Friday, October 30, 2015

Lao Wong Cha Chan Teng (老黄怡保茶餐厅) @ Elit Avenue, Bayan Baru, Penang.

**Lou Wong has since ceased its business operations until further notice.**

Specializing in serving Steamed Chicken, Lao Wong sounds exactly like the famous brand Lou Wong Chicken Rice from Ipoh. It touts itself as a Chicken Rice specialist and they do offer an extensive list of Steamed Chicken-company staples such as Ipoh Hor Fun, Ipoh White Curry Mee, Oiled Chicken Rice and some other noodle-dishes. We have no idea whether the brand tries to imitate the market leader but the interior decor sure sticks to the theme of 黄 (means Yellow in Mandarin/ Wong in Cantonese). Chairs and the uniform of all servers are in Yellow; we thought certain areas could be further improved- the plates were greasy, servers were not well-trained, the floor was not quite clean and many items on the menu were not available on our visit. Prices are quite standard for a fully air-conditioned restaurant but this is not a place that I would make a special trip out there. If you are in the vicinity, this might be a decent place for poultry lovers or over a bowl of steamy Ipoh Hor Fun.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Famous Fish Head Curry @ Guang Long Coffee Shop (光隆), Juru, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

If you are looking for something different than the usual Nasi Kandar's Curry or the ubiquitous Fish head Curry available in most Zhu Char stalls, check out this famous Fish Head Curry stall hidden far deep in the light industry area of Juru, Bukit Mertajam. It may be a little tricky to find the place as it looks exactly like a coffee shop in the neighborhood; from Juru Autocity, turn towards the light industry direction and drive till you see the first traffic light... turn left and go straight. Keep driving until you passed a bridge; you should be able to find Guang Long Coffee Shop on the right shortly.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Sumo Sumo Japanese Restaurant @ Bishop Street, Georgetown, Penang.

Dining out in a Japanese restaurant can be really expensive but this newly opened space amidst of offices in the heartland of Georgetown has a really budget-friendly menu which features dishes around the Rm 14 mark; which explains the reason why Sumo Sumo can be a busy lunch spot. The unassuming brand uses self-service approach- customers to place their orders and pay at the counter then wait for their turn to collect. It uses low-cost strategy so do not expect top-notch quality food here but rather, it shall be compromised proportionately to the price that you are paying for. The clean and brightly-lit space is fully air-conditioned but the interior decoration is simple and straight-forward. A comfortable space for your daily quick fix. 

Teriyaki Salmon Don

Chicken Cutlet Japanese Curry Don (Rm 9.90)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Tavern In The Park @ Hin Bus Depot, Georgetown, Penang.

It's no secret that Penang has fallen in love to start the weekend with a good brunch but with so many non-descript brunch spots available in town, attempt to sell all things to all palates (like the usual Big Breakfast and friends); Tavern In The Park's menu is a breath of fresh air. The location could not be more strategic and appropriate; housed in a wooden cottage furnished with classic tables and chairs embellished with glasses... within the artsy space of Hin Bus Depot. The entire area was well-designed, with an open-kitchen, a swing and a beautiful garden; exuding a relaxed and laid-back vibe. While the place is fully air-conditioned, it can be rather warm especially in a sultry hot afternoon. On the menu, Crostini immediately caught our attention, especially with many choices available and reasonably priced. We predict the place will be a hit amongst the late wakers.

**UPDATE: The place has since ceased its business operations.**

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ah Mah's Steamboat (阿嫲火锅) @ Burmah Road, Georgetown, Penang.

One of the proudest Penang delicacies is undeniably Assam Laksa but Penangites have professed their love for the tangy fish soup deeper by including it in Steamboat. Housed within a heritage house along the bustling Burmah Road is a Steamboat specialist that has been drawing a lot of attention lately; thanks to its specially curated Assam Laksa broth. Using recipe passed down from previous generations, Ah Mah's Steamboat strives to serve the most authentic Assam Laksa soup that contains the flavors of yesteryears. Adding further enjoyment to your steamboat experience, you may also opt to try out their Clear Soup and Tom Yum soup bases. The place is small and rather cramped, advance reservation is strongly recommended if you wish to visit in a large group. While it is fully air-conditioned, we thought it was rather warm and the air ventilation could be better. Ah Mah's Steamboat is a stone's throw distance away from Loke Thye Kee on Burmah Road. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

KOTA- When Francis Meets Rempah @ Fort Cornwallis, Georgetown, Penang.

Previously a defensive fort built by Francis Light and now an iconic historical landmark of Penang, Fort Cornwallis welcomes a new addition to the heritage site- a restaurant. Step in the Fort and you will be enveloped in a sentimental atmosphere but you will soon be glad that there is an eye-catchy, bright and seemingly inviting building to your right. KOTA- When Francis Meets Rempah... makes its debut last week, the name of the place is pretty much self-explanatory; full menu was not ready yet on our visit. We thought it was a fine-Nyonya Restaurant or a place that dishes out fine Local food but we were proven wrong. The place dishes out Fusion dishes with a touch of Local-Nyonya flavors. KOTA stands out in terms of their interior design: the usage of glass window allows natural light to flood in and brighten up the space while the dining area is brilliantly set up, exuding a minimalist kind of elegance.

