Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Breakfast at Pek Kong Cheng (大山脚伯公埕) @ Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

You may raise your eyebrow when someone tells you that there are a handful of delicious local delicacies surrounding a historical Chinese temple. Those who are in the know will tell you where to find good hawker food; in the heartland of Bukit Mertajam town, Pek Kong temple has become one of the important local landmarks. The area is often packed with cars and is especially busy in the mornings, you will find traders pushing their carts crossing the streets and parking space is especially scarce in the vicinity. However, the wait is worth-while and if you come here too late in the day, you will miss the opportunity to savor some of the best local delicacies. Below are some of the items that you should not miss:

1) Pek Kong Cheng's Famous Duck Meat Koay Chiap (伯公埕驰名鸭肉粿汁)
Business Hours: The Duck Meat Koay Chip is closed on every Monday. Opens from 6:30 am to 11 am.

Pek Kong Cheng's famous Duck Meat Koay Chiap (Rm 5/ regular)

It's hard to miss this stall as there will be many regular patrons surrounding it. The broth carries a different hue as compared to what we have here. It's lighter in color but definitely not the flavors. It possesses a bold Duck-gamey taste and would only be suitable for those with an acquired taste bud. The flat Rice noodles on the other hand, were chewier than the ones we had. Something unusual but only meant for those with trained taste buds.

2) Loh Mee or Hokkien Prawn Mee
Business Hours: The Loh Mee is closed on every Monday and Tuesday. Opens from 6:30 am to 11 am. 

Loh Mee (Rm 5/ large) 

We were too late and their Hokkien Prawn Mee was sold out. We opted for another alternative- Loh Mee. We were surprised to find that their version of Loh Mee was somewhat different to the conventional ones. It reminds me of Singapore Loh Mee in a way. We didn't like the absence of the five-spice flavor, probably we were accustomed to our very own version here. Also, the broth seemed to be sweeter than usual.

3) Curry Mee
Business Hours: The Curry Mee only opens for business on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. 

Curry Mee (Rm 4/ regular)

This particularly stall of Curry Mee has an attitude; it only operates on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. If you are keen to try, make sure you get your dates correct. Their Curry Mee did not look like anything usual, more like a hybrid between Mee Jawa, Curry Mee and Hokkien Mee. The broth was veering towards the sweeter side while the condiments were odd... Shrimp Crackers were added. It was exactly as creamy as we were expecting and the Chili did not possess the quintessential smokiness. Not bad for a change but on a regular basis, I'd stick to my old favorite Penang styled Curry Mee.

4) Red Bean Tofu Fah
Business Hours: The Tofu Fah is closed on every Wednesday and Thursday. It opens as early as 10:30 am and closes as late as 6 pm.

Tofu Fah with sweetened Red Beans: Rm 2 for a bowl (Rm 2.20 for takeaways). 

Right beside the main entrance to the temple, there's an unpretentious Tofu Fah stall. It didn't seem attractive to us at first but when we got to know that they serve Tofu Fah with an attitude, we went ahead and checked it out without hesitation. The highlight is the sweetened Red Bean, somewhat similar to what a standard bowl of Cendol would offer but instead of serving them on a mountain of Ice, they are served on hot Tofu Fah. To my surprise, the flavor-texture combination was nice, reasonably sweetened with silky smooth texture of the Tofu Fah and the nutty element of the Red Beans. A creative but delicious touch to the conventional bowl of Tofu Fah. 

Taste: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: 5.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7.5/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Ambiance: 5.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No

Additional Information:
Address: Off Jalan Pasar, 14000, Bukit Mertajam, Penang.

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