TOP View

Special thanks to The TOP for extending this food review invitation.

Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR) is the tallest building in Penang, dominating the skyline of George Town by a wide margin. At Level 59 of the skyscraper is TOP View Restaurant & Lounge, one of the many restaurants that are managed by The TOP. The easiest way to reach TOP View is by using an elevator next to Maybank on the Ground Floor. There is a concierge counter at the entrance.
Unlike Coco Cabana, there is no cover charge to patronize TOP View. TOP View serves Theme Buffet Dinner every Friday and Saturday. On other days of the week, the restaurant offers the Dinner Degustation Menu between 6:30pm and 10:00pm.
Romantic tables for two are set up next to the glass windows. While dining, customers can enjoy panoramic views of George Town's night scenery. The actual restaurant setting is dimmer; extra brightness as seen here is only for the purpose of this evening's review.
While waiting for the course meal to begin, diners are served freshly baked muesli rolls from the oven. The breads are prepared from beurre de Charentes-Poitou (French butter). As for bread spreads, I enjoy the soothing aroma of basil butter and paprika butter.
The Chef Amuse Bouche this evening is inspired by mille-feuille. While the sweet pastry makes a good dessert, this amuse-bouche is made savory with alternating layers of cured salmon, charcoal bread and cream cheese. Topped with microgreen, dill, salmon roe and mango cream, this delicacy is pretty gratifying to my palate.
The Asian Peking Duck Platter is inspired by the famous poultry dish from Beijing, but is presented in a do-it-yourself manner. Succulent slices of roast duck are to be wrapped in wheat tortilla, using hoisin sauce and shredded vegetables for improved taste and mouthfeel respectively. Be sure to consume the tortilla while it is warm, otherwise the appetizer will become too doughy.
Next, Salade De Waldorf is served in deconstructed form. This is a move on the chef's part to demonstrate his plating skills. Comprising of apples, walnuts, cranberries and nutmeg slices, the waldorf salad is dressed with sweet mayonnaise. Basil leaves and charcoal crisps serve as garnishes. The salad can be consumed as it is, or reconstructed in the crispy parmesan bowl.
I am immensely impressed with the rich taste of Seafood Bisque. The serving size is just perfect to prevent my taste buds from being surfeited. At the center is a piece of sesame charcoal toast, delightfully topped with grilled octopus and scampi tail. The shrimp is grilled well enough to keep it fairly juicy. The toast also contains green pea paste, mango cream, salmon roe, radish and microgreen.
The Dinner Degustation Menu offers 3 choices for the main dish. The first one is Herb Crusted Rack Of Lamb. The frenched lamb ribs are served with lamb jus, red wine sauce and carrots. Also included is pomme purée (mashed potato) with truffle butter, marinated cucumber and broccoli.
The poultry choice is Supreme Of Chicken With Jasmine Cream. Also known as suprême de volaille, the dish is made from tender chicken breast and looks similar to galantine. Flanking the chicken are shiitake mushrooms, broccoli florets and tortellini with tomato and crab fillings. Satisfying to the last morsel, this the best main dish in my opinion.
Baby Barramundi is the seafood option for the main dish. The grilled fillet is served over pomme purée and is garnished with green pea paste and fried ginger slivers. On the side are creamy beurre blanc (white butter sauce) and clams. I think the barramundi's flesh is tougher than what I was expecting. It would be nicer if the skin were made crispier too.
Moving on to the dessert, the Blueberry & Ricotta Cheese Gâteaux has a reasonably rich taste. Its plating incorporates blue colored tuile, cranberry sauce, red grapes and chocolate cake. In my opinion, the serving size is too small for me to enjoy the cheesecake thoroughly.
A cup of coffee or tea marks the conclusion of dinner. Also included with the meal is a glass of soft drink or iced lemon tea.
The Dinner Degustation Menu is priced at RM98.00 net. There is also a special menu for children. This evening's menu is available until 15 September 2018, during which it will be replaced with a new one. Other meal offers at TOP View are Executive Set Lunch, Weekend Sunriser Breakfast, Sunday Buffet Brunch and Daily English Tea Set.

