Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!
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Malaysia 

(Penang)

(23 May 2013 - 26 May 2013)

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Day 1

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An overdue family trip to Penang (a state in Malaysia). Penang is often known as “The Pearl of the Orient”. Other than this, Penang is also well known as the food capital of Malaysia, enticing visitors with lots of scrumptious cuisines.

On our way to Penang via TR2426 (Tiger Airways) [Flight Time : 1 Hr 30 mins]. Something that I have to mention here cos this special behavior of our co-passenger is simply irresponsible and disgusting. We were seated in 6D/6E and the lady siting in 6F was simply too engrossed with her iPhone. To ensure that we will reach Penang safe and sound, we have no choice but to take over the roles of the steward/stewardess of Tiger Airways. We reminded this lady sitting in 6F to switch off her dearest phone during both takeoff and landing. She must be one of the four (out of 10 passengers) who would use their devices during all phases of flight (including takeoff and landing). Something that I really couldn’t comprehend why these people can’t turn off their ‘precious’ phones for that few minutes.

Pickup from Penang Airport to GeorgeTown (Cititel Penang) via Ocean Jupiter. We were warmly greeted by Mr Micheal Fong. Apparently, Micheal is a highly recommended tour guide in Tripadvisor. We were so pleased with his service that we decided to engage him for our Day 3 of the trip. On way to Cititel, Micheal brought us to Batu Lanchang Market Food Complex (Address : Medan Batu Lancang, Lebuhraya Batu Lancang, Penang, GPS Coordinates: N5 23.378 E100 18.356) to experience some real hawker food from Penang.

[Credits to Grace for the above photos taken @ Batu Lanchang]

Something that you don’t find in Singapore. This Chinese style pasembur (Malaysian Indian Salad) comes with generous amount of shredded cucumber, bean sprouts, prawn fritters, bean curd and jellyfish. All ingredients go well with the sweet and slightly spicy sauce. We also had the usual Penang Hokkien Mee (Stall No. 6), Penang Char Kway Teow (Stall No. 42) and Chee Cheong Fun (Rice Noodle Roll). There’s a wide array of Malaysian food here in Batu Lanchang, we will definitely be back again for the variety of hawker food if we ever come back to Penang.

Reached Cititel in no time (30 mins by car from Penang International Airport) and here’s the pictures of our deluxe rooms. The location seems to be in an Indian area, so there’s plenty of Indian delicacies around the hotel. The room was relatively spacious and clean, best part would be the complimentary WiFi provided [Which was unfortunately terminated almost instantaneously when we checked out on Sunday subsequently - We checked out earlier than the standard 12 noon time-slot and the WiFi access was terminated almost instantaneously??!! Hhmm, Penangites are super efficient in this aspect! :P ].

Our next stop is the famous Penang Road Teochew Chendul which was about 200m away from Cititel [Address : Keng Kwee Street off Penang Road (Lebuh Keng Kwee - Besides Joo Hooi Coffeeshop). GPS Coordinates : N 5 25.030 E 100 19.835]. Interestingly, directly opposite this famous stall is another chendul stall (So make no mistakes, just look out for the queue). The chendul was rich, smooth and simply marvelous for chendul lovers like us! BTW, there is a shop-lot just down the road from where the chendul stall is.

You can sit comfortably in the shop and enjoy the lovely chendul and Assam Laksa (which was really delicious too).

Next, a visit to Gurney Plaza, that cost us RM18 on a taxi from GeorgeTown. There are basically two types of taxi on the streets in Penang. The regular red body taxi and the premium (executive) taxi in blue. Warning : It would be hard to find driver that’s willing to use the meter. Despite efforts to enhance the professionalism of taxis in Penang, the authorities have directed all taxis in Penang to use the meter, but seriously no drivers would honour that. Tips : Either negotiate the fare before climbing on board or just got to accept whatever that’s quoted. There are “fixed fares” from point to point in Penang, hence even if you ask a few taxis, likely you would be given the same price which they have been agreed upon the drivers. The thought of that really sucks.

Nothing much here in Gurney Plaza except to get hold of our Digi Prepaid card and a visit to Hui Lau Shan (许留山) and Kitschen (A cheaper version of Zalora). The Hui Lau Shan branch was surprisingly not crowded at all (compared to the Johor Bahru City Square outlet). BTW, you can forget about Gurney Drive Hawker Centre as we understand that this place is too touristy (Just like real Singaporeans don’t eat at Newton Food Centre).

Next, dinner at Little Kitchen @ Nyonya (娘惹小厨房) [Address : No. 179, Lebuh Noordin, 10300 Penang, Opp Kotmar; Tel: +604-261 6731 / HP : +6012-508 9338 / +6012-460 1338]. Do ensure reservations are made before you come down as there’s limited tables in this cosy restaurant.

We were lucky to be taken on a tour of the property and given explanation of the history of the restaurant. It felt like we were private diners in a mini Peranakan museum. The owners take pride in keeping their place and food of top quality. Mr Loh (one of the owner) was very patient with us, explaining the details and telling us lots of stories even though he was having a bad sore throat. The authentic Nyonya taste, the Peranakan furniture and the beautiful crockeries are too good to be missed! Be sure to bring a fully charged camera with plenty of appetite for the delicacies.

The old style menu….

Drinks with free refill. If you are here, do try out the Peranakan nutmeg drink :)

Peranakan Salad…

Hu Piew Tng aka Fish Maw Soup (鱼漂汤), a simple soup consisting of cabbage and carrots.

Assam Belai Hu (亚参黄梨鱼) - similar to Penang Assam Laksa, which was sour, sweet and spicy.

Sambal Udang (香料小虾) – We loved it so much that we had a second serving.

Nyonya Chap Chai (娘惹式炒杂次菜) – We had round 2 for that as well.

Petai Hea Bee (臭豆炒虾米)-  A Malaysian petai beans (supposedly good for clearing the bladders) dish with dried shrimp, chilli, onions, belacan commonly found in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Absolutely yummy!  We tried the Sambal Petai (三巴蝦炒臭豆) as well and we loved both dishes.

Chicken Lobak (卤肉) and Pig Liver Lobak (猪肝卤肉). Simply delectable!

Cincaluk Bak (虾酱炒猪肉) – Yet another delicious dish!

Tau Ewe Kay (酱油肉) with ginger that tasted just right.

Bikomoi – Black Glutinous Rice Broth (Bubur Pulut Hitam – 椰奶黑糯米糖水) - This is definitely one of the best Bubur Pulut Hitam that we have ever tasted. The texture of the boiled black sticky rice with the slightly salty coconut milk simply completes the flavour.

The food portions are small but satisfying. The damage was RM225 for 6 person, not cheap by Malaysian standards but we felt it was money really well-spent cos it was something we could not have tasted/experienced in Singapore. This was where we ate the most exquisite food and we certainly had the most unforgettable dining experience during our short trip to Penang.



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Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!

Day 1

______________________

Malaysia

(Penang)

(23 May 2013 - 26 May 2013)

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