I was planning on doing a post each day consecutively, mirroring the prior week when I was actually in Malaysia, but I hit a snag yesterday. I’d always heard of this thing called ‘jet lag’ and now I can tell you, it’s real. Shifting from timezones and different days really messed us up! We woke up at 2pm yesterday! Haven’t slept in like that since I was a punk kid! Well, we went to sleep at a realistic Pacific time zone time last night and so this morning I’m doing day two! This is a long post folks! Here we go!
After a good night of sleep, we emerged from our room at partake of the buffet breakfast downstairs.
Here’s my wife having breakfast with me. This hotel is really neat; the little hexagons everywhere are pretty nifty!
Our hosts Annie & Thomas said maybe have a light breakfast as we’d be going all over the place today and trying all sorts of different foods that Penang has to offer. Clockwise starting with the noodles: wok fried Maggi Mee, a piece of shumai, chicken rice, a hash brown, beef slice and in the center cheese sausages.
They had neat little desserts too!
Alright – time to take on the day!
The view from our room this morning.
Our first stop is the factory where MyKuali is produced. On the way, we got to see the big billboard on the Penang Bridge!
Here’s the factory! The first thing we did was sit down with CEO Mr. Tan and his wife. He brewed delicious cups of tea as we discussed my first impressions of Malaysia and chatted about the role of the instant noodle in the world. It was really great to meet them both.
Then we went into a conference room and I was greeted by applause – wasn’t expecting that! The people who work here asked me some questions about my experiences reviewing instant noodles and my thoughts on Malaysia so far. I brought a couple gifts for them – one was a book about my hometown of Anacortes, Washington showing historic photos of the fishing industry there. The other is being held by the woman in the picture . When I first reviewed their MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle, I loved it and it was very spicy and so it easily made the 2013 Top Ten Spiciest list. That caused a lot of attention in Malaysia and really got popular quickly. So what’s in the frame? It’s the package from the noodles I reviewed. I save the packaging from every instant I review and thought they’d like it and they did!
Next we toured the factory. Look at all the boxes of noodles! They were ready to be shipped all over.
Here’s where they put the noodles and sachet into packs and box them up. I couldn’t take any more pics inside. Trade secrets are a big thing in the instant noodle industry, where there is such extreme secrecy. We got to see the room where they make the paste – what a smell! Wonderful! I can say it’s a really fascinating place – also extremely clean.
Here we are in front of one of the MyKuali delivery trucks!
Next stop: Old Town White Coffee in Auto City. These are quite common here – never one too far away. Kind of like Starbucks – but then again they do have Starbucks here in Malaysia everywhere as well!
A comfy little place.
Okay so on the left is the white coffee, on the right black coffee. They’re very sweet and the white has milk, the black no milk. It’s also iced which was nice in the heat of the day.
We had a couple things here – nasi lemak, toast with a sweet spread inside and these – little curry pockets which were really tasty.
Back on the road to our next destination. Took a lot of pictures along the way – here’s a couple enjoying breakfast.
Colorful menus abound as well as the constant sound of motorbikes.
Next stop was Hot Bowl Nyonya Delights. There are many ethnic groups in Malaysia and two of them are Malay and Mandarin. Nyonya cuisine is a fusion of the two.
This is it folks – serious white curry noodles here! All sorts of ways to have it – with fish ball, congealed duck blood, cockles, squid, tofu puff – in any combination you like!
We started by trying a boiled chicken dish and well as a pork leg soup (not pictured).
Here’s the white curry mee – such excellent stuff!
Love how the broth looks once the paste is stirred in. Ome of the reasons I was invited to Penang was to taste the real-deal local fare and compare it to MyKuali’s products. The MyKuali is spot on – really quite amazing.
Off to another place to try new food! No, not McDonald’s – although this palatial McDonald’s was quite fascinating to see on the way!
Next stop was Ghani Penang Famous Pasambur/Rojak. Here’s Thomas schooling me on what rojak is and how it works here.
You grab a plate and pick a few varieties of these different fish cakes. Then they slice them up, add some different things and you get…
This amazing concoction. I am now a huge fan of this stuff – a sweet and spicy sauce with all sorts of chewy goodness!
Here’s a plate of mi goreng!
This is a plate of mi rebus. While mi goreng doesn’t have a sauce or broth, mi regus does. It translates to ‘wet noodles.’
Traveling to our next tasting! Here’s a pic of the streetcorner shop. Lots of these carlsberg beer signs everywhere – never had heard of it until I came here. By the way – kopi means coffee.
I didn’t catch the name of this place. We tried the chendul.
Chendul is a shave ice dessert with lots of different topping options.
Coconut milk, shaved ice and red bean with other toppings.
It is so great here – Thomas just keeps running to different vendors all day and bringing back foods – ‘try this!’ he would say. This is a Cantonese dry noodle dish. Those little green sliced chillies at the top are chilli paddi, dumpling to the left too.
This is Oyster Omelette. I’ve never been a big fan of oysters, and if I’m just eating an oyster, I’m still not. However, with the egg and that sauce it was just perfect.
Here we have Asam Laksa. I was told some people like it, some don’t. I’m one of the folks who like it – a lot. The broth is almost like a tomato kind of thing, but it’s flavored with sardine, tamarind paste, shrimp paste and chilli paddi as well. They were surprised how I really liked those little spicy chillies in there.
Finally, a neat little confection. I don’t remember exactly what it was called. It was like a really light taffy with crumbled peanut all over it. really good.
Next stop was Fort Cornwallis. Malaysia has a lot of British things going on as the British had a stake there for quite a while. The fort was built by the British East India Company way way back.
It originally had a moat around it and has lots of cannons! Very neat place.
Coconut tree! Wow – never have seen one of these up close before!
Back to our room at the Eastin hotel for some rest before going out for dinner.
We came to a big food court area – tons of hawkers!
Here’s a hawker preparing food – smelled really good!
An eggplant dish with a couple Chinese Long Bean skewers.
Cockles – slightly chewy and really flavorful.
Can’t remember exactly what this one was – once the Tiger beer started flowing and the toasting began, it started to become a jumble! . I’m bummed as I didn’t get a picture of one of my favorites from the whole trip – stingray! It was barbecued and has this curry coating which was just excellent – slightly crunchy and very moist fishmeat.
Look at this enormous prawn! Prawns are everywhere in Penang and of all sizes.
Something from the days of British influence – Chicken Chop. Basically, it’s a breaded chicken breast with a brown sauce. French fries! Whoa!
Tom Yum soup.
Everyone here is so passionate about their opinions on food – here’s our new friend Jackie teaching us about differences in Penang foods.
This place was just a paradise of different foods!
One of the many tables we all laid waste to during our Penang tour!
The last tastes of the evening. This is Hokkien Prawn Mee. It’s adorned with pork and tofu and fishballs. Just wonderful. We also tried some drinks – I tried a barley beverage which was really good. After this we went back to our hotel. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever tried so many different foods in one day before! Wow!
Thomas insisted we find a place to have some Hokkien Prawn Mee before the dn of the evening, so we hunted and found this one.