Friday, March 31, 2017

Red Stove Hotpot (红灶头乡间风味土灶柴火鸡) @ Moulmein Road, Pulau Tikus, Penang.

Being a steamboat-obsessed community, Penangites welcome all sorts of steamboat or hotpots; evidently seen from the forever-increasing steamboat restaurants in town. Red Stone Hotpot is one of the new members that pays homage to the tongue-numbing Sze Chuan hotpot but their concept of serving Hotpot is unusual and distinctive. Unlike its competitors, Red Stove does not serve the soup/ food as it is; instead, the Chef cooks in front of you... from scratch. Dining here is like being at a cook show. The Chef prepares the ingredients and starts the cooking process in front of the diners... from cooking until seasoning, diners get to witness the entire process. Commendable is the use of effective tools to shield the oil from spilling over to diners. The flavors are good but not mind-blowingly amazing but it is definitely a fun place to visit for the novelty experience. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

[New Management] Loke Thye Kee (乐台居) @ Burmah Road, Georgetown, Penang.

With near to 10 years of experience in the food & beverage industry, BRFNC Food Services (same management as Blue Reef Fish N Chips) takes over the management of Loke Thye Kee, an iconic heritage building that sits right smack in central Georgetown. The 88 year old building stays as it is, the only change made was the newly rolled out menu. It is a space dedicated to marry history with good food. Loke Thye Kee was once famed as one of the first established Hainanese restaurants in Georgetown in the olden days; with that in mind, the new management decided to preserve the Hainanese element as well as introducing some Nyonya dishes to the menu. The old school atmosphere is a reminiscent of the past- the interior decoration suggests evocative memories on the Hainanese Kopitiam. The restaurant opens as early as 8:30 am and expect to see an intimate variety of Hainanese Coffee with Toast for breakfast; full-fledged Hainanese-Nyonya menu will be served starting from noon. If you are on the lookout for Pork-Free caterer, Loke Thye Kee provides catering services as well.

Many Thanks to Loke Thye Kee for hosting us that afternoon.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Ken Curry House @ Jalan Batu Maung, Batu Maung, Penang.

Those who frequent Batu Maung area might be familiar to this place, those who are in the know would have at least heard or visited the place... definitely a hidden gem worth to uncover. Nestled in a bungalow along Jalan Batu Maung (opposite to the World Fish Organization), Ken Curry House attracts the factory workers working nearby... for its inexpensive, satisfying yet tummy-filling Curry (with rice) variants. It has been there for a few years and it only opens during lunch hours... to cater for the lunch crowd. The curry specialist offers nothing except curries... and occasionally, a special home-cooked Bak Kut Teh (small menu). The place has a simple setting overlooking the garden, but it can be a little warm during the sultry hot days. Not too shabby for a quick meal but not a place to hang out. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Yang Jia North East Chinese Cuisine (杨家东北菜。湘菜) @ Pulau Tikus, Penang.

Yang Jia North East Chinese Cuisine at Pulau Tikus is a long-established Chinese restaurant in Penang. We've been passing the place for many times and have no clue about the seemingly curious restaurant could offer. The exterior is convincing but it does not give any idea on what types of food they are serving. Push the doors open and you will find the restaurant in standard Chinese setting but what surprised us was the bible-thick menu... that basically offers everything from appetizers, mains, hot pot, dumplings and sweet treats. Dong Bei, literally means North East... refers to the geographical region in China, simmering stews and dumplings are some of the local delicacies. Similarly, one could expect to see some of these Dong Bei-influenced dishes in Yang Jia North East Chinese Cuisine. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Memory Lane- MUFE @ Service Road, Georgetown, Penang.

