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Noodles & Pastas | Gourmet Garden

Gourmet Garden

Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'

Noodles & Pastas

Noodles, long thin strips of dough made from flour, water, egg, etc. For this category, I would mainly refer to Asian or Oriental noodles or pastas. Eg. Koay Teow, Hor Fun, Yellow Noodles, Yee Mee, Ramen, etc.

Pastas, consist of different shape, sizes and ingredients. Over here it will refer mainly to the noodles that originate from Italy. Eg. spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, macaroni, penne, etc

Chee Meng Wantan Mee is Back!

Posted by Jason Wong On February - 13 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

After loosing touch with Chee Meng Wantan Mee, we have finally got them back on our radar. They are now back in their old spot at “Tai Wah Cafe” on Agryll Road. After moving out of Thong Seng late last year, they went for a self proclaim holiday until the 7th day of the Chinese Lunar calender. Business is as usual and will be closed on every Tuesdays.


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Dhoby Ghuat Wantan Mee At Tong Seng Kafe 洗布桥云吞面

Posted by Jason Wong On January - 16 - 20112 COMMENTS

A different person was manning the Wantan Mee stall during our last trip (6th Feb).

One or two months back we wrote about “Chee Meng Cafe”, but it has since changed to “Tong Seng”. And the Chee Meng Wantan Mee that we have mentioned has moved to a new location that we have yet to find out. Anyway, the replacement wantan mee stall is no lesser in uniqueness as compared to Uncle Chee Meng.

We were sceptical when we approached the shop due to the unfamiliar faces at the shop, therefore we only made an order for a regular single serving of dry wantan noodles. After trying that faithful bowl, we continued with our brunch at Tong Seng. Always keep an open mind when it comes to new eating outlets, the most you will get run over once by the shop! T The wantan noodle stall at Tong Seng is a branch of the “Dhoby Ghuat Wantan Noodle Stall” that has more than 10 years of history. This branch at Jalan Dato Koyah is being manned by Yvonne. The business hours are from 6:30am up till 1:00pm daily except Wednesdays, as the shop rests for a day.

Although the noodles are not as thin as the ones use by Chee Meng, the dark soya sauce dressing for the dry version can compensate for it. It had a sweet caramel, smoky and nutty taste, which reminded us of the good old simple taste of wantan noodles. Nothing complicate, just good tasty dark soya sauce combined with fragrant lard oil tossed into al-dente egg noodles. An easy task but hard to master for many. Even the wantan dumplings also pack with nostalgic flavours.

Tip: As the noodles are not as old or dry, best is to order extra dry with lard bits and savour. Additional moisture would make the noodles lose their crunch.

Then after the first single serving we tried their “Spicy” wantan noodles. The noodles are toss with premix spicy mixture which is supplied some distributor. Same as the previous encounters, the mixture tend to have powdery texture at the end of the serving. But the taste that was delivered at this stall was slightly different with a more peppery taste as we continue eating.

Then we notice that it had stewed chicken feet, one of the must try of this stall! At RM3 per serving of 9 pieces, it all comes down to about 33cents per piece which is similar to the price of this delicacy when I was still in secondary school. The tastes had a good balance of savoury, sweet and spice, which all came from the equilibrium use of star anise (八角), cloves, Chinese cinnamon (肉桂), Sichuan pepper(花椒), and good quality dark soya sauce. The texture of the chicken feet was tender but not too soft with low amounts of oily aftertaste. It was not “sticky” and without the overwhelming feeling that Gill finish the whole bowl of gravy like drinking soup. We even asked Yvonne whether she can throw in some rice vermicelli and flat rice noodles with the gravy. And she did.

When you are dining at Tong Seng, do try out their kopi ‘o’ and also their nutmeg juice.

Business Hours: 6:30am up till 1:00pm daily except Wednesdays

GPS:5.41989, 100.3317

Overall experience:

Taste

3.5/5 (Good)

Texture

3.5/5 (Good)

Service

3.5/5(Good)

Cleanliness

3.5/5 (Good)

Atmosphere

2.5/5 (Average)

Price

3.5/5 (Fair)

Portion

3.5/5 (Good)

Value

3.5/5 (Value)

Notice the old warping bowls that they serve their noodles in! They are at least around 60 years old. The bowls were once used in festive celebrations and meals that were prepared by their grandfather.
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Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng Has Moved!

