Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September, 2009

 

For those with a sweet tooth: Muar Chee

IMG_0901

Sin Hup Aun Kafe is situated in Pulau Tikus at the corner of Jalan Pasar and Jalan Moulmein. On the street in front of the shop there always are a few stalls selling fruits and sweets like those colourful rice snacks and other candy or Muar Chee.

IMG_1330

Muar Chee is made from glutinuous rice paste, steamed. And then, it is cut into small cubes and mixed with grounded, roasted peanuts and sugar. One can choose whether to add some fried onions on top too.

IMG_1457

Have a look how the Muar Chee is made:

Read Full Post »

Kopitiam Kek Seng... since 1906

Kopitiam Kek Seng... since 1906

Located along Penang Road, near Komtar Kek Seng is well known for its  durian ice-cream and ais kacang. For my better half, Kek Seng brings back childhood memories about visiting the place with her school friends.  IMG_1260

The shop started more than 100 years ago: established in 1906. 

IMG_1263

As the sweet stuff  is not exactly my thing, we went for some little snacks as we already had a great breakfast earlier at the Kedai Kopi Classic and it still was way to early for lunch. IMG_1262

We ordered a small plate of Loh Bak. I was surprised by its excellent taste but then I learned later that the place is very well known for the loh  bak as well as for its desserts.

IMG_1265

I also ordered a bowl of their Assam Laksa. I did like it although perhaps the soup was a bit light and watery. For the laksa there definitely are better places. I’ll write later about some of them that we patronized.

IMG_1266bis

 We then tried the Popiah. Very decent one although a little dry as they did not add some of the juicy soup. (My favourite one is served by a stall on Padang Brown.)

IMG_1269bis

Excellent and refreshing watermelon juice

Excellent and refreshing watermelon juice

All in all, Kek Seng is a nice place to eat and to contemplate the history of Penang… I wonder what George Town looked like in the early 1900s.

Read Full Post »

Hokkien Mee 

IMG_1366 

 Address: 126, Jln Perak, Pulau Pinang.
Open: 8am-12pm – Close: Tuesdays.
Contact Person: Mr Ooi Hee Phen.
Tel: 016-436 8910

Situated  close to Padang Brown food court, this coffee shop is known for its excellent hokkien Mee. A very popular venue among locals. Even if you show up before 8am you still might have to wait some time to get your dish. In our case, we only staid a little week in Penang, went about 4 times for breakfast there and waited always between 3o till 45 minutes to get our bowl of heavenly Hokkien Mee.

IMG_1367

Lots of regulars indeed do call to make reservations for picking up several batches. While we were there and waiting at a table, sipping on our drinks, the phone didn’t stop! Calling for take away 3, 4, and up to 7 batches.

The place is a real goldmine in our opinion. I couldn’t really count the number of Hokkien mee bowls that were delivered while we were waiting. I’m sure though that after a few hours of morning service, several hundred batches of Hokkien mee are sold every day.

IMG_1460

Also amazing is that the lady in charge of taking the orders never ever writes anything down. It’s all by memory to know whose turn it is and what dish: regular, with more prawns, extra or large. Beats me how she remembers it all but she’s really good at it.IMG_1369

As far as the Hokkien Mee dish itself is concerned: it’s    reallllllyyyy   and trulllllyy  the best I ever had in my life till today. Of course  it’s all about the secret of the broth. The soup here is very well balanced yet very spicy. I also think they add a lot of lala shells in the preparation because I thought eating some of that small shell-meat seafood while finishing the soup.

If you’ve never tried the kedai kopi Classic Hokkien Mee, by Jove,  I’ve only one suggestion for you. Get your butt running for it as soon as you can! You’ll not regret.  No boss, no ma’am, you won’t regret at all!

Read Full Post »

Padang Brown, also known as Padang Dato Keramat in George Town is bordered by Dato Kramat Road, Perak Road, Anson Road and Johore Road.