The Memory Lane- MUFE is space that marries history and culture with food; the interior decor brings its visitors time-travel back to the 1960's, with vintage wallpaper adorning the walls and old-school furniture setting the tone. The first floor is a cafe serving light local snacks and delicacies while the second floor is set to transform into a museum. For the cafe, diners who prefer a more outdoorsy ambiance could choose to take the al-fresco zone, take a seat inside for the extraordinary and picturesque interior decor otherwise. One of the highlights of the interior decor is the 'chai diam ma' (grocery shop in Hokkien dialect) behind that features snacks and nibbles, which are reminiscent of many's childhood. The menu however, is weak and lacked of personalities; probably the selling point is the atmosphere and ambiance in lieu of food. It is nevertheless, a worth-visit place with evocative decorations that may bring back many memories of the past. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Captain A Seafood House @ Taman Lembah Permai, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

The "pick your Seafood on the table" trend has spread over to mainland; the newly opened Captain A Seafood House at Taman Lembah Permai, Bukit Mertajam is one of the latest cafes that adopts this serving method. Tucked in one of the shop houses at Taman Lembah Permai, Captain A Seafood House serves its Seafood on the table (the standard menu similar to most of its competitors), with a few special twists of theirs. The signage does not suggest much on what are the items they serve but those who are in the know will eventually make their way there for their Seafood. The place is fully air-conditioned but the seats could be more spacious; affordably priced if that's your concern.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Kampung Benggali Xio Bak Koay Teow Th'ng @ Butterworth, Penang.

Right next to the bustling Butterworth outer ring road, Kampung Benggali is home to many local SMEs as well as private residential. Needless to say, the neighborhood does have something to offer (in terms of food). Koay Teow Th'ng with Roasted Pork seems to be the favorite food in the neighborhood but there are a few notable ones, with the most famous one being 'Kim Seng' but for this trip, we had 'Kampung Benggali Xio Bak Koay Teow Th'ng'... just a few shops away from 'Kim Seng'. Though less-crowded, the food quality was rather disappointing...

Ming Xiang Tai (名香泰)- Passing Down of Food Heritage

In the fear of losing part of the traditional flavors as time goes by, Ming Xiang Tai strives hard not only to preserve the flavors of the yesteryears but to pass down the quintessential skills in crafting the traditional Cantonese pastries. With this vision in mind, Ming Xiang Tai has been constantly offering an array of Cantonese pastries and delicacies in all of its branches across Penang island. The Cantonese pastry specialist has been continually receiving positive responses from Penangites since its opening and has recently expanded its fifth branch at Penang Road. If you are constantly on the look out for good Cantonese pastries, do check out Ming Xiang Tai for its wide variety and comprehensive menu.  

Many Thanks to Ming Xiang Tai for arranging this workshop.

The latest branch by Ming Xiang Tai sits on Penang Road, right next to the famous Penang Cendol alley (2 doors away) and is evocatively decorated to bring back memories of the past. Step in the place and you will be instantly traveled back in time- when you see the wooden antiques hanging around the wall and the staff is making their effort to churn out delicious pastries with irresistible fragrance. 

Hands-on experience

Fellow members of the media were invited to the workshop- live demonstrations on how to make the perfect Bun and pastries were shown. We even had the opportunity to partake in the workshop by taking turns to roll the dough and to shape the bun/ pastries. Ming Xiang Tai has plans on offering the workshop to the public, interested parties may stay tuned to their announcement on their Facebook Page

Our creations

Ming Xiang Tai Penang Road's Partners- Melvyn (left) and Joshua (right)

Group photo with the participants *courtesy of Ming Xiang Tai*

Additional Information:
1) Ming Xiang Tai HQ (名香泰总店)
Address: No. 133, Jalan Burmah, 10050, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 8 am to 11 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 227 9880

2) Ming Xiang Tai Bayan Baru (名香泰分店)
Address: 1-G-23 A, Suntech @ Penang Cybercity, Lintang Mayang Pasir 3, 11950, Bayan Baru, Penang.
Business Hours: 8 am to 8 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 643 1840

3) Ming Xiang Tai Armenian (包德馆 & 名香泰凉茶铺)
Address: No. 26 & 30, Armenian Street Ghaut, 10200, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 10 am to 9 pm on weekdays, 9 am to 9 pm on weekends. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 261 9887

4) Ming Xiang Tai Penang Road (名香泰槟榔律分店)
Address: 475 A, Jalan Penang, 10000, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 8:30 am to 7 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 261 2511

*Ming Xiang Tai is a Pork-Free pastry shop*

Monday, March 20, 2017

Gomo Wine Bar Restaurant @ Campbell Street, Georgetown, Penang.

