Amelie Cafe, Penang.

I first read about this place in an expat magazine. I must admit I was intrigued and when we finally made our way up north to Penang, I went looking for it.

It really is quite hidden as many have already said. Lucky I read earlier that it’s next to the Cheah Kongsi or I would have really missed it as the entrance was somewhat hidden by all the foliage of the potted plants.

There are only about 4-5 tables inside as the set up is really small. Judging from the many reviews I have read, the design of the cafe is ever evolving according to the recyclables they managed to get their hands on. It’s very cosy and whimsical, especially when dressed with all the random knick knacks. I noticed that they have a “no photography” policy but I can understand why especially when photographers tend to linger and loiter and the space is just too tiny to accommodate that. However, I can’t resist stealing some shots with my phone though… oops.

They have a standard drinks menu and some specials according to ingredient availability. So one day it may be banana & plum lassi, another, ice blended coconut and pineapple (ranging from RM10-12) etc. The Latte (RM10) I had was aromatic and creamy, just how I like it. They use illy beans here which always mean a decent cuppa to me.

From the moment we stepped in, the greasy yet inviting smells of bacon frying wafted over so it wasn’t much of a surprise when the Bacon & Cream Cheese Bagel (RM15) caught our eye. Loved the bagel itself and I think I would be contented even if it was just plain cheese.

We also had Linguine Pomodoro with Pork Sausage (RM17). As Pomodoro basically means tomato, this linguine was prepared with the simple ingredients of tomatoes, olive oil, garlic basil etc. It was light and refreshing. I did read somewhere that they made their own pasta too but if I am not mistaken, these were the dried, ready ones as I saw him cooking them from my spot.

We had Panna Cotta with Plum Sauce (RM12) and it had a really firm consistency compared to what I am used to. I did wonder a bit about the plums sauce but when I saw it in its sugary segmented form, it all made sense.

Another dessert I had was the Crepe with frozen mango yoghurt (RM12 ). The crepe was beautifully made. But the mango yoghurt was rather tasteless with a slight hint of tartness. I actually think that the crepes would be perfect with something creamier.

All in all, it’s quite a charming cafe to spend some time at. As only the husband & wife team are preparing and serving by themselves, there’s some waiting time involved during “peak periods” but nothing unbearable. In fact it gave us a a reason to linger!

Amelie Cafe (www)
No 6, Armenian Street,
10200 Penang.
(Next to Cheah Clan Kongsi)
Tel: +6012 496 7838
Opening Hours : 10am-7pm (Closed Mondays)

Other reviews:
my love. my food
jenc little corner
pardon my randomness


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Le Şener, Kuşadası

Our next stop on my Turkish road trip was Kuşadası, a seaside resort town in the Aydın province. It was a picturesque drive in as we were greeted by sea views. We parked at a nearby otopark and walked into the Ismail Cem Peace & Friendship square which extends into the waterfront dotted with public benches and bobbing boats.

The leisure walk along the waterfront towards the stretch of seafood restaurants at the end was pleasant as I had a good view of the daily catch of some men who were fishing by the waterfront. We walked around the restaurants a bit, checking their menu and finally decided on Le Sener, a restaurant that was adjoining the local fish market that allowed us to buy fresh sea produce from the fishmongers and then, cook it for us for a small fee.

Started with off some mezethes, consisting of yoghurt, cacık (yoghurt with cucumber and garlic) and egpplants with tomatoes. It was excellent to eat with the soft bread provided.

Then a fresh, piquant salad followed with abundant herbs. I am starting to really enjoy salads after this Mediterranean vacation!

As the hamsi (anchovy) season was reaching its end, we had to get our fill of them. We decided to have hamsi tava where the fishies are coated with cornflour and pan fried. The anchovies are arranged around the skillet in a ring and cooked until brown and lightly crisp and served as such. Just pick them up by the tails and eat them whole, in between bites of bread and salad.

My friend said that most of the calamari served in Istanbul are of the frozen variant so when we spotted fresh ones here at the fish market, she had to get them. Had the restaurant deep fry it for us and the calamari rings, lightly coated in batter were divine.

Next to the restaurant was a Midye Dolmasi (Turkish Stuffed Mussels) vendor and couldn’t resist getting a few to try. Stuffed with herbed rice, and complimented with a squeeze of lemon, these were really good! I would have seconds if I weren’t so full already. Slightly sweet, meaty and flavourful, I can see these being very addictive snacks.

After the satisfying lunch, walked around some nearby shops for a bit before we got in the car to head towards the Denizli province where the famed Pamukkale is.

Le Şener
Kuşadası Balık Hali Yanı

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Lezzet Lokantasi Kofteci Ali Usta’nin Yeri, Selçuk

Selçuk is the gateway to Ephesus, which is well known as the ruins of a Greek & later, a Roman city. By the time we got to Selçuk, it was past sunset and we found an inn to settle down. From what we saw as we were driving in, the town seemed on the small-ish side so we decided to walk around the area where our inn was to explore, but not before asking for a dinner recommendation.

One thing that really intrigued me was the storks’ nests on the nearby ruins! I later found out that the ruins were actually the remaind of a Byzantine aqueduct and the storks nest there year after year. Hmm, which explains all the bird poop. Lol.

As we were walking to the restaurant our innkeepers recommended, noticed that a lot of the shops were closed. But the teahouses were a buzzin! I have read about Turkish teahouses being the the men’s domain as they play backgammon while sipping on their çay. But to see it in action was quite something.

Typical start to a Turkish meal, ekmek or bread. Served with some local white cheese drizzled with olive oil and topped with tomatoes & spring onions. The cheese itself is really quite mild and was wonderful with the toasted bread.

A mixed salad of fresh green with beets. Crunchy & refreshing.

Skewered chicken with tomatoes and chunky fries. The chicken was juicy and very tasty.

We also had some Beef Kofte which was bouncy and flavourful.

The lamb chops, or pirzola was the highlight of our meal. Tender, moist and brimming with flavour. Even ordered a second portion as we cleaned this plate.

Complimentary fruits from the owner, perfect way of finishing the meal.

By the time we were done with our meal, it started drizzling so we walked back to our inn very quickly and watched some telly before calling it a night.

Lezzet Lokantasi Kofteci Ali Usta’nin Yeri Ev Yemekleri
Ataturk Mah. 25 Sk. No.18/N
Selçuk, Turkey.

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Tarihi Pidecioğlu Pide Firini , Bursa

We wanted to see some other parts of Turkey also apart from Istanbul so my friend suggested a road trip. We just wanted to go to some of the main sites over a span of 2-3 days which is doable even if a tad on the rushed side. To get to Bursa, we decided to take the ferry to cross the Sea of Marmara. The ride was about 40 mins long so most drivers either took a nap in their car or proceeded upstairs to talk over steaming hot çay. But as the cabin upstairs was predominantly a men’s area, i kept myself entertained by watching the changing scenery and was rewarded with the above shot. Hehe.

Bursa was actually rather pleasant. We parked near one of the tourist attractions, Yesil Cami (Green Mosque) and walked from thereforth. Bursa is also known for its quaint, picturesque Ottoman houses and as we wound through alleys and bridges, really took in the architecture.

We were walking through the Kayhan Carsisi towards the Koza Han (Silk Cocoon Market) when this scene caught our eyes. Men kneading away and putting the dough straight into a woodfire oven! The freshly baked tandir ekmegi, which is like our local naan, really tempted us with the aroma. So we decided to sit down and after seeing the amount of bread being hoisted into delivery vans to be delivered all around town, I think we made the right choice.

Anyhow, as per the sound of the name, it’s a pide restaurant. Pide is essentially a oval bread with topping, pretty much like a Turkish version of a pizza.

One of my favourites of the meal was this gorgeous Kuşbaşı pide, which is spiced lamb chunks. It was so good! Flavourful, juicy and piping hot!

We also had the etli pide which is spiced minced beef.

There’s also Kaşarlı Pide which is melted, gooey cheese filling.

What can I say? The freshly baked flatbread pizza was really one of the highlights of the meals I had in Turkey. In fact, my friend is even thinking of making a trip to Bursa just to have more of this as we talked about it recently. Yup, that yummy!

Tarihi Pidecioğlu Pide Firini
Kayhan Caddesi No:73,
16230 Bursa,

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Bistro à Table, PJ

The chef, Isadora Chai was being interviewed on radio regarding her playground, this bistro, when a friend heard it. She creates adaptive French cuisine by incorporating local elements to modern French food. It was the brilliant use of ice cream in french onion soup that highly appealed to us, and we found ourselves at the doorsteps of Bistro à Table, after braving Friday night traffic. Situated at the unlikely corner of shoplots in a quieter area of Section 17, parking is a breeze.

