Gourmet Garden

Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'

Wine & Dine

In search of place to dine and delicacies to feast

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:

  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • $$$ to $$$$ per person.
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
  • 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

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:

  • 3.0/5 (Average)
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
  • 2.5/5 (Borderline)
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • 3.5/5 (Averagely Good)
  • $$$ (Total spending was RM1,037.85 for 12 adults & 1 child below 4 years old)
  • 3.0/5 (Average)
  • 2.5/5 (Borderline)
  • N/A

Address: 12, Tingkat Satu, Fortune Park, Jalan Perusahaan Jelutong 2, 11600 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Tel: +60 4-288 8888


Aji Noren (味暖簾日本料理)

Posted by Jason Wong On October - 16 - 20121 COMMENT

We have been to Aji Noren for quite a few times, then I decided to write it but that was months back. And thus, if can’t quite connect with taste memories please be gentle!

Aji Noren is a Japanese restaurant located in the Prima Tanjung business block off Jalan Fettes in Tanjong Tokong. Prior to writing this piece, I have found that many have actually written about this small yet functional restaurant that seems to project a cozy and homey atmosphere with a touch of TLC (tender loving care) by their ever so helpful waiting staff.

Throughout our visits, we found that there is a huge crowd of loyal customers that patronize the restaurant; there are many Japanese expatriates and families that dine from the extensive choice of cooked Japanese delicacies. It is their “home-cooked” flavours and the ability to custom-make our orders that attracts our return visits.

On our visits we usually don’t go for their Bento (meal) sets, although they are quite inexpensive and filling. We like munching on our favourites starting from appetizers or light dishes, then escalate to mains and staples (rice or noodles).

Daikon Sarada (RM6.00), a simple yet satisfying appetiser of juicy diakon cut length wise served with rich, savoury mayo and a lightly sweet and tangy sauce. It is simply an appetite opener.

Hotate Shimeji Batayaki (RM16.00), simply just scallops and mushroom(s) stir fried with butter. This dish is all about the sweet earthy flavours of mushroom, juicy tender scallops and rich buttery taste. The textures are also well balanced with all the ingredients just nicely cooked till al dente.

Buta Shabu-Shabu Salad (RM15.00), salad with cooked pork, mushroom and a very unique dressing. The poached pork pieces were moist and tender, salad greens and tomato wedges were fresh and juicy, mushrooms were sweet and earthy, and lastly the salad dressing was nutty, sweet savoury and tangy. The salad was great by its self, but a bowl of plain fluffy white rice might also compliment very well.

Bonus! I have found a simple recipe for this salad at “reikalein“.

Ika Nangkotsu Yaki (RM4.00), if I am not mistaken is grilled squid soft bone. The squid soft bones were lightly grilled with salt and served as it is; crisp yet tender with a smoky, salty flavour.

Tamago Kikuraage (RM23.00), stir-fried black fungus with egg and other vegetables. This egg flavoured dish with crisp and tender texture goes very well with a bowl of rice and maybe some cooked dry Udon too.

Nama Ika Teriyaki (RM27), whole grilled squid with teriyaki sauce. But we usually get the restaurant to make this dish with butter instead of teriyaki, which give it a lightly salted flavour with a rich buttery taste.

Saba Shioyaki (RM15.00), grilled mackerel with salt. The salt brings out the fragrance and sweet taste of the juicy rich mackerel fillets. Add a dash of lemon and some grated Diakon to balance, the flavours changes tone and it mellows the rich fatty fish oil.

Well during one of our visits, we did try their set meals or Bentos that are reasonably priced for value, portion and taste. Chikin Ban & Tamago Kikuraage Set (RM23.00), deep fried chicken cutlets coated with fluffy egg coating, stir-fried black fungus with egg, miso soup, common salad, rice and cut fruits. The chikin ban ban is one of our favourites at Aji Nouren, they are always moist, juicy, tender and flavourful. If you fancy the fluffy egg “flower”, you can personally request for more, which we usually do.

Aji Noren has been in the Japanese Restaurant business for quite some time now, and it seems to attract loyal and new customers with their cooking style that suits most locals and Japanese expats living in Penang. If you are looking for Japanese food minus the sushis and sashimis, then it is one of the places I would suggest to try.

Our overall experience:

  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • The dishes that we usually have do satisfy what we are looking for, especially the cooked items.
  • They are good in butter base dishes.
  • Sushi is not their forte at this outlet.
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • The stir-frying, grilling and deep frying does not kill the texture of the meat and vegetables per se.
  • 4.0/5 (good)
  • Friendly and helpful.
  • 3.0/5 (Good)
  • The dining area was neat and clean, but sometimes the table tends to be slightly greasy due to the wood surface.
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • Cozy and homey, but as the place is not big it tend to get packed easily.
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • Neither too expensive nor cheap, good place to indulge in some good Japanese food without the massive bleeding.
  • 4.0/5 (Good)
  • Good portioning for most items, especially the Bento sets.
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • Personally satisfying after most visits, except one or two occasions when I didn’t get to indulge in things I like.
  • 3.5/5 (Good)
  • So far no major upsets.
Address: 98-G-35, Prima Tanjung, Jalan Fettes, Tanjung Tokong, Penang.
Tel: +604 899 4720
GPS: 5.451280252777741, 100.30423443122561
Business Hours: Open Daily from 12:00pm-2:00pm & 6:00pm-10:00pm. Closed on Mondays.

Lot 10 Hutong, What’s All The Fuzz

Posted by Jason Wong On March - 10 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

At least 2 years, we have not really been to Kuala Lumpur (KL) to explore the food scene. Last month we were there for a working plus leisure visit. The trip brought us to Jalan Peel for Hakka Yong Tao Fu, Cheras for some old school Hakka dishes, Jalan Imbi for fried Hokkien Mee, China Town for some handmade delicacies and also Lot 10 Hutong for their publicize gathering of famous good eats around Kuala Lumpur.

Those unfamiliar with Lot 10 Hutong, it is a food court that gathers the famous and much liked KL delicacies Tan Sri Francis Yeoh of the YTL Group of companies adores and frequents. Therefore, it is a melting port of sort for tourists and people of KL. This Hutong houses not only well known names from and around KL but also the some brands from Singapore and Hong Kong.Lot 10 Hutong in many ways is similar to Gill’s vision, in fact is similar to her food outlet concept that she have conceived back in 2002. Though time has passed, we are still developing the idea and working to achieve it soon. This is also one of the reasons for setting up this blog, to encourage and promote our local food culture and heritage so that it will not become extinct and loss forever.
Both of us only had limited space to fill, thus we only tried things that caught our senses. And from all the brands we tried, our favourite would be Ducking’s (王帝鸭) roast duck and Imbi Road Original Pork Noodles’ (燕美路正庄豬肉粉) mince pork noodles. With a vast variety of selection or combination, we opted for their “Roasted Duck Drum Stick with Noodles” and “BBQ 3 Combo with Rice” sets. The Roasted Duck Drum Stick with Noodles set came with springy crisp wantan noodles dressed with the drippings from the roast duck, juicy tender whole roasted duck leg and some blenched pak choy. The duck was meaty sweet and filled with the flavours of the spice bouquet, that mimic the taste of the roast goose that we had in Hong Kong 2 years back.BBQ 3 Combo with Rice set came with a personal selection of roasted meats that we wanted to try, salted ducked, char siew and roasted duck, pork lard rice to replace the plain white rice and few pieces of cucumbers on the side. Char Siew was average to our preference, the ducks still stole the lime light amongst our selection. The salted duck or 咸水鸭 was firm and tender with rather salty savoury taste which we found to have gone down well with the pork lard rice. The pork lard rice or 猪油捞饭 was fragrant and rich with a nutty fermented sweet and savoury taste. The best thing is that the rice was al dente with firm individual grains coated with flavour, not lumpy or over hydrated.

We were quite skeptical of Imbi Road Original Pork Noodles (燕美路正庄豬肉粉) at first, but at least this time we were not disappointed. We especially like the mince pork that lace their bowl of smooth and springy noodle or “fen” (粉). The mince pork had a smoky caramel flavour to compliment the creamy taste or lard; it also had a meaty taste similar to that of pork floss. They have been in business since 1943.We also had a go at Hon Kee Famous Porridge (汉记靚粥), famous for its Cantonese style porridge since 1949. For a sampler we tried their Raw Fish Porridge set, thin slices of raw fish meat served with a, not so hot, bowl of plain rice porridge, condiments (roughly chopped coriander & shredded ginger) and dipping sauce (soya sauce & sesame oil). Some of the fish slices still had bones in it and the porridge not pipping hot as one would expect.Other than food, we also tested their drinks and desserts. The kopi ‘O” was average in taste with slight sour end, and the chendol did not hit the spot as those found in abundance in Penang.

Our overall experience at Lot 10 Hutong as a whole:

Taste 3.0/5 (Average) There are some highs and lows. Our favourits are still the Ducking’s roast duck and pork lard rice and Imbi Road Original Pork Noodles’ mince pork noodles.
Texture 3.0/5 (Average) Is is still Ducking’s roast duck and pork lard rice that saved the day.
Service NA/5 Not much of service to look forward for, just the speed things are prepared upon order.
Cleanliness 3.0/5 (Average) Clean dining area and tables.
Atmosphere 2.5/5 (Fair) The seating areas is bit of a maze at start.
Price 2.5/5 (Fair) Food court or shopping mall pricing.
Portion 3.0/5 (Average) Portions were on a average scale.
Value 3.0/5 (Average) Acceptable.
Consistency 3.5/5 (Good) This one goes to the Ducking station as we had multiple transaction from lunch to dinner.
Lot 10 Hutong
  • Add: Lot 10 Hutong, LG Floor, Lot 10 Shopping Centre, 50 Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Tel:  +60 (3) 27823591
  • Business Hours: Monday –  Sunday 10.00am – 10:00pm


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

IL BACARO, Traditional Venetian Dishes

Posted by Jason Wong On January - 11 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

Located in Campbell House, an old vacant run down pre-war building turned new breed of heritage hotel, Il Bacaro is a traditional Venetian street tavern which serves authentic Italian dishes in a nostalgic setting with black and white photos of the owners’ childhood memories.

Roberto Dreon is the owner cum Chef of the hotel and restaurant. Like most Italians, the emphasis on freshest ingredients only has “forced” the kitchen to make and serve freshly baked breads, handmade pasta varieties and their homemade sauces and gravies. All the cooking, baking and roasting is all done in their fully equipped kitchen that even has a custom built wood fired oven. Supporting Roberto is Nardya Wray who is also the co-owner of this cosy restaurant and hotel.

First up was their self baked bread served in a Chinese bamboo steamer with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The bread was soft and fluffy with a slight chewiness, the olive oil was fresh and buttery and the balsamic was sweet and tangy.

For salads, we had their Rocket Salad with Poached Pear & Goat’s Cheese. It is a medium salad with loads of bitter nutty Rocket leaves dressed in a caramel flavoured balsamic vinaigrette, thick slices of light and creamy goat’s cheese and generous portions of sweet tender poached pears in red wine.

For pizza we had their White Pizza with Rucola, Cherry Tomatoes, Egg and Parmigiano. The crusty pizza base was thick and firm with a slight smoky taste plastered with a luxurious coating of fragrantly baked cheese topped with fresh bitter sweet Rucola, juicy cherry tomatoes, a smooth and rich sunny side up egg and sprinkles of shaved savoury Parmesan cheese.

Main courses, we had their Pan Seared Salmon with Green Beans and Orange & Saffron Sauce and Homemade Tagliolini Siciliana. The Catch of the Day came in the form of a tender medium-rare steak of salmon that has been lightly seared and served on a bed of crisp sweet green beans and fruity orange and saffron sauce. Texture contrast was firm meat, crisp beans and smooth sauce.

The other main we had was Homemade Tagliolini Siciliana. Well cooked homemade Tagliolini pasta served with their homemade tomato base Siciliana pasta sauce which was tart with a hint of sweetness that came from the fresh tomatoes used to prepare the Spanish, Greek and Arab influenced sauce.

Final course of the day was their Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis dessert. The firm and smooth milky Panna Cotta pudding served chilled with a thick room temperature strawberry purée sauce that was acidulous with a sweet end was pleasing to our taste buds and comforting after a heavy meal. 

Our overall experience:

Taste 3.5/5 (Good) Liked the natural and contrast of flavours and used of fresh ingredients.
Texture 3.5/5 (Good) There were multitude of texture in each dish which gives a different experience on each mouthful.
Service 3.5/5 (Good) Friendly and courteous.
Cleanliness 3.5/5 (Good) Clean but due to its location flies are around during day time dining.
Atmosphere 4.0/5 (Good) A nostalgic ambiance.
Price 3.0/5 (Average) Averagely priced.
Portion 3.5/5 (Good) Portions were quite fulfilling.
Value 3.5/5 (Good) Good ingredients were provided with right portions.
Consistency  N/A

Campbell House

  • Add: 106 Lebuh Campbell, 10100 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
  • Tel:  +60 (4) 2618290
  • Email:  info@campbellhousepenang.com

Open  daily

  • 12.00pm-3.00pm Lunch Menu
  • 3.00pm-6.30pm Light Snacks & Drinks Menu
  • 6.30pm-10.30pm Dinner Menu













37 Year Old Mee Goreng At Chuan Foong

Posted by Jason Wong On January - 3 - 20123 COMMENTS

‘Mee Goreng’ or ‘Mamak Mee Goreng’ is one of the many favourite fab foods that Malaysians enjoy and there are many comments on who fries the best. What we look for is not the best but the one that can deliver a more traditional bouquet of flavours. The best is only if we have tasted all the Mee Goreng in the world, or at least in Penang for this case.

Mee Goreng literally meaning fried noodles is myth to have originated from Chinese ‘chow mein’ and believed to have been introduced by Chinese immigrants to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia when they immigrated from China. In its’s basic form it consists of  yellow noodles, bean sprouts, egg, bean curd, crackers, fritters, chili and each individual cooks specially concocted gravy. Some stalls may also offer stewed squid or cuttlefish.

The Mee Goreng stall that is found at Chuan Foong (Yok Fong Cafe) on the junction of Jalan Tanjung Bungah and Jalan Chan Siew Teong reminded us of the oldskool flavours that we very much enjoy and look forward for. The stall has been in business for around 37 years in Tanjung Bungah and has been based in Chuan Foong for 20 years and opens 6 days week, resting on Fridays. Business hour starts from 2pm daily.

The stall still practices cooking with open charcoal flames that maintain a more distributed heat wave that will would evenly cook food and enhance its taste. 

Their Mee Goreng is sold at RM3.70 per serving. It has a balance of savouriness from the special gravy used to braise the noodles, sweetness from seasoning with sugar, heat from chilli and creaminess from egg.  Some lime juice from a wedge of freshly cut lime provided a taste of freshness to the plate of old flavours.

Other than Mee Goreng, they also have Mee Rebus and Pasembur which are also favourite items sold by Mamaks in Malaysia. Their Mee Rebus is sold at RM3.70 per serving. Although it is not exceptional, but it is still good enough satisfy the occasional cravings.

Their Pasembur is price at RM3.50 per serving which come with juicy and crunchy roughly julienne cucumber and jicama (sengkuang in Malay), crispy prawn crackers, fluffy fritters, firm bean curds cubes, and a rich hardboiled egg. We especially like the prawn crackers, which were well seasoned, that went well with its thick sweet and spicy gravy.

Overall, the Mee Goreng is well flavoured and has that unique wok sear aroma and taste, the Mee Rebus is a bit general in taste, and the Pasember is above average in texture and taste in terms of the ingredients and gravy. It would take us a few more visits to gauge their consistency for sure.




Poon Choi At Ho Ho Food World Seafood Restaurant

Posted by Jason Wong On December - 27 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

Our first encounter with Poon Choi was some four five years back, while on a business trip to Kuala Lumpur. And our first home-cooked Poon Choi was in 2009, since then we have been looking and tasting this unique Hakka delicacy when opportunity strikes. There were good ones and bad ones, and there is a variety of versions that are available on offer by many established restaurants.

Poon Choi (盆菜) is traditionally a Hakka dialect delicacy that is myth to have fed a Song Dynasty Emperor who was seeking refuge from the ensuing Mongols.  As the Hakka’s live in the mountainous regions and live was not as well then, they prepared and cooked what was the best ingredient  they could manage or find  and layered them into a wooden basin that was then served to the emperor and his loyal subjects that were with him.  As time goes by, this unique delicacy has found its way to Hong Kong’s Yuen Long (元朗) and made famous by the constant exposure in TVB serials and Hong Kong movies.

Our most recent encounter was at HoHo Food World, where we had the privilege to experience what they could deliver in terms of flavours and ingredient selections at a reasonable price tag with fellow bloggers (invited review) and then with family.

The Poon Choi is made to order by reservation of at least one day before dining. It is all done by their chef who have had years of experience in preparing Chinese cuisines in reputable restaurant in Penang and Kuala Lumpur.

HoHo Food World’s Poon Choi has an estimated 15 to 17 different main ingredients that builds up one of their signature dishes that they have on offer at their restaurant.

The most luxurious would be the firm and springy sea cucumber, the flavourful fish maw, the earthy dried scallop and dried oysters, the savoury sea asparagus and freshly fried prawns, and last but not least the smooth firm abalone. Note that they serve individual abalone for each individual diner, and their Poon Choi caters to 5 persons for the smallest order and up to 12 diners for the biggest set available.

Then there was the well prepared creamy yam and chicken, the smoky roast duck and chicken ham, the firm clam slices, the irony green broccoli, and an array of stewed mushrooms, carrots, radish and Chinese cabbage.
The gravy of the Poon Choi has a light sweet, earthy and nutty flavour with a creamy end from the yam used. It is not soupy like those with have encountered previously, it had a thick consistency which we have been searching for.

HoHo Food World

Add: 1301, Bagan Bukit Tambun, 14110 Simpang Ampat, SPS, Pulau Pinang.

Tel: +6016 5205535

Our overall experience:

Taste 3.5/5 (Good) Liked the natural flavours.
Texture 3.5/5 (Good) Good texture in the abalone, sea cucumber, fish maw, prawns, sea asparagus, etc.
Service 3.0/5 (Good) Heard they will be getting in more staff.
Cleanliness 3.0/5 (Good) Clean but due to its location flies are around during day time dining.
Atmosphere 3.5/5 (Good) Scenic view of the river with flocks of bird passing by during the day and evening.
Price 3.0/5 (Average) Comparable or cheaper then the surrounding restaurants.
Portion 3.5/5 (Good) Not bad, but would like to have more to bite on.
Value 4.0/5 (Good) Quality ingredients were provided.
Consistency 3.5/5 (Good) Have been back there for not less than 4 times.
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