Gourmet Garden

Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'

Est.

Going around exploring places and tasting the local delicacies and specialties.

Change is inevitable in this fast moving market. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ Traders Hotel chain is going through a rebranding exercise worldwide to cater to the new ‘Jeneration’ of independent minded business and leisure travellers. And thus, Hotel Jen was born. Hotel Jen Penang’s transformation came on November the 4th 2014.

Now as part of their continuous effort to excel beyond, Hotel Jen Penang unveils a new a la carte menu at ‘The Islander’. Almost 80% dishes are still maintained, they showcase the authentic local street food culture, famed international delicacies and delightful desserts.

The new a la carte menu have included some flare of Hotel Jen Penang’s new but not foreign Executive Chef, Chef B. Sivasegaran, whose specialty is in Italian cuisine apart from being acquainted with Malaysian, Northern Indian , Asian, Chinese and European cooking styles.

Herewith, is the sampling of some of Chef Siva’s specialty that will be found in the new menu.

Bruschetta (RN17 nett), lightly charred crisp rye bread made with the best bread machines from www.Village-Bakery.com, this with red and yellow cherry tomatoes all dressed up in fine olive oil, cracked black pepper and finely chopped basil. Sweet fresh flavours, slightly tangy and rich was the taste. It’s a quick bite to be shared amongst good company and enjoyed with a glass of white wine.

JWLK2571 (HOTEL JEN-Bruschetta)

Bruschetta

Arugula Salad with Honey Sesame Dressing (RM16 nett), raw arugula leaves, alfalfa shouts, red cherry tomatoes and croutons served with homemade honey sesame base dressing. Sweet, sharp, nutty with a bitter after taste was the profile the salad.

JWLK2573 (HOTEL JEN-ArugulaSalad)

Arugula Salad with Honey Sesame Dressing

Grilled Burger with Vegetarian Patty (RM20 nett),  melted cheese over couscous and potato patty seasoned with cajun flavours served on toasted buns with garden greens, coleslaw and golden fries. Moist and lightly spiced was its flavour. I would  prefer a grilled portobello mushroom with 2 types of melted cheese to give it more dimension of taste and texture instead.

JWLK2574 (HOTEL JEN-Vegetarian Burger)

Grilled Burger with Vegetarian Patty

Pan Fried Stuff Aubergine (RM45 nett), pan fried aubergine halves topped with cheese and Provencal herbs slow baked in oven, then served with smoked tomato Napoli sauce. Light earthy flavours with a smoky and tangy taste pairing.

JWLK2583 (HOTEL JEN-PanFried Stuff Aubergine)

Pan Fried Stuff Aubergine

Chicken Rosmarino (RM53 nett), golden brown rosemary oil marinated spring chicken served with balsamic pepper jus. Savoury, sweet, peppery and a dash of acidity in taste was the chicken and sauce.

JWLK2589 (HOTEL JEN-Chicken Rosmarino)

Chicken Rosmarino

Lamb Osso Buco (RM58 nett), 400gm veal shanks braised in broth with vegetables and balsamic vinegar till tender then served with homemade mash potato instead of Polenta. This Milanese specialty was meaty sweet, zesty and rich in flavour. Polenta would have been the best compliment, but the smooth creamy mash did quite well too.

JWLK2613 (HOTEL JEN-Lamb Osso Buco)

Lamb Osso Buco

Baked Trapia (RM48nett), baked in aluminium pouched, the fish is steamed in its own juices with tomato coulis, fresh herbs, onion, olives and capers. Tangy, savoury with hint of sweetness were the flavours. Though farmed for its sustainability, the trapia had great texture and taste.

JWLK2571 (HOTEL JEN-Baked Trapia)

Baked Trapia

Tiramisu Pancake (RM20 nett), layers of fluffy pancakes and an espresso, mascarpone, egg and cream concoction, served with espresso butterscotch sauce, dusting of cocoa powder and brandy snap. Smooth and cooling the texture with creamy rich and bitter sweet taste.

JWLK2634 (HOTEL JEN-Tiramisu Pancake)

Tiramisu Pancake

Jen’s Signature (RM18 nett), ice-cream, chocolate and caramel sauce served with pickled fruits. Sweet dark taste balanced with sharp tangy fruity taste.

JWLK2639 (HOTEL JEN-Jens Signature)

Jen’s Signature

Hotel Jen Penang
Address: Magazine Road, George Town, 10300 Penang.
Tel: 04 2622622
Business Hours: 6.30am – 11pm.

P.S: Thanks to Hotel Jen Penang for extending this invitation.

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SELAMAT HARI RAYA to all Muslim friends!

Not much action since I joined a company and responsible for opening up new international markets. The brain is tired from all those country and market research plus business visit arrangements. The weekend and Raya holidays gave me the opportunity to prepare and author a recent and 1 or 2 outstanding posts that I have place a mental note to get done.

