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Cuisines from the Europe region

Five27 New Nordic Cuisine At Penang’s Straits Quay

Posted by Jason Wong On April - 3 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

Last month we were invited yet again to a newly establish restaurant in Straits Quay. Taking over from Agua, Five 27 serves Nordic cuisines that are prepared by Executive Chef cum General Manager, Nizar Achmad. Chef Nizar has spent 14 years of his live establishing and mastering his culinary skills in Sweden, where it was said that he has cooked for a list of high-profile patrons which includes the likes of stars, royalty, and Nobel Prize winners.

It is an unusual name Five27 is! The named was conjured from the precise latitude coordinate of the restaurant. Established in January 2013 and officially launched in March, Five27 is publicized as the first New Nordic concept restaurant in Malaysia that offers fine and refreshing selection of healthy seasonal food, prepared using the freshest ingredients possible, and put together with groundbreaking and sometimes provocative techniques that exemplify the true spirit of the New Nordic cuisine.

Nordic refers to the North-Western European countries of Scandinavia that consist of mainly Denmark, Norway, Sweden and as well as Iceland and Finland. Thus, Nordic cuisine encompasses the traditional eating cultures, cooking practices and ingredients from the Scandinavian countries. The new Nordic cuisine was created in an attempt to promote natural produce as a basis for new dishes both in restaurants and in the home.

Apart from serving wholesome food minus the MSG, located on the ground floor of Penang’s Straits Quay that overlooks the breathtaking view of the Andaman Sea beyond the private yacht dock, Five27 was conceptualized with comfort and uncompromising service that sets the mood for fun casual dining, and harnesses the spirit of sharing and togetherness for quality time with their friends and family.

During the simple launch event, we were given a sample taste of what Five 27 and Chef Nizar was capable of. In the buffet line up, they put onto plate some of their signatures which were quite intriguing. To start off was their creamy and earthy ‘Chanterelle soup’ which has generous amounts of chopped and whole mushrooms. Then there was their ‘Nordic Salad’ which a balance of tartness and sweetness, and a wonderful selection of crisp and fresh mixed greens and root vegetables.

The ‘Home-made Traditional Swedish Meat Balls’ where juicy tender and chunky, well complimented by its equally flavourful brown sauce that did not overwhelm the gentle flavours of the beefy meat balls.

The ‘Lightly Cured Salmon in Traditional Swedish Marinate’ were firm and tender with a dash spice and caramel sweetness that were easy going to the palate. The fresh dill gave the dish a hint of freshness and herby aroma.

The ‘Slow Cooked Lamb’ (bottom 1st) and ‘Braised Beef Ribs’ (botom 2nd) were both juicy and fall-off the bone tender with a sweet savoury taste that went well with their paired side dishes and garnishes.

Their ‘Shiitake Mushroom Lasagne’ was equally sexy in the sense that cheese combination reminded us of the unique taste of the Swedish cheese fondue that we greatly enjoy and long for.

Their simple ‘Potato Mash with Truffle Oil’ was exquisite in the sense that they have included the richness of Swedish cheese and the sweet earthy flavours of truffle oil. Simple and yet comforting at times of need.

As for dessert we were served a  rich chocolate flavoured cake that kept me going for more and a carrot cake that was filled with fine julienne of “real” carrot and aromatic spices.

All in all, the experience at Five27 was casual and well attended to, and the food was equally simple and comforting. Therefore it is a place that warrants a revisit to properly figure out and judge what are their real “products” that would persuade diners to return for more experience.

Addres: 3AG18-19 Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, 10470Tanjung Tokong, Penang.
Phone No.: +604-8900435
Website: http://five27.asia/
Business Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11am-11pm & Friday-Saturday 11am – 12pm.
GPS Coordinates: E5.457777, N100.313405


The Norwegian Norway, In A Class Of Its Own

Posted by Jason Wong On November - 22 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

A recently held Norwegian Consumer Goods Exhibition held at Gurney Plaza that we were invited to for their launch was organized by the Royal Norwegian Embassy from Kuala Lumpur. The exhibition held from 1st November 2012 to the 4th in Penang, was a virgin showcase of some of the range of products and brands that have set foot in Malaysia. Alongside the exhibition, the Norwegian embassy also brought with them the Norwegian life and landscapes captured through the lenses of their photographers in their “Norway at a glance” photo exhibition.

