Humble Review: Arang Coffee @ Jalan Mahsuri, Bayan Lepas, Penang

'Charcoal','black' and 'darkness' are what I perceived in my mind when I first came across to Arang Coffee. This is simply because 'arang' in Malay vocabulary means charcoal. Thus, I pictured in my mind that the coffee place to be some kind of brown coloured or dark paintings that comes with some charcoal-related decorative items. I was proven not that exactly correct when I browsed about the cafe online.

Arang coffee has set up its business about 7 months ago at the new commercial site behind Olive Tree Hotel. The location is slightly tricky, I would say.
As at this post published, here's the direction to Arang Coffee: After turning into the main entrance towards hotel, kindly slow down your speed, spot a alley (reachable by vehicles) on your left hand side, there's a one-way route that drive through Olive Tree Hotel (on your right hand side). Spot Olive Tree Residence on your right hand side at the end of the alley then follow the direction to turn left, you will see Arang Coffee is at 50m ahead.
Alternatively, you could also reach Arang Coffee from Sunway Tunas residential area. Remember there's a cross junction with traffic lights in the huge residential and commercial area?  If you are entering from the main entrance of Sunway Tunas residential area, then remain at your lane till you reach to the junction. Keep yourself at the right lane, and right turns on green lights. Heading towards the lane and you will spot Arang Coffee at your left hand side.

Located at the corner side, Arang Coffee is on your sight with black and white coloured signboard. 

You will be welcomed by the warm greetings from the staff upon step in the cafe. The interior of the cafe is black in theme, perhaps a sign to illustrate the name, Arang (charcoal). The table setting is neatly arranged too. The sign for a list of beverages is putting up and a variety of sliced crepe cakes is presenting neatly at the patisserie display. The cafe runs self-service policy in taking order by the way. 

There are about 11 to 12 tables with a combination of a bar dining table that only accommodates 3 diners, tables for 2 to 6 pax are available as well. If you opt for al-fresco dining area or for smoking convenience, there are around 5 tables to be served at the corridor.

Here's the complete food menu for your reference with the servings of only western cuisine. The price is ranged between RM 9 to RM 24.
They do have set meal promotion from 12pm to 3pm.
This is the set meal offered during my visit: RM 29.50 inclusive of either spaghetti carbonara or fish and chips, soup of the day and selected drinks.
Try to spot on the chalkboard placed beside patisserie display that listing their limited-time on-going promotion.
Upon paying for your order, you will be given a wooden cube block with the labeling of the Arang coffee. Personally, I think it's their marketing strategy not only to be Instagram-worthy but also a way to be infused in the local industry, thumbs up for this effort.
Let's move on to the food.

Peppermint Tea (RM 8)
There are couples of non-caffeine beverages like peppermint tea. The aroma of peppermint is quite decongestant and has restorative effect to your head whereas it tastes rather mild which ensures a smooth flow through your throat.

No worries, a glass-bottled of plain water is served if you don't order any
drinks like me. Lemon slices are putting into the bottle as practised
commonly by others, too.

Lunch for two.
Bottom : Fish and Chips
Top: Grilled Chicken and Cheese Sandwich
Both are served on wooden chopper board.
( Details about the food are as followed)

Fish and Chips (RM 18)
A generous portion of deep-fried cornflake crumbed tilapia fish fillet comes together with fries, salad and homemade tartar sauce.
Squeezing some lemon juice on the fish fillet is always a routine for me before starts eating.
The creamy texture of homemade tartar sauce is a highlight. In my two-cents, it is rather thin texture and I'm sated to put on more sauce on the cut fillet, not to forget, it's less sweet compared to that of provided in other places. 

A close-up to the fillet.
To my own liking, it is prepared well with less oil, moist and tender for chewing.
One drawback is on the fries, they are not served warm. (Deduct marks!!!)

Grilled Chicken and Cheese Sandwich (RM17)
Two half-cut sandwiches made up with a compile of chicken slices that paired up with layers of baked cheese  and caramalised onion, together with homemade BBQ sauce. A small bucket of fries and salad are served up along as well.
The tenderness of the meat is the key and the chef has successfully made it out.

