A Penang street food museum


This is a little post to keep alive the idea for a museum to create greater appreciation for the culinary heritage of the streets of Penang.

A Global Street Food exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany - Photograph: Bustler.net

More photos from the exhibition in Germany at the Bustler.net site.

You might also like to check out the Shinyokohama Ramen noodle museum in Japan, which appears to have innovative interior design and layout plan.

Here’s where you can keep the discussion going for a Penang Street Food heritage museum. Such a museum could pay tribute to the unsung heroes of Penang, the humble street food vendors. It could also remind future generations how it all began apart from providing a unique draw for visitors to the state.

A state government agency or heritage body could oversee this project as a long-term means to promote the domestic economy and treasure what we already have. I think it should not come under a private corporation as it would then end up promoting that particular company instead of Penang street food, which is the public heritage of the people of Penang.

It need not cost millions to set up. All that is needed are unused premises and oodles of creativity. The tools of the trade and exhibits can be fairly easily sourced locally or perhaps donated by retired street food vendors. Photo enthusiasts can create a gallery section and a hall of fame for vendors. Those more technically minded can volunteer their skills to set up the lighting effects. It could be a people’s project that would encourage creativity and pride in our street food heritage, something which most of us are passionate about.

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Apart from a museum, policies should be put in place to encourage, nurture and keep alive this vibrant street food living culture, which provides mouth-watering food for locals and visitors alike at affordable prices.

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  1. Finally someone has made tunglang’s idea into a reality by opening the Penang Wonderfood Museum! Perhaps tunglang missed out the consultant fees?

    Wonderfood Museum Penang @49 Lebuh Pantai
    Introductory price
    Adult with MyKad RM 15
    Senior/Children (3-12 yrs old) RM 10
    Student RM 10
    Open 7 days a week from 9am-6pm, last admission 5pm


    • should have got Genting folks to set up a living street food museum cum food court in heritage ambient setting !

      any suitable site in penang ? better not be at straits quay else the food will be too pricey.

      • Museum restaurant is a relatively new dining concept where ambience is as important as dining itself. Penang is one step ahead with authentic heritage ambience (in innercity George Town), a much envied asset SingLand loves to duplicate artificially.
        Enjoy this artificially recreated ambience in thematic Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum:

      • maybe the museum u want to create is actually existing lively at every street corners in heriatge penang, with or without aircon with its natural (sometimes sorry – polluted) ambience.

        even Spore foodie SeeToh likes it and remind Msians over Astro TLC (channel 707) in his “The Food Surprise” program – the previews as below link :-

  2. ‘Reliving’ Street Hawker Food Memory in Cosmopolitan George Town, 2033

    As I stagger half awake out of my father’s shop at Macalister Road, I wonder how long I have been in slumberland at my former birth place. It is now 7 pm, a time for hearty dinner and relaxation with Kopi-O kau kau. As I walk down the street, I soon realize a different scenario unfolding right before my still sleepy eyes – a one way street, silent eco-cars, solar-powered bicycles, motorized trishaws and CCTV cameras every 100 metres eyeing from lamp posts just like in Matrix Movie. Am I in the wrong time-dimension of the future? I ask a young trishaw man about it who then replies in heavy Burmese accent: “2033, 14th day of Chinese 7th Moon. Be wary tonight. Selamat jalan-jalan, tow kay!”

    Sensing a weird change even before the end of 2012, I walk hastily guided by my growling stomach to New Lane street food centre. This is what I am witnessing: No more open-air road side makan-makan. A glaring absence of street hawker stalls. Signages barring street hawker stalls or street food peddling. Littering fines by doing public road sweeping. Kopitiam is now publicly known as Labintiam (indoor cafe). A Labintiam is an eatery lavished with airconed comfort (no thanks to global warming) behind tinted green-glass privacy and compulsory (decreed by local health laws) slippery cleanliness obsession to meet cosmopolitan standards of Koreans, Japanese, Hong Kees and Ang Mohs. Scores of foreign workers routinely mop slippery floors every 10 minutes. Hawker food is mostly self-serviced by auto dispensing machines manned by Banglas, Indons, Vietnamese or Burmese workers. No more independent Ori-Maestros of face to face business or cook to order service. Asked about Penang’s famed street hawker cuisine, these foreigners at Labintiam express no intimate knowledge of its origin, history or basic ingredients. Can’t blame them when cuisine is served from franchised machines. Hawker food business facing global food scarcity, I am informed is now run by conglomerate cartels of Singland and Hong Kee franchisors, Taiwanese food dispenser and utensil suppliers, and local food monopolists employing Indon and Vietnamese maids to mass-process and cook Penang’s famed cuisine for local consumption and for exports. Food price is now standardized but quality is a far cry from the original heavenly tastes of Ori-Maestros’ cuisine. Take away is encouraged to save on water, detergent, manpower, utensils and table time. Eating affairs are strictly for quick filling of empty stomachs, not for slow-savoring the culinary delights of hawker food by one’s dancing taste buds. Beverage is served via pre-packed eco-cups, instant-heated or pre-chilled with expiry dates so you cannot sue. One cuppa of Kopi-O, too diluted and frothy for its caffeine flavor now costs RM5 – a price effect stronger than Brazilian coffee it keeps one’s brain staying awake thrift-thinking for hours.

