Archive for the ‘Air Itam’ Category

BY CK Lam

Penang is a food haven and the variety ranges from appetizing hawker food, contemporary cuisine and of course, seafood. For those craving seafood meals, you’re spoilt for choice with the many seafood restaurants on both the mainland and the island.

Just ask around and the locals will proudly recommend their seafood places. There are some right on the beach with views of fishing boats and fishermen hauling in the day’s catch. However, if you prefer dining indoors with air-conditioning, there are many restaurants conveniently located within Penang towns.

There is a comprehensive selection of seafood to choose from in the display counter of seafood restaurants such as crabs, mussels, prawns, clams, fish, oysters and many more. Whether you want them grilled, steamed, chilled, deep-fried or baked, choosing fresh seafood can take some time. Fear not, here are a few tips that will help you order the best seafood meal you’ve ever had.

Penang Seafood Guide by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Last July, many food and wine enthusiasts gathered at a wine dinner in the relaxed surroundings of Suffolk House with George Shinas of the Shinas Estate. It was an evening of great food accompanied by hand crafted wines from the vineyards of Victoria, Australia.

Winemaker George Shinas who is a court judge by profession in Australia’s Victoria Province provided some history to his wines which are cheekly named. The range included the Innocent (a Viognier), Verdict (Cabernet Sauvignon), Guilty (Shiraz), Executioner and Sweet Justice (Moscato), all with interesting images on the label.

Wine Dinner with George Sinas @Suffolk House by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

The locals in Penang, especially those living around the vicinity of Air Itam, Farlim and Paya Terubong no longer have to travel to the central Georgetown for a cup of gourmet coffee and food with the newly opened All Seasons Place. Located along Lebuhraya Thean Teik, this complex is a nice place to stop by for the weekend.

One place to enjoy a good cup of freshly brewed coffee is Coffee Elements. The cafe features order-at-the-counter service, and food delivered to the table.

Coffee Elements at All Season Place, Penang by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Over the past few years, Suffolk House Restaurant has had many different chefs. The latest is executive chef Dave Looi. His last job before arriving in Penang was in Parrot Cay, a private island which is part of the Turks and Caicos Islands. He has also worked as a chef in Taipei, London and New York.

Looi’s passion for creativity is apparent in the numerous dishes we sampled at Suffolk House Restaurant.

Chef Dave Looi at Suffolk House by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Poon choi or Big Bowl Feast is an indulgent affair with layers of ingredients in fragrant gravy. It is believed that this traditional dish originated in China, and the name of the dish came from the distinctive basin-like pot in which it was cooked and served.

There are only a handful of places serving this dish in Penang and one of them is Zi Zai Restaurant. Our group of 13 made our way to the restaurant  in Paya Terubong to try its traditional poon choi.

Treasure pot of Poon Choi goodness at Zi Zai by CK Lam at what2seeonline.com

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Penang’s Assam Laksa has been voted No. 7 under CNNGo International Food Survey as “foods worth traveling the world to gorge on”. This is indeed a great testament to the hawkers who work hard to make sure Penang Assam Laksa is not only delicious but as authentic as to what their forefathers did.

CNNGo voted Penang Assam Laksa as World's No.7 most delicious foods

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* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 26th November 2010.

An evening had me driving to Suffolk House to meet up with guest chef, Nizar Achmad. It was great to know that the chef is invited to cook at the restaurant which is situated in the “Great House of Penang”. Originally from Surabaya, Chef Nizar Achmad love affair with food and wine has inspired a culinary sojourn that has taken him to all corners of the globe, including Australia, New Zealand and Stockholm where he lived there for 14 years before returning to his homeland, Indonesia.

Chef Nizar Achmad cooking up a storm at Suffolk House, Penang by what2seeonline.com

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Dining with a twist would be more appropriate! Imagine holding a piping hot bowl of Hokkien Mee with your bare hands, while eating the steaming hot noodles! It is indeed an interesting experience, all taking place with the bustling traffic of the busy intersection of Jalan Air Itam and Jalan Kampung Melayu just mere steps away!

Penang Hokkien Mee for those with heat-proof hands by what2seeonline.com

Air Itam’s famous Hokkien Mee

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My latest food outing had me patronizing the Char Koay Kak stall which is located along the bustling Air Itam main road, in front of Suiwah Supermarket. There is an upbeat vibe to this road with so many hawker food stalls around – the tasty fried buns and tantalizing Assam Laksa.

Thanks to my readers for recommending this Char Koay Kak to me at my Kedai Kopi Wah Meng post :)

Char Koay Kak & Tong-sui in Air Itam, Penang by what2seeonline.com

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Over the weekend together with my blogger friends and photographers, we went around Air Itam to sample-fest some hawker food. We made our way to Kedai Kopi Wah Meng. The coffee shop located across the Sisters Curry Mee is a stone throw away from the Air Itam morning wet market, which itself is full of interesting local flavor.

Penang Hawker Food at Wah Meng Cafe, Air Itam Penang by what2seeonline.com

How about a delicious bowl of Koay Chiap for starters?

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We were in Air Itam area on a lazy Sunday afternoon and since we were nearby Kafe Pantai Timur, we decided to stop over there for lunch. Located in the residential area of Paya Terubong, this coffee shop is home to many hawker stalls which mostly operate in the night. Among the sea of stalls includes the Pei Pa Duck stall.

It was relatively quiet, with only one stall selling Yong Tau Foo – an assortment of ‘ yeong liu’ which has fish paste stuffed in a variety of vegetables.

Yong Tau Foo at Kafe Pantai Timur, Paya Terubong Penang

Crispy-crunchy right from the wok!

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Snacks are available everywhere in Penang! Plentiful indeed, however one particular snack caught my eye while I was slurping away my bowl of Assam Laksa in the Air Itam market. This lady was selling deep fried buns, similar to Roti Babi but with different ingredients and she uses bun instead of bread!

She makes a stunning serving of these inexpensive priced fried buns. The white fluffy buns are battered, deep fried and stuffed with four kinds of savory fillings:  chicken curry, mixed turnip stuffing (similar to mangkuang char), sausage and luncheon meat…simple creations!

My favorite from this stall is the Deep Fried Chicken Curry Bun! Stuffed with pieces of chicken and potato, the filling is quite similar to curry puffs… however the deep fried bun makes it taste surprisingly good.

Tasty Fried Buns opposite Air Itam Market by what2seeonline.com

Chicken Curry Bun @ RM1.50

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