The tangy BBQ sauce helps in putting a delectable taste to chew the meat together with the wholesome bread.
I love to see the  blend-up of baked cheese and the chicken slice, it's visibly tantalizing.
PS: This is not crocodile's mouth! LOL

The crepe cakes have attracted us since we stepped in the cafe, hence we got one slice as dessert. 
During our visit, seven different flavours of crepe cakes  (RM 11/slice)and a jar of yogurt oats topped with fruits (RM 13.50/jar) are available to choose.

The flavours of crepe cake include Chocolate Twin ( Combination of chocolate and vanilla ), Blackcurrant yogurt (Slightly sour), Tiramisu, Cocoa Loco (Combination of two types of chocolate), Matcha, Hokkaido Chocolate and Raspberry yogurt.

We were in the blank of choosing for ourselves but the friendly waiter and waitress tried their best in giving their advice on which flavour to choose.
They asked our taste preference and gave suggestions, in the end, we picked Cocoa Loco.

Cocoa Loco ( RM 11)
A sliced crepe cake with the combination of two types of chocolate. I don't know much about chocolate hence I am not able to tell out which kind of chocolate used.
And I suppose that these crepe cakes are outsourced because the waitress is also not sure which kind of chocolate used for this flavour.
If you have a sweet tooth, Cocoa Loco would be your favourite to be indulged. It is slightly sweet if you have a mouthful amount, not to my own liking though.

In overall, the food and cakes we had is decent with its acceptable pricing. The lighting is not as dim as I thought (due to the name of the cafe), natural sunlight from the outside balances the dining environment as the main colour is dark in colour or black inside the cafe.
As observed, the customers are mainly white-collar workers and college students during our visit.
In short, I believe that Arang Coffee is a new chilling place for people in Bayan Lepas, we no longer have to drive to town for a cup of coffee or a short meet-up with friends.

  You are welcomed to save the location for your own convenience.

Summary: (Scaling point: 0- lowest ; 5- highest)
Price: 3/5 ( No additional charge or GST )
Taste: 3/5
Dining Ambience: 2/5 ( Lower temperature of air-cond on demand )
Vehicles Parking: 4/5 ( Less shop lots opened at the moment)
Business Hour: 9am - 12am. Opens daily.
Contact Number: 017-3696202 ( You may call for reservation )
Facebook Page: Arang Coffee

Here to attach a short video of us while having the crepe cake, it's our first attempt of recording short video anyway.

I hope you enjoy reading, thank you.

Five big changes I have (unexpectedly) gained in my campus life.

About a month ago, one of the hot topics being discussed among the society would be the ending speech given by the CEO of Nokia during the press conference for the announcement of the acquisition of Microsoft on Nokia.

Some of my friends had shared this article on Facebook. They also cited some of the words as a lesson to themselves as well to the friends on Facebook. I read about the article too. To me, the most remarkable one would be ' 'Those who refuse to learn and improve, will definitely one day become redundant and not relevant to the industry.' Short and simple, it means no changes in life doesn't promise a sustainable tomorrow.

Believe me, your life keep changing all the time, said by one of my lecturers during a lecture class recently.

Here, I don't promise whether there're definitely good changes or not. But one thing I'm firmly guarantee is, if the same mistakes happen to you, you would realize that what the elders had lectured u once are proved to be absolutely right, especially if you have been through the campus life, like me.

Let's straight to point now.

#1 I'm now proactive in handling my daily livings.

Most of the university students have the opportunity to leave hometown for the studies. This simply means they ought to prepare everything from A to Z by themselves. For instance, handling your own livings. House chores and daily meals are now your own duty. Here, it's no longer done by your mum or helper. Nevertheless, no one would keep nagging u to clean up your messy room. If you keep behaving like how you do at home, aha, there you go, staying at a dirty and messy room.
Good thing is, no matter what, you know some basics of handling your own livings after this hostel life of yours.

Taking my own example, even though I know how but I don't do the cleaning at my home or maybe I do it once it a blue moon whenever I have the mood for it or after being annoyed from mum's nagging either. One more thing, I could easily forget about laundry till I see a mole of clothes of mine is at the laundry bucket.
Staying in hostel is indeed a way to discipline myself. Now, I sweep the floor at least twice a week and do laundry once every 2-3 days, depending on the amount of clothes.
Moreover, I would ensure that my desk is always kept tidy and neat, partly because of peer pressure, I suppose. I would be embarrassed to let my friends and even roommate to see the poor living style of mine.

#2 I'm more responsible in preparing meal.

