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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wedding Dinner at Sun Li How Fook Restaurant @ Ipoh

Well, last weekend my good buddy Jen Sen got married and held his wedding reception dinner at Sun Li How Fook Restaurant at Ipoh. Yeah, its not near thats for sure. Since I wasn't shooting the wedding, I focused instead on the food. Hehhehe.
Well, the restaurant was really big with 2 levels. We were at the upper floor which was smaller, I think there was about 20 tables in total.
As with all chinese wedding dinner, its a typical 8 course meal
I will go through each of these with pictures to follow in my link.
1. Appetizer : Four Season platter
This four season platter basically have a combination of hot and cold dishes. As the name implies, there is 4 varieties here. When I first saw the platter, there was a lobster shell on it. I was like, wow, lobster. Alas, it was a recycled lobster shell. Was a good deco though. So there was a cold jelly fish with mini octopus and mango salad. I liked this one. The jelly fish was cut in big chunks giving it a good crunchy taste. The octopus are those standard mini ones which have been marinated in the red sauce. Too bad they cut it in half and not whole pieces.
Then there is a baked prawn with cheese. This really tasted like a fusion dish and nothing chinese traditional about it. The combination of the prawns and the cheese was good.
Next is chicken stir fried with hand made fish ball. This one was rather plain, and not very exciting.
Last on the platter was fresh scallops wrap in fish paste. I felt that the amount of fish paste was abit overwhelming and voided the taste of the fresh scallops. But nonetheless, it was pretty good with the chef adding some kei chi on top.
Rating : 3.5/5
2. Sharks Fin soup was next. Well, I can't recall if the menu mentioned sharks fin or not but there wasn't any sharks fin for sure in the soup. It was mainly fish maw, chinese ham and crab meat. The good thing was that besides the usual vinegar, the restaurant took the trouble to serve a bowl of whisky together. This I like. So with some whisky mixed in, it gave the soup some needed oomph.
Rating : 3.5/5
3. Steamed white pomfret followed. Now this is a very nice fish if its fresh and big. The one we have on the night was of a pretty decent size. It wasn't super big but enough for the table. When the fished arrived, it looked abit firm. I was correct, the fish was overcooked. Oh well, can't be perfect. The fish was not superbly fresh as well as can be seen from the eyes and taste. The good thing was the chinese cilantro and light soy sauce blended in well with the fish.
Rating : 3/5
4. The next dish was interesting. The item which they put on the table was a glass of fresh spring onion stalks. I immediately wondered if this was to go with the suckling pig. I was right. The funny thing I don't get it is how do they expect people to eat such a big stalk of spring onion? The buns and suckling pig was much smaller in size, so even though it looked good, it was not practical or tasted nice as well. The suckling pig on the other hand was pretty good. I like the fact that they left some meat besides the skin as this gave it much more flavour. The buns though were not that great and tasted like those u get from the super market.
Rating : 3.5/5
5. Next up was prawn fried with soya sauce. Now finally the seafood was fresh. The prawns was succulent and juicy and you can easily peel the shell. For this kind of cooking, one must make sure to peel the shell with your teeth to be able to taste the slightly crisp soya sauce coating. If the prawns used were XL size, I would give this a 5.
Rating : 4/5
6. Lo Hon Chai, of mix vegetable. This is a disappointing dish. There was no gravy, and hardly any flavoring at all. Dry dry dry.
Rating : 2/5
7. Steamed rice with chinese wax sausage in lotus leaf. Yeah super long name. I'm not a fan of chinese wax sausage but I can tell you that the rice was poorly cooked because when I ate the rice, there was hardly any taste of the wax sausage. This means that it was probably not cooked well enough. Mostly this was fried earlier and then just wrapped in the lotus leaf and served. there was no hint of the lotus leaf as well.
Rating : 2.5/5
8. Dessert was last. It was a pancake and beancurd skin with gingko nut thong sui. I didn't try the pancake but my friends mentioned it was the best dish of the night. I did try the thong sui and BIG failure. How can the restaurant serve gingko nuts without removing the bitter stem in the middle? When I took a bite of the gingko nuts, any feeling of niceness about the thong sui disappeared immediately. Else it would have probably been better.
rating : 1.5/5
Overall, I had a hearty meal as my table only had 8 person. Jen Sen, no offence ya but I'm a food critic ma. I'm sure the restaurant should serve better when its not a wedding dinner as the chef could probably pay more attention to the food. Cheers and leave some comments too

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Yam Rice with Salted Vegetable Soup @ Chai Leng Park, Prai

This post is way overdue mainly in part to a very busy work schedule as well as the fact I went on a week long holiday to Taiwan in November. Yes, there will be a Taiwan foodie report out soon, I promise. Hahha. OK, back to this lunch.
Even though it was a while back, almost a month and a half, I can still vividly remember how the food tasted. Why? Simple. The food is great. Yes, a simple yam rice with salted vegetable soup with all the internals of the pig thrown in. My favourite.
The yam rice has very good texture and flavor, thanks to an abundance of dried shrimp thrown in. The yam was also plentiful and the flavoring done just nice.
The soup was also excellent. Not too salty with plentiful of stuff in it. And the added bonus is that the soup is refillable. Yes, drink away as much as you possibly can.

Sorry not much pictures as we were on our way to a photoshoot at Autocity that day :) Definitely a place to return
Rating : 4.5/5

Wikimapia link :

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lunch at Sakae Sushi @ Queensbay Mall Penang

Well, like in my previous blog, I did mention that I'm on a home run for good food and today I think is another one. Got a friend who brought us to Sakae Sushi for lunch. Well, I decided that today I will not order any of the heavy meals and just have some maki's. So I ordered a few premium makimono (which is a sushi roll instead of just the typical sushi).
I would say that all the items which I ordered is good today. The ones I would like to point out would be the Unagi Maki which I feel would be something most would like as there is no raw items here and would work well on most palates. If you like salmon, then the Ura Maki is definitely a must try as it not only have salmon sashimi but it has fried salmon skin wrap in the middle.

Also ordered was the soft shell crab crepe and another new premium makimono which I forgotten the name. Of course, side dishes ordered were salmon sashimi and also Ajitsuke Idako or baby octopus. I'm gonna rate the place overall as I think it deserve it.
Rating : 4/5

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This is the Ura Maki
Unagi Maki
The one I forgot the name

Friday, October 23, 2009

Zim Sum Dim Sum Restaurant @ Anson Road

Well, seems like my friends have been here many times but this is my first. When we arrived, it looked like any Dim Sum place, big, many tables, self service for faster food, etc. A typical dim sum restaurant.
With that, heheh, we go to the food.
Now as with any dim sum place, my take would be 2 basic items which is Har Kau (prawn dumpling) and Siew Mai (pork dumpling). Typically if this two items are good, that will set the standard.
So my take on the Har Kau is that it was just ok. This is definitely not the better ones I have had. The prawns were not particularly big or tasted super fresh. The skin was abit thick and was not well made as you can see from the picture, the dumpling was not even properly made.
Rating : 3.5/5

On the Siew Mai, this was another so so dim sum again. First, it was cold. It was not even put on the steaming trolleys. Then there is just too much fat instead of a good pork meat mixture.
Rating : 3/5

We did have a bit of other dish such as fried carrot cake and also some fried prawn role. Not too bad. Overall for 4 person, total was RM33 which is not a bad price. Will definitely try some place else before returning.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thank God Its Friday! Lunch @ TGI Friday

I guess almost everyone knows about TGI Fridays. Its a franchise western food place which serve a variety of dishes and some nice cocktails. Too bad its a Friday lunch time and we still have to be back to work in a well mannered state :p
Anyway, these few weeks really have food god on my side as got so many nice food treats. The lunch today is also on my good friend who so happen to have lost a bet ... heheheh. Moral of story, don't gamble la.
Some appetizers, which is Mac & Cheese and Chicken Fajita Nachos were ordered. The Mac & Cheese was pretty good, though it was only 6 pieces. I guess its ok as too much cheesy stuff really would fill up the stomach really fast. The macaroni and cheese is fried with some batter with the cheese still nice and soft inside. Something which I think is worth trying.
Rating : 4/5

