Goldfish (Kim Hu) Durian

Goldfish Durian

Goldfish Durian is known locally as “kim hu” in Penang. Kim Hu is the Hokkien word for Goldfish. I have no idea why this durian is called Goldfish, maybe due to its large and round shape. smirk I had wanted to eat this right after the Susu Durian but was too full so I came back later at night with my better half and the kids.

Durian Goldfish

The Goldfish Durian is a big fruit with a short, thick stubby stem that weighed in at 2.4 kg. It was slightly cheaper at RM 16/kg so this one cost RM 38 (RM 46 inclusive of a bunch of rambutans). The durian tasted sweet to bittersweet and the flesh was nicely wrinkly with completely no fiber. The skin just comes off and it was very, very creamy.

Kim Hu Durian

I had specifically come to Penang for these varieties and wanted to have Ling Fong Jiao, 604, 600 durians etc but they’re all early season durians and Susu Durian, D15 Durian and Ganja Durians are the late season durians that were left. Most of the varieties here are available in George Town and meant for local consumption only. I was quite pleased at the chance of being able to sample the Kim Hoo Durian (Goldfish Durian). It was good – although the kids wouldn’t touch it, my dear liked it too. :)

Durian Susu (Milk Durian) in Penang – it really tastes like milk!

Susu Durian

Susu Durian! This literally means “Milk Durian” (Susu is the Malay word for milk) and it was one of the durians on my To Eat list in Penang. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this durian and couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it.

Susu Durian Penang

However, I was a little wary about the durians I came across since they all didn’t have a stem. This is usually a VERY BAD sign – especially since all three (3) of the Susu Durians were missing their stem. The likelihood of all 3 falling on the stem (it happens, but rarely) is quite small so a durian missing its stem can mean a range of nefarious things – it was cut before it was ripe or a chemical agents were used to induce ripening.

Durian Susu

Nevertheless, since I’ve never had a Susu Durian before and this was the only stall carrying it, I took a chance. I really wanted to try the famous (among durian connoisseurs) Susu Durian. The husk can range from green to yellow and doesn’t seem to indicate ripeness, I chose my own for this one. This cost RM 18/kg and weighed in at 1.7 kg for a total of RM 31 for the durian.

Susu Penang

The Susu Durian was slightly overripe in some places, slightly under in some places and absolutely perfect in some. I want to emphasize the slightly bit – the over/under is barely noticeable, it just so happens that I was alone and had this durian to myself so I could think and savor at the same time. This could be due to its unusual shape or to possible abovementioned roguish intervention. I can’t really tell, to be honest.

Durian Milk

Amazingly, it has several different tastes in the durian – one segment was bittersweet to bitter and one *perfect* segment was intensely sweet, with only sweet tones and that one smelled and tasted remarkably like milk (which, I gather, is why it got the name). The flesh really tasted so much like cow’s milk that I was quite taken aback. A very nice durian, among the best I ate this year.

Milk Durian

There’s little to no fibre in the Milk Durian and the snow white flesh rates as one of the creamiest durian I ever had, in the literal sense. It’s as creamy as a good Black Thorn with some of the stickiness you’ll find in a Ganja Durian (also known as D158 Ganyao/Kan Yao/Tangkai Panjang). I highly recommend a Penang Susu Durian if you come across one. :)

Twin Report: D15 Durian and Ganja Durian (D158/Ganyao) from Penang

Durian Ganja

I had the chance to eat two unique Penang-bred durians when I was there last week. This is where I had the D15 Durian (known locally as chap goh hor – a Hokkien word meaning “Number 15 durian”) and Ganja Durian. The latter is actually the D158 clone and originated from Thailand, where it is known as Ganyao/Kan Yao. However, all the durians here are planted locally in Georgetown – these are true Penang durians.

Yen Penang

We were at the Gurney Drive hawker centre and I saw a durian stall owned by the friendly Yen. She had two types of durian on display – the D15 durian and the D158 durian and I wanted to eat both so I got one of each. They’ve both very different in terms of taste and texture, I personally preferred the Ganja durian more.

D15 Durian

D15 Durian

This is an odd shaped durian – as you can see from the photos, they’re very asymmetrical with a dusty yellow husk.

Penang 15 Durian

The D15 Durian goes for RM 18/kg and the fruit I chose weighed 2.1 kg. That comes up to a total of RM 38.

Durian D15

It has a tapering shape that goes from wide to narrow, like the top half of an hourglass. The thickness of the husk and the middle is noteworthy, as it makes it easy to recognize the D15 durian. The flesh is a pleasant orange hue the locals call ang bak (not to be confused with the durian, the term means red flesh).

D15 Penang

The taste of the durian is slightly bitter, with almost no fibre. The top part of the fruit (the widest section) yielded rather delicious flesh but the bottom part is too narrow and the seeds from there were mostly hard and inedible. This isn’t the same durian as Green Skin 15, which seems to be a variant or hybrid of D145 Green Skin. The D15 Durian is a decent late season durian that’s still available end of July/early August.

Ganja Durian (D158/Ganyao/Kan Yao/Tangkai Panjang)

D158 Ganyao

This strangely named durian actually means cannabis. The Sanskrit word ganja is local slang for weed and it’s said that this durian got its name from the addictive properties of its flesh. smirk I, for one, can attest to the awesomeness of this particular durian strain. It’s also RM 18/kg but heavier at 2.5 kg for RM 45.

Long Stem Durian

It’s quite likely that the Ganja Durian got its name from a mispronunciation of the original Thailand name for it – Ganyao or Kan Yao. Ganja is the same durian as Ganyao in Thailand but this is planted in Penang. It’s the D158 durian clone and you’ll recognize it straight away due to the extraordinarily long stem. The stem of this durian is easily more than 6 inches long and sticks out like a sore thumb.

Ganyao Durian

You can see the stem jut out longer than the actual durian in a lot of cases. The round nature of the durian and the large fruit makes it easy to identify as a D158 durian. It’s almost shaped like a heart – not the anatomical organ but the simplified <3 shape with two equal parts. It has golden white flesh with red seeds (!).

Red Seed Durian

I love the taste of the Ganja Durian. The flesh is sweet and very, very sticky – like peanut butter. It’s the first time I’ve ever had such a sticky durian, and the texture lingers in your mouth for a long time before it gets swallowed, again like PB.

D158 Durian

My better half though it was very fibrous but I really don’t think its fiber in the traditional sense when describing durians. It’s more like a matrix that’s spaced out so thinly that it holds the sticky flesh together. I don’t know if that makes sense but one thing’s for sure – there’s A LOT of flesh with a relatively small seed.

Kan Yao Durian

The Ganja Durian from Penang is soooo good it’s one of the best durians I’ve ever had. I’ll rate the D158 durian higher than Black Thorn or Musang King. There’s so much sticky flesh that I was happily eating each fluffy, pillow-like seed until I was licking my fingers. Highly recommended end-of-season durian, it truly deserves the name of Ganja.

Wonton Noodles @ Restaurant Pun Chun, Bidor

Wonton Noodles

This is the first place we stopped on the way up to Penang. We, in this case, was a bus-load of 25 people, all related, going on the largest family trip I’ve ever participated in (or seen, for that matter). Restaurant Pun Chun is famous for their wonton noodles – the huge wontons are made with a little bit of pork mince and a HUGE prawn.

Restaurant Pun Chun Bidor

Their wonton noodles has been hyped up way in advance by the rather dodgy looking tour guide (provided with the bus, don’t look at me). I’ve actually eaten here before, not here as in Bidor, but at a branch of this particular café. They’ve expanded to Klang Valley and their franchise in Kota Damansara is very close to where I live.

Pun Chun

Restaurant Pun Chun is also famous for their duck leg noodles, which is what we usually eat in Kota Damansara. It’s a soup based dish (although the noodles are served separately) but since we went so early in the morning, they didn’t have drumsticks/leg. The only cuts were breast and thigh so I passed on this. The soup is pretty good though, it’s what we call pek tin yok – a combination of 8 different herbs.

Wonton Mee

We had both the dry and soup version of wonton mee (RM 6.30 per bowl/plate) which comes with four (4) wontons per serving. The dry version has noodles tossed in soy sauce while I thought was nicer. The large prawn inside each wonton is a treat to behold – juicy and succulent, truly delicious when paired with some of their pickled green chillis.

Shrimp Wonton

It looks like a bit of a tourist trap with the aisles of chicken biscuit snacks and other popular munchies from Bidor but their wonton noodles are really quite enchanting. I would stop here again next time I drive up this way.

Short Mention:

Oh ya! I totally forgot to bring my Invisalign for this trip. I’ve been behind coz I forgot to bring them back to Sibu too (damn last minute packing) but the good thing is, you can still wear your current ones until you go back to your orthodontist. It’s not ideal but here’s a tip for anyone on Invisalign or planning to get on the treatment and travels a lot like myself – if you forget to pack your aligners, just wear your current one until you get back e.g. I’m on my 9th set of aligners and it’s the last one I have at home.

