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.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Asiatique, an Asian Kitchen & Lounge

It's Groupon and we girls have decided to try out the Asiatique Kitchen & Lounge that has newly opened at Vantage Desiran Tanjung by Tanjung Tokong or it's the area in front of Straits Quay. The restaurant is ran by a pool of young Chefs that have infused an Asian influence into the Australian menu. One of their aim or speciality is to change the menu constantly that the customers will be surprised on each visit. I'm unsure if this is a good idea as we're so disappointed realising that the Groupon menu is replaced with the new dishes of the month.

The voucher comes with a glass of house wine for each person. Red or white, the white grape seems to be a more suitable companion for my mood of the night.

We've decided to start with the Classic Mushroom Soup, Potato and Leek Miso Soup and also the Apple and Fennel Salad as the appetisers. The mushroom soup has a nice dark colour and it's thick except it tastes a little too much of black pepper. My first time to try the mashed potato soup and it's not only tasty but also very refreshing. Instead of using the croutons, the Chef is garnishing the soup with the dried bean curd. It's alike a sponge by absorbing the soup yet it's still having a slight crunchiness at the outer skin, I love it! An interesting plant whereby the bulb-alike stem is being sliced and used as if an onion, the Fennel is an appetising vegetable to complete the salad. The whole plate is about the deliciousness and freshness that come with health!

It's out from the course dinner, we've decided to try out the Laksa Fried Chicken Wing. Not really filled with a strong taste of the Laksa but it's covered with the aromatic curry leaves while the chicken meat is tender, this dish is tasty and it's definitely special.

We girls have ordered different main courses that range from the Pan Seared Salmon, Five Spice Duck Breast, Oyster Sauce and Scallion Spring Chicken to the Braised Pork Belly. I'm not really fancy over Salmon but I like definitely the Laksa-based sauce that has a nice aroma of the Bunga Kantan and it's delicious. Besides, the Kerabu that is made of sliced onion, mango and chili in the sweet and sour sauce is as well a special topping. The whole combination triggers Phui Yee's imagination that to match the dish with the Laksa noodles. Both the duck meat and the skin are slightly too chewy but surprisingly that the orange sauce is marvellous! The sauce is appetising and I opt for more indeed. For my choice of spring chicken, I'm a little disappointed as it's only a small drumstick. Anyway, I'm at least grateful at the end because the oriental sauce is quite good. The best dish is still the pork belly that melts inside the mouth. Accompanied with the mashed potato and the salty puree, it's the mouthful of deliciousness and satisfaction.

The meal is so far so good and we're really eager to try out the dessert here. It's sharing and we've thus taken the Sago Puding and Longan Broth, Chendul and Red Bean Panna Cotta and the Sarsi Poached Pears. The broth is extremely sweet that it's a must to go with the tasteless Sago. I do quite like the idea of solidifying the Chendul and then being garnished together with the coconut ice-cream and the small chunks of Gula Melaka or brown sugar. It's only a tiny mistake that the Chendul is slightly too hard. Else, this innovation will be a perfect dessert. Our preference is voted on the soft and delicious pear. I guess that the taste will be more amazing if the Sarsi is absorbing into the inner layer of the pear as well.

Despite the dissatisfaction earlier, we're then amazed by the deliciousness of the food here. I'm really praising their creativity towards the concept for food, it's truly Asian and Western. A "Thumb Up" to the waiter cum cleaner that works by himself alone yet very effective.

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Sunday, 23 February 2014

The Chinese & Thainese at Soon Chi

We're brought to Restoran Soon Chi順記中泰海鮮 that is located at Jalan Sungai Bakap or inside the Kawasan Perusahaan Valdor that is in between of Jawi and Nibong Tebal (the Southern of Penang). The dinner is on a Chinese New Year's treat from Ah Meng and we're here of course on the 2-wheels' ride. Ah Meng is a frequent diner here and he has highly recommended this restaurant to the bikers.

First dish to start off is the Fried Hor Fun干炒河粉 or the big flat rice noodle that is stir-fried with prawn, meat and bean sprout. Both the aroma and taste of the soy sauces are very appealing with the sufficient heat during frying while the Hor Fun is not too dry, it's delicious. Next dishes are the Thai Style Pork Knuckle泰式猪手 and the Kerabu Beancurd加拉母豆干. The pork knuckle is deep fried to a dark brownish colour that the skin is very crispy and the outer layer of the meat is slightly crusty while the inner is still tender. The pork knuckle is delicious but it's slightly too dry for me as it's being served without any dipping sauce. The bean curd is mixed together with cuttle fish, dried shrimp, green apple, onion and Cili Padi that is then being garnished with a sweet-based chili sauce and lime juice. It's very refreshing and appetising and I like especially the crispiness of the ingredients.

