Archive for the ‘Hawker’ Category

BY CK Lam

Penang is a hawker paradise with a huge variety of interesting street food stalls offering plenty of good and reasonably priced Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisine. I revel in the delights of hawker food, sold throughout the market area, neighbourhood stalls and the narrow back alleys of Penang.

Some of the stalls offer sitting areas while others have none, so you may have to eat while standing up – a bit of a challenge. However, it’s an even bigger challenge to decipher what goes into each dish and just where those flavours dancing on your palate stem from. This is where I can help.

Hokkien Mee

What it is: Also known as prawn mee, Hokkien mee is served with choice of either blanched yellow noodles or rice vermicelli, or a combination of both.

Flavour Guide on Penang Hawker Food: Hokkien Mee

 Hokkien mee with add-on pork ribs

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BY CK Lam

Jalan Raja Uda in Butterworth is overloaded with many hawker food stalls and some has since become beloved local dining spots. One such spot is the tom yam noodle stall located in a shoplot beside the SRJK (C) Kwong Wah Primary School. Due to not having a signboard, most customers brand it as the Kwong Wah Tom Yam for its near distance to the Chinese school.

Here, you will find warm comfort noodles cooked in clear soup besides the renowned tom yam soup.

Tom Yam Noodles at Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth Penang 光华小学旁边 by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

For those who go for late night eats in Penang,  I am sure you have patronized Restoran Yunus Khan. Popularly known as Jiao Sai, the supper spot is renowned for its signature stir-fried and soup based instant  noodles.

Jiao Sai Mee Maggi Goreng (Stir-fried instant Maggi noodles) by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

The secret is in the soup

The light and flavorful noodle dish of koay teow th’ng is a popular hawker food across Penang.  One place that many would head to for a bowl of koay teow th’ng (flat rice noodle) is the stall located on Clarke Street – a street between Argyll Road and Hutton Lane.

Hidden in a small alley, you will find the koay teow th’ng stall that has been running for more than 30 years.

Koay Teow Th’ng at Clarke Street, Penang by what2seeonline.com
A bowl of koay teow th’ng prepared with beehoon

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BY CK Lam

Heeding my friend’s advice, I headed out to Kareem Pasembur Rojak stall. This little pasembur stall opening on the side of Union Street in Penang is constantly packed at lunch hour, with a line of people  from the surrounding offices.

The man behind the stall is Abdul Kareem Yusoof.

Kareem Pasembor Rojak @Union Street Penang by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

It is always nice to see my work in print. This time around my article was published in the Hong Kong Express’s airline UO Magazine, which covers lifestyle topics – travel, leisure, shopping, food adventure and people. The airline, a Hainan Airlines’ subsidiary company has opened a new route to Penang on 27 October 2013.

I was first approached by personnel from Ink, a Singpaore-based publisher to write a story on Penang’s Top10 Eating Experiences. The food story including colourful photos was eventually featured in the inaugural issue of the magazine (December 2013).

My Article, Penang’s Top10 Eating Experiences in Hong Kong Express’s Inflight Magazine by CK Lam @what2seeonline.com

The inaugural cover of UO magazine

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BY CK Lam

The Cecil Street Market Food Court in Penang has wafting aromas of food emanating from its rows of hawker stalls. You can find just about any hawker food in the large food court, commonly known as “chit teow lor ban san” (7th road market), named after the well-known market located right beside it. The last few years saw the upgrading of this food court that gave it its more polished eating environment, but the price and serving portion remain reasonable.

A firm favourite is the koay teow thng from Lum Lai, flat rice noodle served in a bowl of clear and flavourful soup. Toppings include pieces of fish cakes, springy fish balls, blood jelly and shredded duck meat. Add-ons, such as a whole duck drumstick, its liver or gizzard, are also available.

Penang Hawker Food at Cecil Street Market Food Court, Penang by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Among the many desserts in Penang, the cendol really stands out with its flavor and texture. This sweet Indian dessert is about having the right combination of ingredients and it is served ice cold.

BM Best Cendol with Pulut by what2seeonline.com

Cendol with Pulut

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BY CK Lam

On the busy Jalan Danby in Bukit Mertajam is a stall that has been attracting customers with its serving of “cup rice” for lunch. This simple, wholesome and tasty dish is childhood food for many Penangites.

BM Steamed Cup Rice by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

For a light meal when in Penang, head over to Yik Kheng Kee coffee shop on Kimberley Street in Penang. The owners, Ong Khye Jim (full blooded Hainanese) and his wife have been selling this unique humble stir-fried noodle dish for over three decades!

The preparation of the noodle has since changed. He used to fry the noodle over charcoal fire, but now uses gas fire to cater the demand of his impatient customers. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop regulars from keep coming back. The place is especially packed during lunch hour.

Hailam Char Noodle at Yik Kheng Kee Coffeeshop, Penang by what2seeonline.com

An earlier photo of Yik Kheng Kee, started by Ong’s grandfather

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BY CK Lam

Street food in Penang is simply irresistible with multitude delightful culinary choices. Food stalls are set up by the road side while others are located in food courts.

But food courts are gaining popularity in recent years, unlike in Singapore, where fancy food courts dot the island. Locals find them convenient, with all their favourite hawker food under one roof and its cleaner environment.

By far the largest food court for Penang is the New World Park Food Court. In total, there are twenty over stalls serving a good mix of Penang’s street food.

Unlike any food court or hawker centre, this food court is design with exceptionally high roof for ventilation. The sitting area is brightly lit both from the natural light and the overhead spot lights. The stalls are well ventilated so much so that the smoke from the cooking does not travel into the dining area. The washing of plates and cutlery is carried out in a centralised wash area to ensure cleanness.

Like any food court, there are some stalls that are particularly popular as compared to others. One such stall is curry noodle. The lady owner is generous with the topping of mint leaves which gives the stock and noodle a green and fresh taste. The stock is not overwhelmed with thick coconut milk but rather on the lighter side. The appealing homemade curry paste has a strong spice aroma.

Penang Hawker Food at New World Park Food Court by what2seeonline.com

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BY CK Lam

Instant noodle has come a long way for many of us. It is simple to make and inexpensive. This kind of comfort food seems to suit today’s lifestyle, and is gaining popularity in many eateries in town. And since we swear by this instant comforting fix at home, eateries out there are now offering this in their menu.

Stop by the small shed on Church Street Ghaut. Owner Ah Lai and his wife have been serving up this ‘comfort food’ for 30 over years from an unbelievably small kitchen. Popularly known as Under the Big Tree, the eatery is patronised by workers from the surrounding offices.

Instant Noodle (Maggi Mee) at Ah Lai Kopitiam, Penang by what2seeonline.com

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