House Of Kolomee

Special thanks to House Of Kolomee for extending this food review invitation.

House Of Kolomee (砂捞越干捞面专卖店) at D'Piazza has moved several shops away from its original location. The new shop is now on the other side of Coffee Talk Premium. This Sarawakian noodle shop starts operation at its new location in May 2017, which also coincides with its 5th anniversary in business.
Like before, House Of Kolomee adopts self-service model to save manpower. The touchscreen terminal at the first station is where customers enter their food choices. This is also where customers make their payments.
The second station is where customers collect their orders. There are serial numbers on the receipts for customers to refer to. Food is typically ready in less than 5 minutes.
There are several drink dispensers at the third station. Available drinks are orange juice, peach tea, honey green tea and ice lemon tea. For the entire month of May 2017, drinks are on the house.
The signature dish here is Kolomee (干捞面, RM5.00). The egg noodle is cooked by blanching in boiling water. After draining with a strainer, the noodle is tossed with sweet red sauce, soy sauce and pork lard. I like the springiness of egg noodle. It seems to work pretty well with the seasoning.
Other vital ingredients of Sarawak Kolomee are barbecued pork (叉烧) and minced pork (肉碎). Both are quite tasty. Also included are bok choy (小白菜), chopped scallion and fried onion.
Laksa (呖沙, RM6.00) is customarily served with rice vermicelli (米粉), but I opted for kolomee noodle as I like its springy texture. I also enjoy the gravy that Sarawak Laksa comes with. The creamy gravy is very rich thanks to the presence of chicken stock, sambal belacan (chili shrimp paste) and coconut milk.
Sarawak Laksa also includes ingredients like shredded chicken, shrimps, omelette strips, bean sprouts and coriander. Chili paste and lime are provided as condiments. Overall, this noodle dish is quite satisfying.
Although these Sarawakian dishes may look simple, I think they resonate well with the local palate. The pricing is also quite affordable compared other restaurants nearby.

Name: House Of Kolomee (砂捞越干捞面专卖店)
Address: 70-1-58, D'Piazza Mall, Jalan Mahsuri, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 016-440-9048
Business hours: 10:00am-3:00pm, 5:30pm-9:00pm, closed on Saturdays
Website: https://www.facebook.com/houseofkolomee
Coordinates: 5.32632 N, 100.28207 E
Directions: House Of Kolomee is located at D'Piazza in Bayan Baru. The restaurant is near Coffee Talk Premium and faces Olive Tree Hotel at a distance. Outdoor parking and basement parking are available at D'Piazza.

Zuzudo

Special thanks to Zuzudo for extending this food review invitation.

Zuzudo Ramen Bar (ズズッド) is the latest addition to the al fresco dining piazza between G Hotel and Gurney Plaza. Opened around 2 weeks ago, this Japanese eatery specializes in ramen (ラーメン). By the way, "zuzudo" refers to the slurping sound that one makes while eating ramen.
While most restaurants prepare their broth from pork bones, Zuzudo differs from the pack in the fact that its menu is entirely pork-free. Zuzudo's noodle dishes use chicken stock that is stewed from torikotsu (鶏骨, chicken bones) for more than 10 hours. Interestingly, the same soup base is used to create all 4 categories of soup: Shiro (white, 白), Kuro (black, 黒), Curry (カレー) and Kara (spicy, 辛).
The Kuro category is essentially the basic broth with additional seasoning such as soy sauce. This bowl of Butter Scallop Kuro (バターホタテ黒, RM19.00) is saturated in umami (うま味) flavor plus a subtle sense of creaminess.
The highlight of this noodle dish is the juicy scallops (ホタテ). The scallops are fresh indeed. Another interesting ingredient is onsen tamago (温泉玉子). Traditionally cooked in hot springs, the yolk remains slightly runny even though the egg white has solidified.
If you prefer something spicy, Ebi Curry (えびカレー, RM21.00) is a sound choice. In general, Japanese curry is only mildly spicy by Malaysian standards. However, this bowl of soup has surprisingly strong pungency through a clever blend of spices. The aroma is very appealing too. I think you should try the curry version if you have an affinity for spices.
This bowl of spicy noodle features two large shrimps (えび). Also included are cooked pumpkin, carrot and potato; these vegetables help to balance the overall taste. Like the previous dish, there is also an onsen tamago to impart additional savoriness to the soup.
Tori Katsu (鶏カツ), or chicken cutlet, looks almost identical to grilled chicken. Unbeknownst to many people, the chicken is actually baked. The chicken's flesh under the browned skin remains quite juicy - nowhere nearly as dry nor oily as actual grilled chicken. Tori Katsu is available with most types of soup.
Zuzudo also makes its own ramen from scratch, certainly not using ready-made ones! The noodle is sufficiently firm to attain the desired degree of springiness. Overall, I feel the noodle dishes here are very satisfying. Although Zuzudo is mostly focusing on ramen now, the restaurant will be introducing more dishes such as Mentai Rice (明太ご飯) and Temari Zushi Ball (手まり寿司ボール) in the near future.

