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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / March 2012

A couple days ago we were invited to The Saujana Kuala Lumpur to sample the food that they have for Penang Food Festival. – a little thing that this classy hotel near the old Subang Airport is having from 1 – 14 March, 2012.

It was the first time I find myself at Saujana, the traffic heading there was rather agreeable, and parking is ample and free, what a refreshing idea right? It baffles me why most hotels that aren’t located in the city centre still charges exuberant parking fees that pisses many potential guests. Saujana, you are doing it right.

Penang food festival at The Saujana KL
Penang food festival at The Saujana KL

Overseeing a huge lake and lush green golf course, Suria Cafe surely have one of the best ambiance around town, especially if you are the sort that loves alfresco dining.

For the two week period that Penang Food Festival is running at the restaurant, three chefs from my home town (yes, I hail from Penang) are flown here to prepare many traditional Penang hawker delights to be served right along the usual array of buffet dishes. For those who loves to sample different Penang foods all at one go, this is a perfect chance.

Chef Desmond's char kuih teow, original Penang style
Chef Desmond’s char kuih teow, original Penang style

I got the chance to speak with Chef Desmond, who specializes the fine art of Chinese cuisine but at the same time is also well known for his char kuih teow. Of course, we spoke in Hokkien, as this is almost always my litmus test for anyone who claimed to know the art of Penang food, he did not disappoint.

The char kuih teow that he prepared too, was a plate of mean hawker dish that ranks right up there with some of the bests. No small feat considering this is a pork-free version, I finished the whole plate, every single bit.

char kuih teow, poh piah, apom with banana
char kuih teow, poh piah, apom with banana

Together with Chef Badrol and Chef Wafi, who are also from Penang, these three gentlemen oversees these live cooking stalls at Suria Terrace –

  • Char Kiuh Teow
  • Oh Chien (fried oyster)
  • Sar Hor Fun
  • Ee Fu Mee
  • Chee Cheong Fun
  • Lam Mee
  • Prawn Mee
  • Char Kuih Kak
  • ais kacang (ABC)
  • masalah and ginger tea
Of course, all these dishes are of Penang variety, and in most instances, stays pretty true to the style you get off any streets in Penang, tho some of them are a bit too dressed up.

Haze loves the asam laksa, mee goreng, fried oyster and char kuih kak
Haze loves the asam laksa, mee goreng, fried oyster and char kuih kak

I’ll be lying if I said I tried everything, I don’t have a huge stomach and at this .. ahem.. age, I don’t exactly eat like a teenager anymore lest the circumference of my waist be overtaking my manly butt.

Anyway! As mentioned, the char kuih teow was very good. The mee goreng stayed true to Penang style, and while slightly dry for my liking, was pretty decent. Char kuih kak too was again a little dry, but the fried oyster was very agreeable with my taste buds. I really liked the blend of spiciness to the point that I was enjoy the egg even after I’d finished the oysters.

Haze had two bowls of asam laksa, that’s cos she is now a bit of an authoritative figure in asam laksa, being a fanatic and all. She proclaimed that it did not disappoint.

chee cheong fun, ais kacang, kopi tarik
chee cheong fun, ais kacang, kopi tarik

I was also happy that they serve Penang style chee cheong fun at the festival, and got the chef to cut me a portion. I always like my chee cheong fun still wrapped, and with all the accompanying sauces, I was happy.

The ais kacang was pretty decent, but perhaps with slightly too much ingredients? Then again I’m sure you can always ask for less during the preparation stage.

appetizers and desserts on the buffet lines
appetizers and desserts on the buffet lines

Other than those live cooking stalls, there are also prepared Penang food, these includes sotong kankung, pasembur, chicken loh bak, Penang rojak, pohpiah, and so forth.

Then there’s the buffet lines where you find the usual suspects – croutons, turkey bacon, tomatoes with herbs, olive, tomato, cold cuts, various types of cheese, fruits, salad, soup, kuih, and way too many type of cute little cakes and such. Heaven for those who love it sweet.

some of the other dishes - the lamb cutlet was outta this world
some of the other dishes – the lamb cutlet was outta this world

Oh, and how can I forget the lamb cutlets?

The lamb cutlets with herbs and cheese was so tender and awesome that I ate two whole pieces, that is almost a cardinal sin of buffet dining where I usually try to sample as many dishes possible, but the cutlet was worth it, and deserves its own paragraph right here!

Fresh, Lainey, Haze, KY
Fresh, Lainey, Haze, KY

The Penang Food Fest at Saujana runs from 1 – 14 March, 2012 and are priced at RM 68++ for lunch and RM 84++ for dinner.

Bon Appetit!

map to Saujana Kuala Lumpur

Address:
Suria Cafe
Saujana Resort, Jalan Lapangan Terbang SAAS,
40150 Selangor
GPS: 3.108849, 101.578474
Tel: 03-7843 1234
email: info@thesaujana.com

In the past few years, quite a number of restaurants that has a primarily pork laden menu with good choices of beer (and wine) selections rose to prominence. Some of the more well known players are Brussels at Solaris & Jaya One, Berlin Biergarten at Solaris Mont Kiara, Weissbrau at Pavilion KL, Hoofed at TTDI, Racks at Changkat, Sid’s pub at TTDI/Bangsar South, and Jarrod and Rawlins at a few locations.

