The old town of Penang is a Unesco Heritage zone and it is not hard to see why when you explore the back alleys and side streets, each road unfurling new discoveries. I spent the next day mostly in Little India and Chinatown, visiting a number of different temples and hawker stalls.
I had wanted to try food from all of the different nationalities represented in Penang and spent a good bit of time trying to decide where to have Nasi kandar, a mixed plate of Indian curries and rice served on a banana leaf. It was only after I had some pretty terrible attempts at trying Rotia Canai (and a few failed attempts at trying to find the chargrilled chapati sellers that are mentioned on the Eating Asia website) that I decided I would not bother trying any Indian food in Penang as I live in Little India in Singapore for heavens sake and great Indian food is on my doorstep, literally 24/7.
Instead I stopped off at a great wonton mee seller just off Jalan Carnarvon where I was amazed to watch this small family run stall operate. The lady moved her hands so quickly as she threw the noodles into a bath of hot water on one side of the stall and then almost immediately pulled them out again. Into the hot wok went the soya sauce and a splash of the stock followed by the noodles, sliced pork, crispy duck skin, chillis and water spinach before being served. The noodles were perfect and chewy and the wontons were the tiny, perfect mouth sized dumplings I had heard about. In the time I was inline waiting to be served and eating the noodles, this little old lady must have made about 30 portions of noodles for the seemingly never ending queue of people waiting to sample her cooking, amazing stuff!
None the less impressive was the Char Kway Tow seller outside the New Asia Heritage Hotel where I stopped to watch him fry up a huge wok full of fresh prawns and then turn them into his famed Char Kway Tow in a metter of minutes from start to finish, never pausing for a breath!
The Daily Dose on Chulia street was a quirky looking little wine bar and bistro I had noticed on my many trips across China Town and I decided I would settle in to take advantage of their free Wifi and enjoy a glass of wine before heading back to my hotel. The menu is written up on a blackboard and is a great mix of Southern US/Mexican food (I wouldn’t call it Tex Mex as it is far better than that!) and European dishes like Radishes with salt, butter and sourdough bread. It was such a juxtaposition with all the traditional places I had been visiting and a real little gem to stumble across.