PEr FYI

March 20, 2016

Penang Trick Art Museum, Penang…become part of a painting

Two dimensional painting that trick the viewer into thinking they exists in three-dimensions allowing visitors to ‘crawl into’ the paintings to take amusing, and often bizarre, photographs. This art form originated in Japan and is gradually gaining worldwide popularity.

Sitting on a flying carpet, pulling Sadako out of the TV by her hair, battling mummies are all possible at Penang Trick Art Museum. Unlike other museums where signs such as “do not take photos” or “do not touch” abound, this museum is all about taking photos and being part of the art. It’s a surreal experience walking among art that seems to leap out of the frame.   This is a great place to have some silly juvenile fun.

During an age when ‘virtual reality’ is taking over the digital world, artists have shown that all you really needed is a brush and a canvas to trick the mind. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

pg trick art

penang trick art2

February 27, 2016

Loke Thye Kee Restaurant, Penang…disappointingly bad

Believe it or not, but apparently, Loke Thye Kee, or love boat as it was affectionately known, was once the choice venue of family gathering. To eat here, I was told is that you are in the presence of greatness, while the evidence of my senses tells me that I am in the presence of, at best, okayness. Let’s face it: times have changed drastically. Today, it’s so sub “standard”. Soooo over rated it’s unbelievable.

The people who work in Loke Thye Kee were warm and gracious but the food was another story. The hainanese set – kaya & butter toast, soft boiled eggs and kopi was very ordinary. The spread were woefully lacking richness and savouriness. The nasi lemak and chicken curry was as exciting as hotel buffet fare. For all its past glories, the restaurant is terribly, terribly sad.

Is Loke Thye Kee worth the time and money? In and of itself, no. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

loke thye kee pg1

loke thye kee pg2

 

January 10, 2016

New Lane hawker centre, Penang…avoid this place like a leech-infested swamp

People usually don’t have high expectations from hawker centres. Hot and delicious will do.

New Lane used to be a street food paradise with concentrations of about 50 street side food vendors. USED TO BE!! By all that is holy and good in the world, I say unto you, eat anywhere else in Penang, except at New Lane. For nostalgia reason, I went there recently, and, oh my, I paid the price. The food is, simply, diabolical. It is probably the worst, most overpriced and inedible food I’ve endured in all my visits to Penang since my first trip twenty eight years ago.

The good: the congee with pigs innards was decent. But lest we get lulled into complacency, the texture of the congee was more like porridge than congee.

The bad: The char kway teow was perversely bad, chewy and insipid and completely devoid of “wok hei”- the flavour imparted by a flaming wok.

The bladdy horrible: The gummy or chien (oyster omelette) contained a lot of starch but hardly any egg and very few oysters. One spoonful of it and you realise it was probably not intended for human consumption. The viciously overcooked ikan bakar (chargrilled fish) was dry and totally inedible that I took one bite and then leave untouched.

I have to stop writing this review, my blood pressure is thru the roof just thinking about that pathetic place. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

new lane pg

 

December 6, 2015

Malaysian food street, Singapore…quality has markedly declined

I loved this place when it first opened…not sure if my taste buds matured or the quality has markedly declined?

Despite its name and marketing, nothing about Malaysian Food Street, is Malaysian anymore. Lest anyone think me an unbiased observer, let me dissuade you of that notion. The whole concept of Malaysian Food Street is an affront to me. Malaysia is my country of birth and I’ll admit I’m touchier than most.

Using udon noodle makes the KL hokkien mee no longer brilliant and the Penang Prawn Noodle Soup has absolutely lost its magic. The Penang char koay teow has seen better days.

Those who remember its glory days, though, may be particularly prone to thinking it “doesn’t sparkle” nowadays. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

rws sin

November 16, 2014

Penang Place Restaurant, Singapore….as good as being in Penang

Penang is an island best known as Malaysia’s unofficial food capital. After many trips to Penang, I am hooked on the food and this restaurant is as good as being there.

The buffet line was quite expansive – 30 specialties. There’re hits and misses, with the Penang Fried Koay Teow faring very very well, while the desserts and Assam Laksa less so. This is a no pork no lard restaurant, but the char koay teow, is a winner – not oily but equally fragrant with that smoky flavour as any others around and topped with generous amounts of fresh and big sized prawns and cockles. The nasi lemak was just ok. The rice was not particularly fragrant but the rending was very tender, though a tad too spicy. The curry chicken is also a must try. The assam laksa was a DIY station but sad to say, this dish was not up to par. I actually enjoyed DIY-ing my own rojak because I decide what goes into the mix: cucumber, pineapple, guava and starfruit.

Being an ex-Malaysian, I would say this is the closest to authentic Penang food you will get in Singapore. I had to waddle out of the restaurant stuffed to the eyeballs, moaning that I could never, ever, possibly eat another thing. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

penang place

July 29, 2014

Kafe Heng Huat @ Lorong Selamat, Penang…what can I say, apart from…..just go and try for yourself

If heaven exists,  there will be a plate of char kway teow always waiting for me. Most of my Penang friends wouldn’t recommend this place because of its high pricing and bad, arrogant, grumpy service. I got to say, I haven’t experience this myself but it’s maybe because I don’t go very often. Char Kway Teow, which stands for “stir fried rice flat noodles” is big in Penang. Do not be confused, char kway teow or otherwise also known as Char Koay Teow, Fried Koay Teow, Char Kuih Teow, Fried Kway Teow noodles are all one and the same.

Now let’s get down to business: the food. The char kway teow  here are served with succulent plump juicy and crunchy prawns, fresh and big cockles, bean sprouts, chives and chunks of crispy pork lard. The tasty and relative moist kway teow was filled with smoky wok hei (loosely translated: “breath of the wok”) essence and fragrance from the usage of charcoal fire and pork lard and a testimony to a well-seasoned wok.

One may argue there are many other Char Kway Teow stalls which are better, cheaper and friendlier than this one. But there’s no doubt her Char Kway Teow is one of the best in Penang. Hey, I am hungry already just writing this! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

lorong selamat char kway teow heng huat penang

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