I am a selfish person and I don’t really like to spend money to buy a coffee and enjoy the hotspot internet at a nicely cafe. But my mindset changed lately when I spent my afternoon at the Muntri Mews Cafe on Wednesday with a little bowl of Chinese desserts and using the free hotspot Internet.
It’s fun to spend time at home when there’s air con and no need to spend any money but I feel that after some times, we will started to slack and rot at home, then life gets boring and dull. It’s actually pretty good that you bring your computer out and spend your usual online activity, online business out there at a nice and cozy cafe, with some light meal for bites.
I was thinking of going to Jing Si Books & Cafe but I couldn’t find any parking around the busy financial district area of Penang. Then I Googled and found about MoonTree 47 but it was closed and I ended up at a cafe of a flashpacker hotel, Muntre Mews. Quite a cozy place for some hideout. Still in search for some nice heritage cafes with nice coffee to chill out during the afternoon of my holidays. Any recommendation?
By the way, I ordered myself a bowl of Cheng Th’ng (RM6.00+), which in fact is similar to the local’s Si Koe Th’ng and I have no idea why they named it that way. A bowl of desserts and Internet was just perfect for an afternoon chill. The Cheng Th’ng consist of longan (dragon eyes), coconut jelly and little small sea coconut bath in a sweet desserts soup and topped with a few cubes of ice. It might not worth the price as you can get similar thing with more ingredient at a roadside store, but given a nice environment and music, it’s a good eat and there’s no bad about it.
Street western food is another type of meal that storm the hawker and street food scene in Penang. When we mention about western food, it’s more likely chicken chop and fish n’ chips that come across our mind. There are many types of western food, ranging from fine dining style western food, or even McDonald’s is consider as western food as it’s origin from the west. But here in Penang, an Asian city, western food among the locals are these street style western food serving at hawker centre that the food are prepared ala Asian style and at a low price. Asian tweak the western dishes to suit local’s taste buds and the local surprisingly love it.
There’s quite a few famous street western foods like James Foo, Tip Top, LK, Chef Delight’s around in Penang. James Foo was once a favourite but after renovation it’s not really attracting me to there anymore due to the noisyness crowds and over crowded environment. A pro-foodhunter in Penang – Criz Lai, recently introduced a street western food corner to me, it’s the Diner’s Choice Western Food that is located at Gerbang Erskine, Mount Erskine.
It is a hidden gem in a quiet housing neighbourhood. Many people might not know about that place but not me as I was surprised that it’s just near to where my grandma lives. I was aware about this mini coffee house, but didn’t know that they do serve nice western food. After the recommendation, I quickly went to try it out as I was craving for western food so much.
They serve a wide variety of food ranging from chicken, seafood, lamb and steaks too.
We started our meal with a plate of mushroom soup (RM5). In the surprise, the mushroom soup was welly presented with nice cream art on top of the creamy brownish mushroom soup, serve with a slice of toasted garlic bread. It just created a sense of classy soup which blends with the hearty feel of the neighbourhood coffee house. The soup was in fact better than what’s at James Foo’s and there’s like tiny mushroom in it which enlighten my mouth. The garlic bread was crispy and well eaten with a little dip in the salty mushroom soup.
When asking about my favourite street western food, it’s always is the Chicken Cordon Bleu (RM8.50) which is actually stuffed chicken with ham/sausage and cheese in it. At Diner’s Choice, it’s a full loaded ham stuffed in the deep fried chicken and the creamy and waterish cheese filled the inner chicken. The presentation of the food was nice with french fries, garlic bread and vegetable salad as side dishes. It may look small in portion, but it’s just enough to fill your stomach. The gravy was their special BBQ sauce which tasted sweet. In compare to James Foo’s, I felt James Foo is somehow better, but with it’s nice presentation and price, I will go back to this again.
Oriental Chicken Chop (RM7.50) is a dish that available at all street western food locally. Despite the wide availability and simple-ness of the food, people still like eating the battered chicken with oriental sauce and fries. The battered chicken, deep fried and poured with the same sauce as the Chicken Cordon Bleu was serve with fries, bread and vegetable salad too. Unfortunately, in comparison to the one at Little Cottage Cafe, it doesn’t sports the crispiness that the one at Little Cottage Cafe has. It’s just not crispy but to give a comment about it, the sauce make it tasted good. I prefer chicken chop with a crispy crunchy feel.
Overall, this is a hidden gem that you may want to discover. It’s my new favourite street western food place as the price wise and taste are pretty good and I will surely visit this place again for some mouth watering local style Asian food.
Diner’s Choice Western Food
1, Gerbang Erskine (Erskine Grove),
Business Hours: 5pm-11pm (Closed Thursday)
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I am always in search for good deal and great promotion on the Internet for food discounts and meal voucher. With Groupon group deals website growing strongly, meal deal is easier to be found than ever.
However, during my recent purchase of a Japanese food deal, I wasn’t really glad with the experience I had at the restaurant. It is not the wrong of the voucher site, but it’s the food that I don’t really happy with.
I was actually pretty excited with the meal and the deal as it was RM33.90 deal which consist of 13 items for two and it’s discounted at 57& of it’s normal price of RM86.90. The deal was pretty reasonable and worthwhile with so many item to eat and somemore it’s a meal for two.
Shinjuku Japanese Restaurant is located on Jalan Chow Thye. It has a nice welcoming space but the signboard of the shop names wasn’t clear to me as it has another name as Xiang Wei which promote Thai food. I was wondering, is it a Japanese food restaurant? Or a Thai food restaurant, but in fact they sell both Thai food and Japanese food. This combination started to make me doubt about their food quality and taste.
