Born and bred in Penang, Ken Hunts Food is a Penang food blog written by a true Penangite. The blog records Ken's gastronomic journey in search of Penang's greatest street food and finest eats. Join him in his food adventures!
The competition is fierce as there are an endless number of food eateries at Damansara Uptown but Miru Dessert Cafe is one of the few standing strong in the neighborhood. It started out as a Japanese dessert-inspired cafe mainly offering Shibuya Toast and Kakigori. The business has since expanded and the brand has presence across Klang Valley now. The menu remains as a dessert-focused menu without much expansion but we were glad that they have managed to maintain the quality over the years. Though not exactly the cheapest around but they do not skimp on ingredients, definitely one of the better choices when it comes to Japanese desserts or Toast.
Strawberry Cheesecake Kakigori (Rm 25.90)
Cheddar Cheese Toast (Rm 21.90)
Miru's Strawberry Cheesecake Kakigori was impressive... the ice was silky smooth and fine while the Strawberry 'syrup' was carefully sweetened. It did not feel very 'artificial' and we trust real Strawberries have been used in the making of the 'syrup'. Just as you dig further and getting monotonous on the 'syrup' and 'shave ice' combo, there will be cubed Cheese Cake to further entice you. Though not exactly the best Cheese Cake, it provides a good bite and a fine touch to the icy treat.
For the signature Shibuya Toast, we picked Cheddar Cheese Toast out of 8 available options. The curly Cheddar Cheese was a good mix to the sweet Toast; the sweet-savory combination was simply magical. Spread some Ice Cream and fresh Cream over the Toast and you will experience an explosion of flavors in the mouth. There seems to be so many things happening at the same time... creamy sweet, pillowy soft but buttery Toast... interjected with the savory Cheddar Cheese; good attempt I must say... and best to be shared by a few.
A place meant for horticulturalists or those with a green finger, M'atural runs as a plant-workshop and a cafe at the same time. It hosts plant-related workshops on first floor, more to Bonsai planting workshops; the ground floor displays a simple exhibition on the proud creations with some simple tables and chairs. Cafe hoppers will get to feed their eyes with artistically arranged plants as well as to savor some of their snacks. More like a place to gather those of same interest in lieu of a cafe suitable for hipsters; the atmosphere, including the chairs, is not as comfortable as most would expect in cafes. But that should not discount your interest to pay the place a visit, especially if you would like to have a decent, unique sweet treat. M'atural is located at the end of Carnavon Lane, next to the junction to Toh Aka Lane.
Apple Crumble Pie (Rm 12)
Cheese Potato Pie (Rm 11)
Both of our orders were impressive, the savory option- Cheese Potato Pie was basically baked Potato topped with a pastry skin, served with Sour Cream and Wasabi Mayo. Albeit the Potato was a little under-cooked, the overall flavor-combination worked. The sweet counterpart was equally delicious. M'atural is serious when it comes to Apple Crumble... real Apple is used. The Green Apple was cut and stuffed with custard-like filling and topped with Crumble. It was then baked till golden brown but the crispiness of the fruit remained; safe but straight-forward combination. The sweetness comes from the Honey, a healthy sweet treat that could go well with a cup of Tea.
Flat, thick and slightly curly, XuJi's is another delicious variant of the usual Wanton Mee but in broader strands. Almost similar to Singapore's Mee Pok, XuJi dishes out home-made egg noodles... in a rather unique way. The new kid on the block at Lembah Permai, Bukit Mertajam has been receiving positive responses from the neighborhood; the menu is not big... noodle-focused with a few choices of side dishes but the place is often thronged with regular patrons. Not the place that I would go all out for the food but if I am in the vicinity, I suppose this is a decent place for a quick meal.
