Gourmet Garden

Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'

Gurney Drive

Weekend Sausage Sizzle By G Pool Bar At G Hotel Penang

Posted by Jason Wong On April - 7 - 20143 COMMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

G Hotel
Address: 168A Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Penang
Grilling hours starts from 12pm till 6pm.
 
* Thanks to the gracious invitation by G Hotel and appreciate the company and explanation given by their Marcom and F&B staffs.
 
Share

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
Share

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.
Share

–Please proceed to bottom for updates–

“A’more di merrier” is Italiannies’ shared presentation menu concept, great food and good times are meant to be shared amongst the company of family and friends. Their dishes are designed for sharing, and their large portions allows you to sample many different tastes while enjoying the family style dining of Italy.

Boast for serving authentic Italian dishes with great complementing wines, Italiannies is at this moment introducing eight new pasta dishes in its ‘Festa della Pasta’ promotion. The new pasta dishes provide local pasta lovers the chance to savour a selection of authentic pasta recipes originating from the various regions of Italy. The promotion runs from now until the end of June 2013, but if the demand is overwhelming it might be extended.

A recent media launch held at Italiannies in Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang gave us an opportunity to understand the flavours and textures behind the selection of pasta for the promotion, and a first hand look at handmade pastas that are used for their dishes.

The ‘abbondanza’ or sharing portion and free flow of specially paired wines gave us the chance to try 5 out of the 8 pastas offered for this month long pasta promotion.

Starting the food tasting in motion was their ‘Mediterranean Salad’, moist and tender grilled chicken breast, black olives, tomatoes, onions, rocket leaves and romaine lettuce served with a generous amount of their Italian dressing. The salad was refreshing, sweet with hint tanginess and richness.

Another appetiser was their ‘Gamberi Con Aglio’, firm and tender shrimps cooked with dried red chillies, black olives and tomatoes served with garlic bread on the side to mop up the spicy and lemony sauce.

The pasta tasting kicked off with their Cannelloni, tubular pastas stuffed with spinach and artichoke filling and served with homemade marinara sauce topped with melted Mozzarella cheese and béchamel sauce. The pasta is to be paired with Alois Lageder Riff Rosso Vigneti Dolomiti, a red wine with intense fruity flavours with mild acidity. The Cannelloni was created by Chef Nicola Federico in Sorrento Italy in 1907, and was originally called ‘strascinati’ and only gained popularity during World War II, when residents of Naples fled to Sorrento.

Paccheri con Ragú, large, hollow, tube-shaped pasta served with a traditional meat based sauce and Parmesan cheese. It is to be paired with, again,  Alois Lageder Riff Rosso Vigneti Dolomiti to compliment the ragú’s rich beefy taste and the sweetness of the tomato sauce. The shape of paccheri pasta is from Campania Italy and is similar in shape to the rigatoni, but paccheri are shorter and have a larger diameter. A Ragú is an Italian word for any meat-based sauce, derived from the French word ‘ragouter’,  which means to revive the taste.

Tagliatelle con Salvia, Funghi e Popettine, handmade tagliatelle pasta sauteed with lemon, shiitake mushrooms and homemade beef meatballs. The savoury and lemony with a hint spice is to be paired with Alois Lageder Riff Rosso Vigneti Dolomiti. Tagliatelle (from the Italian tagliare which means “to cut”) is a traditional type of pasta from Emilia-Romagna and Marche, regions of Italy. Individual pieces of tagliatelle should be long, flat ribbons that looks similar in shape to fettuccine and are typically about 6.5 mm to 10 mm in width.

Tagliatelle con Pesto al Pomodoro, handmade plain and spinach (straw & hay) tagliatelle pasta cooked with green pesto and served with sweet, firm choped tomatoes, grated Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts. The fresh, herby and nutty pasta is to be paired with Adesso Nero D’Avola IGT Sicilia, a red wine with pleasant notes of mulberry and plum.

Mussels & Clams Lombardi con Pappardelle, pappardelle pasta cooked with clams and mussels in a white wine sauce. The light tasting pasta was paired with Alois Lageder Riff Pinot Grigio Venezie, a white wine with fresh apple aromas and a delicate spiciness; fresh, flavorful and focused. Pappardelle are large and broad flat pasta noodles that looks like the the wide fettuccine. The fresh types are two to three centimetres wide and may have fluted edges and dried ones have straight sides, it is traditionally served with very rich, heavy sauces, especially sauces which include game such as wild boar.

