Sunday, May 20, 2018

Monopoly Social Exchange Lounge @ Maritime Piazza

Monopoly Social Exchange Lounge is located at Maritime Square, Karpal Singh Drive as one of the most decent dining restaurants around this neighborhood. Be it business talk, casual dining, catch up with friends or family gatherings.
The restaurant is just right next to Maritime Hotel's lobby which can be easily found. Just like how the restaurant is named, Monopoly allows everybody to experience a proper dining meal with good ambiance yet wallet-friendly. 
The restaurant comes with indoor and outdoor seatings and can accommodate up to 100pax at once so even if you are planning for parties or events, you can think of covering their whole restaurant for your private functions. They have a varied menu or even buffets for your selections if you are planning to organize your events here.
We started off with some refreshing drinks before we get started with our meals. You can also enjoy some cuppa or alcoholics can try their signature cocktails, mocktails, whiskey and much more available on their beverage menu.

Berry Bellini (RM22.90)
Mix berries blended with house pouring white wine for the "kick". The sauvignon blanc makes it slightly gassy yet so refreshing with the mixed berries in this drink.


If you are not a fan of alcohol, there are plenty of mocktails that suits you too, we tried Shakerato(RM13.90) and Who Am I?(RM18.90)
As you can see from the colour, Shakerato is a coffee-flavored mocktail blended with maple syrup where as the "Who Am I" is the mixture of mango cube, sweet basil and passion fruit, playful yet exotic. 

We started with something light, Broccoli Pasta(RM22.00) is one of the vegetarian options on the menu, it is quite creamy and thick like a vegetarian version of carbonara, the taste was on point and I would say that it is delicious for a vegetarian carbonara!

Then we tried one of their signature dishes here, the Century Egg Pasta(RM26.00) cooked with garlic oil, sweet basil leaves and topped with generous amount of ebiko.
This is a rather creative way of cooking pasta but surprisingly it is not a bad one. The garlic oil made this pasta appetizing and the generous amount of century egg added to this pasta made this dish good, though I'm not really a fan of century egg so I don't take the yolk though.


We also tried the Twisted Bolognese(RM30.00) topped with a few pieces of crispy pork belly. They have also added parmesan cheese to the tomato sauce hence it became rather cheesy and though it is a tomato-based pasta sauce. I would really suggest you finish this pasta real quick especially the crispy pork or it will turn soggy in a short period of time.

The heavy options such as Herb Crusted Lamb Rack(RM58.00) came with 3 rather generous cuts of lamb rack well seasoned with crusted herbs. It was crispy on the outside and tender juicy on the inside. It was cooked to perfection(medium rare) then they coated those lamb racks with the crust. The homemade herb butter and the pesto sauce on the side are must to go with the lamb racks! They simply compliment the meats to another level!

What really surprised us was the signature Crispy Pork Knuckle(RM72.00) served with mashed potato, steamed vegetables, contemporary Thai sauce(lime & chili) and BBQ sauce. The pork knuckle was braised until soft and fried to perfection before it was presented to us. We had some difficulty in finishing this dish as it was really humungous, it will be perfect for sharing of 3 persons. You can hear the crisp when you cut it yet the meat was soft and tender when you eat it.

For every main course, you can choose to go with a Set Meal at an additional RM18.00 with soup, salad and dessert or you can also go for the Premium Set at RM28.00 for soup, salad, dessert and a glass of wine.

If you plan to come here for some light meals or some drinks, you can also grab some of the lite bites available on the menu such as the Handmade Nachos served with Cheese Sauce at only RM9. Or you can also try other dishes such as bacon, chicken wings or much more available on the menu to go with your drinks.


Special promotion for the month of May!
May babies can choose to celebrate your big day with Monopoly Social Exchange Lounge and get FREE PREMIUM SET MEAL(worth RM28) to your main course throughout May with unlimited count. The restaurant will not limit how many times you get to claim your special entitlement but only for May babies!


Monopoly Social Exchange Lounge @ Maritima Piazza
Address: 29C-02-10&11, Maritime Piazza,Persiaran Karpal Singh 2, Jelutong 11600.
Contact no: 012-698 5138
Business hours: Daily 4pm - 12am
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/monopolysel/
GPS: .3982788,100.3292077

Map


Google Street Earth

Monday, April 23, 2018

Champagne Buffet Brunch @ Vino Vino Bistro Penang

Champagne is one of the fast-moving products within Malaysia and there are many people who are still very new to the champagne market slowly moving from wine and whiskey to bubbles, or bubbles are usually a pre-drink before party.


The trend is moving towards champagne nowadays so you definitely don't wanna miss out the chance to taste this bubbly sparkling drink that makes you happy! Now at Vino Vino Bistro, you get to drink champagne bottomless by joining their champagne buffet every first Saturday of the month!

Vino Vino Bistro is located Bay Avenue, the shoplots next to Penang Queensbay Mall where there are plenty of popular bars and pubs and Vino Vino is definitely one of them that attracts people with their imported wines, champagnes, sake as well as their Japanese menu cooked with Japanese.


For people who really enjoy champagne very much, you can get your bubbles craving fixed at the Vino Vino Bistro every first Saturday of the month as they introduce their latest promotions of Champagne Buffet Brunch at RM180++ per person. 
Wait what?! RM180++ per person? 
If you buy a bottle of champagne would have cost you more than RM180. Futhermore, you get to enjoy the delicious food prepared by the Japanese chef at Vino Vino Bistro as well as the ambience you get to enjoy here is simple priceless!

If you're an alcoholic, this would be the right place for you to visit as they have numerous imported whiskey, wines and champagnes from all over the globe. Their purpose is to let the Penangites try out creations from different countries and enjoy the variety of wines available on the market. Do look out for special bottles or limited edition available at Vino Vino Bistro too!

For appetizers, we had potato salad, or you can create your own salad with the variety of vegetables available on the spread. They offer a limited spread for the brunch as their main focus is to encourage people to drink more of their champagne and you enjoy these small treats prepared by the chefs.

As for mains, we were served with sets for 4 persons and we had a really fresh seafood meal at Vino Vino Bistro! The fresh prawns grilled on the spot and lightly salted went perfectly well with the champagne we got.
From left to right: Ebi Kaarage, Grilled Fresh Prawns & Baked Mud Crab.
Ebi Kaarage is the best dish to go with alcohol as you take a sip of your champagne followed by a bite of that ebi feels like you just had the most perfect snack for your drink.

Another highlight would be the fresh mud crabs that bake on the spot as you arrived at Vino Vino Bistro. We were told that the boss will go and purchase the fresh catch of the day to make sure the seafood is really fresh to be served to their customers. The crab was really huge as you can see in the photo and I believe each of them was near 1kg.  The flesh was soft and they don't even need any seasoning for this dish as the meat itself was already tasty and we can taste the saltish from the meat. Perfect to go with some sparkling bubbles!

 The prawns served were really fresh and medium to big size. We loved the bouncy texture of the prawn with the lightly salted flavor and the natural sweetness from the prawn and juice that spit out from the flesh.

If you are looking for something extra to fill your stomach, they have their chef's specialty, Garlic Fried Rice which was fragrant, delicious and filling. We like the amount of fried garlic added to the fried rice and it was simply comforting.
P/S: I had 2 bowls myself. =P

Hui Hui from HH Blog

Had an enjoyable afternoon thanks to Vino Vino Bistro.
We really enjoyed the brunch as we talk, we eat and we cheers together. I'm not sure if you believe me or not but I think that champagne makes people happier than drinking wine or beers.

Sumptuous seafood galore for 4 persons.
The fresh seafood will be served by portion whereas the appetizers like salad, potato salad, and miso soup are bottomless as well as the delicious garlic fried rice.

If you feel like ordering something extra, Vino Vino Bistro has their a la carte menu as well as set menu available all day long. There are bento, sushi, sashimi, yaki tori and many more!

Vino Vino Bistro @ Bay Avenue
Champagne Buffet Brunch @ RM180++/pax
Time: 11:00am - 2:00pm(3hours)
Address: Block H-10-1, Lorong Bayan Indah 2, Bay Avenue, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact no: +604-6459922 / +604-6467868
Business hours: 12:00pm to 12:00am(Closed on Sundays)
GPS: 5.3366426,100.3065982

Map

Google Street Earth


Friday, April 20, 2018

Grand Opening of 莆田 PUTIEN Malaysia in Penang @ Gurney Paragon Mall

After a long long wait, Putien Malaysia has finally opened its first outlet in Penang and the sixth outlet in Malaysia! I've seen the outlet on renovation since the end of last year and finally, it is now available in Gurney Paragon Mall Penang!

Putien started out as a humble coffee shop in Singapore in 2000 and has since grown into an international brand with over 50 outlets around Asia. Putien can be found at 1 Utama, Sunway Pyramid, SS15 Courtyard Subang, The Gardens Mall, Sunway Velocity in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jata and its latest addition in Gurney Paragon Mall Penang.

Putien has previously won numerous awards and even endorsed by celebrities from all over the globe and even the famous food critic Chua Lam. The latest recognition and also one of the dream awards that most restaurants crave for was Michelin awards; One-Michelin Starred Restaurant status in the Michelin Guide Singapore 2016 & 2017 and Bib Gourmand Restaurant in Michelin Guide Hong Kong Macau 2016 & 2017

On the 1st April, Putien officially held it's grand opening in Gurney Paragon Mall and opened its door to all customers and share their authentic Putian cuisine with us. Special thanks to Putien Malaysia management and Gurney Paragon Mall management for extending the invitations and I got to try the delicious food.

Witnessed by the public, media friends and all VIPs, Putien Malaysia management together with Gurney Paragon Mall management has officially announced that the 1st Putien Malaysia is officially opened and now welcoming all customers from the Northern region of Malaysia to try this One-Michelin Starred restaurant brand. Then we were all invited to continue with the food tasting.

We have been served with some pretty-looking appetizers and one of them was 冰鎮苦瓜 Iced Bitter Gourd(RM11.90) that simply caught our attention with its beautiful flower shape. This dish was served with their homemade honey sauce so take a slice of the bitter gourd, dip it into the honey sauce and take a bite, you can have an immediate refreshing feel. The bitter gourd was crunchy you don't feel like you are eating bitter gourd and it was not bitter yet the honey sauce complimented the dish perfectly. Only I would prefer if the dish could be bigger.

Left: 阿元香草雞  Ah Yuan Fragrant Herbal Chicken(RM16.90)
Right: 蝦苗拌頭水紫菜 Seaweed with Mini Shrimps(RM15.90)
These 2 dishes were both very new to me. The chicken was pretty interesting as the texture was kinda chewy so we can assume it was properly seasoned and you can taste the strong herbal in every bit of the meat. 
On the other hand, we also had another pretty appetizing dish which was the crunchy seaweed which was kinda flavourful with shrimps and their homemade sauce.  

Another dish on the menu that caught our attention was definitely the 冰鎮南日鮑 Iced Nanri Abalone(RM33.90/pc). We thought that abalone with that kind of pricing will definitely very small but we were wrong, it was about the size of a mini computer mouse which was kinda big so it was definitely worth the price we paid for. The whole abalone was well braised and every bite makes you feel exquisite!

An exotic appetizer for people intestine lovers will definitely go for their 九轉小腸 Braise Pig Intestine(RM19.90). The price may be slightly higher but for people who enjoy this kind of exotic dishes like me will definitely order it from the menu. I kinda enjoyed this dish and even people who do not prefer pork dish like Chloe from www.applefish.net did give it a try and she liked it too. 

Another interesting dish we had was the 百秒黄花鱼 "100-second" Stewed Yellow Croaker(RM43.90/pc). They only have one serving which is a whole yellow croaker weight about 200gm. Their principle is to steam this fish for only 100seconds to get the perfect texture and taste from the fresh fish. I'm a person who do not know how to appreciate fish hence this dish wasn't really my favourite but the soup does taste sweet and we were told that the sweetness was from the fresh fish itself.

