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2010.11.05

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turkey's for life

Do you EVER eat a bad meal in your part of the world? I guess it's all relative but everything you post about just looks amazing!

Dave

I'm there .... Or I wish I was ......

foodbin

I like the char koay kak-the salted vegetable is preserved white radish which adds a lot of crunchiness to it.

Jayna

possibly veering way off into a more suburban area.. Batu Lanchang afternoon market has a separate building just for food. I love my char koay kak (seafood optional) and pasembur from there ;)

Marts Aziz

The house is soo beautiful.

Robyn

TFL - um, no. We do have mediocre ones though, although the longer we're here the better we get at avoiding those. I have to say overall the food in Malaysia is pretty darned fantastic. And Vietnam. And Thailand. And, and, and.

Dave - we'll take that as a compliment. Thank you!

foodbin - yes it was new to us but takes the oily edge of the cakes.

Jayna - we love suburbs! Thanks for the tip, we'll check it out. Is this morning or evening or?

Marts -- isn't it? Penang in chockablock with lovely old houses, wooden and otherwise.

J2Kfm (Malaysian Food Blog)

To answer the question for jayna, the Batu Lanchang market is opened from morning until late noon. Try the Chinese pasembur, Nasi Tomato (from the Indian-Muslim stall by the entrance), the Char Kuey Teow (spicier than usual) and the Nyonya kuih (sweet dainty snacks) from about 2-3pm onwards.
Here's a post I did recently.

http://www.j2kfm.com/batu-lanchang-market-food-complex-penang-street-food/

Jodi

Hmmm...really sorry that I have to correct you on char koay kak. Having been to Penang for only a few time, I don't think I have the authority to do so. But I do read some history of Chinese food from different region. Anyway, back to char koay kak. This is from Chiu Chow and Hokkien origin. The Chinese character of char means stir fry. Koay means rice cake. Kak means an angle, or corner, and in this case means wedge, as in potato wedge. Char koay kak means stir fried steamed rice cake wedge. I was in Chowrasta market last month, and to clarify this point, I asked the vendor (he speaks Cantonese) if this was carrot (or daikon) cake, and the guy told me that it was just rice cake. In Singapore where stir-fried carrot cake is so popular, the Hokkienese word is chai tow kway (or koay, the character for these 2 words are the same). The character for chai means vegetable, tow means head, and kway (or koay) is rice cake as mentioned before. Vegetable head refers to root, and in this case, daikon.

Hope you don't find my comment too rude because I am really no expert!

Robyn

Hi (again), Jodi - Yes, I'm sure you are. Thanks for your comment. I didn't write that char koay kak actually *is* made of carrot. But it is often called in English, by the locals (most of whom do speak some English), 'carrot' cake (I have no idea why), and I have followed their lead in this post. Cheers.

Katy

Argh, good one Jodi - you just gave me the answer what 'kak' is in 'char koay kak'. I was wondering about that actually. Now you mentioned angle, corner, it must be 角. And it refers to the 'cube' or square 'chunks'of this stir fried raddish cake. So 'Char Koay Kak' literally is 'Stir fried rice cake cube'!

Daikon is commonly 'called' in Taiwan, for instance,'white carrot'白萝蔔 ie vs 'red carrot' the foreign orange carrot 红萝蔔/胡萝蔔。That I believe is why Daikon is then translated into 'carrot' cake in English.

Katy

The other thing is, sometimes we just have to use our own 'intelligence' about these Hawker's dish names - they don't always get it right! I was in Taipei, the tofu street, and tasted a sesame douhua ice cream and peanut butter doufu nao ice cream. I jokingly asked the saleswoman, what's the difference between doufu nao and douhua in these two ice cream variations - she told me of course this one is called doufu nao because it's got milk in!! How can you call it douhua! LOL!

All Groove

Hi - A friend reccommended your blog, which is fantastic. On whistlestop work trip to Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai and hoped if you had two mins you could reccommend a do not miss dish / stand / restaurant in one or two of these places. As amazing as the interiors of the Mandarin Oriental and Peninsula are I kinda feel like I'm missing something:)

Robyn

AG --
Unfortunately I have nothing for you. Beijing, I think, has changed *alot* since I was last there (1985); same for SHA and HKG (2001). For HKG check chaxiubao.com and he may well have recs for the other two as well. Good luck.

Chris

Was in Pg just last week. Had my fill of hawker food @ New Lane. I was in the Balik Pulau area but too nervous to try food elsewhere without a decent bathroom in sight! I have to take my hat off to you folks! The assam laksa across from the Air Itam market, set by the roadside, is still the best. Next to it is a stand that sells a glass of undiluted sugar cane juice for USD25cents!!

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