Most Penangites are believed to have serious obsession with Japanese food and if you are one of them, make your way to Gomo Wine Bar Restaurant at Campbell Street. Gomo is not the casual Japanese eatery nor the traditional Izakaya in the neighborhood, the team behind puts a modern spin on things. The Japanese-fusion menu offered by Gomo is extensive, but let's be frank here, it would not be a cheap meal out. Expect to pay at least Rm 40 per person for a main and a side order but the dishes are uncommon and rarely found in most Japanese establishments. Not only that the standards (for food) are high here, their service quality is top-notch either. If you are into alcohol, it has a good variety of Japanese Rice Wine and Red/White Wines. Gomo is a little hidden away, it's tucked within a nondescript heritage house along Campbell Street, facing L Kitchen.

Friday, March 17, 2017

[Year 2017] Food Hunting- of Cafes/ Must-Eats @ Taiping (太平), Perak (霹雳).

Approximately one-hour drive away from Penang, the quiet and wet town- Taiping (Perak) is known for its range of recreational activities suitable for a short family-getaway (Taiping Zoo, Taiping Lake and Museums etc) but its local food scene shall not be forsaken as well. The cafe is scene is getting exciting with a few new introduction of cafes; coupled with its classic Taiping delicacies, the place is worth-stopping by especially when you are travelling South (or North). It's always fun to plan for a half-day food tour around the city but do make preventive measures for the rain fall, which can come anytime... anywhere (for the uninitiated, Taiping town is one of the places with the highest rainfall recorded in Malaysia). 

1) Kakak's Koay Teow Th'ng (家家粿条汤)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 111, Jalan Pasar, 34000, Taiping, Perak.
Business Hours: 6 am to 1:30 pm. Closed on Mondays.
Contact Number: 012- 515 7859

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Roots Dessert Bar @ The Museum Hotel, Georgetown, Penang.

New kid on the block- Roots Dessert Bar, joins the plenitude of dessert cafes in Penang but the newly opened dessert bar sure has something up its sleeves- the menu comprises of an array of uncommon desserts has certainly come to merit the title... as a 'dessert bar'. Do not expect to find some conventional cakes here but instead, artisan desserts and pastries that would please any stubborn diners. Taste is not the only thing that they are focusing on, the presentation counts. Inspired to serve plated desserts, Roots pays great attention to its food presentation. Combination and flavors are meticulously paired and thought through; though Roots offers light snacks (jaffles) too but the desserts are probably their core competencies. So go ahead and order their desserts first. Roots Dessert Bar is a few doors away from The Little Journeyman Cafe at The Museum Hotel, off Transfer Road. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

MQL Steamed Hotpot (冞麒麟蒸汽火锅) @ Icon City, Bukit Mertajam.

With the concerns over healthy lifestyle, hotpot devotees have found their way out and now, steamed hotpot seems to be the rage. The idea was started in China- heating the distilled water produces heat to cook the food, there will be a dish at the bottom of the pot to collect the water vapor and essence of the steamed food. MQL Steamed Hotpot is first of its kind at Icon City, Bukit Mertajam. The idea is to serve the food in its unadulterated best, without adding additional seasonings or flavors to the food. Foods are steamed dish by dish on the table, with a fixed sequence (with induction stove fit seamlessly onto the table). The trained servers will advise the sequence as well as the cooking time. Seasonings and marination are minimal so diners get to enjoy the natural flavors of the ingredients. Guests can choose from different set menus but each set combo is carefully paired with balanced elements; the fully air-conditioned restaurant is most suitable for family dinners. MQL can be found on the 2nd floor, right above St. Espresso at Icon City, Bukit Mertajam.

Many Thanks to MQL Steamed Hotpot for hosting us that evening.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Wawasan Cafe & Rest House (宏愿乡味之家-家乡走地鸡) @ Lebuh Sandilands, Georgetown, Penang.