The exhibition was formally officiated by H.E. Hans Ola Urstad, Ambassador of Norway and YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang. The launch event also saw a simple gift presentation ceremony to the Children’s Protection Society and its representatives.

Before introducing the brands that were on showcase at the exhibition, lets get to know a little bit about Norway. Norway is one of the founding members of United Nation, NATO and European Free Trade Area. Its capital city is Oslo. Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres and a population of approximately 5.01 million, and it is the second least densely populated country in Europe. Norway shares borders with Sweden, Finland, Russia and Denmark across the Skagerrak Strait.

Norway is richly endowed with natural resources in area’s petroleum, hydropower, fishery, forestry, and minerals. Large oil and gas reserves discovered in the 1960s led to their economic boom and are still one of their major revenue generators at current. Approximately 28% of their state revenue is generated from the oil and gas industry. And from the revenue generated from oil and gas industry, a Sovereign Wealth Fund (Government Pension Fund) was established in 1995 as a hedge/cushion against Norways aging population and to prevent an overheating of their economy from oil revenues. As of March 2011, Norway’s Government Pension Fund controlled assets valued are approximately US$570 billion or equal to US$114,000 per capita. How much are we Malaysian’s worth with all the abundant natural resources that our land has?

This Northern European country that got their independence from Sweden in 1905 has distinctive four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter. Spring is the time to see Greylag geese approaching in v-formation over the spring horizon, and a time to smell the scent of apple blossom in Hardanger. Summer is the season to hear the crashing waves in the south, to feel the southerly winds blowing across their famous fjords and to see herds of reindeers grazing under the Midnight Sun. Summer is also the time to explore Norway’s great outdoors by foot, bicycle and to go fishing.

Autumn is when the golden-red landscape welcomes the harvest of wild Chanterelles or plump Cloudberries near a secluded mountain lake, and when rivers become the hosting ground for large quality fishes ready to be snagged. Winter is a season for dog-sledding, ice-fishing and a time for stories of legends past around a fireplace in a “lavvu”.

With the skilled livestock husbandry and unspoiled and good natural conditions produces quality ingredients like their famous Norwegian lamb, smoked salmon, Stockfish, cheeses, etc. Long light nights also blossoms into tastier fruits and berries. No wonder Norway is house to 4 Michelin Starred restaurants:

  1. Maaemo, a two star restaurant in the Michelin Guide, which they received right after 14 months of their opening. Their seasonal menu is based on 100% organic local ingredients, including rare Norwegian herbs and berries, and complimented with an exciting wine list.
  2. Bagatelle, a one star restaurant which first opened its doors in 1932. It serves Norwegian-French cuisine with an emphasis on Norwegian ingredients like herring, cod, halibut, king crab and so on.
  3. Statholdergaarden, manned by chefs Bent Stiansen and Torbjørn Forster that creates dishes from the best ingredients that Norway has to offer with best European food traditions and a touch of world inspirations.
  4. Restaurant Oscarsgate, a 20pax capacity dining room that represents one of Oslo’s most innovative and competent kitchens, presenting an à la carte menu featuring a daily fish or meat special alongside a five- or eight-course menu.

With the exhibition, the Norwegian embassy brought with them brands like Jarlsberg, Trapia, Jotun and Jordon. Jarlsberg cheeses are the product of Norway’s quality milk that comes from the favourable living conditions for their cows and goats, cold climate, vast grazing pastures and good animal husbandry. Tine Norway has been exporting Jarlsberg cheeses since 1961, and is one of the best selling brands in US, Europe and Australia. There were a few varieties of cheeses brought in for sampling and the one that caught our attention was their Gudbransdalen cheese. This brown coloured cheese was first invented in the 1860s by a farmer’s wife , Anne Hov, who took whey and boiled it for long hours together with goat’s milk, cow’s milk and cream. Thus, producing a brown fudge like cheese with a sweet taste of caramel  and  a clean and slightly sour taste of goat’s milk.

Traceable Tilapia or Trapia, in short, is an eco-friendly fish farming operation located in the pristine rainforest-fed freshwater Tememnggor Lake. It produces a unique strain of GenoMar Supreme Tilapia fish from egg-to-plate process that is said to be verifiable, traceable, high quality, healthy and most importantly sustainable. The harvests are mainly exported to countries where safe  and and sustainable fish stock is required, about 80% is exported.

