Kochabi Double Content

Special thanks to Kochabi Double Content for extending this food review invitation.

The eateries at Penang Times Square are often overlooked despite their strategic location. In place of the former Taiwan Kochabi (台湾古早味) is Kochabi Double Content (古早味锅加锅), a Taiwanese restaurant under new management.
Kochabi Double Content retains the Taiwanese theme of its predecessor, but expands to more localized food. The menu concept here is to provide upscale restaurant cuisine at individual portions. The pricing is meant to appeal to the masses.

Although most dishes are available in à la carte style, set meal is highly recommended as it includes minced pork rice (鲁肉饭), three side dishes (小菜) and a pot of soup for only RM5.00. The choice of soup changes from day to day; today's soup is Chinese radish soup (白萝卜汤). In fact, the name "Double Content" (锅加锅) refers to set meals where entrée and soup are served in separate pots.

One of the most popular dish here is Slow Cook Basil Wine Chicken (台式三杯鸡, RM16.90/RM11.90), which I can vouch for. This poultry dish originated in Jiangxi Province (江西省) in China, but it was popularized in Taiwan before reaching Malaysian shores.
The "three cups" in its Chinese name refers to three types of sauces used to season the chicken. While there may be regional variations, the three sauces are usually rice wine, sesame oil and soy sauce. Prolonged heating allows the chicken to absorb flavors of sauces, giving the meat an appealing flavor deep down its very core.

