888 Hokkien Mee

There is a popular hawker center at Lebuh Presgrave (三条路), next to the intersection with Lebuh Mcnair. Actually, the place is a combination of several coffee shops in a row.
Lebuh Presgrave 888 Hokkien Mee (三条路888福建面) is the most popular stall here. Very often, there is a long queue in front of this stall. Due to lack of manpower, customers are required to place orders and collect food from the stall directly.
By default, Hokkien Prawn Mee (福建虾面, RM4.30) is served with a mixture of yellow noodle (黄面) and rice vermicelli (米粉). Extra noodle costs RM1.00 more. The spicy soup is stewed from pork bones, making it very rich in savory flavors. I enjoyed the soup to the very last drop.
The bowl of Hokkien Prawn Mee also contains pork slices (猪肉片), roasted pork (烧肉), shrimps, boiled egg and bean sprouts (豆芽). Fried onion serves to improve aroma and flavor. Should you prefer spicier taste, there is also a spoonful of chili paste to be mixed in the soup.
888 Hokkien Mee has another outlet at Bayan Baru. It is located within a short distance from Sunshine Square.

Address: 67-A, Lebuh Presgrave, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: N/A
Business hours: 5:00pm-12:00am, closed on Thursdays

Wholey Wonder

Special thanks to Wholey Wonder for extending this food review invitation.

Wholey Wonder is a new eatery at Hin Bus Depot, an art center near Hotel NEO+. Opened last month, Wholey Wonder is a 100% vegan café serving homemade whole food. In case you are unfamiliar with this term, whole food is food that is unprocessed or minimally processed.
The café was restored from a dilapidated shop that has been abandoned for several decades. Therefore, much of the restaurant has to be rebuilt from scratch. For instance, the kitchen, countertop and stairway were constructed anew. Plaster that once had covered the walls was meticulously chipped away, revealing the red bricks underneath.
Wholey Wonder has two entrances. The back door provides quick access to the central courtyard of Hin Bus Depot. In line with the proprietors' belief in recycling, wooden cable drums have been retrofit as outdoor seats. Meanwhile inside the restaurant, swings suspended from the ceiling provide seating at the bar.
At Wholey Wonder, food ingredients are mostly sourced locally. With the sole exception of pizza crust, food is largely prepared from scratch in the modestly-sized kitchen. Despite the high cost of using premium ingredients, the proprietors refuse to cut corners when it comes to food preparation.
One of the signature dishes here is Naked Burger (RM27.00). The mini burgers are "naked" because the patties are sandwiched between portobello mushrooms instead of buns. When served, this dish permeates the immediate surrounding with appetizing fungi aroma.
The patty is made from quinoa, a type of crop cultivated in South America and is a rich source of protein for vegans. I like the spread of baba ghanoush (بابا غنوج‎‎), which is a Middle Eastern condiment made from eggplants. Meanwhile, chickpea is used as the binding agent for the patty, but I think this should be improved because the burger tends to fall apart when it is bitten into.
Served on the side is red cabbage marinated with molasses and vinegar. The resulting texture is similar to sauerkraut. Also included are red hummus (حُمُّص‎‎), tempeh, lemon wedge and a generous amount of red coral lettuce.
Another recommended dish is the Wholey Pizza (RM20.00). The ultra-thin crust is supplied by Yin's Sourdough. Oven-roasted to perfection, the light crisp is scrumptious indeed. Moving forward, Wholey Wonder plans to offer a gluten-free version for people having wheat allergy.
As for pizza toppings, customers can choose between tomato sauce and pesto. I prefer the latter as herbal aroma of basil appeals to me. Other toppings that are used in the Wholey Pizza are tomatoes, zucchini, king oyster mushrooms and radish sprouts. Meanwhile, the sprinkle of vegan "parmesan cheese" is a close match to actual cheese.
Pastries are also baked fresh in the kitchen. An example is the Peanut Butter Cheese Cake (RM12.00). The "cheesy" custard is made from peanut butter supplied by Carver's, a home-based producer in Penang. The custard carries intense sweetness from date honey, so it should be consumed in small bites in order not to overwhelm the palate. Meanwhile, the crusty base is made from nuts, oats and dates. Sweet cacao nibs are used as garnish. Overall, I find this cheesecake to be satisfying.
Banana Almond Crumb Topped Muffin (RM8.00) is another freshly-baked pastry. The crumb toppings are rolled oats. Unfortunately, I have yet to sample this muffin.
Magic Ice Cream (RM19.00) is usually served as two scoops in a glass; this one-scoop serving is only for this review. There are 2 ice cream flavors: coconut and blueberry cheesecake. Both are prepared from scratch in the kitchen.
The coconut ice cream is made from coconut meat, coconut milk, coconut water and coconut nectar. As neither milk nor emulsifier is used, the ice cream attains slushy consistency which resembles sorbet. This dessert is also served with granola and peppermint leaf.

