Makan (Eating) Trip di (in) Penang (& Kedah), Malaysia

10th April, 2018

*Ini adalah post dwibahasa. This is a dual language post.*

“Willing to travel to another country (place) for food.”

Itu adalah mantra aku. Aku suka makan & makanan suka kat aku. Setiap tempat yang aku pergi, aku akan pastikan aku makan makanan tempatan yang tak seharusnya ditinggalkan. Kadang tu aku sanggup terbang ke negara lain demi makanan. Kadang tu mengidam mengalahkan mak buyung! Dan aku sanggup travel hanya untuk 2,3 hari semata-mata nak makan. Lepas makan, perut kenyang, balik lah. Takdanya nak sightseeing sangat. Itu belakang kira. Yang penting aku dapat makan apa yang aku nak makan!

That is my mantra. I love food & food loves me. Every place I go, I’ll make sure to eat the local food that must not be missed. Sometimes I travel to another country just for food. And I’m even willing to travel for 2,3 days just to eat. Done eating, then just return home. Not much sightseeing. I don’t care about that. What’s important is I get to eat what I want to eat.

So, kali ni aku ke Penang (& Kedah) hanya untuk menghabiskan hari weekend aku dgn makan. Tekak ni dah lama teringin nak makan nasi kandar, cendol & makanan2 lain yang terkenal di Penang. Kalau dah teringin tu, ikut je lah kehendak tekak & perut.

This time I went to Penang (& Kedah) just to spend my weekend with eating. I longed for nasi kandar, cendol & other famous foods in Penang. Just follow what the stomach wants.

Aku naik ETS dari KL Sentral ke Bukit Mertajam (BM) Jumaat malam, sampai awal pagi Sabtu. Ada kawan amek aku. Ni nak cerita pengalaman aku naik ETS. Ini kali kedua aku naik ETS route yang sama. Tapi kali ni aku sangat2 tak selesa! Sebab apa? Sebab aku duduk group seat (yg 4 tu). Aku duduk tepi tingkap & orang sebelah aku adalah perempuan yang tersangat obese sampai badan dia melimpah ke seat aku! Lengan aku sampai tak boleh nak bukak kepak, kena sentiasa dikecik-kan. Aku dah mcm lalat dah kena tempek kat tingkap. Pastu dia boleh bantai berdengkur punya kuat sampai coach sebelah boleh dengar tau! Pastu tangan dia sikit2 tampar paha aku (al maklum lah tido mati sampai tak sedar diri). Memang tak boleh belah la!  Pastu mamat cina (mula2 ingatkan mamat Vietnam tak pun Myanmar) depan aku ni boleh pulak dia kangkang kaki dia punya besar sampai berlaga dgn kaki aku! Aku panas je sampai rasa nak sepak celah kangkang dia. 4 hours of pure hell right there! Aku sgt bersyukur bila dah sampai BM & kawan aku amek & terus ke kedai utk makan supper.

I took the ETS from KL Sentral to Bukit Mertajam (BM) on Friday night & reached in the wee hours of Saturday. Let me share my experience on the ETS. This was my second time on the ETS on the same route. But this time it was very uncomfortable! Why? Because I sat on a group seat (4-seater). Mine was the window seat & next to me was a very obese woman & she spilled onto my seat! I had to keep my arms squished at my sides at all time. I felt like a fly smacked across the window. That was not the worse part. She snored so loud that she can be heard on the next coach! And she kept slapping my thigh (what d’ya know, she slept like a log). It was unbearable! And the Chinese guy (at first I thought he was a Vietnamese or Burmese) in front of me kept opening his legs real wide & his feet kept stepping on mine! I felt like kicking him in the crotch. 4 hours of pure hell right there! I was relieved when the train finally arrived at BM & my friend picked me up & we went for supper.

Dia bawak aku ke Adam Char Koey Teow kat Permatang Pauh. Menurut kawan aku, ini adalah salah satu kedai char koey teow (CKT) terbaik & memang terbaik pun. Udang dia bagi besar2 & banyak, padahal order CKT biasa je pun. Aku bagi 4 bintang (tolak 1 bintang sebab milo panas dia tersangat manis). Lepas makan, terus balik untuk tido kejap sebab kejap lagi nak bertolak ke Penang.

