Monday, June 30, 2008

Seafood at Hock Lye Restaurant (Weld Quay)

Have you been to a seafood restaurant in Penang and not have real seafood? Well, that's precisely what we have done last weekend. In order to celebrate one of our relatives birthday, we opted to try some new eating places. We did some research on the Internet and discovered a seafood restaurant which we haven't tried, situated along the Jelutong Express highway. It took us a while to find the place since it's well hidden behind the flats along Gat Macallum street. I bet most Penangnites don't even know that it existed. To get there, you would need to drive into the Harbour Trade area by taking the right turning as you come from the Jelutong Express highway. Take another right turning into the first lane and keep following the road. You should already see a signboard of the restaurant.

The restaurant comes with ample parking space but nonetheless, it's good to come early. The restaurant itself is spacious. This was great because this means the kids would be able to run around without banging into things. All this translate to peace for the parents and absolute full concentration when it comes to eating.

As part of our austerity drive, we didn't order the "big guns". This means no prawns, steamed fish, crabs etc. Instead, we ordered stir fried mantis prawns with dried chillies as a substitute of prawns. If you ask your parents, they will tell you that during their time, nobody eats mantis prawns. It's considered a food for those less well off. However, time has changed. Today, a plate of mantis prawns could set you back by RM20-30.

Fish curry - minus the fish head :).

Braised pork in Thai sauce topped with dried shrimps. One would imagine this is a weird combination but it tasted good. The contrasting texture of the softness of the pork and crunchiness of the shrimps made it a real pleasurable eating experience. The sweet and sour Thai sauce also adds some tang to the dish.

Bean curd. No comments. The bean curd tasted bean curd. I'll be surprise if it tasted otherwise.

Chicken fried with marmite. They had to be good since they were obliterated in just moments.

Stir fried kai lan.'s the star of the day. You don't get to see this guy everyday. Apparently, my brother in-law discretely ordered it since he cannot tahan not having proper seafood. We weren't sure what's it's called. I have been told that it is some kind of crab. The opening of that thing is stuffed with rho, chili padi, onions, pineapple and augmented with Thai sauce.

The finally comes in the form of the birthday cake. We got this from Tesco Extra. Jamie Oliver would put it; happy days, mate. Happy days.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Penang Hokkien Mee at Sin Kim San Coffee Shop (Georgetown)

Like most Saturday mornings, I would take with my in-laws and the rest for breakfast. We usually end up having dim sum in Georgetown. Same old, same old. *Sigh*. I decided that I needed to do something different to break this pattern. I can't imagine having dim sum week after week. Urgh! Don't get me wrong. Dim sum is one of my favorite food but it gets boring when you have it too often. I decided to exercise my veto (privilege of being the driver :)) this time and pressed for hokkien mee at Sin Kim San coffee shop. Surprisingly enough, there weren't any protest. Not that the protest would make any difference but it's good to know that the thoughts of the masses are in sync with mine.

We made our way to the coffee shop which is located at the end of Rangoon road. While Sin Kim San is well known for it's hokkien mee in the mornings, the banana pancakes and char koay teow are a must try. Unfortunately, these three stalls operate till noon everyday so it's no surprise that there are a lot of people patronising these stalls during weekends.

Penang Seang Lim Top Taste Hokkien Mee.

Don't play play. The owner, Annie also has a business card. You can call to order for special occasions too. If you are unsure where the coffee shop is, there is an address below the business card.

You have the option of having the 'pai kut' (pork ribs) or the 'hae kor" (mantis prawn) hokkien mee. Which ever that you have, they both pack a punch. The hokkien mee comes with a generous helping of shrimps, lard and if my case - extra 'pai kut'. The pai kut was just wonderful. It's soft, tender and comes off easily from the bone. Additionally, the prawn stock is also very tasty. I'm assuming like most hawker food, some MSG has been added to the prawn stock to give it an extra kick. Nonetheless, no complains here.

We also had the banana pancake with raisins and sesame seed. I use to go to the coffee shop at Beach Street (opposite the Standard Chartered bank) for my weekly dose of banana pancakes. Unfortunately, it's now closed ergo we come to Sin Kim San instead.

