If you have passed by Lebuh McNair recently, chances are high that you have seen this stretch of heritage houses with odd embellishment vying for attention. It does not suggest a thing and some actually though it was a museum-to-be but in actual fact, it comprises of restaurants jointly named as "McNair Restaurants", serving both Peranakan Nyonya cuisine and Western cuisine. Not much signage out the front and the exaggerated decoration outside means nothing but the interior suggests otherwise. Step in the restaurant and you will see traces of the "Nyonya-Peranakan" traits- from the usual Peranakan antique tiles to seemingly priceless heirloom displayed on the wall. Ironically, the menu is not limited to Peranakan cuisine... there are some Western options for those with Western palate either. Prices are reasonable and it isn't a stretch to go for Seafood dishes like Assam Pedas Fish or Assam Prawns. It is also note-worthy that McNair Restaurants are fully air-conditioned and serve family-style servings.
Friday, December 30, 2016
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
The Butterworth City Centre along Jalan Raja Uda and Jalan Permatang Pauh has just got a little more exciting with the opening of Pentagon 5 Studio. The cafe occupies the entire two-storey building, strategically located right in front of Aroma Hotel, Butterworth. The exterior gives a hint that the place is chic with dashing decoration but inside, it proves otherwise. Once stepped in the cafe, we feel the industrial vibe- hanging light bulbs, modern furniture and heavy metal embellishment. Interior decor aside, the menu is pretty hipstery... featuring some of the Instagram-worthy desserts (such as Soft Serve) as well as an array of Western-Fusion menu (we were told that the Chef's a Thai so some of the Thai-influenced dishes are worth looking forward to). Service was great, we were greeted immediately upon arrival and the server pleasantly invited us to the table with clear explanation on their offering... certainly something that we did not expect, at least from a newly established (two-week old) cafe.
Monday, December 26, 2016
Sae Ma Eul, a longtime Korean barbecue joint (well-established in Klang Valley) expanded to Penang recently and we figured out at least a trio of reasons for that: quality, authenticity and a good selection of not only meat but Korean delights (such as cold noodles, Kimchi stew, Korean Pancake etc) as well. The new Penang branch can be found on 1st floor of Automall (at Karpal Singh Drive) but don't be put off by the location. Though not air-conditioned, it provides an outdoorsy ambiance with good ventilation (sea breeze if you are lucky); exactly like those barbecue joints by the roadside in South Korea. The setting is casual, modern and clean; Sae Ma Eul uses charcoal to fuel and cook the meat but fret not for the divas, the helpful service staff are forever ready to assist. The alcoholics might be glad to know that the Korean BBQ place offers "Hite" Beer and Korean Soju; otherwise, the complementary unlimited refills of water would mercilessly effective at washing away the accumulating heat.
Friday, December 23, 2016
One of the oldest and well-known roast houses in Jelutong area is Kim Poh... previously housed within a snug lot under a low-cost flat behind the famous Kim Leng Loh Mee but it has since moved to a bigger lot right opposite to the aforementioned Loh Mee stall. The new shop is brighter and seemingly cleaner; it's hard to miss Kim Poh... the huge facade and signage will easily catch the attention of any road users on Perak Road. The renovation gave the shop a modern interior with comfortable seating; business has been brisk with long queues spotted during lunch hours and dinner hours. Kim Poh specializes in Roasted goodies, particularly Roasted Chicken, Roasted Duck, Barbecue Pork and Roasted Pork... along with mains like Wan Ton Mee, Porridge, Rice and sides like braised Tofu/ Egg, blanched Bean Sprouts etc. We believe one of the reasons that contributed to the success of Kim Poh is the affordable prices and quality offering.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
It is a no surprise if one finds Ice Cream dessert in a cafe but it surely takes our breath away to find Yume No Matcha, a self-made Matcha specialist that sells its products by the road side (right next to Heng Ee High School). It started as a simple, humble Ice Cream parlor that caters for the students of Heng Ee High School but words have spread and it has successfully lured many Matcha lovers with its Matcha Ice Cream desserts. Takeaways are common but if you wish to enjoy your Ice Cream dessert on the spot, there are a few tables and seats available. The kiosk is tucked inside an old house right next to the school and a Chinese temple along Jalan Hamilton.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
It's that time of the year where you'll find people cracking their heads for ideas and what to cook for the dreaded Christmas party. Forget about all the boring usual dishes and celebrate the festive season with Golden Fresh (the company behind the brand- Pacific West and one of the largest, most successful Seafood Processors in Malaysia). One could explore unlimited possibilities with their range of Seafood products (perhaps some ideas for your Christmas party!). Golden Fresh is a long-established Penang-based frozen Seafood giant with global distribution world-wide; many of their products (especially Pacific West) can be found at most supermarkets. The impression that one would usually associate the brand with... deep fried Seafood but with a little extra effort, one can turn them into not only delectable but presentable and elegant dishes that will put many restaurants to shame. Last Saturday, we joined other bloggers and members of the Media in a Christmas Bash organized by Golden Fresh.
