Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yet another Penang food blog entry!

Char koay teow (fried flat rice noodles)
from a stall in Pulau Tikus market

The cook might not approve but
I find that some sweet Maggi chilli sauce
the dish truly tasty!

The proverbial "they" say that time flies while you're having fun. But while it's true enough that I've had my share of fun -- including in the form of three movies viewed, one Hello Kitty exhibition visited and one multi-media show attended -- since returning to Hong Kong from Penang more than a week ago, I've also been working quite a bit.

Perhaps it was the hard work and stress that caused me to lose my appetite -- and a few pounds -- for about a week after getting back to Hong Kong. More likely, though, was how bland a lot of the food to be found in the Big Lychee tastes in comparison to that to be found in the food capital of Malaysia.

Still, this is not to say that I've not been known to make certain Penang foods more tasty (to my mind) by adding not just any chilli or sauce but Maggi chilli sauce: which, in spite of what its name might get one thinking, actually is more sweetish-savoury rather than outright spicy and more akin to tomato ketchup in texture than regular sauces. (Incidentally, the one Malaysian food item that my Hong Kong apartment's kitchen always has is Maggi chilli sauce -- though, of course, it often also is supplemented by such as nutmeg syrup (for making nutmeg cordial drinks)!)

As an example, I like to dip my prawn or fish crackers in Maggi chilli sauce. In addition, I'm one of those "weird" individuals who likes my char koay teow without eggs and regular chilli sauce but with Maggi chilli sauce instead. Oh, and I also can do without slices of Chinese red sausage in my plate of char koay teow!

On the other hand, I consider dishes of char koay teow to be incomplete without cockles -- fears of hepatitis be damned! -- as well as whole juicy prawns (the larger, the better!). And speaking of cockles: steamed cockles are great dipped into Maggi chilli sauce too -- really, truly... and no, I actually am not being paid by Maggi to write this! ;b


hcpen said...

Yeah, I love all your penang food posts..they help introduce our wonderful island home of Penang to your fellow readers whom may not know or even heard of Penang, Malaysia..and yah, i so agree with you, the food in HK is so-so only, only the more expensive restaurants have really good food, i believe the normal street stalls and cha chan teng serve bland food!

Glenn, kenixfan said...

That looks good! I think I would want the eggs in mine.

That looks very similar to one of the noodle dishes at the Burmese restaurant around the corner from here.

Not sure about the hot sauce for myself; I am a very liberal soy sauce user in many places but rarely do I add any hot sauce to anything, esp. if it's already a bit spicy.

Anonymous said...

Yummmm!! I love the larger than life shrimp and sprouts when you click on the picture! :D

Thanks for letting me know about something I've never tried and which sounds right up my alley: nutmeg syrup.

BTW, I noticed (in your blog sidebar) that none of the three HK movies you recently viewed got very high ratings. Should I lower my expectations a notch?

YTSL said...

Hi hcpen --

Actually, I don't think the food in Hong Kong is so-so only. And funnily enough, actually like quite a few street stall treats (e.g., kaai tahn chai, kat chai pe'ng and grilled squid!) and cha chaan teng food (peanut butter and condensed milk sandwiches! "k'ung chai meen" with fried egg, luncheon meat and pickled vegetables!!). Also, today at lunch, I had wonderful hand-made noodles at the stall that Anthony Bourdain's helped made famous. So... not so spicy the food may be but it's not necessarily not bad at all! ;b

Hi Glenn --

The eggs make for an overwhelmingly richer taste to my mind. Just too much -- especially in the morning. (Yes, that meal in the photo was breakfast!)

Maggi chilli sauce isn't too hot -- by Malaysian standards. Do you consider the chili sauce that comes with Hainan chicken rice spicy? If so... hmmm, okay, maybe Maggi chilli sauce is hot then! ;D

Hi duriandave --

Trust you to click to see the enlarged version of the photo(s)! ;b

Re the last three HK movies I've seen: 6 to me is okay/watchable, 7.5 is actually good. Yeah, they're no classics -- but I have seen so much worse (especially this year, it seems)!

sarah bailey knight said...


Again pictures of more yummy looking food. Thank you. The Maggi chilli sauce does add to the look of the dish.

A Hello Kitty "interactive mini-theme park"in Hong Kong called "Kitty Lab". Where are the pictures of you interacting with Hello Kitty????
What was Kitty Lab like?

YTSL said...

Hi sbk --

Wonder whether you can find Maggi chilli sauce in one of the New York Chinatowns... BTW, something else it goes well with: Mcdonald's french fries! ;b

Re Kitty Lab... not many photos alas as one wasn't allowed to take photos inside the mini-theme park/exhibition. But have to say that I have been mulling a blog entry on Kitty Lab... :b

Bengbeng said...

i went to a place called Tambun famed for its seafood and suffered terrible food poisoning for five days. nowadays I am no longer so callous to say poisoning be damned hahaha... but occasionally i rise to the occasion too :)

YTSL said...

Hi Bengbeng --

I have to admit that I've had food poisoning before -- the last time some two years ago. Still I try to be careful but not paranoid, you know? :b