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Bayan Baru / Bayan Lepas

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I did blog about this place that the food did not taste so good and the ingredient use is not up to the standard as most of the Penangnites are ranting about it too as most of us also cannot denied that its a great place to hang out and to my surprise, the Founder or the Owner of Sticks Jerry, had actually email me and responded to my post. I am actually very happy on his response as not many restaurant owners do response to critics especially when they are newly operating in this industry and especially to bloggers too. This is what he commented and I am actually helping him to spread the words around. For those of you out there actually find the same situation, you can directly email him.
I have been reading all the complaints about STICKS and as the Owner/Founder I would like to put a face in front and seek your indulgence to respond:

1. Yes, we invested a lot (7-figures) to make it a nice cool place comparable to Kuta Bali, Hawaii, Phuket etc. The umbrellas are Aussie and the woodwork and furniture are all hardwood. We wanted to create a “postcard’ look because we could not find a beautiful place to bring friends. It was always hawker food or expensive hotels in Ferringhi.

2. Yes, we built from zero from the ground up on a bare land. Rain is the biggest issue but we have a 60 seat aircon area and retractable canopies. We could easily cover everything but that would defeat the concept. We did not want to sacrifice the “openness” under the stars. We are not fine dining but casual so even beach wear is fine! We also created the First Fish Bar (where you can drink with the fishes) in Malaysia at great expense. Not many people are aware but we have a rooftop that has a fantastic view – so far we have had a few private dinners there. Later it will be done up as a roof-garden cosy area.

3. Yes, on the first month of opening since 19dec, we had problems with the food and service. I’ll address the food later. On service, we wanted to be purist and refused to hire foreign floor staff but stuck with Malaysians. Our menu was new to the staff because they only know steaks, burger, sandwiches i.e. standard fare. They never ever experienced Hawaiian fusion and that resulted in the inability to explain or recommend the food properly even though we did train. They punch in the wrong orders etc on the computerized POS system etc. Our new revised menu (est. start 8feb) will have simplified codes numbers and pictures. And yes, sad to say, but poor attitude, indifference and poor communication seems to be a Malaysian workforce problem. We will now look to hire few foreign staff just to do running (delivery, clearing etc). We are willing to pay more to use Captains/Supervisors to take orders. We will also put up a customer comment card by 8 feb. Staff with good comments will get immediate bonus.

4. We are well aware of pricing and strive to keep it reasonable- everyone can compare. For example, small starters “tapas” are below RM5.00 ( 10+ choices). Soups are RM5.80. Salads are RM7.80 but will be revised to RM5.80. Chicken Pie is 4” round and RM5.80 with fries (remember our pies & burgers are Snacks not full meal). Main grills (8 choices) are RM19.80 incl rice or pasta, slaw, pickle & sauces. Pastas (6 choices) are RM13.80. Of course for Xmas, New Year etc it will cost more for a full 5-course set – at our neighbour outlet, you are given only 2 hours to eat and leave…and higher price than us! To be fair, special occasions you are also paying for the location and the higher costs incurred.

5. Our food portions are not large for sure. Our concept is not for a big fast meal just to fill your stomach. Coming to STICKS should be for the classy yet relaxed ambience and slowly enjoy a starter, a soup or salad and the Main with a cocktail/wine and maybe dessert with coffee. Yes, it may blow your budget to have the full course but it shouldn’t be all the time – also better to do the Lunch Set @RM13.80 or Dinner Set @RM33 (new menu). Other times, a beer/cocktail and pasta/snack is what many of our regulars go for. By the way, we are increasing the size of the Main to cater for the younger (& hungrier) people.

