Tuesday, 27 September 2016

EAT EAT EAT Penang (Sept 2016)

We needed a break from our daily routine. I needed to get out of the house. Hubbycat needed a break from work. At the ninth hour, we decided to have a short getaway to Penang during the long weekend two weeks ago. We packed our bags and headed for the island.

7 hours later (We definitely were not the only ones planning to travel that weekend!) we arrived and was greeted by clear blue skies and the skyline passing us by as we drove into Penang. Such a lovely welcome and instantly felt our moods improve!


We had one agenda for this trip - EAT. Hubbycat is very familiar with Penang as his family used to stay there. He was the food-guide and I was there to eat. The last time we were here LittleLim was still too young to enjoy any of the food. This time she gets to eat with us. I won't lie, we were excited to introduce her to her Penang roots and maybe, hopefully fatten her up a little bit. 

If there's one thing I love when I travel with LittleLim is this intent look she has everytime we visit a new place. Everything is amazing to her. Everything intrigues her. She would just stare at everything that passes by or moves. Sometimes she forgets I'm even there. 

1. Bee Hooi Coffee Shop (Day)
415 Burmah Road (Pulau Tikus)
Open morning till night.

This trip I told Hubbycat I wanted to try Penang Loh Mee since he keeps talking about it. So we drove all the way to Bee Hooi Coffee Shop (Pulau Tikus) for brunch. Hubbycat grew up eating at this coffee shop. This is the aunty who sells the Loh Mee. 

Not what I expected but I enjoyed it. I thought it would be like KL Lam Mee but it's not. It's sweeter, has boiled egg, chinese mushroom, taugeh and you're supposed to mix the chili and ginger sauce in which I didn't because I was sharing with LittleLim. It was still yummy nonetheless and LittleLim loved it! She ate almost half a bowl. 

This trip I was also on the hunt for amazing Char Kuay Teow. My previous trip left little to be desired and I was starting to doubt that "Penang has the best Char Kuay Teow". This plate pictured about was yummy but again, nothing special as I can find one just like it in KL. It just wasn't "the best". Also, what's with CKT not having the "see hum", "pork lard" and extra prawns now a days?! I know we're supposed to be health conscious and all, but omg! How can you not put pork lard in CKT?! What blasphemy is this. (Haha!)

2. Bee Hooi (Night)

After a long day of eating, we were driving back to our hotel from Gurney Plaza and we started feeling sad that we were going home the next morning. So we decided to make full use of our last night and have one more plate of CKT. Hubbycat has always been talking about this uncle who cooks CKT using charcoal. He runs the food truck with his wife who will stand beside him and fan the flame, take orders, get ingredients etc. while his son prepares the plates, delivers and collect money. Hubbycat grew up on this CKT and he says it's one of the best he's ever eaten. He wasn't sure if Uncle was still in business but we decided only one way to tell. 

To our delight he was still in Business. Aged but still in business with his wife and son! Hubbycat was so excited as if he had saw his childhood hero. We quickly placed an order. Hubbycat says that Bee Hooi at night also has amazing Or Chien (Oyster Fried Egg) but at this point I was having an allergic reaction to seafood from all the prawns and oysters and too full. Next time we will be back.

This ladies and gentlemen, was when the heaven's opened up and angels started singing around me. Each bite was brilliantly tasty, well balanced, "wok hei" good and hello "see hum" *hearts in eyes* I have finally found you "BEST CHAR KUAY TEOW in PENANG". I literally cannot explain to you how good it is because I just don't know what is different. Even Hubbycat cannot explain why it was so mind blowingly good. Maybe it's his technique, maybe it's his charcoal, maybe it's his ingredients or maybe he really puts his heart into his cooking. Thank you uncle and aunty. You made my Penang trip complete!

3. Penang Laksa - Air Itam Market (Kek Lok Si)

This is where I failed because I forgot the photograph. But to be honest, even the Laksa failed. Maybe I had unrealistically hight expectations for it considering it's been branded "Penang's best" and all that. I expected my tastebuds to be dancing away to the well balanced sweet sour salty broth. But alas it did not. It was good don't be mistaken, you won't walk away feeling like you've wasted stomach space - it just wasn't the best. To put it to perspective, the Laksa at SS2 Night Market could have matched it. There. Don't need to travel all the way to Penang. 

4. Sup Hameed
48, Jalan Penang, George Town
24 Hours

This mamak/restaurant is famous for it's soup. The infamous "Sup Torpedo" which is bull penis. For the unadventurous (me me me) I gave it a miss instead opted for Sup Kambing (goat) and Sup Tulang (beef bone).  One of the best things we done in this trip was to bring big bowls from home so we can eat in the hotel (lol!). The soup is definitely a must try. So satisfying. The bread is a perfect addition to absorb all the yummy goodness. The flavour is bold with spices and fragrant and the meat was tender and just amazing. We had this while watching "Bridge of Spies" on tele. 

5. New Lane Hawker
Lorong Baru, George Town

And the best for last. Every trip back to Penang would not be complete without a meal at New Lane Hawker. To be honest, the food is so-so and has certainly became very touristy. Still we go there because it is one of the better tourist attractions. But mostly, the only reason I return here is only for one reason.

THISSSSS. That's all. I told Hubbycat that if I can only have one dish for the rest of my life, give me this and I will be a happy happy girl. Beef Noodle (Kuay Teow) sup or in Hokkien "Gu Bak Kuay Teow". The thing that sings is definitely the soup paired with everything is amazing, the beef taste is definitely not lacking so if you're not a big fan of beef this might not be your cup of tea. The kuay teow is so smooth and the beef pieces so tender and juicy. LittleLim was a huge fan of this as well!

My little foodie baby. Really makes me so happy to see her eat so well and enjoying all the Penang flavours.

And our table that night. Just Hubbycat and myself.... and I had extra servings of Beef Noodle Soup. I'm drooling just reliving this memory.

The or chien here is also not bad. So is the charcoal Char Kuay Teow if you find driving all the way to Pulau Tikus too troublesom, you can settle for this one and be a happy person. The chee cheong fun is also not bad and I really enjoyed the thick fluffy pillows of noodle / cheong fun. Order the black jelly / grass jelly / leong fun for a nice refreshing drink.

Happy after a good meal. Oh do note that the beef ball kuay teow is closed Saturdays unfortunately. And that brings us to the end of our food trip.

Some memories made during this trip :)

LittleLim overwhelmed by all the food choices. It's okay, mommy was overwhelmed too. #cannotdecide

One of the highlights was having Hubbycat with us 24-7 for 3 days straight. It has been peak period and we haven't been seeing much of Hubbycat. By the time he gets home, LittleLim gets at most an hour with her daddy before she goes to sleep. This trip was a great way for LittleLim to get to know her daddy and I could see their relationship improve by the end of the trip. It was also nice to have my husband all to myself as well. 

This trip was also a trip of a few firsts for LittleLim. This was her first carousel ride and she really had a blast. If she could talk, I'm sure she'd want us to take the whole machine back with us to KL. She rode this twice and even then refused to get down. We almost had to saw the horse off and take it along with us *jokes!* After much bribing we did manage to get her off. haha! 

All smiles at the end of the 3 days getaway. We really needed this as a family. Just some quality family time away from the television and computers. No work and other distractions. Just pure family fun. It was a great time of forging relationship and making lovely memories together. Also an amazing time of eating - can't forget that! 

If I could change one thing, I'd definitely pack more diapers! We almost ran out and I was seriously contemplating using banana leaf and tissue as a makeshift diaper. That would have been interesting....


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