Jotun, a brand that we thought was a local brand turns out to be a Norwegian paint, coating and powder coating manufacturer that has been operating in Sandefjord, Norway since 1926. Jotun’s paints can be seen and felt on the exclusive Burj Khailfa and the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Queen Mary 2, largest luxury liner in the world. Since 1983, Jotun has established its South East Asia R&B centre for development of new products for Asia. On display at the exhibition were their Majestic Ecohealth, New Strax Easy Clean, New Woodshield and New Jotasheild with AntiFade Colours range of paints.

Another brand that was display was the Jordan brand of tooth brushes. Established since 1837, it has since become one of the world’s leading preventive oral care brands producing quality toothbrushes, dental floss and dental sticks. Besides being well known for their oral hygiene products, they have also established themselves in the painting tools and household cleaning products sector.

* The invitation was extended by Ms. Marian Eu from Scribe Media Link.


Brussels Beer Cafe @ Gurney Paragon Mall

Posted by Jason Wong On January - 17 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

A recent trip to Gurney Drive took us to the newly open Gurney Paragon Mall and to Brussels Beer Café that was recently opened. Brussels’ heart and soul is their bar that serves a wide variety of imported and draft beers, like Belle-Vue, Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Leffe fresh, etc. Although beer is like the blood in their veins, but the Belgian cuisines that are churned out from their kitchen are like the air they breathe.

Brussels Beer Cafe also serves a variety of Belgian dishes that will tantalize the taste buds and fill the hunger puns. Listed in their menu, we have found Crispy Roasted Pork Knuckle, Braised Lamb Shank, Belgium Foot Long Doggies, Moules Mariniere, and Homemade Belgian Waffles.

Before the light meal that we had, we cleanse our palates with Belle-Vue Kriek which was much recommended by Caryn who also likes to savour great beers. Belle-Vue is a Belgian lambic beer made through spontaneous fermentation of Morello cherries by the wild yeasts/bacteria that are native to the Senne Valley. The beer has a vinous or red-wine appearance with a sweet foretaste and a cider-tart aftertaste. It is sweet, fruity, and creamy but lacks a full body.

To pair Belle-Vue we asked for the Blind Finches, meaty minced pork balls wrapped with a slice of salty and smoky pork bacon slowly braised in a sautéed  onion and Laffe Blonde sauce.  The sauce was slightly sweet, herby (oregano) and peppery with alcoholic aftertaste.

One of the main courses that were well recommended by their staff was the Moules Mariniere. It is a pot of 500gm fresh live imported mussels steamed with garlic, celery, onions, thyme and white wine. The mussels were smooth and tender with a sweet earthy taste, but the white wine sauce was over salty. If the mussel flesh had a bigger size, thus bigger bite then it would be more attractive. They also serve other moules varieties that are prepared with beers.

Last but not least and our favourite was their Braised Pork Cheek, a slab of sinful porky and sweet well proportioned fat and meat lean pork cheek slow braised until tender and served with rye bread, fluffy buttery potatoes, crisp sautéed asparagus and a malty Franzikaner sauce. Though fatty the cheek was it was not greasy, and the proportion was just nice to flavour the lean meat and give it contrast of texture.

Our overall experience:

Taste 3.5/5 (Good) Although some set back on the over saltiness of the Moules Mariniere, the whole meal was pleasant.
Texture 3.5/5 (Good) The dishes we ordered had contrast in texture.
Service 3.0/5 (Average) Courteous though, we would like to have less “attention” and serving the orders as we wanted.
Cleanliness 3.5/5 (Good) Still new and clean.
Atmosphere 3.0/5 (Average) Has clean and neat dining area, but the alfresco area would be warm and humid at times.
Price 3.0/5 (Average) Averagely priced.
Portion 3.0/5 (Average) We were filled up with the accompanying fries and rye bread.
Value 3.5/5 (Good) The price is reasonable with the portion especially the Blind Finches and Braised Pork Cheek.
Consistency  N/A

Weissbräu Hosts Luncheon

Posted by Jason Wong On March - 11 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

End of last month, RoundU ( a company that bridges business owners to consumers through new media) had organised a luncheon with one of the directors of Weissbräu German Bistro & Bar situated at Quay North of Straits Quay. Wayne Yoon has over 20 years of experience in the F&B line in various parts of the world, holding different responsibilities throughout the years. And 15 months ago he decided to establish Weissbräu in Malaysia with its first outlet in Kuala Lumpur, then 3 months ago he and his partner(s) committed their resources to setup a branch in Penang. With that Weissbräu Straits Quay was born.

Weissbräu Penang German Bistro & Bar seats around 70 people indoor and 100 people at Alfresco, and opens at 12:00 NN daily to 1:00 AM (open till 2:00 AM on Friday & Saturday). Reservation is recommended especially for dinner hour and weekends.  “Happy Hour” is throughout the day till 9:00 PM, and all day on Sundays.

The initial Weissbräu menu was compiled by Master Chef Pascal Schnyder from Luzern, Switzerland.  It is divided into 2 distinctive sections, one for the light eaters and the other for the hearty eaters. The lighter section of the menu contains items like salad, sandwiches, wide ranges of home-made and imported sausages and cold cuts that are quite suitable for lunch or over the counter for quick a take-away. For the hearty meal section, there are their signature Crispy Pork Knuckle, Pork Ribs, Giant Wiener Schnitzel and lots more to pacify the hunger and satisfy the sinful desires. All their main courses are complimented with 2 of their home-made side dishes which you can choose from; buttered market vegetables, Sauerkraut (Shredded Cabbage in white wine vinegar), German Potato Salad, Garlic Mash, lightly pan-fried Spaetzli (home-made egg noodles) or roesti.

At Weissbräu you would find some items or dishes that have influences from their bordering countries like France, Switzerland and Belgium.  Pissaladière, it is a popular pizza from Southern France that has a thin crust dough topped with sour cream, roasted onion, anchovies and olives. Roesti, a Swedish favourite of shredded potato strips pan-fried in clarified butter and can be served as it is, or top-up with bacon, egg, onion, cheese or anything you fancy to create your individually unique dish. Moule Mariniere or ‘Seamen’s style Mussel is a Belgium version of mussels in a pot with white wine and fresh vegetables.

Classic Ceasar Salad RM16.80++, crisp Romanian lettuce, tomatoes, and croutons topped with home-made mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese & bacon bits. To add an extra punch to the light dish, you could include either lightly curried chicken for RM6.00++ or smoked salmon for RM8.00++.

Buttered Swiss Roesti with onion, bacon, cheese & eggs RM24.00++.

Italian Touch Pizza with Mushroom Topping RM28++, thin crusted pizza with sour cream, homemade tomato paste, mozzarella cheese an d your choice toppings (here we have mushroom).

Crispy German Pork Knuckle RM48.00++, pork knuckle boiled then pickled for 2 days then deep fried before serving. It comes with 2 side dishes of your choice and beef stock base red wine sauce.

Giant Weinerschnitzel RM34++, skilfully cut and hand pounded pork fillet breaded and pan fried till golden in colour then served with 2 side dishes of your choice (Spaetzli and Buttered market vegetables).

Schublig RM42++, lightly smoked giant pork sausage mixed with their own special blend of spices and served with your choice of 2 side dishes (over here is Garlic mashed potato and Buttered market vegetables).

Homemade Sausages (Chili Pork Sausage, Herbs Pork Sausage and Garlic Peppercorn Pork Sausage), are special Homemade Pork sausages encased in lamb casing and seasoned with their respective flavours (natural herbs and spices), then smoked for 4 hours to infuse the smoky aroma & taste. This item is new to the menu and may be off the menu for now but is available by request.

  • Smoked Herb Pork Sausage RM 34++
  • Smoked Garlic Peppercorn Sausage RM 32++
  • Smoked Chili Pork Sausage RM 34++

And when the kitchen is not busy, you may ask for a 2+2 sausages, but with respective charges. Please do inquire for further details.

For those who like to have something sweet at the end of the meal to cleanse the palate, you may want to  op for their desserts that are home-made as much as possible to keep the principle of making food the way it used to. At one point, Wayne jokingly pointed out that the only thing they don’t do is grow their own vegetables and rise their own cattle and swine!

Apple Strudel served with Vanilla Ice-Cream, an envelope of filo pastry stuffed with green apple cube prepared with nutmeg, white raisin and sugar syrup and top with crunchy sugar granules.

Chocolate Mousse top with Pear, bitter sweet chocolate mousse blended with VSOP for richness and served with chilled poach pears.

