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Penang Food Trail – Teluk Kumbar Seafood and Satay

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Teluk Kumbar Good Friend Seafood Restaurant

Teluk Kumbar Good Friend Seafood Restaurant

Seafood by the sea – not a bad way to conclude our 2D1N Penang trip right? Off we went to Teluk Kumbar Seafood, located just between Bayan Lepas and Balik Pulau. Teluk Kumbar is a small fishing village, which houses the Teluk Kumbar Good Friend Seafood restaurant. The restaurant was just metres away from the sea, and our table was just situated on the sandy beach. Just beside the restaurant was a small makeshift satay stall, with fantastic reviews. Dinner that night was Satay and Seafood!

Makeshift satay stall

Makeshift satay stall

Satay

Satay

The satay was fantastic! The huge chunks of meat were topped with a spicy and flavourful sauce. It wasn’t like Singapore’s satay, rather it was more like grilled/barbecued chicken skewers. There was hardly any fats in the meat, just tender chunks of well-marinated chicken. Every piece was juicy and succulent.

(clockwise from top left) Lettuce; Deep Fried Calamari; Oyster Egg; Kailan; Fried Tofu

(clockwise from top left) Lettuce; Deep Fried Calamari; Oyster Egg; Kailan; Fried Tofu

Clams

Clams

Chili Crabs

Chili Crabs

We ordered 7 other dishes, including 2 plates of vegetables, deep fried calamari, oyster egg, tofu, clams and chili crabs.

In general, the food is pretty average, similar to the standard of tze char stalls in Singapore. The lightly crisp batter went well with the calamari. The clams were fresh and went well with the slightly spicy sauce. The sauce of chili crab was lacking spiciness though, it was more towards the sweet side. The crabs were very fresh but rather scrawny; Singapore’s Sri Lanka crabs are still a winner. The tofu was soft, silky and not oily though it was deep fried. Perhaps we had ordered the wrong dishes, but we felt that the variety of seafood is rather limited for a restaurant specializing in seafood. The highlight of this meal was the fact that we sat barely a few metres away from the sea, enjoying the sea breeze and our sumptuous seafood dinner.

Written by foodphd

March 14, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Penang Food Trail – Penang Road Laksa, Chendol & Ice Kachang

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Penang Road Laksa

Penang Road Laksa

How could we visit Penang without trying their specialty – Penang Laksa! Penang Laksa is vastly different from the curry laksa we have in Singapore. Penang Laksa is a noodle dish in spicy and sour fish assam fish broth topped with various shredded vegetables, including cucumber, onions, red chili, pineapple, lettuce, mint and ginger. Accompanying it is also a spoonful of petis udang or 蝦羔, a thick sweet prawn/shrimp paste.

Penang Laksa

Penang Laksa

We tried Penang Laksa from a stall just at Penang Road and Lebuh Leng Kee. Well, I’m no fan of vegetables and the entire bowl of Penang Laksa was filled with shredded vegetables. However, the strong spicy and sour taste masked the taste of vegetables, so all I could taste was their crunchiness. Compared to Singapore’s coconut milk curry based laksa, Penang Laksa is slightly more refreshing and less overwhelming. But for Penang Laksa, we can drink the soup without feeling too sick or heaty. The added sourness also made the entire dish more appetizing.

Chendol

Chendol

Ice Kachang

Ice Kachang

Other than Penang Laksa, Chendol and Ice Kachang were also served there. And on a extremely hot and sunny day, such cooling desserts really do taste and look appetizing. The chendol was not worth the extra calories and cholesterol. It was not thick enough, seemingly lacking in gula melaka and coconut milk. For better chendols, it is still better to head to Malacca (specifically to store 88, along Jonker Street). On the other hand, the ice kachang topped with ice cream was slightly better, though nicer ones can be found in Singapore. Something special about the Ice Kachang over here was the addition of Sarsi, which made it more refreshing and a great thirst quencher in hot weather.