    One good thing strikes me though. Free 100 gigabytes superX-treme online surfing access via Blue Moon connectivity @ Labintiam. iPads or mini laptops of unsure fingering are now ‘dinosaur’ old toys replaced by mind-controlled gadgets popular among Labintiam Kia Su lifestyle diners too busy to enjoy eating while mind-googled to show-off online affairs. Also in-line is Speak-Your-Mind CAT policy: you can direct-Skype any state servitude-politician and give your piece of mind on ADUN dissatisfaction to your vote-empowered spirit on any bad day. Now, who needs to be at Penang Speaker’s Square but right here and ‘live’ in public Labintiam.

    As I walk out, my sombre mood turns cheerful upon seeing my proprietary brand of 1-inch-Punch Kopi-O Kuat Kuat advert still playing on a 20 x 5 feet, 360 degree LED ad tower streaming commercial videos. I particularly enjoy this Bruce Lee look-alike demonstrating his brand powered 1-Line-Punch of Wisdom that comes after a cuppa.

    Out of grave concern for the apparent demise of Penang’s authentic street hawker food free enterprise from what’s happening at New Lane, I go straight to Lebuh Keng Kwee of Teochew Cendol fame to confirm my anxiety. True to my 6th sense, the narrow street is now so squeaky clean and not jam-packed with international Tham Chiak Kuis of Chendol. Authentic ambience of rustic old world charm is now replaced by plastic ‘neon’ colors of GaGa v5.0 metrosexual culture and night-glow wireframe caricatures to reinvent the once favorite haunt for Teochew Cendol and Iced Kacang. I see a 6 x 4 feet solid bronze plaque in situ telling humble stories of once-upon-a-time Teochew Cendol family street stall. And next to it, a multi-lingual signage directs tourists to nearby Komtar Labin-Court for this global brand of Teochew Cendol sold at RM12 per mini bowl, machine-dispensed for instant gratification without crowding and waiting under the hot sun. And a footnote directs one to a street food museum nearby. Did I read wrongly? Finally, Penang got a street food museum!

    My hunger pangs aroused by heavenly aroma of Sio Bak (Roasted Pork) leads me to a Teochew street opera show in Kampung Malabar, off Penang Road. How surprised am I to see a huge LED audio-video display of King of Hades (Tai Su Yeah) of Hungry Ghost (Phor Thor) month. Smoke of burning Hell’s money and joss sticks could be seen digitally recreated on screen, so there’s no need for actual burning due to environmental concern. This must be a first state ruling in Malaysia (modeled after Singland?) for a cleaner air all year round. Table food offerings are time-monitored (15 minutes per offering) for others to take turn at a 5 x 10 feet table to minimize use of road space, a drastic change from the customary practice of old world charm Chinese culture. I am now tempted by a new found urge to lick the food, an unearthly savoring habit only reserved for the ethereal Tham Chiak Kuis of Hungry Ghost month. Standing next to me a Ah-Mah Chieh (old house maid) in dark blue attire smiles affectionately with an eerie green aura on her face while licking Mee Ku (Steamed Potato Bun) with an overstretched tongue!

    Here at Kampung Malabar, the Ori-Maestro brothers of famed Pork Noodle Soup have turned forever young brand ambassadors of their cuisine in digital ad posters displayed at the formerly Ho Pin Coffee Shop now renamed Peace Bali Labintiam. But alas, Labintiam is not open tonight, so I have missed my favorite street hawker cuisine. This time, my street crawling for heavenly street hawker food is becoming a task without floating good food aroma as my nasal compass guide since the barring of street hawker stalls, open air makan-makan rendezvous and mandatory airconed dining enclosures. As I feel weak and tremble from prolonged hunger, I begin to touch the digital ad of Pork Noodle Soup just to imagine savoring this heavenly cuisine of old time pleasure. To my surprise, I am beginning to feel alive, strong and sensual by a surge of electro-energy thro’ my body, while the digital ad is now flickering and losing electric power! What on earth is happening?

    Ting! Ting! Ting! Ting! Turning around to see which Roti man’s bell is ringing along Penang Road, I am amazed to see an approaching red tram No.308 of old world charm design running in cosmopolitan George Town. How surreal! But this is now a reality with dedicated tram lines and regulated private vehicle traffic within the inner city. As I step on board the solid tram for the first time in my dog’s life, I am told by this smiling Shahrukh Khan look-alike Bangla driver that it is free ride for the public and tourists. Its route from Weld Quay to Gurney Drive and back via Jalan Utama, Han Chiang, Jalan Dato Kramat and Jalan Dr. Lim Chwee Leong, I am sold is amazingly smooth, quiet, scenic and uninterrupted by traffic. Entering Jalan Burmah, my eyes catch this 3-D bronze sculptures not unlike the ones at the War Memorial at Ayer Itam-Penang Hill roundabout. Huge and lifelike muscular Indian Kulis pulling heavy water carts and leading straining bullocks are permanently displayed in front of formerly Rex Theatre. Hence the name Chia Chui Lor for its historic legacy of fresh water supply line from the pristine Botanic Garden Waterfall.

    I alight in front of New World Park for my favorite Canto Wantan Mee at a nearby Labintiam. Now I am taken aback as New World Park has recreated itself into Jurassic Bite Park enhanced with giant rainforest fern trees, misty waterfalls and dino love calls audio effects. The slippery cleanliness obsession has now gone hitech business with amoeba-looking disc-shaped floor moppers free ranging in auto mode. What has happened to the legions of Fred Astaire-wannabe Bangla moppers?

    My food joy is lit up by Fat Mama’s (of Canto Wantan Mee fame) cheerful image now carved in shiny fiber glass sculpture with an animated thumb-up hand gesturing me into the Labintiam. I can’t wait a second longer to satisfy my hunger for her heavenly Wantan Mee even though dispensing from a Mama-singing machine. “Now where is Fat Mama?” as I ask a Vietnamese coffee boy who happily replies: “Hoy Heong Kong, Than Sai Kai!” (enjoying the good life in Hong Kong). She has sold her brand, franchise business and Wantan plus noodle secret recipes to some Hong Kees at a super premium price. And emigrated for good.

    It is almost midnight. Wanting to see the Street Food Museum, I decide to take a short cut via Lorong Selamat. Along the way, I stumble upon this double storey high ad display of famed Char Koay Teow Madame with her iconic Red ‘Feng Shui’ Beret. Food price: RM35 with Ostrich Egg plus No-Brainer Prawns. Who dares to try her ‘kay liao, kay than’ (added value to profit more) strategy?

    As I turn into Macalister Road passing by my most avoided narrowest lorong of all lorongs off this road, I catch an air of irresistible, mouth-watering 60’s aroma of heavenly Hokkien Mee. From a distance, I can also see a ‘Bersih’ style street gathering of high spirits in front of the State Museum opposite Lorong Madras. This must be it. Formerly King Edward Memorial Hospital, it is in my opinion, the most suitable place to permanently house the Street Food Museum, what with many irresistible street hawker food centres flourishing around. At the stroke of midnight, the Museum ‘gate’ opens and every kindred spirit hurriedly enters the Street Food Museum as if for the first time. In my exhilaration and salivating desire, I loosen my belt for more street hawker cuisine just like any ethereal Tham Chiak Kui of old world charm George Town. Never mind I am without my handy “Good Morning” mini China towel as every Tham Chiak Kui here is salivating uncontrollably and unashamed in culinary delights.

    As I walk around enjoying the food museum ambience and cuisine, I can see familiar faces of Tham Chiak Kuis happily socializing and makan-makan at their favorite hawker stalls recreated with heritage street ambience of immortalized Ori-Maestros of Penang’s famed cuisine of the early 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. And being served by Ori-Maestros and not some foreign maids truly makes a great difference from the outside world beyond the timeless charm of Street Food Museum. There are Hokkien Mee, Wantan Mee, Char Koay Teow, Asam Laksa, Pasembur, Nasi Kandar, Teochew Cendol and many, many more. And the atmosphere is enlivened by Tan Tong Tong serenading “Chin Thien Pu Hoay Chia”, a favorite 70’s Mandarin song for “not going home today”. And am I so happy to also hear hawkers’ calls, a nostalgic old world charm of 60’s and 70’s George Town lifestyle. This is what I called the 3-in-1 formula of heritage ambience, heavenly cuisine and unbeatable affordability of world-famous Penang Street Hawker Food.

