Gourmet Garden

Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'

Halal

Usher in this coming Chinese Lunar New Year 2018 with our HOMEMADE Yee Sang (鱼生). Made from all natural fresh ingredients specially selected to suit the mass taste preference and health needs, and delivered to your doorstep without extra charges.

Fresh Ingredients:
• Choose from either
A. Fresh Norwegian Salmon Belly
B. Roast Duck Slices
C. Poached Chicken Breast Slices
• Real Sea Crab Claw Meat
• Mango
• Pomelo
• Green Apple
• Pickled Papaya
• Shallot
• Coriander/Green Onion
• Lemongrass
• Kaffir Lime Leaf
• Edible Flower
• Kani (Crab Stick Crisps)
• Crushed Toasted Peanut
• Special Tangy Lime & Sweet Plum Sauce.

(A) Fresh Norwegian Salmon Belly
(B) Roast Duck Slices
(C) Poached Chicken Breast

Yee Sang or Yusheng (鱼生) or Prosperity Toss or Lo Hei (撈起) is uniquely Nan-Yang (Malaysia and Singapore) which has its origin from an Old China eating culture brought in by the immigrants during the mass migration of Chinese immigrants from China during the colonial occupation era when both Malaysia and Singapore were still one. It is one of the must have festive dishes during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration. Yee Sang (鱼生) signifies the hope for a better harvest and prosperity for the year to come. If you want a smoothie made with fresh fruits, try using the smoothie blender from VonShef to get the best blend ever. 
Eating raw fish slices dates back before the Qin Dynasty (秦朝) were the main ingredient is the thinly sliced raw fish and some condiments that changes according to the seasons changed. During spring, spring onion sauce is the compliment and during Summer Chinese mustard is paired with the thinly sliced fish meat.

 

Traditionally, a Yee Sang (鱼生) platter should have 7 different coloured ingredients that represents the 7th day of the 1st month of the Chinese Lunar calendar, which is called“renri” (人日) or literally translated to“human day”. On that day, Chinese’s will celebrate the birth of human and thus celebrating everyone’s “birthday”.

Now at current times, the Yee Sang (鱼生) is also being ordered and savoured even before the Chinese Lunar New Year, especially during annual dinners to celebrate the abundance of harvest and mark the end of a year of hard work and good harvest (收工).
So, wait no longer come place your order to celebrate your hard work and make your wish for a greater abundance of harvest for the coming year.

Gourmet Garden wishes you and your family:

GONG XI FA CAI 恭喜发财

TOSS TILL YOUR PROSPEROUS TO COME撈起,撈到风生水起!

Terms & Conditions

  • Free delivery within Penang Island Only.
  • Additional RM15 delivery charges to Bukit Mertajam, Prai & Juru Only.
  • Bulk Purchase (4 box onwards) is entitle a 10% discount on each Yee Shang box.
  • Bulk Purchase is valid for a single delivery address only.
  • Payment by Online Transfer or Bank-in to :

          GIAM KHAI LING

          PUBLIC BANK 6824369119

  • WhatsApp your Receipt together with your Full Name to 012-4052077 OR Email your Receipt together with your Full Name to gourmetgarden.my@gmail.com for order confirmation.
    We will respond to you immediately to double confirm the delivery details.

 

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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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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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Edo Ichi & Friends, A Salon of Artisans

Posted by Jason Wong On November - 4 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

Edo Ichi Japanese Restaurant got its name from the period when Japan was under the rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate, Edo period 江戸時代, from 1603 to 1868. The Edo period was a period characterized with economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, environmental protection policies and the exponential growth in the appreciation for the arts and culture. Edo literally means estuary or bay entrance and is the former name of Tokyo, which is also the seat of power for the Tokugawa shogunate.

Established in the year 2001, twelve years down, with 16 individual restaurants and 5 different brand names, the Edo Ichi group’s success owes much to their insistence on upholding traditional Japanese dining cultures developed since the Edo period, practicing old and new food preparation methods and using fresh and good quality ingredients for their dishes.

Having been involved in the restaurant business that highly emphasizes on the importance of traditional dining cultures and the appreciation of the art of dining, Edo Ichi had in July 2013 through a simple dinner cum media conference at their Island Plaza (Penang) outlet, launched their “Edo Ichi & Friends” campaign to bring together personalities and craftsmen that share the same aspirations and appreciations for culture and arts and innovative thinking. The campaign aims at inviting and bringing in people that still practices ancient traditional craftsmanship, artists, creative thinkers and innovative creators to share and impart their knowledge and experience through various activities and programmes.

The first craftsman to join the campaign or movement was Martin Pauli, a contemporary master in handcrafted watch making from Switzerland. Martin founded Angular Momentum of Switzerland in 1995 with the vision to create and manufacture beautiful handmade timepieces, manufactured under inclusion of old technologies and traditional craft with the premise that no single part is made by CNC machines, not depending to suppliers and all working steps done through his personal hands.

