Posts Tagged ‘restaurants



Indulge in authentic, fancy yet affordable Thai crab dishes in an elegant Asian ambiance in Dubai.

If you’re craving for crab and authentic Thai dishes while you’re in the United Arab Emirates, bring your appetite and troop with your family and friends to Benjarong Restaurant located at the 24th floor of Dusit Thani Dubai! Benjarong Royal Thai Cuisine is offering Crab Craze for the entire month of January 2015.

Here’s the deal :

  • Food : Crab meat, claws and pinchers cooked in long-simmering Thai style, prepared by a seasoned chef who cooks for Thai and UAE royalties.
  • Ambiance : Majestic interiors of Benjarong Restaurant resembles royal dining halls of King Rama IV.
  • View : Stunning Dubai skyline with iconic, Burj Khalifa seen from the 24th floor of Dusit Thani Dubai.
  • Entertainment : Traditional Thai music and dances add flare to unique dining pleasure.
  • Cost : Surprisingly affordable ala-carte menu, reasonable for the entire gastronomic experience.

Trust me, if not, believe these humble photos from our recent Crab Craze dinner at Benjarong!

Thai musicians and dancers at the lobby welcome guests with warm smiles!

For someone who have been to Bangkok, Hat Yai and Chiang Mai for 4 times and fell in love with Thailand, its culture, food and heritage, going to Dusit Thani Dubai in the middle of Sheikh Zayed Road where incredibly gorgeous skyscrapers including the hotel itself, and dining in Benjarong Restaurant to savor Crab Craze dishes with fellow Filipino UAE-based bloggers was truly a memorable treat!

So there I was, one Tuesday evening, together with

Freshest coconut juice and mieng kam, a Thai street food snack wrapped in leaves.

We started with drinks and a familiar Thai appetizer. I initially requested for coconut juice, while my blogger-friends ordered tall cold glasses of lemon grass that’s equally refreshing as I sampled it too after finishing my buco-juice.

I personally preferred coconut juice as Benjarong Restaurant serves it the right way. Sipping coconut water directly from the chilled coconut shell, sourced from Thailand no less (as it tasted sweeter than other coconuts from somewhere else!), and not from a glass or worse, tetra-pack or cans, was a delight that I don’t experience on a daily basis. That simple bliss was paired with munching leaf-wrapped and textured Thai street snack called, Miang Kahm (or Mieng Kam).

The next thing I knew, plateful of crab dishes were brought to our table by friendly and efficient staff.
PU-JA. Deep fried crab meat and minced chicken in a crab shell with sweet chili sauce. AED 35.

Pu-ja. It was love at first bite! It reminded me of simple home-cooking of my late maternal grandmother who used to cook crab meat omelet sans chicken and crab shell. It’s one of those dishes from Benjarong’s Crab Craze I can definitely recommend!

SOM TUM PUNIM. Spicy green papaya salad with crispy soft shell crab. AED 45.

Som Tum Punim. We had mixed reactions with this Thai salad based on spice-tolerance. Personally, I liked it as the crispy soft shell crab serves as light buffer that balances the kick provided by the spicy green papaya salad. Spicy perhaps, is an understatement! It’s a must-order-dish for those who prefer something hot yet, infused with calcium-rich soft shell crab!

GAENG SOM PUMA NORMAI DONG. Hot and sour curry with Blue Crab and sour bamboo shoot. AED 70.

Gaeng Som Puma Normai Dong. Whew! What a name for a dish! Quite a challenge to say its name in Thai, quite a challenge to like it too. I honestly give my nod and two-thumbs-up for all the dishes in the Crab Craze menu, however, this one’s an exception. Probably, because I am not fond of bamboo shoots and its aroma; but for some people who have an acquired taste for such, you may find this dish flavorful! To each his own.

PU PAD PRIG GAENG. Stir fried Alaska King Crab with red curry paste, string beans and sweet basil. AED 75.

Pu Pad Prig Gaeng. This is love on a plate! Every ingredient on this dish worked well!

SEN JUN PAD PU. Fried rice noodles with crab meat. AED 55.

Sen Ju Pad Pu. Bet even kids will like this!

LON PU-KEM. Salted crab in coconut cream dip served with vegetables. AED 65.

Lon Pu Kem. Healthy, nutritious, tasteful. The coconut cream dip with salted crab was perfectly paired with those freshly blanched veggies. Colors, textures and flavors in one plate! Go order it!


Although, it’s not on the Crab Craze menu but perhaps, on the usual menu of Benjarong, Chicken in Green Curry was also served. This Thai classical dish is always a hit! Extra rice, please! :D

Of course, every meal must end sweetly! When most of us were struggling in satiation, we’re asked to choose desserts from the menu. Fortunately, I get to sample my favorite Thai sweet delight, Sticky Rice with Ripe Mango!
My favorite! Classic Thai Sticky Rice with ripe mango plus warm pot of Jasmine tea. Heavenly!

Didn’t I mention, traditional Thai music, dances and smiles are also provided at Dusit Thani Dubai?

Thank you, Chef Naruemol of Benjarong Restaurant! It was an awesome dinner! We felt like royalties too! Hehe!

Visit Benjarong Royal Thai Cuisine at Dusit Thani Dubai this January 2015, to satisfy that Thai and crab craving in you! I hope they extend Crab Craze the whole year ’round!
Warm and inviting Asian ambiance at the lobby of Dusit Thani Dubai!

*Special thanks to Benjarong Restaurant, Dusit Thani Dubai for the sumptuous Crab Craze dinner! Thank you so much, Danelle for the invite!

*All prices mentioned on this post are inclusive of 10% municipality fees and 10% service charge as per Benjarong’s Crab Craze menu.

