Archive for the ‘New Straits Times (Life & Times)’ Category

BY CK Lam

Penang is testament to the country’s multicultural citizenry and this year’s Merdeka theme – Where Love Grows.

Over the past 56 years, Penang has become synonymous with great food, a melting pot of cultures and their culinary history.

Despite the increasing number of modern cafes and fast food chains popping up in the city, there are still restaurant owners in Penang who are sticking with the age-old recipes. For these people, the old ways will never wear thin and these methods keep their customers coming back for more.

One of the popular outlet in Penang is Restoran Minah. This is an old-time favourite for Malay cuisine. Third-generation owners are carrying on the 64-year tradition at this non-air conditioned restaurant in Gelugor.

Restoran Minah – A Place for Malay Cuisine in Penang by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Over the past few years, Suffolk House Restaurant has had many different chefs. The latest is executive chef Dave Looi. His last job before arriving in Penang was in Parrot Cay, a private island which is part of the Turks and Caicos Islands. He has also worked as a chef in Taipei, London and New York.

Looi’s passion for creativity is apparent in the numerous dishes we sampled at Suffolk House Restaurant.

Chef Dave Looi at Suffolk House by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Opened in January last year, The Leaf Healthy House on Penang Street serves vegetarian dishes that have been prepared using organic seasonings and natural ingredients. It has a short menu that includes a la carte dishes and rice sets.

A rice set comes with three main dishes, a soup and rice. The dishes are changed daily. Patrons can choose from a variety of rice, including brown rice, butterfly pea flower rice and mustard seed rice.

The Leaf Healthy House – Healthy Vegetarian Dishes and Bike Rentals by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Many dessert outlets are sprouting across Penang Island and one popular one is Hui Lau Shan. This Hong Kong’s dessert chain journeyed to Penang with its first location in Gurney Plaza. The healthy dessert outlet has since been attracting stream of customers.

The attraction at Hui Lau Shan (HLS) is mango and its menu offers a whole wide range of selections of this tropical fruit. According to senior manager Yvonne Tan, the outlet is using two varieties of quality mango. One is the golden water lily mango from Thailand and the other from Philippines. Each variety is slightly different in flavor, with the sweetness of Thai mangoes for the ice blended and aromatic Philippines mango for topping.

At the food review, we are offered many tempting sweet desserts and not to mention some savory ones.

Fruitties Combo Series
The Fresh Fruitties Sweetie Ball with Double Juices (RM14.90) is an eye-appealing colourful dish. One can choose from a selection of juices which include watermelon, coconut, honeydew melon, mango, papaya and cantaloupe with a fragrant smell.

This dessert is presented with watermelon and mango juice together with glutinous rice balls. The natural sweetness of both the juices was delicious eaten with the chewy glutinous rice balls and the fruit balls.

Hui Lau Shan @Gurney Plaza, Penang offers mangolicious fun by what2seeonline.com

Juicy fruits – strawberry, kiwi, mango, honey dew, cantaloupe and watermelon

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BY C K Lam

Tropical Spice Garden recently sees the book launching and cooking demo by Dr Ong Jin Teong at the al-fresco style Pavilion next to the cooking school. The event highlighted Dr Ong’s culinary biography Penang Heritage Food, a collection of recipes for the classic and forgotten dishes of Penang.

Penang Heritage Food also sheds light on the different cultural influences that has made Penang’s fusion cuisine a unique national heritage. Dishes with Malay, Hokkien, Indian, Thai and Hainanese influences are included.

Penang Heritage Food Book Launch by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Penang recently sees the opening of Macalister Mansion, an exclusive boutique hotel. Also known as MM, the restored charming colonial white mansion with minimalism decor takes its name from the road it is located. MM houses Living Room, Dining Room, Bagan Bar, The Den, Eight Rooms and The Lawn, each with its own unique setting.

Macalister Mansion (MM) on Macalister Road, Penang by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Chocolate Passion is one of the newest chocolate cafes in Penang. Established by Callin Tan, the cafe located in the left side of the main entrance of Straits Quay specialises in handmade chocolates. I found this hidden gem with tiny bites of deliciousness during a shopping trip.

Chocolate Passion offers tiny bites of deliciousness by what2seeonline.com

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* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 21st July 2012

BY CK Lam

For Ramadhan, Vistana Hotel in Penang is offering a full Ramadhan buffet with a traditional Kampung Nelayan theme from July 21 till August 17. The buka puasa spread has over 120 hearty as well as light traditional kampung dishes. There are western salads and plenty of appetisers. Ulam comes with plenty of choices — daun selon, timun, kacang panjang, petai, ulam pegaga and ulam raja — with a variety of condiments, notable ones being  sambal cincaluk and sambal belacan. Other appetisers include kerabu ulam and acar rampai.

 Value for money buka puasa Ramadhan buffet at Vistana Hotel, Penang by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Italian restaurants have not been too popular in Penang in the past. But all that may be changing, with Via Pre, the newest purveyor of Italian food, which is set to satisfy even the most discerning of palates.

Located along the busy Weld Quay, the thinking behind this non-halal Italian restaurant was very simple: to pamper diners’ taste buds with authentic Italian food prepared with ingredients brought in from Italy. And the menu of course includes an extensive range of native Italian wines.

Via Pre @Weld Quay - Tavern On The Harbour by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Penang is bursting with restaurants and hawker food stalls but some of the most outstanding are those in inner George Town, particularly along Kimberley Street. It is where the crowds go for a variety of flavours and indulgences.

The area is overwhelming with hawker delights. With most stalls and eateries beginning operation at night, just a walk up and down this historical street will bring you face to face with some of the best hawker food! Enjoy such fare as koay chiap, economy fried beehoon, char kway teow, sweet boiled Chinese desserts, lok-lok and kway teow th’ng.

Street food crawl at Kimberley Street, Penang by what2seeonline.com

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By CK Lam

Since it opened its doors in September last year, Spasso Milano has been attracting diners with authentic Italian cuisine. The restaurant, on the ground floor of Straits Quay, facing the marina, offers indoor and alfresco dining.

The extensive menu is prepared by chef Felice Martinelli, a native of Milan. My friends and I tried several new Italian dishes for lunch. Its simple homemade pizza aromatica (RM12.80) is topped with olive oil, oregano and sea salt. The pizza base is cooked in a custom-made brick, wood-fired oven.

The porcini mushroom soup is served with focaccia topped with butter and garlic. The distinctive aroma of porcini mushrooms and white truffle and the taste of bits of mushroom give the creamy soup a wholesome flavour.

Italian Style at Spasso Milano, Straits Quay Penang by what2seeonline.com

Porcini mushroom soup RM18.80

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By CK Lam

Sushi Tei, the international Japanese Sushi Restaurant Chain which originates from Singapore is now opened in Penang. Located in Gurney Plaza, the dining place with a touch of Japanese interior has a great sea view. The signature open-kitchen concept is also seen in this outlet.

The menu offers one dish meal, ramen, sushi, sashimi, tempura, rolls and grill dishes. I adore the sashimi with four different types of raw fish, garnished with lemon slices. The fresh yellow-tail, salmon and butterfish goes well with wasabi but the marbled tuna belly is best eaten on its own. This highly prized fish is also available in a single plate with five thick pieces per order.

 Sushi Tei @Gurney Plaza, Penang by what2seeonline.com

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