Saturday, November 22, 2008

JL Steamboat Restaurant (Georgetown)

One of our favourite restaurants for steamboat has to be JL Steamboat Restaurant. The food is great considering it's a buffet concept, the location is convenient as it's located at Nagore Road with plenty of car park at New World Park and more importantly, it's a all-you-can eat buffet at RM 19.90 nett per adult and RM 12.90 nett per kid /senior citizen. With such a bargain like this, it's no surprise that this place is quite pack especially during weekends.

For those of you who wants to get your bearing correct before making a trip here, JL Steamboat Restaurant is located next to Sugar Dynasty which itself is just opposite the well known Continental Bakery. Just to point out an interesting fact about JL Restaurant. As advertised on the bill board, the novelty of JL Steamboat is that you can customise the buffet to your own preference or personal taste. After all, it's a buffet and you can choose what to include in your pot.

Watch out for the grill section located outside the restaurant as this is the highlight of the dinning experience.

The restaurant itself isn't big and is broken into two sections. The first section has limited dining space as it includes the buffet area. The second portion on the other hand, offers a more comfortable sitting arrangement and quiet atmosphere since it's located at the far section of the restaurant.

So, how does the buffet concept works in JL Restaurant? Firstly, you need to order your steamboat soup or stock to cook your items. The steamboat stock comes in a few variety -chicken, fish, tom yam or herbal. You can request up to two choices of stock of your preference since the pot itself can be separated into half. Once you have done that, you are all set and the fun begins. The buffet itself offers a huge range of items from different types of meat, vegetables to a full range of seafood including oysters. For more novelty items like fish maw, mutton, sea cucumber, kwai fei abalone or Australian scallops, these can be requested as side orders.

Besides steamboat, JL Steamboat Restaurant also has a grill section which dish out an assorted grilled items from prawn mantis, pandan chicken and other types of meat and seafood. Unlike the buffet section which is self service, the grilled items need to be ordered at the grill section. Upon ready, they will be served to your table.

Other selections offered in the buffet may include appetisers like belacan chicken, fried rice or noodles and finally a section for desserts.

All in all, it was a great dinning experience considering the fact that the price was reasonable and the food was good by buffet standards. If you have a huge appetite to fill up, the JL Steamboat Restaurant is worth paying a visit. For details for JL Restaurants, see below:

Name: JL Steamboat
Address: 25 & 27 Jalan Nagore, 10500 Penang
Tel: 04-2101122
Business hours: 5pm-11pm (Weekdays); 12pm-3pm & 5pm-11pm (Weekends)
Special promotion: Ladies Night Every Thursday - RM 17.90 nett per person

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Soon Lai Seafood Restaurant (Greenlane)

If you need to look for a good seafood restaurant in Greenlane, look no further! I recommend that you try Soon Lai Seafood Restaurant. It's located along Lebuhraya Gelugur just opposite the play ground. For those of you who are not too familiar with the area, the seafood restaurant is located not too far away from the Olympic College or the KFC outlet at Batu Lanchang. An immediate observation indicates that Soon Lai is as mytical as it's surrounding. It's layout does not portray a proper seafood restaurant but more of a chu char outlet. Additionally, if you are looking for the fish tanks to see where the fish comes from, don't bother. There aren't any on display. And the fact that it's located in a residential area doesn't help either since it does not give anyone the impression that this place serves good seafood.

An evening shot of Soon Lai Seafood Restaurant.

We come here regularly every week so we are accustom to the choices available. However, let me suggest this. If you are looking for a great meal, you definitely need to try the crab. Everyone comes here for the crab so you shouldn't miss this out. While you can order just steamed crabs, the black pepper or spicy chili gravy that goes with the crab are other good options to consider. Having said this, for those more cost conscious, the har kor or prawn mantis is a good alternative to the crabs or prawns. They are deep fried and then cooked with either sweet and sour or black pepper sauce.

Another recommendation would be to try the sting ray which is usually cooked a few ways. They can be grilled on banana leaves and marinated with curry spices or steamed and served with the special thick spicy black sauce. Either way, they are both worth trying.

Our other normal dish would be the belacan chicken which goes down well with the kids. They usually finish well ahead than the rest of the other dishes.

One of their speciality is also the stir fried brinjal. The one shown below comes cooked in curry spices, shallots, chillies and shrimps. On most occasions, the portion served were rather small. Nonetheless, the wonderful taste makes up for the earlier short comings.

I normally like to have soup to go with the other dishes. So if you are a soup person like me, go for the spinach soup that's complemented with century old egg and shrimps. It's one of the few places that serves as good a dish besides Teik Seng.

Other dishes that you might want to try include; spring rolls, fried egg with seafood or bean curd with mix vegetables and pork.

All in all, you won't be disappointed with what you order. Soon Lai Seafood Restaurant is definitely a well balance seafood restaurant which serves good food at reasonable price for the portion you get. For details of the restaurant, please see below:

Soon Lai Seafood Restaurant
15, Lintang Batu, Greenlane
11600, Penang
Tel: 04-6589799
Business hours: 6 pm -12 am (open daily)

For more details, call Lau Keng Soon at 016-441366 or Fong Mee Chiew at 012-4773063.

Yaw's Roast and Grill Western Food At Gerbang Midlands (Georgetown)

If you have been in Penang long enough, you would probably be familiar with Top Top Snack Bar and Restaurant. It was previously located in Pulau Tikus and is considered one of the best restaurants serving western food. Of course, that was back in the 80s. However, the restaurant has long been relocated and is now operating from the owner's home at Gerbang Midlands. While it's smack in the heart of a residential area, Top Top or Yaw's Roast And Grill Restaurant as it is called now, isn't too difficult to find. As you approach Gerbang Midlands during the evening, look for the house at the junction and just follow the crowd. There is a good chance they are heading to Yaw's Roast and Grill for to satisfy their appetite for Western food. Alternatively, if you happen to be in the area in the early part of the day, you cant miss the sound of the meat being bash with a meat tenderising hammer. No wonder Uncle Yaw look so fit for his age!

The last time I was there was ages ago. I vowed not to dine there again due to their bad service. They have missed my orders several times and the typical waiting time is usually forty to sixty minutes. And that is if you are lucky! Nonetheless, I decided to give Yaw Roast and Grill restaurant a second chance. After all, the public and the MCA delegates had given the scandalous Health Minister; Dr.Chua Soi Lek their votes to represent them, so why not Yaw's Grill?

I noticed there were several changes to the restaurant. The service was extraordinarily better than it was before. Our orders were promptly taken and the garlic bread and drinks were served shortly. The former was complimentary and to my surprise, they were rather soft. The only thing that would add to the pleasant experience is a hot bowl of soup (Borsh preferably) to complement the garlic bread.

We didn't have to wait long for the main course. We ordered the Bombay chicken, chicken chop (see insert below for pictures) and the fish and chips. Having said this, I can't really comment much about the chicken chop and Bombay chicken as they were quite ordinary. They just do not have the omph to garner extra millage. This is such a pale comparison to the reputation that Top Top (Yaw's Grill) has built over the years.

However, all is not lost for Uncle Yaw. The fish and chips did spark a glitter of hope. The batter itself was somewhat reminiscent of what you might get from the fish and chips shop in the UK. Additionally, the extra lime did add an extra fresh and sharp taste to the already enjoyable flavours.

Besides the usual suspects (of your western food), Yaw's Roas and Grill do offer pies and puff as well. I believe during their glitter years, they used to be their top sellers. Perhaps, I might just pop over again in future just to get acquainted with their pies.

For those of you wanting to break the routine of dinning the same place, do give Yaw's Roast and Grill Restaurant a try. You never know. It might work for you.

Yaw's Roast and Grill (Top Top)
1 Gerbang Midlands
04-2276272 / 012-4848178
Open from Tuesday to Sunday (Close on Monday)
Operational hours: 5.30-11pm