Sticks & Spoon @ Elit Avenue (2)

I don’t know if I have mentioned this enough in the blog, but the restaurants in Bayan Lepas/Bayan Baru area of Penang are really a screwed up bunch. It is not about the food, but about the times they open for business. Over the years, I have come to terms with the fact that on weekdays, restaurants in Bayan Lepas/Bayan Baru only operate on meal hours (11.30AM-2.30PM, 6.00PM-9.00PM). Makes sense actually, this is an industrial zone, most people who live here work in the factories so you won’t get much business on non-meal hours on weekdays.

What I cannot understand though, is how most of them decide to stick to such hours even on weekends, when people are not working. I thought this is stupid. Usually, on weekends, people tend to sleep in and have irregular meal hours. Sometimes they would also look forward to avoiding the crowds and wait for off-peak hours to dine. Well, guess what? You can’t if you hangout in this area. In fact, some of those restaurants, they would even choose to close on Sundays.

How f**ked up is that? There are people living here, there are more and more condominiums being built around here, so there would be people looking for food at all times on weekends. But they go to Queensbay Mall and Georgetown because there are nothing much to eat in this area. Seriously, Sundays are supposed to be the best days to rake in the big doughs if you are running a restaurant, so I think this is a serious missed opportunity for the restaurants around this area.


Anyway, enough of bashing those that don’t know what they are doing, and come back to this dim sum restaurant, Sticks & Spoon.

I wrote about Sticks & Spoon about half a year ago. You may remember that I was less than pleased with their siew mai, but okay with their other food items. I’ve actually been back for a few more times over the months. I quite like their other food items, and their opening times. Especially their opening times.

Sticks & Spoon is one of a select few restaurants in this area that remains open on weekends. In fact, they open from 9.00AM onwards, so this is one of the few places where one can grab breakfast after a morning walk/jog in the area, other than the pasar or McRonald’s. Perfect because they sell dim sum, perfect breakfast meal for those who wants to 饮早茶 (morning yum cha).

You might be surprised that just within this cluster of shops, there are at least 2 f**ked up cafes that serve food items like Big Breakfast on their menus, but they only open for business from 11.30AM onwards, for lunch.

I’ve told you about what I like about them in the previous post. I’ve also told you what I dislike about them in the previous post. I don’t want to repeat them, most of them still apply. But, you know what? I was worried that they might close down soon because the first time I went, the place was almost empty. But they have been doing steady business since. The few times I went subsequently, they are running at almost full capacity. This is a good thing, because it meant there were no place for the floor staff to hang around at the dining floor. I don’t have to deal with staring waitresses anymore.

Food. Let’s talk about food. They do pretty decent 流沙包 lau sar pau (runny salted egg yolk bun), but after a few rounds of order, I think these are my personal favorites.

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XO 萝卜糕 Loh Pak Gow (Radish Cake) – RM 8.00
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脆皮虾卷 Crispy Prawn Rolls – RM 5.00

They’re by no means the best I have ever had ever, but certainly best I have ever had in Penang. Of course, this is from a KL boy who is (probably unfairly) negatively biased towards Penang dim sum, but heck, this is my blog, I say what I want. Anyway, these are plenty decent enough to satisfy my cravings.

But actually, what spurred me to write this post, what I really want to show you today, is their siew mai.

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鱼蛋烧卖 Yu Dan (Fish Roe) Siew Mai – RM 4.50

Remember how I was pissed off that their siew mai had two unminced shrimps instead instead of minced pork as filling per piece? I have been steering clear of ordering their siew mai since then… until today. I don’t know why I did it today. I guess I ordered it after so long because I wanted to find out if they somehow realized their siew mai are fake and deceptively wannabe-ish and if they have finally pulled their siew mai act together.

And you know what? I’m glad I did. See, let me show you the inside cross section after I took a bite. I was pleasantly shocked!

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I still felt one intact shrimp inside the filling, but that’s beside the point. There’s a solid amount of tender and juicy pork filling inside each piece of siew mai. Awww yeahh! Now we’re talking! This is what a correct siew mai should be! I’m going to be ordering more of these in my future visits. And I will visit a lot more, because, well, like I said before, their dim sum are of the correct sizes. Yay! And they don’t do GST and service charge. Double yay!