Two weeks ago we were invited by Hard Rock Hotel Penang to review their annual “Bintang Rock Buffet” designed to cater to the Muslim Fasting Month (bulan puasa). This year is the third consecutive year of being hosted by their Starz Diner and Hard Rock Cafe to taste their customized buffet line that showcases and adopts the many local cuisines that makes Malaysian food unique. Year on year their dishes and variety keep getting better, and this year they have made the buffet dish selection a true Malaysian potpourri; the buffet line up includes the exotic Malay salads (kerabus and ulams), Indian Masala to Chinese fried noodles crafted by their well skilled chefs.

The Bintang Rock Buffet at Starz Diner for this year (2014) was a limited time offer theme buffet  from the 29th June to 29th July 2014, with 4 individually unique selection of drinks and dishes menus to satisfy the desire for variety during the holy fasting month. The buffet would have only set you back RM70++ per adult and RM35++ per child of 6 to 12years old.

To breakfast after a day of abstaining from drinking and eating, it is advisable to start slow and light, the best choice is to have a hot drink and some nutrition packed dates.  We did not need to warm up our digestive system, thus we headed straight to their appetizers and salads were section to sample some of the not usually available dishes in hotels or local restaurants. There were (clockwise from top right) ‘keropok lekor’ or fish crackers, pickled mix fruits/vegetables, variety of ‘Cincaluk’ or preserved shrimps and ‘nasi ulam’ or mixed vegetable rice and ‘serunding’ or meat floss. In the centre we have a plate filled with the appetizers ready to go.

This year’s salad selection were seasoned raw fish salad, chicken and young jackfruit salad, cuttlefish salad, tomato salad, ‘kerabu kacang campur’ or mixed bean salad and ‘kerabu udang’ or prawn salad.

In their line up, they also had ‘Bubur Lambuk’ or mixed vegetable congee (on the left) and ‘Sup Kambing ala Mydin’ or lamb soup (on the right). This year’s bubur lambuk was a much creamier and spiced as compared to previous years, it had more ‘santan’ or coconut milk and heavier touch of spices, more flavourful and tasty.

Moving to the main courses, (clockwise from top right) there were ‘Gulai Ikan Tenggiri Bendi’ or Mackerel Curry with Ladies Fingers,  ‘Sambal Tumis Udang & Petai’ or Sambal Prawns with Bitter/Stink Beans, Steamed Patin Fish with Ginger Soy and ‘Ketam Masak Lemak Nenas’ or Braised Blue Crab in Turmeric & Coconut Gravy.

(Clockwise from top right) ‘Gulai Ayam’ or Chicken Curry, ‘Kari Daging Kentang ‘ or Beef & Potato Curry and Mutton Kheema.

(Clockwise from top right) Fried E Foo Mee with Chicken, Chicken & Lamb Satay, Chicken Masala, Lamb Shawarma and Roast Strip Loin with Grilled Vegetables.

After finishing with the appetizers and main courses, there were the traditional Malaysian sweet cakes or ‘Kuih-Muih’.

Apart from the traditional, there were also Continental desserts like White Chocolate Creme Caramel, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Coffee Walnut Mousse, Strawberry Streusel, and more.

Before we could finish the Bintang Rock Buffet, Hard Rock Cafe sent in their “The Rock Platter” for this year’s Puasa month. The platter was priced at RM140++ for 2 persons’ and RM210++ for 3 persons’ 3 Course Meal with Drinks! It was monstrous platter for us Asians and we definitely had dig in deep to try to finish it, especially we had already gone through the buffet line.

For the Rock Platter, there were two separate menus to choose from, we had menu ‘A’  which had Onion Rings, Chicken Briyani, Spaghetti Marinara, Chicken Portuguese, Vegetable Spring Roll, Grilled Mini Shrimp Quesadilla, Hickory-Smoked BBQ Beef Ribs and Mini Beef Burgers with Rendang Sauce.

Overall experience for Starz Diner’s Bintang Rock Buffet and Hard Rock Cafe’s Rock Platter:

Taste
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • On average the dishes served were on the bland side due to the reduction of salt and pepper in their cooking after their guests’ feedbacks on health concerns, but they have prepared individual bottles of salt and pepper to add taste.
  • They were not stingy on the spices and herbs used in their recipes, though.
Texture
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • Anything served and consumed at the appropriate time is always the best in terms of texture and taste.
  • The Rock Platter’s Chicken Portuguese, beef rib and burger patty were all tender and moist although it was sitting idle for a short while before we began to dig in.
Service
  • N/A as it is an invited review event, but the staffs at hand were quite attentive, friendly and helpful.
Cleanliness
  • 4.5/5 (Very Good)
  • The dining area was neat and clean.
Atmosphere
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • Comfortable seats, bright dining area and clean cutlery and plates.
Price
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • If compared to last year’s prices, there weren’t much increase for the Bintang Rock Buffet, but there was a slight increase for the Rock platter.
Portion
  • N/A for Bintang Rock Buffet.
  • It was a monstrosity for the Rock Platter, 2 persons would have some difficulty to finish the whole platter set.
Value
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • There were more variety of choices, more mixture of local cuisines and showcase of traditional dishes.
  • The qualities of ingredients were improved, e.g. the Blue Crab was fresh and still had their distinctive sweetness.
  • There was also quantity in the condiments and raw material utilised for preparing their dishes, e.g. their Spicy Prawn noodles had also used crab for the making of their soup base.
Consistency
  • 4.5/5 (Very Good)
  • After having been hosted for their buka puasa buffet and rock platter for 3 consecutive years, we could see their changes and improvements.

For enquiry, call 04-886 8057 or email to fb.penang@hardrockhotels.net.

Many  thanks to Hard Rock Hotel Penang for extending the invitation and hosting our visit.

 

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Weekend Sausage Sizzle By G Pool Bar At G Hotel Penang

Posted by Jason Wong On April - 7 - 20143 COMMENTS

A few weeks ago in March 2014, G Hotel launched its “Saturday Sunday Sausage Sizzle” offering a variety of specially crafted hotdogs at its own G Pool Bar. Set in an urban rooftop pool setting, the Saturday Sunday Sausage Sizzle encourages hotel guests, Penangites, shoppers from the adjacent Gurney Plaza and Gurney Paragon to step out into the sunny weekend afternoon to soak up the sun while enjoying cook to order jumbo hotdogs and a glasses of ice cold beer or an interesting cocktail mixed and shaken by their in-house bartender.

Two weekends (23 March 2014) ago we were invited by G Hotel’s MARCOM and F&B department for a sampling of their Saturday Sunday Sausage Sizzle. There were plenty of varieties to choose from their current menu offering in addition to the choice of either a beef or chicken sausages. Currently in season are their “G Town Sizzle”, “Chillin’ Sizzle”, “Guac-A-Sizzle”, “Sloppy Slaw Sizzle” and “Sunshine Sizzle”. Each sausage sizzle ordered at RM25++ comes with accompanying sides of a light salad and a choice of chips from potato chips, spiced cassava chips or nachos. The order also comes with a free glass of cold soda, but if sodas do not quench your thirst, upgrade to a beer or milkshake for just an additional RM10.

G Town Sizzle, a jumbo sausage smothered in G Hotel’s house pickled sweet relish, tomato & gherkin slices laid on a bed of iceberg lettuce and topped cheddar cheese in a toasted sesame bun. All condiments harmonizes each other perfectly, savory, sweet and tangy with some richness.

Chillin’ Sizzle, the jumbo sausage is crowned with pickled jalapenos, diced onion, Dijon mustard and lollo rossa lettuce. The flavours are brighten up by the tangy and spicy pickled jalapenos, sweet diced raw onion and sharp house-made Dijon mustard squiggles that give the Chillin’ Sizzle its zing.

Guac-A-Sizzle, open flame grilled jumbo sausage topped with a gorgeous mosaic of avocado chunks, tomatoes, diced onion, green cilantro leaves and dill cucumber salsa. It is a rich and refreshing combination.

Sloppy Slaw Sizzle, the jumbo hotdog is topped with apple-horseradish slaw, whole grain mustard and gruyere cheese. An unusual combination but once tasted, the flavours do jive together.

Sunshine Sizzle, cream cheese, mayonnaise, pickled red onions and fresh dill relish makes up the toppings for this light yet refreshingly tasteful hotdog.

If hotdogs are not your cup of tea, there are options like G Club Sandwich, Steak Sandwich, Southwestern Slider, Fish Fillet Burger and Pizzas. If milkshakes, draft beers or sodas do not water down your thirst, G Pool bar also serves their signature Slush which comes with strawberry or mango flavours. Even their cocktails are also good enough to kill the heat.

Apart from enjoying an ice cold drink, a good hotdog or whatever you favor on a sunny weekend afternoon, patrons will be able to enjoy a dip in their stunning infinity swimming pool, chill out with your family and loved ones at the comfy poolside couches. Their poolside staffs will also be ever ready to assist and pamper you, up to a point to even help you clean your sunglasses.

For reservations, please call 04-238 0000 or email food.beverage@ghotel.com.my

G Hotel
Address: 168A Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang
Grilling hours starts from 12pm till 6pm.
 
* Thanks to the gracious invitation by G Hotel and appreciate the company and explanation given by their Marcom and F&B staffs.
 
