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Little did I know that actually Penang do have good cofffee. It was a recent gathering with my friend Kevin that he introduce me die die must vist Stairs coffee which is his all time favourite now in Penang as KL visitor. Just realise that they do have alot of outlets in Penang and the first one I visited was Stairs 46Nordin at Nordin Street Penang. best cafe in penanghidden cafe in penang

Love the ambiance as it is not the usual cafe vibe that you got. It is kinda like a bit of bar & cafe combine. I believe they declare that they have the longest bar cafe table in Penang. 

As I scroll on the  menu, Kevin said no need scrool. Order his all time favourite “Dirty Latte” which he misses alot. O

dirty latteDirty Lattecafe in penang

Then for the first time I saw this Omakase Coffee. Usually you heard in dining and here they got it for RM 35 only. GIve it a try lo. Since cheap. Was explain carefully by the barista that you would not know which bean he is using, but with them analysing the drinker, they will then pick the beans which think suits your mood of the day

Follow by a drink that will be transform into 3 different varity in the same cup. That excites me.

best barista in penangDrinks no.2 in process as the brew went into ice cold pitch to chill itnordin streetDrink no.3 turns out to be coffee cocktail – Orange Coffee
orange coffee
orange peel coffee

 

omakase coffee

 

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stairs 46 nordin street

Now only I know why my friend most of them are member here and also my KL friend highly recommended here. Indeed you will kinda miss their coffee cuz of quality.

Location:

46, Lebuh Noordin,

10300 George Town

Operating Hours: 9am – 11pm

 

In Penang, its kinda hard to find good food? Depends how you look at that and your taste bud how sensitive. However I saw this youtuber (Elmo Lee) one of the oldest youtuber in Malaysia introduce this place I was like look at their food. Instantly I book a table at Authentic Nyonya Food at Winns Cafe, Penang for Chinese New Year dinner with my parents.

nyonya food in penang

Could this be the Best Nyonya Food in Penang? Oh well, you judge yourself after try out ya.

winns cafe menu

Their menu was pretty direct on that period of time. Winns Cafe menu is only 2 pager. Drinks and CNY ala Carte Menu.

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Of course their rice is a must have. Fragrant and super good. My dad had 2 bowls of this.

nasi ulam

Then Nasi Ulam which is one of their Signature @ RM 15. Pack with flavours as it is as near authentic where I tried once long time ago. Layers of flavours from fresh herbs and wok hei rice, final top with their sambal is just perfect. My dad loves their sambal till wanted to ask to buy a bottle back!

Samble is mild spicy with hint of belacan, nice end of chili skin taste.

nyonya otak otak

Nyonya Otak Otak @ RM 13.50 cook to perfection. Well stim that it is still soft, with its fresh fish in the middle and the taste of the leave in it is not overpowering yet complement wells with the taste.

nyonya asam fish

In nyonya food, of course Asam Fish stingray must have for me! @ RM 56. Even this dish was on the high side price tag, but it is indeed satisfying. Well balance of sourish of curries with mild spicy end with hin of mint and bunya kantan is enough to banjir your plate to whack it clean.

 

acar

Their signature dish is also their classic Nyonya Acar @ RM 15. Nicely mix up with explosive sourish flavours. If you like sourish taste then go for this.

tau yew bak

One of their highlight which my dad totally agree is also their Signature Tau Yew Bak @ RM 35. Each piece is cook to perfection that is so caramelize, near stick to your teeth and a nice mouthful bite of this. The curries of Asam Stingray and dish would be a 2 perfect dish companion.

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My dad keep praising as he eat this like the first time he ever had a good food. My dad already start to “bising” to come back here to bring my brother along.

nyonya dessert

We end ourselves with 2 dessert from recommendation. Glutinous rice and sago. Both are equally good and I have not come across such this. Quite interesting for a Nyonya dessert.

I would recommend 3 dishes for first timer:

  1. Asam Gulai
  2. Tau Yew Bak
  3. Nasi Ulam

I would certainly come back again.

