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Hunting For The Flavors & Texture Of Yesteryears'

Hawking Hawkers

Street food or hawker food that are available.

Penang’s Asam Laksa, A Marriage of Cultures

Posted by Jason Wong On December - 17 - 20122 COMMENTS

Laksa is a popular spicy noodle soup that was formed through the fusion of Asian cultures. The dish can be found in Malaysia and Singapore, and Indonesia where migrant Chinese and Malays can be found coexisting in harmony irregardless of religion and and race. There are so many varieties of laksa out there, ready to be explored by gastronomist who has a pungent appetite for the ‘stronger’ ASEAN food cultures that have been molded by the demographic migrations, necessity and uniquely available local ingredients . Just in Malaysia itself there is already individually distinctive variations of laksa that lay claim by the state that they were “born” in. Some of the more well known ones other than the famous Penang Laksa:

  • Laksa Kelantan, boiled ‘ikan kembong’ or ‘round scad’, minced then fried with onions, garlic, ginger, datil pepper, belacan, ‘kantan‘ flower, Vietnamese coriander or ‘daun kesum’, lemon grass and dried tamarind slice. It is lastly finished off with coconut milk to transform the fishy soup stock into a thick gravy like soup with lots of body. The Lakas Kelantan is then served with rice noodles and adding ‘ulam‘ or raw vegetables and blended chili on the side.
  • Laksa Johor, is much complicated with the use of not only ‘ikan kembong’ and coconut milk, but also dried prawns, kerisik, lemon grass, galangal and spices akin to curry. Garnishing and condiments include not only slices of onion, cucumber and fresh lime juice; they also make use of bean sprouts, Vietnamese coriander and pickled white radish with a side of sambal belacan. For noodles, the usual cylindrical rice noodles are substituted with spaghetti pasta.
  • Laksa Sarawak , is a love or hate story. The soup base is mainly of  sambal belacan cooked with tamarind, garlic, galangal, lemon grass and coconut milk. The common savings come with rice noodles or vermicelli, omelette strips, chicken strips, prawns, fresh coriander and lime for additional tanginess.

The infamous Asam Laksa that Penang is proud to be home to is the culmination of the Chinese and Malay cooking heritage that also forms the unique Peranakan culture. The Assam Laksa or commonly called Penang Laksa is a sour fish soup served with cylindrical rice noodles, various raw vegetable and herb toppings/condiments. The signature Asam Laksa soup is prepared by boiling either Ikan Kembong, Sardines or Ikan Selar, which we were told was the best type of fish to be used for the soup stock. After which a mixture of herb and spices are combined, pounded and added into the soup stock to spice up the flavours and to give it a dimension of flavours. Then Asam Jawa (tamarind juice) and Asam Gelugor (tamarind peel) are added to transform the sweet savoury soup into a soup filled with a balance of sweetness, acidity, spice, heat and body. A bowl of laksa is not complete without the colour contrasting garnishes and condiments that tops the firm and succulent heap of uniform cylindrical rice noodles. These garnishes do not just add a touch of visual beauty, but also enhances the taste of the steamy bowl of laksa to each individuals preference. They include cucumber, pineapple, Chinese lettuce and onions that constitute the julienned fresh vegetables. Then there is also the finely chopped bunga kantan or ginger bud, sliced red chilli and freshly picked mint leaves. Making the Asam Laksa your own also requires some seasoning of sorts, like adding the Pamersan cheese powder to a plate of pasta or finely chopped garlic into a bowl of thick and silky Hainanese Loh Mee . For Penang’s Asam Laksa, it is the notorious ‘hae ko’ a.k.a the thick and sweet prawn paste made from the simmering process of prawn juices and sugar, thus the creamy richness and sweet caramel taste. With all the above, you are ready to dig into a bowl of laksa that is not only filled with layers of flavour but also a bowl filled with the marriage of cultures and the taste of many years of heritage handed down from generations to generations.