Dan Zai Mian Soup 旦仔面汤 (Rm 6.50/ regular)
Dan Zai Mian Dry 旦仔面干 (Rm 7.50/ large)
Shrimp Dumplings 鲜虾云吞 (Rm 5)
Both dry and soup versions (of Dan Zai Mian) can be quite similar yet different in its own way; the former choice comes with a bold Pork Lard aroma, the noodles are first dressed in light Soy sauce and Pork Lard then topped with ingredients like Char Siew, Prawns and Greens. The latter option will be served with piping hot soup... which carries an indelible seafood sweetness, the Pork Lard element is there but not as bold as compared to the earlier one.
The noodles were alright, not exactly al-dente but they were okay. The interesting part was the Sambal Belacan with a mix of deep fried Shallots and Silver Fish (and a little bit of Sugar). There were a lot of things happening at the same time... sweet, savory, spicy and crisp-crunch. To add on the variety, their Shrimp Dumplings can be a decent choice.
At first glance, we thought the place offers a dog-friendly space (or maybe dog cafe) due to the cute French Bulldog logo but a quick check on the menu only to find out that the place is peppered with numerous French classics like Duck Confit, Croque Madame, Quiche, Creme Brulee etc; and for the fact that most items are priced below Rm 30, it's hard to find better gourmet deals in town. Step in the place and you will find yourself in a modern air-conditioned restaurant with cozy, homey atmosphere; the friendly servers will then greet you at the entrance, in which one of them speaks fluent French. While the bistro has a good variety of savory options, the sweet selections are equally mouth-watering. Two Frenchies now occupies the shop at Bishop Street which previously housed Goh Kaki and Route 9.
Croque Monsieur (Rm 16.90)
Tarte Aux Pommes (Rm 16.50) + Vanilla Ice Cream (Rm 2)
It's hard to Cheese Lovers like us to resist Croque Monsieur, Turkey Ham-stuffed Sandwiches slathered and baked with Cheese. The combination speaks for all; but mind you, it might be a little hefty for one to finish entirely, it's always good for sharing. If I must nitpick, it would be the Toast... a little too soft to our liking, Panini works better in our opinion. For sweet ending, we had Tarte Aux Pommes... Apple Pie served with Vanilla Ice Cream. Sweetness was perfectly balanced in this case, the Apple carried a tinge of sourness but perfectly balanced by the creamy Vanilla Ice Cream, a very contenting dish to be shared amongst friends.
Forget the Chinese-styled of cooking Seafood, Heng Seafood... a stall housed in The Shark Food Court (previously known as Pakma Food Court along Burmah Road), offers a menu free from meat but heavy on Seafood and vegetables. It specializes in offering barbecue/ grilled items or rather, more known as 'Ikan Bakar' in Malaysia. It's not a one-trick pony, it has quite an array of Seafood to offers, including Shellfish and fresh vegetables; but it's a place where the daily catches inspire the menu/ offering. All items are cooked to order; price-wise, it fluctuates and depends on the market rates, do check with them first (on the prices) before placing your orders. This is definitely one of the latest spots if you are looking for somewhere to knock back a few beers while enjoying Seafood in an outdoorsy atmosphere.
Grilled Stingray (from Rm 8 onwards)
Heng's Grilled Stingray carries a distinctive smokiness to it, definitely bolder as compared to others. The sauce gives it an appetizing dimension backed with a gentle spicy kick. For light starter, go for the blanched Baby Octopus, satisfyingly crunchy but dangerously addictive. Equally try-worthy is the signature Grilled Brinjal.... lusciously creamy Brinjal topped with smoky, spiced home-made sauce.
Blanched Baby Octopus
Deep Fried Sillago
Stir Fried Clams
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: The Shark Food Court (previously known as Pakma), 192, Jalan Burmah, 10350, Georgetown, Penang.
For an extensive but inexpensive Western breakfast, early risers can make their way to PepperSalt at Amoy Lane, one of the streets near Hutton Lane (where Equator College is located). Established since late 2017, the humble cafe has garnered an appreciate following... the place is patronized by many morning exercisers, especially Sundays. Perhaps not for absolute taste but the comfortable-homey atmosphere and inexpensive price tags. But its never a hipstery place, the menu is pretty much breakfast-focused... featuring an array of Breakfast options, Sandwiches and a few Burger, Noodle choices for lunch. The place is kids-friendly and could cater for private birthday events if that's what you are concerned.
