Friday, August 29, 2008

Losing Manhood Over Soya Bean Drink At Soya King

We all know that soy bean drink has been touted as a miracle food for obvious reasons. It contains numerous amino acids required as the building blocks for growth, isoflavones, a source of vitamin E and lecithin and even help to reduce bad cholesterol.

However, recent unsettling studies have shown that too much soy base food consumed by male can lead to lower sperm count. To quote the article EmaxHeath "men who ate the most soy food had 41 million sperm per millilitre less than men who did not consume soy products". Ouch! It sounds as if it's just a tiny weeny drop, but as far as manhood is concern for us male, every drop counts. This is also a blow to any soya bean drink lover like myself. In life, I believe you need to make room for exceptions and I am willing to exercise that right in this case. Hehehe. Similar to the "Get Out Of Jail" card you get in Monopoly.

Every time I window shop at Queens Bay Mall, I need to have my dose of soya bean drink at Soya King. Soya King is located at the ground flour just directly opposite the JayaJusco hypermarket and next to the food court. Unlike most traditional soya bean stalls in Penang, Soya King takes it's product offerings to the next level by providing more variation of soya bean drinks. It's menu consists of bean milk with cincao or colombian arabica white coffee, bean curd with either longan, lychee, red bean, sweet corn, natta de coco, mango fruit pudding or tropical fruit cocktail as toppings. Prices ranges from RM 2-RM 6.

Soya bean drink with normal syrup. Just the way I like them.

For those who like bean curd, you have a choice to add plain syrup, gula melaka syrup or ginger cooked in brown sugar syrup to it. The bean curd is really good as it the texture is soft yet firm enough to retain its shape. It doesnt break up that easily.

Finally, will all this spell the end of my manhood? Hahaha. I dont think so. After a soya bean drink and a bowl of bean curd, I think I'm far from infertile. Those soya beans need to do a better job to rob me of my manhood.

Chinese Restaurant At Red Rock Hotel (Georgetown)

For those of you who aren't aware of Red Rock Hotel, it's actually the old Agora Hotel. The newly renovated 3-star business hotel is now run by the same family operating the budget Hotel Hong Ping in Chulia Street. Hong Ping is well known since it is a favourite choice by back packers. What make Red Rock unique is that it's strategically located in the heart of historic Georgetown and walking distance to the Penang famous hawker food center along Macalister Road.

While there are numerous places around this area to get great food, one should not overlook the Chinese restaurant from the hotel. Tien Tien Chinese restaurant serves a mixture of regional Chinese cuisine and is located on the 1st floor. The restaurant has a sitting capacity of up to 1000 guests and as well as 12 private rooms. It's therefore no surprise that the restaurant is a favourite choice for weddings and private functions. Although I have been here a few times before, we normally order the same dishes as it's only usual for us to be drawn into our comfort zone. When you know these dishes are good, why venture out and risk unpleasant surprises? Here are some of the recommended dishes.

Pork belly in sweet bean sauce. For those of you who are not too conscious with your cholesterol level, this is a must try. The wonderful sauce goes well with the white rice.

Chicken in sweet and spicy mayo sauce with nuts. Contrasting flavours and quite unique.

Kar Heong tofu or bean curd with dice pork and salted fish. The thick black sauce and the flavours from the salted fish bring much needed dimension to the taste of the otherwise blend homemade bean curd. The contrasting saltiness of the salted fish, the softness of the bean curd and the flavourful sauce will tantalise any taste buds.

As with the tofu, the stir fried brinjal with shrimps rocks! I dont really like brinjal but I have made this dish an exception. This dish brings another dimension to cooking. Wonderful.

By now some of you probably notice that the dishes look similar like those at CRC (Chinese Recreation Club). That's because the chefs used to cook there. As a whole, Tian Tian is quite a nice restaurant as the food and atmosphere are truely a class above the rest. Additionally, prices are quite reasonable depending what you order. For the full address of Red Rock Hotel, please see below for details:

Red Rock Hotel
202A, Jalan Macalister, 10400 Penang
Tel: 04-2266060

For additional review of this restaurant by other foodies, please food hop to LingZie's Tummy Treat.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hainanese Lor Mee At Harbin Cafe (Pulau Tikus)

I have past by Harbin Cafe many times but never really been there until recently. What actually caught my attention was the fact that they advertise themselves as having the one of the best Hainanese lor me in town. What's also intriguing is that lor mee is suppose to be a Hokkien dish ergo a Hainanese lor me warranted some investigation on my part.

The typical lor mee consists of a mixture of white rice noodles or beehoon and yellow noodles served with thick starchy gravy made up of corn starch, egg and spices. This is usually complimented by slices of pork and a half boiled egg. In some stalls, they might surprise you with innards like intestines or chicken feet which would put off most Westerners. Lastly, it comes with chili and ginger paste to compliment the thick gravy noodles just like the one shown below.

Hmm. I can't seem to find the slightest difference between this and the Hokkien style. The ingredients are the same except perhaps they added in the pork belly. Not sure.

What a tempting looking pork belly. I could just eat this minus the noodles.

I decided I wasn't in the mood for innards and just had the normal one. I think it cost around RM3-3.5. The lor mee was just average because it tasted like any ordinary lor mee you would get in Penang. Perhaps because of the marketing hype I expected more. Anyway, you are not going to see me doing any back flips or somersaults on this.

Nonetheless, Harbin is still quite a popular cafe since it also sells Malay economy rice and Western food. The Malay food is a crowd puller during the day time where as the Western food seems to do better during the evening. For directions to Harbin Cafe, it is located at the intersection of Jones Road and Burma Road. Alternatively, you can use the SOCSO building at Pulau Tikus as your landmark since it's just directly opposite it.

All Time Classic Chicken Pies From Penang Hill (Air Itam)

If you grow up in Penang, you would probably remember the delicious chicken pie from Penang Hill. This has to be one of the classic chicken pies I ever tasted since I literary grew up with it. We use to have it during the weekends and there was never enough for everyone.

For some of you who don't know about this,'s likely it's going to stay that way unless someone let you into the secret. This guy makes his chicken pies from his home in Penang Hill and delivers them in his motorcycle directly to your home. He makes about a few hundred pies a day and what's fascinating about this is his business thrives on just word of mouth! For deliveries, I do believe there is a minimum quantity but I recently bought only five and encountered no hassle.

I took three and they were certainly not enough for myself. Shall we say old habits die hard?

The chicken pie comes wrapped in a crispy pastry together with chunky pieces of chicken, potatoes, egg, onions, carrots and peas. And to add another twist to the pie, classic Worcester sauce is used as the base sauce. What's worth mentioning is that a piece only cost you RM 1.90. For the sheer size and quality you get, you can't find this anyway.

For those of you who want to taste the reminiscent of the wonderful and classic chicken pie, here's the contact.

Penang Hill Chicken Pie
Contact person: Ah Wang
Tel: 013-5032947
Price per piece: RM 1.90

After all, you got nothing to lose and delivery is free :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Everyone's A Winner At McDonald's

Ahh..McDonald's. You either love it or hate it. There's no two ways about it. Luckily for me, I'm one of the many folks who's still loving it. I have to say in some ways we are in debt to Mr.Ronald McDonalds in more than one occasions. This is especially true when you are travelling in some foreign country and the local food doesn't go well with your stomach. The colorful statue of Ronald McDonald's in over sized shoes and baggy yellow overalls with a smile to greet you is a wonderful and relief sight. We go there because we know our expectations will be met. You know exactly what you get. No surprises.

Occasionally, I drop by at McDonalds just to calibrate my expectations. I was there last week for breakfast and dinner. Dinner was actually my wife's idea as she wanted the free contour glass that comes with the Gold Medal meal. For breakfast we had the Weekday special and hotcakes with sausages. I thought the Weekday breakfast special is quite a good bargain as you pay only RM4 for a sausage and cheese McMuffin and coffee.

Flavourful and aromatic coffee made from 100% roasted Arabica coffee.

The hotcakes comes together with a sausage patty complemented with honey and butter. The pancakes were light, fluffy and the contrasting sweetness of the honey and saltiness of the sausage patty was sheer delight. I wont mind have this for breakfast everyday....

The McMuffins comes with grilled chicken sausage with cheese in a lightly toasted English muffin. It's one meal that I wont be counting calories.

The only reason why we had dinner there was because my wife wanted the Coca-Cola contour glass that comes free with the Gold Medal meal. There are five designs in total. As for the Gold Medal meal, it's a promotional meal in conjunction with the Olympic games. The Gold Medal meal comes with a spicy chicken McDeluxe, onion rings, a carbonated drink and a sundae.

