Saturday, October 20, 2007

Penang here i come.......

Pick a few people from the streets of KL and ask them about Penang; chances are you might bump into several Penang-mali or even if you don’t, the responses would most likely be – good food, heavy traffic, aggressive drivers and so on. Interestingly, my affair with this island started in 1985, when my parents brought me to this little island to catch the ferry ride and sample some good old local food. For the first time, I couldn’t understand what my parents were ordering because Cantonese speaking Chinese was a bit of a minority there.

Believe it or not, it took me 14 years, a university degree and a job to get me to Penang again. I was auditing for my first employers and spent almost 2 months there. Good food and nice weather were blessings for me back then and though the work was tiring, I still found time and energy to drive around hunting for busy food places.

This trip however, I have a different car, a nicer place to stay and a lovely companion in the front passenger seat. En route to our destination on the weekend after the nation’s 50th Independence celebrations, we decided to stop in Ipoh for a light meal.

I present to you Kedai Kopi Ah Chow. Not exactly a very popular stop in Ipoh but busy enough for us to note that almost 70% of the tables wee filled by locals having their afternoon tea. Most of the stalls were already closing except for a char siew rice and this chee cheong fun stall. We decided to try the curry chee cheong fun since it’s pretty famous in Ipoh. We had 2 pieces, stuffed with dried shrimps and spring onion in it and topped with fried chalots, sesame seed, thick curry gravy and green chilly slices. I was told that there are better chee cheong fun stalls in Ipoh but this one’s already good enough for me. I like it coz the curry was thick for I don’t fancy this with diluted curry.

My tummy rating: 7.1/10

Next up, straight up to Penang to check in at Lone Pines Resort for a nice and relaxing weekend. Much has been said about this recently refurbished resort. Touted as an experience like no other resorts in Penang, I was gleefully anticipating this trip. True enough, it does feel different, when every other tourist you see here is a European, I felt like a foreigner here.

Our first dinner in Penang was at Goh Huat Seng Restaurant in Kimberly Street as the fried oysters came highly recommended. Indeed, it was great, perhaps one of the better ones I’ve tried thus far. My ruling for this stemmed mainly from its nicely balanced texture and generous amounts of fresh oysters. Here are the pictures:


For RM 8, I would certainly drive all the way to Penang just for this. I kid you not. You get not just coriander toppings but the clincher for this lies in its texture of crispy and soft batter. Parts of this dish are crispy and some are omelette-soft. It’s nice because in many other places, this dish is served soft.

We had ‘siu-buck-choy’ as well, stir-fried with garlic. A bit too salty for my liking but eaten with rice, it’s fine. Here it is:
And our last dish for the night was this Teochow style steamed fish. Again, coriander toppings (I dig coriander), ginger slices, tomato and asam-boi complete this dish. The fish was fresh and thankfully it wasn’t all that sour. Though I love this dish, I seldom place the order fearing that it may turn out to be a super sour affair. I know that this dish is supposed to be sour and a lil’ spicy with chillies and ginger but I had a few bad calls in the past. Some places, it’s just SOUR. Here though, it’s easier on your tastebuds, with or without rice.
All in, the dinner cost us RM 38.75 as follows:

1) Fried Oyster – RM 8
2) Vege – RM 9
3) Fish – RM 15
4) Rice – RM 1.40
5) Chinese Tea – RM 1.40
6) Groundnuts – RM 1.50
7) Napkin – RM 0.60
8) 5% tax – RM 1.85

Tummy rating: 8.8/10

17 comments:

celine said...

Oh, I miss Goh Huat Seng's home cooked style dishes...I always order their fish balls soup during my visits.

Fezzaboy said...

Fish ball noodle soup?.... hmmm... i'll keep that in mind for my next trip..

Jackson said...

oyster oyster oyster!! u got me crazy nw

Fezzaboy said...

Seriously, everytime i view this entry or these pictures... i salivate...

Firehorse said...

Yummmmm fried oysters, I luvvvv those, haven't had them in awhile.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

how come the oysters r cheaper then the vege ar?? hahaha

Christy said...

Oooo...I didn't know about Goh Huat Seng and their oysters..haha:p
Must bring my family there the next time!:D

Tummythoz said...

Yo, got d hang of putting up bigger pix to tempt eh! Lucky me no fan of oyster omelette

Judy said...

Lau nuah, lau nuah....the oh chien looks absolutely perfect. I can see there is enough oysters and the omelette is not too eggy with a pull to the bite. Slurrrrp!

wmw said...

Alamak, I still haven't gone Penang yet this year after planning for such a long time.

sc said...

wah, that's a very cheap meal! i know why tummythoz's not a fan of oyster omelette ;p *hush, hush*

Tummythoz said...

*stuff sc's mouth with .. err wanna do mee rebus?*

team bsg said...

we liked the last similar special northern fish dish teow chew style with the plums ( we tried in Bukit Mertajam) that feels quite like teow chew gals , u know coy and hard to get close,
since then we havent found it anywhere else( that difficult one)

Fezzaboy said...

Wah... like that also can ar..... teochew gals?.... let me sample a few first..... hehe...

jason said...

*Cracking brain thinking where is Kedai Kopi Ah Chow*

teckiee said...

oh yeahh will add this to the list to makan for the drive4food contest!..sep the oh chien

Rasa Malaysia said...

Aiya, actually for Goh Huat Seng, you probably wanted to try their tau cheo oysters instead of oh chien. The best oh chien is actually just right up the alley at the corner coffee shop of Kimberly Street and Carnavon Street. Also, the next time you are there, try their Or Nee Puff (think curry puff but filled with Teochew Yam Paste). OMG, I just found out they served these as dessert this time around. Anyway, GHS is my most favorite restaurant in Penang, period. And please try the steamboat too, with the old copper tube in the middle charcoal ones. I took Eating Asia there and she went back again the next day. Wait for my pictures of GHS soon :)

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