Continue food trailing the food scene of Penang, I took mum, sis and my partner to a large Chinese restaurant for dinner on Day 2 in the eastern part of Penang island. The restaurant is called Stone Bay Restaurant, located in Jelutong township, off Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway (previously known as the Jelutong Highway).
Penang’s restaurants and cafes are aplenty sprawling all over the heavily populated satellite townships, from the east to the northeast and northwest of the island. The south and south west of Penang are not as densely populated. This may not be for very long once the second Penang Bridge is finished and opened to the public. There are signs of more new developments being launched for these parts of the island. Hopefully the other side, southwest of the island, known as Balik Pulau does not suffer the same fate as Batu Maung, which used to be a sleepy little township.
Most locals will only travel and frequent places that are nearest to their homes, but there are some that travel a bit further to try something different.
Penang’s Chinese food is unique, which is reflected in the menu of most Chinese restaurants. The dishes have a local influence, using lots of chilies, spices and curry leaves. Stone Bay dishes are exemplary of that local Chinese cuisines.
We ordered six dishes among four of us. The total bill came to MYR$180 (AUD$60). The dishes included a two types chicken combination, a caramalised tamarind prawns, steamed red snapper, deep fried brinjal in salt and pepper, stuffed bean curd with prawn meat, and braised bean curd with seafood.
The caramalised tamarind prawns was a very good dish. The flavour was sweet, garlicky, a bit sour and very aromatic with curry leaves. The prawn was perfectly battered. It had a nice crunch when lightly bite on it, followed by a soft and tender texture of the sweet prawn on the inside. The “sambal belacan” served on the side with chilled cucumber salad was a great accompaniment with the overly sweet caramlised prawns. A fantastic dish overall.
The two combination chicken – one was wrapped as a sandwich with chicken and salted egg yolk inside with toasted white sesame seeds on the outside, the other is a chicken stir fry coated in a sweet and salty thick sauce. It was a nice different contrast in texture and flavour between the two.
Steamed red snapper in light soy sauce. I usually order this dish for mum. She loves a simple steamed fish. Added a nice balance to a heavy meal from the other dishes. In her word, “Cheng Cheng Chiah Hoh” meaning eat a light and plain dish is good. This dish was light, salty from the light soy sauce and slightly tangy from the fried julienne fresh ginger and chopped garlic.
Braised bean curd in seafood sauce. I can eat this dish by itself. It had everything in it that I love to eat – a nice and soft tofu, baby bok choy, crab meats, scallops, prawns and chinese mushrooms.
The other dish, stuffed bean curd with prawn meat was an okay dish. It was hard to know the main ingredient of this dish was the bean curd. There was no texture or flavour of bean curd, but more flavour from the prawn meats.
Now that I have reflected back to the food we ate at Stone Bay, it was indeed a nice meal but probably injected a lot more into my cholesterol and sugar levels. That is probably the reason why many Penangites have high cholesterol and diabetes problems.
I guess my food indulgence in Penang is only for one week. If I have to live here, I will eat out no more than 2 or 3 times and cook mostly at home. But, I am on holiday. So enjoy it, right?
Coming very soon…Foodtrail in Penang 3 continues with two other restaurants on Day 3 – Maple Palace and Dragon-I.