30 May 2007

Western Food in the Country Side

Finding a Place for Western Food in The Country Side away from the Main Urban Areas is difficult. Of course you can find the Ramli Burger Stall, and the KFC Shops which you will find all over malaysia. Well one night my wife decided not to cook and my daughter wanted Mushroom Soup (as usual, her second favourite food after slice process cheese). In Sebernag Prai Selatan there is this shop that sell Western Food as well as Korean Steam Boat.
Name of Restaurant : Westown Corner
Location: Main Trunk Road from Bukit Mertajam down to Nibong Tebal. After the Val D'or flyover at the 2nd Traffic light turn left, It's the corner shop
Type of Food : Western Food and Korean BBQ
Category: Air Con / Non Air Con / Alfresco Cafe
Price : $$ Normal Western Food Pricing for a Cafe
Parking : Just park anywhere NO cops around
Time : Dinner
When we walk in I have to say my expectation are high, Very High, Nice set up, shiny tables and chairs just like what a normal cafe in the Urban areas would have, with 2 projection TV's and Magazines (all Mandarin) The Menu was interesting with a large selection, even with Cod Fish, foot long sausage, giant burger for 4 persons, nice selection of beverage and coffee. The Service Staff Speaks Mandarin and look inexperience running around, after all what can you expect out here i thought.
I decided to have the Cod Fish, My Wife the Tomato Soup with Seafood, and Fish and Chip, and my eldest wanted her usual Mushroom Soup and a banana split.
After the Order was taken, the disappointment started, No Cod Fish, Ok I said , Give me a Teriyaki Chicken and a Tiger.
The Tiger Came, with a rock glass, request for a chilled glass resulted in a "What the #^%^& you want look" I ask for Ice in a glass. Banana Split Arrive, as well as my wife drink. Then the Tomato Seafood Soup arrive. Looks Good with a Fried Mantau (Flower Bun) on the side, No Spoon, I must say the soup is OK with a verity of Seafood in it.
Next came my Teriyaki Chicken, with the french fries facing towards me, and no fork and knife, again chicken with out head running around before i got the knife and spoon, which actually came after the tomato and chillie sauce. Of course the Tiger keep me occupied.....
I turn my chicken around and look again, to me it look like Chicken with Mushroom Sauce. With no sign of Teriyaki Sauce.... Sigh...... I said to my self, just eat it who knows, nice & simple decoration.....
the fish and chips arrive, no surprise, just the usual chicken with out head for the fork and knife. In all fairness, the cashier is good, the waiters are new and need training(could be part time staff, (no supervisor) Where is the mushroom soup, after some running around chicken with out head style, finally came the mushroom soup, it seem it was not ordered.
The chili and tomato sauce needs improvement,
The Gents was interesting, very clean and smell nice, look at the basket place in side.
I will give this place a A for Trying very hard, it look nice just like or even better then the cafe in Urban KL, but overall i feel that this place fall below expectation in the delivery.

22 May 2007

Breakfast at Pulau Tikus, Another Visit

On the other side of Pulau Tikus, along Burma Road, Oppersit of the Pulau Tikus Police Station, near the Pulau Tikus Market, there is a old coffee shop that goes with the name of Kwai Lock. Operating way back in 1970's if not further back (This coffee shop is a must for breakfast for my parents, when ever we are back in Penang during my early years), this Coffee Shop have a large number of Hawkers offering good food, and is open mainly for breakfast and lunch.
Name of Restaurant : Kwai Lock Coffee Shop Location: Burma Road Oppersit the Pulau Tikus Police Station Type of Food : Stree Food Galore Category: Non Air Con Old Style Coffee Shop Price : ($ to $$) Parking : Available around the side lanes Time : Breakfast & Lunch Non Halal Food
This morning we try out the Curry Mee, which is compareable with the New Garden Coffee Shop Curry Mee. In fact I remember my grandma having the Curry Mee here years ago. Aromatic Soup, Excellent chillie ....... top 95%
Char Koey Teow, Normal, 70% rating, done the way i like it.
Sar Hor Fun, done the Old style way, Fairly good.
The Koey Teow Thng is excellent, though pricy at RM4/- per bowl, full of goodies
Give the Hokkian Mee a miss.
This Coffee shop have a large number of stall in side and outside, Many more then what i can have for breakfast. Give it all a try ....

