Friday, July 29, 2016

Kang Fresh Water Food (阿江中泰河海鲜) @ Bagan Samak, Kedah.

While the nearest sea can be found at Penang, the island lacks of river. The nearest place for gourmands to explore fresh river produce would be the neighboring state- Kedah. Approximately 45 minute-drive from Penang will land you at Bagan Samak, a sleepy town next to Nibong Tebal (at the border of Penang and Kedah). The streets are not well-maintained, so do expect a bumpy ride on your journey there. There are quite a number of Seafood restaurants at Bagan Samak but we tried our luck at Kang's (also a recommendation by our friend). Kang is not easily noticeable from the entrance (to the town) but requires a few minute-drive; we were guided by the huge signage along the road. There are ample parking spaces right in front of the restaurant; from far, it is a casual dining establishment but the heat intolerant would be glad that the restaurant does have a large air-conditioned room. The place is spacious with high seating capacity; walk to the end of the restaurant and you will find plenty of fresh river produce caged in the fish tanks. They may not have a very big menu but they ace in terms of freshness.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jipangi (Express) Korean Ice Cream @ 1st Avenue Mall, Penang.

If you happen to drop by 1st Avenue Mall and found shoppers holding a weird J-stick cane (or possibly licking it)... do not scream. It was being marketed as one of the trendiest snacks in Korea (referring to the Corn Stick Ice Cream) but here... they squeeze in Soft Serve Ice Cream. Jipangi is not new and in fact, has branches and express kiosks nationwide (but this particular express kiosk at 1st Avenue Mall is the first in Penang). The Corn Stick was probably designed to prevent Ice Cream from dripping on to the hand. If you are keen to lick and suck your Soft Serve from the stick, hop over to 1st Avenue Mall (4th floor).

Monday, July 25, 2016

Uncle Kin Chili Pan Mee @ Raja Uda, Butterworth, Penang.

Those who frequently patronize the food courts at shopping malls (namely Queensbay Mall and Gurney Paragon Mall) should be familiar to the name- Uncle Kin Chili Pan Mee. Uncle Kin is a well-established Penang brand, for the case of Chili Pan Mee. It started with a humble beginning by having a few hawker stalls scattered around the island but has since moved its operations into food courts. Penangites have professed their love for Chili Pan Mee and their businesses have quickly expanded to Raja Uda, Butterworth. The entire shop is dedicated to Chili Pan Mee. Business was brisk on our visit, the shop was almost fully occupied even at odd hours (3:30 pm). The fully air-conditioned place takes on self-service approach- customers are to place their orders at the counter and to collect their orders at the collection counter (according to order number). While we do agree their Pan Mee is decent but we'd like to see more variety... more side dishes would be great. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Grand Imperial Chinese Restaurant (喜粤海鲜酒家) @ The TOP, KOMTAR.

The TOP, one of the State Government's efforts in restoring the previous glory of Kompleks Tunku Abdul Razak (KOMTAR) has finally materialized and the new food & beverage hub has finally opened its doors to the public recently. Gourmands would be glad to know that the place is expecting quite a number of tenants moving in and Grand Imperial Chinese Restaurant is definitely one of the notable ones. Grand Imperial is certainly one big name that you should have heard of, the brand has many branches nationwide (with one branch at London). We did not get to try their usual offering but managed to check out their daily Dim Sum menu. There are two ways to get to "The Top"- enter from KOMTAR Walk and proceed with the escalators or via the multi-storey Car Park opposite to Pos Malaysia/ Maybank at KOMTAR; we used the latter option. We saw a familiar scene at the dining hall but sans the Dim Sum carts and customers perpetually lingering around. Servers frantically churn out a variety of Dim Sum dishes- diners are to place their orders and the servers will serve them when the dishes are ready (instead of choosing your preferred Dim Sum dishes over the counter). For the comfortable and elegant ambiance, the cost is at a bargain... with most dishes priced in the range of Rm 5 to 9.......

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ipoh Curry Mee @ Pepper Estate, Fettes Park, Penang.

Far deep inside one of the oldest estates in Penang is an old wooden house (with a food stall) that sells Ipoh Curry Mee. The aforementioned Curry Mee is known to many residents in the neighborhood and has been selling for years. We did not find it especially delicious and worth-trying, probably a taste that the regulars patrons accustomed to. Well if you have decided to try your luck here, from the entrance to Pepper Estate (off Fettes Park), go straight and proceed to Jalan Pepper Estate (do not turn right to Medan Fettes) and drive for a short while, you will find this place right after a small field (corner unit). 

