Posts Tagged ‘Japanese food

29
Jun
13

HALF YEAR REPLAY : 2013

Looking back could strain the neck literally, but not when you realize that you have so much pleasant memories to be grateful for! When I painstakingly bent backward over my blog posts in the past 6 months, everything gradually flash back. The places we visited. The food we enjoyed. The people we met. The moments we experienced. 

It has been an overwhelming six months and I am so looking forward to greater things to come! 

JANUARY

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Chiang Mai Blog Series :

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Celebrations :  

FEBRUARY

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pinang peranakan mansion
jalan penang cendol
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MARCH

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Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang
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penang's char koay teow from lorong selamat, george town, penang via docgelo.com
BEST EXPAT BLOG AWARD MITBCA 2013

APRIL

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malacca @ docgelo.com
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sunrise, chew jetty, george town, penang, malaysia
penang assam laksa @ pasar air itam
penang assam laksa @ pasar air itam
Sambal Goreng by  Pearly Kee
My Nyonya dinner plate at  Pearly Kee's home
 

MAY

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may 9 2013 743pm thursday
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JUNE

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Stay tuned as God willing, the next months will be more awesome! :)

16
Jun
13

JUNE 15, 2013 : ONE OF OUR HAPPIEST SATURDAYS

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Malacca Strait & George Town, Penang viewed from our little balcony last June 13, ’13, Thursday.

Two days before the Father’s Day weekend, Tina and I arrived home from our office, Gabby from school at late afternoon. We were all greeted by gusty winds and big waves from the Malacca Strait via our little balcony at our 11th floor apartment. Little did we know that scenes in Pulau Pinang were even worse as telecom tower, electric poles and numerous trees already fell to the streets in George Town, Penang. We sat and prayed together and tried to calm down Gabby who was too anxious of the sight and sound of seemingly impending storm. But for three 3 years of stay in this side of Malaysia, I know they don’t issue typhoon signals unlike in our country, The Philippines. And true enough what appeared to last as unfavorable weather for whole night, thankfully ended an hour or so. We were relieved.

The next day, we went to work again, and Gabby to school as usual with a sunshiny climate. The weather was confirmed to be Bipolar, perhaps, even Schizoid. :)  Tina didn’t rely on her instincts but googled the weather forecast online. No threat or warning to spoil our plans for the weekend. We were again relieved.  

Saturday came and we hopped on the bus at around 9AM, boarded the ferry at jetty in Penang Sentral and reached the island safely.

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All smiles aboard the ferry from Butterworth to George Town.

It was almost 10AM and (thankfully) the sun was shining its brightest. We strolled from jetty in Weld Quay to Gat Lebuh Armenian simply to see two of the 11 (soon to be established) new sets of murals with cats as theme.
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Cat mural #2 located at Gat Lebuh Armenian.  How do you like it?

Finally, we met Skippy,  the meow meow of the 11 cat murals in George Town. Have you seen a bigger cat mural than Skippy?

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Skippy the cat and the black rodent mural located at Gat Lebuh Armenian. :)

After few touristy things, we strolled our way to catch the bus at Lebuh Chulia or Chulia Street. We passed by one of the remarkable heritage sites in George Town, the clan house or kongsi of Cheah family with its newly installed gates. It looks grand as ever!

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Cheah Kongsi. Gates are open to welcome tourists at month-long George Town Festival 2013.

Rode the bus, got off Komtar and went up the 8th level of First Avenue Mall in George Town to buy movie tickets for afternoon screening. After which, we hurriedly went down and took the cab, despite the fact that our next destination can be reached by foot, we didn’t want to be late to our 11AM reservation to an eat-all-you-want-Asian restaurant in a mall that we’ve never been to.

Penang Times Square

With only lunch buffet at our initial game plan, we managed to make our weekend memorable again.

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My love. My life. :)

Haven Delights, Penang Times Square

It’s our first time at Penang Times Square and apparently, first time to dine at Haven Delights. Before someone makes a conclusion that everything here’s far from reasonable, let me be defensive in stating that it was Tina’s idea to buy discount-vouchers from groupon.my when she saw online that Asian Buffet in Haven Delights was on promosi. We only paid RM 56 (USD 17.96) for the buffet meals good for 2, and didn’t pay anything for Gabby as per text message of the manager of Haven Delights when he apologized to something I chose not to write about. After all, the misunderstanding was already settled and our eat-all-you-want-lunch turned out better than expected.

Similar to its adjacent buffet restaurant, TAO that we already sampled from another branch, Haven Delights offers a spread that includes free flow of fruit juices and iced green tea. Other than that, the rest is served upon order from their buffet menu. Surprisingly, we noticed Haven Delight’s buffet menu has wide variety to choose from. The interiors and overall ambiance aren’t cheap, although I suggest for them to have a better choice of house music that must go with the buffet theme. Nonetheless, those red lanterns, and cozy lights aptly set the mood for Asian gastronomic experience. To be honest, it wasn’t the best buffet we’ve sampled but for its price, it was an absoulte steal for the three of us! Happy Father’s Day to me! Happy me! :)

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It was also our very first time to purchase voucher at groupon.my and it was indeed a good buy!  At least, our first impressions were all nice. Now, on to business. If you’ve been following this blog for quite some time now, you know that I have been keeping a love affair with Japanese. I like how creative their dishes are; I appreciate how Japanese cuisine provides both art and sustenance. So when Tina told me that the restaurant she chose via groupon.my in Penang features Japanese food among other Asian delights, I gave it a nod in no time! :)

This is the rundown of what we tried from the buffet menu… Drum roll, please! :)

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Miso soup from the spread. Warm and nice.

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Mussels No. 1 as they called it but to us, they’re Baked Mussels. Cheesy. We liked!

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Szechuan Beef. Surprisingly tender, tasteful, everything’s right. Recommended!

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Temaki. Soft Shelled Crab & California Hand Roll. Gabby and I shared these two; thumbs up! :)

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Santen Sashimi. Sashimi, for as long as fresh, remains my favorite so I’m biased with this bowl.

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Motoyaki Scallops. Another must-try, another personal favorite but size of scallops was a bit disappointing.

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Salted Pepper Mantis. Go order this too at Haven Delights. Bite-sized goodness!

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Orange Pork Chop. We frequently order the Crispy Lemon Chicken from a Chinese restaurant back home; this one reminded us of that.

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My world revolves and rotates for Gabby & Tina. :)

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Ebi Sushi, Salmon Sushi. Need I say more?

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Mixed Tempura. There was no Ebi Tempura alone, so Gabby opted for the next best thing.

