Seafood Porridge @ Sg Tiram

There is little kopitiam at Sg Tiram (along Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, on the way to the airport, after the factories Osram, Bosch and Amphenol) which is famous for its seafood porridge.

This kopitiam is popular with the factory crowd as it is nearby and opens for breakfast. For breakfast, they serve simple items like nasi lemak and fried bee hoon. For some reason, the best seller is their ‘roti bakar’, which is really actually very normal and something you can easily prepare at home. But like I said, for some reason, their toast bread with butter and sugar just sells like hot cakes. In fact, its so sellable that they even have it at night, for dinner! No complaints there, cos I’m a sucker for toast bread with butter!! Yummy!!

During dinner, patrons will go to the counter and pick the various types of seafood that they would like with their porridge, ‘bee hoon’, ‘mee suah’ (rice flour noodle) or yellow noodle soup. You can choose from a variety of fresh fish slices, fish balls, prawns, crabs, fish cakes, pork balls etc… When I was there recently, I picked fish slices with ‘mee suah’ soup. The soup was flavorful and the fish was fresh.

Other choices available include satay and salted chicken. Both items are not bad and tasty.

They enjoy very brisk business and you will need to go early during dinner in order to get a table without having to wait. Some people have commented that their food is not really that special, while some find the seafood porridge/noodles a bit expensive (depending on what you order, but average bowl is about RM6-8). But, business is booming for them!

After enjoying the food here several times, I recently noticed the name of the kopitiam! This signboard is not noticeable from the road, but you’ll be able to recognize the kopitiam from the big “salted chicken” banner outside the shop. Happy eating!

Jiu Jiu Szechuan Restaurant @ Autocity Juru

Was around the Autocity Juru area for work recently and decided to try one of the fancy looking restaurants at the new phase of the Autocity. Actually you can’t really see Jiu Jiu Szechuan Restaurant because its located on the first floor, but its bright interesting looking logo beckoned…

The interior was cosy with red walls and dark wooden chairs. My brother originally thought it was some fast food szechuan place with cheap set lunches…but oh boy, were we wrong!!

Upon walking in, we knew this was no RM10 per set lunch place. I do not know much about Szechuan food but would equate it to hot and spicy tastes. People who can’t really take spicy food will like the fact that the menu advices the customers of the spiciness of each dish, indicated by the number of ‘chilies’ next to each item. After browsing through the rather extensive menu, the 2 of us ordered a “Ant climbing up a tree”, Jiu Jiu’s signature pork ribs, “Xiu long bao” and a long beans stir fry rice set.

The “ant climbing up a tree” (translated literally from the mandarin name) is actually a spicy vermicelli dish that’s stir fried with minced meat. It was really tasty and I loved it! Some might find it a tad bit too oily though.

The signature pork ribs came with chili powder on the side. The taste was rather bland to me (probably overshadowed by the vermicelli dish?) Still, the meat was very tender. And what impressed me was the fact that the waiter actually gave instructions to the kitchen to half the portion, since there were only 2 of us. Very sensible indeed!


Next came the “Xiu Long Bao” or mini steamed meat dumplings. Having tried this dish before in Dragon-i in KL, I must say that I prefer Dragon-i’s version to Jiu Jiu’s. The “Xiu Long Bao” at Jiu Jiu is a bit bigger than normal and the dumpling skin was a tad bit too thick. But biting into the dumpling, you can still taste the burst of flavorful meat inside.


My brother’s favourite is the long beans stir fry with mince meat. This dish has always been a family favourite and I must say that Jiu Jiu does this popular dish justice. The long beans were crunchy enough, salty enough, with just the right amount of mince meat. Yummy!


Jiu Jiu also offers a range of teas either by the pot or by the cup. I love trying out different types of tea combinations and was spoilt for choice here. In the end, we ordered a Pu Er Rose tea and a Long Jing Chrysanthemum tea. Both were lovely.


In the end the bill came up to about RM60++ which was quite reasonable for the service and the food. Like I mentioned before, the waiter was sensible enough to instruct the kitchen to half the portion of the pork ribs (and of course the cost!) to ensure that we didn’t end up with too much food!

I would definitely come back for a second visit!
Jiu Jiu has another branch on Penang Island, at i-Avenue (next to Bukit Jambul Complex).