    Walking to the entrance to catch some fresh air, I notice this bronze sign etched with this claim of an Ori-Maestro: So tongue licking good, you can checkin any time you like, but you can never leave us for good!

    Welcome to ‘Reliving’ Street Hawker Food Memory at Penang Street Food Museum on this 15th day of Chinese 7th Moon of the Tham Chiak Kuis!

    Disclaimer: All accounts are fictitious writings and have no bearing to the present or to year 2033.

  3. not food museum…but food recipe(s) musuem…..collect all d major recipe for penang food and how to prepare those food…..

    • Definitely & Surely traditionally kopitiams on the way out of Penang Island – sad but true.
      Need to be innovatives abd creative to run kopitiams in penang & KL these days.
      Those who still yearn for old time sakes can join me kopi super kau kau at Sungai Petani.

      • Yes, the coffee-shop (with hawker stalls inside) near my place closed down for renovation and then when it re-opened, it was a new “kopitiam” but no more hawkers. Noodles now double the price but doesn’t taste as good. Perhaps not individually cooked. Sad.

      • More reason for tunglang to gear up Food Museum to preserve memorabolia of heritage kopi tiams ?
        I think tunglang has attempted his best ? and looks like without financial muscles it shall be a in vain.

        I think a concept of a living (active) heritage food museum with memorabilia on display while the food are being served is more practical in view of paying customers are from younger generations these days to sustain the biz & operation. However, most traditional Penangites (sadly over thrifty can’t blame them) are worried that such setting would invite higher cost to the menu.

      • My proposal for Penang Street Food Museum was submitted to Penang Museum curator for the ‘mulling’ after no ‘reply accordingly’ from Ghee Hiang (mystery non-persona using [email protected]).

        Went to MPPP Komtar to get relevant info, advice and contacts.

        Spoken to Danny Law and receed Town Hall, Pg Times Square and State Museum @ Macalister Road.

        And ‘spoken’ a lot here until my saliva is in short supply for my favorite hawker cuisine. And thinking strategically for months which could have been more profitably utilized for my clients’ branding.

        Someone want a costing projection which is not possible until a venue is confirmed. This is no setting up a one-man show burger stall!

      • “I think a concept of a living (active) heritage food museum with memorabilia on display”
        I like this alternative approach if street food museum does not materialize.
        I have an option to help transform any old world charm kopitiam into a living museum with better interior, artifacts, audio and video plus wifi to match any slippery-cleanliness obsessed kopitiam-wannabe MamaRich cafes. And Tan Tong Tong story telling pre-recorded for daily listening.
        That’s much I am willing to share for free of my ‘secrets’ to a successful conservation of Malaya Old World Charm Kopitiam.

      • keep your perseverance spirits up and running and may you find bright lights ultimately.

        I think you are right to approach Danny Law who should be interested in tourism potential cum preservation of Penang heritage.

        With Danny in it. likely Ghee Hiang or Him heang alike will take notice. May be they can get tax incentive by sponsoring such win-win venture.

  4. Vincent Tan of Berjaya is now back in Penang (after shying away from seedless durian) in full force. (Can he) be convinced to donate 0.000000000001% of his riches to finance the museum ? No harm approach him as he is in charity mood these days.

    • more likely scenario is the tie-up of Penang Football with Cardiff FC (owned by Vincent Tan) if this tycoon is sincere in his charity work to improve anything being Malaysian.
      As for street food museum, guess the first person to approach may be Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping who has many connections.

  5. In a week’s time, the ethereal Tham Chiak Kuis will be going back and the back to business as usual of nightly binge dining in the streets be without superstitious concerns.

    I am mulling: How about getting 10 cents per bowl or plate from willing hawkers’ business as public donation/support/little sacrifice of profit towards the setting up of Penang’s first STREET Food Museum?
    It will overcome the lack of funding mentality or fund phobia of those who are in the position to help materialize this museum project.
    A public awareness campaign of short duration can be done if we have the WILL to ‘Just Do It Now’.
    A site has yet to be confirmed, so for the time being, any rich owner of unused heritage building in inner city George Town is welcomed to contribute a permanent space.

