Tiger Char Koay Teow @ Ping Hooi Cafe, Penang

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | Published in


One of the food I had planned to eat in Penang was char koay teow.

It's not everyday that I eat char koay teow since I consider it a pretty unhealthy food, but it would be a sin not to eat it when you visit Penang!

So where is the best char koay teow in Penang? Well, I did some research and narrowed it down to a few. Among them is Tiger Char Koay Teow at Ping Hooi Cafe located at the junction of Carnarvon Street and Malay Street in George Town.

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Ping Hooi Cafe is more like a coffee shop than a cafe, and in this shop, you can find a few stalls selling other food. I heard the duck drumstick mee suah is good there but unfortunately the stall was not opened at that time.

I ordered a plate of char koay teow with duck eggs. It was indeed the best char koay teow I have ever tasted! I am not sure if it's the best in Penang, but it definitely beats all the char koay teows I have eaten in Kuala Lumpur.

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The prawns were plump and juicy, the bean sprouts fresh and crunchy and the eggs blended nicely with the flat rice noodles or koay teow which had just the right amount of 'wok hei'.  It was also not too oily, which I liked! Perhaps it would be even better if it was spicier, but for those who cannot eat spicy, I would say this is the perfect char koay teow!

I also ordered a glass of iced cold nutmeg juice to wash down the sinful char koay teow.

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Did you know that this Tiger Char Koay Teow was featured in the Singaporean food show (I think it's called 'Makan Unlimited' or something) hosted by Mediacorp artiste Bryan Wong?

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If you visit Penang, don't ever miss Tiger Char Koay Teow or you might just regret it! :)

Gartien Pineapple Cakes - Mid Autumn Edition

Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, July 17, 2014 | Published in


The Mid Autumn Festival is coming soon and it's time for .... Gartien pineapple cakes!

Yes, I know most of you associate pineapple cakes with Chinese New Year and moon cakes with the Mid Autumn Festival, but maybe you want to try something different this year?

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Anyway, this Gartien pineapple cake arrived at my house one fine Wednesday morning all the way from Penang. Look at the beautiful packaging - makes good gift, no? : )

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Opening the box revealed 10 pieces of pineapple cakes individually wrapped in Japanese washi paper for freshness.

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I have blogged about the Gartien pineapple cakes before in the style of an Agatha Christie poem which I called "Ten Little Gartien Pineapple Cakes". LOL! Read it HERE.

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Being a fan of pineapple cakes especially those from Taiwan, I did not hesitate to open up one to try.

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This is how the pineapple cake looks like. There is an oxygen absorber to help preserve the freshness.

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I have to say that the Gartien pineapple cake was really pretty good! The pastry was quite milky and buttery although I would prefer it to be even more buttery and slightly thinner. The generous pineapple fillings were juicy, not too sweet and had a nice, chewy texture. Yummy!

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I gave some to my friends to try and all of them agreed it was delicious. However, one of my friends said that the size of the pineapple cake was too big - she prefers it to be smaller.

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Each box of 10 pineapple cakes are priced at RM45. Deliveries are available within Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia for an additional charge of RM10 and RM40 respectively.

However, the good news is there's a promotion now for the Mid Autumn Festival.
BEFORE 4 AUGUST 2014 : Buy 5 boxes and above and you will get 1 box FREE.
AFTER 4 AUGUST 2014 : Buy 10 boxes and above and you will get 1 box FREE. (upon availability) 

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So what are you waiting for? Instead of the usual moon cakes, let's go get some Gartien Pineapple Cakes for Mid Autumn!

Website : Gartien.com
Address : 380, Jalan Penang, 10000 Penang, Malaysia. (next to Kek Seng Coffee Shop)
Contact : 604-229 0068
Business Hours : 9am - 6pm

Yummy Bagel Muffin & Yogurt @ The Mugshot Cafe In Penang

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, July 14, 2014 | Published in


During my third day in Penang, I went to The Mugshot Cafe for breakfast. Located at Chulia Street next to the Rainforest Bakery, The Mugshot Cafe is famous for their bagel muffins.

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This cafe seemed to be a hit with a lot of Western tourists. I was actually surrounded by them! The menu appeared to be rather limited with just yogurt, bagel muffins and drinks.

I started my breakfast with healthy yogurt! There were many varieties of yogurt - particularly interesting was Jackfruit with Gula Melaka (palm sugar) - but I chose the Kiwi & Honey Yogurt.

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Priced at RM10 (US$3.15), this Kiwi & Honey Yogurt was yummy! It was sweet and sour at the same time which was exactly what I like!

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I saw a Caucasian lady at the next table eating yogurt with walnuts and raisins, which looked really delicious. I must return here next time for that! Oh, and the Jackfruit with Gula Melaka yogurt too!

There were also a few varieties of the Bagel Muffins, but I decided to choose the Bagel Muffin with Bacon and Egg.

