The very last trip I made in 2017 was in December to Penang with The Boy. I had some days of annual leave left to clear before they got forfeited (first world problems right here) and The Boy managed to get some time off. The last time I’ve been to Penang was 10 to 15 years ago when I was a kid and I’ve been hearing so much from so many of my friends about how’s it’s changed quite a bit. To be fair, I barely remember my first trip to Penang as a child, so this is almost like the first time there.
My main aim on this trip was to EAT. There’s no doubt the street food in Penang is A Class, costing an average of SGD 1.50 per plate / dish of goodness. Malaysian and Singaporean street / hawker food cuisine has more similarities than differences, and the differences are largely subtle in my humble opinion. I think we ate about 5-6 meals a day excluding the coffee breaks and random snacks that I somehow managed to find space in my tummy for. Think Penang Laksa, Mee Goreng, Orh Luat (oyster omelette), seafood popiah, wan ton mee, nonya kuehs, curry mee, durian puffs and pastries, chendol, lots of coffee and cakes, and cheap local beer.
But what I loved most about the trip was our accommodation at Sekeping Victoria. It’s not a hotel per se. It’s listed on AirBnB but I chanced upon it while reading about the café culture in Penang and what places to go for decent coffee – I do need a flat white a day even though I’m on leave. Housed in a pre-war shophouse just opposite ChinaHouse, it is HUGE. The front courtyard houses a café called Awesome Canteen, where they served one of the better flat whites in Penang (how amazing is it that we are staying in the same premise as a café). All the way to the back just at the air-well, is a mezzanine / loft-like air-conditioned accommodation that could take in about 4-6 pax. The Boy and I had the whole shophouse (Yes! The entire shophouse including the café!) to ourselves throughout the whole stay and it was extremely affordable (RM 300 per night). It carries a minimalistic industrial design, that’s painfully chic yet rugged at the same time. Both the café and the shophouse are owned by the same owners, and the best thing is that we get 15% off all menu items from the café! #auntiealert
Here’s just a short visual diary of what we stuffed ourselves with, and a little peak into Sekeping Victoria
Onward to what we really came to Penang for:
Weirdly enough, the favourite thing I ate in Penang was the Chendol. Cheap, so damn good, so bloody satisfying, yet not cloyingly sweet or overwhelming. It was enough for me to want a 2nd helping, yet not feel so guilty about it.
Already counting down to my next trip back to Penang but in the mean time, need to figure out some motivation to really burn off these calories.