There is a catch before you could visit the place. As the restaurant is located within Fort Cornwallis... it automatically means you would have to pay for the entrance fee. Rm 10 for MyCard holders but with every Rm 20 spent in the restaurant... you get to deduct the same amount by flashing them the receipt (for illustration purpose: if you are visiting in a group of 5, you will need to spend a minimum of Rm 100 in order to "claim" back your Rm 50 entrance fee). Prices may seem to be on the higher side at first... but after looking at the ambiance and food quality, I thought everything paid was at reasonable price. A place that I would love to revisit again.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Pink Elephant Ice Cream @ Queensbay Mall, Penang.

More and more international food trend storming the island lately. The new kid on board is Thai Fried Ice Cream, though Pink Elephant is not the first to offer but it seems to be well-received by the patrons of Queensbay Mall. Pink Elephant is a dessert-focused brand dedicated to Thai Fried Ice Cream as well as Thai-influenced Milk Tea. Opened not long ago, the place sees quite a following but our guess goes to the slow "production" time. The made-to-order Ice Cream takes approximately 3-4 minutes per order; we had to wait for 20 minutes before it was served to us. Different combination of flavors have been paired and there is no flexibility in changing the flavors. The setup is simple, more like a kiosk rather than a dessert place as there are limited seating space (only 2 tables and often occupied). Probably a place that I would only visit for novelty experience. Pink Elephant Ice Cream is located right opposite to GSC Cinema on the 3rd floor. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Tokkuri Japanese Food (福久利) @ Hai Lee Cafe, Farlim, Penang.

Savoring Japanese food in an upscale Japanese restaurant seems to be the run-of-the-mill-scene, dining at a hawker place while enjoying Japanese dishes is certainly a rare experience for me. Far deep in the township of Farlim, particularly the Medan Angsana-district, has a new Japanese stall housed within a coffee shop named Hai Lee. Do not look down on Tokkuri, though the exterior may not suggest any sense of temptation but the Japanese menu is extensive- from appetizers like Sushi, Sashimi to mains like Ramen and Rice dishes as well as Hot Pot (Shabu-Shabu) or even Japanese-influenced desserts! Nothing to brag about the setting, more like the usual hawker fare but the prices are extremely wallet-friendly. Do not expect top-notch quality with that range of prices but it does act as a decent place for the budget-watchers to appease their craving for Japanese food. Find Hai Lee Cafe behind Genting Coffee Shop at Farlim or next to Grain Loaf Bakery at the same area. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Dari Cafe @ Lembah Permai, Tanjung Bungah, Penang.

Dive into the multitude Korean options at Dari Cafe, one of the many tenants at Permai F&B Village; a stone's throw distance away from TAR University College Penang. Their offerings are extensive yet not so grueling to the wallet, perhaps it was meant to cater to the students nearby but we see the place as an excellent place for to appease your Korean-food cravings. Tucked away from the bustling street of Permai, the Permai F&B Village is well-hidden amidst the serene neighborhood; seemingly inviting for the adventurous eaters. It can be hard to tell that the place serves Korean food judging from the exterior, the place is beautifully decorated to cottage-style cafe but the menu does not even carry a hint of Western-element. While Dari does serve proper meals but we were there to try on their range of Korean desserts...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Kerson Media Launches Good Life Expo 2015 @ Straits Quay Convention Centre (SQCC)

Kerson Media is excited to launch one of its largest projects ever- Good Life Expo 2015. The aforesaid expo is believed to be one of the largest expos ever held in Penang. The 3-day event is set to be held at Straits Quay Convention Centre (SQCC) on 7 November (Saturday) to 9 November 2015 (Monday) at 10 am to 9 pm. Two magazine brands under Kerson Media- Foodsion (食尚) and Backstage Professional will be jointly organizing the event- an expo where Food meets Fashion. Not only that the general public gets to win many exciting prices and collect complimentary samples from participating brands but stand a chance to win some lucky draw prizes as well. In addition to that, there are many fun-filled activities and challenging competitions for one to partake- Nasi Lemak Competition (opens to both public and professionals), Showtime K-Pop Dancing Competition, Cooking & Baking Demo, Backstage Professional Creative Contest etc. Local renowned celebrity- Jason Yeoh/ Ah Xian will be sharing his insights about the food scene in Penang. 

Welcoming Remarks delivered by Director of Kerson Media- Datin Jenny

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Things To Eat/ Drink/ Play/ See/ Buy in Kuching and Miri, Sarawak.

A 2-hour direct flight from Penang International Airport will land you at the east side of Malaysia (we flew with Air Asia if you must know); the city of Cat- Kuching, capital of Sarawak. The name Kuching sounds like Cat in Malay- "Kucing" but the derivation of Kuching has invited many opinions and various theories. Never mind on the name of the city, it is however, a true fact that the place is a melting pot for culture and a gastronomic paradise for adventurous eaters to explore. Weather is comfortable and backpacker-friendly but traveling from a place to another is rather inconvenient, we would advise you to rent a car, that might actually save yourself some time. 

