Sunday, April 26, 2009

Taro terror!

My recent revisit of fish meat beehoon in Penang has made me hanker for more. I'd completely disregarded this soupy delicacy for many years - I'd shut it out during my parents' glory days of relentless eating, when they'd pretty much insisted on it five days a week for breakfast.

Now that no one is feeding me it against my steely teenaged will, my interest in this has been revived and I am hell-bent on OD'ing on it all on my own. What better place to begin than the illustrious waterfront mecca of bountiful breakfasts, Gurney Drive?

Public Cafe, still standing the test of time, despite being the clear underdog next to the eminent Song River.

The stall features a rather extensive menu around its array of fresh seafood, including claypot oyster noodles and fried fish head beehoon but we stay focused.

In the mornings, only freshly brewed Chinese tea is available as the kopitiam doesn't operate until around 11AM.

First up is the evergreen standard fish meat beehoon, comes in a claypot, more than enough to serve two. It is teeming with fresh fish meat, and tons of greens, and a sprinkling of chopped bird's eye chilli is all that's needed to add extra seasoning.

There is none of that much-maligned smell of the sea in this; it's extremely subtle, yet gratifying at the same time. What have I been doing, keeping myself away from this?!

The second version of the day, however, overwhelms even further. The addition of taro (or yam, both names equally fitting for this utterly enticing root), minced meat and stalks of spring onion elevates it to a different league of breakfast noodles altogether. I am remorseful that I have spent the last ten odd years stubbornly refusing this subdued yet profound meal, but I quickly forgive myself, for the only way to correct wrongful (self) deprivation is to over-compensate and make up for lost time.

So it is with this that we springboard into the domain of more fish meat beehoon finds! Recommendations most welcome!

19 comments:

thenomadGourmand said...

Penang...sigh..
like urself i had stayed awy frm this dish for eons..wonder why??
now that u bought this up..a re-kindled interest/crave is building up..
recent post by AWOL seems promising..wanna hit that soon?

Mellie said...

I so depend on you to discover lovely food to eat in Penang which I never knew existed...though I'm a Penangite! Sheesh

allie said...

The 2nd version looks great! I wanna go try .. drooling now.. I want a bowl for my supper !

J2Kfm said...

oooh... this is indulging.

yam in noodles? is this very near to Song River? cz i admit i also went for commercialized (slightly) outlet if given the chance.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

well its never too late rite? this is the "clear" version of the fish head noodles minus teh milk?

worldwindows said...

Yummy yam. The king of legumes in my humble opinion. My favourite anytime. Now I am wondering how it taste with the fish noodles!

gina said...

now.. i have some serious cravings for some fish head noodles..

mimid3vils said...

fish noodle = fish head noodle?

babe_kl said...

i wonder if there's similar stuff in KL??? so far my encounters never have yam

FoOd PaRaDiSe said...

I have not try the second version yet. Will try it out one day. Thanks for sharing. ^o^

Bangsar-bAbE said...

Like babe kl, I've never encountered a version with yam...

I love taro...and never got sick of eating it! =P

backStreetGluttons said...

There are quite a few standouts of this fishy thing in Old Klang Road and Kuchai Lama. You may want to compare how they stack up to your parents' original sentimental lorvy birds' Penang noodles dish now everywhere other places here and there with your this one

550ml jar of faith said...

The Nomad Gourmand, yeah saw that on AWOL too! Slurppp!

Mellie, I'm also discovering and rediscovering myself... plenty of trial and errors; case in point our lil' mishap meal on Sunday???

Allie, I hope you found it elsewhere for supper. Pretty sure they're only open for breakfast! :-P

J2Kfm, right next to Song River. Even though it's more widely known, it's no less enticing! The sour & spicy soup fish head noodles are best!

Joe, correct, no milk! I can't stand even a drop of milk, and unfortunately that's an aversion I have yet to grow out of!

Worldwindows, how great is yam right? I mean I can just go on - yam cake, yam puffs, yam ice cream...

550ml jar of faith said...

Gina, any stall nearby? I'm a little lost as to how I can get my hands on it in KL...

Mimid3vils, ahh I see you noticed the difference! Well, it's generally known as fish head noodles... but since I actually like mine a bit more meaty, I always go for fish meat instead.

Babe KL, actually this was my first time too... I'm sure there's a similar one tucked away in some corner in Klang Valley. Now, just have to find it!

Food Paradise, no prob! On days when you don't feel like chu char, do give this a try :-)

Bangsar Babe, I just remembered another great by product of yam... oh-nee, the yam paste dessert you find in Melaka! The list of yam delicacies is endless!

BSG, oh yes! I really could use the recommendation, and both Kuchai and Old Klang is only a stone's throw away! Got more specific directions?

PureGlutton said...

Oooh... i luv yam/taro! Next time i go to penang, must try this and order extra portions of yam too!

backStreetGluttons said...

try this one !

da best !

Big Boys Oven said...

Looks awesomely delicious . . . .really craving for it, next trip to Penang will fork into it!

Nic (KHKL) said...

rustic kopitiams like public cafe are awesome, arent they. it's like you've travelled the world over to realise that the best is still the beginning of things. it's not too late! ;D ;D i love love fish noodles! yupe, do check out the ones that lyrical lemongrass blogged about.

gourmand extraordinaire said...

Back when I was in Penang, we used to go to the one at Sky Hotel in Chulia Street but after witnessing their rather questionable hygienic standards we never went back there. There's a really good place that's open in the morning though, it's stir fried fish head noodles located at New Lane, a corner lot. YOu won't missed it, it's packed in the morning, I've been going there for breakfast since I was a child. Lemme know when you're in Penang, me takee you there.