Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Am Hungry

As of next week I'll be starting an exciting new chapter in my life: I'll be starting an immersion course to learn Mandarin at the Beijing Language Cultural University. It's something I've wanted to do for a while and have waited to do, and now that it's come round I feel a mixture of excitement and anxiety.

Why Mandarin and China? Well, it's really about time I learnt the language of my heritage and let's face it, the language of the future (and arguably even the present). Albeit issues around human rights, their aggressive position in the world economy and what it holds for the rest of the world, it's an interesting time to be in China and in Asia. I've got so much to get my head around.

Of course what I'm very much looking forward to is all the UH-MAZING food. I sincerely hope you follow me in my journey to sample the culinary treasures of the Middle Kingdom, I don't think this is going to be a boring ride! I expect to make lots of mistakes whilst grappling with the language and tackling the almighty all-Chinese menu so wish me luck!

A special note to my Malaysian friends, readers and fellow bloggers: I've had the most wonderful time hearing from you, meeting some of you and sharing in our common passion. I'll miss my comfort foods and expect to live through you during my time in China!

*Additional Note posted 1.9.2011* I understand that blogspot may be blocked in China - till I get this sorted out please don't stop following me! I'll find a way to communicate!

Image from

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rediscovering Penang Part 3: Cheong Fat Tze, Little India & Kopi Peng

As intense as the cerulean sky behind it the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion left such an impression on me from the moment I saw it. It was the house and office of a man pivotal to Penang's position as an Asian trading hub in the turn of the 19th century. Exquisitely restored, Le Maison Bleu was my favourite spot on this trip to Georgetown.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Selangorlicious Foodster Blogging Competition 2011 Results

It's been a great week in Hungry Female HQ. Back in May this year, I submitted two entries to the Selangorlicious Foodster Blogging Competition 2011, a state-wide competition sponsored by Tourism Selangor. It challenged bloggers to write and submit photos of eateries and restaurants in the state of Selangor, making the entry as interesting and fun as possible. I'm absolutely thrilled to say Hungry Female won Second Prize!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rediscovering Penang Part 2: Ten Thousand Buddhas, Lots of Chinese Cookies and One Killer Assam Laksa

When visiting Georgetown in Penang, a must-do is going up Penang Hill on the furnicular railway. You'll see the city in all its glory (provided it's not a misty day like when we went) connected to the mainland by that famous bridge, currently the fourth longest in South East Asia. If titles are what one is after, Penang sweeps the floor clean with the Kek Lok Si Temple - the largest Buddhist temple in the region.

If you take the route that the guidebooks advise (Bus 204 from Komtar Bus Station to Air Itam, for the Kek Lok Si and Penang Hill), you cannot miss the gargantuan Kuan Yin statue that dominates the skyline over Air Itam town. And that is just a prelude to the thousands of celestial beings and Buddhas all over this place of worship.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rediscovering Penang Part 1: Char Kuey Teow, Oyster Pancakes & Lor Bak on Lorong Selamat

My Dad is quintessentially Penang in his life long love for street food. Whisper "Char Kuey Toew" or "Hokkien Mee" and he is at the ready 24-7. Much to my Mum's despair in trying to manage his starch intake. Well, it's in his genetic make-up through-and-through to love these sinful things, and it's exactly where I get my hankering for them from too.

After over 10 years of not visiting Penang, I embarked on a little exploration into my Dad's birthplace with boy on tow. I was excited over the scandalous amounts of fabulous food on every corner, saddened it was run down in places and frankly quite filthy, but surprised and happy that there were more efforts to conserve its colourful history.

Doing food research for this trip was harder than usual. First of all there are endless options for any one single dish, how does one sift through to find the best? Secondly, even reputable forms of travel guides say "Char Kuey Teow on Lorong Selamat" or "Assam Laksa on Jalan Air Itam" without much more detail to what the stall looks like or even what names to look out for. So common sense, lots of guess work and growling tums are always the best guides in the end.

Day One: we decide to stroll around our hotel on Jalan Hutton to orientate ourselves. Receiving UNESCO Heritage status in 2008, Georgetown's core zone buzzed - an old town steeped in a rich history of being a key Asian entrepot. I adored the old Straits shophouses and facades, some preserved magnificently and others far more weathered.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Discovering Kolo Mee (and other delights) in Kuching - Part 2

After my first bite of Kolo Mee I was like a young vampire initiated. I had gotten a taste I couldn't shake and hungered for more. Next time around was apt after a night out on the Kuching town post friend M's wedding, at the Swee Sen Cafe over in the 10th mile.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Discovering Kolo Mee in Kuching - Part 1

Over the weekend I visited Kuching which was my first time in East Malaysia. Why had I waited so long to discover its wonderful culture and natural landscapes? And one of its foremost contributions to the mighty Malaysian food fabric: kolo mee.