Monday, July 18, 2016

17 Kelawei Fusion Cuisine @ Kelawei Road, Georgetown, Penang.

Unless you have heard of it, you would not realize that it's a restaurant from outside (if not for its signage). 17 Kelawei Fusion Cuisine is an old mansion turned cafe/ restaurant, the place has the "je ne sais quoi" sort of elegance, probably due to the soft lighting and English-styled setting... with couches and old-school tiles. The restaurant has 3 different menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner; we attempted a few dishes on their breakfast menu... a la semi-buffet style. Diners are to order one main on the menu while the items on the buffet-table are of complimentary and free flow. While we thought their interior decor was somewhat classy but the menu was uninspiring and and lacked of excitement (mostly processed-frozen food). 17 Kelawei is located right in front of Gurney Tower, two doors away from UOB Bank on the same road.

Friday, July 15, 2016

KyoChon Korean Fried Chicken @ G Hotel Penang.

Let's talk Chicken in this review. The Korean's way of pairing Fried Chicken and chilled Beer has stormed the world and recently, Penang welcomes one of the most prominent brands in this specialization- Korean Fried Chicken (KFC). Fried Chicken enthusiasts should not be new to the big name- KyoChon, the franchise-brand operates in many countries and is well-known for serving some of the best Korean Fried Chicken. The first Penang branch lands at G Hotel (right next to the al-fresco zone of Gurney Plaza/ opposite to Winter Warmers and right next to The Cream & Fudge Factory); the heat-intolerant may opt to dine-in at the fully air-conditioned corner while those who prefer a more outdoorsy environment could choose to dine-in at the al-fresco dining area. Chicken fans would be glad to know that KyoChon's menu focuses heavily on Chicken (duh), with a few Korean-inspired sides (such as Tteokbokki/ Chicken Porridge etc). While we were happy with the quality, we thought the prices were somewhat hefty...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sin Hwa Lam Seafood Restaurant (新华南海鲜饭店) @ Batu Maung, Penang.

It is a common practice for us Chinese to dine out at a restaurant especially with a large group of friends and families instead of cranking out multiple courses from a small kitchen. Another reason would be, by having more dining partners with you, you get to increase the variety of dishes. Dining out at Chinese Zhu Char places is also considered as part of an important event or celebration (like Wedding or New Year). Our office gathering this round brought us to Sin Hwa Lam Seafood Restaurant, an intimate Zhu Char place at Batu Maung. It was previously located at Jalan Batu Maung, opposite the police station but has since, relocated to this bigger, cleaner space. The place will be thronged with office workers during lunch hours; not only they offer Zhu Char dishes but simple and uncomplicated dishes like Fried Rice, Char Hor Fun are also available. The total damage for the lunch was Rm 210 for all dishes (excluding rice and drinks) for the 9 of us. 

Maxis 4G Makan Lokal Instagram Campaign- Stand A Chance To Win A Free Makan Trip!

Whoever claims that Money cannot buy happiness does know where to eat good food! But with Maxis 4G Makan Lokal Instagram Campaign, we hope to give you some ideas on where to find some hidden gems throughout the nation! 

What is Maxis 4G Makan Lokal Instagram Campaign about?

The Maxis 4G Makan Lokal Instagram is a Malaysia-wide food trail that resembles the wide coverage of Maxis 4G network. A few local prominent Food Bloggers/ Instagrammers were appointed to be the "ambassador" in their respective district (Northern, Central, Southern and East Malaysia). They will go on food hunting trips at selected Maxis 4G locations, sharing some of the hidden gems in their knowledge via Maxis’ Instagram page

Wait! There's more. With the idea of crowd-sourcing, Maxis also invites all Instagrammers to upload and share their favorite local food spots for the Food Bloggers/ Instagrammers to visit. This is made possible by hash-tagging #Maxis4GMakanLocal and following Maxis on Instagram.

What's in it for me?

Instagrammers who share their favorite food spots will be automatically entered in a contest. Selected Winners will be treated a free meal (every One Winner with 2 friends of the Winner) to dine out with the selected Food Blogger/ Instagrammer.

How to Participate?

1) Snap a photo of your favorite hidden gem food item or restaurant in a Maxis 4G location
2) Upload the photo to your Instagram account
3) Hash Tag #Maxis4GMakanLokal in your caption
4) Follow and Tag @Maxis in your caption *remember to set your profile to "Public"*

The winner will be selected based on creativity, distinctiveness and eligibility. Read more on the Eligibility Criteria and Terms & Conditions here. The contest runs from now until further notice. 

For the period starting 7 July 2016, there will be a few Instagram posts contributed by Ken Hunts Food! So stay tuned to Maxis' Instagram Account. Happy Food Hunting! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Chop Chin Hin Hardware Cafe (振兴号) @ Alora Hotel, Bukit Jambul, Penang.

