Padang Brown Hawker Centre has been around as long as I could remember as a child in the early sixties. It is shaped like a circular crest with an internal grassed courtyard with trees and a monument, and on either sides of the circle is a half-shaped concave open sheltered structure with over 40 food stalls.
Ask anyone in Penang what they enjoy most and their answer will always be “the food.” Penang people love food and love to eat at any time of the day. With endless choices, you’ll never go hungry. It’s cheap, affordable and extremely tasty!
What is curry? and, what is lamb shank curry? It can be anything, right? As long as there is a mixture of different spices. There is nothing standard about “curry” and the word is loosely used for any cooking style as long as it has a complex flavour and mixture of dry and wet spices to make the sauce for the main ingredient. It can be a dry dish or a wet dish. If you google the word “curry”, also known as “kari” in Malaysia, it seems to originate from India.
Penang Chinese culture is strongly influenced by the Confucian, Buddhism and Taoism tradition. Dating back as early as the 18th century, Penang Chinese ancestors were descendants from Southern China, mostly from the Fujian Province, bringing with them the tradition, culture and philosophy of their homeland.
One of the oldest Chinese traditions that is still widely practiced in Penang and at home with my mother is called the “Ancestors’ Day” or the “Tomb Sweeping Day”. In Penang, the coloquial word for “Ancestors’ Day” is known as “Cheng Beng” in hokkien or “Qing Ming” in Chinese mandarin.
There’s one dish that never fails to please – it has all the elements of being zesty and tangy – sharp flavoured with a mix of sourness, saltiness and spiciness. I am talking about “Tom Yum”.
Tom yum is a Thai dish. It is the boiling process (“tom”) of a sourish and spicy salad (“yum”). It sounds a bit strange and foreign to those who are not familiar with Thai food. But, not for me. I love Thai food. It is one of my favourite cuisines.