My Holistic Journey…

Armed with new found zest for a healthier slimmer me… this is my Holistic Journey…so far…

Day 1
Upon waking: 1 cup of warm water with a slice of lemon (as recommended in the book)
Breakfast: Rice Flakes with Rice Milk (both items bought from Cold Storage)
Lunch: Yataimura’s Teppan Chicken with veggie, 1 raw salmon sushi, 1 inari sushi & green tea

Feelings: mid morning near lunch – dizzy (effects of removal of toxins??)
4pm – hungry, eyeing biscuit tin, but resist….

Dinner: 2 muesli bars (too sweet and filled with wheat!!) Was rushing to Kulim for work and just grabbed whatever I could find in the kitchen….

Day 2
Upon waking: glass of water. Was running late. No time for lemon slice or breakfast
Brunch: Half a smoke chicken ham sandwich and chips. With a low fat ice chocolate from starbucks…. Everything didn’t taste as good. Sandwich was too salty. My favourite Ice choc didn’t taste as nice. Being on this diet is supposed to change your palate, so that you don’t crave the foods you used to like. Has my palate changed so suddenly or am I just feeling guilty that I’m eating ‘forbidden’ foods?
Dinner: Reclaim myself by having a banana & yoghurt with a drizzle of honey

Conclusion: This holistic detox diet thingy needs a lot more effort than I thought. My meals will need to be pre-planned and looks like I’ll have to prepare my own meals to bring to work until I figure out places that serve ‘healthy’ foods that I can eat on this detox. Food has always been a big part of my life but its also one that’s always easily overlooked. Most times we don’t spend any time at all thinking about what we’re feeding our bodies with. And we get so used to just eating whatever is convenient or available, which most often than not, are not too healthy for us. Looks like I need a do-over!!

Joshi’s Holistic Detox

Veering slightly off topic here by discussing this holistic diet (still food related!!) I read about recently. Its a book called “Joshi’s Holistic Detox – 21 days to a healthier, slimmer you for life”

Now that sounds like a real good promise aint it? So I read the book over the weekend and in conclusion Dr Nish Joshi’s principles are to return our bodies to its natural alkaline state. He claims our bodies have become unbalanced and acidic due to high consumption of meat, white flour, caffeine, sugars and processed foods. He encourages us to eat foods that are as fresh as possible, thus giving our bodies the best nutrients we can derive from these fresh foods.

So I figured, hey, this sounds quite interesting and since I’ve always been telling myself that I would eat better and healthier, I thought, why not give this a shot?

Therefore, armed with his Top 10 Detox Rules in mind…I set out, very positively, to a healthier, slimmer me…in 21 days!

Dr Joshi’s Top 10 Detox Rules:
1. No red meat
2. No dairy products (goat cheese and live bio yoghurt is allowed though)
3. No sugars and other sweeteners(except honey, preferably organic and raw with no added sugars)
4. No yeast and yeast products
5. No alcohol, fizzy drinks & caffeine (except green tea)
6. No nuts (except seeds and pine nuts)
7. No biscuits, cakes and doughnuts
8. No artificial flavourings and condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, vinegars, mustard etc
9. No breads and pastas (except brown rice)
10. No fruit (except bananas)

Chee Cheong Fun @ Macalister Lane

I must admit that I’m not a big fan of Chee Cheong Fun (rice sheet rolls) unless, the Chee Cheong Fun is from the stall at Macalister Lane. I can’t help it, I’m picky when it comes to my Chee Cheong Fun because, in my humble opinion, not everyone can make a yummy-licious plate of Chee Cheong Fun. It takes a certain skill. The ‘fun’ or rice sheet rolls need to be just the right thickness and not too soft or too dry. Plus, I must make sure that the person who makes my Chee Cheong Fun is willing to ‘open’ the rolls. What do I mean?

Well, first, for those not in the know, Penang Chee Cheong Fun is a world of difference from the KL Chee Cheong Fun. In KL, this dish is served with ‘sides’ like fish balls and stuffed ladies fingers much like Yong Tau Fu. But in Penang, all you get is the ‘fun’. No meats or sides. Some may argue that this means the Chee Cheong Fun has hardly any nutritional value, except maybe carbs… but hey, its not like you eat it every day right?

The Penang Chee Cheong Fun comes with the rice sheet rolls usually mixed with dashes of sesame oil, ‘he ko’ (prawn paste), ‘ti chiao’ (sweet sauce) and chilli sauce, topped with sprinkles of sesame seeds. Some people claim that adding some peanut butter into the mix makes it taste better….but I have yet to confirm this. My favourite Chee Cheong Fun stall at Macalister Lane (the small road right after Hong Leong Bank on Macalister Road) makes a mean plate which looks something like this….

Best of all, the uncle ‘opens’ or unrolls slightly the rolled up noodle just before cutting them up. This way, its easier for most of the noodle to be coated with the sauce. And what you get is mouthfuls of yummy soft and smooth chee cheong fun, slightly salty and slighty sweet!

Best Pan Mee in Penang!

When I was younger, I’d never tasted Pan Mee before. I only discovered this delicious off white homemade noodles made out of flour, when I studied in KL. I remember tasting my first bowl of pan mee at a road side stall along the streets of Wangsa Maju. And have been a fan ever since.

When I came back to Penang, I was most disappointed to find that there were no good Pan Mee stalls in Penang, until…. I discovered this little gem, ‘Hou Mei Yuen’ kopitiam, tucked away in the flats opposite Vistana Hotel, near Bukit Jambul Complex.

This kopitiam only sells Pan Mee, served dried or with soup. The ‘mee’ (noodle) comes in 2 varieties – thick and flat, or thin. I like my Pan Mee thin and will always order the dried version, which looks something like this….

The dried version Pan Mee has mee mixed in yummy black sauce and comes with minced meat, crunchy ‘ikan bilis’ (anchovies), black strips of ‘bok nee’ (dried black tree fungus, ok it tastes better than it sounds!!) and a bowl of soup with fish balls. Best of all, the chilli dip that they serve is also two thumbs up! Its not too spicy and slighty tangy…makes for a great companion to that scrumptious plate/bowl of pan mee!

This being a kopitiam, and a very popular one at that, there are no frills. You write your orders on little stacks of papers and hand the paper with your table number written on it to the girls at the stall. You also have the option of adding extras like ‘ikan bilis’ and fish balls. They usually only serve “leng teh” (cool tea) either hot or cold.
‘Hou Mei Yuen’ is open Monday-Saturdays 8am-3pm. Happy eating!

A Very Special Birthday Dinner

A few years back, a close friend of mine made me dinner. This friend of mine is a guy who loves cooking and trying out new recipes when time permits. We made papaya and green tea ice cream once, but thats another story altogther…. 🙂
And so, for my birthday that year, he whipped up an ‘8-course’ dinner!!

First course…


He called it “Lake of the Forest”. It was a creamy watercress soup…

His special garlic bread with cheese on top…truly yummy!


Mashed potatoes with added mushrooms (because I like mushrooms!)

His version of Chicken Satay (kinda like Batu Maung Satay)

Roasted Chicken Wings

Homemade Fish Balls

“Black pepper surprise”

And finally…Tuna Mushroom Spaghetti!

After all that, we had dessert. I was filled to the brim and couldn’t eat another bite!

Ah Leng Char Koay Teow

One of the best Char Koay Teow available in Penang is Ah Leng Famous Char Koay Teow located in a kopitiam (coffee shop) along Jalan Dato Kramat, opposite the old Federal cinema (currently known as Honolulu cafe where Clark Hatch Fitness center is)
Ah Leng has been around for a long time at various locations, this being the latest one.


This Char Koay Teow is so famous that they can charge RM9 a plate and still have customers coming back for more! I once brought some friends from outstation who had 2 plates each at one go! It is value for money because the RM9 special comes with 4 big succulent prawns, mantis prawns and duck egg. (It’s RM8.50 a plate if you swap the duck egg for normal chicken egg).

Having not eaten at Ah Leng’s for about half a year, it was a joy digging into my plate of spicy special and savouring the sweet juicy prawns….(cholesterol? what cholesterol?!)

Ah Leng’s Char Koay Teow with chilli
Without chilli

I’ve noticed that Ah Leng tends to undercook his prawns a little so if you prefer them more cooked, all you need to do is to remind Ah Leng when ordering.
The standard plate is also available at RM5 each. Ah Leng is open during the mornings as early as 8am til about lunch time. Open on Sundays as well.


Dong Hai Tong (Dim Sum) Seafood Restaurant

On the first day of Chinese New Year, we went to one of the few places open for breakfast on that day.The venue of choice was located along Anson Road – a new dim sum restaurant which just opened a few weeks ago. I had spotted that restaurant on the way to work and had been wanting to give it a try. I didn’t have very high hopes for, in my humble opinion, Penang has been honestly lacking in good dim sum places for a very looooong time! As yet, I have not been able to find a place that serves good dim sum… most are just mediocre.

