Gourmet Garden

Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'

Follow-up Reviews

Secondary or more reviews to check on consistency of quality or confirm our findings

Kang Beef House Revisited

Posted by Jason Wong On April - 7 - 20103 COMMENTS

As we mention that in our invited review post of Kang Beef House that we will return to try their noodles, we did on last Friday (2nd Apr) night. We were in between appointment, thus on the way to Bayan Baru we decided to stop by at Kang’s for dinner. What meant to be a touch n’ go meal turned into a fast sampling of some of the items that we did not have the space for the other day.

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The last trip or review was on the house and arranged by Steven, this time it is less stressful and more enjoyable because it is on our own expenditure and most important it is what we like best; the freedom to comment our will desires. Our dinner began with a piping hot bowl of their clear soup Beef Noodle at RM6.00 for the smallest serving. Because of our mistake we did not get what we would normally order which is the flat rice noodles (koay teow), but instead we were served with a special flat body yellow noodle. I am not sure how the noodle should feel like, to us that faithful night it was not as springy as wantan noodles but not soft like the usual lye water (yellow) noodles.

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Back to the star component for this dish which is the soup. The soup had flavour but was still slightly bland which may be due to the contamination of water from the cooking of the noodles, otherwise it would have been almost perfect. Next time will try to ask for separate serving of soup plus toppings and noodles. As for the beef slices, when served it still maintained a pinkish hue which denotes just the right cooking time was put into these tender slices. The only thing that we found short for these tender slices of beef was that the texture was slightly rough due to the cut it was from.

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Next on our table was their Dry Fried Hor Fun with Beef at RM9.80 with small bowl of beef soup and beef balls. Previous trip we did not really sample what they could offer for this dish as it was served “vegetarian” style as we a guest who does not take beef. Too bad for her! The portion was big on the ‘hor fun’or noodles but the beef slices were a bit scarce. Taste and texture wise it had standard, and can be considered better to some of those that we have eaten in the past.

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Before we were forced to leave, we managed to grab a single person serving of their Clay Pot Beef Soup at RM8.00. The soup base is similar to the soup base of the steamboat that we sampled previously. It had Chinese preserved salted vegetable that gave the soup additional flavour and chunks of white reddish. Even the toppings like tripes, muscle meat, beef belly, tendons, etc seem to be more in volume. This dish would be our choice order if and when visit this specialty shop again.

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While composing our invited review post last month, we were confused with many of the terms used for the various parts of the beef used in their dishes. Now I have got a clearer picture on the various innards that were used. The photo below belongs to the muscle (牛腱), usually it is sliced into thin 3mm slices.

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As for the beef tripe, they served 3 out of the 4 types that the cow has. The first photo is the first of the 4 stomach that the cow has. The 2nd stomach which they run out of stock has a honeycomb like physical texture. The 3rd stomach has a similar outlook as the pigs stomach which is seldom sold. And the last or 4th stomach has spotted flaps which are shown on the next following photo. Tye 4th tripe has a crunchier texture.

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Another body part which is commonly found in the serving of beef noodles or beef specialty house is the tendons (牛筋).

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To sum up our experience at Kang Beef House:

Taste & Texture: 2.9/5 (may be can look into the supply of beef)
Money Value : 2.8/5 (meat portion could be more generous)
Service: 2.9/5 (slight improvement)
Cleanliness: 3.5/5
Atmosphere: 2.8/5 (improved with less noise from the street)

Address: 474, Jalan Jelutong, Penang, Malaysia, 11600

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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.


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.



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.


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.



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


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.


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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