Thursday, July 29, 2010

To feel part of the heritage of Penang

Cheong Fatt Tze, winner of the UNESCO Conservation Award 2000 National Architecture Award for Conservation 1995.

We visited this historical building on 1.3.2009 with our student, Jia Yin.
It carefully restored after a century of neglect. Restoration work on Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion began in 1991 and was completed in 1995.
What a perfect place to feel part of the heritage of Penang in this lovely afternoon.
After Cheong Fatt Tze's death, the family scattered. The mansion fell into disrepair. Finally it was bought in the 1990s by a group of heritage lovers, who invested in restoring it.
The mansion holds many portraits and photographs of the man himself and his favourite wife. Cheong Fatt Tze had eight wives. There are other antiques like an abacus, silk clothing, bamboo pillows, a few bits of old furniture.
They are all remain of the Cheong family's possessions. The area is built much with feng shui principles. Every door had Chinese sayings written on them. It tells a story. A gold leaf caligraphy which encourage the safety and prosperity of the household.
It is an grand Chinese-style mansion along Leith Street with high ceiling and old stone floor. It had been converted into a hotel. It is quite a tourist attraction and there were groups of people on guided tours twice a day. The Mansion has 38 rooms, 5 courtyards, 7 staircases and 220 windows. 
They do 1 hour tours for visitors. The tour itself was fascinating. Our guide spent 1 hour with us talking about the social and commercial background in which Cheong Fatt Tze developed from immigrant labourer to Mandarin, family life of the Straits Chinese.

She also talked about Chinese architecture and the basics of Feng Shui.

We were the only Penangites. Our tourguide spoke fluent English. It's a must-not-miss experience to study the cultural, historical and architectural heritage of Penang.
The tour guide asked dad and mom to share all those places with fellow Malaysians. We were good listeners. Really paid attention during her sharing.
It took us half an hour to shoot some of the photographs.
The entrance fees is RM12 for adult. RM6 for children.

The weather was getting warm.

Throughout the day, mom felt a bit sickly as time went on.
Good ventilation is extremely important for hot and humid climates.

The mansion seemed lack of sun and air.

Anyway, visiting this mansion was an unforgettable experience. We reached home at about 5p.m.
Girls, it was a good learning day. A historical reminder of a past era. A man whose dream will live on in the majesty of his home.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dinner at Northam Beach Cafe

Northam Beach Cafe is a hawker center in Penang along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah.It is located right next to a beach.
One of the spot which was badly hit by the tsunami few years ago.
An open air concept so you could enjoy the wind coming from the sea. It is a pretty relaxing place to enjoy some local delicacies with the wind softly blowing and accompanied by the sound of the waves.
We went for a supper on 28.2.2009 at 9p.m. It was our second visit.
The mua chee here is quite special with a few flavours to choose from.
Colourful dough from original, sweetcorn, pandan, green tea and black sesame. Can be mix all five flavors in one serving on request. Sometimes the owners would make additional one or two flavours. That meant you could get up to maximum of seven flavours for your mua chee.

Special blackcurrant flavour. It was great.

Mua chee is one of our favorite snack. We like the mua chee at Island Glades in front of Genting Coffee Shop. What an unique fragance of the peanuts and sugar. Dad and mom started visiting all the stalls to place our orders.

We ordered Adobo Chicken set from Filipino stall which costs RM 8.50.The price here are slightly on the high side.
We shall order Kakiage from Ninja Japanese Cuisine. The owners of the German stall serve one of the best German Sausages around. You can either have pork or veal sausages (beef). The sausages come with mashed potato and a piece of corn. A good choice for Western Food.
It was a great experience haivng dinner by the beach side with family and enjoying the moon light.

We love this place for its ambience and the variety of food.
Go early and get a table by the sea and watch the entire sea front while you eat.Beautiful pineapple tarts were born in our kitchen this afternoon. Making these pineapple tarts takes some patience. It is going to take hours to make the pineapple filling.
Freshly baked pineapple tarts were our lunch on 28.2.2009. Small mould, less filling. The taste was just right.
Lydia and Priscilla, enjoyed your pineapple tarts. Happy Meal on Saturday night.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cendol at Joo Hooi Cafe

There is a dark and dingy kopitiam named Joo Hooi Cafe at the tip of Penang Road opposite Komtar.
An old time Penang chinese restaurant which we can try out ordinary Penang food in one place.

We went for lunch on 22.2.2009 after Sunday School.The only one thing we craved for this trip is the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendol. We were allowed to order the famous Teo Chew Chendul from the lane beside Joo Hooi. To order the chendul from outside, we have to pay an extra money per bowl. The chendol owner has a shoplot of their own now. You can sit in the comfort of fans and air-conditioners, while enjoying your bowl of sweet delight.
Girls, the environment here talks the story of Penang.

We could taste few of the most representing Penang local food, like Char Keow Tiao, Lobak, Hokkien mee, Poah Piah and also the laksa.

We ordered char koay teow. Dad and mom like Char Keow Tiao very much. Two huge fresh prawns, fish cakes and cockles made it so nice for us.The laksa stall is also one of the most famous laksa in Penang which has been recommended by the famous 8TV program, Ho Chak and also Popular Book Store Penang Food Guide.

To us, the laksa taste very good with a lot of fresh vegetable and sardine fish piece.Cendol is another "must order" item. The hokkien mee here didn’t really satisfied us.

Our island hosts numerous unforgettable eating experiences. The visitors enjoy the world's street-food paradise in 'Pearl of Orient' -Penang.
Lydia and Priscilla, we shall continue our journey to explore and discover all the delicious Penang food.