Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Recipe: Super crispy, super tender, super moist roast chicken

Roast chicken is a favourite amongst many. In Singapore, the roast chicken sold by chicken rice vendors are aplenty, and often, the standard of the roast chicken offered is excellent. However, there is a place for very special roast chickens. Like those offered by Cafe de Hong Kong, for instance. Crispy skin, succulent meat.

Roasting chickens at home is altogether another affair...and often a hit and miss. The traditional method is to season, and oven roast at 230C for about 45mins or untill golden brown. While this may work, it goes against the physics and chemistry of cooking meat, and being a physicist by training, I was intrigued to do it the right way.

Searching web resources and remembering a BBC show I saw a while ago..."In Search of Perfection"...sounds like a management guru trying to make some bucks, but no...the program featured Heston Blumenthal, the chef and owner of The Fat Duck...the iconic 3 Michelin starred restaurant in also arguably the reigning best restaurant in the world...after playing second fiddle to El Bulli for many years, as the Spanish restaurant is taking a sabbatical.

Heston uses science to cook his food...and this really intrigued me. He mentioned Harold McGee, who explained that in order to maintain maximum juiciness in meat, it has to be cooked at lower temperatures. This is because heat causes the protein molecules to deform, in the process squeezing out the moisture in the meat, making it dry and hard. He proposed that cooking at the optimum temperature - 55C to 60C, one gets to preserve the maximum moisture in the meat, making it very juicy and moist. The downside of this type of low temperature cooking is that it takes a long time to cook, and because the moisture is not squeezed out of the meat, there is no dripping, and hence no gravy.

But the cooking method preserves all the meat's juices, and all the flavour.

Start with a whole chicken. Cut into 8 parts - breast, wings, back, legs.

The first step of this recipe is brining. This is an important process as even with low temperature cooking, moisture is lost from the meat. In a regular oven operating at 230C, as much as 20% to 30% of the moisture is lost. At 60C, perhaps 10% to 15% is lost. Brining allows the meat to gain about 10% in water content before the roasting. Thus the final roast is only suffers a loss of moisture of only about 0% to 5%. Much more juices and flavour remain than in regular roasting. Brining also has a secondary effect...the salt solution dissolves some of the support structure of the muscle fibres so they cannot coagulate and makes the meat hard.

Brining is quite simple. A salt solution is made by measuring the amount of water needed to just cover the chicken pieces. Measure 10% of this water's weight in salt, and dissolve this in the same amount of water. Allow the brine to cool. Submerge the chicken in the brine solution. Aromatics like cloves, bay leaves, fennel seeds, may be added to the brine. Cover, and put in the fridge for 6 hours.

After 6 hours, remove from fridge. Pour out the brine and aromatics solution, and replace with cold tap water. Allow to stand for 1 hour, changing the water with fresh cold water every 15 minutes. This helps get rid of the salt, and reduces the saltiness in the meat.

Take care when handling the brined chicken. As the brine has partially dissolved some of the muscle, the chicken is very fragile and may break with rough handling.

Prepare a pot of boiling water. Make sure it is boiling vigrously. And a pot of iced water. Remove the chicken from the cold water, and immerse completely in the boiling water. It is important to ensure that the chicken piece is entirely immersed, and the water is boiling. Be careful when doing this as the water is very hot. Allow 30 seconds for the chicken to be pasteurised by the boiling water, and not more. We want to kill the germs and bacteria on the surface of the chicken, not cook it. After 30s, immediately dunk the chicken into the ice water. When the chicken is cool, and the water boiling again, repeat. Dry the chicken with cheesecloth or similar.

The next stage is to dry the chicken, skin side up, in the fridge. Leave uncovered in the fridge, for 12 hours. This will ensure the skin is very dry, and will allow it to crisp up, when cooked. This same technique is used for Peking Duck, and roast chicken/ducks in a commercial kitchen. You can see this in some kitchens, where they hang the birds out to dry.

Remove from fridge, the chicken should be very dry. Warm up your oven to 60C. This is critical, because cooking at higher temperature will squeeze the moisture we are trying to keep inside the meat out, making it dry. Because the cooking temperature is so low, we need to ensure the core temperature of the meat reaches 60C for at least 15 mins to ensure all pathogens are killed and the meat safe to eat. To do this, is important to use a meat thermometer.

