Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Feed the Penangite

Heading back to Penang this weekend before flying off to San Francisco in a month. Need to get my fill of real hawker food as mental bookmark of what unpretentious, authentic street food should taste like.

So while I doubt 2.5 days will be enough to eat all my favorites -- sadly, age has caught up and my body is no longer able to deal with 5 meals a day -- but I'm going to make a list anyway and see how many I can get to this weekend. Hope to have photos to prove it before it all goes into my tummy.

Chee Cheung Fun at Genting Coffee Shop, Gelugur -- Home is in Gelugur, so first meal from the airport to home is chee cheung fun! Yummers. Steamed rice roll with "har kou" (prawn paste) and "tim cheong" (sweet sauce), still in rolls. No chilli for me. Just thinking about it makes me hungry! Best part about Genting? I usually just have 2 rolls of chee cheung fun as a snack so there's room left to share either a plate of char koay teow (fried flat noodles) with duck egg or hokkien mee (yellow noodles with prawn soup)! Only available during breakfast, lunch and tea.

Photos and directions.

Wonton Mee at Burmah Road, outside Union Primary School -- Luck plays a huge part in whether or not I'll get to eat this because the seller has no fixed schedule, he runs the stall when he wants to and takes a day off whenever he feels like it. Also, it's a question of whether we can find parking and a table! Never, never buy the noodles to eat at home; it doesn't taste the way it's supposed to. Always order a bowl of wonton noodles with everything (for me, I skip the spare parts) and an extra bowl of wontons. The springy noodles are to-die-for, only to be outdone by the perfectly seasoned wontons. Gosh, I could eat at least 10-15 of these wontons on its own! Only available during lunch. If you're in the area at night and crave good food, there's the silkiest chicken porridge ever at Tavoy Road and char koay kak, a dying art when it comes to hawker food. And if you're craving wonton mee in the middle of the night (say midnight?), head to Terengganu Road for a plate of wonton mee and an order of chicken feet in soya sauce to share.

Photos and directions -- Wonton Mee, Burmah Road

Photos and directions -- Char Koay Kak, Burmah Road

Photos and directions -- Terengganu Road

Cendol at Penang Road, the stall on your right as you're driving/walking down the alley from Penang Road -- I'm that specific because there's an identical store on the left side and it's awful, so avoid at all cost even if there's a crazy line at this stall (the line moves fast). Cheapest, best bowl of iced dessert you'll ever have, hands down. Shaved ice, gula melaka (palm sugar), coconut milk, red bean and green worm-like jelly -- I challenge you to not wolf the first bowl down and try to resist from ordering a second bowl! Eat like the locals: Order a bowl and stand by the stall to eat it, while avoiding oncoming traffic like bikes and crazy cars attempting to squeeze by. I've had this cendol since I was a kid, when my parents used to bring our own containers so we could finish the amazing bowl of goodness in the car on the way home. Mmmm, memories! An alternative is ais kacang (shaved ice with red bean, corn, grass jelly and rose flavored syrup) topped with ice-cream at New World Park, or to us true blue Penangites, Swatow Lane. If you're getting ais kacang at New World Park, don't forget to try Ki Nya Kuih as well, little yellow and green jelly squares topped with gula melaka.

Photos and directions


Putu Mayam, coffee shop along Jelutong -- Yes, yes for people living in Jelutong who are rolling their eyes at me. I don't know exactly where this coffee shop is because all I do is tell my dad I'm craving it and lo and behold, it appears on the kitchen table the same night. Beautifully steamed light nets of rice flour noodles with grated coconut, brown and white sugar for dessert. What's not to love about this sweet Indian delight?

Photos -- apparently Pulau Tikus Market also sells it.

Ban Chang Kuih at Pulau Tikus - If you're lucky, you might see little stalls selling the same thing around the island but I'm a big fan of this stall in Pulau Tikus. It's near the Pulau Tikus Market and yes, Pulau Tikus is translated to mean Island of Mice, but so far, I have yet to see one and technically, it's not an island on its own. This is a crispy pancake sprinkled with ground peanuts and sugar as an original, basic version, but you can also add corn and egg to it. I usually have 1-2 pieces of the original and one with egg. It's an art watching the uncle deftly flipping each ban chang kuih as it perfectly browns and adding pancake mixture to the next hot plate. So good! Eat it fresh and crispy! There's also another stall in Pulau Tikus, opposite Maxim Bakery/Belissa Row, outside the coffee shop that sells pretty good duck rice.

Photos and directions.

I feel like I'm missing a lot more food favorites -- like corn juice (yup!) at late night Cheapside at Chulia Street and Beef Ball Noodles and Fried Oyster Omelette opposite Beach Road Fire Station -- so I'll update with a new post (fingers crossed!) after this weekend! 


Posted via email from I am Audrey.