Kyspeaks.com

Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Category / Penang

The weekend prior to Hari Raya, we went up to Penang for a little staycation getaway at Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa. The trip was quite a special one for me for reason that may be different from most. Close to two decades ago, I worked at the very same hotel as a casual worker and used to think “what if I was a guest there one day…”, and that day came true.

The Spice Market Cafe at Rasa Sayang, Penang
The Spice Market Cafe at Rasa Sayang, Penang

I will write about the hotel and our experience staying there next, but today let’s talk about their huge dinner buffet at Spice Market Cafe located at the Garden Wing (the “right” side).

seafood on ice, baked salmon
seafood on ice, baked salmon

Dinner starts at 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm every evening and it’s the all you can eat affair. Priced at RM 185 nett for adults, it is also the buffet that offers one of the biggest selections of dishes on the island.

You have a choice of indoor seating that requires fewer steps to get to all those dishes, or alfresco dining area right next to the unique free-form swimming pool surrounded by their huge garden complete with giant rain tree by the beach.

Indian & Malay cuisines, selections of salad
Indian & Malay cuisines, selection of salad

The dishes include authentic ethnic cuisines from diverse cultures – including Chinese (with chef from China doing freshly made “knife slice noodle”), Indian, Nyonya, Japanese, Thai, Malay, and Western.

freshly made noodle, slipper lobster, local dishes, juices
freshly made noodle, slipper lobster, local dishes, juices

Some of the must-tries are the slipper lobsters either as-is, or covered in sauce, sashimi, roast beef, and snow crab. We also really enjoyed their selection of cheese, but the number one favorite for all three of us for the night though, was their deep fried soft-shell crab, it had just the right amount of seasoning that reminds me of some of the best banana leaf side dishes I’ve had the pleasure to taste.

desserts, ice cream, fruits, and even roast beef
desserts, ice cream, fruits, and even roast beef

If you just try a spoonful from each dish, you’ll probably need at least several visits to sample everything, the selection is huge. Unlike most buffet places that only serves water, there are also a selection of juice to go about.

mom, Haze, KY & Kit the F&B guy at Rasa Sayang
mom, Haze, KY & Kit the F&B guy at Rasa Sayang

If your wife or girlfriend can’t decide what to eat, this is not a best place to be. There bound to be something that’ll tickle her senses. I know my mom was more than satisfied.

map to rasa sayang

Address:
Spice Market Cafe
Rasa Sayang
Batu Ferringhi Main Road,
Kampung Tanjung Huma,
11100 Batu Feringgi, Pulau Pinang
GPS5.478865, 100.254181
Tel+604-888 8888

While Penang is synonymous with char kuih teow, laksa, and curry mee, one of the least talked about awesome hawker food from the island has got to be mee goreng. Sure, you can find mee goreng just about anywhere in Malaysia at 24 hour mamak stores, but once you had it in Penang, you’d think that you life has been a lie.


mee goreng stall at Tanjung Bungah, Penang mee goreng stall at Tanjung Bungah, Penang 

When it comes to mee goreng, one of my favorites is the little unassuming stall parked at the Yok Fong kopitiam in Tanjung Bungah where the old Hin Bus station used to be, or about half way from Tanjung Tokong to Batu Feringghi.

just a squeeze of limau lipis is all you need
just a squeeze of limau lipis is all you need

The mee goreng here is manned by Indian stall owner who is actually not the “original” owner, but thank goodness the trick of the trade isn’t lost to this next generation operator.

A plate cost RM 5 and comes with the usual fritter, squid, potato, egg, bean sprout, and a bit of greens. If you want it hot, ask for more “cabai”. Squeeze the limau lipis just right before you dig in for that extra umph. The noodle is very wet in comparison to the usual versions, so much so you can eat it with a spoon.

just a squeeze of limau lipis is all you need
we ended up ordering another plate

If you’re in Penang and crave for something slightly out of the usual hawker fare, this is one to try out. Also, this would be suitable to bring your Muslim friends along.

Address:
Mee Goreng at Yok Fong Kopitiam
Jalan Chan Siew Teong
Tanjung Bungah, Penang
GPS5.465812, 100.279872

This is one of those write-ups that was somehow kept in the draft mode for way too long, but never late than never, and this is especially true when it comes to awesome food that can be enjoyed by everyone – so today, let’s talk about Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan in Penang island.

selection & price list plastered on the wall
selection & price list plastered on the wall

To start with, you have to appreciate the location where Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan is located. At the tail end of the island, you’ll have to travel for probably close to 45 mins to 1 hour from the heart of the island to reach this place, depending if you actually get lost or not.

The restaurant itself is of a medan selara sort of set up, and Adnan bin Hassan is the corner shop offering the most selection of any stalls there.

Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan, Kampung Teluk Tempoyak
Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan, Kampung Teluk Tempoyak

There are usually quite a few selection of seafood to be chosen from, ranging from siakap, kerapu, bawal, ikan merah, janahak, udang, and ketam. Price list is clearly stated on the wall as well, which is always helpful. The fishes are supposedly supplied by local fishermen.

better get your share before your friends finish them all
better get your share before your friends finish them all

I liked the way they fish is grilled here, split down the middle with ample sweet and positively hot sambal plastered within the center, and more spicy & sour sambal served on the side just in case you can and want to handle more hotness. The seafood was plenty fresh when we were there as well.

Squid from the neighboring stall wasn’t nearly as satisfying though, so choose your poison carefully.

For those of you who complained that there isn’t any halal food entry for Penang, here’s one yah! Happy dining!