During the luncheon, food and lifestyle bloggers were treated not only to their selected dishes of the day but also some the beers that they have in their bar. The list of beers available at Weissbräu  goes on and on but just to name few,Carlsberg, Erdinger,  Hoegaarden, Franziskaner and Leffe Blonde are available on tap while imported bottled beer such as Warsteiner, Stella Artois, Lowenbrau, Becks, Konig Ludwig, Hoegaarden, Leffe Blonde, Franziskaner, Corona, Royal Stout, and Grolsch are served chilled.
To summaries Weissbräu,
It is a place to enjoy good wholesome self-made food in a cosy atmosphere with a nice view of the marina and seafront.
I like the concept of making food the way it is supposed to, from the basic peeling of potatoes, pickling their own Sauerkraut to making their own sausages. These are some things that are hard to come by in a commercially run restaurant, especially when the cost per square feet of retail space is not cheap. After our last 2 visits and the current invited luncheon, I guess I would be returning to this outlet to try more of what they are able present in terms of flavours, textures and imagination.
In conjunction of their 100 days of operation in Straits Quay, Weissbräu would want to share their blessings and thank their loyal customers for their support by presenting a “Hoegaarden Promotion” from 5th of March 2011 onwards until a date that they have not decided.
  • 1/2 Pint        RM 14++
  • 1 Pint            RM 26++
  • Tower            RM 125++

There is another German Bistro in Straits Quay that goes by the name of BERLIN’S BIER HOUZ(BBH). This is their second outlet in the whole of Malaysia as I was told. Their first flagship outlet was established in May 2010 in Ipoh’s infamous Green Town area. Berlin’s concept is to provide proper sit in dining for German and European food at an affordable price with an extensive range of beers to compliment their available dishes. We were told that they currently have about 43 types or brands of beer that are available by the bottle and or by the tap. The price of the beers are slightly cheaper compared to price offered by some of the F&B outlets that are also housed in Straits Quay. Another plus point for having a few drinks at Berlin’s is the night view of the Gurney Drive cove and that of the container yard on the opposite site of the island.

As it is mentioned, BBH serves dishes that have origins from Germany and Europe. The food list is not very extensive but at least it can provide some variety of choices with quite a budget price tag. The food list starts with light bites or snack that goes quite well with the many types of beer that they have to offer, then there are the mains that comes in to fill the hunger and it ends with desserts.

First up we had the “German Sausage Platter” that is priced at RM25.80.  The platter comes with a mixture 3 different sausage (if not mistaken Emmentaler Cheese, Garlic & Black-pepper). This platter could suffice the urge for gourmet sausages at a budget price with an average or acceptable taste profile. But texture wise, I prefer firmer sausages with more crunch or crisp skin. Thus, it would be better if the sausage were not sliced open before serving to keep the crisp feeling when we slice into it, and also to maintain the juices are intact.

Next was their version of “German Pork Knuckle” that is prices at RM25 for a half portion and RM43 for a full portion(whole). The price was very tempting although we already had a light dinner before we went to BBH. For RM25, the portion of the knuckle was quite luscious. The crackling was very crisp with every bite, but the meat was slightly dehydrated and over firmed. With the knuckle we found the simplicity of taste, just the flavours of pork and some savouriness.

Then we had their “Pork Burger with Cheese” that is stated RM16.80 per order. The patty is made with full 100% minced pork pan-grilled until well done, then slab on a bed of juicy sliced tomatoes and shredded lettuce and sandwiched between 2 halves of a toasted fluffy bun. The patty was flavourful and moist and goes quite well with a pint of cold beer. The only down side of the burger was that it was a bit sloppy.

Overall experience:

Taste 2.5/5 (Average)
Texture 2.5/5 (Average)
Service 4.0/5(Friendly & Helpful)
Cleanliness 4.0/5 (Good)
Atmosphere 3.5/5 (Average)
Price 4.0/5 (Good) Total Damage RM99.30
Portion 3.5/5 (Good)
Value 3.0/5 (Above Average)


3E-G-3B Straits Quay Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang Tanjung Tokong 10470 Pulau Pinang.


