Saturday, February 20, 2016

Travelling for Food: Penang!

Another thing beside cooking and crafting that is also excite me is travelling. Anddddd what's even better? Travelling for food! On last Chinese New Year holiday, I had a short trip to Penang, Malaysia. Truth to be told, it was a two nights trip filled with eating and food shopping. :’’D || Travelling for Food: Penang!
Penang, as seen from the highland || Travelling for Food: Penang!
The main attraction for me is of course the low price yet good quality food. I could get a wholemeal bun for only 1MYR, or Rp3500! Malaysia surely has good governance on food and agriculture production as mostly the groceries on food market are made in local or at least made from local ingredients; and those are also in good quality. Due to some kind of policy that I also don’t understand why and how, the import products are somehow cheaper, up to half the prices in Indonesia. I-really-cannot-help-myself-not-shopping-snacks-and-foodssss. I spent about 280MYR for lot of groceries as you can see above. || Travelling for Food: Penang!
Another attracting thing for me to visit Malaysia is the Islamic law that really applied there; that you'll be able to find the "NON HALAL" label on highly hesitated products or restaurants. Yes, I can state that Malaysia is one of the good places for Muslim foodies!

Highlighted Places (Or Dishes)

Talking about the culture, I believe, the basic culture and history behind every country will somehow affect the country's authentic dishes, thus, every region in this world has their own original cuisine. That is also the reason why some kind of food those available in similar term on both Indonesia and Malaysia will still taste differently.

In Malaysia, there are three main ethnical groups that involve on daily culture: Malays, Chinese, and Indian. Regarding the fact, here I list places (or dishes) in Penang those are not only delish, but also have strong ethnic character. Here they are:

Ming Xiang Tai Pastry House, Georgetown || Travelling for Food: Penang!
Actually in Penang, the Chinese pastry shops are not hard to find. We were by chance having a visit to this shop because of the street art on their sidewall. Then we felt hungry, bought pastry, and turned out their wedding cookies was tasty! Too bad I forgot to capture it.

Ming Xiang Tai is also the distributor for Kindori Lollipop Ice Cream, a Malaysian brand for Japanese vegetarian ice cream. I tried the Durian flavor, with some kind of white chocolate salute on the outside shell. For you who like frozen Durian, this thing is worth to try, as this ice cream taste is just like what it has promised,  the real Durian fruit, not just from essence. In addition, this brand stated that their products are low fat, low calorie, and low sugar. It’s such a too good to be true refreshment during a hot day in Georgetown :’)

(Btw, I just know today that this pastry house has high rating on TripAdvisor!)

Restoran Kapitan, Georgetown || Travelling for Food: Penang!This restaurant is famous for their tandoori chicken and claypot briyani, and we can get those without costing lot of money. My group of four ordered two sets of tandoori with nasi briyani, two sets of tandoori with naan, four glass of mango lassi, and it cost us MYR50.5 or about Rp161.000.

And how did it taste? I once had rather roasted to dry style tandoori chicken before in one of Malay-India restaurant in Bandung. If I compare that to the Kapitan’s, the Kapitan’s tandoori is very moist, and the marinate is really absorbed to bone. Just like everyone on viral, I also highly recommend this restaurant.

Pasembur Rojak, Gurney Drive Hawker, Gurney || Travelling for Food: Penang!
I am a devotee for deep fried dumplings, fritters, meat ball, sausage; anything greasy and savory, that was served with some kind of sauce or broth, and they both would make some kind of soggy yet crunchy texture. If you have the same stomach with me, you should try the signature salad from Penang Island, Rojak Pasembur! || Travelling for Food: Penang!

Rojak Pasembur is widely spreaded by Indian ethnic; notably in Northern Peninsular area. This dish is an adaptation from Rojak, a plate of vegetable that is poured with spicy peanut sauce, pretty much the same meaning with the Rojak term in Indonesia. || Travelling for Food: Penang!However, things go differently with Pasembur Rojak. This thing has assorted deep fried thingy; from prawn fritters, deep fried fish cakes, fried squid, crispy tofu, egg, to… *inhale, exhale*crispy soft shelled crabs! Never crossed my mind before, I would be able to have soft shelled crab from street stall. Matchstick carrot and yambean (also well known as jicama, Mexican turnip,or bengkoang) are added later, before peanut spicy sauce is poured on to. Yellow sweet potato is used as the thickener for this peanut sauce.

The Gurney Food Hawker itself is something like food court of street food stalls. Another dish I had on Gurney Drive Hawker is lamb satay, which I consider it too dry, obviously not as good as Hadori’s Satay in Bandung, Indonesia.  Another food actually seemed appetizing; unfortunately my stomach had no more space.

Anyway, there are areas in Gurney Drive Hawker that sell non halal products. If you’re a muslim and have a chance to go there, please make sure that you’re not eating food from the wrong stalls.

Kaya Toast and Durian White Coffee, Penang International Airport || Travelling for Food: Penang!My food list wouldn’t be completed if I did not have the famous Kaya toast and white coffee. So on the last day, I had those for my breakfast on the airport.

Kaya toast is an adaptation from English's toast. Years ago, during colonialism, lot of Malay people worked as England's ship crew and used to have this toast for breakfast. To make it friendlier for their appetite, they spread additional Kaya jam, which contains santan and pandan.

And what’s so special about white coffee? Some packagings of instant white coffee are in fact being tricky; you’ll misunderstand that it’s the bean that has white color shell. Actually the method of roasting and serving that makes it has “white coffee” term. The beans are roasted along with margarine; the result is lighter bean color, and then it is also served with condensed milk.

Other things I got from this trip:

I learn one thing: the Malaysia management of resources to fulfill the consumption needs of their own people is very amusing, and why can’t Indonesia be like them, if we remind that we also have good quality nature resources?

Anyway, it was such a nice trip, nice food, and nice place, with a nice lesson to learn at the end. Alhamdulillah :) And here's another picture of food I had for my lunch on return flight: || Travelling for Food: Penang!
Tortilla chips, an 1MYR Wholemeal bun, M&Ms, and 9MYR Fruit and Nut Cream Cheese

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