At the end of the sampling, we were served with their “Italian Trifle”, made with layers of Mascarpone, Ladyfinger biscuits and topped with dark chocolate powder and chocolate chips. It was a light and easy dessert but my favourite of that particular night was their signature Tiramisu, an Italian pick-me-up, which was not in the list.

Italiannies’ Tiramisu was light, fluffy, well chilled and most importantly utilises Espresso instead of normal brewed coffee.

*We have yet to sample the remaining 3 pastas, Fileja con Pomodoro e Basilico, Tortellini con Salmone ed Aneto and Fusilli con Spinaci ed Alfredo sauce.

Our overall experience:
Taste
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • The dishes were mostly well prepared and well paired with wines that complement the flavour notes.
  • The Mediterranean Salad dressing was pleasant and flavourful, it brought out the sweetness of the greens and balanced the richness and saltiness of the goats cheese.
  • The only dish that we did not really appreciate was their Mussels & Clams Lombardi con Pappardelle, it lacked that seafood sweetness and flavour.
  • The pasta we most enjoyed would be the Paccheri con Ragú, Cannelloni and Tagliatelle con Salvia, Funghi e Popettine.
Texture
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • The pastas were al-dente, with good texture.
  • Mediterranean Salad’s greens were crisp and chicken cutlets tender, but one of the pieces were slightly too pinkish for my liking.
Service
  • N/A as it is an invited review event, but the staffs at hand were quite helpful.
Cleanliness
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • The dining area was neat and clean.
Atmosphere
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • Cosy and homely with alfresco seatings.
Price
  • N/A as the portions were sharing portion, thus it does not represent the actual serving.
Portion
  • N/A as the portions were sharing portion, thus it does not represent the actual serving.
Value
  • N/A as the portions were sharing portion, thus it does not represent the actual serving.
Consistency
  • N/A.

Add: Lot 1-31, Ground Floor, Gurney Paragon Mall, Penang
Tel : +604 228 9761

There is stiil time to check out their Festa Della Pasta promotion for lunch and dinner:
Lunch promotion
A lunch promotion from the Festa Della Pasta menu includes a top of up RM6 for a choice of pasta and a choice of either a salad (Insalata Verde), a dessert (chocolate brownie) or a glass of Pepsi that will be served from 11am till 3pm.

Dinner promotion
The dinner promotion from the same Festa Della Pasta menu includes a top up of RM16, for a choice of pasta, and a choice of an entrée (Gamberi con Aglio), a salad (Insalata Mediterranea) or a dessert (Italian Trifle), which is applicable for dinner service that commences 6pm onwards.

–Updates on 25th June 2013–

Just last week (Thursday the 20th of June) we were back at Italiannies Gurney Paragon Mall Penang to sample the last 3 pastas that we haven’t tried and to re-sample their Mussels & Clams Lombardi con Pappardelle, which we did not really feel justice was given to the dish during the previous visit. For this try, the Mussels & Clams Lombardi con Pappardelle were well executed, with sufficient sweetness and a savouriness to taste,  and the seafood was firm and tender to feel.

Fusilli con Spinaci ed Alfredo sauce (RM22.90), fusilli pasta sauteed with chicken breast in a light alfredo sauce and served with fried crisp spinach and chopped walnuts on top. The savoury pasta with hints of spice and nutty flavours are to be paired with Adesso Inzolia IGT Sicilia. Fusilli is a diminutive of fuso, the Italian word for “spindle”. It is traditionally the pasta is “spun” by pressing and rolling a small rod over each thin strip of pasta to wind them around it in a corkscrew shape.

Fileja con Pomodoro e Basilico (RM18.90), fileja pasta sauteed with fresh tomato puree and cherry tomato and served with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. The pasta dish was tart but at the same time sweet and fresh, accentuating from the basil and tomato combination. Remember to let the residual heat of the pasta to warm and wilt the basil leaves to release the aroma and taste. The dish is to be paired with Adesso Inzolia IGT Sicilia or Adesso Nero D’Avola IGT Sicilia. Fileja is traditionally from  Calabria in southern Italy, they are eggless pasta rolled by hand using a thin metal rod or skewer.

Tortellini con Salmone ed Aneto (RM26.90), spinach and ricotta filled tortellini pasta sauteed with smoked salmon, fresh dill and capers in an alfredo sauce served with with smoked salmon rosettes. The pasta was rich, creamy, smoky with hint of tartness from the capers, it is to be paired with Alois Lageder Riff Pinot Grigio Venezie. The “belly button” like Tortellini is originally from the Italian region of Emilia, in particular Bologna and Modena.

