Into the Doorway of Food, where it's all about Eating...

Let's start the journey into my world of food...

Different tastebuds with different tongues; you're the eater and you're the judge...
What I share here is simply the passion towards food and drinks.

Don't hesitate to ctiticize; if you like my articles, encourage me.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Seafood Again... to Ocean Green!

Seafood again and here we go to the OG Restaurant or what is known as Ocean Green海洋青. It's located somewhere opposite the Northern Tower; Coming from the Gurney Drive direction and after passing by the Northam Beach Food Court, then you'll see the green lighted signboard.
The wide area is just perfect to serve a big group of guests, like the 11 people of us. We're recommended with the appetizers of Satay and Cheese Crab. The Satay has been pre-dipped and grilled with the sauce together. The meat is compact yet still juicy, partly from the peanut oil of the sauce itself. The Cheese Crab is in fact the baked crab meat with cheese that is stuffed in the crab shell. The nice cheesy aroma is enhancing the taste of the crab meat and I do enjoy the deliciousness of these combinations.
Our next main characters are the Steamed Garupa and the Deep Fried Red Snapper. The fresh Garupa fish is steamed in the soy sauce whereby the saltiness of the light soy sauce is adding marks to the natural sweetness of the meat. Followed by is the deep frying for my boyfriend whom dislikes steaming and this simple dish of Red Snapper is just being garnished with light soy sauce before serving. I myself personally dislike this Red Snapper for its thick and oily river fish meat. In short, I hate the jelly-type of taste in my mouth. Another deep frying dishes are the Fried Squid and the Salted Eggs Kelong Prawns. The big-sized squid is quite tender except the thick flour coating that appears to be harder instead of crispy. Talking about the salted eggs, the chef is not so expertise because the prawns are tasted 'powdery' and meantime, the saltiness is not appealing in this dish as well.

My next order has actually created some arguments yet the Germans have finished the whole plate without further questions; the Sea Cucumber. The ingredients... are boiled till the dark soy sauce has been completely absorbed to release the aroma. Even though they think at first that the dish is slimy, but I guess they do enjoy the special taste of this Oriental dish.
Last but not least, we're served with a small bowl of Seafood Noodle and Fried Rice; that have been divided and served equally to each of us. Normal taste except one specialty, I think the rice is fried with honey dew melon?!!

A whole dinner session with a lot of beers and German language only; I'm feeling so full and putting on weight again...

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Seafood at Northern Coastal, by the Pantai Bersih

Going to the Northern Coastal for seafood; the restaurant is located at Pantai Bersih in Butterworth. I'm attracted at first by the Chinese name of the restaurant 北海道海鲜. 北海道 means Hokkaido and to me, I just feel alike 'Oh, it's Hokkaido again...'! I feel interesting when everyone is so keen in using Hokkaido as the signboard.

We're there for the sunset; relaxing under the warm sunshine while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the ocean view. Hungry, hungry... Here is our 1st dish, the Steamed Octopus八爪鱼 or what is pronounced as '猪母酸' in Hokkien. Don't ask me why anyway. This dish is served with the chili and sweet sauces for the dipping. The octopus is a little over-cooked whereby it appears to be hard to and very chewy, kind of a hard time for my teeth. Same goes to the jelly fish that tastes very dry. But, what has really disappointed me the most is the sauce! My appetite's problem? I taste the Chlorine or the pipe water in the sauce itself.

Our 2nd dish is the Steamed Lala with Lime Sauce酸柑蒸贝类. Amazing! The spiciness and sourness are so-to-taste that they're burning my tongue. I love the deliciousness that has stimulated my appetite to wait for the next... Su has decided for the prawn to be cooked with the oat麦片虾. The oat is fried with butter, curry leaves and chili padi that have created a nice aroma and taste to the prawn. The prawns seem not so fresh and personally I prefer steaming as this will enhance the natural sweetness of the fresh prawns.

Our next dish is the Steamed Red Snapper in 'Teo Chew' Style潮州蒸红鱼. The fish is fresh and with the sour 'Teo Chew' style cooking method, this dish is very appetizing. Just a simple rule to Steaming; just ensure that the seafood is fresh! The Dark Soy Sauce Pork东坡肉 has really satisfied my appetite for the night. The pork is boiled until the meat is so soft and juicy; filled with the sweetness and aroma of the dark soy sauce. It's served with the Fried Buns or the 'Man Tou'馒头. But, trust me... what you'll really enjoy is the pork!

Just worrying if my boyfriend will not enjoy seafood, I've order the Fried Squid炸苏东 then. Nothing is so special about the squid that will bring me a very high compliment, anyway it's a tasty and crispy snack. A must and not-to-missed at a seafood restaurant is the crab and I've ordered the Grilled Crab烤螃蟹. Look at the colorful red crab, will you ask for more?!! I enjoy the thick and compact crab meat except the dryness that it'll definitely be more satisfying with more juiciness.

I'm noodle lover and here I've decided to go for the Fried Noodle炒面条. Tender and just-to-taste, this is what I do enjoy because I hate particularly over-cooked or soft noodle. Last but not least, a vegetable dish of Fried Emperor Leaves with Sambal参巴炒帝王菜. The leaves are still greenish and without being too spicy, the kids love the vegetable very much. Anyway, as a health concious one, the oil is just too much!
A nice scenery and to spend the time with a whole bunch of colleagues, this is the monthly activity that it has indeed filled my life with joy...

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Valentine's Dinner at East Hokkaido

Here we go to East Hokkaido; the Restoran East Hokkaido Seafood in Penang for our Valentine's dinner. The concept of this restaurant is somehow similar to Bali Hai, the aquariums with live seafood that you can choose from. But, the live seafood that we can see here is kind of limited and I myself not so enjoy the dim lighting that seems to have narrowed down the space. In preference, I enjoy the bright lighting at Bali Hai that has given me the 'free' open-air feeling.

Let's talk about the food and here comes the first dish of Claypot Seafood砂煲海味 that consists of sea cucumber, swim bladder, abalone mushroom, fresh scallop and also vegetable. The sauce base is bit too slimy and salty. Furthermore, the seafood ingredients seem to have been over-cooked in the sauce that they taste too soft when I bite in my mouth. My expectation is a fresh and sweet soup base with a tender bite of the seafood.

Followed by is my favourite of Mantis Prawn and I've decided to go for their recommendation of Fried Mantis Prawn with Salted Egg Yolk咸蛋黄炸虾羔. Using curry leaves and cili padi together with the saltiness of the egg yolk and butter, is creating a little spiciness and a nice aroma for this dish. The Mantis Prawn is very fresh; it has been caught freshly from the aquarium and the sauce is adding a refreshing taste to the meat. It's important that the amount of the sauce is just nice to coat onto the crispy skin of the Mantis Prawn. Our next dish is the Grilled Tiger Prawn烤老虎虾; the so-called imported Tiger Prawn that is bigger size compared to the local farm. I don't really check visually about this statement, anyway I'm satisfied with the size and freshness of the tiger prawn. Without any additional seasoning, the grilling is just enhancing the natural sweetness of the fresh prawn meat.

My boyfriend is a crazy fans about Fried Squid炸苏东. The squid is fresh and thus the meat is just tender to be bitten, but the thick flour has made the squid becoming too hard instead of a nice crispiness. I personally think that the chef can add a bit more salt, to give a better deliciousness to the fried squid.

Our last dish is the Fried Ee Mee炒伊面 to fill up the space in my stomach. The noodle has still maintained the chewiness and it's fried together with some prawn, chicken meat, egg and vegetable. There's nothing much so special about the taste of the Ee Mee but I'm grateful that the prawn and chicken meat are fresh.

East Hokkaido is sort of a nice restaurant for Seafood whereby I do really feel satisfy with the taste and the freshness of the seafood that thay've served here, except the ambient.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Are You a Donut Lover? Let's Go to J.CO

I'm not a donut lover. Well, I just don't know what should I fancy about this small, round stuff? Is it the sweet icing sugar on top? Or, the soft bread?

To my surprise is the development of donut nowadays. It's no longer the ordinary one with sugar only, but it can be of various flavours or decorations. My first donut's experience is contributed to J.CO Donuts & Coffee at Queensbay Mall, Penang. My boyfriend is a great fan about donut and thus we've decided to go for the 6 donuts in a box.

Let's introduce the donuts one-by-one, starting with Forest Glam on the top left and followed by Alcapone on the top right. By the names, the first brings the black forest sensation with the combination of the cherry-licious and choco-licious tastes while the Alcapone is the coating of crunchy almonds on top of the white chocolate. The centre row is where the Glazzy and Hazel Dazzle are placed; simply the sweet honey and the chocolate with hazel nuts respectively. The last two are the Jacky Chunk and the strawberry's taste that I can't recall the name, I guess should be sort of Miss Strawberry. With a lot of peanuts on top of the chocolate and some almond chunks with the strawberry paste; these are the donuts at the bottom row in the box.

