[Penang, Malaysia] Hawker eats at DeView Hotel, Ayer Itam

Throughout Penang’s history, the rural town of Ayer Itam had been a place of refuge for George Town’s city folks whenever a calamity befalls the city: from the Penang Riots of 1867, which was essentially a large-scale triad war, to the Japanese invasion of Penang in 1941 during the onset of World War II. So, Ayer Itam functioned as a sort of “Helm’s Deep” to George Townians in the Tolkien sense.

Today, Ayer Itam is merely a suburb, part of an expanded metropolitan George Town. It’s still pretty well-known for its street/hawker food and bustling morning market.

DeView Hotel at Ayer Itam has come up with a win-win “Taste of Ayer Itam” promotion, where one can purchase hawker fare at the street-level hotel grounds, then consume your take-outs at the hotel’s roof-top, which looks out to the Kek Lok Si temple complex, the largest in South-east Asia.

Penang-style char koay teow - flat rice noodles, stir-fried with shrimps, cockles, eggs and beansprouts, seasoned with soy sauce and fish sauce.

Char koay kak - pan-fried rice cakes with salted radish, egg, shrimps, squid and beansprouts.

Chicken satay - grilled skewers of marinated chicken, with a spicy peanut sauce.

The view really became dramatic after sunset, when the temple complex’s lights came on:

Address
DeView Hotel Penang (景轩)
18, Jalan Pasar, Pekan Ayer Itam, 11500 Ayer Itam, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +604-829 1818

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It’s difficult to express just how envious I am of you being able to eat such a delicious looking meal in such lovely surroundings

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I really hope you’ll be able to make a trip out here to the Far East one day, John - I’ll be more than happy to show you around. This whole place exudes a magical atmosphere - so many well-known personalities have come to Penang and been enraptured by its mystique through the ages: from Rudyard Kipling to Somerset Maugham and Noel Coward, from Albert Einstein to Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. The island encapsulated the exoticism of the East.

I was at the Kek Lok Si Temple Complex again this evening, this time to climb the Pagoda of the Ten Thousand Buddhas. The views from each of the many windows there were stupendous - my photos do not justice at all to the beauty of the place:

The whole temple complex is surrounded by some of the best-known hawker food places on the island. We were too caught up with taking in the sights to take a break for dinner, so I bought some roti jala (egg-net crepes with chicken curry) and kueh dadar (pandan-scented crepes filled with grated coconut-palm sugar) for a light supper at home:

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I hope so too, Peter.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold