Thursday, April 19, 2012

Penang street food continued: Teochew Cendol and Charcoal Fried Char Kuay Teow

 Another to eat street food in Penang is Cendol... And apparently from recommendations in food blogs, most are operated by Chinese and not Mamak/Indians. And the famous one seems to be in Penang Road's Teochew Cendol. A good bowl of Teochew styled cendol will have the green-wormie-pandan flavoured rice flour-thingie, red kidney beans, coconut milk and gula melaka on shaved ice.

 There are 2 stalls which serves cendol here. Blue arrow signifies the FAMOUS one and orange one signifies the.... "alternative". Both are at RM2 per bowl.

 Judging from the long queue on this side of the road, we believe that the stall with this logo and name is the famous one. After returning from the trip, I found out from the Internet that they have commercialized branch in Prangin Mall. Besides the photos of Gurmit Singh (Phua Chu Kang) and Irene Ang (Rosie) patronizing their stall, they also boast a HALAL status with a Halal certification issued by IFRCA. From my work experience, I can confidently tell you IFRCA cert is no longer valid and recognized now. So.... if their rival from the opposite side wanna stir up some trouble, they will be in deep sh**.

 Using orange bowls, I prefer the version served by the opposite stall. There is no queue here unlike the famous stall using blue bowls. This stall has my extra slight preference because it has thicker gula melaka , reminding me of the version in Melaka. Not really a thirst quencher due to its slightly sweeter and creamier aftertaste, one man's meat is another man's poison. Both stalls are equally good.... But I like mine with glutinuous rice and loads of gula melaka. Teochew's version............ don't really incorporate that.

 On our way to Jalan Sungai Ujong/Kimberly Street for the Char Kuay Teow, we were attracted to the Belacan Fried Chicken. Erm... nothing really stands out as it lacked the pungent prawn paste aroma, as if you did not tell me its Belacan flavoured, I wouldn't have managed to identify it from its subtle taste.

 We finally arrived at this corner shop where it houses one of the few famous Char Kuay Teow in Penang. Upon arrival, I was a bit skeptical as I saw a big portion of "pre-fried" kuay teow. Being a firm believer that every food plate of fried noodles must be individually and passionately fried on the spot before serving, I was doubtful and waited for it to arrive.

Oh, I was totally wrong by my stereotyping! The plate of Char Kuay Teow turns out to be full of wok hei with charred bits of noodles coated with eggs. Every mouthful of greasy noodles is accompanied by some chives and crunchy (although not as juicy as Ipoh's) beansprouts which were not overdone. If there were some drawbacks, I would say that the additional mantis prawns failed to deliver. The mantis prawns were not the deep fried, batter coated versions which I hoped for. Unseasoned flesh of mantis prawns were just added while frying the noodles, resulting in a squishy mushy flesh.

The wok hei and near-perfectness of this sinful dish has the charcoal furnace to be its secret weapon. Can you spot the small fan used to control the intensity of the fire at the furnace inlet? I'm quite satisfied with the Char Kuay Teow. A standard plate would be RM3+ and if you request for mantis prawns to be added, it will fetch a RM5+ price tag.(Still cheaper than the Sister's Fried Kuay Teow, which is RM6+, and you need to queue up and endure their EGOISM/SNOBBISHNESS) This wraps up the post for today as I will highlight some "fail to meet its mark" food in Penang in the next post

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