She brought me to Adam Char Koey Teow in Permatang Pauh. Char Koey Teow is stir-fried flat rice noodles. According to her, this is one of the best CKTs & it really was the best. The prawns were huge even though I’ve only ordered the normal CKT. 4 stars from me (minus 1 star due to the overwhelmingly sweet hot Milo). After supper, we went home to sleep for a bit as we’ll be heading to Penang in a few hours. 

Pukul 9 pagi kami bertolak ke Penang dgn menaiki kereta. Jalan sesak sebab banyak kereta nak naik ke Penang. Al maklum lah, weekend. Tapi bagi aku sesak dia tak macam kat Melaka; Penang masih boleh tahan lagi. Agenda pertama ialah sarapan. Awal pagi tu kami ada 2 pilihan; samada nak makan di Transfer Road atau di Gemas Road. Kami buat keputusan untuk ke Gemas Road sebab rata2 online review di situ sangat memberangsangkan. Punyalah payah nak cari kedai tu sampai sesat dibuatnya sebab kitorang masing2 tak biasa dgn jalan di Penang (Walaupun yang 2 org kawan tu duduk hanya bersebelahan dgn Penang). Akhirnya pukul 10.30 pagi, kami berjaya jumpa kedai roti canai Lorong Gemas. Kedai tu terletak di ceruk2 lorong & kedai tu hanya lah warung semata. Jalan nak masuk ke kedai tu sangat sempit tapi parking jangan risau sebab berdepan dgn kedai tu ada ruang parking yang agak besar & percuma (ni lah kali pertama dpt parking free di Penang).

9am we took off to Penang by car. There was a lot of traffic as it was a weekend. But for me it was still bearable unlike Malacca. First up was breakfast. We had 2 choices; either to eat at Transfer Road or Gemas Road. We decided to go to Gemas Road since the online reviews had been encouraging. It was difficult to find the place & we got lost (even though my 2 friends live in neighbouring Penang). Finally by 10.30am, we found the roti canai place in Lorong Gemas. The stall is located on a very narrow strip of road. However, there is no need to worry about parking space as there is a big & free open carpark opposite the stall (that was the first time we had free parking in Penang).

Walaupun dah agak lewat untuk bersarapan, orang tetap ramai. Kena tunggu sekejap untuk dapat tempat duduk sebab ruang agak terhad. Kat situ ada meja sebuah2 & juga meja panjang macam kat kantin sekolah. Kalau kau pernah makan di kedai roti canai Selangor Mansion (kawasan Masjid India), memang agak sama style kedai & meja dia. Jangan segan untuk berkongsi meja dengan orang tak dikenali ya. Kalau segan dgn orang, baik duduk rumah & makan sorang2.

Even though it was quite late for breakfast, there was still a huge crowd. Had to wait a while as the seating place was limited. There were individual tables & chairs & also cafeteria-style tables. If you’ve ever eaten at Selangor Mansion (near Masjid India), it’s the exact same style. Don’t be shy to share a table with strangers. If you’re shy, it’s better if you stay at home & eat alone.

Di kedai ni kau kena order roti canai special dia – roti canai, kari ayam seketul, cheese & telur goreng! Fulamak! Sedap & padu!  Ayam dia besar, kuah banjir & lepas makan memang akan rasa macam ular sawa. Itu baru sarapan, belum lagi makan benda lain padahal aku tengah buat food trip ni! Kopi O panas dia pun ada ummmph! Harga dia bagi aku agak berpatutan. Semua sekali dengan air hanya RM8. Aku bagi 4.5 bintang.

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Roti Canai Special

 

Here, you must order the special roti canai (flat bread)– roti canai, curry chicken & fried egg! Absolutely delicious! The chicken was huge, plenty of gravy & after you’re done, you’ll feel like a phyton. That was only breakfast & there were plenty more to eat on my food trip! The black coffee with sugar definitely had a kick! The prices for me were affordable. Only RM8 including drinks. 4.5 stars from me.

