Posts Tagged ‘Hawker Centre’

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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* This article was published in the New Straits Times (Northern Streets) on 3rd May 2011.

One will find numerous hawker stalls serving a wide array of local delights at Gurney Drive Hawker Center in Penang. Nasi lemak lovers should try the all-time favourite at Nasi Lemak Cili Bilis. The stall specialises in nasi lemak kukus (steamed rice in coconut milk). (The owner, Hashim Haji Ismail who is the champion in the Battle of Penang Hawker Masters 2012’s nasi lemak category has switched to using palm milk  instead of coconut milk).

The rice, cooked with ginger, coconut milk and pandan leaves that give it an amazing aroma, is steamed on the spot on large metal trays in a giant steamer.

Palate-pleasing ‘nasi lemak’ at Nasi Lemak Cilibilis, Gurney Drive by what2seeonline.com

Rice and egg steamed in the premises itself

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Koay Teow Th’ng, also commonly known as KTT is a popular hawker food for Penangites besides the overwhelmingly famous Char Koay Teow, Assam Laksa and Hokkien Mee. Lately I have been patronizing the Duck Meat Koay Teow Th’ng at Lum Lai located in Cecil Street Market Hawker Center, located just beside the bustling Cecil Street Market. This street is also known as Chit Tiau Lor to Penangites which represent the 7th Road in that precinct.

Koay Teow Thng at Lebuh Cecil Market food court
Duck meat Koay Teow Th’ng!

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Located along the roadside of Jalan Mount Erskine Penang is a small hawker food center.  This food center nearby Fettes Park has most of its stalls sheltered from the afternoon sun by some makeshift tents and shady trees.

The popiah (spring roll) sold in one of the stalls there is slightly different from the regular popiah. Besides all the main ingredients this version comes with crab meat. So far, I have only come across this place and the stall in Padang Brown Hawker Centre using this ingredient.

Penang Hawker Food - Poh Piah Crabmeat

All the crabs displayed in the stall

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