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West European | Gourmet Garden

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Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'

West European

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Blue Reef’s Beer Batter Fish n’ Chips

Posted by Jason Wong On February - 23 - 200921 COMMENTS

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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.

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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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Cheese Fondue at Home

Posted by Jason Wong On October - 8 - 200810 COMMENTS

Cheese Fondue needs a lot patients when preparing, if not there goes the whole pot!

We like to enjoy our cheese fondue with various side dishes, like roast pork, plain grilled sausages, toated and untoasted bread.


After all the preparation, we can sit down and enjoy the pot of cheese on a cool whether ad star lit night. The company is also very important. Chit chat the whole night through. What a Wonderful World!

Caution is needed when savouring fondue with freind, unless you have intentions do not let the cheese drip to the table or floor, if it does drip you would have to kiss the person next to you. So remember do not sit beside person of the same sex!

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Including the Penang Food Bloggers gathering on the 27th September 2008, I have patronised this cafe, Edelweiss, 3 times since July. I must say, on all the visits I have managed to try a few of their signature soups, entrees and deserts. This cozy cafe is tacked in one of the oldest parts on the Penang Island and was once used as the backdrop for the Hollywood movie, The King and I. The cafe is located in Armenian Street, just before the Colonial Restoran which serves modified Hainanese cuisines.

Do not let the Swedish name fool you, as this cafe serves cuisine from the East(Malaysia) and the West (Sweden). But me and wife only had the privilege to savour part of their western side of their menu. Thus, we still have more to go before we can’t say that we have tried everything there. This place does not only serve good homey food, it also serves some good European beers, but it would be a bit pricey for us locals.

Before I continue with my review of this cafe, I would like to put forth that the photos were taken during my various visits to Edelweiss at different occasions, thus the different ambient color of the photos.


The Barley Soup which is serve daily is something different from your common cream of mushroom or corn. It is light on the pallet but still provides the opportunity to feel the texture and taste the various ingredients used in preparing this soup. With some bread, one could be filled the brim and not be able to go further with the entree. So the best way to savour this dish is to share amongst yourself, don’t let this not so little bowl of soup fool you!


The Beef Goulash came in a small bowl but was packed with potatoes, carrot, beef, etc. As I am not an authority on goulash, I am unable to judge whether it is good or bad, but to me it is something that I can accept. It is not too heavy on the flavour, therefore would not subdue your taste buds for the entree.

Edelwiess serve some good and genuine sausages in town. So far I have tried their Double Jumbo(top) and B 52s (bottom). The sausages are juicy and firm to the bite. It is totally different experience with what we get from some of the eateries that serve sausages as their entrees. To compliment the sausage dish, the cafe prides a portion of mustard that is essential in enhancing the smokey taste the sausages have.

Then there is their specialty, Smoked Pork Belly. This is my wife’s’ favourite of all that we have tried in Edelweiss. At a glance one may think that it will be very hard to consume a piece of pork layered with all that fat, even for any non-health-conscious person. Then you would be missing out on the experience of savouring the piece of well smoked and tender piece of pork that is well complimented with mash and mustard sauce. It is like a marriage made in heaven.


Not much I can say about the Pork Ribs other than it is tender and juicy. I find the ribs to be a bit over flavoured by the glaze or sauce(some may call it), but by not much. Although so, overall it is still a good piece of rib. For my preference, I would have better enjoyed the ribs with mash rather than fries. The mash potatoes would have brought down the richness of the sauce to my acceptance level.




These two offerings, the Gammon Ham and Leg of Lamb are not included in their daily menu. They were specially requested and prepared for our Penang Food Bloggers gathering. But fear not, if you are interested in tasting the two, then you would have pool enough people to order them. The Gammon Ham was not heavy, it gave me a little hint of saltiness, smokiness and sweetness of the meat. In short the flavours were clean and light, suitable for those that are not meat crazy and dislike rich tasting food. If you ant to bring the Gammon ham to a higher enjoyment level, one could try layering the ham with black pepper, mash and brown sauce to enhance the taste and texture of the ham.

As for the Leg of Lamb, it taste common and nothing extraordinary about it. This may be due to that it was already cold from all the photo shooting before I got acquainted with it. The lamb was actually still slight pink in the centre and warm when it arrived on my table. But fear not, I improvised by adding salt and the accompanying gravy to make it more delightable. The lamb was actually good enough without the accompanying mint sauce, it did not need the mint to cover-up the overwhelming smell and taste that lamb emits.


At the end of each meals, I had their signature deserts to cleanse my pallets. Although I do not fancy sweet delights, their two signature deserts were quite acceptable to my standards. Their warm Apple Flam with Movenpick Ice Cream, gives one the sensation of soft and hard, cold and hot. The cool creamy soft ice cream matched with the textured and warm apple flam. Then there is the other signature desert, which I forgot what it is called, ice cream on bananas, poach peach and almonds. It is flavourful but a bit too sweet for my taste buds. It would be a favourite for those who have a sweet tooth to satisfy.

Other than enjoying the food in Edelweiss, one could also feast your eyes on the furniture, old photos, decor and ambiance in the cafe. If you are lucky, one may find their ancestors’ photos in the cafe as the owner is an avid collector of old stuff. Another thing that one could find is the funny looking light overhead. These are the work of the proprietor’s husband. He recycles and modifies the old stuffs into something which is practical and usable for the cafe. Innovative and earth-friendly!

Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the propietor, her husband and staffs for the friendly, prompt and accomodating service to all of us bloggers although we were a bit a handfull with all the moving around and talking. And also we would like to show our appreciation to the proprietor for preparing the special menu for us bloggers to enjoy and review.
On average, I would give Edelweiss Cafe:
  • 3.8/5 for value (for the the blogger gathering, then it would be 4.5/5)
  • 4.5/5 for tast
  • 5/5 for service
  • 5/5 for cleanliness (what can we ask from a coffee shop)
  • 5/5 for atmosphere (old style cafe without air-conditioning)

The below photos were taken during the Penang Food Blogger (PFB) gathering recently at Edelweiss. We are currently planning another gathering for the PFB in te coming December to celebrate Christmas. The date is 6th of December 2008. And the location is at my in-laws house in Tanjung Bungah. The gathering is a test of the cooking skills of PFB as it would be a ‘Pot-Luck’ gathering. Places are limited and it is first come first serve only!

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Finnegan’s Pub @ Mid Valley, Kuala Lumpur

Posted by gill gill On September - 28 - 20084 COMMENTS

The last trip we went to KL, and that was quite a few months ago, we had the opportunity try out one of the eateries in Mid Valley KL, Finnegan’s Irish Pub. When we got there it as almost closing for the lunch, but we were lucky that they were still able to dish out their Irish Beef Stew and Pork Knuckles.

The first order to come first was the Irish Beef Stew. Actually, a few weeks ago I managed to dished out a pot of Irish Beef Stew of my own, and that was why I wanted to try theirs so that I can comapare on the taste. The stew served by Fennegan’s was light on taste and texture as compare to mine. May be because of the different ingredients that we used. In my recipe, I used babby carrots and babby potatos instead of the usual carrots and potatos, and thus the sweeter and richer taste. In addition, the Finnegan’s stew did not produce the pungent and stong aroma and taste of stout that is used to cooked it. But on the down side of my recipe, it was a bit too oily which may be due to the cut of beef that I used. Basically, the Irish Beef Stew at Fennigan’s was acceptable, but I am not in the place to comment much as this was the first time I had tried it.

The dish that we tried and have long for is the Pork Knuckle, although it is not the famous German Pork Knuckle. At first, the knuckle did not look as appertising as we expected, but with the first bite, I started to enjoy it with every additional mouth full. The knuckle was fried to perfection, crispy on the out side and juicy in side, and served with mix vege and mash potatoes, gravy. The accompanying gravy was a must. It gave the knuckle the extra kick. To really enjoy the Pork Knuckle, one must take the knuckle, mash and gravy to gather. And that was how I savoured the knuckle till the bone!



The meals was really value for money, it was quite a serving. Both Of us were carrying our bellies out their door. As for their atmosphere, it feels like the average Irish Pub. Thus, do not expect much on service because it is a Pub. I would definitely return for the a second round of Pork Knuckles at Finnegan’s.

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