Thursday, February 2, 2012

Food adventure!

Note: I am posting all sorts of posts about different countries in no particular order. I went to Turkey before Penang, but I'll post about it later.

Not too long ago, but what felt like quite a while ago, my family and my dad's mum (Nai Nai) drove to Penang! Actually I should be saying my parents and I and Nai Nai because both my sisters didn't go. :( Not like previous Penang trips where the whole family went. Except the one before, Yii-Vern only went.  I have so many memories from my Penang trips! Once, Ku Zhang took my sisters and I crab catching at the beach at night. We were screaming because we were too scared to pick the crabs up because of their scary claws, but Ku Zhang just easily picked a few up and was like "See girls, just try to pick one up!". Obviously we weren't fearless. And once, the last trip before, we went to this small coffee shop for char kway teow, and we were done and started to walk away until the old man was yelling at us because we forgot to pay hehehe!
08. That was when I wasn't the tallest in the family.
'12. Do I look different?
I loved Penang.  I mean I love Penang. I loved my time there. I felt like I had nothing to do in KL 2 weeks before besides go to 1 Utama everyday, shopped until well not dropped but became broke and bum around in my cousin's room and use the laptop all day long. Penang was just a lovely getaway from KL.

We took my uncle (Ku Zhang) and aunty (Da Ku whom is my dad's oldest sister)'s car to drive up to Penang since they came earlier the month before and left it in KL. Then they flew back to Penang while we were in Turkey!  It took about 3 or 4 hours to get Penang?

I always enjoy spending time with Ku Zhang and Da Ku. That's one of the main reasons why I'm always so eager (When I mean eager, I always ask my dad every summer) to go to Penang every time I'm back in Malaysia. They're one of my favourite relatives. Ku Zhang is so funny and Da Ku is so nice! When I was really young, Ku Zhang entertained me with magic hehe! I'm really thankful to have such great relatives! And now they have two grandkids! My cousin's wife and my cousin gave birth last year. I'M AN AUNTY NOW. I have two nephews. At age fourteen turning fifteen in March. I didn't expect to be an aunty so soon!  I actually only found out my cousin and  my other cousin's wife were pregnant WHILE I WAS IN BEIJING. We were having lunch at that Western restaurant after Great wall and I found out through my dad and Uncle Dominick.

The atmosphere in Penang is really lovely and vibrant. It's exciting. It's really crazy, the traffic is particular crazy. The traffic is actually worse than KL. We had a lot of near-experience hitting into another car. There are so many motorbikes!!

I LOVE THE FOOD. I was born into one of those food-lovers family. I love all kinds of food. Except for durian. Which brings me to writing that we stopped on the way to Penang.We went to Teluk intan. We visited one of my aunty's, my dad's second sister, Er Ku. She and her husband grow a lot of fruit! They have LOTS of durian and all sorts of fruit. Here is what I will say about durian after eating it. I don't like the smell or the taste of it. The end. I actually had never tried it before, or at least I don't remember. My parents tell me that I'm being such a 'guai lo' meaning westerner in Canto since I've grown up in Australia pretty much half my life. And usually westerners don't like durian. I was watching the Food network and Ku Zhang said that Anthony Bourdain eats everything except for durian.  Both my sisters dislike durian, they've lived in Malaysia much longer than me. I recall once in primary school (Aus), some kid brought durian to school and all everyone was complaining and asking what that smell was!

Basically this trip, there were two main things we did. Eat and sleep.
. *Right after lunch, we talk about going to Penang Hill* Me: WAIT BUT MY CAMERA'S AT THE HOUSE! Dad: Oh no, we're going back first. We oldies need to take our rest mah!"

So it was going out for lunch, back to the house to sleep. While my parents and relatives slept, I would have been watching TV since I'm one of those people who don't like naps. I just feel drowsy after a nap. Last Penang trip, Yii-Vern and I were feeling bloated after having so much yummy (I must've mentioned that word a few times), we'd do squats (How embarrassing) in front of the TV and do all sorts of exercising stuff! But well, since I was on my own this time..... I watched TV. OH Ku Zhang also has this La jing equipment. It's really good to stretch your legs and stuff! You're basically on a 90 degree angle. I can do it pretty much perfectly. So can Ku Zhang and Da Ku! They do it on a regular basis. My parents are nearly there. It's painful for the first few minutes, but you get over the pain. After you're done, you feel lighter and better!
I also played with the cats. Oops I mean cat. Ku Zhang has two beautiful cats whom are siblings with the cutest names. Hakuna and Matata! One is orange, the other is dark. Matata (Which I think is the orange one) is so playful , but when he's playful it means that he starts clawing you. He's really cute and his fur is so soft! Hakuna on the other hand, she's a really beeeautiful cat. Except she doesn't like me. She meowed at me. I tried patting her, she ran away from me. I also saw Mindy! I've seen her for the past few years, she's a really adorable German shepherd! And really obedient and can bark really loud too.

Mummy at the back doing La jiing! Ku Zhang and I were supervising , making sure she wouldn't cheat and stop after just 5 minutes! Oh and her supporting team ehehe

Cute or what?

This was probably the only decent shot I got of Hakuna. Plus one more. I don't think she likes the camera.

So back to what I was describing about Penang, well every corner of your eye, you see a hawker stall. No matter what street you travel to, well most of the time, you'll see all kinds of hawker stalls. I love the hawker stalls there. More than my love for the ones in KL. Oooh the food is just so good! I was actually trying not to eat too much since I've been eating a load of rubbish the past month since I went to Turkey which included a lot of bread and buffets, but after half a day in Penang (Not even one day!), I gave up, declaring to myself that I don't care about eating too much. The food just too good. Too good to resist.

I had to email Ku Zhang about some of the names of these foods!