  6. http://m.gotopenang.com/content/penang-food-hunter

    The food hunting session has began!!!
    All the Penang famous local foods are on your finger tips.
    This application provides the users with all the featured local food locations on a map. It even tells the users how to get there.
    Penang Food Hunter intergrades with Facebook API too. Once you have logged in with your Facebook account, you may share your dining locations with all your friends by publishing it on your Facebook wall.
    The food locations are based on user recommendations so that you will find some hidden food locations which are not too commercial.

    The food locations might not seem to be a lot (especially Prai area). But it’ll populate the map soon since this is a user contribution based system. You may recomend your favoriate foods at http://www.gotopenang.com/node/add/foodblog . Please understand that your submitted data will not be available on phone immediately because I have to moderate the data in order to approve accordingly.

    The IOS versions are finally approved and published on the app store.

  7. In June, I took my Aussie friend on a reminiscent night walk in inner city George Town. We went into the Acheen Street Mosque compound amidst cool breeze and the intermittent meow-meow of cats.
    What struck me was the change of ambience like a back-to-the-past of P. Ramlee’s era. The architecture, smell and sound of 60’s immediately welcomed me and my friend as if in a different time zone.
    It was kind of replay of my childhood days staying in Macalister Road opposite the Masjid Jamek Simpang Enam. Then the mosque was accessible to outsiders, even at night. Here, the Acheen Street Mosque is exactly as it was at Masjid Jamek Simpang Enam. No locked gates or high fencing.
    In my mind, I could replay P.Ramlee and his 2 sidekicks singing melodies in the moonlit night of June 2011.
    BTW, nowadays I find it hard to enter a church freely (unlike the old days) to pop in for a talk with God. The other day, I went to St.George’s Church just to pop in. I was told the church was locked and only accessible to tourists at 2pm, provide the guy with the keys was around. It wasn’t like that 10 years ago when the door was always open for worshippers or tourists at any time.

      • Locked up for security reason?

        Anyway one can seek always communion with God anywhere and anytime if your faith is true. Remember a church is a real estate awaiting to be cashed-in in the name of property development.

      • we can have ‘conversation” with God anywhere n anyplace. Places of worship is just symbolic to enhance the feelings if our faiths seems lacking.
        Go to Italian cities and we can see how touristy these “sacred” places have become. Commercialism somehow becomes the savior for the survival of hard to maintain ancient hall of worship ??? Pardon me if i sound pessimistic.

      • a church is a real estate awaiting to be cashed-in…
        But paid by church goers thro’ faithful tithing, which belongs to God, not to men.
        It is unbelievable if such deeds (in the name of development) are solely for men’s earthly profit for furthering men’s will and not God’s will.
        BTW, being in a church of any denomination is a personal connectedness with Yahweh for acknowledging Him and His Earthly Kingdom/Throne to come besides among His Body of Christ.

    • Talking about fenced up spaces, this afternoon, I went to the Relau Hills to visit my mother’s ancestral home in the middle of the rainforest cum farm. Today is offering day to the hungry ghosts, so I tag along with my brother-in-law.
      Hakkas of the early Penang immigrants went straight to the hills to etch a living and this ancestral home (run down) was built in the later 1800’s where the ‘Singkheks’ wearing long pig tails worked hard in the farm from early morning (5am) till dusk.
      In my reminiscent walk in the dark and uninhabitable heritage home, I could in vivid memory recall 46 years ago, the large extended families, the husky, grumbling voices of my god-father (my mom’s eldest brother) in the wee hours of the morning and the large bathroom ‘pool’ with fishes where I used to bath in ice-chilled water.
      The whole experience of recall was melancholy and unforgettable, what with the intermittent rain making the mood almost longing to be a Hakka child once more.
      The land was sold 35 years ago and today the whole hills are fenced up for the rich and famous to enjoy their private lifestyle in cottage bungalows amidst pristine forest cottoned in soft mist.
      As I drove away, I felt a part of my spirit left behind to linger around a little bit longer.