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On that fateful day (3rd of Feb 2014) we planned to go to Bali Hai in Gurney Drive for a seafood dinner, but there were 2 staggered dinner time, one at 6pm and the other at 8pm. Who wants to dine at that kind of conditions, pay a not so inexpensive price and not be able to enjoy the dishes that await us?!  So, we decided to try out Angus House at Gurney Paragon, where we could take our time to savour the juicy Japanese styled charcoal flame grilled steaks with constant sea breezes blowing on our face. ‘ANGUS House Japanese Charcoal Steak’ is claimed to be an expert in serving premium beef steak that ranges from your common Australian beef to Wagyu to Black Angus to chilled Master Kobe, which are all grilled over a charcoal fuelled open flame grill. Apart from the extensive selection of steak cuts and beef grades, Angus House also mixes up a unique signature steak sauce filled with miso flavours to give their steaks the Japanese twist; it was savoury, sweet, earthy and creamy with a dash of twang. We have actually walked by this restaurant on a few occasions, but the prices seem to be not so attractive at a glance at this economic condition. Not until this time when we set down and slowly scrutinize the items and their prices. The prices are steep, but the Dinner sets were quite worth the while as it comes with appetisers, soup, salad and dessert apart from the main course. The order of the night was 4 tenderloins, 1 sirloin and 1 salmon steak, the meal came up to well over RM1,000.00 with government tax and service charge and 2 glasses of beer and some juices. The steaks were cut and trimmed a-la-minute to the desired weight, there is a choice of 150gm, 200gm, 250gm and 300gm for the steaks. The steaks were very minimally seasoned with something flaky that look like salt prior going to the grill designed to sear and seal in the juices of our choice cuts and infuse a light but distinctive smoky flavour within the meat. Every accompaniment that came with Dinner sets are similar, except that we got to change our soup from the day’s pumpkin soup to minestrone, which they took a longer time to serve up cause it was supposed to be on the a la carte list. The bread, appetizer and dessert stood out apart from the juicy, tender mains. I liked the home-made bread roll because it was thoroughly warmed through and was crisp on the surface and fluffy soft inside. It was good by itself, but a touch of chilled butter gave it an extra savoury flavour with a hint of rich dairy taste. Soup was not much of an excitement, it was average on taste but my siblings liked the pumpkin soup for its smooth texture and sweet taste. The minestrone soup I had was light with lots of fresh and neatly diced garden vegetables that gave it some bite or otherwise it would have been too mediocre.

The appetizer served the night was grilled chicken cutlet on potato mash and sliced Japanese cucumbers dressed in thick sweet sauce and mayo. It was appetizing and well paired; the flavours were earthy, sweet, rich, and smoky with some freshness set in the cucumber slices.

For me, I had the tenderloin which was quite satisfying though not the best; not only did the chef prepared the steak according to my order preference of medium cooked, even the side vegetables were tender and naturally sweet.  The steak was well charred, grilled to the preferred tenderness and properly rested to lock in the meat juices. The fresh arugula, blenched potato, carrots and green beans made good as side vegetables, they lend some extra sweetness and moisture plus texture to each slice of meat. The Japanese influence steak sauce was unique with savoury, nutty, earthy and tangy flavours which did not outshine the meaty tastes, in fact it brought out another dimension of experience beef steak dining.  Even the knob of butter and slice of lime is not to be looked at lightly, as they smoothen and combines the existing flavours found on the dish.  

The sirloin steak on the other hand that Gill had was not as satisfying as it should have been, reason being that it was ordered medium-welled. The common experience faced by us usually is that the steaks we have ordered usually turn up bloodied when we ask for medium cooked, and Gill does not like the unsightly red and distasteful irony taste juices that ooze out. The experience at ANGUS House Japanese Charcoal Steak is that we can just stick to medium. The sirloin steak that she had was coarse in texture and lacking in flavours.

The dessert served was small piece chilled cake which was well received by all; they were not too sweet nor too rich; just nice to close the curtain for a hearty dinner meal with a sweet note.

On average, our overall experience:

Taste
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
Texture
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
Service
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
Cleanliness
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
Atmosphere
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
Price
  • $$$ to $$$$ per person.
Portion
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
Value
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
Consistency
  • N/A
 
Gurney Paragon (Penang) Outlet
Address: 163D-2-01, Level 2, Gurney Paragon Mall, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Pulau Penang.
Tel: 042292780/1 Fax 042292786
 
Publika Shopping Gallery (Kuala Lumpur) Outlet
Address: Lot 4 & 5, Level G2, Publika Shopping Gallery, No. 1, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas,50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-6205 3915/6 Fax: 03-6206 1913
 
Starhill Gallery (Kuala Lumpur) Outlet
Address: F8-11, Explore (Orange) Floor,181, Jalan Bukit Bintang,55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2145 6015/6
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Stone Bay Restaurant At Jelutong Expressway

Posted by Jason Wong On March - 3 - 20142 COMMENTS

Heard and seen much of it, but didn’t really thought of dining in Stone Bay Restaurant. This dining experience would be the first and most probably the last, unless I’m forced to attend events or function held there. Gill and I usually avoid restaurants that have menus that do not have price indications; it is a hassle to ask for the price of every dish.

