Monday, January 4, 2010

Trip To Penang

Me and wifey took a trip to Penang for New Years Eve and it was a great trip… except the coming back which kinda sucked due to the heavy traffic on the roads. But still, we had a great time, and definitely worth another visit.

What did we do? Well what do most people do when they go to Penang? You eat and you eat. OK, I did not turn into a glutton overnight, but let’s just say I ate close to 50% more than my usual. Added with the fact that I skipped the gym whole of last week (this is my break / rest period to ensure I do not become a victim of overtraining), so now I feel like a chunk of flab. Can’t wait to whip myself back to shape again.

We stayed in Flamingo by the Beach (in Tg. Bunga), which all in all was a great hotel. For the price of RM 238 nett for new years eve, it really was above my expectations. Most hotels were charging way over RM 400 plus for new years eve, so for the price we paid and what we got, excellent deal if you ask me. We welcomed the new year at Ferringhi in a bar called The Wooden Pub… It’s called Wooden Pub because all the furniture in there, looks like it is made out of logs, not the processed wood you buy from your friendly neighbourhood hardware shop. There was a small crowd of people there, but it was just what me and the missus ordered.

Now, I just want to share some of my food experiences there and my opinions on them.

Char Kuey Teow at Lorong Selamat – This particular stall was recommended by a colleague of mine who is from Penang. Overall rating – Excellent. The prawns were fresh and huge and it just tasted perfect. It is not halal, but if you are a non-Muslim, you must try it out. Thumbs up from me.

Nasi Kandar Yasmeen – we were supposed to check out the famed Nasi kandar Line Clear, but alas, we went at 1pm on a Friday and the guys were off to pray, so we went to Nasi Kandar Yasmeen which was just next door. I am not a big fan of Nasi Kandar, and neither is my wife. The food was so so only and I dare say we can get far better Nasi Kandar in KL. Took a piece of fried chicken, and it was hard and rubbery – clear sign of over frying, or re-frying yesterdays stock. So thumbs down from me on this one.

Jemputree – Now this place promotes itself to be a restaurant on top a huge tree, but don’t get fooled. It’s not on a tree and just on the road. Yes, the ambience was nice with a lot of trees and greenery around, but the fact remains, its not on a tree. Foodwise, I thought they were horrid. Wife ordered a Chicken Sausage Pasta and honestly, it tasted like Ayamas sausages and the sauce was straight out of a tin. Real bad. Double thumbs down from me.

Roti Canai Jalan Argyll – For those who are not aware, this particular restaurant came from very humble beginnings. It started out from a shack next to a building and now they have a shop inside a building. This roti canai is so popular that it was even featured on Travel 360, Air Asia’s in-flight magazine. The main difference I can taste between this roti canai and everyone elses, it is a lot more compact (padat) and not so flaky. But the thing that makes it the best, is the curry. Fish and Dahl curry mixed and poured on top. Just heavenly. One disappointment I had, the Roti itself was a little small compared to the last time I ate it. So definitely thumbs up for this on.

We did eat in other shops, but I honestly feel they are not worth mentioning here. Also, we went prepared to check out the beach, but finally decided not too, coz the beach at Ferringhi is not that good. Water looked murky and barely any waves. Sorry, but after visiting the clear water beaches in Sabah and Tioman, this really falls short of my expectations. But the night life in Ferringhi was great. Just rows and rows of restaurants and bars. For some reason, there is a huge number of Middle Eastern restaurants there. Don’t ask me why.

Sorry, no tips on Fitness this week, just wanted to share my little holiday with everyone. Have any of you checked out any of the places I mentioned? Would love to hear your comments on the food and things to do in Penang.


Aizan Suhaira said...

My experience eating food in Penang ended up with me having a horrid bout of food poisoning which made me swear off Penang food (food in Penang) for good.

Give me Johorean cuisine any day. But then... I'm biased.

Rajan said...

Aizan: Wow... sorry to hear about your bad experience. Is food in Johor better? If that's the case, i need to make a trip down there soon.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

I have to say Penang food are rather a little overrated if you ask me. Not that they are not good but like you mentioned, we can indulge in tastier culinary experience here in the klang valley itself. Incidentally i had a good chat with a thru and thru Penangite over some coffee last week and he said we must know where exactly to find good food there. Nasi Kandar LineClear and Gurney Drive are typically a must-have but according to him, its not. its the ones we seldom hear that worth a shot at it.

Rajan said...

Kerp: I do think it is a over rated as well... but the roti canai is damn on-lah.... or maybe its just that i haven't eaten roti canai in a while, so i feel it tastes awesome... i dunno.

But agreed, its always the less famous places that are better tasting.

Anba said...

hi bro..
I had a very good time when i last visited penang in Aug 2008...
I stayed at berjaya hotel near Pulau tikus tho hotel was so n so..but it was nearby to some good makan place like O chien- Oyster omelet, Char kuew tiao. Hokkien mee and etc..
The said that the nite market at pulau tikus is good too..
Regarding nasi kandar i only tried Kayu which was nearby line clar ...was good but being an indian the curry is like biasa je...
Briyani beats nasi kandar anytime hehehe ..
there are some good food blogs to you can check out like www.j2kfm.combut its more to perak food but makes a good read tho

Rajan said...

Anba: Long time no see bro.

I agree... being indian, the curry for nasi kandar is so so only-lah... maybe that's why i am not a big fan of Nasi kandar.

But the roti canai damn syiok-lah....

anfield devotee said...

Hmmmm . . . haven't been to penang in fooking ages but last time me was there, me & friends did a kerpie (ie nasi kandar 3X a day).

Fooking best! But that was a long time ago.

Anyhows, all penangites always say follow the locals & ye'll find real culinary treasures. Rest is unfortunately tourist fare ie expensive & not up to scratch.

Rajan said...

AD: Well said. So far, everywhere i go, i find the best tasting food is always in some small gerai somewhere.... not the big shops with elaborate deco.

Maybe need to organize a bloggers meet over there. hehehehehee