PIctures note

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Zi Wei Yuan Steamboat Restaurant, Raja Uda, Butterworth

Being a fan of Steamboat, I'm glad to know that those in Penang are pretty decent but there is one that is very popular which is located at Raja Uda, near to the 9 Emperor Temple along Jalan Raja Uda. The place is called Zi Wei Yuan Steamboat Restaurant and its easily spotted as its right along the main road. I'll post the GPS coordinates below.
So what's so special about this place? Well, for a start, their steamboat is that of a fish and yam stock and this is what gets customers coming back for more. They also uses charcoal for the heat and its pretty cool when you see their portable mini fan firing up the heat! 
So, the way to  order here is that there are 2 ways to do so. Its either ala carte or one can choose from the many set items. So it really depends on you liking and budget. The prices are pretty decent and won't cost you a bomb as long as you don't order something super expensive like abalone.
What I like about this steamboat is that the soup base is very tasty and when you throw in the fried yam and fish meat, the soup base really comes together in the end to make it a great tasting pot of soup. You can then either have it with rice or noodles and you will not be disappointed. I mean, so many people going there can't all be wrong right? So, those that have been there too, do feedback how was your experience! Cheers.
GPS : N5.439204, E100.386782

The yummy pot of goodness!

DRB-Hicom Autofest 2013 ~ SPICE, Penang

Well, even though I like cars and wish I could afford some nice ride, I'm not exactly like a diehard car fanatic who would travel all the way to Bangkok to attend the Auto Show there, even though I heard its pretty darn good. Well, it so happens that this weekend in Penang, @ SPICE or PISA, DRB-Hicom was having an Autofest and since this place is like only 10 minutes from where I live, I said what the heck, lets have a look at what they have to offer.
From the advertisements, I could have more or less guessed that this was more like a car roadshow for them to sell cars to prospective buyers, and true enough it really was. I have to say though, it was pretty nice where they have dedicated area for the buyers to close the deal, and sign the papers, or get their cars evaluated for a trade-in. It was sort of a one stop for your car purchase and it was done in the privacy of these dedicated area and not just on the show floor itself.
Well, a few booth caught my attention which was the Mitsubishi, Lotus, Audi, Volkswagen and Can-AM. I was also expecting to see lots of latest cars and models but sadly, it was like walking into a typical showroom with lots of often seen cars and sales personnel. Well, I guess thats why its called an Autofest and not a car show so, no complains la. Anyway, I would give the award of best cars on display probably to Lotus as they did bring all their models here and the award for best models (ladies) to Volkswagen! Too bad I didn't get their picture, as they were the only booth with decent models, so abit shy to ask la.
But finally, I think they really planned it pretty well to include lots of family aspect into this Autofest as the children will definitely be entertained as there were clowns and buskers all over the place to hand out balloons and gifts to children. There is even a inflatable playground area at the upper concourse just for kids to play around which I found to be really generous of the organizers (its all free for the kids)
All in all, pretty good job to DRB-Hicom for this event. I didn't get to ride on a Lotus though, even though it was advertised as such. Hopefully in their next event!

Mitsubishi ASX

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lou Malnati's ~ Deep Dish Pizza from Chicago

Its nice to have buddies in places that you visit and Bill was nice enough to bring me to sample one of the legends of Chicago food which is the deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati's! Well, I would guess this is really some famous as even my sister asked if I tried it, and I'm very very glad I did. Besides not having been to Italy, I find that the pizzas in the USA overall are really good and way way better than any fast food or pizza joints available locally in Penang.
So apparently Lou's started way back in Chicago and actually now have quite a number of outlets spread out across the state. They even do mail orders if you are in the USA and I was really tempted to see if they will ship it to Penang, but they mentioned its USA only :( Bummer.
Anyway, so what is so different with a deep dish than a normal pizza? Well, for starters, the deep dish is over 1 inch thick, so imagine your normal pizza toppings being really thick, almost lasagna thick. This is thus what a deep dish is. A very thick pizza! 
I was told the original filling is cheese with spinach but we ordered a custom one with lots of sausage and bell peppers and of course loads of cheese! It was a 12 inch pizza just nice for 2 person, but can you imagine, I actually managed to eat half of this monster with Bill devouring the rest! Not bad for 2 person, I don't imagine me able to chow down the bigger one though. 
The pizza was very flavorful and I find the crust to be pretty edible too. Not overly hard. Also the filling was just delicious and as I write this, the hunger pangs is making me drool over this now! Anyway, if you are in Chicago and have a love for pizzas, don't pass up the offer to try this!
A note, the place was packed by 6pm, and its a good thing we reach just before the crowd as it takes awhile to bake this monster! Comments welcomed as always.

 Oh my, what a beauty
The exterior of the building. This one is a historic building and supposedly over 50 years old, or was that 100?

