Saturday, October 23, 2010

Yuan Izakaya Restaurant – Steamboat & BBQ Buffet review

I decided to visit this restaurant after reading a near perfect review from one of the popular Penang food blogger, CK Lam as the restaurant was doing a promotion in conjunction of their opening for buffet dinner at RM31++ till 20th. The price had been increased to RM45++ as of now. Since I had got her permission to use her photos here, I will show you guys some comparison and the experience I had at the restaurant.

No, I am not blaming her for the bad service and dishes I had, but I would blame the owner. I believe some owners(NOT ALL) does create these kind of publicity and then invite bloggers to have a dinner there which in turn cheats the readers into going to their place. I know I am going to get some hate mails for this but I stand by my opinion.

The dreaded stairs which helps you exercise before your meal. Handicapped and elderly unfriendly I would say as CK Lam had also noticed.

The decorations was good and conducive as I would say. Anyone care for a stroll between their dishes?

The normal table seating with chairs.

Tatami tables!! But as the crowd comes in, it's going to be as noisy as any other steamboat restaurant in Penang. It's best if you go early or as late as 8.30pm but the food would be limited by then.

The menu. Yes you are only allowed 2 hours to have your buffet.

Their style was different from what we normally have in other buffet restaurant as you order what you want and they would bring it to you. I would say this is not the first restaurant to do so as Vistana Hotel had the same concept some time ago in KL and Penang. I would say there are pros and cons to this. I will talk about it later in this post.

What was different was that the BBQ stove and the soup base were separated.

"Miso fish head tofu pot" when I actually ordered "Kunbu Original pot" but I ain't complaining as it seriously taste good there.

First thing I did while waiting for the other dishes was to have a bowl of the soup.

The first dish came... The scallops... Now compare with the picture below.

Saw the difference? Actually I took the picture as it is on the table without moving it a little. The presentation of the food alone was different. Anyway I had had fresher ones before. Off to the next dishes.

Abalone slices and in the other picture, shashimi which I waited for like over 45 minutes for it to arrive.

If you haven't notice, it's the food presentation. Mine actually looked like the chef woke up on the wrong side of the bed and splat the whole junk on the plate just to have it served.

I started off my BBQ on the slow charcoal fire.

The idako(Octopus) was good but I find it too big for a bite size.

The shrimps

The Taiwanese sausages and shrimps. If you compare the portions, The Taiwanese sausages are at least 3 times the portion of the shrimps. This is the pro and cons of ordering your food style in a buffet. You get stuffy food at large size.

Halfway through this thing came. I know I didn't order this as I hadn't touch the "Fried" area of the ordering chit but I gave it a try just like the Miso fish head tofu soup thinking I might end up in a surprise too. Heck I was wrong. I asked the guy who served me that what did he just served me and he told me it's some kind of nugget... Bad choice here. I didn't really like the taste. Anyway what I would caution if you were to visit this restaurant is just say no to whatever you have not ordered. I actually force feed myself to finish this.

I don't think I need to mention again about presentation but this is the pork fillet.

Unagi and it was good

Smoked duck breast which I felt is not too fresh on that day.

After the BBQ. The roll in front was the pork fillet. The darker meat was spicy ostrich. Yes they do serve that. One good thing about the meats is that they are marinaded to perfection. The prawns were boiled. Then I asked about the teriyaki salmon and hand rolled sushi I had ordered and was told they were not available. Say if I didn't ask, the staff wouldn't tell me they are unavailable leaving me waiting for my dishes.

BBQ lamb and smoked duck breast.

I was searching for the desert where CK actually mentioned cake. They were nowhere to be found there. Only ice cream were available. From the distinctive taste of it, it was definitely King's ice cream which was to my likings actually. My friend whom I saw at another table said she felt guilty for forcing herself to gulp down some when I told her it was actually King's ice cream.

