Review: Line Clear, Penang, Malaysia

I visited Malaysia for the first time in December last year, spending three days in Penang and three days in Kuala Lumpur (with a day in Seremban, visiting K’s family). I was really looking forward to trying all the different foods, especially after some great experiences with a buffet at the Grace Hotel, and a cooking class with Jackie M.

I found on my trip that I really enjoyed the do-it-yourself routine of a lot of Malaysian street food. I learnt to look out for any stalls marked ‘nasi kampur’, knowing that I’d be guaranteed a delicious motley of a meal where I would have hand-picked every grain of rice, curry, meat or vegetable that appeared on my plate.

One of the better nasi kampur places we went to on our holiday was Line Clear off Penang Road in Georgetown. It is quite a famous Indian-style eatery down an alleyway – so famously good that K’s father made a special point of printing out directions for us before we went overseas, as he wanted to make sure that we would try the food there.

line-clear

I couldn’t precisely tell you what we ended up getting at Line Clear – there was a mutton in curry which melted off the bone, a fried chicken with beautiful spicy batter, a spicy yellow rice, and more. All the dishes were delicious, and the restaurant was clearly a favourite with the locals. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any roti on the day we went, so we ended up going up the street for our roti fix!

Line Clear is located off Penang Road in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia.

The Best Cendol in Penang, Malaysia

CendolOff Penang Road in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia, there is a small cart selling iced desserts. Staffed by about five women, you will be able to recognise the cart by the long line of locals queuing up for a bowl of cendol or ais kacang, and the crowds standing around slurping their cold dessert from small blue plastic bowls.

K and I ordered a cendol and an ais kacang to share. I’ve mentioned before how I’ve grown to love these desserts, and the ones made by this little streetside cart business proved why it’s such a crowd pleaser.

Both were perfectly refreshing for the hot and muggy weather in Penang. There was plenty of ice, and it wasn’t too sweet, ensuring that you’re not left with a cloying taste in your mouth. And the locals certainly agreed, with a non-stop line of people lining up for their dessert fix.

Keep an eye out for a cart with the sign “Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul – Ice Kacang”, somewhere near the corner of Jalan Penang and Lebuh Tamil. And a word to the wise – don’t get sucked in by the second-rate cendol cart that sets up shop opposite, as it makes its trade from the spillover business of the first cart!

NB: I wish I had a better photo to share, but as I mentioned, my phone was stolen on holiday! I retrieved this photo from my Twitter account.

A Holiday Of Culinary Exploration

After a month away travelling around Asia sampling amazing food, I’ve come back to Sydney to a series of catastrophes that’s going to make it a lot harder to share my food experiences with everyone!

My phone was taken on the second last day of our trip, meaning that I lost photos of almost 90% of the food we ate on the trip. While K and I still have some photos of our fancier restaurant meals on the DSLR, we tended to use my iPhone to take photos of the street food we ate. So while I can tell you all about the amazing cao lau we had at the markets in Hoi An, Vietnam, I don’t have any photos to share with you!

My internet service is currently down at home, and won’t be restored probably for another two weeks. This is due to my cancellation of our previous overpriced internet service before we left on holiday, and overly optimistic expectation that our chosen new provider would be ready to rock and roll the day that we returned. This was clearly not the case!

My fridge broke down sometime in the month we were away, and while this technically shouldn’t affect my sharing of food experiences from the past month, it does make it hard for me to come up with meals including ingredients that don’t require refrigeration over the next few days! Not having a fridge or freezer in a Sydney summer where the temperature is expected to hit 43 degrees celsius tomorrow is the stuff of nightmares!

There have been some other personal catastrophes along the way (suspected deep vein thrombosis, a vandalised car windscreen, and leaking shower pipes), but as soon as everything is back on track and my run of bad luck is over, I will be sharing the food of the past month with everyone! Suffice it to say that as a basic summary:

  • Best decadent meal of the trip: Waku Ghin, Singapore
  • Best street food of the trip: Fish soup with hand cut noodles, Hue
  • Best dessert of the trip: High tea at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong
  • Best day of overindulgence: in Seremban, Malaysia

Stay tuned for more details soon!