Monday, November 8, 2010

Food, food and more food in Penang

The idea is simple and the execution is simpler : Go Penang, Eat, Check-in hotel, go out back to eat, rest for 30 minutes or so, go look for another place to eat, change places to eat at another location, eat, tweet about what we eat, check out the reply to the tweets so we can try out more food.

In chronological order, here is our Penang food-trail :

1) Arrived at the Nasi Kandar place called Line Clear at 6am on Friday morning, a small between-shops which is well-known but I consider it to be overrated especially when you see the rats running around the area at that time of the day. It is closed although it is clearly stated there that it is open 24 hours. Those at the shops say that it will open at 8.30am. Decided not to wait and off we went to check-in at our apartment;

2) After our Friday prayer, we went to a place called Hameediyah at Jalan Campbell which has a history predating the founding of Penang itself. We were not that impressed as there are many food items missing. However, we consider their Mee Goreng Mamak is the best item on the menu.

3) After that meal, we scoured the nearby place which is around a place called a wet market called Chowrasta and found a few chendol places and a cucur place which serves wicked Air Campur (which consist of water and syrup and coconut pieces and biji selasih and then some air limau. I have a video of how it is made, which I will upload later in another blogpost, and like any street stall's vendor, the skill is amazing);

4) Then we took a breather before going to a place in Teluk Tempoyak, near Batu Maung, which I insisted on going to experience seafood at a different level. Fresh off the sea and grilled. We ate so many prawns either 'goreng masak cili', 'masak tepung' or those inside our mee udang. The only missing item that night was squids as the stall selling it was closed that day. I took the satisfaction of hearing them say they don't mind coming back to that place just to eat the seafood;

5) Supposed to go to a nasi kandar place called Nasi Kandar Beratur but was too tired even after we went to have some Turkish coffee and some baklava at Tarbush, a place near Batu Ferringhi. Missing there was an offering of shisha which would have made it perfect;

6) At 10am the next morning (Saturday) we went to a roti canai place at Jalan Transfer which also has telur mata on toasted bread. It was heavenly though the place is very small and it seems they are there since 1940s. It is an institution to say the least;

7) Bought some roti benggali fresh from the oven which someone (@kzamri) on Twitter who recommended it. The place was once named Ismaalia but is seemed (according to the man at the roti canai place) "Is sudah lari, tinggal Malia saja", so the named is Maalia Roti Benggali. It was heavenly to walk into the place and smell the freshly baked bread;

8) Went back to Chowrasta area and we decided to risk eating at Line Clear. Ate and still think I can get the same taste anywhere in KL. Meaning that I was not that impressed but the food is on par with the best nasi kandar in KL;

9) Went back to the area within Chowrasta and have the same thing that we had on Friday but I drank 2 glasses of the Air Campur and thanks to foursquare, got to know its name which is Ais Tingkap Taufique.

10) At 10pm, we had our next food stalls gastronomic experience at Gurney Drive, a must visit cluster of stalls which has a Chinese section and a more halal section. However, most just sit wherever one can find space within the same area. We had pasembor, otak-otak, mee goreng mamak, nearly ordered a gigantic burger and the usual teh tarik.

11) We were supposed to go to another nasi kandar place called Nasi Kandar Beratur but my wife and I surrendered early and only one person managed to taste this concoction as she was the only one brave enough to travel the distance required to reach the middle of the town at 3am.

12) On the final day, we had another nasi kandar which was not the one we had intended to go but a shop just beside it. If the one we tasted is already good, we wonder about how good is the one sold ast the shop which was closed. The name of the restaurant which was closed is Tajuddin Hussein and the one we ate at was Dawood. Ayam piru, kurma kambing and ayam goreng freshly fried. A fitting end before we made our way back.

Even reading this list has made me hungry again and this will not be our only trip as we really enjoyed the food there...


  1. Hameediah punya nasi kandar is so much better than Line Clear

  2. kecur air liur aku!

    nway..Khir Omar tu macam kawan aku kerje kat damansara damai..

  3. Ya lah agaknya tu. Dia memang keja kat Damansara Damai