My wife loves the char koay teow here . She normally have it with extra bean sprouts. I 'taxed' her koay teow and it's definitely better than Sister's char koay teow at Macalister road. It has more flavour and tastier than Sister's char koay teow which I think is over rated and expensive. This char koay teow comes with a sizable amount of prawns and more importantly, it's cost only RM3.

Oh! We also had siu mai which we bought from the stall outside of Sister's char koay teow. This is arguably the best siu mai in town as it's made from lean pork and fish. As the wise saying goes "Old habits die hard". It will certainly take a while before we completely stay clear from dim sum. Damn those dim sum.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Colonel Sander's Spicy Fried Chicken

Have you ever stop to ponder the growing uncertainties around us today? In Malaysia, we are hit by fuel prices jumping to a record high. To aggravate matters, there is a shift in political landscape, a growing discontentment among the population towards the general policies of the government, a scandalous judiciary system, rising costs of living and more. All these point towards a recipe for disaster for the ruling government. And to digress away from politics, there are of course some recipes that purely delight and stimulate your taste senses. For instance, KFC's fried chicken marinated with 11 spices and herbs. I thought it's about time I pay the Colonel a visit.

I have got a couple of meal vouchers from my wife and will redeem them for a snack plate. She said there are plenty where they came from. rider. It looks like it's going to be KFC this whole week.

The snack plate consisted of 2 pieces of chicken, a bun, mash potatoes and some coleslaw. Here's where the power of observation comes in. I notice that when you order spicy instead of the original recipe, the chicken pieces seem to be a lot larger. I'm an advocate of the original recipe but hell, if I'm going to get smaller pieces, I rather switch camp. If you do experience the same observation, please do comment.

Yummy. Unlike what's going on in the country, this is one recipe that is certain to delight me the whole week. After all, who am I to complain? It's free.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Auntie Anne's Pretzels

Incidentally while I was at Queens Bay Mall last Friday, Auntie Anne's was having a Free Pretzel Day promotion from 11am to 2pm. This is in conjunction to Auntie Anne's 20th World Anniversary and 12th year presence in Malaysia. The freebies consisted of pretzels rolled by hand and baked to golden brown. The choice was either Original or Cinnamon Sugar. While the pretzels were tempting, I decided I couldn't stay any longer as the queue was building up.

Alas, I couldn't resist the salty, savory, sweet and tangy Auntie Anne's pretzels anymore and while I was in Gurney Plaza the following day, I did the obvious.

Almond coated pretzels.

Pretzel stix coated with Cinnamon sugar.

While I was chomping down my pretzels, I learnt a thing or two about them. Do you know that the origins of pretzels can be traced back to Southern Germany in particularly Bavaria? So, note this. Germany isn't only about sausages, beers, football and ohm-pa-pa girls but also pretzels too. Guten tag.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hot dogs for Lunch - 1901 outlet

When the word hot dog pops out in any conversation in Malaysia, one would immediately equate it to 1901. And for those with a one dimensional thinking yes.... a sausage in a bun! 1901 is the local food franchise outlet that serves a variety of hot dogs and drinks. While we were window shopping (economy meleset so have to window shop) in Gurney Plaza during the weekend, we decided to patron one of their hot dog kiosk.

1901 offers a variety of hot dog selections ranging from Chicago beef, New York chicken, Coney Dog and more. In addition to hot dogs, they have now added variety to their menu with the inclusion of sandwiches and burgers. While the ala-carte selection offers more flexibility, we opted for the set menu since it's slightly cheaper. In uncertain times, a few savings here and there can go a long way.

A snapshot of the New York chicken. All that is missing is mustard! What's hot dog without mustard. This one is probably tailored to the local taste in Malaysia where everything must go with ketchup. I cannot imagine New Yorkers having their hot dogs without mustard.

The set menu comes with a drink - orange juice.

It has been a while since I have been to 1901. It took me by surprise that 1901 is now expanding it's menu to include burgers. It looks tempting but whether it's comparable to Burger King, I wont know till I try it. More reason to eat. :)

Aha..what's this? A happy camper. My wife's niece and she's giving the thumbs up.

