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Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'

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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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Louis Cafe a Place To Consider for Valentines

Posted by Jason Wong On February - 13 - 20096 COMMENTS

jw138550Last Sunday we were invited to Louis Cafe for a review, and week after we visited that place again to give them the photos that I took for the day and was requested by the propreitor during the event.

From this visit, we got to know that they are all geared up for tomorrows Valentines celebration.

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We also heard that they have received quite a number of bookings for tomorrow’s event, and they are prepared to extend their kitchen closing time to cater to the celebrating couples who are out of luck to find a place that can satisfy the gastronomic needs on this romantic occassion. Other than offering good food tomorrow, they have also prepared some flowers, heart shape cakes and special liquor for those who need that last minute BOOSTER to CATCH that lady or man of their heart.

As a food blogger, we are glad to hear that our concentrated efforts to introduce places that can provide good tasting food have paid off as there were numerous enquiries about the place and food served after we published our posting about this place. We wish them all the best and we hope that they keep up the standard that they serve us with last Sunday. And we have to keep our “Penang Foodies Power” goes on and on… XD

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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




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

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


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

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

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

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

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