Name: TOP View Restaurant & Lounge
Address: The TOP Komtar Penang, 1, Jalan Penang, 10000 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-262-5960
Business hours: 10:00am-10:00pm (Monday-Friday), 8:00am-10:00pm (Saturday-Sunday)
Website: https://thetop.com.my/top-view-restaurant-lounge
Coordinates: 5.41441 N, 100.32971 E
Directions: TOP View is located at Level 59 of The TOP Komtar Penang. The restaurant is accessible by elevator from the Ground Level, right next to Maybank. As for parking, The TOP has a multistorey parking garage.

Lobby Lounge

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

Special offer: Mention "PenangFoodForThought25%" when ordering to get 25% discount off the regular price.

The Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节) is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month on the Chinese lunar calendar. This year, the festival falls on 24 September 2018. In conjunction with this auspicious occasion, Hotel Jen Penang is rolling out 8 types of mooncakes to delight its customers.
5 of these mooncakes adhere to classic recipes that most people know and love:
- Low Sugar White Lotus Single Yolk (低糖单黄白莲蓉)
- Pearl Of Harmony Single Yolk (黑芝麻豆馅单黄)
- Pandan Lotus Single Yolk (单黄香叶莲蓉)
- Pure Lotus Single Yolk (单黄纯莲蓉)
- Mixed Nuts (五仁)
They are accompanied by another 3 modern flavors of Hotel Jen's creation:
- Cheesy Chocolate Oreo
- Green Tea Cranberry
- Tiramisu
Hotel Jen's mooncakes are priced at RM38.00 each. However if you order 4 pieces of any flavor (RM145.00), the mooncakes are encased in a stylish Jen Mooncake Gift Box. The maroon box has floral designs on the front and traditional Nyonya motifs on the sides. A dainty Chinese tassel is fastened to its magnetic lid.
Inside the Jen Mooncake Gift Box is a vertical arrangement of 4 compartments that each contains a mooncake. The box's elegant design makes it very attractive to ladies because it can serve as a fancy storage box for jewelry. If you are looking for an ideal gift for this Mid-Autumn Festival, I cannot think of a better suggestion.
The Jen Mooncake Gift Box also comes with Hotel Jen's specially designed tote bag. This unique mooncake packaging is only available at Hotel Jen Penang; other Shangri-La properties use different designs in their mooncake offers.
To enjoy these delicacies, simply visit the mooncake counter at Hotel Jen's Lobby Lounge between 10:00am and 7:00pm daily. The counter is usually well stocked with all mooncake flavors. But just to be safe, I recommend that you place an order by phone (04-262-2622) or email (fb.hjp@hoteljen.com) before dropping by. This mooncake promotion is available from now until 24 September 2018. Note that Hotel Jen's mooncakes comply with halal requirements.
I am proud to announce that Hotel Jen is offering a whopping 25% discount to my readers (minimum purchase of 1 box). This means that the limited edition Jen Mooncake Gift Box is only RM108.75 after discount! To indicate that you are my reader, simply write "PenangFoodForThought25%" on the order form below or mention "PenangFoodForThought25%" to the staff member at the counter.
If this special deal is not good enough for you, Hotel Jen is having a mooncake contest too! Here are the steps to participate:
1. Like Hotel Jen's Facebook page or Instagram account. Or both, why not?
2. Purchase the Jen Mooncake Gift Box (RM108.75 after discount).
3. Take a creative photo or video with the mooncakes. Share it on your Facebook or Instagram account. Or both, why not?
4. Tag 2 friends in the post.
5. Include the hashtags #HotelJenPenang and #HJPMooncake2018 to notify Hotel Jen.
The most creative entry wins a 2D1N room stay at Hotel Jen. There are also 2 consolation prizes; each prize is a buffet dinner voucher for 2 persons at Café Jen. Multiple entries are permitted, so let your creative juices flow! More information on the contest is available here.
Finally if you wish to know the latest happenings and promotions at Hotel Jen Penang, please check out its website at www.hoteljen.com/penang. In case you are not a member yet, be sure to join Shangri-La's Golden Circle program for free!

Name: Lobby Lounge
Address: Hotel Jen, Jalan Magazine, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-262-2622
Business hours: 10:00am-7:00pm
Website: https://www.hoteljen.com/penang
Coordinates: 5.41362 N, 100.33025 E
Directions: Hotel Jen is located at Magazine Road (Jalan Magazine), next to 1st Avenue Mall and just opposite of The Wembley. Lobby Lounge is located at the Ground Floor. The hotel provides parking in its basement levels.