Dengan perut berat & mata pun berat, kami bergerak ke destinasi seterusnya – Roti Jala Belimbing Café. Kedai ni terletak di Telok Bahang. Sebenarnya kedai ni tak ada pun dalam senarai, tapi disebabkan kawan yang sorang ni syorkan sebab dia pernah makan & cakap roti jala dia besar & sedap, haruslah kami cuba. Kami sampai dah dekat tengah hari – risau pulak roti jala dah habis sebab tengok orang dah tak ada & lagipun kami nampak periuk dia dah ditonggengkan (habis la kot). Tapi kami terjah jugak untuk cuba nasib. Memang nasib kami sangat baik sebab roti jala ada lagi. Orderlah sorang satu roti. Amek kau! Besar gila roti jala dia! Kau tau tak kuali rata besar yang biasa orang masak roti canai kat pasar malam tu? Besar tu lah roti jala dia. Dah la kami order sorang satu, pastu tadi dah sarapan roti canai, memang nak meletup perut ni.

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Besar tak kuali dia? Isn’t the pan huge?

With full stomach & sleepy eyes, we made our way to the next destination – Roti Jala Belimbing Café. This shop is located in Telok Bahang. At first, this shop wasn’t even in our list, but one my friends had eaten there & she said the roti jala (net or lace pancake-ish teatime snack) was huge & delicious, & that was it –  she sold it to me. We arrived around noon & there were hardly any people there & the pot was tilted – not a good sign (no more roti jala perhaps?). But we went in any way just to try our luck. And yes, lady luck was on our side because the roti jala was still available. We ordered one each. Oh boy! It was humongous! You know the big flat pan used to fry roti canai (flat bread) at the night market? It was exactly that big. My stomach was about to burst from the roti jala & the earlier roti canai.

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Roti Jala

Roti jala dia disertakan dengan kari daging. Kuah memang pekat, daging agak banyak & memang puas lah. Roti jala dia sedap. Tak garing sangat & lembut. Yang penting, besar. Kalau makan masa lapar, sesuai lah makan sorang satu. Kalau makan masa kenyang, aku cadangkan kau kongsi. Tapi kami tak kongsi – masing2 berjaya menghabiskan roti jala tanpa tinggalkan sikit pun sisa. Al maklumlah, kami pemakan professional. Jangan tiru aksi kami. Teehee.

The roti jala was served with beef curry. The curry was thick, plenty of beef & it was satisfying. The roti jala was yummy. Not too dry & it was soft. More importantly, huge. You better come hungry if you’re going to eat the whole thing yourself. But if you’re not that hungry, it’s better to share. But we didn’t share – we managed to successfully finished the whole thing without leaving any bits behind. Any who, we are professional eaters. Do not imitate us. Teehee.

Untuk memudahkan proses penghadaman & mengelakkan rasa kenyang yang terlampau, kami pergi “hiking” kat Penang National Park. Takda lah extreme sgt, cuma pergi setakat Sungai Tukun sahaja. Bayangkan kami pergi National Park tu dengan sandal & seluar jeans. Dah la jalan berliku, tak pakai kasut sukan pulak tu, memang mencabar. Masa kami sampai, dah tengah hari. Matahari terpacak atas kepala. Laut pulak dah pasang & dah tak boleh turun ke bawah untuk photoshoot. Masa tu orang dah turun, kami baru nak naik. Gila. Kami amek masa dlm 15 minit untuk sampai ke Sungai Tukun. Dah sampai tu, kami cari port untuk berehat & berborak sambil2 tunggu makanan turun ke usus sebab kejap lagi nak makan tengah hari. Nak makan special punya. Apa dia? Haruslah makanan yang terkenal & wajib dimakan bila kat Penang ni!

To aid digestion & prevent extreme fullness, we went “hiking” at Penang National Park. Not too extreme, we only went as far as Sungai Tukun. Just imagine, we went there in jeans & sandals. The road up was not easy & not wearing any sports shoes was very challenging. When we arrived, it was already noon & the sun was directly on top of our heads. The tide was high so we couldn’t go down to the shores for photoshoot. Other people made their way down just as we were about to start making our way up. It took us 15 minutes to reach Sungai Tukun. Upon reaching, we looked for a place to rest. We’ll be having lunch pretty soon. A special lunch. The most famous & must eat food in Penang!