He developed a fundamentally new system of time display, Revolving Disk (RDS), which has successfully replaced the classic watches with three-hands. Martin Pauli’s specialty is in decorating his hand crafted watches with art, age old traditional craft infused with newly developed methods; reverse painting on glass, gilding on glass, engraving on silver, gold, pearl, porcelain, etc. He is a mechanic, artisan, miniaturist, engraver, goldsmith and enamellist.

After the scrumptious Japanese dinner, we had an after-dinner-session over a bottle of warm sake, and here is an abstract from the informal Q&A we had with Edo Ichi’s PR representative founder of La Bibliotheque Du Temps, Mr. T.F. Chong:

Jason: Why did you invite Martin Pauli to join the “Edo Ichi & Friends” campaign?
PR: It was the timing; coincidentally Martin and I are planning to set-up a “Salon Metiers d’Art – La Bibliotheque Du Temps” in Malaysia. It will be a library cum gathering point for watch enthusiasts that will showcase handcrafted watches and a whole load of information and history related to watch making.

Jason: Why did Martin agree to join the campaign or movement?
PR: He shares a similar appreciation and admiration for the meticulous methods of preparation, art and culture behind the Japanese cuisine as that of Edo Ichi’s.

Jason: What will be the form of collaboration between Martin and Edo Ichi?
PR: Martin will allow Edo Ichi to use his images/art work and philosophy in the campaign to cross promote each other’s ideas, concept and aspirations.

Jason: Would these craftsmen and friends impart or share their skills to create new dishes for Edo Ichi?
PR: Depending on the possibilities as not all will be skilled in the culinary arts, but they will be sharing their ideas, concepts, philosophy and work ethics with Edo Ichi to improve in other areas as well.

Jason: Would Edo Ichi create a special dish or menu to introduce and celebrate the joining of new “friends” to the campaign?
PR: May be yes for future collaborations, but definitely not for now as time does not allow us to do so.

Jason: Would Edo Ichi create a Master Class for the public or its loyal customers to attend if the “friends” are from the culinary industry?
PR: It would be a good idea if time permits it.

Here is a glimpse of the dishes that were served to the media representatives that showcased some of Edo Ichi’s hand picked favourites and signatures:

Clockwise from top left corner: Soft Kani Karaage To Shake Kawa Sarada, Sashimi Moriawase (Assorted Raw Fish Platter), Zenzai (Appertizer), Matsuzaka Gyu To Eriingi Butteryaki, and Kinmedai To Yasai Takiawase.

Clockwise from bottom left: Kaki Furai, Kurumaebi Ninniku Yaki, Kinoko Miso Shiru and Momo To Matcha Ice Cream.

 The Dinner Menu

Zenzai (Appertizer)
Hotate Aburiyaki (Seared Fresh Scallop)
Unagi Dashimaki Tamago (Japanese Omelette Stuffed With Grilled Eel)
Shake Mizuna Maki (Salmon Rolled With Japanese Watercress)

Sashimi Moriawase (Assorted Raw Fish Platter)
Mekajiki Toro (Swordfish Belly)
Botan Ebi (Humpback Shrimp)
Kanpachi (Greater Amberjack)
Uni (Sea Urchin)

Sarada
Soft Kani Karaage To Shake Kawa Sarada (Mini Salad Topped With Crispy Soft Shell Crab & Salmon Skin Served With Signature Sesame Dressing)

Age Mono
Kaki Furai (Deep Fried Breaded Oyster Served With Tonkatsu Sauce)

Nimono
Kinmedai To Yasai Takiawase (Braised Splendid Alfonsino Fish & Assorted Vegetables With Soy Sauce)

Yakimono
Matsuzaka Gyu To Eriingi Butteryaki (Panfried A5 Matsuzaka Beef & Apricot Mushroom With Special Garlic Butter Sauce)
Kurumaebi Ninniku Yaki (Grilled Tiger Prawn With Garlic Mayonnaise)

Shirumono
Kinoko Miso Shiru (Bean Paste Soup With Assorted Mushroom)

Dezaato
Momo To Matcha Ice Cream (Japanese Peach & Green Tea Ice Cream)

This interview/article was published in Vouch free magazine in November 2013.
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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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MyKuali, Penang White Curry Noodle and More

Posted by Jason Wong On October - 14 - 20136 COMMENTS

The recent craze and hype for MyKuali’s Penang White Curry Noodles has brought us their headquarter where we were introduced not just to their famous instant noodle but also to their other range of products, ready to cook “Instant Pastes” used for preparing some of Penang’s local favourites like Sambal Seafood, Chicken Curry Kapitan, Chicken Satay, Hainanese Sour & Spicy Fish Curry and even a paste prepare Hainanese Chicken Rice. In addition to the local Penang flavours, MyKuali also has cooking pastes that caters to the Thai flavours with a Thai Chicken/Meat Curry paste and Thai Fish/Seafood Curry paste.

