Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ken Hunts Food: 24-Hour Food Guide in Penang.

Penang is famous for its diversified range of street food. It is not impossible to find and indulge in good food throughout the day. Here's how, this guide is especially useful when you are short of time and wish to fully utilize the time as well as your tummy space.

6 am: Te Chang You Tiao Wang/ Chinese Crullers

Old Penangites' favorite breakfast combination: Chinese Crullers/ You Tiao with a cup of hot Hainanese Black Coffee. It does not work for me, but it works for many for sure. You can grab a pair of extra long Chinese Crullers (approximately 14 inches) here at Te Chang You Tiao Wang. It opens as early as 6 am and all Chinese Crullers are freshly made and fried on the spot.

 Address: No. 1250 A, Jalan Paya Terubong, 11060, Ayer Itam, Penang.
 Business Hours: 6 am to 11 am. Closed on every Tuesday.

Alternatively, you may try Paya Terubong's Famous Hokkien Mee

If you are not a fan of Chinese Crullers, try to locate this Hokkien Mee along the same road. The stall is tucked within a village house. It is very famous amongst the neary residents. The broth is light and carries stronger pork notes with a soft shrimp flavor. Not particularly astonishing, but the place has ample parking space and spacious seating area. A bowl of Hokkien Mee costs Rm 3.30 (small).

Address: Along Jalan Paya Terubong, 11060, Air Itam, Penang.
Business Hours: 6 am to 11 am. Closed on every Sunday.

Your day continues with a bowl of good Hokkien Mee using a recipe passed down from previous generations. The addictive broth is robust with Prawn flavors and they are not close-fisted on giving Pork Lards and Chili Paste, but be prepared of the relentless queue. Expect at least a 30-minute wait if you wish to savor on this authentic Penang Hokkien Mee.

Address: No. 2-G-7, Lengkok Nipah, Taman Lip Sin, 11900, Bayan Lepas, Penang.
Business Hours: 7 am to 11:30 am. Opens Daily.

I would not say their version of Koay Teow Th'ng is authentic but who cares as long as they are good? I would recommend their La-Mien instead of Koay Teow Th'ng, for a springier texture and sweet Radish-Pork broth, completed with a beautiful soft-boiled Egg. If you wish, go for their Chicken Feet either, nicely cut and beautifully cooked, served with light Soya Sauce. Nothing spectacular but selling at Rm 2 per bowl, that's a steal!

Address: No. 37, Lorong Abu Siti, 10400, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hour: 8am to 9pm. Opens Daily (Closed on the 1st and 15th day of the Chinese Lunar Calendar).
Contact Number: 604- 227 0216

The long-established Hot Bowl is famous not only amongst the locals but foreigners as well. However, I did not find their Curry Mee outstanding. What impresses me is their Deboned Chicken; absolutely smooth, tender and juicy, even better to go with their home-made Chili sauce.Hot Bowl Curry Mee has since relocated to Rangoon Road.

Address: 58-C, Jalan Rangoon, 10400, Penang. 
Business Hour: 8am to 3pm; Closed on every Monday.
Contact number: 604- 227 3168

I am one of the regular patrons at this place, I love their home-made Eel Balls and velvety smooth Koay Teow but no Koay Teow Th'ng is perfect without Bird's Eye Chili condiment and this particular place has its own version- with Lime juice and chopped Garlic added.

Address: 183, Carnavon Street, 10100, Penang. *Beside 'Tiger' Char Koay Teow*
Business Hour: 8am to 4pm (Tuesday to Sunday); 8am to 1pm on Sunday. Closed on every Monday.
Contact Number: 017- 479 3208/ 017- 4773419

Nasi Ulam is a rare sight in Penang but it is even tougher to find a better one. Aunty Mimi serves good Nasi Ulam at unbeatable price; it goes perfectly with her special Assam Pedas. This combination is only available on every Friday, so be there as early as possible or call to reserve yours. Equally worth-savor dishes are Tom Yum Noodles, Nyonya Laksa and Assam Laksa.