Weissbräu German Cuisine at Straits Quay

Posted by Jason Wong On December - 13 - 20106 COMMENTS

This our first adventure to Straits Quay in Tanjong Tokong. Previously we had our fears that the place might not be sustainable but with the many major brands from KL setting shop there, it would be a place to be seen for the many rich and famous of Penang. This was a working visits as we were there to have a business discussion with partners, but of cause it was also an excuse scout around for new places to dine in the newly opened up and coming commercial/retail location.

The place that we had our discussion was Weissbräu, a German bistro and bar that serves pork specialties, sausages, pizzas, roesti, and imported draught & bottled beers. Weissbräu is the German word for white brew or white beer that is popular and common beer in Germany.



During the discussion session we had a few glasses of beer and also their “Sausage Combo” (RM48++). The combo comes with a choice of two(2) sausages and two(2) side dishes. And the items that I chose and matched were “Farmer’s Garlic Pork” sausage, “Nurnberger” sausage, sauerkraut and mash. The sausages were meaty, juicy, tenderly firm and very flavourful. As for the mash, it was quite rich and creamy with a fluffy texture. And the sauerkraut served was of mild acidity as they have noticed the taste preference of locals and other Asians a like that do not like the original sour taste of this German specialty.

Sauerkraut in the olden days, before refrigeration and produce importation, serves as the vital source of the vitamin Clactobacilli and other nutrients during the winter. It also contains increased levels of anti-cancer agents such as isothiocyanates.


Before we left the place for another joint, we vowed that we will be back for their pork knuckle after spotted this item on their menu. The only German pork knuckle available in Penang was the Ingolf’s version, but now there is the Weissbrau version. Also available now in Straits Quay is the Irish version of pork knuckle at Finnegan‘s and the Bulgarian version in Vintage Bulgaria.

The “Crispy German Pork Knuckle” (RM48++) we had the next day at Weissbrau had a crispy layer of skin with minimal amounts of fats and chunks of tender moist meat. The flavours were closed to natural as we did not taste any residue of herbs or spices on and in the knuckle. Again like the day before, we had a choice of two (2) side dishes which I chose again the sauerkraut and something different, roesti. The roesti is actually a Swedish signature that has been included into the German eating culture due to the close proximity between the countries. Roesti is made from shredded potato formed into a flat pan-cake like shape and pan fried till golden brown. It was crisp on the surface and fluffy in the middle, quite nice to our palates.


After the knuckle we had their “Alsatian Sauerkraut” (RM38++), which is a mixed plate of braised pork belly, loin, knuckle, Frankfurter and Nurnberger with one (1) choice of side dish. It is a healthy combination as the meaty items are either braised or boiled except for the Nurnberger. The meats were tender, flavourful and not salty at all, and the mash and sauerkraut were consistent in taste and texture.


After the 2 recent back-to-back visits, we will definitely be back to try out other signatures or specials that they have to offer. Reason being there is consistency in taste and service. Another thing to look out for is the brown sauce that we found in two of the three dishes that we have tried so far, it is infused with wine and does not taste like the pre-mix type.

Overall experience:

Taste 4.0/5 (Consistent & Good)

  • Consistency in the mash, brown sauce with wine and sauerkraut.
  • Sausages are fine and juicy.
  • Naturally sweet mussel seamen with a hint of white wine after taste.
  • Pork Knuckles have flavours not only on the surface but within the meaty parts.
Texture 4.0/5 (Good)

  • Fluffy garlic mash.
  • Crisp and tender sausages with casings.
  • Smooth chocolate mousse with tender poached pears.
Service 4.0/5 (Good)

  • The greetings, smiling faces, attentiveness and most of all the courtesy to ask before they serve or collect the plates.
Cleanliness 4.0/5 (Good)

  • Clean and neat dining area and kitchen area.
Atmosphere 3.5/5 (Good)

  • Relaxing, cooling and cosy ambiance with a nice view of the seafront depending on location.
  • There are some mosquito problems in Straits Quay and the Weissbräu doing their best to solve their part.
Price 3.5/5 (Acceptable)

  • On the menu it looks pricey but quality speaks for itself.
Portion 4.0/5 (Good Portioning)

  • The restaurant is not stingy on the portioning; we are more concern on the ingredient quality and not quantity.
Value 4.5/5 (Very Good Value)

  • Includes the consideration of after promotion prices, quality of ingredients, presentation, location, affordability and experience.

    Address: Straits Quay, Lot 3C-G-1, Jalan Sri Tanjung Pinang, 10470 Tanjung Tokong, Penang.

