I actually began to appreciate the charm of the place. I did not look at Tua Chiu Kah the way I see it now. To me it was an old and dilapidated restaurant where the food is good and cheap. But as I looked deeper, I began to appreciate it as a heritage of sort. I feel it is a place worth preserving not just for the food it offers but its rustic appeal that is so fast-disappearing in busy cities like Penang.
As mentioned in my previous blog posting, Tua Chiu Kah has 2 wings - an old and a new. The kitchen is located at the front of the old wing. They display all the food they offer. They include fish, various seafood, vegetables, meats, etc. You pick the food and tell them how you want them cooked. The kitchen team is super efficient. They remember everything you want and the dishes arrive at your table even before you have time to settle down.
The old wing is rather ordinary. It appears to be the remnant of an old coffee shop (Sin Chew Cafe).
It is the new wing that exudes the rustic charm. The new wing is a long shop-lot that is divided into 2 sections. The outer section is comparatively new and "modern". It has proper painted walls and a proper roof. It is brightly lighted and there are even some attempts on decorations with some framed pictures and red lanterns.
The inner section of the new wing is like another world. The walls are bare bricks. The rear end of this section is without a roof but is charmingly shaded by trees with overgrown roots down the walls.
This is like a scene from an Indiana Jones movie. What a refreshing sight indeed.
There is a narrow side passage in the inner section. It is disused, but appealing. This is a view from the outside.
And a view from the inside.
Here are some visuals of this old world. This is a koi aquarium.
A nice quiet corner.
And an entrance to the disused side passage.
An non-voluntary denizen.
Our dinner crowd was the extended in-law family. More than 20 of us - split into 2 tables. Our meal was simple but delicious. The dishes were similar to those in my previous posting. So I need not elaborate on them.
This was the kung pau (宫保) mantis prawns.
Stuffed yew char kueh (油炸鬼) with a mayo sauce.
A deep fried black pomfret in a soya sauce.
Braised pork knuckle. Yummy.
The kapar (a kind of thick shell la-la) prepared kam heong (金香) style.
The ever green kangkong belacan (马来风光).
The popular fu yong omelet.
And finally this stuffed duck. This last dish was an added on. It did not look appetizing - with the ugly head and all. I do not know what they stuffed into the duck. But it was really very delicious.
It was another most satisfying meal at Tua Chiu Kah. These happy faces said it all.
Certainly will not be our last.