Dim Sum Station

Promenade is one of the latest dining places in Bayan Baru. One of the restaurants here, Dim Sum Station (点心栈), serves Hong Kong-style dim sum (港式点心). The dining section is rather spacious and has an upscale appearance.
Steamed Dried Scallop Dumplings (干贝海棠果, RM8.50) are a type of siew mai (烧卖). They are filled with minced pork and shrimps, making them fairly succulent. The dumplings are topped with chopped scallops for the extra savoriness.
Meanwhile, Shanghai Juicy Meat Dumplings (上海小笼包, RM7.90) are typically eaten with ginger slivers and rice vinegar. In my personal opinion, the dough skin is too thick and this suppresses the taste of minced pork inside. I also feel that the amount of broth in the dumplings is inadequate.
Steamed Chicken Feet (柱侯酱凤爪, RM6.50) are flavored with chu hou paste (柱侯酱), which is a savory condiment from Foshan (佛山) in Guangdong Province. Unfortunately, I feel that the seasoning is excessively salty for me. Although I do not mind eating chicken feet, this dish is just not my cup of tea.
Steamed Char Siew Pao (蜜汁叉烧包, RM7.90) is considered one of the better items today. The steamed buns are filled with delicious barbecued pork. The pork's honey-sweetness works well with the soft bun.
I enjoy the savory egg yolks inside the Custard Shortbread (奶皇一口酥, RM6.90). It is made from flaky pastry and is glazed with honey to produce a glossy surface.
Another recommended item is Steamed Glutinous Rice (生炒糯米饭, RM7.50). The rice dish is traditionally prepared by frying, but more often than not, steaming is much preferred by restaurants nowadays. Besides glutinous rice, this delicacy also contains Chinese sausages (腊肠), dried shrimps (虾米), shiitake mushrooms (冬菇), peanuts and scallions.
As for Century Egg & Shredded Chicken Porridge (鸡丝皮蛋粥, RM5.90), the rice grains have mostly disintegrated into the congee. The bowl of porridge is garnished with crispy rice vermicelli and chopped scallions. I feel that the serving size is rather small.
Moving on to tea, Ju Pu (菊普, RM1.90 per person) consists of tea leaves of pu er (普洱) blended with chrysanthemum flowers. This drink is very popular in Hong Kong and Guangdong. Hot water refills are free. However, I feel that the staff is pretty slow or reluctant to help us on this.
Address: 5-G-2, Promenade, Persiaran Mahsuri 1, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 011-2232-8888
Business hours: 7:30am-3:00pm

Black Kettle

Special thanks to Black Kettle for extending this food review invitation.

Black Kettle stands at the intersection of Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai) and Chulia Street Ghaut (Gat Lebuh Chulia). Its yellow facade and black roller blinds are impossible to overlook. Occupying two contiguous shops, the restaurant-cum-café-cum-bakery is spacious indeed.
Black Kettle presents a casual dining atmosphere. A lightwell at its center allows sunlight to illuminate the dining area. As a family-friendly restaurant, the place is very popular especially on weekends.
Black Kettle specializes in French cuisine, or European fare in general. The food menu has been substantially revamped last month, so it is high time for me to pay another visit.

