Penang: Georgetown (III)

date: july 2014 
destination: malaysia, penang

[part 3: food]
 

With an ethnic composition similar to our little red dot, it is no surprise that Penang cuisine is equally diverse. Over the few days in Penang, we had our fill of Char Kway Teow and Penang Laksa, Rojak, Prawn Mee, Lor Mee but it was never enough! I had to hold back my tears on the way to the airport just thinking about all the food we didn't get to eat.

•  •  •

 

[Above] 

This bowl of Penang Prawn Noodles  (Hokkien Mee) is set to tantalise the taste buds. The noodles come with a hard-boiled egg and prawns, and the option to add on other ingredients such as pork ribs, roast pork, meat balls.. etc. Of course, we had to have the best and we added everything. The Penang prawn noodles (Hokkien Mee) is prepared in a very different style from the ones in Singapore. It is sweet and tangy at the same time, but nowhere as sour as Penang Laksa. The roast pork was impossibly crispy despite being served in the soup, and the flavours burst with every crunch.

Old Green House Restaurant
223, Jalan Burma , Penang 10300

[Below]

The best thing to have in 100 degree celcius Penang weather would be this bowl of simple, no-frills Chendol. It was hard to hunt down the best Chendol as there were many similar stalls citing themselves as the most popular. We found the stall in a crowded alley where people nestled at the sides of the road, careful not to spill any bit of this heavenly dessert while avoiding vehicles passing through. Each bowl is packed with pandan-flavored palm floor noodles (green worms thingy), coconut milk, gula melaka and kidney beans. The coconut milk is so refreshing and light – practically a life-saver in the intense heat, and it leaves you lapping up every drop for more.

Penang Road Teochew Chendul
27 & 29, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town, 10100

Cozy in the Rocket

• • • 

With a thriving cafe scene in Penang, we were spoilt rotten for choice when it comes to choosing where to go! I love Cozy in the Rocket for it's eccentric name, and the alluring artsy vibe. I would say that it is my favourite out of the many cafes we have visited. The vintage style cafe is completed with a touch of green, and wide windows that lets the sunlight in. The cafe extends into a beautiful courtyard where visitors can sit and enjoy the buzz from the busy street while enjoying the comfort the earthy ambience provides. Food and coffee was great, and I love the random artworks in this cafe which gave a touch of personality. 

262 & 264, Lebuh Pantai 
Penang 10300 

China House

• • • 

We followed a trail of cake crumbs and it led us to China House where platters of cakes were laid out before us. Like in the classic fable of Hansel and Gratel, it was practically a fat kid's dream come true.

After a very hearty brunch, we settled for a slice of lemon poppyseed cake  and a slice of buttermilk chocolate earl grey cake which were both moist and delicious. The facade of China House is both traditional and contemporary at the same time, it felt like we were transported back into the glitzy era of colonial times. Definitely worth visiting. :-)

153, Lebuh Pantai, Georgetown,
Penang 10300

 joyeaux cafe

• • • 

Less is More.

The concept worked wonderfully for this minimal and simple cafe. It was almost like stepping into a Japanese-French styled boulangerie. The soft hues and wooden furnishing of this place provided a homely feel. We opted for level 2 seating and were in awe of a ceiling filled with patio lights. Every part of the design of the cafe was well-considered – from the use of light and space, to the canvas material the menu has been printed on. I particularly enjoy the photos on their facebook page as well.

79 Jalan Nagore
Penang, Malaysia

Pit Stop Cafe

•  •  •

There were a couple more cafes that we actually covered but here are the most memorable ones! Pit Stop was the cafe we actually literally staggered into, barely escaping the ruthless heat.

12, Lebuh Chulia, Georgetown, Penang 10200

So we have come to the end of Georgetown Trilogy, thanks for sticking around! By the end of this post, we are actually contemplating on attempting a #sweatdripsdownour___ II Penang food trip! Till then, I will be dreaming about the tasty Hokkien Mee, Assam Laksa, and Chendol ..... (breaks out in cold sweat). Have a lovely week ahead. 

Georgetown Trilogy : Part I [sights], Part II [art], Part III [food]

Penang : Georgetown (II)

date: July 2014
Destination: Malaysia, Penang

[Part 2: art]
 

It isn't hard at all to imagine Georgetown to be a home for the arts – characterised by years of history and its rich heritage, the rustic appeal of the place adds extra charm and character.

In the recent years, Penang has become a popular tourist spot among the youngsters. With Ernest Zacharevic doing his  art residency in Penang, people from all over the word adjourn to join in the hunt for murals by Zacharevic scattered across the island. These murals are whimsical, and heartwarming  – it is admirable how a Lithuania-born artist is able to succinctly capture the spirit of an islander's way of life.

It is obvious that tourism has become very much integrated into the locals' lives and street art tours are very popular among the tourists, ourselves included. Everywhere we went, shops are selling souvenirs, street art guides were given out, and all you have to do to track down that particular mural was to ask a local and they would tell you exactly where it is.

However it was no joke exploring in this intense heat, I have never perspired so much since my visit to Cambodia. I am so glad to have gone on this trip with my two friends, Lynette and Yahui, who willingly accommodate to my pleas to seek refuge while I was at the brink of self-incinerating. The hashtag for our trip on Instagram is also pretty much self-explanatory.  #sweatdripsdownmy_____.

While  we are not trying to cool ourselves down from the sweltering heat in air-conditioned cafes, we are out mural/street food hunting. We have had a lot of fun fooling around, taking pictures with the street art and trying to create our own stories in the depicted scenes. Here are some pictures from our mural hunting excursions  –

Hin Bus Company
65, 52, Jalan Gurdwara, Georgetown, 10300 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

I always had a penchant for old spaces that are given a new lease of life. This converted art space was formerly a bus deport, and this was where Ernest Zacharevic held his first solo exhibition. When we got there, most of the art pieces were sold and no longer on display but the large scale drawings that Zacharevic left in that space were equally impressive.

For the fact that we were mainly in Georgetown the entire trip, you can tell that there were a plenty of hidden alleys for us to explore, and more than enough cafes to visit to keep us cool and entertained.

In the final part of this Georgetown Trilogy (name coined by Yahui), I'll be sharing a list of cafes and food that we have conquered over the past few days. So, stay tuned. :-)

Georgetown Trilogy : Part I [sight], Part II [art], Part III [food]

Penang: Georgetown (I)

date: july 2014 
destination: malaysia, penang

[part 1: sight]
 

Penang may be a mere 2hrs flight away from Singapore, but it was traveling back to a time reminiscent for my parents and grandparents.

Georgetown, has been listed as one of the UNESCO conserved site in the world. In recent years, the island has drawn crowds from all over the world with a reputation of its thriving art scene. Its rustic, untouched beauty reserved a part of history for all to explore. As the lustre of the town slowly faded with time, certain parts of the town is so dilapidated and left abandoned. However, it is not uncommon to see the poor making a home out of the rubble. Everywhere we went, we see old folks peering inquisitively out of their gate, a little shy and perhaps precarious about the fast changing world outside of the place they have called home for so many years. This might be a very naive thought, but I'm really hoping that tourism would help improve the lives of the islanders as Penang is largely made up of an ageing population where the old people get very little government support. :-( 

The picturesque appeal of the town was undeniable. Time has evidently left its mark on the town, with its washed-out concrete exteriors and the muted pastel palette painted across the town. We found ourselves surrounded by the beautiful typography embellished in old signages, layers of textures and patterns at every corner. It was simply impossible to put the camera away. As a result, I have like a million pictures from the 4-day trip which is actually the reason why I found it so hard to blog about it. I can only resort to splitting the trip into 3 different posts to cater to the various categories of interest, so here's the first one introducing the colours and texture of the little island. Enjoy :-)

Georgetown Trilogy : Part I [sight], Part II [art], Part III [food]