30 April 2007

Petaling Street in Penang, The Beginning

The Star reported that from tomorrow 1st May 2007, that there will be a New Night Market at Cambell Street operated by Penang Municipal Council. It will operate from 6pm till 11pm for one month before moving to 3 other locations namely Johor Road, Ls Salle School in Air Itam and Batu Lanchang before returning to Cambell Street in September. The Long term goal is to turn Cambell Street into a permanent night market area and hope to be a hit with the tourists.
Snapshots say "Well and Good" you have my full support, congratulation on getting up and say let do some thing to attract the tourist back to Penang. Do some thing more like what is suggested by Restaurant Owner Ibrahim, quote "we need something more unique and exciting to lure tourist", " we should organise more cultural events in the area. " unquote by the Star.
Snapshots suggest:
1) Allow & encourage the current shop operators to expend in to the 5 foot way or even on to the road, to keep the unique identity of Cambell Street. this is especially for the Restaurant / Food Operators.
2) Other Stalls to be restricted to the middle of the road or on the 5 food way for those shops who do not want to extend out or is close. Do not block shop that are open. Stalls Should not "block" the views.
3) Ensure Walkways for passage.
4) Presence of POLICE in required in all areas along the street to discourage bad hats.
5) Have a Street Carnival, Street Cultural events, Street Magic Shows, Street Dance, etc to attract people along the entire road at the same time not only at selected points and on not on stage!!!! the whole idea is to make the tourist / people move along to see things and not camp out at certain areas only so that all the stalls benefits.
6) Get enough Parking for Cars and Tourist Bus!!!!!!!
Once I pay a visit, there will be more suggestions.

29 April 2007

Sim Nam Hong Cafe, at Komtar Penang

A old Chinese Coffee Shop, currently located at KOMTAR, Phase 1. This coffee house which was located in the vicinity before KOMTAR, was build was relocated in to KOMTAR is located in a bit out of the way location. However if you want good Coffee Shop / Street Food (especially old style) while you are in the complex, this is one of the few locations.
When i drop in on this Wednesday, early around 12 noon, most of the stall was close, however lucky for me two of the best stall was open. The Tim Sum Stall here is good, with a wide verity of choice. See Picture below. What unique here is the Ikan Haruan Pau, and the Steam Otak Otak. Give it a try especially the Ikan Haruan Pau which is not common at all.
We had the Har Kau - Prawn Dumpling, the Siew Mai - Pork Roll, and the Seaweed Siew Mai, The Prawns in the Har Kau was covered in Fish Meat, The Siew Mai was Ok, but the Seaweed Siew Mai, was excellent, fragrant and soft.
The Hong Kong Chee Chong Fun, (prawn fill), was soft, and smooth. If I am not mistaken, all the Tim Sum are homemade, not factory manufactured.
I had the Yong Tau Fu, which mean to most is the Fish Meat fill vegetables, to me it is Pork Spare Parts of various types in a broth, serve with Yam Rice.
The Yam Rice was not up to expectation, however the pork spare parts were correctly prepared.
Location :
Phase 1 Komplex Tungku Abdul Rahman
Go to the Tower Entrance (where Maybank is located) take the escalator up one floor, turn left and go straight till you come towards the back.

26 April 2007

Macalister Road, Chicken Rice

One of my favourite meal is Chicken Rice. For me it must be steam chicken (not roasted or fried). Along Macalister Road (further away from town) next to the Grand Paradise Hotel, there is a Chicken Rice Stall that have long been a favourite of mine, however due to it's location in town is not a place i visit frequently.
Parking is easy. The Shop is not too busy and one can easily find a seat. And more importantly the Food it self. The Steam Chicken is smooth, comes with beansprouts (not common in Penang) the Rice is Fragrant and Not Oily, and the soup of the day is nice and have some substance.
Picture here are for your reference in finding out this Place. Open: Lunch Only, Give it a try if you are in town, Macalister Road, George Town.

23 April 2007

Nibong Tebal, Tosai

I am always looking around for good food, especially in places where i can park with out any problems. I was inform by locals that there is an exceptionally good Tosai, (Indian Pancake) available at the Nibong Tebal Railway station for breakfast some time back. My chance came recently while passing by Nibong Tebal. On the old Trunk Road in to Nibong Tebal at the Fly Over going in to the town, you will notice a small train station, (Note: As you turn left to get in to the town while comming down the fly over, it is on your right. There is no signboard ) The Tosai Stall is in the Station it self.
First Impression is that it must be exceptional to get customers in such a out of the way place. There was a table of 8 Chinese, Locals I believe. Service is Fast, our order was taken and our Plates Arrive.
The Plates is Banana Leaf, (real traditional style) and the accompaniments (see below) were, dhal curry, chutney, and by special request fish curry. The Tosai, arrive one at a time, were crispy, fluffiness and with the right amount of sourness.
As this is my second breakfast for the day, i took only one, my friends took 2 each, Every Bite was wonderful. Oh yes before I forget, You get to eat with your hands. I don't get to eat tosai every day, or even every year. It is a Rare dish to find and it is even harder to get a good tosai. Cost of 5 Tosai, with Fish Curry, 3 Hot Drinks, RM6.60 total, in a atmosphere Old Railway Station.
A real Railway station, not like the Fake Railway Station at Victoria Station. Well with the Northern Double Tracking about to begin. I strongly suggest those who want to try this tosai out, to drop by soon. Because once works begin, this tosai seller will have to move some where or will shut down.
Open for Breakfast Only.

