When researching where I should eat in Penang, The ever helpful http://eatingasia.typepad.com/ and its founder Robyn Eckhardt had recommended Teksen in Chinatown for dinner and as it was located less than a 10 minute walk from my hotel it seemed like the perfect place to try on my first night in Penang (which was lucky as it was closed for much of the rest of my stay)
Formerly a hawker stall established in 1965, its popularity meant they were able to open a restaurant and then even buy the shop next door to expand into as their reputation grew and people would travel from all over the island to enjoy their mix of Hakka, Teochew, Cantonese and Peranaken cuisine.
Again on Robyns advice I chose the Curry Fish, an Assam style, Sour Curry with Sting Ray inside (20 Ringitt) with the gelatinous meaty fish absorbing the flavours of the spice beautifully and melting in your mouth. Kacang Botol (four winged beans) are something I haven’t eaten since I went on my tour of Joo Chiat with the Betel Box hostel but I hadn’t forgotten how much I had enjoyed them, especially when stir fried with a fiery sambal (10 Ringitt)
They listed home made tofu prepared in 2 different ways, I recently saw a programme on tofu making in Korea (trust me, more interesting than it sounds) and so was keen to actually try some made fresh. On the waitresses advice, I chose to have it deep fried with dried scallop and eggwhite topping (10 Ringitt for 2 generous pieces) I also tried a nutmeg syrup drink which was interesting (although not as good as the nutmeg juice I was to try the next day, more on that in part 2)
What a great find this restaurant was! Everything was just so tasty and well prepared, I would kill to have a restaurant like this near me in Singapore! I really can’t recommend Teksen enough if you are travelling to Penang, and anyone who knows of somewhere similar in Singapore please do get in touch. A great first day in Penang over, I headed back to the hotel in need of a good nights sleep for the next days early start.