Monday, June 26, 2017

Pony Tale De Cafe @ Setia SPICE Canopy, Penang

Henry Tan | 4:26 PM | | | 2 Comments so far
Pony Tale De Cafe strategically located at Setia Spice Canopy which I would passes by almost everyday, yet never have I set foot in it. You might have the same thought as me, whereby this is just another fancy cafe in Penang, but Pony Tale De Cafe totally changed my mind after giving it a try. 




Pony Tale De Cafe located next to Bread History along the road side of Jalan Tun Dr Awang, which is right opposite PISA Corner Food Court. One of the advantages is the ample parking space right in front of the Setia SPICE Canopy compound. If it is fully occupied, you can still park at the underground car park, both for free.




There are two floors of seating in Pony Tale De Cafe which can accommodates up to 80 pax, which makes it a popular place for big group gathering, celebration or even appreciation dinner/lunch, especially for those working in the multinational companies around the Bayan Lepas area. So if you are looking for such places, be sure to give Pony Tale De Cafe a call to check it out!




Pony Tale De Cafe gives me a very cozy feeling, suitable to have appointment or meeting here. According to the boss, if our group is not big (around 20 pax), we can also just book the entire upper floor for any private event, like a product briefing or presentation. Projector screen is available too!




We started off by ordering some of their signature drinks such as Belgium Dark Chocolate on the Rock (RM16.80), Hot Belgium Dark Chocolate (RM15.80), Sensation Berries Booster (RM18.80), and Mocha (RM11.80). Sensation Berries Booster was really refreshing with strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and boysenberries, suitable for health-conscious person like me! Besides, Pony Tale De Cafe also uses Belgium Dark Chocolate in their drink, which explains the price too. 




Lucky for us, we had the chance to try out their latest added menu which features King Prawn Series as well as "Pony Explores China" series. Like the name suggests, Pony Tale De Cafe mainly showcases the taste of Sichuan and Hunan, whereby these regions in China are famous for their spiciness in most of the food! But the chef has localized to our Penangites' taste buds, so be sure to let the chef know if you want it to be spicier as per original! 




We had the Spicy Chili Fish 剁椒鱼 (RM22.80), whereby slices of fish fillet were placed into the thick dark-red chili gravy and topped with thinly chopped dried chili and scallion. This Hunan fish dish certainly looks much spicier than it really is, but matching with a bowl of white rice would be perfect to balance out the taste as it could be quite "overpowering (重口味)". 





Next, one of the famous Sichuan dishes, Ma Phor Chicken with Rice 麻婆 (RM21.80). Unlike the typical Ma Phor Tofu, the one we had at Pony Tale De Cafe serves with pan-fried chicken thigh. I find it interesting as the chicken thigh was chopped into cutlets to match the size of the tofu. Appealing bright-purple eggplants, which I believe have been blanched/deep-fried in hot oil briefly beforehand to keep the color, were cut into similar length to give the nice contrasting color and texture. Since it is a pork free restaurant, the minced chicken meat was being used to add sweetness to the dish. Overall, it is not too spicy but so appetizing that you will finish it with white rice!




The next one is Four Season Bean 四季豆 (RM21.80), which serves with pan-fried chicken thigh as well. This is like the upgrade version of the famous Sichuan Dry-Fried Four Season Bean (干煸四季豆). The four season beans were being stirred fried together with minced chicken and dried shrimp just enough until the skin turns wrinkly. The savory sauce makes you slurped up the whole dish!




Then we had Gong Bo Prawn with Rice 宫保 (RM32.80). This is more of a popular dish that you can find it in any stir-fried stall (Chu Char) which originated in Sichuan province. The prawns were butterflied by opening the flesh along the back before frying. This gives better food presentation, better penetration of the gravy and also the ease of eating. Whole cloves of garlic, dried chili and chopped onion were tossed together to create the familiar sweet and spicy flavor. 




Another dish from the newly added menu was King Prawn Salted Egg Spaghetti (RM48.80) from King Prawn series. Each plate of the salted egg spaghetti comes with 2 huge king prawns which weights about 100g each and almost the size of my palm! On top of that, salted egg in spaghetti is like the most appetizing sauce ever. Combination of these two will surely tantalize your appetite!




