Considering how my last post was about Peninsular (Malay/Indonesian/Singaporean) food, I was actually having second thoughts about doing this one. But my second visit to Penang Hill proved to be so good that I just have to tell you all about it.
I was supposed to meet up with two of my friends at the restaurant. As things turned out, though, only two of us went to dinner as Klowi had to be rushed to a nearby hospital! 😦 (Hope you’re feeling better, girl; we missed you!)
At any rate, we who were left behind went on ahead and ordered our personal faves off the menu. Ate Lara ordered the Malaysian beef wrap and Hawker-style curry noodles. I, on the other hand, went for my usual roti canai. It was every bit as buttery-sweet as I remembered and was served warm. The curry that came in a tiny dish was flavorful, not too spicy, and absolutely aromatic. It made a very good point for the sweet bread.
However, I should state here that I didn’t order either of my usuals – nasi goreng and char kway teow – after the roti. Instead, I found myself drawn towards the Thai oyster omelet.
Now, I confess that I’m a long-time fan of oysters. Fresh oysters with just a sprinkling of salt and a squeeze of lemon are fantastic and I’m also a sucker for the baked oysters over at Via Mare. Plus, I will pick a fight with anyone who tries to share an order of oyster cake at Mann Hann. So when something that looked like a tortang talong sans the eggplant stem appeared on the table, I was already gearing myself up for disappointment.
Thankfully, I wasn’t as each bite of the thick loaf yielded one or two plump, flavorful oysters suspended in lightly salted egg. Bits of kangkong gave a textural contrast with the salty succulence of the shellfish. In fact, this dish is so flavorful that the small dish of chili-infused vinegar that comes with it is almost unnecessary. My one regret: I should have ordered rice to go with this baby!
We wrapped up the savory meal by splitting the gula melaka between us. Now, for those of you who love tapioca pudding or are mad about caramel, I recommend this dessert. What you get is mini sago (pearl tapioca) cooked in a dark palm sugar syrup. The sago is then topped with thick coconut cream and garnished with a maraschino cherry (!) and two snipped pandan [screwpine] leaves. I should warn you that this dessert may look small, but it is quite rich so it’s best to enjoy it by slow teaspoonfuls.
Considering that it’s been a long time since I was last at Penang Hill, I am pleased to say that the flavors and the quality remain very good. 😀