Satisfied with what we had, we left the place to do a little bit of sightseeing. The destination; Kek Lok Si Temple. It was yet another 20 minutes drive from the place where we left. Situated at the hills of Air Itam, this iconic temple (also known as Temple of Supreme Bliss) is one of the tourist hot spots in Penang.
The weather wasn’t kind to us as it was overcast as though it was about to rain. There were crowds around the main area but it was not to the point of congested human traffic. Lazy as we were, we didn’t manage to go to the hilltop but we did manage to climb up the pagoda to have an overview of Air Itam area.
We spent about 45 minutes walking around, taking photos that interest us whilst trying to digest our sinful meal earlier. It was close to 1PM when we realised that we had enough of walking sightseeing and we decided to head back to George Town to do our check-in into our hotel.
But before that, off we went to hunt for our lunch although we barely had our meal 2 hours ago. Yes, we are gluttons. Hehe. Initially, since it was just 5 minutes drive away from Kek Lok Si Temple, we wanted to try out Penang Assam Laksa at Ayer Itam. However, due to lack of parking spaces as well as massive crowd, we decided to discard the plan and head back to George Town instead.
This decision brought us to a place called Lam Ah Coffee Shop. It is located at the intersection of Lebuh Chulia and Lebuh Pantai (Beach Street) and opposite of the ‘balai bomba’ (fire station). We reached about noon time, the traffic was a mess and to find a parking spot was a nightmare. If possible, park whenever you found one regardless of the distance to the coffee shop as it is really limited and the streets are busy (with cars and lorries and motorcycles). Opens from 11AM to 4PM daily (except for Sundays and public holidays), it is said that the stall in it serves one of the best koay teow soup in Penang.
This bowl of beefy noodles set us back about RM8.00. Pricey I would say but it was worth it. Bouncy beef balls, thinly sliced beef, tendons, tripe and what it seemed to be tenderloins were given.
The soup was not murky / brownish as it was slightly clearer than usual. Nevertheless, it was hearty and nice, packed with beefy goodness. With the presence of fried garlic-onion oil, it enhanced the already flavourful broth further. Each slurps warrants for another till the bowl is empty.
Other than that, we ordered Or Chien (Fried Oysters). The frying / cooking method was unlike any other. Instead of mixing / frying the ingredients together, the cook did them separately. First, he fries the starch with mixture of eggs on one side of the pan till it is crispy golden brown. After that is done, then only he does a quick fry for the fresh oysters with his special mixed of sauce and spices.
Such cooking method results in dry crispy crackling batter with juicy flavourful oysters on top of it. Although the oysters looked small in size, they were certainly tasty. Overall, the combination was top notch and it has won our votes to be the best Or Chien we had in Penang. This small portion costs us RM5.00 and after having it, we regretted that we didn’t order a bigger portion.
We arrived at the hotel around 230PM. But unfortunately, we were told that our room was not ready and that we had to wait for an hour or so. Not wanting to sit in the lobby for that long, we left our bags at the counter and headed out to have some dessert / snack.
Little did we know that this place; Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul was pretty close to the hotel where we stayed. It is situated at Lebuh Keng Kwee (off Penang Road). Hence, we didn’t drive. Instead, we walked there and it took us about less than 10 minutes to arrive at the scene.
Although it was packed with customers standing around the stall ordering their share, the staffs were efficient and quick. We had our orders done within minutes. You have the option to stand at the roadside or to dine at the coffee shop beside the stall. We opted for the former since we were there for the chendol only.
Priced at RM1.80 per bowl, it has all the necessary ingredients in it; ice shavings, red beans, coconut milk, palm sugar and green noodle-like jelly. It was not overly sweet yet the richness of the palm sugar was subtle enough that it did not overpower the overall flavour of the chendol. It was good that we finished ours in a jiff. Besides, we were in hurry because the clouds were about to burst into a heavy downpour.
Although they said we had to wait for an hour, luck was on our side as the room was ready when we were back in the hotel. God knows what I’ll do if the room wasn’t ready by then. We rested and rested well till at night before we hit the streets again. Afterall, it was raining heavily and there was nothing much we can do except for lazing on the bed watching the idiot box and take a nap.
Lam Ah Coffee Shop
GPS Coordinates: N5 24.925 E100 20.365
Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul
21, Keng Kwee Street,
Off Penang Road,