We got to know from the chef that they are using Barilla spaghetti instead of the typical spaghetti such as San Remo or even Kimball that we would use at home. As you may know, typical pasta can easily turn mushy whereas Barilla still hold its texture, but of course it comes with higher price too. I found it in both Giant and Aeon, you can try it yourself at home too! All in all, we were amazed by the delicious salted egg spaghetti with the distinct fragrance from curry leaves and topped with sweet and firm King Prawn. Highly recommended




Lastly, we filled our stomach with one of their specialty in the existing menu - Grilled Cuttlefish Steak with Amazing Thai Dressing (RM38.80). The grilled cuttlefish was topped with Thai sauce, placed on pea mash, sided with deep-fried potato wedges and mixed with refreshing green. I am not a big fan of green pea (I pick out each one of them in fried rice!), but Pony Tale De Cafe's pea mash was highly acceptable! The flower cut cuttlefish was grilled to perfect succulent texture and mouthwatering with the Thai sauce. 




By then, we can barely eat anything else with all the scrumptious dish. We ended our meal with a profiterole each, or more commonly known as cream puff, as our dessert. Don't underestimate these tiny little pastry as they were delightfully fluffy and filled with loads of cream filling. The best part is that Pony Tale De Cafe only serves one for each person, so that it keeps you half hanging and wanting for more! Good strategy as less is more, literally! 




Overall, Pony Tale De Cafe changed my perception. I was being too judgmental in the beginning with the cartoonish horse logo like as if just another fancy restaurant with all sort of marketing gimmick. But like they said, looks can be deceiving. So if you have the same thought as me, go give it a try



180-B-01-11, Setia SPICE Canopy, 
Jalan Tun Dr Awang, 
Bayan Lepas 11900 Penang.

Open daily from 10am to 10pm.
Contact number: 604-611 1319




Happy food hunting!
Till then! ;)
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Recipes: Pan-fried Chicken Breast

Henry Tan | 8:43 PM | | 3 Comments so far
Trying to be healthy by having low carbohydrate high protein food such as chicken breast? Well, here's a way to make yourself healthy and yummy Pan-fried Chicken Breast! Forget about the bad impression of dry and tasteless chicken breast because this recipe will change your perception! 

Recipe for Pan-fried Chicken Breast! 




For those who have seen me in person, you would know that after so many years of food reviews, now I have thin limbs with fat tummy just like a snowman. I have always been thinking to cut down on my waist line, especially those flabby fat. And we all know exercise and diet are two main important factor, so let's see what I have done towards my diet. 




Here're the ingredients I used:
Serving for 2
2 chicken breast 
4 tablespoon of McCormick Chicken Seasoning
10 tablespoon of wheat flour
1 egg


Easy to Follow Procedures:
I bought my chicken breast from Giant for Rm14.99 per kg, so per piece is around RM3.50. Remove the skin as well as some yellowish fat since this is for the healthy meal. Mix the chicken seasoning and wheat flour together. Crack an egg into another bowl and beat it. 

Next, soak the chicken breast into the egg liquid and then transfer it into the flour. Mix them well and make sure it is coated thoroughly. Heat the non sticky pan and drizzle in some olive oil. Once the pan is heated, place the chicken breast on it. 

Sear both sides of the chicken breast with high heat until the color turns into brown. Try not to press the chicken breast with your wooden/silicon spatula to avoid losing the juiciness. Cover with a lid and switch to medium heat so that the inner part of the meat can be well cooked too. 

Leave it for 5 minutes and it is done! You can eat it with almost anything as the side dish. So far I have tried lemon to kick start your appetite, cheese to give the extra saltiness (not so healthy tho), garlic to give the intense flavor and many more!




How to Make it Better?
I like my chicken breast as it cooked to perfection so far since the meat is still tender, juicy and doesn't loose the sweetness. But I would like to try with some even simple method like oven-baked or maybe steam? Just hopefully they don't end up dry and tasteless which makes me hate chicken breast again. 😁😁😁 


How would you do it differently? Share with me! 


Happy cooking! ;)
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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Recipes: Garlic Chicken Soup

Henry Tan | 7:30 PM | 1 Comment so far
The best comfort food when you are sick probably is a bowl of warm soup. But what could be better than Garlic Chicken Soup which can acts as a immune-system booster! Few weeks ago I was not feeling too well and get sick easily, coincidentally I stumble upon "阿基師 59元出好菜 蒜頭雞湯" on Youtube. As you may know, besides Gordon Ramsey, my other self-proclaimed cooking master is the famous Taiwan chef, 阿基師. So, read on to find out more about the recipe from my sifu! 😂😂😂

阿基师蒜头养身鸡汤




Garlic is consider as one of the superfood with many beneficial health effects. One of the active compound is the allicin, formed only when it is being crushed, chopped or chewed. The allicin also responsible for the distinct garlic smell. Not only it can boost the function of the immune system, garlic also may lower the risk of heart disease and prevent Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia (high anti-oxidant!). This is why the price of garlic has been skyrocketing! 




