Posts tagged Ais Kacang
During this time of the year Penang will be crowded with people craving for a fix of their favorite hawker food. And by ‘this time’ of course I mean Chinese New Year. Today is the fourth day of CNY and the majority of the hawkers are already back to business. Not only tourists from other states want to take this opportunity to visit Penang and eat all day, even a Penangite like me too ah! No choice lah, I work outstation so I am rarely in Penang nowadays.
Anyway, I went around George Town today to start my food hunt and found most of the famous places all crowded to the max. Some really famous ones like the Char Koay Teow at Lorong Selamat and Ah Leng had a minimum waiting time of 1 hour. Wahhhhhh.
For Ais Kacang I know most of the people will choose to eat at New World Park for convenience sake. But finding a seat would be almost impossible, even harder if you’re alone eg. ME! Even if I found a seat, it would be taken by someone else while I queue for my food lol.
I remembered I had a complain about the ABC at New World Park. Although it looked the same, the taste was just not the same anymore. This prompted me to eat at the coffee shop where this famous ABC was originally from – Sin Se Kai just opposite New World Park.
Whenever people ask me for places to eat in Penang, Kek Seng will always be one of my recommendations. Old and nostalgic aside (they still preserve the square wooden tables and chairs), home made durian ice cream is a rarity nowadays and fortunately for us it is still available at Kek Seng. Also, their one of a kind ice kacang topped with ice cream balls and colorful jellies is such an eye candy and a nice treat during hot weathers.
At RM3.50, the default ice cream ice kacang comes with two scoops of random ice cream, which could be strawberry, corn or chocolate flavored. So if you want your ice cream to be durian flavored, remember to specify it. Kek Seng does not skimp on the ingredients, as you can see the ice kacang was flooded with sweet corn and red beans.
Then there’s the jellies or agar-agar, one being a little sour and zesty tasting like lemon and the other being a little sweet. My first time having Kek Seng’s ice kacang was three years ago and I am glad to say the quality is still there. However, it still remains second best to me because of the absence of sarsi flavor. Somehow it did not feel so refreshing compared to the other ice kacang due to this.
Was back in Penang a few days ago during the Hari Raya break. It has been a loooooooooong time since I last posted anything on Penang food so here goes. Despite Bukit Mertajam being a lot nearer to Butterworth than Penang Island, the only food I posted before in Butterworth is Sweet Paradise (Chao Quan) Dim Sum lol.
So I did a research on Butterworth’s food and found that it is actually quite a food paradise itself. If you stay in Butterworth basically there’s no need to travel anywhere else for food. At Jalan Raja Uda alone you have hawker stalls and restaurants lined up on both sides of the road, which will take you a really long time to try all of them.
While browsing Wikimapia on Jalan Raja Uda, a small box attracted my attention. It was labeled as “Butterworth Red Bean Ice” in Chinese, which is actually Ice Kacang. The description says it is the best Ice Kacang @ RM2.70 with lots of fresh ingredients, and waiting time is long too because of the number of customers.
Roughly remembering the stall as somewhere before a photo shop along Jalan Raja Uda (it’s just a straight road), I managed to locate the stall easily thanks to the crowd that made it even more obvious. Little did I know that this Ais Kacang stall is actually a branch of the Penang Road Famous Cendol and Ais Kacang, I was totally clueless about this, lol fail. No wonder it is so popular.
After waiting 10 minutes for a seat, I had to wait another 20 minutes for my Ais Kacang to arrive. Firstly, it looked nothing like the one I had at Penang Road because it had a lot of peanuts and didn’t have those small green jelly balls. Click here to continue reading >
Penang Road is one of the streets in Penang where food stalls and coffee shops are concentrated at. Among the many great street food that you should never miss are the Penang Road Laksa and Cendol. Heck, your trip to Penang island won’t be even considered complete less you tried them. Try the laksa first for some hot and sour sensation, then indulge in some sweet, cool and refreshing ais kacang or cendol.
The assam laksa here at Joo Hooi Coffee Shop @ Penang Road is really good, soup is thick with lots of fish meat. If it can be well received by me who’s not a big fan of laksa, it must be not bad right? Oh yeah, please do not confuse this laksa with Sarawak Laksa or KL’s curry laksa.. in Penang we call assam laksa simply as laksa only. Besides the name, there are almost no similarities among them. The ingredients, cooking method and even the noodles are different. So, you can’t compare their tastes.
The boss revealed that her Assam Laksa broth is prepared fresh daily with a lot of shredded fish meat – the main ingredient that could either be kembung or mackarel fish depending on the availability. But the outcome taste is still the same regardless of the fish used.
This is one of the few places in Penang where you could still find chunky fish meat in the laksa broth, and every mouthful you take is guaranteed to have fish meat in it. Noodles and the toppings are only secondary to the tastiness of a bowl of Penang Assam Laksa.
The lady boss busy preparing laksa for the customers. As you can see, she has prepared all the noodles and stacked them up nicely. Which is why laksa can be prepared so fast, just pour the hot soup over the noodles a few times, garnish and it’s done. Her husband has a laksa stall at BB Coffee Shop at Bayan Baru, just a few doors away from Sunshine Market.
Along the street you will find a lot of cendol stalls, all claiming themselves to be famous lol. But, it is very easy to spot the most famous one simply by looking at the number of customers. Seems like quite a number of celebrities have visited this “Teo Chew Chendul” stall like Phua Chu Kang and Mary all the way from Singapore. Their photos, with a big thumbs up sign are being displayed proudly in front of the stall.
This is their famous cendol, quite good actually. For me all cendol tastes almost the same. So, I can’t really tell the difference lol – it contains the usual green starch noodles, coconut milk, shaved ice and red beans. By the way, I noticed that the Malay version of cendol has brown sugar in it.. making it even sweeter. Most of the people would just stand around the stall to eat the cendol. And it can get pretty messy too. There’s no way your hands can be clean after eating, so be prepared and bring along some tissues ok.
Ah, for the ais kacang I don’t think you can stand by the road side and eat. Better go into Joo Hooi coffee shop and enjoy it slowly. Those green round jellies are certainly eye-catching, aren’t they? I have never seen other ais kacang stalls using this as one of the ingredients. Compared with Swatow Lane’s, this is a clear winner.
Update (2010): I went back to Joo Hooi and re-ordered their Ice Kacang. It costs RM2.60 now and does not come with those green sago pearls anymore. The reduced ingredients aside, it still tastes good but not as great like last time.
If you’re not a Penangite, coming here is quite tricky because it’s actually situated off Penang Road along Lebuh Keng Kwee.. refer to the map below for direction lah. Keep an eye for this green corner coffee shop named Joo Hooi.
Penang Road Cendol
Joo Hooi Cafe (愉园餐室)
475, Jalan Penang
GPS Coordinates: N5 25.027 E100 19.839
Business hours: 11.30am to 5pm (Off days not fixed)