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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / haze

The weekend prior to Hari Raya, we went up to Penang for a little staycation getaway at Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa. The trip was quite a special one for me for reason that may be different from most. Close to two decades ago, I worked at the very same hotel as a casual worker and used to think “what if I was a guest there one day…”, and that day came true.

The Spice Market Cafe at Rasa Sayang, Penang
The Spice Market Cafe at Rasa Sayang, Penang

I will write about the hotel and our experience staying there next, but today let’s talk about their huge dinner buffet at Spice Market Cafe located at the Garden Wing (the “right” side).

seafood on ice, baked salmon
seafood on ice, baked salmon

Dinner starts at 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm every evening and it’s the all you can eat affair. Priced at RM 185 nett for adults, it is also the buffet that offers one of the biggest selections of dishes on the island.

You have a choice of indoor seating that requires fewer steps to get to all those dishes, or alfresco dining area right next to the unique free-form swimming pool surrounded by their huge garden complete with giant rain tree by the beach.

Indian & Malay cuisines, selections of salad
Indian & Malay cuisines, selection of salad

The dishes include authentic ethnic cuisines from diverse cultures – including Chinese (with chef from China doing freshly made “knife slice noodle”), Indian, Nyonya, Japanese, Thai, Malay, and Western.

freshly made noodle, slipper lobster, local dishes, juices
freshly made noodle, slipper lobster, local dishes, juices

Some of the must-tries are the slipper lobsters either as-is, or covered in sauce, sashimi, roast beef, and snow crab. We also really enjoyed their selection of cheese, but the number one favorite for all three of us for the night though, was their deep fried soft-shell crab, it had just the right amount of seasoning that reminds me of some of the best banana leaf side dishes I’ve had the pleasure to taste.

desserts, ice cream, fruits, and even roast beef
desserts, ice cream, fruits, and even roast beef

If you just try a spoonful from each dish, you’ll probably need at least several visits to sample everything, the selection is huge. Unlike most buffet places that only serves water, there are also a selection of juice to go about.

mom, Haze, KY & Kit the F&B guy at Rasa Sayang
mom, Haze, KY & Kit the F&B guy at Rasa Sayang

If your wife or girlfriend can’t decide what to eat, this is not a best place to be. There bound to be something that’ll tickle her senses. I know my mom was more than satisfied.

map to rasa sayang

Address:
Spice Market Cafe
Rasa Sayang
Batu Ferringhi Main Road,
Kampung Tanjung Huma,
11100 Batu Feringgi, Pulau Pinang
GPS5.478865, 100.254181
Tel+604-888 8888

After dating for some 5 years, last February, Haze and I decided to put signatures to the paper and completed our ROM. It was followed by a simple luncheon of some two dozen members of close friends and family members to mark the start of the next chapter of life.

ROM KY & Haze

While this space mainly showcases our food adventures from local hawker fare to some of the higher end fine dining establishments, believe it or not we do actually do a lot more than just eat.

hiking at Penang hill
hiking at Penang hill

In a bit to get healthy and stay active, getting a good sweating session is always welcomed. When we were in Penang we took the opportunity to take a hike up to Penang hill via the moon gate trail to #5 station. Somehow got lost along the way and spent 3 hours on some less travelled trail, good fun. This is partly in preparation for our upcoming Gunung Kinabalu hike, which I think will be plenty of fun.

Since we’re not exactly young-lings anymore, it is also in our best interest to have a better journey to wellness. While exercise is an important portion, choosing a healthy diet is also rather important. We cook more often at home, and sometimes do choose a healthier option while eating out.

vegetarian dinner at Setia City Mall

Being available for your loved ones for the long haul is also about staying healthy and protected.

Then of course, there’s the third and often overlooked point – being financially stable and ready for any unexpected events.

We’re fortunate enough to be in the middle income group and basically be able to afford everything we need, and some of the things we want, but adding a little bit of financial preparedness never hurt.

For some of you who may be in similar shoes like us, check out Zurich FlexiLife Plus.

zurich game 

Additionally, head to Zurich Insurance Malaysia FB page, there’s a little game in which you can play to stand a chance and win a grand prize of RM 4000 travel voucher + RM 1000 cash allowance. There’re also other prizes such as 2 iPhone 6s, 2 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and 3 Fitbit Charge HR wristband (I am currently using one!).

Also, please check out this video.

In the meantime, stay healthy and grow well!

