Monday, December 31, 2007

My favourite popiah @ Mount Erskine

I know I mentioned popiah and yet I featured crabs, right? Well that's the thing! I love the popiah here for its crab fillings. And in addition to this, there are so many more great food here that I would not miss it every single time I visited Penang. This is Mount Erskine. Years back when I was still a fresh college student, I used to stay in Mount Erskine. This place was my main station. In order to limit my spending to RM5 per day, I used to buy buns here and keep for my daily consumption. But the popiah stall didn't start until 2-3 years back. This stall used to be located at the old Rex Cinema along Jalan Burma. It was already famous then (at least to me and my friends).
Now Mount Erskine has since flourished with even more variety of stalls. You can find mixed nyonya rice, chicken rice, fried rice, porridge, clear soup noodles, curry noodles, Indian noodles, snacks, desserts, fruits and the list goes on. Amazing right?

Location: Mount Erskine, Penang
Rating: Great

Like I said before, I have visited this shop from Jalan Burma till now. And I can assure you, you can't find this elsewhere.I love the soft and moist popiah wrapping that envelopes the fragrant crab meat and crab eggs. The crab meat portion looks little compared to the vege, but believe me the balance is just perfect. I don't want an overpowering seafood roll, I would have gone for seafood if I want that. You can taste a hint of sauce and again it is just enough to add flavour and not overpowering. Oh I miss it already.Then there is this dry koay teow (flat rice noodles). They come complete with a variety of fish paste.
And the owner. Oh man, can he talk.. He is one of the sweetest talker I have ever met. But you have to respect his spirit. Who wouldn't love a chirpy cook? I know he looked kinda serious in the pic (I suspect he is trying to act cool :P)
But his talks aside. You have to give it to him that his dry koay teow is really good. Especially when mixed with his sambal belacan (prawn paste chili). The sambal is so strongly fragrant and spicy. I can feel the kick.The koay teow is also really smooth. What's beautiful is the fact that it is not oily, yet very smooth and blended well with the sauce. I practically had to kick Ben to stop in order for me to take this photo. He was happily slurping away without a care.Ah.. Fried koay teow. Ben awarded this place best fried koay teow! I have to say the koay teow here is good.
The noodles is crispy and dry (not oily or lumpy). It is strongly fragrant with what Cantonese people call "wok hei", basically means enough heat to bring out the flavours and concentrate the juice into the food. If the above koay teow gives me a kick, this gives me an "umph". And then there is Che Hu (Hokkien for fresh fish). Or some call it Chinese pasembur.The sweet potato sauce is thick and creamy. The fritters are rather normal though. But at least it has fresh jelly fish as a che hu should have.
With all the fiery stuff we had, this is just the best thing to douse the fire within. This is coconut sea with honey. They used to have a special which includes rambutan+pineapple mix. But the last time I tried to order, this newbie do not understand me. So you'll just have to make do with this.But do not underestimate this sweet little thing. The fragrance of honey and coolness of sea coconut is simply refreshing.
To be truthful, I hate to recommend this place. It is one of my fave and I selfishly want to keep it for myself. ngiat ngiat ngiat...

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