March 30, 2012

Claypot homestyle

Claypot Restaurant has been around for quite many years.  I cannot recall how many years but it must have been 10 years or so.  The restaurant has a simple and pleasant set-up.  A family-orientated restaurant is how I would describe it.  Tables and chairs are widely spaced with ample room in between.  Good if you have children with you.  
I found the food served here as simple and delicious home-style food.  It is akin to my grandmother/mother's cooking which, I used to enjoy.  That is my description of the food served.
The night Hubby and I were there for dinner, we had the herbal chicken.  I liked the dish but Hubby did not find it to his liking. I would like to think that it had to be due to the fact that, he never liked the taste of herbs with rice.  I found the portion served was reasonable for the price charge (RM10 for small).
The chicken omelette (RM6) is simply delicious.  It was fluffy, nicely done and gravy cooked with mushrooms and onions. It is necessary try.
The stir-fry dou miao (pea sprouts) (RM8-small) was a delight to my taste buds.  It was lightly stir-fried with garlic and no lard was used.  Some restaurants fry it with lard and instead of pieces of garlic; I always bite into little pieces of lard. 
The pot of Curry Lamb (RM12) that we ordered made me went...oohlala!  Chunks of lamb pieces were in the pot and the curry was flavourful.  The curry was thick with sufficient amount of santan (coconut milk) used.  The spices were just sufficient. It was spicy but not too spicy. 
The Mongolian Lamb is one unusual dish we tried.  It is lamb pieces stir fried with dried chillies, onions and other kinds of spices.  It is 'hot' as in spicy hot but it is very tasty. It is a sort of 'dry' dish but I have not tasted lamb cooked in this style. 
The Mongolian lamb (RM18) came served with shreds of spring onions, pieces of celery and pastry.  It is pastry akin to the one used in the making of 'poh piah'. Everything is placed on the skin then wrapped up and...Bite and enjoy. Ever since we 'discovered' this dish, we have not failed to include it when we buy take-away from Claypot.
Just to mention a few others try their Tung Por Pork (cooked with a little fermented soybean), Hong Bak (a nyonya dish) which very few restaurants cook it well.
Curry Shark. 
 The steamed kai lan is a personal recommendation.  They usually come served--young and juicy.
If you remember, most of us would have tasted steamed pork (most of our mothers would have served it to us).  This place does it with chicken and my family loved it.
Claypot Restaurant, 48 Jalan Sungai Kelian, Tanjung Bunga, 11200 Penang, Malaysia.  Tel: 04-8997987 (It is located amongst a row or residential houses.) 10% Service Charge-for Eat-In.  0% for Take-away. :o)

March 26, 2012

Agua @ Straits Quay...

Whoa, we made the right choice deciding to come here for lunch.  That was what went through my head as we walked into the restaurant Agua @ Straits Quay.  The tables were neatly arranged and well spaced out. Just what we needed as Mentri Besar and I, we love to eat and talk.  There were a few other tables occupied but the atmosphere was quiet.  Just what we needed a little ‘privacy’ to talk our heart out as she had just returned from a holiday in NZ.  
The Paella dish with a sprig of Rosemary
Agua has an extensive menu namely Spanish, Mediterranean, Italian...and others.  Both of us had decided on Paella, which was top on our list.  Then for starters, it was a difficult choice.  Agua has many kinds.  I suggested Tapas. We both agreed on the Jamon Serano (RM23) which is a type of dry Spanish cured ham.  We wanted to find out if it really was as what the waiter said.  The jamon (ha morn) is imported and tasted good.  Both of us were not disappointed as it was very thinly sliced (a feat to do that), it was fragrant and do not smell of porcine. It was gentle but delicious on our taste buds. It has to be imported stuff.  We both enjoyed the ham but...I think a few pieces more pieces of baguette and a slightly larger blow of accompaniment would be good.
Jamon Serana (Spanish cured ham)
We ordered the Paella without seafood (there are many different kinds).  I am not a prawn person so we had to settle for the mixed meat paella.  It was simply...Paella (pah-eh-yah) (RM85.50).  A paella  that came with mixed meat chicken and pork.  There were many vegetables such as long beans, carrots, capsicum, etc.  Broad beans were present in the Paella and I wondered if it was of the same kind used in Spain.  This Paella is Filipino style.  (Philippines was under Spanish rule from 1521 until 1898-source from Wikipidea.) Spanish people do not run the restaurant.  MB and I enjoyed the paella.  The rice was not mushy.  It was cooked and grainy (supposed to be so). The saffron was not overused.  The taste was tantalising.  Do take note if you intend to try the paella, the price quoted will be times two.  It is an order for a minimum of two people. I recalled the same experience we had in Spain.
Dessert!  It was something I could not forgo.  There were not many choices so I suggested pudding. MB agreed so we ordered the Spanish Bread Pudding (RM16.90) and shared.  The pudding was delicious.  It was something different as this particular tasted rather like the Traditional Bread pudding kind.  However, the basic ingredient bread was replaced with pannetone (a type of sweet bread loaf from Milan).  It was just our kind of dessert (with coffee) to finish off our meal.
Spanish Bread Pudding

