I admit that I have mentioned many times to my friends that I do not fancy Penang food. In a Manglish phrase, I would say, “No Penang food – won’t die wan lah”.
Well, my recent makan-makan trip to Penang was really good that I have to take back those words – but still “No Penang food, won’t die wan lah… but got, even better!” :p
Just a highlight: Food people say you MUST try in Penang:
1. Char Kuey Teow
2. Loh Mee
3. Nasi Kandar
*Note: I’m using initials because some of my friends prefer anonymity*
1st day Penang – Tea-time Char Kuey Teow and Ice Kacang
Many people recommend different places to eat Char Kuey Teow like the Sister's char kuey teow. However, my local friend says Auntie Goggles is the best. Other opinions are like these few links.
My Penang friend, Miss A, brought us to eat the infamous “Auntie Goggles” char kuey teow at Lorong Selamat, off Macalister Road. We reached about 3pm (odd hour) but still the place was quite full.
We happened to be after a large group of one dozen people. We waited about half and hour for the infamous char kuey teow. We ordered drinks and this poh piah (is this correct?) while we waited.
Why call “Auntie Goggles”? Well, when she cooks, she wears goggles to protect her eyes from the heat or smoke. Be careful, a few stalls down, there is a man selling char kuey teow who wears goggles when he fries too. Miss A. says “auntie goggles” started wearing goggles first and her dish is nicer.
I find the portion small for RM6.50 but it was compensated with the 3 big prawns. The difference with the char kuey teow I normally eat is that this one is not too darker coloured and they fried it with lap cheong (which is a chinese sausage made from pork); making it taste sweeter. The lard they used to fry also makes it taste yummier. It’s a different style from those I normally eat. A number of char kuey teow I eat in Klang Valley is very greasy and sometimes over-fried (chau ta).
Next, we headed a few shops down to the “uncle goggles” just to eat Ice Kacang. What is so special about this? It’s the peanut ice-cream. The 4 of us shared one bowl with double scope of ice-cream which was rather small. Mmmm… Atapchi is equally divided among us. I’m reminded of Phu Chu Kang’s mother who makes ice kacang. ;) Wondered if they only sell the peanut ice-cream.
1st day Penang – Song River Restaurant Dinner
Miss A’s parents brought us down to Gurney Drive to Song River Restaurant to try a variety of hawker food. The hawker food at the end of Gurney Drive was a no-no as it was public holidays and I bet it would have been too crowded to even get a seat. Parking itself along Gurney Drive is a challenge. Song River has an open parking just next to it across the small road.
Here is the food we got to sample that night.
Braised chicken leg with black mushroom – my favourite! I can’t believe I ate so much chicken leg that weekend. Irony – I used to get grossed out eating chicken leg when I was younger because I imagined that feet stepped everywhere and I have to put it in my mouth! Ewwww… As an adult, I love it. Haha I read somewhere it’s high in cholesterol though.
The texture was smooth soft skin whereby literally you can slurp off the skin. The mushroom was soaked long enough with all the sauces. One of us just had her first chicken leg that night!
The boiled sotong (squid?) with veggie in dark rojak sauce. Yummy. I usually eat this too as it’s one of my dad favourites.
Loh Mee / Hokkien Mee
In Klang Valley, hokkien mee is this usually thick noodles cooked in dark, blackish gravy with prawn, squid, vegetables, etc. In Penang, hokkien mee is the prawn mee we eat in Klang Valley. The yellow noodles are cooked in the clear prawn soup with other ingredients like: prawn, spinach, slices of chiken meat, slices of fish cake, or a slice of hard-boiled egg.
It’s all right for me as I try not to eat too much prawn mee to aggravate my pimples because Chinese believe prawn is “poisonous” (tok). Some will add in the spoonful of sambal and make the soup even spicier. Me … it’s enough without the sambal.
Basically it consists an array of fried food like fried rolled meat, fried .. .. etc. One dips the pieces into the accompanied sauce. It’s like finger food. Cripsy on the outside and soft inside.
Thanks Aunty & Uncle! They were excited to bring us out to try so many different kind of food. I felt bad about troubling A’s parents to buy for me Eno after that. (Eno helps indigestion) Sighh I got no stamina to eat so much and my stomach was on strike after that. But I learned my lesson and ate smaller portions the next day. Perhaps too many chicken legs… hahahah
Other reviews on Song River Restaurant.
The 2nd day review will be coming up next...