Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Weekend at Straits Quay Penang

A group of us were in Penang to perform our Christmas show at the Penangpac in Straits Quay. I arrived early to set up the stage ahead of the others. This is a brief report on food and drink we encountered whilst there. 

Straits Quay Coffee Bean coffee was thin. Sandwich was small for the price. Nowhere to wash your hands. Not good value.

Ate at some restaurant in the evening overlooking the Marina called Maricosa. It was pretty sad. Blue looking margarita by the jug was thin and watery - we had to order another gin to spruce it up. Special of Pork Ribs was drowned in gravy and tasted like it had been braised in water first. Fair prices, but not large on quality.  See how long it lasts.

Took a morning drive along Batu Feringhi to find breakfast. Everything was closed. 

Had breakfast cake and coffee at Delicious. Lenglui enjoyed, though I found it stodgy and the coffee thin. Friends from our group had a different take and enjoyed it all. Stiff prices. Trendy and popular with pretty people. 

We had booked a suite for the cast to stay as back up in case other accommodation didn't come through. It eventually did, but the Agoda company operating the apartments said they would not allow cancellation since it was a special offer rate and I would have to pay the entire three night booking.  Hmm.  Not customer friendly. Since the location suited us, we put up and shut up. But would not happily book through Agoda again. Next time we will find a place that takes direct bookings. Or at least one that has a better policy for cancelling. We saw a few on the main road offering at RM100 compared to the RM400+ for Agoda's special. The Tanjung Beach Resort should reopen soon after its renovation. Maybe it will offer a better deal. Or stay at the E&O hotel. They have free shuttles to Straits Quay.

The one bedroom suite will sleep five people, three in the bedroom and two on couches in the TV area. It was clean and quiet and well located. Though a bit hit and miss for checking in. You need to find the operator who walks up and down the Mall entrance hoping to be noticed by people looking to check in. Big fridge, cooker, free bottled water and wifi with coffee and tea and someone to come in and clean. Big TV with DVD player but no Cable TV. No microwave. Also no place in Straits Quay to buy food - need to go to the Tesco which is a hot and sweaty 15 minute walk away. A verandah overlooked by some building meant that drying clothes outside was impossible and a magnet for mosquitoes. Got a pool and fitness centre which we didn't visit.

Location wise, you're pretty stuck at the Straits Quay without a car. Taxis abound, but it is a good distance to Penang centre, and traffic can be slow given the road system. Fine for a family getaway, but not for people looking to experience Penang in its historical glory.

Night time was at Goodall hawker stall on Gottleib Road. Excellent Lor Bak and O Tien (oyster omelette). Generally very good standard and food quality and taste in the open evening air. Got a free car park too. Recommended.

Found an excellent coffee bar called Full Of Beans at Straits Quay. Expensive, but worth the splurge. One of the best made coffees I have ever tasted. Various varietals and blends available, and all made perfectly. Must try.

Nyona Blend Restaurant Straitss Quay. Good tasty portions, fair price, nice ambience at lunchtime. Can get busy on weekends. We had potato leaves with fried rice and belly pork stew. Very filling. Recommended.

Found an excellent chicken sandwhich at the Cafe Huey and Wah. Went well with our Sixty Drops 2010 which is ageing nicely. 

Last supper was at Northam Beach Cafe. Located next to the sea, got lovely cooling breezes as we ate. So so satay, excellent Lor Bak, small and average Char Kuey Teow, Tiger lady selling beer growled at me for speaking Bahasa. I thanked her in Cantonese and got a grunt. Cordial relations confirmed. 

Drive back to KL stopped at Tapah Services. Hugely busy. Had a small chicken croissant and coffee at Dunkin Donut. Pretty grim, but it was carbo. Lenglui had ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Tip - drive to the petrol station if you want the toilet, otherwise is a long walk from the services entrance.

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