Some Thoughts on Eating in Georgetown

For lovers of Asian street food, no word conjures up deeper desire than “Georgetown.” This port city on the island of Penang, just off the mainland Malaysian coast, has its own way of doing street food. It is something of a cross between the organized hawker centers of Singapore, and the jumbled food carts clogging the streets of all self-respecting Thai cities. The food is also a mix of Malay, Chinese, and Indian influences.

If you like food, and especially Asian street food, Georgetown is a must visit. Continue reading

Melaka Food: Banana Leaf Rice at Selvam

It was a hot, hot day. I mean really hot. And humid. It was a hot, humid day. The kind of day where you want to change your shirt every five minutes, but even that doesn’t help. As soon as you put on a new shirt, it is dripping wet.

It was the kind of day where all you want to do is sit still somewhere that an industrial strength air conditioner will blow directly on you. So naturally we found ourselves at a shophouse restaurant with no AC. No breeze. No air. Just delicious, cheap food.

The place is called Selvam. Continue reading

Melaka Food: Ramadan Bazaar

I had never been in an Islamic country during Ramadan before. When I realized we were coming to Malaysia during the holy month where Muslims abstain from (among other things) food during daylight hours*, I was a bit concerned at first. After all, our primary travel activity is eating. Would restaurants and street food venders be open? Assuming we were able to find food, would we be able to find a dark corner to secretly scarf down our lunch, our would we have to resort to eating in front of fasting locals who might take a dim view of our gluttony in the face of their rumbling bellies? Continue reading

Melaka Food: Capitol Satay Celup

I like satay. What is not to like? Marinated meat on a stick that is basted with some sort of yummy liquid while it cooks and then dipped into sauce just before you eat it.

Satay is good.

So when I found out about a particular type of satay in Melaka, Malaysia, where instead of just basting and dipping, you actually cook your own skewers of meat in a bubbling vat of hot satay sauce at your own table, I knew I had to try it. And the best place to try it was reported to be Capitol Satay Celup. Continue reading

How to Eat Street Food in Singapore

I once heard an interview with Anthony Bourdain where he was asked his favorite city in the world for eating. Of course he dodged the question, never pinpointing a single city. He did name a few though, and Singapore was one of those cities.

I love to gripe about Bourdain. But let’s face it, I am just jealous. My ten-year life plan is either to replace him or become his faithful sidekick. I haven’t figured out which one has a better chance of success yet. Continue reading

Our Shameful First Bite in Singapore

After our ridiculously early start in Taipei, we arrived in Singapore like zombies. We shuffled slowly down the corridors at Changi Airport, each of us wearing a blank, thousand-yard stare. We were sluggish. We were inarticulate. All we wanted was some food (thank you Air Asia for not only overcharging for pretty mediocre food in flight, but not allowing us to bring outside food with us either). Continue reading

I Ate What!? Being the Butt of the Joke in Taipei

You wouldn’t think the escalator ride into the subterranean level of the Shilin market in Taipei would be a trip into horror. After all, when we went there was a Japanese tourist with a baby in a stroller and a 7 year old boy wearing a t-shirt that said “DORK” right in front of us. This was a market geared mainly towards tourists. Surely there would not be an evil lurking below.

But I knew. I had seen it on YouTube . . . and some things you can never unsee! Continue reading

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