The occasion for the virgin visit to Stone Bay was an impromptu family gathering of sorts on the 16th of February 2014, Amos and Wendy were visiting from Hong Kong. Prior to choosing Stone Bay, we tried our luck with 2 other more presentable restaurants in terms of food, service and ambience, Ming Garden and CRC, but they were all fully booked for weddings. If it were up to me, I would rather go to Sungai Pinang Food Court rather bring guests to dine in a place that we have not personally tried before. Very dangerous!

Gill and I were not holding the menu and it was not polite to grab them from our elders. We did not know what we were having until the dishes were served to the table. Nothing fancy, just a normal dinner with rice and dishes, but what came later was a shocker.

Hot Platter Item (Four Season Platter, RM200.00), it was a simple platter with 4 individually different small dishes representing the four seasons. Don’t really know which item represents which season as we were not “introduced” formally. Out of the 4 dishes 3 were above average, they are (clockwise from top right) the stir fried cuttlefish if I am not mistaken, stuffed bean curd skin rolls, and some fish paste thingy. The stir fried cuttlefish was savoury sweet and a bit of bite and texture. The stuffed bean curd skins were sweet and smoky with a light and juicy stuffing. The fish paste thing was firm and tender with a meaty sweet flavour.

Chicken Item (Poach Chicken with wine and goji berry or wolf-berry, RM60.00), the small size bird was firm to slightly under hard in texture with little essence or taste of chicken. The sweet taste of the Chinese wine was overwhelming the other flavours of the dish, especially the sweet taste of the chicken itself, but not too much. It was just an average chicken dish.

Pork Item (Boneless Spare Ribs with Grapes, RM40.00), the sliced pork meat from the spare rib region were stir fried with grape juice and pieces of cut grape. Although a sweet dish, it also has a savoury and meaty side that made it one of the better dishes of the night. The meat slices were firm with a bit of bite and crispness.

Tofu Item (Black Tofu with Enoki Mushrooms, RM30.00), the blacken tofu was fried then served with a heap of crisp deep fried Enoki mushrooms and a savoury sauce. The tofu’s texture was slightly grainy, not as smooth that I thought it would be but the slight crisp surface gave the tofu pieces some contrasting texture. The flavours were simple and straightforward; nutty, earthy with some sweetness and umami taste of the sauce.

Special Item (Mushrooms with Abalone, RM350.00), braised mushrooms and abalone slices served with blanched broccoli. To me the dish tasted like the usual mushroom dish one would get during wedding banquets or those package dinner menus, the gravy had a light sweet caramel taste with a savoury umami flavour. Though the mushrooms were plump and tender but lacking in flavour and have excess water in them. The same goes for the broccoli pieces which too were not properly drained but were nicely cooked.  As for the abalone slices, I was told that it was not tasty either, it lacked that abalone flavour.

Vegetable Item (String Beans with Minced Pork & Savoury Pickled Radish, RM30.00), the beans were tender but the pickled radish were well aromatised, thus the dish lacked fragrance and taste.  In addition, there were some instances that I had mouthfuls of black particles that looks like burnt crust which was quite unpleasant.

Vegetable Item (Stir Fried Kailan, RM30.00), the kailan stirred fried and served with prawns, chicken strips and capsicum slices. It was a simple dish with simple flavours, but a whole lot of ingredients. I quite liked the tender and juicy chicken strips and sweet tasting red and yellow capsicum slices. The kailan itself were not fibres nor stringy.

Fish Item (Steamed Fish Teochew Style RM143.00), the grouper variant was steamed with tofu, tomato, sour plum and salted vegetable to give it that distinctive tangy, sweet  and salty, which is one of the best methods to serve fresh and most importantly high price fish stock. But the day’s catch was not as pleasing as we thought, the fish was fishy, a sign that the fish was not fresh, and the meat not sweet. To make things bland, the steaming ingredients had not developed their flavours. I guess that is why the captain suggested that the fish to be steamed with their garlic recipe.

 

Other than for being not pleased of some of the dishes we had, the service rendered was also found to be mediocre. The first sign of discomfort was that we were reminded 2 to 3 times that we are to spend at least RM350 for the room that we hurriedly booked. It is perfectly correct to impose a minimum spending because VIP rooms are scarce and need more attention from the waiting crew and other general expenses, but in front of other guests! The nights’ expenditure was well over RM1, 000.00 including tax and service charge. Can I ask to use the VIP room for another occasion without a minimum spending?! Then, there was the service provided by the more senior staffs, not professionally executed and lack tactfulness; for example at the end of the dinner we were not even asked of our intention to have dessert. May be I should not blame them because there was a wedding on the second floor and an almost full open dining hall on the ground floor! But I don’t think that we will be walking into their restaurant anytime soon.

