I don’t think anyone would purposely go to a hospital to eat but if you have a weakness for Penang food, this place is worth a visit.
Even before 12noon, there was a queue In the small eatery. We mingled amongst staff of the hospital with their lanyard hanging around their neck.
I was starving and wanted rice but the young server said it would take 15 minutes to deep fry the chicken. Mike wanted the fried kway teow, that too would take 15 minutes. One wonders how street food that are served instantly can take so long to prepare In a restaurant. In the end, we ordered the assam laksa and prawn noodles as we don’t have to wait. Mike needed to go back to work and I needed to return to my son Andreas who was awaiting wisdom tooth surgery.
Mike’s prawn noodles ($9.80) came quite soon. It was accompanied by a small dish of dried powdered chili. The noodles came with strands of kangkong, half a hard boiled egg, and pink fresh prawns. The soup was robust and flavourful, tasty unami, without the obvious msg.
My assam laksa ($8.80) did not disappoint. The gravy was thick with.generous flakes of fish. The tangy taste of tamarind was nicely balanced by the small dish of prawn paste (hae kor )which I used all. My only complaint is that I would have preferred more garnish and the mint was glaringly missing. A fatal omission.
The fruit rojak ($6.80) was meant to be a starter was forgotten until the end. The small serving of fruits tossed In prawn paste and peanuts was passable but I felt the lack of tau pok and you tiao to counter the sour pieces of mango, pineapple, guava and jumbu.
The chendol (translated by them as 钱多 in Chinese）（$5.80) had enough coconut milk and just nicely sweetened by gula melaka. There were red beans and a single attap seed. The ice was too coarse though and biting into one is no fun if one breaks a tooth.
The restaurant does not serve free water, not even tap water and diners are made to pay $1.80 for mineral water. Two doctors, after comparing the price, agreed that coffee is a much better deal at $2.00. At $3.80, my glass of homemade barley was indeed pricy.
On the whole, paying $20 per pax for Penang street food at a canteen kind of eatery might sound crazy to my Malaysian friends. I tend to agree.