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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Invited Review: D'Dapor Express @ Lebuh Union, Penang.

As the proverb says, "good wine needs no bush".
It is true and that is why there are hawker stalls, mamak stalls etc which extended throughout pavements or even roads.
However, for dining sensation, criteria such as environment and cleanliness have to be taken into account.
For your information, the refurbished two-storey shop block, Logan's Building which is situated along Beach Street and Union Street now contains several eateries like D'Dapor.
Locating the white historic building can't be more easier, on the way from Lebuh Pantai to the Georgetown Immigration Office, take the left turning just before Standard Chartered Bank and mission accomplished.
D'Dapor Express is a spacious modern Halal air-conditioned WiFi-available restaurant with classic style interior in which photographs of old Penang streets and buildings filled up the walls.
Besides that, antiques e.g. porcelain vases, bird cages and notably two old fashioned vintage bicycles are being displayed here.

A big thank you to Ezivoucher which functions as an agent to endeavour to bring super saver deals to the public for inviting a small clan of food bloggers including me to a food reviewing section at D'Dapor Express.
There was supposed to be 10 food bloggers but somehow only four of us showed up, how disappointing.
We then had a photography section basically at anything we could find in the restaurant while waiting for the chefs to prepare our food.

The very peculiar name of this dish: "Gado-Gado Senyum Selalu" (RM8.80) got me mishearing it as "Gaduh-Gaduh Senyum Selalu" which means quarrel, quarrel and non-stop smiling in Malay language.
Gado-Gado is actually an Indonesian version of vegetable salad that is served with a peanut sauce dressing.
However, they did apply some magic to it, they used Sambal Kacang sauce instead of ordinary peanut sauce.
The spicy sauce canceled out the bitterness of the vegetables and in the meanwhile, the tofu, egg and kacang combined to give out a weak sweet taste.

Next, it was the Ayam Rendang (RM19.90) which looked really smoking hot and spicy.
To me, the spiciness was moderate but when i was choking it down, i felt a stream of heat coming from the back of my throat.
The gravy which bathed the firm chicken was pretty thick and was full of Malay spices aroma.
That particular strong aroma smoked the chicken and definitely improved the taste.
It deserves some of your attention, trust me, try it.

If you are having Malay cuisine, how could you neglect Tom Yam?
The Tom Yam Seafood (RM26.80) was served in a wok with a flickering flame on its bottom to keep the soup warm all the time.
It gave out an intense sour taste accompanied by a simultaneous mild spicy taste.
No doubt, it went very well with the plain white rice provided.
The only unsatisfying factor was that the freshness of the prawns.

Well, the Curry Udang (RM18/27) had an affrighting look, it was terrifyingly red.
We all thought it will be extremely spicy and all along it was not.
It was the fat which gives the curry its super red appearance.
With reference to the pictures below, the curry was very oily.
Anyhow, the curry was thick and rich of spice flavours.
The flavours just exploded in my mouth but still, i found it less impressive than the Tom Yam Seafood.

The Tauhu Claypot Muhibah looks familiar to you, doesn't it?
In fact, i found it very fascinating due to its name.
What do you think of when a Malay restaurant serves Tauhu which is cooked in a Chinese way somehow using a claypot?
I think of 1 Malaysia and i guess that is what inspired the chefs to come out with this unique dish.
For your information, muhibah can be defined as caring for one another or living in harmony among all races.
Taste wise, it was on the same level with those top Chinese ones.
With exactly the right amount of saltiness and a hint of sweetness, the starchy gravy was awesome and so did the soft, spongy Tauhu.

I felt that the Ketam Manis Pedas (RM29/pieces) was a little bit overpriced.
The other food bloggers only left me one crab claw part and surprisingly, i did not even manage to obtain a half spoonful of its flesh.
Nevertheless, the spotlight is on the orange gravy which was sweet following by a hint of spicy taste.
In my opinion, the gravy was originally less sweet but the sweetness from the crabs found its way into the gravy.
Thumbs up for the gravy but not the price!

It was dessert time and we got the chance to test food beyond the reviewing range.
There are only three types of desserts offered excluding fruit platter.
We were fortunate enough to try all these three out.
First, the so-called Ais Kacang Getaran Jiwa (RM5.50) which can be translated into English, Stirring Soul Ice Kacang was not reasonably-priced.
RM5.50 for a mountain of shaved ice, red beans, corns, jelly and some sweet colourful dressings? You got to be kidding me.
I did not feel that it was better than those roadside ones, except the dining surrounding.

I have to say the same old thing to the Ais Cendol Sewangi Pandan (RM5.50) which tasted normal.
Every extra cent was for thicker coconut milk, extra pandan worm-like jelly and more shaved ice.
Still, it was not living up to its price tag.

Gula Melaka Sago is one of the popular desserts among the Peranakan (Chinese-Malay origin).
The restaurant's Sagu Gula Bendahara Melaka (RM4.80) had a promising appearance but it ended up being a complete and utter disappointment.
Awfully, the whole thing was in liquid state rather than pudding state.
I did not feel or taste any coconut element in the liquid but only the palm sugar.

Good news everyone!
Ezivoucher will soon unveal a D'Dapor Express deal in which with only a bargain of RM19.90, you are entitled to a set meal for 3 pax.
There are two versions of set meal: one of them includes Curry Udang (RM18), Ketam Manis Pedas (1 pieces - RM29), Gado-Gado Senyum Selalu (RM8.80) and white rice (RM6) while the other one includes Ayam Rendang (RM19.90), Tom Yam Seafood (RM26.80), Tauhu Claypot Muhibah (RM10.80) and also white rice (RM6).
Other than that, if you redeem two vouchers at a time, you get to enjoy all these dishes.
To get first hand voucher news, kindly follow Ezivoucher's facebook page.

No. 7, Lebuh Union,
10200 Penang.
[google map]

Operation Hours:
11am - 3pm , 6pm - 10pm everyday

Contact no.:
04 - 2629323 / 013 - 4899544



finally post liao.....
i also feel those dessert not worth, i rather eat at Penang Road....

Haha, paiseh la, let you wait for so long.
I can't agree with you more, the desserts are damn expensive!!!
And the taste was so normal.

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