food 4 tots

Invited Food Review at Ko-Fu-Loft (Penang) – Part II

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This is Part 2 of my recent invited food review at Ko-Fu-Loft restaurant. The management prepared 2 appetizers, 6 “dim sums”, 6 main dishes and 1 dessert for my group of fellow food bloggers to sample. We started with photo-shooting, then proceed to food tasting and lastly to complete a survey form given by the management with our rating and feedback for the review. The entire event took nearly 3 hours to finish. Here are my assessment of the dishes sampled.

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Appetizers (AP):

AP1 – Ko Fu sesame seed balls 口福芝麻(RM10.90)
– It was one of the house signature dishes. These cute balls were made from marinated minced meat with finely chopped celery, carrots, mushrooms, water chestnuts, mushrooms and red chilly, and fully coated with black and white sesame seeds. It was served with dipping sauce that tastes like thousand islands.  To me, it’s the most impressive dish in the review.  However, the sesame seeds do need a bit more toasting to exude the fragrant flavor, and the minced meat needs a bit more seasoning.

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AP2 – Crystal spring roll skin stuff with vegetables and chicken meat 公主水晶卷 (RM6.90)
– This dish was similar to Vietnamese summer rolls. I found the rolls were over-stuffed with ingredients, resulting in the wrapping looking loose. For an appetizer, the cut roll was fairly chunky.  On the ingredients, I would prefer a larger portion of chicken meat to balance off the vegetables inside the wrapping to give the dish more body and taste.

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Dim sum (DS)
DS1 – Steamed fresh prawn dumpling – har kau 鲜明虾饺 (RM5.50)

– The inconsistent pleating made the dumplings not so appealing. They had a floury taste, most probably due to over-usage of corn flour.

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DS2 – Pork dumpling with fish roes – siew mai 鱼子烧卖皇(RM5.50)
– To live up to its name, each dumpling should come with more generous topping of fish roes. I was disappointed that it was not. Taste-wise, the dish was not a standout to me. Maybe it would have tasted differently had I ate this dumpling steamy hot from the kitchen. I was too busy with my photo-shooting. They were already cold when I sank my teeth in them.

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DS3 – Minced squid with crab claw meat 百花酿蟹鉗(RM6.90)
– I ate this minced squid steamy hot. The texture was very springy and the taste was delicious, much to my liking.

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DS4 – Signature steamed custard creamy bun 美味流砂奶黄包 (RM5.50) [3 buns per basket]
– I think the bun needs a bit more working to get its texture smoother and fluffier. The custard cream was made of salted egg yolk, but too sweet to my liking. Look at the picture. The chef purposely tore open the bun to let the rich and creamy custard ooze out for our photo-shooting.

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DS5 – Deep fried yam paste with minced pork 蜂巢炸芋角 (RM4.50)
– The outer skin was crunchy and not oily. The barbecue pork stuffing was well marinated. It’s easily the best dish of the day in term of taste and presentation. Thumbs up from me!

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DS6 – Deep fried pandan lotus paste dumpling 翡翠煎堆仔(RM4.50)
– The taste of pandan lotus paste lacked the expected fragrant pandan flavour.  The outer glutinous layer was a bit thick, and the filing too little.  I would prefer a more generous filling, balanced off with a thinner outer layer.

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Main dish (MD)
MD1 – Szechuan aromatic duck 四川香酥鸭(RM18.90)
– This dish came with a hoisin dipping sauce and egg wraps. The texture of the sliced duck meat was too dry and lacked flavour. The egg wrap didn’t have the “egg” taste. This dish was similar to one that was popular at Chinese restaurants in London where the duck meat was shredded thinly (which I prefer) instead of being sliced thinly.

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MD2 – Jingdo pork ribs 京都骨 (RM14.90)
– The ribs were chunky and had an over-powering taste of black pepper.  It can certainly be better with some downsizing and lesser black pepper to bring forth the juiciness taste of the meat.

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MD3 – Deep fried five spices calamari 五香盐炸墨门(RM13.90)
– If you like Chinese 5-spice powder, I would recommend this deep-frying dish. The texture is not oily and quite chewy.

