5 things we ate at hawker stalls in Penang

1. Lorong Selamat Char Kueh Tiaw

lorong selamat

I had wanted my better half to try this, since she’s never had it before. It’s legendary for its 1 hour wait and when we were there the crowds were out in force!


There were no empty spots on tables and people had to stand in clumps beside diners to wait their turn.

plates queue

I was told that it’ll take longer than 1 hour based on the plates and there’s a rule about having to sit down before you can order. The price now has sky-rocketed to RM 10 per plate too! My dear didn’t want to wait and we went opposite the road to eat…

2. Curry Mee

curry mee

It’s RM 7 per plate and the guy told us he has run out of prawns so I think we paid RM 5. It’s still not too bad, loaded with pig’s coagulated blood and the broth is delicious! I wanted to go to the Lorong Seratus Tahun one but I couldn’t find it.

However, we did manage to find…

3. Sin Kim San banana pancake

banana pancake

I thought this was char kueh kak at first and ordered a plate (RM 6). It turned out that the stall sells banana pancakes.

chinese banana pancake

This was nothing special – just a Chinese interpretation of a pancake with lots of eggs and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. My dear makes *better* banana pancakes.

We did manage to eat CKT at the same place though.

4. Duck Egg Char Kueh Tiaw

I like the one near Pulau Tikus police station but since we’re here, we might as well satisfy the craving for Penang CKT. The duck egg version costs RM 4.50 – half the price of the overrated Lorong Selamat stalls.

duck egg

It was good, but slightly greasy. The prawns were fresh and succulent and there’s a huge helping of lap cheong (Chinese sausage) with it.

We were pretty much full at this point but managed to share a bowl of…

5. Ah Soon Kor Cham Lor

ah soon kor har mee

This is a distinctively Penang dish where you mix Lor Mee with Har Mee. The combination gravy is awesome! Ah Soon Kor is famous for their Har Mee (Prawn Mee) but my dear doesn’t really like it so we ordered the mixture instead.

cham lor

You can see the two different and distinct bases mixing together in the color of the gravy which makes it look like the yin yang symbol (if you squint hard enough ;)). It has lots of interesting goodies like deep fried shrimp and roasted pork belly and I thought it was good. We couldn’t finish it though coz we had so much food.

However, since we didn’t manage to eat the Lorong Selamat CKT I put as #1, here’s a bonus to fulfil the 5 dishes we ate in Penang.

Bonus: New World Ice Kacang Special

new world

I’ve eaten this a lot of times before. I like the tropical fruit mixture compared to the Penang Road cendol. It’s a very popular stall that serves drinks for the New World food court and their flagship costs RM 5.

ice kacang special

There’s atap chee, kidney beans, corn, papaya, bananas and lots of other fruits inside this shaved ice dessert, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

ling hb

It was a good weekend escape to Penang to relax and eat some food. We stayed at Traders Hotel, which cost us RM 800+ (more about that soon – there’s an interesting story behind it) and came back on Sunday rejuvenated.

Scratch that, we actually both caught the flu and fell sick but it’s a good vacation nonetheless! :)

My car ran out of petrol on the Penang Bridge!

out of gas

It happened just slightly after the toll. I felt the car slowly lose power…I had a sinking feeling that something has gone horribly wrong. I managed to cruise from the fast lane (on the right) across 3 lanes to the emergency lane. It felt like driving a car that was just running on momentum alone!

I realized that I had run completely out of gas. The car would not start at all. It just coughs. We had just passed the toll, maybe 500 meters or so and we’re stuck on the Penang Bridge!

stuck penang bridge

We had driven down from KL early in the morning and didn’t take any breaks except for toilet stops. I had stupidly thought that a tank of gas would be enough to get to Penang and I didn’t really look at the gauge so the massive traffic jam before the bridge was the final nail in the coffin.

I called the PLUS Highway emergency number and managed to get them to send a guy to meet us.

refill petrol

It took less than 5 minutes before a fellow on a motorcycle came up to me. He had a bottle of gasoline so he poured the minute amount (less than 500 ml is my guess) into my petrol tank and asked me to start.

I tried the ignition but the car won’t go – it seemed that there’s too little fuel for it to start.

low fuel

My better half intelligently told me to shut off the radio and air conditioning. I managed to start the car – just barely – after that. I know it wouldn’t last long and I’ll need to get to a gas station soon.

The PLUS representative charged me RM 40 for the petrol and after I willingly handed it over, asked for RM 10kang chi” (Hokkien for labor costs) making the total RM 50. What an opportunist!


I didn’t really mind though coz it would have been worse to be stuck for hours on the Penang Bridge. We managed to use the GPS to find a nearby gas station and fill her up.


The PLUS dude said he’ll trail us. He never did. We were lucky to make it to the station on that little amount of gas. It was a bit of an adventure though, running out of gas. It’s something that we’ll be talking about down the years – “Hey remember the time we drove to Penang and we ran out of gas on the Penang Bridge?”.

It wasn’t the best start to our Penang trip but it sure was funny in hindsight and it’s a memorable start to our weekend holiday! :)

Our weekend trip to Gold Coast Morib Resort!

morib goldcoast us

I decided to take my better half and the kids on a trip last weekend. I was about to go to A-Farmosa in Melaka (gave the little ones a choice of that and Lost World of Tambun in Ipoh) before my dear told me about this place.

morib water park

Thus, we packed our bags and went to the water park that’s the flagship of Gold Coast Morib Resort!


We got two adult tags for the water park which were valid for two (2) days as part of our check in package. I also got an additional bed (RM 60) which is a camping air bed that the big one slept on. It came with toiletries and +1 breakfast but no extra water park ticket.

waterpark tags

The water park tickets cost RM 20 for each child below the age of 12. I also rented a float for RM 10. There’s two really nice water slides (similar to each other) that me and my dear went on. It was a bit scary so the kids didn’t want to go on it. I got a big bruise from it though:


It’s coz I slid down by using the iron bar on top to speed myself up. Do not try to go down this head-first, you’ll likely be injured.

morib water slide

I did go on the other water rides head-first though. There’s a flat, wide water slide, three small and taller straight water slides side-by-side and a high and winding water slide with multiple twists which we all went on – sometimes in groups of *three* (me, my dear and the smallest one).

morib goldcoast

Dinner that night was at Golden Sea Restaurant – just a couple of minutes down the road. The food was good, we had steamed prawns (RM 25), Marmite chicken and lala fried rice vermicelli. I had a stomach bug though so I couldn’t finish dinner but we tapao-ed the rest back and everyone (including the kids) finished the leftovers!

steamed prawns

A word of warning – it’s almost impossible to get a table for the buffet breakfast at Gold Coast Morib Resort!

breakfast buffet

The water park doesn’t really check the tags so we didn’t have to buy another set for the kids the next day. That theoretically saved me RM 40 but unfortunately, I put a RM 50 note in my pocket as well as the hotel key card. It stayed right where it was the first day (which was a good thing since I had hundreds in there) but on the second day, I *lost* everything!

goldcoast morib resort

It wasn’t due to the slides, I went on them both days but the deep pool! I was pretending to be a dolphin while I dove up and down with the big one hanging on to me. I also tripped before entering the pool so that might have opened up the Velcro.

goldcoast morib beach

I couldn’t find both so I had to replace the key card and then we all went into the Jacuzzi and had ice cream while waiting for the check-out time.



  • No limitation to people in room (we didn’t need the extra bed but got it for comfort)
  • Breakfast is free for kids
  • Water park doesn’t check tags and encourages you to keep yours so you can use it the next day
  • Good food is available just a short drive away
  • You can get good paos from Tanjung Sepat on the way back

tanjung sepat pao


  • The room isn’t clean – there’s even a discarded snack wrapper on the balcony
  • The resort can be noisy at night
  • Service is bad – no one answered the in-house phone and I had to call their external line to get toiletries
  • The resort isn’t well maintained – the hair-dryer in our room was broken and the maintenance guys had to fix it on the spot
  • There’s no swimming pool so you have to pay for the water park for that

family trip morib

Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun with my dear and the kids! It was a good weekend and we’re looking forward to the next one! :)

Highlights of our Langkawi trip: A foul madame, Underwater World and chocolates

ladies indoor pool

This is not the strangest thing we’ve seen on this trip. It’s also not related to the titled foul madames. The resort we stayed in actually has an indoor covered swimming pool just for the ladies!


If you’re wondering what’s going on inside and whether it requires an adult ID for entry…wonder no longer. The answer is nothing much and no. It’s just a feature to attract Arabic and other Middle Eastern families due to their Muslim religion. You can’t very well swim in a burka. It doesn’t exactly cut through the water like Ian Thorpe’s drag resistant and aerodynamic bodyskin swimming rig.

ritter sport

On to other matters, we also went chocolate shopping! We must have bought hundreds of dollars worth of imported, duty free confectionery.

ritter sport choc

I ate frozen Ritter SPORT for two weeks straight coz it’s 3 for RM 11.30.

ritter loacker limited edition

They also had this limited edition exclusive where they collaborated with Loacker (most famous for their wafer coated chocolates) for a Ritter-Loacker exclusive! It’s a Ritter SPORT that has a Loacker wafer inside and comes in two flavors – Strawberry & Vanilla-Wafer and Raspberry & Cranberry Yoghurt.

cognac chocolates

I thought it was okay, my better half loved it though and I must admit, it’s a pretty cool temporary partnership. It’s kinda like how Mars and Pods work but it’s for a limited time only.

liquer chocolates

On to other things, I saw the usual array of liquor chocolates and bought an Anthon Berg limited edition. This time they did a cocktail series! They usually do a standard array of liqueur chocolates with fillings made with Jack Daniels, Otard, Famous Grouse, Canadian Club etc and I don’t get overly excited with them.

chocolate cocktails

The Anthon Berg limited edition cocktails series doesn’t have branded liqueur inside but cocktails! It still uses the same hollow chocolate bottle with liquer inside though – I thought a cocktail glass would be cool. Flavors are Cosmopolitan, Mojito, Margarita, Strawberry Daiquiri. Not too bad but GOLDKENN Remy Martin cognac sticks are much better (although more expensive).

underwater world

We also went to Underwater World coz the kids wanted to go. There’s all sorts of underwater creatures kept in captivity from pink flamingos…

pink flamingos

…to penguins.


It reminded us of our first holiday together at Phillip Island in Melbourne. We went to the Penguin Parade and we tried to do a similar pose here. Haha!

us penguins

Langkawi’s Underwater World is getting a little run down and there’s not much for returning (or first time) visitors to see but it’s worth a trip if you have little kids.

huge fish

Hell, I even bought a ridiculously priced photo of us that we halfheartedly posed for (my better half told me not to get it coz it’s expensive) at the entrance coz I wanted a memento with my dear and the kids at the last minute. I did the same for our Sunway Lagoon trip. I guess I’m becoming one of those schmucks who goes for these things nowadays. smirk

foul madames

I bet you’re really wondering about that foul madame at this point now.

ful medames

It’s not a person, it’s a dish from Egypt that you can make yourself at the breakfast buffet. It’s the resorts policy to attract visitors from that region at work again. Ful medames is described as “cooked and mashed fava beans in olive oil”.

langkawi photo

That’s the last of Langkawi, till our next trip, here’s the aforementioned photo of us! :D

Wonderland Food Store Seafood, Langkawi

wonderland langkawi

This is supposed to be one of the best seafood restaurants in town. I say this based solely on the fact that a lot of people like taxi drivers in Langkawi use it as a landmark/drop-off-point. Wonderland Food Store is just one of many seafood restaurants along the waterfront in town.


There are Thai style seafood restaurants, Malay seafood restaurants, and Chinese seafood restaurants, but many of the last don’t serve pork anyway. We decided on Wonderland Seafood coz we’re never eaten there before and a lot of people talks about it so we checked it out.

wonderland food store

It was a huge disappointment!

wonderland seafood

The mantis prawns were frozen instead of fresh, most of the dishes are unappealing with no plating considerations and even though it was packed, the clientèle seems to be mostly tourists – Japanese, Chinese, Korean etc.

wonderland coconut

To add to the list of sins, they hired an unlicensed taxi for us – which costs RM 1 more than the standardized fare – and is a highly unusual practice in Langkawi since the taxis are heavily regulated.

Kam Heong Mantis Prawn

mantis prawn

This is deep fried since they didn’t have any fresh ones. The proprietors said that the fishermen didn’t have any catches since it was the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holidays. The frozen mantis prawns tastes alright but I was looking forward to fresh steamed ones so it was slightly disappointing.

Fried Squid


The squid was too chewy and just wasn’t fresh – it’s exactly the *opposite* of what I had hoped to eat in Langkawi, which is famous for their seafood since it’s a duty free island.

Soft Shell Crab

soft shell crab

This was fried the same way as the other two dishes so it’s quite jelak to eat so much deep fried battered seafood, even if all three are very different creatures. I thought it was mediocre.

Seafood Fried Rice

wonderland fried rice

RM 8 a plate and it comes with lots of squid! I suspect that the “seafood fried rice” contains whatever surplus seafood that you ordered. It’s oily and repetitive.

Steamed Sea Bass (Siakap)

sea bass siakap

This is the saving grace of our seafood dinner. I liked it so much I ate all of the fish – mostly by myself. Haha. The rest of the food we tapau and took it back to the hotel coz there were so much leftovers it was obscene.

wonderland bill

The bill costs RM 99 which was pretty reasonable. However, dinner wasn’t what we expected – we had been looking forward to a nice seafood meal in Langkawi. It could be the lack of fisherman’s produce due to the Hari Raya holidays as the restaurant didn’t have fresh seafood and had to resort to frozen ones. Or it could be just the wrong place to eat.

wonderland us

I can’t say I recommend Wonderland Seafood from our dining experience but I had a lot of fun with the kids and my better half! That’s all that matters. :)

Nyonya cuisine at The Mansion, Malacca

majestic hotel

I had a rather enjoyable Nyonya dinner at The Mansion at the Majestic Hotel in Malacca – a historical period building that has been turned into a rather nice inn. It’s not one of them budget lodging houses despite how the exterior looks.

mansion malacca

It’s right in the middle of town and the river that courses through Malacca (or Melaka as it’s spelled here) is just opposite the street, if you fancy a stroll by the waterfront.


The hotel even had a pianist playing soothing Bach (or was it Chopin?) scores while you’re eating your food. I’m being irreverent, I wouldn’t know one from the other although I had piano lessons till Grade 4.

peranakan food

Dinner was buffet style, with most of the dishes located in a central area – there are classic Peranakan food like udang masak nanas (prawns cooked in pineapple curry).

mansion toilet

The toilets are superbly maintained and clean – I was immediately soothed by the scent of vanilla instead of the usual odor of ammonia assaulting the nostrils. Oops…I probably shouldn’t have had this aside, kinda puts people off after talking about shrimp. smirk

bubur cha cha

Back to the food, I was quite full from lunch so I had several bowls of bubur cha cha – a sweet hot soup-like dessert made with gula Melaka (palm sugar) and yam, tapioca, sweet potatoes, all diced up into miniature cubes instead of the clumsy chunks that’s usually served up. It’s much more refined fare over here.

nyonya cuisine

There’s also classic Nyonya mainstays like pai tee (crispy pastry cups filled with an assortment of ingredients) and of course:

Fresh spring roll made of sauteed sweet turnips wrapped in a wheat flour crepe

nyonya otak otak
Otak Otak with Kerabu Nanas
Spicy mackerel paste wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled, served with a tangy pineapple salad

lemongrass satay
Satay Lilit
Grilled chicken skewered on a lemongrass stalk

nyonya food

I didn’t know that otak otak is *only* made from mackerel! It’s information plagiarized gleaned from the leaflet that was on the table, which describes the unique Nyonya cuisine which is a product of inter-marriage between Chinese immigrants and the local Malays.

wine nyonya food

Fun (unresearched and vaguely remembered) fact: There’s a difference in salutation when a Chinese male marries a Malay female and the other way round. I believe the latter is called Nyonya and the former is Baba but I could be very mistaken since that was textbook stuff I recall from half a lifetime ago when I was studying Form 3 History.


I also found out Shiraz also goes well with Nyonya food but I’m blasé about Chardonnay. However, the best and arguably most well known product of this cuisine is the kueh (or pastries, but dismiss that mental image of pastries coz these are different) with the complex play of textures and flavors!

Tonight, we shall feast!

swimming with kids

I woke up having pains and aches in places I didn’t even know existed. I had been running around the pool with the kids for several hours last night, swimming and remembering how to do stuff like:

Underwater somersaults


pool night

Haha! It was a lot of fun though, and we went just opposite the hotel to the tourist trap seafood restaurants for a bite to eat.

3 antara

I wanted to head over to this cool looking place with the menus written in English and Cyrillic script (!!!) called 3 t.i.g.a. Antara (no relation to the 3 Line criminal gang) which looks like something out of the trendy beach front eateries of Bali or Boracay. I figured if you wanted to be ripped off, at least we can get ripped off…in style! smirk

seafood restaurant

The menu was surprisingly cheap but the kids didn’t like anything on it so we walked to a Chinese seafood restaurant (which strangely serves no pork).

tourist trap

The place was comfortable though – we’re just beside the beach so we can feel the breeze being enhanced by the ceiling fans.

old coconut
Fresh coconut (RM 4)

wah tan hor

Now, the lady taking the order warned us that small is VERY SMALL. Sorry, that should have been very small. The wah tan hor (Medium – RM 12) that came out made us apprehensive about all the other Small orders – would there just be a few pieces?

guinness stout chicken
Guinness Stout Chicken Fillets (RM 9 – Small)

venison deer meat
Venison (Deer Meat) with Ginger & Onions (RM 15 – Small)

fried rice
Fried Rice (RM 5- Small)

ate well

It turns out that there’s more than expected and everyone ate well (for just RM 57 at a tourist trap – woo hoo). It’s very forgettable food though…

family dinner

Tonight is the night that we’re heading to town where the locals go for a *proper* seafood restaurant to eat the ocean’s diminishing supply of creatures – delicious treats like mantis prawn!

holiday villa

Tonight, we feast! *tears eagerly into a foot long cod*

Family trip to Langkawi: Day 1

subang airport

We have arrived in Langkawi!


(with two little checked in luggage)

fried durian balls

After eating at two fast food joints in a row (granted, one had some pretty awesome deep fried durian puffs)…

balcony pool

…it’s the room with a balcony and a pool view!

jumping on bed

The kids are jumping up and down on the bed in anticipation of the swimming session later in the evening.

family langkawi

The adults are planning to crash for a while to rest them tired ol’ bones. smirk


I’m planning to get a rental car tomorrow so we can get around town – seems like the best way to get around Langkawi – which is not an island, but 99 individual islands, or so I read on the brochure.

My romantic birthday getaway @ Philea Resort in Melaka

philea spa resort

This is where we went for my 32nd birthday! :D

philea melaka

Philea Resort & Spa in Melaka is actually 20 minutes out, near the butterfly farm.

philea resort checkin

It’s a pristine and quiet enclave with chalets made of pine!

philea honeymoon

It’s beautifully rustic with all the modern amenities you can think of. The entire resort is made of wood – warm lamps and high ceilings gives it the feel of a cozy log cabin.

philea resort spa

I’ve never actually stayed here before and Ling had arranged a birthday surprise trip for the weekend – a romantic getaway to celebrate my 32nd birthday!

philea welcome drink

There’s a bathtub filled with rose petals…

philea honeymoon package

Flowers scattered throughout the room with rose petals spelling “LOVE”…

rose petals bed

…and breakfast in bed!

breakfast in bed

(more about that later)


It’s their honeymoon package, I believe, and I thought that was pretty smart of them (they even had a cake in the package, which doesn’t actually cost much for them since they need to bake it for their bakery anyway).

philea dinner

My birthday dinner! It’s instant noodles that we cooked in the room, one after another. There’s also Godiva chocolates and Royce chocolate covered chips, Ramune and other miscellaneous stuff we brought so we didn’t have to go out. <3 philea resort cart

The next day, at 10 am, a cart arrived with our orders the previous day for breakfast in bed!

philea breakfast

We had it in the balcony though. Haha!

breakfast bed

Check out the spread. I had poached eggs and she had an omelet. It was quite a large potion.

breakfast balcony

I enjoyed the muesli the most.

philea pool waterfall

They had a nice swimming pool with a waterfall at the end too.

rock shower

The showers are built right into the rock outcropping, which was a nice touch.

swimming pool

I swam in it while Ling hung on to me coz she can’t swim. I realize I can tow someone like that for quite a while, although I swallowed a lot of their heavily chlorinated water. -_-

philea birthday

I had a wonderful time at Philea Resort, just chilling in the room with my love. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday – it’s perfect dear! <3 philea resort lobby

The only downside was the sound of cars drifting. We’re puzzled as to why this foreign sound would mar the silence of this beautiful place but could never pinpoint the source.

philea resort rooms

There’s no soundproofing and it’s a lucky thing that the occupancy rate was low so we had the place to ourselves.

philea chalet

I really enjoyed just chilling in the room, being with Ling. I was surprised there’s such a quiet place so close to KL but I don’t think it’s cheap either.

balcony breakfast

The service was excellent and although we didn’t use much of the facilities there – we just wanted to enjoy each other’s company – I like the concept of a quiet pine resort. Philea Resort & Spa in Malacca was perfect for that.

honeymoon package

Thanks for making my 2013 birthday a memorable one. I love you. *hugs*

My first day trip with the M&Ms

sunway hb ling

Took a day off and we all went to Sunway Lagoon. It was a really fun trip and very different from what I’ve done in the past. I can really get used to this though. :)

ling noodles

Ling had cooked some noodles for breakfast, which I ate in the car while she drove. She also put a little note in the carry bag, which I didn’t notice. It’s little things like this that makes her awesome! I got her an anniversary gift and she forgot, but you know what? She doesn’t need to coz every day is an anniversary for her, she gives me random surprises that makes me happy.

sunway lagoon

(or maybe she’s still guilty about the anniversary gift and she’s making up for it)

Kidding dear! smirk


There’s a package for 2 adults and 2 children that came out to RM 275.


We went to the Wildlife Park. Feeding horses were on the agenda but we couldn’t find the horses.


Going on the Volcano – a dry park ride with the big one. It was so much fun we went twice.


We still had our bags at that point – one small backpack for me and a large gym bag for her (which I both carried) and I had to sweet talk the operator to let us on. She didn’t allow it at first coz there was a “no bags” rule and no place to put them, but with my powers of persuasion, she relented and let us all through. ;)


Next, we went on the teacups together, and spun around till we were dizzy. These are huge teacups which can fit 6 people if you squeeze.


I finally got a RM 30 multiple use large locker to chuck our stuff in. Essential!


Why M&M? They’re sweet, with a candy layer! :)


Those are the only two rides we took – spend the rest of the time at the water park. No slides though, we didn’t do what we want – we did what the kids want and I found that very rewarding in itself. The end result (i.e. seeing them happy) is the reward. :D

surf zone

Rented a RM 20 two-person float and dragged everyone around the canal that rings the surf pool like a moat.

souvenir photos

I also dragged everyone (since I was the only one who could swim) into the surf pool on the two-person float. There was this guy going around taking photographs with a waterproof camera and I wanted one to remember this day. :)


We ate a very late lunch at Marrybrown (fast food again ;)) and I got a very irritable server who didn’t seem like she wanted to be there. I put up her with for the big one and then got so annoyed I asked her what her problem is, and gave her a very stern lecture about front line customer server, to which she immediately backed off and started apologizing.

wristband rfid

I hate people like that – they’ll give you all sorts of body language and indicators that they don’t want to serve you, included the furrowed brow and tsks of annoyance but once you confront them, they are timid mice. She kept on apologizing to me but I bet she’ll do it after a while to the next customer.

surf pool us

Anyway, all is good, we got our (dubious) nutrients and headed off for more swimming!

multiplex 5d sunway

Oh, and the big one was tall enough to go to the new 5D Waterplexx (supposed to be the world’s first) but the little one wasn’t so I took her to watch it while the girlfriend took the other back to the surf pool. It’s quite an experience – 3D, with motion chairs and sprays of water. The big one got so scared she didn’t want to look at the screen and was pulling my hand across her eyes.


I got souvenir photos of the day out too! Bloody rip off prices but damn worth it! Everyone got a piece to bring back of our first trip out together – mine was a keychain. :)

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