Koey teow th’ng – Hai Oan Kopitiam, Malaysia

Hai Oan kopitiam

Hai Oan Kopitiam

One place we stopped at was a small kopitiam (coffee shop) called Hai Oan. This place, I was told, had fantastic koey teow th’ng – a clear soup with hand-made fish balls, minced pork patties, and flat rice noodles. It was delicious and mellow, and I could easily see how this would be a good dish when you aren’t feeling well or when you want a lighter meal.

We took the soup to go, and it was eaten too quickly for me to take a photo. I did manage to take photos of the signs though.

Pitt Street koey teow th’ng stall

Pitt Street koey teow th’ng stall

Pitt Street koey teow th’ng stall close up

Pitt Street koey teow th’ng stall close up

Tambun biscuits (tau sah peah) – Him Heang, Malaysia

tambun biscuit (tau sah peah)

Tambun biscuits, or tau sah peah, are round little cookies stuffed with green beans (a.k.a. mung beans). Flaky, dry, a little salty and savoury, they are a popular snack and boxes are often given as gifts. The ingredients of tambun biscuits are actually quite simple: wheat flour, green beans, fried shallot, vegetable oil and salt.

My grandmother insisted that we had to stop at Him Heang, a local bakery famous for these cookies. The place was packed and boxes were flying off the shelves. I think we only managed to get some because my grandmother, this persistent (and stubborn) little old lady, shoved her way to the front counter and shouted her order to the staff there.

Frankly, I was disappointed once I bit into them. They were so dry that you had to eat them with a drink handy. Although they weren’t greasy, I did find there was a bit of a greasy aftertaste – perhaps from the vegetable oil used? Also, the beans didn’t taste very strong at all and made me wonder why they even bothered to add the beans.

I ended up lugging two boxes of these with me onto the next leg of my trip – Hong Kong – and gave them away to people there, because no one else in my family wanted to take them back to Canada.

inside view of a tambun biscuit (tau sah peah)

inside view of a tambun biscuit (tau sah peah)

Him Heang Sdn. Bhd.
162-A Jalan Burma,
10050 Penang,
Malaysia

Pancakes, Penang style

Creamed corn and peanut pancake

Creamed corn and peanut pancake

One of the reasons why I loved my trip to Malaysia was getting to try so many new dishes.

This hawker stall, in front of a kopitiam (a kind of coffee shop/hawker cafe) on Gurney Drive (a.k.a. Persiaran Gurney) in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia, served pancakes stuffed with various sweet and/or savory fillings. The dough is cooked into a thin, crepe-like skin (but crispy), filled, and folded like a taco. The traditional filling is creamed corn and peanuts, but now you can buy it filled with ham, chocolate, bananas, tuna, etc. It was fascinating to watch the vendor at work, and I took a video of him cooking my corn and peanut order. We didn’t see him at his spot every day; apparently he actually set up shop elsewhere in the morning, and only showed up on Gurney Drive after lunch if he had ingredients left over.

Many areas of Asia tends to treat corn as a dessert (in one shopping mall I saw an ice cream stand that also sold fresh corn on the cob). I’m not usually a fan of this, but I have to say, creamed corn and peanuts are a surprisingly good combination.

An additional photo and a video after the cut.

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Mayfield Dinner Theatre, Edmonton

For Christmas, my sister and I were given a couple of tickets to the Mayfield Dinner Theatre`s current musical, Peace, Love & Rock N Roll 2: And the Beat Goes On!

The Mayfield Dinner Theatre serves their food via a large buffet. Coffee, tea, and water is included, while alcohol, pop, etc. can be had for a small fee. The buffet is open for two hours, then closes just before the show begins. A good strategy is to eat most of your food during those two hours, then grab a loaded plate of fruit, cheese and dessert to nibble on throughout the show.

My piled buffet plate, mostly filled with vegetables thanks to my diet.

My piled buffet plate, mostly filled with vegetables thanks to my diet.

The food selection there is quite varied. There are a number of salads, various buns, cocktail shrimp, smoked salmon, deli meats, cheese plates, roast beef, a chicken dish, a fish dish, cooked vegetables, etc. There were even bison short ribs available on the evening that we were there. There are a number of fresh cut fruits and desserts (cheesecake, trifle, bread pudding, etc.) as well; these tend to disappear quickly so it’s best to grab them at least 45 minutes before the show begins.

While the food isn’t so spectacular that I would rave about it to everyone I met, I have to say that I am usually impressed by the range of food they have, and am glad that the quality of food is decent. Buffet food can sometimes be very bad, or at minimum hit and miss, but over the years I have found the food at the Mayfield Dinner Theatre to be consistent in quality and flavours.

And the show wasn’t half bad either. A 60s music revue, it is playing until February 15th. There will be a sequel next year as well – this time playing music from the 70s.

Mayfield Dinner Theatre
16615 – 109 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta
http://www.mayfieldtheatre.ca/

Mayfield Dinner Theatre on Urbanspoon

King Noodle House Pho Hoang, Edmonton

Pho is one of those dishes that I use to judge a new Vietnamese restaurant. Some places don’t have a good broth, some places cheap out on the amount of meat, and some dishes just taste off.

Having heard about King Noodle on Chowhound, and having passed it many times, I decided it was time to try it out.

King Noodle pho

King Noodle pho

The bean sprouts were fresh and crispy, and the soup came out fairly quickly. The pho was filled with lots of meat that arrived medium (as ordered) rather than well done. At first taste, the soup didn’t taste “beefy” enough to me. I admit I was disappointed. As I kept eating, however, the taste improved and the pho grew on me. I think I still prefer the pho from Tau Bay, but this is a good alternative. And cheap too. Two bowls of pho plus tea came to less than $15.

King Noodle House Pho Hoang
10613 97 Street NW
Edmonton, AB

King Noodle House Pho Hoang (Chinatown) on Urbanspoon