KL really is too hot these days. Unnervingly so. Within a second of leaving protective shelter, you are microwaved to the bone with increasing attacks of solar spite. Streets are decimated of life, no shadows seen since everyone crawls in shady spots. The odd lady under an umbrella adds a burst of colour to an otherwise washed palette.
I needed noodles + soup. The weather was annoying me, so my medication was called for in the shape of a vessel filled to the brim with broth. The 300 meters to Peters Pork Noodles felt like the Dakar Rally, shoes blistering on sulphurous pavements. In these parts wind only adds to the misery, like a thousand hot hair dryers peeling the skin off your face.
For once, food was not a comforting embrace. In true style, the food court was packed, therefore heightening the heat levels. The pork was dry as a bone, the soup was fairly ok but inanely un-complex, the egg was an egg, there's not really much more elaboration available.
If the great lord satan actually existed and wasn't just a made-up character to stop teenagers fiddling around, this would be his bed pan. Recalling scenes from Salo 120 days of Sodom, where the entire gathering feasted on yesterdays digested lunch, this comes pretty damn close to what I imagine they (in an artistic sense) had to go through.
Rank, unspeakably rotten-fish tasting broth that looked like mud had committed suicide in a fishes stomach and the fish subsequently got diarrhea and expelled it all out, somehow coaxing a boiled egg to shed half of it's skin and float above the defecation bleating for a rescue team. What they expect the small sliver of lime to do to this monstrosity is beyond me.
Inherantly evil, without any redeeming factors, yet rammed with locals slurping their way to the fires and demons of fable-like dungeons.
I would squeeze through an anaconda's anus, battling my way through it's main cavity until an arm was free, douse myself in gasoline, light a match and sacrifice myself and the guilt-free reptile, rather than ever touch this again.
Penang has Laksa and Curry Mee spots galore, but what I found severely lacking was a solid bowl of Ramen. I tried a couple places with no luck, and was on the verge of giving up when the fight to live returned. I commandeered a cab, hurtled north, walked around the block a few times waiting for it to open, was told by the waitress "It's salty so if you want it less salty order with extra broth". I reassured her it was ok. I was right. This was top notch ramen. Everything, except perhaps the slightly dry-chewy pork, was on point.
You could easily find worse ramen than this in Tokyo, or anywhere in Japan for that matter. This is well made, and well balanced and bloody delicious.
Such an experience I had to write an entire blog post about it.
Anthony Bourdain first turned me onto this spot by his reaction to the first spoonful. Mark Wiens headed here also and seemed enraptured by the flavours. I had to make a pilgrimage, and am happy I did, but won't be repeating it any time soon.
In short, the broth was unnervingly fishy... that pungent intense fishiness that pushes dishes over the edge for my liking. However, after forcing myself to eat a large portion of it I ended up changing my mind slightly. I'll never eat it again, but it was worth the experience.
Penang is not a town I planned on eating ramen in, simply for the fact that they have so much delicious food here other than that. However, after 3 weeks I started getting tiny creepings of cravings. I researched and found out Rising Ramen and another spot that was 10 kilometers away, were the go-to spots here.
I hurried into my Grab, found Rising Ramen in a shopping mall, ordered their Tonkotsu Ramen and sat watching the workers all glued to their phones... what a world we live in.
Lets get this out of the way. There are two things I hate in a bowl of ramen, one is FUCKING CORN, the other is pork that's been torched before serving. Ok, so your chef thinks it looks sexy with the black spattering of burn marks? Well, it tastes like shit. It's not pleasant to eat pork with a lingering taste of butane, it takes away the luxury of well made pork.
Of all the meals I have eaten in Penang this will go down as a disappointment. Not necessarily a terrible bowl of ramen, but just lacking those touches that elevate it to great. The broth was alright, but lacked umami. The egg was fine but had no marinade so was largely tasteless, the noodles at least were cooked well so they retained some integrity, but the pork... oh dear..
I think i'll just stick to Laksa since i'm in the land that perfected it.
You find gems in the most unnassuming spots. A tiny cafe specialising in pastries and coffee, who'd a thunk they did the best Taiwanese Beef Noodle soup in town? A recipe passed down from the owners mother, this soup battled against even the best over the ocean in Taiwan. Superbly dark and rich broth, tender as tears beef, decent noodles and crunchy greens served with a smile.
I'm telling you, if I lived in Penang i'd be here once a week.
Famous for both their white curry mee (before you tarnish it with chilli paste) and their chicken, it's highly advisable to order both if you make it out here.
Sensational curry mee with a delicious broth elevated even higher by their home-made chilli oil.
A small hole in the wall spot that serves pretty decent beef pho. Bonus points for being walking distance to Ome by Spacebar so you can get yourself a real coffee after. Tender beef, good beef balls, solid noodles, above average broth: what more do you need?
If there was an award for the sweetest owner/host in Penang, it would surely go to the lady here. Everyone is welcomed in a really kind, considerate way, her manner is so gentle and friendly, and luckily enough for us the food is also really good.
They do a couple of different Laksa, I only managed to try the Lemak Laksa because of other obligations, but it was delicious and slightly different to the Asam Bowls i've eaten in town. The prawn crisp was dynamite!!
Located around the corner from Penang Road Famous Laksa and Rabbit Hole Cafe, this non-descript place is partly concealed by large shutters. Peer inside, dare to walk in, be welcomed by a very friendly owner, and served with a delicious bowl of Curry Mee. Everything was on point here, tho I thought the broth lacked a little bit of depth.
The quest to find a decent bowl of ramen in every country on earth.