Our overall experience:
Taste
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • Their Mussels & Clams Lombardi con Pappardelle, was savoury sweet and the mussels were firm and tender.
  • The taste and ingredient were well complimented with the type of pasta to carry the flavours.
Texture
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • The pastas were al-dente, with good texture.
  • The Tortellini con Salmone ed Aneto filling may be slight sandy/powdery due to the cheese’s texture, but was considered normal.
  • The smoke salmon were fine and mussel were firm and tender.
Service
  • Not as attentive as it should be apart from the attention to detail by their manager, Jerry.
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)
  • The single serving portion will be filling depending on the type of pasta you order.
  • It would be good to increase the pasta portion for a more hearty meal.
Value
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • With a better pasta texture and flavours and accompanying ingredient quality, it should be considered value for the price.
Consistency
  • N/A.
Share

The Norwegian Norway, In A Class Of Its Own

Posted by Jason Wong On November - 22 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

A recently held Norwegian Consumer Goods Exhibition held at Gurney Plaza that we were invited to for their launch was organized by the Royal Norwegian Embassy from Kuala Lumpur. The exhibition held from 1st November 2012 to the 4th in Penang, was a virgin showcase of some of the range of products and brands that have set foot in Malaysia. Alongside the exhibition, the Norwegian embassy also brought with them the Norwegian life and landscapes captured through the lenses of their photographers in their “Norway at a glance” photo exhibition.

The exhibition was formally officiated by H.E. Hans Ola Urstad, Ambassador of Norway and YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang. The launch event also saw a simple gift presentation ceremony to the Children’s Protection Society and its representatives.

Before introducing the brands that were on showcase at the exhibition, lets get to know a little bit about Norway. Norway is one of the founding members of United Nation, NATO and European Free Trade Area. Its capital city is Oslo. Norway has a total area of 385,252 square kilometres and a population of approximately 5.01 million, and it is the second least densely populated country in Europe. Norway shares borders with Sweden, Finland, Russia and Denmark across the Skagerrak Strait.

Norway is richly endowed with natural resources in area’s petroleum, hydropower, fishery, forestry, and minerals. Large oil and gas reserves discovered in the 1960s led to their economic boom and are still one of their major revenue generators at current. Approximately 28% of their state revenue is generated from the oil and gas industry. And from the revenue generated from oil and gas industry, a Sovereign Wealth Fund (Government Pension Fund) was established in 1995 as a hedge/cushion against Norways aging population and to prevent an overheating of their economy from oil revenues. As of March 2011, Norway’s Government Pension Fund controlled assets valued are approximately US$570 billion or equal to US$114,000 per capita. How much are we Malaysian’s worth with all the abundant natural resources that our land has?

This Northern European country that got their independence from Sweden in 1905 has distinctive four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter. Spring is the time to see Greylag geese approaching in v-formation over the spring horizon, and a time to smell the scent of apple blossom in Hardanger. Summer is the season to hear the crashing waves in the south, to feel the southerly winds blowing across their famous fjords and to see herds of reindeers grazing under the Midnight Sun. Summer is also the time to explore Norway’s great outdoors by foot, bicycle and to go fishing.

Autumn is when the golden-red landscape welcomes the harvest of wild Chanterelles or plump Cloudberries near a secluded mountain lake, and when rivers become the hosting ground for large quality fishes ready to be snagged. Winter is a season for dog-sledding, ice-fishing and a time for stories of legends past around a fireplace in a “lavvu”.

With the skilled livestock husbandry and unspoiled and good natural conditions produces quality ingredients like their famous Norwegian lamb, smoked salmon, Stockfish, cheeses, etc. Long light nights also blossoms into tastier fruits and berries. No wonder Norway is house to 4 Michelin Starred restaurants:

  1. Maaemo, a two star restaurant in the Michelin Guide, which they received right after 14 months of their opening. Their seasonal menu is based on 100% organic local ingredients, including rare Norwegian herbs and berries, and complimented with an exciting wine list.
  2. Bagatelle, a one star restaurant which first opened its doors in 1932. It serves Norwegian-French cuisine with an emphasis on Norwegian ingredients like herring, cod, halibut, king crab and so on.
  3. Statholdergaarden, manned by chefs Bent Stiansen and Torbjørn Forster that creates dishes from the best ingredients that Norway has to offer with best European food traditions and a touch of world inspirations.
  4. Restaurant Oscarsgate, a 20pax capacity dining room that represents one of Oslo’s most innovative and competent kitchens, presenting an à la carte menu featuring a daily fish or meat special alongside a five- or eight-course menu.