We’re also traveling to London on the 9/10/15 to 12/10/15 for a short 3 day 3 night trip, flying with Malaysian Airline, I will be meeting up a local foodie, Karen fromlavenderandlovage.com, it’ll be exciting!

map to Adnan Bin Hassan in Penang

Address:
Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan
Jalan Teluk Tempoyak
Kampung Teluk Tempoyak
11900 Penang
GPS5.277497, 100.288262
Tel: 019-413 2572
Hours: 6:30 pm to midnight  (Closed on Mondays)

One of the lesser known dishes in Penang is “hokkein char“, or literally, Hokkien Fried noodle. It is a dish found on most hawker centers and probably most of the bigger kopitiam, but unlike the more glamorous Pennag dishes like char kuih teow, curry mee or prawn mee that is famous everywhere, I’ve yet to find a proper hokkien char stalls in Klang Valley.

Hokkien Char & Char Hor Fun, Anson Road wet market
Hokkien Char & Char Hor Fun, Anson Road wet market

This blog post is about a Hokkien Char stall located at Anson Road wet market in Penang. It is not a particularly well known stall, in fact, it is absolutely average. In fact, I ended up trying this only because I was waiting for the immensely popular kuih teow soup at the same place (a must-try for kuih teow soup fans)

It is presented as how Hokkien Char should be, and tasted how it should taste, just the way I like it.

Penang hokkein char, where can I get one in KL?
Penang hokkein char, where can I get one in KL?

The anatomy of Hokkien Char is simple. There’s yellow noodle and mee hun, prawns, vegetable (choi sam usually), and pork slices fried with some sort of brown sauce, then topped with char siu and fried shallot. Most importantly, it is served with Penang style sambal balacan that’s positively spicy and foul smelling. Sometimes you get an odd fish ball or fish cakes thrown in as well.

The combination just works, and to me, a far superior rendition of fried noodle than KL’s “Hokkien Mee” with it’s overloaded dark soya sauce.

If you’re in Penang, give it a try!

muar chee, this one right outside Ayer Itam wet market
muar chee, this one right outside Ayer Itam wet market

Oh, also, don’t forget to try some Muar Chee as well. They’re absolutely fantastic and usually don’t cost more than RM 2 or so. If you like Kampachi’s signature peanut mochi, you will absolutely enjoy this.

direction to Anson Road market

Address:
Hokkien Char Stall
Anson Road Market
Jalan Anson & Lebuh Melaka
Penang
GPS: 5.415880, 100.320892
Hours: daily breakfasts except Mondays

Penang is often know as the heaven of hawker foods, from char kuih teow to asam laksa, and kuih teow soup to nasi kandar. However, you don’t often hear people talk about ikan bakar, also sometimes known as ikan panggang as the locals like to call it, and that I think, is a grave mistake.

Here are top three different grilled fish places I think you should check out if you’re in Penang.

Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan, Kampung Teluk Tempoyak
Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan, Kampung Teluk Tempoyak

If you fancy a little drive to the southern end of the island, ikan bakar Adnan bin Hassan at Kampung Teluk Tempoyak is definitely a place worth checking out. There isn’t many choices of fish to choose from as they’re sourced from the local fishermen, but there are siakap, kerapu, jenahak, ikan merah, and bawah talang to go with prawns and crabs.

I also particularly like the way their fillet the fish with sambal on the inside for easy access to those tender and absolutely satisfying meat. Starting from RM 35 to about RM 50 per KG, these grilled fish isn’t heavy on the wallet either.

Just one thing, you gotta be quick to grab your share before your mates.

better get your share before your friends finish them all
better get your share before your friends finish them all

Address:
Ikan Bakar Adnan bin Hassan
Medan Selera Kampung Teluk Tempoyak
11960 Bayan Lepas, Penang
GPS5.277330, 100.287968
Tel019-413 2572
Hours: 6pm – 11pm (Closed on Mondays)

Ikan Panggang stall at Song River, Gurney Drive
Ikan Panggang stall at Song River, Gurney Drive

One of my favorite “kopitiam” ikan panggang (more appropriate since it’s not strictly grilled) stalls is the one at Song River, Gurney Drive. The fish is covered in a special sauce that has a strong presence of fermented beans, belacan, chili, and shallots. Together with the sambal, this makes for an excellent treat.

There’s always quite a selection of different fishes and squid, but my favorite is stingray since the meat soaks up the paste easily and there’s no fish bones to deal with.

The same restaurant also offers great chicken wings too.

full flavor with plenty of chilli and garlic
full flavor with plenty of chilli and garlic

Address:
Song River Cafe
65 Persiaran Gurney,
Georgetown, Penang
GPS5.432392, 100.31738
Tel012-488 8275
Hoursdinner and supper

East Coast BBQ at Jalan Pinang food court, Penang
East Coast BBQ at Jalan Pinang food court, Penang

For those who love something slightly different than just fish, squid, or crabs, East Coast BBQ at Jalan Pinang food court is a place you must visit.

On top of the usual fish and squid, there are different types of shellfish and even vegetable for grilling. My favorite here would be their grilled scallops. Topped with garlic and spring onion, then grilled to perfection, this is an absolute must try for anyone who loves scallops. At RM 5 a pop, it’s quite reasonably priced as well.

Grilled brinjal is done with similar toppings and tasted fantastic, while the slightly spicy long bean might perhaps give you an illusion of having consumed enough vitamin C for the trip.

BBQ scallops, egg plant, and long beans
BBQ scallops, egg plant, and long beans

Address:
East Coast BBQ
Sungai Pinang Food Court
Jalan Sungai Pinang
Georgetown 11500 Penang
GPS5.400029, 100.325711
Tel04-281 0943
Hoursdinner and supper