Tuesday, October 9, 2012

YummY! - Penang Cendol @ Penang Road, Penang, Malaysia

You are at - Jotaro's Blog  / FootSteps / YummY! / Desserts & Drinks / Penang Cendol @ Penang Road
                            YummY!                               Jotaro's Food Review     
George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Much has been said about this Penang's Chendul stall, now people call it Teochew Chendul - we Penangites just call it Penang Road Chendul.

But then, we are wrong too! For the stall is not at Penang Road, more correctly it is at Keng Kwee Street.

But irrespective, it still draws the crowd. And the odd thing is that it is just a small road side stall with no tables, benches or even chairs! The customers just queue up to buy and stand around to eat, holding bowls of delicious chendul in their hands and slurping away...

Chendul by itself refers to a green "noodle" jelly made from rice flour with a little green (mung) bean flour added for the bounce. Nowadays, the green color is achieved by adding food dye (some pandan is still added). Orginally, the green color was achieved with only pandan leaf juice which gives it a darker green color as opposed to the lighter green food dye color.
I still prefer the pandan colored chendul as it looks richer and has that nice pandan aroma.

Chendul also refers to a cold dessert, the one which people crowd to eat here.
The green "noodles" is mixed with chilled thick santan (coconut milk) not more than ten minutes before serving (this is to preserve the freshness of the santan).
Shaved iced is added to a bowl, then the chendul-santan mix, then the red beans and finally a helping of gula melaka (palm sugar) syrup.

The whole concoction is refreshing on a hot day. The traditional pandan and gula melaka combines too give it a good aroma with a sweet, scintillating taste. Sweet but not overly. The chendul jelly itself is slight bouncy and chewy to bite into, making a play on the tongue and palate. Overall simple but YummY!

Other Drinks from L-R: Green Grass, Cincau, Selasih & Chrysanthemum. 
Other than it's famous chendul, the stall also serves Ice Kacang dessert and cold drinks like those shown above. Cincau (Grass Jelly) and Chrysanthemum Tea is well known so I won't dwell on these. The interesting (and harder to find) drinks are the Green Grass and Selasih drinks.

Green Grass (that's a direct translation from Penang Hokkein "cheh chow") is a refreshing and "cooling" drink with medicinal qualities. It is slightly bitter with a raw grass taste - so not many like it; or politely put it's an acquired taste! Green Grass is not made from grass, it is made from "Pegaga" a creeper with healing properties (see Healing with Pegaga).

Now the Selasih (Basil seed) drink, which is served with red rose syrup, is another healthy drink. The selasih is a seed somewhat akin to Chia seeds - it swells when soaked in water. For the health boost-ups see "5 Amazing Benefits Of Basil Seeds"

At RM2-00 per bowl it is not the cheapest in town, but it was money well spent for its flavorful taste.
Don't want to stand & eat? Go to the shop slightly down the road owned by the stall operator. Penang Teochew Chendul even have branches at Prangin Mall, Komtar Walk and in Bagan Ajam, Butterworth.
Or if you like the food at the adjancent Joo Hooi Cafe and want to have chendul instead of the regular coffee/tea, the coffeshop charge RM0-50 for corkage or should I say chendul-age.

Penang Teochew Chendul Location Map (Google Map Link)
This renown Penang Teochew Chendul stall is located at Lebuh Keng Kwee off Penang Road.
Business Hours:
Mondays - Fridays : 10:30 - 19:00
Saturdays & Sundays : 10:00 - 19:30

They now have several outlets inside shopping complexes. The above is the Komtar, Penang outlet.

You may also like:

Delightful Ice-cream made from coconut milk, George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Delicious Nyonya pastries from a simple road-side stall - Fettes Road , Penang, Malaysia

Surprisingly nice Indian-style fried noodles, Bangkok Lane, Penang, Malaysia.

 A grand clan house full of heritage, with impressive art & architecture.
An ride to promote cleanliness & green-ness in Penang. From Straits Quay, Tanjong Tokong to the Pulau Jerejak Jetty

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