IMG_1441

The chinese section opens in the afternoon while the Malay section runs in the evening. At least that was our impression.

IMG_1292

Malay section closed in the afternoon

Malay section closed in the afternoon

The land on which Padang Brown is located was donated by David Brown, one of the wealthiest landowner in Penang at the time.
Brown Memorial, erected in Esquire D. Brown’s memory, once stood in the middle of Padang Brown. It was subsequently shifted to the corner, near the junction of Jalan Perak and Jalan Anson, and stands today in the midst of the Padang Brown Food court.
The food court itself has a Chinese section next to Dato Kramat road and a mostly Malay section that borders the Padang. The day of our arrival we checked it out in the evening and it seems that only the Malay section was in operation while the Chinese part already was closed down. I think they open only from noon till late afternoon. But there are also Chinese stall on the other side of the field, along Johore road. They open in the evening as well. We had some great Satays, prepared the Malay way:

img_1236bis2

Ordering beef & chicken satay from Satay Station No 33.

IMG_1238

IMG_1235bis
Cooking the Satay skewers to perfection over a charcoal fire.
IMG_1239

Padang Brown food court – Malay section Beef and chicken satay, accompagnied by the traditional cucumber, onion and a well balanced satay sauce. On another occasion we went back in the afternoon to some more food at the Chinese section of the food court. BTW, they have a parking lot that you can enter from Dato Kramat Road,just opposite the “Kedai Kopi Classic”, famous for its Hokkien Mee. This time the Malay section was closed while the Chinese one was starting to get in full swing. We came here to check out a specific stall. According to local foodies, one of the best popiah tastings on the whole Island defends its reputation here. We arrived round 01pm but the stallwas still not in operation. After asking around we were told they usually show up round 2 pm!  Ah…ain’t it sweet to be a famous hawker celebrity? You pick your own working hours as you know patrons will always be lining up to buy your stuff.While strolling around,  a Malaysian Pancake stall looked like selling very nice banana pancakes. I hesitated but still, as I am not really into sweet deserts etc,  I decided not to try it out. Maybe on a next visit.Yummy pancakes for those with a sweet tooth
Malaysian Pancake stall

Malaysian Pancake stall

While waiting for the popiah, my wife decided on getting some cendol. Looked great but again to sweet for my taste buds.IMG_1436

IMG_1437

 

Then, finally the local Prince of Popiah made his entree on the Royal Tricycle with pots filled with all his goodies.

IMG_1442

IMG_1301So, now let’s see what all the fuss is about. BTW, when you are ordering, do address the old lady because SHE says SHE is in charge of the orders. She was not the most nice person to address (attitude problem that might be related to be a [rich] local celebrity?) but hey, we didn’t come for her but for HIS popiah!

Indeed it is the best popiah I had till now. During our stay we went back several times for more and more. Have a look at the preparation on site, and enjoy.

Read Full Post »

We flew Air Asia before in 2004 but this was a first for a direct return flight from Hong Kong to Penang. Not a disappointment at all! Agreed, one has to walk a bit more to get to the airplane and you have to walk up a flight of stairs to get in the plane. So what? Even the POTUS has to do that on AF1!

3 hours and a few minutes after take off we walked through immigration, got us a taxi ticket and were on our way to savour Pg Food Paradise for a week. After getting rid of our luggage at mom’s place, we took the car and went for FOOD!

Kedai kopi Sin Hwa, Burma road, Pulau Tikus: here we come!IMG_1222

 

Sin Wha coffee shop

It happened to be “Malay New Year” this Monday 21st, so the place was crowded. No problem to wait for about 30/40 minutes because at the end of the tunnel there was something better than light: namely Char Koay Teow!