Some of the common or well known tourist hotspots for Penang Assam Laksa are:

  1. Joo Hooi Cafe Address: 475 Jalan Penang, Penang. Bus. Hour: From 12pm to 5:30pm.GPS: N 5.417152, E 100.3306808
  2. Taman Emas kopitiam Address: Jalan Gottlieb, 10350 Georgetown, Penang. Bus. Hours: Daily from 2pm to 5pm, close on Monday. GPS: N 5.433316N, E 100.302864
  3. Air Itam Market Assam Laksa. Address: Jalan Pasar, 11500 Air Itam, Penang. (Beside the Air Itam Market). Bus. Hour : Daily from 11am to 5-6pm. GPS:  N 5.401193, E 100.277999
  4. Kim Laksa @ Nan Guang Coffee shop . Address:67,Jalan Balik Pulau, 11000 Penang. Bus. Hours: Daily from 11am to 5 pm, close on Wednesday. GPS: N 5 21.09204 E 100 14.13564
  5. Ah Teong’s Assam Laksa. Address: Chuan Heong Café, 118,Jalan Balik Pulau, 11000 Penang. Bus. Hours: Daily from 11am to 5pm, close on Monday. GPS:  N 5 21.09204 E 100 14.13564
  6. Mizi’s Tanjung Bungah Assam Laksa. Address: Shamrock Beach, Tanjung Bungah, Penang. Bus. Hours: Saturday & Sundays only from 9am to 6pm. GPS:

Our preferred Penang Assam Laksa joints are:

  •  Air Itam Market Assam Laksa – for its smooth, tender yet springy ‘nai fun’ a.k.a  laksa noodles.
  • Ah Teong’s  Assam Laksa @ Chuan Heong Café – for its balanced spicy(spicy as in filled with herbs and spices), tart and sweet soup base (without prawn paste added) made using traditional Peranakan methods.
  • Mizi’s Tanjung Bungah Assam Laksa – for its Malay & Peranakan fusion soup base that is light and tart, minus the strong fishy taste.

This article was published on Vouch in their Novenber 2012 issue.

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Chee Meng Wantan Mee is Back!

Posted by Jason Wong On February - 13 - 2011ADD COMMENTS

After loosing touch with Chee Meng Wantan Mee, we have finally got them back on our radar. They are now back in their old spot at “Tai Wah Cafe” on Agryll Road. After moving out of Thong Seng late last year, they went for a self proclaim holiday until the 7th day of the Chinese Lunar calender. Business is as usual and will be closed on every Tuesdays.


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何谓好吃的云吞面?

Posted by gill gill On November - 24 - 200927 COMMENTS

云吞面是起源于广州。据说,此食品在唐宋时已传入广东。至于广东何时用“云吞”二字取代“馄饨”之称,则无从考证。经几百年后的今天, 云吞面已经是谱罗大众绝不可缺的街头面食,在华人心目中有不可取代的地位. 随着华人移民的增加,在不同国家和区域里的云吞面也各有各精彩.在这儿暂别不谈历史, 不如大家一起来研究一下大马和香港两地的云吞面有何不同之处, 了解面条区分之余, 分享怎样吃云吞面才是最赞.

我和我丈夫俩人,素来喜爱吃猪油渣.别看那脆脆小小块的“渣”.放下一小匙乃有画龙点睛之效.某些食物若不配上它同吃,味道显然有差异.

不论是云吞面或是炒粿條,用“猪油和猪油渣”来烹调, 才能带出它原有的特色和香味。无可否认,现今社会每样都强调“吃得建康”。但不是叫你每天都吃炒粿條,云吞面呀!偶而尝一尝也无妨吧?什么东西多吃也有害. 例如Vitamin A, B, C够好了吧?若你吃得太多,它令你的肝脏负荷不来而倒至损坏. 那还有什么是好的呀? 不是“猪油”不好,而是现代人少做运动,怕肥才不敢吃.真可惜!你们该知道为何槟城的小食比吉隆坡来得有水准吧?虽然槟城好吃的越来越少,但有些还仍然保存着传统的烹调方式。

讲了老半天还没提到好吃的云吞面应该是怎样的呢?!

云吞面条

新鲜出炉的云吞面条其实是不鼓励现做现吃, 若你现煮, 会感觉吃面团一样, 毫无咬劲. 听前辈说, 云吞面条必须经过“走碱液”的步奏, 让它蒸发, 才算合格. 最理想的是放 置4天. 经过“走碱”的面条吃起来特别爽口而且有弹性. 现今讲求快速生产, 面家多以现做现批, 或最多“走碱” 2天而已.

查看书籍发现, 原来传统的云吞面条是用大茅竹竿即“竹升” 打压出来的, 称之为”竹升面”。面团经过用手搓面处理后,用“竹升”压打2小时,  全凭经验, 功夫和恒心.

云吞面有三类: 全蛋面, 半蛋面, 水面
全蛋面以鸭蛋和面,绝不加一滴水, 打出来的面条爽滑韧性好,蛋味香浓。
另一种是半蛋面,用鸭蛋与一定比例的水调配和面,面条爽滑可口,口感细腻。
水面则不放蛋, 煮后呈半透明, 和以上两种相比,没香味, 需靠酱汁拌味.

马来西亚云吞面

本土人民多喜爱味道脓郁的干捞云吞面.
酱汁做法是用酱清,黑酱油,蚝油,麻油,混入少许上汤和纯正猪油或烧猪油一起捞。配上半肥廋叉烧,肥美菜心,酸度适中的奄制青辣椒和皮薄陷美的水煮云吞或酥脆炸云吞,在洒上葱粒, 香脆可口的猪油渣…哇!简直是无敌的配搭呀, 满足满足!

而本地的汤头是以江鱼仔, 黄豆, 猪大骨熬煮而成, 有独特的清香甜味.
以我各人口味,我喜爱吃干捞,特别是干干的, 还有缺一不可的猪油渣!不防试一试.

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马来西亚干捞云吞面

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云吞汤

FV-090411-Seng Thor Kopitiam_26酥脆炸云吞

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香脆可口猪油渣 :D~

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半肥廋的叉烧

香港云吞面

然而香港与马来西亚的云吞面版本完全不同, 他们讲究的是面条质感和弹性, 细得像米粉般幼, 配上大地鱼干上汤, 爽脆鲜味的大虾云吞(完全没放猪肉), 用韭黄段来点缀. 这就是名副其实的现代香港云吞面!

面条能够不易吸水还要有蛋香,爽滑而弹牙,鸭蛋就是秘诀.

汤头用猪骨, 虾米, 虾子和大地鱼干以文火一起熬煮,汤必须澄清透澈,味道浓,才可突显云吞和面条的色泽和口感。
云吞皮包上新鲜大虾和虾子, 口感十足, 鲜甜带有咸香. 一乐也.
香港干捞面决不像大马般的捞酱汁, 他们的非常简单, 只是捞猪油和虾子(干虾蛋)一起同吃.

无论是大马或香港都各有千秋.那您又有什么看发呢? 那一种是您的最爱? 有谁能介绍好的云吞面家吗?

HK-091110_050弹牙十足的鸭蛋面条

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鲜虾云吞

HK-091110_041看那大虾!

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When one mentions Char Koay Teow (CKT) ones mind would first think of Penang. Penang is infamous with many ‘famous’ Char Koay Teow stalls that are frequented by their own band of fans. Each CKT stalls stirs up their own distinctive style of Char Koay Teow decorated their own choice of toppings. Some come with crab meat, some come with mantis prawns. But for me only the simple and yet flavour complex plate of CKT can satisfy my desire and scourge.

Today I won’t dwell on what I like, but talk about the choices CKT that we can choose from at Lorong Selamat. Yes, it is plural. There are now 3 stalls of CKT to choose from on the famous Lorong Selamat.  We decided to talk or write about Char Koay Teow becasue we have just posted about Hoe Peng which was also located on Lorong Selamat.

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First one on the list is the latest addition of Char Koay Teow stalls at Lorong Selamat. This particular CKT stall is housed in Midtown coffee shop, which is opposite of Kedai Kopi Dan Ice Kacang. This particular stall is run by two individuals, a Chinese lady and an Indian friend name Sam. This stall does not only serve CKT, they also sells various fried rice.

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To taste the “wok hei” of CKT, we normally go for the CKT without egg and chilli. The CKT at Midtown had luscious amounts of plump and juicy bean sprouts, the prawns were firm but lack some of the sea fresh taste; the Koay Teow was springy and whole. The CKT at Midtown was not oily, which can be judge from the amount of oil left on the plate.

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The CKT with egg in Midtown had the fragrance of egg but the egg did not stick to the strands of Koay Teow as it suppose to. The beansprout were juicy, the lard bits used in the CKT although nice, it lacked the fragrance and texture of bits that we have had at other places. To summarise the CKT in Midtown, it is a healthier and homey style of CKT which is not oily, not too dry and that uses a wider bodied springy Koay Teow noodles.