8 Moralities Vegetarian Restaurant

The former location of Old Street Taiwanese Delicacies (台湾老街) at 8-Row (八间) is now occupied by 8 Moralities Vegetarian Restaurant (八德素食馆). Its name is in reference to the 8 Confucian virtues as expressed in the phrase "礼义廉耻,孝悌忠信". The restaurant serves Chinese dishes which observes Buddhist vegetarianism. This means that onions and leek are avoided too.
My main dish is Butter Abalone Mushroom Rice (奶油鲍鱼菇饭, RM8.80). The crunchy mushrooms are fried with a coating of batter, while creamy butter sauce provides flavor. Meanwhile, curry leaves and bird's eye chili serve to improve the dish's aroma.
I also ordered a serving of Omelette Roll (蛋捲, RM12.00). The roll contains vegetarian fried meat fiber (素香酥肉发), carrot strips and cucumber strips. I love the crunchy texture of this snack. The taste is excellent too! I recommend that you give the Omelette Roll a try.
The vegetarian restaurant prepares several drinks from scratch. For example, the drink Luo Han Guo (罗汉果, RM3.00) gets its natural sweetness from the fruit itself.
8 Moralities Vegetarian Restaurant also serves a number of noodle and Western dishes. According to the staff, the vegetarian meat here is made from soy pulp (大豆纤维) instead of gluten (面筋). I look forward to trying these dishes next time.

Address: 2, Jalan Krian, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-226-5753
Business hours: 11:00am-9:00pm, closed on Mondays
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Living Room

Macalister Mansion is a luxurious boutique hotel at Macalister Road (Jalan Macalister). Boasting a beautifully landscaped lawn, the historical English manor was meticulously restored and infused with contemporary designs. Despite its limited capacity, Macalister Mansion has several interesting restaurants including Dining Room and The Cellar - both of which I have reviewed before.
At the west wing of the colonial-era mansion is Living Room. This refined restaurant serves breakfast, light meals, pastries, coffee and tea. The homely ambience here makes the place feels like one's own living room.
Besides proper dining tables and chairs, Living Room also furnished with snuggly couches for a more laid-back setting. Meanwhile, a large wooden table occupies most of the back section. An entire wall of shelves, extending all way to the ceiling, is decorated with various ornaments.
The Afternoon Tea Set (RM113.00) is served from 2:00pm to 6:00pm daily. Presented on a large wooden platter are assorted pastries like müller nougats, opera cakes, asam boi macarons, caramel cupcakes and homemade raisin scones. Meanwhile, savory items include shepherd's pies, smoked duck & arugula salads, crab meat & salted egg potato croquettes, croissants with smoked salmon & herb butter and jars of cream of cauliflower.
The Afternoon Tea Set comes with any 2 drinks. Besides coffee, Living Room also serves exquisite teas from TWG Tea. Today's brew of Silver Moon Tea is prepared from a blend of green teas with a hint of tangy sweetness of berries.
Overall, the pastries and savories in the Afternoon Tea Set are scrumptious to the last morsel. The price may appear costly, but this is understandable as Macalister Mansion is an upscale establishment. Indeed, the excellent ambience at Living Room makes it an ideal place to hang out especially on a slumber Sunday afternoon.

Address: 228, Jalan Macalister, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-228-3888
Business hours: 8:00am-11:00pm
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Bread History

Bread History has a chain of bakeries located mostly in Penang. This family business also operates Savour Bakery in Gurney Plaza. While most outlets only sell bread, the outlet in SPICE Canopy is a bakery-cum-café.
Adjacent to Pony Tale, this Bread History outlet has two floors. The upper floor provides extra dining space for dine-in customers. The ambience is relatively cozy but the wooden floor makes the place quite noisy especially when there is a large crowd.
The Garlic Chicken Burger (RM19.70) contains fried chicken fillet, cucumber, tomato, lettuce, cabbage and garlic sauce. The charcoal bun is reasonably soft while the dressing has a mildly spicy taste. However in my opinion, the chicken is too dry. The burger comes with curly fries and extra garlic sauce on the side.
As for coffee, the cup of Americano (RM5.60) has a pleasant bitter aftertaste. Sugar and creamer are provided but I think they are unnecessary.
Address: 180-B-01-10, Setia SPICE Canopy, Jalan Tun Dr. Awang, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-611-6008
Business hours: 9:30am-10:00pm
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