Monday, October 27, 2008

Breakfast At Eng Loh Coffee Shop (Georgetown)

One of my all time favourite coffee shop in Georgetown has to be the Eng Loh coffee shop. WhenI was working in town, I use to frequent this coffee shop. It's located at the financial center where all the major banks are located ergo it's just convenient to pop by for lunch on the way to the banks. As for the exact location, Eng Loh is located at the end of Church Street. It's partly a budget hotel as well as a kopitiam (coffee shop) on the ground floor. While it has only a few stalls, all of them are really good. And I mean really good. I get to the juicy part later on.

This kopitiam probably serves one of the best teh peng and kopi peng in town. It definitely score points for presentation as it comes with quite an interesting contrast of colours. You can immediately see two distinctive layers. For example for the kopi peng, the milk sits on top of the thick coffee layer and gives it some life to the coffee. I normally have two rounds of the refreshing teh peng or kopi peng when ever I eat here. Just simply cannot resists it! You will also be quick to notice the uncle who serves the beverages - he has got a pony tail which is rather flamboyant for his age! Cool dude.

This is the kopi peng kau kau. Wa liou. I already gulped my own saliva while I'm writing this.

The wantan mee stall is the main attraction in the mornings. It offers an amazing variety of noodles with different add ons- chicken curry, mushroom chicken, drunken chicken, Hakka dried fungus, normal wantan and also dry hor fun.

The hor fun is quite a treat as it comes with not only the usual fried wantan but also some char siew and marinated pork. The hor fun is also delicate which makes it even more pleasant to eat.

This is the mushroom noodles with meat. Equally wonderful.

Another one of my other favourite stall has to be the chicken rice. You really have to try this as the aroma from the rice is simply tantalising. I believe some amount of butter is added in to give it a distinctive buttery fragrance. Additionally, the chicken is also well roasted and flavourful as butter is used to marinate it to give it and added dimension to the flavour. The uncle who operates usually don't start selling until after 11am so do make sure you time yourself well if you really want to try the chicken rice.

For those not wanting a heavy breakfast, the coffee shop operator also serves toasted bread and Western breakfast. There are 13 options for you to choose from so for those with an indecisive mind, this could spell delay in breakfast. We decided on the American breakfast set for the kids while we adults tried out the roti Taiwan. It's basically toasted bread cover in peanut butter and top up with peanuts. This roti Taiwan somehow didnt knock our socks off. We still prefer the roti bakar or toasted bread from Toh Soon along Kimberly Street.

Another good stall to try must is the one that sells home cook Indian food. This stall serves both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes and they also do out door catering too. It's quite popular especially lunch time when you see a lot people stopping by either to dine in or ta pau.

Finally, the char koay teow is also quite good too but I decided that I wont push my stomach that day. Sadly, I have no pictures to show you but do take my word for it. It's also quite good in it's on way. I used to whack the chicken rice to be followed by the char koay teow but that's another story liau. For those of you interested to make a trip down there, please find the full address to Eng Loh below:

Name: Eng Loh
Address: Jalan Gereja / Church Street, Penang
Opening hours: 8am-3pm (close every Sundays)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Goreng Pisang At Free School Road (Greenlane)'s finally great to be back in Penang after close to 3 weeks of constant travelling outside of Malaysia. Needless to say , i'm dying for Penang food especially the goreng pisang (banana fritters) stall along Free School Road. It's probably one of the few stalls in town that serves the best goreng pisang.

As far as I can remember, the goreng pisang stall has been around for a long time even way back during my schooling days. I would always make my way through the side entrance after the extra curriculum activities and head down the road just for the goreng pisang. Till today, the stall remains unchanged except for the fact that the business is now run by the son. Besides goreng pisang, you can find other yummy fried snacks like tnee kueh (glutinous cake), potatoes, tapioca rolls, yam and also curry puffs. Lastly, the goreng pisang stall is open from noon to 5pm from Monday till Saturday.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Vegetarian Lunch At Nine Emperor Gods Festival (Georgetown)

Most Taoists in Malaysia will be currently celebrating the Nine Emperor God festival. The festival is celebrated by by all Taoists around the world on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Chinese calender. The Nine Emperor Gods festival or Kow Ong Yah as it is called in Hokkien signifies the return from heaven to earth of the Nine Emperor spirits whom are associated to health, wealth and prosperity. It is claimed that during this festival there will be rain throughout the 9 days of celebration. Well..almost. It rained for the first 6 days in Penang and as mysterious as it is, the tap suddenly went dry today.

Another interesting aspect about the Nine Emperor God festival is that all devotees need to observe a strict vegetarian diet for nine days. This means no meat or meat related products as well as dairy products such as eggs or milk. For those devotees who follow strictly by the book, they even have to use special cooking and eating utensils to prevent contamination with meat or meat related products. While it is encouraged to do the whole nine yards, a lot of Taoists now only observe vegetarian for the 1, 2, 3,5 and 9 days.

I was at Madras Lane this morning to catch the celebration in full swing. Vegetarian stalls these days offer a lot of variety of dishes of which some look and even taste like meat. I took a couple of shots of this stall as they had the most selection of vegetarian dishes to offer.

Just to see how it taste like, I ordered some rice followed by 2 pieces of vegetarian fish, char siew and some vegetables. They tasted quite nice although the texture definitely isn't the same as the real deal. It's also a lot more expensive than eating your usual economy rice as most vegetarian vendors are trying to rake in as much profit as they can during the nine days celebration.

I like the vegetarian roasted duck except that they tend to be too oily. I realise that those food that are bad for your health always taste so much better.

There is even a vegetarian satay stall catering to those who miss their daily diet of chicken satay. It tastes very much like real satay although it is made of vegetarian ingredients.

I even saw a vegetarian goreng pisang stall up ahead. Hmm. I wonder if this is comparable to the one at Free School Road.

As I walked further up the end of Madras Lane, I caught a couple of stalls selling vegetarian snacks and desserts like curry puffs, char siew pau, pork floss bun, pizza, sesame ball and many more.

Honestly, I like to believe I can go vegetarian the whole day but I'm already starting to hear my stomach growling and protesting at me. It's a good thing that rules are meant to be broken as I am definitely going straight to the nearest McDonald's outlet for dinner tonight.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chu Char at De Lai Sang Ding Seafood Restaurant (Greenlane)

It never fails to amaze me that Penang seems to be overrun with places to eat. The food and dining landscape in Penang changes so often that it's hard to keep track of what's new. For instance, we recently discovered a seafood restaurant hidden amidst the residential area in Batu Lanchang. To be more precise, it's located behind the Convent Greenland School at Taman Hijau Tiga. To get there, you can drive to along Leburaya Batu Lanchang and then as you approach the traffic lights, take the left turning to Jalan Sri Ibrahim. Look for Jalan Hijau Tiga on the left and turn inside. Proceed straight on till you see the turning on your right with a sign board stating Taman Hijau 3. Take that turning and look for De Lai San Ding seafood restaurant.

As the name of the restaurant suggests, it's primarily a seafood cum chu char restaurant. We decided to order a couple of dishes minus the seafood. First to arrive was the egg and prawns in sizzling hot plate and followed by the rest of them as shown below:

Slice lotus and kachang botol fried with chilly paste.

Stir fry vegetables in garlic.

Deep fried pork belly in Thai sauce.

Crispy lemon chicken.

Fried bean curd in clay pot.

Desserts - this one is on the house.

Truthfully, the food here is really quite average. None of the dishes are outstanding and deserves further mentioning. Nonetheless, it's still a popular restaurant and would be a viable option if you run out of places to eat.