*NON-Halal

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 8/10, good la good la. can come try! Stamped-

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

Location:
Winns Cafe
2, Jalan Irrawaddi,
10050 Penang

Operating hours;
11am – 3pm / 6pm – 10pm

Tel : 0194511631

This famous HaiDiLao hotpot is indeed spreading its wings in Malaysia very fast. With the latest addition to Gurney Paragon, Penang, It had created a huge buzz up in the north. Also making them one of the most famous mala hotpot in Penang.

Why is Haidilao so famous. For one simple reason. Service & Fresh ingredients!

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People do come and queue as early as 11am, however we had heavy breakfast and my parents decided to drop by to check it out where hoping to get numbers for dinner. Instead the queue was not long, they decided to head inside to try luck.

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Here are the 2 sessions available for you to queue to pick your number. morning session starts at 11am and night dinner starts queue at 4pm.

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waiting number will keep updating and you will be called if you are around the area. Another way is to scan your wechat on the QRcode then you can walk around and monitor your number. 5 Numbers before your turn, head back to this waiting area.

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While waiting for your table, you are being pampered with all kinds of snacks, fruits , Thong sui and drinks,

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Their fresh pop corn is pretty good too.

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The waiting area.

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More Snacks!

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The weird part of this manicure is you have to dine first then only head to this section to do it. I thought is while waiting in the queue you can do your manicure. Also they do have kids play area if your kids got grumpy or bored. It is also connected to the table on the dining table just in case you want to watch over your kids while eating.

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We got our table quite fast, which is less than 30-35  minutes with 50 numbers ahead of us. We reach around 12pm. I guess lunch on Saturday was not that pack which is still not too bad. Upon seated, you will be given warm towel, a cover to protect your phone, a wet wipes to wipe your oily screen. Rock melon being serve along as well.

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Digital menu

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There are variety of sauce mixing that you can try it out.

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We were so full from breakfast, so we ordered a little to try it out.

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We order:

  1. Sichuan Malat (level 1) which you can upgrade if you want to add spicy. Those who can take spicy, direct go to level 3. Which taste much better.
  2. Tomato Soup (one of their signature)
  3. Curry Laksa (Malaysia edition only)
  4. Mushroom soup

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My kind of personal sauce mixing.

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Hai Di Lao famous dancing noodle which is a must order. (watch my video on see how he dance)

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with my parents as they want to join the hype too. A tick for them and for those who are not used to eating Malat, Haidilao is certainly one of the best place to be.

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After we are done at 2.30pm, these are all the crowd waiting for 4pm number session or dinner session onwards. This is kinda crazy and luckily we ate for lunch instead of night. In KL, average waiting time is 2-4 hours depending on branch. So good luck to the rest of you.

Overall Haidilao Malaysia is good for :

  1. entry level or beginners whom are not used to eat Malat or sichuan hotpot. To us who loves Malat, this place is totally out as there are much better hotpot place over this.
  2. Service, service and service – even though is quite top notch over I think Singapore Haidilao or Korea Haidilao is so much better.
  3. the most important is the price is not expensive if you compare to Singapore or Korea.

So for sichuan hotpot in Penang, you could consider this as one of the option. My experience in Singapore and Korea.

*Non-Halal

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 7/10, good for family bonding and they want to try out!!!~-Stamped-

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

Location:
Gurney Paragon, 163D-L4-13 & 13A,
Persiaran Gurney, 10250 George Town, Penang

tel: 04-297 1263

Operating Hours: 10.30am – 3am

Finally, the cafe scene had move up a notch. There are plenty of cafes in Penang, but they are all quite similiar. This Chinese New Year that I am back, some of my friends ask me to pay a visit to Kafka Cafe in Penang, as it is one of the latest addition into the scene.  At least has a standard to what we visit in oversea. A cafe that hidden in a club house that sits a wing just right next to it.

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A nice glass building by the side of itself do give you an inviting welcome and the ambiance is just like one of the cafe scene you visit in Bangkok or Melbourne. A nice combination of modern and raw industrial decor.

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the front entrance area is quite modern as you walk towards the back, there is where the classic begins.

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Menu is pretty simple at the moment, that offers what diners needed.

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This place indeed going to be one of a instagram heaven, with its raw finishing on the wall that remains as the past building structure, the pastal colour and each section have slightly different feel too.

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Menu here is pretty straight forward. Cakes here seems to be one of the best seller or could be during this high peak of CNY but coffee pricing here certainly on the low side which is something to look forward.

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If you love robust coffee, the taste and aroma here is pretty strong, yet with mild acidic taste. My latte at only RM 9

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since burnt cheesecake is the latest trend, trying out the burnt cheese cake here too. It is not too bad as the cheese is  mild, slightly airy. For Penang scene it is good enough to give it a try.

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nothing to shout about on their Bacon Carbonara @ RM 23.90

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Indeed one of a cafe I would certainly pay a visit again or a place to catch up with friends. Parking here is quite convenient as in the premises they do have decent amount of parking. If it is full, I park behind at the housing area. Just please make sure cars are able to pass and do not block the entrance of house owner.

*NON-HALAL

-= Ka Ching =-

Food Rating 8/10, love the ambiance and decent priced coffee!!!~-Stamped-

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

Location:
15, Jalan Kelawai,
Kampung Syed, 10250
George Town, Pulau Pinang

Tel: 04-218 9726

Operating Hours: 8am – 10pm

There are only a handful of Vietnamese Restaurant in KL. An Viet is one of the shop that I constantly visit whenever I am thinking of my Vietnamese cuisine. I still remember that I visited their The Gardens outlet when they first open its door many years back and I never blog about it over the years.

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Menu is not huge, where the most important is my beef noodle.

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If you are entering this shop for the first time, you can actually see there is a pot of fresh basil leave on every table. On my first thought, I thought they were for decoration but I am wrong. It is for you to pluck your fresh basil leaves and add into your noodle.

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Well, now they have started their #nostraw initiative as all the drinks are serve without straws. Drinks that I usually order are:

SINH TỐ DỪA – Ice Blended coconut @ RM 10.90 & TRÀ CHANH BẠC HÀ – Iced Lime & Mint Tea @ RM 8.90

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BÁNH TRÁNG NƯỚNG – Grilled Rice Paper with Minced Pork @ RM 9.90. Something simple to start off with as this dish still quite consistant over the years. Paper thin skin wrap with their marinated mince pork.

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This is one of the crowds favourite which you can give it a try too. CANH CHUA NGAO NƯỚC DỪA Clam in Coconut Broth @ RM 14.90. Soup is quite solid in taste and clam is fresh. Love the balance of taste of lemon grass which is not overpowering that can taste the actual broth base.

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This is one of my favourite that I like. PHỞ BÒ ĐẶC BIỆT – Vietnamese Beef Noodle Special with Raw Beef, Beef Brisket, Shank, Tripe, Tendon, & Homemade 100% Pure Beef Ball @ RM 23.90

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Beef cut is good and let it cook in this hot soup broth. If you like your meat to be slightly more cook, you can always take this beef slice and hide it under the noodle for 2-3 minutes to get it done. Soup is clear, that you can taste the sweetness of the broth and with add in beef parts, it is just perfect!

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So now this is the actual usage of the plant. Pluck from the pot of basil leaves then added it into your bowl as much as you like. The little side bowl with clear water is not a drinking water as the purpose serves for you to wash your fresh basil leaves.

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Then added it into your bowl of pipping hot beef noodle. Yumz!

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BÚN CHẢ : Hanoi Style Grilled Pork with Vermicelli @ RM 18.90 is good for sharing as this is slightly quite unique compare to what we usual have. Grill pork is soft and tender and the soup base for this vermicelli pairs just well.

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Those that do not want too heavy meal, then you can opt for Banh Mi – Vietnamese Baguette is one of the best seller in the outlet. @ RM 14.90

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CHẢ CÁ LÃ VỌNG – Hanoian Style Fish with Turmeric & Dill @ RM 23.90

as this would be my first time trying it. Turns out to be good as the flavour of it quite balance and gives you a herb taste finishing. Cuz of the ingredient that they are using and they have dill on the dish. Fish also did not over cook and softness of the meat that soak on the flavour will certainly be a good pairing for rice.

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This is one of my favourite snacks. I find it very interesting and good. XÔI CHIÊN PHỒNG – Deep Fried Sticky Rice Puff  with Green Mango Salad  & Grilled Lemongrass Chicken @ RM 14.90 A dish that is carefully crafted and not easy to be cook into a nice round globe shape yet it must have be like near paper thin that you peal on the crust it cracks easily.

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As you crack open the globe snacks, glutinous rice is smack at the center of the base to act as the holder of the sphere. This is how I eat it. Crack the done, and grab some of the glutinous rice then eat it. just perfect. Chewy and slightly crispy. If you eat it with the lemongrass chicken, it will give you another layer of flavour.

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To end your meal, can always opt for their  VIET-FFOGATO – Condensed Milk Ice Cream with Vietnamese Coffee @ RM 9.90

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Or my personal favorite : CÀ PHÊ TRỨNG – Vietnamese Drip Coffee with Egg @ RM 9.90. Wish that I could have 1 more egg to make it more perfect. Give you just the right creaminess and smoothness while sipping it.

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well They also do have something for you to purchase off like their paper rice roll, fish oil and others.

Craving for Vietnamese food, An Viet is one of the place that I turn to.

Location:
An Viet, Sunway Pyramid
LG2.127A, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall
No 3, Jalan PJS 11/15
Bandar Sunway, 47500 PJ
Tel: +603 5611 2226

Operating Hours: 10am – 10pm

An Viet, The Gardens
LG203B, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra,
59200 KL
Tel: +603 2201 1181

Operating Hours: 10am – 10pm

If you are short on time in Penang or just on touch and go trip in Penang yet still want to hit your stomach with all the good street food. Gurney Drive Hawker Center is one of the options where I usually recommend my friend. Although some of you might find it commercialize but still there are certain stalls which is still quite good.

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In this hawker center, there are plenty of stalls for you to hit on as every stall have their own set of customers as their flavours are different from each other. there are quite repetitive stall as what I mean is that you can find 3 laksa stall, 3 prawn noodle stall and so on.

Besides that, one good selling point in this food court as it is a good balance of Chinese and local malay food too.

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Grill cuttle fish is one of my favourte as each stall have their own special sauce to dip along. some are better and stronger in taste and some are milder.

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Fried oyster remain one of the top order list for many food hunter.

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this is one of my favourite Soya Bean Stall.

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Some call this instant steamboat as in Penang, we call this “Lok Lok” stall.

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for fried item, this stall is one of my favourite stall for fried chicken skin and or their fried items. Stall no.100

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there are a few Char Koey teow stall which is famous as most of them are in queue. This stall is also not too bad.

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Not the best but still remain one of the item that I would buy when I crave for it. Chinese Pancake with available flavour of corn or banana as they add in fresh banana slices.

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Otak otak in this stall is pretty darn good. Penang Otak otak is quite different from Muar as Penang version is steam along with a huge piece of fish in the center. Depending on the stall recipe.

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One of the classic dishes which is Cuttle fish or known as Sotong Kangkung or in Penang known as “Ju hu Eng Chai”.

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Muar chee still remain one of my favourite as this uncle sells right infrot of Gurney Plaza pedestrian walkway heading to Gurney Hawker Center. The one that I like is no longer available as the uncle already retired.

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Lets head to be back section which is the Halal section. You can get all the local malay cuisine. You have to be cautious while taking your ingredient in Pasembur stall in Gurney as they are well known for Cut Throat pricing. Best to ask individual item if it is not written. Usually if you take seafood, that is where the samurai sword is out.

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This Satay stall is pretty good which usually I order.

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This is the last stall nearby Wendy’s. Nasi Lemak CiliBilis is one of the best nasi lemak you can find int his food court. Steam fragrant rice, and their sambal is a must. Add fried chicken if you like which is crispy .

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One of the place that you can find good local food all under one roof. Besides that, there are plenty of new nightlife spot in Penang that is worth checking out. 

Location:
Gurney Drive Hawker Center
172, Solok Gurney 1, Pulau Tikus,
10250 gurney, Pulau Pinang

Operating Hours: 4.30pm – 11.30pm

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