Monday, August 18, 2008

Penang Day 2: More Food

After all that food, we hired a cab to take us to the new houses at Sri Pinang. Told you I love checking out bookstores, supermarkets and houses when I travel. It was super hot even though the housing project was by the sea. We spent a few hours there and then it was time to eat again. Not that we were hungry, but it was tea time. All three of us (Mom, me and Ming--representing 3 generations) are gluttons. I was especially surprised by my mom. She went along with everything and ate as much as we did, sometimes more.

I still had a long list of places and things I wanted to eat, and it was our last day in Penang. However, instead of running all over the place, I decided to just go to the corner shop at Penang Rd because I remembered that the last time we were there, everything was good. Now this was a very crucial decision because we didn't have that many meal opportunities left. Unfortunately, it was a wrong decision.


Look at that crowd at the famous cendol roadside stall. Yes, the stall with a picture of Phua Chu Kang eating its cendol.

Cendol, RM1.60/US$0.50.

Very good, full of gula melaka (palm sugar) and santan (coconut milk) flavor and I like that they used pandan-colored cendol (strips of cooked green bean dough soaked in shaved ice, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup) and not artificial bright green coloring. However, cendol is cendol, easy to make as long as you use quality, fresh ingredients and I don't see what is so special about this place that it's been getting the crowds all these years. Sure, the prices didn't seem to have gone up, and they have quite a variety of drinks but surely others can come up with the same thing? Yet the stalls right across it had no customers.

Air batu campur (ABC, 'mixed ice'), the best dessert of Malaysia in my opinion. That, and sago gula melaka of course.

ABC is the best thing to eat in our scorching hot weather. There's shaved ice, jelly, red beans, atap seeds, cream corn, cendol, rose syrup, palm sugar syrup, evaporated milk...awesome.

Assam laksa.

This is from the shop next to the cendol stall. This is the worst assam laksa I have eaten on this trip. The fish is totally mashed and tasted like canned sardines. Even the soup tasted of canned sardines, with a reddish color and slight tomato ketchup flavor. Most of the shop's customers were eating char kuey toew (CKT) and a guy at the next table was busy taking pictures of the CKT with a camera as big as a canon (now you know why Canon is called Canon). I must've ordered the wrong dish. But we were too full, and CKT was not our favorite. Btw, I've noticed that food portions are smaller in Penang than any place I've been to. Now that's what they should start doing in Oz, reduce the portion size before everybody looks like a truck.

Popiah (can't remember how much it cost).

Popiah is a mixture of veg and sauce wrapped in a thin (in this case, too thin) rice-flour pancake. This was totally unpalatable. Most of the filling was tasteless chinese radish shreds and mashed tofu.

Whatever happened to this shop? Later, when checking through my notes, I found that I am supposed to go to Kek Seng Coffeeshop on Penang road but this shop had no sign except a small one near the second floor that said "Joo Hooi Cafe". Is this in fact Kek Seng?


deb said...

Hie. In answering your query, the answer is No. Kek Seng has always been and still is known as kek seng. They have very nice chicken rice, poh piah, char koay teow, hokkien mee and koay teow thng there. You are right about that shop having everything nice under one roof. Unfortunately just like what you've come to realised, you went to the wrong shop.

jgirlpg said...

As deb has said, this is not Kek Seng. However, Kek Seng is within a short walking distance from where you were. And I think if you ask around, most people will be able to lead you there.

Additionally, this place that you went to, sucks. I think now it caters to only tourists.

Some time ago Bee contacted me and asked me about a Thai restaurant in Penang. She said her friend was visiting, but I didn't know that it was you. Heh.

Johnathan said...

Hi Terri, it should be Air Batu Campur instead of Air Batu Kacang (Note the acronyms). In Singapore they call it Ais Kacang.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

deb: this makes me feel terrible...but then it means i shd go back?

jgirlpg: *tearing hair out* is kek seng down tt the same street where cendol stall is? yes, mostly tourists frm singapore too.aiya! :) Bee's a wonderful girl :)

johnathan: and so it is! thnx 4 pointing out!

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