Benjarong Royal Thai Cuisine | 24th floor, Dusit Thani Dubai , 133, Sheikh Zayed Road P.O. Box 23335 Dubai | Lunch: Daily, 12:00 to 15:00 | Dinner: Daily, 19:00 to 23:30 | website : | e-mail :

*All photos on this post were taken using Samsung Note 3.







After a long and tiring day at work, I attended to an invitation from Zuri Restaurant through my fellow Filipino-UAE-based-blogger, Carla (My Yellow Bells). We came with another blogger-friend, Sheila (AB and Me), and shared the same table with Sarah (On Cloud Zen).  I arrived at Zuri with my pockets emptied of great expectations, however, I went home with stretched gastric mucosa and a wide smile on the face!

Here’s my list of

Ten Random Reasons Why You Must Dine At Zuri Restaurant When You’re In Dubai. 

(1) Unusual Buffet-Dining Concept.

Unlike the common eat-all-you-want-restaurants, Zuri doesn’t provide a buffet spread but menu on tablets, where diners can select as many dishes as they like with just a flick of a finger. When food is prepared fresh and served piping hot from the chef’s open-kitchen, tasting and sampling everything on the menu is always encouraged.

(2) Reasonable Price.

Inclusive of unlimited orders of available appetizers, entrée, desserts and mocktails, everything can be savored at a total rate of 225/-AED per pax only. Reasonable enough for me!


Asian Mystery.  Mango juice, coconut puree, passion fruit and chili. I repeat -chili!
(3) Cozy and romantic ambiance.

Minimalist yet classy and sophisticated interiors, almost-dim-lights, relaxing music, inviting mood. So perfect for special events or even for casual get-together.

(4) Accesibility.

Located a stone’s throw away at the back of Mall of Emirates in Al Barsha, Dubai, parking isn’t an issue for those diners with cars and Auris Plaza Hotel where Zuri is located is very accessible to commuters as well.
Crab, tuna, bean, broth, sweet basil. Fried soft shell crab, pickled tuna, edamame beans, Asian master broth and sweet basil oil.

I love that soft-shell-crab soup not because I am biased with its main ingredient but it’s cleverly done with thin stock instead of rich and creamy soup, hence it’s not overwhelming. The chef knew how to highlight textures and flavors on each plate!
Prawn, seaweed, marie rose, aioli, tamarind, corn. Grilled prawns with seaweed, curried marie rose, ginger aioli, tamarind jelly, and crunchy sweet corn.

What can I say? I love seafood! And Zuri presented it so well that I died and went to heaven and back! Hahaha!
Scallops with cauliflower puree.

(5) Extraordinary fusion of textures, flavors, and taste!

Ingredients were played on plates so good, there’s a balance between taste, flavors, and textures. Case in point, the saltiness of scallops paired with almost-bland cauliflower puree. If that doesn’t sound creative and seems enticing to you, I rest my case.


(6) A considerable volume of choices.

In my opinion, the menu was well thought of. From its variety from poultry, meat and seafood, to mocktails and fresh juices and desserts, plus coffee or tea. The volume wasn’t insulting too. My definition of value for money and prioritizing quality over quantity.
Duck, hoisin, butter squash, raisin, spring onion.

Beef Cheek Risotto, Green Beans, Peanut, Garlic.

I am a fan of beef dishes when cooked to fork-tender and served medium well. The wait staff never failed to ask how I wanted my beef cheeks to be prepared, however, I found this dish so easily satiating and heavy as it’s served with risotto in coconut cream Its entirety is tasteful but made me feel full early.

(7) Quick service,  smart  and courteous wait staff.

A Filipina and a Burmese waitresses attended to our table the entire night. They made our dinner at Zuri extra remarkable and lovely. Seriously. I believe they deserve a salary raise for being so good at what they do.

(8) Dishes are  handsomely presented per plate, never boring.

Obviously, a self-explanatory creativity.


Short Ribs Tamarind Peanut Teriyaki Purple Yam Jasmine Sweet Potato.

Passionate Mint. Passion puree, mint leaves, honey. This is love in every sip.

(9) Mocktails and other drinks complement the entire dining experience. 

The Passionate Mint was so refresh while Asian Mystery (the mango with chili) was more than interesting; it’s seductive actually!


(10)  Spontaneity from starters to main dishes and desserts.

One may find it overly sweet but then again, creativity weighed more on my list. Imagine white chocolate as the egg white, and passion fruit jelly as the yolk. Who would’ve thought that a classic breakfast combo of eggs and bacon strips can be recreated into sweet endings? The chef and his culinary team were consistent and spontaneously witty from the start to finish!
Bacon, Egg, Chips. Chef  Zaw Special.  That’s my dessert plate. DESSERT PLATE, YEAH!!!

A corner at the lobby of Auris Plaza Hotel.

It’s difficult to beat the winning formula of satisfying your diners with discriminating taste, serving them with tasteful dishes and unforgettable dining experience via impeccable service, in a restaurant with sophisticated ambiance. Diners will surely spread the word about their pleasant gastronomic experience like an uncontrolled epidemic, without force and coercion.

Thumbs up to Zuri Restaurant! Thank you for inviting us!

ZURI RESTAURANT | AURIS PLAZA HOTEL, AL BARSHA, DUBAI  website : | phone : +971 4 455 4800 | E-mail :




Although I was privileged to live and work for 3 years in the so-called, gastronomic state of Malaysia that’s the island paradise of Penang, where dishes from multi-cultural races of Malays, Chinese and Indians directly exposed my palates and satisfied my curiosity for flavors that were previously so foreign to me, I honestly have been craving for some good Western staples! It isn’t because the usual fast food joints, restaurants and local eateries there don’t serve quality burgers but after 2010, I can count the times I had a bite on really tasteful beefy burgers.

So when a fellow Filipino blogger, Richard of invited me to sample Burger Company in Quezon City, along with other foodie blogger friends, I had no hesitation to go. I noted the date of the invite as early as a couple of weeks before I came home to Manila.

