Sunday, August 16, 2015

penang 02

I try to visit local Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) temples wherever I go. It's mainly due to a fortune reading I did years back that revealed (I only remember vaguely) my life's(?) affinity to the deity and that if I offered more prayers to her there would be more peace and goodness in my life. I'm all for more peace and goodness in my life! 

This Goddess of Mercy temple also knows by the locals as 'Kuan Yin Teng' is the oldest Chinese temple in Penang said to be built in 1728. Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) is probably the more notable of deities clad in her elegant white robe offering compassion and benevolence to her devotees.

Guy and I stopped to make a prayer. In our experience each temple may differ (in terms of number of joss sticks to be used and the prayer flow / direction) but temple go-ers are relatively helpful so just feel free to ask the aunties how to go about it. We were slightly worried someone was gonna steal our rented tandem bike so what we did was park our bicycle at one of those stalls (we chose the most busybody looking auntie seller) outside selling prayer amenities and bought a couple of lotus candles from her in exchange that she'd also watch our bike. Heh.

No joss sticks inside the temple so we made offered prayers outside. A novelty to light our joss sticks with a huge waterlily candle.

You can find other deities for worship here including:
- Tua Pek Kong (God of Prosperity)
- Hu Ye (Tiger God)
- Tai Suey (God of the Year) 
- Kshitagarbha Buddha
- Boddhisattva Wei Tuo

"The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow."
George R. R. Martin 

We explored the insides of the temple for abit before our hunger overcame our curiosity. Inside you can also purchase (LOL religion is a business too!) a pineapple glass candle. It is believed lighting a candle during prayers can bring you strong support from another party especially in times of need. Pineapples, on the other hand, is a symbol of good omen and that good luck will befall on one who offers it in prayers. You can also purchase birds to be freed alongside your prayers at one of the stalls outside the temple if it's your thing.

There are wells (2 out of 3 is within reach) in the temple where it is believed that drinking the holy water from these water sources can help alleviate diseases or ailments. I just used it to wash my fingers. I also overheard an auntie telling her friends that during the temple managed to survive bombings during the Japanese Occupation. Many people took shelter in this building and found during the aftermath that only the Kuan Yin Teng managed to survive the blasts. Wah. 

Kuan Yin Teng / Goddess of Mercy Temple
30 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (Pitt St)
10200 George Town
Tel: +604 261 6663

We then cycled a couple of blocks towards Chulia Street to try the famed Restoran Kapitan. There were some local trishaw paddlers along with motorcyclists who were annoyed at us as we got a little lost and were cycling too slow, trying to decipher road signs, for their comfort. Hehe. 

In my friend Lau's words, "Oh Kapitan my Kapitan!"

This Garlic Cheese Naan was way worth the tandem bike ride over!

I learnt from my mother that everything always tastes better in a claypot. True enough the Claypot Briyani was divine. The Garlic Cheese Naan is brilliant too. I missed out on the Butter Chicken so make sure you have that if you ever drop by.

Restoran Kapitan
93, Lebuh Chulia
George Town
10200 Penang
Tel: +604 250 4310
Mon-Sun 24 hours

Nobody goes to Georgetown nowadays and not make a China House pitstop. 

Comprising of 3 restored heritage buildings with an open courtyard, it houses 14 spaces comprising of galleries, cafes, shops etc. This comforting nook in the day becomes a lively realm with band performances at night. But the core attraction is the myriad of seductive cakes with enough sugargasm to make you keel over! 

All roads lead to China House (Beach St Bakery's cake pantry).

China House
53, Lebuh Pantai
10300 Georgetown
Tel: +604 2637299
Mon-Sun 09:00-00:00

If that's insufficient to quench your sweet tooth, just a stone's throw away is a cute little stall selling coconut ice cream.

Mama Miya Coconut Ice-cream
143 Lebuh Pantai
10300 George Town
Tel: +6 0124506699

This breezy cafe was a recommendation by an IG friend Angeline of Maeday (and Bisou BonBon customer, just had to say it 'cos well Bisou BonBon customers are awesome lots). Flanking Armenian Street with an unassuming storefront, it can go unnoticed but step through the tinted rickety door and you're suddenly transported into a haven with eclectic furnishings befitting of the name Cozy in the Rocket.

We had just walked down Armenian Street and back in the sizzling sun and was looking to take a quick refuge from the heat. I was quite stuffed from all the casual nibbles so I thought I'd try the lightest sounding thing on the menu (scrawled over their blackboard sign) which happened to be the coconut panna cotta with gula melaka. 

That coconut panna cotta is MAJ. It is SO DAMN GOOD. I still dream about it. Never would I have been able to fathom the made-in-heaven pairing of longan and lime but they did it excellently! It was refreshing, zesty and soothing all at the same time. Hands down one of the best sh*t I've eaten in Penang.

I popped by Cozy in the Rocket and had the best coconut pannacotta with gula melaka there. Pairs so very well with their longan & lime juice!

262 & 264, Lebuh Pantai 
10300 Georgetown
Tues-Sun 10:00-17:00

Ask any Penangite and they'll stand by their choice of the 'best' Char Koay Teow in town. Being a KLite, I've yet to decide on my favourite. I have tried Sister's and the one in Lorong Selamat so I decided to give Ah Leng a try. I was curious if having mantis prawn in my CKT would actually elevate the experience as some has described. Well, it wasn't transcendental-lah. I like it heavily laced with egg-goodness so I chose to have it with duck egg but the mantis prawn did nothing to compliment it in its entirety. It came up to a whopping RM13! Yikes.

Uhh this char kuey teow with mantis prawn and duck egg cost me RM13! *Gulp*

Ah Leng Char Koay Teow
Restoran Tong Hooi
Jalan Dato Keramat
Kampung Makam
10150 Penang
Tel: +6012 4983962
Fri-Wed 08:30-14:30

I was amidst designing my Nyonya Peranakan collection for Shelbijou so a quick pop by Pinang Peranakan Mansion was imperative. I was hoping to derive influences from their jewellery and pottery collection to my work. True enough, so much inspiration to be garnered from all the opulence, colour and vintage patterns of the architecture, furnishings, tableware.. even their beaded slippers! 

Formerly known as "Hai Kee Chan" (Sea Remembrance Hall), it was the residence and office of Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee. He was a wealthy Hakka triad leader who was highly revered by the Chinese settlers during the colonial period. Upon the death of the Kapitan, the residence was almost doomed to rot into a state of dilapidation before it was rescued by Peter Soon, a Peranakan architect, who decided to restore the mansion subsequently converting into a building showcasing the Baba Nyonya way of living: wealth and dignity. It now displays European and Peranakan antiques and artefacts depicting the way of life back in the days. A remarkable collection with beautiful Peranakan colours! I am so in love with their kamcheng pieces.

 I quantum leaped into the life of a Nyonya living in the Pinang Peranakan Mansion.

Very intrigued by the antique Bakul Siah.

These beaded slippers are made with love to be loved. Such intricate craftsmanship with a story behind each motif... divine! 

The bees knees!

Playing Nyonya of the house LOL.

Guy said I would not last a day in a historical Peranakan love story cos I don't cook and can't live without air-conditioning.

A Baba Nyonya love story if ever. How hopelessly romantic if it would have been in existence! This image, though, exceptionally captured by a Bangladeshi employee of the Pinang Peranakan Mansion.

Pinang Peranakan Mansion
29, Church Street
10200 Penang
Tel: +604 2642929
Mon-Sun 09:30-17:00

Continue: Penang 01

Read also: #fwis / #ihavethisthingwithfloors tile collection: Penang

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...