Thursday, 10 August 2017

Getting a Taste of Penang Food at Taste of Georgetown near Sutera Mall



Buddies Ong and Ben tipped me off to Taste of Georgetown, a little eatery near Sutera Mall in JB serving Penang style street food. (My inbox is flooded with good food suggestions 😋 Keep them coming 👍 I appreciate it 😄 )

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Taste of Georgetown is run by owners Michael and wife Shanny from Penang. Michael, an engineer by profession, came to Johor to work with a multi-national company. After living in JB, Michael realised that there are very few Penang eateries here. As Michael's family is in the food business in Penang, and Shanny is passionate about cooking, they decided to launch Taste of Georgetown early this year.

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Taste of Georgetown is a simply furnished, clean and comfortable little eatery near the popular Sutera Mall in JB.

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I like Taste of Georgetown's Penang Asam Laksa a lot. (Price RM8.80+)

The asam laksa broth is heavy and thick, packed with finely cut and diced vegetables and herbs. It takes a lot of manual work to make this dish.

The laksa has lots of interesting textures and crunch from the full load of vegetables and herbs like pineapple, cucumber, onion, daum kesum and torch ginger flower inside.

It is also full of sweet, sour, savoury and spicy flavours. The chili in the asam laksa packs quite a spicy punch. The asam laksa broth already so flavoursome gets another savoury sweet flavour boost when I mixed in the fermented prawn paste (hae koe 蝦膏) which Michael brings in from Penang. 

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I like it that Taste of Georgetown uses asam geluger slices instead of too much tamarind paste in their asam laksa. I prefer asam geluger's sourness as it is gentler and smoother, whereas tamarind paste sourness feels bitingly sharp and makes me cringe. (Most asam laksa places use tamarind paste as it is a short cut that requires no manual work - simply mix in lah 😄 )

I also like it that Taste of Georgetown uses fresh sardines instead of canned sardine. Fresh sardines have a better bite and we can taste the sweetness of fish, whereas canned sardines are a soft mushy mash and tastes of salt and preservatives.

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Fresh sardines cost more and takes a lot more effort to prepare but Penangites are just too proud of their food heritage to compromise by using short cuts straight out from tin cans 😄

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If I have any complaint, I would prefer the fat noodles to be softer and less springy - I am nitpicking here 😄 But, the asam laksa broth was so good that I drank it all up to the last drop, addicted to it's punchy kick.

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Michael suggested that I try his chee cheong fun but I was hesitant. You know, it's just carbs and sauce, and I am having way too much carbs already.

I relented on Michael's insistence.

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I am glad that I am so easily swayed 😄

The fun 粉 is so soft, tender and smooth. And, the sauce which is a blend based on Penang prawn paste (hae koe) is so good with uniquely Penang flavour! The thick sauce's savoury sweetness complement perfectly the subtly sweet fun 粉. The house fried shallots added a bit of pung-ness 香氣 (aromatics) and crispy crunch to the chee cheong fun.

Must try this chee cheong fun when you are at Taste of Georgetown.

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This Penang lor bak (meat roll) was another dish which I demurred when Michael suggested. Too much meat lah.... fat die me lor.... (Price RM9.80+ for 2 rolls.)

But, again, I was glad that I was weak in saying no.... 😄

The lean pork was fresh, hand cut, paired with thin strips of yam and crunchy bangkuang 芒光, and wrapped with crisp paper thin tofu skin which Michael brought in from Penang.

This lor bak was so delicious - nice layers of savoury sweetness and it was not too greasy at all. I like it so much that for a while, any concerns about cholesterol was out of the window 😂

This lor bak is another must try at Taste of Georgetown.

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As I was leaving, Michael said that I should come back to try their Hokkien Mee (known as prawn mee in Johor and Singapore), as he uses 30% more prawn heads for his prawn stock than the recipe most hawkers use. Aiyah, early don't sayy... 😂 Now, I can't sleep well thinking of his Hokkien Mee. So, I had no choice but to come back to Taste of Georgetown, the very next day.

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Indeed, the prawn stock had a deep crustacean savouriness well complemented with sweetness. I like Taste of Georgetown's prawn stock.

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Taste of Georgetown's Hokkien mee is served with an excellent savoury spicy sambal chili with sambal belacan from Penang. But, I suggest tasting the prawn stock first before ladling in the sambal chili as the chili will alter the taste profile of the stock significantly. If you like the prawn stock as it is (like me), leave the chili aside. If you like to boost the spicy kick, add as much chili as you like 😄

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I chose the Hokkien mee topped with bak kut (pork ribs). There are also choices of topping with sio bak (roast pork) or big prawns.

This bak kut was nicely done. The meaty pork ribs were tender and juicy inside with nice natural porky sweetness. I am happy with my choice 😄 Taste of Georgetown's Hokkien mee was indeed worth coming back for. (Price RM12.80+)


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Rounding up my scrumptious lunch of tasty Penang fare with what else but a sweet Penang style cendol (two days in a row) 😋. (Price RM3.00+)

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👉 I like the Penang style food by Taste of Georgetown, especially their Assam Laksa, chee cheong fun, Hokkien mee and lor bak. I like it that Taste of Penang sticks to the old ways of preparing Penang food as well as uses ingredients and sauces from Penang. I will be back soon to try other iconic Penang dishes like Penang White Curry Mee with pork blood curd 😄

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Name of Restaurant: Taste of Georgetown
Address: 56, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/3, Taman Sutera Utama, Johor Bahru
GPS: 1°30'56.3"N 103°40'05.6"E 1.515625, 103.668221
Tel: 019 411 3851 (Michael)
Hours: 9:00am to 8:00pm (Tues off)

Non Halal

Date visited: 9 & 10 Aug 2017



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2 comments:

I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints as it makes this blog better :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is unethical in the same way as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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