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Tuesday, March 31, 2009


My ratings: 3 stars

Cuisine: Chinese
Location: Fettes Park, Tanjung Bunggah, Penang (opp. Sun City)
Non Halal
RM15-20 per person

Just opened early this year 2009, you can hardly miss the restaurant as you drive past Fettes Park. It is the newer restaurant in that area and it is also the most brightly lit along the row of shop and stalls. The restaurant is open for lunch (11am - 3pm) and dinner (6-11pm). Close on Thursdays. The restaurant has another branch in Batu Maung area.

As the restaurant is newly opened, it is offering cheap set lunches at only RM5.90 inclusive of a fried egg, a bowl of soup and tea or water to publicise and attract customers. One popular lunch set is the Wild Boar Curry. For dinners, it offers ala-carte Chinese styled dishes with price ranging from RM6.00 to RM80.00.

Its signature dishes are Wild Boar Curry, Fried Porridge and Yunan deep fried tofu. Great, now I do not have to go Chai Leng park in BM to enjoy the local area's top favourite which is the fried porridge. This is the same idea when the chef created his signature dish at this restaurant where he is to be able to enjoy fried porridge without having to travel to BM to enjoy the dish. We leave the Wild Boar Curry to try on our next visit. The lady owner recommended me their long beans cooked with garlic . But I was in the mood for something spicy, so the lady owner recommended to cook with sambal instead. She claimed that their long beans are home grown and taste sweeter

We ordered the fried porridge, Yunan tofu and Sambal long beans. For drinks I ordered the home made soya milk. The first dish to come out was the crispy tapioca chips. Then came the long awaited Fried Porridge and then sambal long beans and finally the Yunan Fried Tofu.

The Fried Porridge has a strong flavour. It has shrimps, bits of Char Sui pork, dried cuttlefish and sprinkle of chopped shallots all mixed together. It is quite filling too as the porridge is thick and the portion is big. Indeed, the home grown long beans are sweeter. But I find that cooking the beans with sambal is too much oily. We had to drip the oil off the beans before we put it into our mouth. The belacan shrimp paste unfortunately was not fully dissolved and it make the dish a little salty. See picture below. The Yunan Tofu is good. Its center is moist and soft like cottage cheese while it is crispy outside on the skin. The crispy chips is good but at RM1.50 for a handful of chips is very expensive and just not worth your money So ask the waiter not to serve the chips

The service is not so good. With the owner's wife alone taking orders, serving the dishes and at the same time manages hers sons who are helping her, we waited a while before she came over to take our orders.

A good alternative place to have fried porridge without going all the way to BM. The Yunan tofu is good too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rou Gu Cha King

My Ratings: 3 Stars

Cuisine: Chinese
Non Halal
Location: Lower Ground, Queensbay Mall, Penang
RM15-20 per person

Rou Gu Cha is better known as Bak Kut Teh" in Penang. We were having lunch in Queensbay Mall today and we decided to try something new. Heard from my friend that Rou Gu Cha just opened in QB Mall.

Looking at the menu, there are set lunches starting from RM11.90 (something we can afford). Originally, we wanted to eat at Nandos but thinking over it, that Nandos prices is a bit steep for us. Per person bill can set us back RM20-25. So not worth the money. So Rou Gu Cha is the right choice to start with.

The restaurant offers a variety of Bak Kut Teh from pork to chicken and even vegetarian (Yes, you heard me right - a vegetarian "Bak Kut" teh with a touch of spice). And from Bak Kut Teh with soup to dry ones. We found something different and we ordered a dry Bak Kut Teh (Gan Rou Gu Cha) @RM12.90+ per set and a soup variety infused with Australian Red Wine (Hong Jiu Rou Gu Cha)@13.90+

Sets comes with steam rice, seasonal bean sprouts, dim sum, herbal jelly and chinese tea. Gan Rou Gu Cha has pork ribs, streaky pork, cartilage, meat ball, mushroom, beancurd stick, cuttlefish, lady finger, dried chili, vegetables. Hong Jiu Rou Gu Cha has pork ribs, streaky pork, cartilage, hock, meat ball, mushroom, beancurd stick, traditional beancurd and vegetables.

I like both the Gan and Hong Jiu Rou Gu Cha. The Hong Jiu Rou Gu Cha of course has a slight taste of red wine. The taste of red wine goes well with the flavour of the Rou Gu Cha. Strong, unique and yet flavourful. The Gan type of course is also strong in taste as the soup base has been well evaporated.
Looks like it is going to be an international brand with the signboard saying it has outlets in both Penang and Shanghai at this moment. I feel so lucky that Penang has a couple of branches (another one in Gurney Plaza). So this make it one of a kind Penang food? Kuala Lumper don't even have one (......yet....).

The portions are small but sufficient. Restaurant ambience is simple. Service is OK. No government charge but 10% service charge is included. Sets, ala carte and side orders are available for order.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hainan Western

My Ratings: 3 Stars
Cuisine: Western
Location: Mount Eskine (opp. wet market), Penang
Non Halal
RM7.50 - 15.00

Recommended by Jason (, this western food restaurant enjoys endless stream of customers. Sometimes during peak dinner time, the crowd is so huge that just arrived cstomers have to wait for a vacant table.

Named Hainan Western, the business grew and grew and is still growing. Maybe good fung shui because it is situated on temple grounds but one thing for sure, everyone seems to agree that the food taste good, hence for the many returning customers. Thus this place is giving the Fettes Park Western food nearby a good competition

OK, you may ask why the western food here is better than others. Well, 1st, the food ingredient is fresh, good quality and lean (less fat). With some many customers, there turn on the food is high so ensuring the freshness of the ingredients. Second, the food is well cooked. One measure of good coking is the french fries. It is not fried til crispy hard but until a nice golden brown colour and still soft inside with great tasting potatoes. Third, the gravy is well prepared, thick and flavourful.

We ordered the mushroom soup as starters and chicken chop, fish & chips and "Indianna" Pork Chop. Can't make out what is in that "Indianna" gravy but is it not bad tasting. I think the "Indianna" sauce is their signature sauce because I do not think any other outlet has this kind of sauce.

Oveall, the food is good but be prepared to wait for your food. We waited about half an hour before our food was served. Parking is limited. Open for dinner only from 6:00pm. Close on one of the weekdays (I think it's Thursday)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Goh Huat Seng

My Ratings: 4 Stars

Cuisine: Chinese/Teo Chew
Location: 59A Kimberly Street (junction with Jalan Pintal Tali), Georgetown, Penang
Non Halal
RM15-25 per person

Talk about stepping back in history. This restaurant must be one of the few remaining that have not changed its facade since business started there. It's historic looking.

Started in 1953, this restaurant is one of the oldest and most popular Teo Chew restaurant on the island. Now, run by Mr. Sew Boo who took over this business from his father Goh Eng Poh in 1977 and moved to its current location.

The restaurant serves typical Teo Chew delicacies like Oh Chien (Oyster Omelette), Lor Ark (Brasied Duck with Five Spices), Chim Bak Kean (Crab Roll), Heh Bak Kean (Prawn Roll) and of course Or Knee for dessert. All are house specialty and pictured.

Apart from Chinese dishes, dinner can also order their steamboat set from RM60. But these are not your typical modern day steamboat cooked over an electric or gas stove. This steamboat is over red hot charcoal fire using a traiditional steamboat apparatus. Wow! this certainly up the historic value/points of the place and experience. But this steamboat apparatus had the help of modern technology. Its owners provide a mini battery operated fans to help fan the hot ambered fire

We ordered all of its house specialties and more. We ordered their fish ball soup with sea weed floss, long beans, pork with preserved vegetables, Chinese Chai Sim and steamed fish Teo Chew style.

Delicious. Taste is balanced. Not too salty nor oily as with typical Teo Chew cooking style. The only twist was the Or Knee. Normally this traditional dessert is Yam is covered with rice sheet and steamed until the rice sheet is almost translucent. Here the Or Knee is deep fried using flour sheets

Parking is limited along the busy streets in that area. So being there early to avoid walking a distance from you car and back. Also be there early as it can get pretty pack with customers especially during the weekend.

Cash term only. For reservation, call+604 2615811. Opens 11:00am - 3:00pm for lunch and 5:30pm - 9:30pm. Closed on alternate Mondays.

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