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Haven Special Maki, Smoked Eel Roll. Improvement on the maki-making would make it better.

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Eat, Pray, Love.

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Lamb Teriyaki over Japanese Rice from the spread. Tina’s plate -she said this combo was fine.

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Motoyaki Scallops, round two : 5 orders. Yum! Yummier if only they’re bigger.

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Ebi Mango Sushi and other delightful things on our table.

 
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Haven delights customers particularly during dinner could eat al fresco with the view of George Town’s streets and diversity. Case in point, the Catholic Church stands almost behind the Hindu Temple with no conflicts, whatsoever.
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Penang, we’ll surely miss you one day! Thank you for everything!

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One more shot, with the mighty, Komatar this time. It’s the tallest building in the island. Iconic, isn’t it?

Lunch buffet starts at 11:30PM with taking of the last orders from diners at 2PM.  We finished past 1PM. Burp! :) Just when I thought we’re heading back to First Avenue Mall to watch the 2:45PM screening of the newest remake of Superman movie, Man of Steel, we saw another restaurant that was featured on groupon.my called, Full House.

Gabby wanted dessert while Tina and I were craving for our caffeine doses. We gave in. We tried Full House too, for the very first time.

FullHouse Restaurant, Penang Times Square

It’s not difficult to be charmed with the space, interiors and menu of FullHouse. It’s a lifestyle store that also sells T-shirts and some novelty items to match the incredibly dainty epicurean experience. We only had coffee and for Gabby, a serving of creme brulee but dining at Full House felt like so fresh and pleasant. I predict that we’ll drop again to sample entrees and other offerings soon.

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Best thing that we do while waiting for orders : freeze the moments via photographs. And when the orders are served, take pictures again! It’s a habit hard to break. Can you blame Tina and I if the cups of our caffeine came with art?

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Latte for me. RM8.90++ (USD 2.85++). The cute coffee art made me smile, the taste made me satisfied.
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Cappuccino for Tina. RM 8.90++ (USD 2.85++). The blend passed Tina’s meticulous taste!
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Creme Brulee RM 10.90++ (USD 3.50++) and Choco Blended RM 9.90++ (USD 3.17++) for Gabby. :)
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We left Full House in Penang Times Square with wider smiles and happier tummies. We crossed the road and took a taxi cab again, in order not to be late at the 2:45PM screening of Man of Steel.

Man of Steel at First Avenue Mall

It has been several months since the three of us last watched a movie together, popcorn (and upcoming movie, Monster University’s) tumbler of Coke are a must! :)

 
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Before and after the Man of Steel movie, Gabby made a statement to us by saying,

Ben 10 is better than Superman; he got more powers!” 

Oh well, he grew up with his breed of animated characters and fictional heroes on screen but seriously, we all enjoyed this action-packed Superman movie. The treatment to the story and twist was made contemporary different from the previous ones.  I didn’t browse anything about it prior watching, so I was stunned to see Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Amy Adams casted as support to Henry Cavill’s iconic role. I was in awe in every second of the movie. We literally finished our caramel popcorn which unusually happens in other movies. It was that entertaining!

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What else can I say but I was happiest with my family that Saturday! I may not have everything but they’re my greatest blessings! :D

Till our next family bonding! Enjoy your celebrations, everyone!

*Haven Delights | No. 77-L1-34, Penang Times Square, Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150, Penang, My.

*FullHouse |No. 77-G-20-21,61-65, Penang Times Square, Jalan Dato Keramat, 10150, Penang, My.

*This is NOT a sponsored post.

07
Jun
13

JAPANESE DINNER + FRENCH DESSERTS IN SINGAPORE

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A taste of Paris in Singapore at Antoinette.

25 May 2013, Saturday. Singapore. Perhaps of all the posts I made about food on this blog, this one’s the most satiating because it’s filled with gratitude; the dinner happened because of a humble appreciation and ended giving all of us a perpetual inspiration.

I already forgot the date and the specific blog post where I randomly featured one of our ordinary family day outs, one weekend in Pizza Hut; it must be in Prangin Mall branch in George Town, Penang. If you must know, Pizza Hut and KFC are two of my family’s ultimate favorites. KFC’s an almost default fast food choice for Tina and I, particularly on Fridays when we have 2-and-a-half-hour-lunch-break, because a branch is located a few minutes away from where we currently work. While Gabby’s always delighted at Pizza Hut’s all cheese pizza deluxe, sans toppings, made with cheesy lava stuffed crust the same way he loves KFC and its gravy.

The said unsponsored blog post was incidentally read the Culinary Manager of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell for Northeast and Southeast Asia who happens to be a fellow Filipino based in Singapore (Bravo for his achievements, Mabuhay for his humility!).

I only learned that Dennis read it when he personally sent his words of thanks for blogging about Pizza Hut via email (I hope he’s fine about mentioning his name without his surname, as he begged off not to be publicized on this blog – the reason why I didn’t include our group photos together with Filipino foodie-couple bloggers now based in Singapore, Fran and Paul). Frankly, comments of readers on my posts are one of the reasons that fuel me to blog, more so, if readers and loyal blog followers would take efforts in sending me an email; it’s like icing on the cake! It’s something petty to others but very fulfilling to me.

Fast forward to my 6th blog anniversary post last May 8th 2013 where I blogged that my family and I were invited by two sponsors to revisit Singapore, Dennis emailed me again, but this time to invite us for dinner as according to him, it’s his way of appreciating my blog post about their product. Initially, the invite sounded like too good to be true because gratitude nowadays is a rarity but his act of kindness and generosity proved my cynicism was wrong. More than his professional achievements (he’s also a dentist, btw), we perceived him as someone who always keeps everything in a low-key, totally opposite of the magnitude of his status. And for that, we were blessed to have met a new friend who’s so inspiring!

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En route to our dinner, we saw an impressive Oriental mural at MRT Station, Tajong Pagar, Singapore.

He was even gracious to ask us of our food preferences and suggested choices of a Chinese, Japanese and French restaurants. We ended up with a simple but a happy and memorable dinner at Hakumai at International Plaza Building in Anson Road, and perfectly ended the night with sublime desserts in a very quintessential French dining place in Erskine Road, Antoinette.

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Like authentic dining places in Japan, Hakumai’s entrance is humble and unassuming.

We reached the place few minutes earlier of our 7PM reserved dinner at Hakumai via a very quick ride at MRT from Bugis.  Not long after, Dennis arrived, followed by our blogger friends -husband and wife, Paul and Fran Ang of www.frannywanny.com. The dinner was so casual, friendly and very welcoming! It was one of those nights you wish would happen again soon! It was that good! :D

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私の家族 (my family) : Gabby and Tina

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Hakumai’s appetizers : some tasteful salmon and blanched greens

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Gabby’s dinner : his favorite, Ebi Tempura; less the battered chili

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Hakumai Sushi Gozen. Tina’s beautiful bento came with 9 pcs of assorted Sushi, 4 pcs of Salmon Mentai Maki, Truffle Sauce Chawanmushi, Botan Jiru, Salad and Fruits, SGD 38++

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Sashimi Gozen. My delicious choice was served with Mixed Sashimi, Tempura Moriawase, Hot Soba, Truffle Sauce Chawanmushi, Salad and Fruits, SGD 29.80++

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Must have detail shot of my bento. Those sashimi were stunning! Fresh and tasteful.

Fran, Paul and our host, Dennis had varied choices as well that looked equally appetizing. I was personally awed by the fact Hakumai sources their fish for sashimi and sushi from no less than, Tsukiji Market in Tokyo. Not to forget that Hakumai’s  Singaporean Chef Gary, Dennis’ good friend, really prepared everything so well! Needless to say, we had nothing but one of our best dinners to date.

We washed down everything with iced green tea and soda for Gabby. Then Dennis generously asked us to pick a flavor of sorbet each.

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Sorbet from Hakumai. The hands-down-favorite was that tangy orange sorbet. I have no words to describe its uniquely unforgettable flavor!

After our dinner, Dennis took us to Antoinette for desserts. The place was small but the offerings were grand and divine!

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Ma famille (my family) : Gabby and Tina at Antoinette

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Le Macaron D’Antoinette.

“Antoinette : Milk chocolate earl grey tea ganache with raspberry confiture
Tahiti : Tahitian perfumed vanilla cream
Charlotte : Vanilla cream with strawberry coulis
Chloe : Citrus yogurt with yuzu
Britanny : Caramel with fleur de sel
Praline : Milk chocolate with crispy hazelnut biscuit
Pistachio : Pistachio cream with chopped pistachio
Rose : Rose petal cream
Violette : Violet flower cream
Sesame : Black sesame cream with toasted black and white sesame seed
Grand cru : Bitter dark chocolate
Passion : Milk chocolate passion fruit ganache” ~via www.antoinette.com.sg

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What we sampled from Antoinette, courtesy of Dennis…

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Macarons. Lavishly delicious!

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I wish I got this dessert’s name.  It looks so whimsical.

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Kyoto. Green tea mascarpone mousse, chestnut cremeux, almond cremble, green tea finger sponge.

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One of the richest chocolate slices I’ve tasted.

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Antoinette. Milk chocolate mousse, infused with earl grey tea, chocolate biscuit, dark chocolate earl grey tea cremeux, raspberry coulis, earl grey tea crumble.

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Hot Chocolate. We all had glasses of cold water while Gabby savored hot chocolate and Dennis his dose of caffeine.

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Strawberyy Shortcake. Japanese shortcake sponge, kirsch syrup, fresh strawberries, creme chantilly.

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We’re happy diners! Photo taken by Paul Ang, the better half of Fran. Thank you, Paul and Fran!

Words are not enough to thank Dennis. I am also pleased to introduce Tina and Gabby to Paul and Fran that night. It was really awesome! We hope to see them again in the near future! Thank you very much! :D

*This is NOT a sponsored post.

*Most photos on this post were taken by my lovely wife, Tina. :)

*Ingredients of what we sampled from Antoinette were sourced via  www.antoinette.com.sg while that of Hakumai were taken from their menu.

This post is a part of Singapore Blog Series May 2013 :

27
Mar
13

OUR FAMILY WEEKEND INDULGENCE AT EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

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A priceless scenic ocean view, a fantastic glimpse of Penang Bridge by the window and the warmest greetings on the nicest card welcomed my family and I last Saturday, 23rd March 2013, when we were invited to spend a usual weekend turned extraordinary one in Eastin Hotel Penang.

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One of the sweetest greeting cards I’ve ever received.

Accessibility is one of the best selling points of Eastin Hotel Penang. Whether you are coming from Penang International Airport, Penang Mainland or Seberang Prai via the iconic Penang Bridge, or one of Malaysia’s World Heritage Sites, George Town, Eastin Hotel Penang is just located a few minutes away either by public and tourist buses, private cars or ferry. Best, the hotel’s a stone throw away from hawker food stalls where the foodie in you can sample cheap and authentic local dishes from Malay, Indian and Chinese cuisines (although you can also savor them from the hotel’s F&B outlets’ menu), and adjacently located with one of the island’s most visited and largest malls, Queensbay Mall!

With almost 3 years of working and living in Penang, it was only last weekend that we set foot in Eastin Hotel; I thought it was never too late to discover another gem in this side of Malaysia. We appreciate the invitation given by Eastin Hotel Penang for us to experience what makes them different and special from the rest.

From the hotel lobby, we were ushered by the most accomodating & friendliest staffs at the 11th floor and while on the lift, I had to ask them if all elevator units in the hotel are dimly lit. I got a positive response making me wish for a brighter lifts. Othe than that, excitement heightened.

It was a love at first sight! 

We loved EASTIN DELUXE SUITE!!! Our 8-year-old-son, Gabby’s the happiest! :)

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Jump for joy upon the sight of Eastin Deluxe Suite!

Now that blissful expression was taken before he opened the gifts from Eastin Hotel Penang. This defined how thoughtful and sweet the people behind this hotel are! Thank you very much! :)

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First adjective that popped out upon the sight of our 56-square-meter, one bedroom suite : Minimalist.

First impression : Wow! (I wished I invented post-its! Running joke between Tina & I from the movie, Romy & Michelle High School Reunion, lol!) The room surely will appeal to businessmen and leisure travelers. But did it meet our family’s expectations? Read on.

While I do not deny the fact that seeing something whimsical or edgy is sometimes fascinating,  having only what you need in the cleanest lines and tasteful interiors (without clutter and yes, without any plastic plants and floral curtains) is always fresh and rejuvenating.

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We certainly had one of our restful sleeps in Eastin Deluxe Suite’s comfortable king-size-bed. I liked the bed so much however, I wished the pillows are a bit firmer. But Tina & Gabby had no qualms about the feathery pillows; it must be me! hahaha! :)

With free and fast wifi access, apparently, Eastin Deluxe Suite is perfect for businessmen, honeymooners, a bunch of friends and yes, even family with kids! It certainly provides no-frill-comfort and convenience.

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The very spacious suite is equipped with a luxurious living area with a sofa that’s big enough to fit the hyperextended-me, a wardrobe that keeps a flat iron & an ironing board, a safe and a shoe rack; the room also has an LCD TV with cable channels (another unit is generously installed in the bedroom), and a complimentary bar.