MyKuali is the house brand held by Sky Thomas Food Industries Sdn. Bhd., a subsidiary company to Sky Resources Group. It was formed to diversify its business in the consumer food and beverage industry, where they have found the niche in developing, manufacturing and supplying ready to cook instant cooking paste and instant noodles that represent some of the all time favourite flavours found in Penang and around Asia.

MyKuali’s selection of Penang and Asian Flavoured Instant Pastes are manufactured using natural ingredients, herbs and spices that are blended to optimise satisfaction of the general mass market taste preference and acceptability. Apart from striving to produce near authentic Penang and Asian flavours from natural ingredients, they also strive to provide simplicity in preparing sophisticated Penang and Asian dishes for home cooked meals that not only help saves time spent in the kitchen but also economical in terms of money and cents. And for those who reminiscences the homey tastes and aroma that bellows from their mother’s cooking, it provides some form of relief and comfort with ease. All these have been proven with “The Competition for Traditional Malaysian Ready-To-Cook Paste” organized by Matrade Malaysia Kitchen, where their Chicken/Meat Curry Kapitan paste has been selected as one of the 15 finalists in the ongoing competition.

Other than supplying to the retail market, MyKuali also supports the commercial sector like restaurants, hotels, cafes, caterers and etc with their 1kg commercial packs to maximise the economies of scale for their high-tech equipments acquired for the sole purpose of producing the best quality and consistent products to supply to the ever demanding food and beverage market. To further strengthen their market position, MyKuali has also invested vastly in research and development to produce new products and to enhance the current ranges. Thus, the market would be expecting some new items to be added to its current instant noodle range in the near future. Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodles and Tom Yam Noodles!

MyKuali’s instant noodle range is set apart from the common brands of noodles due to its insistence to include “Natural Paste” ingredients and seasoning. Take for instance their currently famous Penang White Curry Noodles, their first instant noodle product, which a packet of air dried noodle includes soup flavour seasoning, creamer and the most important Penang White Curry noodle chilli oil and paste. They try to replicate the original flavours produced by the famous Penang White Curry Noodle sold at the various hawker stalls in and around Penang, in sachets. It is that special blend of chilli and spices that gives that unique spicy, savoury yet sweet taste to a hot bowl of noodle. And not to forget the heat, it was the heat that got it into the spotlight after it was voted the 7th most spiciest instant noodle for the year 2013 by the “The Ramen Rater” blog. It is a first for a Malaysian made instant noodle product and brand.

MyKuali would be one of the newly minted Penang food and beverage brands that we will be paying attention to. Let’s see if they are able to create the same hype and interest with their other products like what they have achieved with their Penang White Curry Noodle instant noodle, and put Penang in the map for all the good reasons.

*For enquiries and information of places to purchase MyKuali’s products, please go to their Facebook Page or call them at +60 (4) 5022 529. 

The interview/article was published in Vouch free magazine in November 2013.

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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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Buka Puasa (Breaking Fast) At Hard Rock Hotel Penang

Posted by Jason Wong On July - 13 - 2013ADD COMMENTS

Time flies fast when you least expected! Just last year in July we were at Hard Rock Hotel to sample their “Buka Puasa Buffet” and with a blink of an eye we are now tasting their 2013 Ramadhan offerings. Muslims around the world will abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until dusk during the Ramadhan month, and it is also the time when an abundance of traditional Malay cuisine and newly assimilated Halal dishes are on displays in daily street markets, restaurant and hotels.

This year, Hard Rock Hotel Penang has come up a few interesting specials to celebrate the holy month of Ramadhan:

  1. The Relax & Feast Package – RM399++ per room per night for 2 pax, inclusive of breakfast and dinner.
  2. The Early Bird Mini Breakfast Buffet – breakfast buffet served from 4:30 am to 5:30 am RM25++ per adult and  RM12.59 per child (4 to 12 years of age).
  3. The Bintang Rock Dinner Buffet – Rm68++ per adult and RM34++ per child, available from 6:30 pm onwards.
  4. The Rock Platter by Hard Rock Cafe Penang – RM120++ per platter for 2 persons, available from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm.

To our surprise, the Bintang Rock Dinner Buffet had a very Malay cuisine theme spread of dishes that impress us at first sight. It is filled with a variety of traditional and new Malay dishes that are very representative of the Malay culture food heritage, but there are some signature dishes that stands out as their specialty and should not be missed. The only down side of the buffet menu is that these signature dishes are distributed into 3 menus that will be rotated weekly (please refer to the menu available at the end of this article).