Bila rasa perut dah okay sikit & tak penuh sgt, kami pun turun dari National Park & meneruskan perjalanan ke destinasi wajib yang seterusnya – Nasi Kandar Deen’s Maju. Byk dugaan masa nak ke Deen’s Maju. Pertama, dugaan parking. Aku tak tau apa masalah kat Penang ni – parking bukan main payah nak dapat, sikit pulak tu. Kami buat tawaf berkali-kali untuk dapatkan parking. Dah la bukan parking yang elok (sebenarnya bukan ruang parking pun, cuba bukit kecik yang kosong). Orang tempatan cakap kalau kau parking sesuka hati tepi bahu jalan, akan ada lori tunda yang datang utk tunda kereta kau. Kalau nak selamat, kau kena parking jauh & jalan kaki. Dugaan kedua ialah beratur gila panjang sampai macam ular dah. Orang punya ramai sebab masa tu dah pukul 3pm & kedainya bukak pukul 2.30pm. Dalam 40 minit jugaklah kami beratur kat luar tu. Dugaan ketiga ialah cuaca yang sangat panas terik. Dahla beratur panjang, tunggu lama, tepi longkang busuk & kotor. Berpeluh ketiak & dahi sampai basah baju.

Once we felt rested, we made our way down & off to the next must-visit destination – Nasi Kandar Deen’s Maju. We encountered many trials & tribulations on our way there. First, lack of parking spaces. I honestly don’t know what the problem with Penang is – parking spaces were difficult to get, plus they weren’t many. We went round and round just to search for parking space. We finally found one but it wasn’t a proper parking space (it wasn’t even a parking space, just a small hill with some open space). The locals said that if you parked illegally, a tow truck might come and tow your car away. To better safe, it’s better to park in a faraway parking space & just walk there. Second, there was a long line at the shop. It was 3pm and the crowd was huge as the the shop opened at 2.30pm. We had to queue for 40 minutes. Third, it was so hot & humid. To sum it up, we had to wait in a long queue beside a dirty & smelly drain. The shirts on our backs were drenched in sweat.

Bila sampai giliran aku, aku amek nasik putih, ayam goreng & sotong kari, kuah campoq! Ayam & sotong dia kecik. Kuah dia boleh tahan sedap. Terus terang bagi aku, aku tak tau tang mana yang sedapnya. Bagi aku nasi kandar Deen’s Maju agak biasa & lebih kurang sama dengan mana2 kedai nasi kandar yang lain. Aku tak reti nak menilai kesedapan nasi kandar. Kawan aku cakap ayam goreng dia paling sedap. Bagi aku biasa je – sama macam ayam goreng berempah kedai nasi kandar yang lain. Dan aku adalah peminat ayam goreng nombor satu! Hampir tiap hari aku makan ayam goreng & ya, ayam goreng kat sini biasa2 shj. Tapi kuah kari campoq dia bagi aku memang sedap la, cukup pekat, cukup garam & perasa. Kalau kat KL, aku biasa akan makan nasi kandar kat Zainul Nasi Kandar, Petaling Jaya. Yang tu ayam dia besar & sedap sikit dari Deen’s Maju (bagi aku lah). Nasi kandar dgn ayam goreng seketul, sotong kari seketul, takda sayur & limau ais semua sekali berjumlah RM12.50.

When it was finally my turn, I ordered white rice, fried chicken & squid curry, with a mix of different gravy. The chicken & squid were small. The gravy was not bad. Nasi Kandar is basically a Penang staple – steamed white rice served with a variety of side dishes (either chicken, squid, beef, mutton, fish etc cooked in various curry styles & a side of vegetables) & it’s not for the faint hearted as the spices used could be too much for some people to handle.  Honestly, I didn’t know what was so special about the Nasi Kandar here. To me, the Nasi Kandar at Deen’s Maju was average & tasted similar to other nasi kandar joints. I didn’t know how to evaluate the tastiness of nasi kandar. Both friends said the fried chicken here is the best. Again, it tasted average to me – similar to other fried chicken at other nasi kandar joints. And I am a fried chicken addict! I eat fried chicken on a daily basis and yes, the fried chicken here was average. However, the mix of different gravy was absolutely delicious, perfectly thick, perfectly seasoned with salt & other condiments. Back in KL, I normally eat nasi kandar at Zainul Nasi Kandar in Petaling Jaya. The chicken there is better & slightly tasty compared to Deen’s Maju. The total cost of my nasi kandar at Deen’s Maju including a piece of fried chicken, a small curry squid, no veges & lime juice was RM12.50.

Dari Deen’s Maju kami bergerak ke Penang Road untuk makan dessert iaitu cendol. Boleh dikatakan cendol yang paling terkenal kat Penang ni ialah Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol. Nama pun dah famous. Gerai cendol ni terletak di celah2 lorong. Kami bertiga memang tak pernah cuba cendol kat sini. Ni kali pertama. Kawan aku ckp diorang tak pernahnya dpt cari kedai ni. Tapi dgn berpandukan Google Maps, kami berjaya temui gerai ni. Beratur memang panjang tapi tak sampai 5 minit, dah sampai giliran aku.

Kalau makan, dia bagi dalam mangkuk tapi kau kena makan sambil berdiri di tepi jalan sebab kerusi & meja tak disediakan. Cendol dia tak berapa manis, sesuai untuk yang tak makan manis atau nak jaga paras gula. Santan dia sedang2; tak berapa cair & tak berapa pekat. Dalam tu ada cendol warna hijau & kacang merah. Standard lah tu. Lagi sekali aku terus terang, aku tak berapa pasti apa membuatkan orang gila dgn cendol kat gerai ni. Bagi aku, cendol dia biasa2 sahaja, makan sekali dah, cukup. Kalau aku dtg Penang lagi sekali, aku tak rasa aku akan singgah lagi. Apa yang membuatkan Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol ni special? Bagi aku, cendol is cendol. Mahal? Harga RM3 untuk semangkuk. Sangat mahal kalau nak dibandingkan dgn cendol kat tempat lain. Tapi orang kata, Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol ni wajib kalau datang Penang. Rasa sekali cukup lah tu. Tapi aku agak kesian dgn gerai betul2 berdepan dgn Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol ni. Takda org yang singgah kat gerai dia dek kerana penangan Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol ni. Kalau yang berniaga tu Melayu, mesti dah *tut* kan? Heh.

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Cendol

From Deen’s Maju we went to Penang Road for dessert which was cendol. The most famous cendol in Penang is obviously Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol. The name itself has the word ‘famous’. This humble stall is located in an alley. We had never tried the cendol here. We finally found the stall with the help of Google Maps. There was a long queue but I was served in 5 minutes. The cendol will be served in a small bowl and you have to stand by the roadside to eat it due to the non-existent tables & chairs. The cendol was not too sweet. The coconut milk, perfectly balanced; not to thin & not to thick. It was served with green cendol & red beans. Pretty standard for a cendol. Again, I have to be honest. I was not sure what made people go crazy about the cendol here. To me, the cendol tasted average, you eat it once, that’s it. You can cross it off your list. If I were to come to Penang again, I wouldn’t stop by. So, what made Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol so special? Cendol is cendol. Expensive? You bet, as I paid RM3 per bowl. Too expensive compared to elsewhere. But people kept saying if you come to Penang, you must try Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol. Like I’ve said, you try it once & then strike it off your list. I pity the cendol stall opposite the Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol. Barely any people there due to the overwhelming response at Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol. If it were a Malay seller, the stall might have *bleep* huh? Heh.

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Penang is full of impressive graffiti

Dari pagi sampai ke petang tak berhenti makan. Perut dah nak meletup, mata dah nak tutup, jalan dah tak bermaya. Dalam kereta, masing2 bukak tali pinggang & butang seluar sebab tak boleh nak bernafas. Kenyang yang teramat! Sementara nak menunggu makan malam, kami lepak kat Padang Kota Lama untuk berehat & ambik angin. Lama jugak kami lepak kat situ. Al maklum lah, perut berat. Petang minggu agak happening tempat ni dgn orang tempatan. Masing2 bawak family & anak2. Ada orang memancing, bersiar2, ambik angin, makan2. Suasana & tempat dia agak santai, sesuai untuk menghirup udara segar sambil tengok kapal & tongkang berlayar di tengah laut.

We ate non-stop from morning until evening. Our stomachs were ticking timebombs, eyes sleepy & we could barely walk. In the car, we took off our belts & unbutton our pants as none of could breathe. Full to the brim! Whilst waiting for dinner, we hung out at Padang Kota Lama for a long time. It was quite happening here with locals & their families. Some were fishing, strolling & eating. The atmosphere & the place itself was very relaxing, you can watch the ships & cruises sail by whilst taking in the fresh sea air.

Tempat makan terakhir kami di Penang ni ialah Street Grill – Burger Bakar.

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Street Grill Food Truck

Sebenarnya ni adalah food truck yang bukak pukul 6.30pm sampai sold out. Kami sampai dalam pukul 6.40pm & org dah beratur panjang. Depan kami ada dlm 10 orang. Masing2 order minimum 5 burger. Ada satu brader tu order 10 bijik. Memang terpaksa tunggu lama dlm 30-40 minit. Apa yang mebuatkan burger Street Grill ni lain dari burger tepi jln yang lain ialah patty dia. Patty dia bkn patty Ramly yg ada kat supermarket tu. Dia punya patty ialah homemade patty. Dalam menu dia ada burger ayam, lembu & kambing tapi masa kami sampai, kambing takda. Cheese pula kau boleh pilih cheese slice biasa atau melted cheese. Of course melted cheese mahal banyak dari cheese slice. Burger dia simple sahaja mcm McChicken – roti burger, sos cili, mayonis, lettuce & patty. Aku order burger daging & kawan aku order burger ayam. Ternyata burger ayam dia lagi tebal & besar (mcm chicken chop) dari burger daging (nipis mcm burger Ramly). Lagi berbaloi kalau kau order burger ayam. Dan burger ayam lagi sedap dari burger daging. Timbul rasa menyesal bila aku order burger daging. Melted cheese dia tak lokek & sedap. Memang betul2 melted tapi tak la sampai tahap boleh tarik mcm cheese mozzarella kat Pizza Hut. Memang not bad lah burger kat sini lebih2 lagi burger ayam dia. Highly recommended. Tapi bagi yang tak biasa makan burger tepi jalan atau agak particular dengan kebersihan, tak berapa digalakkan untuk makan kat sini.

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Burger 

Our last stop in Penang was Street Grill – Burger Bakar. The food truck opened at 6.30pm until sold out. We arrived around 6.40pm at the queue was already long. There were 10 people in front of us. Each of them ordered at least 5 burgers each. There was even a guy who ordered 10 burgers. We had to wait around 30-40 minutes. What made the burgers here different compared to the rest are the homemade patties. You can choose either chicken, lamb or beef but the lamb wasn’t available when we were there. You can even choose between normal sliced cheese or melted cheese. Of course melted cheese is more expensive than sliced cheese.

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Melted cheese. & the *suspect* – the blue cooler

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Their burgers were simple just like the McChicken – burger buns, chili sauce, mayo, lettuce & patty. I ordered the beef & my friend had the chicken. The chicken patty was slightly bigger & thicker (just like chicken chop) compared to the beef patty (as thin as Ramly patty). Bang for your buck if you ordered chicken burger. And the chicken burger tasted way better than the beef. I regretted ordering the beef burger. They piled on the melted cheese & it was really cheesy & you can even pull it like mozzarella. The burgers weren’t bad at all especially the chicken. Highly recommended. For those who are not used to eating street burgers or are very particular about hygiene & cleanliness, I wouldn’t recommend you to eat here.

Street Grill – Burger Bakar merupakan penutup food tour aku di Penang ni. Dua tempat yang aku tak sempat makan disebabkan kekenyangan – Hameed Pata Mee Sotong & Roti Canai Transfer Road. Dua tu kita reserve untuk next trip! Kami pun bergerak balik ke Kulim memandangkan dah malam & masing2 dah penat & kenyang yang teramat. Malam tu telah berlaku satu perkara yang tak dijangka; kejadian yang telah meninggalkan titik hitam pada food trip kali ni!