On average, our overall experience:

Taste
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
Texture
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
Service
  • 2.5/5 (Borderline)
Cleanliness
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
Atmosphere
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
Price
  • $$$ (Total spending was RM1,037.85 for 12 adults & 1 child below 4 years old)
Portion
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
Value
  • 2.5/5 (Borderline)
Consistency
  • N/A

Address: 12, Tingkat Satu, Fortune Park, Jalan Perusahaan Jelutong 2, 11600 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Tel: +60 4-288 8888

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7 Wonders of Pizza Promotion By Italiannies

Posted by Jason Wong On October - 16 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

It was in June 2013 that we first cross path with Italiannies in Gurney Paragon when we were invited to sample their “Festa della Pasta Promotion“, this time round our paths meet again for their “7 Wonder of Pizza Promotion”.  Available for a limited time, until 31st October 2013 the end of the year (2013),  the pizza promotion aims at introducing 7 new varieties of unique pizzas that is said to give foodies, especially pizza fans, an opportunity to try  and taste some interesting and uncommon pizza topping combinations and flavours.

The 7 Wonders of Pizza promotion hopes to excite pizza lovers nationwide by introducing the new and exciting Specialty pizzas, variety is the spice of life. The new pizza dishes feature rich toppings harmoniously prepared together with other fresh ingredients on Italiannies’ traditional artisan thin pizza crust. “It is with effort and strive, Italianies hopes to be food lovers’ choice place for the best pizza in town,” said Andrea Rossi, Regional Manager for Italiannies.

Throughout the promotion period, Italiannies will also be offering one of a classic Italian dessert, Panna Cotta, and Mountain Dew Pitch Black with citrus grape flavour, to complement this pizza extravaganza. Customers will receive a complimentary glass of Mountain Dew Pitch Black with any order of the 7 Wonder pizzas, after which you could purchase a second glass bottomless at RM5++.

Seafood Pesto Pizza (RM39.90), Cajun spiced prawns with a pesto base topped with tomatoes, chopped yellow and red capsicum, mozzarella cheese and arugula. It’s crust had a nice fluffy yet crisp texture and the topping had a hint of tingling spiciness, but the prawns were slightly over salty for our liking.
Sicilian Pizza (RM24.90), Romaine lettuce with Sicilian dressing topped with grilled chicken, anchovies and Parmesan cheese. The crust was fragrant and crisp. The saltiness of the anchovies and creaminess from the alfredo sauce were well balanced with the juicy, light and refreshing Romaine lettuce. And ending with an inkling of spiciness from the garlic. It was one of our two favourites.Spicy Smoked Duck Pizza with Buffalo Mozzarella (RM39.90), sliced smoked duck breast, Buffalo Mozzarella cheese, fresh red chillies/chilli padi, arugula and Pomodoro sauce. The second out of our two favourites, the chilli padi (birds eye chilli) though delivers a punch but is not too hot, with the nutty (pine nut like) and bittersweet taste of arugula compliments well with the tangy Pomodoro or tomato sauce.Barbeque Smoked Duck Pizza (RM35.90), smoked duck breast with a barbeque base topped with peaches, onions, chilli flakes, mozzarella cheese and arugula. It had very Asian flavours, heat and mustard taste, but the sweetness of the peaches cuts through the smokiness of the smoked duck.Roasted Chicken with Hot Sauce Pizza (RM39.90), shredded roasted chicken with hot sauce, marinated black beans, tomatoes, arugula and topped with Buffalo Mozzarella cheese. It has Mediterranean influences flavours; earthy creamy beans, smoky chicken and spicy hot sauce to combine the flavours with arugula for the hint of bittersweetness and Mozzarella for a lighter touch of taste.Baby Shrimps Pizza (RM34.90), sauteed baby shrimps, arugula and lemon wedges. With only salt and pepper, the baby shrimps were sautéed to al-dente texture. The arugula and lemon wedges add additional flavour to the otherwise light tasting pizza, the lemony tartness penetrates through the hints of fishiness and bittersweet and nutty arugula adds a layer of flavour.Roman Vegetarian Pizza (RM31.90), fresh spinach, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, fresh garlic topped with Mozzarella cheese with Alfredo sauce base. Though light in taste, it was not a boring piece. It had unique layers of texture with earthy, salty, tangy and sweet flavours held up with the creamy Alfredo base.

 
Participating outlets:
• The Curve, Mutiara Damansara
• The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City
• Empire Shopping Gallery, Subang Jaya
• Paradigm Mall, Petaling Jaya
• Gurney Paragon, Penang

For more information, please visit www.italiannies.com.my.