Name: Zuzudo Ramen Bar (ズズッド)
Address: Lot G-04, G Hotel, 168A, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-609-6375
Business hours: 11:00am-11:30pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/zuzudoramen.bar
Coordinates: 5.43772 N, 100.31033 E
Directions: Zuzudo is located at G Hotel's outdoor piazza, directly facing Gurney Plaza. Gurney Plaza has basement and multi-level parking garages.

Xiang Yun Vegetarian Delight

Special thanks to Xiang Yun Vegetarian Delight for extending this food review invitation.

Xiang Yun Vegetarian Delight (香雲素食坊) is a restaurant at Vantage Desiran Tanjung. Located just above Kith & Kin, this eatery is operated by the same people as Xiang Yun Vegetarian Hut in Kompleks Lebuh Nipah and Xiang Yun Vegetarian House at Bayan Point.
More so than its sister outlets, Xiang Yun Vegetarian Delight presents a relaxing ambience with Zen-like tranquility. Wooden tables and bamboo screens provide a friendly atmosphere for dining with the family. There are also two private dining rooms that can accommodate around 10 persons each.
Xiang Yun Vegetarian Delight serves lacto-vegatarian food. Milk is used very sparingly, so for all intents and purposes, the restaurant's menu is suitable for vegans. Conforming to Buddhist vegetarianism, the restaurant does not use garlic nor onion either.
For starters, Soy Satay (大豆沙爹, RM8.90) consists of turmeric-flavored "chicken" made from soy pulp (豆渣). Prepared on skewers, the "chicken" is dressed in sweet peanut sauce. Besides gluten, soy pulp is a popular ingredient to produce meat substitute.
Five Herbs Vege Rolls (五香素卷, RM6.90) is similar to lor bak (卤肉) but minus the pork. Wrapped in fried tofu skin are jicama (凉薯) and konjac (蒟蒻). Konjac is extremely rich in dietary fiber but contains nearly zero calories. In this case, konjac serves to provide similar texture as pork lard.

