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

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Poem: Meditations of a Motorcyclist

MEDITATIONS OF A MOTORCYCLIST

Given a choice,
I choose to be vulnerable.

To run with the wind
Listening to its whispers.
To touch the sun's fingers
To soak in the midnight rain
Long disdained by many.
To feel nature,
To smell the nets of fishermen
And the hands of construction workers
- To embrace, then learn
how to love them all.

I choose to be vulnerable

To the groaning clouds
of the ailing earth,
To the smell of sickness
saturating the air,
To the sight of slow decay
present in man-made ironies
kept out from invading
our stoic metal confinements,
speeding away from it all;
And to not turn away any longer
from the cries of death, all around
often muffled
by noisy boxes and devices.

These are why
I choose to be vulnerable.
Because vulnerability
opened my eyes
- To embrace, then learn
how to love them all.



Wilson Khor W.H. @ Seymour Nightweaver
8th January 2014, 1811 hours,
Lim Chong Eu Highway (Penang)

"To love at all is to be vulnerable." - C.S. Lewis 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Journal: To Be Creative (A Post-Bible Study Reflection)

Quote:
"When God created man in His image, He did not only create man as the only creature with the capacity to have a relationship with Him, but also with the capacity to create, just like Himself." - Ps. Edward Lim (abridged version)

To be creative, to be able to appreciatively create something that we can uniquely call our own as a form of expression, birthed from the very essence of our very selves, whether it is a painting, writing or a messy crayon-scribbled Mothers' Day card, is to embrace our identity as uniquely and beautifully created individuals. Many do not notice this, but it requires a certain degree of confidence, self-esteem and love in one's self before one can even find the strength to create something (or even to gain the drive to hone our creative outlets); what more to create something that is totally different from others and beyond their perception, and to still be convinced that it is uniquely beautiful and worth creating.

Creativity, in its purest form, is the freedom to express ourselves - the ultimate celebration of the very significance and beauty of our identities, as well as a worthy form of worship to our Creator God for making us the way we uniquely are.

Therefore, love God by loving yourselves, and be creative.



Wilson Khor W.H. @ Seymour Nightweaver


PS: Sorry for the long absence guys. Have been so busy with various stuffs that I did not have time to update Ripples till lately. On the other hand, I now have tonnes of posts to post up, so do look forward for more stuff in the near future! :P

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Journal: Be Thou My Vision

451 UMH - Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

(Songwriter: Eleanor Henrietta Hull)


BM Version:
Kaulah, Ya Tuhan Surya Hidupku

Kaulah, ya Tuhan surya hidupku
Asal Kau ada, yang lain tak perlu
Siang dan malam Engkau 'ku kenang
Di hadirat-Mu jiwaku tenang

Kaulah hikmatku, firman hidupku
Kau bersertaku dan 'ku serta-Mu
Engkau Bapaku, aku anak-Mu
Dengan-Mu Tuhan 'ku satu penuh

Kaulah bagiku tempat berteduh
Kaulah perisai dan benteng teguh
Sukacitaku kekal dalam-Mu
Kuasa sorgawi, Engkau kuasaku

Bila saatnya kelak 'ku menang
T'rimalah daku di sorga cerlang
Apapun kini hendak 'ku temu
Kaulah ya Tuhan surya hidupku

(Translator: Yamuger)


For most people, I am known as a contemporary Charismatic Christian. I do speak in tongues (though I am also very cautious with it) and believe in prophecies as well as altar calls; and being someone who started off and grown in a Charismatic congregation right from the very beginning, I am also more familiar with contemporary Christian music such as Hillsongs and Planetshakers than the hymns of the old with all the "Thou"s and "Thine"s that I have never come across till recently.

Of course, I have to also confess that while my first experiences with the Methodist liturgy was somewhat awkward (since I never had to follow it before, but I got used to it a little eventually), I did find myself amazed by the Doxology and Threefold Amen - and also, some of the hymns that were sung during the services I attended thus far.

All the while, I always thought that hymns are already a thing of the past, an obsolete trend only relished by the elderly. But tonight especially, I found myself humming on the beautiful melody and reflecting on the lyrics of "Be Thou My Vision", eventually soaking myself in the weight of the words as I sung them out.

(Or perhaps, I am just really growing old.)

Most contemporary Christian music are upbeat, loud, and energetic, often accompanied with sensational spotlights and awesome concert-like stage props. These are what I observed most Christians are listening to right now, and for many of us in this generation, would be the only things we have come across as Christian worship. Nowhere have I heard of the solemness and the sense of mystery that I have found in hymns, which I sometimes have found myself contemplating so much on, in contemporary music. Neither could I feel that weight in their lyrics - the weight that only comes with generations after generations of legacy from those who have gone before us, from pondering on the very thought that this hymn has been sung by the faithful of the old, and has even became the beacon of hope and faith in times of darkness for those whom I have never met but whose faith far exceeds my own. Rarely even, I could find myself pondering and reflecting on the lyrics of contemporary Christian music. Very often, the feeling just rose and soared in the midst of the Christian "jamming" and quickly died off with the end of its final chorus as easily as how it first started. Forgotten.

