Roti Jala is kinda hard to find in KL on a normal day. Most of the time you can only get it in night markets (pasar malam) or during the Ramadhan fasting month. I am lucky enough to have a good makan kaki in Penang who are sharing the same passion as me who love old school foods which are long forgotten by people. Young generation people for sure have no idea where to find this or taste them before.
Tucked in an industrial zone of Paya Terubong, Penang Island. This is one of the best home cook food restaurant available in Penang. Though it may look like an ordinary tai chow restaurant, it does serve some authentic home cook foods.
Last weekend I was in Penang island to do a pre wedding job there. If you didn’t know I am part of the crew of Mobster Studio. After done with he photo shoot I went to Paya Terubong to visit Restoran Zi Zai. I came here before previously but not able to try much of the goodies here. The kitchen is helm by Hock Chai the owner cum head chef. Prior to our arrival, I made a reservation ahead on what is going to be served. If you want your dish to come out fast upon your arrival, give Hock Chai a call a buzz. The food menu is well written with English and Chinese words where language is not a barrier here. Some of my friends from KL who don’t speak Hokkien do not need to worry here. You can speak to them in English or Mandarin here.
Salted Fish Bone Soup – RM12 BIG
We were served with a bowl of piping hot and tasty tofu cook with salted fish and pork soup. A sip down awakes the appetite hunger for more. The salted fish bone is not that salty and just giving a lil bit of flavor to the bean curd which literally tasteless. Sliced pork were added to spice up the soup taste where we clear every single drip of it.
I wonder how many of the current young generation that ever taste these kind of nyonya kueh. At most you try Sister’s Popiah only which prepared by Indons or Myanmar people who man the counter. Let me share with you a place where all the traditional nyonya kuih came from in Penang. Moh Teng Peow is famous among the pasar malam hawkers and street food traders.
Glutinous rice with kaya (coconut jam).
Tucked in a corner within Chulia Street, this is hidden from the view of the main road. It is still open to the public for walk in purchase. You are guaranteed to have the freshest one here.
In the hustling bustling of the Penang Island on Lebuhraya Peel, tucked away in a little corner is Village BBQ & Steamboat Restaurant, serving halal seafood. Serving all types of seafood, charcoal BBQ style and portuguese style, something for the adventurous to try out.
In Penang, if we talk about desserts at Penang Road the attention will be automatically diverted to the Teow Chew Cendol. There are something which not many people knows and located just a few blocks away. The cold drink which I mention is known as Ais Tingkap or better known as Windows Sherbet by Mat Sallehs.
Checkout the faded color sign board on the top right. It does state the word AIS TINGKAP. But the color is almost the same as the windows hence not many people notice it. I know about this place since I am 7 years old where my grandpa brought me here for a cold drink in the evening. His workshop is just 10 minutes motor bike ride away. This business has been pass down for 4 generations since 1930’s. The father still able to recognize me and I just feel so comfortable with the drink that they sell.
The name Ais Tingkap originates from the way they sell this drink when they got started. They serve their drink right out from the glass windows and from there they got the name. You see the small space at the back of that blue shirt guy? That was the place it was served out last time. Some Englishman that patron them gave the name Windows Sherbet as the shaved ice has the sherbet look. This drink is ONLY AVAILABLE IN PENANG, MALAYSIA! This STALL ONLY! No other mamak stall, kopitiam or restaurant that sells this.
A Glass Of Ais Tingkap RM1.30
The whole glass of drink may look like an ordinary rose syrup filled with shaved ice and coconut meat. It is not just that. The whole glass got more than that. It has “Pong Dai Hai”, basil seeds, coconut meat, coconut water, rose essence and a spray of secret juice which consist of more than 20 ingredients inside. However over the period of modernization, certain herbs are hard to get hence it doesn’t taste as good as it use to be. Back in the olden days I can smell the secret juice from the spray from 2 meters away. It was a typical Indian herbs used but heck I care about that. The whole drink has a good cooling effect to human body on a scorching heat day.
The steps below shows how’s the ais tingkap were prepared.
Preparing our orders which consist of 12 glasses.
Start of by filling it with shaved ice. Nothing beats this on a hot day.
Putting in the Pong Dai Hai (Getah Anggur)
The right hand side is the basil seed, center ones is the one mixed with rose essence for coloring. No artificial coloring and flavors used in preparing ais tingkap. It is safe to be consumed a lot.
Fresh coconut water added
The secret juice is sprayed into each drink
Fresh coconut meat put on top then stir everything up and serve. Below is a video recorded by www.vkeong.com
Ais Tingkap (Window Sherbet)
Lebuh Tamil/Tamil Street, Penang.