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The room’s huge enough to offer a separate powder room where Tina reigned for two days, a full length mirror, a toilet, shower & bath that’s even the most discerning ones would give a thumbs-up.

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toilet & bath eastin hotel penang

I didn’t feel short with the bath tub. The size of the tub effortlessly accomodated the 5’7 1/2″ in me (don’t forget the half inch in height! i reckon! lol); I had slept 30 minutes in the tub, almost fully soaked in lukewarm water. It was so relaxing it nearly melted all my worries away!

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Go ahead, ask our son if he enjoyed the tub! :)

I also liked this little business corner at the living room. If only they have installed more than two sockets and a few more gadget plugs, it could’ve been better, nonetheless, it doesn’t disappoint.

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Actually, the nook became more impressive at night when Gabby lorded it like a boss!

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And just so you know, this one’s candid. Tee hee! :)

At few minutes past 5PM, we went to the lobby to meet again the Marketing & Communications people of Eastin Hotel Penang, Selene & Joanne. They exclusively toured my family and I for few minutes to some of Eastin Hotel Penang’s rooms and facilities. I must state, we enjoyed it as it doesn’t come on a daily basis!
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Far from being boring, the hallways display vibrant visual attractions via abstract paintings that are continuously echoed in various rooms at Eastin Hotel Penang.

Our first stop : The Deluxe Rooms with Hillview (and the other Deluxe Room with Seaview). These well appointed rooms apparently were designed to provide both function and ease to either businessmen, leisure travelers or families. With such contemporary style and amenities, one’s definite of a comfortable and delightful stay.

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Eastin Hotel Penang also has Friendly Suite Room, called as such because it’s built to cater to the needs of elderly and physically-challenged guests. Another room that’s remarkable with Eastin’s their Family Suite Room which at the time of our visit was occupied. Good to know, I told our hosts. Then there’s that Soho Duplex Room that has few similarities to Family Suite Room. Probably it’s unique in most, if not all premier hotels here in Penang. Let the succeeding photos defined how Soho Duplex Room looks like.

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Beautiful, isn’t it? (My family and the Soho Duplex Room!)

Expectedly, Eastin Hotel Penang also has a fitness center, a spa (not in photo) and a swimming pool.

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Located at the third level of the hotel, the swimming pool gives everyone a sweeping view of the skyline, roads leading to Penang International Airport and yes, Queensbay Mall! Did we take a dip? Negative. Not because we didn’t feel like it but Gabby preferred to savor our suite the next morning after the buffet breakfast; told you it was that relaxing! But the swimming pool looks really inviting!

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Passing through hallways of Eastin Hotel Penang, we saw some guests interviewing applicants for jobs, proving that Eastin caters to businessmen and the like. We also peeked at its function rooms and ballrooms where special events and momentous occasions are usually  celebrated.

After that brief hotel tour, we trooped to the Executive Lounge which is only accessible by hotel guests who upgrade their packages. With more soothing ambiance, wonderful view of the ocean, contemporary and minimalist interiors, and a shelf with reading materials from travel & fashion magazines to broadsheets can be savored over a free flowing cups of coffee or tea, sodas or wine and some cheese, English scones, sushi, bite-size pizza, cold cuts and more! Here’s a peek at our late afternoon tea time!

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Yum, yum, yum!

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The High Tea at the Executive Lounge is a great prelude to the delicious dinner buffet we had! Did I already mention that this spot also serves breakfast? Courteous & efficient staff, quick and attentive service. Delicious bites. Awesome, isn’t it?

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doc gelo gabby & tina at the executive lounge, eastin hotel penang
No captions needed; the smiles said it all!

Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang

JAPANESE DINNER BUFFET @ SWEZ BRASSERIE, EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

One of the highlights of our staycation at Eastin Hotel Penang was the Japanese Dinner Buffet hosted by none other than, Swez Brasserie’s Senior Sous Chef, Daniel Tan. Chef Daniel heads the Swez Brasserie where he and his team offer a wide variety of international and local favorites. It was a pleasure meeting him as Gabby desires to become a chef someday. Talking to the main man responsible for the sumptuous spread was such a nice opportunity. While Tina and Gabby were busy filling their dinner plates, Chef Daniel casually informed me that everything in the buffet is Halal making me more impressed as I somehow knew how challenging Japanese cuisine to be done with no pork or its derivatives (Read : No Pork Tonkatsu!). I told Chef Daniel that despite I’m far from being a food critic and a no authority in Japanese cuisine, my palates have tasted authentic Japanese dishes during my 14-day-trip in Tokyo back in 2005. The dinner buffet, to simply put it, was satisfyingly good! My family and I were pleased with what he and his team prepared. Bravo, Chef Daniel!

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Freshest sashimi! Yummy!!!

Sharkfin’s soup, sushi, sashimi and more!

Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang
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Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang
Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang
Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang

How could you not be impressed with this Japanese themed eat-all-you-want dinner being offered every Saturdays in Swez Brasserie at Eastin Hotel Penang with OKONOMIYAKI (the so-called Japanese pizza), SOFT SHELLED CRABS that aren’t usual in other hotel buffets and so much more? Other than a variety of sushi and sashimi, they also have one of my ulitmate favorites, that sweet and salty beefy (they have chicken too) SUKIYAKI!!! :) Not to forget, Chef Daniel offered to do a platter of kani, ebi and veggie tempura for all of us after learning Gabby likes it!

Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang
Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang
Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang
Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang
Oishii!!! :D

Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang
Shameless display of one of my plates! Sukiyaki, Okonomiyaki, Unagi, Baked Oysters,  Salmon, and those Skewered Grilled Beef – so tasteful and very tender!

Desserts were Japanese themed too! There were mochi and some jelly balls of some sorts! Interestingly good!

Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang
Japanese Buffet, Swez Brasserie, Eastin Hotel Penang

We didn’t miss the opportunity to have a photo-op with Chef Daniel, a couple of friendly staffs of Swez Brasserie and the ladies behind the MarCom of Eastin Hotel Penang, Selene and Joanne. Thank you so much!

Senior Sous Chef Daniel Tan & Gabby
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THE LOBBY LOUNGE @ EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

Just when we thought the day was over, Selene and Joanne led us to the opposite end of the lobby where The Lobby Lounge is located. We met the manager of the bar, had some drinks from their menu (Mojito, Singapore Sling, Strawberry Ice Cream Blend and Kiwi mixed Shake), watched and met the Filipina singer after their set and absorbed all in and capped the night!

the lounge at eastin hotel penang
the lounge at eastin hotel penang
the lounge at eastin hotel penang
the lounge at eastin hotel penang
the lounge eastin hotel penang

BREAKFAST BUFFET @ SWEZ BRASSERIE, EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

We woke up with excitement to sample the breakfast offering! Good Sunday morning, Eastin!

