✈️ 10 Hours in Penang: Chef Wang Fusion Kitchen, Super Tanker Hawker Food Center

I’m heading to Penang again tomorrow so I thought I better post about the delicious meals I had during my previous trip there last month. This was a whirlwind work trip where I only had 10 hours on the island state. We headed straight for lunch at Chef Wang Fusion Kitchen after arriving at the airport.

Chef Wang Fusion Kitchen is a private kitchen setup where you need to reserve the tables and order the dishes in advance. I believe the chef is from China. The food here is really good. I was impressed. Our business partners pre-ordered the dishes and we occupied 2 tables. We were the only ones at the restaurant.

The pork rib soup was mild tasting and almost refreshing. It’s served in a claypot and tasted like something my maternal grandmother would cook. It’s less intensely flavoured but goes very well with the strong-tasting dishes that followed. Rice was also served in a steel pot.

I really liked their asam fish. The sour and sweet notes are very appetizing. They also have shredded raw green mango on top to add a crunchy dimension. The fish is reasonably fatty too, which is a good thing. Lean fish doesn’t taste very nice in these dishes. You need good omega oils to add mouthfeel and taste.

Next up was kiam chye pork with prawn. This is salted vegetables stir-fried with pork and topped with peeled prawns. The gravy looks sinister but doesn’t really taste as intense as it looks. This is a milder tasting dish, but still good. The salted vegetables are not just one dimensionally salty, but sourish.

You can’t eat in Penang without running into the perennial Hokkien favorite tau yu bak. Pig trotters are cooked with soy sauce to make this slightly sweet and savory dish. It’s one of my favorite things to eat. Chef Wang’s version was pretty good too.

I found their belacan fried chicken to be an unusual twist to fried chicken. I hear it’s pretty common in Penang to marinate fried chicken in belacan before frying though. It tastes really good this way! The salty and prawn-y belacan elevates this dish to new levels. The chicken was fried well too, and the meat was juicy and tender. It’s served with chilli sauce.

The deep-fried whole prawns in oyster sauce was really delicious too! The shells of the crispy prawns were fried long enough to be eaten. I love the head butter inside these babies too. One of the best dishes of the meal.

A dish of homemade tofu rounded up the meal. This was quite mild tasting and inoffensive to balance out the stronger flavors of the other dishes. It works well.

The morbidly obese waitress also brought out a dish of tong sui for dessert. This was a concoction of taro and sago pearls in a sweet syrup. It was decent but savory dishes are this establishments strong suit.

We had a presentation and meeting with our media partners before we had to fly back to KL.

Before that, our Penang branch manager brought us to Super Tanker to indulge in some hawker food.

I ordered a very dismal bowl of asam laksa. It tasted dilute and tepid. I was surprised I could find such a terrible implementation of asam laksa in Penang. I had to force myself to finish the bowl.

Luckily the char kueh tiaw I ordered was excellent. Smoky and delicious, this was a really good example of how Penang does CKT right.

Sam also ordered some o chien (oyster omelette) to share. This was really good as well. I like the Penang style of mok mok (soggy) o chien better than our Sarawak crispy o chien.

I managed to tapau some chai kueh for Mandy too.

It’s actually more for me, since I like eating chai kueh. Haha.

We also got some apam balik to eat on the way to the car. The apam at Super Tanker is remarkable too! Crispy, hot and delicious! We had to rush to the airport and nearly missed our flight due to the traffic jam in Penang. We made it though. I’ll be going again in a few hours!

Weekend Update: Flu 🤒, Ramadan Bazaar 🥘, “One Pot” Hainanese Chicken Rice 🐔

We were both down with the flu last weekend so we didn’t go out much. We’re both still recovering. Influenza will mess you up for at least 2 weeks. There’s been a virulent strain going around this year. You can hear coughs and runny noses in the office and LRT/MRT and people start falling sick. We even ran a fever for a couple of days, but we’re both much better now.

We headed over to the USJ 4 Bazaar Ramadan late Saturday afternoon. My experience tells me the best time to go is around 5 pm. That’s when all the stalls are running in full gear (but also when the crowd is at its peak). USJ 4 is the closest big Ramadan bazaar. I believe the biggest in Klang Valley is either in Shah Alam or Kelana Jaya.

I was tempted by this huge cucur udang so I got one at RM 5. It’s more like a pancake udang. That’s how big the thing was. Unfortunately, it was too doughy and thick so I didn’t enjoy it. I had to pack the leftovers into my lunch box for the next two days. It also looked like they had huge prawns in the cucur but compared to the sheer amount of dough, the shrimp was almost negligible.

One of the most tempting drinks in a Ramadan bazaar is the mango juice. This is an upgraded version with sweet mango cubes and vanilla ice cream piled on top. I’ve had these drinks at pasar malam before but they’re usually watered down and dismal. I had one just a couple of months ago with Mandy at the Setia Alam pasar malam. We were both disappointed. We got watermelon juice this time instead and loved it.

The longest queue at USJ 4 Bazaar Ramadan each year belongs to the nasi briyani run by Arabs at the very end of the bazaar. They always have an insane number of people lining up for their food! I tried it last year and it was decent, but not something I’ll spend 30 minutes under the hot sun waiting in line for. I gave it a pass this year. The murtabak opposite this stall also has a long line of people.

I also got a Roti John Beef Special with Egg and Cheese for RM 11. For the uninitiated, Roti John is a long submarine bun filled with savory minced meat (usually beef or chicken) and wrapped with a thin egg. It’s then slathered with black pepper sauce, mayo and chilli sauce. I enjoy eating this calorie bomb, especially when it’s hot off the grill. This one is good but I wish they had more meat filling.

Mandy enjoyed the Malay style Sarawak laksa that she got. My favorite among our haul was the ikan patin tempoyak. Tempoyak is fermented durian and ikan patin is a type of catfish. Combined it results in a thick, gooey gravy that’s acidic and appetizing. It’s delicious when eaten with rice! I always love this dish and have even eaten it in Temerloh, the birthplace of ikan patin tempoyak.

Walking around the neighbourhood Ramadan bazaar is a fun thing to do during puasa month. It’s crowded and you have to jostle with sweaty, sticky, smelly people from all walks of life (read: dubious provenance) so it’s not something I want to do every day. But definitely worth at least one visit.

I was craving for chicken rice over the weekend so I cooked up a batch with 2 kg of chicken legs. I boiled the chicken legs with lots of chopped spring onions, garlic, and ginger. I also put chicken stock powder into the broth. This broth infused with chicken essence and oils was then poured into raw basmati rice to cook my chicken rice.

I later learned that a lot of people steam the chicken in a steamer with sesame oil instead. I do it this way coz it’s more efficient to boil large quantities of chicken but Mandy says steaming it results in a smoother chicken texture. I’ll try that next time.

I’ve also been having a lot of “Sandwich Days” lately. Been craving for these naughty empty calories sandwich bread. I eat them with lettuce, sliced tomatoes and fried Danish luncheon meat or deli ham and a side of scrambled eggs. Delicious!

My marriage proposal to Mandy in Midhills @ Genting 💑

It was the Labour Day holidays so we decided to go somewhere cooling for a short vacation. We’ve recently been to Fraser’s Hill and enjoyed ourselves so we planned to go to Genting this time. Cameron Highlands is too far away for a 2D/1N stay. I found a nice apartment at Midhills @ Genting and booked it for a night. I also planned to propose to Mandy on that night.

I sneaked out the Sunday before with her ring in tow to purchase an engagement ring. I know she has a couple of rings at home but it took me a long time to find it, coz she stored them in a random box in her luggage. I went to Sunway Pyramid to look at rings before settling on a plain gold band.

There are two different options for even a plain gold band. One was a simple ring while the other was a modern, square design. I thought she’ll like the simple design better but I went with the square one for a modern touch. Turns out she preferred the simple ring. Haha.

I also arrange to have 24 pink roses delivered to the office. I had taken the car keys that morning and planned to put these in the boot so she wouldn’t see it. I’ll find an excuse to come down to the car while she was showering to retrieve them when we go to Midhills @ Genting. We both had work on 30th April, so we’re only driving up at night.

We reached the apartment at around 10 pm and she went for a shower. I told her I left something in the car and went to get the flowers and the ring. I waited till she was about to exit the bathroom and went down on bended knee to propose to her. She said yes.

In hindsight, I should have done this at our home. I could have had more time to set up fairy lights, letters etc. I didn’t think of it at the time. I’ll KIV that for the future. Haha.

She was feeling under the weather and didn’t feel like going out so I went to tapau some food from Gohtong Jaya. I’ve heard good things about Restoran Hou Wan so I headed there. Unfortunately, they were out of their famous steamed frog legs but they had their crispy kon chou sang mee (dry fried sang mee). I ordered chicken wings, Guinness pork ribs and two types of noodles.

The standout dish from Restoran Hou Wan is their famous kon chau sang mee. This was a dish of deliciously crispy noodles with a slice of century duck egg. You’re given wonderfully thick gravy on the side, which is poured on the noodles to rehydrate it. The gravy is full of seafood and egg and has notes of garlic and wine. Very yummy.

We headed to Genting Strawberry Leisure Farms the next morning. This is a strawberry farm in Gohtong Jaya. Mandy wanted to eat some strawberries.

The farm also has various cold climate flowers.

There’s a café selling all types of food with strawberries in them. They also had a chocolate fountain where you can dip strawberries to get chocolate coated fresh strawberries.

We also bought strawberry ice cream with fresh cut strawberries on top. Delicious.

They also had freshly made waffles and we went for a strawberry + chocolate filling. Not bad.

Mandy wanted more of the chocolate dipped strawberries so I ordered another one, but told the lady to put it inside their fridge for a few minutes so the coating will harden. Mandy liked this version better.

We walked around the farm some more…

…and picked our own strawberries!

You can get pruning scissors and a basket to collect your own strawberries.

Just cut the ones you like from the vine!

There were some very luscious ones!

The ones you see at supermarkets are cheaper but it’s fun to pick our own strawberries. These are so much fresher. I paid RM 23 for this.

It’s a nice afternoon spent strolling around the flowers and strawberry fields.

We headed uphill to Genting Highlands after and parked at First World Hotel. While walking around SkyAvenue mall, we passed by the Genting cinema and a poster for Avengers: Endgame. We both haven’t watched it so we bought two tickets to the show.

It was almost dark by the time we finished watching the 3-hour opus so we went in search of food.

Mandy wanted to eat Beauty in the Pot but they were so full due to it being Labour Day holidays that the earliest slot we could get was 11 pm! She settled for Palsaik instead.

Palsaik is a Korean BBQ restaurant famous for their 8 flavored pork belly. I’ve eaten here many years ago. We also needed to wait before a table was available.

The staff will grill the pork belly for you. You’re supposed to eat it wrapped with leaves, Korean style.

Genting was fun but there was way too many people on Labour Day. These public holidays tend to attract people from the Klang Valley so everywhere was crowded.

We managed to get some fancy donuts to eat on the way back! It was good short trip.

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