This fruit, which I'm not sure what it's called in English. It's called 'chempedak'. It's very yummy, I've always liked this fruit. It was also fried and which was even better! Chempedak is related to the jackfruit and a bit like durian. Its appearance sort of looks like durian. But it certainly doesn't taste like durian! It's sweet an plumpy, ooh it's gorgeous!
Fried is the best!
 On the third day, we had probably the biggest breakfast you could ever think of. *Penang style*  My aunty and uncle bought SO much food, really what was supposed to be a 'light' breakfast turned into a feast! As usual, all of the food was good. Just what I needed in the morning!

Just a few pictures before you can look at the slideshow:

This is an Indian kueh called ' Putu Piring'. Very unique taste.

Another Indian dish called ' Putu mayong' . Also a unique taste! Never tried anything like this before!
This slideshow includes the pictures above and yau ja gwai, kuih (My favourite is the blue one with kaya!) , this peanut pancake which was really delicious and Chinese new year cookies that Da Ku made! Her cookies were so nice, I literally couldn't stop eating them, might've just eaten the whole jar! I really liked her almond slices and her coffee biscuits.

Lunch was supposed to be at this Hainanese coffee shop that we all love! Last trip, Ku Zhang and Da Ku took us there and the food was so good! It's run by this old man who well takes a long time (But I respect him. Hard work!) to serve people, BUT the wait is worth it. The food just taste amazing. But it was closed. Last time, Da Ku had to peep through this hole to see whether it was open and had to ask the man to open up the shop ehehe! But this time, it wasn't opened. We were really disappointed :( So instead we went to this other place. The food was nice!

We went to this really big place which has a lot of hawker stalls. We went there on our last Penang trip, but it was at lunch so there weren't that many options. This time, we went at night! It's cooling since there are lots of fans around, they even have a projector and was playing Johnny English. It's much cleaner than your typical Malaysian hawker stall and more orderly since the tables have numbers. I really like that place! I think that was probably one of the best dinners? I liked all of the food,so I can't really say which day was the best. We had so much different variety that night.

The first image is popiah, which is kind of like a spring roll. It's filled with different sort of things with a very thin pancake ish like skin. The second image is chee cheong fan with mayonnaise! Chee cheong fan are rice noodles rice noodle roll. Sometimes it can have prawn, sometimes char siew (Bbqed meat). Hmm I'm not sure which one I prefer! This one I ate, well I know mayonnaise sounds weird with chee cheong fan. When I heard about it, I was surprised. But,it's actually surprisingly really tasty! The third image is this green drink called 'umbra with sour plum' and according to Ku Zhang, it's a drink for the ladies, especially the young ones. It's a sweet drink with a tangy taste because of the plum. It's something different and tasty. The fourth image is a Thai appetizer called 'Meng kam'. Originated from the Northern provinces of Thailand. I love Thai food like duck or green curry.
This dish has all sorts of things, and you wrap it up! It comes with leaves, peanuts , shrimps and a lot more. I like it especially with a lot of peanuts and the sauce!

This is loh bak. This is probably one of my favourite dishes. Loh bak is a pork roll. The pork is minced and marinated and rolled in soybean sheets. 

Some kind of noodles hehe
On the last day before visiting Kek lok si temple, we had breakfast nearby at this busy coffee shop.

The first image is kway chiap. This is noodles with duck served with a light, not heavy soya sauce soup. The second one is fried bee hoon (Noodles). We also had some curry puff!

We ate lunch at this Indian place (I didn't have my camera though)! We've been there before. My dad loves his mee rebus , and he thinks that that place has the best mee rebus. Mee rebus is an Indian mee with lots of spicy gravy, potato, prawn, boiled egg, served with yellow noodles. I was also surprised to see that my dad ordered a REALLY sweet drink. It's a Malay drink. It's ice blended milk with pink syrup! I had a sip, quite nice, but surprised that my dad would drink something like that. He's really not a sweet tooth. But he loves his ice cream (I have to be the food police though. Too much sugar if you eat ice cream everyday!). I had probably the best char kway teow I've ever had! Ku Zhang says that they add fish sauce so that's why it taste different to the normal char kway teow. We had a lot of char kway teow that trip!

Dinner was at Haiy Boey Sea restaurant which is quite far. It took quite a long drive from Air Hitam (Where I was staying at).   My family has been there before with Ku Zhang and Da Ku! The beach is just right next to you, so it's really lovely. At night, there are many coloured lights. We sat outdoors, so it was cooling. It wasn't hot or anything. The food was very good. Fresh seafood!

This oyster was REALLY good. It was fresh from the sea, so refreshing! Normally when my family eats oysters (At Chinese restaurant), they're cooked, but this one is raw! Taste just as good.

The first image is called 'Deep fried bringal (Egg plant)'. It has pork, prawn, dipped in a thin batter and then fried! Voila! Yummy. I love fried stuff. But very unhealthy. The second image is some kind of vegetable. The third image, I believe is called 'Lala'.They're clams. This one had  a hint of spice. The next three images include dish, vegetables and duck with prawn crackers. The image after that is coconut water! I had a lot of coconut water that trip. First at Er Ku's house and at my relative's place. It's really yummy and refreshing! OH AND IT'S NATURAL. I also like the meat inside the coconut. Though, for some reason, I don't like coconut flavoured things. Like lamingtons. Lamingtons are one of those REALLY sweet Australian desserts... Have you ever tried pavlova? It's meringue dessert ( Whipped egg whites + sugar)which is SO SWEET and sickening. Lamingtons have cream and jam in it and the outside is chocolate, covered with shredded coconut. I find the shredded coconut all over the chocolate annoying. But anyways, as I was saying, I really like coconut water. It's not too sweet either!

Next post I'll be posting about we actually did ehehe! This is a food post :) 

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