Gourmet Garden

Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'


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)


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.


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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