Monday 24 September 2012

* G Hotel Penang: Part 3 ( Food Oh Glorious Food of Penang)

One of the things I remembered and enjoyed most during my 5-years stay in Penang is the food.  It is thus not surprising that I had etched out a long list of  food I was going to savour way before my journey to Penang even began. I was going to be in Penang for only 2 days and in 2 days, minus the 2 breakfasts and a set lunch which comes with my room package in g-Hotel, how much can I eat?? The  problem is  I am a food lover who loves to eat but can't each very much.
The famous "Gurney Drive Hawkers' Centre" is just a 3 minutes walk away from 
G Hotel so that was the place I first visited.This place is opened for business only in the evenings. There are non-stop droves of people, locals as well as tourists thronging this place making it visually intoxicating indeed. There are probably close to a hundred stalls so you can really be spoilt for choice. Quite a number of them however, sells similar things.When in doubt as to which one to patronize, watch out for a queue. "Good things are hard to come by" as the saying goes so the longer the queue the better the food. Just follow the locals as they know which stalls are famous and serve the best.
This is my favourite - the fried oyster omelette.
Penang is also famous for popiah. However not many stalls in Gurney Drive Hawkers' Centre sells this. The best popiah is not from here though.
This is Penang Lobak.
This is Penang fruit 'Rojak' I was a little lazy to queue because the crowd was crazy so I patronized this stall with no customer queuing. It turned out disastrous. I did not enjoy this rojak at all.
I am eating this shellfish for the first time. When I stayed in Penang years ago, I often come to Gurney Drive for another type of shellfish called the 'balitung' or 'siput sedut'. 
You have to dig out the flesh with a sharp stick. It is kind of springy and rubbery but tastes quite nice. 
Seng Lee Coffee Shop located at 270 Jalan Burma (actually at the junction of Bangkok lane and Burma Road) is famous for 'Mee Goreng'
The cook looked exhausted as patrons streamed in non-stop. The shop is packed when we arrived at 3pm but we were fortunate to get a seat immediately. The entire stall is littered with debris from the wok, egg shells,etc. This place would probably fail the hygiene test but.....
This plate of fried mee tasted like heaven... This is the best mee goreng mamak I have ever tasted.
The stall also sells Indian Rojak which is nice but not as great as the mee goreng.
We were still feeling full but was tempted to try the 'Char Kway Teow' at Swee Kong coffeeshop. This shop is exactly opposite the Pulau Tikus police station and very near to the 'Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng' stall.
We packed this and brought it back to g-Hotel. Tasted nice.
Hai Beng Kopitiam at Lorong Stewart sells good 'Loh Mee' This shop is just beside the Kuan Yin Temple.
The Loh Mee here is different from most Loh Mee I have tasted as this one comes with chicken feet, mushrooms and pig innards.
Penang is also famous for nasi kandar, which is rice spread with assorted Indian curries. This stall is reputed to be the best Nasi Kandar Stall in Penang. It is located beside Masjid Kapitan Keling which is one of the heritage buildings in our trishaw tour.(pl refer to G Hotel Penang (Part 2)
The opening hours is weird: from 10pm till 3am.
We actually came back at night to dine here.
The name of this stall is 'BERATUR' which literally means "LINE-UP".
There are however 2 different vendors operating from the same premise. The famous one starts at 10pm. Many first timers are deceived and patronized the "wrong" one. 
I joined the queue which started before 9.30pm.There were already close to a hundred people queuing by the time the stall opened for business at 10.05pm.
After choosing your main dishes, a varity of different curries will be spread on your rice.
My choice was mutton, fried chicken and brinjals. You can forget about dining in style here. 
By the time I finished, the queue was still long. I was told the queue will remain long till 3am (in the wee hours of the morning). This is a unique phenomenon I have never encountered anywhere in the Klang Valley.
Well how do I find the nasi kandar??? Good but there are better nasi kandar near where I am staying. I don't mind queuing as I am on holidays and I have all the time in the world.

I only got to eat 20% of the food in my long list. The rest will have to wait till my next trip to Penang.

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