Beverages (新竹园), Perak Road, Georgetown, Penang.

Talk about Fish Head Bee Hoon and many foodies will be fired up with this topic. I am aware that Penang has a fair share of decent Fish Head Bee Hoon but now, there is another and potentially better option for foodies to choose for. Situated at the ubiquitous food lane of Perak Road, Hsin Chu Garden Food & Beverages has gathered an appreciate following since its opening. The place is famous for its pick-your-own-ingredients Fish Head Bee Hoon; in other words, you may choose your preferred ingredients from the display counter and have them added onto your bowl of seafood goodies. Wallet-conscious diners will be glad to know that the price for a bowl of basic Fish Head Bee Hoon starts from Rm 4; as for those with deeper pockets could even order seafood like Crabs, Prawns, Grouper Fish slices or even Frogs. While we certainly enjoyed the food during our previous visit, the experience could be better with air-conditioners; also, finding a place to park might require some luck here. 

Many thanks to Hsin Chu for extending the invitation. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

K-Pot Korean BBQ Garden Restaurant @ Tanjung Bungah, Penang.

**K-Pot Korean BBQ Garden Restaurant has since ceased its business operation. The branch at Prima Tanjung is still available though.**

Another great place for K-Pop fans to have their cravings (for Korean food) fixed, K-Pot Korean Barbecue Garden is a new delightful addition to the food scene in Penang, reasons are simple: inexpensive price tags, attentive service, authentic Korean food with comfortable yet homely ambiance. The place does not have sophisticated nor classy setting like the well-known Dao-Rae, rather, it is more towards home-cooking style. They do not have fancy menu, just a simple and earnest one; I was quite surprised not to see any Tteokbokki/ Korean Rice Cake, nevertheless, the menu is good enough to satiate my cravings. K-Pot Korean BBQ Garden Restaurant is located strategically slightly down the junction of Dalat International School (towards Batu Ferringhi), housed in a bungalow along Jalan Tanjung Bungah.