Friday, 25 July 2014

Poem: Call of The Blades

CALL OF THE BLADES

Deep inside me
is a pair of restless blades
Longing to break free
into the skies like fearless wings,
and slice apart
the darkness that clouds my heart.

Yes, I could hear you calling.

Can you feel it?
My resonating heartbeats
reaching for you
in the quietness of my soul
across the vastness
of the infinite sky.

Because I, too, am calling you.

How long more will I have to wait?
Eyes hungry to be entranced
by the gleam of your stinging edges;
Of metal forged with passion
from the coals of a ceaseless flame
beneath the watching eyes of angels,
Voices singing of a coming promise
branded deep into my flesh.

I need you now, more than ever.

Because it is impossible on my own
to slay my crippling fears
cleverly hidden behind my shadows,
But with us combined,
no sea or mountain or principle
shall dare to remain standing:

Be parted away, torn asunder,
like the chains of my uncertainties.

Deep inside me
is a pair of restless blades
Longing to break free
into the skies like fearless wings,
and slice apart
the darkness that clouds my heart

And when you finally awaken
let's go together on a journey;
Holding you close
within the embrace of my fingers
Feeling the warmth of your handles
fueling me through
the nights of solitude Winter,
To dance and exchange whispers
beneath the moonlight and falling snow
among the barren trees in the wilderness
With the wolves watching from a distance,
filled with fear and envy
of our beautiful prowess.

Indeed, you and me
are truly meant to be together;
So arise, my companion.
Lend me your strength
to pave the long path ahead of us
together.

Our battle has just begun.

Wilson Khor W.H. @ Seymour Nightweaver
25th July 2014

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Review: Sakana Sushi Bar & Cuisine (Hangout with Bloggers Event by Tourdirections)

Heard of Sakana Sushi before? I was invited again for another food review session by Tourdirections and for the very first time, set my foot into this interesting Japanese restaurant, located at Penang Road, just right opposite of the entrance to Campbell Street.

*Side Note: Due to the lighting of the location, the photo quality of my pictures are pretty poor this time around. I should consider investing in a more expensive camera in the future... =_=

First Impressions:
The interior was decent, suitable for dining with ample spaces sufficient enough to accommodate family gatherings. While its ambiance and interior decor may not carry the same class and impression that other Japanese restaurants have (my favourite so far, when it comes to interior decor for Japanese restaurants, is Tsuruya - they really put effort in setting the mood and ambiance), it is still a pleasant place to dine and enjoy delicious Japanese food with your loved ones.



Various types of seats are available in the restaurant, ranging from simpler dining tables to more comfortable seating choices with ambient lighting. 
The Food:
Sakana Sushi Bar & Cuisine offers a wide selection of Japanese food, ranging from Japanese salad to sushi and even Teriyaki-style dishes. During the session, we bloggers were being given the opportunity to try out their bestsellers and to tell them what we actually think about them. 

So, here goes:


Deluxe Sashimi Platter - RM55

Am personally not a fan to Sashimi, but I still have to admit that this is one of the best I have tasted so far. The raw Salmon slices melt in them mouth, and everything is pretty fresh.


Deluxe Assorted Roast Sushi - RM 40

The roasted meat really made the different here, especially for the Salmon and Unagi. The light roasting process does not only lock the flavours within the meat, but also gives an overall meatier texture - which are the key features that make the Aburi Sushi (roasted sushi) stand out from raw sushi. 


Unagi Tosa Maki - RM 22

To be very honest, I can't taste the Unagi in the Maki. Unlike the previous roasted variety from the Deluxe Assorted Roast Sushi platter, the taste and texture of the Unagi is totally overpowered and masked by everything else.

To put it jokingly, the Unagi literally decided to play ninja on us in this Maki.

Salmon Aburi Maki - RM 20

Like the Salmon in the Deluxe Assorted Roast Sushi, the Salmon here is lightly roasted and gives off a different texture than your usual raw Salmon meat.


Sakana Special Maki - RM 22

I'll have to give this one the most points for the presentation. The egg balances well and brings together the overall flavour of this Maki, making this both an appetizing and scrumptious choice. 

Watana Gani Salad - RM 18

I have to confess that of all the dishes being presented on that night, I love this one the most - and would definitely come back for it again someday!

The combination of fresh vegetables with crispy salmon skin and soft-shelled crab offers an interesting and mouthwatering contrast in the mouth, and the special Japanese-style sesame sauce that comes as its dressing simply nailed everything down completely. The salmon skin and soft-shelled crab is prepared just right - not too oily to go along perfectly with the refreshing freshness of the vegetables and sesame sauce.