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MD4 – Deep fried homemade bean curb香炸 黄金豆腐(RM12.90)
-I find the homemade bean curb oily and tasteless. Not to mention, the odd tasting house chilly sauce. Thai chilli sauce or mayonnaise may be a better choice.

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MD5 – All-in-1 roasted meat with vegetables 盆菜(RM19.90)
– This mini “poon choi” set came with rice, blanched kailan and pickle. There are prawns, abalones, roasted pork, roasted duck, mushrooms and broccoli in the claypot. But, the starchy gravy took up more than half of the pot. My verdict: It will be good if we had FRESH prawns.

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MD6 – Fried seafood emperor noodle 香炒海鲜皇帝面 (RM12.90)
– To the Cantonese, how much “wok hei” one can taste in a fried noodle determines the standard of cooking. In this aspect, the noodles did not meet the grade. I also find it tasteless, and lacks presentation.

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Dessert (DS)
DS1 – Water chestnut and sago dessert 马蹄西米露 (RM3.50)
– This dessert was served warm. The coconut milk was too diluted and frosty which could be due to overcooking. The freshness of the water chestnut was also suspect.

Overall comments:
The dishes were being rushed out from the kitchen one after another without any break. As a result, we were kept busy photo-shooting and little time for tasting while the foods were still hot. Quality of taste diminished fair quickly when food that was supposed to be eaten hot turned cold. For “dim sums” in particular, that can make a mark difference. As a result, it can affect my comments. For a newly opened restaurant, there is still room for improvement from taste to presentation.

Once again, I wish to express my special thank to the management of Ko-Fu-Loft for organising this group food tasting session.

Contact details:
Location:

170-04-59 Plaza Gurney,
Persiaran Gurney,
10250 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: 604-2295011

Business Hours:
9am – 10pm

* UPDATE: This restaurant had ceased its operation on 2nd March 2010

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29 Comments

  1. homeladychef says:

    Bravo review!

    But next time, will anyone dare to invite you for food tasting? 😉 Anyway, If I were the boss, I welcome any comments, be it positive or negative, to improve my business performance. Likewise, I think smart businessmen out there should say : Thank you! 🙂

    P/s: Next time, please count me in, I may be more kind in terms of comments. =D

  2. cariso says:

    I like your photos, very sharp and nice.

  3. Nice that an establishment would set this up for you guys. Most of the time I’m trying to pretend I’m not taking pics of their food.

    • food-4tots says:

      Shavedicesundays: Invited food review is a happening event in Malaysia now esp Kuala Lumpur and Penang. I am quite surprised to know about your scenario. 😉

  4. Dora says:

    Here’s my order: Signature steamed custard creamy bun, Deep fried yam paste with minced pork and Fried seafood emperor noodle. 😀

  5. Mine is still in my draft. Been too busy lately. ^-^ Love your photos very much. ^-^

  6. Selba says:

    Looking at the pictures…. it’s like a dejavu! Then… ah, now I remember where I’ve seen these all yummy food… at the “cat man” food’s site 😉

    Your pictures are very awsome!

  7. Alice says:

    Excellento! Excellent food! Excellent photos! It is making me drooling, will take note if I go to Penang Gurney Drive the next time! 😀

  8. martha says:

    mmmh – you definitely know how to enjoy life!!!! 🙂
    best regards from switzerland!!!

  9. mycookinghut says:

    A great review! I kind of like Deep fried pandan lotus paste dumpling – I think you are right about the less filling and thick layer.

  10. Ching says:

    What a feast with my eyes! Do agree that the bun skin needs improvement. Dim Sum is better eaten warm and thus when eaten cold can certainly affect your reviews. The new restaurant needs to “Jai Yew”!

  11. tigerfish says:

    The crab claw looks good and the “volcano” bun too 🙂

  12. buzzingbee says:

    Love your photos.
    I agree that they need some improvement to rival other outlets. It’s a shame if the environment is so conducive but the food is below par!

  13. noobcook says:

    The photos look superb, and the food, so yum yum ^_^

  14. allie says:

    Wow! Great shots on the food!

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