Into the Doorway of Food, where it's all about Eating...

Let's start the journey into my world of food...

Different tastebuds with different tongues; you're the eater and you're the judge...
What I share here is simply the passion towards food and drinks.

Don't hesitate to ctiticize; if you like my articles, encourage me.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Irrawady at Jalan Irrawady

Our friend Chef Tommes from TLWB owns as well a cafe cum deli shop that is called Irrawady Fine Foods at Jalan Irrawady. The shop is opened from 11am till 6pm daily except on Sunday. Not only for dining in, but it's also a deli shop that is selling different kinds of Salami or Ham, cheese, sauces or seasonings and bread. If you're interested, baking classes are as well available for registration.

Since its opening, Attila and I have hardly visited Irrawady Fine Foods because it's almost impossible to wake us up for breakfast. On a sunny weekend during public holiday and after being woke up by the alarm clock, I've persuaded Attila to go for a nice brunch here. I'll normally checkout the chalkboard for their menu or if there's any special of the day. I've then decided to take the English Full Breakfast that comes with 2 sunny-side-up, 1 sausage, 1 toast that is halved into triangles, 1 tomato and some baked beans. This is kind of a standard breakfast that I've always wanted to have, especially the pork bacon and the egg whereby the egg white must be completely cooked while the egg yolk is still half-cooked. I like the salt and the black pepper in the sausage but the frying seems to have sacrificed its tenderness. I assume that the sausage may taste better if it's being barbecued?
Attila has decided to DIY that he has chosen the Bagel with black poppy seeds, the 'stinky' cheese, Pickles or the fermented cucumber, Hungarian Salami and the Longaniza de Chivo or spicy pork sausage. We can't recall the name of the cheese that we've named it 'stinky' cheese for its strong smell. Even though the smell is quite strong, yet the deliciousness is really superb. This is the way that my Boyfriend likes to have for his breakfast, the most important is always the Salami.

If you're keen for a Western breakfast that is Non-Halal and you're not restricted only to the defined menu, do drop a visit to Irrawady Fine Foods. Alternatively, you can as well take away some ingredients to prepare your own breakfast or BBQ at home.

I've to Recommend... Foong Wei

I'm completely out of my mind that I've forgotten to write about Foong Wei Restaurant风味小食館 that is located at Jalan Sri Bahari. Every Penangites know about this restaurant and it's always fully packed by customers not only during normal lunch or dinner hours but also on festive seasons or occasions such as Chinese New Year or birthday celebrations. It's well known for the deliciousness of the food and the friendly service of the waiter and waitress that every Chinese is willing to spend for a meal here.

A tradition before Chinese New Year, we've decided to have our year end closing meal收工宴 at Foong Wei Restaurant. We're served with an empty stainless steel pot that is filled with hot water to get ready for our first dish, the Poon Choi盆菜. This is to ensure that the dish is always kept warm throughout our lunch hour. Poon Choi is traditionally invented by poor people in old days whereby various ingredients or the left-over food are mixed together to boil a pot of delicious meal. Modernization to nowadays, the ingredients for Poon Choi are getting to be more diversified that range from abalone鲍鱼, fish maw花胶, swim bladder鱼鳔, sea cucumber海参, prawn虾, mushrooms菇类, vegetable菜类 to poultry such as roasted pork烧肉, chicken烧鸡 and duck烧鸭. There's a 'layering' rule in preparing Poon Choi. The most bottom layer is started with land or the meat and then being topped up with vegetable or mushroom. Finally, the most top layer is being covered with the sea treasures. Every single cents that I've spent here are worth for money because the ingredients are really valuable and the taste is really delicious.

Our lunch has as well included the Lotus Leaf Rice荷叶饭 that is steamed with chopped roasted pork and 3 types of sausages. I'm not so amazed by the rice as the nice aromas of the dark soy sauce and the lotus leaf are not appealing. Anyway, the rice is still quite tasty because of the pork sausages.

Ending of our meal is the soupy dessert that is made from longan龙眼, lotus seed莲子 and red date红枣. I'm not so fancy over this dessert but it doesn't taste too bad anyway.

I've missed out the picture of the Steamed Long Dan Fish with Soy Sauce清蒸龙胆鱼. The fish is very fresh that it's tasty even being steamed with soy sauce only. I'll definitely visit this restaurant with my friends or colleagues again that we can share a big table of different delicious cuisines.

Home Cooked Lunch by Chuah's Parents

Our colleague Chuah's parents have retired and the daughters have contributed the idea that they should start a home cooked food business at home. The main motivation is that the old parents are good in cooking and they've cooked delicious meals that have once captured the heart of the reporters.

The special homemade recipe is the Pork Knuckle with Vinegar猪脚醋. The pork knuckle is stewed inside the vinegar that it absorbs the taste and aroma completely. Another main ingredient is to add the ginger to give a little spiciness to the soup. I'm normally hate vinegar into meat yet I can accept the level of sourness here. The pork has been boiled that the meat is to the softness that it just melts in the mouth, releasing the aroma and richly taste of the vinegar. According to the old folks, the dish is especially good for ladies after birth delivery. The next dish is the Curry Chicken咖哩鸡 that is cooked with potatoes. We've enjoyed the thick curry so much that we scoop it like soup. It just reminds me about my childhood days that I love to keep Mama's curry chicken overnight that it just getting thicker and tastier.

One new dish that I've learnt is the Fried Glass Noodle with Mixed Vegetable. The Mandarin name is 大姨妈嫁女 that means 'the eldest aunt from the mother side is marrying the daughter'. The reason is because this dish will only be available during marriage in old days. What if the son is marrying? Wondering...

On the request from us, Chuah's parents have as well fried a plate of noodle for us. The canned braised pork is added to give taste to the yellow noodle, yet the saltiness is insufficient and I'm as well dislike the noodle as it's slightly hard.

We've paid RM18 per person and we're totally satisfied with the lunch. The dishes seem to be simple yet the deliciousness just reminds me about the home cooked meal that I've had from my Mama. This is a healthy activity for the parents to spend their pastime and additionally to earn them some incomes.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Roti Bakar at Kopitiam

On the way to visit Foo's apartment, we've decided to take our lunch at Kafe Roti Bakar Kopitiam炭烤面包 that is located at University Place. This area is just opposite the 3rd gate of University Science of Malaysia (USM) and the restaurants are mainly to cater for the students. Generally, the price is quite reasonable that the portion is bigger than any restaurants outside.

They've a wide selection of food inside the menu and I've finally made up my mind for the Kopitiam Laksa咖啡店叻沙. The spiciness of the Laksa soup does match my appetite except that it smells very fishy. I dare not to order the Laksa again because the smell is quite unease. Additionally, we've decided to share the Curry Chicken Homemade Miku咖哩雞面龜 and the Chicken Lor Bak雞鹵肉. Miku is a type of Chinese bun that is made from flour and yeast that is then being steamed to cook. The skin is normally being colored into red to be used for praying during traditional occasions. Here, the Miku is then fried with egg that it has a slight crispiness and a nice aroma. Dipping the soft Miku into the thick curry chicken, we've enjoyed and given a 'Like' to this meal. The Lor Bak is quite tasteless and the meat is as well too compact. By the way, pairing Lor Bak with chili sauce is just not suitable.

The toast or the Roti Bakar here is using the thick white Indian-style bread that is porous. Some may dislike it as it's quite soft. Anyway, I'll give it a try next time. I like here as they're serving whatever that is written inside the menu. Not as certain famous franchise of similar concept, a lot of dishes are unavailable each day.

Yakitori cum Vino Vino Bistro

Thanks to Chef Tommes's recommendation that there's a nice Japanese restaurant at Lorong Bayan Indah that is located at row of shop houses behind Berlin's Bier Houz. It's really a surprise and as well a shame to Attila and I that we've not known about this restaurant, 'We're Near yet We're so Far'. It's not too difficult and we've discovered this Yakitori signboard in front of the Vino Vino Bistro. I'm attracted by the 'lazy' style armchairs in front of the restaurant, do they remind you about the famous actors or actresses? In fact, these uncomfortable chairs are more suitable if you want to have only drinks here. It does take some time for the waiter to bring the menu and to get ready a table inside the restaurant for us.