At Wholey Wonder, espresso is extracted from coffee beans supplied by Lighthouse Coffee. This local roaster used to operate a café at Logan Heritage until 2014. Thanks to the use of premium beans, the coffee delivers a strong dose of caffeine while soothing the tongue with pleasantly bitter aftertaste.
Each cup of coffee, including Long Black (RM9.00), contains 2 shots of espresso. As for Latte and Cappuccino, customers may choose between soy milk and almond milk. Both vegan options are prepared from raw ingredients using a cold-pressed juicer and do not contain added sugar.

As for smoothie, Penang Passion (RM15.00) is blended from passion fruit, pitaya (dragon fruit), mango, coconut water and coconut meat. No sugar is added to the drink. Apart from natural sweetness of constituent fruits, the smoothie carries cooling freshness of coconut water. This drink also includes a generous amount of chia seeds.
Wholey Wonder also has a yoga studio upstairs. Yoga classes run from Tuesday to Sunday. For a limited time, the walk-in price is RM20.00 per session. Meanwhile, regular yoga practitioners can also take advantage of the 10-session package for RM160.00 only.
Name: Wholey Wonder
Address: 61, Jalan Gurdwara, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-218-9006
Business hours: 11:00am-6:00pm (Sunday), 11:00am-8:00pm (Wednesday-Saturday), closed on Mondays & Tuesdays
Website: https://www.facebook.com/wholeywonder
Coordinates: 5.41190 N, 100.32809 E
Directions: Hin Bus Depot is located at Jalan Gurdwara in George Town, near the junction with Lebuh Presgrave. Wholey Wonder is one of the shops here. There is a small car park inside Hin Bus Depot. In addition, street parking is available along Lebuh Presgrave.

My Batik

Special thanks to My Batik for extending this attraction invitation.

Visitors to Yayasan Seni can get some hands-on experience with batik-making at My Batik Workshop. The workshop is jointly-managed with Green Tomato Cafe, an al fresco dining establishment also within the compound of the art gallery. The owner herself is a lifelong batik artist by profession.
Batik is a cloth-dyeing technique that was developed by (and is still associated to) Javanese culture. Today, batik is a treasured art both in Malaysia and Indonesia. Indeed, batik textile is treated as formal attire in these countries.