Now, it looks like the same trend is happening in Penang, one of the latest of such establishments is BeerBQ at Precinct 10 (right next to Island Plaza).

Update: this place is closed

Beer BQ at Precinct 10, next to Island Plaza in Penang
Beer BQ at Precinct 10, next to Island Plaza in Penang

First, a disclaimer. Two of my ex schoolmates are share holders of this restaurant, and they invited me to this review session. I’ve known these blokes for the past 20 odd years, they told me to treat this with honesty, like any other review, which I will gladly comply. 😀

I like Precinct 10, it is a brand new commercial center that reminds me of suburban US. The shops are aligned in U shape with ample of parking in the middle. That way you never need to have a very long walk to any outlets. Most commercial areas packed in too many shop units with too little parking space, this place is a fresh departure from those greedy developer’s SOP.

wild mushroom soup, cauliflower soup, caesar salad
wild mushroom soup, cauliflower soup, caesar salad

Now to the food. Together with mom, sister, brother, Haze, and Horng, we had the restaurant manager recommended us some of their signature dishes to share.

We started off with some complimentary bread, with plenty of butter.

Then the soups: Wild mushroom soup (RM m9.90) has all those chunky bits of mushroom which I like, and soup of the day (RM 7.90) that night was cauliflower soup with very smooth texture and slightly “strange” taste to me, but Haze and my siblings absolutely loved.

The Caesar salad (RM 15.90) has bacon, croutons, and chunks of Parmesan cheese in it, and was easily one of the best Caesar salad I’ve ever had. I’m not sure if this is the best for someone who’s on diet, but it was awesome!

buffalo wings, roast pork, smoked salmon salad
buffalo wings, roast pork, smoked salmon salad

What’s a beer place without some good old beer food?

We tried their Buffalo Wings (RM 15.90) which has quite a kick, they were strongly flavored with homemade Hot BeerBQ sauce and really does go well with beer. Comes with Blue cheese dressing too!

Anyone who loves roast pork (RM 16.90) would agree that this is always the perfect finger food to go with beer. While I did find the skin for the roast pork a tad too chewy, it was overall still plenty satisfactory. They suggested Stella Artois to go with this, but I think any beer would work!

We also had the smoked salmon salad (RM 19.90) that came with home made cheese sauce. This is a dish most suited for those who are really on diet. Tastes decent.

BeerBQ pork ribs
BeerBQ pork ribs – succulent and yummy

Then we moved on to the real deal, the BeerBQ pork ribs (RM 38.90). Drenched in their signature BeerBQ sauce and very well marinated, this rack of ribs was tender and absolutely flavorful. If you have already order some starters, I recommend sharing this dish, the portion is rather generous for the price.

This is one of the better ribs I had.

BeerBQ seafood platter, fish and chips, brownies
BeerBQ seafood platter, fish and chips, brownies

Another main dish that we shared was the seafood platter (RM 40.90). There were king prawns, squid, mussels, clams, and even scallops. While the ingredients were superb, the platter is covered in the same BeerBQ sauce that I thought suited the ribs perfectly, but not quite well with seafood. It was a decent dish though, but I think perhaps the standard bread & fry preparation might work better here. Especially if you’ve already ordered the ribs.

My mom had a serving of fish and chips (RM 21.90), and she liked it. Mom helped sell fish at the market in the morning, so if she says that the fish is good, it is good.

At this point, we were pretty much stuffed, but was convinced to try their brownies (RM 8.90). We ended up finishing it in about all of 20 seconds, the brownies was top notch.

brother, sister, haze, myself, mom, and horng
brother, sister, haze, myself, mom, and horng

Other than the dishes we tried, BeerBQ also serves five pasta dishes, rib eyes, grilled salmon, chicken chops, beef ribs, and lamb rack. Other beef food includes fries, calamari, fish fingers, and onion rings.

This is a real restaurant that does concentrate on their food instead of a beer place that “oh by the way we” also serves some food.

Konig Ludwig Weissbier, Franzishaner, Konig Ludwig Dunkel, Leffe
Konig Ludwig Weissbier, Franzishaner, Konig Ludwig Dunkel, Leffe

As for beer, there’s Hoegaarden, Carlsberg, and Franziskaner Weissbier on tap. On bottles they serve Konig, Franzishaner, Leffe, Stella, Budweiser, Erdinger, Beck’s, Lowenbrau, and more.

So if you’re looking for porky goodness and a cold one to spend the evening, this is a place to go in Penang.

map to BeerBQ at Precinct 10, Penang

Address:
BeerBQ Bistro
Precinct 10
Jalan Tanjung Tokong
10470 Penang
GPS: 5.449262, 100.305524
Tel04-890 5157
Web: https://www.facebook.com/beerbqbistro 

Olympus E-PL3

Yes! I’m now a proud owner of a Prada, or more specifically, the Prada phone by LG 3.0.

