Shang Place

Restoran Shang Place (香香小菜馆) is a Chinese restaurant at Krystal Point. The restaurant is quite small; only around 30 people max. The atmosphere is moderately upscale for formal events such as small company dinners.
Besides à la carte orders, Shang Place also has a nice selection of set menu of 4-5 dishes. The price is slightly on the upper end, but at times there are discount promotions at Shang Place that make it a viable choice occasionally.
Today, we went for the Set Dinner (RM38.00) which consists of four dishes excluding rice and drinks.
We started with the Fried Fish In Soy Sauce (油浸鱼). The texture of fish is reasonably rice, while the stir-frying is done well to the point where the surface has a nice crisp without being too soggy with oil. The fish is mildly sweet but a bit plain. Not really a problem because this is precisely where the soy sauce comes in.
The Chicken With Satay Sauce (沙爹鸡扒) is a piece of deboned chicken deep-fried for a light brown appearance. The fillet is then served with satay (peanut) sauce and traditional satay sides: cucumber and onions. This is quite an appetizing dish.
Our next dish is the Bean Curd With Water Chestnut (马蹄豆腐羹). The thick gravy is made from corn-starch and is mildly sweetened. Water chestnut is one of the few types of "vegetables" which remains crunchy even after prolonged cooking. In all, this dish is quite delightful in flavor, but the portion seems lacking.
Finally, the Braised Water Spinach (清炒蕹菜) is the green complement to our dinner. As usual, water spinach is stir-fried lightly to retain its moisture; otherwise the leaves will becomes dry and shrunk. Unlike Malay versions of this vegetable, Shang Place does not use chili pepper in this dish.
Overall, our meal at Shang Place is quite satisfying as the dishes have reasonable quality and generally prepared well. The price is quite affordable as this is a set dinner promotion. The bill total definitely commensurates the food quality and atmosphere here.

Home Recipe

Home Recipe Food Corner (家乡味美食馆) is a Chinese eatery on level 3 of Prangin Mall.
The dining section faces the central atrium of the mall. But given the slow decay of Prangin Mall, the view is not all that impressive.
For dinner, I ordered the Chicken Cheese Baked Rice (鸡肉芝士焗饭, RM12.80). For an extra RM4.00, the meal includes a bowl of Mushroom Soup, Iced Lemon Tea and Dessert.
The Chicken Cheese Baked Rice is cooked and served in a hot ceramic bowl. As the surface is layered with cheese, the heating action forms a layer which seals in the moisture of chicken and rice inside.
The chicken is quite savory as its taste is blended with the fried rice and cheese. The molten cheese also gives a nice salty sensation to the dish. However the bowl is shallower than it appears, therefore the food portion is insufficient for a proper meal.

The Mushroom Soup (蘑菇汤) is reasonably creamy but lacks of mushroom flavor. The bread crumbs are not really fresh, therefore does not have the nice crisp that I expected.
The Iced Lemon Tea (柠檬冰茶) is quite plain in taste. The drink is mostly just water and ice.
As for the Dessert (甜品), it is a small saucer of jelly-like cold pudding. I do not really like it as the taste and ingredients feel weird. In my humble opinion, a scoop of ice cream works better.

Teochew Chendul

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul (槟榔律驰名潮州煎蕊) has an outlet at KOMTAR Walk, just a short walking distance from the original stall at Lebuh Keng Kwee. This outlet is easily spotted from the main road, but parking spaces at KOMTAR Walk is quite limited.
Although this outlet is air-conditioned, the always-open doors make cooling less effective. Nevertheless, this outlet is more presentable to tourists as there are proper tables and chairs, unlike the cramped shops near the original stall. Needless to say, the pricing here is higher than the latter.
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is said to be a regular customer here. Not too surprising as this place is near the KOMTAR government complex.
The Original Ice Blended Teochew Chendul (潮州原味煎蕊沙, RM2.50) is a must-have dessert. The fine-grain ice shavings are given a bath of sugary concoction made of coconut milk and gula melaka. Accompanying ingredients are jelly noodles (rice flour colored with pandan leaf extract) and red beans.
This dessert does not fail to impress us. The key to the cendol's appeal is the appropriate use of gula melaka (palm sugar). Unlike normal white sugar derived from cane, palm sugar possesses a different type of sweetness which does not overwhelm the taste buds, but is still able to leave a lingering sweet aftertaste.
The jelly noodles are springy and "fun" to eat, as their softness makes it an easy route down the throat. The red beans are just minor ingredients here, but serve an important role to contribute extra sweetness and fulfilling sensation.

