Tag Archives: Langkawi

The Ramen Rater’s Top Ten Malaysian Instant Noodles Of All Time 2015 Edition

When I visited Malaysia last October, I was asked by a newspaper reported when I thought a Malaysian top ten list might come out. I figured once I got to around 70 reviews I could probably put something together. As of today, I’ve reviewed 100 different varieties from Malaysia. What’s more, I am releasing this top ten list on Malaysia’s Independence Day! Hari Merdeka! Happy Birthday, Malaysia! I hope everyone enjoys this list, in my opinion the best of the best instant varieties Malaysia has to offer that I’ve tried yet.

#10: Ibumie Penang White CurryMee

Ibumie is a very popular brand in Malaysia. What I like about their CurryMee is that it covers all the bases: spicy, rich and flavorful curry. The levels of these prerequisite are such however that it’s accessible to most – not too spicy or strong. A good one to introduce people to Malaysian instant noodle flavor. Original review

#9: Ah Lai Penang Favourite White Curry Bihun

I found that the bihun version of Ah Lai’s White Curry was very enjoyable; the noodles come out just right and dance with the curry broth playfully. Balanced just right. Original review

#8: Mamee Chef Curry Laksa

Mamee Chef’s noodles use ‘mi tarik’ technology to emulate hand pulled noodles. Coupling that with a rich and tasty curry broth and garnish including tau pok, this is definitely one of my all time favorites. Original review

#7: The Bridge Penang White Curry Noodle

A noodle with excellent texture and chew along with a beautifully lustrous broth with strong flavor. Makes me wish I could’ve gotten more from Malaysia to bring home! Original review

#6: MyKuali Penang Hokkien Prawn Noodle

Hokkien Mee is a wonderfully unique flavor of Penang and is extremely well represented here. The broth is sweet and has a deep flavor of prawn as well as a spiciness. The provided fried onions are the best I’ve ever found in an instant noodle. Original review

#5: Mamee Chef Gold Recipe Mi Kari Seribu Rasa

This variety has it all – great noodles, a deep and beautiful color, and finally a flavor that makes me think of the exotic. Lots of cumin and other spices comer together here masterfully. Original review

#4: CarJEN Nyonya Curry Laksa

I’ve seen a lot of noodle packages but I must say this is by far the sexiest. What’s nice is that what’s inside is equally as awesome – a very tasty curry is augmented with coconut powder and a dipping sauce with nice bits of shrimp. Original review

#3: MyOri Malaysia Penang Green Curry Rice Vermicelli

This is something new I tried in the last few months that’s just left me speechless. The green curry broth is thick and so flavorful; perfect spiciness and perfect taste. What’s more, it pairs with rice vermicelli in a stunning way. Luxuriant and innovative. Original review

#2: MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle

This is the variety and flavor that grabbed me and set my palate on Malaysia. The richness, thickness and strength of this broth is mind-blowing. The noodles are engorged on it and have a hearty gauge and chew. A real game changer. Original review

#1: MyKuali Penang Red Tom Yum Goong Noodle

This one takes the cake. It has such an authentic flavor; as soon as I tried it, I was whisked back to Langkawi – the thickness of this tom yum is amazing, as is its’ sweetness and spiciness. I half expect to find a stalk of lemongrass in the bowl. Original review

As always, if you know of a variety I should try, check THE BIG LIST to see if I already have, and if I haven’t, contact me! Hari Merdeka, Malaysia!

The Ramen Rater’s Trip to Malaysia: Day 6 – Farewell, Penang

Day 1 * Day 2Day 3 * Day 4 * Day 5 * Day 6

Well folks, this is it. The last day we were in Malaysia. With a heavy heart and fond memories, here it is. By the way – during the times traveling around in the van – a great portion of our stay – they always has this radio station on. Check it out!

A look out the window of our hotel room on our last day in Penang.

The little free mini bar always had neat little treats inside. This is one of those international Kit Kat bars. To be honest, it does taste different – chocolate here seems a lot tastier.

A Coke can commemorating the World Cup.

We got all ready and waited a couple minutes in the lobby for Annie and her parents who took us out to breakfast!

Maxim Dim Sum Restaurant in Georgetown. I had always thought of dim sum as a lunchtime thing, but people here in Penang take their dim sum at breakfast time.

A really big place, very open and airy.

A great idea; dim sum creates a LOT of little dishes to clean!

Big – and packed to the gills for breakfast.

Little pork buns.

Think this was a rice noodle dish.

These were like little dark skinned potstickers – very moist.

Ladyfinger with pork.

