Friday, February 28, 2014

Famous Penang Food :Nasi Kandar Line Clear

Ok, this is somewhat embarrassing... I was born in Penang and raised until my teens in Penang but I have never ever been to Line Clear Nasi Kandar until Christmas day 2013.

For those who do not know what nasi kandar is, here is an explanation taken from Wikipedia

Nasi Kandar is a popular northern Malaysian dish, which originates from Penang. It is a meal of steamed rice which can be plain or mildly flavored, and served with a variety of curries and side dishes.

The word Nasi Kandar, came about from a time when nasi (rice) hawkers or vendors would kandar (balance) a pole on the shoulder with two huge containers of rice meals. The name has remained and today the word Nasi Kandar is seen on most Tamil Muslim or "Malaysian Mamak" restaurants and Indian-Muslim stall meals.

The rice for a nasi kandar dish is often placed in a wooden container about three feet high, giving it a distinctive aroma. The rice is accompanied by side dishes such as fried chicken, curried spleen, cubed beef, fish roe, fried prawns or fried squid. The vegetable dish would usually be brinjal (aubergine), okra (lady fingers or "bendi") or bitter gourd. A mixture of curry sauces is poured on the rice. This is called 'banjir' (flooding) and imparts a diverse taste to the rice.
Started way back in 1947, Line Clear Nasi Kandar is one of the oldest nasi kandar outlet in Penang. It is located on an alley at the Chulia Street (Lebuh Chulia) and Penang Road (Jalan Penang) junction.
My husband is a nasi kandar aficionado, and he did try bring me here once during our trip back to Penang but the stall was closed then for Friday prayers, so we had to fix our craving at another nearby stall.. 
So anyway, finally,here I am, to check out the place. And boy was there a line...

 Picture of prawns.. waiting to get served. If you are on a shoe string budget, please keep away from the prawns, crabs and giant squids , but if you have no budget, go all out and enjoy!!!!
 The signage....
 See the crowd lining up... 

 myriads of dishes all filled to the brim of tempting curries etc...
Fish head curry anyone? These are truly huge fish head. Guaranteed satisfaction...

This is my dish... being on a little bit of a shoe string diet, I only have a small piece of a pomfret fish curry, some ladies fingers, a small squid and curry "banjir" and the price...? A very reasonable RM8.50... pretty surprising.. The taste? Finger licking good... 

  1. Address: 177 Jalan Penang, Georgetown, 10000 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
    Phone:+60 4-261 4440

Phuket Day 3

Woke up at 4.30am local Thai time. Fiddled around with my luggage and things before taking my bath and with that, giving my dear room mate Eshah a wake up call. I have already notice each time I take a bath, she would wake up.

Waited until she finished her bath and we took the hotel's Tuk Tuk to the beachside hotel where we walked from there in the early morning to the Hard Rock Phuket, just to take a few pictures and a stroll to Patong Beach and back via Soi Bangla. In the early morning, it was quiet and less seedier then it was at night. But there were a few hookers and lady boys around still guzzling beer and hoping or looking for customers.

We made it back to our hotel and breakfast with our group at the bistro and hopped on the tour bus to head towards the Island Safari Camp.

There, we got to get on top of real live elephants- all of us!!! Two people on an elephant. It was exhilarating and also scary. I guess the scariest part was when the elephant stepped down into a little stream and we were kind of tilted. But it was fun and we took lots of photographs even though we were not really supposed to.
Then we got to watch an elephant show and a monkey show and got on top a bullock cart for a ride and yet another group photograph.

We left the camp to head to Chalong Bay to the Angkae seafood restaurant with a view to just die for or at least admire to the point of breathlessness.. It was just so picturesque and calming and the food was just fabulous!!! There was a simply gorgeous steamed snapper, lovely black pepper crabs, prawns, yummy tom yum, and deliciously rich seafood dish cooked in what seems like the "Penang Nyonya Laksa Lemak". And served inside a coconut!!!! Eshah and me could not get enough of it!!!

After meal, all of us gathered at the edge of the restaurant to take lots of pictures of the gorgeously blue Andaman sea.

Eshah bought us both an ice lolly, on seeing our tour guides sucking on one and it was delish!!!
The bus took us back to Wat Chalong for a bit as some of us still wanted to get some of the souvenirs there, after realizing that the souvenirs there were cheaper then anywhere else in Phuket.

We went back to the hotel and had our free and easy time. Eshah and me quickly went up to our hotel, changed our clothes and hit the gym for a good 15 mins and then the pool for another 10 mins, just to be able to enjoy the hotel facilities for a bit before showering and heading back out to Jungceylon and the surrounding area for some more shopping and so on.