Many Thanks to Golden Fresh for hosting us at the Pacific West Christmas Bash.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Gourmands need not travel far to get good fresh water produce... Kulim, one of the closest towns to Penang in Kedah has quite a handful of good options. A short 15-minute drive away from Kulim High-Tech Park or 30-minute drive away from Penang bridge will land you at Big Tree Garden Restaurant (香树下河鲜), a seemingly curious restaurant tucked within a residential area of Kulim, Kedah. It takes some effort to reach here (once near Jalan Perdagangan, follow the lead of the road signages) but the reward is worth it. The place occupies a big piece of land and has multiple fish ponds farming fresh water produce. At the side of those ponds, it has a restaurant dedicated entirely to serve all these goodies. There are 6 types of fresh river fishes available here- Patin, Cat fish, Tilapia, Tamarind fish etc. Apart from the fresh water fishes, some of their signature dishes such as Stir Fried Porridge are not to be missed either...
Sunday, December 18, 2016
Lao Jie Fang, a familiar brand name in the traditional confectioneries and native local products in Penang has ventured out of its usual business scope... opening a Coffee Shop (otherwise known as Kopitiam) at Sunrise Gurney, a new commercial building right next to Jalan Birch and Gurney Drive. It serves up some Malaysian/ Singaporean staples such as Kaya Butter Toast, Nyonya Kuih, Nasi Lemak etc. It certainly reminds us of establishments like Old Town and Papa Rich except that it offers slightly different variety as compared to the duo. Might be good place for a quick afternoon tea but the dishes were a tad too common with elusive quality for us.
Friday, December 16, 2016
A sister café to one of the popular bakeries in Penang- Love A Loaf, Lavish has been storming Social Media sites since its opening. The café’s quaint and chic interior décor is one of the strongest pull factors. It is decorated with a great number of small potted plants, as though diners were dining in a garden in lieu of a cafe; every single corner of the cafe is picturesque and most suitable for taking instagrammable shots. Lavish has its own (Western-Fusion) menu but also incorporated some of its sister cafe's signature pastries and cakes. Diners can have a glance on the array of Pastries available at the display fridge right next to the counter. Though we were impressed with the quality, we thought the prices were rather steep (perhaps the name "Lavish" does ring a bell).
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Possibly a new hangout space for your four-legged animal friends to mingle with their own species- Wag N Romp is a new pet cafe ensconced in an annex right next to an established Pet Center- Dogs R Us... along Kelawai Road. The cafe is fully air-conditioned and with a few friendly dogs roaming the cafe, this is indeed a comfortable space for dog lovers to pet their canine friends. On our visit, there were Golden Retriever, Corgi, Poodle etc; different dogs "on duty" on different days. Wag N Romp has a small menu on offer, which basically covers basic cakes, pasta and a waffle dish. While the foods were not that impressive, we were happy to see that the fur kids were warm and excited to welcome their human friends.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Fancy Western breakfast while visiting Chowrasta Market? More options available for early risers at the clamoring local market; Coffee And Friends Cafe is one of the new additions to Georgetown and can be found right in front of the entrance to Chowrasta Market at Kimberley Street. The one-month old cafe offers a simple and no-frills menu at present... a selection of Western Brunch items (available from 8 am to 12 pm daily) and some Sandwiches. The cafe boasts over its home-made food... all are made from scratch, in-house by their Chef using high quality ingredients. We certainly could not agree more and were more than happy with the food, but we certainly hope to see more choices in the future rather than to choose from a menu of 3 (breakfast) items only. Coffee And Friends Cafe is located at Lebuh Kimberley, right next to the junction of Jalan Sungai Ujong (opposite to Shong Hor Hin Herbal Tea).
