April 2, 2015

Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Soup @ Gurney Paragon

With Wan Thun Mee being my 2nd favorite hawker's food, I couldn't miss any chance of trying out new establishments, so I persuaded hubby to try out this One Star Michelin restaurant that originated from Hong Kong.

We ordered what we thought was either their famous or what Hong Kong is famous for - namely Wan Thun noodle and Roasted Pork Belly. As hubby liked pork intestines, he ordered a Pork Intestine Congee. 

When we arrived there were just a few tables being occupied since it was still barely dinner time yet. Not long after our order was taken, we were informed by the staff that they had run out of Pork Intestine Congee - much to my hubby's shock and disappointment. How can a newly established restaurant run out of an item? So hubby settled for Salted Lean Pork and Preserved Egg Congee instead.

10 minutes later, nothing reached our table, including our order of 2 plain water :-| 

After our plain waters finally reached, the Salted Lean Pork and Preserved Egg Congee (RM 15.80) was served.

The portion of the congee was small but the congee tasted good - though the ingredients can be further 'enhanced' (read : increased).

After a little more while later, our Roasted Pork Belly (RM 20.80) came:-

We could barely believe our eyes when this plate landed - they looked super dry and hard, and could not even match up to any roasted pork belly that can be found in Penang. They did not just look dry, they tasted dry and the texture was like chewing on tree barks. This was definitely something of a sub-standard quality, let alone One Star Michelin. We had to finish this plate by dipping the meat with the mustard sauce that came with it.

By this time we were a bit pissed because my House Specialty Wan Thun Noodle (RM 16.80) was not here yet, after some follow ups, finally it was served:-

The bowl of Wan Than noodle was the smallest I have ever seen - even smaller than of hawker stall's. It looked just plain to me - oh wait, where are my Wan Thun's? After searching within the small bowl - finally I found all 4 of my Wan Thuns underneath the noodles (I was told by a friend later on that this was the way Hong Kong Wan Thun noodles are being served).

How does a One Star Michelin Wan Thun noodle taste like? Chewy and normal if you ask me. A sip of the soup didn't manage to woo me either. There must've been something good here, right? Finally I found it - its Wan Thun! The Wan Thun's were springy, the fillings flavorful and you can really taste the prawns and meat within. Anyhow, it does not live up to the standards of Hong Kong Wan Thun noodle or One Star Michelin, given the hefty price tag too!

Tasty Congee & Noodle Wantun Shop 正斗粥麵專家
Level 5 Gurney Paragon Mall, Persiaran Gurney 10250 Penang
Business Hours: 11am – 9.30pm daily

Macallum Connoisseurs Coffee Co. @ Gat Lebuh Macallum

Out of an impromptu Sunday, I told hubby that I wanted to try out someplace new for a change, so we searched for this place called Macallum Connoisseurs that was highly recommended by my friend Terry.

We drove around Gat Lebuh Macallum towards the area where the flats where but it was nowhere to be found, later on to discover that it's located right at the traffic light junction (d'uh).

Anyway, when we reached this place, we could see that the car park lots surrounding the cafe were already taken up, some even resorted to random parking. All I can say is, the parking is limited given the fact that the place is fairly huge and can easily house a lot of people but at the same time could not accommodate the amount of cars that came with it.

When I stepped into Macallum Connoisseurs, I was surprised to find it to be HUGE - this used to be a warehouse of some sort that they have converted into a roastery/cafe/academy. I would imagine this to be a great place for face-to-face social networking (yeah not the ones you do online); gossiping; sales-doing, etc etc. 

Just where we were seated, we could see a bunch of 10 uni-goers having gathering and playing cards.

As we were not very hungry, we just ordered some light items and also something that our daughter could (or should I say would) eat.