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Taste & Texture: 3.5/5
Money Value : 3.8/5 (Reasonable -RM4.30 with medium to big size prawns and sufficient koay teow portion)
Atmosphere: 3.2/5 (Average food court but have big fans to cool you down from the weather)

Then we have next on the list is the KTG Char Koay Teow (a.k.a Ah Guan) stall located out side Kedai Kopi Dan Ice Kacang. This Ah Guan’s stall has taken over the spot of the original Lorong Selamat CKT which was run by the famous bad tempered lady wearing a red chef hat and protective goggles. Ah Guan took over the spot of the lady after she bought a lot further down the road and moved in. Ah Guan not only ‘inherited’ the famous spot but also the trademark of wearing protective goggles. Not only the CKT stall has changed at Kedai Kopi Dan Ice Kacang, even the proprietor of the coffee shop has also changed ownership. No more rude and nasty skinny lady asking customers to order drinks!

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Ah Guan’s CKT has a heavier “wok hei” which one could taste immediately at the first mouthful. But with the “wok hei” come with it an oilier plate and the Koay Teow was in pieces and not in long strands. The egg was not moist and adhering to the pieces of Koay Teow, but it had the fragrant of fried egg. The prawns used were big and with the taste of the sea, but was over firm and lack the sweetness. The prawns were slightly bigger then the prawns used by Midtown CKT, but the prices also differ per serving size and variation as compared to Midtown’s. In summary, Ah Guan’s CKT is not cheap, had lots of “wok hei” which we personally find a bit over and the Koay Teow were in pieces and dryer but oilier in some sense.

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Taste & Texture: 3.6/5
Money Value : 3.5/5 (RM6.00 – Prawns were big but not sweet and portion was insufficient)
Atmosphere: 3.2/5 (Entrance is oily and affects the car parked at the oppostite row of shops)

The last and most famous Char Koay Teow on Lorong Selamat is the plates fried by the lady in red. Red not only for the hat she wears but also for her temper. But after much research about her CKT stall, we understand why she is who she is. Imagine having to fry hundreds of plates of CKT and having to remember all the weird requests?! Even I would get frustrated and forget what is what.  The lady as mentioned earlier has moved to a self-owned coffee shop call Heng Huat Cafe just a few doors down the road. She still trademarks the red hat and goggles that she always seen with while at the wok.

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Heng Huat’s CKT uses big prawns that are synonymous with the CKT stalls on Lorong Selamat. Their prawns were big and juicy, they had that firm and springy texture and tasted sweet and fresh(sea fresh taste). The Koay Teow noodle strands were whole and soft and springy in texture. The Koay Teow noodles that she uses are of narrower body. The “wok hei” and seasoning was just right, not overwhelming. Another thing that we like about the ladies’ CKT is that the egg is properly done and adheres to the strand of Koay Teow. But portion and price wise, for us it is insufficient. I guess that is why other hawker food is flourishing around the CKTs.

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Taste & Texture: 4.0/5
Money Value : 3.7/5 ( RM6.50 Big tasty prawns but portion not enough lah!)
Atmosphere: 3.3/5 (Coffee shop still new and clean and not so warm)

Basically, me and my wife were and still are anti Lorong Selamat Char Koay Teow persons due to the exorbitant prices that they charge just because they use big prawns in their Char Koay Teow. But after tasting the Heng Huat CKT and understanding why the lady is who she is we have change our perception a bit. Although we like the taste of her (Heng Huat) CKT, it doesn’t mean that we approve of the prices that she and the other stalls charge for a plate of CKT with the reason of using big prawns, except for Midtown which is slightly below their range.

Char Koay Teow to us is all about the texture of the Koay Teow nooldes, the lard oil and bits, the crunchy bean sprouts, the irony cockles, the fragrance of the egg (be it chicken or duck ), the taste of the seasoning, and most of all the “wok hei” or skill of frying a good plate of Char Koay Teow which is not expensive and reasonable in terms of price and portion. We have favourite stall in town which its prices are reasonable and the portion to our liking, but taste inconsistent. I would blog about this CKT stall in my next post.

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Ah Hai Koay Teow Th’ng at Kimberley Street

Posted by Jason Wong On May - 20 - 20098 COMMENTS

The remembrance of childhood tastes and food texture are some things that affect ones eating habit and expectations. I can remember as a young tod, my parents or siblings used to like to patronise a Koay Teow Th’ng stall located opposite the Air Itam wet market. It was a treat whenever we visit that place cause I like the texture of the mince pork patties that they cook up. Now I am nearing my mid-30’s and I still yarn for that feeling in my mouth again. I have ventured to many Koay Teow Th’ng stalls in Penang and in Kuala Lumpur in search for my nostalgic childhood memories, and the closest that I could achieve was at Peter’s Pork Noodles in Breikfields in Kuala Lumpur. But know I have found a stall that can fill that void, and it was all the while under my nose.

Me and my wife always travel to Kimberley street for ‘makan’ on Saturdays before our church fellowship, have never thought of trying out Ah Hai’s Koay Teow Th’ng which is next to the much talk about Ah Seng Eco Bee Hoon on Kimberley Street. Numerous trips there over the years and have not tried them, I should be kicked in the head for that kind of mistake!

Ah Hai’s Koay Teow Th’ng is the freshly cooked to order type where you could choose toppings like mince pork patties, slice pork, pork innards, fish balls, fish cake, whole egg, and not forgetting glorious crispy pork lard. And for the noodles there are a few choices too like ‘koay teow’, ‘lo shu fan aka bee thai bak’, yellow noodles, instant noodles and rice vermicelli. My favorite is still yellow noodle and koay teow mix, and Gill’s is ‘lo shu fan’.

Since the beginning I have been talking about hunting for that nostalgic memory in a Koay Teow Th’ng, what is it?!  Well, it is that firm and tender texture of mince pork patties that I had at the Air Itam Koay Teow Th’ng stall which have since disappeared from that place. With this new found ‘makan’ place, I will be able to enjoy that firm and tender texture of the pork patties that I used enjoy in my mouth ages ago. Ah Hai’s pork patties, although, after being cooked for a long period of time in the boiling hot soup base, they still remain tender and juicy. The trick is the fatty content ratio and self pounded mince pork meat. The beads of fats give it the bouncy tender texture and the sweet creamy taste that produces a good piece of mince pork patties. The texture is so different from the pork patties found at Pitt Street Koay Teow Th’ng, which is hand press to achieve that uniquely spring lite textured patties. Both versions of patties offer an individual and total different texture experience of their own.

What is Koay Teow Th’ng without the sinful crisp pork lard pieces and addictive garlic oil?! The crisp lard pieces were full bodied and fragrant, even after being immersed in the soup it still maintain that firm crisp texture.

My favorite noodle koay teow and yellow mee combination give me that balance of slippery smoothness(from the koay teow) and 3 dimensional firm(from the yellow noodle) texture feeling  in my mouth. But do be reminded that the koay teow would in some ways affect the quality of the soup base (inducing some slight sour taste) and also because that the stock lacks that dominant sweet meaty flavour.

As for my wife’s favourite noodle, the ‘lo shu fan’, it compliments well with the soup base and also the taste of the meaty ingredients. It does not bring with it that sour taste that the koay teow has.

We also had their dry noodles or ‘kon lo’, which we found that the dark soy used did not have that smoky caramel flavour. But to compensate for that lacking, the sambal was of great help to bring the taste of the otherwise dull bowl of noodles.

Ah Hai also offers koay teow th’ng with poached egg. We were surprise that the bowl that we tried with egg on our second visit there did not contain that eggs’ flavour, which I like. It is usually common to taste some hint of egg flavour when it is introduced to any soup base.

Average rating for this place:

4.2/5 for value (generous amounts of mince pork patties & slice pork with the extra toppings at RM4.00)
4.0/5 for taste & texture (soup was not as tasty as Peter’s Pork Noodle, but the mince pork patties compensate for that)
4.0/5 for service (friendly and accommodating)
3.7/5 for cleanliness ( because it is road side)
3/5 for atmosphere (road side mah!)

Location: On Kimberley Street opposite the new green colour restaurant owned by Bee Ching Hiang

Tel : 016-466 3488 , 017-466 7309

Business Hours : Daily 6:00pm-1:00am(or until sold out). Rest days need to be updated later.

Tips: Do not go too late as the salty taste of the fish balls would be infused into the soup stock.

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Food Trip-Penang Island in December 2008

Posted by Jason Wong On April - 28 - 2009ADD COMMENTS

It was a sunny and fruitful day for some of us foodies. We started our morning with our 1st breakfast at Jalan Paya Terubong with a bowl of Hokkien Prawn Mee. This particular stall is located at a off road junction opposite Sapphire Apartments. This stall only operates in the morning and the soup is slightly above average on taste, but their pork ribs were juicy tender.