Posted by Jason Wong On January - 2 - 20109 COMMENTS

Last year we were given the opportunity to document the process of making the the famous ‘Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng’ fish balls.

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And from that day onward we have actually became more than just their ordinary customers. Thus, there comes some perks like early notification of their forced shifting of the original stall on the corner Armenian Street and Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling to a unit further down the road on Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, and now to the current location on Carnavon Street. To make finding the place easily, I have also included the GPS coordinates. The shop unit has a bright yellow and red sign board and is the left hand side of Carnavon Street if you are coming from the direction of the Penang Ferry Terminal. The unit is about 150 meters from traffic lighted junction of Prangin Road and Carnavon Street.

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The place spots a cooler environment, more spacious area with more sitting capacity and is very near to Prangin Mall and the soon to be open 1 Avenue. And if one fancy some roast duck or crispy roasted pork you can find it just across the street at Yatt San which has much been blogged about by other bloggers. Then there is also a near by famous fried oyster stall in Seng Thor coffee shop. A lot of variety along the short street.

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何谓好吃的云吞面?

Posted by gill gill On November - 24 - 200927 COMMENTS

云吞面是起源于广州。据说,此食品在唐宋时已传入广东。至于广东何时用“云吞”二字取代“馄饨”之称,则无从考证。经几百年后的今天, 云吞面已经是谱罗大众绝不可缺的街头面食,在华人心目中有不可取代的地位. 随着华人移民的增加,在不同国家和区域里的云吞面也各有各精彩.在这儿暂别不谈历史, 不如大家一起来研究一下大马和香港两地的云吞面有何不同之处, 了解面条区分之余, 分享怎样吃云吞面才是最赞.

我和我丈夫俩人,素来喜爱吃猪油渣.别看那脆脆小小块的“渣”.放下一小匙乃有画龙点睛之效.某些食物若不配上它同吃,味道显然有差异.

不论是云吞面或是炒粿條,用“猪油和猪油渣”来烹调, 才能带出它原有的特色和香味。无可否认,现今社会每样都强调“吃得建康”。但不是叫你每天都吃炒粿條,云吞面呀!偶而尝一尝也无妨吧?什么东西多吃也有害. 例如Vitamin A, B, C够好了吧?若你吃得太多,它令你的肝脏负荷不来而倒至损坏. 那还有什么是好的呀? 不是“猪油”不好,而是现代人少做运动,怕肥才不敢吃.真可惜!你们该知道为何槟城的小食比吉隆坡来得有水准吧?虽然槟城好吃的越来越少,但有些还仍然保存着传统的烹调方式。

讲了老半天还没提到好吃的云吞面应该是怎样的呢?!

云吞面条

新鲜出炉的云吞面条其实是不鼓励现做现吃, 若你现煮, 会感觉吃面团一样, 毫无咬劲. 听前辈说, 云吞面条必须经过“走碱液”的步奏, 让它蒸发, 才算合格. 最理想的是放 置4天. 经过“走碱”的面条吃起来特别爽口而且有弹性. 现今讲求快速生产, 面家多以现做现批, 或最多“走碱” 2天而已.

查看书籍发现, 原来传统的云吞面条是用大茅竹竿即“竹升” 打压出来的, 称之为”竹升面”。面团经过用手搓面处理后,用“竹升”压打2小时,  全凭经验, 功夫和恒心.

云吞面有三类: 全蛋面, 半蛋面, 水面
全蛋面以鸭蛋和面,绝不加一滴水, 打出来的面条爽滑韧性好,蛋味香浓。
另一种是半蛋面,用鸭蛋与一定比例的水调配和面,面条爽滑可口,口感细腻。
水面则不放蛋, 煮后呈半透明, 和以上两种相比,没香味, 需靠酱汁拌味.

马来西亚云吞面

本土人民多喜爱味道脓郁的干捞云吞面.
酱汁做法是用酱清,黑酱油,蚝油,麻油,混入少许上汤和纯正猪油或烧猪油一起捞。配上半肥廋叉烧,肥美菜心,酸度适中的奄制青辣椒和皮薄陷美的水煮云吞或酥脆炸云吞,在洒上葱粒, 香脆可口的猪油渣…哇!简直是无敌的配搭呀, 满足满足!

