Sunday, March 1, 2015
As I mentioned before, the Chef from Overeasy got us all excited about the restaurant under a big tree near Chew Jetty. Turns out every other restaurant was under a big tree.
All near Chew Jetty.
We found yet another place that seemed to match the description of tze char and under a tree a stone's throw away from Chew Jetty.
Menu was simple with most of them printed on a huge board and they came in standard sizes.
We ordered it simply for its name, loosely translated as strange taste prawns. Made with a mix that resembled sweet and spicy prawns, these were actually quite fresh.
Sweet and Sour Pork
An excellently done sweet and sour pork with a lovely tangy finish with each glistened slice.
Hearty homey fare under one big tree. Worth a visit for incredibly cheap zi char. Prices range from SGD 5-10 for most of their dishes.
You heard me, it's under a tree.
Saturday, February 28, 2015
A few streets away from Chulia Mansion Hotel is Lebuh Carnavon. Two days in a row I walked past the this street, walked past a certain uncle and his pancake cart. Driven by desperation to try Apom after the epic failure at Gurney Market, I had to pick this up last minute before I bade the town good bye.
Spot the uncle! He claims he works rain or shine, unless there is a compelling reason he will be there. Speaks volumes about dedication of the yesteryears.
Pardon the funny shop name that reads loosely small small bird, but I made my order of Banana Apom, made to order. On a frivolous note, nowhere else can I find a street snack costing RM 0.90 in Singapore, even Mcdees' icecream costs SGD 0.80.
Having been around for fifteen years, Uncle says he started this business in Air Itam. I cannot imagine how much this would have cost fifteen years back - RM 0.4?
He was so kind and kept apologising for my wait time and even took heart to explain what this was - with his knowledge he rattled off the equivalent names by country. He says Singaporeans call this Min Jiang Kueh. I suppose my fellow counterparts have paid his stall a visit through the years and educated him so.
Hot and toasty served up fresh in my hand as I ran back to the car. I could cry from the effort that goes into this wafer thin pancake that was so crunchy at the edges and still doughy in the center. Bananas and peanuts is a winning combination and go back such a long way.
Thank you uncle, this Apom certainly ended the trip on a beautifully sweet note. Until we next meet!
Xiao Xiao Niao Pancake
Thursday, February 26, 2015
The cafe culture in Penang is so vibrant, nearly every street has one. I was keen to check Coffee On The Table out mainly for the 3D Coffees.
Afternoon kicks. The long back the Husband had was aromatic and this had alot to do with the way the Penangnites roast their coffee beans. Kopitiam standard infact, nothing fancy but just good solid technique.
My 3D Hot White Chocolate that was left entirely to the whims and fancies of the barrista to churn out. Well thankfully I am a fan of hello kitty and all things cute, I really did not bear to start sipping my 3D art away.
If anything, there is a nostalgic corners with a number of old grammophones on display, now if only they had vinyl records spinning too.
Coffee On The Table
Beach Road, Penang
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The hunt for the best Char Koay Teow continued and we found ourselves at Ah Leng's. Not so hard to spot afterall since it was located at the front of the coffee shop.
And with signages screaming the shop name, it was a no brainer. We were thankful that for a weekday afternoon it was not as insanely packed as online reviews would suggest. Ordering was easy peasy too and best of all, we had Ah Leng himself fry us a plate.
Do give the kopi a try, a heartfelt simple cup of caffeine goodness that only yesteryears can bring.
Every diner has to order a mandatory drink. Prices are still cheaper over the Causeway.
RM 11.50 for the best of - duck's egg, prawns and mantis prawns. While I would have preferred more spice, this was the best of the three we attempted during the trip. Wok hei was locked in, lard was ample and noodles were kept al dente. The mantis prawns certainly made this more than ordinary kind of yummy. I cannot imagine how the Penangnites would fork out this amount for CKT when it can get them two bowls of assam laksa. Pricey to some extent for local standard so it may have been the most delicious, it lost out on some value.