Address: 41, Macalister Road, 10400, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hour: 9am to 2:30pm. Closed on every Saturday and Sunday.
Contact Number: 604- 226 5184 OR 019- 472 3311

You might want to try Tiger's Char Koay Teow especially when you are savoring your bowl of Koay Teow Th'ng at Pitt Street's as Tiger is only few shops away from Pitt Street's Koay Teow Th'ng. The Char Koay Teow here possesses the quintessential "Wok Hei" with fresh and succulent Prawns, yet, at wallet-friendly price. Another advantage: you need not to wait for a long time before they serve you your plate of piping hot Char Koay Teow or to face the infamous-discourteous lady at Lorong Selamat.

Address: 179, Carnavon Street, 10300, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 8am to 2:30pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 6016- 458 0926

My favorite Assam Laksa goes to Kim's at Balik Pulau. Reasons? A balanced medley of sweet, sour and spicy notes in the fish-broth with bouncy home-made Laksa noodles. The generous amount of Fish Meat would make any Laksa lovers weak in the knees. Another variant of Laksa- Siam Laksa is available at Kim's too.

Address: 67, Jalan Balik Pulau, 11000, Balik Pulau, Penang.
Opening Hours: 12pm to 3:30pm. Closed on every Tuesday and Wednesday.

A famous place for the office workers nearby, Hou Mei Yuen has been in business for many years. I have been eating at this place since I was still studying in primary school. I love the springy Pan Mee and the sweet Jicama-Anchovy broth. However, the real kick is their home-made Chili Paste, which can be tongue-numbingly hot to some; adds a unique yet delightful touch to the soupy noodle dish. The Dry variant is equally good with a sweeter Dark Soya Sauce flavor. Try not to miss their Rojak if you are in the vicinity, decent with reasonable price.

Address: Block F, Taman Bukit Jambul Flat, Jalan Bukit Gambier, Bukit Jambul, 11900, Penang.
Business Hour: 8am to 2:30pm. Closed on every Sunday.

The locals' favorite afternoon tea- Kaya Butter Toast with Soft-Boiled Egg, completed with a cup of Hainanese Black Coffee. All these are available at Ah Wang's. The place is quite hidden and secluded, those who made their way here are those who are in the know. Ah Wang's home-made Kaya (Coconut Jam) is one of the better Kayas that you can find in Penang.

Address: J-6, Gerai Uda, Flat Uda Fasa 3, 10470 Tanjung Tokong, Penang.
Business Hour: 1.30pm to 6pm, Closed on every Sunday.
Contact Number: 604- 898 2318

Have a light snack at this humble and unpretentious stall along Lintang Angsana where you get to pick your favorite ingredients and dip into their home-made thick but sweet Rojak sauce. You can either go for the refreshing fruits or you may even go for the heavier deep fried nibbles. Choose your Rojak Sauce carefully, pick the wrong one and you may sweat like a cow. The one with a Chili sign can be really hot! Each stick/ skewer is priced reasonably at Rm 0.70 each.

Address: Lintang Angsana, Bandar Baru Ayer Itam 11500, Ayer Itam, Penang (right in front of ToTo and Magnum 4D).
Business Hour: 12pm to 7pm (will finish earlier if their business is good on that particular day); Closed on every Monday and Thursday.

Sulaiman's Chapati is definitely one of the hidden gems in Penang; it deserves more recognition. Sulaiman cooks the best Chapati I've ever tasted. The bread is soft, pillowy and slight resilient in texture. The condiments are meticulously prepared as well- Sardines, Beef Curry, Curry Chicken or Vege-Curry; all are equally toothsome. Go there as early as you could or you will end up in a long queue.