Ever since B-Suite Hotel (at Bukit Jambul) re-branded (or restructured) to Alora Hotel, the newly refurnished hotel welcomes a few restaurants. The hotel is now under the portfolio of Chin Hin Group and we were not surprised why Chop Chin Hin Hardware Cafe was introduced. We expected heavy industrial elements to be seen in the cafe but there nary of them. While some items on the menu do carry the "hardware" name but they have got no actual correlation between the items offered and the name. The menu is small and could only offer some basic Sandwiches, Cakes and Waffles. Ambiance's calm with a restful vibe suitable for casual meet-ups or business meetings. Service was great with the staff paying greatest attention to details. A contrary to what we have experienced at Franco, the restaurant next door. Chop Chin Hin Hardware Cafe is an in-house cafe housed within Alora Hotel Penang (right next to Franco). 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Corgi & The Gang Pets Cafe @ Tanjung Tokong, Penang.

Hold on to your seats Dog lovers! There's another new venue for you and your furkids to enjoy- Corgi & The Gang ensconced in one of the houses at Mount Erskine, northeastern of Penang island. Corgi & The Gang is both a cafe and a pet lifestyle shop, there's a "playground" dedicated for canines and pet lovers to toy around as well as a main dining hall for cafe visitors. Diners may opt to enjoy their meals first before to the dog's playground; while the main highlight could be the furkids but we thought their menu is equally mesmerizing (if you must know, the menu consists of both sweet and savory items, all are reasonably priced). Corgi & The Gang is only few shops away from Jung Won Korean Restaurant, facing the wet market of Mount Erskine. 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

US Independence Day Gala Dinner @ Hotel Equatorial Penang.

To commemorate the 240th Independence Day of the United States, the American Malaysia Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) has collaborated with its organizing committee- First Solar, Jabil, Hotel Equatorial Penang, Celestica, Tech Dome Penang and Venessa Diamonds to organize a gala dinner on 1 July 2016. The charity event aims to raise funds in supporting the community and to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Malaysia and the United States. The event was held at Hotel Equatorial Penang's grand ballroom.

Many Thanks to Hotel Equatorial Penang for hosting us that evening. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

I'm Legend Steamboat (船旗火锅) @ Ropewalk Piazza, Georgetown, Penang.

"I'm Legend" is serious when it comes to Steam"boat".... they literally transformed the entire restaurant in a boat-themed restaurant. The restaurant uses the conveyor belt concept but instead of the plastic belt that delivers the food, it now uses water stream to move the boats (with steamboat ingredients). We like the creativity, at least we could see the effort. The interior walls (of the restaurant) are painted with beach view while the water-conveyor belt is built on a huge wooden boat. The Instagram-hipsters would be glad to know that there are some creative and fun photo props available too (wooden boat paddlers etc). While the interior decor certainly managed to wow us, we were not quite pleased with the offering. The variety was small with most items being processed food (Fish Balls, Fish Cakes, Crab Stick, Seafood Tofu, Pork Balls, Deep Fried Bean Curd etc); we did notice a couple serving of Shrimps but they did not seem promising. The prices of the steamboat ingredients are determined by the colors of the plastic container used to hold the ingredients.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Aboong- Korean Taiyaki Ice Cream @ Queens Street, Queensbay Mall.

Aboong, one of the famous Korean Ice Cream brands has finally landed Penang, few months after their first outlet here in Malaysia (SS15, Subang Jaya). Penangites have surely professed their love for Soft Serve and with this new addition to Queens Street, Queensbay Mall, I was not surprised to see the long queue. Aboong specializes in serving Fish-shaped Waffles with their Frozen Yogurt Ice Cream. Commonly known as Taiyaki in Japan and Bungeoppang in Korea, the fish-shaped Waffles are filled with Azuki Bean filling or Custard. Waffles are made on the spot so do expect a minimum 10 minute-wait; as for me, I was not that fortunate. Due to the overwhelming responses, I had to wait for an hour....

Monday, July 4, 2016

Ngon Vietnamese Restaurant @ Love Lane, Georgetown, Penang.

One of the best brunch spots at the heartland of Georgetown- Jeeves is closed. A new management took over and relaunched the place as a new Vietnamese restaurant- Ngon. Not much has changed on the interior but the menu was completely revamped. The menu is not big, we were quite disappointed that there were a handful of items were not available on our visit. One of the quintessential items for Vietnamese food spots- Beef Pho... was not available either (on our visit). Prices are of standard-average but the overall dining experience signals weak pulling factor, they will need to come out with more promising items if they wish to do well. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Circle N Square Dining @ Icon City, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

French Crepe is underappreciated here in Penang, we do not have a lot of French Crepe specialists around but recently, there's another member joining the clamoring F&B scene at Icon City, Bukit Mertajam. Circle N Square Dining's menu is French Crepe-focused, not only sweet ones but savory as well (more of a dessert cafe in lieu of full-fledged restaurant). While the menu is small, some of the flavors are fun and creative; at least not the ubiquitous Crepe Suzette. The cafe's on first floor so you will need to find your way up; the space is clean and bright with simple setting. On our visit, they seemed to take quite some time to serve our orders. Unique flavors and fun to eat but some fine-tuning is still required.