[Penang, Malaysia] SmokePapa Texas Barbecue at Jetty Food Court

One of the more interesting food openings in George Town in the past month has been SmokePapa BBQ at the Jetty Food Court in Weld Quay. So far, it’s the one and only Texas Barbecue joint in George Town. Stallowner-chef, Tan Eik Hong aka Chef Hong, and his wife and co-chef, Jen Pham, both used to work at Wolfgang Park’s Spago at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, before they decided to return to Chef Hong’s hometown to ply his trade.

Chef Hong marinades his meats with his own secret rub, then smoke BBQ them for up to 8 hours, in the case of the huge hunks of pork-rib, to obtain that signature smokey aroma. He also wet BBQs whole chicken legs (thigh & drumstick) for 4 to 5 hours.

The result of this slow-cooking method was amazingly moist, fall-off-the-bone-tender and flavoursome meat that one can’t help keep returning back for. We ordered 3 of their lunch plate options:

  1. The Pulled Pork and BBQ Pork-ribs Combo (RM28/US$6.75) - which comes with a generous helping of pulled pork, a small portion of pork-ribs (which tasted absolutely divine), crunchy slaw, rice, 3 squares of very flavoursome cornbread, mashed potatoes and a couple of bread rolls. The pork-ribs and cornbread were my favourite items on the plate.

  2. 8 Hour Smoked Pulled Pork with Coleslaw and Mashed Potatoes (RM15/US$3.60). Very flavoursome pulled pork and something I’d come back at the drop of a hat.

  3. Smoked BBQ Chicken with Coleslaw and Mashed Potatoes (RM13/US$3.15) - this is probably the weakest of its offerings, as the chicken rub (theirs is Central Texas-style) did not taste very “Texan” to us. The sauces went a long way to add flavour to the dish. I also asked if they intend to introduce beef to their pork-heavy menu (this chicken option was the only non-pork one), but Jen (Chef Hong’s wife who manned the service counter) said that, looking at the profile of their target market - most Penangites are non-beef-eating Buddhists, they do not intend to do so in the near future.

However, Jen did mention that they intend to introduce freshly-made meat sausages soon - certainly look forward to that.

Address
SmokePapa BBQ
Texas BBQ @ Jetty Food Court
49-F, Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay)
10300 George Town, Penang
Tel: +60164177941 (Hong)/+60164177803 (Jen)
Opening hours: 11am to 11pm everyday except Tuesday.

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Looks like the real deal to me! :joy:

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Is it Texas BBQ, if it isn’t beef?

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Oh yes! Texas Barbecue can be beef or pork-ribs.

What woods were used for smoking?

@klyeoh do you have a wide angle shot of his BBQ smoker (or grill)? Can’t tell from the pics if its a Santa Maria style open grill or an enclosed smoker.

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True, but beef brisket is king.

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Do these pics help?

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Local coffee-tree wood.

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thanks, its a legit closed smoker with an offset firebox (on the right). Will be interesting to learn the different flavors tropical hardwoods impart. i.e mango, rambutan etc etc.

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Back to SmokePapa Texas Barbecue today for its BBQ duck - delish!

Danang-born Jen Pham knew about my keen interest in Vietnamese cuisine, and prepared a delicious pot of bun cha ca for the day, replete with fried, spongey fish cakes which I found pretty addictive. The thick rice noodles also came with garnishes like peeled tomatoes, boiled wedges of pumpkin, slices of pineapple and sprigs of fresh mint. Perfect with a squeeze of calamansi lime.

Texas-style BBQ meat + Vietnamese noodles - what can be better? :joy:

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Wow what a combination, you’ve got me hungry.

I’ve hot smoked chicken a few times in my bullet style smoker but never duck. I’ve no idea why, but I’m definitely trying it now.

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Cool!

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

― Jonathan Gold