The chicken Fajita Nachos compared to the Mac & Cheese, the portion was really huge. Not sure the price la but I think there was so much that we could not finish it all. Basically this is chicken meat and bell pepper spread on nachos and topped with melted cheese. The dish was good when it came still hot, but after it cools, it isn't that appetizing anymore.
Rating : 3.5/5

Jack Daniel's Chicken & Shrimp set was my main meal. When it came, it sure looked good and appetizing. When I tasted it, pure disappointment. The chicken breast was overcooked, tough and dry. The sauce was way too sweet and the shrimps were clearly those from the frozen category, with the shrimp (aka prawns) abit tasteless and obviously not the fresh kind (unless its the reared kind). Maybe the steak is more suited for this, but sadly, this is not on my list if I ever visit TGI Fridays again.
Rating : 2.5/5

Mocha Mud Pie was probably the best item I had for this lunch and it was complimentary as it was Boss'es day. Wahaha, how lucky I was. The mud pie was just so rich and good that it would be hard to finish it on its own by a single person unless you are bumming around for a couple of hours. But at least we know now, that at TGI also got some good stuff to eat.
Rating : 4.5/5

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Hardwicke House BBQ & Buffet Restaurant

Well, we got an email telling us about this new place called Hardicke House and actually this was not where we initially planned to go. Last minute decided on this place since we can have a lunch meeting at the same time and buffet seemed like a good idea, also thanks to WC for the treat.
So this place is having a opening promotion right now where its 4 for the price of 3. Its till 30 November 2009 so don't miss this. Their lunch price is RM18++ and 38++ for dinner. There is a 15% tax for service and government charges.
So, we didn't expected much from the food for the price but since they have the promo, what the heck, well worth it right.
When we arrived, the place was packed. All the tables were taken or reserved. We were about to leave when the owner or chef asked us to stay. We decided that sitting on the outside was ok as well since it was not hot or sunny (the place is shaded). So there was 8 of us today and we started our way to the buffet.
There was a salad spread, dessert in the center and a buffet line. When we reach, it was already almost 1pm and I think the first round of food was already finishing. Luckily we still managed to grab some good briyani rice and also salmon cooked in cheese. These were really good. I tried the Puri bread (like roti canai), the chicken vindaloo, fish curry, lamb rajol, salmon in cheese and the sweet and sour fish.
The lamb and salmon was what I like best. The lamb was so soft and tender that it was falling off the bone. I had second helping of this with spaghetti as a base instead of rice in the second time. The salmon was also pretty good,. It tasted as like the salmon had been precook and the put in a cheesy sauce. There was also beef rendang and beef bolognese for the spaghetti. Overall, there is suppose to be a choice of chinese, malay and indian cuisine/dishes serve differently everyday. Not bad, salmon for RM18++.
Then I went for the dessert, had an egg tart, which is pretty good, some nyonya kuih, assorted local fruits and ice cream. They have free flow of pretty good ice cream with 5 flavors in total.
Overall, I would rate this place a winner for the folks who works around this area, and advise is to give a call and book a place in advance and arrive early for the first round of dishes. This is advise as we found the second replenish round of the dish were of lower quality.
Rating : 4/5

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The interior
Salad spread
My platter, first round

Chicken Rice and Asam Laksa at Genting Restaurant, Island Glades

Ai, I just realize I forgot to blog about one of my Friday lunch escapades which happened about 2 weeks back. Hehhee, nothing special just had chicken rice and asam laksa. Actually there are many good food here but this is what I had today. But I did include pictures from what my buddies have in the photo gallery.
So another chicken rice. Hehe, actually the chicken rice is pretty good, with the chicken not very rough and the rice pretty fragrant. But still can't beat the one in town which I blogged before. But nonetheless if looking for no frills pretty good chicken rice, this one suits the bill
Rating : 3.5/5

Now the asam laksa here claims to be that from Ayer Itam, which I have also blogged about before. I will use that one as the standard. This laksa, had the thick soup, but the mistake or maybe just my luck that day, there was too much prawn sauce added, making the soup sweeter than sour. That aside, the soup had quite alot of blended fish and I did finish every drop of the soup. I would say this would have been a good one but just watch out how much prawn paste the cook puts in.
Rating : 4/5

