Monday, December 11, 2017

Penang Food Hunt

I am born and bred in Penang and became crazy over Penang hawker food ever since I come to Klang Valley to study and work. I felt cheated a few times when some hawker stalls in KL name themselves Penang Char Koay Teow or Laksa but the taste turned out to be 360 degrees different. Hence, every time I return to Penang, it would be a food marathon for me in that few days I am back. It's called fulfilling the cravings!

Day 1: 

Char Koay Teow & Siam Laksa at Sin Hwa Kopitiam

I never fail to make a pilgrimage to my favourite Char Koay Teow in Penang so much so that this would always be my first stop. I spent my childhood days coming here every Saturday with the Penang red or white nutmeg juice to get rid of the heatiness. The Char Koay Teow is not as oily as the others and has just the right amount of spice and has prawns, cockles and most uniquely, octopus, all priced at only RM 6.50 for a big plate! I think it costs less by RM 1 for the smaller version. The cook has won many Char Koay Teow contests too.

 The Siam and Assam Laksa have gone through about 2 generations. Since me and mum have always eaten the Siam Laksa, this time round I ordered the assam laksa version. Not forgetting the deep fried popiah which reminded me of the times when I used to eat this together with assam laksa, standing, behind Penang Plaza after my ballet classes every Sunday which is why I still gain weight despite the ballet. Too bad they didn't sell prawn fritters today.

Add: No. 329, Jalan Burma, 10350, George Town, Pulau Pinang, 10350 

 Chicken Legs & Kueh Chap at Kimberly Street 

Would it be embarrassing if I reveal that I have eaten these two items at night previously? OK, I have been here for lunch but definitely not at dinner time because my house is too far away.

Calling all kueh chap lovers, this would be where you consider it heavenly. The kueh chap (RM 8) can be ordered with all the pig intestines and organs mixed inside or with porridge. If you are not a fan of intestines, you can always have the duck version. There are many people queuing up for this.

The Chicken Legs (RM 5) are incredible, as though it was stewed for very long time, to have the soft tenderness that it can be easily broken apart.

The Mixed Loh Bak (RM 7.50 for 3 items) here is one you should avoid as the deep fried fish lacks flavour.

After that, we went to Gurney Drive to accompany mum to watch Apple 2 at GSC which ended up making us teary-eyed. Movie is naturally followed by supper at a kopitiam I have never been but seen many times in my life - Goodall Food Court, Jalan Gotlieb which was on the way for us. I ordered the cheapest Lok Lok in the world at only RM 0.50, 0.70 to the most expensive label of RM 1.80 which are comparatively much cheaper than KL where the Lok Lok costs at least RM 2 and above.

I also could not withold myself from ordering the Sotong Kangkung (RM 10) with additional jellyfish.

Day 2

The next morning, we went to Charity Food Fair and I indulged in Penang nyonya food like Nasi Ulam, Acar and Thai Laksa again. I also bought some bachang back as snacks in KL.

Char Koay Kak at Sin Seow Fong Lye, Macalister Road 

Something I can never find in KL is Koay Kak but even in Penang I have a challenge to find the best one to satisfy me. I decided to try this as recommended by many bloggers and when you reach here, every table has a few plates of the same item. The koay kak was not cut into small pieces as expected but were in longish rectangular shapes which spoilt it. The ingredients are sufficient and the taste was not too salty and the koay kak not too soggy like the one in Burmah Road. Overall ok but my Char Koay Kak food hunt is not over yet, perhaps next time.

Add: 94, Lorong Macalister, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang

End of the World in Penang 

The words 'end of the world' actually refers to Teluk Bahang where I used to go for night seafood when I was young. Little did I know they actually have a beautiful sight to behold in the day time with a floating bridge in the water which transports you to places like in the East Coast or Sabah minus the cystal clear waters. There is also Taman Negara Pulau Pinang here.

Hawker Food Galore at New Lane 

After some nature sighting, we went to New Lane to act like tourists, after all, it's true I brought my colleague Celine and husband Martin from KL, here to try the food. It seems that due to the long weekend with Sultan Selangor's birthday on 11 Dec, many KL-ites come to Penang.

The basement carpark costs RM 3 per entry whereas the opposite open air carpark costs RM 3 for first hour and every other additional hour would add up.

Fried Oysters (RM 12) 

Since this is my last night, I had to fill up my cravings of fried oysters which had overload of cornflour. Being people who dislikes wasting food, we actually didn't touch much of it till the end.

Pie Tee & Popiah 

We ordered both as mum's favourite is popiah whereas I love Pie Tee (RM 4.50 for 5 pieces). After today, probably I won't eat pie tee again as I saw the hawker pouring in so much sugar to make the sengkuang sweeter.

Chee Cheong Fan 

From young I never liked Chee Cheong Fan with sweet sauce but it seems that every other people besides me like it. Celine said Penang version has thicker sweet sauce.

Hokkien Mee (For KL-ites, called Prawn Mee) 

It seems that everything popular with the locals, are the stalls towards the inner part of the food court and from today's experience, I learnt not to be deceived by the stalls in front if you see duplicated items sold. Celine ordered the hokkien mee and loh mee from the front stall which didn't look tasty at all but I went for mum's recommendation  for the inner stall, at only RM 3.50 ++ for a small bowl. I was addicted to the soup  and kept sipping it till we left.

Char Koay Teow

Thank god I waited a long while before ordering as I was contemplating whether to queue up at the staff in front but luckily mum said that the stall behind has better char koay teow which is right but weird that no one went there, guess that's the difference between locals and tourists who just queue up anywhere. The char koay teow can be said to be another acceptable one for me, which is fussy when it comes to this. Just too bad they only gave 1 big prawn instead of at least 3 pieces normally thus quite not worth the overpriced tag of RM 7.50. Penangites normally don't pay this price for hawker food.

Pork Satay 

I ordered 5 sticks of pork satay and 5 sticks of lamb satay at RM 12 ++ but it seems that they probably forgotten our orders for so long. When the food came, it was already cold and they forgot the lamb satay.

Loh Bak 

People always tout this as the famous loh bak so that's what I told my friend who ordered this. I guess because most of it was deep fried fu chuk and popiah thus not that tasty. There are many varieties of food there. Loh Bak wise, so - so compared to the one in Kheng Pin.

Boiled Octopus (RM 15) 

I saw someone eating my favourite boiled octopus and could not withstand myself from ordering this though the price is quite expensive for Penang food. I stopped myself from ordering Ikan Bakar as we were so full that time. The octopus was quite ok but I have tasted better ones but then again this is a rarity in Penang.

Fried Oysters at Super Tanker Food Court 

I have a habit that if something is not satisfactory, I would eat the same thing in my favourite place, this time in Super Tanker whereby the couple hawker, hasn't left the spot for many years. The same fried oysters of my childhood whereby there is just a little cornflour used and the omelette is fried till fluffy. The oyster portion is also big. I think nothing beats the fried oysters here.

Day 3

Hokkien Mee and Koay Teow Thing at Lip Sin 

This is my last day in Penang and we are taking a 9.30 am Aeroline bus home. We had breakfast in Lip Sin - me trying for the first time, the Hokkien Mee at merely price of only RM 4.30 per bowl. The hokkien mee order took quite long time to arrive because it is quite famous.

The Koay Teow Thing (RM 3.50) comes in clear soup and minced meat and fish cake. Just normal to me as I am not a fan of this.

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