penang road famous teochew chendul in pj

10:07 AM sians 0 Comments

p.s update :: i have tried the food at this place since my first visit and the taste has not been the same since. there is definitely room for improvement.

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i love that my dad's hometown is penang island - the home of awesome and yummiest local delicacies in malaysia.

whenever i meet penangites (people's whose hometown is penang), i would share with them that my dad's from penang as a conversation starter to strike a common ground and sing praises about all the great food selections the 'pearl of the orient' has to offer. and perhaps secretly squeeze out from them the names of their treasured hole-in-the-walls or hidden food gems.

but one of the greatest thing is the opportunity to visit the island of 'you-can-find-the-best-food-anytime-and-anywhere' with the family almost every year and to top it off, at a reasonable price. definitely one of the many reasons why i grew up becoming a foodie. 

our annual outing would usually include a trip to our favorite snack shack which happens to be a local and tourist must try spot on penang road for the famous teochew 'chendul' or 'cendol' stall for a bowl of the shaved ice goodness: penang road famous teochew chendul. a family owned business that boasts more than 7 decades of heritage, there are constant streams of people forming a beeline for the cendol stall, located on the side of the street right outside a corner coffee shop, joo hooi cafe - so much so that they produce bowls of cendol by the tray loads..

wikipedia describes the cendol comes from the word 'jendol' where in javanese, sundanese and indonesian, it means "bump" or "bulge" in reference to the sensation of drinking the green worm-like jelly. cendol consists of fine shaved ice, fresh coconut milk, sweet gula melaka (brown sugar syrup from palm sugar), tasty red beans and cendol itself, which is made of palm flour and green pandan.

no matter how good the cendol is, it does not justify the long travel of 3-4 hours just to get a scrumptious bowl of chilled sweetness at the price of rm 2.20.

if you're craving for some penang love, they've finally opened a franchise in klang valley, more specifically paradigm mall two weekends ago so you can get a snippet of the soul of penang right here in petaling jaya!

seating is limited since it is confined within a petite shop on the lower ground. i adored the simple decor that reflected an updated version old school coffee shop that you would find in penang - adorning multiple shades of green, rustic brown and grey and i loved that it was clean!

a few of our familiar cuisines made an appearance on their menu and a couple of classics with their personal twists. there was one that even my dad has not heard of - kuang jiang apparently is a teochew dish of fried slices of yam, which we skipped this time around.

teochew delights :: assam laksa (rm 7.90)

assam laksa, arguably the most famous hawker food in penang is one item that cannot be missed while in penang and i was interested in tasting how this compared. the broth was clear and light on flavor with a good balance of tamarind tartness countered by slight sweetness, and light on the spiciness with an herbaceous infusion of aromatic ginger flower (bunga kantan). the dark shrimp paste (heh ko) accentuated the flavors of the broth.

the nicely cooked noodles were topped with some freshly sliced raw onions, pineapple and lettuce. the mint imparted a minty freshness in the soup. i definitely needed an extra spoonful of shrimp paste, which intensified the taste of the broth that was slightly too light. however, the amount of fish was so scarce that i had trouble finding any fish meat.

teochew delights :: penang curry mee {noodles} (rm 7.90)

unlike the rich and creamy curry noodles found elsewhere in malaysia, penang curry noodles has a lighter milky broth. served with a spoonful of chili paste, the broth is mixed completely with the paste to complete the flavor profile with the addition of faint heat.

digging into the milky broth, there were other hidden treasures of fresh perfectly cooked seafood consisting of fresh shrimps, cuttlefish and cockles on top of the tofu puffs.

the broth in this bowl of yumminess was light, milky with a good balance of heat with a very slight hint of sweetness. the great part is that it isn't as creamy nor heavy nor greasy from the coconut milk and chili oil - which is difficult to find anywhere else. i have to admit the serving size is small for the price.

teochew delights :: rojak (rm 6.90)

this shack serves a lot of my favorite local cuisines including rojak buah which is a malaysian version of a fruit salad of jicama, pineapple, unripen mango and fresh cucumber (it's lacking the unripen papaya) with a shrimp paste dressing. the different textures married with the variety of flavors that flirt with the taste buds makes this an apt representative of the different cultures in malaysia jumbled into one harmoniously. 

the dressing typically consists of water, shrimp paste, chili, lime juice and sugar. i was slightly disappointed when it was missing the crispy rice flour cracker that i was looking forward to - probably the best part of rojak buah and was compensated by tofu puffs and slices of brown squid. however, i have to admit that the tofu puffs were ideal to absorb the delicious umami with caramel-like quality dressing with some heat mellowed by the slight sweetness contrasted by the end note of undertone bitterness. my mom agreed it was yummy and guessed the secret ingredient was palm sugar to replace the sugar to elevate it to another level.

teochew chendul :: original (rm 4.90)

the namesake of the food joint - the original teochew chendul. my dad spoke to the staff and we were astonished that the cendol was specifically delivered all the way from penang, every morning at 5am. the cendol itself only had faint whispers of pandan but texturally, this was made just right. the shaved ice keeps this dessert chilled, perfect for the warm days, where we are treated to a delicate balance of caramel sweetness complemented by the smooth, creaminess of the coconut milk.

a lovely level of sweetness but the elements of fragrant palm sugar (aka gula melaka) and slightly diluted coconut milk resulted to the flavors being a little muted. the price might have doubled against the original one at my dad's hometown, but so is the serving size.

with the flavor profiles that almost rival their counterparts at the place of origin, penang road famous teochew chendul is a worthy cure for your penang delicacies cravings right here in klang valley, but with a heftier price tag.

penang road famous chendul | locations
lot 8, level lg
paradigm mall
no1, jalan ss7/26a,
kelana jaya, 47301 
petaling jaya.

{yummy-ness | 3.5 forks out of 5 }
{worth trying | curry noodles, cendol }

disclaimer this is written based on personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.