Archive for the ‘Mamak/Indian’ Category


Judging cooking competition and experiencing the food is a great joy. I have judged in many competitions and recently was the first-time-ever judging a competition on the high sea.

Organised by Genting Hong Kong to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Star Cruises, the Star Cruises Nasi Kandar Cooking Competition 2013 was held on board the SuperStar Libra.

Judging on the high sea - Star Cruises Nasi Kandar Cooking Competition 2013 by

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With its multiracial culture, Penang is a melting pot for lip-smacking cuisine. One great example would be the Mamak Mee Goreng, which some label as a “to-die-for” meal of its own. Mee Goreng served in Penang is slightly different from the rest of the nation. Apart from the usual ingredients such as bean sprouts, boiled potatoes, shrimp cake, egg and tofu, dried cuttlefish is also used, which makes Penang Mee Goreng stands out from the rest.

Just the mention of Mee Goreng and most locals will point you to the heart of Pulau Tikus, Penang. The Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng is legendary and people from all walks of life have been patronising this place for decades.

Mamak Mee Goreng at Bangkok Lane, Penang by

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In Penang there are many alleys and walking down a right one gives the opportunity of finding delicious street food. Located in a short alley on Hutton Lane, Penang is a cosy stall that wowed customers with its simple breakfast menu and nasi dalca.

We popped into the stall owned by M.M. Abdul Jaafar which has been operating before 1957.

Nasi dalca & charcoal toasted Bengali bread in Hutton Lane Penang by

Abdul Jaafar serving the breakfast crowd

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BY C K Lam

Tropical Spice Garden recently sees the book launching and cooking demo by Dr Ong Jin Teong at the al-fresco style Pavilion next to the cooking school. The event highlighted Dr Ong’s culinary biography Penang Heritage Food, a collection of recipes for the classic and forgotten dishes of Penang.

Penang Heritage Food also sheds light on the different cultural influences that has made Penang’s fusion cuisine a unique national heritage. Dishes with Malay, Hokkien, Indian, Thai and Hainanese influences are included.

Penang Heritage Food Book Launch by

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Roti canai is available in numerous stalls around Penang and each stall has its own variations such as the roti sardin, roti telur and the paper-thin roti tissue. They serve it with their own curry dishes, from the simple dall curry to the meaty curry.

Transfer Road Roti Canai by

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Penang is left with a handful of places serving simple breakfast of local coffee, toasts as well as hearty nasi kandar. One such place is Kedai Kopi Toon Leong, an old-style kopitiam located in a heritage shop house at the corner of Transfer Road and Argyll Road.

Deen Nasi Kandar at Kedai Kopi Toon Leong onTransfer Road, Penang

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* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 31st May 2011.

The Kota Selera Food Court adjoining Padang Kota Lama (Fort Cornwallis) is a favorite eating place for both locals and visitors to Penang. This spacious food court has several outstanding stalls doing brisk business with the lunch crowd looking for a quick bite.

One stall that stands out among the crowd is Makanan Hainan, serving local and Western fare, Hainanese style. Its small menu of 12 items includes the all-time favorites – chicken chop, fish and chips, prawn fritters, lamp chop and beef steak. Its popular all-day breakfast set is sausage and eggs.

The lamb chop (RM15) comes with two pieces of meaty lamb, pan-fried in a delicious flavour. The addition of fried onions gives a nice contrast of texture and sweetness, wonderfully complementing the tender meat, vegetables, french fries and baked beans.

Penang Hawker Food - Kota Selera Food Court adjoining Fort Cornwallis by

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* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 24th May 2011.

If you’re at Chowrasta Market in George Town, Penang, stop by Tamil Street, located on one side of the market building. This street is worth exploring for its variety of street food. Look out for a stall selling Ais Tingkap (translated as window sherbet). This classic chilled drink is named such because it used to be sold through an open window.

Ais Tingkap is a transparent sweet rose flavored thirst quencher _resize

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* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Northern Streets) on 2nd February 2011.

It’s been sometime since I last visited Kompleks Makanan Persiaran Gurney (KMPG). It is located along the Gurney Drive seafront promenade. It is small by any standard, and is occupied by a few Mamak hawker stalls. However, despite its size, this place has built a reputation for offering delicious mee goreng and pasembor, known also as the Indian rojak.

Edgecumbe Road Pasembor and Mee Goreng @ Kompleks Makanan Persiaran Gurney

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* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Life & Times) on 19th November 2010.

Penang is truly blessed with many food street stalls, located on nearly every road and corner of the little island! But there is one place where every Penang-born will know like the back of their hand, and that is Padang Brown Food Court, or affectionately known as Padang. This food court is at the corner of Perak Road and Anson Road, beside a green field and directly behind Datuk Keramat Police Station. Padang has a historical significance to the island. It’s been on the isle since 1966 and it’s one of the first food court built by the Penang Municipal Council. Surprisingly, it’s still as popular with locals and tourists till today. On weekends, the food court is packed with diners.

The food court has an overwhelming choice of hawker fare. Do walk from one end to the other to make sure you do not miss the selection. The place is divided into two wings, with the left-hand side packed with Chinese hawkers in the afternoon. At night, the brightly lit stalls on the right-hand side are predominantly Malay and Indian stalls offering plenty of choices. Throughout the food court, plastic chairs, metal stools and tables are placed in front of the stalls, some under the shade and some without.

Al-Bismi stall with the cauldrons of soup at Padang Brown Food Court by

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