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.
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.
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!
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!