For something more solid in today's meal, we ordered the Fried Carrot Cake (炒萝卜糕, RM5.50). The pastry is made from rice flour mixed with Chinese radish. Bite-sized pieces are stir-fried with eggs, bean sprouts, Chinese chives (韭菜), garlic and soy sauce. The dish is then topped with shredded carrots as garnish.
Unfortunately, the Fried Carrot Cake does not have the "wok hei" (镬气) that we are looking for. The cooking is just as good as it is, but lacks the "wok hei" appeal that truly defines this dish.
As far as the cendol is concerned, the taste at this outlet is no different compared to the original stall. So far, the food has been below satisfactory, but I concede the fact that food is not this business' strength. The price is slightly higher than the original stall in exchange for better dining environment.

Georgetown White Coffee

As the name implies, Georgetown White Coffee is a Penang-based café featuring Penang cuisine. Ironically, there is only one outlet in Penang: KOMTAR Walk.
Like OldTown White Coffee, the café projects a nostalgic coffeehouse atmosphere, for example by using marble-top tables and chairs. The theme of the restaurant, external and internal decor, as well as the food are virtually indistinguishable between Georgetown White Coffee and OldTown White Coffee.
Selecting from the signature dish menu, I ordered the Georgetown Curry Special With Rice (乔治市特色咖喱饭, RM9.90).
This meal consists of a bowl of curry and a heap of white rice. A slice of cucumber and tomato are used as garnish.
The curry is the typical type found throughout Penang: rich in santan (coconut milk) and moderately spicy. The curry contains several shrimps, cockles, bean curds, eggplants (brinjals) and long beans. The taste is reasonable by Penang standards, but not all too special either. On the plus side, the amount of ingredients commensurates the higher price charged.
For beverage, I opted for the iced version of Georgetown Heritage White Coffee (乔治市白咖啡, RM4.20). It was not the best idea because coffee goodness (if any) is not pronounced when the drink is served cold. I should have tried the hot version instead to enjoy the aroma. In any case, the cold coffee drink is refreshing for a hot weather but a bit diluted.
Although it seems counter-intuitive initially, Georgetown White Coffee does not fit very well in Penang's F&B niche market. It is not because the food is unpalatable to locals, but rather because same food is easily found all over the state - at significantly lower price. Unless you are a tourist and want to dine somewhere more hygienic, I do not find Georgetown White Coffee attractive enough to warrant regular visits.

Mikki Western Food

Mikki Western Food is located at the end of a row of shophouses in Sungai Nibong, on the opposite end of Public Bank. The place is more like a shack than a proper shop, as the grilling station and dining tables are under a canopy extended from the adjacent shop unit.
Mikki Western Food claims to be the "most reasonable price" eatery in town. While I do not believe this claim to be entirely true, the food is quite reasonably priced. This place is is only open at night. It is closed on Wednesdays because the weekly pasar malam (night market) obstructs vehicle access.

The Grilled Marinated Chicken Thigh (RM9.00) is one of our choice today. A decently large piece of chicken thigh is served with brown mushroom sauce, while mashed potatoes and vegetable salad serve as sides.
The chicken is well marinated as evident with its flavorful taste. The thick mushroom sauce is also reasonably good and works well with the chicken.

The other dish that we ordered is the Chicken Cordon Bleu (RM9.50). The cordon bleu is stuffed with turkey ham and cheese, then deep-fried to give a golden crispy crust. Like the previous dish, the Chicken Cordon Bleu is also served with mashed potatoes, vegetable salad and mushroom sauce.
We find the cheesy fillings quite delectable. As the cheese has melted, the interior is a nice meld of chicken, turkey ham and cheesy goodness. The crust is also quite enjoyable; not too dry and good even without the help of mushroom sauce.

