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.
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
Been hearing about this Bangkok lane Mee Goreng that’s at USJ (that would be UEP Subang Jaya as the official name) for a while now, so I decided to check it out last week.
Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng at Restoran Ehsan Maju
For those who aren’t familiar with the background, there’s rather well known mee goreng located at Bangkok Lane in Georgetown. One that I’ve had quite a few times in Penang, and while it wasn’t my favorite, they do offer a very competent plate of this Indian dish compared to others on the island.
Of course, here in Klang Valley Penang style mee goreng is hard to come by, my previous favorite at PJ SS5 ceased to exists after the owner passed on, so to be honest, I haven’t had proper mee goreng outside Penang for years.
mee goreng with sotong
The stall at Restoran Ehsan Maju in USJ 2 is essentially a ‘branch’ from the same stall in Bangkok Lane, Penang. The menu is pretty simple, there’s mee goreng with or without sotong (squid), mee rebus (wet version) in the same two variety, and rojak – essentially their mee rebus without noodle.
mee rebus and rojak available too
So, how does it taste?
I would say it’s pretty spot on, except for the huge KL style portion, it is pretty consistent with what they offer in Penang. There’s decent flavor and all the ingredients are there. The fried shallots could be improved, and those sotong are a bit too bland (I’ll order without that next time). Other than that, definitely a more than acceptable “Penang style” mee goreng.
Will go again.
Address: Restoran Ehsan Maju 21, Jalan USJ 2/2c, Usj 2, 47600 Subang Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.057507, 101.591064
While the breath of Japanese cuisine kept advancing in Malaysia, there’s a segment of this food that alienate majority of the population here in Malaysia. See, you can find sushi, sashimi, and yakotiri that are suitable for most everyone to consume for the most part, but when it comes to proper Japanese ramen, the pork free or halal version proved to be a bit of a challenge to locate.
Kagura Chicken Ramen is hailed from Tokyo with the name of Seimenka Kaguraya, and even back in Tokyo, the recipe has always been pork-free and lard-free. Rare but still pretty popular at the same time.
There’s a selection of different soup base and ingredients, ranging from RM 12.88+ to a maximum of RM 22.88+. When it comes to proper Japanese ramen at these type of set up, I’d say they’re very competitively priced.
While the base is chicken, there’s a choice of shoyu, miso, and “rich” soup. They also serve gyoza, fried rice, and a limited choice of tempura (menu below)
Kagura Chicken Ramen
So how do they taste like?
We tried the “rich” and shoyu ramen together with their dumplings, and I gotta say that the soup base rivals the pork based ramen, with a slightly less greasy note. They also did a good job with the chicken base chasiu, but I do feel that the texture of pork chasiu is still superior. Overall though, this is a more than decent version of ramen that certainly did not make me regret having it for sure.
The dumpling though was sort of average, I guess perhaps it’s the lack of fatty bits that failed to bring it to my expectation.
fancy some dumpling to go with your ramen?
Skip the dumpling unless you are way too hungry, otherwise, this ramen is fit for anyone who loves ramen, even if you’re not specifically avoiding pork for whatever reason.
When it comes to food that represent Malaysia around different embassies all over the world, satay is probably right on top of the list. Not only it is delicious, these meat on stick is also portable, easy to store, simple to cook, and super convenient to eat.
Satay Sri Melaka, Lembah Keramat
For most of us, satay usually means chunks of chicken or beef served on skewer that’s not unlike Japanese yakitori, but if you spend some time looking around, there are other varieties available that may surprise some of us – and for those who likes it a little different, take a look at Satay Melaka.
Satay Sri Melaka is located at Lembah Keramat, some 20 mins away from KLCC, closer to Zoo Negara area (makes for a great after-zoo early dinner spot if you ask me). This is a “lesser developed” area of KL, parking is a breeze, and prices aren’t overwhelming.
plenty of peanut sauce with sambal to go around
The selection of satay here should satisfy even the most picky of eaters, there’s beef, chicken, mutton, as well as various different innards – chicken heart, liver, gizzards, and even beef tripe.
I thought the chicken was perhaps a bit dry (would be great to have some chicken skin), but those innards were really lovely, with beef tripe being my favorite. For chicken satay my favorite would be Satay Ampang.
The peanut sauce and sambal was quite top notch and adds to the overall flavor in ways that every satay place should. Spicy, flavorful, and with just enough spice.
meat, chicken, liver, stomach, they’ve got it all
If satay is what you long for, this is a worthy place to check out for sure.