而本地的汤头是以江鱼仔, 黄豆, 猪大骨熬煮而成, 有独特的清香甜味.
以我各人口味,我喜爱吃干捞,特别是干干的, 还有缺一不可的猪油渣!不防试一试.

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马来西亚干捞云吞面

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云吞汤

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香脆可口猪油渣 :D~

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半肥廋的叉烧

香港云吞面

然而香港与马来西亚的云吞面版本完全不同, 他们讲究的是面条质感和弹性, 细得像米粉般幼, 配上大地鱼干上汤, 爽脆鲜味的大虾云吞(完全没放猪肉), 用韭黄段来点缀. 这就是名副其实的现代香港云吞面!

面条能够不易吸水还要有蛋香,爽滑而弹牙,鸭蛋就是秘诀.

汤头用猪骨, 虾米, 虾子和大地鱼干以文火一起熬煮,汤必须澄清透澈,味道浓,才可突显云吞和面条的色泽和口感。
云吞皮包上新鲜大虾和虾子, 口感十足, 鲜甜带有咸香. 一乐也.
香港干捞面决不像大马般的捞酱汁, 他们的非常简单, 只是捞猪油和虾子(干虾蛋)一起同吃.

无论是大马或香港都各有千秋.那您又有什么看发呢? 那一种是您的最爱? 有谁能介绍好的云吞面家吗?

HK-091110_050弹牙十足的鸭蛋面条

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鲜虾云吞

HK-091110_041看那大虾!

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Siong Ho Fish Head Bee Hoon has ceased operation at Weld Quay in Penang and has moved to Johor.

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Some months back, we were given the opportunity to taste the skills of Mr.Teh who had 20 years of experience in cooking fresh seafood noodle and porridge. And of course, using fresh seafood is a must in his rule. You can choose from the variety of ingredients available to create your own taste preference and bowl of noodle or porridge that you would like to enjoy. The food is prepare almost instantly upon your instructions and choice.

The available option of ingredients to choose from: Prawns, Crabs, Squids, Fresh Grouper Fish Head, Fresh Grouper Fillet, Fried Bass Fillet and Head, Frog, Minced Pork Meat, Pork Kidney, Meat Balls, Fish Ball and Fried Soy Bean curd Sheet

Noodle options to slurp for: Thin Rice Vermicelli, Thick, Rice Vermicelli, Wheat Flour Vermicelli (mee suah), Instant Noodles and Porridge.

Then the soup stock options to cook your choice ingredients in: Clear Soup & Tomyam. Pickled Salted Vegetable and fried garlic bits are used for the Clear Soup toppings.

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Fresh Fish Fillets and other ingredients.


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Fresh Naked Frogs, almost the same length with my palm


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Big fresh white prawns

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Perfectly fried sea bass fillets and fish heads.


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The Boss of Siong Ho. Mr.Teh (Ah Ho) prepared the noodle for us personally.

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We were served with Cold White Nutmeg Juice with Plum – RM1.70 per glass


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Once the hot bowls arrived to the table the cameras were like bees to honey…. lol


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Clear Soup with Fried Bass Fillet & Thin Vermicelli – RM5

The fish came in chunks rather in fillets; we can still taste the freshness from the fish meat although it has been deep fried. The clear Soup is pretty clear with some natural sweetness.


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Prawn Tom Yam Soup with Instant Noodle – RM9 for 3 large prawns

Here comes the tom yam with big prawn. A point to put forth is that the tom yam soup is not so oily, and it taste milder and smoother compare to the others.

Based on Mr.Teh said he had the tom yam powder and paste further enhanced to achieve their version of tom yam that he wants to serve. I personally prefer this kind of tom yam with less oil with a smoother soup “texture”. I dare not consume the “Fiery” type of tom yam soup; I would easily choke and cough to death. 😛


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Clear Soup with Prawn and Thin vermicelli – RM9 for 3 large prawns

You can taste the seafood ingredients’ sweetness in the soup!


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Clear Soup with Squid & Instant Noodle – RM5

The squid was cooked to just the right firmness without the chewy texture. The combination was with instant noodles, which were soaked a little too long in the soup, and thus making them soggy. The instant noodles do not go well with squid.


