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Miraku, G Hotel – The Essence of Japanese Cooking

There are many Japanese Restaurants around Penang. Most of the restaurants just serve the food without knowing the authenticity and detailed ingredients of Japanese food. However, to make out every single detail of the food, it takes time, cost and skills. That is why we have many localized Japanese food here. Because of this the result of authenticity is deviated. Only few of the Japanese restaurants follow the Japanese way of food preparation. One of them is Miraku Restaurant at G Hotel.

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Miraku is a fine-dining restaurant designed to provide the art of Japanese dining to those who desire to experience gourmet food. Miraku also aspires to deliver the essence of Japanese cooking which places top priority in the selection of quality and fresh produce.

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The typical dining set for Japanese cuisine that is used to serve in this restaurant.

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The dining area in front of the sushi counter for those who wish to enjoy fresh plates of sushi as well as get to know the sushi chefs better.

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Another dining area suitable for families or group of friends who wish to have a more comfortable seating area.

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Semi-private area that allows small group of diners to dine with some privacy.

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The fully private area for those looking for more privacy or having a private function.

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Closer look on the chefs who were preparing the delicacies.

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 The beverages corner for the drinkers.

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Sashimi Moriawase “Matsu” – RM180, the plate of sashimi consists of salmon, shrimps, tuna, seabass, scallop, octopus and others.

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Most of the ingredients on the plate are air-flown from Japan and they are served fresh. The highlight of this plate is the hand-grained wasabi which was fresh, impact and  much better compared to those pre-mixed with powder.

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Miraku Salad – RM18 (Small), RM23 (Medium), RM28 (Large), the salad is made of zucchini slices, octopus, scallops,  lettuces, tomato slices, carrot slices, crab sticks and salmon slices. There are 4 additional toppings available: Tomato, Wafu, Sesame, Mayonnaise. Each for RM3.

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The portion of the salad was generously big. The freshness of the salmon slices mixed very well with the rest of the ingredients.

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Kobe Beef Steak RM200 /100gm, the Kobe wagyu beef slices were grilled and served in a hot plate, together with the dish were fries, bean sprouts, broccoli and carrot slices. On top of the kobe wagyu slices were fried garlic slices.

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Many people were unable to identify the difference of Kobe beef and Wagyu beef. Wagyu beef is the name of the breed. However, if the breed is raised in Kobe, Japan, then it is known as Kobe beef. There are many ranges of Wagyu beef. As for Kobe beef it is usually at the exclusive range. Another remarkable standing point of Kobe beef is the fat marble is well-segregated across the meat which makes the meat melt in your mouth if properly cooked.

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Dragon Roll – RM33, deep fried prawn roll wrapped with avocado with the topping of masago (fish roe).

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The rice roll topped with fish roe and wrapped with avocado slices was delicious. I love the avocado slices that actually covered up the fishy smell of the fish roe.

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Gyu Toban Yaki – RM36, the ribeye beef was cut into slices and grilled on a hot plate.

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The tender of the beef was of course not as juicy and delightful as Kobe beef. However, for a regular dining, this dish is already good enough.

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The tenderness of the beef depends on how well the beef is grilled.

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Tofu Steak – RM14, Pan-fried tofu with thick sauce on hot plate.

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The taste of the tofu was nice. However, the texture of the tofu was not as smooth as expected. It would be good if the tofu is made in-house by Miraku.

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Saba Oshisushi – RM36, Marinated Mackerel Square Sushi.

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The taste of the mackerel was just regular and nothing spectacular.

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Unagi Bou Sushi – RM42

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One thing that I love about this roll is the sauce of unagi. It made this dish packed with seafood aroma.

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Uji Matcha Ice Cream – RM12.50, Wasabi Ice Cream – RM12.50

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The matcha ice cream was nothing much to highlight about as it tasted standard. The true highlight was the Wasabi Ice Cream. The ice cream had the wasabi impact, yet it was not overwhelming. Moreover, the taste was very special compared to the regular matcha ice cream.

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The posing of Watanabe San (right) who is the Executive Chef of Miraku together with his assistant.

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Overall, if you are looking for authentic Japanese food and also a private dining area, Miraku will be the best option. No doubt the price of the food here is on the high side but for quality of the food and dining experience, it is worth the money.

Editor’s Review (5 Stars Rank):

Taste
Price (more stars, more reasonable)
Food Presentation
Service
Overall

Quick Facts:

Family Friendly
Parking
Pork Free
Alcohol
Credit Card
Smoking
Reservation
Private Room (Private Area)
WIFI Available

Operation hours: 12:00pm – 2:30pm; 6.00pm – 10.30pm (Open Daily)
Contact: 604-229 8702
Address: 168A, Persiaran Gurney1st Floor, 10250 Penang
GPS: 5° 43′ 50.25″ N, 100° 31′ 28.36″ E

Balik Pulau Hokkien Mee and Laksa, Lorong Chong Teik Balik Pulau – The Best of Classical Taste

Many people still refer to Balik Pulau when asked about one of the best Laksa and Hokkien Mee in Penang. The original location of Balik Pulau Hokkien Mee and Laksa, Jalan Bharu has already relocated to Lorong Chong Teik.