An interesting sight for us is the automatic wine vending machine. The wines are placed behind the glass window and there's an indicator at the metal panel on top of each bottle. These 3 indicators are representing the different volume of wine per glass. Look at how has the wine is being poured, it's automatic and just wait! They're promoting 2 Free 1 that means buy 2 glasses of wine and free on the 3rd glass. But, only the same wine is valid.

Our dinner is started with Sushimori that is a platter of assorted Sushi. I'm not an expert in differentiating the fish but I know at least the Salmon, Tuna, Octopus and Fish roe. We're satisfied with the freshness of the Sushi. We've then shared a BBQ Chicken & Saba Shioyaki set meal that is served with rice and a bowl seaweed Miso soup. I've not too much compliments as this is kind of a norm standard across Japanese restaurants. We've as well tried their grilled Japanese squid or Surume Ika Yaki. This is sort of the traditional grilling with no added seasoning except being served with the fresh lime and mayonnaise. The squid tastes quite good yet it's not the best that I've ever had because the freshness of the squid here is insufficient for it to be grilled plainly.

The main selling point here should be the Tapas. They're offering various types of BBQ menu and skewers that range from chicken, beef, lamb, seafood to wild mushroom. Each of the orders regardless of meat or vegetable, are grilled on the bamboo or wooden sticks and being seasoned with their homemade specialty sauces. We've tried out the Sasami Cheese that is chicken fillet with cheese, Eringi Maki of wrapped beef with Eringi mushroom, Hotate Teriyaki whereby the scallop is marinated with Teriyaki sauce, Eringi Mushroom and the Lamb that is not found with Japanese translation. We've indeed enjoyed every dishes especially the juiciness of the chicken and the tenderness of the beef. The most amazing is the beef that has absorbed the nice aroma of the black pepper sauce and its juiciness that matches well with the chewiness of the Eringi Mushroom. We've then repeated at least 4plates of the Eringi Maki. I'm disappointed as my favourite scallop is not delicious as it's fresh and I dislike the sweet soy sauce. They just don't fit each other.

The Tapas concept has urged us for repeated orders to fill up our hunger. 4pax of us have spent more than RM400 for this 1st visit. The meal is worth for value as we've enjoyed the whole nice with wine and delicious Japanese food.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Riding to Cameron Highlands

The wide and rugged road together with the cool and refreshing air, these are the attractions for Attila to go on a bike ride to Cameron Highlands. He likes to take the challenges on controlling his bike over the sharp corners and to enjoy the satisfaction after each safe trip. A sunny Sunday morning, this is the most perfect day to start the journey.

Our destination of riding to Cameron Highlands will always end at Green View Garden綠景園 that is located at the middle of the mountain after turning over every sharp corners of the winding road. They've a wide variety of food and desserts that are especially made from strawberry. Thus, we've ordered their specialties of Strawberry Milkshake and the Strawberry Tea. I guess I'll order the pure strawberry juice in future as I dislike the strong milky smell among the thick blended strawberries. I'm definitely not the fans for the tea for its strong sourness. Attila has then decided to go for the Fish n Chips whereby it's just the tasteless fish fillet for me. Well, I think he'll rather not to have the fishy smell?!! I've taken the the mixed platter that consists of Chicken Nuggets, Spring Rolls, Potato Wedges and Fries. Nothing is to feel surprise about these fried readily made instant food.

I'm more eager to taste the dessert that is called Strawberry Strudel鮮草莓千層酥. The fresh whipped cream and custard cream with the slices of fresh strawberry are stacked in between the baked pastry skin. A small scoop of cream, a thin slice of strawberry and a piece of pastry; the sweetness and sourness are completing each other with freshness. Anyway, it doesn't really amaze me for its soft and fluffy pastry.
This is a great riding trip and we've indeed enjoyed as well the chit-chat at Green View Garden. The surrounding is very relaxing and comfortable.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Regular Hangout at MONALIZA bbq cafe

Chulia Street is one of the busiest street in Penang that is well known for food and accommodations. The locals come here for the restaurants or hawkers while foreigners are here for the hostels. I like here as I'm observing different cultures through various races or types of people. Opa Franky, my dear Boyfriend Attila and I have always been here for a dinner on Sunday night, reminding us about 'OSIM' or 'Oh Shit It's Monday'. Sometimes, Hairy Berndie and Phoebe will also be joining.