In the mean time we had some refreshing drinks and then, 75 minutes after landing + 40 minutes waiting:

CKT at Sin Hwa coffee shop  

However, the CKT was ok but did not convince me as being one of the best. Maybe the cook was under much pressure because of the many customers that day. It seemed to us that the dish was a bit off balance and a little too oily. I noticed he made batches for 4 to 5 plates at one go. Perhaps that influenced the finesse of the taste?

 Then again: hear, hear… are we too picky? We will try again on a next visit. And yes, even if we are critical, the CKT still was tasty!

IMG_1221

At the corner of the street, facing Kopitiam See Kong was a hawker stall selling Malaysian pancakes. A big crowd around was telling the best marketing publicity story ever… One day I’ll try the pancakes, even if I don’t have a sweet tooth!

pancakes

Read Full Post »

Food Atelier

The kitchen equipment in western cuisines is sometimes very abundant. Also sometimes silly.

I remember buying tools that afterwards are kept in the closet unused. One of my worst buys was a fruit press that I used only once. Why? Well, because of the time it took to clean the press after using it!  Not really a good investment.

On the other hand, some other kitchen ware and tools are almost a must for cooking. Ever heard about something called “Un saucier” or Sauce-maker? I do recommend this little pearl if you are a lover of tricky-to-make sauces, like “Hollandaise, Bèarnaise, Choron, Ravigote, etc.”

IMG_1167

 

Another little gadget I like very much is a so called grill pan, made of cast Iron and a great tool to grill fish, steak and even veggies like peppers (paprika) and such.

grill pan

Anyway, yesterday for diner we had some grilled steak (and Belgian fries, of course) with a home made bèarnaise sauce.

For the sauce: a half glass of white vinegar, a half glass of dry white wine, pepper and salt, fresh chopped tarragon, shallots, chervil, parsley. Put it all in the saucemaker at heating level 5 (hottest) Turn on the sauce maker and allow it to reduce till only 2 spoons of liquid remain.                                        Sieve and allow to cool down.

IMG_1166

Afterwards, add 3 egg yolks and the sieved reduced liquid to the saucemaker. Turn on at heating level 2 and start adding cubes of clarified butter. The sauce will thicken and after about 15 minutes turn the heating level down to 1. Add some freshly chopped tarragon leaves. Réserver.

IMG_1173

Heat up the grill pan and start grilling the (slightly oiled) steaks.

IMG_1175

Finish the fries and serve:

IMG_1177bis

Bon appétit!

Read Full Post »

witloof

Here is another recipe from Flanders’ traditional cuisine – (serves 4)

  • 8 endives aka witloof or chicon.
  • 8 slices of cooked white ham
  •  milk
  •  flour
  •  butter
  •  a mix of grated gruyere cheese and grated  parmegiano (parmesan) cheese.
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg

——————————————————————————–

  • Clean endives and remove outer leaves, cut and hollow out the root base to remove bitterness
  • Steam endives till almost soft.
  • Collect the cooking juice.
  • Cover and braise for 3 minutes in a pan with butter.
  • Combine evenly until endives are slightly caramelized.
  • Endives should drain off a maximum amount of water for the next cooking step.
  • Make a clear roux:
  • Melt butter in a pot
  • Add flour as soon as butter has melted but do not allow it to brown.
  • Return to heat and gradually add milk while stirring well
  • Add juice from cooking endives
  • Continue to stir
  • Reduce heat
  • Salt, pepper and grate a generous amount of nutmeg
  • Add most of the grated cheese and let it melt in the sauce while continuing to stir
  • Reduce to obtain a creamy, thick sauce
  • Remove rind from ham slices
  • Roll each endive in a slice of ham and place them in a baking dish
  • Pour white sauce over all roulades
  • Add the rest of the grated gruyere to the dish after 10 minutes of cooking time and let it brown and cook the dish in a pre-heated oven or salamander
  • Serve hot accompanied with homemade mashed potatoes that are also cooked under the salamander till the top layer is crispy brown.

 

Next time I’m cooking the dish, I will take some pics of the process and update this post.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »