Fried Oyster (O Chien)
I miss blogging about my hometown’s food. For those who don’t know where I am from, it’s Bukit Mertajam – a small town on the mainland of Penang. Now that I am home for the holidays, it is time for food hunting again. There is a saying in the Chinese community that good food can always be found near temples. Come to think of it, that saying is quite true especially in small towns, like mine.
The most famous temple in BM would be Pek Kong Cheng which is situated right in the center of the town, just next to the wet market. In the morning, there are plenty of food stalls in the catering for the local marker goers and workers with some being the most famous ones in town like the white wantan mee, koay chap, prawn noodle and many more. Come night, it turns into a popular supper spot with new food stalls that operate until midnight.
My latest discovery is a Fried Oyster stall that is manned by a young man in his 20s. I seldom return to BM nowadays so I didn’t even realize the stall which he has been operating for almost 5 years. His style of fried oyster is true to the northern Malaysian style, in which the eggs are fried into thin pieces then folded on top of each other followed by the oysters. The smallest portion costs RM7 and consists of two eggs and roughly 8-10 oysters. There are a few large sized oysters while the rest are medium to small but nothing too tiny, so not bad at all.
I spent my last weekend in Melaka searching high and low for good food that I did not manage to try in my last trip. Honestly, when I read back the trip I had almost three years ago I find it very touristy feel. So this time my aim is to those I missed and those not-so-famous places that are equally good, if not better. This will be an executive summary of my 3 days 2 nights trip, short but concise – focused mainly on food and some side activities, hopefully it will be helpful if you are visiting Melaka soon.
By the way, due to the Hari Raya and National Day holidays there are long queues in almost all the famous makan places like Chung Wah Chicken Rice, Capitol Satay Celup, Jalan Bunga Raya Fried Oyster just to name a few and waiting time could exceed 1 hour easily. Tourist influx has definitely surged and Melaka feels different too after on-going developments over the years.
If you didn’t know, I spent a year completing my pre-U courses in MMU Melaka. That time there was a nice duck mee around Bukit Beruang‘s food court, which I only knew after SL told me. Three years ago we were not able to locate the restaurant because apparently they have shifted. This time, we found it. Taste wise it exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds, the closest thing I could think of that taste almost the same is Mamee’s instant duck noodle. Imagine that but with authentic duck flavor and meat instead, very recommended. Price: RM4
Currently the duck mee can be found at Chia Yean Coffee Shop near the Medan Selera Bukit Beruang, GPS Coordinates: N2 14.779 E102 16.489
Next, Aunty Koh’s cendol at Bukit Rambai. It was a long drive past the beach and paddy fields but man was it worth it. Unlike other cendol in Melaka that relies heavily on sweet Gula Melaka for the distintive taste, Aunty Koh emphasizes on coconut milk instead. What you will get here is the milkiest cendol with the purest coconut milk taste. This, in my book is the BEST cendol ever. Besides cendol Aunty Koh also sells Tai Bak, some sort of tong sui that taste like tong yuen but comes in long shredded slices instead. RM3.50 for a big bowl of cendol.
Aunty Koh cendol is open during weekends only from 12pm till finish. Come early to avoid disappointments and expect a lot of self-service here. GPS Coordinates: N2 14.804 E102 11.516
On the way back to town from Bukit Rambai you will surely go pass Pantai Klebang and here you should try Klebang Original Coconut Shake. A normal cup costs only RM1.50 but for an extra 50 cents you get the special version with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Not bad but the blended ice is not fine enough resulting in some annoying bits here and there.
I know that the Fried Oyster (Oh Chien) at the old New World Park coffee shop has always been great. But when I went back recently to savor it the taste was somehow different and not as good as I remembered.
After visiting Lam Ah Coffee Shop today to try a recommended Fried Oyster only I knew the reason for the deteriorated taste: the original Fried Oyster cook at New World Park, Mr. Gan has relocated to Lam Ah 2 years go after the opening of New World Park food court due to increased rent and diminishing customers.
He revealed that his Fried Oyster is done according to Thai style – dry and crispy by default. If you like the local style more, which is more moist and starchy, he also prepares it. Just let him know when you are ordering. The smallest portion starts at RM5 then followed by RM8 and RM10.
Only local oysters are used for his fried oysters, they are smaller in size but certainly big on taste. The oysters, ordered from a supplier to ensure daily availability is retrieved every morning to ensure the freshness. Because they are so fresh, they can be even eaten raw!
New Lane (Lorong Baru) is a street off McAllister Road in Penang that transforms into a food heaven when night falls. By 5-6pm, both sides of the street will be lined up with hawker stalls, leaving the patrons spoilt with choices.
Although the stalls are many, some of them are redundant. Char koay teow, satay, popiah, bbq chicken wings, fried oysters.. there’s more than 1 stall selling them. And there is some rules while ordering too. Take satay and popiah for example, you must order at least 10 sticks, and 2 pieces of popiah. Anything less than the minimum quantity, they don’t prepare it. In my opinion this rule kinda sucks, simply because sometimes we just want to try before ordering more. Hmm.. didn’t know such rule could exist in Penang..