Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Penang, and its Food (Holiday Version)

After Blogfest, I decided to stay on for an additional 2 days just to explore and feel the country. That was how I discovered Penang was really hot. Blogfest had me nicely sheltered in Wawasan, and if not there were buses and cars ferrying me around. So what's Penang like without the tourist-y service?

Okay let's take a look at what Penang is really famous for...the food!!!!
Yeah I was prepared to jeopardize my diet for the week. Since I'm in Penang, try their stuff!

Coffeeshops like these are everywhere in Penang. And most eating places open at 6pm and close around midnight to 1am.

 Penang Prawn Mee. They call it Hokkien Mee. Very different from our version of Hokkien Mee. Ours is dry, theirs is soupy. But they use yellow noodles and bee hoon as well. I had my first Penang Prawn Mee in London, at this place opened by a Singaporean/Malaysian called Bugis Street (Yes, named after the Bugis St in Singapore). It was conveniently located at the lobby of the hotel our cabin crew stayed in. The noodles in London, cmi la, but the soup...omg...the soup made me order this dish EVERY time I went to London and stayed in that hotel. Sedap~~~~~~~~~ So, now that I'm in Penang where this dish originated, of course I had to try the local one! 

Maybe it was this stall, but I really really still prefer the one in London. The next time you're in London, go try.

Char Kway Teow, another famous dish in Penang. Their CKT is not as dark as ours. =)

 Chee Cheong Fun. We ate at New World Park just 10 min walk away from Hotel Royal (I had no idea where we were at this point, got offthe bus, and just eat. I was told CCF from this stall's quite famous. Took a bit of getting used to, because they use A LOT OF prawn paste in the gravy. But after that I found myself hooked. Penang's dishes tend to be more strong in flavour. And for someone like me who prefers bland-er soupy stuff, it's a holiday-then-eat-them kinda thing. If I live there, I would probably eat these things less. Lol.

Maybe I wasn't convinced that Penang Prawn Mee tasted like the one I had on my first day, I tried it again, this time at New World Park. Almost the same leh... Maybe this is the original one and the London one had been altered to suit Londoners' tastes? I don't know.

By the way New World Park is a very big hawker centre with many many stalls, like our Lau Pa Sat. And behind the food court are many shops and bistros which you can dine in as well. Old Town White Coffee's there too. =) Oh did you know Old Town originated from Penang? =) And why is it called white coffee? They don't use the usual milk. Instead, palm oil was added. Interesting eh? 

The rest of the meals eaten during Blogfest.Asia were all catered buffets, so I didn't really take any pictures. But like I said, I went to explore Penang a bit on my own after that. =D

 All ready to go out!

The largest KFC is just across the road from Hotel Royal, and someone told me Malaysia's KFC tastes better. So of course I had to try.

 Chilli sauce bottles were on the table, and there were !!! 2 types of chillis! The SOS Thai Chilli, and the normal one. The Thai chilli is a bit spicier but more flavourful as compared to boring old safe chilli.

I only had 2 pieces la....

There were plenty of run-down shophouses in Penang. And only upon reaching home did I realize the lush greenery sprouting out of the buildings! Lol~

You won't get to see much of this left in Singapore.

Okay, this!!! This reminds me of the open makan stalls just outside Somerset MRT some years ago! It was a open air carpark by day, and a makanhaven by night. What sits on that ground now is 313. Yup! I used to love eating there, despite the prominence of birds above and the fact that it was a "Bird-Droppings Bombing Site".

 The buses in Penang look like this.

And because pedestrian crossings are endangered and are so hard to come by, crossing the roads were a real challenge.

 This is a carpark meter. Each parking lot comes with its own meter, and you pay the amount required depending on how long you park, and it will start counting down.

 49 minutes left? Many of these meters were out of order. So if you park at that lot with the faulty meter, it's your lucky day! =D

 An old shophouse ready to be torn down.

 No workers seem to be working on this project though....and I really wonder how long this shophouse has been in this state.

 And we were walking and walking under the scorching hot sun (I was really grouchy), we went to the Penang State Museum, and boy, was I glad to be able to hide into the airconditioned comfort. It costs RM1 per entry, and you get to read about Penang and its er...history..., as well as the different races and nationalities that made up Penang.

Outside the museum were these old vehicles from yesteryears. This particular Rolls Royce had suffered 57 gunshots due to an attack towards a particular minister. (Yeah, I don't really remember history well, which was why I was a Geography student)

 I didn't have time to visit Penang Hill, but this is an old Penang Hill Coach. It's made to be senget because the way up Penang Hill is slanted.

Penang State Museum's open from 9am to 5pm, and is closed on Fridays.
Visit for details. 

I met Lawrence for dinner at Gurney Plaza~ He's really having a rough time being here all alone. But he's been getting good reviews for his acting, so let's wish him all the best okay? 王冠逸, 我挺你!
That's Lawrence on the left.

It feels really nice to meet someone from your own company in a foreign place. Like even during Blogfest.Asia, on the 2nd night, my mum contacted me and told me she too was in Penang (biz trip). I asked her to join me for a while at the Bloggerconn Blog Awards. And my partner flew up to Penang on my last day with Blogfest.Asia to extend my holiday with me for another 2 days. Familiarity is comforting... =D

My last day in Penang. I was behind on like more than 10 blog posts due to me being in Penang, and I was trying to do whatever I could la. Why can't I holiday properly, huh, why????


 I was this happy because I could take a break and go for the hotel's complimentary buffet breakfast!!!!

 A great way to start the day - salads.

