No Reservations: Penang
I was wondering what do the chowhound brethren think of the recent episode in Penang? Is it safe to assume most haven't been to Penang much less heard of the city? :)
Southeast Asia has always been an interesting region and I was impressed to see No Reservations visit a city I've been. This episode stayed true to what viewers liked - skipping the touristy spots such as the Komtar Tower, old mosque buildings and instead EAT the local stuff. So happy to see the famous Assam Laksa noodles in tangy fish gravy dish featured. Also, it was memorable to see a bit of the Little India community where a snack with banana leaves was displayed. I LOLed when Tony said he got food buzz- and yes, when cats are around the food must be good.
Penang showcased quite an exotic mix with heavy Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences. Infusion indeed. Would you visit?
Penang is a food mecca of sorts for Malaysians and Singaporeans, and is replete with great street food vendors.
It was a very good attempt by the No Reservations producers & crew, though they managed to cover what amounted to the 'tip of the iceberg', where Penang dining is concerned.
Some Penang kopitiams (traditional) coffeeshops like Kek Seng had been operating since the 1890s, and Penang has revered eateries like Hameediyah which dates back to 1907, serving the same dishes using recipes passed down through generations of the same family:
Penang's traditional Chinese bakeries like Ghee Hiang still churned out an array of cookies and pastries using the original recipes which had remained practically unchanged for more than 150 years:
The program also failed to mention Penang "char koay teow" (fried flat rice noodles) - one of the city's iconic dishes, but wasted time on "wanton" noodles in one of the lesser-known food centres at the start of the program. They should have done the legendary Lorong Selamat or MacAlister Road eateries for their famous rendition of the "char koay teow", and where the hawker-chefs had been churning literally millions of plates of the delicious fried noodle dishes, perfecting their technique, through the decades.
All the above were some interesting Penang icons which were not covered in No Reservations.