I’ve lived in Penang for 10 years now. This great new video from Image Farm Productions encapsulates so many of its great qualities. Enjoy!
It’s been a while since I ate from the “Burger Man,” so I did it last night. I ordered a chicken burger with everything.
Now the burger man in Tanjung Bungah has been around for more than a generation. He’s been setting up shop in our beachfront town for more than 30 years. I don’t know precisely how long, but way longer than my mere 10 years I’ve been eating from him.
People line up for his burgers, beef and chicken patties, and his chicken or beef hot dogs because they are unique. It’s not your normal American burger, and actually the meat itself is not the driver of the food. It’s his unique take on the burger which makes it special.
What is his take? First off, red cabbage. He piles high the red cabbage on the grill, mixing it with sauteed onions. It’s a delight to see. He presses the burgers hard on the grill, as he also does with the split hot dogs, getting rid of all the excess moisture. Then when ready, he places an egg mixture on the grill, putting the burger on the egg, and folding the egg around the burger. He plops it on a butter toasted roll, adds the grilled vegetables and sauce, and it’s ready to go.
The burger man of Tanjung Bungah. I wonder if that’s a good name for a novel?
Yesterday, on the eve of Chinese New Year, I took off on my motorbike and encircled historical Georgetown in Penang to see how everyone was decorating for the year. Here are a few of my photos.
(above) At the esplanade, a Chinese New Year display which will be the backdrop for a Feb 13 celebration. You can see the Strait of Malacca in the background. (Below) A closeup view of the water with the Penang Port on the mainland in the distance.
(above) Typical Penang street at CNY.
(above) A busy temple on the eve of the New Year.
(above) Outside the esplanade.
(above) This looks like a lucky place to eat on the eve of the year of the monkey.
It’s that time again. Penang’s Chinese community is geared up for the long night, then days, then weeks of celebration!
The lanterns are up. Here are some at a local mall:
What are some of the other characteristics?
Random appearances by Confucian looking characters, handing out the ubiquitous red “ang pao” – envelopes with money for children.
(Hey, lady, you messed up my focusing!)
Kids make out really well on CNY.
Time off with family. Sometimes, this is the only times of the entire year that people will take off of work. The local grocer told me that he’s taking off two days for Chinese New Year. His store is usually opened 7 days a week, 363 days a year – except at Chinese New Year. That shows the importance!
Getting to meet the cousins again after a long year.
Festive and generous attitudes on everyone’s hearts.
Eating. I have a friend who will gorge herself on popiah – Chinese spring rolls.
The house has been given a thorough cleaning, a new coat of paint is on the walls, everything is ready to greet the day!
Nearly a billion and a half Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans, and other East Asians will be celebrating tonight.
I wish them all a Happy New Year!
“Gong Xi Fa Cai”
“Chuc mung nam moi”
Self. Remember these 7 delicious dishes after I leave Malaysia. Here is how I can make them! Don’t forget. That’s why I put it on my block. Do a simple search to find them and your mouth will be happy once you leave Malaysia.
Don’t forget to try these! Stop eating greasy hamburgers and remember the flavor you once knew. Now. Do it.
7 Typical Malaysian Dishes You Should Learn to Cook.
Analysis: This is an excellent list and love every single one of them. The one which has grown on me the most is Nasi Lemak. I could never stomach anchovies until I came to Malaysia. When added as a crunchy snack on top of the fragrant coconut rice, it’s wonderful. Mix a little curry in there as well and oh my!
The Best: In my opinion, the best dish on the list is rendang. I mean, wow! Our school cafeteria makes it from time to time and it is to die for. Yes, I said cafeteria. So flavorful! In Malay cuisine, the beef rendang is the most popular (sometimes chicken) and when the beef is tender, it’s excellent. In Nyonya cuisine, it’s pork rendang and it’s to die for. There’s a little restaurant near my house called Nyonya Breeze that serves the most amazing pork rendang. I can’t describe it. No words.
Malaysian food is excellent. Varied. Flavorful. Fusion. Fragrant. Wonderful.
Give it a try!
I can’t help myself. A couple weeks back, I posted about my favorite little Thai stall that I eat at most days, but I felt I should also give a little love to the spring roll man.
He serves a variety of unhealthy, delectable fried foods including his wonderful spring rolls. They have substance – lots of filling and a wonderful tangy sauce for dipping. All for RM 2.50 – or about 60 cents. His are not like other vendors around who serve spring rolls with practically nothing inside them. We called them “fried wrappers.”
The spring rolls are great, but I must also mention a Penang specialty of his: Roti Babi. I direct translation might be “pork bread.” A better translation would be deep fried pork sandwich, or weak hearts don’t apply sandwich.
Here’s what he does. He takes two slices of ordinary white bread, slaps some pork filling in the middle and makes a sandwich. Then he dips the entire thing into his homemade batter and fries it golden brown. It is cut into bite size pieces for dipping in that wonderful sauce of his.
This stuff is lethal. And incredibly delicious. The filling is a wonderful mixture of pork with some vegetables and even raisins. It has a lightly sweet flavor which blends so well with the crispy fried goodness of the outside.
So there you have it. Another Penang specialty – the deep fried pork sandwich. Find it at your local stall. This excellent one is in Tanjung Bungah opposite Tenby School.