Cheng Beng – the Festival of the Tombs
The history and practice of Chinese religious and cultural festivals go back a long way, some even beyond the span of written history.
Over the years, the traditions associated with these festivals are handed down from generation to generation within communities, with very little changes introduced. The only difference found in a festival celebrated in two different countries would be cultural ones.
Hainanese Delights serves up nostalgic cuisine of the colonial British era
In the 1920s, the Hainanese were among the last Chinese immigrants to arrive in Penang. Since other dialect groups had already established control over most trades, the late comers ended up as cooks and houseboys (domestic helpers) in British homes and establishments. The Hainanese cooks were taught on-the-job how to prepare British dishes and were also introduced to local ingredients and spices. They eventually evolved their cooking repertoire, infusing their creations with local flavours to suit the taste buds of Penangites and the colonial British. Thus, Hainanese cuisine in Penang, and at large, in Malaysia and Singapore, is unique in its own way and cannot be found elsewhere, not even in Hainan Island.
10 March 2023: PIA St. Patrick’s Ball at E&O Hotel, Penang
"Claddagh" – a reflection on the friendship and love between Ireland and Penang was the theme for PIA St. Patrick’s Ball 2023. It was celebrated by 300 strong with great merriment on Friday, 10 March at E&O Hotel in Penang. The Black Tie affair was packed with live entertainment and a scrumptious 5-course sit-down dinner. Here is a pictorial essay of the vibrant festivities photographed by Adrian Cheah and Frankie Yap.
Traditional Malay cooking at Lagenda Café in the heart of George Town
The key signature in traditional Malay cuisine is definitely the generous use of local herbs, spices and belacan (shrimp paste). Coconut milk is also added to Malay dishes to enrich them with a creamy finish. In Penang, as well as the northern states of Malaysia, Malay cooking has further integrated Thai flavours. Meats and seafood are usually marinated with a special blend of herbs and spices before being cooked. Vegetables are often stir-fried and some eaten raw always with sambal belacan. I love Malay dishes because of their strong, spicy and aromatic oomph. For an authentic Malay feast, head down to Lagenda Café.
Make your own ketupat daun palas (boiled rice wrapped in palm leaves)
The most popular types of ketupat found in Malaysia are ketupat nasi (made with plain rice) and ketupat daun palas (made with glutinous rice). Both varieties are wrapped in palm leaves and then boiled in water until cooked. It is said that ketupat daun palas originated from the northern states – Penang, Kedah and Perlis while ketupat nasi is more popular in Perak.
Spongy Kuih Bahulu recipe
Kuih Bahulu (also known as Kuih Baulu or Kuih Bolu) is a perennial favourite among Malaysians of all ages. In Hokkien, it is called Kay Nui Koh. It is a mini light and fluffy sponge cake made from eggs, flour and sugar. It has a slightly crusty outer layer with a soft and fluffy inside, quite similar in taste and texture to a French Madeleine. However, when compared to many western cakes, Kuih Bahulu is much lighter in texture and has a subtle sweetness.