That means I’ll have to drop by Imperial Dental Bangsar to get my next few aligners. Since I forgot to pack them for this trip to Penang, I can just take a short 4 day break and wear them as soon as I get back home. If it’s been longer than a few days and the current ones won’t fit, go back one set i.e. start wearing your *previous* aligners (8th in my case) for a few days before going back on your current set of aligners. That’s why it’s important to keep your past aligners! :)

‘Volkswagen On Tour’ comes to Penang

volkswagen us

I caught up with the inaugural ‘Volkswagen On Tour‘ brand showcase that took place in Penang last week. We actually went twice coz it was so much fun! Admittedly, the first time was a bit of a short session coz I had to sort out my hotel and other things after I got stuck on the Penang Bridge after running out of gas. Haha!

bicycle popcorn

There is popcorn, test drives, and a play pen for the kids. This all comes at a rather reasonable admission fee – it’s free! Yup, it’s the classic Volkswagen hospitality in action here, which I’ve experienced to my delight on a trip to Germany last year.

polo r wrc
The Polo R WRC that just won the FIA World Rally Championships 2013

Volkswagen On Tour‘ will literally tour the entire nation – there are 13 stops all over Malaysia, so it’ll be coming to a place near you soon! It’s an invitation to everyone for an exclusive brand experience right at your doorstep.

volkswagen tour penang

It’s a lot of fun, I managed to catch the press conference where Ms Petra Schreiber (Director of Marketing & Communications, Volkswagen Malaysia) was holding court and fielding questions from the media.

driving gti simulator

I went back again the next day. I wanted to collect all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that forms a coaster. There are a lot of activities you can do at the ‘Volkswagen On Tour’ roadshow – my favorite being the Golf GTI simulator.

gti simulator

This isn’t something that you can get to see in arcades – the setup is so realistic that your *entire bucket seat* moves and you really get thrown around a bit if you drive into gravel beside the virtual track at high speeds. I know people who set up expensive steering wheel and pedal combos to play racing simulation games at home.

driving simulator

Prepared to be blown away! You’ve never seen anything like this. There are even pistons to move your seat around the 3-screen immersion Golf GTI simulator – you really get the exhilaration of driving on track that I actually flinched when I made a fast and tight corner. :)

gti puzzle

You get a piece of the puzzle that forms a coaster after you experience each station.

popcorn challenge

There is another interesting one called Popcorn Challenge which uses a clean source of energy (namely, you) to power a popcorn machine. A stationary bicycle is hooked up and your kinetic energy from pedaling the bike makes the corn pop.


You can have the satisfaction of eating the popcorn that you’ve just made with your own energy after that too!

shout out loud

There is also an interactive station called Shout Out Loud where you can rally four (4) people to speak into each of the microphones at each corner of a model city to light it up. The louder you are, the more intense the blue light becomes.

think blue wall

It’s a brilliant way to showcase their ‘Think Blue.’ philosophy which is all about fuel efficiency and educating the public on carbon emissions for a sustainable future, as well as how Volkswagen is applying it to their award-winning automotive technology for a better tomorrow. Guess which one is the message we wrote?


There are exhibits where you can familiarize yourself with Volkswagen’s advanced safety technology like their range of child safety seats and ISOFIX (child seat anchor). This would be of interest to parents with small children or people who’re planning to have kids!

kids station

There is a place for kids to learn and play too, which is great for parents with small children. The kids can have age-appropriate fun and learning while you get your own fun and learning in…test driving the latest Volkswagen models!

test drive

It’s the most popular station so remember to sign up early while you wait your turn.

volkswagen test drive

There’s also a ‘Volkswagen On Tour’ photo contest where you can snap a photo of yourself with a complete coaster puzzle.

interactive stations

You can get each piece of the puzzle by going to each of the stations (Popcorn Challenge, Test Drive etc) and after you’ve completed it, the redemption counter will give you a free gift for completing all the stations.

Volkswagen On Tour

You just need to post a photo of yourself with the complete coaster with the #VolkswagenOnTour hastag on either Instagram or Facebook and tag @VolkswagenOnTour or the Volkswagen Malaysia Facebook page respectively (remember to follow the accounts first) and stand a chance to win one of nine prizes, including an extended two week test drive with any of your favorite Volkswagen models!

coaster puzzle

It’s really a lot of fun for the whole family and you get to experience the latest (and eat some popcorn you made with your own energy while you’re at it).

volkswagen tour schedule

We had a blast and we’re looking forward to the Selangor stop of the tour! ‘Volkswagen On Tour‘ will be heading to 13 locations nationwide between now till March 2014. Get more details about the stop nearest to you at

