Authentic Nasi Lemak at Medan Selera Mutiara | Penang

Medan Selera Mutiara translated as Pearl Food Court, is a famous hawker centre in Tanjung Bungah. It is located opposite the The Cove Condominium and is right in front of a row of shop houses, including Ingolf's Kneipe German Restaurant, 7-eleven and Vintage Bulgaria.
Medan Selera = Food Court
Mutiara = Pearl

There are quite a number of stalls here selling different types of food like char koay teow, tom yum mee and chicken rice. But the only reason I come here is for the Nasi Lemak (Coconut rice). Nasi Lemak is a popular Malaysian food and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper. This is a Malay dish with coconut rice, sambal ikan bilis (chilli paste with anchovies), peanuts and boiled egg, wrapped in banana leaf the traditional way. But nowadays, it has been modernised into a more complete meal with chicken curry or fried chicken. Some even serve it with fried fish.
Nasi Lemak | The TrishawAuthentic Nasi Lemak with no frills, as simple and delicious as it used to be long time ago

There was once when my sister and I bought this Nasi Lemak to takeaway so we can enjoy it in the comforts of our home. But because it filled the car with such salivating aroma, we could not wait for the 5 minutes drive to get home. We had to unwrap the banana leaves in the car, look for the plastic spoon my sister conveniently had in the glove compartment and share the Nasi Lemak! Since I was the passenger, I had to carefully feed her while she was driving. And because she was driving, I get more than half my share! Woohoo!!

MEDAN MUTIARA SELERA


Jalan Tanjung Bungah 
(opposite The Cove Condominium)
11200 Penang, Malaysia.

Chook Dii, Tanjung Bungah | Penang

A cosy restaurant for some good Thai food if you are nearby hillside in Tanjung Bungah or living in nearby hotels such as Flamingo Hotel and Copthorne Orchid Hotel.

Chicken with dried chilli and cashew | The Trishaw Chicken with dried chilli and cashew nuts was recommended to us and I must say, it was quite good.

Prawn asparagus in sambal sauce | The TrishawPrawn asparagus cooked in spicy sambal was good but too small a portion for us.

Seafood otak otak | The TrishawSeafood otak-otak was well curried and spiced. It was moist, eggy and filled with seafood.

Tom yum | The TrishawTom yum soup was really spicy and sour, the way it should be and I like how it it served in this little hot pot that has a candle to keep the soup hot. Very authentic.


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Tasty food and cute guy behind the counter. Worth going for a dose of hot and spicy soup ;)

Frown..


Small portions.

Will I return?


Why not.

CHOOK DII RESTAURANT


27, Jalan Sungai Kelian, Tanjung Bunga,
11200  Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6 04 890 2764

Opening hours: 11:00am - 10:00pm (close wednesdays)

Banana leaf rice at Passions of Kerala | Penang

When it comes to banana leaf rice in Penang, the first place that comes to mind is the original Passions of Kerala located at Taman Brown in Gelugor. They have expanded throughout the years and now they have opened one at New World Park along with many other restaurants.
Passions of Kerala | The TrishawEntrance to Passions of Kerala at New World Park

Banana Leaf set | The TrishawBanana leaf rice set (RM 5.50) - vegetarian

It is all about banana leaf rice at Passions of Kerala. Everyone orders this when they come here. The banana leaf rice set is vegetarian. It comes with rice, five types of vegetables, rassam and papadoms; all free flow. After ordering, everyone will be given a clean banana leaf as your plate and some cutleries but traditionally, it is eaten with hands. Then the staff will come round with the choice of plain steamed rice or tomato rice. Another guy will come with the different types of curries and vegetables, all will be lined up above your rice. You will also be given some free bowls of curry on the side to have some on your rice. Don't be shy to ask for more vegetables, rice, curry, or papadoms. Remember, it is free flow. Of course, it is not polite to to ask for more than you can consume. Be moderate about it.