The spicy chicken Mcdeluxe as the name suggest is made of breaded chicken marinated with a special spice marinade, topped with fresh lettuce on a corn meal bun.

And for the real meal, this was followed by a Big Mac. Who can say no to two beef patties that comes with fresh lettuce, onions, pickles, cheese between toasted sesame seed bun? Vegetarians perhaps.....

As their tag line goes, every day is a Sundae! The fruity strawberry sundae was lovely.

The real reason behind dinner. I have to eat everything except the onion rings. My wife was reserving this for herself and she also gets to keep the limited edition Coca-Cola contour glass.

Whether you are a kid or an adult, there's something for everyone. At McDonald's, everyone is a winner.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Imagine If You Have This For Dinner

IF ONLY YOU COULD ......sink your teeth into the juicy soft skin of the lovely popiah....

.....or taste the slightly burnt and smoky sar hor fun that will hit the right spot with the pickled chillis....

.....or the ee foo mee with its thick seafood gravy sauce.....oh, mr ee foo mee....what big prawns you have.....

.....or smell the wonderful aroma of belacan rice....or taste the fragrant and fluffy rice .....or the belacan chicken, fried anchovies or egg.....

.....or bite into the tender meat of the best chicken wings in town.....muah ha ha.....

.....or sniff the aroma of the freshly cooked fried char koay teow ....with extra pig's fat and duck's egg.....bwa ha ha .....

.....or brave the high cholesterol goody in the form of fried oysters.....

.....or taste the famous combo plate of loh bak with the dipping sauces.....

IF ONLY YOU COULD.....have all this for dinner.....LOL....

Burp! (followed by tooth picking). Dont worry if you didn't ........(more tooth picking)......I was there to finish the food on your behalf :)

Wonderful Set Lunch At Manila Place (Georgetown)

Manila Place is located along Penang Gurney Plaza's stretch of trendy eateries and alfresco coffee outlets. Since it's renovation two years back, this restaurant has been a crowd puller. The renovation has given Manila Place a new lease of life by the choice of it's decor. The attractive and sleek modern decors coupled with a touch of fusion jazz music on the background certainly creates a comfortable and relaxing ambiance. More importantly, the key contributing factor for the success of the restaurant was that Manila Place repositioned itself from a cafe to a proper restaurant serving wholesome meals throughout the whole day. It serves set meals not only for lunch and dinner but also breakfast and tea. This is complemented by a mixture of Asian, English, Italian, Japanese, Malaysian and Szechuan ala cartes.

The set meals are a bargain. For instance, the set lunch consists of 12 main course to choose from. It comes together with either a cold drink or tea / coffee, a soup and a bun and finishing off with ice cream for dessert.

The grilled lamb chops that was part of the set lunch was worth every penny paid. I was expecting the worst as most lamb chops I tried elsewhere were either slightly grilled too long and just difficult to sink you teeth into. The chops were perfect! The meat ripped apart easily as you cut them. Additionally, the black pepper and mushrooms sauce was delightful and instead of two pieces of chops you normally get in other restaurants, we got three. And look at the sheer size of it! All these for less than RM 30 nett.

The BBQ chicken and black pepper chicken set meal were nice too considering the price you pay for it (RM 16.90 nett).

Other ala cartes recommended are the grilled Bombay chicken which comes with an interesting mixture of hot and spicing Bombay sauce, the grilled salmon with lemon and dill or the lasagna. For those with a sweet tooth, you wont be disappointed. Manila Place serves an assorted range of cakes and pancakes or crepes. It's famous for it's cup cakes as the owner also specialises in making customised cup cakes for any events. Please see Cup-A-Cake for more information. Lastly, Manila Place also provides catering services for private functions. Further information can be viewed from Manila Place's website.

For directions to Manila Place, please see below:
Manila Place
170-G-43, Persiaran Gurney
10250, Penang

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Homemade Carrot Muffins - Recipe

I was inspired by the lovely and mouth watering pastries at San's Blessed Moments that I decided to expand my culinary skills to baking too. For a start, I decided to try something relative simple. I went to Video Jug for ideas and come up with my own recipe for carrot muffins. After all, I have lots of carrots in the kitchen so why not.

Here are the ingredients that were used:
  • 130ml corn oil
  • 190g castor sugar
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 21og plain flour
  • 1 1/4 tbp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tbp salt
  • 200g grated carrots
  • 1 green apple grated
  • 50g sultanas (optional)
  • 35g walnuts, toasted and chopped coarsely (optional)

To bake, please find the instructions below:

  1. Position rack in centre of the oven and preheat to 190 C. Grease the standard muffin baking tray.
  2. Combine sugar, corn oil and eggs in large mixing bowl. Stir in sifted flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well to combine with a spoon. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir well to blend.
  3. Divide batter onto the muffin baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes. Turn muffins onto rack to cool. Serve warm.

I wasn't sure if this endeavour would work so I decided to scale back on baking on a large scale. The batter would just enough for 7 muffins. I also reduce the amount of sugar as I don't like anything too sweet.

Fresh and warm lovely muffins just out of the oven. I'm the proud owner of these muffins!

Try this recipe. It's simple and taste simply wonderful.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Soya Bean Puddings At Prangin Mall (Georgetown)

Every time whenever my wife and I window shop at Prangin Mall, we would normally stop by at Number Two Refreshment Corner for desserts. Number Two is located on the 2nd floor of the mall and sells soya puddings, beverages and toast sandwiches.

Number Two serves eight different types of soya pudding - original, cocoa, black sesame, almond, carrot, sweet corn, pandan and coffee.

You can also customise your soya puddings by adding in any combination of nata de coco, pearl ball, fruits and ginkgo seeds.

At the end of the day, you end up with a colorful pudding suited to your preference. As per the pictures below, the former depicts the almond pudding while the latter the coffee pudding - all topped with different assortments of nata de coco.

To coincide with the mid autumn festival, Number Two also sells home made cartoon crystal moon cakes. They come in different cartoon characters ranging from mickey mouse, minnie, doraemon, hello kitty, winnie the pooh and many more. You have the option to choose different flavours too - coffee, red bean, pandan, corn, chocolate, cheese, blueberry, tiramisu, durian and dragon fruit. Each box which cost RM 16 contains 6 pieces of moon cakes with different flavours.

Lastly, you can also quench your thirst as Number Two offers a wide range of beverages. They range from cold beverages like soya, green tea, chrysantenum tea to hot beverages like ginseng milk tea, ginger tea, almond tea, red dates longan and many more. All drinks cost less than RM 2.

For directions, proceed to the 2nd floor of Prangin Mall and head for the Center Mall. It's opposite Nice Day which sells toys and gifts.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Desserts At Sugar Dynasty (Georgetown)

If you are interested in desserts in Penang, look no further. Sugar Dynasty as the name suggest specialises in home made chinese and nyonya desserts. It's located at Nagore Road which play host to a kaleidoscope of restaurants and cafes. Like most buildings in this area, this quaint old place has been given a new lease of life. It has been restored and renovated into a restaurant and it's condition pristine as ever be. What also make these restaurants along Nagore Road really stand out is the eye catching colourful neon lights that brightly lit the road. In a way, it's reminiscent to what you might see along Clarke Quay in Singapore although I have to profess it's on a much smaller scale. OK! It's way way smaller! But then again, it great to see places like these add more colour and character to the night life in Georgetown.

Sugar Dynasty serves up to forty variety of desserts. They range from almond tea, si ke ting, herbal jelly, water chestnut egg, bird nest, papaya with almond, white fungus with red dates, barley with ginkgo nut, bubur gandum and many more.

A close up on the peanut soup. It was light and refreshing.

There are only a few places in Penang that serves good bee koh moy. This one is quite nice too although I would have prefer it to be thicker like the one at Mount Erskine.

This is the red bean soup with tong yuan or glutinous rice. They provided add texture to the soup.

Glutinous rice in syrup.

Besides desserts, Sugar Dynasty also serves a variety of local chinese and hawker delights. Here you can see the fried thick noodles, ee foo mee and fried rice respectively.

The food and desserts at Sugar Dynasty is certainly a must try for those with a sweet tooth and those wanting variety. Prices of the food here is extremely reasonable. For instance, you can get any of the combo set which consist of either noodles/rice and a drink at the cost of RM 4.00-RM 6.90 nett. This is only applicable from 11am-6pm. For more details of Sugar Dynasty, please see below:

Sugar Dynasty
29 Jalan Nagore
10050 Georgetown
Tel: 04-2271163
Business hours: 11am - 10.30 pm (closes every Monday)