My Ratings: 4 Stars
Location: 1239-G, Ground Floor, Jalan Paya Terubong, Penang
RM15-40 per pax
Contact: +604 8265173 (Chef Tan Hock Chai)
Open Daily except Tues 4:00pm - 10:30pm
GPS N05.387212 E100.274013
In ancient times, Poon Choi is a dish for the common men in China. Throwing in whatever scraps of meat and vegetables into a bigpot and cooking it to make a common meal. However, in today's times, Poon Choi is no longer a haphazard concoction to meat and vegetables but a well balanced and well thought out top choice ingredients to make the most delicious and perhaps a nutritious feast of a dish. And you don't have wait till the festive season to have the dish
Zi Zai Restaurant serves one of the best Poon Choi in Penang with its choice of top quality and scrumptious seafood, pork cuts, vegetables, duck and chicken and the crown jewel, top grade New Zealand abalone. Zi Zai's Poon Choi is made up of 13 ingredients; Chinese cabbage, Chinese mushrooms, Broccoli, Braised pork belly in fermented bean curd, Yam, Yam bean, Sea cucumbers, Fish Maws, Roasted duck, Chicken, Deep friend snapper fillets, Home-made deep fried Hock Chew fish balls (with mince meat fillings), Sweet flesh prawns and abalone. The best way to eat Poon Chooi is the eat the food from top to bottom layer by layer. Each layer has its own distinctive taste and aroma and must each layer before moving to the next layer. This is because the chef has planned out how each of the ingredients can be enjoyed, from the light to the strong taste
Zi Zai's Poon Choi needs a day before pre-order via phone call. This is because the Abalone and Pork belly needs a day's preparation to give the dish a distinctive taste that's a cut above. Combined the above ingredients and you will get a Poon Choi that is not only visually appetising but also full of flavours. Zi Zai'sPoon Choi comes in two sizes, RM258 nett for a serving for 5-6 people and a bigger sized serving for 10-11 persons at RM400 nett. A value for money considering the choice and quality of ingredients. Chef Tan only wants his diners to enjoy best food without the high price.
I also had the opportunity to taste Za Zai other dishes. I found that the bean spout salted fish is simply delicious. The sprouts are plum and cooked just right and Chef Tan has even gone to extend to remove the sprout root and husks which only shows Chef Tan's commitment to better food. I also enjoyed the lala shells cooked in sambal. Irresistible! The belacan chicken is also one of my favourite
Starting December 2011, Zi Zai is offering Express Meals at only RM4.50 (rice and your choice of seafood and meat and a portion of vegetables). The Express Meals are available daily from 10:00am - 7:00pm except Tuesdays (closed)
Overall, I found the restaurant is casual (no frills), has ample parking and the food is tasty and its price affordable but I am impressed by Chef Tan's dedication to serve his customers only the best.