Sunday, May 06, 2012

25 Hours in Penang: Jom Makan!

Feeling lifeless working like a machine from Monday to Friday? Need to give your soul a break but can’t afford to take long leave? A short weekend getaway is the answer!

I’m talking about myself here. Be it long or short holiday, near or far places, I’m up for it!

We were brainstorming for the perfect weekend escape spot in Malaysia that is not too far away and of course, has good food and nice to go with a few friends. The nearest place got to be Melaka but I voted for Penang! Reason was simple, I never been there for the past 7 years! It used to be a favourite holiday spot of my aunts. So mom and I would tag along with them and I remember staying at those old and dodgy motels (geee…), eating Cendol beside the road, praying at temples, walk up to Kek Lok Si… Those were part of my sweet memories with mom and it all happened at Penang :)

View at Bukit Bendera

After so many years, I was so looking forward to revisit this nostalgic place of mine. We were so lucky and grateful to have Carol tagging along because she was not only the itinerary planner but also the driver. We never even thought an itinerary is needed for a 2 days 1 night trip on the first hand but yet, she did it and it saved us a lot a hassle!

Eat, eat, eat..!

Would you disagree with me if I say Penang is a hawker’s food paradise? Good food is everywhere in Penang, it’s just a matter of how big is your stomach! So please forget about your diet while you are in Penang. Ahemm, although I did not. Yes, call me a freak! I’m working so hard to lose weight these few months , I can’t put my hard work to waste! :( Ok, my idea was, I can eat anything BUT in a small portion. That way I could sample everything without ballooning my stomach. I think I should do my diet talk on another post because it’s such a potong steam to mention anything about diet now! So, jom makan!

Asam Laksa, Restoran Kek Seng – a satisfying bowl of assam laksa. The best of all? The portion was small! Not only it didn’t fill me up, the hot and sour soup made me feel hungrierrr. More stomach space for next food stop!

Ais Kacang, Restoran Kek Seng – a very unusual ais kacang. It was served on a plate instead of a bowl. The homemade durian ice cream on the top was the main attraction because it came highly recommended by Carol. Though I’m not a durian fan, I tried it anyway because I’m a curious eater :3 The durian taste was actually not that strong. I like the soft and light texture which melted very fast in the mouth. I suggest ordering this after meal. Otherwise, when the shaved ice and ice cream start to melt, it’ll make the whole thing looks like a flooded region.

Char Koay Teow, Lorong Selamat – Penang’s most famous CKT as claimed by many. The most significant thing about this CKT must be the XL size prawn. You get what you pay for. The noodles were full of “wok hei”, as we Chinese would call it. Putting the spicy version and the normal version side by side, the spicy version was deemed the winner as it was packed with more “oomph”. However, I can’t say it was an unforgettable one. So the next time I’m at Penang, I’m going to explore other famous CKT!

Asam Laksa, Pasar Air Itam – 4th meal of the day! When I think of this, my saliva starts dripping and my stomach starts growling…. How to diet like that?? The finely chopped ginger flower bud did a wonderful job in adding an irresistible aroma to the petite bowl of asam laksa! And of course with the help of mint leaves, cili padi, onion and other ingredients - it’s a bomb!

Char Koay Teow, Chee Cheong Fun, Leng Chee Kang & Si Ham, Gurney Drive Hawker Centre – How would you judge which stall serves the better food? By the people queuing in front of the stall? Yes? From my experience at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, it is proven that the answer is a NO! The CKT we ordered from this particular stall which had a snake-long queue turned out to be a disappointment! The noodles were soggy, the taste was nothing exceptional… I was a tad frustrated because it wasted my stomach quota -_- The chee cheong fun on the other hand was ok, but we were expecting pure hae gor (prawn paste) instead of hae gor mixed with sweet sauce. Thus far, the food we had was far from impressive. I though just maybe, food luck was not with us that night. But wait! Si ham was coming to the rescue! The picture above speaks for itself. It was clean and big in size. The only thing you can’t see in the picture is how bloody fresh it was! I couldn’t help but ate half of those.

Dim Sum, Restoran Zim Sum – take all the dim sum you want from the self-service counter! Don’t be greedy though because once the dim sum is taken, it’s not returnable. Despite having a lot of tables, it’d still take you some time to spot for an unoccupied table. I didn’t manage to try a lot of their dim sum varieties though as we only had 3 persons but the few typical ones that I tried like siew mai, har gao and lor mai kai were just average. The siew mai particularly was very oily. Maybe people come here for their prices? I think it is fine for a casual dim sum breakfast but if you are just having a short stay at Penang and have limited time and stomach quota, like us, I’d say give this a miss.

That’s pretty much all that our stomach could stuff in for the entire 25 hours in Penang! There were hit and miss but that doesn’t kill my interest in having another round of food-cation at Penang again because our experience this time will only make us smarter in choosing the right place to eat next time :)


  1. Si ham. T___________T

    i miss that a lot. i can't really eat much of it since i have acne

    1. Awww... I dare not to eat much too honestly! You should really stay away from it for now.

  2. The asam laksa looks so amazing!

  3. Penang definitely is all about FOOD! I wanna to Penang too!

    1. Can have food feast there! But not good for people who wants to diet, like me >.<

  4. nom nom nom
    i m craving for a makan trip ahhhh


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