    Tel: +60 (4) 8901808

    The Menu






    Blogger Events: 4th Penang Food Bloggers Gathering

    Posted by Jason Wong On August - 26 - 200910 COMMENTS

    Last weekend, on the 15th of August us Penang Food and Lifestyle Floggers had our much anticipated 4th mass gathering at Vintage Bulgaria in Tanjung Bungah. This gathering saw a three fold growth in terms of attendees compared to the 1st one that we had last year, which was in August too. The first gathering at Hai Nan Town had only 10 floggers from 8 blogs attending. The increase in head count and blog count was all made possible with the team spirit of the “old birds” in the existing group and the hard work of the organiser of this gathering, namely Alan and Allie.

    This isn’t my virgin dining experience to Vintage Bulgaria, the first and last time we dined there was on 6th of October last year. The delicacies that we had then and now have somewhat changed. But anyway the night was not really about food, it was mainly about people, exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge and most of all have fun.

    Bulgarian cuisine is a representative of South-Eastern Europe, which is famous for its rich salads before every meal, diversity and quality of the use of diary products, variety of hot and cold soups and the different types of  Bulgarian pastries.


    The last we dine there, me and Gill chose the dining area on the lower ground which looks something like the photo below.


    For this gathering, we had the luxury of having the whole second floor to ourselves. I remember that they were mentioning about preparing the second floor for functions and parties last year.


    The event started with the floggers’ arrival from 7:00pm onwards. For those who arrived early were busy mingling around and having their photos taken candidly.





    For the extremes, ass grabbing was also in the list of activities.


    It was thoughtful for the restaurant to prepare a prop table and an extra set of each main course that was on the nights’ set menu that was specially designed for our gathering. The arrangement was of great help in the photo taking session for all the floggers. At least we would not need to go to different tables to get the full set of photos of the dishes served.



    The set menu was custom catered for our gathering, which explains the special price that we enjoyed for the night. On normal days for the three course dinner plus coffee or tea that we had on that night would have cost more. That is why I guess there were many inquiries for the set menu from the public on that particular night. And thus, the restaurant decided to serve all their guess for the night from the set menu. In terms of publicity, the gathering has contributed some awareness for Vintage Bulgaria through our collective power. For this instance, the keyboard is mightier then the sword.


    The three course dinner started with a choice of two soups to choose from, ‘Mushroom Soup with Vintage Garlic Bread’ and Seafood Soup. The Mushroom soup tasted earthy with the loads of mushroom bits infused into it, and rich but not overwhelmingly rich. In short it did not taste like the common commercial canned soup that one would get from an average restaurant. The accompanying Vintage Garlic Bread was something to brag about too. The bread was crisp on the rim, and soft and creamy in the centre with the luscious amount of cheese.  It was well paired to the Mushroom Soup as it gave it that additional kick in terms of flavour.


    Then there was the Seafood Soup which felt more like seafood chowder not because it was thicken with cream or flour, but it was thick because of the vast amounts of tuna, carrot and etc ingredients that were pounded into it. Taste wise as Gill puts it, it tasted full of fresh seafood flavour with the grainy texture of the ingredients found in the soup.


    After the starters then came the main course. I had the ‘Bulgarian Pork Djolan’ and Gill had the ‘Bulgarian Platter’. The Pork Djolan was something different from the German Pork Knuckles that we have tried in Kota Damansara and the Irish Knuckles that we ate at Fennigan’s Pub in Mid Valley. Different from what we have tried in terms of knuckles be it German, Irish or simply Chinese, the Pork Djolan had a more intense flavour, sweeter and saltier with some hint herb or spice. The knuckle was crisp on the skin and moist and tender under it. Due to the heavy flavour on the surface, some may feel that the meat was slightly bland. But then if the marinate had work itself into the depth of the meaty areas, then I might not have tasted the original sweet flavour of the knuckle. In fact the knuckle was already tasty on its, thus there was not a need for any dipping sauce or gravy, especially the accompanying BBQ like sauce which would have murdered the flavours of what the knuckle could deliver.



    Me taking the hands on approach on the 101 ways of enjoying the Djolan Knuckle to the last fibers!


    Gill had the Bulgarian Platter, which we find somewhat dry and salty to our liking.  As we are not foreign to this dish, we have come to a conclusion that the first platter that we had way back last year was more flavourful and tastier. Portion wise the latest version had more to offer with the amounts of potato and vegetable side dishes.

    Latest version of Bulgarian Platter


    Last year’s version of the Bulgarian Platter


    Next on the main course choices, was the ‘Chicken Stroganov’, which have its origins starting in the 19th century from Russia. Stroganov is a dish with strips of meat sautéed and served in a sauce that contains sour cream. TheNomadGourmand had this main, which she graciously shared with us. The chicken strips were tender; sauce was smoothly rich and earthy with hints of capsicum flavour in it. To us the best was to have the chicken strips and using the mash to mop up the sauce and enjoy!


    Then there was the Plovdiv Ribs, which I and Gill have tried on our first visit to Vintage Bulgaria. And again, this dish has gone through some changes. Changes that I and Gill did not really wanted except for the increased portion size.  The version served for at the event had a sweeter taste, like BBQ Ribs.

    Plovdiv Ribs that were served during the event


    Plovdiv Ribs that we enjoyed last yearfv-081006-vintage-bulgaria-29

    The last choice of entrees was the ‘ Baked Cod fish with creamy Mushroom Sauce’ which was left cold and dry to hang. There were no takers for this dish and the tasting was from the plate that was brought out for the photo shoots. We did not indulge in this dish, thus nothing can be commented.


    After the savory main course and the most sort for by the sweet tooth’s, was the desserts. In the list we had a choice of ‘Chocolate Crème Brûlée’ and ‘Chocolate Soup’. As usual we had both choices as there two us. The Chocolate Crème Brûlée was smooth and rich in chocolate flavour. One down side of this dessert was that the top layer of burnt sugar was too thick and coarse. It contributed a big contrast in the texture and sweetness. A finer grain of sugar would have better match to my liking.


    The ‘Chocolate Soup’ was served chilled, which is part of the Bulgarian dining culture, tasted like “high-end” chocolate drink with vanilla ice-cream and choc powder sprinkles. I kind of like it because I like to drink “Milo kau” or thick Milo. It is something good to drink to comfort the soul with. The dessert soup was rich and full that I was filled to the brim after downing the whole mug of it.



    As the desserts were served, we new that it was almost time to bid farewell but that did not stop us to have more fun before the curtain closes for this gathering. Other than the desserts on the set menu list, we also had the privileged to be sponsored with cakes from Dennie Yeap of Winter Butterfly Homemade Cakes and gelatos from Gelatisimo. As I was busy fooling around and chit chatting, I did not have a fair taste of the cakes and am unable to comment on them.

    Oreo Cheese Cake



    Chocolate Brownies



    Cream Cheese Mousse Cake



    And with the cakes an ad-hoc decision was made to celebrate the birthdays of the attending floggers’ birth date that falls with in July, August and September.

    penang flogger gathering 4 - 44

    penang flogger gathering 4 - 47

    As we rich the end of the event we had some group photos taken the Penang Food Flogger way, crazy and wild to the end!


    penang flogger gathering 4 - 62


    Blue Reef’s Beer Batter Fish n’ Chips

    Posted by Jason Wong On February - 23 - 200921 COMMENTS


    Some time back on December 20th 2008, me and Gill by curiousity drop by the new place in 32 Permai off Velle of Temp, Blue Reef Fish & Chips. In fact we were forwarded their online flyer by one of my good friends weeks before their opening. The business is run by two beautiful persons, Swen and Christopher. Blue Reef Fish & Chips as the name has it is specialised in fish and chips, but not the common everyday road side or cafe type fish and chips. A brief introduction to what I call true fish n’ chips, the Fish n’ Chips is a popular take-away food that originated in the UK. It consists of deep fried fish, traditionally of cod or haddock, that is coated in batter or bread crumbs and served with deep-fried chipped or slab-cut potatoes. At Blue Reef you are able to savour both batter coated or bread crumbs coated fish fillets deep fried till golden and served with chips, not french fries. Up till now we have only tried their special beer batter coated fish n’ chips.


    We are more interested in the beer batter coated fish n’ chips because I have tried my hand in preparing it before quite some time ago. It was a recipe that I concocted myself after I saw it on the television. It was successful at he beginning, but the crispiness could not stay long. The choice of fish used is also very important other than the composition and preparation of the batter. Read the rest of this entry »

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