Souvenirs were exhorbitantly costly there!!! I did not get to but as much souvenirs as I had thought to.
We then headed back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. Dinner was again at the Royal Paradise hotel.
After dinner, a few of us were left behind because we had booked tickets to the Phuket Simon Cabaret show.

Whilst waiting for the van to come pick us up, we went window shopping and I decided to just give in to my husband's urging of trying out the Thai massage. It was relaxing, before my masseur started forcing my body into twists and turns which made me grunt and squeak in surrender. But after the massage, my body really felt so much less stressed and lighter. I practically floated back to the hotel just in time for the van pick up. We went for the cabaret which was really interesting and funny. Those lady boys were fabulous!!!

After the cabaret, the lady boys filed outside in their glory and invited us to take pictures with them. However, if you were to take photo with them, you'll have to pay them a 'tip' of at least 100 bahts . One of my group took a picture with two of them and was 500 bahts poorer, because he had no small change!!!!
Knackered, we went back to our hotel- the Millenium and went to bed, at least that was what I did... :-(

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Phuket Day 2

I woke up at 4.30am and went to take my shower. It woke Eshah, my roommate up. We got ready. I decided to use the cloth I bought at the Wat Chalong as a blouse. We left our hotel room and wandered around the hotel lobby taking some pictures and decided to visit the Beachside wing, since we were staying at the lakeside wing but could not find a short cut there, so I asked the concierge who told us that we could use the hotel's Tuk Tuk to the other wing. On learning it was complimentary, we jumped at the offer.

Eshah and me went to the Beachside wing. They had a lounge there and steps to the 1st floor restaurant. We wandered there and I came across Arif, my colleague and friend from my home branch office and decided to have some breakfast there with Arif and the other group, most which were heading home on that very day.
After breakfast, we went to check out the swimming pool area and such before heading back to our own wing via the hotel's Tuk Tuk.

Then we went to our swimming pool area, found it bigger then the beach wing pool with satisfaction, and took note of the gym and the spa there as well.

Then we went to join our group E2 for another round of breakfast..

Then our tour bus along with our two trusty guides, Marcia from Malaysia itself and Anu from Thailand headed north of Phuket island into Phang Nga and to the bay area where we boarded a boat to Ko Pingan where the James Bond island is. We passed lots of pretty shaped limestone 'islets' and islands and under one of it which has a 'tunnel'. There were lots of people canoeing around the area. We took some pictures, group pictures and explored the little narrow caves around there. It was fun.

We came back and stopped at the Malay fishing village for lunch. The food was sumptuous. More seafood.. Fish, prawns, crabs.. My eldest daughter won't know how to appreciate this fare but me, I loved it.. Minus the rice.

We headed back to shore and then visited a t shirt 'factory' and also the world's biggest Gems store. I did not have enough money to buy me a pair of pearl earring as my debit card refused to work!!! :-(

And only settle for a pretty heart shaped oyster necklace for myself, instead, which set me back 290 bahts.
Then we headed for dinner at a Muslim restaurant called Marina kitchen. The food was nice but spicy.
We then went back to the hotel, got ready and a few of us planned to meet up for a sojourn into Phuket's red light district of Soi Bangla.

It was pretty titillating and interesting seeing ladies and also lady boys gyrating and pole dancing. Many tourists, like us, as well as punters and their would be clients would ogle and salivate over them. There were also a big number of sexy ladies and lady boys inclusive, obviously prostitutes hawking their wares in incredibly short and tiny dresses. We wandered down the road, took some pictures and went in search of some massage.

Finally, a couple of us and me settled for foot massage in a little cozy place near Jungceylon for 300 bahts for an hour. It was a nice experience and tired as I am, I fell asleep and even started storing, to my chagrin and embarrassment. When it was over, we walked back to the hotel and tucked ourselves into bed, drained out from the eventful day.

group picture at hotel lobby before our tour starts

hotel pool

seashells and pearls costume jewellery and souvenirs

Phuket's 'red light district' , Soi Bangla

lunch at Muslim floating Village, Phang Nga Bay

James Bond Island.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Penang Street Art, the way I see it....

Being born a Penangite.. I have not been back to Penang in ages and so this trip, I left my little daughter behind and decided to go back to Penang as a tourist would and see Penang in a different way. And so I did.. It was fun. I am not sure if I walked so much in my life... I probably did but this was under a blazing sun and I got half sunburnt from just going around on foot.... Anyway, these are the street arts from various artists I came across.... There are actually so many beautiful street arts in Penang now and hard to see them all in just a matter of hours.

