After our somewhat expensive lunch, the parents suggested we go to Tanjung Karang to do something fun the next day. They refused to tell me what exactly would we be doing, so my fibbing alert was on.
You can’t blame me, the last time they said we were doing something fun, I ended up joining them for a session of ionic detox therapy which did nothing for me at all. Still, it was what they wanted, so… 🙄
So the following day, we woke up early and left the house before 8 AM. Me, me parents, and me sister. The brother declined to join, I think he already knew what was in store. Tsk!
Anyway, it was until we all got into the car when dad announced that we should have breakfast first along the way, because after doing that fun thing, we would have to wait 2 hours before we can eat again. Darn! WTF is that thing??
So he told me to search for Penampang first on my Waze app. Took me awhile because all the Penampang I could get was Penampang, Sabah. Surely we’re not gonna drive across the South China Sea and the whole stretch of Sarawak to get there?
Turns out, Penampang was actually Pasir Penampang. Kuala Selangor. 79 kilometers away and just over 10 kilometers away from Tanjung Karang. Phew…
So off we went, and three (or was it four) tolls later, finally arrived.
Pasir Penampang is like a typical tiny township in Malaysia. When we say township here, it is basically two rows of shops along one of those cross-country main roads stretching anywhere between 500 meters to 1 kilometer. That’s it.
There’s a row of kopitiams (Chinese style coffee shops) on one side, with a bunch of food stalls in front of these kopitiams. This was where we were headed.
I was shocked to learn that although these kopitiams operate independently, you can cross order food from one coffee shop and have it at another coffee shop. The only things you cannot cross order are the drinks. Hmm… interesting…
Based on dad’s recommendation, we picked this shop to sit in…
Why? Because dad has a friend who knows this area well and strongly recommended it due to them being Hainanese and thus having better drinks quality.
Fun fact: when the British imported Chinese labor into Malaysia, apparently we were segregated by our main professions. The Cantonese and Hokkien people are the majority and we dominated the tin mining sector. The Hainanese were mostly into the food industry, serving as cooks for the tin mining workers and yes… to establish kopitiams for these same people.
So, Hainanese = pioneers in kopitiams, therefore Hainanese drinks = better.
We took advantage of the cross ordering convenience and ordered a lot of this and that to try.
Till this day, I have no idea what 古早味 really means. If we translate it literally, it means… ancient early flavors. So I guess, nostalgic flavor? Just like it used to be in the past? Anyway I was impressed with the knife skills on this one, it was made using 1 slice of bread, further sliced in the middle. I don’t know I should applaud the uncle‘s skills or be frustrated with his stinginess.
Village egg means egg produced organically in village chicken farms as opposed to commercial chicken factories. Healthier I suppose.
Well, the food was… alright, I suppose. Good? Yes. But it isn’t something you should travel 79 kilometers from KL to feast yourself with. I’m sure you could find something equally good closer to the city.
I wouldn’t deny it would be a nice experience for people who has never visited a rural township before. This is a place where the shop operators speak next to no English. And they would be loud and abrasive (some would call this rude). And there would be no air conditioning. And the environment might not be so comfortable. But it’s rustic… and that’s kind of cool, no?
Oh, yes, the coffee. How could I forget about the coffee here. The coffee here was… really gao (thick), and it would do perfect job of jolting you awake from slumber. But it is also very sweet. They used too much sugar/sweetener to our city tongue’s liking. So it would be wise when you come to rural places like this to request for less sweet when placing your drinks order.