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Specialty Shops | Gourmet Garden

Gourmet Garden

Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'

Specialty Shops

F&B outlets that specialised in certain niche markets or cuisines. e.g. healthy food, organic food, herbal foods, tonics, exotic dishes, etc.

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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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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We aren’t dessert persons, especially those that are over sweet and have a monotonous taste which do not excite our palates. So, when we were invited by Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa to sample their new pastry chef’s, Chef Dino Wan, cheesecakes,  we were quite foreign to him.  From the press release and interview, he has made quite a name for himself in the pastry and dessert industry. Chef Dino has won a string of awards, a silver medal in 1989 and gold medals in 1991, 1993 and 1995 in his forays in the Penang International Salon Gastronomique organised by Chefs Association of Malaysia, Penang Chapter. His international award includes a bronze medal in 1996 at the International Food & Hospitality Show (IFHS) in Thailand. Chef Dino will be heading Rasa Sayang’s pastry kitchen to churn out more exciting desserts for their F&B outlets.

Starting from July Rasa Sayang will be pushing out their new cheese cake sextet; Signature Cheese Cake, Butterscotch Mascarpone Cheese Cake, Marble Cheese Cake, Coconut Pandan Cheese Cake Green Tea Cheese Cake and Red Velvet Cheese Cake.

Our most preferred variety was Chef Dino’s Signature Cheese Cake, a non-baked cheesecake made with yogurt and cheese that results in a lighter richness and a smoother texture. The base was made from a mixture of cream crackers and digestive biscuits that gave it a fluffier texture that absorbs much moisture.

Butterscotch Mascarpone Cheese Cake,  made from a balance mix of Mascarpone, cream cheese and butterscotch for that subtle creaminess and un-overpowering buttery sweet caramel taste.

Marble Cheese Cake, made by combining cream, Philadelphia cream cheese and chocolate with gelatine to produce a firm yet tender springy texture. The rich dairy taste is balanced off with the tartness of fresh strawberry and a cup of good quality dark coffee minus sugar.

Coconut Pandan Cheese Cake is made with a dash of Asian flavours, coconut milk (santan), screwpine leaf (daun pandan) extract  and cream cheese. The result is a cheesecake with the savoury taste of coconut and richness of the cheese with the refreshing fragrance of the screwpine leaf. The taste profile is reminiscent to the local Nyonya Kuih Bengka, a sweet cake made from sweet potato, coconut milk and screwpine leaves.

Another Asian influenced cake is Chef Dino’s Green Tea Cheese Cake, made with real green tea powder, cream cheese  and constructed with gelatine for that sandy and supple pudding texture. The cake has a sweet and subtle green tea flavour which is light on the tongue.

Last but not least was his Red Velvet Cheese Cake creation, a combination of cream cheese, red dye and a cocoa powder and Oreo cookie base. It had a light, fluffy and velvety  cheese filling supported by the sweet dark flavour of cocoa and the bittersweet tasting Oreos crust. Neither too sweet nor too rich for the taste buds.

These cheesecakes are sold by per 1 kg cake starting from RM80+ at the hotel’s Rasa Deli situated in the Garden Wing of Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa.  The cakes are made to order to lock in the freshness, therefore it requires a 48-hours pre-order time before pick-up.

The Rasa Deli offers enchanting treats for kids and young-at-heart adults, product range from fresh baked artisan bread, hearty yet healthy sandwiches, dainty petit fours, pralines, rainbow-coloured macaroons, tempting cakes, eclairs, muffins and generous-sized cookies. And now with the addition of house made cheesecakes serve by friendly and helpful deli staffs.

Rasa Deli (at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Garden Wing)

Business Hours:  11:00 am to 6.30 pm daily.

Tel No.:  04- 888 8788.

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Hui Lau Shan (許留山) may be foreign to many here in Penang but it is not the case in Hong Kong. Hui Lau Shan was established in the early 1960’s as an herbal tea specialty shop that emphasizes on the originality and healthiness of their products. Armed with a continuous R&D initiative, they managed to reinvent Hui Lau Shan and assert its legacy and status as Hong Kong’s Fresh Fruit Dessert Pioneer in 1992 with its rolling out of its mango sago dessert without leaving their heritage behind.