Again, am not saying that contemporary Christian music is all bad and all of us should go back to singing hymns. Am just expressing my realisation that hymns are another different spectrum of Christian worship that I feel many of us have overlooked - and that I needed and wanted more than what the current contemporary Christian worship trends are offering:

I realised that I needed and wanted more depth to pursue deeper into my relationship with Christ.

I realised that true Christian worship is more than just surges of emotions that come and go with the music. The beauty must not only be in the music, but also in the weight of the lyrics, that often would hold me captive and have me soaked in the words.

...That Christian worship is more than just satisfying my mood and making me feel good, more than what the increasingly consumerist world would perceive Christian worship to be.

I wanted more. More than just noise. More than just a fleeting moment of losing myself in the hype.

I wanted more of Christ. To have Him as my vision.

"...Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all."

PS: If you are interested, Google up the hymns and listen. I am not sure what you would think about it, but I personally love this hymn a lot, and have included this into my personal worship songbook.


Wilson Khor W.H. @ Seymour Nightweaver
27th February 2014, 0607 hours

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Poem: A Church Has No Altar

A CHURCH HAS NO ALTAR

A church has no altar,
No pews and pulpit
Nor bibles and hymnals
Nor bell, drum and organ;
No offering boxes
Nor stained glass windows
of Jesus or the descending Dove;
No, not even
the communion cup and crosses.

None of these.

A church has hands,
feet, eyes, ears
Mouths that speak, sing
and hunger and thirst.
Minds that think
Hearts that beat
know joy, fear and sorrow;
And lungs, souls
that breathe in the wind:

"You hear its sound,
but you cannot tell
where it comes from
or where it is going.
   So it is with everyone
   born of the Spirit."


Wilson Khor W.H. @ Seymour Nightweaver
23rd January 2014, 1540 hours,
Gateway City Church (Penang)

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Poem: 3am Hokkien Mee, Burmah Road


3am Hokkien Mee, Burmah Road

Enjoying
A good bowl of Hokkien Mee
between bites of roasted pork,
Warm nutmeg drink;
Three in the morning
At Burmah Road
Alone.

Riches, I have not
Friends, I have few
Worries, I have many
Tomorrow as uncertain
as dropping fuel subsidies
While my pouting Muse
comes and goes as she pleases;
But for now,
At this moment...
I am content.
Happy to be alive
in the hands of my Provider.



Wilson Khor W.H. @ Seymour Nightweaver
23rd January 2014, 1714 hours
Green House Hokkien Mee, Burmah Road


***


Hey guys,

I guess I have been so preoccupied with chasing deadlines that I have forgotten to keep up with my usual blog updates. Well, here's one after so long to let all of you know that your favourite writer still alive and kicking.

Though, to be honest, I am foreseeing that things are going to go uphill from now on, especially with the current political and economical complications that our country is having; but one thing's for sure: I will make it through. Why? Because I know that I am not alone.

Not when God is with me.

Note to self: Learn to walk closer with Him. After all, He is the only one I got.


Friday, 3 January 2014

Fast Food (An Impromptu Poem)

Inspiration struck again tonight, in the midst of rushing with my article deadlines. It has been so long since I last wrote an impromptu poem, and unlike the usual ones that are usually meant for specific individuals, this is a piece that is birthed out from my current thoughts on one of the many common trends of our generation.

For starters, I have never been nurtured with the fast food culture by my parents. In addition, the portion offered by these over-hyped eateries are always too small for my capacity, and the fact that I can always go for something bigger, nicer and healthier with the same or a little bit more money is another great reason for me to start questioning every time I pass by and have a short glance at one of these constantly crowded restaurants.

Fast Food (An Impromptu Poem)

I wonder why
Do we all come and crowd,
Bleeding our earnings
On these sensational outlets

Over downsized delicacies:
Blocks of fat
Paid with dirt
Of the American soil
And cups of fizz
Supposedly cheaper than water;
Inflated junk
In the name of foreign branding:
Trend set up
By a white old man, now six feet under
And a silly looking clown.

Still we worship,
Flocking like clueless sheep
Lined up for sacrifice
- Bleeding out
The blood of hungry children,
Homeless beggars
And the very essence of humanity.

I wonder why.



Wilson Khor W.H. @ Seymour Nightweaver
3rd January 2013, 0438 hours
Image source: Here
(Seriously, watch this movie if you can!)


PS: Despite my current busyness and preoccupations, I will try to write something proper soon. No promises, though.