Address: D-1-7, Taman Tun Sardon, 11700 Gelugor, Penang.
Business Hour: 3pm to 8pm (Closed on every Wednesday)
Contact Number: 012- 594 6116

I am a fan of this Beef Koay Teow stall (at Batu Lanchang), it rivals those famous establishments and this can be easily explained by their super bouncy Beef Balls, sweet beefy broth as well as fiery hot home-made Chili Sauce. The generous sprinkles of chopped Parsley adds a lot of marks to this comforting bowl of Beef Noodles too. Try to believe.

Address: Jalan Tan Sri Teh Hwe Lim, 11600, Penang. (same row as Lam Wah Ee hospital and right next to Eve bakery, the name of the hawker center is New B Garden Cafe)
Business Hour: 4:30pm to 11:00pm, Closed on alternate Thursday.

Nothing beats Lok Lok with a wide variety of home-made condiments and the famous stall at Pulau Tikus market manages to sate my craving without fail. The owner dishes out 7 different types of condiments- ranging from the appetizingly refreshing sour-sweet sauce to lip-numbingly hot Chili paste. My favorites are Squid, Jellyfish, Kangkung-Cuttlefish and Fish Balls. This particular stall (it was at the end of the market if you must know) has since moved to a new location, facing the Police Station at Pulau Tikus.

Address: *New Location* Opposite to the Police Station along Jalan Burmah, 10350, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 6 pm to 10:30 pm.

If you are up for a Teo Chew style Steamboat Hot Pot (with Deep Fried Yam and Fish included in the soup), then you should not miss this place. The clear broth is naturally sweet and goes well with any steamboat ingredients. Cheapest set is available from Rm 60 onwards.

Address: 7, Medan Penaga, Batu Lanchang, 11600, Penang.
Business Hour: 6pm to 10pm. Closed on every Tuesday.
Contact Number: 6016- 455 5955

Recharge yourself by having an invigorating home-cooked dessert from Sweet-i Dessert House. The place is famous amongst the local residents for serving fresh and quality Chinese desserts. Business is brisk, so be there early if you wish to have more choices. My all time favorites are Barley-Soya Milk with Gingko, Red Bean Soup with Japanese Seaweed, Pumpkin-Coconut Cream and Sesame Paste.

Address: No. 41, Jalan Nipah, Taman Lip Sin, Penang.
Business Hour: 5pm to 10:30pm. Daily.
Contact Number: 012- 485 3627

 10 pm: Khun Thai Restaurant

Khun Thai has a few branches in Malaysia but I just could not think of any reasons to exclude this place. It serves some of the best yet authentic Thai dishes that you could possibly find in Penang. However, please be prepared of the sweat-inducing experience as your palate is about to be challenged by their fervently-spicy dishes. My recommendations are Mixed Seafood Tom Yum, Steamed Hot and Sour Squid and Cha Om/ Thai Omelette.   

Address: 1052, Mukim 9, Pasir Belanda, Teluk Kumbar, 11920, Penang.
Business Hour: 11am to 11pm. Opens Daily.
Contact Number: 604- 625 1155

11 pm: Chulia Street's Wanton Mee

This stall of Wanton Mee along Chulia Street has gained a lot of fame over the net in the recent years and they are not famous for nothing. Unlike Hong Kong style Wanton Mee, the noodles are as authentic as you can get (hereby refers to Penang Wanton Mee), it has a hint of Lye Water, beautifully drenched in a savory-sweet Dark Soya Sauce with a generous amount of Fried Pork Lards.

Address: Chulia Street, 10200, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 6: 30 pm to 12 am. Closed on every Monday.

12 am: Air Itam Duck Rice

When asked where to have supper and the frequent answer to this question will be the famous Air Itam Duck Rice at Air Itam wet market. The stall has been operating and serving the working class for many years. It is popular of its Braised Duck Rice with Braised Pork Belly, Braised Beancurd, Braised Egg and Pork Innards. It has traces of Koay Chiap but in the form of Rice. The combination between the braised soy sauce, meat, rice and their Chili was absolutely lovely; but be prepared to queue for at least 10-15 minutes.