Last weekend we met up with Haze’s relative who promised to take us to this place that serves “tilapia better than Lan Jie’s” at Seredah, and truth be told, we actually got more than what we bargained for, making the long drive definitely worth while.

Our destination was Restoran Yew Li, about 1 km north of the Serendah Police Station, not terribly difficult to locate.

Restoran Yew Li at Serendah
Restoran Yew Li at Serendah

The unassuming restaurant is located at an old shop lot and furnished with standard plastic table and chairs. Operating from brunch to about 5-6 pm, there’s usually quite a healthy crowd especially on weekends. Reservation is probably a good idea if you have a larger group.

steamed tilapia with plenty of garlic
steamed tilapia with plenty of garlic

There are two dishes we’re here for, but first, the steamed tilapia (RM 36 for the one we ordered).

The tilapia we got was huge, and skillfully steamed to perfection with a tonne of garlic on top and generous amount of cooking wine in the soup base, which compliments the fish surprisingly well. This was somehow better than using high grade soya sauce in steaming, I think I will try this at home one of these days. We definitely enjoyed this dish, a lot.

huge river prawn, this will cost you
huge river prawn, this will cost you

What most people come for here though, is their giant river prawn. (RM 50+ each)

And when I say big, they are HUGE. It is almost unrealistic to have one prawn per person, and they are also certainly much bigger than the ones we usually had at Pan Heong batu caves. The usual way to cook this here is with dark soya sauce, which really adds to the sweetness of the prawn really well. They are certainly pricey, but sucking the juices oozing out from the prawn heads will certainly help appreciate how awesome they are.

some greens and some pork to complete the meal
some greens and some pork to complete the meal

Additionally, we also had a claypot pork with salted fish and kangkung belacan. These dishes did not disappoint either and were delicious in their own rights, even though they aren’t as “special” as the two above.

Yew Li restaurant is definitely worthy of a visit, and I wished that they open for dinner.

map to Yew Li Serendah

Address:
Restoran Yew Li
19, Jalan Cempaka 1,
Taman Cempaka, 48200 Serendah,
Selangor, Malaysia
GPS3.371501, 101.612708
Tel: 03-6081 3226
Hours: lunch till 5-6 pm

While up at Sungai Petani a couple months ago, we took the opportunity to get my brother to introduce some of the more unique dishes the biggest city in Kedah has got to offer. Since we already had those awesome curry mee at Eupe food court, it was time for laksa fish at Restoran Piao Siang.

Restoran Piao Xiang at Sungai Petain, Haze & Win Sern
Restoran Piao Xiang at Sungai Petain, Haze & Win Sern

Restoran Piao Xiang, or Sin Piao Xiang, is located just a stone’s throw away from the Sungai Petani Utara toll plaza, and like most places in Sungai Petani, you won’t have too much of a problem trying to get a parking spot.

The restaurant opens for both lunch and dinner, and is considered one of the bigger eateries in the area, well, big enough to hosts wedding functions every now and then.

the famous asam fish, with fish, and some laksa noodle too
the famous laksa fish, with fish, and some laksa noodle too

For the three of us on a very hungry afternoon, we ordered four dishes to go with steamed rice.

The claim of fame here is the laksa fish (RM 26), a dish that is so simple in its ingredients you wonder why we don’t see it anywhere else. You make some awesome laksa broth, throw in steamed fish, mint leaves, and some laksa noodle for good measures.

I think having this dish as is as a whole meal is certainly viable, especially for laksa fans.

eggplant with sambal, stuffed chicken skin, seafood tofu
eggplant with sambal, stuffed chicken skin, seafood tofu

The eggplant with sambal (RM 7) is a musts order for those who like northern style sambal that comes with a kick. Seafood tofu (RM 9) is pretty decent as snacks, but the stuffed chicken skin (RM 17) actually surprised me, chicken skin stuffed with minced pork, reminds me of the first time I had something like that from Elegant Inn (stuffed with prawn meat tho).

Over all it was certainly a satisfying lunch, and one that is pretty reasonably priced too. If you’re up North, this is certainly not a bad place to check out.

map to Sin Piao Siang, Sungai Petani

Address:
Restaurant Piao Xiang
20 & 21 Jalan Melati 1,
08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah
GPS5.677679, 100.507461
Tel: 04-442 6219

I’ve always had problems with parking and navigating within Publika. The place has the most confusing lettering/numbering system for floors. There are numerous different “ground levels”, and some parking lots aren’t connected to each other the way a logically sound person may expect.