Shaw's Crab House ~ Schaumburg, Chicago

So, with limited time I had in Schaumburg, what should I have for dinner? Well, what better way than to search Google and get some hints right? Well, I wanted to taste some good food of course and stumbled upon this place called Shaw's Crab House. Well, the first thing I thought would be it would be great for crabs, but upon looking at the menu, golly, it was mightily expensive!
So, I ended up there during their happy hour where oysters were going at half price, and I ended up ordering 1 dozen. Sadly, well to my disappointment, the oysters were tiny! Yes, the bucket of ice which it was served on was huge but they oysters were tiny. I was told that it was going to be small and these were sweeter or on sale, can't remember which it was, but you don't even get a decent bite out of it. Well, so much for that.
I also ended up ordering a salmon fillet served with some asparagus. This was pretty decent, but again, as a main meal, you really are half full. With that, I proceeded to order a seafood gumbo though this was pretty decent with lots of bits of seafood in there, it was abit watery to my liking. But then again, I haven't had much gumbo before but thats just me. Thus for me, Shaw's Crab House has the ambiance and all, but the value for money is just not there. They do have some oyster day special where the oysters are like 0.50 cents each but you need to check their website or Facebook often to see when it is.
Well, do check out the photos, and as always, leave a comment if you have been to this place ya.

The 2 bucket of oysters, well should say bucket of ice with oysters on top
A view of the interior

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Max Gourmet ~ Gurney Plaza Invited Review

Many months ago, I got to dine with the winners from Foodsion Magazine for a dine and review session at Max Gourmet at the top floor of Gurney Plaza. Its located right opposite the cinema and it serves some pretty authentic chinese cuisine. I say authentic because the food that I had that night has that home cook feeling to it and you do not feel that it has been over engineered. 
I was surprised by the wide variety of dishes that they have and I must say, each one of it tasted pretty darn good. We were supposedly waiting for the owner to provide us with the actual name and pricing of the dishes but after many months and no reply, maybe they have forgotten about it. But anyway, I felt that its worth writing about anyway so here it is. More photos than words I guess but do feedback if you have tried eating here as well.

This is their Yam with Pork Belly, or in Cantonese, Wu Tao Kao Yuk! Even though it looks darkish and all, it was actually very tasty. The pork belly was soft and tender to the bite and the yam was also well steamed. The gravy would just go very well with a bowl of white rice!
 This is their curry fish pot if I'm not mistaken. I felt that the curry could have been much nicer if it was thicker and not as watery as it was. Maybe more coconut milk to it but then there goes your cholesterol level. I guess this is a compromise?

Under Big Tree Ipoh Yong Tau Foo

Even though I been to Ipoh so many times in my life, but only recently did I went to this infamous Yong Tau Foo place which is called under the big tree. Its located at Pasir Pinji and I have its GPS coordinates as below. The stall is open from morning till late lunch I believe as on that day that I went, it was already about lunch time and there were many many people queuing already and feasting on the Yong Tau Foo.
There is a sort of food court here and its all nicely shaded so you do not have to worry if its sunny or raining which is good to know. The foodcourt here is famous for its blended red bean slurpie but I was craving for some coffee that day so thats what I got. Nothing beats some nice Ipoh coffee.

So what is good here? Well, of course its the Yong Tau Foo but some of the pieces are more unique than others but the best part is that you can choose what you like and they will then serve it with the noodles of your choice. There was also Asam Laksa as an option and that was what I opted. I believe there is also curry and plain soup as well as Kon Lou (dry version). Among the piece of Yong Tau Foo, the one that stands out were the fried sweet turnip (sengkuang) or Sah Kok in Cantonese were really nice and its a big fat piece too. The combination of the turnips and the mix to hold it together worked very well and it tasted even better after its been soaked in the soup.
I also ordered the fried upside down tau po4.582318,101.085805k as well as a piece of stuffed bitter gourd to test them out as I find that its never easy to make a nice stuffed bitter gourd. I give them high marks as they steamed and then fried the bitter gourd and this makes it taste nice indeed. As for the laksa, as I side dish to the Yong Tau Foo, it passes off well and of course don't expect tonnes of fish meat or things like that but I was surprised that it was able to carry itself quite well too. Overall, a good eating experience here and highly recommended to try it out.
Location : Jalan King, Taman Hoover, Ipoh, Perak. Phone : +6012-524-5408
GPS : N4.582318, E101.085805

Saturday, June 22, 2013

NEW YORK 2013 ~ Grand Central Station

Well, initially this was not part of the plan but I was made to know that this is another must see attraction in New York City. This is of course the infamous Grand Central Station which I guess is featured in oh so many movies and what not.
I have to say though, architecturally, this place is huge. I sometimes just wonder, how did these people in New York figured so long ago that they will need such a huge station which is still, to this day, well maintained and used by millions of people. 1 word, Amazing.
As I went there at night, the place had a nice yellow glow from the lighting and it really is interesting to see so many people zipping around late at night. The city I guess really never sleeps.
Well, do enjoy the pictures, and it really is a great place just to step foot once. It would have been a great backdrop for wedding portraits, but I wonder if we will need to seek special permission for that!