While the hot dogs at 1901 isn't the same as what you would get in the States, it's well suited for local taste buds. It's reasonably priced too.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Committing 7 Deadly Sins @ Genting Coffee Shop (Greenlane)

Have you ever committed the seven deadly sins...I mean all in one day? Well I nearly did. It started today when I was experiencing a particular urge to eat something. This gnawing hunger pangs was extremely intensive and I just could not fight it anymore. An inner voice was calling out to me and screaming for food. I shouldn't have skipped breakfast. I immediately took my four wheeler and went scouting for food at the nearby Genting coffee shop.
The first sin I committed was the fact that I was consumed by my lust for chee cheong fun. How can anyone resist the delicate, tender and silky white rice noodles let alone the sweet sauce, sesame oil and sesame seed ingredients? The sauce is untypical of what you would get from other chee cheong fun stalls. It's supposedly mixed with a good amount of peanut butter to give it a smoother and lighter texture.

Before I knew it, I had committed sin number two. Gluttony. Not satisfied with what I had, I decided to have the prawn noodles. The prawn based soup really pack a punch. It must have been boiled for hours to get the nice tasty flavour.

I decided to come back to the same coffee shop for lunch with a friend. Sin committed: greed. I went overboard and ordered an extra large serving of pasembur. It was awesome. This Malaysian salad consisting of shredded cucumber, bean curd, potatoes, prawn fritters, bean sprouts together with the sweet and spicy nutty sauce certainly hit the right spot.

I was envious of my friend who was enjoying his chicken rice and decided not to miss out on it too. For some reason, the chicken rice stall is famous and has a good client base. I thought the chicken and the light soy sauce were quite ordinary but the rice was soft and well fragrance. It's probably cooked together with some secret ingredients and chicken stock.

Like in all coffee shops in Penang, you almost always cannot get away from not ordering a drink. Out of pride, I had to order hot tea.

I came back to the same coffee shop during tea time for round three. I decided to buy some pancakes and mua chee to take home. Personally, I think the apom here is much better than the ones at Burma road in front of the Union school. It's not too dry and you don't taste too much of the coconut milk. The mua chee stall is also popular. It is the best I tasted so far. The mua chee is extremely soft and generously covered with finely grounded peanuts and sugar. It's just melts in your mouth.

Emotions run high after I realised that all my photo shots on the mua chee didn't come up nice. I had already eaten them so it's too late to take more shots. I decided to take out my anger on the apom. Poor bastards. They didn't stand a chance. They were wiped out instantly.

Close to committing all seven sins today but not quite there yet. Finally, forgive me Father for I have sinned!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mr.Pot Cafe Along Gurney Drive (Georgetown)

I have heard from a friend that there is a new cafe in town. He recommended that I try it since he's been there and enjoyed the food. He was actually refering to Mr. Pot cafe which is located along Persiaran Gurney. Last Saturday morning, we crammed ourselves into two cars and made our way there. It was such a relief when we reached Mr.Pot since the kids were all restless and blabbing non stop in the car. Tranquility at last! The food will keep them distracted for a while.

While waiting for our food, I decided to take a look at the menu again. A great selection of sandwiches and toasted bread. They even got boiled eggs too.

Hey, they have got catchy menus. Perhaps this one is appropriate for our PM. If I were in his shoes, I'll be really depressed too!

We are concerned with your intake of fatty oil. I don't think so. I also see belacan chicken in this menu......

This one is suitable for those partying the whole night. Light and refreshing.

Who says that if you are fat you can't enjoy food? I'm already salivating over the burger.

They also serve an assorted variety of cocktails and hard liquors.

Finally, our toasted bread and sandwiches arrived. I managed to take a few shots before they quickly disappeared.

Toasted bread with kaya.

Toasted bread with cheese.

Toasted bread with tuna.

Tuna sandwiches.

Chicken with cheese sandwiches.

French toast with kaya spread.

I had the ice coffee. Strong and kau (thick).

Mr.Pot is an equivalent to an upscale trendy cafe. Be prepared to pay more than your ordinary cafe. Having said this, it's comfortable and the ambience is great since it's located by the beach front. While the food we ordered were quite ordinary, it made this up by providing a nice spread of choices. An excellent place to chill out after work or during the weekends.