For starters, Authentic French Onion Soup Au Gratin (Soupe à l'oignon Lyonnaise, RM18.00) is a traditional comfort food from Lyon. The soup is prepared from chicken stock, caramelized onions and herbs. In the middle lies a piece of Swiss cheese crouton. In addition, the soup also contains an infusion of white wine.
Hongos Con Paprika Ahumado (RM19.00) is a popular Spanish tapas dish which literally means "mushrooms with smoked paprika". I am immediately taken by its mouthwatering aroma. The wild mushrooms are sautéed with pimentón (smoked paprika), garlic, tarragon, olive oil and cream. This delectable appetizer comes with slices of sourdough bread.
Black Kettle's Famous Chicken Chop (RM23.50) is one of the restaurant's bestselling dishes. The fried cutlet uses panko bread crumbs, which explains why it has an airy crispiness like the Classic Fish And Chips. Served on the side are the restaurant's signature pomodoro (tomato) sauce, fried egg and thick-cut fries (pommes frites).
Bouillabaisse (RM29.00) is a unique fish stew from Marseille, France. The recipe was originally invented by fishermen in order to salvage unsold fish. Black Kettle's version uses white fish, squid, mussels, shrimps, tomatoes, potatoes, herbs, spices and a dash of white wine. The French customarily dip some bread into a rouille (garlic mayonnaise), and then redip it into the rich seafood broth. I cannot recommend this stew highly enough.
Across the Mediterranean, Fillet Of Sea Bass Chamoula (RM29.00) is inspired by flavors of Morocco. The fillet is marinated with chamoula, and then pan-fried with olive oil. Chamoula (شرمولة‎) is a traditional relish from North Africa. As the taste of chamoula is exceptionally pungent, the fillet is best eaten with pilaf rice. Fresh arugula is served on the side.
Several dishes at Black Kettle are inspired by Penang's local flavors. For instance, Kettle's Heh Bee (RM32.00) combines Italian pasta with dried shrimps (虾米) and bird's eye chili. The spaghetti is also sautéed with lemon zest, garlic and herbs. Several shrimps are presented on the side.
As for confectionery, Black Kettle provides a variety of artisan bread made from sourdough. The sourdough here is prepared from a 15-year levain culture. Although it takes levain more time than instant yeast to leaven bread, the resulting taste and texture are subjectively better. Black Kettle's bakery does not use artificial additives.
Black Kettle's cakes are sold by the slice. The Chocolate Truffle Cake (RM14.00 per slice) has layers of chocolate mousse with a hint of Grand Marnier liqueur. The cake is also dusted with fine cocoa powder. Meanwhile, the Dutch Apple Pie (Appelkruimeltaart, RM14.00 per slice) is filled with crispy apples, raisins and cinnamon. The pie's sweet crust is topped with almond flakes.
As for tarts, today's choices are Lemon Meringue Tart, Chocolate Caramel Tart and Tarte Aux Fraises (Strawberry Tart). The Lemon Meringue Tart (RM7.00) comprises of a shortcrust pastry base, lemon custard and meringue. The tangy taste of lemon delights my palate.
Flat White (RM10.00) and Chocolate (RM11.00) are popular drinks from the menu. At Black Kettle, coffee beans are supplied by Degayo. The House Blend is a combination of beans from Sumatra and Java.
Alternative beverages include Matcha Milkshake (RM17.00) and Choco Mint Frappes (RM17.00). Although the latter is sweeter than my personal preference, I enjoy the refreshing breath of peppermint in my mouth.
Black Kettle's new menu has a number of interesting dishes that your taste buds deserve savoring. The food here is specially crafted to suit the local palate, but at the same time differentiates itself with a twist of culinary creativity. If you have not visited Black Kettle before, I highly recommended that you give it a shot.
Name: Black Kettle
Address: 105, Lebuh Pantai, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-251-9270
Business hours: 9:00am-11:30pm (Sunday-Thursday), 9:00am-12:00am (Friday-Saturday)
Website: http://www.blackkettle.com.my
Coordinates: 5.41539 N, 100.33977 E
Directions: Black Kettle is located at the intersection of Beach Street (Lebuh Pantai) and Chulia Street Ghaut (Gat Lebuh Chulia). Street parking is available along both streets.

Swez Brasserie

Special thanks to Eastin Hotel Penang for extending this food review invitation.

