Penang Day 2: Hotel breakfast, Toh Soon Cafe, and tang yuen for supper.

The good: nasi lemak with chicken curry; beehoon goreng. Not so good: sausage, baked beans, hashbrown.

The good: nasi lemak with chicken curry; beehoon goreng. Not so good: sausage, baked beans, hashbrown.

So I sauntered cheerily into the executive breakfast lounge, only to be stunned that Michael Jackson had suddenly died of a heart attack. I’m not a big Michael Jackson fan, but still, I admire him for his incredible talent and the musical legacy that he leaves behind. RIP, Michael Jackson. You’ll forever be the King of Pop.

Nice banana cake and Danish pastry.

Nice banana cake and Danish pastry.

Watching the BBC News on TV, I didn’t pay much attention to my breakfast. Well, not that it deserves much attention, anyway. Breakfast was included in the room rate.

That tall building is UMNO's headquarters in Penang.

That tall building is UMNO's headquarters in Penang.

Actually, we got a pretty good deal on Wotif. Our room at Sunway Hotel is showing its age; the fixtures and furnishings are rather worn. But the room is clean and spacious, and for the E-rooms, they come with unlimited free broadband and breakfast in the executive lounge where you get a nice view from the 14th floor. It’s conveniently located near the heritage sites of Georgetown, and just outside the hotel (New Lane/Lorong Baru) is plenty of cheap street food at night.

Another view from the 14th floor Executive Lounge of Sunway Hotel, Georgetown.

Another view from the 14th floor Executive Lounge of Sunway Hotel, Georgetown.

Hainanese coffee & steamed kaya bread

Hainanese coffee & steamed kaya bread

Ricky still had a full day of work on Friday, so I went exploring Georgetown without him. Went to the famous Toh Soon Café at Campbell Street, but their famous roti bakar (coal grilled-bread) was unavailable. Boo hoo! But the Hainanese coffee is fabulous. Yay!

Then, visited the nearby Chowrasta Market and bought some local snacks.

Returned to Sunway to check out, then checked into Traders Hotel, just down the road. It’s even more conveniently located, next to KOMTAR and Prangin Mall. The room is smaller, but newer and more posh than Sunway. Weekend rates at Trader’s Hotel are cheaper than weekday rates, and you can get a good deal by booking directly on Trader’s website at least two weeks before your arrival date.

After 4 days of street food, Rick was quite sick of it, so we had dinner at Sushi King, Prangin Mall. The quality is worse than some of the Jap food served in S’pore food courts. Yup, we should just have stuck to street food.

On the way back, we caught a whiff of something warm, gingery and sweet. What do you know, there’s a pushcart selling hot tang yuan 汤圆 along Magazine Road, just opposite our hotel!

Piping hot tang yuan, made only upon ordering!

Piping hot tang yuan, made only when you order!

I notice that most of the street stalls in Penang don’t display their business name. It’s only later that I found this link which identifies this stall as Hoe Hock Tien Tang Yen.

Peanut, sesame, and plain rice dumplings in sweet ginger soup, RM3.00.

Peanut, sesame, and plain rice dumplings in cane sugar-sweetened soup, RM3.00 ≈ S$1.25

For RM3.00, you get several small plain rice dumplings, and two big dumplings, one stuffed with crushed peanut, and the other, with crushed sesame.

Peanut dumpling and brown sugar soup

Peanut dumpling and brown sugar soup

You can choose between cane sugar-sweetened or brown sugar-sweetened soup. Both are cooked with fragrant pandan leaves and ginger. I prefer the brown sugar version, but both are just as satisfying. The ginger taste isn’t overwhelming, and the sweetness level is just right. Very warm and comforting!

It’s lucky we spotted this stall, ‘cos it didn’t open for business the following night, which was our final night in Penang.

Also read: Penang Day 1

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Comments

  1. Erica says

    Nice hotel you stayed in. I now glad all over Asia Health Dept pushing for more healthy food now. No or less tran fats. But I do like any kind of food there is out there. Trying to find a good roti john recipe and not sure which one is the best. Those pastries sure look very tasty. What make Hainanese coffee different from other coffees?

  2. says

    Wow the tang yuan looks so inviting. But for a moment I thought the “Made in China” imprinted on one of the tang yuan… silly me.