There it is, Grand Central Station

NEW YORK 2013 ~ Views from the car

These are just random shots from the car while I was at the back seat!
Just unplanned shots for the sake of it
Croods was on the big screen while I was in New York
 Thats the junction of 5th and East 42nd St!

Friday, June 21, 2013

NEW YORK 2013 ~ Apple Store 5th Avenue

Frankly, before I went to New York, I didn't really think about which place to visit. It just so happen I bumped into a colleague of mine and he mentioned that I should check out the Apple Store on 5th Avenue. Even though I m somewhat of a fan of the fruit company, in the back of my mind was, whats so special about an Apple Store? I have seen the one in Hong Kong and it wasn't all that special other than the glass stairs.
Well, anyway, I still slogged my way on my very tired feet all the way to 5th Avenue from Times Square, and I was greeted by this transparent glass cube on the ground. First question was, where is the products? Well, the answer lies actually beneath my feet. The store front is actually just like a grand entrance, with the goodies down below in a subterranean level. Kind of interesting design. So should this be on a must visit list of places while in New York? If you are an Apple fan, the a BIG YES! Else, if you are really free, ok, else its just an Apple Store too :)
Cheers, and don't shoot me Apple fans, cause at least I did visit it too!

The all glass cube front where there is the glass staircase or a lift to bring you downstairs
 As I was walking down, this is what greeted me below

Thursday, June 13, 2013

H-Artistry Penang 2013 ~ What a Night!

About 2 weeks ago, one of the most happening party took place in Penang and it was none other than the H-Artistry @ SPICE. For the past few years, H-Artistry has taken place in Penang and Kuala Lumpur but for 2013, the start of the H-Artistry series took the party crowd up a notch by hosting this "Invite" only event at a much larger venue.
For the night, there were over 2000 party revellers who partied away with H-Artistry artist from around the globe. There were 24 HERBS from Hong Kong, Andy Murphy from Australia and Singapore's hottest DJ, Nicole Chen wowing the crowd with their music and for those lucky enough to be in the VIP area, mingling with the many guests for the night.
H-Artistry which is from Hennessy were having their signature long drinks free flowing for the night and the best part was, they promoted Responsible Partying! I really found it great that Hennessy provided Taxi services at a subsidized rate and they even had a lounge area for people to chill out and sober up before heading home. Mineral water was also on the house and I guess this really helped alot and it shows that Hennessy means it when they say we should party responsibly.
So do read on for more photos, which I was so happily snapping away for the night. Now I wonder how they will beat this party up North when the H-Artistry 2013 moves to Kuala Lumpur in November 2013. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to share to you about the Kuala Lumpur event as we get closer! Cheers!

The many pretty ladies for the night
Great ambiance

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dine with Pearly Kee, Pearly's Nyonya Makan!

Sometimes I have to thank my lucky stars as I was invited to try out the once in a month Pearly's Nyonya Makan session where Pearly Kee hosts a dinner at her home with some of the most authentic Nyonya food that you can get hold of in Penang. Paiseh but I have always heard of this person called Pearly and Nyonya Food but just never had a chance till the very evening!
I have to say, Pearly is one bubbly and cheery host and she will have lots of stories, be it about Nyonya Food or her colorful family history which is from a very traditional Nyonya family. I was amazed at her knowledge not just in cooking, but in using the various raw ingredients as well. Her home is planted full with plants that serves as herbs as well as flavor enhancers (as well as the various beneficial uses as well)
So what is this dining session about? Well, Pearly has been cooking, and conducting cooking classes for over 5 years now, both at the Tropical Spice Garden as well as her home. Now she is looking for a chance to let guests sample the food while at the same time, getting to know more people, and of course more people to chit chat with!! To me, sounds like a great idea and moreover, the menu have over 8 all time favorites and maybe some bonus as well if she can manage! So, I highly recommend this to Nyonya Food lovers and you can check out the menu in this link. Also, book a place early as she can only host so many people in a dinner session. Check this link here!

Pearly preparing Roti Jala

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Spades Burger with Signature Charcoal Bun @ Penang

I guess with all the pent up frustration from so many years of only having Ramli Burgers, one can finally see a revolution happening in Penang with "better" burger joints mushrooming everywhere and the demand does not seem to stop yet!
Thus, this is where a bunch of creative guys started what is called Spades Burger which is currently running out of the shop lot at Pekaka Square right next to where Maxim's Dim Sum is in the evenings. They are now starting with a very simple menu which consists of either pork patties or de-boned chicken. So for burger lovers or hunters, do check out Spades too. Read on!