Penang 2014 – Part 3 Around Georgetown

November 27, 2014 at 11:19 pm

OMG! Year end holiday has already started and I’m still not done talking about September holiday..

Continues from here.

♥Sept 16th Tuesday♥

Here is how a Executive Suite looks like in Traders Hotel (oh, now it’s called Hotel Jen). It’s 2 rooms attached, 1 being the bedroom, the other being the living room where they have placed an extra mattress for us.

Started the day at Lebuh Armenia (Armenian Street), rented bicycles again from Chin Seng Leong Bike Shop and wanted to ride around Georgetown, but it was such a hot day we returned the bike after less than 15mins (without any refund, sigh).

We walked instead. Enjoying the sights and trying to hunt down more street art/murals.

On a hot day like this, it’s nice to spot an Ice ball seller.

And the girls have a chance to taste our childhood dessert.

We visited the Peranakan Mansion just to show the girls how the Babas and the Nyonyas live.

Such a grand mansion, which is a favourite spot for wedding photos.

After that, we had a simple lunch and then spent the rest of the evening at Golden Sands Resort at Batu Feringgi. (This is the thing about staying in Traders Hotel, you get to make use of the facilities at Golden Sands Resort; with the hotel now rebranded to Hotel Jen, not sure if the same still applies).

That night’s dinner, we went to Nyonya Breeze Desire at Straits Quay. We’d been going to Nonya Breeze every year during our (11 years) annual visit to Penang, not one year we missed it. However, after this visit, we’re no longer compel to go there as the menu here is limited, and taste wise it wasn’t as good as how it was like in the Lorong Abu Siti outlet.

♥Sept 17th Wednesday♥

After breakfast, we checked out and did more exploring at Georgetown. First stop was Toh Soon Cafe (again) for a nice refreshing cup of coffee.

Zaria insisted on a visit to La Vanille (located at : 122 A Hutton Lane, Pulau Penang) for macarons. Ah… again, this round, we didn’t think it was that nice.

Then we went to the famous Lorong Selamat Char Kway Teow (located at : Kafe Heng Huat, 108 Lorong Selamat, Penang, Malaysia).

Auntie Shower Cap now has an apprentice who fry along side her (the apprentice used to be an order taker). That stove the apprentice was using was not a charcoal stove, but a gas stove.

Hubs and the girls got a plate from Auntie Shower Cap herself (this photo); I got a plate from the apprentice which was drenched in oil (I tilted the plate, and oil was dripping down!), and there’s not enough wok-hei. Just horrible!

Luckily the Heh Jian (fried prawns) from the neighbouring coffee shop (yes, you can order over) was good, so it was my lunch instead of the Char Kway Teow.

Unplanned, we passed the Made In Penang Interactive Museum and the girls seeing a crowd outside, wanted to visit it as well.

It’s basically a trick eye museum.

With a few interactive screens.

And some small models depicting life in Penang decades ago.

One visit is enough.

When we left, Zaria wanted to have a caricature draw her, but because there were 3 people ahead of her (a long wait), we decided against it.

It was time to leave Penang, and we took the ferry across.

Penang 2014 – Part 2 Georgetown, Penang Twa Pek Kong Festival

October 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Continues from here.

♥Sep 15th Monday♥

When we’re in Penang, we never failed to visit the market at Jalan Kuala Kangsar. One of my favourite shop Fook Weng Grocery has moved out from Jalan Kuala Kangsar, so we spent most of our time at my other favourite shop, Pots Kitchenware.

And when it got really hot, we went over to Toh Soon Cafe (located at a lane along Lebuh Campbell, Pulau Pinang) for a drink. The place was jam packed; so we packed the drinks and drank at the walk way. Their ice milk coffee (kopi ping) is sooooo awesome, especially on a hot day.

When it was lunch time, we were near Joo Hooi Cafe (located at 475, Jalan Penang, George Town, Penang), where the famous Penang Road Teow Chew Chendul stall was, and tried to get a table, but it was another crowded place. So we packed fried kuey teow from Joo Hooi (which was alright) and some muah chee outside of the cafe, and brought back to the hotel room to eat.


Muah Chee is so yummy!

Back the hotel after our in room dining (of packed food), and a rest, we checked the weather outside to ensure it’s no longer so hot, before going out again.

We decided to cycle around Armenian Street area, so we went back to Chin Seng Leong Bike Shop (84, Armenian Street, 10200 Penang. Tel : 0125533553), which we used last year. Since it wasn’t a car free day that day, we thought it’s best the daredevil Zaria rode with hubs, instead of cycling on her own; we rented 3 bicycles, with one having a child seat, and off we went.

