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Motormouth From Ipoh

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Capri Italian Cuisine @ Lumut, and Ayer Tawar's Gong Pian

Do you realise the recent dearth in outstation posts? As in food from Perak's rural areas, outskirts, smaller towns, undeveloped lands, etc .... ? Don't we all LURVE some authentic, home-style cooking, that's not only cheap, but filling?
That's a real ship out there ... wonder what's the purpose though
Last week, work took us to Manjung district, from Ayer Tawar to Seri Manjung, and then towards Sitiawan and finally Lumut. All within a span of few hours. We are workaholics, don't "pray pray" .... =P

Italian cuisine in LUMUT?!

Lumut is a small town to the south of Perak, on the western side. Previously overshadowed by Pangkor Island, the famous tourist destination in Perak, Lumut has been developing well, with a sleek and modern port, and a water front resembling Johor Bahru's Danga Bay.

Memories of visiting Lumut in the past revealed a few notable gems, particularly the nasi kandar, and walking around town, savouring the sights and sounds.

Bistro style dining, with a bar and bottles of liquor on display

Once our work was done, the sight of a new restaurant/cafe at a backlane was enticing, and with my favourite Italian fare all printed on the awning, FCOE and Tall Gal were dragged (willingly, I might add) to an early lunch at CAPRI Restaurant (Ristorante-cum-Bar-cum-Pizzeria).

Lemon Juice @ RM6

Still reeling from the heavy breakfast, we opted for something lighter, to prevent from being bloated and floating off like balloons. The Lemon Juice had a very faint hint of citrus-y lemon fragrance, slightly fizzy, but not tangy enough. And marred by the lack of sweetness, the drink was far from satisfactory.

Salmon Fettucine @ RM21

There were more than 10 types of pasta on the menu, and the one that caught my attention was the Salmon Fettucine. Probably stemming from my Italiannie's experience, fettucine with salmon in creamy tomato sauce sounded too heavenly to resist.

But major mistake was made. Or maybe I set my expectations too high. The pasta was far from al dente, slightly soggy, and the sauce was short of creamy. Cubes of salmon were thankfully present, but the non-existence of tomatoes somehow spoiled the overall experience.

Pizza Marinara @ RM29

A whopping 16 varieties of pizzas were enlisted on the menu, and making a decision was tough. But FCOE being a non-beef eater somewhat made things easier. So, seafood's the way to go.

Prawns, Squids, Mussels. And with some eenie-weenie bits of cheese and tomato paste. That was all to it. From the appearance alone, you can judge the sparsely added ingredients. You can even count the prawns (all 4 of them), the squids (pitiful 5-6 pieces) and mussels (less than 6), and the very thin layer of mozzarella rendered the cheesy (or rather, the lack of) experience less than stellar. The dough was tough, rather than light and chewy. Gee, I'd stick to my Pizza Hut if REAL Italian pizzas are like this one.

Tabasco sauce was not enough to save the pizza, therefore we requested for extra parmesan shavings. And guess what? Shavings' all we got. On a small plate. With a small spoon, probably masquerading as caviar on a plate? Never realised parmesan's THAT exclusive.

Tiramisu @ RM11

Fortunately, all's not lost. The dessert came in the form of Tiramisu, perennial Italian dessert, bound to satiate that sweet tooth's cravings. Soft, fluffy, with a hint of liquor, the cake was served with a dollop of fresh cream on the side. No idea what it was doing there, but the addition of the spoonfuls of cream to the tiramisu neutralized the bitterness tone. Though not among the best out there, but still bearable, after the abyssmal mains.

Total damage for 3 = RM73.70, including 5% service charge and 5% gov tax. Will we return? NOPE, definitely. Muahaha ...

Location : CAPRI @ 4174, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, 32200 Lumut, Perak. Tel : 05-683 3112.

Another round of Gong Pian?

Remember I raved bout Sitiawan's Gong Pian? Seems Ayer Tawar also has its own following.

The abundance of sesame seeds on the biscuits @ RM1 each

Of course, if you're eating these biscuits, preferably, have them HOT from the oven. When cold, the biscuits are tough, and chewy. I chose the ones with pork and onions, at only RM1 each. In comparison, I'd say a step below Sitiawan's version.

Ching Chin Koi @ Ayer Tawar

Location : Ching Chin Koi Restaurant @ 249, Main Road, Ayer Tawar, Perak. They were selling these in the evenings, so go for them in the afternoon-evenings I guess?


Anonymous said...

I agree!! No return for this Italian place. Maybe you can bring kyt to try next time.Ha ha! Gong piah i still prefer the shop at seri manjung. This one not so nice.

Anonymous said...

Gong Pian?

Hehehe... it sounds like gong piah... "stupid biscuits", maybe looks a bit like it... but i sure hope they taste good :D

Somehow it looks like "ham chin peng" to me instead.. But the sesame sprinkled on top quite a lot and must be very fragrant too...

RM1.. that's cheap!!!

Anonymous said...

GONG PIAN - first time heard this word, like kai chai peng...

Your friends sure are good to you at your call to makan all the way to Lumut?

Anonymous said...

GONG PIAN - first time heard this word, like kai chai peng...

Your friends sure are good to you at your call to makan all the way to Lumut?

Little Inbox said...

Tiramisu oh....mouth watering liao. It looks so yummy le.