From the signboard, it mentions that they are a (dim sum) seafood restaurant but the morning menu showed mostly dim sum dishes. They are the standard self service type of dim sum restaurant. No push carts as space is quite limited. Instead, you pick your food and order whatever you want from the counter, and later bring it to your own table. They serve a variety of teas and hot water is available at the corner for you to help yourselves.

I do not think that I’m a very picky or fussy eater but somehow, I did not enjoy the food served at this place. The dim sum dishes to me were below par. To be fair, it may be because they are still very new. However, I do not think I will be returning for a second visit…unless I get word that they’ve gotten a new chef/supplier or someone else sings high praises about it. For now, I shall have to turn elsewhere to satisfy my dim sum cravings….

Reunion Dinner at Spice Market Cafe

Have been toying with the idea of starting a food blog for a while..and what better time to start than the new lunar year? So here goes….

Our family reunion dinner this year was more posh than usual, because my dad decided to have it at the Spice Market Cafe at Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa. This would mark my second time eating at the spice market with its open style kitchen, and
I am still overwhelmed by the sheer variety of food they serve at the buffet! There’s the sushi bar, the salad bar, the cold cuts, the soups and breads, the noodle station, the chinese herbal/sharkfin soups, the chinese dishes, the roast station, the action station, the tandoori & satay section, the western dishes and the scrumptious delectable dessert section… whew!!Plus, the decor and ambience of the place still delights me!

The various spices (available for sale) on display upon entering the Spice Market Cafe.

I don’t think anyone can sample all of the different types of food available and as for me, my normal practice at buffets would be to skip most of the mains and leave space for dessert. But that night, I decided that I just had to eat more of the mains that looked so tempting.
Fresh cold flower crabs on ice. Mini mandarin oranges were part of the decor in line with the Chinese New Year theme. They also served lobsters and yabbies in the same style.
The bread spread… my favourite! I know most people would advice against eating filling carbs, but I beg to differ. There’s nothing quite like freshly baked breads and buns especially those baked with some chillies and spices!

‘Yee Sang’ served especially for the Chinese New Year. There was a eager chef on hand to help mix the various ingredients for a perfect plate of tasty yee sang.

The roast section… the cafe changes the menu slightly by serving different types of roast. That night featured roast beef and condiments.
The most popular section of the whole buffet was the ‘Action Station’. As the name suggests, this is where all the action is… as guests queue up to request for their seafood cooked on the spot. The action station features crowd favourites – lobsters, crabs, prawns and fish (all the expensive stuff…heehee). All cooked in a tangy sweet and sour sauce.

Other choices of main courses included a noodle station where we could order ‘laksa’. I also had my fill of chicken herbal soup (they had shark’s fin soup during my previous visit), tandoori prawns with naan and curry, pan fried salmon and spanish paela. While I was almost full to the brim, my family also had baked oysters and helped themselves to the sushi bar and cold cuts.

Last but not least was the very attractive looking dessert station. I liked the way they served the desserts – like mini dessert tapas. Each was a mini masterpiece on its own. One of the house favourites, I was told by the chef, was their creamy tiramisu, served in a small short glass. In addition to these mini desserts, they also had an array of cakes and tarts. That night I also tried the macademia pie/tart which was very tasty. They also served local desserts like ice kacang with a selection of ice cream and some festive new year cookies.

Another star atrraction would definitely be the chocolate fountain. This time they had both dark and white chocoloate fountains. Various cut pieces of fruit and marshmallow on sticks are lined up by the side, ready for chocolate coating! Children and adults alike find the chocolate fountain fascinating. We had the good fortune of sitting just next to the chocolate fountain. And so managed to witness a cu
te chubby little girl of about 5 years old, making her way to the fountain and standing on tip toe to dip her marshmallow sticks into the chocolate… and later dripping all the chocolate back to her table! And this she repeated like 5-6 times!

Another favourite section of mine at the Spice Market Cafe is the juice/wine bar. The colourful fruits and bottles of wine/liquor lined up along the walls make for a very pleasant vibrant display! Unfortunately, fresh juices are not part of the buffet and is chargeable.

Another look at the juice bar

On display – Tools used to make ‘kuih kapek’, a traditional chinese new year biscuit.

All in all it was a wonderful dinner with good food and great ambience. For Chinese New Year, the price increased to RM150++ per head. And some may have complaints that their menu did not differ much from their regular buffet and most things remain the same. But with the sheer variety of food, one can come back often to sample things they missed during their last trip.
I would say that the Spice Market Cafe is a place to bring family and close friends to celebrate a special occasion. And what could be more special than a reunion dinner? 🙂