Asam laksa and curry mee are just two of Penang’s signature hawker dishes. You can find them almost anywhere on the island, and most of the time they would be of pretty decent qualities.
Here is another place you could try if you find yourself on the Pearl of Orient – at Mount Erskine hawker center.
my niece is an asam laksa addict, just like Haze
The hawker center is situated at the end of Mt. Erskine road, the road most famous for having plenty of graves (hence super congested during cheng beng weekends). Here you will find a dozen or so hawker stalls offering everything from char kuih teow, kuih teow soup, mee goreng, curry mee, asam laksa, oyster porridge, mixed rice, and so on.
Penang asam laksa from Mt. Erskine hawker center
The laksa here is manned by two white haired aunties who certainly knows to keep things the traditional way. The laksa is laden with plenty of vegetable, chili, fish broth, prawn paste, and of course, topped with ginger flower (bungan kantan). It tastes as good as any, and passed my niece’s taste test.
A bowl costs RM 3.50 (but that was over Chinese new year, normal price was RM 3.00 I think)
Penang curry mee, this one with yummy fish ball too
When I’m there, I almost always order the curry mee (previous blog post from 2006). Other than the usual ingredients of cockles, prawns, coagulated blood, and tofu, they also throw in a couple home made fish balls into it.
While fish balls is a nice touch that gives the curry mee an extra dimension, the real deal here is their soup and chili paste. Fresh coconut milk based soup (the reason it appears white) with that aroma and kick from the slightly charred chili. Super yum! RM 4 or so. Try it!
here’s how you get to mount eskin in Penang
Address: Jalan Mt. Erskine, Tg. Tokong, Penang GPS:5.450560, 100.302064 Operating Hours: 11am to 4pm
Restaurant O&S must be the most popular kopitiam at Taman Paramount/Seapark area (not to be confused with Taman Sea), and for one very simple reason – the place is filled with awesome hawker foods!
I’ve been here for so many occasions I mistakenly thought it was already covered on the blog, but it’s never too late I guess.
Restaurant O&S at Taman Paramount
The restaurant is opened for breakfast, lunch, and actually dinner too (with limited stalls operating, a siu chau for example). Breakfast/lunch on weekends is an affair not for the faint hearted, the place is absolutely packed, and you often have to share the same table with strangers ala HK style. It also goes without saying that securing a parking space isn’t a trivial matter around this area.
Then again, if there’s good food, that’s a small price to pay isn’t it?
Prawn Mee at restaurant O&S
The prawn mee at O&S is arguably the most famous dishes in this kopitiam. The stall here is operated by real Penangites (I always test their Hokkien) and offers both normal prawn mee soup, and loh mee (Penang style) soup. You can also opt for extra ingredients such as bigger prawns, pork ribs, and intestines.
A normal bowl goes for RM 4.50 and the soup really does pack a punch with that sweet prawn taste, on par with Yon Lee, TTDI, one of my favorite prawn mee places, with extra ingredients the price can go up to RM 7.50 or more but ohh soo tasty!
Penang Chee Cheong Fun & Laksa
Another thing that I always order at O&S is the Penang style chee cheong fun. The difference between this and HK chee cheong fun is that the Penang version comes with just the chee cheong fun, with har kou (prawn paste), dark sauce, chily, sesame seeds, and fried shallots. Less than RM 2 for a small plate, very addictive. There isn’t very many places you can find this.
Then there’s the asam laksa that is sworn by so many. Haze loved it and claimed that it tastes the same as her favorite Cheras pasar malam version. I tasted it a bit and it was actually quite good! Again, plenty of har kou too, and all the proper ingredients you’ll find in a bowl of Penang laksa like banana flower, cucumber, onion, and a big chunk of fish.
Haze and KY at restaurant O&S, Taman Paramount
There’re other good stuff at O&S that I shall be covering sometimes later, the Yeong Tau Foo, the steamed chicken rice, and more! Stay tuned 😀
Ah Loy Curry Mee is the second restaurant I frequent in the exploration of the popular food district that is OUG. This followed by the good experience I had at Hong Cha pork noodle, just a couple doors down the road on the same row of shop houses.
a huge bowl of Peanng laksa at Ah Loy
Being a huge fan of asam laksa, Haze didn’t make any surprising order. The Penang style laksa looked pretty good, came with chunks of fish, banana flower, onion, cucumber, mint leaves, and of course – har gow (蝦羔, prawn paste. RM 4.5).