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I was silently jumping for joy seeing two choices of congee (plain & seafood congee filled with shrimps and scallops) with several choices of toppings. Too perfect to warm my tummy!

breakfast buffet, eastin hotel penang

Char siew pao, prawn dumplings, and other dim sums, beef bacon strips, (and another favorite of Tina and me; drum roll please) smoked salmon, assorted fresh fruit slices, strawberry and mixed berries yoghurt, DIY-salad were some of the offerings on the spread we enjoyed. Gabby had fresh juices while the coffee addicts in Tina and I were truly satisfied.

breakfast buffet, eastin hotel penang
One of the best tasting Congee!

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breakfast buffet eastin hotel penang 3
breakfast buffet, eastin hotel penang
So many food, so little time! :D

breakfast buffet, eastin hotel penang

HIGH TEA | SUNDAY LUNCH BUFFET @ SWEZ BRASSERIE, EASTIN HOTEL PENANG

Our overnight staycation at Eastin Hotel Penang was nothing but pleasant accomodation and nearly non-stop gastronomic feasts! What a blessing! Few hours after a very heavy breakfast came lunch time! The 3 of us avoided rice intentionally to sample a little bit of almost everything from the High Tea spread.

High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang
High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang
High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang
There were many local dishes featured in Swez Brasserie’s Sunday High Tea – Rendang, Curry, Nasi Lemak, Sotong & Udang Dishes, but my eyes were attracted to this Mixed Veggies while my palates loved their version of Chicken Satay that blended so well with its Peanut Sauce (some satay I’ve previously tasted had overpowering gingery taste; this one’s from Eastin tasted just fine). The Roasted Duck & Chicken were also must-sample! However, the Chicken Shawarma was a let down according to Tina.

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High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang
High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang
High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang

Plates for the three of us-self-proclaimed foodies!
High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang
Bow!

The Children’s Corner at Swez Brasserie’s High Tea | Lunch Buffet last Sunday was something commendable! Our kiddo’s happy with the “treasures” he found on that spread!

High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang
High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang
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High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang
High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang
Bubur Gandum (Wheat Sweet Porridge)-Malaysian equivalent to Philippine’s Guinataang Mais. LIKE!!!

I’m already so full but I wanted to sample their version of another popular Malaysian dessert – Ais Kacang (reminds me so much of the Filipino, Halo-halo). When I went to its station, the Assistant Sous Chef suggested to his junior to make a colorful Ais Kacang, something that will look extra pleasing to the cam. As per his instruction, my bowl of Ais Kacang was made of all the sweet ingredients on the table, and instead of having them under the dome of shaved ice, mine had everything as toppings! Beautiful!

High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang
High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang

Tina and I ended our unforgettable digestive feasts with a cup of coffee but I made mine more sinful. I tried to marry the coffee and ice cream stations and made an affogato instead of the usual dose of caffeine! :)

High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang

The people of Eastin Hotel were super generous, they even allowed us to avail of a late-check-out at 2PM!

High Tea, Sunday Eastin Hotel Penang

Despite our very short stay at Eastin Hotel Penang, our family felt so at ease with their hospitable and courteous service, comfortable and spacious room, guest-friendly amenities and very wide variety of delicious treats! Who says Eastin Hotel Penang is only for businessmen? It’s so family-friendly too!

Thank you very much, Eastin Hotel Penang!

We’re more than grateful with the experience!

My family and I can proudly say that we highly recommend Eastin Hotel Penang! :D

EASTIN HOTEL PENANG | 1 Solok Bayan Indah, Queensbay 11900  Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia | www.eastinhotel-penang.com

>><<

*While this is a sponsored post, all words and opinions on this blog aren’t influenced and remain 100% my own.

Special thanks goes to Criz Lai of www.crizfood.com

09
Dec
12

THE 2012 OF BEYOND TOXICITY @ DOCGELO.COM

THANK YOU, 2012!

It’s only mid-December and the BEST SEASON, the BEST CELEBRATIONS are yet to come.

Despite all problems, challenges and daily hassles, counting blessings makes life more meaningful.

Words are not enough to express my gratitude for everything that happened to this personal passion called blogging.

Allow me to press the replay button, and sentimentally share with you once more

the vibrant and happy colors that made our family’s 2012 a kaleidoscope!

>>><<<

May 2012 : BEST EXPAT BLOG AWARDS from MINISTRY OF TOURISM MALAYSIA

May 2012 BlogAwardsMay 2012 MITBCA

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/05/09/2012-ministry-of-tourism-malaysia-best-expat-blog/

January 2012 :  BATU CAVES, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

January 2012 Batu Caves

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/01/27/caves-and-bears/

January 2012 :  PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS SKYBRIDGE VISIT

January 2012 Petronas Twin Towers

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/01/21/our-fun-homage-to-malaysias-magnificence/

February 2012 : HONG KONG DISNEYLAND THEME PARK & HOTEL SPONSORED TRIP

Feb 2012 HKDisney
February 2012 HK Disneyland
February 2012 Hong Kong Disneyland
February 2012 HKDL

blog posts :

http://docgelo.com/2012/02/23/our-hong-kong-disneyland-trip-2012-arrival-lunch/

http://docgelo.com/2012/02/27/our-hong-kong-disnyeland-trip-2012-spectacular-burst-of-colors/

http://docgelo.com/2012/03/01/our-hong-kong-disneyland-trip-2012-timeless-magic/

May 2012 : HAVING MY OWN DOMAIN + BLOG HEADER

blog header

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/05/25/happy-blogging/

May 2012 : AN INVITATION from @ SAKAE SUSHI, GEORGE TOWN, PENANG

May 2012 Sakae Sushi
May 2012 SS

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/05/28/love-affair-with-japanese-food-continues/

May 2012 :  INVITATION to PENANG SPICE TRAIL from MINISTRY OF TOURISM MALAYSIA PENANG BRANCH

May 2012 Penang Spice Trail

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/05/22/penang-spice-trail-enticing-sensory-experience/

June 2012 : SHOWCASING GEORGE TOWN, PENANG 

June 2012 Penang Street Art

June 2012 Street arts Penang
June 2012 GT
June 2012 Intro to George Town
June 2012 GT Penang

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/06/24/how-i-introduced-george-town-penang/

