Friday, October 31, 2014

The Classroom Cafe @ Raja Uda, Butterworth, Penang.

I have mixed feelings towards the word "Classroom" and the interior decor at The Classroom Cafe is a reminiscent of my schooling days- Blackboard, Chalk, Test Tubes and of course, odd mathematical equations (p/s: I hate the school uniform but who likes it anyway). Blank papers are attached to the table and guests can draw anything on the paper using the crayons provided. The gimmick is there but the menu has nothing interesting but some localized Western food as well as some snacks. Good for novelty sake but they need to come out with a more sturdy menu to retain the customers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ken Hunts Food: 24-Hour Food Guide in Penang.

Penang is famous for its diversified range of street food. It is not impossible to find and indulge in good food throughout the day. Here's how, this guide is especially useful when you are short of time and wish to fully utilize the time as well as your tummy space.

6 am: Te Chang You Tiao Wang/ Chinese Crullers

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Library Coffee Bar @ Alma, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

The developing town of Alma (at Bukit Mertajam) welcomes the 7th branch of a renown coffee specialist in Malaysia- The Library Coffee Bar. Located at the new commercial area- Impiana Gallery opposite Tesco Alma, the double storey shoplot will be a great place to hang out for the cafe hoppers nearby. The Library Coffee Bar has quite an extensive menu, featuring not only mains but appetizers and desserts too. The place is nicely decorated according to the theme- with books scatteredly placed on brightly colored book racks and comfortable couches. However, seats were very limited on our visit (probably due to the overwhelming crowd on Friday evening) and the service was rather slow. Nevertheless, this is one of the few places that I would not mind to drop by again.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Food Hunter's Guide @ Kulim (居林), Kedah.

Kulim of Kedah would make a short but great getaway from Penang; not only that the town is quiet and surrounded by greeneries but it has a handful of hidden gems for foodies to unveil either. Kulim is approximately 40 minutes' drive from Penang Island and 15 minutes from Alma, Bukit Mertajam. Kulim is a great place for a half-day food adventure and to experience the relaxing and slow-paced life while looking at the heritage building in the heartland of Kulim. 

First Stop: Tan Kee Roast Duck (鲁乃陈记烧鸭) @ Lunas, Kedah.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Big Beans @ Madras Lane, Georgetown, Penang.

The Big Beans touts itself as a casual-leisure coffee place, it does not have a big menu offering a wide selection of food but rather; a simple, small home-cooked style menu consists of few pasta dishes, a couple of Sandwiches and some desserts. Undoubtedly, the place does exude such a relaxing vibe, the interior decor is generally simple painted with turquoise color and an eye-catchy angel-wing mural taking up the whole of one wall, resembling "dream big, fly high". Eclectic couches and comfortable pillows were carefully selected and the spacious seating ensures privacy; the whole place emits a minimalist sort of elegance. While the ambiance is good, I thought they need to work more on their menu. It is still a good place for a cup of Joe nevertheless. The Big Beans is located at Madras Lane, opposite to Copra Mill Leisure World. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Taman Perak Nasi Lemak @ Perak Road Market, Jelutong, Penang.

Call it early breakfast or late supper, this unassuming stall at Taman Perak had fans licking their lips in anticipation as early as 4:30 am in the morning. The Coffee House never sleeps, it opens so early that the whole stretch of bustling Perak Road is still in dark. I drove passed the place on an early morning and was surprised to see the long queue in front of the stall. Without second thought, I joined the crowd. Unlike the ubiquity of Nasi Lemak, this particular stall dishes out a few types of Curries and Sambals, as well as condiments; the stall is famous for its lip-smacking Sambal and very affordable prices. To find the stall, locate Perak Road Market along Jalan Perak, look for the Zebra crossing right in front of the market entrance. The Nasi Lemak stall is housed within the first Coffee House on your left. The best time to visit will be between 5 am to 6 am in the morning. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Soul Cafe @ Kek Chuan Road, Georgetown, Penang.

Sogor, the first female-only capsule hotel in Penang has finally opened its doors to the public while the first floor (or ground floor) of the dormitory is Soul Cafe. The curious cafe seeks to portray a different brand image and style whereby they brand themselves as the first photography cafe in Malaysia. While I did not find the interior decor particularly adhere to the theme, the wooden interior decor did manage to emanate a sense of tranquility and relaxing vibe. The main Chef would not be available until the end of October 2014 so the menu will be simple and small at the moment. The cafe will be introducing more Italian dishes in the near future so stay tuned to their announcement on their Facebook page. Soul Cafe is located at Kek Chuan Road, opposite to Basil, Le Bistrot and few shops away from Dolce Dessert Cafe.

Friday, October 17, 2014

K-Pot Korean Fusion Restaurant @ Prima Tanjung, Tanjung Bungah, Penang.

An extended outlet of K-Pot is housed within the commercial building of Prima Tanjung; the branch here offers a slightly different menu (not a place for Barbecue). The humble Korean restaurant here dishes out home-cooked style Korean dishes, at relatively lower prices as compared to its sister restaurant. The setting is simple- nothing pretentious, no kitschy posters/ mural paints on the wall, no elegant furniture; but rather, a clean and spacious place to have a quick meal. The serving speed was fast and the server was very friendly. A place that I would love to drop by to sate my cravings for Korean food. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A List of Ken's Favorite Bakeries in Penang.

Penang has seen an increasing demand of good artisan bread and the mushrooming of many good bakeries. It can be a daunting task to cut through the novelties and get down to the solid ones. Fear not, I have a few recommendations here which might give you an idea on where to get a better slice of bread (in Penang). 

1) Yin's Sourdough Bakery & Cafe

A very passionate baker- Su Yin, had her humble beginning started few years ago at Balik Pulau and since relocated to the current location at Pesara Claimant (facing the Police Station nearby Carnavon Street). All breads are hand-crafted and freshly baked using natural ingredients and sourdough-baking method. According to Yin, it takes an average of 30 hours for her to bake a sourdough from scratch. Researchers believe that there are many health benefits for consuming sourdough bread, for more information on sourdough baking, you may refer to their website.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Paul Loiis @ King Street, Georgetown, Penang.

Paul Loiis is an extended outlet of Roti Bean Cafe, the just-opened cafe is nestled within a colonial styled building in the heartland of Georgetown- King Street. The building is primarily used as a student hostel for the nearby college students but Paul Loiis took a prominent spot of the building, occupying the corner lot, making it highly visible from the main entrance. The interior decor is minimalist but we like the window glass which allows the natural light to flood in and bestows a calm, comfortable and restful vibe. The cafe has a limited menu right now but more dishes are expect to be introduced by their grand opening next month. Interested diners can catch live Magic Show performance on every Friday evening at 8:30 pm (until 10 pm) at Paul Loiis.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Bến Tàu Vietnamese Cuisine @ Union Street, Georgetown, Penang.

There are only a handful of Vietnamese restaurants in Penang and Ben Tau is one of the latest ones to burst on the scene. Opened in early September, this is one of the newer Vietnamese eateries in Penang, with a Vietnamese Chef. Albeit they have a seemingly extensive menu, but many dishes were not available on my visit (probably they were still new and have yet to stabilize their business operations). The interior decor is minimalist, with a few basic wooden tables and chairs; fortunately, the restaurant is fully air-conditioned which offers a more comfortable and pleasant ambiance. That, of course, inevitably leads to higher price tags (probably due to location as well). Ben Tau is tucked within the shop houses of Logan Heritage at Union Street, right beside to D' Dapor Express and Maybank; opposite to Standard Chartered Bank Penang. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Delight Delicatessen @ Macalister Lane, Georgetown, Penang.

Delight Delicatessen has shadow of Nando's, the renowned flame-grilled Chicken specialist in Malaysia; evidently seen from its signature dish- Mera Mera Chicken and their home-made hot sauce. Both share some similarities, yet different in its own way. Opened for a year, the place has proven to be one of the favorite lunch spots for the nearby office workers. Reasons? Inexpensive, large portion, quality food and air-conditioned dining hall (though finding a place to park may be a problem). Setting of the place is simple and straight-forward (not meant for special occasions with your loved ones or largr groups). Delight Delicatessen is located at Macalister Lane, few shops away from the famous Seow Fong Lye Cafe and ATIC College Penang. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Clockwise Place Cafe @ Stewart Lane, Georgetown, Penang.

