Holiday Foodsteps: Hot Wok, Penang

We thought it would be nice to step away from the chaos that comes with hawker food to sample some Penang Nyonya delights. Having grown up thinking that all grandmothers wore either sarongs or wooden clogs, I've always been a fan of the eclectic mix of flavours that Nyonya cuisine presents and so when we stumbled upon Hot Wok, we thought we'd take a chance.

Hot Wok
124-E & F Jalan Burma
10050 Penang, Malaysia.
Telephone: (604) 227 3368

I love how Nyonya cuisine seems to be a marriage of cultures - Chinese cooking with a dash of Malay-influenced spices.

Inchi Kabin - crispy on the outside and deliciously succulent on the inside, this dish is a childhood favourite. Coupled with the slightly tangy "ang mo tau eu", the Nyonya version of Lea & Perrins sauce, it had such an addictive quality that we ordered seconds.

Assam prawns. Coated with the dark, sticky assam sauce, the prawns were fresh. However, I would have preferred the sauce to be a little less sweet and little more sour.

Gulai tumis - the spicy-sour fish curry that's always a crowd pleaser. With a rather generous amount of brinjals and long beans, this dish goes extremely well with a bowl of steaming hot rice. While the dish had to be sent back the first time for being slightly undercooked, it came back well-cooked and with a nice balance of flavours.

The "Hong Bak", with it's gravy on the slightly thicker side, was quite enjoyable as well, reminding me very much of the version we get at home. Despite the rather large meal, we couldn't resist dessert and our selection of cendol, mango cendol and honeydew sago seemed to be spot on.

With the grandmother and aunts in tow, it was a pretty tough crowd to please but I'd say that Hot Wok managed to hold it's own.


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    The Best in KL/PJ