July 2012 : PHOTO PUBLISHED ON LONELY PLANET ASIA MAGAZINE

July 2012 LP
July 2012 Lonely Planet

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/07/17/surreal/

July 2012 : INVITATION from SINGAPORE BLOG AWARDS  | FAR EAST HOSPITALITY HOTELS -

OASIA HOTEL SPONSORED 3D2N ACCOMODATION

INVITATION from MARINA BAY SANDS SKYPARK | HARRY POTTER EXHIBITION -

ANDY WARHOL EXHIBITION

jULY 2012 MBS Sg a1 bar
July 2012 Sg MBS
July 2012 Sg Harry Potter
July 2012 Oasia
July 2012 Sg Blog Awards
cooled conservatories from sands skypark, marina bay sands
marina bay sands, gardens by the bay

blog posts :

http://docgelo.com/2012/07/25/oasia-my-oasis-in-singapore-2012/

http://docgelo.com/2012/07/28/marina-bay-sands-my-awesome-experience/

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/08/infinite-dose-of-spring-gardens-by-the-bay/

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/05/singapore-on-greater-heights/

http://docgelo.com/2012/07/27/a-bloggers-weekend-in-singapore-lah/

July 2012 : HARD ROCK HOTEL PENANG SPONSORED 3D2N ACCOMODATION

July 2012 HRHP
July 2012 HRHOTEL
July 2012 Hard Rock
July 2012 HRHP 2
July 2012 HRHP room
July 2012 HRHP 3

blog posts :

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/01/glorious-food-porn-hard-rock-hotel-penang/

http://docgelo.com/2012/07/31/our-rock-roll-family-weekend-hard-rock-hotel-penang/

 August 2012 : BANGKOK, THAILAND

photography inside tuk tukgrand palace 7
grand palace 10
grand palace 20
grand palace 21reclining buddha
reclining buddha
buddha's face in wat pho
mystic place bangkok 16
mystic place bangkok 4tina & gabby at amari watergate lobby
daddy's boy heichinrou bangkok

blog posts :

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/20/bangkok-series-2012-grand-palace/

http://docgelo.com/2012/09/01/bangkok-2012-series-golden-reclining-buddha/

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/23/bangkok-2012-series-we-highly-recommend-mystic-place/

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/25/bangkok-2012-series-chatuchak-weekend-market/

http://docgelo.com/2012/09/04/bangkok-2012-series-heichinrou/

http://docgelo.com/2012/08/28/bangkok-2012-series-penang-bangkok-penang-via-bus/

September 2012 : INVITATION from LEGOLAND MALAYSIA

1 legoland malaysia
137 legoland malaysia
60 legoland malaysia

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/09/22/our-legoland-malaysia-experience-2012/

September 2012 : SINGAPORE ONCE MORE WITH TINA & GABBY

july 2012 singapore

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/09/29/a-saturday-in-singapore/

October 2012 : FINALIST in PHOTO CONTEST @ CHINAHOUSE,

GEORGE TOWN, PENANG, MALAYSIA

chinahouse george town penang

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/11/11/we-got-free-brunch-chinahouse/

November 2012 : EXCLUSIVE INVITATION to FOOD TASTING @ FEAST VILLAGE,

STARHILL GALLERY.

SKYBAR @ TRADERS HOTEL | CHYNNA @ HILTON HOTEL | 7ATENINE @ ASCOTT  

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

2
10starhill tea salonpetronas twin towersANS_13927atenine

blog posts :

http://docgelo.com/2012/11/17/village-bar-an-underground-fantasy/

http://docgelo.com/2012/11/20/my-delicious-afternoon-at-feast-village-starhill-gallery/

http://docgelo.com/2012/11/14/intoxicating-views/

http://docgelo.com/2012/11/24/7atenine/

http://docgelo.com/2012/11/23/dining-chinese/

November 2012 : SPONSORED AIRLINE FOOD REVIEW

November 2012 Airline Food Review

blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/11/26/malaysian-dishes-on-air-an-airline-food-review/

December 2012 : PHOTOSHOOT for FAMILY PORTRAIT @ MACALISTER MANSION, PENANG

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blog post : http://docgelo.com/2012/12/02/weekend-at-macalister-mansion/

We commissioned one of the brilliant Malaysian photographers from Penang to do our family photos on the first day of December for an hour of unlimited shots at a very reasonable cost and a week after, he posted these two teaser-proofs on his facebook account. The rest of the photos will be delivered in weeks time.

family portrait december 1 2012
family portrait

As of this blogging, I’m also waiting for the result of ExpatBlogs.Com Best Expat Blog Awards

of which my site is nominated and currently 3rd among 13 expat blogs in Malaysia

(blog post : http://docgelo.com/support-docgelo/).

I’m also excited to share my interview and blog feature on InterNations.Org based in Germany soon!

On a more serious note,

Thank you to those people who lifted our spirits during our lowest moments this year.

Thank you to those generous souls who helped us in so many ways during those trying times.

Thank you to my blog readers, followers and fellow bloggers who have been a constant inspiration.

Advance Happy Holidays! A Blessed Christmas And A More Prosperous New Year to all of us!

THANK YOU SO MUCH, LORD ALMIGHTY!

All Glory and Honor is Yours, Now and Forever!

>>><<<

This is also my entry to Weekly Photo Challenge : My 2012 In Pictures

09
Oct
12

CELEBRATORY FEAST : GABBY’S EIGHTH BIRTHDAY

It was already late evening of Friday, October 5th, 2012 when I got a chance to view the attached photos on my Inbox sent by Gabby’s teacher & school owner taken using her iphone. I smiled and I appreciated the concern, love and care expressed to our son by his generous and thoughtful Malaysian-Chinese teacher. Thank you so much, Ms. Jasmine! The photos showed Gabby and his teacher’s son eating burgers and fries in McDonald’s after school; a simple birthday treat yet so special to Gabby and to us!  Tina and I really found it so heartwarming!

OUR SON IS LOVED; WE’RE GRATEFUL! :)

gabby and ethan

Because his birthday falls on a weekday this year, Friday to be exact, we chose not to absent ourselves from work and school thus, another extraordinary weekend was brewed.

Little did we know that Gabby told his teacher the reason why he’s not having  that ceremonial birthday cake candle blowing over the usual birthday song singing with party hats, some pasta and loot bags in school like what he used to have back home (If you’ve been following this blog, you’re familiar with Gabby’s SPONGEBOB THEMED 5TH BIRTHDAY PARTY ) it’s because we planned to celebrate his 8th birthday the way we know how : BUFFET!!! :)

Long before his big day, we already talked and decided where to spend it; and among the hotels and restaurants we’ve tried, a unanimous decision was made : G Hotel at Gurney Drive, Penang!

