Spice Market

Spice Market Cafe is a restaurant located in the Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, a luxurious hotel in Batu Ferringhi specially catered for the elites who eat caviar for breakfast and drink Coca-Cola for tea.

The International buffet dinner is priced at RM128.00++, beyond the affordable range of Tom, Dick and Harry (except Prince Harry). Therefore when the restaurant offered buy-one-free-one promotion recently, we did not hesitate long before we placed our reservation (yes, this is absolutely necessary) and headed to Batu Ferringhi on the selected night.

The first unfortunate victims of our gluttony were from the seafood division: Crayfish, Crabs, Scallops, Clamps, Shrimps, Squid etc. These are food that take up little space in our stomach, but generate huge voids in the pocket if we were to order them à la carte.
The next casualties were the land-based animals, who reluctantly sacrificed their flesh for the greater good: Beef Stew, Satay (Malay skewers), Tandoori Chicken, Roasted Chicken, Mutton Curry etc.
Then, we did a banzai-style invasion by tackling Sashimi (raw sliced salmon) and various types of Sushi.
When satisfied with the carnage we made thus far, we turned our attention to other dishes, such as Noodles, Pasta, Soup etc.
To wrap things up, our sweet tooth took a bite on the desserts, such as Cakes, Ice Cream, Ice Kacang etc.
After 3 long hours of senseless massacre, we decided to call it a day (or night) and headed home to nurse our swollen bellies. That was totally worth it!

All About Sugar & Gift

If you have some friends from out-of-town and would like them to try some specialty desserts, why not head over to All About Sugar & Gift (团圆)?

This painstakingly-decorated shop along the narrow Lorong Susu specializes in tangyuan (汤圆), a dish of spherical glutinous rice flour typically served during the Lantern Festival. But the presence of this shop indicates that people are impatient to wait till the annual Lantern Festival to satisfy their cravings.

We placed an order of Sweet Tang Yuan (子孙满堂), whose Chinese name is obviously a play on the word "sugar". This dish is mixture of several different types of tangyuan (filled and unfilled) in clear ginger syrup.
Next, Tiramisu Tang Yuan (提拉米苏汤圆) is also a real treat! The tangyuan is filled with chocolate tiramisu, and served in a bowl of milk soup. It is best to eat it hot to taste the sweet chocolate oozing out of each punctured tangyuan.
Another signature dish is the Peanut Tang Yuan (花生汤圆). The tangyuan in this dessert has sweet peanut paste filling, with sweet peanut soup to complement it. It was a delicious dish indeed!
For dessert, we wrapped up with an order of Dragon Fruit Sago (龙珠果西米露). The sago (tapioca pudding) is served with several tangyuan, dragon fruit, mango, longan and kiwi. Perhaps because it is served cold, the flavor is not as impressive as the others.
The shop also sells solid food, but we will leave this for a future visit. I foresee that we will drop by again in the near term!

Tong Hooi

In Penang, Hokkien Mee usually refers to the Spicy Prawn Mee. However, this coffee shop along Jalan Dato Keramat is home to a stall selling the KL-style Hokkien Mee. To be precise and unambiguous, it is better known as Hokkien Char (福建炒).

Actually, Hokkien Char can be found in many hawker centers around Penang, but they are shy from what KL folks can enjoy. This stall in Tong Hooi refuses to concede this fact.

The secret of cooking Hokkien Char lies in the chef's "fiery" skills. This means that the dish has to be stir-fried with hot fire in relatively short duration. If done correctly, the noodles and dark sauce retain the pleasant aroma that precisely defines this dish. The chef's reputation was justifiable, as we were highly satisfied with his cooking.
To supplement our cravings, we also ordered a smaller plate of Kong Foo Chow (广府炒). Instead of the flat noodles usually associated with this dish, the chef used the same thick yellow noodles as the Hokkien Char. The egg gravy is decent and acceptable, but still overshadowed by the earlier dish.


Update: This business has ceased its operations.

It was quite late when I went for dinner. Around this time, most hawker centers in the area are either closing, or food choices are limited. I took this opportunity to investigate this humble-looking Thai restaurant in Sungai Nibong.
As I was dining alone, so I didn't want to splurge on the traditional Thai cuisine like tomyam, so I just ordered a serving of Claypot Ginger Chicken.
In reality, the dish is stir-fried first, then served in a metal pot. So technically, there isn't really a claypot involved.

Nevertheless, the chicken was decently cooked. The main contributing factor is the oyster sauce at the right consistency. If it were any thicker, the sauce would have overwhelmed the taste of chicken.

The dish is also served with some mushrooms (black and button), sliced carrots and celery as garnish.

Ichyo Ramen

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

Located at i-Avenue, Ichyo Ramen has been serving the local populace for quite some time already. The store front is rather nice, and so is the interior decor. Nevertheless, the pricing is still reasonable and more affordable than similar Japanese restaurants in the vicinity.
In most cases, the most economical way to sample more variety of food is to opt for the set menu. That was exactly what I did.
The main dish for dinner is Kimuchi Ramen. This is a ramen dish served in a rich broth, plus some ingredients such as roasted pork slices, fish cake, dried seaweed and vegetables. Not much can be said about the ramen, but the pork and broth are quite good.
Also served are 3 pieces of Gyoza (pot stickers) filled with minced pork. The skin is too thick, which gave it a more "starchy" taste instead of my preferred "meaty" taste.
The Garlic Fried Rice is a bit overcooked and dry. Also included in the set are Diced Cucumber and Watermelon Slices.
Drinks are not included, so I ordered a cup of hot Green Tea.

Overall-wise, it was a rather satisfying meal.


Located at the northern wing of Queensbay Mall, Japin is easily overlooked by shoppers due to its remoteness from other restaurants. Nevertheless, a food blogger must do what a food blogger must do - eat!

We opted for the set lunch menu, which has several selections of bento meals. In most cases, the set consists of the main dish, miso soup, shredded cabbage mayonnaise salad, rice and watermelon cuts. For the price we paid, it was a pretty decent bargain.

I ordered the Tori Teriyaki Setto, which translates to "Bird Shine-Roast Set". The word "tori" often refers to chicken especially in food menus. To refer to chicken specifically, the term "niwa tori" is used.

Back to the main point, the teriyaki (sweet-sauce) chicken is reasonably well-cooked, although it would taste even better if it were less oily.
Both of colleagues ordered the same dish: Takana Cyahan Setto. Normally, my rule of thumb is not to order the same dish twice, in case of incapacitation of both pilots in the same flight. Wait... maybe I am confused with the airlines policy. But you get my point.

Anyway, the Takana Cyahan Setto comes with garlic fried rice and several small servings of pickles. For the price, the quality and quantity is pretty good.
Japin is a good place to drop by occasionally, but the menu choices is rather limited.