Tuesday, 1 January 2013

PENANG Teochew Chendol “si pek ho liao” even an Eskimo can’t resist

Tunglang's choice of 30's-60's Penang Teochew Chendol

1930’s-60’s Teochew Chendol,
slippery green chendol jelly - cold as ice yet irresistible,
sweet & fragrant punch of coconut milk + palm sugar syrup,
fat chompy ang tau (red kidney beans), a must-have keh liao,
shaved Eskimo s’ng (ice) that kills all tropical fever & thirsts,
the secret recipe = heavenly chendol + ang tau served
cold, sweet & thirsty-tasty,
bowl-drying licking good to the last thirst for more 
Teochew Chendol.   “Si pek ho liao!”

76 years of authentic Teochew Chendol served at the same street corner since 1936. 
A recipe from father to siblings, it has become a branded icon of Ori-Maestro 
street hawker desserts as renowned as Penang’s UNESCO heritage site.

Tham Chiak Kui Waterhole: Beside Joo Hooi Cafe at the junction of Jalan Penang & Lebuh Keng Kwee.
Dining in comfort @ nearby ‘jungle-green’ shophouse. Serves from 10am & dries up before 7.30pm.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Lily Pond - A Sanctuary where Virgins Bloom

Tunglang's x-ploring of Penang Botanic Gardens' Lily Pond

Shrouded in ‘Avalon’ dimension of a botanic rainforest,
Nestles a serene pond of the Nymphaea.
Herein bloom the ancient virgins on slender legs,
Of pinkish & white complexion of the delicate few.
A congrous display of colorful tropical maidens,
Resplendent & cultured herbal floras of Malaya natives.
Nymphaea pubescens (pink waterlily),
Costus speciosus (Malay ginger),
Tectaria griffithii (fern),
Guarded by gigantic Kerayong (Parkia javanica) buttresses.
’tis old world sanctuary where Nymphaea still folk sing,
In the cool evening tranquility of rainforest cathedral.

A tribute to Charles Curtis (1853-1928)
botanist & landscape gardener of Penang Botanic Gardens

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Earthly Temptations in Bangkok Lane’s ‘Secret Gardens’

Tunglang's x-ploring of Bangkok Lane's 'secret gardens'

An old world charm of botanic splendour,
Nestles within serene spaces of a heritage enclave.
Sprouting carefree & tangoing in the morning breeze,
Every green luxuriates in June summer solstice.
Secret rendezvous, soft garden path, cricket soliloquy,
Designer horticulture, welcoming corridor embrace.  
Enticing to creatures who love the good oldie days,
Of shaking khakis & drinking tea under cool green canopies.
Oh, such earthly delights in ‘secret gardens’ of Bangkok Lane.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

60's Penang Hokkien Mee, a rare street hawker treat

Tunglang's choice of 60's Penang Hokkien Mee
Inner city George Town is barely awakened from TGIF, the sun barely rising above the maze of heritage terra cotta rooftops. With a hunch of a good Saturday morning food binge, I decide to crawl my way to this 60's Penang Hokkien Mee stall.

Served by 2 Ori-Maestros, a brother and sister team with no Indonesian or Burmese helpers (to keep it as original as possible), many Tham Chiak Kuis frequent this long time stall as early as it starts business at this kopitiam, located at the junction of Lebuh Carnarvon and Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze. As Kia Su as any TCK Penangite, I reach the stall at 7 am salivating at the first sniff of hae th'ng (prawn soup).

Standing at the side of this five foot way stall with all the liao on display, I half salivate & speak my order, almost giving in to the temptation of over keh liao! The sight of yellow mee, tau geh, eng chai, chilli fried prawns, yew chang (fried onion) and red chilli oil whirlpooling above hae th'ng is full of reminiscences of the 60's and 70's as a Hokkien Mee boy helper in Madras Lane and Macalister Lane who frequently took curi-bites of spicy hae while at work.

Time to secure a table before more TCKs walk in. The friendly kopitiam towkay as usual in jovial mood pushes his 'Tek Chia International' brand of juice drink, which he claims is good for cooling the body. What an enterprising and global minded towkay ready for soon to be Cosmopolitan Penang.

My eagerly awaited order finally arrives with keh liao and steaming, spicy and rich hae th'ng served in a 'red cockerel' bowl. The first bite of chilli fried prawns starts a slow but experiential gastronomy of the finest Hokkien Mee in inner city George Town. The slippery but well cooked mee, though not as salty as the ori-60's, romances my discerning palate for distinctive 60's Penang Hokkien Mee and hae th'ng. Also, the bak kut with strong flavor of bak enhances my heavenly savor of what seems like a timeless experience of this Ori-Maestro Hokkien Mee. My last million-taste-bud tango ends with a finale - a bowl-cleaning licking good to the last trace of hae. No pai seh.

Winding up with a flushed face, sweaty forehead and prawn flavored lips, I draw my "Good Morning" mini China towel like a matador ready to wipe away the evidence of delightful Tham Chiak Kui desires. Now it's time for my Kopi-O kau kau to enjoy sipping at slow pace while taking in the heritage ambience of this prewar kopitiam minus Rediffusion's Canto ballads below the Sin Kong (Star) Hotel.

60's Penang Hokkien Mee @ junction of Lebuh Carnarvon / Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze "Si pek ho chiak!"

Note: Come early as it usually finishes by 10 am. Also, do bring along a mini towel!
Pictures taken in April 2012 with permission from Ori-Maestros.