Our overall experience:
Taste
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • We especially like the Sicilian  Pizza and Spicy Smoked Duck Pizza.
  • The pizza crust was fragrant and different, I guess it was the semolina.
  • Baby Shrimp Pizza was not as attractive as the other six were to us, two . 
Texture
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • The pizza crust had good texture, crisp and not hard nor dry.
Service
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • This time round their staff were basically more attentive.
Cleanliness
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • The dining area was neat and clean.
Atmosphere
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • Cosy and homely with alfresco seatings.
Price
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
  • The pasta prices are more or less on the average with other Italian or specialty pasta restaurants.
Portion
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • Portion wise is that the toppings were generous, and the pizza size is most suitable for 2 person sharing with some additional side orders to perk up the meal..
Value
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • Good quality toppings, we especially like the arugula on all the varieties, smoked duck breast and roasted chicken.
Consistency
  • N/A.
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The Cronut™ is a croissant-doughnut pastry developed by chef Dominique Ansel for Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City, and in May 2013 the bakery trademarked the name. It is best described as a cross between the two, “Half Croissant, Half Doughnut” which is not made by simply frying croissant dough, but a type of laminated dough using a proprietary recipe that took chef Dominique Ansel two months and 10 recipes to create.

Cronuts are first proofed and then fried in grapeseed oil at a specific temperature. Once the cronuts are ready or served, do consume them immediately as they have a short shelf life. And if you intend to share, remember slice or cut them with a serrated knife, so as not to crush the fluffy and flaky layers of pastry. Refrigeration is not recommended as the humidity from the refrigerator will cause the pastry to go stale and soggy. It is best enjoyed at room temperature, but not warmed as it has a cream filling.

Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is bringing the Cronut™ craze to Penang at their Rasa Deli situated in the Garden Wing of the resort with their very own version or interpretation, Croinut. Their Croinut comes in flavours that include a combination of fruits, tart, rich and creamy tastes. At current, they have successfully created six (6) of their own flavours, which include Toffee Orange, Lemon Raspberry, Chocolate Brownie, Apple Crumble, Nutella Banana and Vanilla Oreo.

Toffee Orange croinut is combination of sticky toffee and citrusy tart orange topped croinut to that delivers sweet buttery flavour and a balanced tangy taste.

Toffe Orange Croinut

Lemon Raspberry croinut is covered with a crisp sweet sugar icing and flavoured with lemon and topped off with chunky bits of raspberries. It accentuates a sweet, lemony and fruity taste.

Lemon Raspberry Croinut

Nutella Banana croinut combines the rich nutty flavour in Nutella and the rich and creamy sweet taste found bananas to deliver an east meets tropics affair.

Nutella Banana Croinut

Apple Crumble croinut as its name implies, sweet and tangy green smith apple crumble chunks topped the cream filled flaky pastry.

Apple Crumble Croinut

Chocolate Brownie croinut, a simple combination that plays a straight hand of just the sweet and dark  chocolaty flavour and rich creamy taste set forth by the cream fillings.

Chocolate Brownie Croinut

Vanilla Oreo croinut plays with the texture of flaky tender soft texture of the croinut and the firm and crunchy mouth feel of Oreo™ cookies. Vanilla cream delivers a flowery fragrance to this variety of croinut.

Vanilla Oreo Croinut

Priced at RM10 per piece, the croinuts are made fresh daily to preserve the tender soft flaky texture. And due to the complexity of preparation, only 100 pieces of it is made available daily from 3pm to 4pm at their Rasa Deli located in Rasa Sayang’s Rasa Wing.

Hope over and try them while they are still “hot”!

Rasa Deli @ Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Garden Wing
Batu Ferringgi, 11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Business Hours:  11:00 am to 6.30 pm daily.
Tel No.:  04- 888 8788.
 
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Early September, we received a packaged sent through courier service from Guan Heong Biscuit, a biscuit shop in Ipoh Perak that was established in 1918 by the Mr. Sitt Kun Shan. After being first approached by their 4th generation proprietor in waiting in mid-August to sample and write about their traditional and hand-made signature biscuits and their Hokkien and Teochew mooncakes, we were eager to experience them especially after knowing that they are 5 years shy of being a century old and still being run by the descendants of Sitt Kun Shan. Part of our conservation work is to encourage the younger generations to inherit and carry on the various trades that made up the heritage and culture of what Malaysia was built on.

Mr. Sitt Kun Shan, who was born and brought up in a baker’s family from Zhen Jiang, China, came to Malaya during the third wave of mass human migration in the early 19th century from China, where there was turmoil and displacement. Leaving behind the land he once calls home, he made his way to Malaya (now Malaysia) during an era of economic boom due to tin mining. And in 1918, Sitt Kun Shan established Guan Heong, the first bakery shop in Ipoh New Town. The name Guan Heong roughly translates to “original flavours” from Hokkien, to serve original and high quality tasting pastry to customers. And it is this philosophy that guides this age old Chinese bakery business until the present day to continue present fresh pastry using high quality ingredients, no artificial flavouring and most importantly hand-made. Currently, Guan Heong is being manned by its third generation proprietor, Sitt Hock Lye who inherited it from Sitt You Zhu.