When the core temperature of the thickest piece of chicken reaches 60C and stays there for about 15 mins, the chicken is cooked. While waiting for this to happen, make sure the oven temperature is not more than 60C itself. Use another thermometer to ensure that. Many non-commercial ovens cannot achieve this low roasting temperature, so leave the oven door open slightly and monitor the thermometer.

At this stage the meat looks pale and yellow, but it is fully cooked. And the skin is actually quite crisp. But it doesn't look appetizing.

Heat up a heavy iron pan with some peanut oil. You can also use a little butter for added nuttiness if you like, but nut oil is better as it can reach higher temperatures. Make sure the oil is very can judge this when the oil starts to smoke. Carefully slide the chicken into the hot oil. Don't fuss the chicken...allow no more than 2 minutes a side...I find 1 minute sufficient. When the skin is cooked, it will release itself from the pan, and be crisped to a beautiful golden brown. Turn the chicken over and do the same to the other side. The aim here is to brown the chicken...cause Maillard, not to cook the chicken. So it is important to brown the chicken as fast as possible, so as to avoid further cooking the chicken...remember the high temperature of the pan will squeeze out the moisure we fought so hard to retian with the brining and the slow cooking.

Serve. Alternatively, as suggested by Heston Blumenthal, melt some butter and use that to fry the chicken bits - like the tips of the wings, neck, bishop's nose. And use a baster to suck up the chicken infused clarified butter, and inject into the chicken. This will infuse the chicken with more chicken flavour.

The chicken will be super tender, super moist meat. You may find the meat near the bones pink. But don't be alarmed. It is cooked and safe to eat. And because of the fast pan searing, the skin will be very crispy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Well Tempered Wok: Imperial Treasure: Super Peking Duck

Lunch to introduce the world premiere of the MBF Horological Machine No 4

The world premiere of Max Busser's HM4 was done in Singapore...and a number of collectors, journalists were invited to view the timepiece and for lunch. The watch can be viewed in my report here. Here is the report on the excellent lunch.

It is one thing for a restaurant to specialize in a singular, spectacular dish, and quite another to proclaim it proudly as part of its name. As the name implies, this branch of Imperial Treasure restaurant specializes in Peking Duck.

Imperial Treasure is reputed to be a spin off from the very successful Crystal Jade. Many foodies proclaim the cooking at Imperial is even better than Crystal Jade. I have been eating at the Imperial Treasures branch at Great World City for a while, and on this occassion, had the pleasure to sample the greats at the Paragon outlet.

We started with starters...of course...which is a selection of 5 treasures...cured ham, jelly fish, slow braised mushroom and bean curd. Very nice. The flavours very intense.

A double boiled yellow melon soup with diced seafood was next:

The melon was used as a container...steamed till soft. The soup was rather tasty...with a good breath of the sea and a wonderful aroma.

Fish was next:

The fish was a lightly steamed cod. The fish was steamed just perfect. Fish, especially oily fish like cod is quite easy to overcook...rendering the fat, and making the dish unpalatable. Cooking it perfectly will make the dish come to life, and nothing more is needed but a splash of soy sauce, and aome sprigs of spring onion and ginger to coax even more out of the dish. Shiok fish.

Often, the simplest of dishes are the ones which show off the skills of the chef, but sometimes, a complex dish is needed.

The speciality of Peking duck is one such interesting dish. The duck is a prepared according to a complicated recipe...long and very skill intensive, laborious process to get the duck just right...perfectly crispy skin with a beautiful golden brown glistening finish, juicy succulent meat.

The chefs at Imperial Treasure are grandmasters at the art.

The entire duck is delivered into the kitchen, with much pomp and some fanfare...akind to how a 3 starred Michelin restaurant would present their piece de resistanc. Each duck, glistening in its glazed skin is delivered whole in its own trolley:

The glazed skin is the prized part of the duck. Like the Rochat duck which I had at Hotel de Ville in Crisser some years ago, which also glistened. This duck was resplendent. Beautiful colour. Wonderful texture:

Gorgeous! The skin looked like it is no longer attached to the meat within, but appears to be separated from its own flesh by a layer of air. Indeed, this is part of the technique of the Peking Duck. The chef appears...and skillfully, with just a pitched fork and sharp knife, removes the skin from the duck.

The presentation, as it is plated is also interesting:

Typically the duck is sliced such that the skin and a sliver of fat is removed from the bird. This is dipped into a sweet bean paste, and wrapped with a sprig of spring onion into a lightly toasted pancake. But in this case, the chef showed his virtuosity by not only delivering the duck in a somewhat traditional manner as shown left, but also included a small piece of pure duck fat, just brilliantly crisped skin, au natural. And advised it to be eaten whole with a touch of regular sugar. I must say, this is the first I have ever encountered duck skin to be eaten in this manner...but the chef knows his duck. Amazingly to me, the sugar brought out the dark mollass flavour of the skin (no doubt because most of the glazing is done with a mixture of malt syrup and vinegar). Perfect!

The rest of the duck is served in a duck shaped and meat together.

This was also rather nice. The skin remained light and crispy and the meat a bit powdery...but not quite...still quite moist and juicy, cooked just perfect. Exceptional, and I dare say, one of the best ducks I have ever had, including several samplings of Peking duck in Beijing, Hong Kong and even the famous Four Seasons in London as well as the aforementioned Rochat at Crisser.

Fish maw served with live prawns were next:

Again, the chef's ability to control his cooking is well demonstrated. Perfectly cooked...the maw requires long cooking to render it soft and gelatenous in texture. The prawn only needs a short while to cook, as its meat is low on collagen and connective tissue. Both were cooked perfect, allowing the flavours of the ingredients to shine. The two small broccoli only adds to the color and visual impact of the dish, but also complements the taste of the maw and the prawn.

Vegetables were sauteed lettuce stem with lingzi mushroom

Incredibly simple...simmered vegetables - unusual choice too...lettuce stem, which is often just thrown away is simmered till almost tender, operative word being almost...a demonstration of the well tempered...still crunchy and have absorbed the braising liquid well. The mushroom had a great umami flavour, and complemented the vegetables well Tasty.

Noodles was in the form of Mee Pok stewed with egg plant in an XO sauce

What sets this apart from the $3 bowl of mee pok tar (bah chor mee) you can get at hawker stalls around the island is the braising liquid used. The mee pok was cooked just right...I am not sure if the Chinese, or Cantonese have the concept of Al Dente, but the term serves the texture, and feel of the noodles rather well. The sauce, which is also the braising liquid is quite specatcular. Savoury, it is rich and full bodied on the palate. Punctuated with spicy and pungent slices of cut chilli padi, this makes a very good mee pok.

The dessert is an unusual one. Two light steamed buns apperared. One lighter than the other.

Within the darker one, black sesame paste. Within the lighter one, a very light custard paste. Delectable.

I have included the Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant as one of the restaurants, which to me qualifies to be known Well Tempered. The chef(s) demonstrated their ability to select excellent fresh ingredients, but also mastered the control of the fire to ensure that the dishes are able to fully develop in flavour, taste and visual impact.

Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck Restaurant (Paragon)
290 Orchard Road
#05-42/45 Paragon
Tel: 6732 7838

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Feasting in Penang: Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng

Mee Goreng is a simple dish...noodles, oil, egg are the main ingredients. But a masterful chef (and these hawkers are true chefs) can cook up a wonderful dish...full of aroma, beautiful wok hei, excellent tasting and oh, so shiok...with just these ingredients, and a few more.

The Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng is one of the famous Penang hawkers. And adaptation of the Chinese kee mee...yellow egg noodles preserved with boric acid (kee) to give it a characteristic taste. The chef is an Indian fellow, spewing fluent Penang Hokkien, and doing his dance with his well used wok...makes an amazing mee goreng.

My personal favourite was made by a nice Malay gentleman who used to have his stall behind my family home...but he is no more, having passed away peacefully, though his wife continues to run his stall, its not the same.

The Bangkok Lane stall is even more famous...the noodles can be ordered in two styles...dry and wet.

I had mine dry.

Nice and well fried, with a good wok hei. I can taste the kee in the noodles, luxurating in the richness of the egg, and crispy croutons. Very nice, fragrant plate of mee goreng.

The noodles can also be ordered wet...with a dollop of specially prepared gravy unceremoneously dumped on top of the fried noodles. This gives the noodles a bit more the gravy provides the body, and supplements the flavour. I prefer the dry style.

Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng
270, Jalan Burmah,
Penang, Malaysia.
Telephone : 6016-485 7859
Business hours : 8.00am – 6.30pm.
Closed on Mondays.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ching Huat:: Seafood under the coconut trees

A long time ago...probably about 10 years or even more, I was introduced to this little eatery under the coconut trees in Prai. I remembered the seafood was fresh and delicious, and they had a peculiar drink - known locally as tuak, or is the fermented juice from the coconut palm.

