Sunday, March 30, 2014

Via Pre @ Weld Quay, Georgetown, Penang.

Welcoming its 2nd anniversary in early March 2014, Via Pre has officially opened its door to the public for 2 years. I am not surprised that Via Pre is crowned one of the finest and best Italian restaurants in Penang and has been able to stay strong and steady for a long time as they have devised a sturdy menu to satisfy its regular patrons. The interior decor and the exterior look of the restaurant are such a big contrast; the restaurant seems quiet and nothing exciting from outside but you will be surprised with the classy and swanky setting as well as the charming environment inside. Their comprehensive menu comprises of Antipastos, Entrees, Pasta, Mains, Pizzas and Desserts will surely have something for every palate. Prices are definitely on the higher side but they commensurate with the fine-quality ingredients. Simply ask for recommendations from the eloquent staff should you are unsure of what to order and I am sure they will provide you with the suitable recommendations. Via Pre is located at Weld Quay, a stone's throw distance from the interactive 3D museum and Pos Malaysia; opposite to the Ferry Terminal of Penang. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Baa Baa Black Sheep Cafe @ Tanjung Bungah, Penang.

Explosion of brunch places opening up in Penang and Baa Baa Black Sheep Cafe is one of the newest members to the food scene. The newly opened cafe proffers a range of brunch choices as well as some pasta dishes. There are also a few mains including steak and lamb chop for dinner-wise. While prices are standard-average, I thought the choices were rather limited, not only for food but beverages as well; nonetheless, since they are relatively new, I reckon we should give them some time? The fully air-conditioned cafe has a simple minimalist decor, though it will be more comfortable if they could spare more distance and spaces between the tables. Nevertheless, there is also an al-fresco dining area for those who prefer a more outdoorsy ambiance. Baa Baa Black Sheep Cafe is strategically located along Jalan Tanjung Bungah, opposite to Dalat International School, a convenient place for you to grab your brunch before you hit the beach. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Edo Ramen @ Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang.

*Edo Ramen has since ceased its business operation.*

Goku Raku Ramen has always been my favorite place to satiate my craving for a bowl of authentic Japanese Ramen ever since their opening few years back. The restaurant has garnered an appreciate following, where the place will be throng with patrons during the weekends. Stepping into the brand new year of 2014, Goku Raku Ramen is looking for a change, the restaurant will roll out their new menu starting on this 7th of April 2014, where some items will be replaced with more affordable options. Customers can now appease their cravings without putting a dent on the wallet where prices start from Rm 8.90 for a bowl of hearty Ramen. The only drawback is, the portion is fixed and customers are not allowed to "upsize" the orders (you may, of course, order for two bowls if you wish). Nevertheless, its location at Gurney Paragon Mall provides a good place for tired shoppers to enjoy a meal and stretch the shopping legs. My partner in crime has also written a review which can be found here.

This blog post is brought to you by Gurney Paragon Mall. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Xiang Yun Vegetarian Hut (香云素食坊) @ Yeap Chor Ee Road, Gelugor, Penang.

**Xiang Yun at Yap Chor Ee Road has ceased its operation.**

Who would have expected a vegetarian shop nestled within a terrace house along Yeap Chor Ee Road? However, the opening of Xiang Yun Vegetarian Hut (香云素食坊) is indeed a great news for the nearby residents of Island Glades, at least the vegetarians know where to get their meals fixed right now. The name- Xiang Yun Vegetarian Hut (香云素食坊) should be familiar for those who are in the know, the main branch has been in operation for quite a few years at Kompleks Lebuh Nipah (the food court right next to Vistana Hotel Penang) and has garnered many regular patrons since then. Despite their menu is simple and may have limited choices for some, but the restaurant deserves more recognition for promoting healthy diet at very affordable prices.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

TWG (The Wellness Group) Tea Salon & Boutique @ Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang.

A great news for tea lovers and afternoon tea devotees, a well-renowned international brand TWG by The Wellness Group has finally set foot in Gurney Paragon Mall Penang. Many were excited with the opening of TWG and the place was throng with crowd during the Chinese New Year holiday. Relentless queue can still be spotted now during weekends, as so, you might want to avoid peak hours should you plan to visit during a weekend. While you are waiting, do pick your orders from the standing menu right in front of the place as you might take some time to consider what to order from the myriad choices of tea available. 

The branch here is obviously smaller in size as compared to others, hence, it might not be too accommodating for larger groups. However, the elegant and sophisticated English grandeur setting makes it a charming spot to spend some quality time with your loved ones, as well as to enjoy their range of luscious desserts and to have a cup of fine-quality tea. TWG Tea Salon & Boutique Gurney Paragon's branch is located on ground floor, right beside Godiva Chocolate and opposite to the mall's concierge. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sawara () Steamboat @ Burmah Road, Pulau Tikus, Penang.

Having a heart-warming steamboat dinner during a rainy season is a wonderful life moment and Sawara Steamboat is one of the undisputed places in town to enjoy a decent Fish Steamboat with your loved ones. The place is easily overlooked by one due to its inconspicuous location at the corner lot along the shop houses at Burmah Road (same row as Grain Loaf, Maybank). Prices are slightly on the higher side but rest-assured, the quality of the food will be there. However, the staff were not quite friendly during our visit probably due to the heavy customer flow and the place was throng with patrons during our visit. Nevertheless, this is definitely one the places should not be missed by steamboat-lovers. Do make an early reservation to avoid disappointment. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Just Caffe @ Green Hall, Georgetown, Penang.

At the end of Green Hall Road, there is a humble and no-frills cafe nestled within a commercial building, adjacent to Segi College Penang. Offering only their best, Just Caffe's menu is rather simple but limited. Foods are generally light and healthy, with a welcoming Western-influence. If you are contemplating on the menu wondering what to order, simply ask the friendly, eloquent young people manning the cafe, I am sure they are able to provide the right recommendations. The place, however, might not be too accommodating for larger groups as tables are rather limited. Nevertheless, its a good place for a cup of coffee and sandwich. Dishes are reasonably priced, a worth-visiting place if you are in the vicinity. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Curry Noodles House (北海咖哩面之家) @ Raja Uda, Butterworth, Penang.

One of the favorite supper places for nearby residents is undeniably Curry Noodles House (北海咖哩面之家) which can be found along the ubiquitous food lane of Raja Uda. Tucked within the shop houses along Jalan Raja Uda, Curry Noodles House (北海咖哩面之家) specializes in offering Curry Mee as well as some other additional "add-ons". Guests are able to top their Curry Mee with their own preferred ingredients but all of the ingredients share a common characteristic- to be doused with their home-made Curry Sauce. Well, I thought the foods we had were disappointingly average and I do not think that I am willing to travel that far just for a bowl of ordinary Curry Mee. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Chong Qing Kitchen (重庆小厨) @ Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang.

*Chong Qing Kitchen has since ceased its business operation.*

Chiow Lin Steamboat  has expanded their business recently, their new branch is not really into Steamboat but offering some authentic yet inexpensive Sze Chuan eats. The newly opened Chong Qing Kitchen at level 6 of Gurney Paragon Mall (right beside Just Food- the Food Court and Sukhothai) has an extensive and comprehensive menu- from the commonly found Sze Chuan Dan Dan Noodles to the uncommonly seen Spicy Jelly Noodles and best of all, prices are considered reasonable and affordable in Penang's context. However, this place is only great for those who prefer bold flavors and higher tolerance for spicy food.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Vivo Cafe @ Kampung Baru, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

Nestled within the building of Vivo (next to Station One Bukit Mertajam), a private entertainment club at Bukit Mertajam; Vivo Cafe has just opened its doors to its customers few weeks back. The cafe is managed and owned by Who's Bryan restaurant, the first branch under Who's Bryan at Bukit Mertajam (in which there are 2 more branches at All Seasons Place Farlim and Ong Yi How Raja Uda). Similarly to its sister restaurant, Vivo Cafe serves Western food mainly, with a few oriental dishes as well as a wide selection of desserts and beverages. With its extensive menu, laid-back ambiance and charming environment, the fully air-conditioned Vivo Cafe is quite the ideal place for a weekend retreat, both for your family and friends. However, the place might not be too accommodating for larger groups, do make sure you call in for reservation should you are planning to visit in a huge gang.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

J.CO Donuts & Coffee @ Queensbay Mall, Penang.

The newly refurbished J.CO Donuts & Coffee at Queensbay Mall Penang has given its patrons a completely refreshed look and it aims to provide a charming environment for their guests to relax themselves or to have a casual meet up with friends and family. Air-conditioned, high-speed Wifi, comfortable couches, carefully crafted Donuts and freshly brewed Coffee, J.CO Donuts has passed all requirements to a good cafe. 

"Many know the brand for its Donuts but we wish to let them (the public) know about the lifestyle-cafe concept either", explained Afad, branding and marketing manager of J.CO Donuts Malaysia. He also added that the company has many other worth-trying products either, for instance, their freshly brewed Coffee. J.CO Donuts has their own coffee bean plantation in Jakarta, Indonesia and all their ingredients as well as combinations are thoughtful chosen by experts. Nevertheless, the conveniently located J.CO Donuts at Queensbay Mall is indeed a good place to stretch your shopping legs and have a sip on their Coffee or even grab a freshly made Donut. 

Many Thanks to J.CO Donuts & Coffee for extending the invitation. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Xiao Fei Yang (小肥羊) Steamboat @ Tanjung Tokong, Penang.

The eye-catchy green-colored bungalow along the bustling street of Jalan Pantai Molek is one of the latest steamboat places in Penang. Ever since its opening a couple months back, Xiao Fei Yang (小肥羊) has garnered quite a lot of regular patrons. Despite choices for the soups are limited but there will surely be something for every palate with their comprehensive menu. However, the ventilation system in the restaurant does not seem to be working quite well, in which the permeating smell (of the soups) might not be comfortable for some. My overall experience with the food was not as satisfying as I would have hoped, I am not sure if I will return to this place but if I do, it will be more for novelty than absolute taste. The ample parking space right in front of the place is, however, free of charge.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

"6 In 1 + P60" Promotion @ Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Batu Ferringhi, Penang.