I also wonder if they pulled their siew mai act together because of a lot of feedback, or because the owner read my blog. Hey owner, if you are reading this, good job, man! Please keep your restaurant open for long long (at least as long as I am staying in Penang), because I really love your food man.  I will keep coming back!

20 Comments

  1. I must admit that if Cez read this blog post and saw the food you tried, he would be in heaven! He is the biigest fan of 鱼蛋烧卖 and probably its cheap price! :).

    • Yeah, this is a Cantonese cuisine. I’m not surprised that you and Cez have seen these before (and probably enjoyed them too) when you were still in Dongguan. 😀

  2. I’m not a huge pork eater, but the only time I make the exception is for ham sandwiches and siew mai. Absolutely love siew mai and it’s a must-order each time I go for yum cha. Maybe initially the place wanted to introduce a new version of siew mai.

  3. Agree with you on flexible hours on weekends. I like to eat early while others would have a late breakfast/lunch during weekends. The restaurants should capitalize on the general public preference on weekends.

    • Hopefully they will change in time… I really feel they are losing out on business to not adapt their opening times on weekends..

  4. So you cannot get your food mostly on weekends cos you wake up late? Last time my son stayed near Bukit Jambul and I know he slept until noon most weekends.. I wonder where he got his meals.. yes, Bayan Lepas is only busy during weekdays, guess you got to drive out from there to get good food.. the other time there is one shop called Kampar Noodles in Nibong Tebal, I would like to recommend, the hakka noodles is very nice, the “liews” too and they have herbal chicken, fried chicken and a few other choices.. Tried the herbal one, not too bad, RM7.50 for quite a big portion too…

    • For me, is because I wake up early. I like to have breakfast actually, around 9-10 AM, after my morning walks. But the cafes and restaurants here only open from 11.30AM onwards, or some of them don’t even open. Of course, I can still get food, not to say cannot, the pasar is there, and there is always mamak and OldTown. It’s just that I wish those fancy cafes would also open early…

  5. Eh, most of the siew mai I’ve had usually have more minced pork than minced prawns…and yours is the reverse. Yeah, I hate it too when some of these cafes decide to open only after 11am and then have this period in between (usually like 4 – 6pm) when the kitchen is closed (and this is on weekends as well). I always have trouble looking for places for breakfasts (I’m talking about cafes/restaurants and not coffee shops) on Sunday mornings (after church) which is usually after 9.30am. I totally agree with you that this is a serious missed opportunity for these places. And worst still is that some of these cafes say they open at 10am but when you reach there, they tell you the owner and chef is not there yet and you can only order from a limited menu!! @#$%^&* I just encountered this yesterday when we reached the place at 10.10am but was told the owner will only be here around 10.30 am and the chef…don’t know what time???!! @#$%^&* We left!

    • No lah, this round, the pork is more than prawn, so it is all good hahaha! 😛

      Huh??? This happens in KL too? I thought this only happens in Penang, where most of those cafe owners are ex-engineers who still desire weekend off days even when they are their own boss. So apparently it isn’t just Penang, but happens in KL too huh. Kind of sucks really, I don’t think it will change soon. At least not in the area I am living in. Some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy I would say. They don’t open because they think no people, and then people stay away also because nothing is open. 😐

  6. oh the XO 蘿蔔糕 looks really yummy, i would love to try that!! it looks like deep fried and then stir fry again with the sauce?? I remember those I have had so far are not deep fried but straight away stir fried with the sauce..

    • You are right, these are deep fried. But I don’t think they are stir fried again with the sauce. I think the sauce was just poured over them.

  7. Eh, you’d be surprised to see many places survive with those odd operating hours you mentioned, on weekends.. They don’t wana change kua, stick to the time kua..The dimsum a bit pricey, you eat at high-class place ma, hehe.. Here, I eat dimsum at coffeeshop, can get for RM3.30 a plate (actually still expensive to me)..

    • I do like all-day breakfast too. What I don’t like is restaurants that don’t operate on breakfast hours offering them. 😐

  8. The price for the dim sum is ok, not too expensive. Maybe that day alone, they run out of pork fillings so they just put prawns. Good that you ordered again and found out the truth that their siew mai has pork fillings!

    • I hope you’re wrong. If they do that just because they ran out of pork, it would be a moronic move. I’d rather they tell me upfront that they can’t serve due to they ran out of pork.

  9. All the food that you ordered, I love them, suits me, hehe…

    If it’s near housing estate, then they should open longer hours as weekend, sure got crowds…

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