Street Grill – Burger Bakar was the finale of my Penang food tour. There were two places I had to leave out due to overwhelming fullness – Hameed Pata Mee Sotong & Roti Canai Transfer Road. I’ll reserve that for my next trip! We went back to Kulim as night approached as tired and as full as can be. However, later that night, something unexpected happened; an event that marred this food trip!

Tepat pukul 10 malam, perut aku rasa lain macam. Memulas. Yang pasti, aku cirit-birit. Dari Sabtu malam sampai ke Ahad malam aku cirit tak berhenti. Ulang alik toilet setiap 1,2 jam. Perit! Dan kawan aku pun cirit. Kami bergilir2 keluar masuk toilet. Sangat seksa! Aku syak cirit tu berpunca dari burger yang kami makan sebab hanya kami berdua yang makan burger tu & hanya kami berdua yang cirit. Kawan yang seorang lagi tak makan burger tu (sebab dah kenyang sgt) & dia tak cirit – dia ok. Memang sah adalah burger tu. Sebab apa aku cakap macam tu? Aku syak patty dia tak berapa masak atau telah dijangkiti salmonella. Sebab aku (dan pelanggan2 lain) telah nampak proses penyediaan patty burger terutama patty ayam. Mula2 dia grill patty tu atas kuali rata. Lepas tu dia amek patty yang masih panas dari kuali & terus masukkan dalam cooler (yang orang bawak pergi camping tu) & terus tutup. Aku tak berapa pasti kenapa dia buat macam tu. Kenapa dia tak letak patty dari kuali terus ke roti? Kenapa dia perlu pilih & amek patty dari cooler baru letak atas roti? Why not put the patty straight from the grill onto the bread? Aku syak itu adalah punca jangkitan salmonella / bakteria yang telah menyebabkan kami kena cirit-birit. Kesimpulannya, aku takkan makan lagi di Street Grill – Burger Bakar walaupun burger dia agak sedap. Tak berbaloi dgn “hadiah” cirit-birit yang kau akan dapat beberapa jam selepas itu.

When the clock struck 10pm, my tummy felt weird. Sure enough, I got diarrhea. Non-stop diarrhea from Saturday night until Sunday night. In and out of the toilet every 1,2 hours. Hell! My friend too got diarrhea. We took turns using the toilet. Pure hell! I had a suspicion that the diarrhea was caused by the burgers as only both of us ate the burgers & only both of us got diarrhea. Another friend did not eat the burgers & she was fine. Obviously the burgers were the culprit. Why did I say so? I had a suspicion that the burgers were not cooked thoroughly or had been infected with salmonella. Because I (along with the other customers) saw the whole burger preparation especially the chicken burgers. First they grilled the patties. Then they took the still hot patties & immediately put them in a camping cooler & closed the lid. I wasn’t sure why they did that. Why didn’t they put the patties straight from the grill onto the burger buns? Why did they had to choose & pick the patties from the cooler & then put them onto the buns? Why not put the patties straight from the grill onto the bread? I suspected it was salmonella / bacteria that caused the diarrhea. Rest assured I won’t be going back to Street Grill – Burger Bakar even though it was delicious. It was not worth the diarrhea you’ll be getting a few hours after eating.

Pagi2 subuh aku dah ke toilet dek kerana cirit. Padahal aku dah makan ubat cirit tapi masih lagi cirit. Memang tak boleh blah. Dah la pagi ni nak makan lagi. Cirit-birit tidak menghalang aku dari meneruskan food trip aku. Sarapan pagi ni bertemakan sarapan tradisi orang utara maka kami bergerak ke Medan Selera Permatang Pauh. Suasana sangat meriah di Medan Selera ni. Banyak gerai2 yang kau boleh pilih; setiap gerai jual makanan yang berbeza & kebanyakan harga kat sini agak berpatutan.

I went to the toilet at the break of dawn as my sleep had been interrupted by the diarrhea even though I took some medicines prior. Absolutely unbelievable. However, diarrhea did nothing to stop my food trip. Later that morning we headed off to Medan Selera Permatang Pauh for a traditional, local breakfast.  It was busy at the Medan Selera. Plenty of stalls to choose from; each stall selling different foods & most of the prices were quite affordable.