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
At the click of a button, foodies can now enjoy delicious delicacies uniquely to certain regions. Food Connection, a new startup/ website launched in October 2016, it conjures up delicate hometown delicacies and hipstery snacks from different cities to your doorstep. It currently serves Malaysia and Singapore with more than 100 types of delicacies from 3 cities- Penang, Ipoh, Klang Valley and more on the way (Malacca and Johor Bahru). With that, time and traveling distance are no longer a barrier. Popular brands that are available on Food Connection are Him Heang, Ching Han Guan, Sin Weng Fai, Ghee Hiang, Gartien, MyKualia, Marks & Spencer and Garrett etc. As far as logistics and conditions of the perishable goods are concerned, Food Connection takes care that well by packing the goods ordered in customized boxes with double protection (using bubble wrap) that could even shield the parcel against rain! As for the fellow readers of Ken Hunts Food, simply enter the code "KHFPromo" and you will be entitled for a RM 5 discount *shown at the end of the payment*.
Monday, December 12, 2016
The name "Moody Cow Cafe" is widely known amongst dessert lovers in Penang, for serving some of the best yet innovative Cheese Cakes in town (Salted Egg Cheese Cake/ Cempedak Cheese Cake are some of its signature products); the brand is also notoriously known to serve some of the most expensive Cheese Cakes in Penang. But the Cheese Cake specialist has recently ventured out of its norm... opening a new cafe- "Sweet Monster Cafe" at 4th Street Club of Tye Sin Street. From the most expensive Cheese Cake in town to.... potentially the most expensive Pie in town (from Rm 30 per piece); from "Cow" to... "Monster"; the only thing unchanged is their willingness to innovate and to come with new flavors and combination. The cafe offers a small Pasta menu with an array of home-made Pies and Cookies... with most of them come with hefty price tags. The exterior of Sweet Monster Cafe does not give a single hint on what the place would serve, once you are inside, you will find the classical visual arts and decorative of ancient European... with soft background music that we would not know how to appreciate. Nevermind on the ambiance, their Pies truly standout on their own...
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Hassle-free dining on festive seasons is one of the coolest things to do especially for modern families, particularly saving on the cooking time and after-meal cleaning. This festive season- Christmas and New Year, Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang fete the holidays with a modern take on some of the festive classics. The Christmas Buffet offered by Sarkies of E&O Hotel Penang features Yuletide menu such as Roasted Turkey with stuffing and festive pastries as well as some Western-Fusion offering just to add on the variety. For those in high-spirits and celebratory mood, toast the season with unlimited refills of Wine and Beers.
Many Thanks to E&O Hotel Penang for hosting us.
Friday, December 9, 2016
Modernist cuisine or Molecular Gastronomy might not be new to the world but it's definitely something to range over, particularly for Penangites. Innovation is a critical element when it comes to a modernist kitchen- not only that the Chef must change the customary way one would prepare and present the dish but the Chef must bring a change to how diners experience the food either. Adventurous eaters can make their way to the small alley at Nagore Square (where all the bars and small little shops located); A.Maze occupies a strategic corner right next to the vacant land; from outside, the restaurant suggests a nary of information on what it is about to serve, inside... there are only 8 seats arranged snugly facing a small kitchen manned by the Chef-Owner Chef Wei. The very young and talented Chef honed his culinary skills from overseas and had had working experience in Michelin-starred restaurants. A.Maze serves "Omakase" which literally means "leave it to the Chef", the menu is not informed to diners and it relies entirely on "trust" but Chef Wei is not a one-trick pony- diners' sense of taste is not the only thing that changes here... the "Omakse" menu switches once a month and it depends on the seasonal offering. Thanks to Chef Wei, we had the opportunity to join him in his extraordinary gastronomical journey.