22 April 2007

Battle of the Chef - Roti Canai Contest

Just Snapshots of the Roti Canai Making Contest, @ Battle of the Chef, 2007, held at Bayview Beach Hotel (April 18th). The Photos Tell the Story.
"Spreading"the Roti Canai
Serving the Judges with the finish Product. Hang On, the Judges are "Aliens", Do they know what is Roti Canai?
The Hungry Crowd, Waiting for the "Roti Canai" to Fly to them

Pasar Malam

Pasar Malam or Night Market is a "supermarket" along the road, in a field, usually at night, open once a week (however there are pasar malam that stay at a location for a longer period before moving), to provide for a community requirements especially in the rural areas.
Various Items are sold in individual open air "stores", from cloths to toys to food stuffs to VCD as well as the usual street food, (that is what i am interested in). The Street food can be surprisingly different and good at time. In general it is tasty, but "rough", the true essence of Street food. For this night dinner I (Takeaway) had Sushi, Satay, Koey Teow Thng and Deep Fried Yam Dumplings.
Pasar Malam has also become a Tourist site, especially for Pasar Malam near Hotels, where tourist can experience the "Local" life. However I must say that most Pasar Malam near Hotel looses it character as it turn into a large souvenir shop selling items from China, Indonesia,
Thailand and other countries and at higher price. So for Real Local Life, search for a rural street market.
Each Pasar Malam, has it unique character, base upon it's individual location, The photo's taken here are from a Pasar Malam at Val d'Or / Valdor a Chinese New Village (Resited) at Seberang Prai Selatan, Penang Mainland (South). Open only on Thursday, this Pasar Malam is very Chinese base, as with it's clients 90% Chinese, Here you will find Chinese base street food, the usual as well as the more "special" dish.
You may notice I give 2 spelling for the Village, This is because in International Maps it is given as Val d'Or, (French for Valley of Gold) while the road sign give it Valdor. Well I definitely prefer the first version.
This new village is well laid out in a grid patten, though with narrow lanes, It has it's own volunteer fire station, market, Chinese school, chicken farm, shop, coffee shops, temple .... (More on that in a later Post.)
Back to the Pasar Malam, Location: From the Main Trunk Road, Butterworth to Ipoh, turn left after you come towards a flyover at the Valdor Sign board, (Intersection with traffic light) and turn left at the first T Junction. First street on the left.
Open, Thuesday from 7pm onwards.

Battle of the Chef

The Title "Battle of the Chef" invokes ideals of Chef, battleing each other with pots and pans, or Cooking battles ala Iron Chef.
Well it is Battle of the Chef is a contest organise in Penang by the Chef Association, with various cooking categories, display categories as well as "entertainment" such as a juggling contest (Bartendering / Cocktail Making) a dancing competition ( Roti Canai ) & (Nescafe Tarik). This Year (2007) was held in Bayview Beach Hotel, Penang.
As one of the persons working in the Hospitality Industry, I drop by to take a look at what new, as well as to rub shoulders with suppliers and friends.
Here are some of the Photos I snap at the Competition area, Enjoy

17 April 2007

Indian Market

Location: Off Penang Road, Near the State Police Headquarters.
Know among the Chinese Penangite, as the Indian Market, Penang Chowrasta Street Market is a favorite with my family as well as my wife family especially during a "Feast" Day.
Well not the Market in side, but the street market. Why is it know as Indian Market, I have no idea at all.
This place have a Local “Colour”, operates in the Morning daily blocking off 3 streets, around the market. You do not find only food stuffs here but other items including Street Food.
You can find Fried Pork Intestine Porridge, Char Koey Kak, (a dish similar to Fried Koey Teow), " Oil Fried Devil " (Direct Translation) , and the more usual items along the street, and in the Coffee Shop along the road.
This to me is a fantastic place to bring Foreign Tourist, But that is my opinion. A tourist will have a wonderfull time wondering around this 3 streets looking, taking photos of scene even a Malaysian would not find now a days.
I was snapping away with my K750i, in my “Candid Camera” mode, not wanting to be notice, to catch the “Real” live action.
For one of the Best Roast Pork In Town
For Breakfast, We stop at the corner coffee shop
For Hokkian Mee Soup
And Jawa Mee, a Chinese Style Mee Rebus