Deep fried bitter gourd | The TrishawVery crispy deep fried spiced bitter gourd, which I order every time I have banana leaf rice

There are lots of extra dishes you can order to add on to the already pretty complete vegetarian banana leaf set. Lots of other delicious non-vegetarian dishes are on offer for those who needs some meat to fill them up.

Deep Fried Fish | The TrishawDeep fried fish

Masala Chicken | The TrishawMasala Chicken

Banana Leaf | The TrishawAt the end of the meal, it is nice to fold the banana leaf inwards towards you (like above). This means you are you are satisfied and liked the meal. If folded outwards. it means you did not like the food. And if left open, it means you want more.

PASSIONS OF KERALA


Passions of Kerala (New World Park Outlet)
102 Lot C3, New World Park
Jalan Burma
10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: 04-2272550
Operating Hours: Open Daily 11:30am-3:30pm; 6pm-10pm

5 Lorong Endah 4
Taman Brown, Gelugor
Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: 04-6578850
Operating Hours:

Succulent 'Or Chien' at Bee Hooi Food Court | Penang

The main reason I go to Bee Hooi is for the Or Chien (Fried Oyster) and Poh Piah (Fresh spring rolls). Of course, these are not the only good food at this food court. There are so many varieties, there is bound to be one that will become your favourite. Bee Hooi is located along the row of shop houses where Poly CafĂ© and Baskin Robbins is. It is also opposite of Belissa Row where Haagen Daz is situated. Baskin Robbins and Haagen Daz used to be one of our usual family hang out as we used to be extreme ice cream lover. Therefore my locations explanations are very often all based on ice cream parlours.
Bee Hooi | The TrishawThe inside seating at Bee Hooi

There are inside and outside seating available but this place is always full of people so, be quick at eyeing for tables that are almost done with their food and grab them as soon as people leave their tables. It is not a restaurant, so no one will seat you. First to seat on the chair gets the table.
Bee Hooi Fried Oyster Stall | The Trishaw'Or Chien' uncle frying the fantastic Or Chien (fried oyster) at his stall

Fried Oyster 2 | The TrishawFrying of oysters and eggs

Oh Chien_Fried Oyster | The TrishawOr Chien (fried oyster)

Or Chien is actually not just fried oyster on its own but is more like oyster omelette served with garlic chilli sauce. The omelette is cooked with a little starch to give the omelette a slightly gooey texture. When you mix them all up and take a big bite, it's like biting into an oyster heaven of goodness. The oysters from this stall in Bee Hooi are very fresh, big and succulent, unlike others I have had which are usually half the size.

Poh Piah | The TrishawThe juicy sweet Poh Piah (fresh spring rolls)

Tom Yum Bee Hoon | The TrishawThis tom yum soup with vermicelli was quite spicy and intensely flavourful

Lor Mee 1 | The TrishawLor Mee when served

Lor Mee is noodles in thick starchy meaty gravy served with pork slices, minced garlic, soy boiled eggs, bean sprouts, fried shallots and chilli paste. Addition of chicken feet is optional. I really enjoy lor mee as I like the starchy gravy coating every little surface of the mixed noodles and ingredients.

Lor Mee 2 | The TrishawLor Mee when mixed

Hokkien Char | The TrishawHokkien Char (fried noodles with sambal on the side)

Frankie's Pizza | The TrishawFrankie's pizza - Hawaiian delight with chicken and pineapple

This is a totally different kind of pizza. It is not Italian nor American. It is a Malaysian version of pizza with thick crispy base, nothing like a deep dish pizza at all. You have to try it to know what I am talking about.

Lok Lok | The TrishawLok Lok - skewers of food

There is a van filled with 'lok lok' skewers that parks along the same street as Bee Hooi. Lok to blanch or to boil, which is a very appropriate name for these skewers. Food are pricked through bamboo sticks into skewers where most are cooked, or need short time to cook. There are two square buckets, one filled with boiling water and the other, boiling peanut sauce. You can either boil the skewers in either, to heat or cook the food on skewers then top up with the many different kind of sauces on the side.

