Friday, September 19, 2008

Nostalgic Sin Kheang Aun Restaurant

This is an evergreen focal point for families to enjoy each others company and tasty food. I said evergreen because the place has remained packed from my kiddy days until today. Dad love this place. He used to take our whole family to this place when we travelled to Penang. Our standard order would be Gulai Assam Hu (Fish in Tamarind Curry), Lor Bak (Marinated Pork Roll), Har Look (Prawn Fritters) and Kerabu Hae (Prawn in sweet sour salad). Mom and dad would try to imitate their Assam Fish, but something is always missing. These are the treasures handed down by the late Mr Ong.

Location : No2, Chulia Lane 10200, Penang (Tel: 04-2614786)
Rating: Superb!

Sitting in the restaurant is like sitting in an era where big families remained close knit, the staff force are all long serving friends and relatives. The system used proved efficient through the years. For instance, I have seen them using this food lift to deliver food directly from the kitchen to the hall upstairs since my kiddie days and they are still using it.
The simple deco and traditional furnitures are unpretentious and original. The environment simply put me at ease.I only went down a short while to snap a few photos around the shop, and the dining hall on the 1st floor was almost filled up.
Sin Kheang Aun as an old timer, the patrons have been loyal throughout the years. The beauty is in the close ties it fosters among the different generations. What I see in most tables are at least 2 generations and most of them enjoy the company ranging from grand kids to great grand parents. What harmony..
Enough about the place. Let's go into the main topic. Nyum nyum... This is the assam fish. According to the cook, it has to be "O Chiu" or the black pomfret. The assam sauce will bring out the sweetness of the meat and tone down the strong fish smell.We simply love to flood our rice with the aromatic sauce. The sour, sweet and salty sauce promotes appetite and don't worry too much about its spiciness. If you ask me, I say it is not spicy at all.
Ah... This is another favourite of mine. The kerabu prawn. They are crunchy, refreshing, appetising and sweet. I have to say, part of the beauty lies in the freshness of the ingredients. Like the assam fish, there is no strong fishy smell because the fish is fresh. The prawns here are sweet and crunchy because they are fresh.I say the food choices here are rather healthy. We had fish, prawns and salads, and now we have stir fry jicama with squid and eggs - Jiu Hu Char. It is such simple and healthy dish. The vege is naturally sweet and the cook made sure he did not overcook it, so they remain crunchy and moist.And we ordered another typical Hainanese dish called - Kiam Hu Bak (Salted Fish Meat). To tell you the truth, I had initially expected a steamed minced meat with salted fish. But this dish came out as quite a surprise. Given the name, you would have expected saltiness, but it is mostly sweet and sour. The meat is not too soft and they maintain the distinction between meat and salted fish. You can taste that the salted fish are of quality. According to the chef, it has to be a specific type.
There you have it! Our complete meal, which I find fulfilling not only gastronomically but psychologically.

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