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Posts Tagged ‘Hawker Centres’

It is a fun and weird thought altogether, definitely.

I’ve been feeling like a young 30 something guy my whole life long. Lots of sports and hobbies, traveling much,  operating a few local successful businesses, among them a small flying school…  and leaving finally Europe for living in Asia about almost 10 years ago.    In short: a very busy and adventurous life.

Ok, probably also not the most healthy one but who cares? One only live once. On the other hand, I stopped smoking more than 3 years ago, stopped drinking strong booze also years ago. So, no problem, right?

Wrong, as all of a sudden, according to the doctors, I’m suffering from a weak heart. Huh???  After being admitted to the well-known  Queen Mary Uni Hospital here in town for observation, they even had to fight all of a sudden for keeping me alive. Go figure. A serious shock for my ego, difficult to admit, although, as I realised later, a perfect timing  had brought me to the hospital. In hindsight however some warnings already had been manifesting themselves. I just didn’t catch them.

However, things are getting back to normal after that catastrophic last 3 months of 2011. After our not-so-funny-stay in Penang in september because of the passing away of my wife’s aunt and also her mother and after my personal health problem, we now just returned from Penang after arranging some administration with banks and other firms. And (grin)… after writing and officially registering my will!  (A thing I only thought about doing after that bloody-Near-Death experience.  Maybe all of us should think about that one in time! )

Of course Pulau Penang to me means also enjoying lots of the local food.  I only was hoping my medicine intake results would not be influenced by all the yummy, but alas, maybe not recommended food I enjoy there.   (One only lives once though, remember…).   Lucky me however, because after returning to HK and after some blood checks by my doctor, everything was ok! So, the original planning about retiring to Penang to enjoy the local cuisine stays an objective for my future life. – Great, as now I am ready for returning to my food paradise as soon as we can.

BTW, happy CNY: Kung Hei Fat Choi to everyone.

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

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

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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:

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Ordering beef & chicken satay from Satay Station No 33.

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Cooking the Satay skewers to perfection over a charcoal fire.
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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

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

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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.

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Malaysia, truly Asia…

Last year in January we quickly had to use up  free Cathay air miles as their expiry date was nearing. We decided to spend a week in Sabah on Borneo and booked a  little hotel, The Hamin Lodge.  Ratings on the travel websites were better than average and while the place was not High End, it was clean and had a nice bathroom. Also important:  it came really inexpensive, especially if comparing with those resorts à la Rasa Sayiang and Co. It might seem like comparing apples and oranges but all depends what you expect from your holidays. In this case no need for a lazy stay at a beach resort alongside  the pool/bar/spa, nibbling on not so good resort-like finger food etc. We wanted a bit more action to get an idea about the environment, the local [sea]food and get on some Rain Forrest trail to visit our brethren, the [red] men of the woods… aka bro and sis Orang Utan.  

As for the Lodge, the only negative experience was the mattress on the first night: hard like rock. After remarks made the morning after they immediately changed ours to a softer version. Terima Kassih!

Hamin Lodge website: www.haminlodge.com

Another positive coincidence was that the hotel was next to one of the most popular food courts of KK. – Seri Selera @ Sedco Complex. The $$ saved on Hotel prices were used to make our tummies purr with joy. Most evenings we ended up here enjoying the seafood, lobsters, steamed garoupa, satay, veggies, cockels and all you can dream of  in coastal Malaysian seafood places.

Have a look at their website here: http://www.seriselera.com/public/aboutus.asp

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Staff in the morning cleaning the veggies and setting up the tables.

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Early evening. Food court getting ready for welcoming  the customers.

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Rock lobster RIP. ‘t was an excellent beast.

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Garoupa steamed to perfection.

 

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Making your choice from the many fish tanks is serious business.

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Videos with thanks to the bloggers from www.malaysia.com 

Even if the place is a bit touristic, top food quality is also present.

 The entertainment provided did include dancers performing the Magunatip, Sabah’s most famous Murut bamboo dance.

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Being both customer and judge doesn’t make us foodies as if we were having a PhD in that inexact science called Epicurean Gourmetology. Admit it, we just are not objective when it comes to food. Our upbringing, our cultural inheritance, our traditions and also our instinctive aversion of some exotic dishes do play tricks on us.

Hawker centres however have a huge advantage with their many stalls to allow you always to find that yummy dish among the large choice on offer. There are so many hawker centres in Penang that it would be impossible to try them all.

We all have our preferences because of that one famous stall in that one particular hawker centre that serves that one famous dish that we consider our favourite.

Goodall

Goodall Food Court

Goodall Food Court is quite large, situated at the corner of Jalan Scott and Jalan Gottlieb. Very convenient for us as it’s very close to our house in Penang. My favourite cockles cooked in a hot and spicy sauce are found here.

 cockels

Also the satay stall offers very high quality, although I do agree that it’s maybe a very easy dish to cook.

 Satay

My wife also likes the Poh Piah sold here

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while her mom says the Durian seller has great quality and is also very inexpensive.

Durian

(Regarding the stall that sells chicken wings and bisshop’s noses: not as good as the one on Gurney drive’s Song River Food court.)

Here is the one on Gurney drive:

Song River food court

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