Kamo Teriyaki - RM 18

The duck meat is tender and seasoned enough to go along with the rich and thick Teriyaki sauce, but try not to dip too much of its sauce, however, or the taste of the meat would be overpowered. I would also prefer to have this dish with a bowl of white rice, as it is pretty salty on its own.

Chicken Teriyaki - RM 13

While many others would differ in their opinion on this, but I personally have an issue with enjoying fried battered meat with Teriyaki sauce, and would prefer to stick with the good old grilled meat + Teriyaki variety. Nevertheless, I did notice that the meticulous details behind the preparation of this dish. The batter, while offers a crispy exterior to the meat, is not too thick to spoil the presence of the accompanying Teriyaki sauce. In addition to that, the tenderness and juiciness of the chicken meat does make a different in bringing a fullness in this dish, when meat served with Teriyaki sauce are in contrast, usually served in thin slices.

Butaniku Enoki Maki - RM 14

If I ever think of coming back to Sakana Sushi for another helping of their Watana Gani Salad, I would be damned if I do not order the Butaniku Enoki Maki to go along with whatever else I would be having then. When I tasted this for the first time, in addition to the delicious pork strips, I was totally taken off guard by the presence of butter intermingling with the Enoki mushrooms inside the roll. The thin pork strips are also well-seasoned and fragrant, further bringing out the best of this dish.


Salmon Teppanyaki - RM 20

I have mixed opinions on this particular dish. While salmon and stir-fried vegetables were undeniably delicious, the strong ginger presence actually makes me wonder whether I am eating in a Japanese or a typical Chinese family ("Chu-Char") restaurant since the taste resembles more towards Chinese-style cooking.

Seafood Chahan - RM 13

Despite being well-fried and has a balanced taste, I did not find this dish impressive. The seafood was too finely chopped for me to distinguish which is which.

Conclusion
By my standards, most of the dishes are only above average, but both the Watana Gani Salad and Butaniku Enoki Maki have left a very strong impression within me (not only in terms of taste; I also personally find their price very reasonable!) - strong enough to make me want to come back again just for these two, as well as to try out some of the other dishes that were not being presented during the session someday.

7/10 for overall food, but 10/10 for Watana Gani Salad and Butaniku Enoki Maki

I will definitely be back!


Address:
252, Penang Road, Georgetown, Penang

Operation Hours:
12-3pm, 6-11pm (Weekdays)
12-11pm (Weekends)



Wilson Khor W.H. @ Seymour Nightweaver
6th July 2014



For more information, please visit <http://www.tourdirections.com.my/directory/>. Planning your Penang food tour? TourDirections Penang helps you discover Penang cafes and restaurants, Penang hawker food, Penang budget hotel and Penang homestay at TourDirections.com.my

Friday, 18 April 2014

Review: SORGANIC Boutique (Hangout with Bloggers Event by Tourdirections)

I went again to another Tourdirections blogger gathering session a few weeks later at SORGANIC Boutique, located at the bustling Jalan Dato Keramat road in the BL Thomson building, right opposite the Y-junction of the jail.

For those who have not heard of this place before, SORGANIC Boutique is a haven for avid soybean milk lovers, with both ready made SORGANIC organic soy drink and SORGANIC organic soy powder available for sale within the premise area. The organic soy milk products of SORGANIC currently boast being the best and purest in the current market, with up to five times more soy concentration than other competing products. 


First Impressions


As a boutique-concept premise, SORGANIC has a very simple layout and decor with enough space to accommodate only a small number of customers at a time. But SORGANIC make great use of whatever little interior space it has to effectively deliver a good first impression and visually enforcing the strength of their products without having the interior looking too cluttered, especially on the use of blackboards, wooden shelves and boxes as well as the artificial grass to give off a green "natural and organic" presentation.  

While it is not a very good spot for large hang-out groups due to its very limited space and lack of air-conditioning, the premise itself is presentable and pleasing to the eye. 

 




One of the owners of SORGANIC explaining about their products during the gathering.



The Products

I was both surprised and amazed that the soy drinks are already sweet on their own even without any additional sugar added to the drink or to the product; and the noticeable sweetness was not the usual industrialized cane-based sweetness found in conventional soy products, but comes from the high soy concentration in the drinks.

SORGANIC Boutique currently has a few different types of organic soy powder products which can be bought off the shelf, ranging from the original no sugar added flavour to their cereal soy powder which has cereal pre-added into the mix. Grown on the fertile soil of Heilongjiang, China and made only from the finest and freshest organic soy beans using the latest Japanese processing technology, many benefits can be found in SORGANIC products that are not readily available in other soy products.

SORGANIC's organic soy powder products

Like most soy products, SORGANIC Organic Soy Powder is suitable for those with lactose intolerant, but its special manufacturing technology that removes the skin and embryo of the beans allows it to be even safely consumed by those with problems pertaining uric acid. SORGANIC is also an advocate of bringing in real organic GMO-free soy product into the market, reflected in its ECO CERT certification that requires their products to fulfill strict requirements and continuous maintenance to be certified as genuine organic products by ECO CERT standards. To reemphasize on the previous point, SORGANIC products is one of the best and purest in the market, containing up to five times more soy concentration in comparison to their nearest competitors - which I personally experienced during my session there. I was both surprised and amazed that the soy drinks are already sweet on their own even without any additional sugar added to the drink or to the product; and the noticeable sweetness was not the usual industrialized cane-based sweetness found in conventional soy products, but comes from the high soy concentration in the drinks. In addition, the SORGANIC organic soy drink is also very filling. I came to the session with an empty stomach, and I already felt full after drinking two glasses of soy, making it also a suitable drink for those who are weight conscious.


For those who prefer drinking on the spot, SORGANIC Boutique also offers ready-made drinks at an affordable price that can also be further customized with your favourite add-ons such as cereals (which makes it equivalent to the SORGANIC cereal soy powder drink). For an extra charge, customers can also opt to take away their drink in glass bottles to have their favourite drink with them wherever they go.


Customers can order ready made SORGANIC Soy Powder drinks here, prepared only with warm (not hot) water to preserve most of the soy nutrients.



From my personal point of view, I did find SORGANIC products a little pricey and the price will not be appealing to those without the sufficient spending capacity to invest on such products. However, I have also realised after the session that the quality and benefits of SORGANIC products is something that I should not overlook either - especially after tasting the drink myself. Again, drop by SORGANIC Boutique and give yourself a drink to see what I meant about the genuine soy sweetness.

Address: 721, 723, 725, 727, 729, Jalan Dato Keramat, 10460 Georgetown, Penang

Operating Hours: 8am - 6pm


Wilson Khor W.H. @ Seymour Nightweaver (20th April 2014)


For more information, please visit <http://www.tourdirections.com.my/directory/>. Planning your Penang food tour? TourDirections Penang helps you discover Penang cafes and restaurants, Penang hawker food, Penang budget hotel and Penang homestay at TourDirections.com.my

Friday, 28 March 2014

Food Review: Pinetree Cafe (Hangout with Bloggers Event by Tourdirections)


Thanks to a gracious invitation by Tourdirections, I attended a Hangout with Bloggers event earlier this month for a food blogging session at Pinetree Cafe, located along Jalan Sungai Dua, Gelugor - just a few stores away from the Sungai Dua branch KFC.

First Impressions:
Pinetree Cafe has a simple but pleasant interior design.

The simple designs and arrangements of both the chairs and tables are contrasted against the various framed and painted art works visible on the walls around the cafe, creating a dining atmosphere that is not only cozy and friendly, but also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. While the many visual decorations on the surrounding walls are numerous, they are neither too cluttered nor brightly coloured, creating a vibe that is lively imaginative but modest with a humble down-to-earth presentation. In addition, customers are also welcomed to write their feedback on leaf-shaped stickers and paste them on the wall, giving them an opportunity to add in their personal touch to the already beautiful collage of praises and compliment on the cafe's food and services.

It is a great place for chilling out, as well as a nice quiet spot to study or leisurely surf the internet when there are not many customers around.





Food:
Pinetree Cafe offers an attractive fusion selection that is not only mouth-watering but also affordable - having the USM students in mind as their target customers.

Its menu offers a rich variety of choices, ranging from pasta to burgers and rice. Pinetree even incorporates Japanese and Korean food concepts into some of the dishes, utilizing ingredients such as Kimchi and the savoury Teriyaki sauce. In addition to all these, Pinetree also constantly comes up with new additions and innovations for its menu from time to time, often bringing pleasant surprises to adventurous customers.

Some of the food featured during the session:

Appetizers

Onion Rings - RM3.90

Coated with typical breadcrumb batter and deep fried into
golden rings of crispiness, these onion rings are not only decent, but also affordable.