Famous Ah Leng Char Koay Teow
Restoran Tong Hooi
Siam Road, Penang
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I finished my street art trail at Chew Jetty and remembered what Chef from Overeasy strongly recommended - a food stall under a huge tree opposite the Jetty. And as raving hungry as we were, we thought it was this stall right at the entrance.
Menu was simple with mainly soup dishes with rice or noodles and we basically ordered what most tables had.
Crab Porridge (RM 50)
The cost is highly subject to the day's catch and usually ranges from RM 50-60, there are not other smaller crabs. A close alternative would be Sri Lankan Flower Crabs which in my opinion would not do the porridge any justice since it is hardly meaty. The wait for this was almost forever, but when it arrived it was a well justified wait.
Cooked from scratch, the crabs were insanely fresh and in the grains in the porridge were well defined. Sprinkled with fried lard and grit, the broth was so good to be drunk on its own. Possibly the best crab porridge eaten in a darn long while.
Fish Soup (RM 9)
I am through and through a fried fish soup person unless the fish is so fresh it warrants being eaten boiled. In the case of this bowl, that was it - the complexity of the broth was amazing, possibly boiled with fish bones and tasted so sweet. For once, I indulged in a bowl of laksa noodle with fresh fish slices. For real, the best fish soup ever eaten right to the last drop.
I sing praises of this place, the same manner that we risked our dear lives sitting on the main road with cars zooming past us just for these two bowls. One unforgettable dining experience that I would risk my life again for.
Ka Bee Cafe
Chew Jetty, Penang
Monday, February 23, 2015
I was bent on checking out the shopping malls in Penang and managed to find time to visit Gurney Mall - right next to Gurney Drive Hawker Center. While this was not the swankiest of all malls, I thought it was actually quite comprehensive with several floors of shopping and even a cinema which was nothing short of those we have in Singapore.
The basement was a gourmet's haven, nearly with a number of Malaysian brand snack corners and I found one in Les Macarons de Valerie.
My three flavours that fit just nice into the little box.
Another snap of these sugary bites.
I love how they incorporate local flavours into their range and this chewy shell was delicious but the thick buttercream left little to be desired for. I do however adore the coconut finish and ground black glutinous rice grains embedded within.
Dense and rich, I still think the shells are wonderfully made except for the buttercream filling.
Delicate flavours with the rose reminiscent of bandung, I still found it delicious nonetheless.
This outlet was terribly shorthanded, just one person around to handle everything. Despite that, it was a nice place to sit, sip and enjoy the Penangnite's take on macarons.
Les Macarons de Valerie
Gurney Plaza Basement
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Lebuh Keng Kwee is possible the most food studded street within Georgetown. It took a bus ride with compliments of C.A.T for me to realise the existence of this lane. While it may look like just another street in the early hours of 10am and before, once the shutters open and crowds appear, this street takes on another life of its own.
Putting words into action, the streets get filled with throngs of people and cars that whizz by threaten their safety but in the minds of all of us in the queue - it is the outcome that makes it all worthwhile be it Char Koay Teow, Chendol, Curry Mee or Assam Laksa.
All within the same lane infact.
With at least 10 people in line, the queue moved rather briskly thankfully. The queues for the Char Koay Teow can be mistaken for Chendol so please queue correctly!
Just one dessert they serve without any variety but that is enough to keep the crowds coming back. The lady behind me once slurped up 3 bowls to quench her thirst and satisfy her craving. Place your order, watch the uncle dunk ingredients in order before handing over the bowl.
The rest of the charmed customers.
My precious bowl of chendol, laced with gula melaka, a dash of syrup and chockfuls of red beans and jelly strips. As compared to its Malacca cousin, this was lighter on coconut milk which made drinking more than one bowl actually possible in the sweltering heat!
For more of the nostalgic kicks, pay some attention to this pushcart located very near the chendol store.
Penang Road Famous Chendol
Jalan Keng Kwee