6. On the food there are several issues. First, I agree the Menu was confusing so we are changing to a simplified with pictures ( some people don’t read English too). Second, as I said before, our staff was unable to communicate properly – our food is modern so many people are not sure what we are about. Third, some fusion items are not for everyone eg sardine pasta – you have to like sardines or a little adventurous in the first place….but still it remains our top pasta seller today.. ….even our neighboring outlet manager buys it home after his place closes. I know customers don’t want to know excuses but it is sad in Malaysia we get unscrupulous suppliers who give you good stuff for testing then gives you 2nd grade once you are successful. We have changed and put in strict controls but will still have to look out all the time. So, we value feedback. I think in F&B there will be some OFF days but what is important is we keep listening and improving. We do not believe in a having a laundry list of items because 80% of customers order 20% of the items. To me, a long menu means you have no concept and you fear to lose out and want to serve everyone. Also, I question the freshness and the chef skills. Personally, I avoid outlets with long menus and go for places with special items – but that is my choice. The other fact is we use only fresh ingredients even up to making our own sauces- we have a Peppercorn & a Spicy BBQ as well as own salad dressings. The pickle is also from fresh fruits.

7. On the drinks, again we offer some drinks that would be the first time in Malaysia. On the new menu, we are putting in more description and pictures so you don’t order something you don’t like. A tip which I do when I go places: If you are a drinks person, always go to the bar and talk to the bartender and discuss preferences….sometimes I even get free tasting if it is not a standard drink! For example, our homemade Tamarind drink (no preservatives or flavoring) is sour, sweet with a slight bitter after taste. We tested on many customers and mostly girls like it. Others ok but some guys think it is weird. Well….not for everyone….( I will tell the staff to let customers try first if it is first time for them). We stick to our tropical concept and offer some unique cocktails: COCOKAKA (whole coconut, vodka, ++) & PIPIRUM (whole pineapple, rum, ++) are our top sellers.

8. We always want to be better and appreciate all comments good or bad. We have now done about 20 private functions from 15 to 60 pax and we have upcoming a Porsche dinner party & an “Online Dating Service” Event (believe it or not over 100 pax! From Spore!).

I know some of you may be very put off by the bad experience you had at STICKS- I would be too if it was me – I would like to offer my sincere apologies for our shortcomings. Because of the start up problems as mentioned above, I am willing to give anyone of you a FREE meal anytime to compensate. Just email me at [email protected] and I will see to it. Of course, Fridays & Sats tend to be a bit crazy so please try to make it a weekday if possible.

I thank you for coming to STICKS in the first place even though for some of you the food and service was a major disappointment. As a consolation, everyone says it is a great place. What pisses me off is I have friends who travel everywhere and say how great this place and that place is and run down Penang. But when in Penang, they complain that the Char Koay Teow is expensive at Rm5.00 etc when they pay USD5 or EURO5 overseas for a damn coffee or cold sandwich. If this mentality keeps up, we will always be living in lowcost flats! Even my best friends advise me against doing an upscale concept because Penangnites are stingy, cannot appreciate, used to hawker food, cannot behave etc..the list goes on! Living in Penang and having seen nice places overseas, my challenge and vision is to create a beautiful outlet that locals and tourists can be proud off without having to pay an arm and leg for.

Thanks,

Jerry

Penang as my hometown, neither did I know that, I actually made another great discovery that thanks to Lingzie that brought us here. I have always known that Kajang Satay which is very famous to folks in KL and Selangor but I just got to know that Ah Basri Satay is actually very famous with local crowd especially during lunch hours as its nearby the industrail zone.
In the afternoon you can expect this place to be full house even though its far away from town and nearby the industrail zone but nevertheless, its a great discovery.

Ah Basri

This shop actually is a combination of what the 1Malaysia concepts truely are. Behind this shop, there are actually a few partners which is Chinese, Malay and Indian owner that had come out with this concept which I am really proud of.

Ah Basri (2)

and yes, they are actually moving to a new premises which is bigger, new concept, air condition and brought the satay to another whole new level. You can expect more variety of satay choices and what is that, is for you to find out at their new branch as when the tauke told us about it, I was already hoping to try that new flavour.

Ah Basri (3)

Their special pit area of bbq’ing their satay.

