Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why Penang Food's Yummy?

Many people often asked me what makes the hawker food in Penang so delicious? I told them it must be the water if not for the good Feng Shui for culinary chefs. I am not kidding okay.

Let me show you my own theory coz I believe there many great chefs in KL and Singapore too and the ones in Penang are not better. Some hawkers in Penang have unhygienic cooking styles yet no one cares since they tasted great. So much rumor mongers accused Assam Laksa sellers for adding mashed old newspapers pulps or chicken feed to thicken their fish gravy. 

I often went up the Air Itam hills to jog around the huge reservoir which is really a sanctuary with thick tropical jungle greens like the ones found in Borneo. It is 202 hectacres big with lots of snakes, monkeys and wild birds.

Whooaaaa! A Cobra!..... no no it was a stick with a leaf. Macam ular kan? My balls shrunk like a coward coz I have phobia for snakes!

So much water in the catchment and they flow down from the upper mountain streams and puddles. Look at the thousands of trees and plants on the banks where they provide all the natural minerals and flavours into the drinking water which makes the cooking somewhat more tasty.

There are plenty of wild Pitcher Plants or Monkey Cups growing everywhere which is a good Feng Shui plant for attracting wealth. Look at Nase's Momma Rose who hung pots of them at their porch, no wonder so kaya!

Of course I thought of our honourable Fable Frog when I saw this sign. I wonder if that is his direct line 5096509???
I think many reports have been made on the weird sightings there. Pontianak or Loch Ness??

Another angle of the lovely reservoir where you could find lots of big fishes swimming happily in the water too.

This popular Air Itam Reservoir overlooks the city of Georgetown, now voted World's No. 2 best tourist destination by the New York Times recently. I find Penang Island a rather unique place with such a good mixture of fine historical buildings, culture and food. Twilight is also Penang born and a curry mouthed weirdo.

After my run, I naturally headed to savour my favourite Assam Laksa stall beside the filthy longkang at the wet market of Air Itam. I know the boss who wore the blue stripes. Every year, he would visit Hatyai for some ayam relaxations with his wife's consent. I was once very close with his wife's entire siblings who are of interesting characters. Her 5 brothers consists of a Temple Medium, 2 Race Horse Bookies, an impotent divorcee and a hardcore womanizer.

Once I asked the boss if he added Sin Chew Newspaper pulps into his Laksa gravy? He @#$% me upside down, so I learnt to enjoy them regardless of what shit he added inside the gravy. Since Air Itam dwellers are enjoying the magical drinking water from the dam, it is a fact that most hawker food there are yummiest! Do you think so?


  1. the picture you took at the dam is nice and tranquil.. i have no idea whether it's because of the water, but would that also be one of the reason why ipoh has some nice food also?? because of the water from the mountain streams?? yende~~

  2. So, which of the 5 siblings do you share common interests with? hehe

    Ow, like that laksa stall too, altho' hv to put up with all the unwanted smells around the stall. I remembered too that it was highlighted many years ago as "the stall" that substituted tissue paper for fish!


  3. I really crazy for Penang foods, so delicious and yummy..Penang definitely one of my favorite place for holiday.

    Gosh..everytime i came back from Penang, I will put on some weight. the food is damn good man!

    Lucky I am not stay in Penang. otherwise i will like a balloon:-)

  4. i've yet to taste penang food

    pathetic isn't it? :(

  5. I did not take any hot and spicy food but the laksa in Air item... guess what? I took two bowls on my last visit... kakaka :p

    Drool Drool now... can you ta pau one for me from Penang ? errrrr... make it two :p

  6. i wanted to take that laksa but my traveling companions insisted on eating curry mee instead. they said it was for tourists only. it couldn't be expensive, could it?

  7. i lov the air itam dam. i used to climb up the dam every weekend since I was a child. Some how it felt great to be away from the crowds. the last time i was there in december 08, the crowds were already there at the dam :(

  8. 2 thumbs up for penang food :)

  9. it has been a long time i never travel to penang already. maybe is about time for me to plan something!

  10. wow, 202 "hectacres", must be really really big.. LOL..

    would really love to visit penang someday~! had laksa penangs at a lot of places but i'm very sure nothing beats hometown-made laksa penang, right? ^^~

  11. Penang is a very memorable place to me. It is the place where my wife (then girlfriend) and I visited on our first overseas trip. That was about 16-17 yrs ago. Gosh, I cant believe I am this old now..

    Anyway, I will always remember I bought a pirated video tape "Interview with the Vampire" after having makan a hot plate of Assam Laksa at a market. That was the best Assam Laksa I had. I have not been able to find a better bowl elsewhere until today.

  12. i don't eat spicy food at all~ is that like super duper spicy? hmmm makes me wanna try now pulak~ haha

  13. I've not yet tried the famous assam laksa in PG! Whatever they put in it, I'm sure it doesn't compare to those China food scare stories.

  14. OMG, at 12 AM - that Assam Laksa looks HEAVENLY.

    And I know heavenly - I don't eat Assam Laksa! :D

  15. Thanks for sharing Froggie's number. 5096509 huh...hehe. If I'm the boss, I would screw you upside down as well if you asked such question. :)

  16. SK Thamby - It would be nice if you dance around the dam and trees to the sound of Hindi songs. Ipoh's water has plenty of alkaline that produced the pretty white maidens and pak cham kai! LOL

    Anton - I hung out with the hard core womanizer who behaved like a pimp. I heard of the toilet paper in Laksa gravies too and used to pour the soup out to check strand by strand. I saw tiny Chinese words on the fish pulps!!

    LOL... Just pulling your legs Ant.

    Daniel Ng - Penang folks are big eaters but their waistlines seem smaller than Klang Valley's. I am talking about myself too. Perhaps I hardly have time to have balanced exercise. You definitely have nice torso for the love of irons.

    JD Cole - What a shame that you have not tried the real Assam Laksa. Cuba sekali mahu lagi!

    TZ - Aiyo I am surprised you could 2 bowls. I had never done that. Did you have tummy ache? I was in Thailand when I read your requests to ta-pau! Sorry dude.

    Bengbeng - The big bowl of Laksa costs only RM3. I love any Laksa variations from anywhere in Penang as all taste better than KL's. It was a haven running around the dam during CNY as there were only 3 cars parked there.

    LeuMas - Hey 4 Thumbs Up include my 2 toes! LOL

    ET - Hey you often travel so far to BKK and overshot Penang. It is time to spend money in Penang to help our ailing economy lah.

    Nicholas Rashidee - Now only I know that you are from the East. hey, it is good time to visit after New York Times has ranked it 2nd Best Place to visit.

    A Common S'porean - gosh! you married so long? Both of you married at High School izzit? Time to visit Penang again coz it is cheap for your currency!

    Fable Frog - You can only eat the Char Koay Teow since your tummy is so FRAGILE! What a bid miss for you.

    William - i agree that China food is scary and I will stop eating the road side food on my coming visits. They once sliced the thighs of dead corpses from the morgue to add into the hot selling buns! The 2 culprits have been sent to firing squad. Yiaks!

    Sam - I thought you are Chinese too. How come you don't fancy Assam Laksa?

    KEENYEE - Ooops! i just realized I should protect froggie's direct line. I was just asking only lah. What is your direct line then?

  17. oh Twilight, heck no.. I have only been married for 6 yrs. Its just that we had a 11 yr long courtship before taking the plunge. Both of us were eighteen when we went to Penang. Yeah.. count the math, we are now approaching mid thirties...