Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Eat Sleep Play trip to Penang

Last weekend, the usual six of us headed up north to Penang for a makan-makan trip. The four of us (me, Link, SV, Eric) departed on Friday evening. By the time we reached Paradise Sandy Beach Resort, it was midnight. Hubby and Tham arrived one hour later.

Upon hubby's request (and an excuse to start our makan makan adventure), we ventured out to Georgetown looking for food. At 1:30am, we can't really find anywhere with food. I guess we were in the wrong area. However, we stumbled across this coffeeshop which is still open and went in to order some supper - Fried lala, oh jien, grilled fish, lobak, chicken wings and pork satay. It's my first time eating pork satay and I personally like it! We ordered satay pork intestines too but I find it so-so.

Pork Satay

After supper, it's time to hit the bed after a long and tiring drive.

The next morning, we skipped breakfast at the hotel. Instead, we had some Penang food in one of the coffeeshops (not sure where exactly hubby took us though). I had hokkien prawn mee - th'ng cham lor, the rest had a mixture of fried kuey teow with duck egg, wan ton mee, and lobak. Guess what was the next agenda? Hubby dropped us off at Queensbay Mall! Why go to a shopping mall when there's plenty of those in KL? Two reasons - 1) Link needed to buy something from Watson; 2) my hubby wanted to work! So us three ladies and Eric was 'lepaking' at Queensbay mall for a few hours. In the end, cannot wait, have to call Tham to remind him about our next destination - Air Itam Assam Laksa. That's a good enough reminder for them to pick us up for lunch.

Using Link's iPhone and Google Maps, we got our own GPS to navigate around Penang. All Hail technology!

Once at Air Itam, we were very lucky to be able to get a parking spot almost immediately. We headed to the famous Assam Laksa at the wet market. The ironic thing about this is that I used to go back to Penang once a year to visit relatives BUT i've never tried the Assam Laksa here, let alone hear about it. We ordered six bowls from the camera-friendly uncle.

I reckon the uncle must be used to people taking pictures of his stall :)

We slurped our way the minute the piping hot bowls of Assam Laksa were served. I think in less than 10 minutes it's all gone!

Oh, did we mention there's lobak as well? (Everyone stares at Eric)

And what better way to quench our thirst with a glass of refreshing nutmeg drink? Although in my personal opinion, it was way too syrupy and little nutmeg taste.

Since we were already at Air Itam, might as well do the touristy thing and visit Kek Lok Si temple. So up we went, climbing the long flight of steps along the sheltered pathway, while checking out the goods sold by the vendors as we go along. It was not long when we reached the tortoise pond.

When I was a kid, I remember going up to Kek Lok Si and feeding the tortoises in a very huge pond. Now the pond has shrunk in size and was caged up, no thanks to an unfortunate incident many years ago when someone took off with a sack of tortoises and wanted to sell them to the restaurants. Some of the tortoises were recovered but not sure how many more ended up in the cooking pot :(

There was a bridge built across the pond, so we can go and feed kangkung to the tortoises. We spent quite a long time there, as we wanted to see the tortoises' reaction to the kangkung. Next we hung around the souvenir shop, checking out the clay miniatures but basically to enjoy the aircond. By that time it was already 4pm so we decided to head back to Georgetown for a bowl of cendol.

Our last point at Kek Lok Si. You can see we still had a long way to go!

On our way down, we had a stop a few times. Link got some dresses for her niece, SV got a bottle of nutmeg syrup. The best was Tham, he got himself a Gin Rummy tile set! It took him quite a while to negotiate though but to me the final price was still too high.

We headed back to the town centre when it started to drizzle. That didn't stop us from having the famous Cendol. We even ordered another two plates of char kuey teow and lobak to share. By the time we got home, some of us were quite tired, but we went ahead to play some games.

We brought a variety of games - Taboo, Uno Stacko, Uno, mahjong, two deck of cards...

... but in the end, all we played was Gin Rummy!

We played a few rounds, and then it's dinner time! Actually it's past 8pm because of the cendol and char kuey teow, but we need to eat anyway. This time we headed out to Gurney Drive as it is one of the nearest place to have dinner, plus lots of choices. For me the ultimate reason to go to Gurney Drive is this - Grilled dried sotong!

This is somewhat like a childhood food. I recalled my late maternal grandmother would grill this over a little charcoal stove while me and Ototo-san will watch, hoping for a bite after she is done.

We also ordered oh jien (the more starchy version), wanton mee, ah pom, fried curry cockles, sotong kangkung and *sigh* lobak. It's really funny that Eric had to order lobak without the main dish itself, but instead of some healthier alternative, he ordered fried chicken skin instead! SV and I whacked the sotong bakar, Tham and Eric snapped up the ah pom, Link almost single-handedly finished the curry cockles and sotong kangkung. Hubby? He took wanton mee (jaga diet). We ordered nutmeg drink again and thankfully this one taste way better than what we had earlier.

After a filling dinner, we took a quick stroll along Gurney Drive (nothing to see, low tide) before heading back to the hotel. There we continued more rounds of Gin Rummy till 2am.

On Sunday, we decided to check out the hotel breakfast supplied by Delifrance. They served really good pastries but since we went late, we missed out on the other foodstuff like nasi lemak. After an obligatory group photo at the beach, it's Gin Rummy time! We played till it's time to check-out, can you believe it?

Before departing the island, we went to Burmah Road to buy Him Heang biscuits. Unfortunately they close on Sunday! Boo-hoo! Luckily Eaton shop was opened, even though we had to travel to Glugor instead.

Our last makan destination was at Cheang Kee restaurant at Nibong Tebal. It's supposedly famous for their boiled baby octopus. Crunchy and slightly salty, it tasted great with the peanut sauce provided. Unfortunately for us, that was the only nice dish in the restaurant.

We headed home after lunch, with stomachs full of lobak, seafood and all things unhealthy. I thought it was too short a trip, but imagine how much more we could have eaten if we stayed on any longer?


Anonymous said...

May I know where you bought your Gin Rummy?

n i l e e y said...

hi! sorry it is my friend's set. I doubt he remembers as it was so many years ago...