传统扁肉汤 Putien Bian Rou Soup with Vinegar[meat dumpling](RM9.90)
This dish is one of their latest product and we find it rather appetizing as it has vinegar in the soup hence the taste is slightly on the sour side. The meat filling inside was soft and smooth and what surprised us was the skin that used to wrapped this minced meat was made with meat too! That's their latest product and also one of the best selling products yet!


One of my favourite dishes during my meal was this 酥炒芋芯  Stir Fried Yam(RM13.90 small, RM21.90 big) that was simply delicious! I'm not a yam lover but when it comes to yam dish I'm quite picky especially on the quality of yam they use. This one they used in Putien came with the exact right texture that I was expecting and I immediately fell in love with this dish, I remember I finished this dish in the end. 

椒盐猪手 Deep-Fried Pork Trotters with Salt & Pepper(RM15.90/pc)
This dish was another popular dish among all. We find the pork trotter was really reasonably priced and the taste was also good. The pork trotter was really soft and the flavour is from only the skin where there are salt and pepper, it's best to go with the Putien's homemade chilli sauce!

Another dish I would like to highlight in this post may look really ordinary but it is by far the best 上汤苋菜 Spinach with Salted & Century Egg in Supreme Stock(RM21.90) I've ever had so far! This dish is what we can normally find in almost all Chinese restaurant but yet this one in Putien is by that one that I enjoyed the most. I always find this dish is bland and tasteless when I had it out there but this one here was thick and creamy with the yolks they used in this dish and the sauce was simply delicious. Best to go with a bowl of white rice! 

One of the best seller is this 莆田荔枝肉 Putien Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychee(RM22.90) that tasted like the 咕噜肉 Sweet & Sour Pork but what makes it special is the hint of sweet lychee taste that you can find in this dish. I find it rather interesting and quite delicious too.

莆田卤面 Putien Lor Mee (RM21.90 regular, RM14.90/pax)

兴化炒米粉 Fried Heng Hua Bee Hoon (RM21.90 regular)

Homemade chilli by Putien that goes well with almost every dishes available in Putien.

What's more? For kids who are celebrating their birthdays with Putien, they will be given a collector's Putien monkey for complimentary! Make a move and book your special occasion with Putien Gurney Paragon Mall now!

Putien Malaysia @ Gurney Paragon Mall
Address: Lot 163-D-6, 16, 17&18, Gurney Paragon Mall,
Persiaran Gurney, 10250 George Town, Penang.
Contact no: +604-2260828
Email address: paragon@putien.com.my
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/putienmy/
Website: www.putien.com.my
GPS: 5.4356583,100.3114466

Map


Google Street Earth

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Glenlivet Whisky Evening @ Teels Heritage Cafe [Where Heritage Meets...] by Glenlivet & Ghee Hiang

An interesting collaboration was recently held in Teels Heritage Cafe by Glenlivet and Ghee Hiang where they paired single malt whisky with Penang local traditional pastries. 
The Guardians Malaysia created by Glenlivet always organizes all sort of interesting activities around Malaysia for all the single malt whisky lovers and all the foodies who love alcohol pairing meals. 

Teels Heritage Cafe is located on the upper floor of Ghee Hiang(Burmah Road branch). This event was the first whisky event hosted in Teels Heritage cafe as this cafe matches the brand of Glenlivet where they can bring classy and contemporary ambiance at the same time. People will be able to enjoy the food specially crafted with Ghee Hiang's products. 

If you have read my previous post about the launching of Glenlivet latest collection, Founder's Reserve then you would definitely know that this perfect blend of different years of whisky is a very smooth and sweet flavour and has been a very popular whisky since it's launching until now.

Some guests of the night checking out the products of Ghee Hiang, a well know and very popular traditional pastry brand in Penang since established in 1856. Ghee Hiang has been a favourite brand by local Penangites and then became so famous that tourist must bring home a few bottles of Ghee Hiang sesame oil or pastries as souvenirs.

I was rather surprised by the setting for the event. We were treated like sorta fine dining style at Teels Heritage cafe. and get to walk home with souvenirs which are mung bean pastries from Ghee Hiang.

