Saturday, March 31, 2012

Little Penang Market: In Aid of Japan

Once a month, there's a small artsy fair held at Upper Penang Road (just opposite the E&O) known as Little Penang Market, showcasing cultural performances and lined with stalls selling everything from potted plants to Penang food. Last Sunday, Little Penang Market had a Japanese theme marking the One Year anniversary of the Japan Earthquake. There were a handful of handicraft and food stalls manned by the local Japanese community with all proceeds going towards reconstruction efforts.

Even though it was just only an hour into the market, it was already packed with locals and tourists with many stalls already enjoying brisk business. It was a beautiful, sunny day, the type that make you feel like wearing a sun dress, donning a large straw hat and drinking plenty of iced nutmeg juice.

Seeing that I was neither in a sun dress nor hat, I made up for it by sipping on countless cups of very refreshing nutmeg juice. One of the stalls have an excellent promo that allows refills for only RM1 each which was a very welcome respite in the stifling heat.

There were photos of the Japan earthquake reconstruction efforts along with a what I found to be a very poignant poster titled Japan, Rising Again. It had special meaning to us because one year ago, Hubs was stuck in Tokyo during the disaster and had difficulties leaving. Thank God he made it back here safe and sound.

Tables were laden with Japanese arts and craft which were sadly not for sale. I'd have loved the pair of miniature wedding dolls or the dried lotus pods filled with colourful fabric balls.

A corner of the Japanese section was all about FOOD! All proceeds went to charity and we were requested to drop in the exact amount of cash into a donation box with no change given back. We tried the matcha cheesecake (on the right) and the bun (in the centre) for RM5 each. I always feel that food bought from charity fairs seem to taste nicer as compared to commercial store bought ones, maybe because these are home made, I guess :)

The highlight of the food stalls were the udon (Japanese thick noodles) making demonstration. By the time we were there, the udon making demo was already over but there were volunteers cooking the noodles and frying vegetable tempura to go with it. I'm a huge fan of freshly made pasta so there was no way I'd pass up a chance to taste udon that were made on the spot.

After the udon were cooked and placed in a disposable bowl, they were doused with a chilled sauce, deftly garnished with the vegetable tempura, spring onions and customers are offered to help themselves to a bottle of chili powder should they need it. At first bite, I was in love. It was unlike any kind of noodle dish that I’d ever had - the springy and chewy texture of the fresh udon complemented perfectly the crisp, crunchiness of the vegetable tempura. The chilled sauce had the right amount of flavour and the chili powder, spring onions all went beautifully with the noodles. It took some convincing for Bubs to eat it. It was his first time eating udon and he kept turning his head away. After a few tries, he was chomping it down happily. By the time we decided we wanted a second helping, the line was way too long :(

We also couldn’t resist trying mango sticky rice from a Thai food stall. It was nice but nothing that made us go wow.

In the main centre stage, there were performances with chairs set up for the audience. A traditional Indian dance was going on while at the side, cosplayers were getting ready to go on stage. Where else but in Penang where the old and the new can meet together? I love this place!

Bubs was getting sleepy so we'd to rush back for his nap. We'd fun, Little Penang Market, see you again next month :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...