Attila has always ordered the Penang Fried Koay Teow槟城炒粿条 that is fried flat rice noodle with seafood. This is a local delicacy that is famous not only among Penangites but as well Malaysians. The flat rice noodle is fried with prawn, squid, fish ball, bean sprout and then being added with dark soy sauce and chili paste to give the nice aroma and a little spiciness. I don't really fancy over the Fried Koay Teow as it doesn't taste original without the sausage, clams and especially the fried pork skin. It's just not up to the standard taste without these ingredients. My favourite has always been the Thai Style Green Curry Chicken泰式青咖喱鸡 for its spiciness. The green curry is not so thick that the nice aroma of the coconut milk is not appealing. Anyway, I'm just enjoying the sweats from the hotness of the spicy green curry.

We're still continuing this weekly routine activity to be here on Sunday night. It's just a relaxing night before we start our busy working days.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

It's just My Favourite Cuttle Fish

Sometimes late from work after 8pm, Attila and I will drop by Ichyo that is located at I-avenue for our dinner. It's the nearest Japanese restaurant that is on the way to our home and it's as well our favourite place for grilled cuttle fish. Frankly, I dislike the wooden smell from the furniture here yet we've been the regular customers for at least a year.

Start with the ordering, it's a must for our favourite Yari Ika Batayaki. The cuttle fish is quite big and it's grilled to a slight burnt that is then being garnished with the sauce that is cooked with butter and black pepper. We're not only attracted by the tenderness and juiciness of the cuttle fish but also its freshness that has been enhanced by the saltiness of the sauce.

Followed by is the Mix Teppan Seafood that consists of prawn, squid and fish meat. I'm not really impressed by this seafood platter as it doesn't taste very fresh. We've as well shared the Horenso Shimeji Iame that is a mixture of fried mushroom with vegetable and the Wakayama Ramen whereby it's a soupy noodle that is served with the pork meat roll and being garnished by seaweed and vegetable. I can't resist my temptation towards the freshness of the mushroom and the Ramen for the deliciousness of the soup.

Oh ya, other recommendations from myself will be the Gyoza or pork meat dumplings and the Teppan Scallops. Both of these dishes taste just as delicious as the others. It has always been a hard decision for us during food ordering. By the way, Takehana at Juru Autocity and Hanayoshi at Krystal Point are as well belonged to the same group as Ichyo.

Beer with BBQ at BeerBQ

'Pairing a Beer with your meal' is the tips for customers that are visiting BeerBQ Bistro that is located at Precinct 10 Tanjung Bungah. The selling point is the matching of beer with food whereby each of the meal inside the menu is recommended with a beer that is brewed either in Malaysia, Japan or even Germany. I'm having a dinner gathering with friends for their recommendation to the BBQ pork ribs here. The design and decoration of the restaurant is a little towards elegance with black as the main spot yet the ambient is very comfortable to let us chat leisurely.

I've chosen to take the chef's recommendation of BeerBQ Pork Ribs. The pork ribs are marinated and glazed with their signature BeerBQ sauce before being cooked on the strong heat or so-called chargrilled. I like the pork ribs for the soft and juicy meat except that it tastes a little dry. Anyway, on a good service from the waiter, do ask for extra sauce. The portion is a bit too less for me thatI guess it's only half rack of pork ribs. Oh ya, the recommended pairing is Franziskaner Weissbier Dunkel! Thus, I've decided to take their current promotion of 1pint free 1/2pint that cost me RM30++.

A must for recommendation is the Beef Meat Balls that are served together with their special garlic sauce and mashed potatoes. The minced beef is a suitable ingredient to make meat ball for its tenderness and juiciness. Anyway, the biggest surprise for us is the deliciousness of the garlic sauce. The chef has been using a lot of chopped garlic to cook the homemade sauce that it's not only tasty but smells good.

Ending our meal is the Stout Chocolate Cake. It's an alcohol based chocolate cake that is poured with the warm mixture of Stout beer and chocolate sauce. I'm amazed by the special sauce yet it's disappointing that the chocolate cake is too dry and the sauce is too less to complete the taste of this dessert.

BeerBQ is a suitable place to gather with friends for a meal to be paired with a good beer and for a good service. I'm not really satisfied with the food here yet I'm impressed by their special sauces.