16 November 2013, Saturday. I arrived the earliest at Burger Company at 11:30AM, that gave me extra time to appreciate the newest burger food place in Quezon City. I captured a few shots of their little corner with colored post-its left by diners who already enjoyed what’s-on-their-menu. I liked the place in an instant as it’s very casual, modest and non-intimidating. Staff was also courteous and customer-friendly.

Then not long after, Richard arrived and the gang came, one after another, in full force and I’m guessing, with huge appetites for burgers. It was such a relaxing afternoon-meet over delicious burgers and some starters. :)

We checked out the menu and surprisingly to me, Burger Company doesn’t only serve Angus Beef Burgers and Chicken Burgers but also Rib Eye Steak for a very affordable cost. However, my brain’s satiety center didn’t entertain the steak but my craving for beef burgers!

Here’s what we sampled.

Parmesan Fries. American Fries tossed in parmesan cheese.

Don’t be fooled by my photo above. That serving of Parmesan Fries was already almost half as we ate it first prior taking a shot, hehehe!  It’s that good!

Then second to land on our table was one of a personal favorites. Nachos! Burger Company’s version made it even more enticing! Corn nachos were served in a big basket for sharing, and apparently, it’s not the usual yellow but red and dark brown! Topped with cheese sauce, ground beef and sour cream, served with tomato salsa; I simply couldn’t get off my fingers off it. I liked it a lot!
Nachos Overload. Yummy!

If it’s a toss between Fries and Onion Rings, I’ll always choose the latter. Call me weird or something but I frequently dip it in mayonnaise (Do you do that too?). What made Burger Company’s 8oz Onion Rings different from what I usually eat, it’s crispier and nice sans my favorite mayo-dip.

80z Crispy Onion Rings.

I thought I had enough of spicy and hot dishes in Penang that made me develop an aversion to chili-flavored foods. Wrong! I was weak to resist and tried at least one of those bacon-wrapped jalapeno fritters, served with tomato salsa. It has cheese filling too!

Bacon-Jalapeno Fritters.

Those may be artery-clogging, or in our vocabulary – atherosclerosis and hyperlipidemia-inducing, but only when ingested religiously. It won’t harm if you just sample it for craving’s sake! Tee-hee!

Served next was obviously, the king of fries at Burger Company.

Fries Overload. American Fries topped with cheese sauce, ground beef and bacon.

The happy problem at Burger Company was choosing what to order from their impressive menu. I passed up on the Chicken Burger and tried one of the Angus Beef Burger varieties. I’m happy to sample, Double Striker’s Burger! It tasted as great as it looks on photo!

The Striker’s Burger (double). 

With lettuce, tomato, double Angus beef patties, cheese, double bacon, crisscut fries, champignon mushroom and cheese sauce, the Burger Company’s Double Striker’s Burger made a home run victory on my taste buds! Sarap!

Now, here’s a shameless rundown of what my foodie blogger friends enjoyed. Just a WARNING though – Get yourself a cold glass of water before scrolling down further; and you might want to control salivating too. Indulge on the photos! :)

Hawaii Five-O. Lettuce, tomato, Angus patty, grilled and seasoned pineapple, cheese, chipotle aioli, red onions.

Mexican Chipotle. Lettuce, tomato, Angus patty, cheese, braised chipotle, sour cream.

Cajun Chicken & Blues. Lettuce, tomato, cajun chicken fillet, cheese, bacon, gorgonzola dressing.

Green Chile and Sour Cream. Lettuce, tomato, Angus patty, cheese, pickled green chile, sour cream.

Cheese Classic. Lettuce, tomato, Angus patty, cheese.

Bacon & Cheese. Lettuce, tomato, Angus patty, cheese, bacon.

The Volcano. Lettuce, tomato, Angus patty, cheese, bacon, chipotle aioli, battered onion rings.

PB&J. Lettuce, tomato, Angus patty, cheese, homemade peanut butter, bacon jam, bacon, Louisiana BBQ sauce.

Gorgonzola & Mushroom. Lettuce, tomato, Angus patty, cheese, sauteed oyster mushroom, gorgonzola.

And there’s more variety to choose from on the menu! What looks delicious to you?

Just when you still have appetite and stomach-room for more, as mentioned, Burger Company also offers Buffalo Wings. They served 3 flavors to us but I only tasted the mildest one. Not bad actually!

NY Classic Buffalo Wings.

I usually notice and like little and nice details even on a restaurant’s menu. The Burger Company may have a simple menu, but the names and flavors of their dishes, sauces and whatnot are all well-thought-of.

Quirky Names on the Menu. The 6-piece-Buffalo Wings is named Bantam Weight (PhP 135), 10-piece is called Medium Weigh (PhP 195), 14-piece tagged as Heavy Weight (PhP 260).

Burn, baby, burn! The choices of flavors for the Buffalo Wings that will surely challenge your spice tolerance include :

  • Classic Series (New York Classic, Firefighter’s Pride, El Nino, Global Warming),
  • Signature Series (Carribean Surf, Chili & Lime, Smoked Chili, Cocoa & Chili, Asian Samurai, Salt & Vinegar),
  • BBQ Series (Louisiana, A&W, Mexican).

Strawberry Milkshake.

To help you wash down those burgers and chicken wings, beverage menu includes local sodas, Imported sodas (A&W, Dr. Pepper, Cherry Coke), Sola Iced Tea, Home-brewed Iced Tea, Lime-Aid (lemon soda with fresh lime juice & syrup), Soda Float, Milkshake. Drinks cost from PhP 35 – 125.

Desserts include Fire & Ice Cake (Chocolate decadent cake with a hint of chili at the end), Chocolate Chocnut Mousse, NY Cheesecake, Apple pie at affordable prices of PhP 100 – PhP 130 per serving.