Things to See in Kuching:
1) Kuching City's Mascot
Address: Right in front of Padungan China Town of Kuching.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Grass, Master of Grass Jelly @ Queensbay Mall Penang.

The Grass is not a Taiwanese brand but a local Malaysian brand. The Taiping-brand had a humble beginning over 50 years (since the year 1961); today, The Grass still serves fresh Grass Jelly using the traditional ways. Herbs will be boiled for more than 8 hours to fully extract the essence of the Herbs but it has more than that to offer (Grass Jelly), the menu covers an extensive list which includes beverage. Some of their note-worthy items are Ai Yu Jelly, Mango Puree Dessert etc. Seating is limited and the space is a little cramped; also, many items were not available on our visit and we were told that some of the items will only be ready in November 2015. The Grass is located right next to Daiso, first floor of Queensbay Mall, Penang.

Friday, October 9, 2015

BBQ Chicken @ Elit Avenue, Bayan Baru, Penang.

The combination of crispy, sweet and spicy Korean Fried Chicken and icy cold Beer has set the world on fire thanks to a famous Korean Drama aired earlier ago. The craze has not subsided since then, more and more Korean restaurants are offering the aforesaid combination. Unfortunately, this is not the case for BBQ Chicken Malaysia. The "Halal" status prohibits the place from serving alcohol and if you are old enough, you might have heard of the name- BBQ Chicken Malaysia. Its first outlet was opened at Gurney Plaza approximately 9 years back (year 2006) and has since closed down. Restructured and re-branded, BBQ Chicken now comes back with a chic, fashion-forward look; opening a new branch at Elit Avenue, Bayan Baru. The Korean menu has an extensive range of Fried Chicken-dishes but it has a nice blend of Western-touches as well. However, we thought the Korean-element in this restaurant is rather weak.... 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Tong Kei Fish Head Noodles @ Taman Kheng Tian, Jelutong, Penang.

Enjoy a bowl of comforting, slurplicious Fish Head Noodles tucked in the serene neighborhood of Taman Kheng Tian. Tong Kei sees a steady flow of returning customers keep coming back for their signature hearty milky Fish Head Bee Hoon. While the flavor is classic and timeless, Tong Kei did introduce a delightful twist by serving their home-made dip specifically for the Fish Head Bee Hoon. Tong Kei does not have a large menu to offer... just a few variant of Fish Head Bee Hoon or Porridge with reasonable price tags. The setting of the place is however, simple and without unnecessary frills; a decent place to get a quick fix.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Mish Mash @ Muntri Street, Georgetown, Penang.

Mish Mash is long-established and well-known as a place for alcohol, Mish Mash should not be new for drinkers. Many have changed since their fawned opening, Mish Mash did not offer any main in their first few opening months but they gradually came out with more and more items. The low-lit space has comfortable seating, with smoking area and non-smoking area clearly separated. It specializes in serving classic Cocktails but it does serve some groovy-tricksy booze as well. Ask the knowledgeable staff and they are more than glad to comply. There is also a list of noteworthy, diverse menu which seeks to tempt your palate; one of the perfect places for your intimate date or boozy treat. 

Grilled Scallop Pasta 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Tasty Chicken Claypot House (鸡煲之家) @ Macalister Road, Georgetown, Penang.

Steamboat paints a picture of family-friendly image and often evokes some occasions for commemoration. First in Penang and Malaysia, Tasty Chicken Claypot House from Singapore has expanded their business here recently, opening a new branch in the heartland of Georgetown. The concept is new (at least in Penang)- diners first enjoy their range of signature Chicken Claypot dishes, soup will then be added to the Claypot as Steamboat. There is also a display fridge which allows diners to pick their preferred ingredients to be cooked in the pot (prices according to the colors of the plate). The place is a little cramped but the air ventilation is good. Menu is predictable with their signature Claypot Chicken starts at Rm 35 (small), Herbal Chicken Claypot (Rm 38) and Pig Stomach Chicken Stew (Rm 38). 

Signature Chicken Claypot (Rm 35 for small/ Rm 45 for large)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Urban Food Hall @ Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang.

Urban Food Hall, a swanky-upmarket place with a collaborative effort between 5 businesses- Quiznos SubThe Library Coffee Bar, Ichiban, Johnny Rockets and The South East on Ground Floor of Gurney Paragon Mall has recently opened its doors to the public. The space hosts 5 different food brands, which offers a mix of food from all over the world; from Western to Japanese to Oriental, one can even get the usual Cafe fare, a light Sandwich meal or even a boozy treat. One unique feature is that there will be a dancing performance every hour to entertain the diners (performed by servers in Johnny Rockets' uniform). Urban Food Hall has a huge menu at considerably high prices but there are certain areas that they could perform better and could pay more attention to- service was not attentive (extremely slow in fact), cutlery was not well-washed (greasy), tables were not cleanly-wiped, food quality not up to par etc. Urban Food Hall is located on the Ground Floor of Gurney Paragon Mall, next to Sephora and facing Kelawai Road.