Saturday, February 25, 2012

Matsu Japanese Restaurant

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I have not come across any Japanese food that cooked in Fusion ways and it has its one of its kind of taste. Well, I would say it is creative in respective dishes presentation and innovative in its dishes designs, thus an article from The Star in April 2011 was featured this new restaurant.

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Matsu means Pine in Japanese. The entire place decorated in a modern design and tables were keeping a distance to save guard individual customers’ dining privacy. It’s located at the mezzanine floor and it’s above of BatuBar. BatuBar is a place where you can relax and listen to their deep soul, R&B music, apart from that, they also serve Japanese Tapas. Do look out for their menu on your visit.

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Each customer’s will be given a different type of appetizer. Ours was a steamed sweet potato cut into small cubes and mashed banana on top of it. Isn’t the Chef having a wild idea to impress his customers?

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Rainbow Carpaccio (RM35) is the New Type of Sashimi that the staff had recommended to me. It’s 2 slices of each Salmon, Tuna and White Tuna that rolled like a ball to cover the thin slices of lettuce; and it sits on top of the dressing that is made of Basil Mint Oil and Ponzu Sauce. It’s a bit too salty for me, but it does have its tangy taste, and create one’s appetite.

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Wasabi Egg Fried Rice (RM10) is something that caught my attention when I read thru the menu. Instead of getting 1 Garlic Fried Rice which we can get anywhere, might as well, let’s have something that I can’t find it in any other ordinary Japanese Restaurant. True enough, this fried rice gave me a surprise and the way they presented it was absolutely impressive. It’s like serving in a mortar than an ordinary bowl. Isn’t that creative?

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Char Grill Teriyaki Cod Fish (RM32) is something that you couldn’t find this in any places, but here in Matsu. The fish is definitely fresh and to many people may find it a bit wasteful if you grill it and not eaten it raw. But, the skill of grilling it does needs lots of patient and knowledge too. I personally appreciate and value the chef’s experience that brings out the fish’s freshness.

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Italy Udon (RM25), do you find this a bit too weird? This is another dish that is recommended by the staff. Udon is Japanese noodle but it stirs fry in Italy ways, with tomato, smoked duck, onions and green beans.  It was unique and it is like crossing boundaries as an ordinary Japanese food.

If one thinks that driving up to Batu Feringghi is a hassle, well think it as a slow drive enjoying the sunset along the way that could easily build up your appetite before you reach Matsu! Do make your reservation soon!

Address & Contact Number
Matsu Japanese Restaurant
Lone Pine Hotel
97 Batu Ferringhi
11100 Penang
Tel: +604-886 8555
Fax: +604-886 8666

Business Hours:
Daily 5pm to 11pm

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Little Kitchen @ Nyonya 娘惹小廚房

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Does anyone know how does Penang was bestowed the UNESCO Heritage title in year 2008? I was told the guideline in conferring is tedious and under many studies for many rounds. However, I was lucky to have Mr Loh of Little Kitchen @ Nyonya briefly told me the main 4 criteria. That is the Main Gate, the Partition, the Staircase and the Floor Tiles. These 4 items have to be maintaining it well as per the guidelines.

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A brief history about this place… Little Kitchen @ Nyonya was established in 2006, 6 years ago. It’s located in Lebuh Noordin, a straight of houses that were built in 1927, and it named eclectic shop houses which are from 1880 to 1940s (18th to 19th Century).  Before it was turned into Nyonya restaurant, they were mainly into Bird Nest business. A box of Bird Nest Tart can sell at RM50, pre-order 30minutes before and you can have a nice and delicious tart. This Bird Nest business was operating since 20 years ago, even today, they are still operating.

Little Kitchen @ Nyonya used to operate ‘Personal Dishes’ like what Hong Kong people call it Speakeasy/Private Kitchen (私房菜). Then after, they decided to move into Nyonya dishes reason mainly because the chef, is Mr Loh’s mother and she’s a Peranakan heir; secondary in their previous place was rented, and the owner decided to increase their rental.

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Mr Loh and his family believed in quality food for their customers, thus, many of the dishes are in small serving.  Even the chili that is needed for blending also required using Grade A chilies. So, from there you could imagine food quality is a thumb up for it.

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Anyway, this place was discovered by my sister-in-law, where she was accidentally came across an article that written by Guang Ming Press. With that, she recommended to us and brought us there for a family lunch.  It was absolutely a place where you shouldn’t be missed; the authentic Nyonya taste, and the antique plates and bowls honestly gave you a special touch and a remarkable meal too.

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Mr Loh also taught us what drink that serves in Nyonya restaurant. Normally it serves Nutmeg Tea or Ginger Tea with Brown Sugar. Of course, Chinese tea like Pu-erh (普洱), Oo Loong (烏龍) are serving as well.

The dishes here is going to divide into 2 types, 1 for the adults that can take on spicy food and the other 1 is for the kids.

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Enchi Kabin – Nyonya Fried Chicken (胭脂炸雞)

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Namchut Fish, of which to me is more of deep frying fish and the condiment is more of like Nyonya’s Salsa sauce.

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Stir Fry Vegetable, according to Mr Loh, such vegetable is hard to get and it’s only available in their restaurant. I just can’t recall what is the name of the vegetable.

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Salted Meat and also called “Kiam Bak” (鹹肉)

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Nyonya Lobak (鹵肉), which consists of Chicken Lobak and Boar’s Liver Lobak (豬肝鹵肉). Honestly, this is one of the best Lobak that I ever tried.

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Jiu Hu Char (Fried Cuttlefish with Turnips, 扁魚炒沙葛), this is such an authentic food that almost every Nyonya family or Hokkien would know how to cook.

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Fish Maw Soup (魚鰾湯), a simple soup that is consists of Chinese cabbage and carrots. It’s a nutritious soup for the children.

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“Kiam Chai Ark” Soup (Salted Vegetable Duck Soup, 鹹菜鴨湯) is another soup choice that Little Kitchen @ Nyonya is offering.

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Let’s introduce the spicy type of dishes for the spicy lovers…. Sambal Ulam (Leafy Heabs). The spiciness of the chili categorized into 3 categories. If you could take on the spiciness, they will recommend category 3, otherwise, category 1 is sufficient.

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Cincalok Stir Fry Meat (鹹蝦醬炒豬肉). This is my very first Cincalok dishes, in fact, have never have a chance to try this. It really could taste the shrimp freshness. Cincalok is made of fermented tiny shrimp, the shrimp in the pinkish colour Cincalok are readily identifiable and the taste is salty (source: Wikipedia).

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Acar Hu (Pickled Fish in Turmeric Vinegar Sauce, 阿扎魚), it’s a tiny fish that deep fried it with hot oil and cook with turmeric and vinegar sauce. This is definitely an appetizing dish.

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Sambal Petai (三巴蝦炒臭豆), Petai’s binomial name is also called Parkia speciosa. It has some kind of antioxidant functions for the bladders.


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Assam Belai Fish (阿三魚),it’s a sourish, sweet and spicy soup base of curry. It’s almost similar to Penang Assam Laksa (檳城阿三拉沙).  In fact, this is one of the best Assam Belai Fish that I ever tried. If you love this, shouldn’t miss this in fact.

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Sambal Fried Vegetables.


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Address & Contact Number

Little Kitchen @ Nyonya 娘惹小廚房

No. 179, Lebuh Noordin
10300 Penang
Tel: +604-261 6731 / +6012-508 9338