I thought having a Spanish meal without Sangria (a fruit punch typical of Spain, Portugal and Argentina would be rather incomplete so I suggested we order a glass.  We enjoyed the food and the time spent so much, we ordered another glass and shared.  The sangria served was just like what I drank in Spain.  Be careful of the effect though.  After all, it has alcohol in it.

The service at Agua is commendable.  The waiters (male and female) were polite and helpful.  They obliged when we asked for refills of plain icy water.  We were not charged for the icy-cold water.  One thing though, the last person who we ordered Sangria a second time...kept us waiting for the plain water.  Be careful of the alcohol content of the Sangria.  It may be a fruit punch but it has a good 'kick'.  The pleasant disposition of the waiters (even when we stayed way past lunchtime) made our time spent more enjoyable. A BIG THANK YOU to MB for sharing her pictures with me.:o) AGUA, 3A-G 18 & 19 Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjong Tokong, 10470 Penang. Tel: 04-890 8668  **10% Service Charge and 6% Govt. Tax

March 18, 2012

Thunder Tea...

I read about Hakka Tree (serves Hakka Cuisine) in our local daily and wanted to give this eatery a visit.  It took me quite many tries to persuade H to visit the place.  The dish I had wanted to try was Lui Ca Fan (I think it is spelt thus).  We finally made it there.  Located on the concourse area where Tesco is located (Tanjung Bungah), the place looked airy and welcoming.
Naturally, I would have no other than the Lui Ca (translated as Hakka Thunder Tea) Fan (rice).  So that would mean I had the Hakka Special Thunder Tea (RM8.90) It was plain rice that came with cabbage, tau foo pok (a type of ingredient made from soy bean), long beans, etc.
Oh, ''This is interesting'', I could not helped from commenting.  Everything vegetables.  I mixed the rice with all the vegetables that came with the rice.  As there was no meat, I 'stole' a piece of oval-shaped meat patty from H's plate.  I found the dish to be something delectable and interesting, the mixture of vegetables and others all on the same plate and mixing it up with the rice.  Then…Eat!
The bowl of tea that came with the rice was something I would consider 'thunder' to my taste buds. I have never drunk such a tea (soup always go with rice in my household).  It is made up of liquid and blended herbs (wonder if tea is in there). I wanted to ask about the tea and the chef would be the bestperson to ask.  I decided against the idea, as the kitchen was quite a distance from the dining area.  The tea is thick and it would be what I acquired taste. The taste was too strong for me. It reminded me of the Chinese herbal medicine that my mother 'forced down my throat' when I was a little girl. I struggled with the tea and gave up halfway.  Poor H, he was enjoying his soup when I decided to swap my tea for his soup. I would still say, it is worth a try as then I can say I have tried it if anyone should mention Thunder tea the next time. 
H had a plate of Hakka Noodle with salted fish (RM10.00).  It was a plate of noodles with minced pork with minced pork  (I think this  made it Hakka food) and two meat patties.  He said it was tasty but not out of this so only. 
The soup was not bad.  A few pieces of chinese cabbage, seaweed and the taste was good.
Left-Iced red bean & right-Iced Honey Melon
The two glasses of drinks we had; Iced red bean(blendeded with coconut milk) and Iced Honey melon was a disappointment.  It was too liquid for the price we paid (RM6.90/glass).  

I liked the spoon and chopstick holder...oooh childhood days
Overall, the visit to the place was not that bad.  I liked the place, as it was airy and bright.  Hakka Tree has quite an extensive menu. I might return to try out the rest on the menu. :o)
Hakka Tree, Tesco Building (Tanjung Bungah), Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjong Tokong, Pualau Pinang. Tel:604-8993887