GPS Coordinates: N5 25.066 E100 19.884
Open daily 12pm to 8pm (Closed on Sundays)
Chinese cruller or more commonly known as You Tiao / Yau Char Kwai / Yiu Char Koey is the perfect companion to go along with a cup of fresh brewed Kopi O or bak kut teh. It is a famous Chinese snacks which made from flour and come in the size of 7 inches. In Penang, we have one that comes with 14 inches by Te Chang You Tiao Wang (Chinese Cruller King in Chinese).
It is located next to Old Master Q bak kut teh or known as LAU FU CHI at Paya Terubong area. It is facing the main road.
These long Chinese crullers need a special made pan just to fry them. It doesn’t fit into the normal frying pan due to its length.
It is constantly turned to make sure it is evenly fried.
You can see how your favorite Chinese crullers made here too by the boss.
Piece by piece were custom made into standard size without need a ruler.
The traditional ones without any fillings. RM1 each
Have you ever taste the home cook food of Southern Thai house hold ? The cook (Anna) which originate from Nakhon Si Thammarat, the most ancient city of Thailand open this restaurant with the mind to share his cookings to people who love Thai foods. Anna Thai Kitchen, named after her name and operated from a house converted to restaurant nearby the Pulau Tikus wet market.
This is a strategic location for her new restaurant as she doesn’t need to stock up that much of raw materials and you can rest assure that the freshest ingredients were used in all her cookings. Her menu items were quite simple with a few fix ala carte items and some mix rice dishes. All the mix rice dishes were never repeated on the same day. There are too many dishes that Anna wanted to share with the people who eat her food. So to taste all her mix rice dishes in one day are kinda impossible. You may probably need to return there for a couple of days to try out the dishes.
Comfy air conditioned environment
Hor Mok [Thai Otak Otak]
Hor Mok [Thai Otak Otak]
Made fresh daily and using only the finest ingredient. The “CHI TIN CHEW” super hot cili padi is not for the faint hearted. It really can ruffle your hair up.
Khao Ka Moo – RM5 – Thai Pork Trotter Rice with braised eggs, salted vege and home made special Thai Chili Sauce.
Khao Mun Gai – RM5 – Thai Style Poached Chicken Rice. It taste the same for the rice part with our local Hainanese Chicken rice. But when coming to the dipping sauce preparation, the sauce is made of bean paste, fresh chopped garlics and bird eye chili. The chicken were kampung chicken (Free range chicken). The combination of the whole plate were quite good.
Khao Yam – RM5 – Thai Ulam Rice. Their ulam rice were a mixture of pomelo bits, diced cucumber, bean sprouts, kacang botol, dried shrimp floss and bird eye chilis with special sauce. The right way to enjoy your ulam rice is to mix all of it evenly. Careful with the bird eye chili though as they are using the most spicy bird eye chili.
3 weeks back, I was in Penang to shoot pre wedding photographs for my best buddy. We almost round the whole Penang island to look for some nice spots to shoot the photos. Balik Pulau is one of it where the nature environment there are untainted with developments.
On the way coming down from Teluk Bahang to Balik Pulau we pass by a tourist spot called Titi Kerawang waterfall which famous for tourist to buy fruits and picnic up there. We didn’t stop by and just pass by. Then we saw a few newly put up sign boards for LAKSA …. Yum yum …. the crave all of sudden mingle in my mind. Straight away I follow the signboard and end up with this place.
A well maintained wooden house with big gardens which act as a parking lot. The owner of this place is a durian farmer and also he’s trying to convert this house into an antique shop which sell some old stuffs. To cut the story short, we all are here for the laksa and durians. Seriously speaking in KL, there are NO asam laksa stall which are edible. Most of them can’t even beat a single stall in Penang. Asam laksa in Penang I would say should be listed side by side with Char Koay Teow to promote it.
Nice water bowl to wash hand
Clean and cozy environment. Can get a little warm during afternoon. The place also patron by some muslim customers and love their asam laksa so much.
The noodle used here are home made using rice flour. It has a rougher texture compared to the one commercially used by Air Itam Laksa and the rest. This one Malay called it laksa beras which is my favorite.
Standard condiments of asam laksa …. peppermint leaves, spinach, cucumber, pineapple and onions.
Blanching the noodle and vegetables with the boiling soup
Scoop some fish meats
Sprinkle some bunga kantan and pour some shrimp paste.
Eat while it is still hot!
Not to forget to grab some durians here. Checkout my durian kunyit …. Oooohhh la la!
Way to get here :
From Titi Kerawang waterfall, drive down as usual towards Balik Pulau town. You will definitely pass by here. This place only open for weekends during lunch till sold out. Each bowl cost from RM3 to RM4 for big ones.