HairyBerry said...

yeah, tiramisu without alcohol is like sky without clouds...woah! i blame the hangover..haha!

Anonymous said...

Well, I wonder how would you like them to serve you the permesan cheese... :p

minchow said...

Wee-hee! I choose the gong piah over the lackadaisical Italian meal anyday!

jasmine said...

wow, u do seem to make a lot of road trips around west m'sia. and i'll choose the gong pia over the italian meal too!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, biscuits with with pork and onions! Sounds so savoury... *drools*

As for your Italian Experience, well... sometimes we just have to figure out where the good places are by trial and error. Sometimes more error though... :P

Anonymous said...

keep more of these small town posts coming in..i love reading it!

J2Kfm said...

tallgal : yeahloh, but at least we have bragging rights to a "fine-dining experience" at an Italian restaurant all the way to LUMUT. :)

penang tua pui : oh, Sitiawan very famous for them one, in Cantonese called Kong Peng, translated to Gong Pian, or Gong Pneah or whatever ...

jencooks : haha, we were on duty that time, travelling is part of our jobs. makan on the other hand, is a privilege. =P

little inbox & nic : but tiramisu-wise, Su Chan still has my vote.

jason : aiya, so small serving. we only managed to sprinkled sparingly on each slice. so kedekut. can give whole container ma ... like Pizza Hut?

550mL Jar of Faith & Jasmine : yeah, but I'd choose Sitiawan's Gong Pian overr Ayer Tawar's anyday.

life for beginners : you're lucky as surrounded by so many flogger frens, and KL has such unlimited resources. :) more rights than wrongs, no?

kampungboycitygal : sure! :) but these small town posts may not appeal to some city-dwellers, huh?

Anonymous said...

Hahaha.. that pizza looks pitiful and I can certainly cook better pasta than that! X_X

Small back story about parmesan. Parmesan comes in different grades. While I doubt that the parmesan they gave you were actually of any quality (from the looks of the pictures it looks like cat litter from one of those kraft tins), good quality parmesan is actually one of the more expensive cheeses. In fact, in the olden days, people in Reggina (where parmesan originates from) would pay with wheels of parmesan cheese. (they are made in wheels as it made for easier transportation). To highlight how precious they were (and still is), a wheel of parmesan is used as dowry payment for the hand in marriage of a fair maiden!

cariso said...

Wah, Lumut food price that 'standard' also uh?

J2Kfm said...

thanks genuiness. :) can always count on you to come up with interesting stories.

those shavings of parmesan was barely enough for 2 slices, let alone all 8 of them

KeepCharmingAlwiz~~ said...

haha.. being 'bak lou shu' there?? the pizza looked a bit.. errr.... no comment... haha..
ei, no new post meh?? blog about FuTien Vege Restaurant la.. i like the food there... :)

J2Kfm said...

aiyo ... KCA, this wkend I'm taking things slowly, as the hectic wkdays left me with no time to stop and ponder on things.
Fu Tien ah ... ok ok, the pics still in my pc.

Hulk said...

Been busy lately...
This Capri really sucks. food sucks...price sucks.Never have I dine there but my cousin advise me not to.
If u step into small town..dont try any western eatery there. Go try local foods.
The place is deemed most expensive eatery in town.

J2Kfm said...

hulk : yeah, I'd say even more expensive than some of Ipoh's western food. a slight notch below Italia Mia only in terms of pricing.

backStreetGluttons said...

Capri is normally quiet and frequented mainly by the expatriate community here since it is considered an expensive place. jook joint bistro on the other corner ( with wifi )is more friendly and interesting

this kong piang shop you mentioned is rated outside the top 3 in Ayer Tawar and on your next trip check out the one just as you enter Kg Koh , Sitiawan( after ACS ) , on the right corner wooden shop facing the main road ( considered one of the top 3 in Sitiawan )

J2Kfm said...

BSG : oh ok ok. thanks so much for the recommendations. got TOP 3 one ah? :) hehe ...

Anonymous said...

Well, guys, I am a foreigner from europe and if I may guess then you all are chinese or other malaysians and this means you all have no clue what real western food is. I am working in Asia since 1999 and went a bit around like Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Vietnam and staying now here in Malaysia, recently I came to work here to Lumut and am often at Capri's and don't like seafood that much, so can not comment on that, but anything else, e.g. Pizza Hawaiana, Lasagne, Spaghetti, Salads are really tasty and very much like homemade. But why am I getting heated up about you all, as for me Malaysia Food is most of the time very disappointing, Thailand and Singapore are at the top of the list and Capri has suprisingly real authentic Italian cuisine. Take my word for granted as I am European and think I know a bit more about food as good restaurants are really very rare in Malaysia. Take care and drop me a line but please polite, greetings Thomas

J2Kfm said...

hahaha ... that's really funny, Thomas.
thanks for your comments though. but once again, everyone's entitled to their own opinions, esp. on something subjective,
ie. food and taste.
as the saying goes, one man's meat may be another man's poison.
chill ya? =)

Anonymous said...

wow....first time saw someone post going pia...only good when it fresh, after too long can be as hard as rock...haha...cheers!!!

J2Kfm said...

hi kennhyn, in fact this was my SECOND post on gong pia. 1st was the Sitiawan's version.

yeah, unless it's hot and fresh, the biscuit tends to get rock-hard fast!

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