 Good ol' breakfast item - toasted bread. With butter. (NOT margarine.)

 I really really love it when my sunny side up's REALLY sunny. Like,with very runny egg yolks~ Yippee~~~
American breakfast rocks!
(Yah I know I'm in Penang, leave the heavy foods for later la~)

 I know it looked like there were 4 of us. But there were only 2.

I went back to Chew Jetty, because my partner's Chew, and I always like revisting places just to see if I can see anything new which I missed the previous time. I was hardly disappointed. =)

 This was a Cream Cracker container,converted into a mail box. Cool...reminds of Primary School art and craft days when we use recycled materials to make things.

Remember I mentioned Homestays were available here? Yup, I went to check the place out.

 Near the end of Chew Jetty is this PG Homestay.

WAH!!! Got Free wifi, karaoke and Astro channel to watch leh! Astro can watch Sg shows wor. Heard Your Hand in Mine is airing now on Astro.

 An interesting alternative to hotel stays which are always the same.
Email for details.

There is another one which you can visit -

 Oh, and facing the Homestay is a Police station on the jetty!!!! Ha! Nice~ Less worries about security issues! 

(Notice I said "less", not "no".)

 The same house that was displaying the bras are....erm....STILL displaying bras. In different colours...

Picture in the 1st Penang Blogfest post.

 There is a hair saloon????? Wow. I should go set up a manicure/beauty parlour. Make the villagers and aunties feel more beautiful. This place is really cool man~

 And I don't even have to worry about the heat. Airconditioning systems can be installed.

 I walked further down the clan jetties, and found this super atas house on Lim Jetty. Damn chio lor!

 And it's really huge...

 Bungalow on the jetty. This is Lim Jetty's version of a bungalow in Sentosa Cove. Lol~

 I was trying to find a place to eat, and I came across the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, built in 1897 to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (that's 60 years). Each foot represents a year of the queen's reign, so its 60-foot tall. But she died just before the tower was completed, so she didn't get a chance to see it. And a bomb that fell near the tower during the World War caused the tower to tilt slightly.

 I gave up trying to find a nice makan place on foot under the terrible weather, so I flagged down a cab. He offered to bring us to the famous Chocolate Boutique which I had heard about from Chris' mummy.

 All the chocolate's made in Malaysia, from Beryl's, and there were staggering varieties of chocolates - fruit chocs, chilli chocs, sesame chocs, coffee chocs, and even...get ready for this...TONGKAT ALI CHOCOLATES!!!!!!!!

I got to try ALL the chocolates there, so by the time I was done with the place, I was almost full. I didn't try the Tongkat Ali one la....

Introduction to Chocolate Boutique.

Introduction to their bestsellers, and reviews.

Number 2 Bestselling Chocolate - Durian Chocolate, with actual durian fillings.

Number 2 Bestselling Chocolate - with Mango filling. This one's nice, and I bought it home for my dear sister! She's a mango fan. =D

9 pieces inside, and she likes it!

This one's packaging looks like fruit juice!

THE Bestseller!!! I love dark chocolate!!!!!! There are 15 pieces inside each box, and it comes in 3 boxes for RM37. Really good deal, if you ask me.

If you're interested, you can always visit their website at for details. =D

I wanted to go back to the place where they first brought me, that big food court, but I had no idea what it's called. The taxi uncle brought me to the Old Town place!!! I didn't know that same place which I had been walking to from my hotel was the same place they brought me! Plus the past few nights I came for Old Town, the foodcourt was closed and dark, so I didn't venture in. So it's called New World Park. Silly blur-cock me. And I was walking ALL OVER George Town trying to find it. -.-"

Oh, taxis are generally inexpensive, but they hardly go by the meter. So settle on the rate before you hop on. I didn't la, but the uncle who brought me from Fort Cornwallis area to the Chocolate Boutique and then to New World Park charged me just RM15. And he offered to bring us to the airport from the hotel later on.

He says he does hire (包车服务) for RM25 per hour, and he can bring you around Penang to sightsee. (Max 5 hours.) Well, having a taxi uncle contact might just come in handy (for airport transfers especially), so I thought I'd share.
If you want his contact, his name's Ah Hoo (亚富), and he can be reached at 
  • 017-410 9518 or 
  • 016-467 9765

This was listed in the Penang Food Trail guide- Fried Oyster. Aiyoyo...sedap la~~~

Me the wanton mee freak. I just HAD to try their wanton mee since it is one of Penang's famous foods. Thicker noodles which are very QQ, and with dark dark sauce. Yum~~~

Can you blame me for putting on weight in Penang?

Okay, speaking of which, I actually did put on weight. Before I left, this was what showed on my weighing scale:

Weight                   : 52.1kg

Fat Percentage       : 21.3%
Hydration Level     : 54.1%
Muscle Percentage: 38.5%

And after I returned? I want to kill myself now...

Weight                   : 54.2kg (+2.1kg)

Fat Percentage       : 23.2% (+1.9%)
Hydration Level     : 52.8%
Muscle Percentage: 37.6%

And I had the cheek to cook brown rice porridge this morning....

Okay...there's my Penang trip for you, summarized. A pity I didn't to visit Penang Hill or the Firefly Sanctuary. Maybe some other time, if fate brings me back here again... That will be AFTER I really slim down. ^.^



  1. Hope you enjoy ur stay in Penang.
    and hope will see you in Singapore~

  2. The Rolls Royce was own by the same person who owned the mansion the Wawasan U is housed in, Yeap Chor Ee. It was the first in Penang.

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