** If you noticed, I referred the man frying oyster at the stall as 'uncle'. This is the way we refer a man older than us, in a casual and respectful way. So uncle does not always means uncle as a family member. This will be the same for auntie.


BEE HOOI FOOD COURT


Lorong Pulau Tikus,
10350 Pulau Tikus
Penang, Malaysia.
(Next to EON Bank, OPPOSITE Belissa Row)
Operating Hours: 6pm-12am

Tree Monkey @ Tropical Spice Garden, a hidden gem | Penang

View of Andaman Sea | The Trishaw
Sat on a hilltop with a scenic view of the Andaman sea, the Tree Monkey Restaurant resembles a big open-air wooden tree house. It is nestled on the edge of the forest, shaded by tropical trees with rustling noises of leaves from the gentle breeze. Everything about this place exudes a natural relaxing ambience.
Tropical Spice Garden 2 | The TrishawEntrance of the Tropical Spice Garden

Although far from town, it is easy to find as it is located at the award-winning Tropical Spice Garden which has three different garden trails for visitors to explore. Cooking classes are also held here. Turn left from the entrance of the Spice Garden and up a slope and some steps to get to Tree Monkey Restaurant for some Thai and other Asian food.

Tree Monkey 2 | The Trishaw
Walk up these steps to Tree Monkey Restaurant

Tree Monkey 1 | The Trishaw
The open-air wooden seating

As Tree Monkey is so well located, it has access to the freshest source of spices and herbs. Do try their nutmeg juice; very refreshing on a warm day. Or if you prefer something warm, their spiced teas are really good too. Thai Food at Tree Monkey | The Trishaw
The four little cups of orange goodness are the Otak-otak (steamed curried fish paste)

Otak otak_Steamed fish paste | The Trishaw
The marinated fried Pandan Chicken was succulent and fragrant

Tom Kha | The Trishaw
Tom Kha, a milder version of tom yum cooked with coconut milk, was aromatic and sweet from the galangal, coconut milk, seafood and oyster mushrooms.

Pineapple Fried Rice | The Trishaw
I like ordering Pineapple Fried Rice that comes served in a pineapple. It makes it a whole lot more special. Plus, it gives it that extra pineapple 'oomph' to the rice. Remember to eat the pineapple fried rice with the sambal (chilli paste) that comes with it cause it's delicious. You will like it with lots of sambal if you are a lover of spicy food like me.

Phad Thai | The Trishaw
Pad Thai, a very common fried noodle dish amongst the non-Thais. A good Pad Thai needs high heat on the wok, enough seasoning of fish sauce, tamarind and a little palm sugar. Sadly, all these were slightly lacking. 

Lime chilli fish | The Trishaw
I am a lover of steamed fish and this steamed garlic, chilli and lime sea bass had the most important of all elements, fresh ingredients. The sauce was spicy and sharp with the extra freshness from the mint leaves. Oh, and I had the privilege of dissecting the fish head again.

Thap Thim Krop | The Trishaw

However full I was, I had to order my favourite Thai dessert, the Thap Thim Krop. Not because I am a glutton, but because this dessert is impossible to find in London as jackfruit is not available in London. This dessert contains jackfruit, an exotic tropical fruit with yellow sweet meaty flesh and cubes of red-coloured water chestnut wrapped tapioca flour, resembling pomegranate seeds. These red balls have soft chewy texture on the outside and crispy water chestnut cubes on the inside, an interesting combination of textures.

Beach_Andaman Sea | The Trishaw
After such an extensive meal, a walk along the beach opposite of the garden would help with digestion.

I feel blessed to have found this hidden gem in my hometown.

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The tranquillity here is sublime and is somewhere I will go to for some quiet moments and inspiration. The good food and drinks are a plus.

Frown..

This is a mosquito feeding area, being in the forest so remember to spray the lemon grass mosquito repellent which they provide at the entrance of Tropical Spice Garden.

Will I return?

This is my favourite zen zone in Penang.


TREE MONKEY

@ Tropical Spice Garden
Lone Crag Villa Lot 595 Mukim 2
Jalan Teluk Bahang
11100 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: 604-881 3493/4
Open daily from 9:00am - 11:00pm

My favourite coconut at Abu Siti Lane | Penang

Coconut water from fresh green coconut is a real thirst quencher, filled with antioxidants. Often, the coconut is cut then and there by the coconut seller. They are so skilled at cutting the coconuts that it looks so simple. Dad would bring us here, to this coconut seller on Abu Siti Lane to get coconut water ever since I was a little girl. It has always been a spectacle seeing the man toss and turn the coconut while he slices through it with his sharp crescent knife.

Coconut Man | The Trishaw

I think they have one of the sweetest coconuts here and this Indian seller is such a wonderfully friendly man, I never fail to come here every time I am home. He would always ask us, 'Minum atau makan?'. He wants to know whether we just wanted to drink the water or also to eat the flesh in the coconut. He would tap on the coconut to pick the ones he thinks we will like. The reason he asked is because if we only wanted to drink the coconut water, he could pick one that is slightly more mature where the flesh is usually harder but the water is sweeter due to its maturity. But if we wanted to have both the water and flesh, he would pick the coconut that has soft flesh yet has coconut water that is sweet enough; best of both worlds.

Order what they call the pandan coconut. It is much sweeter and fragrant compared to any other you will have. I am not sure why they call it the pandan coconut, but I assume it is because pandan (screwpine leaves) has a fragrant connotation.

COCONUT @ ABU SITI LANE

At the end of Abu Siti Lane near the junction to Burmah Road.

My Homestyle (Jia) Restaurant | Penang

My Home Style Menu | The TrishawA picture of the menu cover

Bittergourd and egg | The Trishaw

I used to hate bitter gourd when I was young, for the obvious reason. It's named bitter gourd for a reason. But as I grew up, this bitter fruit became one of my favourites. Like anything bitter, kinda like beer, it is an acquired taste. There are quite a few ways to cook bitter gourd and this one, simply stir fried with partially runny eggs and soy sauce was absolutely lovely.

Fried tofu with aubergine | The Trishaw
What looks like a simple tofu dish, crispy on the outside yet soft and silky on the inside, topped with the soft, mildly salty and sweet sauteed aubergine was delectable. Just be careful while eating the tofu as it's usually piping hot inside. Just to be safe, cut the tofu open to cool it a little to avoid burning your tongue. Burning your tongue is probably the worst thing to happen when there are so many delicious food on the table.

Kanna greens with flat fish | The Trishaw

Garlic stir fried chinese broccoli (kanna greens) with deep fried flat fish for added crunch. Simple and tasty.

Mango chicken | The Trishaw

Mango chicken is one of those chinese chicken dishes that I have not seen in London except at Maximini restaurant which is owned by Jimmy Choo, our renowned Malaysian shoe designer. It is too bad I have not written a post about Maximini then as I was not keeping a blog at that time. This reminds me, I should go there soon. So yea, the mango chicken, again one of my favourite dishes I will order in Chinese restaurants when I am home. Mango chicken is usually deep fried chicken (still moist on the inside), coated with plum sauce, garnished with shallots, lots and lots of mango and some shredded apples to give it an added crunch and acidity.

The food at this restaurant really does feel like a proper home cooked meal, no fuss tasty food.

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Great home cooked food at reasonable price.

Frown..


Nothing to frown about.

Will I return?


What is better than home styled cooking? None. This is one of the regular restaurants we go to.

MY HOME STYLE RESTAURANT


2, Lebuh Lembah Permai 4 (Casa Permai),
Tanjung Bungah, Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: +604 890 2764

Golden Triangle Restaurant | Penang

I have been going to Golden Triangle since they first opened at one of the tiny shop lots opposite Bukit Jambul Complex. Back then, I was still a college student and it was a real treat to have lunch here. Now, Golden Triangle is very established with two very spacious restaurants. I guess this tells you people like their food. In Penang, a restaurant would not last long if the food is not up to standard as every Penangite is spoilt for choices of fantastic food. Also, our taste buds have been trained since little.
Golden Triangle Interior 1 | The TrishawThe interior is filled with wooden furniture

Thai decor | The TrishawThai styled decoration

Coconut otak otak | The TrishawSeafood Otak-otak in Coconut (RM23.70) is one of the must have creaminess of eggy spiced fish paste with lots of seafood. It is their speciality, so highly recommended.