On Going Promo :

JR. Burger Boss – Just add PhP 80 to your favorite burger, and choose from a solo order of American, Crisscut or Parmesan Fries, or Buffalo Trax- their spicy crisscut fries, and a glass of Home-brewed Iced Tea (upgrade to bottomless for PhP 40, Soda Float for PhP 80, or Milkshake for PhP 80).

Burger Boss – Just add PhP 165 to your favorite burger, and choose from a solo order of Fries (American, Crisscut, or Parmesan or Buffalo Trax- their spicy crisscut fries), 4 pieces of NY Buffalo Wings with your choice of signature dips, and a glass of Home-brewed Iced Tea (upgrade to bottomless for PhP 40, Soda Float for PhP 80, or Milkshake for PhP 80).

Spot where I left this blog’s mark. :)

So next time you find yourself somewhere at the heart of Quezon City, craving for delightful and affordable burger goodness, bring your taste buds to Burger Company!

Burger Company | 72B Scout Reyes corner Mother Ignacia Avenue, Brgy. Paligsahan, Quezon City, Metro Manila | Operating hours 11AM to 11PM | follow them on facebook : /BurgerCompanyPh | on twitter @BurgerCompanyPh | on Instagram @burgercompanyph | Visit them, indulge and please do let them know that you read about Burger Company here on :)

via Google map.

Special thanks to our fellow blogger, Richard of for the invitation, Alvin Ong of Burger Company for accomodating us, and of course to the foodie gang that I met, thank you very much for such satisfying and fun afternoon!




I’m no food and wine connoisseur but I absolutely trust my senses and personal favorites. I’m also proud that my young and beautiful family acquired their very own personal preferences. We’re all grateful for the chance to experience again, another delightful challenge to our taste buds and appetites.  Last weekend, July 6th, 2013, Saturday, we went back to Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang for another casual yet memorable gastronomic feast at Sarkies! With the warm and friendly service, remarkable of E&O, we felt so home already!

My wife, Tina & our son, Gabby at one charming corner of the Heritage Wing, E&O Hotel, Penang.

We were there to try their Wine and Dine Buffet Dinner that’s offered at Sarkies every Friday and Saturday. Free flow of red and white wines, beer and fruit punches. Children in tow could also indulge in fruit blends and other beverages that perfectly paired Sarkies’ buffet spread.

Red or white? a can of beer, perhaps?

But why do we love Sarkies at Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang? 

Allow me to count the reasons in random order.

Elegant Yet Casual Ambiance.

Either al fresco dining with the priceless view of the Malacca Strait and the tropical Malaysian breeze caressing you while you indulge during sundown, or dining inside the airconditioned areas near the spread, it’s always a visual treat to see tasteful interiors patterned after the history of this heritage hotel. Fixtures and furnitures are simply impressive!


The Live-Kitchen-Stations

It’s entertaining to see how chefs turn your choice of ingredients into a culinary masterpiece! Sure, it’s a common thing among food & beverage outlets in other hotels but what makes that of Sarkies different from the rest is the friendly service of their staff, from the ones handling the pans to those courteous staff who sets and clears up the tables.

Talking about Live Kitchen Stations, Tina delighted herself with a tasteful bowl of koay teow soup, filled with freshest seafoods that the chef whipped up from those raw ingredients she selected at Sarkies’ Noodle Station.


Go Local!

Even Malaysian dishes are cooked, grilled, fried and whatnot upon request. Beef or lamb chops, chicken satay, anyone?


The freshest and the widest variety of seafoods on this side of Malaysia!

Mostly are imported with great quality and taste! Tell me, how many hotels around offer these kind of seafood goodness? Alaskan Snow Crab Claws, Spanner Crab (those hairy curacha crabs we call back home are a new addition to the seafood spread at Sarkies) Poached Black Mussels, New Zealand Mussels, Duo of Gravlax, Norwegian Salmon, Barramundi or Asian seabass, Oysters on Ice, Prawns to name a few.  All for a dinner price that’s surprisingly reasonable; far better than what our family sampled from buffets in premier hotels back home. Sarkies’ seafood choices are simply glorious!  Continue scrolling down,  just be mindful not to drool. :P


Quick Refills! Eye-candy!

The spread is frequently refilled; you won’t see any station screaming for generous and quick refill; no need! Furthermore, the presentations of dishes are simply enticing!


Favorite of locals and foreigners alike!

Res ipsa loquitor. Back when I was having my haywire med-school days, I learned this Latin phrase in Legal Medicine that literally means, “the thing speaks for itself.”  Apparently, each time we get a chance to dine at Sarkies in E&O, we see hungry patrons -both local and foreign alike packed the dining areas once the doors open at 7PM for dinner. A proof that Sarkies’  food choices, service, ambiance and all are worthy of thumbs up!  


If you’ve been following this blog for quite some time now, you should expect that this is the part when the site shamelessly displays what we wolf down! For what purpose, you may ask?  Must there be a reason for everything we do? Life is damn short so cut the logic and just indulge with this visual feast! Inhale deeply. Exhale forcibly. Get yourself a tall glass of cold water and you know the drill: Thou shall not drool! :P


Some are used to prawn and steak or lobster and steak version of Surf and Turf. Here’s my own Surf and Turf plate – I paired that very tender and delicious Roasted Beef with Cheesy Baked Scallops (which I think, was a dish considered upon our family’s suggestion the last time we had dinner at Sarkies; blog post HERE!). Sedap!!! Sarap!!!


We also sampled Sarkies’ lobsters! It was generously served at our table by the staff. One may find this lobster dish on the dry side, particularly when you prefer those steamed and juicy ones but this from Sarkies was made more flavorful with the special gravy that came with it (not in photo); that dip/gravy was a fusion of mint, assam or tamarind with other secret herbs according to our taste buds. 


We also enjoyed those savory chops of roasted duck! Those duckie slices tasted they’re cooked in two ways. Both delicious, you wouldn’t wish it to be wrapped anymore.


