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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

Links to more photos :

Wikimapia link :

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

I Mum Mum Pan Mee

So we heard that there is a pretty good Pan Mee in Penang. Could this beat my all time favourite in KL? So my colleague told us about I Mum Mum Pan Mee which is located near Harbour Trade Center.
Anyway, so we headed to this place and it was really empty as we were early for lunch hour.. hehhe.
We were given a menu (which I have a photo of) and we get to select how the noodle is (thin, fat or flat). There was 5 types of their Pan mee to choose from. I chose the item 4, which is Pan mee with mince pork meat with special sauce. Now I have always been accustomed to Pan Mee where you will get mince pork and fried anchovies (ikan bilis). So when my dish arrived, I was truly disappointed when it had mince pork but not fried ikan bilis.
My friends who ordered the spicy version on the other hand had this :(
I would say it looks better than mine. we also ordered Sui Kau as extras. Its size was pretty good and tasted ok.

So for Pan Mee no 4:
Rating : 3.5/5

Sui Kau :
Rating : 3.5/5

More photos here :

Wikimapia :

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sg Ara Market Hokkien Mee/Prawn Mee

Now, Penang is the place that is famous for its Hokkien Mee or to the rest of the world, Prawn Mee. This is a type of noodle with a spicy broth which is typically made with lots of prawns and pork for flavour. Now I have been passing this stall in Sg Ara market (its a shop lot next to the Sg Ara wet market) and I notice that the stall always had many people waiting there.
So one weekend, which so happen I was alone at home and not cooking lunch, I decided to go grab this Hokkien Mee. So I arrived, and lo and behold, it was the last few bowls available. So there is always the good and bad when you eat at any stall. The good, for broth base noodles, you could get the most flavourful broth as its at the bottom and all the yumminess is retained. Of course this applies to stalls that do not keep diluting their broth. Now thankfully this was the case at this stall in Sg Ara market. I probably got the most yummiful broth available. It was thick and fragrant with full taste of prawns.
The bad, is that some of the condiments are finished as well as the choice of noodles. So for my case, I had no vegetables (no Kang kung), no more prawns and no more rice noodles (mee hun). So I ended up getting extra pork leg meat and intestines as well as maggi mee instead.
So how it it overall? I liked it. I think it would have been great with prawns though. The pork meat was good but I think its abit pricey with a packet of large size costing me RM5. The thing which disappointed me was the intestines as it was bitter. This is typically when its not properly cleaned.
So I would rank this pretty high on my Hokkien Mee list which I'm sure I will be blogging more of. By the way, I ordered for takeaway and the shots were taken in my home :)
Rating : 4/5
Wikimapia link :

Golden eBay Restaurant

Was fortunate enough someone decided to buy lunch and thus we headed to this restaurant in Sg Nibong called Golden eBay Restaurant. I m very confident it has nothing to do with the online auction giant :) Anyway, this restaurant is pretty popular because the food here is reasonably priced and tasty.
So there was 6 of us that day and we ended up ordering 5 dishes.
1st on the menu was fried noodles with seafood. This is Kwong Fu Sang mee or fried wanton noodle with "Wat Tan Hor". The portion was of decent size and the amount of squid, prawns and fish were pretty decent. I find this dish pretty good with the noodles well soaked up to the sauce and the taste suit my liking. I think it would be perfect if they added abit more egg into the sauce.
Rating : 3.5/5

Next was the roast duck with plum sauce. This roast duck dish taste very good. Not sure if this is the style they cooked it but the skin was just not as crispy as I had hope. But the duck meat was very juicy and well marinated. The plum sauce is also not too sweet and matches the duck very well. I think the chef is pretty skillful as most of the pieces of meat had the bones removed. Good job. One of the better roast duck I have had in Penang.
Rating : 4/5

Up next is the fried chicken. This one, I'm disappointed because I did not even get to try it as I do not know how the captain put in the order as there was more prawn crackers than pieces of chicken. There was only 5 pieces of chicken when there is 6 of us. Sigh. Anyway, the chicken looked over cooked, and not that appetizing. So I skipping the rating for this one.

The forth dish is the vegetable. We ordered mini Siew Pak Choy with scallops and mushrooms. The presentation of the dish is really attractive but I find the taste abit bland. Cooking with scallops you should be able to bring out the freshness and merge it with the vegetable but I feel it didn't happen here. Maybe the vegetable was boiled first which is probably why and then the sauce added later. Who know. Not too bad if you enjoy something that has a more subtle taste.
Rating : 3.5/5

The last and final dish is the suckling pig. I think this is one of the specialty here as in most restaurants, you would require to pre-order it but here, its available anytime. That probably is why it took awhile to arrive at the end. The chef must have been hard at work preparing it in the kitchen. Anyway, when it arrived, it looked really delicious. On the edge of the platter were mini steamed buns which is to go with the suckling pig. Now for suckling pig, the best part is the roasted crispy skin and the layer of fat that is below it. The condiments that goes with this is the stalk from spring onion and also some plum sauce. Now to me, I find that the suckling pig today was abit too fat under the skin. The better ones I had have would have a nice thin layer of fat and then some meat. The meat would have the nice marination flavor and with some meat below, it would allow you not feel that you are eating oil... hehe.
Overall I feel the suckling pig here is a good effort, and maybe next time if eating here again, can ask for a more meaty piglet :)
Rating : 4/5