A classic Zhu Char place that stays away from the commercially raised farm Chickens, Wawasan Cafe & Rest House at Lebuh Sandilands (a stone's throw distance away from Lebuh Cecil Wet Market) offers Village Free Range Chicken dishes. The Chickens are locally raised and sourced from the restaurateur's own farm in Perlis (reared in Perlis and delivered over to Penang). The humble Zhu Char place offers a menu dedicated to Chicken dishes, alongside with some Cantonese-inspired Stir Fry dishes. The setup is simple and straight-forward, a decent place for a quick, casual family meal. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Hotel Equatorial Penang hosts Business Appreciation Dinner (2017) for its Stakeholders

Hotel Equatorial Penang honored supports from its stakeholders- corporate clients, travel agents and airline representatives at the annual Business Appreciation Dinner on Tuesday, March 7 at the Grand Ballroom. The dinner themed 'Le Chapeau Couture' (French-inspired evening with Hats and Headpieces) saw the attendance of 150 guests; they were then treated to an eclectic journey of entertainment- ballet, cabaret and live band performance. The dinner reached its climax during the lucky draw session; prizes such as return air tickets to Hong Kong, Bangkok and New Delhi were given out, along with other exceptional goodies.

Many Thanks to Hotel Equatorial Penang for hosting us.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Sin Seh Kai Artisan Bakery @ New World Park, Georgetown, Penang.

The Baking Garage (at Lembah Permai) is not new, in fact, we have been wondering if they would move their business operations nearer to central Georgetown... and we are glad they did! Not only running as a bakery, the new branch at New World Park (known as Sin Seh Kai Artisan Bakery) actually offers a seemingly impressive brunch menu. The kitchen closes at 2:30 pm and by then, only light snacks shall be served (no heavy menu), so plan your time accordingly. It's easy to find Sin Seh Kai, the place is covered in transparent glasses with an open-kitchen, while the other side of the cafe is dedicated for diners dining-in the cafe. The setup is simple and straight-forward but the real pull factor is the wide range of home-made Pastries and artisan bread.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Hwajing Travel & Tours (华京旅游) offers Royal Afternoon Tea to Travelers on Star Cruise Libra

Cruise holidays can be a definition of luxury- be surrounded by sparkling waters, hugged by the warm sunlight and offered the chance to explore new port-cities everyday; the experience of ocean cruise can be an extremely memorable one. For a short and luxurious getaway with the family, do consider taking a 4 Day 3 Night cruise from Penang to Krabi and Phuket (Thailand). There are many ways to make your money spent worth-while; explore the in-cruise activities such as Karaoke, Gym, Movie Theater, Massage Pool, Swimming Pool, Bar, Restaurants and even mini Golf Center. Regardless of your age, there are something suitable for you. The 10-storey high Star Cruises Libra houses 718 rooms and could accommodate up to 1,436 passengers. Passengers will also be pampered to unlimited-refillable buffet treat in its in-cruise restaurants... with one operating 24 hours a day! 

The on-board price for per passenger starts from Rm 1,200 onwards (excluding taxes and applicable charges). Exclusively for Hwajing Travel & Tours' customers, any booking (on Star Cruises Libra's 4 Day 3 Night Cruise to Krabi-Phuket) with the travel agency shall entitle to a Royal Afternoon Tea treat on Star Cruises Libra.

Many Thanks to Hwajing Travel & Tours and Star Cruises for hosting us. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Nyonya Willow @ Taman Tunas Damai, Bayan Lepas, Penang.

Update: Nyonya Willow has relocated to Arena Curve (72-1-3), opposite to Arang Cafe

Nyonya Willow is definitely one of the most secretive cafes/ restaurants, not only that it does not have any signage, it is nestled in a terrace house... within the secluded neighborhood of Taman Tunas Damai (Bayan Lepas). As the name might have hinted, Nyonya Willow runs like a private kitchen, in a residential. The menu changes regularly- depending on what they could source for the day, the dishes vary. It offers some Nyonya delights as well as some favorite Malaysian delicacy such as Nasi Lemak. All ingredients are prepared in house. The setting is homey as well and might not be too accommodating for larger groups. Prices are however, veering towards the higher side but given the fact that they cook in a small scale and every dish is home-cooked, the price is justifiable. Taman Tunas Damai is near to the newly operated SMK Heng Ee Bayan Lepas branch or where Honda Car Service center is located. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

[Travel/ Food Guide] Itinerary to Langkawi (兰卡威), Kedah (吉打).