Written by foodphd

March 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Penang Food Trail – Restoran Kampar Fish Jelly

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Restoran Kampar Fish Jelly

Restoran Kampar Fish Jelly

Penang’s kampar fish jelly is the equivalence of Singapore’s Yong Tau Foo 酿豆腐. This outlet recommended by our friends is situated at Jalan Jerjak. 

(clockwise from top right) Deep fried Tau Kee and Chicken Wings; Hakka Noodles; Yam Rice; Braised Chicken Feet

(clockwise from top right) Deep fried Tau Kee and Chicken Wings; Hakka Noodles; Yam Rice; Braised Chicken Feet

Kampar Fish Jelly

Kampar Fish Jelly

We ordered some fried tau kee, chicken wings, hakka noodles, yam rice, braised chicken feet as well as 2 bowls of assorted fish jelly.

The fried tau kee was a crowd favourite; it was very crispy and slightly salty. The yam rice was also another crowd pleasing dish. The rice was soft yet not soggy. The yam taste was barely detectable and visually, there weren’t any obvious chunks of yam in the rice. And if we weren’t informed, we wouldn’t have known that it was yam rice. Every grain of rice was well flavoured and savoury. You could really taste that every rice grain had thoroughly soaked in the taste of the seasonings/sauce. The chicken wings, chicken feet and hakka noodles were pretty average, nothing too fantastic.

Yong Tau Foo is essentially fish paste stuffed into tofu or vegetables. The common vegetables include green chili, bittergourd, brinjals and lady’s fingers. For this place, one interesting thing was that fish paste was also stuffed into lettuces and even long beans!! Taste wise, the fish paste was pretty average, meeting the basic requirements of being fresh and springy. The soup was clear, not too salty or rich in flavours. It was a pretty light and healthy meal.

Written by foodphd

March 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Penang Food Trail – Restoran Maxim

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Restoran Maxim Dim Sum Restaurant

Restoran Maxim Dim Sum Restaurant

Breakfast on the 2nd day was at Restoran Maxim Dim Sum Restaurant at Taman Pekaka. The place was packed to the brim. We had to wait for a good 30 minutes for a table. And during the 1 hour that we were there, there was a constant flow of customers. The entire place was bustling with life.

Piping hot non-fried dim sum selection

Piping hot non-fried dim sum selection

Fried dim sum

Fried dim sum

Every table was given an ordering list. All we had to do was to pick up a tray, head over to one of the dim sum counters and tell the servers which dish you would like to have. They would then place your selection on your tray and write down your order on that slip of paper. There are around 3 counters – the steamed non-fried dim sum, the fried dim sum and the buns/rice rolls (chee cheong fun) section.

Maxim dim sum

Maxim dim sum

The variety of dim sum seems rather wide, but on a closer look, you might find that certain items are more or less similar. Take the fishballs for example, there are at least 3 different kinds (steamed, deep-fried and deep-fried followed by steamed). But to us, the fishballs generally have the same taste. There were only slight differences between them despite the different preparation methods.  The same goes for the siew mais – you have the standard kinds, as well as those with mushrooms etc. It is pretty smart of Maxim to do that, as everyone just gets so impressed and carried away with the huge spread. Though generally made of the same ingredients, the dim sum come in different shapes, colours and sizes, a great way to whet everyone’s appetites.

There were a few dishes which were pretty impressive. One of them being the steamed buns. The char siew bun was pretty good; the char siew didn’t have a strong pork taste and did not come with too much fats as well. The red bean and lotus paste buns were equally commendable; they were generally much bigger than the ones you find in Singapore.

Egg Tarts

Egg Tarts

Maxim's Egg Tart

Maxim's Egg Tart

The best dish from Maxim has got to be the egg tart, without a doubt. The crust of the egg tart was extremely flaky and crispy. The pastry crust had a mild toasted buttery taste and aroma. The egg custard itself was smooth and packing with the richness of eggs. It wasn’t too soft, and had a texture similar to agar. We totally love the egg tart, it is comparable and might even better than the ones in Hongkong.