Batik artwork revolves around the use of wax. Since wax is water-resistant, waxed sections of the fabric are not colored by dye. Once dye is applied, wax can be removed and the process is repeated with different wax patterns. Using a variety of colors and wax patterns, it is possible to create highly intricate motifs. A quick way to apply wax is by using a copper block stamp called "cap".
Finer sections of wax can be applied using an etching tool called "canting". Invented in Java, canting contains a small reservoir to hold hot wax. Liquid wax flows out of a spout, which allows the batik artist to draw lines and dots onto textile.
The next step is to apply color using a paintbrush. There are 3 colors of dye: red, yellow and blue. Other colors are derived by mixing the primary colors in specific proportions. For example, green color is derived by mixing yellow dye with blue dye.
After dyeing, a solution of sodium silicate helps to fix the colors on textile fibers. Then, wax is removed by dissolving the fabric in soda ash (sodium carbonate) solution. The fabric is allowed to dry without direct sunlight.
The batik T-shirt workshop is suitable for anyone aged 7 and above. Wax-stamping and coloring take around 90 minutes at a comfortable pace. Materials and utensils such as T-shirt, paintbrushes, dye and apron are provided. The workshop is priced at RM127.20 for individuals. Group packages are also available.
Also within the compound of Yayasan Seni, My Batik Boutique sells batik products and other batik-related merchandise. Besides this store, there is another outlet in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2). In addition, batik enthusiasts can also shop online at their own convenience.

Name: My Batik
Address: Yayasan Seni, 333, Persiaran Ritchie off Jalan Ritchie, 55000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03-4251-5154
Business hours: 8:00am-5:00pm
Website: http://mybatik.org.my
Coordinates: 3.15871 N, 101.74046 E
Directions: From Ampang Road (Jalan Ampang), turn to Jalan Ritchie near Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur. After Kondominium Villa Aman, turn right to Persiaran Ritchie. Yayasan Seni is located on the left. My Batik is located on the side of the art gallery. Free parking is available within the compound of Yayasan Seni.

Green Tomato Cafe

Special thanks to Green Tomato Cafe for extending this food review invitation.

Situated at Yayasan Seni ("Art Foundation") in Kuala Lumpur, Green Tomato Cafe is a dainty eatery which serves all-day breakfast, light meals, coffee and pastries to city-dwellers. Taking advantage of spacious lawn around the art gallery, the café allows visitors enjoy their meals in an outdoor setting.
The aptly-named Green Tomato Sandwich (RM16.00) is indeed one of the café's recommended dishes. The centerpiece is a croissant with delightfully pleasant crisp. The buttery texture of the pastry also pleases my palate. Served alongside the croissant are scrambled egg with thyme, roasted potatoes with rosemary, and garden salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Eggs Benedict (RM19.00) is another interesting dish. Instead of English muffins as customarily used, Green Tomato Cafe takes advantage of freshly-baked multigrain bread as the base for poached eggs and chicken ham. The pile is then topped with creamy Hollandaise sauce made from egg yolk and butter. Roasted potatoes and garden salad are served on the side.
For a hearty breakfast meal, Hearty Breakfast (RM20.00) is a sound choice. This platter includes many items that serve as breakfast comfort food, namely scrambled egg, grilled button mushrooms, chicken sausage, chicken ham, grilled tomato, baked beans, toasted multigrain bread, roasted potatoes and garden salad.
The pastry menu at Green Tomato Cafe is not something to be trifled with. Both the Blueberry Muffin (RM5.00) and Chocolate Chip Muffin (RM5.00) are very satisfying thanks to their tantalizing aroma and pleasing taste. I cannot recommend the muffins highly enough.
Freshly Baked Danish (RM10.00) is another gratifying pastry. An order includes two pieces of lovely pineapple Danish pastry. The puff pastry is crumbly and has similar buttery appeal to the croissant earlier. Once bitten into, it is impossible for the Danish to leave my grasp until it is reduced to the last crumb!
Green Tomato Cafe also serves artisan coffee from espresso. With a sound choice of beans and Simonelli espresso machine on hand, lovely cups of coffee are served to our enjoyment. The soothing aroma of good coffee is evident in the cup of Latte (RM10.00). Upon request, customers can also get hands-on experience with latte art.
Meanwhile, a cup of Mocha (RM12.00) is ideal to satisfy one's sweet tooth. Besides espresso and steamed milk, the cup of coffee also includes cocoa powder that provide a chocolaty sense of sweetness.
The food at Green Tomato Cafe is prepared fresh wherever possible. The same is true for its delectable range of pastries. The food here does not contain MSG and is entirely pork-free. In line with its stance on freshness, the café even has a small vegetable and herb patch to grow local produce. In addition, visitors should also check out My Batik, a batik-making workshop and store within the compound of Yayasan Seni.
Name: Green Tomato Cafe
Address: Yayasan Seni, 333, Persiaran Ritchie off Jalan Ritchie, 55000 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03-4251-5154
Business hours: 8:00am-5:00pm
Website: http://greentomatocafe.com.my
Coordinates: 3.15845 N, 101.74041 E
Directions: From Ampang Road (Jalan Ampang), turn to Jalan Ritchie near Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur. After Kondominium Villa Aman, turn right to Persiaran Ritchie. Yayasan Seni is located on the left. Green Tomato Cafe is located on the back section of the art gallery. Free parking is available within the compound of Yayasan Seni.