A sumptuous and lavish buffet dinner is de rigueur in many hotels in Penang, but with unlimited options around, hoteliers have had to work harder to come out with attractive promotions to distinguish themselves from the competitors. As for Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, the hotel debuts a special buffet promotion "6 in 1 + P60" to vie the attention of fellow foodies.

Embrace yourself and be prepared for a gastronomic adventure with myriad of choices, Spice Market Cafe invites you to savor their meticulously prepared specialties and dishes from different cultures. In line with their "6 in 1 + P60" promotion, diners are able to taste 6 selected cuisine in one buffet, it includes: Japanese, Western, Indian, Chinese, Malay and some carefully crafted desserts. Rotation on the menu will be done fortnightly. Wait, there's more! The formula does not end here, for the "P60", diners are to "Pay 60% of the actual buffet price only" on Monday and Tuesday. In other words, a 40%-discount is applicable for those who dine-in Spice Market Cafe on Monday and Tuesday. Prices for other days of the week remain unchanged.  

Many Thanks to Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa for extending the invitation.

Prices for the buffets are as follows:

International Buffet Dinner: Sunday to Thursday
From 6:30pm to 10:30pm.
Rm 128++ (Adult), Rm 64++ (Child)

Seafood Theme Buffet: Friday and Saturday
From 6:30pm to 10:30pm
Rm 148++ (Adult), Rm 74++ (Child)

For inquiries or reservations, kindly contact Shangri-La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa at +604- 888 8888.

Friday, March 7, 2014

El Faro Tapas Bar and Wine @ Burmah Road, Penang.

Tucked beside the bustling Burmah Road of Georgetown, Penang, El Faro Tapas Bar and Wine is a humble yet unassuming restaurant. It serves some hearty Spanish Tapas and has since gathered many regular patrons since its opening in the year 2012. The comprehensive menu of theirs will surely have something to suit your palate, albeit not cheap but prices commensurate with the ingredients and quality in return. The fully air-conditioned restaurant has a glam-casualness ambiance; should you prefer a more outdoorsy ambiance, there are a few tables outside for you to have a sip on the alcohol and just see the world goes. The place is suitable for any casual dinner gatherings with friends and family while enjoying their extraordinary gourmet offerings. El Faro Tapas Bar and Wine is located few shops away from 1926 Heritage Hotel and a stone's throw away from Tong Pak Fu Dessert along the same road. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Press Est. 1936 @ Chulia Street, Georgetown, Penang.

*The Press has since ceased its business operation.*

The Press Est. 1936 is a new and delightful option for Penangites who wish to have a drink. Opened its doors on 26th of January 2014, the newly refurbished pub/ bar has the perfect ambiance to enjoy a cup of drink with your friends or business associates. The heat-intolerant can have their drinks on the second floor, a fully air-conditioned place with hits music as background; traipse up to the roof top for those who wish to have a more outdoorsy ambiance and a better view. After all, having a cup of drink overlooking the scenic view of Georgetown or Weld Quay is indeed a good way to retreat and unwind from the stress of life. 

Their menu is rather simple and limited, offering only a few types of liquors, cocktails, wines and beers; unfortunately, some of them were not available during my visit (I wish to try their Sangria but it was not available). I was quite surprised that they are not serving wines by glasses, only bottles, which can be quite frustrating for those who are not coming in large groups. It seems like they are serving some Sushi (information obtained from their Facebook Page ) but it was not stated on the menu though. The place worth a visit but probably more for novelty sake. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sensational Sakura @ Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang.

Eastin Hotel Penang is offering its inaugural Japanese monthly buffet theme- "Sensational Sakura" for the month of March 2014. Japanese cuisine devotees will be delighted to know that all the visually-stunning and lip-smacking dishes will be carefully crafted to you by the very talented and experienced chef- Chef Ricky Hui, who has recently won the title- Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards (HAPA) Masterchef (Asian) of Authenticity. Wait no more, come forth and savor the gloriously good Japanese dishes meticulously prepared by Chef Ricky this month, only at Swez Braseerie, Eastin Hotel Penang. 

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 - 3:00pm
Rm 68++ (adult) Rm 34++ (child)

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

March Credit Card Promotions:

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

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

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Chez Nous Cafe @ Seck Chuan Lane, Georgetown, Penang.

*Chez Nous Cafe has since ceased its business operation.*

Tucked within one of the heritage houses in the heart of Georgetown, Chez Nous Cafe is a humble and no-frills cafe manned by a very friendly Belgian couple- Philippe and Liz. Using Turquoise color as the theme, Chez Nous Cafe should be easily located, simply turn into Lorong Seck Chuan and you should be able to find Chez Nous with its attractive and eye-catching exterior. Menu is rather limited and simplistic but quality is assured; do keep an eye on their Facebook page for the constantly-rotating menu. Service was impeccable, do check with the friendly couple should you are unsure of what to order and I am sure they are able to provide you the perfect recommendations.