Good 'ol Bagel - Cream Cheese (RM 7)

I find the bagel just to be average, so was the cream cheese; but we were happy because our daughter ate it :)

Meatball Bolognese - Pork (RM 16)

When this was served - I just stared at it wondering why the ratio of pasta vs. meatball was so far off? There were a total of 5 meatballs only, but plenty of pasta to stuff you no worries. The pasta looked alright but tasted weird - maybe due to too much cheese, I could easily cook a better one myself. But the meatballs were relatively good though (but there were only 5 of them, remember???)

Let's move on to our drinks - hubby's Choc Chip Frappe (RM 15). Given its Starbucks price, I guess this passed? I still think it's too expensive though it tasted good nonetheless.

As I had cough that time, I ordered Hot Chocolate (RM 10) - seriously? 10 bucks for hot chocolate? Now this one's a total rip off - totally not worth the price as the hot chocolate was just so-so.

A few things to note about this place is, it is self-service - meaning you have to order and pay at the counter but they will have your food and drinks served to you (hence no service tax charged on their receipt).

Another thing is, mosquitoes are quite active within the cafe due to its location so those who are bringing infants or toddlers will need to take note. Even adults need to be aware of this.

All in all, it is not likely that I will make a return anytime soon, unless it is to try out their signature Smoked Duck which everyone is raving about.

Macallum Connoisseurs
1 Gat Lebuh Macallum, 10300 George Town, Penang
Business Hours : 9:00am - 12:00am daily

TWG Tea Lunch @ Gurney Paragon

Had a splurging lunch with my 'boss' at TWG (The Wellness Group) recently and it was very intricate indeed....

After browsing through both their set lunch and ála carte menu, my boss decided on their 3 course set lunch C (RM 45) while I opted for the Aviator set (RM 68) from their Brunch menu.

* Brunch set consists of
    • TWG Tea* from our extensive tea list.    
    • Freshly squeezed orange or apple juice.    
    • Aviator Salad      
      A grand classic with grilled chicken supreme, Romaine lettuce, garlic croutons, fresh   
      parmesan shavings topped with a poached egg and a touch of • seaweed tossed in a lightly 
      spiced sauce infused with Comptoir des Indes Tea.    
   • Choice of 2 freshly baked muffins or scones served with TWG Tea jelly and whipped cream.
   • Choice of a TWG Tea Patisserie from our selection.

Dining at TWG reminds me of Titanic - maybe owing to their shiny brass ware and exquisite colonial feel similar to the one Rose and Jack dined in lolx..

First up - our tea was served:-

My boss' Ceylon Leo tea

My Rose Bowdo tea

I wasn't able to decide on which tea to choose and the staff actually brought the tea leaves out for me to smell and see which one I fancy - not bad..

Next came my Orange Juice which was freshly squeezed and neat with no traces of ice. What an authentic OJ - it was fresh with a sourish hint which can only indicate that no sugary concoction was added.

My boss' Pumpkin Soup served with bun:-

The only comment I got from him was that this is a 'healthy' soup :P

I chose 1 muffin and 1 scone each because I really loved their scone, but this time I was disappointed to learn that their scones had become too hard :( Their chocolate muffin still tastes rich - just the way I like it. 

As usual, their TWG Tea Jelly and Whipped Cream are perfect complements of their pastry creations.

Our mains arrived, my boss' Linguini Imperial:-

After his first taste, he immediately asked for salt and pepper :P Probably this was too 'healthy' of a dish for a person who is used to strong flavors? Nonetheless I tried some of it and find it acceptable (of course not daily haha)

My main - Aviator Salad 

According to its description, this was supposed to be:-
A grand classic with grilled chicken supreme, Romaine lettuce, garlic croutons, fresh       parmesan shavings topped with a poached egg and a touch of • seaweed tossed in a lightly spiced sauce infused with Comptoir des Indes Tea.

What turned up on my table was romaine lettuce served with grilled chicken with a poached egg, missing the garlic croutons, fresh parmesan shavings as well as seaweed tossed in a lightly spiced sauce infused with tea. Hmmmm..... something not right here but I only realize this as I'm writing this post :(

My take on the salad? I could have just made it myself and it would taste better I reckon (poached egg may take me a bit more researching). The salad was too bland and the only thing I find slightly appealing was the poached egg.