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UNBIASED OPINION OF A NON-SPONSORED DINING

Among the few premier hotels and restaurants in Penang that my family and I have sampled, G Cafe in G Hotel has always been remarkably pleasant. We like its polite and quick service, great tasting dishes with a wide variety but not overwhelming, and its contemporary and edgy, elegant and sophisticated but non-intimidating ambiance. Not to forget its reasonable and affordable cost for an eat-all-you-want dining on lunch, high tea or dinner. They even made it more budget-friendly as we availed of the 15% discount offer that we got for being Rapid Penang Bus commuters. :) Best of all, G Cafe staff granted my request for a FREE birthday cake with a candle to blow for Gabby! They gave an instant nod without hesitation; many thanks to that! :D

There are other restaurants inside G Hotel and at G Cafe, there are two dining spots. It’s our third time to eat inside G Cafe’s airconditioned dining area and have not favored yet their open-air eating space.

So here’s where we sat and dined…
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And here’s a portion of their eat-all-you-want-spread that evening…
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I like their simple and minimalist display and fixtures that perfectly complemented the modern and somewhat masculine appeal of the entire all-day-dining-restaurant. I also think the use of BLUE tones in lighting and glasses excellent! It’s quite uncommon choice for restaurants yet so regal.

g cafe g hotel penang malaysia
G Cafe offers different themed dining every night and it was our second time to try their International Cuisine-BARBECUE NIGHT!
grilled prawns and meat g cafe g hotel penang
There were grilled prawns, grilled lamb, grilled fish, and grilled squid…
grilled goodies 2

Roasted lamb, anyone?
roasted lamb g cafe g hotel penang
Tina and I tried a few slices from the carving station but honestly, we’re not fanatics of lamb unlike the others despite G Cafe’s version was tender.

Usually, it’s a toss between salad and soup for me, I went for the latter first and enjoyed every spoonful of sweet corn and chicken soup! It was thick and superb! Really tasteful!

soup

But then again, I thought I am just a mere mortal and very weak to pass up on these yummies! Tee hee!
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I did not! We did not pass up on the salads. We had a little bit of everything!
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We liked the Smoked Duck Salad even though I was telling Tina how I missed G Cafe’s Prawn Salad (told you, they’ve variety every night!), the fusion of the smoked duck meat cut into strips and those mango and veggies in julienne cuts were an absolute match made in Penang! ;)

How about Smoked Salmon Salad that beautifully blended with those avocado cubes?
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Irresistible! Then you see more Hors d’oeuvre like different chunks and slices of cheese and biscuits…
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And then there’s this crunchy and sweet and a bit spicy dried fish called IKAN BILIS ISTIMEWA which to me was one of the most appetizing appetizers I’ve ever tasted! Or is it an entree? Hahaha!  FYI, istimewa means special!  It reminded me of  a locally dried fish back home called, Danggit, although it’s all salty and crunchy when fried, this Ikan Bilis Istimewa came with flavors and texture that burst every bite! Sarap! Sedap! It’s really something you’ll crave for! Delicious sans vinegar! I wish I had more servings!
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Meanwhile, here’s my salad plate…
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Tina’s seafood plate…
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Everything was fine particularly the salmon sashimi except for the scallops; they were flat and disappointing!
sushi and seafoods

While the birthday boy was certain of his choices…
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Our palates savored the sushi rolls too! I always profess my fascination to Japanese dishes. It’s amazing that they’re both art and nourishment at the same time! My love affair with sushi and sashimi makes me wonder if I’m half blood Japanese, hahaha!
sushi 1
sushi 4
sushi 2
sushi 3
Tina tried the Chicken Shawarma and Roasted Lamb. I tasted their version of Shawarma before and it didn’t impress my tastebuds. I’m still partial with similar Mediterranean favorite back home.
lamb and chicken shawarma
Tina’s plate filled with grilled stuffs…
grilled goodies 1
And here are my plates…
grilled goodies
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There were a lot more dishes on the spread and a noodle station that we failed to sample. Nonetheless, we made sure we reserved gastric space for desserts.

HYPERGLYCEMIA  : REDEFINED

desserts 0

In our third time to dine at G Cafe in G Hotel in our more than two years of being expatriates in Penang, we’re loving the fact that we have experienced the evolution of dessert offerings. Let the photos do the talking. Sweet, sweeter, sweetest! :D

desserts 8
desserts 9
desserts baskin robbins
Who knew my family and I could enjoy an eat-all-you-want Baskin Robbins ice cream? I don’t know about you, but for jologs like me, it’s a big deal already! A BIG PLUS for this buffet actually! ;)
So my sweet tooth became happier again with every scoop of Baskin Robbins included in the buffet spread. I had Mint Chocolate Chip and Vanilla which are two of my favorite flavors, I also had Strawberry Sherbet and Green Tea. I was content with just the scoops sans toppings and syrups. I’m a purist when it comes to ice cream or at least in this occasion.
desserts g cafe g hotel penang baskin robbins
While Tina was in bliss with her gummies toppings over her Baskin Robbins…
desserts g cafe g hotel penang baskin robbins 1
I wish all the sweets in the dessert spread had labels. Because there were none, I relied on my gustatory skills. These bite-sized cakes that tasted peanut butter at its creamiest earned my thumbs up!
desserts 10
Another must-try at G Cafe’s dessert spread is this beautiful pastry. Believe it or not, the filling inside those dark chocolate cream icings is a tiny strawberry –just imagine the tug-o-war of bitter-sweet taste of the dark chocolate against the sour-sweet taste of strawberry. The combination’s brilliant! Then each was sandwiched by a light chocolate meringue. Wonderful! The toothsome flavors and luxurious textures were so amazing! I’ll bring back my family there for these!
desserts 5
How about a munch-all-you-want macarons? Heavenly. Just heavenly.
desserts 3
The birthday boy loves cheesecake…We all do!
desserts 4
Mini Cupcakes, FTW!
desserts 6
I’m now lost for superlatives to describe these…*drooling*
desserts 7
desserts 2
desserts 1
One of Tina’s dessert plates… yes, one of them! :)
desserts g cafe g hotel penang 2
While here’s a shameless display of mine…
desserts g cafe g hotel penang 1
After a great and hearty meal, must have coffee.
coffee
And before you forget it’s Gabby’s 8th birthday celebration, here’s the documentation of that special moment…
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G Cafe at G Hotel became uberly generous again in granting my request to provide a FREE birthday cake with a candle for Gabby to blow. Thank you so much, G Cafe! …And just so you know, Gabby held the bread knife to slice his birthday cake just like a CIRUJANO would do an incision; we didn’t coach him to do so. :)
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The necessary family portrait…
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Happy 8th Birthday, son! WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!