Eastin Hotel Penang is offering the Burger Bonanza for the months of July to September 2018. Served from 12:00pm to 10:30pm at Swez Brasserie, the enormous burgers can come with any of 4 patty choices (beef, chicken, fish and lamb) and 3 bun choices (charcoal, green tea and garlic).
The Bullseye (RM32.00) is the probably the most popular burger here. The beef patty is gently grilled to retain its natural juices, making the burger succulent indeed. Also sandwiched inside the charcoal bun are tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, onions, red cabbage and cucumber. Each serving of burger comes with garden salad, alfalfa, steak fries and curly fries on the side.
Should customers prefer poultry, the Sweet Chick (RM25.00) is available too. Sandwiched inside the garlic bun is a chicken breast that is grilled to scrumptious perfection. Creamy dressing is used. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to taste this burger this round.
My favorite burger among the four is Something Fishy (RM37.00). The choice of fish is grouper, which is rather unusual for fish burgers. The fillet is breaded and fried for the crispy appeal, and then seasoned with black pepper for improved taste.
Little Lamby (RM35.00) is a strong contender for my favorite. This interesting burger is blessed with a juicy lamb patty. The generous serving of patty has arguably better flavor than its beef counterpart. In addition, cheese seems to blend seamlessly with the chargrilled patty. Green tea bun is used in this case.
Besides Burger Bonanza, diners can also check out the concurrent Surf And Turf menu. Surf And Turf is an American dish which combines seafood and meat. Available between 6:00pm and 10:30pm, the Surf And Turf menu offers 4 different combinations. Each serving comes with trio fries (steak fries, curly fries and fried potato wedges) and coleslaw.

The most intriguing combination of Surf And Turf is Lamb Chop & Slipper Lobster (RM65.00). Seasoned with rosemary, the frenched lamb ribs are best enjoyed with mushroom gravy. Joining the platter is a slipper lobster that is baked with cream cheese. I think the lobster's taste is amazing.
Chicken Thigh & Salmon (RM38.00) is another crowd favorite. A piece of boneless chicken thigh, thoroughly roasted, is served over poached salmon fillet. Two sauces are provided here: brown sauce and lemon butter sauce.
As for Turkey & Prawn (RM35.00), the broiled turkey breast is rather lean. I actually prefer the turkey steak to be tenderer. Also included are two shrimps, nicely grilled with garlic butter to produce a tantalizing aroma. Mushroom gravy is provided as the condiment.
As long as you take beef, you can never go wrong with Sirloin Steak & Squid (RM38.00). The sirloin steak pairs with black pepper sauce in an elegant manner. Meanwhile, the whole squid is barbecued to optimal springiness. Watch out for the plastic-like cartilage in its mantle; it is inedible.
Coffee, tea or soft drink is offered for an additional RM5.00 only. Besides dining in Swez Brasserie, customers can also enjoy their meals at The Lounge should they prefer so. The Lounge's bar has an interesting range of cocktails and mocktails to go with any dish. Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that Swez Brasserie's kitchen has halal certification.
Name: Swez Brasserie
Address: 1, Solok Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-612-1111
Business hours: 6:00am-12:00am
Website: http://www.eastin.com/penang/dining
Coordinates: 5.33629 N, 100.30632 E
Directions: Eastin Hotel Penang is located along Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (Lebuhraya Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu) and is conveniently next to Queensbay Mall. Swez Brasserie an eatery next to the hotel lobby. There are parking spaces at the basement levels of the hotel.


Special thanks to Morganfield's for extending this food review invitation.