Full American Breakfast (Rm 12.90/ with complimentary Coffee or Tea)
Egg Sandwich (Rm 3.90)
The servers introduced their Big Breakfast with aplomb... specifically on the home-made Pork Sausage and Bacon. For Rm 12.90, the Full American Breakfast includes Pork Sausage, Bacon, Sunny Side-Up, Baked Beans, sauteed Mushrooms, a Croissant and a cup of Coffee/ Tea. The Pork Sausage and Sunny Side-Up were beautifully cooked, the former one had a charred crisp skin while the latter one had a runny yolk. The Bacon on the other hand, might be a little singed but if you enjoy the little burnt edges, you may enjoy this.
The Egg Sandwich with Scrambled Egg topped with Cheese was simple but delectable. The Cheese provided the creaminess and salinity while the Scrambled Egg carried the butter-eggy aroma. Soft Bun was used in lieu of any artisan bread but for a mere Rm 3.90, we thought it was of good value for money.
Celebrate fasting month and break fast with Eastern & Oriental Hotel as the grande dame rolls out its Jamuan Berbuka Puasa Ramadhan buffet this holy month. Sarkies, one of the hotel's restaurant famous for its buffet, is featuring traditional Malay dishes in addition to its international favorites (Japanese and Italian just to name some). Exclusively for this season, the array of kampung dishes would be perfect for both hotel guests to sample a taste of Malaysia and those who yearn for a good iftar meal with familiar flavors. The Jamuan Berbuka Puasa Ramadhan buffet is available daily from 17 May to 14 June 2018 (early bird promotion- 1 guest gets to dine-in for free with every 5 full-paying adults; bookings and payment must be made before 23 May 2018).
Many Thanks to E&O Hotel for hosting us that evening.
Scallops (Seafood on Ice- Mussels/ Yabbies/ Prawns etc)
*Bookings made and paid before 23 May 2018 are entitled to early bird promotion- for every 5 paying adults, one person gets to dine in for free.*
Fresh Oysters (Cold Seafood Platter)
Mango Kerabu with Prawns
Spicy Glass Noodles
Thai Omelette Salad
From Chinese classics to Japanese Sushi Rolls and Korean delights (like Kim Chi), not to forget the voluptuous Scallops, Prawns, Oysters and other treasures from the Ocean. Diners can also indulge in familiar favorites like Beef Rendang. Daging Masak Hitam, Briyani Rice but save some space for the salt-baked Salmon, a wholesome fish skillfully baked with salt... extremely delicate texture and intensive flavors. Providing relief from the satisfying spread are Rojak and Ice Kacang; with the options to top up an array of condiments.
Ayam Masak Madu
Daging Masak Hitam
Bread and Soup Corner
Prices are nett Pork-Free Wifi-Available Service Charge: No (prices quoted are nett and GST-inclusive) Government Tax: No (prices quoted are nett and GST-inclusive)
Pho is one of the most famous and known Vietnamese delicacies but Banh Mi is equally popular as well. Banh Mi UT is a place that pays respect to the Vietnamese Sandwiches, the menu is Banh Mi-focused... alongside with some Vietnamese classics like Spring Rolls, Barbecued Pork Noodles/ Rice and sweet treats etc. The Vietnamese element is bold here... the kitchen is manned by a Vietnamese lady and the place carries shades of casual Vietnamese eatery but the heat-intolerant will be disappointed to find out that the place has no air-conditioners, the heat can be unbearable under the sultry warm tropical weather. Not exactly the cheapest Vietnamese eats around but if you are game for a quick fix (particularly Banh Mi), this place is worth-exploring.