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Them we proceed to the Keadi Kopi Wah Meng for our second round of breakfast which included ‘koay chiap’ and ‘oh kua moi’. Both items tasted average to me but we were told that these are 2 most liked items in this coffee shop.

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After Wah Meng, we went for walk around the Air Itam market area and at ad hoc ordered a bowl of the famous ‘Sisiters’ Curry Mee’ which is unique due to th old style of selling by the road side with charcoal burners and their special squid.
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Then I took the entourage to my favourite ‘Koay Chiap’ stall opposite the Air Itam wet market. I like the ‘koay’ or dough because of the taste and its texture. The gravy or ‘loh chiap’ may some  times be a bit saltier but it seasons well the duck and other ingredients.

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After breakfasts, we headed to down to Dato’ Keramat to meat Penang Tua Pui at Restoran Tong Hooi next to the former Federal Cinema. We were there to try the ‘Tai Lok Mee’, which is said to be the bets in Penang so far. I guess Kua La Lumpur’s Tai Lok Mee has captured our taste buds, to me and Gill this stall is only average on flavours.
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After Tong Hooi, we headed to Kimberley street for a ad hoc food hunt and found a ‘Chee Cheong Fun’ stall which operate from a corner coffee shop which also houses the famous (not by our standards) Kimberley Street Char Koay Teow. This chee cheong fun stall has a unique chili sauce and the prawn paste equally fragrant.
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At the same shop there is also a ‘Economy Rice’ stall which also sales freshly fried chicken which surprisingly tasted not bad.

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Apart from this surprise find, I also found this newly opened Chinese confectionery shop which also bakes and sells my favourite tart, coconut tart, opposite a the longstanding  ‘Yong Pin Dim Sum’ restaurant.

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Hawker Food at Seng Thor Kopitiam

Posted by Jason Wong On April - 13 - 200913 COMMENTS

Last Saturday before going to our church for the blood donation campaign, me & Gill headed to Seng Thor coffee shop for brunch. Seng Thor is an old rustic coffee shop or kopitiam in local dialect located at the junction of Carnarvon Street and Kimberly Street. We have been here for numerous times not for their famous Oyster Omelette nor the Loh Mee, but for the little known wantan mee. Basically at the Seng Thor coffee shop there are a five(5) hawker stalls(Koay Teow Th’ng, Loh Mee, Loh Bak, Wantan Mee & Oyster Omelette) in and around the shop and an economy rice stall(was not open that day or has ceased operations) operating at different hours. During the morning breakfast hours the centre of attraction is the Loh Mee and the individually cooked koay teow th’ng stalls. And in the afternoon until early evening hours, the limelight is on the Oyster Omelette stall. These 3 hawker food stalls are quite famous in Penang as many Penangites and outstation people like to patronise them, and little attention is actually given to the wantan mee stall there.

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Today my attention is only on the Koay Teow Th’ng(KTT) and Wantan Mee(WtM) stall because that were what we had that faithful day. Let’s talk about the KTT stall which we actually tried before quite some time ago and this was like a revisit for us after reading about it in the blog-sphere. The KTT at Seng Thor is actually individually cooked upon order which is quite scarce and hard to come by now-a-days, especially good ones. Although the KTT was cook without or less MSG, Gill noticed that the uncle has a lot of rock sugar in stock in the cupboard below the stall. Rock sugar is normally used to give sweetness to soups, especially clear ones.

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For last Saturday’s brunch we ordered a bowl of ‘Lo Shu Fun’ and a bowl of Koay Teow and Yellow Noodle mix, which cost us RM7. By looking at the toppings and the size of the bowl they quite worth the money paid as both bowls were requested to have additional toppings of pig liver, lean meat, minced meat, pork balls, fish balls and pig heart.

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But the sad thing about these 2 bowls of KTT is that the soup base was not as tasty and ‘sweet’ as we expected. My bowl of koay teow and yellow noodles weren’t that bad, with the additional innard toppings the soup had some ‘sweetness’ to it. Other than the soup base the koay teow and yellow noodles was also a put down. The koay teow and yellow noodle felt limb and blotted(like noodles soaked in water for too long).

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Gill’s bowl of ‘Loh Shun Fun’ was blend with very little taste of ‘sweetness’ although we had the same toppings and was cooked in the same pot. But the ‘Loh Shu Fun’ was of consolation because they were firm and full.

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Because we were not satified with the brunch that we had, we went for the wantan mee that we usually patronise at the same coffee shop.  This wantan mee stall is not very good or delicious, the main reason we like it is because it is cheap. The bowl of 12 wantan dumplings in soup + regular size wantan noodle only cost us RM5. Remember to ask for the “dry dry” noodles toss in oil and dark soya sauce without or little soup mix, but the taste is some times inconsistent due to the dark soy and the lard oil.

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Another attraction is the fried wantans which have a slight sugary sweetness to their crispy skin, one can even eat them like snacks on its own and on the go. 10pcs of fried wantan is only RM2!  but dont espect the wantan have much filling inside :P~ 20 cents per pcs?! what do you espect?

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The fried pork lard bits are also a must at this stall, but you must ask for it as the proprietor seldom provides them without requests. The lard bits were actually more fragrant than the ones provided by the KTT stall.

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On average I would grade the Koay Teow Th’ng stall:

* 3.5/5 for value(considered cheap in Penang standards)
* 2.9/5 for taste & texture (soup was blend and the noodles not firm and fresh)
* 3.0/5 for service
* 3.0/5 for cleanliness
* 3.0/5 for atmosphere (what do you expect from an old rustic kopitiam man by seniors)

And on average I would grade the Wantan Mee stall:

* 4.2/5 for value
* 3.8/5 for taste & texture (not consistent on the dry sauce)
* 3.5/5 for service
* 3.4/5 for cleanliness
* 3.0/5 for atmosphere (what do you expect from an old rustic kopitiam man by seniors)

GPS Coordinate: N5*24’91” E100*20’07”

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Food Trip-Hunt for Mee Udang at Kuala Juru

Posted by Jason Wong On March - 21 - 200912 COMMENTS

We have been hibernating for the pass weeks, and I guess it is time to post some articles. Or else Steven Goh would bug me about our idle blog again. This one is for you Steven!

Last weekend (15th March 2009), four of us (Steven, Criz, Gill and me) went to Kuala Juru to try out the famous mee udang beings served there. We started our journey at around 3:15pm from Tesco Penang and drove to Kuala Juru in about 30 minutes. The weather was cooling with intermediate heavy raining, thus the journey was a comfortable and cooling one. For the trip we planned to try out the fehmes mee udangs from two places, the first one we went to was the ‘Restoran Nelayan Kuala Juru’ and the next was ‘Warung Pak Su’.

When we arrived at Restoran Nelayan Kuala Juru, it began to rain cats and dogs, thus we quickly rush into the typical Malay kampung style restaurant. This particular place is located right at the end of Kuala Juru, the main entrance faces a play ground and hill and its back is to a river mouth, which I guess is Sungai Juru. Anyway, it is a good place to do some sight seeing of the wetlands, fishing village, free flying eagles and swiftlets. A place to relax and enjoy what earth has to give.

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At Restoran Nelayan Kuala Juru, we left the ordering to Criz as he is familar with it has to offer. We had their Mee Udang (Prawn’s Noodle RM6), Mee Udang dan Ketam (Prawn & Crab’s Noodle RM6), Nasi Goreng Udang (Prawn Fried Rice RM6) and Nasi Goreng Paprik (Paprik Fried Rice RM4) and some drinks (RM5), which only cost us RM 27.00. I am not familar of the prices here, but it seems to be quite cheap to me to have crab, prawns and sotong at this price. Of all the dishes that we ordered at the Restoran Nelayan Kuala Juru, my favourite was the Mee Udang (Prawn Noodle) and the Nasi Goreng Paprik (Paprik Fried Rice with squid a.k.a sotong and Vegies). The gravy or soup of the Mee Udang tasted like our Chinese’s Hokkien Mee (Prawn Soup Noodle), in fact it was even tastier than the Hokkien Mees that I have had before. The sweetness and fragrant of prawns was mush more intense than our Hokkien Mee, but there was one set back due to the prawns wasnt fresh. I guess may be our timing could have something to do with it! Anyway, at Restoran Nelayan Kuala Juru the prawns used are of the Udang Rotan(thick greenish shelled) species as informed by Criz.

4.5/5 for taste & texture

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The Mee Udang dan Ketam (Prawn & Crab’s Noodle) did not fare as well as the Mee Udang in terms of the gravy taste. It did not permiate the sweetness of prawns that we enjoyed in the Mee Udang. And the ketam or crab was also not as fresh as we wanted it to be. But in terms of price, the mee udang and mee udang dan ketam offered here is considered cheap from point of view.