Egg yolk buns.

I remember these were sweet and good as well.

Crispy outside, nice chewy innards.

Buns with chocolate pudding like filling.

Little custard tarts.

We took this tea with our big meal.

A dry crispy outside with a prawn filling.

A chewy fried flat with a filling.

I think these were tofu – had a kind of smoky taste.

Little pieces with a slivered almond coating and sweet paste filling.

The buns at top had a red bean paste filling and the below was filled with custard.

Just completely demolished! One thing I found great – I asked if they had one of our favorites here – honey walnut prawns. They had never heard of it, which makes me think it’s an invention just for dim sum in the United States. It’s fried prawns with a honey and mayonnaise sauce and glazed walnuts.

After that big meal they wanted me to try one last Hokkien Prawn Mee! We checked out Granny’s Hokkien Mee. Far be it for me to say no to a last taste of one of Penang’s famous flavors.

When you order at a lot of restaurants, you pick up an order chit and fill it out and give it to the server (click image to enlarge).

A combination of duck and pork.

The final bowl of Hokkien Mee.

Going to miss Penang so much! Our next stop was Penang International Airport, where we said our goodbyes to Annie and their parents. everyone was so kind here! She even sent us off with some of the new MyKuali tom Yum noodle and a couple bags of fresh chilli paddi! Thank you for everything!

We checked in and got through security. We had a little time to kill, so looked around a bit.

Excuse me; what?

Saw this first on our way to Langkawi and had asked Thomas about it. He explained it’s a cup of corn with butter and salt. I told him how in the US we have corn on the cob. I got the feeling that he thought that was really odd!

Here’s the plane for our first hop to Kuala Lumpur.

When we applied for our passports a few months ago, the lady at the passport place asked where we were going. She said she’d be scared to fly on Malaysian Airlines. That sentiment was echoed by lots of people I told to about the trip – they’d say ‘oh wow that exciting – wait, what airline are you flying?’ I’m going to say quite clearly here – I wasn’t worried at all. It was a short hop to Kuala Lumpur (like 55 minutes) and just like any other airline, they don’t want anything bad to happen. We hopped on and had a great flight – probably the softest landing of any of the 8 flights we had during the entire trip. I’d fly them again any day! Especially since that would mean we were on our way to or from Malaysia!

We got to Kuala Lumpur and much like Singapore, it was a lot of walking all over the place. We had to transfer our luggage from Malaysia Airlines to EVA, go through security and stuff and figure out where what was. This shot is of us when we were up in the air on our EVA flight from KL to Taipei’s Taoyuan Airport.

The flight took about 4 hours or so, and the next part of our trip would be the only rough spot really.

Time for a bite to eat at Taoyuan. We had a three hour layover until our next flight, which would be a 10 hour bender to Seattle. It had been a long day already and departure was at 11pm. Since we had the time, we walked around and looked for instant noodles. Turns out if we were in the domestic terminal, there was a 7-11 that would’ve had some, but here there weren’t any to be found. I asked the guy at the Burger King.

Got some little pork buns to chow down.

Some milk tea sounded good too.

She looks like us – waiting for a flight.

Poor Kit – we were absolutely exhausted.

I’m guessing the characters are phonetic? First and third must be like a ko sound?

Much like Mello Yello.

Out one of the windows we could see the Hello Kitty plane!

Checking boarding passes before we got to wait in another area to board.

Kit noticed this guy staring at us, then I noticed it too. He just kept staring… And staring… And staring! If this is you, you could’ve taken a picture and it would’ve lasted longer – I did!

This is after the hell. This was the worst flight I’ve ever experienced. It was really hot and there was no air conditioning. The worst part was that there was the most violent turbulence I’ve ever dealt with. If I hadn’t had my belt on, I definitely would’ve flown out of my seat. After we returned, we found out there had been a typhoon over Japan at around the same time. We were at around 40,000ft, but it was right around the time we were crossing over Japan. I thought I was gonna puke. I’m really glad though that it all happened at the tail end of the trip – way better than at the beginning! Anyways, this pic of after all of that and we were about to have the second meal, about an hour or two before landing.

Not a lot to do on an airplane but look at the little navigation screen slowly update your journey and watch movies. I thought I’d review the in-flight meal: Pork Porridge!

Here’s some marinated carrot with some chicken.

Not just any butter – butter from New Zealand!

The little biscuit thing actually wasn’t too bad.

Pork porridge!

Fish floss! It’s like powdered fish that’s been sugared.

Pork porridge with fish floss. Pretty good.