For starter, we were treated with some salad and lotus roots chips with cajun seasoning paired with Glenlivet Founder's Reserve. They went quite well as the chips were served hot so dip it into the sauce and take a bite, a sip of whisky follows made the whole tasting pleasure to the next level.
Not forget to mention that Founder's Reserve was smooth and suits all aged of people especially the youngsters who are new to single malt whisky.

The brand ambassador of Glenlivet, Lionel Lau made his appearance to welcome The Guardians, close supporters of Glenlivet where you get up-to-date information of Glenlivet's products as well as limited edition bottles if you join us.
If you wish to be a part of The Guardians, do sign yourself up at http://theglenlivetguardians.com.my/ to get exclusive invitations to all interesting events by The Glenlivet as well as the special launching of limited edition bottles that are opened to only The Guardians.

Dato Ooi Sian Hian and Mr.Ch'ng Huck Theng from Ghee Hiang, the third generation and the fourth generation of Ghee Hiang's owner also made an effort to meet and greet people who have attended the night. They were the one who paired the food with the whisky from different years and make sure the food blend well with the whisky. You can call them the masterminds of the event.

As usual, we were introduced to the 3 signature whiskys by The Glenlivet, 12 years, 15years and 18 years. Every bottle attracts different group of customers by their preferences.

It was really interesting when we were told that we will be served with Ghee Hiang's traditional mung bean pastries(Tau Sar Pneah) as our first dish. The 3 pastries were the classic mung bean pastry, rose flavoured mung bean pastry and the last one was mung bean shell topped with coriander mousse. The rose flavoured mung bean pastry is only available at the Malacca outlet specially created for the state, you will not be able to find it in any Ghee Hiang outlets in Penang.
This dish was paired with 12 years single malt scotch whisky by The Glenlivet and they complimented each other when every sip of whisky washed down the freshly baked pastries specially prepared for the night. The 12 years comes with a light and fruity flavour and best for people who are new to single malt whisky and it gives you a refreshing ending so you would not think that single malt whisky is too strong for young people.
(left to right: 2018 - TSP Savory Discovery, 2014 - TSP Varietal, 1856 TSP Original)


The guests were really entertained and networking with different people from different industries. Glenlivet brought everybody together and it was a great experience.

The next dish served was quite interesting and everybody was given a tiny bottle of Ghee Hiang's signature sesame oil.

What presented to us was a beautifully plated umami rice rounds served with sesame soy chicken strips, garlic spinach greens and chili caviar. Not only that, we can feel the hot air from the plate as they placed a heated hot stone on the plate for us to pour our given sesame oil and we can immediately smell the fragrant of sesame oil that filled the room.
I would have never expected that apart from tasting, we also get to enjoy our dining experience to another level as it was playful yet so creative. This interesting dish was paired with Glenlivet 15 years single malt whisky, every spoonful with a sip of whisky was simply exquisite.
(The Unmistakable Story of Aroma & Scent)

Dato Ooi also told the guests a little history about Ghee Hiang and how they kept improving themselves to keep up with the trend and still maintaining their traditions. It is very challenging in the market these days but Ghee Hiang is still one of the best pastry maker in Penang popular among the locals and tourists.

Last but not least, the dessert that we had was another interesting and creative dish I've ever had. I thought we were served with just an ordinary Phong Piah(sugar puff) but I was wrong. We were told that this dessert was very popular and traditionally served during ladies' confinement period, the phong piah that served was filled with the traditional recipe of egg custard with salted caramel parfait at the side. It was freshly baked and served hot as we enjoyed every bite to the max pairing the dessert with Glenlivet 18 years single malt whisky which was bold, strong and smoky.
(Confinement Elder's Traditional Secret Dessert)

The night was really enjoyable with good food and great single malt scotch whisky. Glenlivet has done another great event in Penang and together with Ghee Hiang, they have taught me a lot on whisky pairing. It was a lovely evening spent at Teels Heritage Cafe.
Picture showed Ghee Hiang's management presented a limited edition tin box of Ghee Hiang products to Glenlivet's person-in-charge and brand ambassador, Lionel.