Any usual place of great dining will only have nice food, reasonable price or great environment. Most of them will have only have a combination of two but not all. However, there is one place that is a must-visit, the “Chin Bee” Tea Cafe. Anyway I give the credits to “Cat man”, Criz who brought me to this nice place.
This particular tea house is newly opened and is located at Noordin Street. They just started operation 2 weeks ago. There is a great variety of tea sold in this place. From light grilled tea that suits generation X and Y to …
… the classic tea collection which is a favourite for tea professional and experts. You can find all types of tea here, such as Pu Er, Long Jing, Wu Yi and Tie Guan Ying Tea, which can fulfill every tea lover’s tastebud.
“Tea cakes” are made into shapes of Chinese zodiac signs and picturesque scenery.
One of the carvings which shows a Chinese Nobleman enjoying tea which I find it very unique and interesting.
Other than the tea variety, quiet and cozy environment, there is another hidden treasure which lies in this shop. The chef was previously from “Tai Thong” restaurant and brings his 40 years of cooking experience to this shop. I love the food here because whenever I visited the cook will introduce me different type of dishes. I have visited this place 3 times and so far I have never tried a repeated dish recommended by the chef. The chef is very creative, many dishes are created by himself and you will never find it in other places. The name of the chef is “Mah Lai Chong”. By the way his surname is not Mah, his actual name is John Lee. Mah Lai Chong is just his nick name.
The first dish on the menu list is “Hong Tou Mee” (RM8) for 2 people. The gravy is thick and very nice. You can even taste some Chinese liquor “Hua Diao” in this dish. The noodle is perfectly cooked in the gravy and the combination is just fantastic.
The next is “Special Ribs” (RM6) for 2 people. The ribs are battered with flour and deep-fried. It is then served with custom-made BBQ sauce. What has made this dish special is the way the ribs are cut. First is the outer layer which has been deep-fried and is very crunchy, then the 2nd layer which contains slight fat which makes the overall taste juicy. Then come to the 3rd layer which is the lean meat. As you bite you can feel all these 3 tastes combined together, making it a memorable dish.
“3 Egg Yolks”, this dish is very common, I would say most of the people know how to cook this dish. This dish is made of century egg yolk, chicken egg yolk and duck egg yolk. However, to prepare this dish in the form of freshness and to avoid bubbles on the surface is an art to learn. The cook has used years of experience to refine this dish to near perfect stage.
“Vietnamese-style Pork Leg” (RM18) for 4 people. The preparation of the pork leg is the key of this dish. It can take up to a whole day to prepare this dish. This dish is a must-try. The skin is very crunchy while the meat is soft and tender. There is not much artificial flavour added to it to bring up the taste besides some salt. I am not used to take fat meat but for this particular dish, the temptation is too strong that I put my health consideration as secondary.
“Fresh Fried Fish Head” RM28 for 4 people. The gravy of this dish is not too much nor too dry. The chef told us that this dish is prepared without any water added into it. All the juice and water is derived from the fish head itself. The fish was deep-fried and steamed to bring out the taste of the fish. The chef also told us that this dish is only available here as this is his own secret recipe.
Overall, this place has the combination of good food, reasonable price and quiet ambience. It is a place that MUST visit before it becomes too commercialised. I really hope that the chef will maintain his excellent cooking standard at all times.
Editor’s Review (5 Stars Rank):
Operation hours: 12noon – 3pm; 6pm – 9:30pm, closed on alternate Wednesday
Contact:604-2611 761, 604-263 9967 / 019-429 3714 (Mr. Ong Choon Huat, Shop Owner)
Address: 124, Lebuh Noordin, 10300 Penang.