After our 8-year-old-son, Gabby finished his handsome plate of Roasted Beef, he also had Angel Hair Carbonara served directly to our table upon request to the Chef.


Heavenly Desserts.

Sarkies has Ice Cream Bar that looks nothing but classy with those dark wooden shutters as backdrop (you don’t get that Heritage-style interiors from an ordinary food place), cakes and pastries that could challenge the foodie in you!


Our dessert plates…


Such a friendly dining place!

Best of all, Sarkies provides a non-intimidating venue where special and memorable moments beyond our home are made!

We’re happy diners! :)

Gabby met Dylan, son of one of the hotel’s managers. This boy’s presence and his mom and dad made our dinner extra-pleasant! People of E&O Hotel Penang, in general are the friendliest!


And by the way, we brought along with us THE well-traveled, Manila’s Heritage expert, Ivan Man Dy of OldManilaWalks.Com who revisited Penang for this year’s George Town Festival. Tina and I were so glad that Ivan also found everything at Sarkies at par with his standards (or I bet, even beyond his expectations!).

Ivan Man Dy (center) went wacky with Sarkies’ authentic Chicken Satay! Visit Penang again and savor more of Sarkies & the rest of E&O, Ivan!  We certainly spent good time during that dinner at Sarkies!

I had Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 from Australia Utah. Cheers! :)

Special thanks to Ms. Eileen for the invites and of course, to the people behind Sarkies at E&O Hotel Penang for this wonderful dinner!  For each time that we go to E&O and its F&B outlets, remarkable moments are always experienced!

*Wine and Dine Buffet Dinner at Sarkies, every Fridays and Saturdays, 7PM-10:30PM. RM 148++ (or US$ 46.15 per adult), RM 65++ (or US$ 20.27 per child) with free flow of wine, beer and fruit punch.

Check out the other offerings at E&O’s food and beverage outlets :

eastern & oriental hotel penang
eastern & oriental hotel penang
eastern and oriental hotel penang

Sarkies is also having Jamuan Buka Puasa from July 9 to August 7, 2013 at 7PM-10:30PM, with rates of RM 96++ per adult and RM 48++ per child from Sunday to Tuesday and rates of RM 110++ per adult and RM 65++ per child from Wednesday to Saturday. Spend breaking of the fast during this year’s Ramadhan season at Sarkies in E&O!

For more details and to make your reservations, contact : Sarkies at Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang | website :

This blog’s other posts about Eastern and Oriental Hotel include :



Memorable. It was one of our most unforgettable dining experiences ever. We’re eternally grateful!

05/17/13, Friday, Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang, Malaysia. My family and I were fortunately invited by E&O to a 3D2N luxury accomodation at one of the five-123-square-meter-Corner Suites, among its 117 units of 55-square-meter-Superior Suites located at the newly built, Victory Annexe wing (our experience & views on the hotel suites, other F&Bs & facilities  plus our personal recommendations will be on a separate post on this blog series about E&O).

On top of the many exclusive privileges for guests at Victory Annexe that my family and I enjoyed, such as daily breakfast in either Sarkies at its ground floor (which we already sampled previously; blog post HERE!) or in Planter’s Lounge at its 6th level that also serves evening cocktails, E&O was more than generous to invite us as well, to a weekend family dinner at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, 1885.

My son & I at the living room of E&O Hotel Penang’s Corner Suite before heading to dinner at 1885.

My wife, Tina & our son, Gabby at the hallway connecting Victory Annexe Wing & Heritage Wing.

1885 is located at the ground floor of the historical Heritage Wing of Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang, which is a few-meter-walk from where we checked in. Stepping inside the restaurant felt surreal; the atmosphere was absolutely different. I silently observed Tina and Gabby’s reactions when all of us allowed the moment to just sink in. It was truly an amazing treat for the three of us!


“Named for the year that the E&O Hotel was established, 1885 offers classical yet contemporary cuisine in an elegant environment in the finest traditions of colonial fine dining.

The selection of inventive fusion dishes from our accomplished chefs, accompanied by a superb selection of wines, marks 1885 as the perfect choice for an enjoyable dining experience.

Traditional English Afternoon Tea is also served in this elegant setting. Candlelit tables, starched linens, silver service, and attentive staff create a magical experience.” ~sourced from

Every table was set simply in tuned with the E&O’s theme : Timeless elegance.

The view from where we sat.

A set menu was specially prepared for us courtesy of the Chef, who happened to be on a special assignment in another Malaysian state that night. Nonetheless, the 6-course-meal was obviously well thought of and was nothing short of impressive.

The set menu for Tina & I.

One of the strongest points that impressed us with 1885 was the fact that they provided a kiddie-dinner-menu for Gabby. Believe me, having  separate adult and children’s menus means so much for a family of diners! As in our case, Gabby got to exercise his decision making when he trusted his very own taste in selecting between choices from appetizers to entrees and desserts.


Waiting for our orders was never an issue since we’re entertained by a very soothing and relaxing music that further enhanced the over all ambience of 1885 and of course, made our lovely epicurean experience even more remarkable. A pianist was playing pieces from our wonder years! Love songs commonly heard on the radio during late 80s and 90s were beautifully played on the piano throughout our 7PM to 11PM dinner.


I didn’t expect 1885 to be filled with diners that night but tables were almost packed. I may have underestimated not the restaurant itself,  but the choices of guests when it comes to eating places in Penang. It was a great proof that there’s really a market for high-end and quality-dining amidst the volume of affordable hawkers in this Malaysian gastronomic paradise!

Our dinner kicked off with a variety of breads on a basket carried by waiters from table to table.

Herbed and salted butter on bread never fails to stimulate!