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tea Break at E & O Hotel

Well, my company has a celebration dinner at E&O as I mentioned briefly in my previous post. As I was the MC for the dinner, I did not have the time to have taken the nice international buffet spread. Sigh, the food was actually pretty good and I think my favourite item was the deep fried oyster and lamb chops. Hahaha, high cholesterol food so I only had 1 piece each.
Back to the tea break which is what I'm blogging about here. I think its well known that E&O Hotel is one of the most establish and oldest hotel in Penang with a very rich history. As the committee member for the dinner, we decided to order a tea break so that we will not be starving during the dinner itself. So we ordered assorted muffins (my choice), croissants and fruit cake. Since the last two items isn't exactly on my "like" list, I will give my comments about the muffins. First impression I had was, this is probably the smallest ever muffins I have seen. What a disappointment from such a hotel. But on to the taste, the chocolate muffin was very rich and the peanut toppings a good choice. I think I had like 5 pieces as it was gone in 1 bite. The vanilla one was more normal, with some raisins added.
Assorted muffins
Rating : 3.5/5

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The view from the hotel

Taiwan Food Restaurant @ Gurney Plaza

Well, this is seriously a lucky week for me. Had a great lunch on Wednesday, and 2 days later this is another great lunch, and a dinner which I will be hosting as the MC later. But the blog for this one is about my lunch at a place called Taiwan Food. Simple name I guess.
Well, my friends recommended the Eel Stew Rice set so that was what I ordered. I also had the sour drink. Basically the menu is pretty simple, with not that many items to choose from. Most comes as a set dish, where you have the main meal, a drink, soup of the day, salad and dessert.
So, it was really quick for the dish to arrive. And when I saw it, it reminded me of a typical Japanese unagi (eel) bento set. When I took a bite, there was no mistaken that this tasted just like the bento. Hahha, guess its not just Taiwan food here. The piece of eel was pretty well sized and there is some fried egg and a light gravy with the rice. I would rate it pretty good for the eel though I did feel that the eel still had abit of bones on it.
The soup wasn't really cooked long enough or the amount of ingredients was probably not enough. It was old cucumber soup and I hardly tasted it. The salad, hmm, what a small portion was my first impression. It was actually sauteed cabbage with some black fungi. Again, nothing spectacular.
The dessert today was a piece of cake. I can say that this was pretty good. No complaints for this one.
We also ordered 2 side orders which was the Yea Su Chicken & Fried Dumpling. I recommend the chicken. It was well marinated and the batter was flavorful. The dumplings was another disappointing item. It was dry, the skin thick and not well fried.
So overall, I think the ambiance here is very cosy, for chilling out, with reasonably tasty food.
Eel Stew Rice
Rating : 3.5/5

Yea Su Chicken
Rating : 4/5

Fried Dumpling
Rating : 3/5

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The Eel Stew Rice
Yea Su Chicken
Sour drink
Fried Dumpling

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dragon-i @ Queensbay Mall Penang

I must say, this has been a week where I have so much good food. Earlier in the week, my team had lunch at Canton-i though sadly it was not planned earlier and I did not have my camera with me to do some food photos for this blog.
But luckily, today had a chance to have lunch at Dragon-i, a restaurant chain that is famous for its window display of chef preparing its signature dish of Siew Loong Pau and hand made noodles. There were ten of us and its thanks to a good friend for the treat. (her photos are in the gallery)
We decided to order dishes and have it shared and accompanied with white rice. So off we order and I will go through each dish that we have.
To start off, the most famous dish from Dragon-i, its Siew Loong Pau, which is dumplings with a meat filling. The uniqueness of this is that when its steamed, the meat or filling in the dumpling will actually release a generous amount of "soup". Thus the technique of eating this dumpling is to first suck out the soup and then have the dumpling. I must say, this is also my favourite dish here. The flavor from the soup is slightly sweet complimenting the meat stuffing. Only thought, though not sure if its possible would be if the skin of the dumpling at the top be softer and not as tough.
Rating : 4.5/5
Next we have stir fry spinach, fried chicken with dried chilli and peppercorn, chinese ham with jelly fish, chinese style thin crust pancake with spring onion, stir fry egg with seafood, japanese dumplings, stir fry spinach with crab meat, sweet and sour prawns & fried crispy duck with pancake wrap.
So many dishes which we ordered, and I will give a summary of each of the dishes.