The recipe for Garlic Chicken Soup is pretty simple, garlic and chicken, literally. I bought both of them from Giant Hypermarket since it is nearby to my house. As you may see in the photo, the price per kg of garlic (RM13.99 per kg) is even more expensive than chicken thigh (RM9.49 per kg)! FYI, for bigger garlic bulb that you can get from morning market, the price even crosses RM20 per kg!  




Here're the ingredients I used:
Serving for 5
5 Chicken Thigh - around 1kg
5 Big Garlic Bulb - around 0.22kg

The amount of garlic supposedly to be 1/3 of the chicken, which means 1kg of Chicken with 0.33kg of Garlic. But again, you are the chef, you can do anything you like! 😁😁😁




Easy to Follow Procedures:
Deep fry 1/3 of the garlic so that when you mix it in your soup will be having a pleasant smell of garlic, rather than a bland chicken soup. Then put in your chicken thighs and garlic into a pot with boiling water (just enough for your chicken thigh to rest in). You may want to remove the top layer of chicken oil floating in the pot. Or you may choose to use 菜鸡 (free range chicken) which will be less fat or less oily.  




Depending on your personal preference, some times I do add in goji berries or wolf berries, or anything that is left inside my fridge. I always think that the best thing about cooking yourself is that you have the freedom to play with your ingredients.




Keep it boiling in medium heat for 45 minutes. Depending on the size of the chicken thigh as well as your personal preference. 45 minutes is about right to cook the meat thoroughly where the meat comes off easily from the bone yet the sweetness is retained. Drizzle with few rounds of 绍兴花雕酒 (Shao Hsing Rice Wine) just before serving and voila! Simple and heart-warming soup, just the way I like it! 




How to Make it Better?
One thing to improve is that I found out that garlic should be crushed, let it seat for 10 minutes and add it towards the end of cooking so that we can preserve the maximum healing benefits. But of course if you could not withstand the pungent of garlic, then you just follow the procedures above. 

That's all! Simple right? Go try it out and let me know your version of Garlic Chicken Soup right below at the comment section!


Happy Cooking! :D
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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ramadhan Buffet Dinner 2017 @ Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Penang

Henry Tan | 7:00 PM | | | | 2 Comments so far
Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Penang has launched their special Ramadhan buffet dinner promotion which will run at The Eatery for a limited time from 27th May to 24th June 2017. This year, a Mediterranean-themed feast with the name of "Tales of the Arabian Nights" will host a spread of over 50 selections of both Malaysian favorites and Arabic delicacies which will satisfy your cravings for both local and Middle Eastern flavors. 

Tales of the Arabian Night Buffer Dinner

27th May - 24th June 2017
7pm - 10.30pm
Adult - RM54+
Children/Senior Citizen - RM30+
Children below 6 dine for FREE!






Starting from the "Dari Dapur Bonda" (from your mother's kitchen), Four Points Penang serves Ulam-Ulaman Kampung with various vegetables that goes well with sambal belacan. Various type of kerabu-kerabu kampung (local mixed salads) are available too such as Kerabu Daging dan Tang Hoon ala Thai, Kerabu Sotong Limau Bali, Kerabu Taugeh dengan Kerang and so on.





If those are not enough, you can even have Mezza (salad) from the Mediterranean side. Some of the noteworthy ones such as Hummus, Fatuous Salad, Tabbouleh Salad and even Shawander Salad. These certainly are an eye opening to the Middle Eastern flavors which could spike your appetite for a big meal. 




The cold drinks in Four Points are a bit special as the bottles are half-buried in the ice to keep them cold. There are cincau, chrysanthemum, orange juice and syrup bandung, which you could add on with grass jelly and sabja seeds (basil seeds or more commonly known as frog egg). They certainly could help to quench the thirst after break fasting.    




Meanwhile, for the main course, we had some mouth-watering dishes from both local and Middle Eastern flavor as well. Among those that we had, some of my favorites are like Puyuh Goreng Berempah, Gulai Tulang Kambing, Sup Ekor Berempah as well as Dawood Basha (Braised Lamb Meat Ball) and Chermoula Baked Whole Seabass from the Mediterranean. We love the Seabass but I believe it would be even tastier if there is more Chermoula sauce since the fish is quite thick. 








Ayam Daun Pandan, Masala Ubi Bengala Samosa, Loh Bak Ayam and Lebanese Spicy Lamb Kofta Pizza which was freshly baked from the oven were available too as a quick snacks. Personally I like the pizza as it is different from the common ones we had and most importantly there is even Nando's Peri-Peri Sauce for you to add, which matched really well with the spicy lamb kofta.  






For the outdoor area, there were Kuali Panas that served Penang Char Koay Teow, Bakar Arang that served Satay Ayam and Satay Daging, as well as Mishwee (Charcoal BBQ) that served Shish Kebab (Lamb Skewer), Shish Tawook (Chicken Skewer) and Gamberi Mishwee (Chermoula BBQ prawns). Basically, that's a head-to-head comparison between local's skewer and Middle East's skewer. Personally, I like Shish Kebab more as the size of the meat is bigger compare to the local ones. I had a lot of Gamberi Mishwee as well as I felt that the prawns were very well marinated






To end the meal, the Pemanis Mulut (dessert) was quite standard with plenty of choices such as Penang Rojak, Jeruk Madu (Honey Preserved Fruits), Bubur Cha-Cha, Pengat Pisang, fresh fruits and assorted Malay kuih-muih. 






Overall, we were quite surprised to find that the price is quite cheap with just RM54+ considering that it is a 4-stars hotel located at Tanjung Bungah. With the variety of delicacies in Tales of the Arabian Nights, I supposed that makes it very competitive among all the top hotels there!


Check out all the other Ramadhan Buffet Dinner 2017:
3. Selera Kampung Ramadhan Buffet @ The Northam All Suites Hotel Penang
4. Ramadhan Buffet Dinner 2017 @ Vistana Hotel Penang
5. Ramadhan Buffet Dinner 2017 @ Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Penang


Go try it today!

505 Jalan Tanjung Bungah, 
Tanjung Bungah, 11200 Penang

Call +60 4-371 8888 for reservation!


Till then! ;)
Happy food hunting!
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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Is Blogger Underappreciated? The Ugly Truth.

Henry Tan | 12:59 PM | 3 Comments so far
I started this blog as a hobby with the intention to record and share all the wonderful moments of my life since many years ago. I wrote almost anything and everything about my life experience, which is also why I gave my blog the name "I Blog My Way". Along the way, I am grateful to have met a lot of friends through blogging, especially those bloggers that have attended food review together. But little do I know.... 


Through out the years, I have seen many bloggers come and go, simply because maintaining a blog takes time, effort and passion. It may sounds easy or looks simple from the blog itself, but what is often forgotten is the person behind the blog and their personal commitment and devotion. For example, a food review would takes at least 2 hours of time with photo shooting and food tasting, then another 2 hours of time to do photo editing, blog writing and even blog sharing. That's very time consuming!



Then here comes the important question, is this still a hobby or a job? Am I a blogger or a marketing channel?  Personally and ultimately, I would hope that this hobby would provides passive income or as compensation, at the same time, my audience still benefited from it. Like the saying goes, 'Turn your hobby into business and make money out of it!".


But how do the merchants/marketing agency perceived blogger as? That's the grey area that I can never comprehend. In most of the common cases, the objective is only one - to promote their own brands/restaurants. Then, at what cost? So here comes the question of my blog title... 

Is Blogger Underappreciated?


Take a look at a typical email that I received recently...




Should I reply the email with the link to this blog post? 😂😂😂

Usually I would reply politely, but sometimes these emails really pissing me off. It all started with the sentence "opportunity to offer you" and then "no pay unfortunately but think of the exposure". I might still consider about it if the time is right for me (2.30pm on weekday?!), but with the "sugar-coating", it is definitely a big NO. Definitely a bad way to "sugar-coat" a no-pay review. 



NOT GETTING PAID ENOUGH FOR WHAT YOU DO

This is probably the most common one. Many merchants/marketing agency would seek for free channel to save cost, after all who doesn't want that right? But what about the expectation? Many merchants/marketing agency would request to only write positive review and interfere with the content written; request to post it up within a short period of time; request to share the post through various social media; late payment and drag for a long time; does not care about your constructive feedback; and many more. This is like the Chinese proverb, "又要马儿好,又要马儿不吃草", which literally means you can't expect the horse to run fast when you don't let it graze. Why not the other way round, I "offer you an opportunity" to promote my blog for free but "think about the exposure"? 😒😒😒



OTHER PEOPLE TAKE CREDIT OF YOUR WORK

This is the shameless one. I believe most of the bloggers faced the same problem, our content and photos have been stolen and used without permission. Worst of all, they can earn from such content. Take for example, there are plenty of websites that paying the "contributors", who then stole our content and photos and created attractive topic that shared viral-ly across all the social media like "Top 5 Most Visited Cafe", "Top 10 Must Go Places", etc which probably none of it that they have been to. Imagine if you have spent averagely 5 hours for each cafe review for free (that would be 25 hours), while the so-called "contributor" just takes an hour to copy, paste and getting paid with the "Top 5 Most Visited Cafe". 


