Saturday, December 24, 2011 0 comments By: Chan

Hou Mei Yuen 好味园 Next to Bukit Jambu Complex, Penang

I know Penang Pan Mee is not the MUST TRY food in Penang but this stall was one of my favorite Pan Mee since i was a kid. I still remember it was operate by the old couple. Now the shop is mainly operated by their work and both the owner will only in charge of collecting money :)

Now my favorite had change to another shop in George town (Will intro later). The pan mee here is very simple dish without fancy add on. 

The front view of the shop. It is quite hidden but we Penang people know where to hunt GREAT food so it is kind of popular among Penang people.

The bonus of the shop is it natural ambient. You were seated under a big tree so it is a good place to hang out during lunch time. 

There you can also order A1 Rojak which i found it was quite good but not the best in Penang. The A1 rojak guy will be yelling there A1 rojak! A1 rojak! or even ask you whether you want or not his A1 rojak. Worth a try doh. Beside A1 rojak there also a stall selling muah chee. Also name it A1  muah chee. Yeah i know it is lame but it is also kind of cute, right? A1 rojak and A1 muah chee selling at my old time A1 pan mee stall. 

Hou mei Yuen also selling dim sum if you crave for it. I believe they only sell it and not made by them. Taste not bad also. 

This is the typical pan mee soup they were selling. It come with black fungus, mined pork, sweet leaf and ikan bilis. It is good but i only eat it when i not feeling well :) They only serve one type of drink, which is herbal drink. You still have choice la, HOT or Cold :)

This is the thick pan mee dried version.

My all time favorite, thin dried pan mee. Although it is a simple dish but the sauce they used and the chili they serve were SUPER. Make sure you had it with their special made chili. It is sour and middle spicy but go very well with dried pan mee. I highly recommend must try this dish.  

Another interesting thing about this shop is they don't ask your order! You have to take your own order on a paper they provided in front of the counter.

How you order?
Step 1 - Take the order paper at the table next to the cooking area.
Step 2 - Fill in the table number and order.
Step 3 - Bring the order form to the table and inform the worker.
Step 4 - Wait for your delicious meal coming soon :)

Hou Mei Yuen 
Taman Bukit Jambul Flat, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
GPS: 5.335671,100.288889

Business Hours: 8.00am ~ 3.00pm, Closed Sunday

Disclaimer: This is a personal food blog. The opinions expressed here are my own, based on my personal taste buds; others may have different opinions. Also, as we all know, qualities & standards of individual restaurants/food may change over time, so do note the time stamp on this review.

Friday, December 23, 2011 0 comments By: Chan

Food hunting at Snack Ean Cafe (小食王), Jelutong Penang Penang

Here another ordinary shop with full of surprises. Simple and elegant design, best for a quite bite and delicious hawker food. Food quality is above average with cheap pricing. The owners idea is to bring hawker food and pricing in cozy and clean environment. 

The shop is located under a flat. They serve various type of food such as fried koay teow, fried noodle, fried rice, koay teow soup / Dried, tom yam seafood, tomyam noodle, sotong noodle (Indian mee goreng), beverage such as Taiwan bubble teas, herbal tea, cans drink and etc. Beside that they also serve kids set and breakfast set. Best part of all they are the only chendol and air kacang seller in the area. Don't forget to order the snacks as well.

Numbers of bubble tea flavor you can choose.

The ambient of the shop. These are the decoration for Christmas coming soon.

One of the signature MUST ORDER snack is their Soy sauce fried chicken wings. (RM4 - 2 pcs). Why there were only 3 pcs in the photo? Ops, they taste so good while there were hot.

They will serve you a special sauce to go with the wings. It taste like chicken rice chili but much more sour. I prefer more layer of different flavor, aroma and moist on my wing so that small plate of chili wasn't enough for my wings. Boss satu lagi chili please :p

Simply delicious, noodle are springy and Q, soup was good too. Koay Teow Soup / Dried  (RM3 - Small, RM3.50 - Big). You have a selection of noodle, they are koay teow, mee, bihun, keoy teow bihun, bi tai bak, noodles and cintan mee. You also have a choice to add egg (+ RM0.80) and sausage (+ RM1.00). 

Salted fish bean sprout (RM3.00). Another surprise for me was they don't have the smelly chemical smell that i don't like. It was well cooked with crunchy bites, coated with soy sauce. Yum! so now you know where to get a good plate of bean sprout beside ipoh. 

After all the delicious food, i go for a cup of hot white coffee to complete my meal. You can have a sweet ending if you like, Chendol (RM2.50) or Ice kacang (RM2.50 or RM3.00 with ice cream).

It is a great place for lunch and dinner even for tea break hide out. It is a good for a small group gathering too. If you were thinking where to have your meal while you were in Jelutong, you know where to hunt for GREAT food. 小食王 is like a mini all in one hawker place. Moreover the pricing is like hawker stall. 

Lintang Slim, Jelutong, Penang 11600
GPS: 5.398627,100.313094

Business Hours: 11.360am - 8.30pm, Closed Tuesday

Contact: 010-2209929

Disclaimer: This is a personal food blog. The opinions expressed here are my own, based on my personal taste buds; others may have different opinions. Also, as we all know, qualities & standards of individual restaurants/food may change over time, so do note the time stamp on this review.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 1 comments By: Chan

Black Ball (Taiwannese Dessert) Pulau Tikus,Penang

There are more and more Taiwanese Dessert blooming in Penang. There are bing bing @ straits quay, ZenQ at Gurney Plaza and etc. Overall i found the newly opened Black Ball Original Taiwanese Tea & Dessert serve better Taiwanese dessert. Their taro ball is softer and better compare to others Taiwan dessert power house. They had just lay their foot on our little island at Pulau Tikus just opposite Tanmark book stall.

We were there when their Pre-launching at 18/Dec/2011.

Ambient of the shop, another great place to chill out for Penang Lang.
They are using the same old fancy tech for waiting customer. After offer you were given a Mini UFO. This Mini UFO will vibrate, beep and blink red light. When that happen, go to the counter to collect your dessert :)

This is one of the unique dessert, BlackBall Signature (Hot – RM6.50). As you can see the black soup is actually the Xian Cao soup in hot so it is in between liquid or jelly form. So when you drink it, it had a very unique texture of the dessert. I prefer this Hot version then the cold version cause of it unique texture. It also come with Taro Ball, Taro Q, Pearl, grass jelly and red beans.

Same dessert as top but you can add in milk to increase it creaminess and extra flavor.

BlackBall Signature (Cold – RM6.50). Same dessert above but it is cold version. I find this version not much surprise as the hot one but it is good during the hot day in Penang Island :)

BlackBall Combo-BlackBall Crushed Ice -RM6.50

It come with Xian Cao, sweeten lotus seeds, pearl, china barley and taro ball.

Jiu Fen Taro Ball Crushed Ice (RM6.50).

It contain Taro ball, sweet potato ball, pearl and sweetened red kidney beans.

you can request for extra brown sugar and milk to add in extra flavor to your dessert.

Clockwise: 1- Winter Melon Tea with Sky Pearl (RM5.90). Sky Pearl? This is actually pearl that is frozen. Taste wise and texture wise i still prefer black pearl. It come back to personal preference. 2- QQ Cranberry Lemon Juice (RM5.90). Actually i love this beverage although most of the people complain it is too sour. I find it the sweetness cut off the sourness of the lemon. 3- Signature Xian Cao Tea with Grass Jelly (RM5.90). 4- Fresh Milk with Grass Jelly (RM5.90). This is another great beverage for milk lover.

3Q Passion Fruit Green Tea (RM5.90). It is a great beverage to select. It contain real passion fruit in it beside all the jelly. Passion fruit seed actually increase the texture of the beverage.

Boba Milk Tea (RM5.90) and Yoghurt Green Tea (RM5.90).

After lots of dessert and beverage you might need this :)

Click to see larger picture.

When crave of Taiwan Dessert you can consider this newly open place to cure your crave :) The only problem is parking during the day. Night time will not be a problem cause most of the shop closed so night time will have more parking places. 

BlackBall - Original Taiwanese Tea & Dessert
232 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia.
GPS: 5.429939, 100.313319

Business Hours: 12.00pm – 12.00am

Contact: 016-466 1886

Disclaimer: This is a personal food blog. The opinions expressed here are my own, based on my personal taste buds; others may have different opinions. Also, as we all know, qualities & standards of individual restaurants/food may change over time, so do note the time stamp on this review.

Saturday, December 10, 2011 26 comments By: Chan

YEA Japanese BBQ & Shabu Shabu (野) @ Penang Times Square

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the TAO name, the pretty-fancy restaurant that first offered Penangites the ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT buffet with full table service, focusing on quality rather than on price. Tao quickly gained fame among Penangites as a place with good food at a very reasonable price, and it's no surprise - the restaurant's offerings include specialties such as Japanese, Chinese, Thai cuisine.

Now the management of Tao have gone and done it again - the YEA Japanese BBQ & Shabu Shabu restaurant (野) has recently opened its doors in Penang Times Square. Featuring an all-you-can-eat buffet, similar to the Tao concept, Yea is an upscale restaurant which is perfect for all gatherings, no matter big or small. The size of the restaurant is immense, with a seating capability of 300 pax. I know some may think - another BBQ buffet place? However, Yea has an edge over the rest - they are the first to introduce the concept of BBQ-ing using a crystal-stone grill, instead of the traditional grill that we are familiar with. What the heck is a crystal stone grill, you ask? Well, read on and you'll find out..

First, the most important point - Yea's buffet is priced at RM48++ (Adult), RM24++ (Children with a height between 90~140cm). Kids with a height of 89cm and below will get to eat for FREE. Yea is currently running a special opening promotion - after 10PM, the second person will get to enjoy a 50% discount on the buffet price. Upon entering the restaurant, you'll have a duration of 2.5 hours to enjoy the buffet. You'll need every single minute of that 2.5 hours - there are 100++ food items to choose from! 

YEA ~ don't you just want to do a V (^.^) when you call out the name :) Want to know why it is called Yea? According to the founder, Jack (who is American-Taiwanese), this word in traditional Chinese refers to the natives in Taiwan from whom the crystal stone way of cooking originated. During World War II, the Japanese discovered this and went on to introduce it to the rest of the world. The crystal stone grill was then made famous by both the Japanese and Koreans. As a Taiwanese, Jack felt that he had a mission of introducing this to Malaysia before either a Japanese or Korean competitor does.

Now let me take you on a tour inside Yea - the ambiance of the restaurant is simply amazing.. and let me first tell you, it is a MUST for you to enjoy the ambiance as I am told the management spent nearly RM2 Million on renovations and interior design.

The outside entrance of Yea.  
Penang Times Square main entrance to Yea.. it felt like I was in a Japanese Garden when I was hanging around the entrance.
Random shots around the restaurant.
More random shots.
These was taken at the smoking area of Yea, which located outdoors. Yea has several little "capsules" which are great because you and your friends will have your own private little space to enjoy the food and company. The pretty bright picture on the bottom left was a shot taken inside one of the capsules.
Shots taken around the restaurant.
Samples of decorative pieces you'll find throughout the entire restaurant.

An impressive and HUGE piece of wall decor.. pretty isn't it?
That's Jack giving us a short introduction of the concepts and background behind Yea. He talked about the history of Yea, the crystal stone grill, the method of cooking with the crystal stone, and the sauces he picked with his chef. You can see the crystal stone grill in the bottom of the picture above.

Now on to the food.. enjoy all the pictures of the various food items available below!