Ah Basri (4)

Turning the satay under the warm charcoal that making sure it does not burn the meat and add on with their own special oil to bring up the taste and make the look of it, yummy, delicious and cant wait to salivate.

Ah Basri (5)

You can expect quite a huge range of satay compare to the normal hawker stall on the road or kopitiam. You can expect such meat as chicken, beef, lamb, deer, ostrich, horse, rabbit, duck, turkey, squid, prawn and fish. It also offers normal, black pepper and also tom yam flavoured satay.
and the price would be :Original Chicken RM1, Tomyam Chicken RM1.20, Black Pepper Chicken RM1.20, Original Beef RM1.40, Original Lamb RM1.40, Horse RM2.00, Squid RM2.50 PrawnRM3.00 Cow Stomach RM1.50.

Ah Basri (7)

The most important of all in satay is the gravy of it, filled with nice thick peanut sauce that rich with flavour and add on some of their chili to bring up the taste of the gravy is truly aromatic to dip along with the satay.

Ah Basri (8)

Lamb & Tomyam Satay

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Beef & Black Peppered Chicken Satay (borrow this pic from BBO)

Ah Basri (10)

Chicken Satay

Ah Basri (11)

Squid Satay

Ah Basri (12)

As the satay is very flavourful, and we requested to ask Sunny to be our very own embassador that he is enjoying every bite of his satay. My most prefered which is Lamb and Black Pepper Satay which had been marinated and bbq very perfectly, juicy and soft yet aromatic and besides that, do not look down on this place that the waiter and waitress here had been profesionally train and they have excelent customer service.
With them moving to their new location, I would not mind visit their new stall for the very next round and their satay stick is actually big in size.

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 7.5/10, Good ah~-Stamped-

–Warning– This is based on my individual taste. Try it at your own risk-

New Location:
Ah Basri Satay
56, Jalan Mahsuri, Bayan Baru
Penang
(would be around Sunshine Square Area)
*Halal

Tel: 016-553 5433

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Penang being a wonderful place for food hunting especially on hawker and street food but Sticks Fire Bistro is one of the latest edition into Penang food paradise. Being in town for so many days I grab the opportunity to visit this place with my best friend as we were out of idea what to eat around Queensbay.

When we reach there, my friend got totally excited over the newly build up place and I was quite impress with it too. A stand alone Bistro.

A very catchy and nice environment they have.

 

Filled with a bar that serves cocktail, mock tail, beers and liquor.

The restaurant remains open concept which is quite a nice choice that I have seen one in Klang area. This place surely have the kick for it.

If you feel that outdoor is hot for you, then they do have indoor too. Cozy mosaic floor with nicely lit lights in it.

I have always like to sit some where higher like a mini bar bench area. This would be a great place to be.

The restaurant also practise open concept kitchen.
For the very first time, we were quite surprise to see what they have to offer in the menu, not many choices but felt that the price is right with the environment they build up and comes the friendly waitress that start to take up our order and ask what is nice in the menu, and recommended all those in chili sign is the chef recommended which I also can see that.
Then this name caught my attention to order it ‘Tamarind with Longan-Iced’ RM3.90 and honestly I do not know how to enjoy this drink, sour with longan sweet that I felt do not go along very well yet with a few pieces of ice cubes is not chill enough, requested extra ice cubes to make it more chilled.
My best friend ordered ‘Spicy Waikiki Sardine’ and with the spiciness level is there yet there is nothing much to boost about yet this is a chef recommendation. We felt its way very plain just like spaghetti and added on can sardine with own spice.. RM13.80

Then the food start to turn’s ugly with this serving of ‘Traditional Meat & Mash Potato’ that this mash potato was serve to us cold. I was a little bit shock at first and thought it was suppose to be like that and after eat the base also cold I ask the waiter to help me ask on it. They took it away and help me reheat on it. After came back the base in it is a lil warm yet can still taste some coldness in certain part and I did not mind. As I ate half of the pie and I am getting more frustrated as I did not eat any meat pieces or chunks in the pie with its written meat in it and ask my friend to help me try out and also agree that its more like vegetable pie instead of meat pie. FINE!
When my portion was served, I really got a surprise that ‘Tender Lamb Cubes with Pine’ is totally out of my expectation, what the hell, its still cubes but on sticks more like satay Kebab with such a small portion and plain yet the best part is my LAMB CUBES IS COLD. Again another dish is served cold. Requested the waiter to help me change and they change a brand new stick for me.
Guess what, my second stick of lamb is full of veins and its hard to bite or chew. I never careless about it any more with such food quality yet with the dipping sauce added on it taste not bad but RM19.80 I would say its very expensive for the portion and quality.

While I am walking around to take pictures, this guy request me to take picture for him. They are seriously nice guys as I get to know the first guy in light blue shirt is the manager for TGI Fridays in Queensbay mall which was introduce to me moments ago.
Till while we were waiting for our bill and one of the floor lady manager came to us and ask us how is the food and services. As I told her, the service is good and the food is way below average for the price we are paying and complain bout the lamb too. Guess what is her response…. and what she said I would say she is killing the business:
” I know that our Lamb got veins and the quality is not there, when we went for the food review on the supplier, the lamb was the best even better than the Beef that is why we choose the lamb but when the supplier send us the stock, it was not as what we have tried. You know ah, if a supplier send this kind of quality to us ah..how are we going to use back them, not sincere at all and on my hand I got handful list of supplier, not this supplier I can find another better supplier.”

When I heard this, what am I suppose to say yet came to a conclusion that, you did the same thing, pushing all those bad lamb with veins for us to eat and isint that this is the way you killing your business? What a good explanation you have yet no discount was given, or replacement and just agree with my statement and added yours. Its truly disappointing for food experience that I have to go grab a ramlee burger to eat after that as the portion was small and I still felt hungry after that. I guess I was one of the unlucky customer that had a bad experience on their food serving but service was good.

I just would want to say that, if you would want to try out the food, just give them 1 more month to get organise their kitchen and food quality. Since the day I am visiting was last weekend which is their only first few days of operating but I cannot deny more that, the restaurant is sure a great place to drink in Penang. Hopefully they will improve during my next visit which I think they derserve a second chance.

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 3/10, DAMM BAD for the day!!!!~-Stamped-

–Warning– This is based on my individual taste. Try it at your own risk-

Location:
Sticks Fire Bistro
FD-150, Queensbay Mall
100, Persiaran Bayan Indah,
11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang
(Located directly outside of Coffee Bean)

Korean food, at times its hard to resist when comes to BBQ. To me, their signature is always BBQ yet when I went to Korea that time, it was not the case but in Malaysia, it looks like this are the kind of food that we could get, all under one roof. Honestly, if you ask me where is the nice Korean BBQ food so far on the island, definitely I am recommending this shop. Being one of the latest addition into the market it had gain its reputation quite fast and quite recognise by alot of my friends too.

As I always heard to get good Korean food was some where around Ampang but then my buddy Yeong brought me to this shop at Sri Hartamas and then now they had operated in Penang. My parents not being a big fan of grill stuff then I decided to bring and expose them to the little great environment they have there.

Their decoration is sure the same as the one they had in Hartamas.

Even the interior. The restaurant is quite pack and it is advise to do a reservation before you proceed, if not you will of course be seated at this lower ground. The very friendly boss is from Korea.

Ground floor setting is different from upstairs.

Upstairs they do have their own private room that would best for birthday celebration, client or family gathering.
This would be the place which we were seated. A very traditional Korean concept that makes you feel like you are part of the culture.
If you are a Saju lover, then you would not want to miss their selection, temptation to order.

