Monday, June 26, 2017

Pony Tale De Cafe @ Setia SPICE Canopy, Penang

Henry Tan | 4:26 PM | | |
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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