Here, you are neither being woken up with your parents or siblings asking you to get up for lunch or dinner nor your friends. You want eat then go ahead, you don't want then it's simply none of anyone's business. As the location of my campus as well as hostel are located under the rural area, the scarce source and offerings has been greatly impacting on students' livings, mainly food. Book stores and photocopy shops are available in great number that provide convenience to students but not food stall. Come on, it's hard to get people to operate a food stall that aiming student in this rural area! Hence, buying ingredients at supermarket at the nearest town is an alternative to ensure your meal problem is fixed, only if you want to cook for the sake of eating healthier. For your information, it is nearly 20 minutes of journey to the nearest town by shuttled bus.

Cooking is fun but it is somehow prolonged after including dishes washing . I don't cook often in hostel, but whenever I do, I would make sure I eat healthy/eat clean. My top favourite food prepared in hostel is clear soup rice noodles(or glass noodle either) with vegetables. I love eating vegetables so normally I buy greens and tomatoes, the soup base are from seasoning cube to have it a mild aroma. Another easier meal to prepared is congee that paired up with either canned lettuce or pork floss. Apart from take-away food at cafeteria, milo with crackers, oatmeal, bun/bread are also my usual meals over here. To be honest, I live to eat but I eat to survive in hostel. I'm not picky in having my meals here anyway.

#3 I start learning to manage my emotion.

I'm a sentimental person and sometimes be emotional when it comes to things that are harmful or unlogical to me. I often throw tantrum at home, but not at outside anymore. I can just burst into tears in any corners of my house which is visible by my family members. You are going to be rejected or boycotted by people if you continue to behave this way in campus life. Course mates are just course mates or perhaps, friends, in case of going further. They have no obligation see you like that. So I'd got some lectures that I ought to always put on smile on my face whenever I'm out from my room. No matter how bad is my feeling, I must hide it deep down inside and pretend to be everything is alright. Perhaps this is the norm of the society, and university is commonly interpreted as a pre-society that running like a modified working society out there.

I cry whenever I feel very bad. But I do it in my room whenever my roommate is away or hide myself by a pillow to release the tension. I start to expect less from people while doing my best on everything because disappointment and sorrow are mostly derived from high expectation, I would say.  Good thing is, I realize that keeping myself calm is the key to stablelize my emotion, I would have myself a short moment of deep breath and hold on my tears if I feel like shedding tears (yeah, right before the water tap at my eyes are out of control). The same thing applied when it comes to anger and dissatisfaction. To conclude, to have a high degree of emotional intelligence(EI) or emotional quotient(EQ) is absolutely an essential part for one.

#4 I'm more adaptive to do things solo

Before stepping into campus life, I'd always like to get things done with companion whenever it's possible. I love laughter and people to be surrounded. I'm grateful to have it but campus life is also a best time for me to grow up realizing that it's definitely not a permanent situation. Everyone is unique and runs different kind of lifestyle. Staying at hostel simply means everyone has their own schedule to follow and their own stuff to do, no one is obliged to follow your plan all the time. I've always telling myself that I do things for my own good (and of course, for the sake of survival), hence I'd stepped out a big forward to be solo sometimes. Not to mention, I feel that being solo occasionally is not a bad option at all! At least, you would have peace moment for yourself, follow your heart to do and you would feel awesomely good. For example, buying meals at cafeteria and taking bus alone for a meeting. It's a sign of being big girl, I know right.

#5 I'm more appreciative for everything.

To be frank, I look somethings for granted and always thought they should be in the way that I think. This concept is totally vanished after I've involved myself into tertiary studies. Like I mention previously, you are the only one to be responsible for your own. I get into homesick after the few months to stay away from hometown and that initiated my great appreciation towards family. I start to love them more. Moreover, I would keep looking for opportunity to have family times whenever I back to home. We start to have video calls lately but it's never too late to give concern to each other. Besides, I tend to be grateful over the contribution of my coursemates and friends in terms of assistance and giving some times to me. Being appreciative is a token of happiness that leads me towards a positive livings.

This is my third year or sixth semester spending in campus life, I'm thankful that I grew up quite good mentally in these years. I wonder how the real working society would be yet I'm afraid of it at the same time, but involving in campus life has, at least, prepared me at little bit to fit into the working society in near future. In short, campus life is indeed an eye-opener and a great tutor to transform me into a better one.