Pandan Chicken 1 | The TrishawPandan chicken (RM17.70) served with sweet chilli sauce.

Pandan Chicken 2 | The TrishawMarinated chicken is wrapped in the fragrant pandan leaves (screwpine leaves) then deep fried. This way of cooking keeps the chicken moist and fragrant.
Steamed fish | The Trishaw

The Songkhla Lemon Steamed Fish (RM42) makes you salivate and is perfect to eat with rice. The sauce is like a less spicy but more sour version of tom yum soup. It was great! If you are not up for fish, try the Claypot Glass Noodle Crab (RM42) which is totally different but very tasty. I think it will be a good mix to the many various dishes but it really depends on the crab availability that day.

Tom Yum Soup | The TrishawThe tom yum soup (RM21.70) was intense with sourness, spiciness, and fragrant citrus from the lemongrass and lime leaves.

Mango sticky rice 1 | The Trishaw

Mango & glutinous rice

I normally order my favourite Thai dessert, Tap Thim Krop (RM5.70). They make really good ones. Too bad, we were out of it. It has jack fruits, water chestnut cubes wrapped in tapioca balls served in coconut milk. So we ordered mango and glutinous rice (RM18.70) for dessert instead. It is very filling and is a very big portion, meant for sharing.

I would also recommend their Pineapple Fried Rice (15.70) and Belacan Fried Rice (RM14.70) if all you wanted was something simple and flavourful. I used to have these all the time when I was still a college student at their first, humble restaurant opposite Bukit Jambul Complex. It was a real treat for lunch. Of course, it was cheaper then.


THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE


3F-22A, Queensbay Mall, Persiaran Bayan Indah,
Sungai Nibong, Bayan Lepas, 11900 Penang
Tel/Fax : +604-644 0969
Business Hours : 11:30am - 10:30pm

Kerabu Bihun (Vermicelli Salad)


While I am on my way to Penang, my home sweet home, thought I shall share this Nyonya recipe with you. Something quick, light and gets your taste buds ticking. I will be sure to post some updates about the heavenly food we get here, and probably get you salivating looking at the screen. :p


This salad is dead easy. The most time consuming part is shredding the vegetables. The rest of the work is just mixing and placing them nicely on a plate to make it presentable. Then comes the best part; eat! Hope you like this salad, to add on to a quick and tasty meal.

Kerabu Bihun 2 | The Trishaw

Kerabu Bihun (Vermicelli Salad) 

adapted from Nyonya Flavours

Ingredients:

  • 200g fresh rice vermicelli
  • 200g prawns (shelled, devein & steamed)
  • 100g shredded cooked chicken
  • 100g bean sprout
  • 80g cucumber (shredded)
  • 1 carrot (shredded)
  • 8 shallots (sliced)
  • 1 ginger flower (thinly sliced)
  • 3 stalks lemongrass (thinly sliced)
  • 4 tbs toasted desiccated coconut
  • 3 tbs sambal belacan
  • salt & sugar to taste

Garnish:

  • 3 pcs hard bean curd (deep fried & cut into strips)
  • 50g mint leaves

Method:

  1. Blanch the fresh vermicelli and bean sprouts separately, in boiling water and run through cold water.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. Toss all ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well combined.
  4. Add salt and sugar to taste, then toss again.
  5. Garnish with mint leaves and fried bean curd, and it is ready to be served.

Tips:

  • If using dried vermicelli, soak until soft and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and run through cold water to prevent sticking.
  • The quality of the sambal belacan is very important as that gives it the core flavour so make with good ingredients and season well.

Kerabu Bihun 3 | The Trishaw