Attila is eager to try out the mud-crabs here whereby Ah Meng has decided to order the Baked Crab烤蟹 and the Salted Egg Yolk Fried Crab咸蛋炒蟹. I just can't imagine that the crab is really baked or it's actually steamed because the meat is amazingly very juicy. The second dish is quite special whereby the crab is firstly deep fried in the hot oil and it's only then being stir-fried with the salted egg yolk. The combination of the salted egg yolk with the butter has an appealing aroma but I personally think that the taste may can be enhanced if the salted egg yolk is chopped into smaller pieces. I myself prefer the originality of the fresh crab that is baked without any additional seasonings. The salted egg yolk fried crab is not a loser anyway! The biggest compliment and satisfaction is towards the big and compact crabs, plenty of meat to be enjoyed!

Another dish that has gained our votes is the Steamed Grouper or Long Dan Fish蒸龙胆鱼. The Grouper Fish is given a special name that is called Long Dan or the "Dragon Bladder" after it reaches a certain size. The fish is fresh but it's a little disappointing that the meat is slightly chewy. Luckily, the soy sauce that is not too salty together with the fried onion and garlic have compliment the fish meat with a nice aroma and taste.

The most expensive dishes are the crabs that cost a total of about RM 230. It's a delicious dinner that we're amazed of the taste and we've definitely enjoyed it. It's really a big "Thank You" to Ah Meng for paying the bill.

At Beach Street, the Nasi Lemak Daun Pisang

Eagerness for Nasi Lemak, I've spotted the Ali Nasi Lemak and I've decided to stop in front of Sri Weld Food Court by the Beach Street. A special remark on the banner that they're using Daun Pisang or the Banana Leaf to wrap the Nasi Lemak. I'm unsure if the Nasi Lemak is delicious, just a try out anyway...

I've bought the Nasi Lemak that are marked with "B" Bilis and "U" Udang. Each packet costs me RM 1.70. The "B" comes with Sambal anchovies and half hard-boiled egg while the "U" is topped with Sambal prawns only. The reddish colour of the Sambal is very appealing and I do quite like the spiciness but the coconut-based rice is not so aromatic whereby the whole combination is not as delicious as I've expected. The first time I think that the Udang or Prawn is more delicious than my all-time favourite Bilis or Anchovies Nasi Lemak because the sauce is sweeter and stronger to enhance the taste of the rice. The only laziness of mine is to peel the shells of the prawns.

I need to look for delicious Nasi Lemak in Penang. The most important elements are the rice and the Sambal that I think both the aroma and taste should be appealing and completing each other.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Home-cooked Nyonya... Say "Thank You" to Elaine's Mom

We're inviting ourselves to Elaine's house for a dinner on Chinese New Year. It's just because we've heard so much about the special cuisine that will be prepared only once a year. Aren't you tempted to try it out? Moreover, I've tasted the Mom's recipe homemade desserts before and they're tasty!

8 dishes for 4 of us, we're pampered by the Mom. The Rendang Chicken that is produced once a year, this is a special cuisine that is prepared with the Palm Leaves棕叶. The most important step is to ensure that the palm leaves are thinly sliced that its aroma is completely revealed in the Rendang Chicken. It's a special dish but the curry is slightly too "aromatic" for me. Alternatively, I prefer the Kapitan Curry Chicken that has a thicker sauce and it's stronger in taste. The curry sauce is not too creamy and it's really very appetizing and delicious, a perfect dish with the rice.

Next dishes to follow are the Chai Boey and the Perut Ikan. Chai Boey is a mixed stew that comes with various vegetable, mushroom and meat and being boiled in a spicy and sour based soup. The most important elements are the plum and the dried chili that are both to enhance the taste of the soup. Perut Ikan is made from the special leaf that is called 山老叶 or I've finally known it as the Hance Pepper Stemand Leaf. The thinly sliced leaves, long beans and pineapple are cooked with the fish stomach or Perut Ikan in the sour soup that contains chili paste. In other word, it tastes a little alike the Assam Curry.

More dishes to come... the Nyonya Sambal Prawn, Jiu Hu Char or Stir-Fried Turnip with Cuttle Fish, Pork in Dark Soy Sauce and the Soup with Pork Stomach. The Sambal Prawn is a creamy curry that is cooked with the coconut milk and it contains cashew nuts. I like the tender prawns so much even though this dish is slightly too creamy for my stomach. The turnip has a nice aroma of the stir-fried cuttle fish, it's delicious except that I prefer if the mushroom is sliced thinly as well. The pork fillet has absorbed the dark soy sauce completely and it's tender, this is specially made for Elaine that doesn't like spicy food. It's thankful that we've the chance to try it as well. One last dish that has gained our "Like" is the soup that a strong taste of the black pepper. Even though I dislike the pork stomach, but the soup is sweet and it's so rich in deliciousness that I can finish up one big bowl by myself.

Homemade dessert to fill up our teeth, the Thai style comes in with the Tab Tim Krob. It's a special dessert that consists of water chestnut and jack fruit in the coconut milk. A special step is to coat the water chestnut with the tapioca flour that is mixed with a few drops of red colouring before boiling it in the water. The coconut milk is not too sweet while the water chestnut and jack fruit are both so fresh and crunchy.

Being treated to such a full meal that I've never tasted for this whole Chinese New Year! We've pre-booked the dinner for next Chinese New Year and to be pampered by Elaine's Mom again... Hahaha!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Sushi Tei, the Pavilion of Sushi

Japanese food is a culture that has built up since years in M'sia. More and more people enjoy the Japanese cuisine that is no longer only being known as Sushi or Wasabi but it has emerged into a wide variety that comes with a seasonal theme. Attila and I have decided to try out the Sushi Teiすし亭 that is located at Gurney Plaza.

Attila has decided the Soft Shell Crab Maki as a starter. It's a hand-rolled sushi with fried soft shell crab that is then being coated with the salmon roe. The taste is quite okay but the soft shell crab is not so crispy anymore as this is a readily made sushi for the conveyor belt. Besides, Attila insists to try out the Gyuniku Roll or the beef roll that contains golden mushroom. This is definitely the best or the most delicious beef roll that we've ever tasted before. The beef is not chewy while the mushroom is soft and crunchy and then being garnished with a strong sweet-based sauce, marvellous dish!

I've asked for a Hotate Tamago Ramen that is a soupy noodles that is served with scallops and topped with egg. The clear soup is sweet due to the onion that I've indeed put in a lot of chili powder. The scallop is slightly dry that it tastes a little over-cooked. Anyway, the soup still tastes quite delicious.

We've taken another dish that is called Ikameshi. It's the barbecued big squid that is stuffed with a sweet based rice. The rice is actually quite special and I prefer to try it with Wasabi in order to give it a refreshing taste.

The negative outcome from this Japanese food is the thirstiness! We've finished at least 1L of water per person, after tasting so much Glutamate in the food. It's really scary to imagine about visiting Sushi Tei again.

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Little Nyonya... Recommended?

Nyonya cuisine is blooming in Penang and this franchise The Little Nyonya Cuisine小娘惹 that is recommended by famous TV host in M'sia, has operated for a long time in Queensbay Mall. It's always full of crowd during the dinner hours or over the weekend, it does trigger my eagerness to try it out. We're finally here, on the request from our friend that has just back from Wuxi.

While waiting for the arrival of the VIP Boon Li, we've decided to try out the Melaka Nyonya Cendol马六甲娘惹煎蕊 and Bee Koh Moy or the Black Glutinous黑糯米粥. The bowl of Cendol is definitely not to the standard whereby the ice is too rough, the green Cendol is too hard and it's not crunchy while the Melaka Sugar is neither smell good nor tasty. Luckily that the Bee Koh Moy is quite tasty especially with the extra coconut milk. It'll be more delicious if it's slightly hotter but I guess the cold coconut milk has somehow chilled up the glutinous rice.

To order the food, we've started with the page of vegetable such as the Otak-Otak窝达, Yu Wu Chay鱿鱼炒 or Stir-Fried Turnip with Cuttle Fish that is served with Oh Ah Chai or the green vegetable and the Sambal Kacang Botol叁巴虾米炒四季豆 or Four Angle Beans. I dislike the Otak-Otak because it's too creamy and it's not spicy at all. The turnip is still quite tasty but the Sambal Chili tastes a little bit weird, I 'm wondering if it's because of the fishy Belacan? The Kacang Botol is supposed to be a spicy dish yet it's using a sweet-based chili that the sweetness has covered the freshness of the beans.

We've ordered some fried dishes that include the Nyonya Fried Chicken娘惹炸鸡 or Enche Kabin胭脂鸡, Deep Fried Otak Beancurd炸特制窝达豆腐 and the Fried Spring Roll. The Enche Kabin is the only dish that I really like it as the chicken is crispy while the meat is tender and it has an acceptable tastiness! The beancurd is a mixture of Otak-Otak with the chopped beancurd that is then deep fried in the hot oil. Both of the Otak Beancurd and Spring Roll taste quite ordinary that nothing that is really impressing myself.

To have some sauce in the rice, we've decided to take the Nyonya Asam Pedas Fish Fillet娘惹亚叁辣鲜鱼片. This is a curry dish that is cooked with Asam that it's supposed to taste spicy and sour or in other word, an appetising and refreshing dish. Here at The Little Nyonya, this dish is sweet while the fish meat is very hard. It's really disappointing!

We're a group of 6 pax and all of us feel so disappointed with the Nyonya cuisine here. It's the problem of this franchise only or the quality of food that gets worse over time or it's indeed the original taste that has been bad since beginning? I've no clue but I'm sure that we're all disappointed with this meal here.