Sunday, May 1, 2011

Malaysia Food Blog - Hidden Recipe café

Location: Sungai Dua, Penang Isle

A shop which unabashedly copy the famous brand of Secret Recipe? That was my first thought, but a visit to the shop shows that it is anything but. Although it shares a word in its name with your favorite neighborhood confectionery shop, a taste of its food does give credit to its namesake.

The shop has a tropical outlook, and the interior is lined with wallpapers of bricks with photos of happy visiting diners decorating a portion of a wall. Glow of yellow light beckons lovers to spend a romantic dinner or the occasional passer-by to spend a relaxing night, although the interior is a little packed from the cramped arrangement of tables and chairs. Since it is strategically located just a few blocks from USM and with its offer of 10% discount off of set dishes for students of USM and INTI college who can show his student pass, you can expect this spot to be frequented by students.

Welcome to Hidden Recipe! Greetings from a tropical outlook and well-lit interior...

Hidden Recipe serves fusion food, so one can expect that both oriental and western dishes can be obtained from this shop. Although there is a menu for á la carte choices, I usually choose from the offered choice of set dishes. The 10 different oriental set dishes are cheaper, at a price of RM7.90 per set. In addition to the choice of meal, the set comes with the beverage of the day, an egg and a bowl of Chinese soup of the day.

Black pepper fish rice set is served with the fish prepared in cubes, served with spicy black pepper sauce.

Gung-po chicken rice set is served with lots of dried chili, as its namesake suggests.

Tangy chicken rice set tastes sour, and may not be everyone's favorite.
Thinking of changing your taste to an affordable western dish? Try out their western set dishes! There are multiple choices of western set dishes, ranging from RM12.90 to RM20.90. These sets offer a beverage, bread and butter served with cream soup as appetizer, along with an ice cream as dessert.

Bread and butter to go with a cream soup; the beverage for western set dish and oriental set dish is different.

Taking a sip between the appetizer and the main dish...

Chicken chop is served crispy with delicious gravy and some side dishes.
The other choice that is neither here nor there (or neither oriental nor western... well, I couldn't determine where this dish originates from...) is the 6 different sets of cheese baked rice. The price range from RM14.90 to RM17.90, and each set is served with a beverage, a cream soup as appetizer and an ice-cream as dessert. For each set, there is a choice of either oriental wine sauce or mushroom sauce to go with the rice to enrich the taste. The oriental wine sauce tastes a little like vinegar, so if you are not a fan of vinegar-tasting sauce, then asking for the mushroom sauce will be a better choice.

A cream soup to go with the cheese baked rice set.

Ham and sausage cheese baked rice set; this one is chosen to go with oriental wine sauce.
Not really into these choices of set dish? Flip through the a la carte menu and choose from a variety of oriental and western dishes to satisfy your appetite! Choices of oriental dishes include a variety of hawker food like fried bihun and Thai tom yam, while western dishes include the usual array of chicken chops, lamb chops and fish fillets. I personally tried out the tom yam soup, which it claimed to be the chef's personal secret (or should it be 'hidden'?) recipe, and it tastes quite nice, spicy in the right way.

So if you were tasked to organize a celebration party, or just wanted to enjoy a simple dinner from anyplace other than a hawker's stall, why not give this place a try and sample the hidden recipe. If you are a student of INTI or USM, do present your student card to get 10% discount off of the set dishes.

Suitable for:            usual lunch and dinner, and celebrations
Cost:                             affordable

Website:                    Hidden Recipe Cafe in Facebook

Contact:                     6012-5345496; 6012-4987838
Address:                     723-V-G, Vanda Business Park, Jalan Sungai Dua, 11700 Sungai Dua, Penang (opposite of Sg Dua McDonald's)
Operating hours:  (Tue - Fri) 11.30a.m. - 3.00p.m., 5.30p.m. - 10.00p.m.
                                        (Sat - Sun) 11.30a.m. - 10.00p.m.
                                        closed on Mondays
Parking:                 Parking is available in the area; a collector will collect RM0.40 per 1/2 hour until 9.00p.m.; many will park illegally on the curb of the main road, but be forewarned that traffic polices frequent this area to pass out summons.

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