Apple, pineapple and honeydew. In flight meals from EVA were pretty dang good. We got two meals during the flight. The food on all the flights were actually decent – and included.

Our flight from Taipei left at 11pm on October 4th. Our flight arrived in Seattle – and arrived at 7pm on October 4th. The flight took 10 hours. Really a strange thing for our brains to deal with. United States Customs was pretty slow but went well. Since we’d brought back food (instant noodles, chocolate and fresh chilli paddi), we got shunted to a different lane for xray. The Department of Agriculture agent had a look through everything. She was pretty nice and we chatted about instant noodles a bit. She said they were probably one of the most common things to be coming through for inspection! Another agent came up and has a look and she mentioned to him how I have a website where I review instant noodles. ‘Oh yeah? What’s it called?’ he asked. I showed him my t-shirt and said ‘it’s The Ramen Rater!’ ‘I was on the just yesterday! We get a TON of instant noodles through here!’ Wow – so people from Customs are looking at the blog. Pretty cool! They pulled three instants that had chicken in them and let the rest go. Now we were home which was weird. What a trip!

Some things I noticed on my trip: here, our roads are huge – really wide and lots of them. In Malaysia, they streets are more narrow. We only saw maybe two cars that had been in accidents during the whole trip and here we see cars on the side of the road due to accidents at least once a day. There’s so much more room and not a million motorbikes weaving in and out of traffic; why do we hit each other so much?

I think the most stark difference between the US and Malaysia was how people come together. Here in the USA, we call ourselves the great melting pot. Well, everyone seems segregated – these people live here, these people live here etc. In Malaysia, it truly felt like everyone lived, worked and played together quite harmoniously. I think we could learn a lot from how things worked in this aspect from Malaysia.

(Click image to enlarge) In closing, I would like to say this trip really changed my perceptions of the world. Before this, the farthest I’d been from home was the east coast and Canada. At the beginning, I mentioned I felt like Frodo (or was it Samwise) in Lord Of The Rings when he said ‘this is the farthest I’ve ever been from the Shire.’ On returning, I feel kind of like Frodo looked when having a drink at the bar with his mates; glad to be home but forever changed by the experience. It was just amazing; all preconception of how it would be there was different than what it was. I definitely have caught the bug – the travel bug. I want to explore and see it all; especially in Asia. I also dearly wish to return to Penang someday and experience the tastes we were able to experience there again. I want to thank everyone at Sky Resources/Sky Thomas Food Industries Sdn Bhd for the warm welcome and for this experience. I also want to especially thank Annie and Thomas Tang and their parents – you made us feel so welcome and your kindness and smiles warmed our hearts – thank you and we hope to see you again!

It’s been just over a week now since we’ve been home. The whole jet lag thing is some real stuff – I think we’re just on the tail end of readjusting to everything.

The Ramen Rater’s Trip To Malaysia: Day 4 – The Isle Of Langkawi

Day 1 * Day 2Day 3 * Day 4 * Day 5 * Day 6

Another day of adventure! Today, we flew to Langkawi and tried some of the local foods and had a great time – check it out! I should also mention – pictures in these posts are by myself, my wife Kit and our friend Thomas Tang of Sky Thomas Food Industries Sdn Bhd.

woke up today feeling really good – feels like I’m finally shaking off the time variance and acclimating to the climate. We went down to the buffet at the Eastin Penang and had some breakfast.

Some nice little noshes. I met a fellow named Eric who has been the Food & Beverage Manager at the Eastin Penang. He said he’d read about me in the newspaper! We chatted for a few about the food in Penang and he recommended places to go. As I said before, everyone here is very passionate about the local food – really cool.

We returned to our room to freshen up a bit before our big day.

I thought I’d take a picture of the carpet. I’m kind of weird like that.

When we first got into the room, I was curious: was there one of those hotel Bibles in the drawers? I figured probably not. I found this little sign and found it confusing; maybe pointing to the fire extinguisher? I decided it needed a little more investigation. I looked up the word kiblat on my phone and it translated to ‘direction.’ Then it hit me – instead of those Bibles they have in the drawer in the United States, here they have a sign showing the direction for prayer. While the Malaysian constitution ensures freedom of religion, Islam is considered the state religion.

A look out our window. Today we’re flying to Langkawi! Off to the airport!

The western companies that find their to such exotic places just astounds me. This is in the airport in Penang.

Here are Kit and Thomas while we wait to board out flight.

Our plane.

I was kind of confused here; there’s an image of a woman on both of these. I found out that there are prayer rooms at the airport. After thinking about it, It kind of surprises me that they didn’t have these in the Seattle airport.

