#WednesdayWishlist: Taking in the sights and sounds of Penang
The Pearl of the Orient
Cai Mei Khoo, Editor-in-Chief: Meeting the next Jimmy Choo
Born and raised in Penang, Dato' Jimmy Choo is the island state's (and one of our country's) biggest name in fashion. He graduated from Cordwainers College in London in 1983 and started his eponymous label a few years later. Not long after, the young shoe designer shot to international fame and stardom when his shoes were worn by royalty and celebrities alike. I would love to have met Dato' Jimmy Choo at the height of his career, but more importantly, would love to discover equally talented young Malaysian designers, who will hopefully be on a similar trajectory.
Gwen Ong, Deputy Editor: Chilling with cakes at China House
I first and last visited this institution in 2013 and I was pleasantly surprised how three heritage buildings have been turned into a hip F&B café/restaurant/gallery. China House has all the trimmings of a good hangout spot to enjoy art, food, live music and of course, the most sinful spread of delicious cakes ever. (I've got my eyes on the Tiramisu!) You should walk the whole length of the open-air courtyard, dining area and bakery to enjoy the lively atmosphere. Three years is a long time to be missing someone or some place, so get ready for some loving Penang!
Jasmine Leong, Senior Fashion Writer: Indulging in a plate of char kway teow
When I think of Penang food, the first that would spring to mind is a plate of steaming char koay teow. While it may seem like a simple dish, it's all about the art of "wok hei" (loosely translater as wok's breath), which refers to the flavour imparted by a hot wok on food during stir-frying. Besides the silky smooth flat rice noodles, the perfect plate of char koay teow consists of succulent prawns, juicy beansprouts, scrambled eggs, slices of chinese sausage and fresh cockles - all mixed in sauce base mixture of ground chilli paste and soya laced with sugar, striking a good balance between savoury, sweet and spicy. Be right back, guys, while I head off for char koay teow for breakfast (and possibly for lunch and dinner too!)
Loh Wei Yeen, Fashion & Beauty Writer: Revel in the beauty that is Pinang Peranakan Mansion
One dominant feature about Penang that always fascinates me is the beauty of the Peranakan culture. This rich heritage straddles the fine line between ornate and exquisite, and in my humble opinion, Peranakan cuisine might just be the universe's gift to all foodies. This trip, I intend to explore the restored 19th-century mansion that once belonged to Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee, just to take in the quirky combination of elaborate mother-of-pearl furniture and continental art amidst English tiles and Chinese carved-wood panels. I might just fawn over the incredible array of antiques and collectibles (amounting to 1,000!) inspired by the Baba-Nonya culture in this wonderful setting as well.
Rachel Au, Lifestyle Writer: Visiting Moonshop Gallery (and buying some green souvenirs home)
It's finally the week of our big #BuroRoadTrip and since I recently visited Penang on an adrenaline-fuelled trip, this time, all I'm planning to do is eat, and eat. What else do people do on a trip to Penang, right? Actually, you'll be surprised when we come back with a full report but till then, you can stick to that assumption. Since going on a food trail is an obvious activity, here's the other thing I'm really looking forward to. I first saw Moonshop Gallery through a friend's Instagram photo and immediately fell in love with all the portable greenery (#forestinabottle) for sale in the shop. There's also a cafe corner that serves a variety of green tea desserts. If I had more time, it'll definitely be a great spot for lazy afternoons with a good book and iced tea.
Alyssa Lee, Editorial Assistant: Seconds and thirds at the best hokkien mee spot on the island, Oh Lay Ee
Some mornings, I wake up with a broken heart. It's shattering when the realisation of cruel reality hits—the most life-changing bowl of heavenly amber broth that's made of the extract of a thousand prawns is a whopping four-hour drive away. This was easily the best bowl of Penang hokkien mee I have ever had and it wins by a mile. The deep flavour and brilliant hue packed into every mouthful was testament to the quality of the stock and its long hours spent bubbling on the stovetop. Funnily enough, the secret to Oh Lay Ee is the darling old lady (notice the similar sounding names?) who tirelessly toils over her massive pot of broth. Do note that they are only open from 5am to 11.40am but if there's anything in the world worth sacrificing sleep for, it’s this.
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