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Classical Georgetown, Penang - Cuisine and Lifestyle

The Meng Khiam - raw salad with peanuts, coconut grate, gaduh leaves, sliced onions, dried shrimps, Granny Smith apple cubes, cucumber, green bird's eye chili and in the tray centre, a kick starter condiment that holds it all together. (Sabai Sabai Thai, Green Lane)

Ice kacang - a delightful cooler in an equatorial climate, topped by ice cream flavours of your choice, garnished by jelly cubes, sago whites, corn, kidney shaped red beans - all topped on ice crush in a bowl.  (Fettes Road)

Cantonese favourites at lunch time - char siew so (oven baked pork roast puffs) and the Portuguese inspired egg custard tarts.  (Equatorial Hotel near Penang Airport)

Home made fish curry, South Indian style, garnished with okra and served with steamed rice. (SK Teoh)

Lit candles to ensure better success for students sitting for significant high school examinations.
(Goddess of Mercy Temple, Pitt Street, Heritage Quarter Georgetown)

Seafood mousse (homok) -  steamed with various produce of the sea in a spicy coconut milk base and garnished with chills and herbs. (Sabai Sabai Thai, Green Lane)

A fig tree embraces the sun under a blue key in November, after the rains.

The iconic dish for Penangites - the wok stir fried char koay teow, served in different versions.  Of Fujian origin, the above photo shows  a rather wet translation with bean sprouts, egg, prawns, shallots, southern Chinese sausages and a chill mix underlay. (Island Park Kopi Tiam, Green Lane)

Lazy time over coffee in a quiet space with a good friend.

Variety of steamed offerings in yum cha, usually served from early morning in Penang and not just for lunch.

What every visitor cannot help noticing being provided compulsorily at each meal table - peanuts, cut fiery chills and chopped garlic.

The Straits Chinese version of the steamed seafood mousse - the otak-otak  (SK Teoh).

Georgetown's Heritage Quarter, as sanctioned by UNESCO.

Made to measure tailored suits are a hidden gem in Penang.

Straits Chinese traditional tea time snack - the kueh talam, with a coconut milk top supported by a flavoured base.

Baked bite-sized tarts with different hues and flavours - egg based, coconut filled and Pandanus themed.

High tea with echoes of the British Raj - scones, pies and cut sandwiches.

Another time, another place - a hideaway in Georgetown.

Freshly baked biscuits, the bigger ones with pork roast (char siew) filling and there smaller ones with durian.  (Ban Heang outlets)


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There are several outlets of this bakery cafe for several years now in Australia.  Did they coem from the USA?

Each franchised outlet is in a busy area, often in suburbs so-called by a diverse Asian demographic.   The one in Hurstville is rather roomy and lots of baked stuff on its shelves.   The base of Sydney operations is in Chester Hill, a suburb south-west of the Sydney city centre.

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Penang - Lor Mee

Lor mee is another of those street foods that are not commonly available in Western societies, but are easily found in southern China, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The dish is iconic of the Teochew Province in China and has been mainly brought to equatorial climes by immigrants over the last few centuries. It combines snippets of ingredients in a thick savoury sauce. Above, the lor mee with roast pork and sliced hard boiled egg accompaniments at the Fong Sheng Cafe, along Lorong Selamat in Georgetown, Penang - the place was introduced by May Wah and Henry Quah.

The cafe harks back to the seventies or eighties - and maybe earlier - what caught my eye were (above) freshly blended fruit and/or vegetable juices and (below) metal and plastic contraptions of the food trade.

Hot and cold drinks are easily on offer from the cafe (above and below) at very reasonable prices.

Another version of the dish (below) taken whilst Bob Lee was enjoying them in another cafe or coffee shop in Georgetown…