Tina and I opted to have different entrees. The choices were usual but the plates were extraordinary.  It was a toss between seared fish and baked steak. In as much as I wanted to dunk my fork on a handsome slice of Wagyu Fillet Mignon, I allowed Tina to have it since she liked it over the cod fish and I thought, she’d eventually share it with me, and she did, hehehe!

Because we’re having fish and beef dishes, white and red wines to complement everything were mandatory. I like! :)


The service of 1885 staff was impeccable. They were highly courteous, quick and attentive. Kudos! To us, they deserve a raise! :)

Not merely because we’re far from being wine connoisseurs (well, surely we’re not!) but I personally have confidence with established restaurants’ recommendations. So when one of the staff asked us of what wines we like, we threw the question back to him politely. With a smile, he instantly suggested Fire Road Pinot Noir 2011 from New Zealand and LFE Chardonnay 2012 from Chile.

Fire Road Pinot Noir 2011, New Zealand.

Luis Felipe Edwards Chardonnay 2012, Chile.

It was indeed, a fine dining but our conversation remained casual. Gabby discussed his wishes on how to celebrate his upcoming 9th birthday in his school here this October; he already had ideas in mind from the cake, to his requested fried chicken fillet strips with home-made gravy for his mom to prepare for his classmates and teachers, and the gifts that he’d like to receive -what else but toys!

While Tina & I were savoring wines, the little boy wonder was gulping iced water. :)

One by one, our plates arrived on our table.

Amuse Bouche.  This bite-sized hors d’œuvre was Ratatouille; rich with tomatoes and veggies. With no overpowering flavor, Tina and I found it just fine.

Between Tomato Soup and Creme of Mushroom, Gabby chose the latter and he liked it a lot, leaving his soup bowl empty in few sec.

Creme of Mushroom Soup, Buttered Crouton

The greens came in next.

Rocket Salad. Cherry Tomato, Herb Ricotta Cheese Crouton Cracked Black Pepper

Must have detailed shot…

I asked my wife if she like it the way I do and we’re both on the same page. Cheesy and crunchy leaves with mild hints of anchovies. The fusion was effectively tasteful!

If Gabby had Creme of Mushroom Soup, Tina and I had the Lobster Bisque.

Lobster Bisque. Lobster Fricassee, Garlic Bread Croutons. We both love seafoods; no explanations needed.

Then it was time to cleanse the palates.


The test of patience and understanding happened when a wait staff committed mistake in mentally jotting down the orders. Between Carbonara and Bolognese Pasta, our little-big boy told the waiter he likes the former. After several minutes of waiting, a pasta plate with red sauce landed on our table.

Gabby to Tina : “Ma, is this Carbonara?”

Pasta Bolognese

We looked at each other and without wasting a minute, I called the attention of the waiter. Told him that our boy wants Carbonara and not Bolognese. The staff apologized, took the plate and positively replied that he’ll prepare another plate with Carbonara sauce; he even asked us if he can use Rigatoni. To me, that’s being customer-friendly!

Gabby’s choice :

Rigatoni Carbonara

Tina and I saw how Gabby literally devoured his Carbonara. It was even piping hot when Gabby had his fork with pasta to his mouth, one after the other. We were in awe watching him eat. It must be that good!

Baked Wagyu Fillet Mignon. Anna Potato, Lotus Tempura, Spinach Shallot Glaze

Detail shot…


1885’s Baked Wagyu Fillet Mignon passed Tina’s disriminating taste! She had it medium-well and even commented to me that it nearly tasted her favorite fillet mignon dish that she ate in one of the most regarded restaurants in Tagaytay City back home. She shared to me a generous chunk and I effortlessly understood her praises for the dish. It must be the quality of beef plus the meticulous method of cooking. The potato side dish was not merely chopped and fried but was creatively done in thin and layered servings.

My plate :

Seared Cod Fish. Sauteed Soba, Beans Sprout, Tempura Prawn, Sesame Soya Dressing

The cod fish was well seasoned; neither bland nor too salty. It perfectly complemented the crispy prawn tempura. What made the dish soared to the highest heavens was pairing it with sauteed soba. I only hoped for another similar plate that night! ;) And the waiter’s recommendation of chardonnay? I never had a doubt.

Gabby thought of having Single Scoop Ice Cream over Trio Flavored Ice Cream from the kiddie menu.

Vanilla Ice Cream 

If Gabby only had the very common yet classic, vanilla flavored ice cream, 1885 prepared a uniquely textured and bitter-sweet dessert plate for Tina and I.

Toffee Mascarpone Cheesecake. Maple Sauce, Cinnamon Cherry, Almond Shortbread

It’s hard to fake it; we liked every plate from the very first one to our dessert. Just look at the smile of my lovely wife. Naks! :D


At this point, we’re almost struggling with satiation. Tina and I told the wait staff that since our Corner Suite has coffee making facility, we had to let go of having coffee at 1885. However, we got a word that they already began brewing it, so we happily gave in. What’s a pretty meal without coffee ending (or to some, tea) anyway?

Freshly Brewed Coffee (or selection of Gourmet Tea)

The happy diners!

Before writing this, I asked Tina and Gabby of their honest comments with the service, ambiance and food of 1885 and I got no negative response. I only heard from both of them, “Masarap!” or in Bahaya Malaysia, “Sedap!”

We wish to come back for some English Afternoon Tea next time.

Thank you very much, 1885 at E&O Hotel Penang! :)



1885 | Eastern & Oriental Hotel | 10 Lebuh Farquhar, 102oo Penang, Malaysia | Operating hours : 2PM-11PM (daily), English Afternoon Tea is served from 2PM to 5PM | website :

*While this is a sponsored blog post, the words are all mine unless quoted, and were never influenced by anyone.



*My family – Tina & Gabby at Restoran Famosa, Jonker Street, Malacca

Our three days and two nights unplanned trip to Malacca was made memorable not only because of the sights that we enjoyed exploring for the very first time but more so,  tasting its local dishes and a few personal favorites.  So many foods, so little time! I wished I did a little research prior to the trip and of course, it could’ve been better if we stayed longer. Nonetheless, we’re grateful and wouldn’t mind traveling 7 hours from our current base in Penang to revisit Melaka when time, chance and budget allow.

To say that Malacca is a food haven is absolutely an understatement. Similar to George Town, Penang, Malacca is a gastronomic paradise! Almost every corner has something to delight even the ones with most discriminating taste. Here’s this blog’s usual shameless display of what we feasted…

*Chicken Rice Balls from a restaurant in Melaka Sentral Bus Station

The moment we arrived in Melaka Sentral via 2-hour-and-19-ringgit-bus-ride from Larkin Bus Station in Johor Bahru, Tina, Gabby and I decided to do the first in the list of our priorities. EAT! While the kiddo was busy buying his 7-11 slurpee and I attended to our luggage and backpacks, the wifey scouted a few restaurants inside the bus station complex and selected one. That awesome moment happened! The very first time for us to eat Chicken Rice Balls that, correct me if I’m wrong, uniquely Melaka.

I’m guessing those rice balls paired with steamed chicken meat, were boiled in chicken stock. I liked it, Tina did not. To each his own.

*Chicken Chop and Noodle dish with name that slipped my memory but with a delicious taste to remember! Naks!

After several minutes and camera clicks in front of Christ Church Melaka, we crossed the street and saw this stall by the Melaka River selling freshly fried Spiral Potatoes. It was 3-ringgit and sour cream flavored happiness for Gabby! :D

*Savoring his Sour and Cream Spiral Potato from Melaka!

Second day was Easter Sunday and after having simple but incredibly charming dining experience at The Baboon House Malacca (blog post HERE!), we effortlessly killed time by doing crazy things (Tina was Instagramming) and sipping milk teas and iced blended fruity drinks from Ochado. Refreshing! Best, they got free and fast wifi too! :D

*I left a mark on the graffitti wall. :)

*Instagram moment! :)

Go try Ochado whenever you find yourself in Melaka! It’s easy to spot as it’s located at the corner where Jonker Street begins.

*Cappuccino, Mocha and Iced Blended Chocolate from Casa Del Rio Cafe.

After dinner at Restoran Famosa in Jonker Street, we opted to stretch more our last night in Melaka. We walked and walked and next time we knew, we were all seated inside the very romantic and hip, Casa Del Rio Cafe.

*Romantic and relaxing ambiance by the Malacca River.

Located by the Melaka River, in the facade of the premier hotel, Casa Del Rio, we were never intimidated by its stylish and inviting interiors; surprisingly, prices were even pocket-friendly than our favorite Starbucks Coffee. The menu’s promising too! They serve breakfast meals, lunch and even steamboat buffet for dinner.

*Hollywood legends and icons on the walls! If only walls could talk…. Don’t you just love this corner?

Tina had cappuccino, Mocha for me, Iced Blended Chocoalte for Gabby. They also have cakes and other dishes but we’re very satiated with the dinner we had at Restoran Famosa.


Just before sitting inside Casa Del Rio Cafe, we had our dinner at Restoran Famosa along Jonker Street. Here’s what we ordered :

*Beancurd in Oyster Sauce.

Tina found it too salty while it’s fine with my palates. I also liked the consistency of the beancurd!

*Roasted Chicken.

Either roasted or steamed, ayam or chicken is almost obligatory to eat when you’re anywhere in Malaysia.

*Chicken Rice Balls from Restoran Famosa

They’ve got smaller versions of Chicken Rice Balls compared to the ones we had in Melaka Sentral. Restoran Famosa’s menu had it at 30 sen (cents) each.

*Pork Barbecue.

It was a consensus decision to order Roasted Pork. When we did, the waitress told us, “Finished!”  The next best thing was to order the second best, BBQ. It was a different flavor compared to BBQ we have in Manila. It was like the common pork asado or Chinese pork something in Chinatown eateries in our country.

*A simple Easter Sunday Malaccan Family Feast! :)

*My plate!

No Malaysian meal is complete without chilli sauce!

*Hotta! Hotta!

The highlight of our Malaccan food tripping was to taste their version of Cendol. To start with, I loved it. I fell in love it on the first scoop! Sorry Cendol in Penang Road, I liked you but Melaka Cendol won my heart and taste buds! Presentation-wise, each bowl looks clean and hygienic, the ingredients composed of red beans, finely shaved ice and that green thingy-cendol, were all better tasting than, dare I say, the one in Jalan Penang.


The difference lies on their use of Gula (sugar) Melaka…

Caramelized Gula Melaka in coconut milk : Killer combination! It reminded me of muscovado or unrefined brown sugar from my country. Sarap! Sedap! Delicious!

We loved everything we ate in Melaka! We cannot wait to go back to eat more! :D
*Follow Tina on Ig @teenasantos, follow me on Ig @iamdocgelo ;)

This is NOT a sponsored post.

*This Melaka Blog Series includes :





*Allow me to begin this FOOD PORN blog post with a SPECIAL PROMOTIONAL DISCOUNT GIVEAWAY! Readers of this blog who are in Penang, Malaysia from March to April 2013 are entitled for a great deal at Sarkies’ Chef Petr’s Catch Seafood Buffet Dinner Extravaganza at Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang.  All you need to do is to print this banner
petr catch online promo 300x300px FA
and show this blog post’s URL :
(, then arrange an early reservation with E&O Hotel at contact #s +604-222 2000 ext 3601 | 3602 before 24th April 2013 and you can avail to dine in with a discounted rate of RM80 ++/pax (adult) and RM 38++/child
Happening every Wednesdays until last week of April 2013, this offer from Sarkies is limited to first 80 people who will reserve for the dinner. One printout of the banner per one diner only. Terms & conditions apply.
I remember on my very first days after my arrival to work in Penang from the Philippines back in 2010, Eastern & Oriental Hotel, a luxury heritage-all-suite hotel in George Town was one of the very few spots in the island that I came to know about. Being one of the landmarks in Penang located by the glorious bay, I have been fascinated with its sophisticated and historic charm.


Fast forward to 3 years after of being an Overseas Filipino Worker in this side of Malaysia, it was truly a pleasure to be invited with my wife, Tina and our son, Gabby to Sarkies’ Chef Petr’s Catch Seafood Buffet Dinner Extravaganza last 13th March 2013, Wednesday. My family and I enjoyed not only the eat-all-you-want-seafood-and more from Sarkies but Tina & Gabby also took time to appreciate the elegance that defines E&O Hotel with me. We all had a grand time!


Of course, TEAM DOCGELO had a wonderful time capturing the moments on lens prior to the main event! Tee hee! :D


Now, let’s get down to business. Before you continue reading this post and scrolling down, you must know the drill. Be ready first with a tall glass of cold water and promise yourself not to drool, hehe! :) Here’s a rundown of this one of a kind dining experience offered at Sarkies at E&O. Feast your eyes! Enjoy!!!

The seafood appetizers were remarkable! My captures were probably incomplete from what’s on the spread but I’d like to showcase what I can recommend. I loved that delicately delicious salmon topped with caviar, thinly sliced scrambled eggs and fine green garnishing; my palates also admired those seafood canapes and those slices of freshest Norwegian salmon sashimi! The sashimi & sushi (yes, there’s a few sushi rolls too!) monster-in-me was so happy! There’s also that Duo of Gravlax that’s not to be missed from this buffet at Sarkies. Some people may find it a bit salty but that’s what gravlax is all about. There must be a tug-of-war between saltiness & sweetness on it. I liked it actually!


Imported & freshest seafoods galore! Alaskan Snow Crab Claws, Oyster on Ice, Poached Black Mussels that appeared to me as yin & yang as they’re put side-by-side with the more common mussels and there’s also Boiled River Cray Fish that I missed but Tina was able to sample. Other than what’s on my photos, there’s also Oyster Omelette, Marinated Cuttlefish, Seasoned Squid, Black Sesame Salad, Deep Fried Snow Crab Claws and a lot more.

Have I told you it’s not only seafood dishes that lorded the buffet spread? There’s actually something for everyone! If you fancy Roasted Duck (Yummy! check out my plates as you scroll down!), Chicken Satay, Beef and Lamb chops, a variety of seafoods to grill on the teppan, a few seafood like prawns and veggies cooked with sauces, a Noodle Station and more! You have to check it yourself if you have the chance.  :)

Meanwhile, after you’ve taken a glance of some portions of the spread, here’s a shameless display of our delicious plates :


There may be some dishes that my family and I were expecting that weren’t there, like Baked Mussels (we want it buttery and cheesy), Buttered & Garlic Prawns, Lobster, Sweet and Sour Grouper and at least some local Malaysian dishes. Nonetheless we’re grateful and satisfied with everything! As a matter of fact, when I was asked by Criz who invited all of us for this event, I told him & the blogger-friends on our table that I almost forgot my name as I was very satiated!

While Tina was pleased at how the Lamb was roasted that perfectly complemented with its sauce, Gabby and I preferred the Beef from the Carving Station. Very tender and flavorful, Gabby and I had more than one servings each! The Roasted Duck was also commendable! It’s delicious too sans mushroom sauce!

*Gabby on his second plate of the Roasted Beef. Obviously, he ate with feelings! Hehehe!

One of the highlights of the evening was meeting Chef Petr of Sarkies at E&O. He was so friendly and accomodating to be photographed! I loved this photo as it captures the Chef and our very own Chef-Hotelier-Restaurateur-wannabe (so help me, God!)!


An eat-all-you-want is incomplete without desserts.  Sarkies at E&O perfectly knows that and these are their current offerings.

*If you must know, this photo was taken by my lovely wife, Tina. Applause! I’m proud of her!!!

Over and beyond the gastronomic feast and its sweet ending, I loved how Tina savored the moments photographing her plates. She took turns in using her ipod and our SLR. I know she had fun capturing what we ate as she’s one of those foodies now on Instagram (follow her @ teenasantos on Ig).

Here’s my dessert plate :


And here’s Tina’s that she shared with Gabby :


Some of those are fractions of these :
*This is a portion of Sarkies’ Dessert-Christmas-Tree-in-Mid-March! :)

*Incredibly fantastic presentation, although I wished the doughnuts were softer.

Ambiance and service were impeccable! Our glasses were refilled with either warm or chilled water without prompting. The overall dining atmosphere and experience were classy yet comfortable and not intimidating.


Great food, excellent service, fine ambiance, good laughs, good friends.

*On our table : With Malaysian Bloggers all in black! What’s with black, lah? Hehehe! Oops, someone was wearing ecru! She’s one of our nicest Malaysian Blogger-friends, Emily of

Must facilitate peristalsis with coffee (not on photo) after fibrous fruits.

Interestingly, we met managers of Sarkies and of them even proudly said that he married a Filipina and has been to some places in our country upon learning that the three of us there are from the Philippines.

After having cups of coffee and exchange of chats with our fellows, we bid goodbye to Sarkies and thanked the famous foodie Malaysian Blogger, Criz Lai for inviting us. It was another memorable family-food-fun adventure for Tina, Gabby and I! :D

SARKIES’ CHEF PETR’S CATCH SEAFOOD BUFFET DINNER EXTRAVAGANZA | Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang | Every Wednesday until last week of April 2013 | 7PM to 10:30PM

Regular prices at RM 110 ++(adult), RM 48++ (child).

Here are the other Dining Offerings at E&O Hotel Penang :

eastern and oriental hotel penang
eastern & oriental hotel penang
eastern & oriental hotel penang




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