Many Thanks to A.Maze for hosting us that evening.
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Lovers of Sushi, Maki and Nigiri might be glad to know
or not that Sushi Ya has opened a new outlet in Penang island. The brand is well-established at Raja Uda and is known for its economical offering. Many budget eaters flocked the place when it was first opened; the new branch at Straits Garden, Jelutong is highly visible from the bustling Jelutong Street. But how economical is economical, you wondered? The items run on the Sushi Belt are priced either at Rm 1.90 (for pink plates) and Rm 2.90 (for red plates); while those on the menu are priced relatively lower than most Japanese restaurants in town. The trade off is of course the quality, which equates to the prices- cheap. Oddly, though the prices seem cheap, the final bill came to (4) us was slightly over Rm 150 (plus surcharges). There was no satisfaction at all; unless required, we do not see ourselves patronizing the place in the future.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Just in time for the Christmas and holiday season- Gurney Paragon Mall welcomes the first Magnum Ice Cream Cafe in Penang. The cafe unlocks unlimited opportunities for Ice Cream lovers to mix and match their favorite sweet treats with colorful condiments. As a contrary to the normal belief, Magnum Cafe at Gurney Paragon, the cafe occupies a kiosk strategically located on Ground Floor of the mall, right in front of Pedro shoes and behind Miam Miam. For those who wish to stretch their shopping legs, there are a few tables and couches available. Apart from the fashionably decorated Magnum Ice Cream sticks, there are a few special items on offer as well... such as Ice Cream in a jar, Tiramisu, Ice Cream served with Cake etc... But given the hefty price tags, it shall only remain as an occasional sweet reward.
Monday, December 5, 2016
The area of Jelutong is fast becoming a Vietnamese food hub, with the opening of a few Vietnamese restaurants in the vicinity. Little Ha Noi takes a strategic lot opposite to the market, highly visible from the bustling Perak Road. The Vietnamese restaurant has an impressive spread though... with easily more than 100 types of dishes on offer- the quintessential Pho, Spring Rolls, Baguette, Steamboat, Banh Xeo and whatever you can think of. The bright and charming facade exudes a welcoming vibe, while the interior decor delivers a different result- homey with shades of Chinese restaurants and the Vietnamese handicrafts and knick-knacks adorned the walls. Most of the servers do not speak local dialects but the Cashier does understand Mandarin. While we did not manage to try a lot of their dishes, most of them were above average and we were more than happy with the serving portion. A place that I would love to make another visit whenever I crave for Vietnamese eats.
Friday, December 2, 2016
What happens if one of the local favorites- Koay Teow Th'ng got an upgrade? Find it out at Tung Kee Abalone Koay Teow Th'ng at Sri Bahari Road, a newly opened restaurant housed in one of the latest heritage-restoration projects in town. The Koay Teow Th'ng specialist boasts over its Abalone Koay Teow Th'ng or similar posh-offering... the lavish upgrade consists of Seafood wholesomeness and a heaps of meat. But everything comes with a price and that theory applies to Tung Kee's Koay Teow Th'ng as well, a basic bowl of Koay Teow Th'ng costs Rm 8.90 here while the premium ones would cost Rm 13.90 and Rm 35.90. As far as ambiance is concerned, the place is fully air conditioned with comfortable seating space.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
With a name like Pie Harbour, one would expect myriad of Pie-choices in the shop but that is not exactly the case. Arguably the city's most popular Pie Shop, Pie Harbour has a few branches across Penang island. Not only does the Pie specialist offer classic Pies with simple approach, the brand offers a variety of Sandwiches, Pasta and many more. The menu at Pie Harbour is extensive and all items are brilliantly priced. We visited one of their newer branches at G Hotel Penang, the cafe takes a strategic corner spot at the al-fresco zone. Inside, the huge glass allows natural light to pour in and the ambiance is warm and cozy; the place is ideal for a between-meals snack or a place just to stretch your shopping legs.
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