Saturday, February 19, 2011

Penang Food Trail 8

Near the Penang Ferry Terminal stands a restaurant called Hai Nam Town.

I have eaten at the place the last time I came to Penang and so far, the food has been pleasing.

Our first two starters of Ju Hu Char and Popiah. I didn't like the Ju Hu Char so much because I think they used some herbs in there that gave me a slight headache. Then again, I could never stomach fragrant herbs too much.

The fried Popiah was deliciously crispy and juicy. The chili sauce it came with was good to pile into the sengkuang as it absorbed every last bit of it.

The mains started to arrive. The first on the table was the Rendang Chicken. Thick, fragrant, spicy and sweet. All at the same time.

The veggies came in the form of crunchy Kangkong cooked in belacan.

By far, I believe this was the best fish head curry of the trip. All those little cut flavours on top added to the overall robust taste of this lovely curry. 

Another version of asam prawns. I spent more time licking up the asam coating the prawns than I did actually eating it. It helped that the prawns were fresh and crunchy.

For dinner, we visited a restaurant that is constantly packed with people along Gurney Drive. Those who have been there would definitely know this place.

Bali Hai is a restaurant with an apt tag line of: If it swims, we have it. The concept is tanks of aquariums holding fresh, live seafood. You can either choose from the tanks and cook the seafood to your choice or order from the menu, like we did.

A steaming plate of stir-fried kai lan was served. 

Our choice of tofu was the claypot version filled with chicken and veggies. The sauce for this was thick, rich and good on rice.

What is going to seafood restaurant without seafood? We ordered a fish cooked in some sort of tomyam broth. This wasn't what I wanted actually. I think the version I had here previously was the 'ala Thai' style which steamed the fish in a clear sauce that was tart and spicy. Lime, lemon grass and various other herbs and flavourings were scattered over the fish. This version was nothing more than tomyam fish. Not bad, but nothing unusual.

Butter prawns. The sauce is just on this side of okay while I wouldn't call the prawns extremely fresh.

Chili crabs was the final dish. The sauce, good, the one crab we ordered, huge.

Overall, the food was decent at Bali Hai but based on the price we paid, it can be considered nothing more than regular. We paid slightly more expensive than what we could have gotten in KL and to me, that makes the food completely unappealing.

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