Saturday, July 11, 2009

Goin to Penang? Line Clear!

we went to penang. the home of mr. khairul. born and bred. proudly his.

as a kid i remember penang as one of two ultimate holiday destinations for my family. either penang, or pangkor. abah just love the beach! i remember hating the winding road of batu ferengghi. i remember the anticipation of hanging out at a hotel that faces the beach. i remember shopping at komtar. i remember butterfly farm.

great times!

* * *

the last time i went to penang was with mr. khairul, attending my just10 gal pal safira's wedding. fast forward years later and after two kids, i'm back! and the most important thing for mr. khairul not to miss is having lunch at this so-ordinary makan place serving food with extraordinary taste!

my then-fiance mr. khairul and i at nasi kandar line clear penang

located in an alley off penang road, between two buildings, 'nasi kandar line clear' offers one of the most authentic nasi kandar in penang. and it opens 24 hours! being in business for nearly 50 years, you'd be sure to be treated with the best curries this side of the world.

what is nasi kandar? in my term, it's just nasi with lauk-lauk. curry based. usually found in kedai mamak.

nasi kandar is a popular northern malaysian dish, which originates from penang. it is a meal of steamed rice which can be plain or mildly flavored, and served with a variety of curries and side dishes such as fried chicken, curried spleen, cubed beef, fish, prawn or squid and okra (lady fingers). nasi kandar is seen on most tamil muslim or "malaysian mamak" restaurants and indian-muslim stall meals.

a mixture of curry sauces is poured on the rice. this is called 'banjir' (flooding) and imparts a diverse taste to the rice. - wikipedia

personally it's not the cleanest of all restaurants - if you can imagine eating in at old, worn out chairs and tables, in between two murky buildings, in an alley fit for strays - but the aroma of the lovely curries and the sight of freshly fried chicken would make the dine in worth it.

we parked at a paid parking area opposite the 'line clear' alley. then mr. khairul and his brother quickly joined the already very long line of people waiting to get at the plates of hot rice and yummy curries and lauk.

the men just grabbed a plate full of cut-out pieces of chicken, and got individual plates with their choice of lauk. my bro-in-law k's menggunung plate had almost everything on the lauk shelves, that it left one to wonder, "what's NOT on his plate?"

mr. khairul, meanwhile scorned at my un-nasi kandar plate, with a very visible white rice and fried chicken. "ape citer makan nasi kandar putih tak bubuh kari!" well, i pour my kuah just enough so that it goes hand in hand with the amount of rice on my plate. i have a system. shoo off and leave me alone!

mr. khairul is much, much more of a nasi kandar fan (penang boy, mah!). i personally couldn't understand the obsession with 'flooding' your plate of rice with curry! wouldn't the parts of rice be unequal to the parts of curry, hence causing an imbalance to the taste? (those who really know me, know what i mean!)

but no! heck no, says a true penangite! membanjirkan pinggan anda dengan kari yang melimpah-ruah is the best way to eat nasi kandar! go on, go to nasi kandar line clear and 'flood' your plate!

* * *

it was a last minute thing, we didn't book online, and we didn't book earlier - so after a few rounds of making calls there and then (including finding out a room rate of rm900 per room per night!), we stayed the night at vistana bayan baru.

i really recommend this hotel for those who just want a nice room for the night that doesn't include a sea-view - it has fantastical reasonable rates, offering a very comfortable room with arguably the most cozy, comfiest bed with the fluffiest plush pillow i had ever been on!

the staff offer excellent service - we had problems with the net connection earlier on, and the manager on duty personally came right up to our room to fix the problem. we called to ask for stuff, in a minute it's delivered. bravo vistana bayan baru!

kahfi was visibly excited over the plush pillows and enjoy being thrown on them as his little body quickly sunk into the soft pillow. sadly though he had runny nose since yesterday! at the time of writing he's finally sound asleep after countless tossing and turning!

sleep tight little guy,
and forget your sorrow.
hope your flu will fly,
get well tomorrow!

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