We were recently asked to attend a media event at Hui Lau Shan’s fifth outlet in Malaysia since May 2012. As we were going in blind not knowing what to expect in their Gurney Plaza outlet, we had checked around for comments of the concept, product and quality to at least we know what we were getting into.

Hui Lau Shan’s specialty is in mango base and fruit desserts, but they are also well established for their Supreme Coconut Stewed Bird’s Nest with Harsmar, Ganoderma Herbal Jelly and savoury snacks that they have also brought in from Hong Kong with a bit tweaking to compliment Malaysian taste preference.

As mango is the key ingredient for a majority of their desserts, thus the quality of the mangoes will ultimately determine the taste and texture of the final products that they sell or present at their outlets. Therefore, in order ensure quality they have made it a point to import the Philippine mangoes and Thai mangoes, which is an uphill task as Malaysia is also a Mango producing country, by air freight on a regular basis to ensure that the mangoes are always fresh and ripe.

The Philippine mangoes have a strong fragrance, minor sweetness and medium tanginess with a fresher orangey appearance, Thai mangoes on the other hand is used for its predominantly sweet properties that have a mallow orange appearance and also as a contingency ingredient if there is any shortage of Philippine mangoes. The usual chemistry of Philippine and Thai mangoes are 80:20 for the optimum appearance, aromatic and sweetness. With that said, the colour and taste of their mango purée and juices are naturally formed without the use of additional artificial colourings and sugar. Mango toppings are usually from freshly cut Philippine mangoes due to its aromatic and appearance characteristics.

Super Signature Items (四大镇店之宝)

Mango Icy Sweetie Ball (多芒小丸子) @ RM11.90, silky smooth mango purée, firm tender mango cubes, and in-house made textured mango ice-cream served with firm glutinous rice balls. The mango ice cream has a texture of between a sorbet and a normal ice-cream when served with the purée delivers a contrast in mouth feel.

Fresh Mango Mochi (芒果糯米糍) @ RM4.90 for 3 pieces, soft springy mango flavoured mochi dough wrapped within a fresh firm whole Philippine mango cube. Each mochi is covered with crisp and moist desiccated coconut. The mochi is said to be made by hand which the reason for its soft, springy and chewy texture.

Supreme Coconut Stewed Bird’s Nest with Harsmar (燕窝椰皇炖雪蛤) hot / cold @ RM22.90, firm translucent strands of “nutritious” birds nest and harsmar stewed/boiled in savoury, creamy, rich coconut milk. Depending on the temperature it is served, hot or cold, both also have their individual uniqueness. When served hot the coconut milk aroma and sweetness is much more distinctive as compared to the cold version.

Ganoderma Herbal Jelly (灵芝龟苓膏) (hot/cold) @ RM7.90, tender and wobbly textured herbal jelly with a bitter sweet taste. This is one of their pioneering products that have been with Hui Lau Shan since the 1960s. The herbal jelly is recommended to be either taken straight for its unique bitter sweet taste or with sugar syrup to mask the bitter taste but the unique flavour of the jelly itself. Honey would be too strong, and thus masking its true flavours.

Double Delight Sweetie Ball (糖不甩) @ RM4.90 for five (5) pieces, firm and tender glutinous rice balls served with ground fragrant peanuts and sesame seeds sprinkled on top. Again there is a contrast in texture. It is similar to our “Mua Chea” minus the sugar.

Delicacy Snack Series (精选小食系列)

Signature Curry Combo (咖哩什锦) @ RM7.90, sweet juicy radish, fragrant dried bean curds, springy fishballs and tender cuttlefish served with a spiced and mildly hot curry gravy a-la Hong Kong style. The recipe is said to be similar with the one used in Hong Kong except that it is hotter with added chilli to suit the Malaysian “standard” for curries. Using radish instead of potatoes in the curry makes it juicier and naturally sweeter.
Spicy Swiss Sauce Chicken Wings (香辣瑞士鸡翼) @ RM4.90 for 4 pieces, Swiss herbs and spices marinated chicken wings (wing and drummet) braised until tender and filled with flavour. The moist and juicy chicken meat absorbs the spectrum of flavours from its braising fluids and marinates, thus making it savoury, sweet, and slightly spicy with a touch of sweet earthy taste. It would have gone very well with a bowl of steamy white rice!

