There was a food court on the top floor of Queensbay Mall that was my frequent weekend brunch place. A few months ago, that food court has been closed down for renovation. It took forever so I thought maybe they were going to close down the food court for good and do something else instead.
And then, for the past two weeks or so, some friends and colleagues have been asking me: “Eh, did you know the top floor food court in Queensbay Mall has been reopened? Have you tried the food there yet?”
And then, a couple days later, the same friends and colleagues told me: “Eh, that new food court in Queensbay Mall, the food there is very expensive!! Not worth going!!”
When people say DO NOT do something, then you DO it. That’s how humans should behave. And the last time I checked, I am a human.
So I went and checked things out yesterday morning after I was done with my grocery run. I would’ve expected the place to be deserted since everyone was saying how expensive and not worth it this new food court has become.
Yeah, right… This was 11 AM, the place was just starting to do business for the day. And the crowds were steadily increasing that by the time I got my food, I had a hard time finding an empty table.
The food court was previously named Queens Street, now after a round of renovations, they rename it as Queens Hall. Most of the old stalls were still around, and there were some new stalls in this refurbished food court. They even have a fancy location map and directory of all the available stalls and food selection here. But I thought this map was confusing. I was NOT able to locate the stall that I want by referring to this fancy map.
The main reason why my friends seem to think this new food court is so not worth it is because of the new prices for the food. A friend paid more than RM 10 for a plate of chicken rice, and another friend had yong tau foo and paid twice as much as when having it elsewhere.
After giving the stalls a quick tour, I think not all is lost here. Some of the food here are really ridiculously priced, but some still remained reasonable. Reasonable as far as a air-conditioned mall’s food court is concerned. For example, the stuff sold in the [Claypot and Sizzling] stall and the [Penang Wok] stall did not increase much in price. I remember they used to sell a plate of noodles for RM 7.90 and the same noodles dish now goes for RM 8.90. If you factor in GST then it is not such a big leap.
Anyway, I decided to try out one of the new stalls here. I decided to play tourist and go for the Penang Famous Char Kway Teow. Why?
Because I saw that they have this open kitchen thing which fascinated me. The cook seemed to know what he was doing (even though he is still a Burmese/Nepalese), or rather his stance and methods inspired confidence in me that he knew what he was doing.
And also because it is one of the cheaper eats here. My plate of char kway teow with egg was RM 7.30. You can opt for duck egg but it would cost a bit more. Well, yeah, it is more expensive compared to having it in a coffee shop or a roadside stall where you can probably get it for RM 4, but like I said, this is a food court inside an air-conditioned mall. You pay a premium for a better dining environment.
My drink was another story altogether. White Coffee used to be RM 2.20 and it is now fucking RM 4.50! While GST is charged at 6%, the coffee here goes up in price by more than 100%! Fuck! Fuck fuck fuck fuck FUCK!!
I know, it is my fault. I should have looked at the price before ordering, but I didn’t. Lesson well learned. DO NOT have drinks at this food court…
Anyway, let’s talk about my char kway teow now. First, let’s give you a close up view.
You know how sometimes at indoor food courts, you tend to get food that does not taste like what it should be? This char kway teow is NOT one of those. A true blue Penangite might not agree with me, but I thought this char kway teow was alright. Definitely not the best that I’ve ever had, but it was pretty decent. It had prawns and see hum (cockles) in it, and I thought I bit into a few pieces of pork lard, but surely not? I thought this place is supposed to be halal. It has to be something that crunched and tasted like pork lard but is NOT pork lard, but it did the job of making my plate of noodles wonderful.
Will I come back again? Oh, yes, definitely. I used to have my weekend meals here after my grocery run, there is no reason why I should not do the same again. Only thing is that I need to avoid the really overpriced food items, and I definitely need to avoid the drinks! Fuck the drinks stall!