Grind Pork and Prawn Rice Cakes (Rm 10)
Vietnamese Spring Rolls (Rm 2.80/ each)
Banh Mi- BBQ Chicken (Rm 9)
Give the Vietnamese Spring Rolls a miss and proceed straight to the Banh Mi. The Spring Rolls were disappointingly average, unless you yearn for one. Though the Banh Mi was crisp on the outside, the inner part was a little too dry; other than that, the filling was great and the barbecued Chicken was well marinated with a hint of sweetness. The generously filled Herbs (like Coriander) and Greens complemented the meat well. The Grind Pork and Prawn Rice Cakes were somewhat uncommon, the texture was floury with a sleek Yam flavor... basically bland on its own but things got interesting when enjoyed together with the savory-sour dip. Not too bad for a change. We washed them down with a glass of Vietnamese Herbal Drink.
It's common to order vegetables and have the restaurant served to you but would you like the idea of picking your own vegetables before cooking them? Potato Leaf Cuisine is one of a kind that offers such service, diners may opt to go out to the garden next to the restaurant and pick the desired vegetables (in this case, refers to Potato Leaves only). The unusual service caught the attention of many, though the menu is rather common and indifferent from the usual Chu Char restaurants. The place has a simple layout with a range of affordably priced Chinese home-cooked dishes. The quiet, homey, air-conditioned restaurant is located along Jalan Fettes at Mount Erskine.... suitable and appropriate as a dining spot for casual family eat-out.
Steamed Minced Pork with Salted Egg 咸蛋蒸肉碎 (Rm 15)
Braised Chicken with Leeks 青蒜焖鸡 (Rm 24)
Curry Fish Head 咖喱鱼头 (Rm 33)
Fried Garlic Pork 蒜香炸肉 (Rm 14)
Stir Fried Potato Leaves 清炒番薯叶 (Rm 12)
Stir Fried Noodles with Soy Sauce 豉油王炒面 (Rm 10)
With a name like Potato Leaf Cuisine, it gives us impression that the place serves Potato Leaves with style; it turned out that giving the Potato Leaves a quick stir fry with Soy sauce was what they could do. Disappointed with the lack of innovation, the Stir Fried Potato Leaves further disappointed us... it was over-seasoned and a tad salty to our liking. It was nevertheless, tender and young (and crunchy). Most dishes were disappointingly average with the exception of Curry Fish Head, which we thought it was cleverly cooked with a touch of spiciness.
Half Bar and half restaurant, Holy Guacamole is one of the few rare Mexican joints in Penang. Housed in one of the houses along Love Lane, it's hard to miss Holy Guacamole... the place has colorful wall-paintings and eye-catchy signage. It's a little quiet during the day time but in the evenings, the place turns into a busy, hipstery bar with live-band performance. The Mexican fare here is created with a modern twist, though some classics can be found here, there are some non-Mexican items as well. The food menu is extensive but the drinks are pretty much alcohol-focused; though mid-range pricing and great service from the servers, the food is less-authentic and has rooms for improvements.
Quesadillas- Tinga De Pollo/ Chicken (Rm 22)
Burritos- Tinga De Pollo/ Chicken (Rm 18)
Holy Guacamole Taco- Frijoles/ Red Beans (Rm 8.50)
Churros (Rm 15)
Having glanced through their menu, we decided to stick to the Mexican classics; the Quesadilla was nicely done. The filling was most delicious and the dip was very refreshing. The Burrito and Taco on the other hand, were less-impressive. The former one lacked the seasoning and flavor, though the meat was alright, the other condiments did not aid much. The use of plain White Rice left us underwhelmed (we would prefer flavored rice). Probably due to the choice of Red Beans, the Taco lacked the satisfying bite.
My partner in crime was excited over the Churros but only to find herself in disappointment. The Spanish Fried Dough Pastry was overcooked and thus, with a hard bite... as though we were biting on some biscuits. The seasoning however, was great... generous dusted with Cinnamon; the dip was standard-average but only if they could improve on the texture...