___________________

*This is NOT a sponsored post for G Cafe at G Hotel, Penang. We wish! :D

 

05
Jul
12

DEFYING STRESS : YET ANOTHER FOOD PORN

We defy stress from a weeklong work and some bizaare challenges that come with living in another country by spending quality time together, either simply being lazy at home or going out on weekends. It breaks the monotony of our seemingly routinary lives here in Penang on weekdays (home-school-home for Gabby and home-work-home for Tina and me). Needless to say, we enjoy our togetherness longer every Friday night, Saturday, Sunday and during holidays, thus, we usually have efforts to make the most out of it (In Tagalog, SULIT!).

And whenever my family finds extra time and budget to go out, gastronomic adventures have been integral part of the fun! Frankly speaking, savoring good food has been therapeutic and a delightful measure to combat all the hassles away. Of course, the choice of food places and menu should always be unanimous among us!

Subway never fails to unleash the sandwich and cookie monsters in us. My family and I always opt to make our Subway sandwiches into a meal so that we get a cup of drink plus 2 cookies per sandwich, which we favor over a bag of Lays potato chips. Tina and Gabby love Chocolate and Double Chocolate cookies. While I also like their choices, I frequently go for Macadamia cookies; it’s deliciously good! Admittedly, Subway has been a favorite of the family. At reasonable and affordable cost, we get to savor freshness in every bite! :)

Before the clock hits 7PM when we watched Upin & Ipin, Live! at a carnival in AutoCity, Juru, Penang one Saturday, our tummies were filled by early dinner-cum-late-afternoon snack at Subway.  Gabby had Roast Chicken-no veggies, just mayonnaise (I know, he should eat greens and he usually does at home but not in Subway), Tina had Roast Beef while I chose Subway Melt and both of our sandwiches contained everything except Jalapeno and olives.

Dinner came at past 9PM. We had eat-all-you-want and this time we went Japanese! But because we only had reservation on the same day at around half hour past 5PM, the Japanese food place was already packed hence, we were assigned to a table at their open-air-area. It turned out to be a better option because Tina, Gabby and I got to watch a live band show plus Gabby experienced dining while his legs crossed. :)

Because we became preoccupied looking at the menu, we failed to note the name of the band. Toinks! :) However, Tina and I had a strong hint that the two lady lead singers are voices from the Philippines. We might be wrong of course, but the English accent that landed on our ears when they sang their repertoire almost confirmed it; we just failed and was too shy to ask. Nonetheless, they threw a remarkable performance of a variety of songs mostly from classic hits of Whitney Houston (Indaaaaaaay, will always love youuuuuuuhuhuuuuuu!) to the very now, Adele (Someone Like You) and so much more!

Tao Restaurant’s Japanese buffet specializes in ala-carte-eat-all-you-can. Simply put, food is only delivered on the table upon order. In a way, we liked it because it assures the freshness of the dishes compared to the ones found on a spread. We already experienced it once in Manila when we dined at Chef Laudico’s Bistro Filipino in Bonifacio Global City several years back.

These were the dishes from Tao that earned thumbs up from the 3 of us. :)

Temaki : Hand rolled Soft Shell Crab (2 orders), California and Smoked Salmon. They’re satisfyingly good, a visual treat too! This is why I love Japanese food -they’re both art and sustenance.

Ebi tempura : Gabby’s default choice. I didn’t sample it but by mere looking, the prawns had too much batter nonetheless, our son munched it happily!

Sushi Moriawase : Took me to heaven! :)

Sashimi Moriawase : Fresh cuts! …Salmon and tuna sashimi are happiness!

Fried Crabmeat with Cheese : The cheese lover in Gabby liked this.

Tina ordered Ika Spicy Age : A fried and crunchy-spicy squid dish. Just okay.

I think this is called Beef Bacon Skewer : We liked it too! :D

Salmon Teriyaki’s another just fine.

And if there’s one dish that’s worthy of visiting Tao again and again, it’s this Scallop thingy-I-forgot-its-name but never its taste! Toink-Toinks! :D

It’s creamy, sweet and spicy; what more can you ask for? WE LOVED IT! Tina and I consumed 3 plates!!! There you go!

And these were the ones that FAILED to stimulate our palates… :(

A bigger scallop-let-down-dish-so-unremarkable-i-didn’t-bother-to-note-its-name. Glass noodles and scallops fusion wasn’t good on this plate.

Pickled Papaya Salmon. #ayokonito.

Cheese-something. #anotherforgettable. Gabby, Tina and I are fond of cheese but this one didn’t hit the mark.

Beef Ribs that looked like pork chops had nothing to rave about. Sorry.

Ebi Fried Kani Mayo. I so love prawns, crabs and mayonnaise but the combination didn’t worked on this dish. #soggy #supersaturated

Tina ordered this Mushroom dish but I so believe my very own home cooked buttered garlic mushrooms is far better than this variety.

Lobster sandwich. I ordered this when I thought I was not struggling on satiation yet. The end point : I didn’t even taste it. #whatawaste!

My bad comments on several dishes from the menu of Tao impose a challenge for enhancement. I’ve to be honest and far from being biased on my review.  On a positive note, we loved Tao’s bottomless drinks (we only had iced tea, but Tiger beer was also free-flowing), and dessert included in the rates. The cost of the buffet for the three of us was reasonable; in fact, was only equivalent to half of an adult-rate in a hotel buffet in Manila. Another plus point of Tao was the courtesy of the wait staff. Prompt and friendly service without being pushy makes every dining experience commendable.

The raspberry flavored ice cream was such a wonderful ending to this meal! Tina and I loved it but Gabby passed it up.

I had an arrangement with our usual taxi cab driver to pick us up at around 11:30PM so while waiting, we had to give in to Gabby’s request for him to have his share of dessert. We left Tao before 11PM and walked few steps towards Starbucks Coffee.

Since Tina and I were so full, it was only Gabby who enjoyed his Chocolate Chip Frappuccino and Chocolate Marble Cheesecake.

For few minutes while waiting for our cab to take us home, I chanced upon this magazine inside the coffee shop that featured one of Malaysia’s pride, Penang-born-world-renowned-luxury handmade shoemaker, Prof. Dato’ Jimmy Choo. I’d like to end this lengthy family-food-fun blog post on one of Jimmy Choo’s quotes from that featured article…

Until our next stress-busting-family bonding! ;)

——————–




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