We did not pass the opportunity to try the Double Boiled Mushroom Soup (RM4.50) as well. The most appealing aspect is the strong mushroom flavor packed into such a small bowl. The soup really helped to boost out appetite during dinner.
For desserts, we had a serving of Double Scoop Ice Cream (RM2.50). The flavor selected is chocolate. Although the portion is not large, the price is still quite reasonable.
In summary, we enjoyed our dinner at Mikki Western Food. The food is satisfactory and has value for money.

Golden Phoenix

My department's teambuilding event includes lunch at Golden Phoenix in Equatorial Hotel. Located near the hilltop of Bukit Jambul, Equatorial Hotel is a luxurious urban getaway next to the only 18-hole golf course on the Penang island.
Golden Phoenix (金凤楼) the hotel's Chinese restaurant. It serves a good variety of dim sum dishes during lunch hour. As the price implies, the food is of premium quality. We selected this pork-free restaurant in order to accommodate our Muslim colleagues.
As we were told to order as much as we want from the extensive menu, we did not hesitate to try a number of exquisite dim sum dishes today.
Starting with the Fei Chor Har (翡翠虾), the steamed dumplings contain premium prawn fillings which are really succulent indeed. The dumplings are topped with some shredded ginger for added flavor.
Dim sum meals should not deviate from the crowd-favorite Fresh Prawn Siew Mai (鲜虾烧卖). This dim sum is made from minced prawn with a dash of crab roe. Unlike cheaper restaurants where there is more flour than prawns, this dish is really delightful in taste.
Moving to another delicacy Yee Chee Kau (鱼翅饺), the dumplings is also made from minced prawn but with a generous amount of sharks' fins.
We ordered the Kao Choy Kok (韭菜角), which are translucent dumplings containing chopped Chinese chives. Chinese chives give a breath of leafy-freshness to our dining experience.
The Char Siew Pau (叉烧包) are dumplings filled with barbecued minced chicken with sweet savory sauce. The chicken works fine in this dish, but I prefer pork as the taste is more pronounced.
We tried a small plate of Fried Lor Mai Fun (炒糯米饭). Using glutinous rice, this is another popular dish in dim sum restaurants. The rice is quite filling, so we only ate a little despite the nice taste.
Moving to something based on bean curd, the Sin Jok Kuan (鲜竹卷) is made using minced chicken, mushrooms and bamboo shoots rolled in bean curd skin. The dish is served with flavorful oyster sauce.
Although the prawns used in the Sin Har Choong Fun (鲜虾肠粉) are fresh and succulent, the overall feeling is too salty. The rice flour is also too thick, which gives a starchy sensation beyond our desired range.
The Salad Har Kok (沙拉虾饺) is a made from prawns coated with bean curd skin, then deep-fried till crispy. It is served with some mayonnaise. We find this dish slightly oily for comfort.
The next dish Char Wu Kao (炸芋角) is a true delicacy. Yam paste is made into round shapes while barbecued minced chicken acts as fillings. The yam balls are deep-fried to give highly-delectable crispiness on the surface. As yam acts as a heat reservoir, the chicken filling is piping hot when consumed.
Pot Stickers (锅贴) is up next. Using thick flour dough with filling made of minced chicken and chopped vegetables, the dumplings are deep-fried to golden perfection. The dumplings are best eaten with shredded ginger for a nice tangy flavor.
A short detour to something green, we ordered a plate of Fried Yau Mak (炒油麥). This waxy-like leaf vegetable is lightly stir-fried with garlic for a pungent yet modest sensation.
Another popular dim sum dish is the Fried Lo Pak Kou (炒萝卜糕). This dish is primarily a type of "cake" made from rice flour with shredded Chinese radish. The "cake" is chopped into smaller cubes and deep-fried with eggs, garlic and soy sauce. Overall, the dish is acceptable in taste, although not particularly memorable.
Last but not least, we ordered the Golden Phoenix Fried Meehoon (金凤招牌炒米粉) to conclude our meal. The rice vermicelli are light and soft, while the tomato-based sauce gives it a mild tangy flavor.
Overall, Golden Phoenix has a number of good dishes of premium quality. For the price tag, we certainly got what we paid for. By "we", I mean whoever footed the bill.