Next is a signature dish from Hunan Province (湖南省), Hu Nan Spicy Stewed Beef (湖南香辣牛腩锅, RM18.90/RM13.90). Besides Sichuanese, Hunan cuisine (湘菜) is also renowned for liberal use of spices. The level of spiciness at Kochabi Double Content has been toned down to suit the general palate among locals.
Next is the Claypot Braised Spicy Pork Belly (四川辣子回锅肉, RM17.90/RM12.90), one of the most recognizable dishes in Sichuanese cuisine (川菜). First, the pork is slowly simmered with a variety of sauces and spices. Then, the meat is cut into manageable size, then stir-fried in shallow oil. The resulting dish is very fatty, but this one of the reason that it is so appealing. Unlike the one served at Phoenix One, this dish is nicely prepared.
Moving to seafood, I find the Claypot Steamed Cod Fish With Dried Radish (生煲菜脯雪鱼, RM33.90/RM28.90) to be very enjoyable. The tenderness of cod coupled with savory flavor of sauce and juicy enoki mushrooms is very gratifying.
The cod is best enjoyed while it is still tender. If the fire is left unattended for some time, the flesh becomes firmer and less refined.
If you prefer the cod in pan-fried style, then A Mei's Pan Fried Cod Fish (阿妹煎雪鱼, RM33.90/RM28.90) is your choice. This dish is named after Taiwanese pop diva A-Mei (张惠妹), but I am not aware of any connection. In gastronomical terms, I feel that it is rather wasteful to pan-fry good fish as this does not make good use of its fine texture.
On the other hand, frying can sometimes prove to be the right call. An example is the Taiwan Stir Fry Golden Prawns (宝岛黄金虾, RM18.90/RM13.90) which, in my personal opinion, is quite delectable.
These medium-sized peeled shrimps are breaded, then stir-fried to give a coating of scrumptious crisp. The cooked shrimps are then served with honey-sweet sauce.
For something less meaty, there is also Three Flavour Japanese Toufu (三味日本豆腐, RM13.90/RM8.90) on the menu.
The bean curd is served with unripe mango strips and mango-flavored sauce. The overall sensation is similar to Thai-style kerabu.
The Kochabi Braised Duck With Ginger (古早羗芽鸭, RM17.90/RM12.90) is also not bad. This opinion is coming from someone who fancies ginger. On the low side, I feel that the duck can use more heating so that it becomes tender.
Next of the dining table are the several poultry dishes.
First, the Flavour Pan Fried Chicken (风味煎鸡排, RM15.90/RM10.90) is reasonably well-prepared. The extent of cooking is just right - not too dry nor oily. As a result, the chicken is quite succulent as a whole.
For a tangy alternative, try the Crispy Lemon Chicken (柠檬香鸡排, RM13.90/RM8.90). A piece of breaded chicken is deep-fried in cooking oil, then garnished with sesame seeds and topped with lemon sauce.
Another kerabu-like dish is the Fried Chicken With Mango Sauce (香芒炸鸡排, RM14.90/RM9.90). I find that chicken and mango are not the best friends here. Personally, I prefer the bean curd version.
If you are looking for something more mainstream, the Pan Fried Garlic Chicken (蒜香煎鸡扒, RM15.90/RM10.90) may be the right choice. Unfortunately, the chicken chop is rather oily. I think the amount of oil should be toned down, otherwise this dish is too surfeiting.
Moving on to the Claypot Stewed Duck Thai Style (暹罗焖鸭, RM17.90/RM12.90), I like the bold flavor of duck in brown gravy, which is also absorbed by a hard-boiled egg and a piece of bean curd. I am not sure whether this cooking style is indeed Thai in origin, though. The name does not really matter as long as it tastes good.
This is a dish which I find interesting: Claypot Pork Ribs With Taro In Brown Sauce (红烧芋头排骨煲, RM18.90/RM13.90). The stewed pork ribs are complemented with taro, nicely assimilating savory and starchy flavors. This dish includes vegetables such as carrots, snow peas and cabbage.
Sometimes, a modest-looking dish can turn out to be fantastic. I highly recommend the Drunken Chicken (醉鸡, RM17.90/RM12.90) if you are looking for a dish with more gravy. The key to its appeal is the use of rice wine - so good that the gravy is literally good to the last drop!
The Claypot Tong Po Meat (秘制东坡肉, RM19.90/RM14.90) is a delicacy from Hangzhou (杭州). A single slab of pork belly is braised with rice wine, then stewed until the entire pork becomes soft and flavorful. According to legend, this dish was invented by Su Shi (苏轼), also known as Su Dongbo (苏东坡), a Chinese poet during the Song Dynasty (宋朝), during his exile in Hangzhou.
The Sticky Three Word Pork Ribs (秘制三字骨, RM18.90/RM13.90) is more like finger food as opposed to a proper dish. I find the pork to be quite dry, but it is somewhat compensated by the accompanying plum sauce.
If you enjoy lamb, you may want to try the Kochabi Pan Fried Lamb (古香煎羊排, RM20.90/RM15.90). Although the mutton appears to have been grilled, it is actually pan-fried. I feel that marinating should be improved as the lamb is slightly lacking in flavor.
For each set meal, there are three side dishes which vary on daily basis. They play subordinate roles compared to the entrée.
Kochabi Double Content also has several steamboat choices, such as this Kim Chi Steamboat (韩式泡菜锅, RM27.90). The ingredients include thin slices of pork, several types of bean curd, vegetable and seafood. The beef version is also available for RM28.90.
A Taiwanese restaurant is incomplete without Beef Soup Ramen (牛肉面, RM14.90). The soup is reportedly too sweet, so it should be toned down in favor of beef savoriness. In general, local Malaysians tend to prefer stronger flavor compared to Taiwanese people.
As for side orders, there is a small serving of Iron Egg (铁蛋, RM3.90). This dish scores points in terms of presentation, but I would like to see more flavorful taste in the yolk.
The beverage choices at Kochabi Double Content are rather similar to Chatime or one of its many clones. The drinks featured today are Honey Green Tea (蜂蜜绿茶, RM4.90), Passion Fruit Red Tea (百香红茶, RM4.90), Carrot Juice (萝卜汁, RM6.90), Plum Red Tea (梅子红茶, RM4.90), Original Milk Tea (经典奶茶, RM4.90), Soya Milk Red Bean (豆奶红豆, RM4.90) and Original Milk Tea (经典奶茶, RM4.90).
I must say that I am impressed with the dessert menu at Kochabi Double Content. According to the staff, one of the bestsellers is the Azuki Matcha Toast (抹茶冰霜, RM13.90), where toasted bread is topped with matcha-flavored ice cream and azuki beans.
Next is the Strawberries Serendipity (士多啤梨屋, RM15.90), which strawberry lovers will fall in love with in a heartbeat.
In this dessert, butter and chocolate sponge cakes are accompanied by fresh strawberries, strawberry ice cream and strawberry sauce. It is strawberry frenzy here!
Banana lovers out there can try the Crepe De Banana (猴子园, RM13.90). There are bananas on top the crêpe as well as inside!
This dessert is served with chocolate ice cream. I think it is better to serve banana ice cream instead, just to hit the point harder.
Last but not least, the Mango Charlotte Crave (黄金芒果屋, RM13.90) is a rather interesting dessert. Ladyfingers (a type of sponge cake) is used to form a wall, in which mango ice cream is filled. Visually-wise, it looks glamorous but the way to enjoy this dessert is rather messy. Mango slices are also provided on the side.
Penang Times Square is still relatively quiet compared to nearby malls like Prangin Mall, 1st Avenue Mall etc. However, the growing number of eateries and extensive food court are certain to draw larger crowd to in the near future.
Name: Kochabi Double Content (古早味锅加锅)
Address: 77-G-69, Penang Times Square, Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-228-7296
Business hours: 12:00pm-10:00pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/KochabiDoubleContent
Coordinates: 5.41251 N, 100.32553 E
Directions: Kochabi Double Content is located at the Ground Floor of Penang Times Square. The restaurant can be entered from outdoors and indoors. It is several doors away from Maybank, along the east side of the mall. Penang Times Square has plenty of parking spaces at the open plaza, basement and upper levels.

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