Ukrainian food may not be a common sight in most restaurants or cafes here in Penang but this particular cafe- Clockwise Place Cafe breaks the norm by offering a few Ukrainian dishes (Chicken Kiev is one of their signature dishes) that Penangites are not familiar with! Clockwise Place is a small lodging house with a cafe that offers simple and straight-forward breakfast dishes with a few unique Ukrainian dishes introduced by the lady owner. Prices are unbelievably low but the choices on the menu are very limited (they have plans on adding more dishes to the menu in the near future). It may be a little tricky to locate the place (it took me a while to find it) as no clear signage is being erected on the building (yet); the interior, on the other hand, exudes a very relaxed and energetic vibe, clearly shown from the resplendent tables and chairs. The staff are friendly and helpful but finding a place to park your car may be a problem. Clockwise Place Cafe is situated right smack in town, the corner house of the intersection between Lebuh Klang and Stewart Lane. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kani Honke (螃蟹本家) @ Susukino. Sapporo, Hokkaido.

Hokkaido is famous for its fresh and quality seafood; while visiting local fish markets is a must, we took the opportunity to visit one of the most renown crab specialists in Sapporo on our recent visit to Hokkaido. Kani Honke (螃蟹本家) has a few branches across Japan and the branch we visited was somewhere near to our hotel at Susukino Train Station. Approximately  a 10-minute walk from Susukino Train Station, Kani Honke is very easy to locate, due to its tall and eye-catchy signage. The english-friendly restaurant has a very useful website, with description and prices written clearly (the website will be updated frequently too). The restaurant has a few floors and we were ushered to the third floor by a hospitable staff. We were invited to a private room with traditional Tatami setting which seats up to 4 person; lunch was a resounding success and we enjoyed the meal thoroughly. A worth-dropping by place if you are in the vicinity. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Beep Beep Q @ Bangkok Lane, Pulau Tikus, Penang.

Barbecue devotees would be glad to know that there is a new Barbecue restaurant hit the shore of the island recently. Beep Beep Q walks a slightly different path, the restaurant offers made-to-order barbecue buffet dinner (at Rm 58 nett per person); guests get to choose their orders from their menu, not only featuring an array of meat but a wide selection of vegetables as well. The restaurateur cum Chef is a car enthusiast which explains why there are so many automotive spare parts adorning the walls. The setting is not posh or picturesque but rather simple with a few wooden tables and chairs. Al-fresco dining area is available for those who prefer a more outdoorsy ambiance. However, we belittled the setting and thought that the foods were very impressive and worth every single penny spent. Ala-carte lunch menu may be served in the near future. Beep Beep Q is situated at Bangkok Lane, Pulau Tikus.

Many Thanks to Beep Beep Q for hosting us that evening. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cafe Bouchée @ Sunway Perdana, Prai, Penang.

Opened for just a few months, Cafe Bouchee has already proven to be one of the popular cafes at Seberang Prai. Tucked within the commercial shop houses opposite to Sunway Carnival at Seberang Jaya (few shops away from Sushi Zento), the cafe has quite an impressive interior decor- comfortable couches, spacious seating with funky-retro decorations. Although we love the environment and ambiance of the cafe, we thought they could put more effort in their foods. The menu did not surprise us with the ubiquitous Western dishes and Cakes. Nevertheless, Cafe Bouchee is still worth a visit if you are in the vicinity and looking for a decent place to have a cup of tea/ coffee.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Shunka (旬香) @ Burmah Road, Georgetown, Penang.

Shunka should not be new to Penangites; the Japanese restaurant is known to churn out some fine and delicate Japanese-inspired dishes. The restaurant has a very impressive menu, for its all-inclusion selection of Sashimi, Ramen, Udon, Tamagoyaki, various Grilled items, Sake or even their signature Matcha desserts. Albeit it has a few branches but the newly opened branch at Burmah Road is set to welcome its grand opening on this coming weekend (3rd, 4th and 5th of October, 2014; for more information on the grand opening promotion, kindly follow their page). The setting of the restaurant is well-considered; with some wooden dining tables and chairs, red bamboo place-mats, bamboo decorations and Japanese-styled wallpaper to set the tone. Private rooms are also available to accommodate larger groups. A pretty good place if you wish to savor a wide variety of Japanese dishes and their range of Matcha desserts. 

Many Thanks to Shunka for extending the invitation.