Exploring Mexican flavours at Holy Guacamole
Worldwide, very few cuisines can boast of a longer culinary lineage than Mexican food. Some believe it dates back as far back as 9,000 years to 7000 BC, beginning with its presence in indigenous communities such as the Mayans and other Mesoamerican civilisations. Throughout millennia of refinement and influences from various sources, including indigenous cultures and the Spanish colonisation, Mexican's rich food culture is today loved and enjoyed by millions all over the world. Incidentally, Mexico is also among the very few countries worldwide to have its cuisine being listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Lotuss Nyonya Kitchen – where maximalist style meets maximum flavours
A rendezvous with friends should always set the stage for a fun-filled outing. However, as true-blue Penangites, our palates demand nothing less than something seriously ho-chiak (delicious in Hokkien), the kind that commands attention above all else. This must be closely followed by the thrifty wisdom of value for money. Moreover, if an attractive ambience is coupled with warm friendly service, the escapade would indeed be a memorable one. Lotuss Nyonya Kitchen, located in the heart of George Town, seems to have it all.
Auntie Gaik Lean Old School Eatery – Chinese Peranakan cuisine cooked with love
Having been born into a Chinese Peranakan family, I often find myself leaning towards other cuisines – be it Chinese, Thai, Italian, Japanese, Vietnamese, Continental, Mexican, Indian or Malay – when dining out, unless I am hosting guests from abroad who crave for Nyonya cuisine. If time permits, I will roll up my sleeves and whip up a Nyonya feast, ensuring that my guests leave Penang with a lasting impression of the vibrant and distinct flavours that Nyonya dishes are imbued with.
Indulge in authentic Japanese flavours at Miraku
"Miraku," which translates to "a wonderful destination for customers to indulge in exquisite cuisine", epitomises the essence of excellence. The restaurant takes great pride in upholding the revered Japanese culinary traditions, while seamlessly blending in modern refinements into their meticulously curated menu. Showcasing a commitment to utilising only the finest ingredients, including seasonal produce imported directly from Japan, the chefs at Miraku take pleasure in enchanting guests with a mesmerising symphony of flavours, presenting dishes that are as visually captivating as they are delectable.
Discovering the versatility of the mangosteen, the "queen of fruits"
Penang is widely acclaimed as a food paradise, renowned not only for its delectable street food and authentic Nyonya cuisine but also for its eclectic mix of foreign flavours. During fruit seasons, Penang is celebrated for its famous Balik Pulau durians as well as a variety of exotic tropical fruits including rambutans, mangosteens, cempedak (jackfruit) and langsat.
The spirit of Italian cuisine at Bottega Penang
Like the unmistakable local Nyonya cuisine, one of the success secrets to Italian food is also the ability to borrow, adapt and invent some of the distinct yet sublime dishes we love today.
Archipelago Penang – a hidden bar serving fabulous cocktails to soothe the soul
Cocktails were initially inspired by British punches, which contained spirits, fruit juices and spices in big bowls. The term “cocktail”, known to be an alcoholic beverage, appeared in The Balance and Columbian Repository (Hudson, New York) 13 May 1806. Editor Harry Croswell answered the question, "What is a cocktail?" as “a stimulating liquor composed of any kind of sugar, water and bitters".
A luxurious 6-course treat for Mum at Maple Palace Restaurant
Mum turned 89 this year and I was only too glad that I was able to celebrate her birthday at Maple Palace Restaurant with a scrumptious top-notch feast. Although owner Loy Tan was overseas when I contacted him, he was obliging enough to curate a luxurious 6-course menu for Mum. The individual serving of each course was beautifully presented, making it a delightful visual feast to whet the appetite.
Deliciously authentic Hainanese chicken chop at Hai Onn Restaurant
Hai Onn Restaurant at Jalan Burmah is one of the few Hainanese kopitiams (coffee shops) left in George Town. Although there are two original signages at the entrance of the kopitiam with "Hai Oan", the correct spelling of this restaurant is actually "Hai Onn". This only goes to illustrate how forgiving the owner was in agreeing to carry on with the typographical error in the company name.
Senandung Rasa by the Sea at The Tamarra – a Ramadan feast for all
"Senandung Rasa by the Sea" at The Tamarra returns this Ramadan for an indulgent celebration filled with a lavish spread of modern Malay gastronomic delights. For an experience unlike any other, get ready to explore hearty yet nostalgic flavours of the Malay archipelago. Highlights from the extensive buffet spread include Kambing Golek (spit-roasted lamb), Nasi Kerabu Udang Lagenda (mixed herbal rice) and Gulai Ketam Nenas Tok Ma (flower crab curry) as well as live action stalls and a spread of over 100 items, not to mention a colourful ensemble of tempting desserts.