Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cheap eats in Penang

When I went back to Penang recently, I took some friends to try some cheap street food that are a little unknown and some that are infamous.

There is this place in Taman Lip Sin that is widely known as the Super Tanker food court. It's a simple, unpretentious makan place that locals love to go for its wide variety and delicious food available there. I ordered Loh Bak which is known for its crunchy prawn fritters and other regular Loh Bak items. They also have deep fried fish fillets which tasted decent. The best part is too dip the prawn fritters into the starchy and sweetish sauce and then into the chilli sauce.
My other favourite dish from Penang is the Fried Oysters. The ones in KL are expensive with little oysters and eggs with too much starch. I found the humble stall in this food court was generous with its oysters and the spicy sauce that went with the egg was delicious. And for RM6, I got more than double the amount of oysters than what I would normally get in KL.
Next up was Penang-style Curry Mee which is very different from the ones you'll find in KL and PJ. The broth is actually whitish thanks to the use of coconut milk. You are then given the sambal in a spoon for you to mix with the soup, thus creating a different taste from the thick curry broth found in other places. The ingredients are also different; coagulated pig's blood, tauhu pok, bean's sprouts, dried squid, cockles and fishballs are normally found. All for only RM3.
Super Tanker Food Centre
Jalan Nipah, Taman Lip Sin,
11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang
Opening hour: 8am-11.30am, 6pm-10.30pm

Penang Assam Laksa was voted as one of the best street food some 2 two years ago. So to satisfy my friends' craving for this tangy, spicy noodles, I took them to the famous stall in the Ayer Itam market near to Kek Lok Si temple. It opens from late morning right up to dinner. Places are normally found next to a big ditch and the drinks stall specialises in sugarcane juice and fresh fruits.
Since it was packed we were directed into a nearby coffee shop where we needed to order their drinks instead. I opted for the vege-only version so I could drink the bowl clean. Over the years, many would say prices have gone up and its quality has decreased but for one who seldom have it, it still tasted great.
Another surprise I found was Muar Chee which I could hardly find here. The seller normally rides around on a motorbike hawking the sweet concoction. It is actually pieces of hot starchy pieces mixed with sugar and crushed peanuts. I loved this as a child so to have it again was great. The drinks from the coffee shop was normal and nothing to shout about.
Assam Laksa Air Itam Market
Pasar Road 11500 Ayer Itam, Penang    

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