Johor Kaki Travels for Food

Singapore based personal blog of true stories by johorkaki@gmail about best food, people & places around the world

Monday, 28 May 2018

What to Eat @ KSL JB - Penang Food - Taste of Georgetown

OK back in JB to look for good food. Decided on Taste of Georgetown in KSL City Mall as I tried their original outlet near Sutera Mall before and there were several dishes I enjoyed there.

I had a bit of difficulty locating the restaurant initially. KSL mall is a maze with lots of blind corners and choked full of little kiosks selling all kinds of the same gadgets and trinkets. I also couldn't find any shop directory in KSL mall - there must be shop directories (right?), it's just that I can't find them 😂

I found Taste of Georgetown after messaging Michael, the owner - it's on level 2, behind the Blackball outlet (and in front of Daiso, which opens next month in Jun 2018).

Inside Taste of Georgetown, it is unmistakably Penang with the familiar wall murals which we have all seen before. Furnishings are simple but comfortable and adds to the casual street dining feel. The old suitcases overhead..... well... I don't know what to say 😛 but they make good talking points, if we don't know what to say 😄 

At a glance, the menu at Taste of Georgetown KSL is similar to ToG Sutera. All the familiar Penang hawker favourites are there - assam laksa, white curry mee, Hokkien mee, chee cheong fun, lor bak, lor mee, etc. But, no char kway teow as there was no heavy duty ducting inside the mall. (For CKT, we have to go to ToG's Sutera outlet.)

I zeroed in on the Penang assam laksa, the most representative Penang street food, in my humble opinion.

At the heart of assam laksa is the stock. Before adding the hae ko sauce (made from fermented prawn paste), the stock tasted sourish spicy with a bit of mild savouriness from the fish. Adding the savoury sweet hae ko gave us a flavourful savoury sweet sourish spicy stock. The tasty stock felt heavy from the syrupy texture of hae ko and there was a bit of soft graininess from the almost dissolved mashed fish bits.

There were also generous pieces of fish in ToG's Penang assam laksa. I like it that Taste of Georgetown use fish instead of canned sardines for their assam laksa. ToG used fresh sardines in the past but now uses Saba fish for greater consistency and availability (saba fish is less susceptible to seasonal variations).

If you are a fan of those grilled saba fish set at Korean stalls, it is the same fish here. Tender, a bit of soft fibrous feel, and a subtle herring taste. I am a saba fish set fan, so this switch in ToG's Penang assam laksa works for me.

Generic springy thick bee hoon complete the assam laksa dish.

Taste of Georgetown's version will be one of the top of my mind Penang assam laksa when I crave for it in JB.

I like this popiah by ToG and singlehandedly finished off these two rolls.

The mildly sweetish popiah skin was soft, maybe a bit softer than I like, but the stewed bangkuang (Chinese turnip 沙葛) was really good. It had just the right moistness and softness with nice savoury sweet flavour. Crunchy aromatic savoury fried shallot added texture and layer of flavour to the popiah. 

A selection of Penang lor bak items.

I like ToG's lor bak meat rolls most. They had a nice chew to the bite as they were made with strips of pork and bits of fat (not minced). The slight crisp of the fried roll skin complemented the tender meat and fat.

The lor bak is eaten with a gooey savoury sweet dip and a spicy sourish dip.

Eat Penang food must, of course, round it up with Penang style chendol.

ToG makes a nice chendol. The thick stubby pandan "worms" are real - not plasticky type flavoured with green colour chemical essence. It is made with 4 types of flour - rice, mung bean, sago plus one more which I forgot - with real pandan leaves which gave it the organic green colour and fragrance. The "worms" felt tender and soft - for chendol I like fat worms like these 😋

In the mound of shaved ice, boiled red beans, fresh creamy coconut milk and gula Melaka (caramelised palm sugar) complete the dessert with layers of sweetness. The sweetness was at just the right level for me.

With owners Anna from Malacca (left of photo) and Shanny from Penang (right).

👉 If you like a taste of Penang while in JB, you can get it at Taste of Georgetown, either in KSL City Mall or in Taman Sutera (near Sutera Mall). If I want to eat Penang assam laksa in KSL area, I will get it at ToG. I shall be back to try other dishes at Taste of Georgetown.

Disclosure: Tow kay neos declined my payment for food consumed.

My previous post on Taste of Georgetown in Taman Sutera back in Aug 2017 👈 click to read

Restaurant name: Taste of Georgetown (KSL outlet)

Address: KSL City Mall, Level 2, Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, Johor Bahru
GPS1°29'08.1"N 103°45'44.7"E | 1.485573, 103.762404
Waze: KSL City Mall
Tel: +607 554 3220
Hours: 10:00am - 10:00pm

Non Halal

Date visited: 28 May 2018

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I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't. All comments with genuine identities are published.