Armenian Street area has changed so much over the span of one year, it’s becoming a tourist trap now, more bicycle rental shops, along the streets lots of street vendors selling drinks, ice cream, muah chee etc; hope it won’t turn into another market street like Jonker’s street.

But Georgetown still have a lot of charm. We came across a youngster intricately decorating the wall at the entrance of Sekeping Victoria just with a permanent marker.

And we took a glimpse inside the quaint retreat, which was really nice.

We tried hunting down some of the street arts, but spent quite a fair bit of time hanging around at the Clan Jetties.

I like Tan Jetty the most.

The long walk bridge that stretches out to the sea is a nice place to sit and enjoy the sea breeze.

After sunset, we braved the traffic in our bicycles and headed towards Lorong Abu Siti Lane, planning to dine at Nonya Breeze, our favourite restaurant in Penang. The hubs was so stressed worrying about all our safety riding in the dark. We arrived safely, but alas, Nonya Breeze at Lorong Abu Sit Lane is closed permanently!

We rode all the way back to Armenian Street again, returned our bicycles, and then just picked DownTown Art Heritage Cafe for dinner, where food wasn’t that good and pretty expensive.

For the Twa Pek Kong Festival, some temples around Armenian Street were having night shows, and we managed to catch 2.

A Teochew Opera.

Which seemed to have only one really interested audience.

And a few streets away from the 1st opera, a Teowchew Puppet Opera.

The girls handling the puppets seemed to be having a good time.

By then the streets were rid of the hordes of tourists, the famous street arts by Zacka were all ours.

Penang 2014 – Part 1 Gopeng, St Anne’s, Penang Twa Pek Kong Festival

October 7, 2014 at 10:16 pm

We made our annual trip to Penang during the September holiday, a tradition which we’d maintained for the 11th year now.

♥Sep 14th Sunday♥
As usual, some unplanned stop has to occur even though we left the house very late. This is how holidays should be, according to the hubs. *roll eyes* Just before we hit Gopeng, he said we should turn in as there’s some interesting sights to see.

It was 2pm on Sunday, and Gopeng was almost dead. We wanted to have lunch at a coffee shop, but there was none opened. It seems, this is how it is on a Sundays. Not knowing what to expect, we just drove around town and chanced upon Gopeng Heritage House, a prewar shop house turned museum to show the way of life in the early 20th century.

The museum is free, and the girls have fun exploring the house, and they especially liked the peep hole on the 1st floor which was used to peep at arriving guests.

Before leaving, we picked up a Gopeng map and realised there’s a soy sauce maker near by, so we drove around to find it. Hup Teck Soy Sauce (合德酱油)is located opposite the Gopeng police station, it’s more like a house with a compound where the soy sauce urns are placed. We were told soy sauce urn has to be opened with its content sunned for a few months as part of the brewing process before it’s ready for bottling, and the day we were there, it was drizzling on off, so the urns were all covered up.

The owner opened up one of the urns for us to see. We caught a strong but nice sweetish fragrant from the soy bean fermentation.

I was given some soy sauce to try in the house (which is also the shop), and like the sweetish ‘sweet pickled lettuce’ (甜菜心)taste, so I bought 5 bottles of premium soy sauce from them. I actually think that Hup Teck Soy Sauce is nicer than Kwong Heng Loong Soy Sauce (廣興隆醬園醬油 from Pulau Tikus which we’d been consuming.

After this we left Gopeng and moved on to Bukit Mertajam, to visit St Anne’s Church for thanks giving, the main reason for the trip. This year, the girls visited the church as baptised Catholics, they have learned up their prayers from Sunday school, and Zara even asked us to recite the prayers together after we have each prayed in silence.

Before we headed to Penang island, we went to Yoong Kee Eating House, a very old restaurant near the Bukit Mertajam market for a simple dinner.

The girls couldn’t wait to get to Penang Island, so they could start enjoying the hotel. Alas, upon entering Georgetown, there as a massive traffic jam. Cars were barely moving. We saw lots of people walking on the street as well with big cameras, so we assumed some event must be going on. We parked our car and asked some people in the shops and found out that there’s actually a Twa Pek Kong Festival going on in Penang which would run for 3 days; the day we arrived was the first day, and a Twa Pek Kong Procession was going on, where around 50 floats from different temples would be passing through Georgetown.

The hubs of course wanted to take the opportunity to take photographs of the procession. Since we were stuck anyway, and couldn’t drive to the hotel, we obliged. We stood with crowd of spectators near Gat Jalan Magazine and caught the procession.

It was a long and hot day, and we probably saw about 30+ floats, and it was still going on and on. After a while, they no longer attracted us any more, the girls whined and wanted to check in to the hotel; so it was the hubs’ turn to oblige. By then, the traffic congestion has eased.