Bagel Sandwich

Shrimp Po Boy - RM8.00

Burgers


Chicken Ramen Burger - RM10.90

Sandwiched between these two cakes of Ramen noodle "buns"
is a richly grilled Teriyaki chicken fillet, waiting for you
to sink your teeth into an ecstasy of savoury goodness.

Being one of Pinetree Cafe's signature specialties, this Ramen Burger
 would make a great selection for those who wish to try out
something new and out of the ordinary.
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Burger - RM8.90

Sizzling Entre

Sizzling Grilled Chicken Whole Leg with Mashed Potatoes and House Salad - RM10.90

Both the grilled chicken and accompanying mashed potatoes are flavoured-packed,
ready to pounce and pack a punch on unsuspecting first-timer customers.

For it's price, it is a decent choice - especially if you are looking for something good but simple
to treat yourself with. On the other hand, its grilling process would make it slightly longer to prepare
in comparison to other dishes, so be prepared to wait for a little while if you choose to try this out.
Breaded Chicken Breast with Sauteed Potatoes, Greens and Marinara Sauce - RM10.90

While the chicken breast is moderately decent (not that I dislike it... it's just that
I never liked tomato-based sauces), prepared and deep-fried into perfection, I was
personally surprised by the flavour of the sauteed potatoes. Definitely a must-try
for the potatoes, if not for the chicken. :P 
Fish and Chips with Mushy Green Peas and Tartar Sauce - RM8.90

Two piece of breaded Dory fish fillet served with fries and a harmonious mix of
mushy green peas and tartar sauce. While the dish on its own is simple, the additional
mushy peas does make a different to the sauce - adding a little twist to the already
delicious tartar sauce.


Pasta & Ramen


Salmon Pasta Carbonara - RM11.90

A plate of pasta in light Carbonara sauce served with simple grilled salmon.
Light but hearty, best enjoyed when hot and hungry.  

Chicken Miso Ramen - RM8.90

Rice Set (Latest Menu Additions)

Shishamo Fish Rice Set - RM6.90

Here's another one of the must-trys of Pinetree Cafe. For RM6.90, you will
be served with rice, Kimchi, a sunny side up egg and two whole deep fried Shishamo,
considered a Japanese delicacy not readily found in common eateries.

Side Note:
I have to confess that I did not get to taste this dish during the session, as the dish
has been finished by the other participants by the time I wanted to grab a bite
out of it. But I did return again a week later just to order a plate of this to try it out.
The Shishamo is not only delicious and savoury but also incredibly affordable
(I do not think you can find this price elsewhere)!

PS: Not sure whether it will be the same every time, but both of my Shishamo
 even come with their roes intact! Talk about customer satisfaction! ;)

Overall, Pinetree Cafe's food are delicious. Out of the many dishes I have tried, I personally find the Teriyaki grilled chicken fillets the best, mainly because of the tenderness of the meat as well as the smoky rich Teriyaki flavour. On the other hand, I feel that there is much room for improvement for their deep-fried battered dishes - not that I do not enjoy them, but I noticed that the same kind of batter are most probably being used as coating for most of the deep-fried dishes. Therefore, a great suggestion would be to have different types of batter for different deep-fried dishes, to avoid customers from tasting the same batter taste especially when enjoying multiple deep-fried battered entres and appetizers simultaneously.

Also, take note that you will receive a complimentary free drink when you order any main course in Pinetree Cafe!

Overall Event Experience:
Being my first time in a formal food blogging event, the experience was exciting and a little intimidating. But most important of all, I found myself learning a lot by observing and watching more experienced bloggers in action, as they instinctively snapping away at the cafe interior and searching for the best angle to capture mouth-watering food photographs. At the same time, I also managed to get myself acquainted with a few others, gaining a few new insights on the blogging industry as well as tips on potentially excellent eating spots to check on in the future.



As for Pinetree Cafe, am definitely going to go back there again someday, not only for the food, but also for the pleasant atmosphere to work on my writings and articles.


Address:
559D, Jalan Sungai Dua, 11700 Kampong Sungai Gelugor, Penang

Business Hours:
1100-2200 hours

Facebook Page: 
Here


Wilson Khor W.H. @ Seymour Nightweaver
28th March 2014




For more information, please visit <http://www.tourdirections.com.my/directory/>. Planning your Penang food tour? TourDirections Penang helps you discover Penang cafes and restaurants, Penang hawker food, Penang budget hotel and Penang homestay at TourDirections.com.my