Stir fry spinach and stir fry spinach with crab meat are basically identical dishes except one is plain and the other has crab meat. I would say this is OK, nothing out of the ordinary or exceptional.
Rating : 3.5/5

Fried chicken with dried chilli and peppercorn is a very appetizing dish. The chicken bits are deep fried and then tossed in with the dried chilli and peppercorn giving the chicken a very tangy spicy bite. Taste is good, though the chicken pieces are abit small thus when its deep fried, the chicken is abit dry. The spiciness level is good, would rate it pretty high. Other minus is that there is very little pieces of chicken in the otherwise big basket.
Rating : 4/5

Chinese style thin crust pancake with spring onion was ordered to satisfy my friend (WC) curiosity of how this would be different compared to our Malaysian staple of Roti Canai. I have to say, its different enough to warrant it being called something else. Heheh, the pancake it thick, has a crunchy texture, and well flavoured with some spring onions added. Not something I would order if I returned. Just not special enough.
Rating : 3.5/5

Stir fried egg with seafood is something that I would say its a first for me. Never had a dish cooked in such a way before where basically I think they have cooked the egg white first and then serve the dish with a raw yolk on top. The yolk is then mix in with the egg white creating a very silky texture for the dish. Overall I give it marks for originality but I think it could have been more flavorful.
Rating : 4/5

Japanese dumpling is abit of a disappointment to me as I was expecting something like gyoza or a more special dumpling. It was almost like a version of Siew Loong Pau without the special soup in the dumpling and also with a thicker skin texture.
Rating : 3/5

Sweet and sour prawn was pretty good. The prawns are a good size and the sweet and sour sauce had excellent flavor and was not too watery. The prawns were probably quick deep fried and then cooked with the sauce. Overall, satisfying dish.
Rating : 4/5

The last is fried crispy duck with pancake wrap. At first, when it arrived, I thought its just another duck dish. Then they laid down the pancake and the plum sauce, spring onion and cucumber strips before I see where this dish is going. The duck will be used for a pancake wrap. With that, that is exactly what I did next and wrap a nice piece of duck and some sauce with the condiments and took a big bite. Nice! The fried duck gave it a good flavor and texture which I find it better than a typical roasted duck. With that, I recommend this as another item to try.
Rating : 4.5/5

Overall a very good meal especially with the many varieties of the dishes. And of course thanks Susan who so very nice treated everyone to this lunch.

More pictures :

Wikimapia link to Queensbaymall : Its located at center court, 2nd floor :

Siew Loong PauFried chicken with dried chilli and peppercorn
Stir fry egg with seafood
Sweet and sour prawnFried crispy duck with pancake wrap

Famous Air Itam Penang Asam Laksa

Now, Penang Asam Laksa is just synonymous with Penang and today, I brought my camera along when wife wanted to have this for lunch. So, if its Laksa, I typically will head to the stall at Air Itam near to Kek Lok Si temple. Been having Laksa here for the past 7 years I have been in Penang and reason we like this one, the noodle stock and the noodle itself.
The stock here is thick with mince fish, it taste sour enough and the noodle, its those that are home made and not the ones which are from rehydrated noodles. Its texture and feel is excellent, not hard and rough.
So if its Penang Laksa you are looking for, this is the place. PS. it opens about 12-12.30pm till about 9pm at night.
Rating : 5/5

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Assorted Wan Ton noodles at Kafeteria Dan Hotel Eng Loh