Morganfield's is renowned for its "Sticky Bones", i.e. succulent pork ribs basted with special sauces. This barbecue restaurant chain presents a rustic appearance with elements of wood and bricks.
Most outlets, including this one in Queensbay Mall, allow al fresco dining. Customers can also choose to be seated at the bar if they are only having drinks. Overall, the laid-back atmosphere makes this place the perfect spot for dining with friends and family.
In celebration of the 7 years since its first outlet at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Morganfield's is having the 7th Anniversary promotion. From 1 July 2018 to 15 August 2018, customers can choose either the Anniversary Platter (RM219.90) for 3 or 4 persons, or the Mini Anniversary Platter (RM98.90) for 2 persons.
The Anniversary Platter consists of a full slab of Sticky Bones, 2 sausages, 2 Asian Herb Chicken Skewers, 4 BBQ Chicken Wings, Mr. Calamari, Pilaf Rice, Garden Salad and dipping sauce. The meal also comes with 2 complimentary desserts of the day. In the spirit of patriotism, Morganfield's will donate RM3.00 to Tabung Harapan Malaysia for every Anniversary Platter ordered.
Since we have been having the signature Hickory BBQ Spare Ribs previously, it is high time we try something different: Garlicky BBQ Spare Ribs. The ribs are marinated overnight and slow-cooked for several hours until they become delightfully tender. The Sticky Bones are basted with tangy sauce, and then topped with crispy garlic crumbs. The pungent aroma substantially improves the appeal of the succulent ribs!
Also included are two of Morganfield's homemade sausages: Spicy Devil and Herby Hog. As for poultry, there are Asian Herb Chicken Skewers and BBQ Chicken Wings. Meanwhile, Mr. Calamari (fried calamari) goes well with the sweet-and-spicy dip. Last but not least, the cup of Pilaf Rice balances everything out with its gentle texture.
7 Heaven (RM15.90) is a special beverage on the 7th Anniversary menu. Made from carbonated water and fruit juices, the mocktail comprises of 4 distinct layers: Blue Lagoon syrup, pineapple juice, cranberry juice and orange juice. I believe the 4 layers represent the colors of the Malaysian flag: blue, yellow, red and white. The drink is decorated with orange zest on the rim.
We also ordered other mocktails from the regular menu. Agua Fresca (RM16.90) and Cucumber, Apple, Mint Spritz (RM16.90) each comes with a scoop of calamansi sorbet. Meanwhile, the Sour Plum Mojito (RM15.90) follows the classic mojito concoction minus the rum, but with a tangy twist of sour plum!
Name: Morganfield's
Address: GF-121, Queensbay Mall, 100, Persiaran Bayan Indah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-643-5049
Business hours: 11:00am-1:00am
Website: http://www.morganfields.com
Coordinates: 5.33421 N, 100.30668 E
Directions: Morganfield's is located on the Ground Floor of Queensbay Mall, right next to Starbucks Coffee. Queensbay Mall has a multilevel parking garage and several outdoor parking spaces.

Sri Nibong Cafe

Sri Nibong Cafe (理旺茶园) is a small hawker center at the entrance to Taman Sri Nibong. There are roughly a dozen food stalls here. The eatery is very popular among locals; it is difficult to find a vacant table after 8:00am.
The most popular hawker stall here is probably Sungai Nibong Koay Teow Th'ng (天桥下粿条汤). It is open from 6:30am to 3:00pm. The stall receives uninterrupted orders during breakfast and lunch hours. Fortunately, the noodles are cooked rather quickly. In the evening, the proprietor operates in another shop in Bayan Baru.
The soup for Koay Teow Th'ng (粿条汤, RM5.30) is very tasty as it is infused with rich flavors of pork. In addition, the minced pork is heavenly indeed. Meanwhile, the fish balls here are made from whitefin wolf herring (西刀鱼). Also included are fishcakes and egg. I cannot recommend this dish highly enough.
Pancake (曼煎糕) is also known as "apam balik" in Malay. It is made from flour dough that is cooked in a round griddle. The crêpe is topped with a variety of ingredients, and then folded over once the dough is cooked.
There are several choices of ingredients. I opted for opted for Peanut (花生, RM1.20) and Brown Sugar (黑糖, RM1.30), which are more common ingredients. More exotic choices are Peanut Butter (花生酱, RM2.20) and Cheese (芝士, RM2.70). I think the shell is thicker than it should be. It feels a bit doughy; I prefer it to be crispy.
My caffeine fix comes from a hot cup of Kopi Susu (RM1.40). The black coffee has a layer of condensed milk at the bottom. Good cup of coffee is my way to start off the day on the right foot.
Address: 247-F, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Taman Sri Nibong, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: N/A
Business hours: 6:30am-10:00pm, closed on Mondays