Sunday, July 6

Penang Street Eats

Islandwide

I spent four days and most of the waking hours during this visit, eating my way though this island, famed for its chilled out lifestyle and the most incredible street eats.

What is hidden beneath all that fresh lettuce is a very tasty pot of ba kut teh, a pork rib dish cooked in a fabulous herbal soup. Unlike the versions served in Singapore which are clear and peppery, the Malaysian style uses a dark soup base and is chocked full of herbs. Yums!

There is no such thing as "bad food" in Penang. Even the most ubiquitous looking stalls serve the most amazing meals. We stopped by this food centre on Ferringhi Beach and found the most amazing prawn noodle soup, fishball noodles and Penang style fried kway teow (flat rice noodles stir fried with sprouts and seafood).

I am not a fan of lor mee - noodles served with a dark sticky sauce and eaten with a dash of vinegar, fresh garlic and chilli paste, but a taste of this dish at a roadside stall (where else?!) made me a convert.

We had what the locals called Hokkien char - thick noodles stir fried with a sweet dark sauce with veggies and seafood. It was pretty fragrant, and tastes even better with sambal blachan (a spicy chilli dip).

We stopped by this roadside stall that serves fresh coconut - of the drink variety - the coconut is just cut up with a very deft hand and parang; and sea coconut - which you carve out with your fingers!

A drink that I was just introduced to - a pickled nutmeg juice. Part sour, part sweet, but altogether great for that hot afternoon. Aha! The Penang version of chee cheong fun (steamed rice sheets) is served with a prawn paste sauce unlike the sweet sauce in Singapore. It's somewhat of an acquired taste. The savoury flavours work pretty well with the silky soft rice rolls.
A fresh skin popiah (roll stuffed with stewed turnip and flavoured with sweet sauce, chilli and garlic), only the Penang version is eaten quite damp, with a little soup at the bottom of the dish.
The most refreshing ice kachang - shaved ice coloured by a variety of syrups (including sarsi!) and the freshest of corn, with many other hidden delights under the ice. Delish!
As you can tell, this is an extremely late post since I had lo hei (Chinese salad tossed with raw fish), which is typically served over Chinese New Year. And in true Singaporean fashion, I had to combine it with nothing less than a chilli crab dish, of course!
Nasi Lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk) often served with fried ikan billis (anchovies), a fried egg and sambal blacan (a chilli dip). Fab meal for breakfast or lunch (and some say dinner!)

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OMG! Looks so delicious!

 
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next time, put down the location.

 
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