With the exhibition, the Norwegian embassy brought with them brands like Jarlsberg, Trapia, Jotun and Jordon. Jarlsberg cheeses are the product of Norway’s quality milk that comes from the favourable living conditions for their cows and goats, cold climate, vast grazing pastures and good animal husbandry. Tine Norway has been exporting Jarlsberg cheeses since 1961, and is one of the best selling brands in US, Europe and Australia. There were a few varieties of cheeses brought in for sampling and the one that caught our attention was their Gudbransdalen cheese. This brown coloured cheese was first invented in the 1860s by a farmer’s wife , Anne Hov, who took whey and boiled it for long hours together with goat’s milk, cow’s milk and cream. Thus, producing a brown fudge like cheese with a sweet taste of caramel  and  a clean and slightly sour taste of goat’s milk.

Traceable Tilapia or Trapia, in short, is an eco-friendly fish farming operation located in the pristine rainforest-fed freshwater Tememnggor Lake. It produces a unique strain of GenoMar Supreme Tilapia fish from egg-to-plate process that is said to be verifiable, traceable, high quality, healthy and most importantly sustainable. The harvests are mainly exported to countries where safe  and and sustainable fish stock is required, about 80% is exported.

Jotun, a brand that we thought was a local brand turns out to be a Norwegian paint, coating and powder coating manufacturer that has been operating in Sandefjord, Norway since 1926. Jotun’s paints can be seen and felt on the exclusive Burj Khailfa and the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Queen Mary 2, largest luxury liner in the world. Since 1983, Jotun has established its South East Asia R&B centre for development of new products for Asia. On display at the exhibition were their Majestic Ecohealth, New Strax Easy Clean, New Woodshield and New Jotasheild with AntiFade Colours range of paints.

Another brand that was display was the Jordan brand of tooth brushes. Established since 1837, it has since become one of the world’s leading preventive oral care brands producing quality toothbrushes, dental floss and dental sticks. Besides being well known for their oral hygiene products, they have also established themselves in the painting tools and household cleaning products sector.

* The invitation was extended by Ms. Marian Eu from Scribe Media Link.

Share

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)
Loading
Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit
Share

Brussels Beer Cafe @ Gurney Paragon Mall

Posted by Jason Wong On January - 17 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

A recent trip to Gurney Drive took us to the newly open Gurney Paragon Mall and to Brussels Beer Café that was recently opened. Brussels’ heart and soul is their bar that serves a wide variety of imported and draft beers, like Belle-Vue, Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Leffe fresh, etc. Although beer is like the blood in their veins, but the Belgian cuisines that are churned out from their kitchen are like the air they breathe.

Brussels Beer Cafe also serves a variety of Belgian dishes that will tantalize the taste buds and fill the hunger puns. Listed in their menu, we have found Crispy Roasted Pork Knuckle, Braised Lamb Shank, Belgium Foot Long Doggies, Moules Mariniere, and Homemade Belgian Waffles.

Before the light meal that we had, we cleanse our palates with Belle-Vue Kriek which was much recommended by Caryn who also likes to savour great beers. Belle-Vue is a Belgian lambic beer made through spontaneous fermentation of Morello cherries by the wild yeasts/bacteria that are native to the Senne Valley. The beer has a vinous or red-wine appearance with a sweet foretaste and a cider-tart aftertaste. It is sweet, fruity, and creamy but lacks a full body.

To pair Belle-Vue we asked for the Blind Finches, meaty minced pork balls wrapped with a slice of salty and smoky pork bacon slowly braised in a sautéed  onion and Laffe Blonde sauce.  The sauce was slightly sweet, herby (oregano) and peppery with alcoholic aftertaste.

One of the main courses that were well recommended by their staff was the Moules Mariniere. It is a pot of 500gm fresh live imported mussels steamed with garlic, celery, onions, thyme and white wine. The mussels were smooth and tender with a sweet earthy taste, but the white wine sauce was over salty. If the mussel flesh had a bigger size, thus bigger bite then it would be more attractive. They also serve other moules varieties that are prepared with beers.

Last but not least and our favourite was their Braised Pork Cheek, a slab of sinful porky and sweet well proportioned fat and meat lean pork cheek slow braised until tender and served with rye bread, fluffy buttery potatoes, crisp sautéed asparagus and a malty Franzikaner sauce. Though fatty the cheek was it was not greasy, and the proportion was just nice to flavour the lean meat and give it contrast of texture.

Our overall experience:

Taste 3.5/5 (Good) Although some set back on the over saltiness of the Moules Mariniere, the whole meal was pleasant.
Texture 3.5/5 (Good) The dishes we ordered had contrast in texture.
Service 3.0/5 (Average) Courteous though, we would like to have less “attention” and serving the orders as we wanted.
Cleanliness 3.5/5 (Good) Still new and clean.
Atmosphere 3.0/5 (Average) Has clean and neat dining area, but the alfresco area would be warm and humid at times.
Price 3.0/5 (Average) Averagely priced.
Portion 3.0/5 (Average) We were filled up with the accompanying fries and rye bread.
Value 3.5/5 (Good) The price is reasonable with the portion especially the Blind Finches and Braised Pork Cheek.
Consistency  N/A
Share

Sometime in August G Hotel and ‘Sesame + Soy’, their Pan Asian Chinese restaurant, extended a gracious invitation to us to sample their ‘Business Lunch Set @ Soy’. Sesame + Soy’s uniqueness lie in their dual dining ambience, where Sesame is the epitome of fine dining while Soy is casual yet elegant. Soy comes across as a modern Asian bistro, infused with a hint of Zen that complements its casual vibe. Soy offers a scrumptious menu with a wide selection of tempting delicacies that are luscious fusion of Asian flavours that will in some ways tantalise your taste buds.

Soy’s ‘Business Set Lunch’ consists provides for a select any two (2) dishes, a choice of either a bowl steamed rice or fried rice, a single serving of their soup of the day and a dessert.  Rice and Chinese tea is free flow.

Back to their main dishes, there are eight choices to choose from and rotated or changed according to their restaurant’s schedule. The following dishes are the items that we have tasted and found to be pleasing. Soup of the day that we had was ‘Lotus Root Soup’, light to the palate but was not the version that we are used to at home.

Wok fried black fungus with garlic and ginger, crispy texture with a light sweetness that cuts through the savoury taste.

Braise angle luffa with minced chicken and egg whites, the smooth eggy sweet gravy balanced well with the textured tender body of the luffa. 

Fried mixed vegetables with garlic, a simple dish that is ready to be paired with dishes that exude intense flavours.

Steamed snapper fillet and Sichuan peppercorns, is spicy at first but ends with a sweet after taste that does not interfere with the slick texture of the fish. Would be appeaser to people who fancy some ‘heat’ to their lunch. 

Crispy batter eel with red pickled grains and chili Hoi Sin dip, true to its name. Deep fried till crunchy crisp with a slight salty taste.

Chilled drunken chicken with garlic and chive dressing, the crisp skin matched with the firmed meat of the poached chicken was cohesive to the light tasting dressing which went quite well with a bowl of white rice. 

Spiced crispy chicken with ginger and garlic, the tender chicken pieces were slightly oily to our liking but the flavours went down well with us. There was a bit of zing that heated up the taste buds.

Sichuan style wok fried duck fillet with chilli and ginger, a bit general but still flavourful with its spiced up seasoning.

As the meal ends, dessert is served. We had the opportunity the sample the specialties or signatures which is said to be the favourites amongst their returning guests. Their ‘Gula Melaka Crème Brule with Coconut Ice Cream’ is one of their star desserts that infuse the techniques of the west with local ingredients. The rich creamy crème Brule wasn’t too sweet nor blend, just the right consistency in taste and texture. The other desserts that we sampled were equally delightful.

Taste

3.0/5 (Average) Taste were average to good depending to dishes.

Texture

3.0/5 (Average) There were variety in terms of texture from all the dishes that we sampled.

Service

4.0/5 (Very Good) Informative and friendly.

Cleanliness

4.0/5 (Very Good) Clean and neat dining area.

Atmosphere

4.0/5 (Very Good) For a business luncheon, the setting is quite conducive for discussions as the tables are set far apart to provide a sense of space.

Price

3.5/5 (Good) RM30++ per person, and inconsideration that the food is prep by trained chefs and served by experience waiting crew in a fine-dining environment.

Portion

3.0/5 (Average) Not much for big eaters, but is convenient for people who wants to have something eat while discussing business matters.

Value

3.5/5 (Good) Consideration is put on location, service and delivery, thus it would be of good value for those.

Consistency

NA/5 stay updated.

Operation hours: 11:00am – 3:00pm (7 days a week)

Address:168-A, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 Georgetown, Penang

Tel: 04-238 0000

GPS: N5° 43′ 78.13″ E100° 31′ 06.26″

View Gourmet Garden Food Trial in a larger map

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Share