The interior is simple but cozy and the dangling lights centerpiece has garnered much interest. But what I liked was probably the drapes that partitioned some tables on the left to give the diners some privacy. Yet I realised I didn’t take a shot of it, haha.

Alas, the menu is one that’s dependent to the current availability of ingredients as well and the french onion soup has outlasted its fifteen minutes of fame. along with the mains and dessert i had in mind too. haha. but well, new items on the menu to try then!

Started with the warm bread…

We then had Irish Oysters with Yuzu Dressing (RM48). The distinctive sharp citrus note of the yuzu fruit with the fresh oyster was indeed a match made in heaven.

I have always remembered Kataifi in sweet variants but lately I have been seeing it featured in dim sum joints with avocado cream filling or even prawn with mango etc. Here at Table, they have come up with Kataifi-wrapped chevre with beet puree (RM28). The kataifi parcel itself I am somewhat impartial to as I tasted more pastry than cheese but i loved the beet puree. Smooth and earthy to taste.

Since I have heard and read so much about the Coddled maple syrup egg with crouton dust & Fleur de Sel (RM16), had to order it and try. Deceptively simple in looks, the soft boiled egg is in fact brimming with the unusual flavour of the runny yolk, maple syrup and crouton dust. Interesting textures and aftertaste.

Their signature main is the Canelloni of seared scallops & school prawns, served with lobster bisque and Indonesian black nut tapenade (RM62). The canelloni looks promising but I found it a tad bland by itself. But the full flavours of the lobster bisque when coupled with the canelloni, creates a more enjoyable experience. But the most intriguing bit for me was probably the buah keluak tapenade. I personally love buah keluak due to its nutty, oily taste that one has to try to understand. Can’t wait to get my hands on some to try to make my own tapenade. Yum!

This is the 8 Hour Duck confit with candied kumquats and puy lentils (RM59). The glistening skin of the duck thigh looked so inviting! Duck confit is actually short cured duck thigh which is then slow cooked in its own fat for the tender, fall-of-the-bones flesh.

I had the Stuffed cured quail with cassis jus (RM68). It was served atop pea mash with a side of beet & ginger, cranberries and truffled mash. As it was a cured quail, it was a tad saltier but once mixed with the jus and mash, it does blend nicely and takes the saltiness down a notch. The truffled mash and pea mash was particularly memorable. It was easily the best mains of the night.

I personally had high hopes for the desserts especially the “finale” of the night after the promising description in the print out that was handed to us earlier. We somehow ended up starting our dessert run with the Chocolate mousse with Milo and hazelnut praline (RM18). It was just that. Smooth chocolate mousse with slightly crunchy but overpowering Milo & hazelnut praline. We could barely remember the mousse as the taste of Milo is so dominant. I do love my Milo, but I can have Milo Dinosaur at a mamak for a fraction of the price. Thumbs up for presentation though. Loved the chocolate leaves.

The earlier mentioned “finale” was this, the Ode to Newton (RM36). I didn’t make any association with apples as the Chef thought we would. But then, it was printed out clearly in the printout that it would be a matter of gravity vs anti gravity. We were probably all waiting for this really elaborate dessert that combined both the soufflé and ice-cream in one so I for one was a tad surprised when we were served 2 separate desserts.

The soufflé represents the anti-gravity which if eaten at the correct speed would see the lemongrass ice hemisphere melt enough to have the cinnamon & nutmeg ice cream plop into the warm ginger beer i.e. gravity. maybe a bit too much physics involved for some, but just think, 2 desserts. Lol.

The incredibly light, fluffy soufflé was probably the best I have had in a long time. So airy that it does defy gravity. Cracking it and pouring in the creme anglaise brought the little satisfaction that one gets when cracking the perfect sugar coat of a creme brulee. It must have been so good coz we finished the soufflé way before the ice-cream dropped. Then as we were chatting away, the ice-cream dropped. And I must admit the sight of the melting ice-cream in the ginger beer was a tad unsightly and reminded me of something that is never meant to be discussed over dinner. Heh.

Our dinner came up to almost RM500 that night which is a pretty penny for dinner. Though there was some that wowed and some that didn’t, i believe what keeps Malaysians coming is the fact that the menu changes according to what’s the best and freshest in the current market. I am especially piqued by Degustation nights but haven’t seen reason to justify the whopping RM330-450+ price tag yet. Until then, keeping an eye on the changing menu…

Bistro à Table (www/fb)
No.6, Jalan 17/54,
46400 Petaling Jaya,
Tel:03-7931 2831 or 014 338 5888
Open : Dinner Tues-Sun. Closed Mondays
Reservations recommended.

Other reviews;
eatdrinkkl 1, 2 & 3

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Sarawak Laksa

A couple of weeks ago I asked Jasmine why does she have a cooking tag in this blog. She explained that when she has time she cooks too and will blog about it. Since I had some Sarawak Laksa paste, we recently decided to cook it to celebrate Malaysia on September 16. So yeay, my first cooking post here!

The paste that I had was Barrett’s Sarawak Sambal Laksa which you can purchase from their website. Following the cooking directions behind the packet, I made the laksa soup the night before. I boiled 2.5 litres of chicken and prawn stock first, then I cooked the chicken breasts in it for shredding later.

The next day, Jas popped on over and we made the laksa soup proper by adding the paste and belacan. Since she was the Sarawak native, I relied heavily on her taste buds to adjusti the flavors 🙂 She also made the sambal belacan like a pro. We cooked the noodles, prawns, bean sprouts and omelette then plated it all up for photos!

Here is the spread. Complete with my Sarawakian table runner and mats. lol.

I plated my Sarawak Laksa like a noob. lol. I used a plate and poured the soup after placing all the laksa ingredients. #epicfail I know. lol.

Whereas Jas plated her laksa like a boss complete with sambal belacan and lime.

The 300g packet of Barrett’s Sarawak laksa paste states it cooks for 2 but we managed to get 7 servings out of it! So if you’re thinking of a party idea, consider making Sarawak laksa. It is easy to make and super tasty. Be sure to take some photos and let us know how it goes!

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JTean Kitchen, SS2 PJ

If you are a regular foodie and you follow most mainstream (and non-halal) eating floggers, you must have heard of JTean Kitchen. Located in SSTwo Mall, this place markets its cuisine as fusion bak kut teh. C’mon, that sounds pretty awesome right? A few weeks ago, I rounded up some kakis and we decided to sample the food so many flogs out there have been raving about.

The interior, its signature BKT pork burger and view of the kitchen.

Firstly, service here wasn’t fantastic. We booked the place for 11 pax but a few cancelled. As it was close to lunch time and more people were streaming in, we told them in good faith that they can split the tables for other diners. In return, the waitress gave us super rude attitude, yo. She was muttering to herself, yelling at other staff to help her carry the table, looking extremely annoyed. Another waitress took our order and she didn’t speak English. That posed a problem for bananas like me but I didn’t expect this to happen in a restaurant with an English name + menu and located in affluent PJ. But she was helpful regardless and Mandarin speakers in the crew took charge of the ordering.

The JPork BKT Burger (RM7.90). We came with high expectations based on several blog reviews but were sorely disappointed. The patty only had a hint of BKT taste. Otherwise, all I could taste was the peppery, tangy mayonnaise sauce. What is it even doing in the burger? Boo.

Tean’s BKT that had a mix of ribs, pork belly and stomach (RM20.90). Sadly, it was nothing to shout about. It was like any other average BKT and tasted quite plain.

The Pork Leg (RM10.90).

The J-Ribs served with wedges, side salad and a special sauce (RM34.90). I thought this was the ‘yummiest’ tasting one, relative to the other so-so dishes. The ribs itself were charred nicely and retained some juiciness of the meat but the flavor did not really come through. I was convinced the special sauce was just ordinary black pepper sauce.

Stewed Chicken Feet, Tofu and Mushrooms (RM12.90). This was also pretty average. It had no real oomph to it – no sharp herbal notes or a heaty, flavorful kick.

We all left the place feeling kinda disappointed and our bill for 7 of us came up to RM215.00. Don’t think any of us will be going back anytime soon. I had to eat in Hungry Hog for dinner just to make myself feel better. The redeeming factor for this place perhaps was the decently-priced drinks list with quite a nice selection of ‘fancy’ tea (although I like to kick it old school with pu er in a clay teapot that you make yourself). Oh and SSTwo Mall’s parking is still free.

JTean Kitchen (www)
G-58, Ground Floor
SSTwo Mall
No. 40, Jalan SS2/72
47300 Petaling Jaya
Selangor DE
Opening Hours: 10.00am – 10:00pm (opens daily)

Tel and Fax: 03 7954 0819

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