Friday, May 29, 2020


Tea time at the new Palm Court of Eastern & Oriental Hotel (E&O) Penang harks back to the halcyon days when well-heeled ladies, lovey-dovey couples and even an immaculately garbed gentleman or two gather for a cuppa and light refreshments prior to dinner.
Named after the legendary Palm Court Bar that used to operate below the echo dome in the lobby during the Sarkies Brothers’ era, the new Palm Court retains its charming old world ambience: overstuffed sofa lounges, wingback chairs, ottomans and coffee tables intersperse with starched white tableclothed tables make it a welcoming haven to escape the tropical weather.
In the old days, bachelors, planters, traders and sailors converge at the Palm Court for their glass of stengah (equal measures of whisky and soda water, served over ice), today it's business and leisure travellers, close girlfriends and small families who are drawn to the resto's a la carte assortment of Indian and Malay inspired dishes, Chinese noodles and casual international favourites for lunch or dinner.
The Afternoon Tea (RM88 nett per person) is a favourite mainstay here, featuring triple-tier stands of finger sandwiches and dainty pastries. For a touch of luxe, the Champagne English Afternoon Tea is RM168 nett per person inclusive of 1 glass of champagne. 
Out of the 13 varieties of tea, we selected Orange Passionfruit, Japanese Sencha and Organic Earl Grey to accompany our selection of savoury and sweet temptations.
From the appealing assortment of sandwiches presented, it was obvious much thought has gone into the whole repertoire. Upping the ante on the plain ol’ cucumber sandwich, the Palm Court team proffered Cucumber, Dill and Cream Cheese Pullman Sandwich, Smoked Salmon Tartare Wholemeal Finger Sandwich, Marinated Tuna Flake Sandwich, Crab Meat Slaw Sandwich, Corn Fed Chicken Ragout Gougères (cheese choux pastry), Truffle Scented Egg on Poppy Seed Butter Bun, and Organic Spinach Quiche to set the ball rolling.
Being waited on hand and foot, luxuriating in the hallowed setting made the experience thoroughly enjoyable. After the on-point savoury appetite pleasers, we made short work of the Raisin and Plain Scones with clotted cream, house-made strawberry jam and for a touch of the tropics, pineapple jam.
By the time we were ready to hit on the Red Velvet, Opera Cake and Fruit Cake, we had struggled a little. There were still Fruit Tartlets and Millefeuille to contend with but alas, it was a lost cause as having downed copious cups of our tea, we were hard pressed to make short work of everything. Overall, it was an exceptional afternoon to remember.
Note: Review conducted prior to Malaysia's Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). The English Afternoon Tea is now available every Saturday & Sunday from 3pm to 5pm at Palm Court, E & O Hotel Penang.  Limited seats available; to reserve click:

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


Established in 1945 by its eponymous founder Soong Kee, this 6-decade old lou jiu phai (notable brand name) beef noodles in Kuala Lumpur drew only loyalists during the early days.
Today, the business has grown beyond its original premises, with newer outlets making their way into mall-based food courts and independent set-ups appearing in commercial suburbs.
Although synonymous with beef noodles, Soong Kee has expanded its menu to include non-beef offerings, to widen its appeal amongst today’s familial crowd of multi-generational diners.
Our recent visit to Soong Kee in Setapak is an enlightening experience – we discovered new things to enjoy in addition to getting reacquainted with the tried and tested.  Firstly, the signature Beef Ball Noodles (dry/soup RM8.90) and Five Spice Beef Tripe Noodles (soup/dry RM10.90) especially the kon lou (dry) version remain a perennial fave to hit the spot. 

Here’s the unexpected clincher: meehoon or rice vermicelli is even better than mee when it comes to capturing the lush flavour of that beefy mince.
If you want more of the extra lieu (ingredients) such as Beef Balls (5 pcs RM5, 10 pcs RM10), Beef Slice (RM10), Five Spice Brisket (RM12) or Five Spice Tendon (RM13), the various items can be ordered a la carte.
Should you have family members in tow who eschew beef, Soong Kee now offers alternative options such as Char Siew Wantan Mee (dry/soup RM7.90) and Chicken Curry Mee (RM9.90). We can vouch for both the noodle variants especially the latter. Not only is the spice quotient pleasantly tantalising, the coconut milk creaminess is also nice enough without being cloying.
Accompanying comfort food dishes such as Fried Wantan (5 pcs RM4, 10 pcs RM8), Wantan Soup (RM6.50), Fried Dumplings (RM6.50) or Dumplings in Soup (sui kow) are plump and chockful of tasty mince filling; crowd-pleasing fare for both adults and kids.

Healthy Poached Vegetables (RM5.50) and succulent Steamed Chicken (RM9) are also served should you wish to supplement your meal with more substantial dishes for the family.
Call Soong Kee tel: 03-4141 8124 /016-924 0507 for delivery or take away (self pick-up) orders. Soong Kee is open during CMCO from 10am to 8.30pm daily. Address: 22A, Jalan Danau Niaga 1, Setapak, Kuala Lumpur

Sunday, May 10, 2020


With the Covid19 pandemic still omnipresent, restaurateurs and hoteliers have pivoted to a new playbook – offering takeaways and food delivery to survive and keep the business going.

Restaurateurs and chefs have to raise their game, relooking at viable in-house specialities that can withstand the tricky transportation journey to the intended destination without compromising the eventual taste quality too much.

These four ‘tried and tested’ food takeaways and delivery service providers are worth considering if you are tired of the heat and wish to get out of the home kitchen:

Nasi Lemak Lah!
This nasi lemak specialist comes recommended by a foodie friend. Initially I was sceptical until I tasted the offerings myself. From there on I was won over - proof of the pudding being in the eating you know? 

The rice has nice discernible coconut milk aroma, the fried anchovies and peanuts, crispy without being burnt and the sliced cucumber, fresh and crunchy. Most importantly, the sambal hits the spot with its balanced sweet-hot nuances. If you order the fried lemongrass chicken, be sure to sprinkle on those crispy bits from the fried chook to the rice to amp up the deliciousness.

My favourites are Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Serai (RM13.90), Nasi Lemak Chicken Curry (RM14.90) and Nasi Lemak Sambal Sotong (RM14.90) but seriously, my family members who had tried the sambal sotong and mutton curry can vouch they ain't too shabby either.

No photo description available.I have included the menu here for reference. Order yours now via Grabfood or direct through Nasi Lemak Lah! WhatsApp: Simon +6017 779 0115 and make your payment via transfer to:
Account no: 321-5577-624

The Oriental Group
While dine-in is now permitted with compulsory SOPs in place, the house specialities of this established Chinese restaurant group can be savoured in the comfort of home.
We tried the excellent Mother’s Day Set (RM398 nett for 6 persons) from Oriental Landmark: Boston Lobster Guangdong Style, Braised Soon Hock with Yam, Smoked Farm Chicken, Fried Rice with Teochew Spicy Sauce and Stir-fried Seasonal Vegetables with Garlic.
Portions were generous and most importantly, the food is packed with care to ensure the taste quality stays close to that of dining-in at the restaurant. Kudos to the culinary team for stepping up their game under such trying circumstances.
Also available for takeaway and delivery include the trademark Oriental Group’s Chargrilled Iberico Pork Ribs (RM18/100g), four different preparations of Boston Lobster (RM220, 1.2-1.4kg each) Dim Sum (easy heat and eat) and Premium Japanese Dried Scallop Dumpling (RM48) among others. To enhance noodles or fried rice, served as a complementing dip for seafood and other dishes, you’d find the Teochew Spicy Sauce (RM28) a great condiment for the pantry.
Enjoy 20% takeaway discount when you place your orders now till the end of MCO!

Xiao Long Kan
It was such a novelty experience, having Xiao Long Kan HotPot at home. This was enhanced by the loan of Xiao Long Kan's signature dual-section brass Hotpot + Induction Cooker (shown in pix below).
We opted for the resto's famous Tomato broth and the Mushroom broth - both are distinctive in their own way when eaten with the various assortment of ingredients: meat slices, chewy noodle strips, lobster and meat balls, greens, etc.
All the choice of ingredients comes nicely packed in reusable containers with 20% OFF for all Xiao Long Kan Hotpot Takeaway items (except soup base)
Xiao Long Kan Hotpot is available on Hungry App for delivery within 20km. Alternatively, delivery can be arranged by calling the outlets:
Fahrenheit88: 0124671381/0102209618 (KL outlet)
Penang: 0124789982

Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur
Perennial Malaysian treats, salads, soup, Western, Japanese, vegan-friendly, gluten-free, dessert and beverage can be enjoyed in the comfort of home thanks to the culinary team of Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur.
We give thumbs up to the hearty and filling portions of Nasi Tomato and Ayam Masak Merah with Jelatah (RM18) as well as Nasi Kerabu with Ayam Goreng Rempah, Telur Masin, Kelapa Parut Ikan & Keropok (RM18) featured in Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur's Takeaway Menu.
Each set comes in compartmentalised containers so there’s no mess and the different specialities remain distinctly delicious. The Salmon Teriyaki set with Japanese rice, mesclun salad and miso soup (RM28) also scores well since it is a complete, balanced meal by itself. The huge jarred Chickpeas and Corn Kernels with Feta Cheese & Green Salad (RM23) is substantial enough to feed a family of 2-3 depending on the voraciousness of your appetite. 
Available now until 23 May from 11am to 6pm, Chef Hasbullah and his team will be bringing these comforting eats to your home via Hotel Maya Kuala Lumpur's special #takeaway menu through Beep Delivery: or call 012-282 8187 for enquiries. Free delivery for a minimum spend of RM60 (within 5km radius of the hotel) and RM80 (within 10km radius).

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