At the front desk of Traders Hotel Penang, we were so eager to get our keys to our room, only to find out there was a mix up in our booking. I requested for a room with an extra bed for us, but my reservation showed I was the only guest staying so we were given a small room without an extra bed. I wasn’t happy. After so many years of staying at Traders without any hic-up, one finally hit us. However, as the hotel was fully booked for that day, we were told they would bring us a mattress for the night without bed frame, but will rectify the mix up the following day. When we got into the room, we realised it was one smaller than what we used to get, it wasn’t going to be tough adding a mattress. But what could we do?

While the girls were showering, the manager on duty called us to apologise for the mix up, and offered a Junior Suite for their mistakes. What a way to recover! We were all so happy to move in to our new room, which is a Deluxe room attached to another room which has turned into a living room where the extra bed has been placed!

Penang Trip 2013 P4 – Noordin Mews & Soi On Woh Soy Sauce

August 13, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Continues from here.

♥June 4th♥

Day 4 of our trip was spent enjoying the morning at Noordin Mews.

For the girls, they could spend the whole day in the pool!

For us, the whole place is so pretty, we could just laze about and enjoy it.

The place is small enough where we could still keep an eye or listen to the girls’ voices wherever they were in the public area. That’s what I like best about small hotels. We could sit at the courtyard, and watched them swim, or watched them walk back the room to shower. For bigger hotels, no way I would allow them to walk back to the room alone.

When we checked out, the girls wrote their feedback on the hotel. Time to get their own Tripadvisor account maybe. 😛

Here is another bonus point. We found this really old soy sauce factory (100 years old?) at the end of Lebuh Noordin. It’s a corner shop lot with a very big piece of land, where urns and urns and soy sauce were being brewed.

Look at their signage. The phone number they had was only 3 digits!

We asked what the ginger was used for, and the brewery owner (3rd generation) told us it was to make their black vinegar.

Super old and dusty bamboo sieves lined one side of the wall (not sure what they were used for).

A helper gluing the brewery labels on cleaned/recycled bottles by hand.

And this is the signage of the shop.

We of course bought a few bottles of soy sauce to try, but alas, none of them had a label stuck on. So I can’t really tell what the name of the brewery is in English, but in Chinese it’s 瑞安和醬園醬油, I don’t have the address as well, but it’s along Lebuh Noordin if you want to look for it.

What’s the verdict of the soy sauce? Kwong Heng Loong’s soy sauce at Pulau Tikus is sweeter and darker, with thicker soy flavour. Soi On Wor(瑞安和 in Cantonese, since the brewery is owned by Cantonese) is saltier and lighter in colour (which probably suit Cantonese more) with a mild soy flavour. Both are good. Even at home, we have mixed reviews. Zara likes Kwong Heng Loong, Minerva likes Soi On Wor, I like them both, especially when mixed!

You go on and get a bottle next time you visit Penang and try it out yourself!

Penang Trip 2013 P3 – Spice Garden, Ah Chui Terubong Seafood

August 2, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Continues from here.

♥June 3rd♥

Woke up to a good day to enjoy breakfast outdoor.

Noordin Mews have little decorations here and there which make the place beautiful. I especially like the glass ornaments dangling from a tree in the court yard.

We spent the morning in the hotel, and then at noon time headed to Pulau Tikus to stock up on the flavourful Kwong Heng Loong Soy Sauce which we like a lot (only available at their shop located outside Pulau Tikus market).

And we found putu mayam being steamed (usually in KL, they are being stored in a metal case loaded at the backseat of the motorcycle of the vendor, and we don’t get to see them being steamed) with water laced with pandan leaves by a road side vendor.


Besides putu mayam, the curry puff sold outside a coffee shop next to the market, the soy bean and taufu fa sold at a shop next to the market were also really good (no photos though). Filled with these snacks, we still went to Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa to have our asam laksa and char kuey teow fix.

The Asam Laksa was good, with a strong fragrant of bunga kantan.

The char keuy teow… hmmmm.. wasn’t as good as the last time were were here; not sure if it was because he just started his business for the day when we arrived.

(Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa is located at 329 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia. Which is opposite the Pulau Tikus Police Station)

After all these eating, we chanced upon a kitchenware shop, and I bought a couple of antiques kitchenware, a 60s enamel bien marrie, a teapot and some teacups.

We then took the long drive to Teluk Bahang to visit the Tropical Spice Garden.

From Tripadvisor:
Tropical Spice Garden is an eco-attraction tucked within a natural valley fronting the Straits of Malacca. The showcase garden houses over 500 species of herb, spice and tropical plants. Explore and discover the fabulous diversity of nature as you through trails and pathways that meander through undulating hills, jungles terraces and natural streams.

Again, the girls have a good time exploring the place with a map each. It’s not really a big place, but with the different terraces, trails and paths leading to different vegetation/plants to explore, we spent the whole afternoon there.

Some of the spices were hard to spot, probably not the season to see them. Can’t recall what these were, but these were easily spotted (they were all labeled, just that I couldn’t remember their names).

Hmmm… Saw this sign, which indicated Ceylon cinnamon, but what was showing in the picture was cassia.

The girls favourite spot was where they left big stone mortar and pastel / grinders and spices for people to try out spice grinding. They tried to pound and mix the different spices to make their ‘magic potion’

My favourite spot? The hammock.

We were glad to find the Tree Monkey Restaurant which were tucked at the far end (or another side of the entrance) of the garden. The cool iced drinks were really refreshing.

The restaurant were named so, probably because of these little cute fellas which were on the trees around the restaurant.

The girls before leaving, did pebble tossing at the pond at the entrance. As the ticketing counter was already closed, nobody was there to reprimand them. o.O

(Tropical Spice Garden, Lone Crag Villa, Lot 595 Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang, 11100 Penang, Malaysia. Telephone: 604 – 881 1797. Admission for family of 2 adults and 2 children is RM45 for Mykad holders.)

After the Tropical Spice Garden, we have a tough time deciding where to have dinner. I then recalled a recommendation from my colleague, an sms to him and he pointed us to Ah Chui Seafood at Paya Terubong (sometimes called Terubong Seafood too).

Paya Terubong was quite a distant away from Teluk Bahang, but we were glad we went anyway. Oh boy, it was one of the best meal we’d had in Penang.

Zara asked how come the vegetable tasted so nice.

The hubs and I found the stingray to be so fresh and juicy with a spicy sauce which was not too overpowering.

The fried shrimp was soooo good, we ordered another plate.

Of all the dishes, this was the least nice, but Zaria had all the fish paste.

The fried rice which was just fried with egg was very nice too.

At the end of the meal, Zara asked if she could move to Penang to study, so that she can have food like these all the time. o.O

So, of all the restaurant meals we’d eaten in all our trips to Penang, I think Ah Chui Seafood is the best! Penang never seized to amaze us and we always discover something new in each of our annual visit.

Don’t give this place a miss if you ever went to Penang.

(Ah Chui Seafood Restaurant 阿水海鮮, 1238-T Jalan Paya Terubong, 11060 Penang. Tel : 04-8660903 / 012-4103303)

Continues here.

Penang Trip 2013 P2 – Georgetown, Street Art By Ernest Zachas

July 25, 2013 at 11:28 am

Continues from here.

♥June 2nd♥

The last 3 years when we were at Penang, we stayed in Traders Hotel, but decided we would try a smaller hotel this time. Hence we chose Noordin Mews, a small hotel converted from a corner prewar shop lot, which is near Traders.

It was a rainy morning and we took it slow. Breakfast at Noordin Mew is ordered from a menu (not buffet). This is Zara’s.

And I have poached eggs on toasts.

Not deterred by the rain, we walked over to Jalan Kuala Kangsar, where my favourite dry grocer Fook Weng and kitchenware shop are located. Then it was time for lunch, which we had in Nonya Breeze, another must stop every time we went to Penang (even the girls would insist dropping there for at least 1 meal).

As always, the meal was good.

The girls’ favourite is the Inchi Kabin, and the fried mushroom. Zara almost licked the plate clean.

(Nyonya Breze, 50, Lorong Abu Siti, Georgetown, 10400 Penang, Malaysia. Tel: 04-227 9646)

Before we went to Penang, the hubs had already done some research and picked a few places for dessert. One of them was La Vanille, which serves one of the best macarons in Penang.

The price is not cheap though.

Girls have a tough time choosing the flavour, because we only allowed them to order one each initially.

They sell cake toppers too.

The macarons in fact were very good, instead of 1 each, we ended up having 3 each!

(La Vanille, 122 A Hutton Lane, 10050 Penang, Malaysia. Tel: 04-226 4024)

After our macaron fixed, we just thought of walking around Georgetown. The girls were attracted by the exterior of a toy museum, and wanted to enter.

Ben’s Vintage Toy Museum is just a small set up, but with lots of vintage toys.

Some of the items are still in working condition. The girls, after exploring the whole place in 5 minutes, spent most of their time playing this Tomy pinball machine which was made in 198x.

(Ben’s Vintage Toy Museum, 55, Lebuh Acheh, Georgetown, Penang Island 10200, Malaysia. Tel : 014 308 6657)

And by chance, we came across this bicycle shop. The friendly shop owner was distributing Georgetown Street Art map.

Click on the pix to get the full size map

We were wondering how to get around to see all those street art. The girls although can cycle a 2 wheeler, we were not comfortable they ride around the busy town. The shop owner took us to another section of his shop and recommended us Japanese style bicycle with a basket as back seat, and suggested we take 2, so we adult can paddle while the girls sit in the basket. Zara was a bit reluctant, worried someone she knew would spot her in one of these *roll eyes*; but soon she was enjoying herself too.

The price for these? RM16 per bicycle, we took the bicycle at 5pm, the owner said we can return anytime before 7:30pm, and that’s the price!

(Chin Seng Leong Bike Shop, 84, Armenian Street, 10200 Penang. Tel : 0125533553)

So the girls each held a map and navigated, while we did the paddling. It was quite fun, and the girls felt it was like a treasure hunt they were going on, hunting down all Ernest Zachas‘ streetart. And these were what we saw.

For every street art, there’s an unwritten protocol, people just stood away from the art and waited for their turn to photograph or to be photographed.

This is not by Zachas, but still it’s worth a photo. The Chinese writing said, “If I couldn’t fall asleep, the shop will remain opened. If I overslept, shop will be opened late.” 😛

As for this at the Chew Jetty, it’s already faded and almost all gone.

The girls enjoyed hunting down all these street art, as much as we did. In fact, they wanted to do it again the following day, but we didn’t, as hubs thought a Monday traffic in Georgetown would be more difficult to navigate than a Sunday’s traffic.

For dinner, we had heard so much about Tek Sen Restaurant, and it was nearby, so off to Tek Sen we went.

Well, the food is good, but wasn’t like really THAAAT good. Maybe they do better pork dishes.

(Tek Sen Restaurant, 18, lebuh carnarvon, 10100 Penang, Malaysia. Tel: 012-981 5117)

Back to Noordin Mews, girls were eager to see what the house keeping folks did with Fifi. There she was, placed in the middle of our bed.

This is the room we got, with a King bed + 1 day bed which converted to another single bed. I slept with the girls on the king bed, while the hubs slept on the single bed.

As with all holidays, the girls have to write in their journal before they are allowed to watch TV or use the iPad. So they wrote about their ‘adventure’ hunting down Zachas’ street art today.

Continues here.

Penang Trip 2013 P1 – Kuala Sepetang, St Anne’s Church

July 15, 2013 at 9:09 am

♥June 1st♥

We made our annual trip to Penang during the school holidays, as with every year, to visit St Anne’s church and give our thanks for another blessed year.

This year, the hubs wanted a detour to Kuala Sepetang, formerly known as Port Weld, which is famous for mangrove swamp and charcoal factories. As it was not a planned stop, (the hubs just thought we still have time, and exited the highway at Changkat Jering before informing us where we’re heading), we’d done no research and don’t know what to expect. We just parked our car, and walked about. As we just had lunch (if he’d told us where we were going first, we could have saved our stomach for later), we didn’t even have room for the famous mee udang (Malay: prawn noodle), where a few restaurants were serving.

At one of the houses next to the river, we bumped into another family who was trying to gather enough people to hire a boat for a river cruise, and we agreed to join. The river cruise cost about RM60 for 4 of us (adult RM20/head, children RM20/head) for a 30 minutes cruise.

Poooh-weee! We had to put on the stinky safety vests which probably never got washed/cleaned since the first day the boat started operating.

Even with the smell bothering us, it was still quite a pleasant ride. We cruised past the fishing village.

Saw fishing boats anchored at the back of the houses.

And also went pass mangrove forest, with monkeys playing at the banks.

When we were done with the cruise, and walked back to the car, we saw some salted fish being dried. So we bought some as well. It’s very tasty by the way, should you visit this place, don’t forget to buy some of these long salted fish home.

And then we drove just a KM or 2 to get to the charcoal factories. We were told Kuala Sepetang charcoal is considered one of the best in Asia and it’s in high demand in the international market.

Just so happened we arrived at the famous Mr Chuah’s charcoal factory, Mr Chuah was about to end a guided tour to a bus load of tourists, so we joined in as well (tour is free, and to avoid disappointment, best to give Mr Chuah a call before going).

In the factory, there are domes like this which are the kilns where the de-barked mangrove trunks will be ‘baked’ and dried.
Once dried, the ‘door’ to the kiln will be sealed off for the charcoal to cool down for a further 8 days.

There were pile high of mangrove branches/trunks awaiting to be turned into charcoal.

Who, but the foreign workers, would want to work in a smokey environment? They are the ones who toiled for us so we could have our good quality charcoals!

Charcoal are broken into smaller pieces and bagged up to be sold.
We bought a big charcoal log to be placed in the house as deodoriser, as well as a pack of charcoal. 2/3 of it has already been used up since we got home. Verdict : super fragrant barbecue! So don’t forget to buy some home if you visited this place.

(Mr Chuah’s charcoal factory, 34650 Taiping, Perak. Tel: 012-573 9563)

Then it was back to the NKVE and to Bukit Mertajam. The hubs have to drive a bit faster because St Anne’s Church closes at about 7pm.

The ambiance in the old chapel is always very serene and quiet. That’s where we’ll always go to for our thanks giving.

9th year in a row… our yearly tradition of going to give our thanks, and also taking a shot at the front of the old chapel.

And we always wash ourselves at the St Anne’s water, and fill up a bottle with the water to bring home.

We’d never seemed to be able to find a good eating place in Bukit Mertajam. One year, we were looking for this highly rated place Yoong Kee which is located near the Bukit Mertajam market for lunch, but it was closed. This year, we managed to find it after asking around at the market.

The restaurant has been operating for more than 60 years. It’s at a shabby shop lot which you probably won’t notice except for the crowd gathered there.

We ordered 1 fried fish for the girls, and 1 steam fish with plum for us, and a mix vege. The vege, fried with a pork sauce, was very homely. The fish were both very good, very fresh, and well prepared.

The hubs claimed this is the best steam fish with plum he’s ever tasted.

It was a cheap and satisfying dinner (if you didn’t mind the occasional rats zooming under the table).

(Resturant Yoong Kee, Jalan Pasar, Penang, Bukit Mertajam, 14000. Phone: 04-539 8764)

Continues here.

Holiday In Penang – 2012 (Part 2) – Georgetown Heritage Trail and Eats

June 21, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Continue from here.

♥June 4th♥

We spent the whole day in Georgetown, just eating, drinking, taking photos. I have to say the girls are really great travel companion. In the hot sun, they just followed us, as long as there’s occasional cold drinks and ice cream treat.

If it wasn’t for the sun and heat, we would have walked out noon time. It’s crazy actually to drive in Georgetown, the traffic was so bad, and it’s so difficult to get a parking lot, and even when you get one, there’s still some walking to do. By the time we got a spot to park, it was almost 2pm.

Lunch was at Shing Kheang Aun Restaurant. A restaurant that serves homestyle Hainanese and Nonya cooking.
Shing Kheang Aun Restaurant

Asam Prawn – What I like is you can order in the quantity you want, 1, 2, 4, 6, any number.
Asam Prawns

Gulai Pomfret (I didn’t drink up the sauce, so… it’s ok)
Gulai Tumis Pomfret

Stir Fry Tofu with Leeks (I want to cook this at home next time)
Stir Fry Tofu with Leeks

Chicken Chop. This was ordered for the girls, but they didn’t like it, so they skipped lunch. (Thank goodness for the hearty hotel breakfast).
Chicken Chop

(Shing Kheang Aun Restaurant is located at 2, Chulia Lane, 10200 Penang, Malaysia)

We spotted the Rainforest Bakery & Pastry which Daddy has read about. (This bakery is opened by twin brothers, and they supply their bread to a lot of the hotels in Penang. So he read.)
Rainforest Bakery & Pastry

Rye Bread at Rainforest Bakery & Pastry

As breakfast was provided by the hotel, we didn’t get any bread but got cakes and biscuit instead. I’m quite a fussy person when it comes to bake goods, and I have to say, they make really good cakes and biscuit (the trail mix biscuit).

(Rainforest Bakery and Pastry is located at 300 Lebuh Chulia, 10200 Penang, Malaysia)

When the girls felt hungry, we went into the air-conditioned Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar run by Yeng Keng Hotel.

“Hmmmm…. aircon…” said the boss.
Zaria the boss

Love the air well, although sealed up, brought in natural light.
Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar

And the retro red velvet seats.
Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar

Yeng Keng Cafe & Bar

(Yeng Keng Hotel is located at 362 Lebuh Chulia, 10200 Penang, Malaysia)

At my insistent, we went to have the Siam Road Char Kuay Teow. An early dinner.

The wait for a plate of Char Kuay Teow here on average is 45mins. After finishing her drink, Zaria became bored.
Zaria bored

But, they found some games to play to entertained themselves (no need for gadgets).
Girls playing

Our wait was 40mins this time. As usual, the Char Kuay Teow was delicious, although the plate that the girls have which was without chili didn’t taste as nice.
Siam Road Char Kuay Teow

We then parked the car at the hotel, and went out for a walk in the evening when it was cooler.

Fading mural.
Mural in Georgetown

Teowchew Temple.
Teochew Temple

Everything can be turned into something interesting for the girls. Here, they were competing who can balance on these road decos the longest.
Zaria in Georgetown

Seeing a man stringing jasmine flowers near the Kuan Yin Temple.
Man stringing flowers

Flower offerings

The man decided to give them each a string of jasmine.
Zara got a string of flowers

The girls watching people praying in the Kuan Yin Temple; and they decided the flowers are nicer on the hair.
Girls in Kuan Yin Temple

Kuan Yin Temple

The Teowchew Temple lit up at dusk.
Teowchew Temple at dusk

And then, while we wanted to look for some snacks to eat. We saw this.
Balls of dough
Can you guess what it is?

See this…
Grilled ChapatisOne of the restaurant in Little India has this little stall set up outside, grilling chapatis. We always get our chapatis cooked on a flat pan, grilled over charcoal? This is my first time trying it. Very delicious indeed.

And then, we saw this new luxurious boutique hotel, Chong Tian Lou. A night there is ~RM1000. o.O”
Chong Tian Lou

Before heading back to the hotel, we stopped at Sri Malaya Heritage Restaurant for a drink.
Sri Malaya Heritage RestaurantLove all these little cafes scattered around Georgetown housed in restored pre-war shop lot.

♥June 5th♥
Time to say good bye once again to our lovely and comfy room.
Traders Hotel

Before we left Penang, we had to accomplish one of the missions we came to Penang for – To stock up on my favourite soy sauce from Kwong Heng Loong (廣興隆醬園醬油) in Pulau Tikus. After started taking this soy sauce in 2010, no other soy sauce will do for me. Their tauchu (bean paste) is also one of the best.

You can either buy the soy sauce in prepacked bottles.
Kwong Heng Loong Soy Sauce (廣興隆醬園醬油)

Or bring your own bottle to be filled up.
Kwong Heng Loong Soy Sauce (廣興隆醬園醬油)

(Kwong Heng Loong Soy Sauce 廣興隆醬園醬油 can be bought from their shop located just outside the Pulau Tikus market. Address : 7A, Jalan Pasar Pulau Tikus, Penang, Malaysia)

We asked the shop if they have any recommendation of hawker food nearby, and they asked us to go Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa (Apparently, the Char Kuay Teow there won 2nd place for best Char Kuay Teow in Penang in 2011 or 2010).

I didn’t have Char Kuay Teow but instead have a bowl of Asam Laksa. I’m no fan of Asam Laksa, but this was goooooood.
Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa Asam Laksa
And the Char Kuay Teow too was delicious. I guess next time when we come back to Penang, we’ll be eating here instead of Siam Road.

(Kedai Kopi Sin Hwa is located at 329 Jalan Burma, 10350 Penang, Malaysia. Which is opposite the Pulau Tikus Police Station)

And then, it’s then time to leave Penang.
On the ferry

Holiday In Penang – 2012 (Part 1) – Around Penang Island

June 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm

After exploring all the different holiday options, instead of going somewhere else, we decided to make our annual trip to Penang during the June holidays to keep our tradition of visiting St Anne’s church yearly alive.

♥June 2nd♥

We slowly crawled our way up North due to the heavy traffic, reaching St Anne’s, which is located in Bukit Mertajam, in the evening.
Girls at St Anne's

The church closes at 7pm, so we were asked to leave not long after we arrived. We decided to have dinner at Northern Coastal Seafood Restaurant in Butterworth (1, Pantai Bersih, Bagan Ajam , 12000 Butterworth, Penang).

Recommended by a colleague, promising great view of Penang Island, and fresh seafood, we were not disappointed.

(no photos of food, but the stingray in Nonya sauce is our favourite)

Girls loved the coastal wind and the view.
Girls at Northern Coastal Seafood Restaurant

♥June 3rd♥
Girls were looking forward to the buffet spread at the hotel. It was one of the things they love about staying in Traders Hotel. 3 years in a row, we’d been staying here. The place is still well maintained and the service is tip top.

What I like best about Traders Hotel is its location. Soon after breakfast, we walked out to the Chowrasta market along Jalan Kuala Kangsar.

I would have tried a plate of Java Mee, if I wasn’t full. The noodle is fried with the sauce, instead of the KL type of just blanching the noodle then pour sauce over. Java Mee

The Java Mee stall owner prepared a plate of Java Mee for his daughter, to share with her sister.
Java Mee

We saw a big crowd at the famous Penang Road Cendol stall. We’d never tried it before, so I queued for a bowl too.
Penang Road Chendol

Penang Road ChendolAnd I don’t know what the fuss is all about. I shared a bowl with Daddy and we didn’t even finish it.

For lunch, girls insisted we go to Nonya Breeze (50, Lorong Abu Siti, 10400 George Town, Penang). We’d been eating at this restaurant on every of our visit, but never took photos of the food. This time, I we did.

I don’t think we can find this vege in KL, but it’s call kuaci cai on the menu. Fibrous and sweet leaves.
Kuaci Cai

Asam Pedas Fish; I almost drank all the soup!
Asam Pedas Fish

Zara likes this fried oyster mushroom.
Fried Oyster Mushroom

Girls favourite, Inchi Kabin. Even on the journey, they already mentioned they wanted to eat this fried chicken in Nonya Breeze.
Inchi Kabin

As usual, Nonya Breeze never disappoints. It was a good lunch.

We then took the long drive to Batu Ferringgi. As guests staying in Traders Hotel, we can make use of the Golden Sand Resort facilities, so we spent the rest of the day at the pool and beach there.

I wanted one of the girls to go with me on a parasail, but they both didn’t want. So, maybe next time.

Zaria is more of a beach person. Zara just wanted to go back to the pool.
Zaria at the beach

Zaria at the beach

Zaria at the beach

Penang 2011 – Photos Part 2

September 26, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Continue from here.
♥August 30th♥
We were supposed to check out on this day. However, the girls didn’t want the holidays to end so soon, and asked if we could stay for an extra night. There was still rooms available for the night, so we extended another night.

In the morning, the girls went swimming with Daddy after breakfast while I went to the market again.

Our plan was to skip lunch and then head on to Siam Road again for char kuey teow (the stall is opened from 3pm to 8:30pm) for tea. We arrived 3:15pm and there was already a large group waiting.

Siam Road Char Kuey Teow

It was a hot and sunny day, and the wait (at the coffee shop oposite the stall) was loong.

Zaria waiting

When our plates of kuey teow finally arrived, it was a bit too spicy, and of course wasn’t as good as the night before.

Siam Road Char Kuey Teow

As we still have the whole afternoon free, Daddy thought we should take a drive to Balik Pulau. There was no destination in mind, but we somehow ended up in Hai Boey Seafood Restaurant 海尾海鲜 (29 MK 9,
Pasir Belanda, Teluk Kumbar, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang)

It was 5pm+, only a few tables were occupied. What attracted us was not the restaurant but the beach the restaurant was facing. The restaurant has set up some lazy chairs at the beach, probably for customers to laze about while waiting for their food.

The girls have a fun time playing at the beach.
Zaria at the beach

Zaria at the beach

Zaria at the beach

Zara drawing at the beach

Zaria drawing at the beach

And I just enjoyed the breeze while watching over them.

We drove off before sunset, when throngs of customers started arriving, filling up all the tables. We thought we’ll see if we can find a better and similar restaurant.

We passed Good Friend Seafood, a few KM away (driving towards Bayan Lepas), it was smaller and so crowded, we thought we’d better go back to Hai Boey.

Alas, Hai Boey by then was in full swing. All tables were occupied, with many more customers standing waiting for a table. We thought we would have to have chai boey (菜尾, whatever scraps left) at Hai Boey. Luckily most of the customers came in big group, and we got a small table for 4 after about 10mins wait.

Food was quite good, and reasonably priced. No wonder the restaurant was so crowded.

There was some prayers being held opposite the restaurant, and we thought since the night was young, we would go check out what was going on at the prayer hall. What a gem we found.

A Chinese puppet opera show, (the locals told me it was called Char Kah Lay in Teow Chew), put up by the locals for the ‘God’ Tuah Pek Kong (大伯公). We didn’t know what the script was all about because it was all in Teow Chew, but we stayed to watch for ~20mins.
Chinese Puppet Opera Show

Chinese Puppet Opera - back stage

Puppet Show - back stage

Chinese Puppet Opera

Chinese Puppet Opera

The locals were so friendly, they came up to talk to us, asked us to join in their little dinner party of catered food and roast pork. They told us it was the first time they have hired the puppet opera troop for Tua Pek Kong’s birthday, so we were lucky to catch it.

Offering for the 'God'

Offering for the 'God'

We stayed till almost 10pm before we left for the hotel.

Back in the hotel, Grammy Awards 2011 was showing, and girls and I watched till way passed midnight. It was the last day of their holidays, so I just let them stay up late.

♥August 31st♥
After lunch, it was more swimming for the girls, and then it was off home.

Staying in town where everything is easily accessible (compared to staying in Batu Feringgi) made the holiday more relaxing and enjoyable.

We’ll be there again next year.

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