The various sauces available.
Clockwise: 1- Chopped raw garlic. 2- Fresh chopped chillies. 3- Seafood chilies sauce. 4- Spring onion.
Clockwise: 1- Spicy shiyaki sauce. 2- Cumin sauce. 3- Miso sauce. 4- Chilies bean sauce.
Clockwise: 1-Sacha sauce. 2- chilies beancurd sauce. 3- Thousand island. 4- No-name sauce (kidding, there wasn't a tag for this sauce so I don't know what this is).
Fresh whole salmon.
Clockwise: 1- Tour with Jack at Yea. 2- Raw meat slicing by the worker. 3- Cold salad corner. 4- Salad corner.
Clockwise: 1- Fresh fruit in a stick. 2- Chocolate fondant. 3- Fresh meat corner. 4- Ice cream corner. According to Jack, he decided to have individual ice-cream cups or cones and not the big tubs of ice-cream because he feels sorry when he spies small kids trying to scope some ice-cream on their own and having a heck of a hard time doing it. It's also more hygienic :). 
Close-up shots of the food choices for the shabu-shabu.
Shrimp paste & fish paste, presentation is super cute!
The huge freezer which houses all the good stuff (meats, seafood) - raw, which can be cooked using either the BBQ or shabu-shabu style. Everything is arranged nicely in little square bowls. Credits to Criz for this photo.
Yea's custom-made tableware & cutlery.
Grill grill away.. good quality charcoal in a metal box, fired up and ready to go. 
A slab of man-made crystal stone is then placed above the charcoal. This is your BBQ grill! Why use man-made and not natural crystal stone? This is because man-made crystal stone is stronger and better compared to natural crystal. It's been tested and proven by Koreans that it is safe to consume food grilled on the crystal stone. This crystal can maintain a steady temperature for a very long time, but it needs about 10~15 mins to get properly heated up before you can start to cook. It's also easier to grill food on it as it is perfectly level surface. As for the taste, does it taste better then the conventional way of BBQ-ing directly above the charcoal? For me personally, I still prefer my BBQ to be grilled directly above the charcoal, because it gives you that lovely charred BBQ-burnt goodness and taste. Of course many will argue that the BBQ-burnt areas are really bad for health, and I concur, so a very good thing about the crystal stone grill is that it's definitely healthier, because it's almost impossible to burn your food on this grill.
Since it was a buffet I got to pick all my favorite food items to eat all I can :)
Clockwise: 1- My dinner. 2- Hot corner, just in case you are a self-proclaimed lousy cook :) 3- Dishes from hot corner. 4- Wanted to try all the sauce but we failed that mission since there are just too many sauces available. Of everything we tried, the miso sauce was our favorite.
These are all the sauces available for marinating your BBQ items while it's on the grill. Soy sauce, pepper & salt, cheese powder, lemon juice, black pepper, wasabi powder and Japanese 7-taste chili powder. There is also a bottle of water for you to wash & clean your crystal stone in between each grilling session. We were told that the soy sauce served at Yea is one of their secret recipes. You can grill your meat, plain, and just dip it into the sauce. I tried that, and that simple combination tasted so good. The soy sauce is a high grade soy sauce, slightly sweet. The cheese powder is a mixture of milk power, icing sugar and cheese - the explanation for this combination was that it tones down the richness of the cheese (too rich a cheese may spoil your appetite). The wasabi powder had just a mild taste of wasabi, and goes well with seafood. Finally the lemon juice - it's important to remember that the lemon juice should only be used right before you remove the food from the grill. If you use the lemon juice early on in your grilling, it will spoil the taste of the food, as the lemon juice is pretty concentrated.
The picture on the left above is our Shabu-Shabu wok. You can choose from 5 choices of soup base - shabu-shabu, miso soup, hot & sour soup, tomyam soup, and salted vegetable & duck soup. We picked the Shabu-shabu soup base, which was a good choice because it was delicious. The crystal stone for our BBQ. Picture on right, our seafood grilling merrily away..
And this is the way you clean the crystal stone. Just pour in some water and scrape all the debris away.
Besides the BBQ & shabu-shabu, diners also have a wide selection of ready-to-eat dishes - there's a cold corner, hot corner, salad corner, dessert corner and drinks. There's also bibimbap, a Korean rice dish served in a sizzling hot stone bowl - this is available via a-la-carte order at no extra charge. Yea also serves sake at RM10 nett for a 150ml jar or RM130 nett for a 1.8L bottle. Beers are at RM50 nett for a bucket of 5 bottles. 

So what are you waiting for? Grab your family and friends, and head on down to Penang Times Square to enjoy the buffet spread that's waiting for you at YEA.

Yea, Japanese BBQ & Shabu Shabu
Ground Floor, Penang Times Square
Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150 Penang, Malaysia.

GPS: 5.411728, 100.324879

Business Hours:
6.00pm – 1.00am (Mon – Thurs)
12.00pm – 1.00am (Fri – Sun & Public Holidays)
Current on-going promotion: After 10PM, second person will get to enjoy 50% off.

Contact: 604-229 7826

Disclaimer: This is a personal food blog. The opinions expressed here are my own, based on my personal taste buds; others may have different opinions. Also, as we all know, qualities & standards of individual restaurants/food may change over time, so do note the time stamp on this review.