Finally here is more photos from this link below

Wikimapia link :

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hainan Chicken Rice & Loh Bak

This is another famous coffee shop and the 2 most popular stall here is the Hainan Chicken Rice and the Loh Bak. Ever since coming to Penang for 7 years, have not really had a good Hainan chicken rice. I guess that is because I do not frequent the town area. There is just so many apparent good food in town that is just waiting to be blogged.
So maybe this will be my goal for now.
What makes a good Hainan chicken rice? I grew up eating chicken rice and my grandma and mom were some of the first to make Hainan chicken chop in Kampar. So, for Hainan chicken rice, there is 3 important items.
First, the rice, then the chicken and finally the chili sauce. For me, I have never been a fan of chili sauces, so thats something I will let my eyes do the reviewing (:)
At this stall, the rice is very well prepared. Its yellowish in colour with very good fragrance. The rice was cooked not too soft which gives it a good texture. These are the type of chicken rice that you can eat without the chicken.
Next, the chicken here is very smooth. We ordered half a chicken and even the breast meat is smooth. This is how I typically tests Hainan Chicken. If you can maintain the breast meat to me smooth and not rough, this means you have managed to cook the chicken right. Its not easy cooking Hainan chicken as it involves boiling the chicken, and then every few minutes you need to take it out and soak in cold water. This is to ensure the whole chicken is cooked evenly. So the chicken here meets that criteria. The only thing stopping me from saying this is the best is probably because of the type of chicken used. The ones used here are the typical chicken. It would have been excellent if it was free range or corn fed chicken. That would have made the chicken having better texture and also a very crunchy skin. Hopefully I will get a chance to blog about such a place :)
Finally the chili. Looking at the ones here, it does not look too watery which is good. From my friends reaction, they were gulping it down so it looks to be pretty good.
Rating : 4.5/5

Next in the same coffee shop there is a loh bak stall. Now what exactly is loh bak? Basically its suppose to be meat that has been wrap with beancurd wrap and then friend. Over here, its not just pork meat, but they are famous for the prawn critter and also the fried sotong with roe. I must say, it was really very good. We were at the stall for over 45 minutes and they never stop frying more loh bak. Business is so good and its not uncommon for you to wait more than 15 minutes before the order comes.
The sauce and chili that accompanies the loh bak was also good. It had good consistency and texture to it and also not over thick. My favourite item, the sotong and prawn critter. Excellent and I must say this is the best loh bak I have had ever since coming to Penang. Actually its probably the best loh bak I have ever had.
Rating : 4.5/5
Definitely worth to revisit both these stalls if I crave for Hainan chicken rice and loh bak. I high recommend this place which is located at the junction of Jln Sri Bahari and Penang Road. If you are coming from Cititel Hotel, its less than 100 meter away.
Below are some of the pictures with more in the link

Wikimapia link :

The fried mix plate we ordered. Notice the sotong. Very yummy.The many variety of fried itemsI'll update with the chinese name when my wife translate for me

Sky Cafe - BBQ Pork and Ai Yu Ping at Pengkalan Weld

OK this will be my first review

So this Sky Cafe has probably been blogged about many times. So me and my colleagues decided we should also give this place a try on a Friday lunch hour.
Its located along Chulia Street, yes I'm now based in Penang so probably many of my posting will be of Penang food.
Back to this place. The environment is of the typical chinese coffee shop where you are packed and have to wait for your seat hawking around to see who is finishing their food and about to get up, and then you swoop to the table :p
So, there was 9 of us on that day, and we managed to get 2 tables after about 5 mins waiting.We ordered the boss for a mix combo, which included soup of the day, boiled vegi, BBQ pork (Char Siew), roast pork, roast duck and roast chicken. What a combo!
Below are the pictures.
My comments, the BBQ pork is what stands out (this is Char Siew in chinese). The rest of the items are just pretty ordinary. The rice, is truly dissappointing as it is only white rice and not the more fragrant oil rice which goes so well with chicken rice. The soup and vegi is also very simple. All in all, its pretty reasonable with a set for 5 person costing about RM6.20 each (with 4 extra rice)
So do give this place a try, especially the BBQ pork (Char Siew)
Rating : 3.5/5

After that we happen to stop by a stall, which my good friend Wee Kwang recommended for "Ai Yu Ping" which is a kind of Jelly with shaved ice and lemon juice.
This mobile van stall is located along the road to the Jetty opposite some of the Clan Jetties (The road is Pengkalan Weld).
There was lots of jelly and even 1 lychee. But not sure is it that day but the amount of lemon was just too little. Not enough sour taste to kick it up a notch!
Do stop by if you are thirsty and looking for something to cool down.
Rating : 3.5/5
Below is a few pictures with more in the link

Wikimapia link :

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My first Food Blog

OK, have to admit that I just love food
I'm actually quite picky (OK very), but I do love good food. This doesn't have to be expensive and even local street fare or hawker food if its good, I will from now blog about it.
Since I love photography, hope to make the food be shown in all its beauty.
So with this, I start this blog.. whoopee