This year marks our second Chinese New Year since we moved to Malaysia. Last year, we spent it in Penang with Annie’s relatives. This year though, we went back to Penang before CNY to enjoy all the great food while the shops were still open. So we’re spending our second Chinese New Year right here in Kuching!
Hurry, hurry, hurry! Get your rice and curry! The best that’s found in Kampung Melayu, Georgetown. (Apologies to Dr. Bombay)
Nasi Kandar Kampung Melayu, Penang
Nasi kandar comes from “nasi” meaning rice and “kandar” meaning balance – hawkers in the olden days carried their rice and curries in buckets balanced on poles over their shoulders. Nowadays, bustling nasi kandar restaurants like Original Penang Kayu can be found all over Peninsular Malaysia, serving up Malaysian-Indian fare 24 hours a day. But one of the oldest – and arguably the best – nasi kandar stalls is found in the Kampung Melayu (Malay Village) enclave on Penang Island.
Annie’s uncle is a nasi kandar connoisseur. So, on the morning of Day 3 of our whirlwind trip to Penang, he took us for breakfast to Kampung Melayu Nasi Kandar.
If you listen carefully to the sounds of Penang neighborhoods, you will hear many different calls signaling various mobile services. There’s the loudspeaker calling out, “Old newspaper!” in various languages from the van collecting paper for recycling. There’s the “toot-toot” horn of the truck delivering gas cylinders for home kitchens. And there’s the dingalingaling of a handbell being rung by the roti man as he weaves his bakery-shop-on-a-motorbike through the streets.
See, if you want some fresh baked bread in Penang, you don’t need to go to the bakery; the bakery comes to you!
Roti Man on a Motorbike
Dig in to the best bowl of cendol in Penang.
Last year, when we went to Penang during Chinese New Year, our new friend Criz took us around to some of his favorite eating places, including the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul stall on Lebuh Keng Kwee in the middle of Georgetown. Since we came back to Penang this year, returning to this stall was a priority. As it turns out, we were able to visit it twice during our trip!