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:
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.
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.
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.
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.