 The Awaiting Trishaw Paddler is a giant mural that graces the wall of a building on Penang Road (towards Bayview City Hotel , E&O), Penang.  
The Awaiting Trishaw Paddler mural was one of those painted by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic, as part of the Mirrors George Town project. It measures 15.2 m by 15.2 m, and is probably the largest of the murals painted by Zacharevic in George Town.

Little Girl in Blue is a giant mural on the wall on Muntri Street, facing the compound of the Penang Goldsmith Association. The mural is the work of Lithuania-born artist Ernest Zacharevic. It was painting as part of the street art for the 2012 George Town Festival.
"The Girl in Blue" shows a little girl lifting herself up on both hands perched over the two windows.
Ting Ting Thong is a steel-rod sculpture located along Seck Chuan Lane, in George Town Penang. It is created by Sculpture at Work for the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP), based on caricature of local cartoonist Baba Chuah.
The "Ting Ting Thong" sculpture celebrates a local delicacy from time past, when itinerant hawkers would go street by street to peddle rock candy. These candies appealed to children who will often congregate whenever they hear the rock candyman coming. He is often called the "ting ting thong", an onomatopoeia for the sound made by his chisel breaking the hard-as-rock candy.

 The "Kandar" Sculpture is the second steel-rod sculpture to be installed on Ah Quee Street in George Town, Penang. It celebrates nasi kandar, a Tamil Muslim rice meal that was originally sold in itinerant manner on the street. The name kandar refers to the pole used to carry the food items about. (pic above and below)

The hungry dog mural can be found , opposite the real Bruce Lee would never do this mural... behind a building at Ah Quee Street, George Town (or more specifically, behind the ‘motorcyclist boy mural‘ and ‘dying art‘ building).

The Bruce Lee Cat Mural, officially called The Real Bruce Lee Would Never Do This, is the third of twelve cat murals painted by ASA, Artists for Stray Animals, for the 101 Lost Kittens project. It shows two stray cats being delivered a kick from the kungfu legend, one of which was sent flying.
The mural was not intended for people to emulate, but rather to remind the public to treat the stray cats well. A notice is placed under it stating its title in three languages, Malay, English and Chinese, saying that the real Bruce Lee never did this to cats.

 "Boy on a Bike" is painted on the sidedoor of a shophouse along Ah Quee Street. It shows a boy hanging out on his motorcycle as he watches the pedestrian traffic passing by along the street. The mural is immediately to the right of another Zacharevic piece, "Little Boy with Pet Dinosaur" which is however sadly fading away...

 The "Double Role" Sculpture is a steel-rod sculpture installed on a wall on Chulia Street Ghaut, in George Town, Penang. This is one of the steel-rod sculptures installed in February, 2013. Located near the junction with Beach Street, it depicts a Punjabi man morphing between a role as policeman and another as firefighter. A red fire hose barrel completes the sculpture.

 Yeoh Only is a steel-rod sculpture installed on the wall of Yeoh Kongsi, along Chulia Street Ghaut, George Town. It celebrates the Yeoh clan association which was founded in 1836 to look into the welfare of the newly arrived Yeoh clansmen.
The "Yeoh Only" Sculpture depicts a band of newly arrived immigrants identifying themselves to the host receiving them.

 The "Property" sculpture celebrates the extension of the shoreline from Beach Street to Weld Quay, creating additional space the construction of warehouses, stores and other commercial properties. It also serves as a reminder that land reclamation has been ongoing in Penang since the late 19th century.
One of the reason for the land reclamation was that sailing ships (as represented by the junk in the picture) was being phased out at that time with the introduction of steam ships that require deeper harbour. On the left side of the picture is an Indian coolie posting a signage which alas, misspelled "reclamation".
 Fortune Cat is the second of twelve cat murals under the 101 Lost Kittens project. Officially called "Love Me Like Your Fortune Cat", it was painted by the team of artists calling themselves ASA, or Artists for Stray Animals.
The Fortune Cat Mural depicts a cat gazing at a group of "fortune cats", perhaps pondering why they have better luck than him. Fortune cats are cat dolls that are often found in Japanese and Taiwanese restaurants, particularly near the cash register, beckoning patrons into the shop. Such dolls, called maneki-neko in Japanese, are believed by shopkeepers to bring good business. In this mural, the Fortune Cats are depicted in stencil while the cat as a painted artwork.

The 102nd Cat Mural is an additional cat mural that was added to the streets of George Town, Penang. Completed on 5 July, 2013, it graces a wall along Armenian Street Ghaut, across the road from the Skippy mural and a short distance from the Fortune Cat mural.
The 102nd Cat Mural mural is painted on the wall in front of a bicycle-rental shop. The only blue cat mural, it serves as a postscript to the 101 Lost Kittens project.

"Skippy", or in full, "Skippy Comes to Penang", and often called simply as the Giant Cat Muralis part a project called 101 Lost Kittens, the work of a group of artists which calls themselves ASA, or Artists for Stray Animals. It comprises Tang Yeok Khang of Bukit Mertajam, Natthaton Muangkliang of Thailand and Louise Low of Kuala Lumpur.
The Giant Cat mural is one of the murals being painted to create awareness of the need to protect animals and get people to foster a love for pets. 

The Giant Rat Mural is an accompanying artwork to the Giant Cat Mural along Armenian Street Ghaut, in George Town, Penang. The rat mural was in fact created by an anonymous artist.
The Giant Rat Mural depicts a giant rat, not unlike Remy from Ratatoille. He appears to be hiding around the corner, away from the pussy cat on the adjoining wall. Both can be viewed together as one, showing that the two are almost eyeing each other.

 Please Care & Bathe Me (working title: "Two Kittens in a Tub") is the fourth mural painted by the ASA (Artists for Stray Animals) team for the 101 Lost Kittens project. It depicts two rather bushy kittens, looking pensive, as they started out of a line-design tube. The mural is painted on a yellow wall.

 Little Children on a Bicycle is a mural on the wall of a shophouse on Armenian StreetGeorge Town. It is one of the two murals along that street painted by London-trained artist Ernest Zacharevic, in conjunction with the 2012 George Town Festival. It depicts a little girl taking her younger brother on a bicycle ride. The joy in their faces echoes down the street, providing a ray of cheer and adding character to Armenian Street.

 I Can Help Catch Rats is the 10th of eleven pieces of art created for the 101 Lost Kittens project. The mural is painted on the wall of an alleyway, which is one of the branches of Soo Hong Lane, by a group of artists calling themselves ASA (Artists for Stray Animals).
"I Can Help Catch Rats" mural depicts a cat prancing after a rat, or perhaps mouse. It is painted against three primary colours, yellow, red and blue, with the cat and rat occupying the red circle. The mural is intended to generate a desire among the locals to keep cats as pets, as they bring along the benefit of keeping down household rodents.

 Wo Ai Nee Chinese Malay Indian is a wall mural in George Town, Penang. It graces the side wall of the I-Box Museum of Glass along Armenian Street. The mural was done in stages and was completed around September, 2013. It depicts three girls, a Chinese, a Malay and an Indian, dressed in exquisite finery. The title of the mural means "I love you, Chinese, Malay and Indian".

 Too Narrow is a Sculpture at Work sculpture erected at Soo Hong LaneGeorge Town, Penang. It is on the wall near the junction with Armenian Street. The sculpture depicts a boisterous ricksaw man breaking away from his rickshaw, which is too wide to enter the lane, and the ricksaw man continued down the lane, leaving his passengers behind.

Too Narrow is a caricature by cartoonist Tang Mun Kian to provide an amusing insight into the characteristic of Soo Hong Lane.

 The Head of the Lion , Armenien Street  just in front of the i-Box Museum of Glass's entrance.

 Cartoon magic on the panels of a metal shop-front door in the old town along Armenian Street too...
 Procession is a steel-rod sculpture on Armenian Street, George Town. If you are coming from the junction with Cannon and Pitt Streets, it is on the wall to your left, after the big "Old Man" mural by Ernest Zacharevic. The sculpture depicts the Grand Float Procession held in 1926 to celebrate the birthday of Tua Pek Kong. As it was the Year of the Tiger, effigies of the tiger was carried through the streets (accompanied by the second Chingay procession in George Town). Observing the procession is a British tourist who remembers the last tiger shot in 1930 (an impossibility as the Tua Pek Kong Grand Procession actually took place in 1926).
The caricature was drawn by local cartoonist Tang Mun Kian and depicted as a steel-rod sculpture by Sculpture at Work.

 The "Then & Now" Sculpture is a steel-rod sculpture on a wall in Armenian Street.

Reaching Up is a mural painted on a wall along Cannon StreetGeorge Town.
"Reaching Up" depicts a little boy reaching for a hole in the wall. He appears to be standing on a chair and inching himself as high as he could reach like he is reading to peek in somewhere. The locals call him the "budak mengendap" or peekaboo kid. 

The painting was created by Ernest Zacharevic in conjunction with the 2012 George Town Festival. Since its completion, it has grown increasing number of visitors coming to take photos with it.

For a map of these street art (and more) please click HERE

For more street art of Penang, please see here too :