Aku pilih makanan tradisi; peknga & serabai. Peknga ni macam lempeng dan dihidangkan dgn kuah kari. Rasa dia memang macam lempeng, itu je. Serabai (atau digelar kuih mayat oleh orang tempatan) pulak bagi aku macam apam beras pun ada & dihidangkan dgn kuah gula Melaka/kelapa. Yang ni aku suka & aku buat special request kat kawan aku utk bawak aku mkn kuih ni. Masa pertama kali aku makan serabai ialah kat Astaka Taman Tun Sardon & masam & tak sedap. Yang kat Medan Selera sini sangat sedap, makan pulak masa panas2 memang syok! Selain tu, kami order kuey teow goreng kerang yang disyorkan oleh kawan aku. Yang ni memang puas hati sebab kerang dia banyak, ada telur sebiji & kuey teow dia ada (org cina panggil) wok hei atau direct translation “nafas kuali”. Wok hei terjadi bila kau masak sesuatu dgn api yang sangat tinggi sampai rasa kuali tu melekat dkt makanan yang kau masak. Ada rasa “hangus” sikit atau charred. Itu yang membuatkan keuy teow dia sedap. Aku memang puas hati dgn variasi & kesedapan makanan kat Medan Selera Permatang Pauh walaupun kawasan dia agak kecil tapi bagi aku sesuai untuk bersarapan pagi di sini.

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Atas/Top: Peknga Bawah/Bottom : Serabai

 

I chose traditional staples; peknga & serabai. Peknga is something like unsweetened pancake and served with curry. It tasted like unsweetened pancake, literally. Serabai (otherwise known as corpse snack) tasted like rice flour bread & served with palm sugar/coconut. I had always loved these & requested my friend to bring me here just so I could eat them. The first time I had serabai was at Astaka Taman Tun Sardon & it was sour & not good. The ones at Medan Selera were yummy especially when they were still hot! We ordered kuey teow goreng kerang (stir-fried flat rice noodles with cockles) as it was recommended by my friend. This was the bomb as there were plenty of cockles, a sunny side egg & noodles had (what the Chinese call) wok hei or “breath of the wok”. To get wok hei, you have to cook with high heat until the taste of the wok seeped into whatever it is you’re cooking. There’s a slight charred taste. That was what made the noodles delicious.

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Char Kuey Teow Kerang – Stir Fried Flat Rice Noodles with Cockles

Overall, I was impressed with the various delicacies & delicious foods sold at Medan Selera Permatang Pauh despite how small the place was but for me, it was a perfect breakfast place.

Sarapan pagi di Medan Selera Permatang Pauh merupakan penutup food trip aku di Penang/Kedah kali ni. Apa yang aku nak makan, aku dah makan kecuali dua – Hameed Pata Mee Sotong & mee udang. Dan aku nak juga cuba Roti Canai Transfer Road untuk buat perbandingan dgn Roti Canai Gemas Road. Masih lagi cirit-birit, aku naik ETS untuk balik ke KL. Seksa dia tak payah cerita dgn perjalanan 4 jam lebih, dgn tandas perlu beratur lama & perut asyik memulas. Tapi masih tak dapat lawan cirit-birit masa aku dalam perjalanan 13 jam dari Miri ke Kuching dgn menaiki kereta, dgn ketiadaan stesen minyak mahupun tandas di sepanjang perjalanan. Itu kawan2, adalah bapak segala seksa!

The breakfast at Medan Selera Permatang Pauh marked the closing of my food trip in Penang/Kedah. I ate what I had set out to eat except two – Hameed Pata Mee Sotong (Hameed Pata’s Squid Noodles) & prawn noodles. And I also want to try Roti Canai Transfer Road just to compare with Roti Canai Gemas Road. Still nursing my diarrhea, I took the ETS back to KL. The 4 hours journey was excruciating, with long wait for the toilet & an upset stomach. But still, it was incomparable to the diarrhea I had in a 13-hour long car journey from Miri to Kuching, with neither petrol stations nor toilets along the way. That my dear friends, was pure hell!

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