Guan Heong produces and sells Heong Pheah, Pong Pheah, Salted Tau Sar Pheah, peanut candy, sweet sesame crispies, sweet rice crispies, Lo Poh Peang (wedding biscuits) and mooncakes amongst many. Their traditional Hokkien and Teochew mooncakes were once featured by the The Star newspaper back in the year 2007. But through the efforts of its current third generation proprietor, Sitt Hock Lye with his better half further diversify their product range by including Meat Floss Biscuit, Dried Meat Biscuit, pineapple rolls and nutty cookies some 10 year ago (2003), which have further further carved out a name for Guan Heong in and around Ipoh.

Their signature biscuit series include  the Floss with Lotus Paste, Floss with Lotus Pastes and Salted Egg and Dried Pork a.k.a Bakkwa, which shares a similar pastry base that is layered, puffed and flaky. If the biscuits were to be warmed up in a preheated oven for at least 7.5 minutes it would have crisp texture. The oven should be fired up to 170 degrees C for 5 minutes, before loading the biscuits in it with the power (heater) off for 7.5 to 10 minutes. As for the fillings, each individual variation has their own distinctive flavour profile on top of the sweet and savoury taste combination, and Guan Heong are not stingy on the generosity of the fillings. They run out of stock easily, so to avoid disappointment call to book them for pick-up or have them delivered to your doorstep, minimum order 6 boxes with a postal charge of RM 12.60 (depending on prevailing rates).

Floss with Lotus Paste biscuit, filled to brim with savoury sweet meat floss and fragrant lotus paste that balances in terms of sweetness and savouriness. 

Floss with Lotus Pastes and Salted Egg biscuit, filled with “pandan” scented earthy lotus paste, meaty sweet floss and rich and creamy sandy salted duck egg yolk. The egg yolk delivers a rich and exotic taste into the biscuit.

Bak Kua (Chinese pork jerky slices) biscuit, sweet and smoky slices of pork jerky with a hint of meatiness plastered with conventional lotus paste and encased in a crisp and earthy pastry.

Apart from their signature biscuits, we were also introduced to their traditional Hokkien and Teochew mooncakes which are available not only during the mid-autumn festivities but all year round, however pre-ordering is required. Their Hokkien Mooncake has a crusty pastry topped with sesame seeds and filled with winter melon, melon seeds, nuts, dried orange peel, fried shallots and flavoured with Chinese five spice. It was sweet and tangy with a hint of nuttiness, but at the same time with a bit savouriness from the five spice.

Teochew Mooncake on the other hand has a puffy and layered pastry filled with the similar ingredients as of the Hokkien mooncake except there is no Chinese Five Spice. Contributing the savouriness into the Teochew mooncake is the ‘Mui Choy’ (Chinese preserved salted vegetable). It is sweet and savoury with a sticky filling inside, and fragrant and flaky outside.

Both the Hokkien and Teochew mooncakes require an acquired taste by some extend to really enjoy the flavours and texture of the two, but the flavours grow with every bite. For those who are less adventurous, you could try their more common mooncakes which are available for mid-autumn festival. One of these mooncakes is the Shanghainese Mooncake with a reduced sweetness to meet the health-conscious trend, the mooncakes stands out because the pastry case is crumbly like that of a soft crust pineapple tart, and less greasy as compared to the usual mooncake pastry. The fillings inside include sweet earthy lotus paste, nutty melon seeds and rich and salty fragrant salted duck egg yolk.

Other than these exotic mooncakes, Guan Heong also makes and bakes classic flavoured mooncakes like lotus paste, mixed nuts, red bean, etc.  This year, they have developed some new varieties for this year’s mid-autumn (Mooncake) festival, which includes Bak Kua with lotus, red dates, etc.

To avoid disappointment, visit them early or call them to book your favourite mooncakes before they run out of stock for this season as they are all manually hand-made to preserve their pastry making traditions. Guan Heong caters to postal deliveries to place all over Peninsular Malaysia, we had ours delivered to our doorstep well packaged to ensure no contamination of sorts.

 

Guan Heong Biscuit Shop
No.160, Jalan Sultan Iskandar (Hugh Low Street)
30000 Ipoh, Perak
Tel: 05-241 2399 / 016-535 6990 / 017-573 6277
GPS: N4 35.601 E101 05.026
Business hours: Mondays to Saturdays 9am to 7pm & Sundays 9.30am to 3pm
 
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