Personally, I love Alcapone because of the crunchiness of the almonds that is coupled with the white chocolate that tastes not too sweet. I do quite like donut now because it's soft and there's a wide range of tastes that I can choose from. Try it yourselves, maybe you'll like them just like how I do now ;)

On a Treat to Bali Hai Seafood Market

Invited to a dinner treat by Franky, here we've chosen the Bali Hai Seafood Market巴厘海鲜市场 that is located at the Gurney Drive area. 'If It Swims We Have It', this is the motto of Bali Hai Seafood Market whereby you can find various types of creatures here; from the range of fish, prawn, sea cucumber to crab, lobster or even Mejillon. You can choose your preferred seafood from the aquariums, look at how lively they swim in the water!

I guess we're very health conscious that we've ordered 3 vegetable dishes; which are Asparagus蒜茸芦笋, Kai Lan蒜茸芥兰 and Sugar Pea清炒豆苗. All these vegetables are fried with a lot of garlic and I do like the nice aroma of the garlic itself except that they're extremely too oily. Look, the vegetable is shining!

Going for carbohydrate, Franky has ordered a plate of Seafood Fried Noodle海鲜面条 and a plate of Seafood Fried Rice海鲜炒饭. We've only 4 of us and these medium-sized plates are just too much for us. I dislike the soft noodle that seems to be over-cooked and it's not chewy at all. Oppositely for the rice, it's a little bit hard and sticky. The main disappointment that I hate the most is, the seafood is not fresh.
Time to talk about our main characters of the night, let's start with the Baked Prawn with Butter Garlic奶油蒜茸生虾. The prawns are halved and then being coated with a thick layer of garlic with butter before baking. The mixture of the garlic with butter is giving a nice aroma and saltiness to enhance the freshness of the prawns. The meat is very fresh and tender, going together with the garlic into my mouth; I just love the deliciousness!

Our next orders are the Fried 'Whole-Fish' Ala Thai and the Fried 'Whole-Fish' Ala Japanese with Crispy Ginger whereby Franky has chosen the 'Dong Xing' 东星 and 'Soon Hock' 顺壳 fishes respectively. I do quite like the Fried 'Dong Xing' Ala Thai泰式炸东星 whereby the chef has been using a lot of onion slices and lemon juices in this dish; leaving behind a refreshing taste. The sauce is sour with a little bitterness, making us not to feel too full with the oily fried fish. I feel very pity with the Fried 'Soon Hock' Ala Japanese with Crispy Ginger日式脆姜顺壳 whereby frying has destroyed the natural freshness or taste of the 'Soon Hock' fish. It's kind of wasting as 'Soon Hock' fish is the best or should say perfect just by steaming only. The sauce is too sweet that it has covered up the natural sweetness that should appeal from the fish meat itself. Well, I can only say that the ginger slices are special.

This whole meal costs us RM443, I'm not surprised as my boyfriend has been commenting that 'Bali Hai is one of the most expensive restaurant in Penang'. Honestly, it's worth to spend for fresh seafood but it appears to be disappointment when the seafood is on wrong cooking method.

Asian or Italian's Culture? It's Eighteen Wine & Dine

If to talk about wine and dine, I'll first think about the European food or the Italian pasta and pizza. Anyway, Eighteen Wine and Dine is more towards the Fusion cuisine; where the east meets the west. This restaurant is located at the Krystal Point, Penang whereby it's a halal restaurant or it means pork free.

Eighteen Wine and Dine is a small restaurant that it's just taking up a narrow area of the centre of the shop houses at the Krystal Point Complex. I'll say that this 'unknown' restaurant is not so noticeable, at least to me; but it has in fact been operating since year 2004?!! I've just happened to bump into this small world when I'm searching for food around this area.

By favourite, I've ordered an Aglio Olio with Prawn and Mushroom. Aglio Olio is a simple spaghetti that is cooked with garlic, fresh cut red chili and olive oil. Additionally, prawn and mushroom can be added based on your preference. I do enjoy the simple taste in Aglio Olio; a little spiciness out from the just-to-taste saltiness and the nice aroma that is appealed by frying the garlic in the olive oil. I've a feeling that the spaghetti tastes a little alike the Asian fried noodle, maybe because of the chili itself? Just a small imperfection that the spaghetti is a little bit dry and hard; I guess may need extra seconds of boiling time.

My boyfriend has decided to try the Beef Goulash; kind of a traditional Hungarian cuisine that appears to be alike soup or stew by boiling the beef with some herbs and spices. The Beef Goulash is served with some mashed potatoes and vegetable; looks good from the serving size and color. The beef has been boiled for a long hours till it's soft and the seasoning is also just-to-taste. Anyway, my Hungarian boyfriend thinks that the spices are to be reduced; in order to maintain the natural taste or sweetness from the meat.

It's kind of a weird feeling to dine at Eighteen Wine and Dine because there have always been a thought that the concept of this western food restaurant is a contradiction to the Asian culture; or I should say that it's awkward to find an Asian-typed spaghetti?