I will be heading to Penang this coming weekend, and I thought instead of blogging about my trip after I’m back, I might as well get ahead & share with you my planned & favourite haunts each time I’m back on the island.
It is almost a ritual, and the stall owners would most likely greet me with “Ahh…you back di ahh..what are you doing in KL worr? Why soooo thin?? Come back Penang laa..”. *roll eyes*
One of the things I miss most in Penang is “heng jin thng”(almonds in hokkien), Chinese Almond Soup, a type of “tong shui” – aka sweet dessert soup.
The 2 famous stalls that sells this are at New Lane & another at Kimberly Street.
This almond dessert is pretty much an acquired taste, for it has been described by its non-fans as foul smelling (mostly described as medicinal smelling or like cockroaches!) & unappetizing.
In KL, most dessert house does the Almond CREAM versions, which is really different from this .
I thought I hit jackpot when I saw it sold by a mobile stall in SS2 Monday night market but
each visits has been futile, for it was always sold out by the time I got there!
Anyhow, it was absolutely satisfying (for me at least) to dunk some “you tiao / you cha kway/ yew char kuay” (chinese fried crullers) into my steaming fresh almond soup & slowly savour the slight saltiness & chewy texture from the chinese crullers soaked with the bitter yet sweet almond soup.
This was a light dinner by itself for me.
The almonds for making this Heng Jin Thng is the chinese almonds which differs from the ones used to make almond biscuits.
The owner once told me that he grinds the almonds mixture with rice using traditional granite/stone grinder. That probably explains the fresh & slightly grainy taste of the soup.
Recently, I’ve heard rumours that it is now powder mixed, diluted & wasn’t as good as before & I sincerely hope that I will still find it as enjoyable this coming trip.
In Chinese coffee shops, I will order it for breakfast, and this is typically the powder form.
Not that I mind, cos with a bit of condensed milk stirred in, it was a healthy breakfast drink for me. Again, it doesn’t seem to be served in KL coffee shops.
Still, nothing beats the freshly grinded and cooked almond soup.
I love my red bean soup and Lian Chee Kang too.
And only these 2 stalls does my red beans the way I like it.
Not broken up & starchy soup-wise but still in whole kernels yet soft to the core when eaten.
The skin is not “rough” & the skin wouldn’t scratch your throat as you swallow it.
The gingko nuts are commendable too, soft, sweet and cooked through thoroughly.
Ahhhh…Penang may not hold the fondest memories, but at least I got fond memories of the food!