The International Steam Pages
Time for a Tiger, Penang 2009, Part 8
For convenience I have now grouped lifestyle illustrated features by topic:
One of the reasons Yuehong loved Penang was the food, she had heard of its legendary qualities and was not disappointed. She had dieted her way through Burma (not difficult to be honest) and now we're going back to Beijing she'll be on a very strict regime there. But in the meantime there are durians to be eaten, not to mention Char Koay Teow by the bucketful for breakfast, lunch and a dinner top up...
Without our own transport and bereft of recent experience we were limited to the 'Hawkers Centres' within walking distance of our hotel on Burmah Road half way between Penang Road and Pulau Tikus. We had applied our usual rules of ignoring those with many empty tables and enjoyed a couple of 'cheap and cheerful' evenings and a couple of rather more expensive evenings eating sea food. It was time to splash out on our last independent evening. As it turned out Wednesday is the quiet night in this area and torrential rain had kept away many customers - we were guaranteed personal attention.
First Yuehong consulted the regular menu and the day's specials, she was the only one of us who stood a chance of understanding it! The friendly staff could sense a big order coming:
Yuehong engaged the boss as to the best way to cook the main dish, it had to be chili crab. Next the accompanying vegetable dishes had to be sorted with her chief assistant:
There would be a wait while the dishes were prepared and cooked, we needed a starter of oyster omelette which could be whipped up quickly. Cash on the nail was required as usual:
The live crabs had to be dispatched, I learned long ago that the traditional method of boiling them alive made me feel uncomfortable:
The omelette had vanished, we needed a little something to bridge the gap. A plate of braised duck would do the job nicely and it was definitely 'Time for a Tiger':
Finally the crab arrived, it was every bit as delicious as had been promised. Fortunately there was a passing tourist who offered to record the spread. I confess that thereafter the serious eating completely ruled out any photography, you'll just have to imagine the three piles of bits afterwards. Slurp...:
Rob and Yuehong Dickinson