One of the famous and most visited islands in Kedah- Langkawi, is known for its tourism and duty-free status. Alcohols, Cigarettes and Chocolates are typically tax-free in Langkawi (there are more of course), making it one of the most attractive reasons to visit the tropical island. Langkawi is also a melting pot for culture- not only the Malaysian culture but the international dining scene is getting more and more exciting here. There are quite a handful of good cafes to hunt for apart from getting your alcohol/ chocolate supplies and outdoor activities. Getting to Langkawi from Penang can be quite easy and convenient, travelers may opt to take the speed boat from Swettenham Pier Penang directly to the Jetty Point at Kuah Town or fly in from Penang to Langkawi International Airport

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Red Box Karaoke- A Place for Eager and Hungry Singers

With over 15 years of experience in the industry and more than 9 outlets in Malaysia, the name Red Box and Green Box should not be new amongst karaoke goers. Red Box Karaoke has 2 outlets in the Northern Region- Penang, one at Gurney Plaza and the other one at 1st Avenue Mall Penang. In conjunction with its annual Media Appreciation Night, fellow members of the media were invited to a sing-it-out-loud night at their outlet in 1st Avenue Mall. The Karaoke specialist at 1st Avenue Mall houses 44 karaoke rooms, with the largest room could accommodate up to 40 people. Unlike other unreliable small establishments, Red Box offers a genre of 40,000 to 50,000 (English, Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korea and other dialects) songs and are constantly updated. All songs are artfully presented through the latest motion videos paired with professional audios. The rooms are clean and well-designed, perfectly suitable for any casual occasions as well as work-bonding sessions. Additional tools like rock microphones are available in certain rooms for the rock star wannabes, do enquire within. 

Many Thanks to Red Box for hosting us that evening.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Yisu Vegetarian Steamboat House @ Arena Curve, Bayan Lepas, Penang.

What happens when a vegetarian feels like eating steamboat? Not an issue right now with the opening of Yisu Vegetarian Steamboat House. The vegetarian restaurant at Arena Curve (those shop houses right next to Olive Tree Hotel) has a menu entirely dedicated for vegetarians; if you are in a rush or steamboat is not your kind of thing, there are some simple, staple Malaysian (vegetarian) delights as well (namely Nasi Lemak, Koay Teow Th'ng, Chee Cheong Fun and some rice dishes). Their signature dish however, is their personalized vegetarian Steamboat. Budget watchers will be glad to know that all dishes are reasonably priced here and suitably designed for the office/ factory workers nearby. But do not expect the place to have fancy or elegant setup, rather, a simple space for a casual meal. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Fine Dining by the Beach- Jala Restaurant @ The Andaman Resort, Langkawi, Kedah.

Perched along the long-crescent Datai Bay (also recognized as the 9th best beach in the world by National Geographic) at the Northwest tip of Langkawi Island and well-hidden in the tropical rain forest, The Andaman is one of the best luxurious resorts in Langkawi, most ideal for a quiet getaway or quick escape from the hectic city life. Unlike the tourist-district at Pantai Cenang, the Datai Bay is far from town center and is usually visited by hotel guests only. The strategic location and what the nature could offer (to The Andaman) are the sine qua non of the resort winning multiple International awards (not forgetting its extraordinary effort in preserving the nature as well). While the various facilities in the resort are applaudable, The Andaman Resort houses 4 in-house restaurants that strive to offer exquisite dining experience for the guests/ visitors (open to public). 

Many Thanks to The Andaman Resort for hosting us that evening.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Thai Shop @ Kimberley Street, Georgetown, Penang.

Ever wondered why you can always find happy diners feasting on an array of Thai-influenced dishes at one small alley along Kimberley Street? Tucked right next to a curious, unappealing shop named "Thai Shop", the alley next to it is associated with "Thai Shop"... with a few stalls selling Thai delicacies displayed outside. The action scene can be found at the end of the alley- stir frying of dishes, grilling of the Thai Pork Skewers, shaving of ice for Tub Tim Krob; all stalls are manned by Thai. For a moment, we thought we were dining in an alley at Hatyai, Thailand. The Pork-based menu is small and non-rice eaters will not find a space here. Most dishes are served with rice. We aimlessly walked into "Thai Shop", thinking that someone would attend to us but we were wrong. Diners who wish to dine in must place their orders at the alley first before finding a seat inside the shop; dine-in at the tables by the alley otherwise. Definitely a place not to be missed by Thai food devotees.