Rejuvenation Dessert Series (滋润炖品系列)

Fresh Papaya with Harsmar and Coconut Milk (原只木瓜雪蛤膏) @ RM11.90, tender Harsmar in rich and creamy coconut milk served in a halved papaya. A unique combination that works; the savoury taste of the coconut milk balances the sweet taste of the ripen papaya flesh.

Mango Mania Series (招牌多芒系列)

Mango Romance (芒之恋) @ RM12.90 is actually a sampler or beginner’s platter that offers the same taste and experience although in a smaller portions of their  Mango Icy Sweetie Ball (多芒小丸子), Fresh Mango Mochi (芒果糯米糍) and Mango Icy Crystal Jeli (多芒亮晶晶).

Mango Feast (芒果小盛宴) @ RM12.90 is another sampler platter with a different combination of their specialty items. It has Mango Icy Coconut Noodle (多芒捞河), Mango Sweetie Ball (多芒小丸子) and Mango Cream “Cheese” Cake (冻饼). Coconut noodles are generally thin slices of firm, savoury coconut flesh cut to resemble Chinese flat rice noodles.

鲜果拼盘系列 Fruitties Combo Series

Fresh Fruitties Sweetie Ball with Double Juices (鲜果鸳鸯捞丸子) @ RM14.90, freshly extracted juices are ice-blended into a thick smooth icy “soup”  and served with a bowl of fresh fruits. We had the Mango and Water Melon combi which turn out surprisingly quite refreshing. You can choose two juices any of the following to concoct your favourite taste Mango, Coconut, Watermelon, Honeydew Melon, Cantaloupe and Papaya.

Fruitties Jeli Series (鲜果爽饮系列)

This Fruitties Jeli series is the best substitute to the current fad of artificially flavoured and sweeten bubble teas that are filled with black crystal balls. Within this range customers have the choice to mix and match the juices and the available selection of Jeli flavours,Honey, Mango, Pandan or Crystal, according to their preferences. With freshly extracted fruit juice and chewy Jeli, the price ranges from as low as RM6.90 for a regular order to RM8.90 for large ones.

Choice of Double Series (双层滋选系列) 

Last we had a try at their Choice of Double Series @ RM4.90 per set with a choice of one(1) of their famous puddings and a choice of one(1) of the either their signature Mango purée, purple glutinous rice pudding or just plain old fruit cubes. The packaging was sturdy and functional, thus it would be a great idea for takeaway, parties, or even as gifts.

Our overall experience:

Taste
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • Overall the products that we have tested had natural taste and flavours that are consistent with its concept and selling point.
  • Mangoes were fragrant, tangy and sweet.
  • Spicy Swiss Sauce Chicken Wings were succulent and had layers of taste is quite addictive.
  • Signature Curry Combo had a unique flavour especially the radish and curry combination which offered a refreshing experience.
Texture
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • Fruit purée and ice-blends were sufficiently smooth and with adequate texture.
  • Fresh Mango Mochi was soft yet firm with a springy texture.
  • Chicken wings were tender and almost off the bone.
  • Fishballs and cuttlefish were firm and tender with a bit bite.
  • We were not used to its pudding texture although it is quite soft yet sufficiently firm.
  • The glutinous balls (小丸子) were a bit too firm to our personal liking.
Service
  • It was an invited event, thus not rated for fairness.
Cleanliness
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • The dining area was neat and clean.
Atmosphere
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
  • Good place to chit chat but would not be nice to hog the table during peak hours.
Price
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • By looking at the freshness of ingredients, effort placed and health issue, it would be a great substitute for some current not so healthy food fads.
  • Certain items are considered not expensive.
Portion
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
  • Their portions are acceptable and quite satisfying, but we would not mind more.
Value
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • By comparing ingredient freshness, price, portion and personal satisfaction, then it is quite value for money.
  • Certain items are quite a deal.
  • Would like to see more items on the menu, especially in areas of savoury snacks.
Consistency
  •  N/A
 
许留山 Hui Lau Shan Address: Lot 03-68, 170-06-01, Plaza Gurney, Persiaran Gurney, 10250, Penang.
Tel: +604-227 8745. 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/huilaushanmalaysia
Business hours: 10:00am – 10:00pm (Daily)

Outlets in Malaysia:

  • Penang
  1. Gurney Plaza, Penang
  2. Sunway Carnival Mall (Coming soon in October)
  • Selangor & Kuala Lumpur
  1. One Utama
  2. Berjaya Times Square
  3. The Mines Shopping Mall
  4. Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
  5. Cheras Leisure Mall
  • Johor
  1. City Square, Johor (Coming soon in October)
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Poon Choi(盆菜) Home-Cook vs Commercial

Posted by Jason Wong On February - 7 - 20112 COMMENTS

On the second(2nd) day of this Chinese Lunar New Year my sister decided to have “Poon Choi” (盆菜) from Dragon-i for dinner to celebrate the beginning of Spring or lì chūn (立春)。The Dragon-i’s ‘Prosperity Abalone Treasure Pot’ set is priced at RM 388 and RM338 for CIMB Bank customers, and boast to have 16ingredients with an approximate weight of 8.5 pounds or 3.85kg. The ingredients listed in the broacher are Australian premium abalone (10head), Australian sea cucumber, Japanese dried scallop, Japanese dried oyster, premium mushrooms, Pantai Remis fresh sea prawn, fish maw, roast chicken, roast pork belly, Golden Money Bag, yam, black moss, Chinese Cabbage, Tianjin Cabbage, deep-friend bean curd skin and radish.  But bear in mind that they are allowed to substitute or change the ingredients as stated in their marketing literature.

As there were an over whelming demand for treasure pot set, they ran out of pots thus we had to bring our own Japanese claypot which was significantly bigger. For take-away, the stock was packed separately and all the ingredients placed in individual sections and layers.

Once we got back home after driving through the jammed Jalan Batu Ferringghi, we added the stock and reheated the treasure pot. But half way through reheating, a very light burnt smell was coming from the pot. The cabbage leaves that were place at the bottom started to burn from the heat because the leaves have more fibres and less moisture compared to radish and burns easily. Therefore, extra care should be taken when reheating it at home.

The following photos show the layers of ingredients that came in the treasure pot. If I am not mistaken, those stated in their brochures were all present except for the fish maw (花胶筒) and black moss (发菜). Presentation wise it looked like any soupy claypot dish and its taste did not excite our palates nor leave a very lasting impression. The mushrooms and roast pork belly were a size overly big, the sea cucumber had a fishy taste and the abalones were bland, and all ingredients tasted with same flavor, but the soup stock was averagely light and sweet.

Back in 2008 before the market went bonkers with Poon Choi promotions and packages, we had begun researching for the origins and recipes that we could easily adopt or adapt for local ingredients and taste preference. We started with  a recipe that had Hakka influence that required every ingredient that goes in to the pot to be individually prepared and cooked so as  to present layers of flavours and texture when you start consuming the Poon Choi. The preparing process includes a few cooking method, such as steamed, deep fried, pan grilled, poached, braised an so on.

Each layer has their unique flavours. As you eat through the layers and go down to the bottom, you will find layers of pork skin, bean curd skin and radish used to layer the bottom to minimize burning and most importantly to soak up the flavours that have trickled down.

Then in 2010, my in-laws did another version of poon choi that require less tedious work for their Chinese New Year reunion dinner. It had radish, bean curd skin, stewed chicken (feet), roast duck, salted fried prawns, stewed mushrooms, vegetables and canned abalone. It also delivered layers of flavours and texture minus some hard work.

Which version above could really draw your appetite?

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Something New at New Lane, Penang.(Updated)

Posted by Jason Wong On August - 25 - 20108 COMMENTS

It has been quite awhile since we last set foot into the infamous “New Lane” in Penang. Our recent venture bore us 2 new finds, one a “Tang Yuan” road side stall and two a Chee Cheong Fun with its origin from Teluk Intan.

The Tang Yuan stall is said to have been operating for the past 2 years in the coffee shop opposite the from where they are now. They are easy to find, just near the Sunway Hotel exit. Their Tang Yuan is soft and smooth with the texture of “Muar Chee” and their feelings are quite well balance in terms of texture and taste, goes very well with the Tang Yuan dough texture. Will be back to try the other variants of soup and feelings.

My pick or favourite would be the Ginger syrup and Osmanthus Flower(桂花) a.k.a Sweet Olive  syrup. The Osmanthus syrup (shown below) was fragrant and lite, almost like drinking nectar. My Gill like the soy bean soup version cause she is “nuts” person. The white caloured soup was also lite and a hint earthy taste and bean curd skin flavour.