Did not expect to have eaten here on this particular Friday lunch. Initial plan was for Loh Mee at the shop next to Kwan Yin temple along Jalan Masjid Kapitan. But the Loh Mee was closed, probably because of Hari Raya eve.
Anyway, thanks to an excellent suggestion from Poh Weng my good colleague, we decided to head to this restaurant that is reputed to have one of the best wan ton mee in Penang. With that proposition, we headed to Eng Loh Hotel and Cafeteria. It it one of those old heritage buildings and you can definitely see that its pretty old. The place was packed when we arrived and a good thing we managed to find 2 empty tables next to each other, as there was 8 of us.
The shop owner was really friendly and she even offered to let me photograph some of the dishes which we did not order. There is really an assortment to choose from and I went with the fried noodle with fried Sui Kau.
Actually I didn's really know what I ordered and just took her word for it. Heheh, when the dish arrived, first thing I was abit disappointed was that they put some chilli sauce (bottle kind) on the fried sui kau. I'm not a fan of bottled stuff. But other than that, it did looked impressive. Taste wise, I find it abit dry and the chilli sauce didn't help. But the sui kau was good.
Rating : 3.5/5
I also ordered the fried Char Yuk which is RM2 per bowl. This on the other hand is really good. The meat was tender and the flavoring is just nice. The owner gave me a try of the fried chicken feet stewed with mushroom. The chicken feet was juicy and the sauce excellent. These 2 items is a must try if you visit this shop.
Char Yuk
Rating : 4.5/5
Chicken Feet
Rating : 4.5/5

There were many other dishes which looked really good which I will try when I return here such as the wan ton mee with stewed char yuk and black fungi, drunken chicken and the dry curry chicken.

More photos here :

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

The View ~ Equatorial Hotel ~ Alaskan King Crab & Semi buffet

Heehhe... I have to say, how lucky I am to have a friend who would like to buy dinner at The View in Equatorial Hotel Penang. For those that are not familiar, I would say that The View is one of the better fine dining restaurants in Penang.
Typically, there is ala carte and then there are those that comes with a semi buffet.
So whats so special currently at The View, well they have the Alaskan King Crab promotion which is for September 2009 only.
On the menu, we have a choice of just ala carte King Crabs or with the semi buffet. We chose the semi buffet and ended choosing the Grilled King Crab and a King Crab Thermidor.
Their semi buffet is actually very good in my opinion. One of their signature is their salmon marinated with Whisky and herbs. This is just so delicious I had a few helpings.
Then they have a very good spread of salads with various garnishing and sauces.
Next would be their seafood cold platter. Here they have boiled and shelled large prawns, scallops on the shell and very fresh oysters. The thing I like about here is that their oysters never run out :)
After this, is their array of appetizers, where there have fish, beef, vegetables and duck. For this round, their duck was just excellent. The aroma and taste was very very good and I had at least 2 helpings of this dish. The fish was not as nice as I hope as the taste felt too complex. I couldn't try the beef dishes as I can't take beef.
Then their last items are their dessert spread. Alas I forgot to take pictures of their dessert today but their tiramisu and crumble and pretty good.
So for today's dish of the day, the focus is of course on the very famous Alaskan King Crab. For those who watch Discovery Channel's Dealiest Catch, this is it. Now when we first heard about it, I though we would be getting the crabs live and ship to Penang. Sadly, they only import the legs of the crab so thats all we got to taste.
Before we get to the main course, we start with the semi buffet as mentioned above. Then we are served with the soup of the day which happens to be seafood chowder. I would say its nothing to shout about as I feel the soup lack a punch to it. After the soup, we get a Strawberry sorbet (the flavour changes often). This I was told by the staff is to clear our taste buds before we savour the main course. It has a minty taste to it and its something like a icecream toothpaste. Leave your mouth fresh, though probably not white. Now is time for the main course.
First is the King Crab Thermidor. The presentation is always excellent here at The View. The food is nicely placed with just the right amount of garnishing. Below the Crab Thermidor is some mash potato with some vegetables. Now the taste of the crab is very fresh, but I feel that the cheese used in this style of cooking overpowered the freshness of the crab. Also the cheese was abit watery in my opinion but maybe this is how Thermidor is suppose to be?
Rating : 4/5
Next there is the Grilled King Crab. Now the garnishing is the same as the Thermidor and the only difference is in the preparation of the crab. For the grilled version, its just much better to my taste compared to the above. The crab is succulent, taste fresh and done just right! This to me is way better compared to the Thermidor version. Given a chance, this is a definitely must try!
Rating : 5/5

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The marinated salmon
Seafood on ice
My platter from the semi buffetSeafood chowderGrilled Alaskan King CrabAlaskan King Crab Thermidor