So this time round, I went looking for this elixir and to see if the food was still as good. Tucked away somewhere in the little villages in Prai, te little place has grown to quite a large restaurant. Now they have a cemented floor where a dirt floor and a real roof in place of attap leaves for shade. Now they also seem to have real cooks...each one specializing in his/her own dish, so in rapidfire fashion, the eatery can serve a hundred diners at one go.

The tuak looked the same as it did...

But the sweetness and freshness seemed to have gone. The tuak of old had a slight efferverscence, indicating some kind of fermentation, not unlike the methode champegnoise used in the making of champagne. The sweetness of the palm juice, fresh-ness of the drink, well chilled made a refreshing drink. It still is a refreshing drink, but less delicious, methot. It was still mildly intoxicating...due to the 4% alcohol content...roughly that of beer, but sweet and fresh.

Anyway, we started the lunch. with octopus.

A speciality of the restaurant, it is small baby octopus (gotta be careful these days, just post the 2010 World Cup when talking about octopus as food...lest one might be accused of feasting on the famous Paul of Germany). The dish was simply cooked...the sliced up octopus was probably stir fried. The meat was tough-ish, but crunchy, and slightly chewy...and rather tasteless...until one dips it into the rather potent chilli. Kapow, it hits the palate. Rather nice.

We also had the kerabu:

Kerabu is a salad...typical in peranakan cuisine. I guess, in cuisine terms, in the same genre as Som Tam in Thailand. Made from juliened cucumber, papaya, mango, and tossed in a salty, sour, spicy sauce with lemongrass and deep fried shallots, this was an appetite opener. The burst of all the ingredients assualt the senses...sweet, spicy, salty, sour, fragrant, pungent.

Initially famous for its seafood, though situated nowhere near the sea...we tried some of hte seafood:

Fish steamed...just plain fresh fish, simply steamed can sometimes make a nice meal. This was no exception. The simplicity of the cooking method is one, but the control of the heat to ensure that the fish is done just right...10 seconds too long, and it is ruined - overcooked...the fish flesh will be rendered flaky, and tasteless. 10 seconds too little will result in an undercooked fish. The French, being a great gastronomic nation, has a term for this - mi cuit...half cooked, but intentionally so is the special term for fish and foie gras. This was done almost just right...mi cuit...nice, succulent flesh, just starting to flake, but still with sufficient integrity to hold together. Nice.

The flower crabs were next:

Normally sweeter than regular mud crabs, the flower crabs are a favourite of my mom. This particular tasting proved to be not as good as earlier samplings. Perhaps the crabs were not as fresh. But the meat was not as tasty or as sweet. Average at best.

The clams were also simply stir fried with the usual ingredients of ginger, garlic and some herbs and spices.

The clams were reasonably fresh, and had a nice bite....a bit chewy, but nice and succulent.

The deep fried spring chickens were next

In my opinion, a bit over cooked. The skin was rendered golden (?), um, no...perhaps dark brown in the scalding oil. And the meat was a bit overcooked, resulting a rather dry interior to the slightly burnt skin. Not the best.

Interestingly, the starch fared rather well.

The beehoon was well fried, with good wok hei, and had absorbed the taste and flavours of the ingredients...fresh seafood...prawns, squids, and some pork slices. Nice.

The mee was not to be outdone. Bathed in a nice, almost creamy but with a piquant bite, the sauce was the star. It allowed the simply cooked noodle to shine. Infused with the fresh seafood, it was very tasty. Shiok.

Overall a quaint place to dine. It had lost some of its amateur, rustic roots, and gained little from sophistication it apparently now wants to boast of. I judge it to have been better years ago, but still not a bad place to have a meal.

Address: 2004, Bagan Lallang, 13400 Butterworth, Penang.
Tel: +604-3314782
Business Hours: 11am – 5pm
Closed on Monday

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hainan Town: Peranakan in Penang

Hainan Town is a kind of strange name for a Nyonya (peranakan) restaurant...but it is situated in a lovely building right smack in the middle of Penang town. Formerly known as “Huay Chia Kio”...or railway bridge in Hokkien, the building is a wonderful architectural style of colonial and traditional Straits Chinese (peranakan). Done up very nicely indeed...the insides are beautiful, and can grace the pages of an interior magazine.

Part of the dining area is in airconditioned space...actually two rooms, one of which is shown above and connected through the white curtains via a set of folding doors to the other. And the rest is open air, under the verendah.

