Traditional Malay cooking at Lagenda Café in the heart of George Town
The key signature in traditional Malay cuisine is definitely the generous use of local herbs, spices and belacan (shrimp paste). Coconut milk is also added to Malay dishes to enrich them with a creamy finish. In Penang, as well as the northern states of Malaysia, Malay cooking has further integrated Thai flavours. Meats and seafood are usually marinated with a special blend of herbs and spices before being cooked. Vegetables are often stir-fried and some eaten raw always with sambal belacan. I love Malay dishes because of their strong, spicy and aromatic oomph. For an authentic Malay feast, head down to Lagenda Café.
Da Shu Xia Seafood House – sumptuous and fresh seafood in Penang
Penangites just want it all – fresh seafood, delicious flavours, beautiful presentations, a cosy ambiance, great service and above all, cheap prices!
The Saanen Dairy Goat Farm, a hidden gem to visit in Balik Pulau
Stories related to goats cut across cultures and geography, conjuring up myths and beliefs that have flowed through millennia right up to this present day. I find these vivid and dramatic tales utterly captivating.
Jia Siang Cafe, seafood at its freshest
Being more than half a century old, I have learned to watch with my own eyes and note down the "gloriousness" that is everywhere around me. As an artist and a photographer, this singular duty of being aware has helped me capture photographs that forge the narrative in my projects and creative endeavours.
Never Forgetting Balik Pulau – exploring an alluring, rustic village in Penang across time
Photography, design and layout by Adrian Cheah
"Never Forgetting Balik Pulau" is part memoir, part guide. The author, after spending her entire youth in the village, accumulated a bagful of tales. Exploratory trips back gave credence to past memories but gradually, a comprehensive guide with maps to the village evolved.
Belacan, an integral ingredient in local cuisine
Anyone who has paid attention to local cuisine can safely hazard a guess that Penangites, and Malaysians for that matter, have a predilection for pungent foods! Call it full-flavoured, aromatic, spicy or downright nasty, Malaysian cuisine boasts more pungent varieties than arguably any other country in the world. This piquant character manifests itself in various forms, in fresh fruits (durian and jackfruit), in condiments (budu), preserves (cincaluk and tempoyak) and the innocuous-looking belacan or shrimp paste. The last item is as indispensable to Malaysian cooking as herbs are to Italian cuisine or soya sauce to Chinese. Why some purists go as far as to declare that your 'Malaysianess' hinges on whether or not you like belacan!