For the last course of our meal, we get to choose a TWG Patisserie from their selection.

My boss' choice : Apple Crumble (ordered without thinking at all)

My choice : Raspberry Phughuri (my final decision after changing my mind once)

The apple crumble was tasty - the base not overly sweet; but I had a mixed rating for the Raspberry Phughuri though - the tart was fragrant with infused tea but the portion is too big considering the richness of the tart.

Our final verdict? While the ambiance is nice, the food quality needs to be uphold and improved to live up to the standard of TWG, consumers do pay the TWG price after all and hence expects to enjoy delicacies to the TWG standard.

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique
G10, Gurney Paragon Mall, Pesiaran Gurney, 10250, Penang.
Business Hours: 11am to 10pm. Opens Daily.

Soul Cafe @ Jalan Kek Chuan

We chose Soul Cafe as a new place to celebrate my dear God Sister's birthday and it was a pleasant experience indeed.

As we brought our daughter along, it did not turn out to be the usual dine-in-pleasure kind of ordeal, but instead it turned out to be pretty chaotic.... (more about that later).

I fancied the ambiance and feel that Soul Cafe strives to achieve - modern yet contemporary, and pretty cozy too I must say.

As it was our first visit, we sought after the opinion of the staff, and was recommended their Today's Special - Chicken Parmigiana as well as some of their signatures Grilled Lamb Rack and Croque Madame - for my daughter.

They have a pretty unique menu - consisting of a photo-book-like collage which I absolutely adore! It is such a brilliant idea for restaurants to have a photo of each of their menu items isn't it? So I had an even more brilliant idea to put the actual picture of the dish alongside with its photo counterpart (just for fun, anyway); but it turned out that the dishes served looked 80% alike to those showcased in the menu. This, to me, says a lot about the standard of this cafe - serving as per 'advertised'

Let's dig in to their dishes - shall we?

First up - Chicken Parmigiana (RM 16.90) that both my God Sis and hubby ordered:- 

This was pretty good - although the chicken was bread-crumbed, it was not overly thick and it allowed the chicken's flavor to shine. Topped with cheese and served with grilled asparagus with generous side of salad, this dish really stood out.

Next up was my Grilled Rack of Lamb with Rosemary Cream Sauce (RM 34.90):-

Being a huge fan or grilled lamb, this dish did not impress me by the looks, but I was glad that the taste proved me wrong. The lamb did not have any hint of smell which most people shun upon; yet it was grilled to the right texture and intensely infused with the flavors of herbs. What do you get when this is topped with Rosemary cream sauce? A simply outstanding lamb rack. 

Another thing that is worth mentioning is the side salad - I love the vinaigrette dressing that they served the salads with - it is refreshing and not overly sour - just right to my palate.

Last but not least, my daughter's Croque Madame (RM 15):-

This tasted fine but the English Muffin and streaky bacon were both a bit too hard to our liking. It would have been better if the muffin were to be softer and the bacon cooked just right. Having said that, I got to give credit to the poached egg which was done to perfection - runny yolk in all its glory.

I would have enjoyed the remaining of this dish if my daughter had not vomited half way through our meal :P Thanks to the kind staff, they efficiently cleaned up and kept telling us it's alright when we apologized profusely.  

In all, we enjoyed the ambience, the food quality and portion plus the friendly staffs. I would definitely come back for more. Parking is a bit tricky here considering that there are no available car park unless we park further and walk to the cafe.

Soul Cafe
12, Jalan Kek Chuan, Georgetown, Penang.
Opening hours: 11am-11pm Mon-Sat (CLOSED ON SUNDAYS)
04-226 8200

September 2, 2014

Invited Review : G Cafe's Daily Themed Buffet Dinner - Flavours of Italy

I was invited recently by the kind people at G Hotel to sample their splendid Italian buffet which goes on every Tuesday, and brought my dad along to see what he thinks about the buffet too.

The hospitality of the folks at G Hotel was impeccable, even for bloggers like us. They were very welcoming, polite and accompanied us throughout our 'feast'.

At G Cafe, they have daily themed buffet to suit every taste palette:-

    Monday      : Taste of Asia.  RM98++ (buy 1 get 1 free)
    Tuesday     : Taste of Italy.  RM98++ (50% discount for lady diners-Nice!)
    Wednesday : French Bistro.  RM98++
    Thursday    : Claypot Cooking.  RM98++
    Friday         : Seafood Feast BBQ. RM 108++
    Saturday     : Steak and Lobster BBQ.  RM 108++

First up - the appetizers spread (in Italian terms antipasti) was a feast to the eyes indeed. You can't help but to check out what they were. There were pesto shooters, smoked salmon roll, bites, even very creative appetizers with eggplant, asparagus with tuna, mixed mushroom salad, etc. For those who fancy some good ol' deep fried stuff - they have assorted deep fried asian tapas too. But of course if you still prefer conventional salad, do help yourself with the salad bar which offers a variety of greens alongside dressing and sauces.


Moving along there were cold seafood area serving mussels, prawns and scallop and various conventional and fusion sauce to go with them. I liked one of the light green sauce which turned out to be creamy wasabi sauce - good one to go with the scallop I'd say. My dad was onviously a big fan of prawns and had a few of them as they were juicy.

There were also the continental cheese section offering Emanthal cheese, Parmesan and Cammerbert cheese, and different types of ham to go along. I can also see Chicken salad and Sausage salad for those who feel like having some meat in their salad too.

For soup starters, there were Minestrone and Asian style Chicken Herbal Soup to sample from. I particularly loved the Minestrone soup which was flavorful and rich, with the right amount of vegetables yet not tasting overly sour. My dad fancied the herbal soup as the goodness just seemed to ooze with every spoonful.

Next I checked out the low-profile warm dishes line. They were well covered with lid to maintain its warmth, and despite its low profile, there were plenty of varieties to go around - grilled fish, sauteed potatoes with herbs, breaded calamari with Tomato Coulis, and so on. The ones that stood out were the Risotto alla Milanese (Saffron), beef ravioli and Tortellini which I had a second helpings on.

There was also a station dedicated for Carvery and another for the Chef's Speciality - Italian Pizzas. I sampled its Roasted Strip Loin Beef from the Carvery and it was not too bad. There were also 3 types of pizza offered for our enjoyment and I chose the best (I think) - Pizza Margerita as the base was light and pizza filled with goodies yet not making you feel too overwhelming.

Next door - there is a pasta station where we can pick our ingredients, pasta type and sauce and they will have it cooked on the spot. The ingredients available were capcisum, bell pepper, shrimp and there were penne, fettucini, spaghetti for that night.

A stroll up to the dessert section will make anyone feel like a kid again. There's a sumptuous fresh fruit spread along an impressive chocolate fountain to let us enjoy making fondue using either fruits or the condiments offered like marshmallows, prunes, dried apricots, lychee, white dragonfruit, etc.

An Italian dessert spread would definitely not be complete without some signature desserts the likes of Tiramisu, panna cotta, they even serve Coffee mousse and Strawberry mousse - all of these are my favourite favourite desserts! I regret not grabbing the Tiramisu before it ran out :'( but according to the other bloggers, the Tiramisu was The Best. They also have opera cake, pudding and date tarts as well. My dad's favourite was definitely the Strawberry Mousse. Not only he mentioned this to me when we were still there, he even called me again after I reached home, to tell me that this needs to be mentioned when I write the review on my blog - it just shows how GOOD the Strawberry Mousse was.