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Fresh Grouper Fillet Porridge – RM7.50

The grouper fillets were fresh and came in thick flaky slices. The Porridge they served here uses cooked rice that are further cooked in their clear soup stock with the selected choice ingredients to produce a piping hot bowl of porridge. Usually preserved vegetable or “dong chai” will be added in this type of porridge to give it a special sweet and salty flavour.


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Frog Porridge – RM12 (RM6/100gms)

See the naked frog? The chunky frog meat tasted sweet and fresh. Is was far more tastier as compared the to the frogs that we had at “Sin Gelang Claypot Frog Porridge”.


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we thought that was all, then came another batch of noodles….

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Clear Soup with Crab & Thick Vermicelli – RM10 (RM5/100gms)

The sweet taste of the crab was in every mouthful soup that we had. Even with just a small sip of the soup, you could tell the distinctive crabbiness.


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Clear Soup with Deep Fried Bass Fish Head &  Wheat Flour Vermicelli (mee suah)

I like the fried bass fish head a lot. It was tastier then the bass meat fillet that we had….heee


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Mixed Seafood Tom Yam Soup – RM17  (based on selection of ingredients)

This mixed tom yam had additional fish, prawns, squid, meat & fish balls and oyster mushroom, and flavoured with extra mint leaves, chillies and tomatoes.

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Jian with her lively picked crab say “cheese” before the crab say goodbye to the world….lol.

On average, I would rate :

Taste & Texture: 3.8/5
Money Value : 3.5/5
Service: 3.8/5
Cleanliness: 3/5
Atmosphere: 3/5

Personal liking Item/match:

1. Clear soup with bass fish head & thick rice vermicelli

2. Tomyam Soup with Prawn & Instant Noodle

Venue:
SIONG HO FISH HEAD NOODLES AND PORRIDGE @ VILLAGE CAFE
Address:
107-A, Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay), 10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 12.00noon-11.30pm
Contact: 019-458 8693 (Mr. Teh/Ah Ho)

How to go:

If you are coming from the ferry terminal, keep an eye on the landmarks on your left, you can slow down your car or get a parking lot right after the Mixed Surname Jetty. The shop is just few doors away.

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When one mentions Char Koay Teow (CKT) ones mind would first think of Penang. Penang is infamous with many ‘famous’ Char Koay Teow stalls that are frequented by their own band of fans. Each CKT stalls stirs up their own distinctive style of Char Koay Teow decorated their own choice of toppings. Some come with crab meat, some come with mantis prawns. But for me only the simple and yet flavour complex plate of CKT can satisfy my desire and scourge.

Today I won’t dwell on what I like, but talk about the choices CKT that we can choose from at Lorong Selamat. Yes, it is plural. There are now 3 stalls of CKT to choose from on the famous Lorong Selamat.  We decided to talk or write about Char Koay Teow becasue we have just posted about Hoe Peng which was also located on Lorong Selamat.

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First one on the list is the latest addition of Char Koay Teow stalls at Lorong Selamat. This particular CKT stall is housed in Midtown coffee shop, which is opposite of Kedai Kopi Dan Ice Kacang. This particular stall is run by two individuals, a Chinese lady and an Indian friend name Sam. This stall does not only serve CKT, they also sells various fried rice.

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To taste the “wok hei” of CKT, we normally go for the CKT without egg and chilli. The CKT at Midtown had luscious amounts of plump and juicy bean sprouts, the prawns were firm but lack some of the sea fresh taste; the Koay Teow was springy and whole. The CKT at Midtown was not oily, which can be judge from the amount of oil left on the plate.

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The CKT with egg in Midtown had the fragrance of egg but the egg did not stick to the strands of Koay Teow as it suppose to. The beansprout were juicy, the lard bits used in the CKT although nice, it lacked the fragrance and texture of bits that we have had at other places. To summarise the CKT in Midtown, it is a healthier and homey style of CKT which is not oily, not too dry and that uses a wider bodied springy Koay Teow noodles.