20 May 2007

Penang Flee Market

At Lorong Kulit Flee Market you find Old and New Side By Side. This Flee Market use to operate at Rope Walk at Downtown George Town, Penang Capital, were move to the Penang State Stadium(Island) main carpark a number of years back. This Open Air Market is open daily from 8am + to around Midday, where most of the Stalls will close. It draws a large crowd daily which will double during the week end.
Here you can find all sorts of stuffs, as i said Old stuffs or Junk or New Items such as replica watch, electronic gadgets, cloths, etc and in my humble opinion is a good place to bring the tourist to, except you will not find any here.
I will let my Camera Phone do the talking except for a few comments here and there.
Cheaper Cloths for sale! Don't forget to Bargain!

Bonsai and Plants for Sale!

Hardware, Electronic Items and stuffs!

Fruits! and they are Cheep!! Load up on Grapes and other fruits.

Junk?, Antiques and such, The main Stay of Lorong Kulit! See that Esso signage.

Odd and Ends, Old Electrical Stuffs and such.
Brass Items!
Worn out Electrical and other Goods.

More antiques!
Pets to take home.
Thief Market?
New Handphones, and Goodies, MP3 Players as well.
More Junk?

Money Changer? Nope, Money Collector, Coins, Notes, Stamps etc ........
To me this is the Unique Equivalent of KL Petaling Street! that the MPPP is trying to create at Campbell Street at night! I will finish this Post off with a saying, One man Poison is another man Meat, One man Junk is another man Treasure! See you there.....
Comment: SE K750i, camera seem to work better in the daytime then night.

19 May 2007

Tai Tong Tim Sum

Fancy having Tim Sum at Night? Usually Tim Sum is consume in the Morning for Breakfast with a few Upmarket Restaurant serving it for Lunch. Tim Sum at night can be usually found at certain food courts, It is rare to find a restaurant serving Tim Sum at Night As such This Tai Tong Restaurant in Penang (Nothing to do with the Giant Restaurant Chain base in KL) is pretty unique.
Name of Restaurant : Tai Tong Restaurant.
Location: 45 Leboh Cintra, Just a few steps from Campbell Street.
Type of Food : Tim Sum, and Restaurant Food
Category: Non Air Con Restaurant
Price : ($$)
Parking : Available
Time : 6am - 3pm, 6.30pm till 12pm)
Non Halal Food
A typical Olden Days Chinese Restaurant (non aircon) that does pretty good tim sum, fried noodles & Restaurant Chinese Food. Tim Sum here are serve in heated trolleys in metal baskets. You will find all the usual verity of tim sum here fried, steam etc
As it is a small shop, the trolley's come around quite frequently, so you do not need to order a lot of item at a go.
In the above picture, you have (Clock wise from top left), Pork Legs in Vinegar - very good taste but small pieces of pork legs only, Siew Mai - OK , Prawn Roll - OK , Fried Beancurd Prawns - Crispy (upper left) Shark Fin Har Kow - OK, Prawns with Century Egg - OK , stew chicken legs - well 50 - 50, a seaweed roll - well can be better, and Har Kow - OK.
In this picture from lower left, you have egg tart, excellent the best dish in the restaurant, the egg is silky soft, yam dumplings - OK.
Hor fun here, is the old style Hor fun, with Pork Liver, which is quite difficult to find. The Pork liver is cut thick, as such it is not overcook. - Excellent dish to order.
They also have a very good longan jelly, see photo below,
As usual in restaurants where tim sum is serve in trolleys, you will have the order chit on the table.
Items range from RM0.60 to RM6.00, with majority of items in the RM2.00 to RM3.00 range total damage for dinner of 2 adults, 1 child and toddler came up to RM42/- inclusive of Chinese Tea. Pretty Fair Price for a Non Air Con Restaurant.
Must Have dish in the restaurant is the Hor Fun, Egg tart, and the Longan Jelly.

17 May 2007

Petaling Street in Penang, What Happening

On the Opening day of Petaling Street in Penang, there were street dance, A good start so I thought when reading the News paper report. One fine Tuesday nite, i decided to drop by at Campbell street to take a look at what was happening at Penang "Petaling Street"
It was very quite, with not all the lots occupied, not many people was walking around, but there were 2 policeman on duty(that good). Talking to some of the nearby traders, this is the typical daily crowd, the weekend crowds is not much better either. Well MPPP, better do some thing about it and fast.
What is available here? Just your typical Pasar Malam stuffs, Infact the Pasar Malam at Val D'or in Seberang Prai Selatan is much better. Any way MPPP, just look at the Pasar Malam at Batu Ferringhi. It has the stuffs the tourist wants and appreciate. At Campbell street, at this rate it is going........ it may well be gone soon.
The Street Food here, well the only well know food is the Penang Laksa, of the 6 food stalls there. The rest you have taiwan sausage ..... you get the picture.
The Stalls are place in a manner they block the "Shops", There is No Tourist Attraction, the lights are too few and not impressive, Just the Normal Stuffs for a small time pasar malam being traded, again nothing to attract tourists, and a few stall was occupying 5 lots, as the lots size are too small. Of course there are a few lots that were interesting but they are just too few, too small to be notice.
I hope for the traders sake, business will improve, as i am sure some of them are trying their best, Just that there are no tourist coming here. Why? Are promotional effort being done in the individual Travel Agencies, the State Penang Tourist PPL?
Will i come back here again. Well no when there are better pasar malam all over Penang, or I can drop in to KL Petaling Street. (note: last two photo's from a stall at cintra street)

Char Koey Teow Malay Style

Char Koey Teow Malay Style definitely means one thing, no pork, However up North here Malays Char Koey Teow can mean another thing. (Picture Below is another thing). Normal Char Koey Teow is usually found in Coffee Shops, food court and so on. Malay Char Koey Teow is usually found is Open Air Warongs (Small Road Side Coffee Shacks), and in mainly malay areas.
Needing A Fix of Char Koey Teow one night lead me to this Warong located opposite the South Masjid of Sungai Bakap, Near the hospital. This warong operates at night and charge RM2.50 for a plate for Fried Koey Teow (Not fried to me) that was swimming in a Prawn, Chillies and Egg gravy (Like Hor fun), but surprisingly tasty, Good enough for me to have 2 . When I was around in KL and in the south, I cannot find this version of Malay Char Koey Teow.
The total damage for 5 plates, 3 drinks came up to RM14.50. Give it a Try, Halal

13 May 2007

Tanjung Bunga Night Market

As mention in my previous post on Night Market, each individual Night Market have its own character, and even individual items sold there. At Tanjong Bungah, an Important Town in Penang (the Chief Minister Constituency for the past 8 elections i think) with 4 International class hotels, the TAR college, the Pasar Malam here have a more international flavour.
Located at all around Tanjung Bungah Market, along its service roads and carpark, This Night Market operates from 7pm till 10pm on Tuesday Nights only, and offer different selection of Stalls and better quality of product from my earlier post of Night Market at Val D'or. Below are a few snapshots of food products found here.
At the Market Food Court, you can find Hong Kong Chee Chong Fun, prepared fresh and right in front of you. A difficult dish to prepared as we have to steam the dough in a steamer together with its stuffing of Prawns or Char Siew (BBQ pork), and then transferred to a marble slap for it to be rolled. It is then Cut and plated, and topped with a soya sauce dressing with Chillie paste. Normally found where tim sum is serve in restaurant, this dish cost just a affordable RM2 per plate here. It may not be the best, but it is close to the best.
Frankie Pizza, a top Penang Base Franchise Pizza, from way back, started around 1990, now have a few outlets in Coffee Shops as well as in Night Market. This is Pizza Malaysian Style, with Mayonnaise. At this night market here Pizza comes in a Van with a built in Oven and it is bake fresh (from prebake pizza base, to cut down the preparation time)
Penang is know for its Poh Piah, or unfried Spring Roll, (same ingredients as fried spring roll but with a "fresh" wrapper. Here in the above Picture we have the Malays Version of this dish. Quite High Fiber / Healthy as it incorporates steam vegetables with turnips, cucumber, carrots with various flavoring ingredients such as chillies paste, or fried mini shrimps.
Here we also have a Pet "Shop" with various assorted pets for sale.
a Upmarket KL franchise pow, have also open up, cannot remember the name, but it start with B. This stall have various special pows such as Ocean Delight and as such. Other Stalls like VCD, Sunglasses, Vegetables, Fruits, and other Food Stalls are available here as well. Parking is terrible, as the Night Market is located on the Parking lots, and the early birds park at the unused bus station. I usually have to park on the main road, and walk in to the Market. May be our Chief Minister can look into this problem.