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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day 2 : Around Georgetown

Wonton noodle at Kheng Pin Cafe
We woke up in the morning and looked out the window to see that it was raining. Yiipee. We hoped that the rain would wipe the haze away. But it didn't help much. Mean while we were still wondering if we needed to get masks to protect ourselves.

Breakfast Penang Style
I wanted to check out the Chowrasta Market to see if there was any breakfast material. But then going to market hungry could not be good. So I went down the list on my food itinerary. It's Kheng Pin Cafe which was popular with the wonton noodle and the lor bak.

Lor bak at Kheng Pin Cafe

So that's what we ordered. Lor bak was pretty much a bunch of different deep fried items served with the sweet brown sauce and chili sauce. You could pick your favorites from the different options or let the uncle pick them up for you. I let the uncle know to mix the items enough for one person portion.
Actually the portion was kinda small but that's fine. I was feeling a bit sore throat but feel that I still have to try the lor bak since it looked so tasty. Don't know when I'll have a chance to go back to Penang.

The wonton noodle was good and had so many items on it other than wonton. And different from any other wonton noodle, this one had dark sauce on it. Those items definitely were good breakfast items.

Chowrasta Market
Chowrasta Market is a traditional outdoor market located on Jalan Chowrasta just off Jalan Penang. Just like regular market, it does have vendors selling different all sorts of veggies, meat, household items and of course fruits, kueh and pastries.

Kek Lok Si Temple
From the market we walked towards Komtar looking for the bus terminal to catch a bus to Kek Lok Si Temple. There was sign with bus number and the route. We got onto bus no 203 and just to make sure I asked the bus driver and also requested to be notified when to get off. The fare was RM2 (USD0.50). The bus AC was on full blast and the windows were covered with condensation since it was cold inside the bus.
Air Itam laksa aka Penang assam laksa

From the bus stop to the temple was not too far. But the entrance to the temple wasn't very obvious until I noticed a handwritten wood sign pointing a not very obvious walkway. And this walkway passed through a bunch of vendors selling souvenirs going up the stairs to the temple.

At the entrance to the temple we stopped by to take some pictures. But with the haze hanging low there's not much view to see actually. That's so unfortunate that's why we have decided the previous day that a trip to Penang Hill would be wasteful.

There was no fee to enter the temple but certain part of the temple requires a small fee. To go to the bronze statue of Avalokitesvara (Goddes of Mercy) one needed to pay RM6 for the ticket to go on a tram up the hill.

Air Itam Laksa
Well, if you like us made it to Kek Lok Si Temple then make sure to stop by the laksa stall by the road side just outside the Air Itam Market. This was the only reason we went to the temple actually. The laksa served here was the Penang assam laksa which I think had become so popular because it was featured on Anthony Bourdain show.

I had assam laksa before but still very curious with this version. And it really didn't disappoint. The laksa wasn't fishy at all maybe because of all the herbs used like mint, slice shallot and lettuce. Also because of all those veggies and herbs it felt so refreshing.

Prangin Mall
From Air Itam we took the same bus back towards Jetty/Georgetown. The bus trip took about 40 minutes. Either it was jet lag or the air con together with the swaying bus me and hubby fell asleep soundly. Woke up just slightly before Komtar (Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak) which was the tall round tower one can see on any bus route going through downtown Georgetown.
Famous Penang road Teochew chendul

From Komtar we walked towards Prangin Mall which was just next door to it. At the intersection a few older men were distributing masks to all passersby. We got our masks and tried them on. Not fun at all. It's hot.

The first thing I noticed when inside the mall was a tiny food corner that featured the Penang road famous teochew chendul. Perfect. I saw it on the food blogs when I did my research but didn't have it on my food itinerary due to time limitation. We took a seat and ordered an original chendul to share.

The chendul was served on a bowl with shaved iced on top and drizzled palm sugar syrup. The shaved ice melted pretty face and within a few stir was just ice water. I was pleasantly surprised that the chendul was not all sweet. It has a bit  hint of saltiness to it. Thumbs up for that.

Prangin Mall in general was not bad for a place to browse and shop. I wasn't in the mood to shop so I just bought an ipad cover. I noticed the seller on the top floor gave me a cheaper price compared to the one a few floor below. Location does matter.

Late Afternoon Snack
Well, as we were walking on Jalan Burma passing by a corner coffee shop, hubby saw the sign chicken rice. The chicken rice lover in him couldn’t just pass it by so he suggested we stopped by. So we stopped by for an afternoon snack. He ordered a plate of chicken rice with no dark sauce on top. Apparently the chicken rice in Penang was served with dark broth drizzled on the rice. He enjoyed this Penang version of chicken rice even though it came with roasted pork.

Hainam chicken rice on Jalan Burma/Lorong Kinta
We then walked back to hotel but I decided that it’s still early why not stopped by Anson Road to check out the old guy char koay teow. This time luck was on our side and the old man was there frying away plates and plates of rice noodle.

I wasn’t sure if there was any line because people sort of standing around not in any order. So I approached the cart and talked to the second man in command. He took my order verbally. No writing down. Mean while the coffee shop across the street was filled with people. More standing around outside waiting for seats.

Traditional char koay teow by the old man on Jalan Anson/Jalan Siam
We waited for about one hour even though the guy said it would be a while like 30 minutes. I think he lost our order. Well, not that he even wrote it down to begin with. The verdict ? Hubby wasn’t too impressed with this char koay teow. He said it wasn’t dried or burnt enough. And he felt that it wasn't a good value. We ordered a large one for RM6.50 but the size seemed to be same as regular one at another store.

Another Char Koay Teow for Dinner
So I went down the list of my food itinerary. Next would be a char koay teow place which was also recommended by a few food bloggers. This one was located on Lebuh Kimberley opened only at night.

Char koay teow at Sin Guat Keong on Lebuh Kimberley
We took a bus there and walked the rest. Got mixed up with the street next to it which was Lebuh Campbell. And Lebuh Campbell was actually a nice street to walk because it has side walk just for pedestrian. Most of the “side walk” in Penang was actually the store front. Lebuh Campbell seemed more like a tourist area with more hotels and stores.

Mee rebus @ Sin Guat Keong coffee shop
The char koay teow was Sin Guat Keong coffee shop located at the corner of Lebuh Kimberley and Lebuh Chintra. The char koay teow here was popular for its mantis prawn but hubby chose not to have it in his order. I chose to order mee rebus from another stall there.

This char koay teow was hubby's least favorite among all the char koay teow we had this time in Penang. Without the mantis prawn he practically only had one prawn in his plate. No sausage, no chives and a bit wet.

Kheng Pin Cafe
(lor bak and wonton noodle)
20,16 Jalan Penang (cross street Jalan Sri Bahari), George Town 10050 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Prangin Mall
Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Hainam chicken rice (Jalan Burma)
Corner of Jalan Burma and Lorong Kinta

Traditional char koay teow
Corner of Jalan Anson and Jalan Siam

Sin Guat Keong Coffee Shop
(char koay teow with mantis prawn)
Corner of Lebuh Kimberley and Lebuh Chintra