Friday, October 24, 2014

Food Hunter's Guide @ Kulim (居林), Kedah.

Kulim of Kedah would make a short but great getaway from Penang; not only that the town is quiet and surrounded by greeneries but it has a handful of hidden gems for foodies to unveil either. Kulim is approximately 40 minutes' drive from Penang Island and 15 minutes from Alma, Bukit Mertajam. Kulim is a great place for a half-day food adventure and to experience the relaxing and slow-paced life while looking at the heritage building in the heartland of Kulim. 

First Stop: Tan Kee Roast Duck (鲁乃陈记烧鸭) @ Lunas, Kedah.



Crispy Roasted Duck with Sour Plum Sauce (Half Bird for Rm 16)


Tan Kee's Signature Roasted Duck (Half Bird for Rm 15)


Braised Duck with Yam (Rm 7- Small/ Rm 13- Large)


Braised Beancurd and Eggs (Rm 3 for all these)

We started our early lunch at Lunas, Kedah before heading to Kulim. Lunas is approximately 10-15 minutes' drive from Kulim. It is a mistake to miss the famous Tan Kee Roast Duck if you are visiting Lunas. The restaurant has been operating for more than 30 years and has since, gained much attention not only from the locals but foreigners as well. We prefer their Sour Plum variant more than its signature Roasted Duck, the early one has a crispy skin, nicely served with a tangy and appetizing sour-sweet Plum Sauce. The Duck was tender and beautifully cooked, little effort was necessary to detach the meat. The latter one was delicious as well but we thought it was not good enough for us to drive all the way here just for it. Braised Duck with Yam was something special but I was not a huge fan of it, though my partners in crime seemed to enjoy the dish a lot. Other side dishes available are Kiam Chai Boey, Roasted Pork Belly, Roasted Chicken etc. Beware not to stuff too much of meat here as it may be your first stop of your food adventure.


Additional Information:
Non-Halal
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 69I, 69J, 69K, Jalan Raya, 09600, Lunas, Kedah.
Business Hours: 10 am to 8 pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 484 1918


Second Stop: Kelang Lama Home-made Chai Kuih (老火较菜粿)


Home-made Chai Kuih (Rm 0.70/ each)

Hidden inside a residential area behind Jalan Kelang Lama is a humble stall selling home-made Chai Kuih/ Teo Chew Steamed Vege-Dumplings. There are two types of Chai Kuihs available- julienned Jicama and Chives. Both are different yet similar in its own way. The crystal clear skin was smooth but I thought the skin could be thinner. The filling was great- fresh, crunchy and delicately salted; even better with a light dip on the Chili sauce.


Additional Information:
Pork-Free
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: Kampung Tunku Putra, 09000, Kulim, Kedah.
Business Hours: 11 am to 5: 30 pm. Closed on every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.


Third Stop: Kelang Lama Assam Laksa (老火较叻沙)



Assam Laksa (Rm 3.50- Small/ Rm 4.50- Large) and Prawn Cracker (Rm 0.30/ piece)


Ice Kacang (Rm 2.30)

You may wish to pack your Chai Kuih and walk to next door as the neighbour serves one of the most famous Assam Laksas in Kulim. The place is especially famous amongst the factory workers so it can be quite crowded during lunch hours. The Assam Laksa possessed a very strong Tamarind flavor with very little fishy-note hidden beneath. The Noodles, on the other hand, were not as springy as I would have hoped. A better way to savor the Assam Laksa will be dipping the Prawn Cracker into the soup, for a crunchier and more layered texture. Not mind-blowingly good but more than sufficient to stimulate your appetite.


Additional Information:
Pork-Free
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: Kampung Tunku Putra, 09000, Kulim, Kedah.
Business Hours: 11 am to 6: 30pm. Closed on every Wednesday.
Contact Number: 604- 490 4938

Fourth Stop: Anak Kulim Eatery


Pumpkin Noodle Soup (Rm 7.90)


Black Forest Chicken Rice (Rm 8.90)


Japanese Cotton Cheese Cake (Rm 7.90)


Ice Lemon Tea (Rm 3.90) and Three-Spices Tea (Rm 3.90)

Stepping into Anak Kulim Eatery feels like stepping into a time portal, it feels like we were being sent back to two centuries ago. The home-made Chinese wooden furniture and antiques exuded a mysterious yet relaxing vibe. It was raining on our visit and the whole cafe was breezy and airy. Anak Kulim proffers a small home-cooked menu at unbelievably low prices. We were introduced to Pumpkin Noodle Soup by one of the servers, the broth carried bits of Pork Meat with a mellow Pumpkin-sweetness. The beaten Egg, however, over-shadowed the Pumpkin flavor. The flavors were just too thin and we thought it may be better if they could add another pinch of Salt. 

The second dish- Black Forest Chicken, was lovely. Whole Chicken Thigh was braised till fork tender using Dark Soya Sauce and various kinds of Herbs that we could not discern. It has some familiar flavors of my aunt's recipe and it was very comforting for a wet rainy day. The star dish of the day, however, goes to the sweet ending- Japanese Cotton Cheese Cake. The Cake was soft, fluffy with a mellow Cheesy flavor and a well-balanced sweetness. Pair it with the refreshingly sour-sweet Three-Spices Tea and they will be your perfect complement to your relaxing afternoon.


Additional Information:
Non-Halal
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 66A, Jalan Raya, 09000, Kulim, Kedah.
Business Hours: 12 pm to 8 pm on every Tuesday to Saturday. 12 pm to 6 pm on Sundays. Closed on every Monday.
Contact Number: 604- 490 6148