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Priced at RM10 (US$3.15), this bagel muffin came with a crispy outer layer which was filled with lots of sesame seeds! The bacon and egg inside made it looked rather interesting, with the bacon forming a cup that holds the egg and mayonnaise sauce inside.

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Perhaps next time I will return for their Bagel Muffins with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Or corned beef and rocket. Certainly could make a few more trips to this cafe.

I did not order any coffee or tea to go with my breakfast meal - can't remember why though. Perhaps I was not in the mood for any drinks! Or perhaps I figured that if I were to add in a cup of Cappuccino, my total bill would have reached RM30 (US$9.45) which would simply be too pricey for a simple breakfast!

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After my breakfast at the Mugshot Cafe, I went next door to check out the Rainforest Bakery. Surprisingly, the Rainforest Bakery also sells bagel muffins! I did not buy any though as I think one bagel muffin is more than enough for the day.Smiley

My Stay At Evergreen Laurel Hotel In Gurney Drive

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, July 11, 2014 | Published in


During my trip to Penang last year, I stayed at the Evergreen Laurel Hotel in Gurney Drive.

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I normally stay in budget hotels during my travels as I prefer to spend my money on food and sightseeing instead. Besides I only need the hotel to sleep. But this time, I decided to splurge a little and stay in a 5-star hotel.

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There are two types of rooms in this 18-storey hotel. The first type faces the city of George Town, and the second type which is more expensive, faces the sea. Naturally, I chose the room that has a sea view!

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Although this hotel is quite old (built is 1997 and last renovated in 2007), it was pretty well maintained.

When I checked in at about 1pm, the staff at the counter asked if I wanted to upgrade to a Premier room by paying an additional RM5++ per day. I thought why not? So I was given a Premier room on the 10th floor facing the sea.

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The room was spacious and clean. I loved it!

Here's an environmental message from the hotel.

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There's an alarm clock to help wake me up and a phone for me to call for assistance.

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Three red apples on a plate. But they looked rather old and wrinkly. The hotel should have provided fresh fruits instead!

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I did not really bother about the apples though. Who cares about the apples when you have so much yummy food out there in Penang? I did not even bother to dine in the hotel's restaurant. It would be quite silly to eat in the hotel when so many good food could be found in the city of George Town.

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This is the chair which I liked to sit and read my book, or tweet or checking out Facebook or simply to take a short nap!

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As expected from a 5-star hotel - a TV with multiple local and satellite channels. Although I must say I hardly watched the TV during my stay there.

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Coffee and tea making facilities.

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And as usual, there's a mini fridge, safe deposit box, bathrobe, iron and hangers.

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One of the many photos hanging on the wall.

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And most important of all, complimentary broadband internet and wifi. I really can't stand hotels that do not provide free and good wifi service! What about you?

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I have to say though that the best thing about my stay in Evergreen Laurel Hotel was the sea view from my glass window.

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I spent many moments looking out to the sea and enjoying the view. Imagine if I had been here on that fateful Boxing Day in 2004 when the tsunami hit Gurney Drive! I would have had a first hand view of the disaster!

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The fountain and car park below.

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Of course, to ensure I had a comfortable stay in this hotel, I made sure I checked out the bathroom and toilet!

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I was glad that it was clean, although I would not go so far as to say that it was spotless.

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Since I seldom use bathtub, I still prefer a shower inside a cubicle that would separate the shower area from the toilet bowl. And I really missed those nice rainforest shower that I enjoyed in many other hotels.

Some house rules...

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Essential toiletries like toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, body lotion, shower cap, hand soaps, hand towels, and bath towels as expected in a 5-star hotel.

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Did I take some of the toiletries home? Of course I did. I always do, either as souvenirs or to be used in future travels where the hotels do not provide such amenities.

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A hair dryer was also provided.

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This is how my room looks like during the night with the TV switched on, and the curtains drawn.

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Every morning during my stay in Penang, I would wake up to a beautiful sunrise over the ocean.

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Here are a few snapshots of the early morning skies viewed from my hotel room.

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If you choose to stay in Evergreen Laurel Hotel, make sure you choose the room that faces the sea! It is definitely worth it!

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Although the hotel offers facilities like swimming pool, gym, spa and tennis court, I never had the chance to make use of them.

But I did love strolling outside the hotel along Gurney Drive.

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I had an enjoyable time walking and enjoying the cool breeze from the sea.

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I even composed a song during my walk here and named it "A Relaxing Afternoon At Gurney Drive". You can listen to it HERE.

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One thing good about Evergreen Laurel Hotel is the location. It's a short walking distance to Gurney Paragon Mall, Gurney Plaza Mall, the (overrated) Gurney hawker centre, and to the famous Thai and Burmese temples.

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Although not as trendy as G Hotel located further down (or is it up?) Gurney Drive, Evergreen Laurel Hotel is still to me, a good place to stay if you do not mind paying a little bit more for comfort and luxury, and of course the sea view!