The second find of the night was the Teluk Intan’s(Ansun) famous Chee Cheong Fun. They just started business in the New Lane Cafe just about a month ago and are now working hard to promote the availability of the  “Ansun” chee cheong fun in Penang.

The chee cheong fun are made fresh, thus I had the opportunity to photo-document down the process of making the famous chee cheong fun.

The steaming contraption seen here assists the entrepreneurs to mass manufacture chee cheong fun in matters of minutes. The traditional way is sheet by sheet manually on a piece of cloth and steamed till cooked.

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Super Hot Steamboat 辣妹子(LaMeiZi)

Posted by Jason Wong On June - 2 - 2010ADD COMMENTS

Lameizi has been in operations for the past 3 plus years but we were only introduced to them late last year, and from then they have been one of our hot pot haunts when we feel bored of other food. We are no longer at the age where we can gorge on ‘quantity’ and ‘artificial’ food at the local steamboat buffets that offer a one price eat all you can dining. We now look for places where we can enjoy quality food with less hassle and affordable but not dirt cheap price range.

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We were told that when they started their operations, business was not very good due to the structure of the road flow. But after it has been change to one-way flowing in from Burmah Road, business has been picking up. The place opens from 5:00pm to 5:00am daily, seven days a week. Yes 5am! Not only nasi kandar for late night bites.

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At Lameizi, there are a variety of soup base available to begin your hot pot adventure. I think we have tried almost all of them including their Spicy Hot Pot (麻辣火锅), Duck Soup Hot Pot (老鸭汤锅), Tomyam Hot Pot, Pig Leg Soup Hot Pot(猪手煲), Spicy Beef Hot Pot(水煮牛肉锅), etc. The soup bases are all prepared by the lady boss who uses recipes and ingredients brought by her from Chong Qing in Mainland China. If anyone is game for fiery night with the after burner effect in the morning, ask for extra kick in the spicy base soups that can really burn rubber!

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Condiments are kimited to house made red chili oil, green ground chili, chili padi, raw garlic, soya sauce, vinegar and sesame seed oil. If you are open to try new things, may you like to try their peanut butter dip and fermented bean curd dip. We have yet to try the 2, it will be on our next try list.

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Side dishes or ingredients available are quite wide in variety, ranging from seafood to vegetables to freshly sliced meats. All the ingredients are freshly prepared upon ordering, thus it would take some time before they are served to the table. So do bare with them. A good tip is to look for Ah Hin to recommend the best and fresh items for the day.

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For noodle selection, there is their potato noodles, instant noodles, bee hoon, etc.

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If you are looking for snacks or cooked items, you may like to try their deep fried fish head, deep fried enoki mushroom and deep fried mantis prawns.

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Reviewed in year 2010, June:

Taste 

Texture

3.5/5 (like the soup bases and freshness of ingredients)
Service 3.2/5 (Though majority are foreigners doing the serving, they quite efficient and
Cleanliness 2.8/5 (Down side is the toilet, though not dirty)
Atmosphere 3.2/5 (Good place to gather and talk. There are 3 VIP rooms that can fit 10 each)
Money Value 3.0/5 (must plan your meal properly so as not to over shoot in cost)

 

Reviewed in year 2011, April:

Taste 3.0/5 (Above Average) like the soup bases especially the duck soup, pig trotter soup and spicy soup.
Texture 3.0/5 (Above Average) meats are freshly sliced upon request.
Service 2.5/5 (Average) The good ones or more experience ones have left, leaving behind new recruits.
Cleanliness 2.0/5 (Below Average) The place has a certain smell and the toilets are a bit of discomfort, although they are in the midst of upgrading their dining area.
Atmosphere 3.0/5 (Average) Good place to gather and talk, it gets a bit noisy when there are big crowds. There are 3 VIP rooms that can fit 10 each.
Price 3.0/5 (Middle Range) Ala Carte is where you want order but it would cost more, their sets are quite competitive.
Portion 3.0/5 (Above Acceptable) Would like to see more on the plate if they don’t mind. We are big eaters when it comes to better tasting food.
Value 3.0/5 (Above Average) must plan your meal properly so as not to over shoot in cost.

 

Lameizi Restaurant Sdn. Bhd.

Address: 5, Jalan Nagore, Georgetown, 10050 Penang.

Tel: 04-227 9969

GPS: N05*25’18.9″ E100*19’35.3″

JW018325

 

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