Overlooking the Penang harbour, and the QE2, a fine dining establishment occupying another part of the Huay Chia Kio. Amazingly, even during the day, the verendah remains fairly cool...though assisted by mobile cooler towers, this pays tribute to the brilliance of the architecture of the colonials.

We had a fairly traditional nyonya meal. Begining with a Penang variation of the fried chicken...known as Inchikabin.

Chicken is spiced up in a marinade...many traditionists claim the recipe is long lost...I did know that my aunts did make incredible inchikabin, and my father used to wax lyrical about them...but I have not tasted a great inchikabin for a long time...the memory of the taste now lingers, but in truth, I cannot remember it enough to taste it. This version served by Hainan Town was rather ordinary. Heavily spiced marinade seem to be a feature. And the chicken pieces fried till almost dry. The legendary inchikabins were reputed to be so crispy, even the bones can be eaten. I guess, in substitution of technique and skill, over frying to ensure crispness is one way to render the bones edible. Indeed it was barely edible. But the rest of the chicken was nondescript. The sambal belachan, the worth by which one measures a nyonya or bibik, however redeems itself...wonderful stuff.

The sambal kankong was very nice. The leaves are a bit older than I would have liked, and cooked a bit over what would have been crunchy vegetables. But the sauce of sambal belachan and fresh small, sweet shrimps again saved the day.

We also ordered some lobak...

This was a halal restaurant, thus no pork was used...this lobak...a traditional Nyonya version of the Ngor Hiang (Five Fragrances) was made with chicken instead of pork. Amazingly, it tasted quite good...the typical lor (gravy of starch and slivers of beaten egg) was absent, and the lorbak was to be eaten with the accompanying chilli sauce.

We also had the Penang favourite spring rolls...the choon piah (literally spring biscuits)

These guys know a good thing when they come across it...the ubiquitious sambal belachan again showed its true blue peranakan colours...maximising the taste and providing a bite to the tongue...the greasy choon piah was rather pedestrian...though not pales in comparison to the one I sampled just a few days earlier at Foong Wei Heong.

The piece de resistance is the rather rare traditional nyonya dish called Perut Ikan...or literally stomach of the fish. This is a very special dish. A plethora of herbs, spices, vegetables are used to prop up the main character...the perut ikan...a rather difficult ingredient...which at its best is flavourless and tasteless, and at its worse can stink to high heaven.

This is a dish requiring high skills of the chef...mastery of the ingredients, and a certain magical balance between hot, sour, spicy, salty, is the nirvana which rewards the discerning diner the true taste of the perut ikan.

This Hainan Town version was rather good. A touch too sour to my taste, but the balance was uncanny...and delicious. Shiok.

Hainan Town is an interesting restaurant. Convenient location, beautiful surroundings. The prices are a bit high for Penang, but the decor, ambience and the service kind of makes up for it. The food is acceptable, with little sparks of brilliance (the sambal belachan is the key redeemer...the perut ikan acceptably good) in an otherwise rather plain tasting fare. Recommended for the intrepid visitor to Penang.

Hai Nan Town Restaurant
8A, Pengkalan Weld, 10300 Penang.
Tel: 604 - 263 8633

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Monday, July 12, 2010

The Well Tempered Wok: Foong Wei Heong in Penang

I am starting a new series of blog articles...titled The Well Tempered will feature special restaurants and eating places which I have eaten which features the traditional Cze Char style of cooking. Some of my earlier blogs may qualify, but I will not return to re-tag them, until subsequent revisits qualify them again for the Well Tempered Tag.

The first honour for this new title goes to an old family favourite, from Penang. Situated in downtown Georgetown, our family...introduced by my brother in law to the eatery...started eating there (um...for me, whenever I am in Penang...which is not at all frequent), on a fairly regular basis for perhaps a decade.

I had the opportunity to return to Penang once again for our school cohort's 30th anniversary...Penang Free Schoon Class of 1978/80. And went back to resample this little my surprise it is no longer spanning some 4 shophouse lots.

We settled down, and ordered our favourites. First off, a speciality of the restaurant...spring rolls (choon piah) and spring rolls with koo chye

This was my late father's favourite dishes...but he being the foodie he was, had many...though choon piah...the deep fried spring rolls stuffed with vegetables and crab meat, prawns was one of his top ten. He would have been pleased with these choon piahs. extremely crispy crust of the rolls protect its valuable contents from the scalding heat of the oil...and renders them perfectly cooked...just right...not a tad over (this is what results from a well tempered wok...the chef controls the fire so perfectly, his mastery shows in the slightly charred with wok hei, others just right, and yet others barely cooked all in one dish at one go!). Everything comes together with this choon piah. Traditionally eaten with Ang Mo Tau Yew (white man's soy sauce...actually Worchestershire sauce) with cut red chilli...this is perfect. The koo chye was less spectacular, but the same super crispy skin protects the prawn rolls with koo chye.

We also had seafood in a claypot

This was a treasurepot. I don't know how many ingredients were inside this boiling cauldron of a claypot. The sauce was well balanced...salty but not at all too much, and very sweet with the flavours of the sea...if this was an Italian would truly deserve the accolade frutti de mare (fruits of the sea). Spiky sea cucumber, clams, prawns, with bamboo shoots, garlic, and a whole lot of other ingredients make this special.

We tried a new vegetable dish...sambal snow peas

Snow peas in their pod, with the ends sliced off...quickly stir fried in the super hot wok, with a delectable sambal sauce with dried prawns. Excellent.

And my mom's favourite...steamed slices of deep sea giant garoupa:

Deep sea garoupa is a special dish...I wrote about this fish in my report on Yuan Wei. But the way Foong Wei Heong does this was way superior...again demonstrating the well tempered chef's control of the fire...the fish was steamed till perfectly cooked...the meat was soft, tender, smooth...creamy almost, despite the deep sea giant garoupa's tendendcy to be firm, this was very tender...melt in your mouth. Spiced with only soy sauce, some ginger slices and coriander...this was superb.

Definitely a recommended restaurant for cze char restaurant style cooking for those visiting Penang.

Foong Wei Heong Restaurant. 23 & 25, Jalan Sri Bahari, 10050 Penang. Tel: 04-2611918. Fax: 04-2626918

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

World Heritage Site: Penang...The Sire Restaurant and Bar

The island of Penang, also known as the Pearl of the Orient recently achieved the status of UNESCO's World Heritage Site. This is celebrated all over the island with almost every other building and establishment labelling themselves Heritage. One of the more interesting places to be so labelled is a peculiar restaurant and bar known as The Sire.

Located almost right smack in the middle of downtown Georgetown, this is reputed to be one of the residences of a famous Penangite: Yeap Chor Ee, who came to Malaysia as a peniless sin khek (slave labourer) and made his millions in industry, including once owning a bank – The Ban Hin Lee Bank, now part of CIMB.

This was his own house, before moving to a huge mansion known as The Homestead elsewhere on the island. The house is a supreme example of a peranakan household...long in its architectural design, with chambers for private and guest use.

A small restaurant is now being operated as one enters the nondescript terrace house. The decor is magnificent. Beautifully restored, it still looks almost as if Towkay Yeap still lived there. The open kitchen serves up Western cuisine, it features some standard fare. My sister who lives in Penang, says the food is not bad. But this evening, we were only there for some drinks. Mom had the hot chocholate, and I had an ice blended coffee.

This was a rather standard hot chocholate, but I must salute the barista for attempting a rather nice spider web as latte art.

But the main thrust of this article is to showcase the house. So as one ventures further into the bowels of the building, there is a museum hidden within. Free to tour, I took some secret photography allowed within...but it is such a shame not to tell about this beautiful house.

As one enters the main chamber, the guests are received in a palacial room...resplendent in antique mother of pearl peranakan furniture, it was a welcoming site. A beautiful cast iron sprial staircase leads one to a private study like mezzanine.

An antique barber chair adorns the mezzanine...Yeap was also known as Thee Thau Hokkien meaning Head Shaver Ee...referring to his initial profession as a barber.

Another view of the beautiful spiral staircase

Further upstairs, a typical peranakan style decor permeates:

And a dinining hall of sorts in the most elaborate carved and gilded furnishings:

Looking down from upstairs into the restaurant sitting area:

Beautiful, magnificent house, quite representative of how the rich lived. Must see.

House of Yeap Chor Ee - "The Sire" Museum & Restaurant
Address : 4, King Street, Georgetown 10200 Penang (back entrance)
or No. 4 Penang Street, 10200 Penang (front entrance)
Tel : 604-2645088

Operation hours:
11.30am ~ 3.00pm and 6.00pm ~ 10.30pm (Close on Sund

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