With no surprise, I wasn’t really happy with the sushi starter which isn’t fresh especially the shrimp sushi and crab stick sushi which is so hard when I put it into my mouth. It isn’t mouthwatering and it feels like the ingredient have been kept in the fridge for some times. I was hoping for salmon sushi or perhaps unagi, but they were no where to be seen. It’s all the low price sushi. One thing is it took that more than 15 minutes to serve the first dish.
Despite the bad sushi, I still have to stay to eat till the end as there were more than 10 items. The next dish, the Chawan Mushi, luckily did try to pull me back to a good comment of the place. What I like about this is this smoothness of the chawan mushi, it can be compare with local Taofu Fa, but I believe this is smoother. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any meat in it which usually does. Instead of tasting saltyness of the egg, it tasted sweet due to the Japanese sweet sauce that is poured a little bit on the surface of the Chawan Mushi. Overall, this is something better.
Next up was a Japanese Toufu with very small piece of unagi, mushroom and sweet sauce. It tasted different fromt he Chinese Taofu, but they looked the same. The skin of the toufu gives a soft feel and the inner toufu was smooth. I wasn’t ware of the unagi when I look at it until I put them in my mouth. The little brown-black thingy on the toufu was in fact super mini unagi. I wonder why they put such a small piece of unagi which makes it not interesting at all. The warm sweet sauce warm up the toufu and makes the dish tasted not bad too, but not good. It’s just hanging in the middle.
3 slices of abalone slice made it way to our table and into our mouth. Unfortunately, the abalone slice is unlike the one that came out from the can, or the one that is cut fresh from a cooked abalone. It’s, just so unfresh that it doesn’t consist the chewy experience of eating abalone. I was not happy with it and it didn’t spend so much time in my mouth, it just went right into my stomach and skipping my taste bud for a custom check.
It’s getting weird and suspicious with the sweet sauce and the cook at the Japanese restaurant as most of the dishes consist of a great amount of the sweet sauces. A little bit of it makes it good but many of it makes it tasted weird and overly-sweet. It’s the third dish – Teriyaki Chicken on Stick, that has so much sweet sauce in it which eventually ruin the dish and mindset for the food. The sweet tooth in me couldn’t stand the sweetness anymore and wanted a stop. Japanese food to me is always about wasabi and raw-ness, but with so much of sweet, it’s getting un-Japanese to me.
In the middle of the serving food, it comes a small little amount of Japanese Sake alcohol. I am not an alcoholic person, but I wasn’t mind trying it as I have no idea how’s a Japanese Sake tasted like. It’s deep in hot boiled water which makes the liquor warm. Upon entering my mouth, the liquor taste was there BUT it was diluted so much that it’s not like alcohol anymore. This is just like an decorative item among the 13 items.
The last dish was a Udon which I do not know the name of it and I didn’t even bother to know about the name due to the dissatisfaction of the food. I wasn’t excited as before only, I was just like – wait and eat and go. The Udon consisted a boiled egg, vegetable and teriyaki chicken in it. The broth (soup) tasted sweet and the only edible to me was the chicken teriyaki which was pretty tender. I dislike the broth of the udon.
After a few unhappy experience with the meal brought from groups deal website, I started to doubt about these promotion meal.
36C Jalan Chow Thye,
Tel: +604-2287999, +6016-4921592
Business Hours: Daily 6pm-10pm
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Little Cottage Cafe is quite well-known among Penangite with two outlets, one on Jalan Burma, and another one in Waterfall Hotel, Jalan Utama. It’s my first time visiting the Little Cottage Cafe on Jalan Burma and I went there to have lunch with my girlfriend. I was busy taking video of the place and I have forgotten to take photos of the interiors, so I will repost a video version. =D
The interiors is very cozy and warming feel with nice cottage style dining and give you an experience that you are like being in a small county, it’s so not in Penang.
They have standard set meal lunch which starts from RM9.90 and we both ordered the RM15.90 set. It started with a mushroom soup. The mushroom taste was strong but then one thing I wasn’t that favour about it is that it’s a little bit too waterish. If it’s creamier than it’s great.
Bread bun and butter is also one of the appetizer that comes with the soup. Love the warm bun with butter in it.
Here comes the main course which is the Black Pepper Chicken. Well, the black pepper sauce was there and it’s a grilled chicken instead of deep fried chicken. The presentation was good and serves with little vegetable salad and mash potato. The mash potato to me was OK-good and the chick was tender enough. As for the sauce wise, the taste was there, not too over, not too less, just nice. Overall, I couldn’t comment this is the best, but it’s not bad. Somehow, I like the Little Cottage Chicken Chop more which comes next.
The Little Cottage Chicken Chop is deep fried chicken chop poured with a kind of sweet and BBQ sauce which makes it tasted good. The chicken was crispy and I like the crunchyness when biting on it. Serve with a little bit of onion and I think this is kinda special and tasted nice when eat with the chicken and sauce. As I said, I like this more than the black pepper chicken, this is good. =)
The last course was the coffee / tea but desserts comes before it. Having a sweet tooth is so nice that I love desserts so much and this little desserts is actually a pudding of milk and pandan which is kinda special with a sense of local style, some how it’s just too small.
Well, Little Cottage is a nice place to have your meal given with its nice and cozy interiors.
Little Cottage Cafe 1 (You can park at New World Park and walk there)
96-A, Burma Road,
Business Hours: Open daily from 11am-3pm / 6pm-10.30pm
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