In fact, I was told that I’m one of the very first people to have the phone in Malaysia, because I won it during the launch, Yeeaaahhhhhhh!

this silly pose bagged me a Prada LG 3.0 phone
this silly pose bagged me a Prada LG 3.0 phone

Just last Friday, Celcom and LG threw a media launching event at G Tower for the brand new LG Prada phone, now powered with Android. Since my office is nearby, dropped by after work to join Haze to check out the new device.

While the previous LG Prada phones have always struck me as fashion statements more than sophisticated gadgets, the 3.0, with the complete departure from previous models by adopting Android operating system, does push its capabilities on par with aesthetics.

Prada LG 3.0, powered by Android, I'm using it now!
Prada LG 3.0, powered by Android, I’m using it now!

Here’s the specifications of the Prada LG 3.0

  • 1.0 Ghz Dual-Core/Dual Channel Processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB user memory
  • 4.3″ screen with WVGA resolution (800 x 480)
  • 8MP rear camera with LED flash
  • 1080p Full HD video recording
  • 1.3MP secondary video-call camera, HD video
  • 21 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA speed
  • Wifi, GPS, MicroUSB, and supports MicroSD card up to 32 GB

the event was rather glamourous, I was under dressed
the event was rather glamourous, I was under dressed

A rather impressive feature set if you ask me, and it doesn’t end there. The phone is beautifully designed, an all black slade with a leather-like pattern at the back, and that PRADA logo, of course. At only 8.5mm, it is also super slim.

The black and white interface is rather unique in the Android world, and actually could make a bit of a mess once you add in a lot of other applications, but thankfully the most common applications are already included in the phone with the same black & white themed icons. I simply hide the colorful icons in other pages. Gotta keep my phone looking pretty!

Haze, Eiling, and many other bloggers were there
Haze, Eiling, and many other girls. Look at my silly grin when I found out I won

You can get your own Prada phone from Celcom from as low as RM 1518 by subscribing to Celcom Exec plans. For more information do check out http://www.celcom.com.my/smartphones/android.php#android5

After a day of usage, I’m happy to say that I do like it quite a lot. This phone now replaced my previous Android device – the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. The Prada LG phone surpassed the Arc pretty much in all aspects other than low lighting photography, but I’ll gladly live with that.

Olympus E-PL3

The biggest appeal of diving to me is the calmness I get when underwater, listening to nothing but the breath that I take and the bubbles flowing out from the regulator, the sense of weightlessness and the ability to move about without restriction in 3 dimension. It is a form of freedom you never get on land.

The magnificent seascape and underwater creatures, well, they are just a huge bonus. While no picture can convey that sense of liberty, here are some underwater pictures I took from various dive sites at Similan Islands.

My gears were Olympus E-PL3 with the underwater housing coupled, Inon UWL 100 & Dome port, and a single Sea & Sea YS-01 external flash.

swim through, Deep Six
swim through, Deep Six

I logged 14 dives over 4 days of diving living aboard M/V Vilai Samut operated by Liquid Adventure. (previous year experience here). The boat departs from Khao Lak at night, so night one started before day one. The sites we went to were:

Day 1:

  • Stone Henge
  • Deep Six
  • West of Eden
  • West of Eden (night)
Day 2:
  • Elephant Rock
  • Koh Bon
  • Koh Bon
  • Ko Tachai (night)
Day 3:
  • Richelieu Rock
  • Richelieu Rock
  • Ko Tachai
  • Koh Bon (night)
Day 4:
  • Koh Bon Pinnacle
  • Bon Soon Wreck

tiny black reef fish atop table coral
tiny black reef fish atop table coral at West of Eden

We were lucky to have excellent visibility of at least 30-40 meters in more than 70% of the dives, and had at least 20 meters in the rest of the dives too. Comparing with Pulau Sembilan/Lumut’s 5-10 m visibility…

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pics, and say no to shark’s fins!

giant spiny lobster, night dive at West of Eden
giant spiny lobster, night dive at West of Eden

sea snake, Koh Bon
sea snake, Koh Bon

the reef at Koh Bon
the reef at Koh Bon

clown fish in anemone, night dive at Elephant Rock
clown fish in anemone, night dive at Elephant Rock

an unmoving cuttle fish, night dive at Elephant Rock
an unnerving cuttle fish, night dive at Elephant Rock

lion fish, night dive at Elephant Rock
lion fish, night dive at Elephant Rock

Dave convincing a lion fish to pose for him, Richelieu Rock
Dave convincing a lion fish to pose, Richelieu Rock

cleaner shrimps, Richelieu Rock
cleaner shrimps, Richelieu Rock

chevron barracudas, Richelieu Rock
chevron barracudas, Richelieu Rock

star fish on coral, night dive at Koh Bon
star fish on coral, night dive at Koh Bon

boxer shrimp, night dive at Koh Bon
boxer shrimp, night dive at Koh Bon

porcupine fish, Bon Soon wreck
porcupine fish, Bon Soon wreck

Bon Soon wreck
Bon Soon wreck

ghost pipe fish, Bon Soon wreck
ghost pipe fish, Bon Soon wreck

Olympus E-PL3