Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Penang Food Trip

I travel the world in search of great food. Last weekend in Penang was no exception. The trip was originally envisioned to be a food road trip. Maybe rent a car in KL and drive around to those far flung restaurants and eat something new. After a bit of thinking, we decided to go to Penang instead and join the weekenders of Nokia who were going there for their team outing. We took the 12mn bus from Puduraya and after nearly freezing for 4.5 hours, we finally made it to the the island of Penang.

Our first food stop was the mamak stall in Batu Ferringhi. Nothing was open yet so it was the only choice. I had breakfast of Roti Bakar with Planta Kaya and 2 soft boiled eggs (did i mention that this is an artery clogging cholesterol laden food trip?) plus teh tarik. Went around the city a bit afterwards to practice driving (see my other blog) and found ourselves in front of the Le Maison de Blue (a.k.a the blue house) which we failed to visit the last time Jay and I were in Penang. Finally I saw the infamous unesco world heritage site.

The second food stop was the Long Beach hawker stalls for dinner. We had grilled stingray, char siew pork, oyster cakes, beer and for take away- char siew pao. Glutonny. haha. We brought a bottle of Bacardi Rhum with us so we all got drunk in the hotel while pigging out on satay and siopao. The rhum tasted like cough syrup but what the heck..

Day 2 marked more food trips and road trips. I was slowly getting the hang out of driving on the wrong side of the road. I finally understood the concept of the roundabout. We left the hotel early to have brunch at Lorong Selamat in that famous Char Kuey Teow stall. Unfortunately we were too early so we let our stomachs guide us to the nearby Dimsum Food Restaurant (yep! that's the name). At first we thought it was a wedding. Dimsum pala. Ordered hakaw (genetically modified ata sa laki), siomai, siopao and several other varieties of dimsum. The waitress offered us "ride pork rips" (fried pork ribs) which Angeli thought to be "rice pork." It was really good.

An hour later we were feeling the MSG and was getting sleepy.So we headed towards Bukit Bendera for some site seeing. Unfortunately the funicular was fully booked till 330pm and it was only 1pm. The rain started to pour so we took shelter at the nearby stall and had ABC (the malaysian halo halo). I nearly had to make a side trip to the ER (naka plot ang hospital sa GPS ni gidiyap) as the ABC had pineapples (i am allergic) buti na lang I saw it before eating so I traded orders with jay. After spending some time in Kek Lok Si temple, we headed back to the hotel to rest.

For dinner we searched for pork. Lechong Kawali to be exact. We stopped at three food stalls (two along tanjung bungah) and 1 in Gurney drive. Lahat bigo. We braved the saturday night traffic in Gurney drive to find the elusive roasted pork. There was a restaurant that looked interesting and popular but their "serve no pork" sign drove us away (Pork nga ang hanap namin eh!) Finally we decided to just eat the the Song River food stall in Gurney driver where we settled for pork ribs (minus the buto), bakuteh, fried rice, char kuey teow, crab spring rolls, and some weird squid dish (settling talaga ang tawag eh no?). To appease our disappointment over not finding pork, we bought some grilled chicken wings for our pulutan.

The nokia girls joined us after dinner for a night of drinking (ayoko na iuwi yung bote ng bacardi) inside our hotel apartment. Everyone was tired but still game to just relax and chill.

On our last morning in Penang we decided to return to Lorong Selamat and eat at that char kuey teow stall. This time hindi na kami papayag na umalis ng bigo. After finding parking, we went to the stall (it was open!) only to be told that there was a 45 minute wait for the infamous noodles. What?!!! 45 minutes?!!! That was the only thing we understood from our interpreter. But since we really wanted to eat at this stall, we said yes. Jay decided to order some oyster cake from the nearby shop to kill time. 20++ or so minutes later our orders finally arrived. The verdict? IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT. Can't say anything else. The oyster cake was also delicious by the way.

After a brief stopover at Starbucks to cool down and use the toilet, the travelling trio headed back to the bus station to go home. Another food adventure finished.

Next destination please.

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