For me, I am 100% sure that I do not know how to read Korean yet with the translation of English on the dish would not be perfect with picture illustration. It is easy for me to ask my parents what they want to eat and just point without actually have to explain to them what are the sauces or how it looks like.
Variety of meats are available and with different seasoning too.
Before the mains for serve, your table will be filled with all those small little appetizer to start of with, if you find any that you like, you can just refill any of the choices or get the whole set refill at your desk at no time.
You will be only left a very small place for you to ngam ngam put your own cutleries only.
Being a pork ribs lover in BBQ pit which is a must order item, ‘Hanbang Dweji Wang Galbi’ RM35
The pork ribs was well marinated and
The Pork Ribs was well marinated balace with some fats and meat, and after BBQ’ing for a while the meat is tender and its juicy. If you wrap it with lettuce and dip with the sesame sauce will add in the extra kick in it.
Being a fan of ‘SonDuBu JjiGae’ the taste is very appealing. Not that spicy as the colour looks like yet a bit of the sour taste accompany by a bowl of rice is a great companion. RM17
To me in BBQ, lamb is always a must for me which is ‘Yang Gogi’ marinated evenly and was cook perfectly by the helper. BBQ to its softness and the taste of the lamb is there with oozing of the after BBQ juice that had created by the lamb on the grill pan is just something we enjoy very much. RM35

The perfectly grill lamb.
Normal eater like my parents, they always prefer to have chicken, just in case they do not know how to enjoy the rest of the order. ‘Yang-nyum Dak-Gal-Bi’ RM27

After enjoying the first 2 great dish, then this had become something like so so. It would be better if they serve this first at least your taste bud can try something from okay to good.
At the end of the meal, you will be enjoying a comlimentary watermelon but we were enjoying our great meal there. My parents would sure returning to this restaurant again.
Here are my review on Hartamas Branch, KL.

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 9/10, VERY good~ Recommended -Stamped-

–Warning– This is based on my individual taste. Try it at your own risk-

Location:
Daorae Korean BBQ Restaurant
15-2-G, 2-1 & 2-2 Bayan Point
Medan Kg. Relau
11900 Penang

Tel : 04 6402616

Open Daily

Business Hour : 12pm-3pm (lunch) & 5.30pm -11pm (dinner)

Last round when I went back to Penang, I manage to meet up with Chloe, one my chi mui’s lol..that’s what she claim me as. Had been quite long since I last met her, ermmm, about 12-14 months back. Usually we could not find a suitable time to meet up, either she is tied up with work or I am busy with my own stuff.

As we walk around Queensbay Mall which I felt it’s a waste of energy and decided to head for a drink instead of walking around like zombie then she told me she is craving for pancakes from this shop. Then I kacau her, harr..’yau jor’ ah you..then she scold me. Lol…

I have seen a lot of blogger blog about this place and this is my first encounter in this restaurant. What makes me not to go was the pricing for a pancakes. Since she is craving for it, and haven’t meet up with her so long I sure do not mind.

You can sit to choose inside the shop or the outdoor style infront of the shop. We chose to sit around this area.

Not a big fan of coffee but I sure do love ‘Ice Mocha’. To my big dissapointment, this would be rated as the far most geli drink that I ever come accross. I do not know what coffee bean they use, but its just bad even the kopi from the kopitiam taste even much better. With the pricing of RM10.50 its just wouldnt worth any peny.
While was looking in the menu, this sure tempt us to order with its name itself and also the photo illustration on the menu. When it came out, we were impress as seen in the menu. ‘Treasure Box’ thought of what is the burried tresure in it. RM 17

The pancake is soft and pan fried with butter taste, covered with strawberry, almond, ice cream and whipped cream with a bit of chocolate syrup and honey pour upon. I just enjoy my desert as much as Chloe did.

I sure do not mind to come to this shop once in a blue blue moon. Then she told that she is going to encounter next stage of her life and when she told me that I was so happy for her and invited me to her wedding which will be next year.

= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 7/10, Not bad~ -Stamped-

–Warning– This is based on my individual taste. Try it at your own risk-

Location:

Paddington House of Pancakes
1st Floor, Quesball mall,
100 Persianran Bayan Indah,
Sungai Nibong, Bayan Lepas,
11900 Penang
Tel: 04-6449910

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