[Penang] Lontong from Rumah Lontong, Irving Road

Living in Penang, there are a few dishes which I really, really missed from Singapore: Teochew 𝘱’𝘯𝘨 𝘬𝘸𝘢𝘺, good Hainanese chicken rice, Singapore chili crab, and … 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘨!

Last year, I managed to find one very authentic-tasting 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘨, as good as (in fact, better than most of) those in Singapore, courtesy of a young and very talented Johorean self-taught cook, Siti Hajar Saadon, who operated 𝗥𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗵 𝗟𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗴, a food stall at Lorong Kulit Food Court.

𝘓𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘨, which most Penangites are not well-acquainted with, is a rich, tasty breakfast dish which consisted of cubes of compressed rice cakes (𝘯𝘢𝘴𝘪 𝘩𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘪𝘵), covered with a delicate, turmeric-spiced vegetable stew (𝘴𝘢𝘺𝘶𝘳 𝘭𝘰𝘥𝘦𝘩) consisting of cabbage, jicama, carrot, long beans and glass noodles. Hard-boiled egg, spiced grated coconut (𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘨) and crisp, shards of golden-fried 𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘦, plus a spoonful of spicy red 𝘴𝘢𝘮𝘣𝘢𝘭 complete the ensemble.

Siti Hajar went one step further, her standard serving of the 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘨 also gives the customer a choice of 𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 (dry curried beef) or 𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘺𝘢𝘮 (dry chicken curry). I’d recommend one pays more to have 𝗯𝗼𝘁𝗵 the beef and the chicken, as the two types of toppings were so delicious.

Last month, Siti Hajar expanded her business by opening a branch at 90 Irving Road. It’s located in a beautifully restored Peranakan shophouse on 90 Irving Road, a short walk away from the famous Lorong Seratus Tahun curry mee spot.

Siti Hajar has expanded her offerings to include 𝘯𝘢𝘴𝘪 𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘬 and 𝘢𝘴𝘢𝘮 𝘱𝘦𝘥𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘬𝘢𝘯 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘪 (hot & spicy stingray, which Penangites are more familiar with. But her 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘰𝘯𝘨 remained the star here - a bowl chockful of goodies which tasted even better now!

Rumah Lontong (Lorong Kulit Food Centre)
Stall No. 5, Astaka Lorong Kulit, 10460 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6019-405 3119
Opening hours: 9am to 12 noon Mon, Wed to Sun. Closed on Tuesdays.

Rumah Lontong (Irving Road)
90 Jalan Irving, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6016-483 0355
Opening hours: 12 noon to 9pm Mon, Wed to Sun. Closed on Tuesdays.