While char kuih teow, laksa, and cendol gets all the attention in Penang, one of the must-eats for me is actually the humble old apong. Specifically, the stalls offering these tiny apong that have been operating at Jalan Burma right outside Union Primary School for decades.
Apong Guan, Penang
There are only two of such stalls on the island as far as I know, both offering very mini sized apong made with plenty of eggs, flour, ripe banana, corn, and some other secret ingredients (I think the guy will sell you the recipe for a handsome fee).
I’ve wrote about Apong Chooi back in 2011, so now let’s look at Apong Guan, arguably the more “famous” of the two.
Each Apong now goes for RM 0.60, up from RM 0.35 8 years back, and seven for RM 1.00 maybe two and a half decades back when I first got my motorbike license.
Apong Guan will usually have a small crowd surrounding the stall on weekends, an exercise in patient in these hot climate to be sure. The reward though is definitely worth it. The apong is sweet from the ripe banana & corn, savory from its egg, and perfect in every way. I suggest you order enough to lasts the afternoon, and eat them while hot!
RM 0.60 each for this goodness, must-eat if you’re in Penang
Apong Guan has been in operation for some 50 years, with no heir apparent in sight, so if you’re longing for something uniquely Penang, this is a stall not to be missed.
The cendol is operated from one of those original food truck that’s been around for decades (one where the operator stands by the side instead of INSIDE the truck). Thankfully, they also prepared a number of tables and chairs complete with giant umbrellas for your convenience.
cendol is always perfect for hot weather
Pak Akob offers basic cendol (RM 1.50) with a few additions:
Cendol Pulut (RM 2.50)
Cendol Tapai (RM 2.50)
Cendol Jagung (RM 2.00)
Cendol Pulut Jagung or Tapai Jagung (RM 2.50)
love my cendol with pulut or tapai
Of course, you can also mix & match from the above “extra” ingredients as you wish. My favorite is tapai, the fermented glutinous rice that carries a slightly sourish taste that matches really well with the sweet nature of cendol.
On a hot day just after you have a good meal of bak kut teh in Klang, this is definitely a place worth checking out.
I almost never say no to food review at classy Japanese restaurants, so when the invitation from Hanaya came, I immediately made it a point find a way to get there even though the timing wasn’t exactly perfect.
And as it turned out, that was a wise choice. Walking from KLCC to Grand Millennium Hotel under the hot sun was definitely worth it.
Hanaya Japanese Restaurant at Grand Millennium Hotel, KL
While Ten is modern and veered towards the higher end fine dining experience, Hanaya aimed to be more approachable to the general public and offers traditional Japanese cuisine with more affordable pricing while maintaining very high quality, as apparent during this review session.
Our tasting menu for this pre-opening review was specially selected to showcase some of the different dishes and ingredients from Hanaya.
Shirako, or soft roe with ponzu sauce
We started the session with Shirako, or red snapper soft roe. For those who aren’t familiar with the difference between normal roe & soft roe, well, normal roe is fish eggs, while soft roe is the male counterpart.. or in the less glamorous term – fish sperm sac.
It was incredibly rich and creamy, but perfectly balanced with the acidity from ponzu sauce. I must say that I find myself really enjoying this delicacy despite knowing the ingredient intimately. I’d want to have this again for sure.
Oriental clam fritters with grated green bean sauce
Next up was Oriental clam fritters with grated green bean sauce and spring vegetable. A more muted taste that serves as a welcoming change from the strong first dish. It was an simple yet rather delightful.
entree – five types
The entree came with five different items, all of them carefully crafted and expertly prepared.
We had botargo (salted dried fish roe) which reminded me of the texture of dried mango minus the fiber; sticky tofu skin that was simple yet intricate; bamboo shoots in balsamic vinegar that provided the fresh, crunchy feeling; red snapper with Mozuku seaweed giving a new interpretation of the way to enjoy raw fish; and finally a play in colors with prawns in 3 ways – with nori, ohba leaves and arare (crispy Japanese cracker).
The entree was quite a revelation, and I did enjoy them all, though the prawns could perhaps bit a bit more crunchy, but I’m nitpicking.
assorted seasonal sashimi
What’s a proper Japanese meal without sashimi?
Our assorted seasonal sashimi platter comes with 5 types of fresh raw seafood, each beautifully crafted and carefully prepared.
