Archive for the ‘Malaysia’ Category

Long Beach, Batu Ferringhi

January 17, 2010

Certainly one of the best things about staying in Penang were the night food markets – a collection of stalls under a covered area that allow you to browse, pick & choose individual dishes as you please – a wonderfully convenient & enjoyable way to eat.  I guess it’s a bit like food courts in shopping centres, but cheaper, more fun and far tastier.

Also it’s one thing to have a restaurant specialise in a particular cuisine, it’s another to specialise in a single dish. You’ve got to be good. It certainly would appeal to the budding economist .

We ventured to Long Beach a couple of times (a bit more touristy than others, but still good) and discovered a man who just made spring rolls. They were great – large, crispy, bereft of oil and full of a good mix of veg & pork. He clearly was doing well, since he wasn’t in the habit of turning up every night, much to the disappointment of others who’d come to find out how good these spring rolls were.

It was also good to see a wide variety of food from grilled seafood, muslim food and satay stands. In a large group, we tried most of them – in particular a butter chicken & gorgeously blackened naan bread. I couldn’t resist trying the oyster omelette, though my fellow diners were less enthusiastic

The oysters were clearly fresh, but I’m not sure it’s a dish I’m going to develop much of a passion for. It was just a bit slimy and the egg didn’t really do much to bring it together.

Another dish with a reputation were prawn noodles:

A simple dish with a good spiky chilli hit. No need to peel the tails off – it all adds texture! The broth was sweet & hot and went down well.

So not really much more to add – a few photos of some good market food – simple dishes done really well. If you’re in Malaysia, these sort of places will probably be where you eat the best.

Fishing Village

January 11, 2010

Teluk Bahang, Penang, Malaysia

I’ve been away a while – a family wedding in Malaysia – a joyous occasion around Xmas, which presented many opportunities for good eating as you will see.

Part of the enjoyment was spending time with people who also like their eating and were able to arrange & suggest good dining experiences, of which The Fishing Village was one:

An unassuming place, a bit off the tourist trail and down a couple of sparse streets. It had to be good, because no-one was going to stumble across it.

Our hosts had organised a banquet menu, to avoid the aggro of 30 adults deciding what to eat and we got stuck in.

First up, were steamed prawns in a sweet, molasses based marinade. Not easy to eat, but good and succulent. Yet it had to be shared amongst 9 other people, so we had to be good responsible citizens and not take more than our share. Never easy.

We were on better ground with clams with plenty of chilli & garlic. These aren’t too everyone’s taste so you could relax and savour the flavour which was pretty fine – clearly fresh & juicy and the a heavy hand of chilli kick made this a simple dish to enjoy.

This next dish was initially puzzling and what it lacked in appealing visuals, it made up for in spiky taste. It was stir-fried squid with black pepper. It had a good crisp texture and the pepper did not overwhelm the flavour.

The obligatory vegetable course followed – mushrooms & broccoli. excellent briefly cooked mushrooms which made a welcome break from the monstrosity we were being served at the hotel.

Things got back on track with a rather puzzling dish of deep fried chicken with a mayonnaise & coleslaw type dressing. It was passable and an interesting break to the seafood, but just a bit weird. Not something I’d be queueing up to try again. But still better than your average fried chicken.

The main courses kicked off proper with another deep fried dish – a couple of  snapper (I believe). The flesh was still nice & succulent. A bit difficult to get off the bone, but was worth persevering. I can’t remember much about the sauce – soy based – I think, but it didn’t detract from the flavour. It’s also worth noting that the tongue was a pretty nice morsel….

The crowd favourite was the sea bass done thai style with lemongrass & chilli. It was a beauty and the sauce was equally drooled over – making a good soup. I believe sea bass to be quite subtle, but it always stands up to strong flavours. It was something to fight over.

By this time, we were all getting pretty full, which meant a wealth of crab left for the truly gluttonous. A kind of speciality of this restaurant – it was simply well cooked crab. Nothing more and it was good & sweet. It bought a fine meal to a close, enjoyed with plenty of Tiger beer.

It was a fine choice of restaurant and somewhere we couldn’t wait to return to. There were lobster tanks against one wall and it was only fair we come back to give them a go. Watch this space.