  1. Bubur Lambuk or Lambut / Soft Rice Congee,
  2. Udang Masak Hijau Putik Pisang / Green Curry Prawns with Young Banana,
  3. Daging Masak Kicap / Spiced Soy Beef,
  4. Ketam Masak Kicap / Braised Blue Crab in Turmeric, Coconut and Pineapple,
  5. Pari Assam Pedas / Hot & Sour Stingray with Chili, Okra & Eggplant,
  6. Assam Laksa Johor / Johor Tamarind (sour) Laksa,
  7. Laksa Penang / Penang Assam Laksa,
  8. Sambal Tumis Udang & Petai / Sauteed Prawn with Sambal and Parkia Speciosa Beans,
  9. Gulai Kambing Serai / Lemongrass Mutton Curry,
  10. Gulai Ayam / Curry Chicken,
  11. Ayam Percik / Grilled Chicken with Spicy Sauce.

To begin the buffet spread, there are a variety of Ulam (Malay raw salads) and Kerabu (cooked salads), Rojak (fruit salad) and the common mixed vegetable section.

Going on to the main courses, it is a composition of Malay dishes ranging from Gulai (curries), Rendang (thick curries) to Satay, and a variety of Chinese and other Asian dishes that have been assimilated to suit the needs to be Halal.

There are also live action stations that are setup to provide local favourites like Roti Canai (Roti Pratha), Laksa, Mee Udang (Spicy Prawn Noodles) and more.

After the mains, desserts are definitely on the buffet line; it is a fusion of Malay kuih (sweet cakes), ice-kacang (shaved ice), bubur manis (sweet porridge) and some western cakes and puddings.

Compare to previous year’s Ramadhan themed buffet spread, I would say this Bintang Rock Buffet is more representative of the Malay food culture and eating habits. Some of our favourites from the Bintang Rock Buffet week 1 menu are:

  1. Bubur Lambuk or Lambut – soft texture with a balanced sweet savoury taste.
  2. Beef Rendang – rich and spicy with not a lot of heat and the meat tender.
  3. Serunding (meat floss) – sweet tasting with a slight spicy aftertaste.

Bubur Lambuk or Lambut

Beef Rendang

Serunding (meat floss)

Overall experience for Starz Diner’s Bintang Rock Buffet week 1 menu:

Taste
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • There were some interesting flavours in play in some of the dishes on the buffet line, but there were some that were slightly over seasoned with salt.
  • Our personal favourites for week 1 were the Bubur Lambuk, Beef Rendang, Udang Masak Hijau Putik Pisang and Pear Almond Tart.
Texture
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
  • Any food left on the bain-marie over a period of time would ultimately overcook the meat or vegetables. The tip is to have them fresh.
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 and bright dining area.
Price
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • It is comparatively similar to the buffets being offered elsewhere.
Portion
  • N/A as it is a dinner buffet.
Value
  • N/A as it is a dinner buffet but we would like to see in the future a further expansion on the main course diversity if possible.
Consistency
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • By comparing to the previous year’s Ramadhan buffet line up, there is a mark improvement in the variety of dishes that are representative to the Malay food culture and eating habits.

Moving to Hard Rock Cafe’s Rock Platter 2013 for 2 persons, this festive puasa season sees them creating again a limited time platter combination that is hearty and flavourful. Apart from offering the cafe’s favourites like onion rings, potato skins, Santa Fe Spring Rolls, Hickory-smoked Bar-B-Que Beef Ribs, Mini Apple Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream and Mini Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream, this year’s platter have included more Malay influenced dishes like Mini Rendang Pulled Chicken Sandwich, Red Cooked Chicken, Mini Pulled Lamb Sandwich and Chicken Rendang.

 Overall experience for Hard Rock Cafe’s Rock Platter menu A:

Taste
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • Our personal favourites from Rock Platter A were the Grilled Mini Beef Quesadilla, Red Cooked Chicken and Hickory-Smoked Bar-B-Que Chicken.
Texture
  • 3.5/5 (Average Good)
  • The chicken was tender and flavourful.
  • The beef was medium-well with still some pink in them.
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 and bright dining area.
Price
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
  • It is more or less on the dear side, but it is dining in the famous Hard Rock Cafe.
Portion
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • Although the platter is meant for 2 people, it could feed up 3 averagely hungry mouths.
Value
  • N/A as it is a dinner buffet but we would like to see in the future a further expansion on the main course diversity if possible.
Consistency
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • Comparing to the previous year’s Puasa month Eat’s Platter, it has increased the representation of Malay influenced dishes in the food platter composition. And is nearer to the Ramadhan month’s theme.

The above mentioned offers are from now until the 6th, 7th and 9th of August 2013 respectively. For details or reservations, please call Hard Rock Hotel Penang at +604-8811711 or email them at info.penang@hardrockhotels.net .

<<Bintang Rock Dinner Buffet Menus>>

 

 

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