QQ Delicious Noodle House

Update: This business has ceased its operations.

QQ Delicious Noodle House (QQ鱼旦美食店) is a restaurant in Setapak, just across Jalan Genting Kelang from PV128. The restaurant is air-conditioned, but outdoor dining tables are also arranged along the porch.
The specialty at this restaurant is Teochew- (潮州) style fish balls (鱼蛋) that are made by hand. To give springy texture to fish balls, fish paste is pounded thoroughly before being made into balls. Success of fish balls requires skillful preparation by the chef.
The fish balls can be sampled through the bowl of Home Made Fish Ball Noodles (巧手鱼蛋粉, RM7.80). Besides 4 fish balls, the dish also includes tofu skin (豆腐皮), fish cake, bean sprouts and chopped scallion. I must say that the fish balls are quite appetizing - certainly the highlight today. Dry version of this dish is also available.
Curry Fish Ball Noodles (咖喱鱼蛋粉, RM8.50) is similar to the previous dish, except that curry soup is used instead of clear soup. Other ingredients are virtually identical. The curry is quite tasty to the last drop; I wonder whether a lot of MSG is used? Meanwhile, the accompanying chili paste only has sheer spiciness, but not quite as tasty as I had hoped for. The chef may want to improve in this area.
King Prawn Soup Noodles (明虾咖喱粉, RM11.80) swaps fish balls for shrimps. The 3 moderate-sized shrimp are reasonably fresh.
Home Made Fish Ball Special Spicy Noodles (辣酱爽口面, RM7.80) uses Hakka noodle (客家面) and is served with spicy sauce, minced pork and bok choy (白菜). Since this is the dry version, there is a separate bowl of soup which contains several fish balls.
Besides noodles, dim sum (点心) is also available here. Salted Egg Cream Bun (金黄流沙包, RM4.80) comes in 3 pieces per serving. The yellow paste inside is made from salted duck eggs. I love the rich flavor of this sweet paste.
Unfortunately, I think the pastry is not sufficiently thick at its base. When the cupcake liner is removed, hot paste leaks out prematurely. Perhaps this is another area which the chef should look into.
Each serving of Yam Ball (炸芋角, RM4.80) contains 2 pieces. Under the crispy layer of taro paste is minced meat. Taste-wise, the yam balls are acceptable.
Fried Radish Cake (炸萝卜糕, RM8.00) is made from a mixture of rice flour and daikon. The cake is cooked by steaming, and then set aside for several days. Upon ordering, the cake is cut into small cubes, then wok-fried with eggs, bean sprouts, preserved radish (菜脯), scallion, chili paste and dark soy sauce. This dish is reasonable in taste but I think is not aromatic enough.
Overall, the food at QQ Delicious Noodle House is decent and deserves a shot. However, there are certainly specific areas that require improvement. Cost-wise, the price is reasonable when compared to other air-conditioned restaurants in this area.

Address: 124, Jalan 2/23A, Taman Danau Kota, 53300 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 03-4149-7797
Business hours: 10:00am-3:30pm, 6:00pm-10:00pm