-Meat served was nicely marinated.
-The BBQ doesn't cause a smoky environment despite it being indoors.
-Some staff were quite helpful - one by the name of Patricia actually was quite attentive.
-Environment was conducive if you are not an elderly or disabled and like a rowdy environment.
-Large variety of food

-You get served food you didn't order and they don't tell you if the dish you ordered was unavailable. Portion size might differ depending on price of the dishes(recommended to go in a group). Some weren't that fresh but edible.
-They don't refill the drinks and you are going to be stuck with the choice of lemon juice and ice lemon tea or coffee(for dinner seriously?) when orange and the others run out.
-Some staff will just ask you to wait when you tell them your soup base pot is getting all dried up. The funny thing is the staff who helped me with the soup pot asked me to hold his charcoal pot while he attend to the pot while some of the guys who passed by just watched.

I think it's a little below par for what I am paying here but it's still worth it but at the current price of RM45++, I did rather prefer to go to Sakae sushi anytime for a buffet. At a rating of 1-9 with 1 being the lowest, I think I would rate this place a 4.5

Note: Those pictures with the "" watermark belongs to another blogger, CK Lam and I had used her pictures as a comparison WITH permission. You can go visit her blog for more HERE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Boycott KFC!!!

Was at Queensbay today for a quick takeaway dinner before work. Yeah I work at odd hours when it comes to having meetings with my US counterparts. It was a normal takeaway till I saw the receipt... see below.

20 cents for plastic bag? To make it worse, I wasn't even told bout it. You know those shopping complex where a typical no plastic bag day comes with a notice at the cashier but there is no such thing in KFC. I could understand taking recycling bag to shopping but for KFC? Even McDonalds provide paper bags but KFC? Try holding the dinner plate box for half an hour. The box will turn soggy and the floor will end up eating your KFC. So if KFC is going to engage in such dishonest practice, I am just going to boycott it. Till they provide something like McD's paperbag and not charge customers silently that is.

You know I had a few bad experience with KFC but I still didn't really bother much. But what happened lately really made me feel disappointed. The other incident was the burnt burger that the KFC in Giant supermarket served. Even the replacement they gave me is the same till the manager took a look and ordered the whole batch to be replaced. Somehow I feel that they just dumped the burger and reuse the chicken fillet. Should I still go back to KFC?

*Note (20oct 8.41pm): The area manager called me up a while ago and apologized for the events that transpired. Good job in the fast response.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Canon Photomarathon 2010 pt1

Yeah I know I am really behind time in my postings... As of now I am having regular chest pain and the doc says I need to rest more. I was thinking of updating when I fell sick the past few weeks. Yes, it's been a painful experience I had and is still having as of this moment. Thanks to my readers who had been patiently waiting for my posts. Anyway I went for the Photomarathon when I am supposed to stay at home to rest as of the doc's advice but I just couldn't miss this opportunity. Well, I will need to separate it into parts because it's a painstaking effort to watermark my pictures and upload them. So here it is. The first 12 pictures... I am thinking of starting my photo blog but the prob is I could seldom update like I used to do... What say you guys?

Arch just like those runs seen on newspapers.

My so called "goodie bag" without the bag of course... and spoons for the pudding too.

One of my initial candidate for the "Eyes on EOS" theme.

Another initial candidate for the "Eyes on EOS" theme.

The actual submission for the theme although I feel I could have chosen a better picture. Apparently I was correct.

My submission for the theme "Humanity" but I felt this picture would be more suitable if the theme was "Humility" instead. The original picture is full coloured. If only they would allow us to edit our pictures before we submit them but limiting them to "grayscale" and "crop".

One of the other candidates I have for the "Humanity" theme. Originally taken with color.

I named this picture "Confusion" not Confucious ok? I feel it's a good photo here.

"Peace and Hope?" Is it going to be a reality or just a dream?

"Pathway to the past"

"Tired civilization?"

or "Lonely alley"?
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