The trip to Penang will be never complete without trying out one of their signature dishes, the Penang Assam Laksa! The hot Milo and biscuits is all burnt after the stroll in Penang Hill and this was our proper breakfast before continuing our day. We were just like most tourist, being led to this stall opposite the wet market of Air Itam. Dubbed the "Kek Lok Si" Laksa, let's see how well it lifts up to its name...
Although I'm not a big fan of laksa (especially plain ones without any fried "liews" to go along with), my friends do agree with me that we were quite disappointed with the version here. The broth is quite diluted. Though at the right degree of sourness (taste bud preference may vary), the soup lack some "kick" from the "he ko" and fish meat. Rather small portion for RM3.50, I wished they would be more passionate in giving more ingredients to uplift its reputation. No wonder most locals will advise you to AVOID this place and go for other less known laksa stalls instead.
Not satisfied with our breakfast, we continued with the walk up to Kek Lok Si temple. You can buy stalks of kangkung to feed the tortoise here.
The grand and aesthetic structure with the fine carvings art. Not much comments from me further as it was never my preference to visit religious places. Let's just move on to the food =D
Another "must have" in Penang is the Nasi Kandar. I was like... WHAT?! Go to Penang all the way for something you can easily find in any mamak?! I mean, there must be something special that attracts both tourist and locals alike. I mean, check out the long queue in the photo above.
Well, Ipoh too has the famous Nasi Vanggey or fondly known as Nasi Ganja. I heard that they use some kind of poppy seeds (kas kas spice) in their curry, thus giving you the "addiction" and cravings to come back for more. Another myth, or rather fact, is.... they keep on replenishing the curry. Since they run on 24 hours, they never wash their curry pots. It's a continuous production flow... rather than batch production *if you know what I mean*
Just be patient with the queue. Entrust a friend to look for a table while you order and grab food on his/her behalf. And you should be fine. Your turn will surely come.
In the meantime while you are closing to the destination, you will be spoilt for choices on what dishes to take. Well, at least, get decided on taking on white rice or briyani. Then select a meat dish, or two. Then a vege dish or an egg dish. You might not wanna get overboard with your picks as your fate lies in the hand of the uncle here, giving you the small piece of cardboard in which the price of your plate of rice is scribbled.
I just had one piece of BIG fried chicken drumstick with briyani rice and said "CUKUP". Yes, I'm a sucker for Ayam Goreng Berempah in mamaks. Uncle insisted on throwing in some "free" ladies finger for good excuse to charge me extra. I was charged RM8+ for this plate of rice. o.O
Be ready to get charged for nearly RM10 (even more if you go for seafood) per person for a one meat + one vege plate of rice. Tastewise, it's nothing really spectacular. The fried chicken is not bad but I'm sure many other mamaks could reach this level of food. Perhaps other dishes like those Curry Crabs and Prawns would be real good (and real expensive too)?
..............After all, this place is named LINE CLEAR. Take a pause from this coma inducing lunch and more food hunting to follow later part of the day =)