Moving on to Thai Style Cutlet (泰式香辣余, RM14.90), the "fish cutlets" are made from soy pulp with seaweed wrapped around the circumference. The seaweed coating is meant to resemble fish skin. The cutlets are fried lightly on both sides and then flavored with sweet-tangy chili sauce.
Indian Claypot Curry (砂煲印度咖哩, RM16.90) uses aromatic spices from the Indian subcontinent to appeal to the palate. This Indian-inspired curry is quite spicy and also carries a hint of tanginess.
In the presence of curry, the cutlets can easily pass off as real fish. Besides these "fish cutlets", the claypot of curry also contains okra (lady's fingers) and tomato.
An alternative way to enjoy imitation fish is through the bowl of Teow Chew Steamed (潮州蒸余饭, RM8.90). Also included in the clear soup are tofu, tomato and mushrooms. The soup's soothing taste tends to draw appetite.
Nasi Lemak (招牌椰浆饭, RM7.90) is topped with chili sauce that is blended from fresh chili peppers. The "mackerel" is essentially a piece of soy pulp sandwiched between sheets of seaweed. Also noteworthy are fried "anchovies" on the side; these are made from mushroom stems.
Speaking of mushrooms, you may also like to try the Mix Fungi Rice (麻油杂菌菇饭, RM9.90). The soup contains a variety of mushrooms like shiitake (香菇), enoki (金针菇), shimeji (白玉菇), oyster (鲍鱼菇) and black fungus (黑木耳). The soup has an appetizing sense of pungency thanks to the presence of ginger. This meal comes with a bowl of white rice, which can be upgraded to brown rice for RM1.00 more.
Should customers prefer something of Japanese style, Teriyaki Don (香脆余柳饭, RM10.90) is available on the menu. A piece of deep-fried "chicken" croquette, dressed in sweet teriyaki sauce, is served over a heap of rice. This rice meal includes a bowl of soup with soft tofu.
Salsa Cutlet (莎莎余柳扒, RM16.90) is a Western dish which comes with crinkle cut fries. Also included on the plate is shredded cabbage with Thousand Island salad dressing.
There are two pieces of breaded "fish" cutlets with fresh tomato dressing. I like how well the sauce complements the crispiness of breaded "fish".
Xiang Yun Vegetarian Delight offers the Coffee Hour promotion from 3:00pm to 5:00pm every day. Customers can order two cups of coffee for the price of one. Shown here are Long Black (香浓黑咖啡, RM6.90) and Mocha (摩卡, RM9.90). Vegans may substitute milk with soy milk for RM1.00 more.
If you prefer something other than coffee, try a warm glass of Organic Chocolate (有机巧克力, RM9.90). This drink comes with two pieces of cracker. Latte art is complimentary.
Soy Bean (豆奶, RM5.90) is a rich source of protein especially for people who follow a vegetarian diet.
Hailing from the southern tip of South Africa, rooibos is usually consumed as a caffeine-free alternative to actual tea (Camellia sinensis). This makes the drink safe for consumption during pregnancy. Rooibos leaves are oxidized in a similar manner as black tea. Steeped in hot water, the glass teapot of Rooibos Tea (南非博士茶, RM13.90) is meant for up to 4 persons.
Xiang Yun Vegetarian Delight aims to cater not only for vegetarians, but also to the general public at large. It is the proprietors' belief that every vegetarian meal served can save an animal from the slaughterhouse. The restaurant is usually closed on Tuesdays, but remains open if the day falls on the 1st or 15th day of the Chinese lunar calendar. In such cases, the restaurant will be closed on the following Wednesday instead.

Name: Xiang Yun Vegetarian Delight (香雲素食坊)
Address: A-1-8, Jalan Tanjung Tokong, 10470 Tanjung Tokong, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 016-496-8085
Business hours: 11:00am-9:00pm, closed on Tuesdays
Website: https://www.facebook.com/XiangYunVegetarianDelight
Coordinates: 5.45523 N, 100.30755 E
Directions: Vantage Desiran Tanjung as a commercial block on the right side of Jalan Tanjung Tokong from George Town's direction, after Island Plaza but before Tesco. Xiang Yun Vegetarian Delight located above Kith & Kin. There are parking spaces in front of and behind the row of shops.

Leong Hee Seafood

Special thanks to Leong Hee Seafood for extending this food review invitation.

