Penang, street food capital of Malaysia
We laid low for a couple of days in KL after our flight out of Lombok. After recharging our batteries, we headed North to the island of Penang, specifically Georgetown. There's an undeniable charm about the city. We love the old shophouses that the line the streets. Everything around you looks and feels very vintage.
In some alleys you see art displays erected against the backdrop of old buildings. I think it's cool that the artists get to use them as a canvas because it's a fantastic way to embrace and preserve this heritage site. The art does blend in the modern with the past and magnifies the character of the city because of it.
Another reason we came here was for the food! Like Singapore, you don't have to eat at nice restaurants to have good food. Hawker stalls are known to have some of the best local fare. We couldn't try everything we wanted but that just gives you a reason to come back next time.
At Red Garden Food Center
Hmm what to eat?
Frog leg clay pots mmm
Stewed duck and tofu with light soy sauce. The meat was pretty tender.
Ahhh ice coffee. I made an effort to have this once a day, twice even better 🙂
The lor mee was not bad. The noodles had a nice chew to it. I actually ate hokkien mee at this same stall the day before. I felt that was better as they had a really heavy prawn broth in the soup base.
Lamb satay. Nice peanut sauce. Some parts had tendon on it which was hard to chew though.
Viv wanted to have Nyonya cuisine so we tried a place called Mamas
A little appy dish they give you in the beginning. Fried anchovies with red onions in a sweet vinegrette. Pretty good.
White prompet fish stew. This was ok. Not sure if it was the lemongrass that was used but the ingredient was rather strong and seemed to overpower the dish.
Yam beans with shredded cuttlefish and mushrooms. Reminded me of the filling used in shredded turnip pastries at the Chinese bakery. Tastes good in combination with the chili sauce it comes with.
Sesame oil chicken. Kind of disappointed with this one. I was expecting the sesame oil to be the dominant flavour but tasted more like soy.
Dessert was nice. Taro, banana, yam, carrot in coconut milk
Overall, didn't really meet expectations. Maybe we picked the wrong dishes? Or the wrong restaurant? Will have to give this cuisine another shot though.
One morning we ate at a hawker joint where I was going to order my usual ice coffee for breakfast. The owner recommended his durian ice coffee. Really? I like durian but with coffee? Ok, I guess I have to try it now. It's…different. At first sip you get that strong durian flavour and then the aroma transitions to coffee half way through. I like both items, just separately. Now I had to walk around the whole day with durian taste in mouth! Not pleasant.
Stewed porked noodles. Can't go wrong with fatty pork!
Dry Hakka noodle. Sauce is underneath so it needs mixing.
Breaded deep fried mantis prawn. It's like popcorn shrimp but the mantis prawn meat was softer.
Another version. Sweet and sour mantis prawn.
Nyonya style rice dumpling. This was really nice.
Quite a few Hainanese chicken places around here so we had to eat it once. You can get a mix of the roast chicken and boiled one. It was good as we expected but I'm sure there were even better places out there.
What is this you ask? We normally see pork blood served but this is chicken blood. I guess it's for the nutrition because there's no flavour to it really. The texture is like soft tofu. It looks like raw liver doesn't it lol
Three layered tea. It's like milk tea but the syrup at the bottom adds another dimension to it. Recommended!
There was a Bak Kut Teh restaurant that has quite the selection of meats to choose from. Decided to give this place a whirl.
We picked the fatty pork, pork back, and enoki mushroom. The fatty pork was delish.
Located across the street from the Bak Kut Teh restaurant on Lorong Baru road were many hawker stalls. We weren't full from that meal so decided to snack on something else 🙂
Char koay kak. Oh yeah
Clay pot rice with roast pork and Chinese sausage
This deep fried fish plate was yummy. I think they used some sort of black bean paste as the flavour base. The charcoaled parts were salty and crispy which I liked.
Baby oysters were not bad. The sauce was similar to a sweet soy bean paste.
A stall that sells peanut pancakes. You can get different types of fillings. I like the peanut butter one the most. Peanut butter on top of more peanut crumbs, a deadly combination 🙂
What's inside there?
Aside from expanding our stomaches we did do a couple of cultural sites in the city. One place we checked out was the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, which showcases the lifestyle of the Straits Chinese that settled here.
Old old camera
Display case with marriage certificate
Opium display case
Where they smoke the stuff
Now that's a cool tv
There's some sweet old school devices here
The room was filled with these glass decor pieces
Outside the mansion, you can go to the Nyonya Kitchen for a bowl of birds nest.
I was tempted by the dessert they were selling. My fav was the tapioca one in yellow.
Another cultural site we went to was Khoo Kongsi, the largest Chinese clan association in Malaysia.
Some intricate design work on the roof here.
Thanks for feeding us well Penang. We'll be back again in the future and try more stalls! We say goodbye to Malaysia for the second time and head on a 12hr minivan ride to Phuket.