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Taste & Texture: 3.5/5
Money Value : 3.8/5 (Reasonable -RM4.30 with medium to big size prawns and sufficient koay teow portion)
Atmosphere: 3.2/5 (Average food court but have big fans to cool you down from the weather)

Then we have next on the list is the KTG Char Koay Teow (a.k.a Ah Guan) stall located out side Kedai Kopi Dan Ice Kacang. This Ah Guan’s stall has taken over the spot of the original Lorong Selamat CKT which was run by the famous bad tempered lady wearing a red chef hat and protective goggles. Ah Guan took over the spot of the lady after she bought a lot further down the road and moved in. Ah Guan not only ‘inherited’ the famous spot but also the trademark of wearing protective goggles. Not only the CKT stall has changed at Kedai Kopi Dan Ice Kacang, even the proprietor of the coffee shop has also changed ownership. No more rude and nasty skinny lady asking customers to order drinks!

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Ah Guan’s CKT has a heavier “wok hei” which one could taste immediately at the first mouthful. But with the “wok hei” come with it an oilier plate and the Koay Teow was in pieces and not in long strands. The egg was not moist and adhering to the pieces of Koay Teow, but it had the fragrant of fried egg. The prawns used were big and with the taste of the sea, but was over firm and lack the sweetness. The prawns were slightly bigger then the prawns used by Midtown CKT, but the prices also differ per serving size and variation as compared to Midtown’s. In summary, Ah Guan’s CKT is not cheap, had lots of “wok hei” which we personally find a bit over and the Koay Teow were in pieces and dryer but oilier in some sense.

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Taste & Texture: 3.6/5
Money Value : 3.5/5 (RM6.00 – Prawns were big but not sweet and portion was insufficient)
Atmosphere: 3.2/5 (Entrance is oily and affects the car parked at the oppostite row of shops)

The last and most famous Char Koay Teow on Lorong Selamat is the plates fried by the lady in red. Red not only for the hat she wears but also for her temper. But after much research about her CKT stall, we understand why she is who she is. Imagine having to fry hundreds of plates of CKT and having to remember all the weird requests?! Even I would get frustrated and forget what is what.  The lady as mentioned earlier has moved to a self-owned coffee shop call Heng Huat Cafe just a few doors down the road. She still trademarks the red hat and goggles that she always seen with while at the wok.

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Heng Huat’s CKT uses big prawns that are synonymous with the CKT stalls on Lorong Selamat. Their prawns were big and juicy, they had that firm and springy texture and tasted sweet and fresh(sea fresh taste). The Koay Teow noodle strands were whole and soft and springy in texture. The Koay Teow noodles that she uses are of narrower body. The “wok hei” and seasoning was just right, not overwhelming. Another thing that we like about the ladies’ CKT is that the egg is properly done and adheres to the strand of Koay Teow. But portion and price wise, for us it is insufficient. I guess that is why other hawker food is flourishing around the CKTs.

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Taste & Texture: 4.0/5
Money Value : 3.7/5 ( RM6.50 Big tasty prawns but portion not enough lah!)
Atmosphere: 3.3/5 (Coffee shop still new and clean and not so warm)

Basically, me and my wife were and still are anti Lorong Selamat Char Koay Teow persons due to the exorbitant prices that they charge just because they use big prawns in their Char Koay Teow. But after tasting the Heng Huat CKT and understanding why the lady is who she is we have change our perception a bit. Although we like the taste of her (Heng Huat) CKT, it doesn’t mean that we approve of the prices that she and the other stalls charge for a plate of CKT with the reason of using big prawns, except for Midtown which is slightly below their range.

Char Koay Teow to us is all about the texture of the Koay Teow nooldes, the lard oil and bits, the crunchy bean sprouts, the irony cockles, the fragrance of the egg (be it chicken or duck ), the taste of the seasoning, and most of all the “wok hei” or skill of frying a good plate of Char Koay Teow which is not expensive and reasonable in terms of price and portion. We have favourite stall in town which its prices are reasonable and the portion to our liking, but taste inconsistent. I would blog about this CKT stall in my next post.

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Virgin visit to Xuan Xin Restaurant, Gurney Plaza

Posted by gill gill On July - 13 - 200910 COMMENTS

We have heard a lot of the Xuan Xin Restaurant which newly established its self in the prime location at Gurney Plaza’s New Wing, some said their food & service is good and some said lousy. So who is the winner?

I ‘m now going to tell my true experience that we’ve encounter. The answer is Not Too Bad. Would it be due to the lesser dinner crowd as compared to the lunch’s crowd?

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The Menu

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We’ve choosen the Sliced “French Style” Smoked Duck @ RM12 to start our palate.