Kedai Kopi 1997 (1997咖啡店) is a hawker center at Paya Terubong, just across the main road from Te Chang You Tiao Wang (特长油条王). At night, the place is converted to a seafood restaurant called Leong Hee Seafood (龙禧海鲜小馆).
Leong Hee has been operating as a Chinese wedding caterer for 38 years. It is just last year when it finally opened this brick-and-mortar restaurant for the general public. The restaurant's opening allows everyone to sample Leong Hee's signature banquet dishes without having to attend any wedding dinner. Besides serving Chinese banquet delicacies, the restaurant also specializes in seafood.
Leong Hee Seafood spans the width of two shops plus additional space on the side. Some of the larger tables are covered with red tableclothes and food turntables.
Teochew-Style Steamed Grouper (潮州蒸石斑鱼, RM100.00) is cooked in garlic and chili, giving the fish a combination of tangy and spicy flavors. Soft tofu and coriander are also served alongside the lovely grouper.
The claypot of Indian Curry Prawns (印度咖喱虾, RM38.00) is one of the restaurant's signature dishes. Using spices from the Indian subcontinent, the curry is quite spicy by Chinese standards. The 10 large shrimps in the curry are accompanied by eggplants (brinjals) and okra (lady's fingers). I cannot recommend this dish highly enough.
Stewed Taro & Pork Belly (芋头扣肉, RM28.00) is another specialty at Leong Hee Seafood. Cooked in savory sauce, interleaving slices of pork belly and taro present an interesting assimilation of textures. This dish has reduced gravy in order to accentuate its savoriness.
Yin Yong Chicken (鸳鸯鸡, RM48.00) combines two cooking styles of chicken: boiled chicken (白斩鸡) and deep-fried chicken (炸鸡). Both versions are pretty good. The boiled chicken has reasonably smooth texture and is served with thick gravy and red chili peppers. Meanwhile, the deep-fried chicken is served in delectable sweet-spicy sauce that takes advantage of the chicken's crispiness.
Salted Egg Mantis Shrimps (咸蛋虾蛄, RM30.00) are coated in savory paste made from the yolks of salted duck eggs. Each piece of mantis shrimp delights my mouth with gratifying crispiness. In terms of taste, I feel that this dish is slightly sweeter than necessary; I personally prefer the yolks to take the centerstage.
The next dish is Braised Golden Tofu In Abalone Sauce (鲍汁黄金豆腐, RM20.00). Flavored by savory gravy, the block of soft tofu is cut into bite-size cubes, and then showered with shrimp crumbs and chopped scallion.
Water Spinach With Chili (马来风光, RM18.00) is popular among locals because this vegetable is relatively inexpensive. The silky leaves are stir-fried in sambal (blended chili), belacan (shrimp paste), garlic and shrimps. I feel that this dish is too spicy for me; perhaps the chef went overboard in adding too much sambal.
Another vegetable dish served today is Stir-Fried Royale Chives With Bean Sprouts (清炒青龙菜豆芽, RM18.00). Royale chives is similar in appearance to garlic chives but is juicier.
Overall, the food at Leong Hee Seafood is quite satisfying. This is especially true for the signature dishes that its banquet menu is renowned for. Granted, the place does not provide customers with the comfort of air-conditioning. But at least the restaurant offers banquet-style food at substantially lower prices.
Name: Leong Hee Seafood (龙禧海鲜小馆)
Address: 1228-F, Jalan Paya Terubong, Desa Permata, 11060 Paya Terubong, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 012-698-5617
Business hours: 5:30pm-10:30pm, closed on Wednesdays
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Leongheeseafood
Coordinates: 5.39393 N, 100.27683 E
Directions: Drive northwards along Jalan Paya Terubong towards Air Itam. After the fire station, turn right at the next traffic lights. At the end of this road, turn left and drive further down. Leong Hee Seafood is located on the left. Street parking is available.

Spice Market

Special thanks to Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa for extending this food review invitation.