For those who drive to Balik Pulau via Jalan Tun Sardon, slow down when you reach the Rapid Penang Terminal Bus Balik Pulau at Jalan Tun Sardon on your right. Not too far away on your left, you will see a Chinese School called Chong Teik (崇德学校). Just before the school there is a small route known as Lorong Chong Teik where you can turn in and see signages to the shop.

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The road is very small and winding. It is not easy to locate the place. However, there are a lot of signages as below that you can follow to the destination.

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The layout of the shop still looks almost the same as before, all the soups  and preparation were done in front of the house.

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A pot of hot boiling water to start the preparation of the noodle.

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A big pot of boiling laksa soup.

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Next to the laksa soup was the hokkien mee soup. They were both boiling all the time so that the food can be served hot.

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Hokkien Mee – Regular RM3.50; Big 4.50. The ingredients of the hokkien mee are very similar to those selling at other place. It includes yellow egg noodle, bee hoon, pork slices, bean sprouts, spring onions, egg slices, fish cake, prawns and prawn base soup.

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One thing good about the hokkien mee here is the soup base, it was really packed with seafood flavor. Another thing is the chili paste that comes with the noodle must be mixed together with the soup to make this dish complete.

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Laksa – Regular RM3.50; Big 4.50., Ingredients of this dish include laksa noodle, cucumber, lettuces, curry flower, onion slices, fish base soup, chopped bird eyes chili and some shrimp paste.

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Compared to hokkien mee, my cup of tea is still their laksa. I love the laksa here as the spiciness, sourness and also the fish smell of the laksa are all packed into this bowl. For a laksa lovers, this bowl of laksa is a must-try.

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Overall, even though this place is not easy to locate but for the taste and the value of food it is worth the travel. The taste of the hokkien mee here is a bit degraded compared to the previous place. However, the taste of the laksa still maintains its standard. The drawback for this place is they only open on Saturdays and Sundays.

Editor’s Review (5 Stars Rank):

Taste
Price (more stars, more reasonable)
Food Presentation
Service
Overall

Quick Facts:

Family Friendly
Parking
Pork Free
Alcohol
Credit Card
Smoking
Reservation
Private Room (Private Area)
WIFI Available

Operation hours: 12:15pm – 5:15pm (Open Saturday & Sunday Only)
Contact: 604-866 3292
Address: Lorong Chong Teik ( Lorong between Peng Nam hardware & Chong Teik school )
GPS: 5° 34′ 83.40″ N, 100° 23′ 91.41″ E

Gurney Paragon, Gurney Drive – A Place for Family Day Out

Gurney Paragon, this is the latest and happening place in town. Gurney Paragon is a place for everyone. You can come here to hang out with friends or even have a quality time with family. For me, a quality weekend would be a day to hang out with family.

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Gurney Paragon is located at Gurney Drive, the mall is just a few stones’ throw from G hotel.

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The mall is quite new and not all the shop lots are occupied. However, this mall is considered complete with everything a person would need, from groceries, food/beverages, shopping to entertainment.

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There are many places and options for good food at Gurney Paragon, one of my favorites is Italiannies.

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The food served is halal. However, this place also serves wine for non-Muslims. You will find they have a great selection of Italian wines here.

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The bakery and beverages counter is an open concept where you can see the preparation. The arrangement and the preparation are very neat and tidy.

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The dining area has some Italian feel. It is very cozy and relaxing.

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Slices of breads are always served just before any meal. They are served with olive oil, black vinegar and mixed herbs. For those that not used to the classical Italian serving, you can always ask for butter to complete with the bread.

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The bread is served hot from oven, even my kid just can’t resist the smell of the bread.

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Chicken Milanese – RM24.90 Piccolo, Grilled chicken breast served over cream spinach, then topped with chilled tomato caper relish.

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The meat served was chicken breast meat while the sauce was made of cheese and it was indeed very rich and packed with flavor.

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Lasagna A La Ravina – RM32.90, A harmony of savory minced meat ragout, cream sauce and layers of lasagna baked with Mozzarella cheese.

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The portion served was very big. For those small eater this serving portion can cater for 2 persons.

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Kids Meal: Spaghetti Marinara – Spaghetti topped with red sauce and chunks of tomato. Kids eat for FREE.

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One thing good about this restaurant is that if you have kids, bring them to Italiannies, your kids get to eat for free.

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Fresh Fruit Shake, Riped Mango – RM13.50. Hot Cappucccino – RM7.50

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A cup of cuppa for a person that loves hot beverage like me. The top of the cappucccino was sprinkled with cinnamon powder.

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The fruity ripe mango shake is dedicated to those who love chilling and refreshing drinks.

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This place is a kid-friendly restaurant. From the look of my cutie’s face you’ll know she was enjoying herself very much.

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After a great meal, it was time for shopping. For kids, there is a shop selling all varieties of dresses, blouses, skirts and shoes. This shop is Starkids.

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The shop caters for both boys and girls.

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From pants to skirts.

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From leisure to elegant.

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I chose one white-colored formal dress for my cutie. She loved it and started to make many posses once she was dressed up. She said she was a Princess!

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However, not every dress suits my cutie. The red dress is not her cup of tea. From her facial expression obviously she didn’t like it.

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After trying out the dresses, there is also a nice place for amusement too. For kids, look out for Cartoon World.

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This place has a very big indoor playground for kids. Your kid can stay inside the play area for as long as they like for an entrance fee of RM6 per kid. Parents get to accompany the kids for free.

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My cutie enjoyed jumping on the trampoline.

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Riding on automated swing and carousel.

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Learning how to drive a toy car by foot.

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Getting drowned by the colorful fun balls.

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Sitting on the kid’s car that goes round. Sliding down the colorful slide.

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Overall, I think my cutie enjoyed the most at Gurney Paragon than me. Whenever I bring her to this place she will be so excited running around and looking forward to her playground.

De Tai Tong Cafe, Cintra Street – Creative Salted Fish Bun (咸鱼包)

咸鱼包 (Salted fish bun) is one of the rare food in Penang. The pao or bun has never existed in any restaurants until recently. Salted fish bun was first introduced by the Hong Kong TVB drama series “Gilded Chopsticks 食為奴”. In this drama, the emperor of Qing Dynasty was conducting a survey on its citizens in plain clothes and was stuck in the jungle for days. They were found by a farmer who passed by and handed the emperor a salted fish bun for dinner. After the emperor returned to the palace he kept yearning for the taste of the salted fish bun. He offered a very good price to any chef who is able to make the salted fish bun and this is when the story began.

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Due to the popular demand and high view rate for the drama, De Tai Tong Cafe is following the wave and prepare this type of bun to the public. The restaurant which is normally not so packed has become crowded. The buns will be produced only twice a day. Usually it is out around 10am and 5pm. To avoid disappointment, make sure you place your order one day beforehand.

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E & O Hotel Farquhar’s Bar – Serving Sweet Tones With Great Drinks

The Eastern & Oriental Hotel, or better known as E & O Hotel is a significant landmark in Penang. The building of E & O Hotel itself tells many stories which dated  back more than a century. E & O Hotel has stood as a testament to the grand elegance of the British colonial era. This Hotel has served many rich and famous from all around the world.

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The E&O Hotel has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. It is very easy to locate E & O Hotel. It stands at the intersection of Farquhar Street and Penang Road. The hotel is about 20 kilometres from the Penang International Airport and if you are driving from Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, keep driving until you pass Farquhar Street at the junction that will lead to one way street. Keep driving for a few metres and you will see E & O Hotel is on your left.

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Simplifed and Made Easy Fo Tiao Qiang ‘Buddha Jumps Over The Wall’ (佛跳墙) Steps and Recipe

Buddha Jumps Over The Wall is also known as 佛跳墙 (Fo Tiao Qiang) in Chinese. It was a very famous dish for the Emperor during the Qing Dynasty. The reason why this dish is known as Buddha Jumps Over The Wall is there was once a scholar was cooking and preparing this dish next to a temple. The strong aroma of the dish spread over to the temple and one of the monks of the temple who was meditating was tempted with the nice aroma and jumped over the wall just to try this dish.

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During the Qing Dynasty, this dish was packed with 17-18 ingredients in a pot. However in modern days, the dish can be simplified in many ways. For instance, we can simplify the dish with just 8-10 ingredients.

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Warung Kelapa Sawit, Juru – It’s All About Fish

Whenever there is nice food, the place will be packed with crowd regardless of the price or the ambiance. This is what happened at Warung Kelapa Sawit (The Little Stall at Palm Estate).

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The warung was set up in the middle of nowhere of a palm estate at Juru, Prai. This place is well known to the locals where it will be crowded with people during lunch time. To accommodate the growing number of customers, they had placed a few canopies, table and chairs. But there are no fans available inside the canopies. Just imagine you are dining under the hot sun where only a canopy serves as a barrier between you and the hot sun.

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The queue is usually very long when it comes to lunch hours. Therefore, it is advisable if you come in a group, some should queue for the food, while others should find a place to sit.

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