|The roti man in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia|
It also gave us time to seek out roti at every opportunity. One late morning, our roti request was met with a short wait for the roti guy, who had ducked out. Being such an art form, there was no-one else there who could make roti, so we snacked as we waited.
|Ayam goreng - deep fried chicken|
It reminded me of why thigh fillets are often preferred in Asia over breast fillets - juicy, tender and full of flavour. We cleaned this maryland down to the bone.
|Roti telur bawang|
The egg and onion roti is folded into a rectangle and then dipped into curry sauce, also from the nasi kandar bain maries.
There's a slight salty-sweet play that's very appetising, as well as a soft-chewy contrast between the somewhat cooked banana and grilled dough.
|The beach at Batu Ferringhi, Penang|
And despite our only activity being floating about the lagoon-styled pool and climbing out to reclining sunchairs, we somehow managed an appetite for lunch.
|Bain marie offerings for nasi campur in the street centre, Batu Ferringhi, Penang|
It's nasi campur we're informed by the lovely chef lady, set up self-serve style whereby you're given a plate of rice and you choose an array meat and vegetable dishes, and are charged per selection.
The takeaway version is similar, except the plate is reverse-wrapped with a plastic bag which is then filled, flipped and tied up to go.
|My nasi campur plate|
With almost 10 meat and vegetable options on my pile of rice totalling about 10 ringgit (just over AUD3), it wasn't the cheapest meal by local standards, but more than fine by Sydney standards.
|The other side of my nasi campur plate|
It was a relief to have the non-spicy okra there, but food-related sweating soon outdid the weather-related sweating.
|The lovely nasi campur lady|
While I bought little other than a taro ice cream from a Wall's vendor, the oppressive heat and humidity (even after sundown) plus the swarming bargain-hunting crowds was intense for a (these days) lightweight shopper.
Most amusing was probably the clandestine actions of some stallholders yet blatant selling of fake branded goods at other stalls.
|Crowds at Long Beach food court at Batu Ferringhi, Penang|
|Lime juice drink|
|Manning the satay grill|
|Chicken and beef satay with lontong (background)|
The spice heat of satay sauce the sticks are served with is somewhat tempered by the cucumber and rice cakes, although personally I find the latter to be generally bland and stodgy.
|Chicken char kway teo|
The 'breath of the wok' (smokey aroma from a hot wok) is clearly apparent while the bold salty and sweet flavours of the sauce are joyously scoffed.
|Jumbo grilled prawns|
Grilled to perfection and doused with a sweet, sour sauce, the bouncy flesh came away easily from the shell. Each crustacean was at least four mouthfuls although I didn't eat the shell nor quite large, spikey heads.
|Grilled stingray - ikan pari bakar|
|Fried oyster omelette|
What we received was indeed a soft, eggy omelette featuring lots of young shallots and indeed lots of oysters, of all sizes too. It was hard to tell whether they were orginally fresh, frozen or otherwise in their cooked state, but they retained all their briney, creamy juiciness within their cloaks of egg and lived up to every expectation.
|Grilled chicken marylands|
|Corn kernels with margarine from Daily Fresh, Penang International Airport|
Having thought we had plenty of time waiting for the flight to Kuala Lumpur from Penang, we took a stool at the Daily Fresh stand, which I'd seen all over the city, and finally got the cup of corn I was craving.
With a hefty helping of margarine, salt and pepper, eating this 'healthy' snack was mouthful after mouthful of sweet corn juice goodness.
|Daily Fresh waffle with strawberry jam and peanut butter|
|Assam laksa from Old Town White Coffee, LCCT, Kuala Lumpur|
Branded like, and almost as ubiquitous as, Starbucks, Old Town White Coffee is apparently very popular with the young generation for their fix of traditional Malaysian drinks and snacks.
We order one main - the assam laksa - which was rather disappointing; its broth watery with a slight sour fishiness the only flavour point.
|Kaya toast from Old Town White Coffee|
|Kaya toast innards|
Sweet, buttery and sending me back to younger days when mum would make me toasted sandwiches, it seemed I was ready to head home.
Two weeks away in Southeast Asia. Never enough, but better than not, I guess. Vietnam was a highlight of the overall trip, simply for the massive cultural differences that I experienced and adored. Malaysia certainly delivered on its promise of fantastic eats and has given me an even greater appreciation for its diverse cuisine. Meanwhile, Hong Kong will always be a big city to admire and fear, while Macau still means casinos to me.
Now, it's a case of saving up money (and annual leave) before I can research and prepare for the next big trip. Sooner rather than later, I hope.