Address: Air Itam Wet Market Hawker Center.
Business Hours: 10: 30 pm to 2: 30 am (or until sold out). Opens Daily.

1 am: Dhoby Ghaut's Koay Teow Th'ng

It would be a daunting task to find a bowl of Duck Meat Koay Teow Th'ng in the middle of the night but the students from USM would probably recommend this place. Not the fact that the Duck Meat Koay Teow Th'ng is mind-blowingly good but the fact that it is not easy to find a bowl of soupy comfort food at this hour. If you are not too fond of Koay Teow Th'ng, go for their Curry Mee or Stir Fry Seafood dishes.

Address: 247H, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11900, Sungai Nibong, Penang.
Business Hours: 7 pm to 2 am. Closed on every Monday.

2 am: Old Green House Hokkien Mee

The de-facto place for supper hunters- Old Green House Hokkien Mee; where diners get to pick additional add-ons such as Pig Intestines, Roasted Pork Belly, Fish Balls etc. It may not be the best Hokkien Mee but more than sufficient to satisfy your tummy at this hour. While you are in the vicinity, try not to miss their Deboned Chicken as well, could be smoother but I like light Soya Sauce and the Chili Sauce, great add-on to your bowl of Hokkien Mee. Bak Kut Teh is one of the recommended things to try too.

Address: 223, Burmah Road, 10050, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 7 pm to 3 am. Closed on every Sunday.

3 am: Xin Ji De Shi Dim Sum

Having Dim Sum at late night is no longer impossible, make your way to Xin Ji De Shi nearby Lorong Kulit Flea Market. A wide variety of Dim Sum is available from Rm 2.40 and the server will reheat them to piping hot before serving them to you. Nothing to shout over the food but the place is clean and quiet enough to have a sip on Chinese Tea and to have some nibbles.

Address: 42, Jalan Air Itam, 10460, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 8: 30 pm to 4 am. Opens Daily.

4 am: Paya Terubong's Famous Nasi Lemak

The folks wake up as early as 4 am to queue for this famous Nasi Lemak along Jalan Paya Terubong which has been selling for more than 30 years. Business is brisk as early as 5 am. I had to join in the long queue for a taste of this Nasi Lemak. The Sambal and Curry Chicken were lovely but the Rice was a little undercooked, still fragrant nevertheless. I had Curry Chicken, Prawn, Sambal Ikan Bilis, Fried Fish, Hard Boiled Egg and Rice; all for Rm 5 nett.

Address: Jalan Paya Terubong, 11060, Air Itam, Penang. *Same row and few shops away from Sin Nam Huat Chicken Rice*
Business Hours: 4 am to 10 am (or sold out). Closed on Sundays.

5 am: Taman Perak Nasi Lemak

This hidden gem at Perak Road's wet market draws the nearby residents' attentions as early as 4: 30 am. The regulars will be queuing with anticipation, in hopes to get a taste of the rich, spicy and especially tasty Nasi Lemak. Unlike most Nasi Lemaks that we can find, this particular stall has a wide variety of dishes, some of the not-to-be-missed dishes are Otak-Otak, Sambal Ikan Bilis, and Curry Prawns.

Address: Perak Road Wet Market.
Business Hours: 4:30 am to 8 am or until sold out. Opens Daily *subject to the uncle's mood*.

 Alternatively, go for Sungai Ara's Roasted Pork Belly/ Siew Yok

This unassuming stall at Sungai Ara defies the traditional way of roasting Pork Belly. It uses Coconut Shell instead of the commercialized electronic oven to roast the meat. The result is a juicier and tender bite, with a hint of Coconut flavor. Roasted Chicken, Char Siew and Roasted Duck are also available. The portion above costs Rm 5 nett.

Address: Tingkat Sungai Ara 1, Mukim 12, 11900, Sungai Ara, Penang. *Near to Shell Petrol Station and the parking space*
Business Hours: 5: 30 am to 12: 30 pm. Off day is random. Call for reservation if you need to.
Contact Number: 6017- 493 2638