Sunday, 1 May 2011

Eat Malay - Places to try around Tanjung Tokong / Gurney

I am indebted to Ken at No Eyed Deer (NED) for his top tips on where to eat some of the best Malay specialities in and around the Tanjung Tokong and Gurney Drive areas.

Firstly, for those stopping at the G Hotel or visiting the Gurney area, you could do worse than head up towards Jalan Bagan Jermal and turn right at the first lights along Jalan Tanjung Tokong to mamak shop (many open 24 hours) called Subadiah. It's situated on the right hand side of the road as you travel towards Tanjung Bungah and is hard to miss. Open daily it is not particularly renowned for any one dish but would be a good place to try a Roti Canai (a paratha style bread served with a small portion of curry) or Nasi Kandar, a more substantial offering of rice with a variety of curry and pickle accompaniments. Listed mainly for its convenience (maybe a 10m minute walk from Gurney Plaza) I plan to try here for breakfast tomorrow. If having Roti Canai, ordering it 'kosong' will result in you getting the drier plain version rather than that which contains a lot of margarine

For some of the best Nasi Kandar Ken recommends a place called Jamal which is further up Jalan Fettes on the opposite side of the road to NED. Apparently serves a very good range of dishes (most times with the same price charged on different days!!!) you may need to be careful to be sure of the price of the shellfish as it can rack the price up somewhat. But, being Malaysia, that is still going to be good value and nowhere near European prices.

If you come out of the NED, turn left up Jalan Fettes (as you would to get to Jamal), walk/drive up the road to the first set of lights and turn left you will immediately notice some hawker food stalls on the right hand side. in Ken's view the lady here serves one of the best local 'Char Kway Teow' (CKT) you can get around here. Penang is considered the tops for this tasty dish the world over. It consists of fried flat noodles with often with Chinese sausage, bean sprouts, cockles, prawn, with garlic and chilli paste. Ken tells me you can also get a nice Ice Kacang here, a Chinese desert of sweet red beans, jelly and creamed sweetcorn over a bed of shredded ice with lashings of fruity sauce topped with ice cream. You can't miss the CKT stall as there is only the one stall doing this local speciality (rated tops in Penang along with Assam or Penang Laksa) and one which I intend to try as soon as time permits.

Finally, for today at least, travelling up Jalan Bagan Jermal (as I tend to do quite a lot!!!) you will go past Bagan bar/restaurant and will come to the Chinese Girls School on your right. Opposite here is another Mamak shop called Taman Emas . Here you can apparently get some of the best Curry Mee, a Chinese style broth style flat noodle dish which is a little less fiery than the similar Curry Laksa. Its ingredients will vary but generally always include beansprouts, long beans, soyabean puffs, coagulated pigs blood (with a texture like tofu and tasting less spicy than the black pudding you can get in the UK, it may then contain a variety of fish types and chicken. It will vary from stall to stall. Generally the dish is topped with a chilli paste which is stirred in just before you eat it, stirring in only as much as your taste buds will handle. I like Thai food and Szechuan Chinese so for me, the lot I suspect biggrin At the hawkers they will generally ask if you like it spicy or not and it will be cooked with their best guess at the right amount of chilli paste.

One of the other dishes I have been advised to try is Tam Yam Mee. This is actually a Thai dish and is the favourite of several people I have met here including Jeffrey and the Blue Reef restarant. I will give this a spin too.

Once I have tried these places I will return and update this post. Happy eating!!!

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