Now, do you feel being appreciated?  😉😉😉


In conclusion...

To merchants/marketing agency...
Not all merchants/marketing agency are that bad. I have worked with a few good ones which I would feel being appreciated with my effort even when there is no pay. So the key is how you make me feel and certainly, you get what you pay for. Even though I always strive for under-promise and over-deliver, but I would still hope that you set your expectation right, after all, good thing no cheap. 

To my readers...
If you read my blog frequently, you would know my style on how I review subtly, especially on those that not suit to my liking. I judge based on my taste-bud which may not be the same as everyone, but I believe one should at least be able to comment constructively on how to make it better. There were even times where no-pay food review that caused a number of us diarrhea and we ended up not to write about it at all. So yeah, that's pretty much the ugly truth about being a blogger. 



After reading my post, are you interested to be a blogger? Especially in Penang, where some of the merchants/marketing agency trying to squeeze everything out of you, even though they themselves are charging the client yet expecting you to do it free? Share you thoughts below in the comment! Have a great day!
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Monday, May 29, 2017

Ramadhan Buffet Dinner 2017 @ Vistana Hotel Penang

Henry Tan | 9:44 PM | | | | Be the first to comment!
Wondering where to go for buka puasa (break-fasting) in Bayan Lepas area? Head over to Vistana Hotel Penang for their 'Tok Wan 101 Recipes' Ramadhan buffet dinner starting from 29th May to 24th June 2017! The buffet dinner will be held in the ground floor Ballroom and with ample parking spaces, so definitely suitable for large groups to gather for an evening of indulgence.

Tok Wan 101 Recipes

29th May - 24th June 2017
7pm - 10pm
RM70 nett (Adult)
RM30 nett (Children, 4-12 yrs old)



Similar to our last visit for Ramadhan buffet dinner, Vistana Hotel Penang bring back the popular theme "Tok Wan 101 Recipes" which Tok Wan being a colloquial Pahang state term for grandmother. So you can tell that this buffet dinner will be featuring all the authentic Malay dishes.  




Right at the entrance to the buffet dinner area, we were welcomed by a wide array of colorful dessert featuring both traditional Malay kuih-muih as well as the Western dessert. Some of the noteworthy ones are onde-onde, seri muka, kuih ketayap and kuih loyang.





A lot of fluid will be needed once break fasting, hence, Vistana Hotel Penang prepares both cold drinks such as the red Air Syrup, Manggo juice and wintermelon juice, as well as the hot drinks such as the teh tarik and Nescafe tarik.





This year Tok Wan 101 Recipes' main course spread features the succulent Daging Rendang Tok, Rendang Itik, Ayam Goreng Berempah, Ayam Masak Ros and even Sambal Tumis Udang Petai! The dish that surprises me the most was actually the Siput Sedut (balitung) Masak Lemak Cili Padi, which I have not seen it elsewhere in other Ramadhan buffet dinner.








For appetizer, there were quite a number to choose from such as the fresh tangy salad with all the kerabu, ulam-ulaman coupled with palate opening sambals and sauces. There were also 5 types of crispy keropok to add in the crunchy texture, namely, Keropok Udang, Keropok Ubi, Keropok Sayur, Keropok Ikan and even Keropok Bawang, I simply love them all!







Some of the highlights of the day include the cockles, heart sup daging, Assam Laksa, Murtabak, Rojak, Pasembur, Hainan Chicken Rice, lemang, ketupat and many more! This year, we had to boil the cockles on our own where we don't even know if our cockles are overcook or not, so I would prefer if there is someone there to prepare for us. Meanwhile for the Bakar Bakar station, freshly grilled satay and kambing panggang are available with various special sauces.













Overall, I think given that the strategic location where Vistana Hotel Penang is located near to the factory area, it would be a great choice for buka puasa together with the colleagues, friends and family. 
213 Jalan Bukit Gambir, 
Bukit Jambul,11950 Penang.


For Reservations:
www.vistanahotels.com
Call +604 646 8000



Till then! ;)
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