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4 pcs of smoke duck breasts with it 4 steamed mantou (chinese steam bun), cucumber and fried beancured skin. I just wonder why they put the red sauce on top of the smoke duck? And the sauce is tasteless, its serve no purpose may be just color for presentation. By the way, the duck meat is pinkish in color.

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Here is how I stacked the mantou first with smoke duck slice, followed by the cucumber, crispy beanchurd skin and of course top with the other half of the mantou. We did not get any instruction on how to eat this appertizer, is this the correct way? Shouldn’t they guide us to how best savour their dishes?

The mantou was moist and fluffy and dense, also good on its own. (oppss..sounds like gardenia slogan huh?) The smoke duck had a light smoked flavour and hint of saltiness. It is best eaten with only with the steam buns, not ideal to pack everything together. The fried beancurd skin was crisp and crunchy, but i find it was a little too thick for the combination.

The first bite you should experience the warm and soft buns covered with the crunch and salty beancured skin, refreshing cucumber and the smokey duck flavour, it should be wonderful. But our experince at Xuan Xin, the beancured skin is way thicker and saltier then the smoke duck, some how or rather the smokey duck flavour was loss  (main subject). Dragon-i smoked duck is still my first choice.

Suggestion: It would be prefect if reduce the bean cured skin layer, and the enhance the duck meat flavor and moister.

Sliced “French Style” Smoked Duck: 3.8/5


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Stir Fried Hor Fun with Sliced Beef @ RM12

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My all time favourite “Stir Fried Hor Fun with Sliced Beef”. When I saw it in the menu, I had to order it.

The Hor Fun is slightly different from the local ones, its thinner and its cut similarly like koay teow shape, Bean sprout head and tails were picked (its a standard in Hong Kong Restaurant), slice onion, julienne slice scallion and thinly slice beef meat.

Wok hei comes from the first sense, second would be the sweetness from the dark soy sauce  and caramelized onion. Hor Fun good in texture and smooth. Beef was bit of a let down as it was not Beefy in taste and the amount was countable, just aroun 8 slices. The Scallion was fiberish and doesn’t help much as it was pretty irritating and stuck in between the teeth.

Suggestion: Beef hor fun should have the beefy flavour. Priced @ RM12 should have more slices.haha… Should take note on the scallion.

Stir Fried Hor Fun with Sliced Beef: 3.8/5(for the wok hei and soya sauce taste)

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New launch Food Items which separate from the menu.

We ordered Braised Crispy Noodle with Curry & Roasted Pork Belly @ RM12

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Errrg…look at the presentation. It doesn’t look appertising ya?

Thick curry gravy poured on a bed of perfectly deep fried crisp thin noodles, served with long bean and roast pork belly chunks. Ok, did you see the different from the Menu and the presentation here? hah.

The only items that i like from this dish is the crispy noodle. I think they wish to do the similar of Japanese curry, but it doesn’t taste right to me. Its starchy and less spice from the curry. And the Roast pork belly was rough and dry. I personally doesn’t like the dish.

Something to praise, is the noodle has been cut like pizza slices which easgave ease in consuming it.

Suggestion:

The name of “Braised Crispy Noodle with Curry & Roasted Pork Belly” doens’t sound rights to me, as the noodle was not braised in curry but poured on. It would be right to name it  “Braised Curry Roasted Pork Belly with Crispy Noodle”, sounds better right?

I don’t know how to put a suggestion on this curry, may less starchy and more local flavour infuse in the curry.

Braised Crispy Noodle with Curry & Roasted Pork Belly: 3/5

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Poached Chinese Spinach with 2 Kinds of Egg in Superior Stock @ RM12.80

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This soup was delicious and the most enjoyable for us that night! We both enjoyed it till the last drop. The Spinach poached to just the right consistency where one could still feel the crunchiness. There were more then 2 kinds of eggs in this dish, it has chicken egg whites, century eggs and salted eggs and 3 of them has its unique taste, all flavor combine with the good soup stock….it was very delicious. This is far more better then many restaurants.