Durian white coffee, Musang King Tambun biscuits and other oddities

musang king tambun biscuit

This is probably one of the most interesting coffee I’ve ever had. It’s durian coffee and my dear got it for me on our trip to Penang last weekend. I’ve had kopi luwak (civet cat coffee) twice in Indonesia before but this 4-in-1 (the other being powdered durian) instant coffee appeals to me coz I love durians.

durian white coffee

It comes in gold foil packaging and has a wonderful nose. It’s like nothing I’ve ever had. The durian taste and flavor is so intense you can practically taste it. I guess that’s the point, eh? Haha! I can easily drink two cups of this, a wonderful find by my better half.

tau sar pneah

We also got lots of Tambun biscuits (heong pneah) and tau sar pneah for relatives and friends and one of the more interesting finds was one filled with Musang King durians.

musang king biscuits

It comes in a pack of 12 and retails for RM 7.20. This is supposed to be the first ever in Malaysia – Tambun biscuits double filled with Musang King durian pulp. It tastes really good, if you like durians.

white coffee biscuits

There’s also different flavored tau sar pneah (which I guess doesn’t make it tau sar pneah anymore, since “tau sar” translates to red bean). Coffee is one of my favorites. There’s a lot of manufacturers in Penang nowadays, the old school ones made with lard and the newer ones that’s halal to appeal to a broader market.

durian tambun biscuits

We made several trips to buy these and I pronounce them good! It’s been a while since we’ve had these! :)

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! :)

The famous Red Prawn (Ang Heh) durian at Balik Pulau, Penang

red prawn durian

This should be called The Hunt for Red October Prawn. Red Prawn or Udang Merah is known locally in Hokkien as “Ang Heh” – it’s a breed of durian only available in Penang – there’s too much local demand (and exports to countries like Singapore I imagine) for it to come down to Klang Valley.

Thus, after 4 meals before 12 pm we finally drove to Balik Pulau (it’s where the orchards for Ang Heh are) where I ran down to stall after stall only to be told the same thing:

There are no Red Prawn durians. The season just ended.

One stall sold his *very last* Red Prawn durian to a customer just before we came.

balik pulau durian stall

I had almost given up at this point when the next stall claimed to have Red Prawn. In fact, there were 4 of these luscious durians.

red prawn penang

Red Prawn is characterized by it’s red colored flesh and small seeds. It’s not bright red like the Sarawakian local ones, although some can have an orange hue, with just a tinge of red, or striped. I paid RM 45 for one durian – it’s RM 25/kg after a bit of bargaining.

ang heh durian

The durian only had 5 seeds!!!

red prawn

That works out to about RM 10 per seed. It was delicious though, definitely worth it for durian lovers. :)

Suanie got another one to take away, this has more seeds and it’s heavier, cost RM 50. There’s also various other Penang-only durians on offer – you can listen to the proprietor talking about it.

Koh Tsu Koon durian

Koh Tsu Koon is also another famous durian strain but I couldn’t afford to part with another RM 50 for a tiny durian, despite it being famed for having miniscule or no seeds at all, which is a running joke about the ex-Penang CM.

udang merah

All in all, it was a good durian hunt – I got to eat Red Prawn and even though it wasn’t as red as what I tasted on a previous excursion, it’s good. It tastes like Red Prawn.

durian udang merah

Sarawak also has a bright red colored durian (as does Penang, which has several). Red Prawn is pretty good, and at that price point, a bargain compared to overrated durian strains like Musang King.

eating red prawn durian

We sapu-ed two out of the four Red Prawn durians left – it was the end of season for that strain, D15 is still going strong though. :)

Timothy and Audrey’s Up Themed Wedding in Penang

up wedding

I just came back from Penang! Tim and Aud had their Up themed wedding last night, on the 28th of July 2012 – a date I’m sure will be plenty significant to them for the rest of their lives. :)

up themed wedding

The wedding was held at Straits Quay Convention Center and the place was done up really nicely according to the theme. I really liked the floating house held up by balloons.

tiah couple

It’s actually pretty cool to have a theme like that – there were helium balloons everywhere like in the animated film Up.

tim aud wedding dinner

The food was catered from E&O Hotel and I found the first dish with the ostrich meat really good. Also on the wedding dinner menu is the signature E&O Pe Pa Duck. Gotta love the wedding favors – it’s a mini jar of honey that says “Meant to Bee Together”.

aud tim wedding

I really liked how the couple looks so happy in this photo while pouring champagne.

timothy audrey wedding penang

It’s pretty much like a fairytale wedding in that everything was fascinating and wondrous to behold, since there were bright colors everywhere.

tim aud hb

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Tiah! Here’s to an adventure of a lifetime and may you both grow old loving each other for a thousand years! ;)

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