Starting from ebi with cucumber and avocado sauce, seared salmon with bonito cream, saba with vinaigrette, aoyagi (Chinese mactra, a type of clam), and finally chutoro with sweet spicy gochujang sauce. All of which were rather excellent, and one of the very few times I had sashimi without the need of any soya sauce or wasabi since they were all very well balanced already.
Akita Wagyu steak
Next up was charcoal grilled Akita Wagyu steak, I believe this simple three slices of beef was actually prepared by God himself. It was, of a lack of a better word, heaven. It was very lightly grilled and served with a few pieces of fried garlic, a bit of daikon, carrot, and a touch of sea salt & pepper.
If you think sex is good, that’s because you haven’t had this beef.
steamed alfonsino fish
Steamed dish came in the form of alfonsino (a type of deep water fish with huge eyes) with Japanese yam and egg white. I thought the texture of the fish was perhaps slightly harder than I’m used to, but overall it was a good combination, and I really like the fluffy texture of the foamy egg & yam concoction.
seasonal sushi at Hanaya Japanese Restaurant
Penultimate dish that was simply labeled “rice dish” in the menu turned out to be sushi (all rice dish should be sushi isn’t it?)
My favorites were sea urchin, scallops, and of course, otoro! The melt in your mouth texture was just so irresistible! Every piece of the five on the plate was spot on, and again, we didn’t even need wasabi!
coconut bavorios with pineapple jelly in pino colada style
Unfortunately, every good meal had to come to an end, and to conclude this special menu, we had an unassuming looking dessert that came in a martini glass – coconut bavorios with pineapple jelly in pino colada style. The layered dessert lived up to the expectations set by the previous dishes, the combination of sweet, milky, and sour taste was perfect. I was already rather full at this point, but finished the dessert nonetheless.
KY, Ringo, & Caydence at Hanaya Japanese Restaurant
Omakase at Hanaya ranges from RM 200-250, and there is also quite a decent selection of ala carte item. I believe I’m going to go back there perhaps to try their lunch menu pretty soon!
Hanaya Grand Millenium Kuala Lumpur 160, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.148006, 101.712225 Tel: 03-2110 5499
I’ve read about the new kid in town – Magnolia Sherbet for a little while now, and today I finally got my hands on some from the Petronas station at Damansara Jaya. It was just laying there beautifully, little containers with 85 ml of delicious goodness in them.
Magnolia Sherbet is finally here!
I picked up one of each flavors available from the lot – Delightful Orange, Marvellous Mangosteen, and Magnificent Melon. Unfortunately Luscious Lychee flavor is sold out at this location, bummer, but 3 out of 4 isn’t too bad I suppose.
Suggested retail price is RM 2.50 (RM 2.80 at East Malaysia), but I think I paid RM 2.70 at Mesra store, usually convenient stores at gas station impose a bit of a premium, oh well. I’m not complaining though.
Cendawan approves Magnolia Sherbet – Melon, Orange, and Mangosteen
The sherbet is kept in little plastic container of their own, and underneath the cap you’ll find a little plastic spoon. This is a pretty smart and messy-less packaging, I like.
The biggest difference between Magnolia Sherbet and just any ice cream is it’s texture. The sherbet comes with real fruit stuff in them – there’s real orange sacs in orange flavored sherbet, mangosteen puree in Mangosteen variety, and nata de coco in Magnificent Melon. Real lychee pieces can be found in the lychee variant too.
In a nutshell, you not only lick, you chew a little too. 😀
this thing actually tastes very good!
The orange flavor is tangy and gives the taste bud a kick, on the other hand, I like the melon varient’s nata de coco pieces too. The mangosteen flavor though, takes a little getting used to, but I guess it’s because that’s the first time I had any sherbet with mangosteen flavor. I have a feeling my mom will like it though.
(by the way mangosteen flavor seems to be Cendawan’s favorite, emmmm..
Since less dairy product is found in sherbet compared to ice cream, the sherbet is also a lot lighter, kinda in between ice and ice cream. Very refreshing, and we can all indulge in them pretty much guilt free. After all, it’s 2011, and I’ve started jogging/exercise a little bit more, so must also eat healthier lah.
That said, I’m contemplating finishing the last one in the fridge before Haze comes back, hehehe.
P/S: There’s a contest going on too, write a blog post that starts with “A Magnolia Sherbet A Day…” and win up to RM 1500 cash! Check here for more info!