The one thing I have to mention, and I think not many people realize, was the Pumpkin Milk hidden somewhere at the corner of the cheese station towards the dessert section. Out of curiosity, I sampled some of it and it was oh-so-good! The soup was smooth as silk and the pumpkin ever so tender and flavorful. I couldn't resist and got a second helping. To finish the entire meal off eventhough I barely had anymore space, I helped myself with my all-time favorite - Gelatomio ice cream! Satisfying indeed.

I wasn't surprised when I was informed that the dessert was prepared by their multiple award-wining pastry chef - Chef Tan Kwee Lian.

In all, it was truly a night to remember as the buffet spread was elaborate, the displays were like works of art and the hosts were hospitable.

If you've a belly waiting to be filled, do hop on to G Cafe right at the ground floor of G Hotel. Reservations can be made via +604 238 0000.

June 12, 2014

Pre Birthday Celebration Part II - Dinner @ Feringghi Garden Restaurant

Oh wow, it's been such a loooooooooooong time since I ever updated my blog, and I really wanna make it a point to do this a habit! It is, afterall, my passion!!

Just celebrated my birthday few days ago, and had a nice late lunch followed by an equally pleasant dinner with hubby.

I'm going to share about my pleasant dinner first - it was at Feringghi Garden. Totally un-planned and ad hoc :) * I know, so Not me, right? haha *

We were lucky that we were there early approaching 7pm and managed to get an indoor table; considering there was a party going on within the vicinity.

This was my third visit here, after a gap of 2 years maybe? I still love the natural ambience created by the folks here, which obviously had been well-maintained. It is always so green and enchanting.

The service was very friendly and attentive too, here's what we had:-

Hubby's Lamb Chop (RM 39.80)

The delicacies here are well plated out and garnished. Many fear lamb dishes for their smell but I, for one, love lamb. Hubby carved some of his dish for me to sample, and it was not bad at all. The meat was nicely cooked - not too well done and still maintaining its tenderness. It had a fair share of fat along with the lean meat.

My Feringghi Garden's Signature Lobster (RM 82.80)

I actually eyed on the Black Cod first, until I saw that they had lobster. And of course, the picture they had in the menu did help me decide in going for lobster :)

The lobster was considered a good size, and it was Uber fresh hence extremely springy. It was so thoughtful of them to have scopped up the lobster meat so that it is not only easy for me to eat, but it is also flavored with the unique sauce they did this in - a combination of sweet/sour with a hint of spiciness. There were ample of cashew nuts that went into the sauce (and some for garnishing) too. This is definitely not the usual lobster concoction you'd normally get ala cheesy or buttery style. I have to admit, though odd, it tasted good! Hubby did not really fancy this type of sauce to prepare lobster in, but he agreed that the lobster was fresh and the meat was aplenty.

My drink - Premium Milkshake - Chocolate (RM 14.80)

I was surprised that hubby was the one who coaxed me to order my favourite drink - milkshake. I asked him why, he said they label it 'Premium' so it must be good. Haha! Well premium stuff comes with a premium price tag too hey, but what the heck! So I ordered chocolate one. It looks like a normal milkshake alright. But I guess the way they made it the type of milk used was what made it Premium? But it tasted good, chocolate flavor was fragrant yet not too sweet.

Our dessert - Creme Brulee (RM 14.80)

Anyone looking at this landing at their table will somehow be a bit impressed by its beautiful appearance and decoration. It made us wanna dig in immediately. We dug into the centerpiece not knowing what the bits and pieces were - and we couldn't really make out what the dark purple fruit was. The two whipped cream flowers were rock hard, most likely for deco purposes only.

The creme brulee itself was alright, I love the caramelized sugar on top, but the creme brulee itself was a tad too sweet to my liking, and it did not have much 'depth' with regards to its texture and flavor. As for the raspberry ice cream, it was normal and I don't really see the relationship between ice cream and creme brulee?

In all, we were happy with the service and food. I wouldn't mind coming back for their breakfast, maybe? :)