While char kuih teow, laksa, and cendol gets all the attention in Penang, one of the must-eats for me is actually the humble old apong. Specifically, the stalls offering these tiny apong that have been operating at Jalan Burma right outside Union Primary School for decades.
Apong Guan, Penang
There are only two of such stalls on the island as far as I know, both offering very mini sized apong made with plenty of eggs, flour, ripe banana, corn, and some other secret ingredients (I think the guy will sell you the recipe for a handsome fee).
I’ve wrote about Apong Chooi back in 2011, so now let’s look at Apong Guan, arguably the more “famous” of the two.
Each Apong now goes for RM 0.60, up from RM 0.35 8 years back, and seven for RM 1.00 maybe two and a half decades back when I first got my motorbike license.
Apong Guan will usually have a small crowd surrounding the stall on weekends, an exercise in patient in these hot climate to be sure. The reward though is definitely worth it. The apong is sweet from the ripe banana & corn, savory from its egg, and perfect in every way. I suggest you order enough to lasts the afternoon, and eat them while hot!
RM 0.60 each for this goodness, must-eat if you’re in Penang
Apong Guan has been in operation for some 50 years, with no heir apparent in sight, so if you’re longing for something uniquely Penang, this is a stall not to be missed.
A couple weeks ago, Suan made me wake up at 6 in the morning on weekends, just because she needed a trail walking buddy to go to Chilling Falls (we went many years ago). She’s a friend for over two decades, I had no choice but to comply.
fried pan mee in all its glory
So we made our ways from PJ to Hulu Selangor way too early on a Sunday morning, and stopped by Rasa (yes, it’s a real town) for a pretty unique type of breakfast – Fried Pan Mee at Happy Like Coffee House.
Rasa is a pretty small town, and being situated less than 30 mins from Chilling Falls makes it a perfect destination for pre-hike stopover. The town area is plenty small and you won’t miss the time capsule of a kopitiam.
So, how’s the fried pan mee?
It is almost exactly like how you would imagine. Literally pan mee, but fried, with plenty of the same type of vege you’d find in normal soup version of pan mee. The portion here is way too big but makes for good carbo-loading pre-exercise routine. I was impartial to the taste, but Suan loves it.
Happy Like Coffee House, Rasa, Hulu Selangor
If you’re heading to Chilling Falls or any of the hiking trials nearby Hulu Selangor, this would be a worthy stopover.
bonus pic of me freezing my ass off at Chilling Falls
Address: Restoran Happy Like Coffee House Taman Rasa Jaya, 44200 Rasa, Selangor GPS: 3.496102, 101.632591
When it comes to Indonesian food, none is more famous than Ayam Penyet, essentially a flattened deep fried chicken served with tempeh (made from fermented soya bean), tofu, and those oh-so-addictive sambal.
Ayam Penyet Mak Maya, Kampung Baru
My first ayam penyet was at Waroeng Penyet just over a decade ago, and it was love at first taste. I’ve been on a look out for ayam penyet stalls in its most “pure” form ever since, for a lack of a better word.
A hunt that led me to Ayam Penyet Mak Maya at Kampung Baru, my current favorite.
Mak Maya is located at Kampung Baru, directly opposite to one of my favorite Nasi Padang restaurant. The restaurant itself is a bit of a time capsule from the 80s, with plastic chairs and laminated table.
I always order mine with extra sambal
What sets Ayam Penyet Mak Maya apart from other such stalls is their sambal. The sambal is prepared “fresh” on the spot by grinding fresh ingredients to the paste form we’re familiar with.
The result was expectedly excellent, spicy, aromatic, and pure. I love it.
ayam or ikan for you?
Other than ayam penyet (chicken), they also have ikan kembung (Indian Mackerel), and ikan keli (catfish) deep fried in the same style.
These are served with deep fried tauhu, tempeh, and a slice of raw cucumber, cabbage to go with plain rice. The sambal of course ties everything together to make a plate of super satisfying lunch.
if you love it spicy, you’d love it here
If you want a good meal of ayam penyet in the heart of KL city, this is one to check out.. before Kampung Baru is eventually being redeveloped.
Address: Ayam Penyet Mak Maya 58, Jalan Raja Muda Mus Kampung Baru, 50300 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.164533, 101.708807