December 29, 2009

Penang food trail

Food was another important aspect of our trip to Penang. Armed with The Star Street Food Guide, we went in search of all the famous hawker fares in Penang. My colleague was very kind to drive us around to all the famous stalls, some of which were listed in the book, while some were her personal favourites. Below is a round-up of our meals in Penang just so we know where to go in future:

Saturday, December 19
Had home-cooked Siamese laksa and steamed fresh flower crabs, prepared by my colleague's godmother. Since we had that rather early, we went for supper later at night. But Yiu Yiu was already sleepy and since we wanted her to eat something as she didn't have the laksa and crabs earlier, we just headed to the nearest hawker centre in Tanjung Tokong. We had char kuay teow, oh chien, loh bak and tang yuen, while Yiu Yiu finished a whole plate of wantan noodles. Food was nothing to shout about.

Sunday, December 20
We were supposed to go for breakfast at one hawker centre in Pulau Tikus but it was closed so we ended up at Restoran Bee Hooi. We had the famous Jones Road loh mee curry mee, mee suah, loh bak, and pie tee. The loh mee was really good, while the rest was pretty ordinary. Yiu Yiu had wantan mee again – I didn’t have a taste but there was a newspaper article hanging by the stall so I guess it should be rather good.

In the afternoon, we had the famous Penang Road Teochew cendol. The stall is actually located at Lebuh Kwee Kee, adjacent to a restaurant which serves good asam laksa and char kuay teow but we didn’t eat there as we couldn't find any parking. My colleague waited in the car while hubby and I, together with her godmother lapped up the cendol by the roadside :-)

We then adjourned to the Cecil Street Market Hawker Centre. There were so many stalls there and it was mind boggling trying to decide what to eat. My colleague asked the vendor who sold us the drinks to recommend her favourite char kuay teow stall there, and it turned out to be excellent. We also tried the Chinese pasembur (I've never seen Chinese selling pasembur but apparently it's quite common in Penang) and apam balik. Yiu Yiu had duck kuay teow th'ng, which was also superb.

We had dinner at Kedai Kopi Sin Guat Keong at the corner of Kimberley Street and Cintra Street. The char kuay teow and desserts (糖水) stall outside the restaurant, and the kuay chap stall opposite the restaurant are the famous eats. The kuay chap was quite remarkable, but I find the char kuay teow a tad too moist for my liking.

We then tapau some ham chim peng from the famous stall opposite Tai Thong Dim Sum on Cintra Street. Can't really comment how good they were, coz we only ate them the next day, and naturally, they had turned a little hard by then.

Monday, December 21
We had late breakfast in the hotel, and so skipped lunch (two meals wasted, haha). My colleague took us to her favourite Hokkien mee (prawn mee) stall at Presgrave Street Hawker Centre, several doors away from the Kwang Wah Yit Poh office. And true enough, it was wonderful. And you can add other goodies such as roast pork or pork ribs into the noodles. The ice kacang, topped with a scoop of of ice cream, was super yummy too. The ice was so finely shaved that it melts in your mouth. My colleague had warned us not to order anything else as we would adjourn to another place for char kuay kak but hubby couldn’t resist the oh chien, so we had a small plate with plump, juicy oysters. I didn't care much for the oysters though, as I normally just eat the egg, which tasted pretty good. Yiu Yiu again had wantan mee.

We had char kuay kak from a pushcart parked along Burma Road, opposite the Public Specialist Centre. There was still a short queue, even though it was already way past dinner time. The kuay kak was fragrant, and not oily.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped by the Gurney Drive Hawker Street, and hubby tapau rojak from the famous GP Soon stall. According to my colleague, this stall is so famous that the vendor only opens from 9 – 10pm onwards, and despite that, there's always a long queue. The rojak was really delightful, and I love the crunchy Chinese crullers.

Tuesday, December 22
Breakfast was again in the hotel, and we went in search for food after checking out from the hotel. We wanted to try the famous Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng along Burma Road. We had to abandon the plan as we couldn't find any parking. We then drove to Penang Road to Kek Seng Coffee Shop for the jawa mee, operated from a pushcart in the side lane. We ordered both the normal version with gravy, as well as the dry version, which I've never seen before. Though the normal version was good, I prefer the dry version, which was more flavourful and had a distinct tanginess. Hubby couldn't resist the asam laksa and loh bak, while Yiu Yiu had kuay teow th'ng – and we were not disappointed with any of them. There were newspaper cuttings on the ice kacang sold in the shop so we ordered one to try. I didn't like it - the rose syrup was too strong for my liking, and the shaved ice was a little too coarse.

Photo credits: All the above photos were "borrowed" from here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. We didn’t manage to take any picture coz we were always pre-occupied – I had to carry/sling Yan Yan, while hubby would be busy tending to Yiu Yiu and ensuring she finished her meal, so no luxury of time/hands to take pictures :-) But a food post without photos would be soooo boring, so I resorted to "borrowing" these pictures.


Kit said...

Ooh...I'm gonna look for that Presgrave Street food centre because that plate of 'oh chien' looks great! Never like them before but somehow acquired a taste a few years back hahaha

Did you like the Penang Road chendol? I had a bowl just before the baby arrived while Hubby waited for his greedy wife to gulp it down. Somehow, it didn't taste as nice as I remembered it!

If you come back again, you must try the fried koay teow and assam laksa in the coffee shop - I LOVE it. Think the chicken rice was good too.

Looks like you had a good taste LOL

A Mom's Diary said...

Kittycat - somehow all the oysters in Penang oh chien are huge and luscious, unlike those in KL which looks like they were starved :-)

I still like the cendol wor. Perhaps the pregnancy altered your taste bud? You should go try another bowl now and see if it's still nice. Haha...And yes, I tried the char kuay teow and assam laksa in the coffee shop previously, and they were yummy. Didn't have it this round coz we couldn't find parking. Never tried the chicken rice though.

Linda said...

Penang food bloggers also a good resources to find good hawkers food, based on personal reference.

michelle@mybabybay said...

Wow, you make me hungry. I take all these for granted.

smallkucing said...

I am dying for CKT and Oh Chien...

khongfamily said...

Nearly wanted to ask you what camera you use to take those nice food pics...LOL!!!

BoeyJoey said...

The food all look so tempting *slurp*. Salivating and now searching for food on a new year eve is a very bad start to my new year resolutions... hahaha

A Mom's Diary said...

Linda - didn't realise there are so many Penang food bloggers, until I searched for photos to borrow :-)

Michelle - no wonder Penangites always complain that KL food is lousy, now I fully appreciate their sentiments :-)

smallkucing - maybe a trip to Penang is in order?

khongfamily - paiseh paiseh

BoeyJoey - I ate so much in Penang that I'm still feeling guilty now :-)