3.5/5 for taste & texture

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The Nasi Goreng Paprik with Sotong and vegies was one of our favourites at Restoran Nelayan Kuala Juru. The fried rice was well seasoned and spiced, it was fragrant and tasty to the last grain of rice. And the accompanying stir fried ‘sotong’ or squid was equivalently tasty, the squid rings were  juicy and tender.

4.2/5 for taste & texture

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The other dish that we had was their Nasi Goreng Udang. It was the rice version of the Mee Udang, but the gravy is a bit eggy due to the use of egg in their gravy. And the fried rice was not as tasty as the Nasi Goreng Paprik.

3.8/5 for taste & texture

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On average, I would give Restoran Nelayan Kuala Juru:

* 3.9/5 for value
* 3.9/5 for taste & texture (the Mee Udang gravy and Nasi Goreng Paprik saved the day)
* 3.0/5 for service
* 3.0/5 for cleanliness
* 4.2/5 for atmosphere (becasue of the river view)

GPS:5.340084, 100.408500

After feasting at Restoran Nelayan Kuala Juru, we headed back out on the Jalan Kuala Juru to Warung Pak Su which is more conveniently located. This place is said to be the more famous Mee Udang restaurant around the Juru area. They were even featured in a newspaper.

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When we began to enquire about the Mee Udang here, we were told that they have 2 version, one with gravy the other without gravy and prepared like mee goreng. The Mee Udang Goreng or Fried Prawn Noodles(RM10.00) has a sugary sweeter taste  and the prawns were fresh and crunchy. But my preference on taste is still with Restoran Nelayan Kuala Juru for the prawny  flavor and taste. We had an idea to have the best of both worlds, get the prawns from Pak Su, which are of the Udang Kertas(thined white shelled) species, and buy the noodles and gravy from Restoran Nelayan Kuala Juru, and mix them togather to get a plate of sweet and tasty prawn flavored noodles with fresh and jucy prawns! Anyone who tries that, do let us know the verdict.

4.0/5 for taste & texture

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The gravied version of Mee Udang(RM6.00) at Warung Pak Su was blend in flavor without much taste of prawns in it, but the prawns was very fresh though.

3.6/5 for taste & texture

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At Pak Su’s, we also got the opportunity to try out the Malay grilled Siakap fish a.k.a. Perch (RM 30.00) on banana leaves and chicken satay as when we reached there they preparing for the dinner crowd to come. Criz decided to order the grilled fish because the fish looked very fresh. We were glad that we ordered the fish as it was really fresh, and is was nicely grilled to perfection with all the juicies and sweetness still intact, and slightly permiating a smokey aroma. Unlike the grill fish we had at Teluk Tempoyak on the southern tip of the Penang Island, were the fish is normally over grilled and the banana leafs sticking to the meat. At Pak Su’s, we did not have to work through the burnt banana leaf to get to the fish meat and did not have to endure the burnt aroma and taste.

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The end product of Grill Perch.

The siakap marinated with chili and spices and wrapped with banana leaves and grilled on top of the charcoal. The dish accomplish with a plate of sauce, and it usually contain chili padi, onions into soury sauce. infact we do really enjoy the chili spices with the fresh fish, and the sauce would abit too much to match with the taste.

4.4/5 for taste & texture

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We also got to savor the chicken satay(RM0.60 per stick) as when we arrived at Pak Su’s the satay man just delivered his satay stock to the place. The chicken satay are similar to the chicken skewers or kebabs. The chicken meat was juicy and tender, but slightly a bit to sweet for me. Normally, Malays prepare the satay without the skin intact, but this one kept the skin which gave the meat skewres the moister and fats it needed. The accompanying dipping gravy was also a bit sweet for my liking, but overall the satay was nice if you ignore the sweetness.

4.2/5 for taste & texture

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This are the cockles waiting to be ordered and grilled. We did not order the cockles because it did not looke fresh to us.

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On average, I would give Warung Pak Su:

* 4.0/5 for value (Due to the freshness and quantity of prawns)
* 3.5/5 for taste & texture (It would have been 3, but points were added because of the grilled fish and satay)
* 3.8/5 for service (Because the staff were able to reccomend what was available and fresh)
* 4.0/5 for cleanliness (Excep the toilet)
* 3.0/5 for atmosphere (Kampung style)

GPS: 5.326817, 100.414767
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