Poached Chinese Spinach with 2 Kinds of Egg in Superior Stock: 4.2/5

On average, I would rate :

Taste & Texture: 3.95/5
Money Value : 3.8/5 (its Reasonable, with the consideration of the price, location, serving)
Service: 3.7/5 (at least they asked your feedback for the newly launch menu. Fast and efficient when press the service button. btw, they served the appetizer at last, why?)
Cleanliness: 4/5
Atmosphere: 4/5

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Blue Reef-Revisited

Posted by Jason Wong On June - 15 - 200912 COMMENTS

Last Saturday on (13th June 2009) we revisited Blue Reef, the fish n’ chip joint at 32 Permai off Vale of Tempe that we visited early this year. The revisit to Blue Reef was partially to meet a friend and also to find out whether their quality food is still consistent to that we had early this year. We had to find out for our selves because we have read some ‘not so good’ comments of the place.

It has been almost 6 months since we set foot in Blue Reef, and we didn’t know what to expect from them. Not much has changed since then, the only thing that we notice is the little drawings that were pasted on one side of their wall. It is good to see that our ideas were accepted and used, but the actual idea was to have the photos of patrons and their fun moments captured and enshrine on their wall. At least the idea was used in some way!

Currently there is an offer for a full meal option, excluding dessert, for an additional RM1. It is a good promotional strategy at this current economy phase. Many are looking for bargain and money saving deals for their daily needs and wants. With an additional RM 1 added to the cost of the chosen main course, I was served with a glass of ice-lemon tea and a bowl of the soup of the day.

The soup of the day that we had was their green pea soup. It tasted kind of earthy, nutty and sweet. There was some sandy texture to the soup which I find to my liking. Served with the soup, was piece toasted garlic bread. On seeing it, we thought that the bread would hard to consume due to the thicker shaped. But surprisingly the bread was quite manageable because it was crisp on the surface and moist and soft inside. Thus, it was not crumbly and hard to bite into.

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For the main course, I had their Salmon Burger. The flaky salmon patty was well caramelised on the surfaces and yet retaining the juicy moisture. The seasoning of the salmon meat was well choreographed as it did not totally overwhelm the distinct taste of salmon. The crisp and soft sesame seed bun and the sauté onion toppings was a good combination to the salmon patty. There was only one thing that I felt bad about the burger was the amount of tartar sauce. I would personally leave the tartar sauce out and may be sauté the onions with some balsamic vinegar to give the burger some added flavour.

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Gill had their Aglio e Olio as usual. But it was a bit of a disappointment for her because they have substitute the pork bacon for the anchovies as they are now a pork free restaurant. With the anchovies, it tasted a bit weird to us. We asked Chris why not use beef bacon, and he told us that it did not have enough flavour. Anyway, I guess we would be going back for try their Aglio e Olio again because the Chris mentioned that they might change it to Seafood Aglio e Olio. The previous trip to Blue Reef, the Aglio e Olio was excellent and the pasta strands were firm and springy.

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Our friend had their famous fish n’ chips and their Caesar salad. One of the not so good comments that we read was that the batter for the fish n’ chips were a soggy. But from the looks of our friend’s serving, it was perfectly coated and deep fried till gold brown. Although minutes have passed, the beer batter coat was still firm and crisp. And the serving portion for below RM20 was, as my friend puts it, value for money. He said in Kuala Lumpur the portion would have cost him at least RM35.

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As for his Ceasar salad, I am not the position to comment as I did not taste it.

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At the end of the lunch cum discussion, our friend ordered their Orange Crème brûlée. Crème brûlée is a rich custard dessert topped with a layer of hard caramel that is formed by the burning of sugar by any means of heat source. Traditionally the custard base is normally flavoured with just vanilla, but at Blue Reef they have prepared their version flavoured with orange. The cream was not too dairy or creamy, and sweetness was just at the right note. But the caramelise sugar coating was slightly coarse for the silky smooth textured custard. May be fine sugar should be used instead.

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On average, I would rate Blue Reef:

* 4.1/5 for value
* 3.7/5 for taste & texture (because of having to choose pork free)
* 4.1/5 for service (Chris and his staffs are always attentive to our comments)
* 4.1/5 for cleanliness(still clean and neat after in bussiness for more than 6 months)
* 3.7/5 for atmosphere

Address : Permai 32, No.22 Lebuh Lembah Permai 4, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Penang.

Tel : 04 8999128.

Business Hours : 11.30am – 2.30pm and  6.30pm – 10.30pm. Closed on Mondays.

GPS Coordinate : N 05*27?16.38?   E 100*17?25.4?

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