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Monday, October 12, 2009

Ivy's Kitchen

My ratings: 5 Stars

Cuisine: Nyonya, Chinese, Steamboat, Seafood, Cafe & Hawker fare
Location: 58, Jalan Chow Thye, 10250 Penang
(2 doors down Jemputree restaurant/opp Hotel 1926)
Pork Free
RM10-30 per person

There is an undiscovered jewel in the mass of restaurants in Penang. Ivy's Kitchen serves the best traditional Nyonya, Chinese, Seafood and Steamboat cuisine. Born out of the dreams of Tan And Ivy to set up a family orientated restaurant serving the best dishes of their Hokkien and Teo Chew heritage.

Their strength is in cooking up the long forgotten dishes that our mothers used to make for us like Chilli Crab, Ju Hu Char, Teo Chew styled soup with seaweed and traditional steamboat. Their promise to their customers that every of their dish is home made and made fresh on that day and nothing comes out to the table except quality food.

As a matter of fact, some dishes like the Chilli Crab and Steamboat must be pre-ordered so that Ivy will get the raw ingredients and spices fresh from the market.

The menu may looked simple but ask Mr. Tan for recommendation for the day and soon you will realize there is more to offer and best part of it all the dishes are good. And the best part is that there is variety, you have to make several trips and dine at the restaurant before you get to the end of the menu. Rarely, you can get a restaurant that can cook well for all of its items in the menu buy Ivy's Kitchen is different and is that special restaurant. Here's to Ivy.

We ordered a lot and we finished them all. We ordered Nasi Lemak, Gulai Ikan, Ju Hu Char, Chicken Lor Bak, Asam Prawns, Assam Gulai Ikan, Laksa, Rojak, Kailan Sambal, Beef Rendang and Bitter Gourd with Taucu. Oh! Yummy.......

Here is my recommendations: Basically, all above............esp. Nasi Lemak set, Curry Fish Head, Beef Rendang, Penang Assam Laksa, Assam Gulai Ikan, Assam Prawns, Ju Hu Char, bitter gourd with taucu, etc. Mr Tan is eager to recommend his Chili Crab and steamboat. I am sure they will taste fantastic! My next visit......

Tan and Ivy is taking reservations for Chinese New Year family steamboat dinner over the duration of the Chinese New Year. Call their numbers below.

I am giving my two thumbs up because I can get basically all my great tasting childhood comfort food here and if you have the opportunity, chat with Tan and Ivy. They have a lot of life & food stories to share....definitely adds to the homely friendly atmosphere. Stop by Ivy's Kitchen as part of your heritage adventure around Georgetown and get to experience a taste of heritage.

Call Tan (+6 013-4337878) or Ivy (+6 016-4337130) for reservations and/or advance orders. Open Daily 12:00pm - 9:00pm. Close 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month. Park car along Chow Thye road or at Cafe 127's car park.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


My Ratings: 3 Stars

Cuisine: Japanese
Location: 253-G-1-1 Premier Center, Jalan Burmah, 10350 Penang
(next to The Place 007/White Beach Restaurant/Old Thai Prontip)
Non Halal
Price: RM20-30 per person

"Inaka" means countryside in Japanese. Recently opened on 9-9-09, this restaurant serves decent Japanese meals that is easy on the wallet. With Bento set starting from RM16 and Ramen set from RM16.90, it is not only value for money but also delicious.

Barely opened a month, the stream of customer is constant with a mix of local and Japanese customers. The ambiance is nice with a private room that can hold up to 10 diners comfortably.

We ordered the ramen sets. The ramen sets are accompanied by a side dish, chawanmushi, salad, and fruits. We had the Miso Ramen, Mussel Ramen, Chicken Nanban Wakayama and the Gyoza Gekikara Ramen (spicy).

Overall, the taste of all the ramen base is OK. We like the Miso and Gekikara soup base better. The portions are sufficient that can satisfy any hungry man or woman. Overall the service is OK despite the restaurant just open for business. Green Tea is FOC but there is a 10% service charge add.

Call +604-2272268 for reservation.

Monday, October 5, 2009


My ratings: 4 Stars

Cuisine: Japanese
Location: 170-03-59 Gurney plaza, Penang
Non Halal
RM25-40 per person

The beauty is its simplicity. Kozue is fast gaining popularity among the Japanese community as the place to dine that is close to a home cooked meal. So much so that the owners caters to Japanese businessman and expatriates, offering different menu daily (not in restaurant menu) and with special request from its customers (favourite dish) so that they are never home sick for traditional meal just like their wives and mother used to cook

The restaurant is beautifully decorated, true to a chic Japanese modern deco of black and white hues. The menu is a work of art with most of the food items beautifully illustrated.

I was introduced to this restaurant by CK Lam and was asked to try their Ume Chazuke (RM8.00). It is basically a bowl of rice topped with pieces of ume plum and seaweed. It is served with a pot of green tea. The green tea is not to direct as is but to be poured over the rice right before eating. Wonderful! The heat from the green tea infuse with the sour of the ume plum is just heavenly. It is hard to believe that something so simple can be novel, exciting, delicious and healthy all at the same time. I recommend it.

We also ordered Hijiki (very healthy seaweed) Inaniwa Udon (Inaniwa Udon is the thinner version of the Udon) RM19.00++, Kimuchi Udon (RM16.00++, Avocado Maki (RM4.00++), Unagi Tempura set and Chicken Miso Tsukeyaki set. All of which are beautifully prepared and delicious.

The owners of Kozue previously opened another well known Japanese restaurant in town before getting their hands dirty in Kozue. Majority of the customers just followed and solidifying the fact that it one of Penang true to taste Japanese restaurant and has true loyal Japanese and local followers. Kozue will be changing the menu items soon to better serve its customer's tastes.

Call +604-2269336 for reservations

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