A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

Penang’s local delicacy

We couldn’t leave Penang without trying the dessert for which they are renowned: Cendol (or Chendul as written on street wagons). Actually, Penang is renowned for all its delicious street food; not that we could attest to this as we usually stick to restaurant food, not trusting our easily shaken-up stomachs with street cooking. However, after sitting for hours on the grass at the International Music Festival* yesterday, we decided to try one of their concoctions. It wasn’t bad. A little spicy and crunchy (which is always terrifying for me due to my nut allergy), but overall delicious. As per our usual pattern, Justin tried the first few bites, the kids didn’t eat any and I was left to sample away (yes, my weight has suffered a bit, but rest assured, I am planning on a tight gym routine the moment my feet are back in Ottawa!).

So before leaving for KL tomorrow morning, I told my ‘crowd’ that we were to find this dessert, and not only find this dessert, but actually the place which serves the best kind. Our hotel staff had no problem telling us where to go, and off we went in search of this famous stand. It was easy to find as the line-up was half-way around the corner. Determined as we were, we waiting over 20 minutes to obtain our goo. Penang's Cendol dessert

It’s actually a mixture of shaved ice, with red kidney beans, lots of green pandan noodles, all soaked in delicious coconut milk. I loved it, but as always, Justin only drank a few mouthfuls, Cedric tasted it and Emilie passed. We are world travellers all right, but we certainly aren’t adventurous when it comes to food. If I wasn’t afflicted with allergies, I would love to try all the different local delicacies that we are fortunate enough to encounter. Oh well, who knows, maybe a cure for food allergies will be discovered in the years to come and my next world tour will be one where foreign food will know no bounds.

*And as for a little (longish) footnote, the International Music Festival was… interesting. We arrived a bit too early thinking we could visit the botanic gardens (which wasn’t the case), so by the time the concert started we were already antsy.

Gamelan Performance

Gamelan Performance

The first part was Malaysia’s hit list which was unfortunately a series of badly rendered American songs. Then came the school children with local traditional music, which wasn’t half bad at all.

Nading Rhapsody

The real ‘international’ part of the program started with a kind of religious overture from Uzbekistan which I found painful to sit through. But the next band from Serawak (a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo) really caught my attention. Check out Nading Rhapsody if you get the chance. They play a type of folklore music infused with many other genres which I found soothing and yet quite entertaining.

Here’s an article about the band in the Borneo Post.

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