That being said, the place is also packed with huge amount of restaurants offering various different dining concepts, and often in relatively affordable price range due to the immense competition. Today, we’re going to look at Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya. One of the Japanese restaurants that is undoubtedly among one of my favorites in the area.

Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya, Publika
Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya, Publika

Izakaya is basically an informal Japanese gastropub, a place caters for after-work drinking and dining session not entirely unlike many of the Western pubs/bars, but one that obviously serves Japanese cuisine.

Tsubohachi is a renowned chain with over 300 outlets in Japan since its inception 40 years ago at Hokkaido, and currently is one of the two izakaya outlets in Publika, the other being Senya Izakaya owned by the Sushi Train group.

Our first time visiting Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya was with Cheesie sampling their normal menu, but this time around we were invited to try their special Zuwaigani (snow crab) menu. How could I say no?

zuwaigani nabe (snow crab hotpot)
zuwaigani nabe (snow crab hotpot)

The snow crab menu is available till late July, but do call up to make sure its availability. Then again, the usual menu is quite extensive and certainly worthy of a visit or three.

Our session started with zuwagani nabe, or snow crab hot pot (RM 79.90). Basically half a raw snow crab (male, female would have too little meat) with fresh vegetable, tofu, and mushroom in a hot pot. Certainly a luxury comfort dish that is perfect especially on a rainy day, or any day for that matter.

The crab made the soup oh so sweet, it was as good as I had hoped.

aburi zuwaigani, kani chawanmushi
aburi zuwaigani, kani chawanmushi

For those who likes it grilled, aburi zuwaigani (RM 58) should satisfy your cravings. A no-nonsense and unadultered way of enjoying snow crab with maybe just a little squeeze of lemon. Snow crab has a much softer shell than our Malaysian mud crabs, so getting a “perfect” peel is an easier job.

Kani chawanmushi (RM 12.90) too is worth trying if you just want to lux up the ordinary Japanese steamed egg with some snow crab meat.

zuwaigani sarada, aburi zuwaigani hakozushi
zuwaigani sarada, aburi zuwaigani hakozushi

Want more greens? Try zuwaigani sarada, or snow crab salad (RM 22.90), though all those mayonnaise may discount the perceived healthiness of this salad dish, but those savory taste combined with sweetness of snow crab makes it worth the extra calories.

Aburi zuwaigani hakozushi (RM 35.00) is another dish we tried that incorporate liberal use of those savory Japanese mayo. The pressed sushi was certainly delicious, though I always find mayo & wasabi sort of clashes a bit with each other.

ankake kani chahan, kani zosui, zuwaigani masu-zushi
ankake kani chahan, kani zosui, zuwaigani masu-zushi

Rice or porridge? Take your pick in ankake kani chahan (RM 22.90), or kani zosui (RM 29.90). Neither should disappoint as they were both expertly prepared and show cases the sweetness of snow crab through the simplicity of the dishes. I can have either of these for lunch and be a happy man.

If you like things in small packages, try the zuwaigani masu-zushi (RM 21.90). A tiny box of sushi rice with generous amount of snow crab meat on top. Just enough to taste, but unless you have had stomach stapling surgery, this can’t be your only dish for the night.

a selection of yakitori, chicken, pork, mushroom
a selection of yakitori, chicken, pork, mushroom

All the trying pretty much all the snow crab dishes sans tempura & sushi, we got greedy and decided to sample some of their signature yakitori dishes.

We tried chicken skin, bishop’s nose, chicken soft bone, chicken neck, pork belly, and mushroom. They came in both salted or in teriyaki, and I wished I had enough stomach space left to order a beer to go with these. Yakitori dishes are priced mostly at RM 7.80 to 9.80 for two sticks, pretty decent deal if you asked me.

Johnny, KY, Kelvin, Haze, macha de roru
Johnny, KY, Kelvin, Haze, macha de roru

Our final dish of the night was macha de roru as dessert, a sweet ending to a satisfying review session. I certainly don’t mind coming back here again, good food, great value, and without fuss, there should be more izakaya around town!

map to Solaris Dutamas

Address:
Tsubohachi Hokkaido Izakaya
A2-UG1-9, Publika

Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur
GPS3.170961, 101.665721
Tel: 03-6206 5526
Website: www.tsubohachi.com.my

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