The flagship restaurant of Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Spice Market Café, is one of the most comprehensive buffets in Penang, if not the most. Located near the Garden Wing lobby and FIP Lounge, Spice Market features a themed buffet every evening - one of the very few hotel-restaurants in Penang to do so.
What impresses me the most is the fact that Spice Market revises its menu very regularly. This is important because there are long-term guests in the hotel. Today, Spice Market launches the new Seafood Buffet Dinner that is served every Friday and Saturday from 6:30pm to 10:30pm. The new concept is developed under the direction of Executive Chef Leong.
The spotlight of today's Seafood Buffet Dinner is cast on the Giant Pearl Grouper that weighs almost 20 kilograms (they can grow as large as 25 kilograms). The fish is supplied by a fish farm off the eastern coast of Pulau Jerejak. Delivered fresh earlier in the afternoon, the fish is as fresh as it can possibly be. Spice Market certainly brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "no expense spared".
Grouper fillets are prepared on the spot. Guests are free to request how they want their portions to be cooked. I personally feel that steaming is the best way to appreciate the natural taste of fresh fish. There are several types of sauce to go with grouper; my personal choice is fish sauce. If you are a fan of seafood, I am sure that you will find gratification in the grouper.
Fish Head Soup is also prepared from grouper. Having been simmered with the fish's head for two hours, the soup is extremely rich in taste. The soup also goes well with fried pieces of grouper. Meanwhile, Chicken Broth Soup is also recommended. Free-range chicken is double-boiled with a variety of exquisite delicacies like scallops and fish maw. Prawn Bisque Soup and Crab Meat Soup are also available.
Manning the Chinese section of the buffet is Noodle Chef Justin Shi from China. Today, Chef Justin prepares one of his masterpieces, Steamed Oysters With Ginger Spring Onion Sauce. Cooked in a steamer, the oysters produce delectable jus on their shells. Also prepared in a similar manner are Steamed Scallops With Nyonya Sauce.
Herb Crusted Whole Salmon is baked with a coating of crispy crumbs, providing an interesting avenue for its juicy flesh to attain delightful crispiness. Lemon cream sauce goes well with the salmon. Next to the baked salmon are Roasted Rib Eye Of Beef and a variety of sauces. I am particularly fascinated by the truffle sauce.
Seafood Thermidor is a French dish that consists of a creamy mixture of cooked seafood and egg yolks. The mixture is conventionally stuffed into a lobster shell. But in this case, thermidor is baked with a layer of cheese crust.
If you fancy slipper lobsters, there are baked ones with either cheese sauce or curry mayonnaise. Oher seafood items in this section are Prawn Tempura, Fish Tempura and Baked Oyster With Tomato & Cheese.
There are a handful of fresh seafood choices like snow crabs, yabbies, green lip mussels and tiger prawns. Seafood is served over a bed of ice to maintain freshness.
Salmon Gravlax is a Nordic delicacy of salt-cured salmon. Cut into thin slices, gravlax is seasoned with one of three flavors: beetroot, Asian spice and Madras curry. Gravlax has similar appearance and texture as smoked salmon, but the taste is drastically different.
The Japanese counter presents a variety of sushi (寿司) in nigiri (握り) and maki (巻き) forms. If you prefer sashimi (刺身), the chef can also prepare fresh slices of salmon, tuna, butterfish, scallops and more.
Seasoned Japanese food includes Chuka Idako, Chuka Wakame and Chuka Kurage. There are also several varieties of pickled vegetables (漬物).
Malay cuisine frequently takes advantage of local herbs and spices. This explains why many Malay dishes are quite spicy. Malay fare today covers Wok-Fried Crab With Sweet Chili Sauce, Kari Kupang (Mussel Curry), Ikan Masak Lemak (Fish In Coconut Gravy) and Chicken Panggang Percik (Spicy Grilled Chicken).
Yong Tau Foo (酿豆腐) is prepared fresh every day. Fish paste is stuffed into items like okra, bitter gourd and tofu. While some people enjoy eating Yong Tau Foo directly, others prefer to eat with noodles, vegetables and bean sprouts.
Indian cuisine is represented by hot curries like Fish Tikka Masala and Prawn Curry. From the tandoori oven are Tandoori Lamb, Chicken Tikka and Tandoori Pomfret. Lamb and chicken satay are also available as usual.
As for Western food, Lamb Osso Bucco and Braised Beef Cheek With BBQ Sauce are served today. Beef cheeks are notorious for being particularly tough, so they have to be cooked longer until the muscle fibers disintegrate.
Jelly Fish & Baby Octopus Salad, Shrimps With Multi Colored Coleslaw and White Bean, Tuna & Spring Onion Salad are examples of what's prepared at the salad section. There are also individual vegetables and dressings if you would like to prepare your salad from scratch.
I always love the cheese section of Spice Market's buffet. There are exquisite cheese varieties like emmental, brie, gouda, cheddar and blue cheese. Dried fruits, nuts and pickles also go well with cheese.
Next to the cheese section is a variety of breads such as French baguettes, country bread, grissini (breadsticks) and bread rolls.
Proceeding to cakes, this evening's buffet presents the Black Forest Cake, St. Honoré, Chilled Marble Cheese Cake, Baked Cheese Cake With Mango, Blueberry Tart and Cherry Breton Pie. I like the nice chocolatiering presented on Black Forest Cake.
If European pastries are your cup of tea, there are bite-sized ones like Sachertorte, Paris Brest and Bundt Cake. Other sweet treats to satiate your sweet tooth are jellies, crêpes, bread pudding, ice kacang and ice cream. For fruits, there are local ones such as jackfruit, pitaya (dragon fruit), honeydew, papaya and watermelon.
Last but not least, guests may enjoy free flows of Cinnamon Water, Nutmeg Juice, Orange Cordial and Sirap Cincau. Cinnamon Water is rich in antioxidants, making it an excellent remedy to detoxify the body.
Spice Market's Seafood Buffet Dinner is priced at RM198.00 net per adult and RM99.00 net per child. Children below 12 years of age dine for free. On the other days of the week, the restaurant serves International Buffet Dinner instead. Guests enjoy 40% discount on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Name: Spice Market Café
Address: Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-888-8888
Business hours: 6:30am-11:00pm
Website: http://www.shangri-la.com/penang/rasasayangresort/dining/restaurants/spice-market-cafe
Coordinates: 5.47972 N, 100.25466 E
Directions: From Tanjung Bungah, travel west towards Batu Ferringhi. Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is approximately 4.2 kilometers from Tanjung Bungah's floating mosque, located on the right. Spice Market Café is at Lobby level of the Garden wing.