Waiting to board the plane. This was the first time I’d ever walked up a flight of stairs to a plane – I thought only the President got to do that!

About to take off!

Here’s a little of the message from the pilot before takeoff.

The in-flight food looks pretty good! Gonna be a really quick flight though.

Here’s us landing in Langkawi. Talk about a quick flight – got up to around 8000 feet then started our descent – I think the flight took around 40 minutes.

Heading to retrieve out luggage.

We pulled over to figure out the directions and I snapped this shot out the window. I think this qualifies as a tropical paradise!

We stayed at the Resorts World Langkawi.

Here’s the lobby area.

Durian is a fruit that stinks – and I mean STINKS. At least that’s what I’m told. People really like it a lot, but that’s once you get past the smell.

We had a seat on the boardwalk by the water for a few minutes.

Lots of small boats. You can even take a little cuise.

Neat architecture here.

This place is really nice!

We went and had a bit to relax in our room and then headed back down to go and find some Thai food!

The elevator was full of mirrors – I thought that was a lot of fun.

A chandelier that reminded me of Edward Gorey pen and ink drawings.

We were truly fascinated by this weird chair.

For as square and boxy it was, it was actually kind of comfortable.

Thomas wanted to take us to a different place, but it was closed so we went to Thai House.

In Malaysia, they don’t have diet Coke – it’s Coca Cola Light.

I thought this was fascinating; the little breakfast places around Washington have all sorts of cooking tools on the walls – looks like they do that here, too!

Let’s get down to lunch. Here’s some delightful pineapple fried rice.

Some serious Tom Yum soup.

The broth was extremely strong!

Tasty lemon chicken.

Beef green curry – wonderful!

This is sambal. Sambal is made from chillies (usually chilli paddi) and other fresh ingredients and it great with pretty much everything. If you’re a sriracha fan, this is like a chunky version and beats the sriracha with the chicken on the bottle hands down.

This fish was really good – very moist and crunchy at the same time.

Thai fried rice – this one was spicy.

Yet another table laid to waste in our wake!

Thomas settling the bill at the counter. What’s interesting about this photo are the pictures on the wall. I noticed these in the hotel too. These are members of the government and I believe the royal family. Malaysia is a Constitutional Monarchy.

Next we headed to a store in a mall that’s in the same building as that PappaRich. Langkawi is a tax-free place. I had mentioned before that I had never heard of Carlsberg beer – lots of signs everywhere mentioning it in front of restaurants and hawker stalls all over Malaysia. Well, we went in to a shop and got some gifts and snacks and Thomas found me a can of Carlsberg to try. At the checkout he hands it to me and says – here you go – give it a try! I kind of laughed and said yeah right – he looked confused. Then I asked – you mean right here? To the joyous reply yeah – why not? Yep – you can have an open container anywhere you want in Malaysia. Just buy a beer and walk around with it. So I pounded a Carlsberg at the checkout and it was pretty nasty stuff, but a great experience.

A flower next to the resort. Kit saw a monkey sitting on a sign on the way back there too!

One neat thing was that they give you bread at the reosrt to feed the fish.

A little later we had some appetizers. This is satay.

Onions rings and breaded bell pepper.

A little dessert for Kit.

Thomas and I had a ton of beers – we challenged each other to dry up the bar! I think he drank all their Corona! I had quite a few glasses of Tiger beer – that stuff is really good. Was a great night talking about the differences between the US and Malaysia, noodles, TF and everything else. One crazy thing that happened was I went to use the restroom at one point and came back maybe one minute later – and it had started raining – and by raining I mean raining. Hard. Did I mention this place is tropical?

When we arrived at the resort, Kit noticed a neat little lizard on the wall in the hallway! On the way back to our rooms, me and Thomas tried catching it – waaaaay too fast for us after so many beers. Was a really great time! Really was bummed at this point; our trip was already getting close to done; tomorrow being our last full day.

Return From Penang, Malaysia!

We have returned from our journey to Penang, Malaysia!! Our flight from Taipei, Taiwan arrived in Seattle around 7pm last night. This is a picture of where we were waiting for our shuttle to the parking light where we left our car. The flight left at 11pm Taiwan time, which is the same for Malaysia too – and then arrived the same day but 4 hours earlier! So we got back 15 hours all said and done which was kind of odd – time traveling! Over the next week starting Monday, I am going to do a new daily noodle review, and then a post highlighting everything of that day during our trip. At the end, I’ll be reviewing the new MyKuali Tom Yum instant noodle – my 1,500th review. Stay tuned!