Unlike the true blue Penang style, this serving’s rather huge. As for taste, well, I’d say it’s acceptable though I did not really like the texture of their laksa noodle, a bit too soggy for my liking, but over all an OK bowl of laksa nonetheless.
seafood curry mee with plenty of cockles, squid, prawns, and more
Then there’s my curry mee (some RM 7-8) that came with lotsa cockles, lala, squid, prawns, crab stick, tofu pok, and even some mushroom. The soup base was pretty thick and rather delicious too, I had mine with noodle and mee hun but you can ask for kueh teow or other noodles too.
While lacking huge prawns, mussels, or oysters, there’s plenty of other ingredients to make up for it, and certainly offers great value for the price you pay.
KY & Haze at Ah Loy curry mee
This place opens for lunch and dinner till pretty late (11pm). Parking can be a bit of a problem but that’s generally a fact in places with good hawker foods such as OUG. There’s also quite a lot of other selections of food at Ah Loy, including the curry pork ribs that I want to try next time!
Address: Restaurant Ah Loy
No 11, 13 Jalan Hujan Rahmat 3
Taman Overseas Union
Off Jalan Kelang Lama , Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.073699, 101.672105 Tel: 03-7782 5001 / 013-302 3422
The best asam laksa I’ve found this side of Peninsular Malaysia would be the stall at Alisan, SS4. While it ‘s pretty good and positively edible, there’s still quite a big departure in quality when you compare that to those from Penang.
Laksa at Taman Emas kopitiam, opposite Peng Hwa high school
While the Ayer Itam stall often gets the nod as one of the best Penang laksa, many locals from this part of the island usually prefer this stall within Taman Emas kopitiam at Jalan Gottlieb.
This is the same stall that used to operate at the intersection between Jalan Bagan Jermal and Jalan Tanjung Tokong, some half a kilometers away. I remember mom used to tapao from there over 20 years ago.
popiah, chee cheong fun, chai kueh, and laksa
The laksa, selling at RM 2.80, comes with fresh cucumber, lemongrass, vegetable, torch ginger flower, pineapple, sweet prawn paste, chili, and that asam based broth thicken with porch and shredded ikan kembong meat. Heaven!
The stall also sells deep fried pohpiah that goes very well with the broth, and the chai kueh is not bad either.
KY and Shiang
For those who might not fancy laksa as much, there’s curry mee and char kueh teow stalls too. We ended up tapao-ing 10 packets of laksa to KL. Note the number of pre-packed noodle they’ve prepared in the photo above to give you an indication of how popular this place is.
The shop operates from late breakfast to afternoon. Try it!
Address: Taman Emas kopitiam
10350 Georgetown, Penang GPS: 5.433316,100.302864
Last night I had one of the most impressive home dinner over at Singz’s, one of Mell’s friends. When Mell told me that Singz’s mom cooks the most amazing prawn mee, I sorta took it with a pinch of salt since you know, I’m from Penang and all that. But after the dinner, I have to give it to Mama Wong, it was most awesome indeed!
Mama Wong’s kitchen has a automated shopping mall style glass sliding door separating the cooking are and the dining room, so very cool! The only disadvantage I can think of is when you have a power outage. They better have an emergency generator at home.
Mama Wong’s Penang prawn mee and laksa
Anyway, there were altogether about 10 of us at the dinner, and each of us chose between Penang prawn mee or asam laksa. The host obviously had everything very well planned, all the cutlery and condiments were in place, for the prawn mee we have
hard boiled eggs
And for Asam Laksa we have
har kou (prawn paste)
diced ginger flower (bunga kantan)
And those are just the condiments, the prawn mee was easily the best I had since Lian Gaik at Butterworth, Penang. The perfect soup with prawn, kangkung, mee hun + mee, and most importantly, PORK RIBS! I’m getting so hungry just writing this omg.
Asam laksa was pretty good too, plenty of fish chunks and all that garnishing, it was a shame that my stomach just couldn’t let me take more. I had requested half a bowl after the huge prawn mee serving but it seems that Mama Wong didn’t believe half a bowl. Oh well.
tropical fruits & grapes, mua chee, and barley tong sui
Mua chee, together with a plate of mangosteen, nangka, grapes, and pink guava were served next. The mua chee was as good as any I’ve had too. And as our collective stomachs were getting full to the brim, bowls of hot barley tong sui appeared.. *slurps…burp*
Singz; Jun Wei; Ian, Ching, Mrina
It was a very enjoyable dinner experience, aided by a lot of bimbo talks that us 3.5 guys had to endure. Oh, by the way, Mama Wong’s daughter, Singz (on the top left picture who looks a bit psycho, she doesn’t normally look like this (or so they say)) is single and available, please leave a comment with links to your facebook or something for a chance of eternal awesome prawn mee supply.
Oh, she likes bad boys with piercings and tattoos.
p/s: I’ll make a huge announcement should Mama Wong decide to open a restaurant.