But this was my first time in Sungai Petani in Kedah, and with a rumbling tummy and no idea where the good food places were, we decided to make a stop at the Jalan Dewa food court.
It was about 8.30pm and some of the stalls had already closed or were in the midst of closing except for one or two.
All I needed was a nice hot comforting bowl of kuey teow soup, but the husband who obviously developed a huge appetite from all that driving decided to be a bit more adventurous and ordered the Nyonya Curry Mee, Thai Fried Oyster and Kickapoo Tauhu (beancurd)!
The Kickapoo tauhu is one of a kind- never seen or had it anywhere else, and according to the stall owner it’s his own creation of a special sauce made with Kickapoo (yes- the drink) and mayonnaise poured over crispy deep fried tofu.
It is unsurprisingly a sweetish dish with a slight tinge of salt in the tofu. I thought it was nice but may be an acquired taste for some.
The Thai Fried oyster tossed in chilies and egg had an interesting twist to its taste lent by a generous sprinkling of Thai Basil and sweet chili sauce. Am not a fan of oysters but this preparation makes it palatable.
The Nyonya Curry Mee was interesting. This is the first time I’ve seen curry noodles served in a clear soup stock base.
The curry paste was served on the side in a soup spoon, and thus it is up to you how thick you want your curried soup paste to be by mixing in the desired quantity slowly. It was tasty with that distinctive Nyonya curry taste and aroma to it.Despite the fact that that was pretty much the only stall operating, we were not disappointed for a meal that cost just about MYR20. If we ever do come back this will be a must stop. The stall owner was friendly and even offered us a two for one discounted deal with the Kickapoo Tauhu and oysters.
Sungai Petani and its surrounding areas are unfamiliar ground so the next day I headed out early to find the meeting point for an assignment.
My contact was however delayed and this meant a search for a quiet spot to settle into, and a quick lunch in the quaint town of Semeling that lies in an enclave surrounded by scenic hills and paddy fields. With a setting like that, no one will complain about a delay!
By chance we again stumbled upon a tasty treat in pretty much the only food court along the main road of this town – wild boar curry served up by a local lady who runs an Indian food stall. Her other specialties includes tofu sambal and dry fried soya sauce chicken.
Next to her is a local Chinese family that serves drinks, and soup and curry noodles with the basic and essential ingredients – nothing fancy, but tasty fare in a beautiful setting nevertheless.
Sometimes that little step outside our comfort zone, that unexpected delay, the unplanned stops and the little discoveries made at these places are the hidden gems that we often bypass as we rush through to fulfill the tasks for the day.