Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Feasting in Penang?: Penang Road Teochew Chendol

Mention Chendol and Penang...and automatically the recommendations run to the stall just by Penang Road and Lebuh Leng Kee. For the longest time, there has been two stalls, just across the road from each is perpetually with a long queue, and the other, curiously is almost always without any customers.

My parents both loved the one which, when you stand on Penang Road, and look into Lebuh Leng Kee, is on the right. And the one which has the queues.

I haven't been at this stall for about 5 years now, and returned just after Christmas 09 for a visit...and boy it has changed. The stall now has rented (?) or bought a shophouse just a stone throw away, and now customers can sit in comfort to enjoy their bowl of chendol.

The prices also have increased accordingly over the years...but the BIG question is...has the quality and taste?

Sad to say, it has. Quality has suffered in the pursuit of profit. No more the thick, coconut milk. No more the large kidney beans. No more the springy, yet tender strands of green mung bean pasta. No more thick, wholesome, fragrant palm sugar. The only thing remainding is the beautifully shaved ice...still done just right...finely shaved, no icicles forming...providing a jolt of cold, and melts on contact with the tongue.

Now, in the chase for profit, it looks like what you get is a bowl of watery mess...with ingredients mildly reminiscent of the glorious chendol we used to get from this stall. Disappointing. Rarely, do I write a poor review, and not offer any positive attributes to say about a stall. My policy has always been if I don't blog about it, either I have not had the opportunity to taste the food, or it is not good. But this transgression of hawkers who have tasted success and fame, and now goes to their head, and dilutes their product need some exposure. And makes me furious!

Teochew Chendol
stall by Penang Road and Lebuh Leng Kee


Rob said...

Interesting Peter. Could it be that as hawkers are simple-minded in their approach to cooking hence able to produce some of the best food out there be as simple-minded when wanting to gain more profits?

Don't they realize that the quality has suffered? This could be an entirely new subject which probably is not suitable for discussion here but for now, am sad that this icon seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur. Too bad...

Extreme Power said...