Wednesday, July 08, 2015
Penang II: Blue, Banonuts & Birthday
On the second day, we looked for breakfast at Jalan Sungai Ara. The kopitiam had a long table for us at the side alley. Food came from all over-- roti canai from across the road, wantan noodles (yummy crispy wantans) and semi-dry pan mee (a style that I've not seen before, piping hot and perfect for breakfast) from the shop, CKT, fried noodles and vegetarian food from another row shops. By the time we finished eating, my back was all wet from perspiration. Such a hot and gummy day. The first touristy thing for us to do in Penang was to go to the Blue Mansion. We were in time to catch the 11:00 AM guided tour. It has always been on my Penang "To Do List" to have a look inside. Our tour guide was Mr. Poh who gave interesting narrations about the history and architecture of the building. The mansion was a place where the famous merchant Cheong Fatt Tze did his business and housed his eight wives. According to Mr. Poh, the mansion was untouched by the war but many items were transported to Melbourne by his descendants. The amazing mansion on Leith Street is a fusion of Oriental and Western influences built on strong Feng Shui principles. Su Chow Dynasty architecture combined with Chien Nien porcelain works, Stoke-on-Trent floor tiles, Glasgow cast iron works and art nouveau stained glass windows.
By the time we finished cam-whoring at the heritage blue-indigo mansion, it was time for lunch. BIL requested an air-conditioned venue, so we went to Goh Swee Kee, a Teochew eatery nearby. Several interesting dishes like the fried prawn balls and stewed oysters. And we had a delicious Orh Nee there. It was piping hot and had a good aroma of yam with a liberal sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. Brian had an itch for cendol, so a few of them went of to Leboh Keng Kwee to tapau the cold dessert while the rest of us went home (tapau-ed some banana-donuts from the food truck along Jalan Sg. Ara). It was a lazy afternoon of TV and mahjong again.
Our dinner was at Sawara Steamboat. Not long after parking our car in front of the restaurant, a meter maid issued us a parking fine of RM30. Only then did we realize that parking coupons were required in Penang the whole year round, from 9AM till 10PM. Yikes. Mengalahkan DBKL and MPPJ! Quickly bought parking coupons at the nearby 7-11 for our remaining days there. Dinner was quite satisfying. The fish head soup base was very good. Back home, we had a simple birthday celebration for mum and Little Monster with a chocolate cake from Bread History.
Post-dinner, we had a coffee date with Pooh and Myself. Initially they had suggested St. Presso, but my resourceful KH found a hidden gem that even the locals weren't aware of. He brought us to 2F+ Coffee by Yellow House. The structure was made of zinc, bricks and wooden planks and a motorcycle workshop looked more at home there rather than a cafe. Service was friendly and the coffee was quite good. Their Opera is also kinda different cause it contained toasted sesame seeds. The interior is a mix of old and new with some indoor greenhouses thrown in. It was good to see the cute Penang couple again. They gave us plenty of recommendations and pointers for foooooood. Pooh also invited us to visit his new house on Sunday night. Glad to hear that Pooh is doing well in his new career and that Myself is contemplating to get his degree. Wish both of them well.