Restoran Maxim is a good place for breakfast on a weekend morning. No doubt it’s a bit crowded, but the food is not too bad, the selection is huge and the egg tarts are simply to die for!

Written by foodphd

March 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Posted in Chinese, Penang Food Trail

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Penang Food Trail – Hammer Bay Ikan Bakar Special

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Hammer Bay Ikan Bakar Special at Jalan Bayan Bay, Sebelah Kondo Gold Coast is a favourite haunt within the Malay community in Penang. This is where you can find authentic Malay barbecue seafood.

三味鱼
三味鱼
Ikan Bakar
Ikan Bakar
Fried Calamari
Fried Calamari

三味鱼 was pretty good. The sauce was lacking in spiciness, more on the sweet side. The fish could be a little more tender though; perhaps the deep frying caused the fish to be slightly hard. The fried calamari wasn’t too oily. It was pretty addictive, once you start, you can’t stop. The batter wasn’t too thick, so we could still enjoy the chewiness of the squid.

The highlight of this meal was the Ikan Bakar, which literally means “burnt fish”. In this case, we opted for the stingray, which was marinated with sambal chili, and then grilled on a banana leave. The stingray meat was tender and had a mildly burnt/barbecued taste. The chili was the best! The sambal belachan was packed with spices; it was so flavourful and the spiciness gave an extra kick to the entire stingray. We could just enjoy plain rice with chili – that is how great the sambal chili was.

The Ikan Bakar was a nice conclusion to our first night in Penang.

Written by foodphd

March 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm

Penang Food Trail – Crepe Cottage

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Crepe Cottage

Crepe Cottage

Crepe Cottage, situated along Gurney Drive, is popular amongst teenagers with its pancakes, crepes and ice cream. After some suggestions from the young waitress, we ordered 5 different desserts that night.

(clockwise from top left) Traffic Lights; Hot Apple on Ice-Cream Crepe; Gone Bananas; Sunburst; Chocolate Fever

(clockwise from top left) Traffic Lights; Hot Apple on Ice-Cream Crepe; Gone Bananas; Sunburst; Chocolate Fever

Traffic Lights – Fresh kiwi, mango and strawberries with vanilla ice cream on crepe. The mango was pretty tasteless that night, likely due to the fact that it wasn’t the mango season and hence the quality of mango wasn’t too good. The pink crepe tasted rather unique, it was a very thin slice and complemented the ice cream well.

Hot Apple on Ice-Cream Crepe: Julienne and cinnamon-coated fried apple on a crepe roll filled with 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream. The fried apples were cut into long thin strips and resembled french fries. They were pretty generous with the servings of apples as well as ice cream. The crepe was well stuffed with ice cream. There wasn’t much cinnamon taste in the apples though, just a slight tinge of saltiness.

Gone bananas – Traditional banana split with chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate and strawberry sauce. Well, nothing too special about it. Banana splits can be found in most Western food chains.

Sunburst – Mango pancake with sliced mango, groundnuts and mango ice cream. Like mentioned before, the mango slices were virtually tasteless, which was a huge disappointment. We didn’t quite appreciate the pancake either. It was rather salty and was a queer combination with the sweet ice cream. We preferred the crepe over the pancake.

Chocolate Fever – 3 scoops of chocolate ice cream with nuts and raisins, chocolate balls and chocolate chip cookies drizzled with rich chocolate fudge. Well, I highly doubt we would really get a chocolate fever after this sundae. The different chocolate condiments weren’t very rich in chocolate, including the fudge. It would probably appeal to young kids, but not to us.

Overall, the ice cream served at Crepe Cottage was pretty mediocre. Taste wise, it was similar to that of Wall’s ice cream. We were definitely expecting something better, given the popularity of this place.

Written by foodphd

March 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm