Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Simple home tastes @ Siang Pin

I am seriously lagging behind for this food blog recently; and I must apologize.
My photos are all taking such a long time to upload that I lose the motivation to upload and without the photos, I can't update the food blog, right?

Anyway, I do have tons of photos and places to post on and one of them is this nice and homey restaurant located in Tg Bungah.
Siang Pin Seafood Restaurant is located near the traffic light junction on your left slightly after the Penang Swimming Club.
In fact, it is the same row of shophouses where you can see Maxim's Cake house from the main road.

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What's so special about this place and what makes them so different from other Tai Chow places?
Actually, not much but the cooking style and tastes kinda suit me and it is one of my favorite place to cure that Tai Chow or home-cooked dishes craving (when I am not too tired to travel all the way up to Tg Bungah that is =)

Fish fillet with spring Onions and ginger (RM14)
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Plain and simple but I just love the fish fillets!
However, I do feel that the taste is inconsistent sometimes based on the number of visits I have made to this place.
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On the whole, I still like it; I am always a fan of fish fillets and the fish fillets used tastes similar to that of the threadfin's texture. (one of my favorite=)

Stir-fry spinach with garlic (RM5)
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This is like my must-order each time I am here that I don't recall that I have ordered anything other than this.
Seriously, beats me how hard it is to find spinach here in Penang. Most of the Tai Chow offer limited varieties of vegetables and spinach is never on the list.
I love makes you strong, right, as Popeye always say =)

Claypot beancurd (RM5)
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The beancurd here is soft and smooth. It's slightly fried on the outside, but still, you can taste the silky curd inside, yumz!

Needless to say, I always order this as well, oh, and the steaming hot beancurd in the claypot is a sure winner on rainy days! =)
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Mantis prawns cooked the Kam Heong style (RM12)
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Seriously, I rarely try any other style besides the same old Kung Pow style; mainly because I like Kung Pow style and I felt it's best cooked that way for my tastes.
This Kam Heong was not too bad either, but it was a little bit too oily and spicy for my taste =P
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The mantis prawns are slightly larger than the usual small ones and were quite fresh and crunchy!

Since I like both the claypot beancurd and the fish fillets so much, they also have the fish fillets in claypot and guess what, it comes with the nice beancurds as well!
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This combo is unique, and I get to satisfy both cravings at the same time
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Overall, not a bad place for some home cooked dishes once in a while, what say you? =)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Eating at New Lane

One of the most popular tourist haunts to eat out is at New Lane which is an intersection along the famous Macalister Road in Penang.
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It is no wonder, with the number of stalls lined up along the road and the two coffee shops which are facing each other on the side of the road.
Furthermore, Sunway Hotel is right smack in the middle of the lane and tourists who are guests at the hotel would definitely be spoilt for choices when they step out of their hotel.

I've been here several times, and I think I've blogged about this place once about the exorbitant prices and quality of the food during CNY.
Anyway, recently, I went there for a light dinner meal, so just post on a few stuffs I had and bear in mind, this is not a general post on everything in New Lane...there's only so much one can take at a time =)

If you have a sweet tooth and a heart for sweet soup desserts, you will be delighted to find that there is a Tong Sui (Chinese soup desserts) stall here, selling the simple Leng Chi Kang style of soups.
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Combination of red beans, gingko nuts and lotus seeds in a sweet soup.

Oh my, this was extremely sweet; in fact too sweet for someone who does not have such a sweet tooth!
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If you're into these desserts, you can try. It's priced at RM1.70-RM2.50 per bowl.

Penang Koay Teow Th'ng (basically flat rice noodles in plain soup with fishballs and shredded chicken slices)
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This simple fare is found almost everywhere in Malaysia; but somehow most people still prefer the Penang version and found that it is more tasty here.
Why? I can't explain it myself...perhaps the title of the Pearl of the Orient had that hold on the attraction as well?
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It only costs about RM2.70-RM3 per serving.

Another Penang local delight is Poh piah which is found in almost every hawker stall arena on the island.
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It is not as dry as the version found in KL; in fact, this is what most people would call the wet version as it comes with light serving of soup.
Usually costs about RM1.20++ per roll; and minimum order of 2 rolls =)

I've yet to try everything but that will come into a compilation...personally, sometimes I find this place slightly overrated, but this could be my opinion alone.
What about you? What's the best hawker food you've tried here that beats elsewhere?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Simple Japanese tastes @ Shinjutei

There is little Japanese hut located along Cantonment road in Pulau Tikus that I just feel comfortable to dine in most of the time.
In fact, whenever I crave for Japanese food with a light taste and not burning a hole in my pocket, I think of Shinjutei here =)
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Nothing special really, I just liked this place the first time a girl friend introduced it to me.
It's not as fancy or as grand as some Japanese restaurants; in fact, on the contrary, simplicity is the concept of their interior design here.
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Lights are dimmed to provide a more comfortable dining environment. This is especially true during those hot afternoons when the sun is shining so brightly that you thought you're about to melt any moment (well, at least I thought that!), when you step into this place, you just felt so much cooler.
(Guess that's the main reason why most restaurants choose dim lighting compared to really bright Philips light bulbs, LOL!)

As usual, I often (and I am sure most of us here do) start a Japanese meal with a cup of green tea (refillable throughout the meal at RM1)
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During lunch hour, they offer set lunches which starts from RM14++
My favorite is always Shake Teriyaki (Grilled Salmon with teriyaki sauce) @ RM14-16(can't remember the exact price)
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The set lunches come in a bento set; and with servings of preserved cucumbers, vegetables, etc for appetizers
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Katsu Don set (RM14) (Japanese Curry Chicken with rice)
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The chicken are deep fried; and the curry is served separately.
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I think it had a scent of Maggi Mee curry powder in it...LOL!
Well, then again, you don't recall Japanese being big fans of curry or anything spicy, do you? (Except their wasabi!)

For other ala carte dishes, Yasai Itame is always good to balance the meal.Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
Priced at RM8-10, it is basically stir-fried mixed vegetables (which had lots of cabbages and shallots) with soy sauce.
It can be really salty sometimes, mind you!

Sometimes, when I don't order sets (which is almost always, because I do not want to waste food), I opt for the Shake Teriyaki as an ala carte
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At RM14, it is not too bad of a portion, compared to one place that I went to (will blog about that soon)
I know, I just like this so much that you often see me ordering this in most Japanese restaurants.
Unfortunately, I've not really found one that is really smashing in the taste =(

Fish lovers like me would also tend to opt for Sakana, this is done Deep-fried (RM9)
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It's just simple mackerel fish, done the deep fried way =)
However, this fish has more bones and again, need to be really careful when it comes to munching on it.

I noticed that Japanese styles tend to revolve around the few basics; grilled, deep-fried, soy sauce, sauteed, fried, and that's about it.
Perhaps, we are spoilt by the endless varieties in Chinese cooking styles?

Overall, Shinjutei is definitely a nice place to dine in; for the food, environment and even if you're on a budget!
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It's located next to the famous Evergreen Vegetarian restaurant; and you should be able to spot it =)
They have parking spaces in front of their shop reserved for their customers.

Oh, did I mention, service was also not bad here? Plus point, definitely =)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Green or Golden Kiwi?

Just taking a break from the normal food posts; and decided to talk about something healthy.

I love fruits and vegetables; almost ALL fruits and vegetables are on my pickyeater's list (although I can't deny there is also a list of them which are not, but we will talk about those later)

There is a list of fruits which are assorted in their colors, or varied in their texture but they came from the same family.
The following is extracted from the helpful Wikipedia:
Kiwifruit (Actinidia deliciosa) is a fruit. It has an oval shape, and is green on the inside with small black seeds that are edible. The kiwi has furry brown skin that is edible but is usually removed. The skin is relatively thin. The kiwi is native to South China.

The fruit was named in 1959 after the kiwi, a bird and symbol of New Zealand. Before that, its English name was Chinese gooseberry.

The kiwifruit is healthy and contains many vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Kiwis have more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange.[needs proving]

There are different types of kiwifruit. The main types are hayward (the most common green kiwifruit), chico, saanichton 12, and golden kiwifruit. Golden kiwifruit is sweeter than normal green kiwifruit. Golden kiwifruit was invented by grafting and cross-pollinating different types of kiwifruit.

I LOVE Kiwis; as much as I love berries (any berries!), and I just think I love both the green and the golden ones equally although I know most people prefer the golden ones because it's sweeter and more fragrant?

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How about you?
Are you the golden or the green kiwi fan? =)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Mahi-Mahi fish fare @ Little Cottage 2

First of all, I must really apologize for the lack of updates on my food blog lately!
I have formatted my laptop and lost my photo editing tool; and I need to re-install it again. At the same time, work's really consuming most of my time...

That being said, perhaps it's just excuses...haha, since I updated my other blogs:P
But then again, they don't need photo editing tools mar....

Alright, the good news is, I have a long list of food adventures and places waiting to be posted, and therefore, if time permits and all goes well, expect lots of posts this month!:)
(This I promise you:)

This post is highlighting a Mahi-Mahi fish fare which was recently promoted in Little Cottage 2 (or was that a month ago)
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Anyway, it's been a really long time since I have last visited this place; a place which serves really nice western food and in an equally enchanting environment:)
(No, I am not paid to write this review/post for them)

During my visit last month, I spotted their promotion; well, it's kinda hard not to notice a board which is facing the main entrance.
Once you push the door open, you definitely spot it at eye level (unless you have some serious astigmatism or visual problems)
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I was early and the place was pretty much quiet during my arrival. I do notice some of the tables with the Reservation tags on them; and there was a section where all the tables had a vase of flowers on them. Image Hosted by PicturePush - Photo Sharing
I am guessing there is an event that same evening.

The main courses are priced within the range of RM19-50+; but you can also order the set courses; which comes inclusive of a salad/soup, main course, coffee/tea, and dessert at a price of RM39.90 (I think)

If you want to change the soup in the set, you can do so; but with an additional charge of RM5.

The guy recommended this Clam Chowder soup which he mentioned was one of the signature soups here
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Originally priced at RM12.90, we topped up the RM5 to the set course to enjoy it.

Now the word enjoy is rather too much of a statement as the first sight of the soup already got us confused.
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A closer look; and it could be easily mistaken for their Potato soup; which coincidentally was the soup of the day.
The guy explained that the soup came with potato cubes as well as clams.

Taste wise, it was below average as the soup was slightly uneven in the taste(diluted and concentrated on different parts)
The clams were not exactly that fresh either; and the potatoes seem to outnumber the clams, not really something to recommend:(

This was much better; at least the dinner rolls were soft!:)
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The Mahi-mahi fish in sizzling hot sauce
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(sorry for the bad quality; it was pretty hot then and I had to rush to take the photo!)
The texture of the fish was not too bad; but one thing to note, it is a BONY fish!!
There's bones everywhere, small ones, big gets annoying when you try to enjoy your meal...much as I love fish:p
Overall, this was quite tasty as well:)

Ironically, I didn't order the Mahi-mahi fish, much as it was promoted here.
Instead, I had my eyes (and taste buds!) rejoicing at the grilled red snapper served with mandarin orange gravy
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The sauce was unique and it did have a light tangerine/mandarin taste (but take note, it's very very very light!)
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The fish was slightly overcooked though; but overall, this was not too bad to spoil my 'fishy' appetite for that night.

The dessert was actually this cute-looking cheese with custard cake
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It's a combination of cheese and custard; and not made up by me out of spite.
(Perhaps someone who is familiar with pastries, like BBO,etc can enlighten me on this combination?:)

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It tasted really unique; was rather dense with the cheese (most of the cake is made up of cheese anyway); but there was a medium weight composed of light and sweet custard (cream perhaps) in the cake.
Not bad for a dessert, but I must say one or two bites is good enough as too much makes me feel sick.
Maybe it's me, I am never one for sweet things:p

This is a nice place for romantic dining; and personally, I like most of the fish fare they offer here.
Definitely a place for me to fix my craving for fish dishes done the Western way!~