  8. Penang Street Food Museum can gear up in momentum together with positive comments by British Financial Magazine The Economists :-
    “Penang state – Getting back its mojo”

    Read the source :

    Quote :
    The combination of low cost and high technology is the main reason why industries across the state of Penang, made up of the original island and a larger bit of the mainland, are prospering again after more than a decade of decline. Their revival is important to Malaysia’s economy—Penang and the surrounding region account for 21% of the country’s GDP. But the renaissance could also have important political consequences for the country. Since 2008 Penang has been one of only four states (out of 13) run by an opposition party. If its politicians can claim the credit for the recent success, that should greatly help the opposition in the next general election, expected within the year.

  9. food museum : belum rasa belum tahu, sudah rasa lagi mahu

    syabas to anil, tunglang and etc for taking a small but significant step to transform the landscape of Heritage Penang

    • Food museum : belum rasa belum tahu, sudah rasa lagi mahu

      Nasihat untuk street food heritage dan museum :
      Jangan tunggu lama, lama. Lama, lama, lama. Nanti di ambil oleh Singapura.

      • apa nak dikato ? kalau u orang tak jaga heritage mmorabilia, lebih baik biar orang temasek yang prihatin ambil alih asalkan semuanya selamat dalam jagaan.

      • Your are betul-betul brother.
        Little Red Dot sudah kesal tindakan dulu (60’s & 70’s). Sekarang sayang betul-betul barang heritage Asia macam emas walaupun barang warisan dibeli amat mahal dari negara jiran di Utara.

        In these days of globalisation, anything of cultural value can easily cross borders to more appreciating nations. Even our Ori-Maestros can do it.

      • We sanjung the effort of tunglang in heritage preservation. Please add Penang Street Food Paradise in your museum.

        Cannot understand why so many flers kibar jalung gemilang and sahut Merdeka when they willingly gadai their heritage? Jalan Sultan in KL in one example – they korek the tanah below and also want to ‘korek’ the heritage above – a case of belum rasa tapi semua mahu?

    • I love what Bon Ton is doing for Penang, reliving the Old World Charm of Pulo Panang. If mixed with eco green rainforest concept, I can see the next level of sustainable living heritage conservation.

      Another area of interesting conservation is the Weld Quay Clan Jetties where century-old houses still stand on stilts. Unique, historical and heritage alive, Bon Ton should take the dive there. Anybody’s doing it for Weld Quay Clan Jetties?

  10. Perhaps the Sreet Food Museum could be made virtual and incorporated in “Visions of Penang-Archives Online” – http://www.visionsofpenang.com.my ?

    Can ask Yen Yen for funding to promote Cuti-cuti 1Malaysia?

    Unfortunately you cannot smell the food in the virtual world!

  11. I notice that everytime the heritage building are restored or renovated, they become rather up market eating places. If these places can be converted to be a penang food museum and coffee shop in one. When I mean coffee shop it is coffee shop pricing. Not the Old Town kopi tiam prices.

    • Actually Old Town gives the tourists a wrong impression with its artificicial settings and high price. The food taste is also not original!

    • Tunglang Kopitiams will differential from Old Town or Starry-Eyed Bucks. Not the plastic ego-fancied, westernized cultural waterholes but your favorite 60’s papas & mamas kopitiams with truly affordable Chiak-Chiak or Lim-Lim in unpretentious Penang-style leisure. Even with piped-in archived Rediffusion of Tan Tong-Tong’s story-telling or Empat Sekawan’s laugh till your ears drop.
      And it will be the real thing, not like The Little Red Dot’s.
      Any like-minded investors are welcomed.

  12. S Mano wrote to NST today, as he ‘was overjoyed to see the development, cleanliness and orderliness’ of Penang island.


    Among other things he mentioned:

    – Traffic lights are synchronised; for example, a “green wave” is clearly indicated and people are able to adjust their speed accordingly.

    – Drivers do not honk in an irritable manner but softly to indicate that one might be slow or in the wrong lane.

    – People are generous with their smiles.

    – Cleanliness in restaurants is amazing, with the floors constantly swept

    It takes an outsider to remind Penangites to ‘smell the flower’ and treasure what the island has to offer as a living museum!

    • Penang is always a welcome change for those whose life have been trapped in an expensive city called KL.

  13. Besides the Penang street food museum, Penang folklore arts and cultural museum should be set up by state government or private companies.

    Melaka has over 20 museums, mostly are poorly maintained, I do hope Penang state government can build more interesting museums.

    LGE, don’t talk talk everyday, please do something for Penangites and tourists.

    • You forgot to add that the Federal government is not disbursing as much heritage fund to Penang compared to the large amount given to Melaka.

      • There are Penangites with ideas for the improvement and advancement of Penang in many endeavors one of which is the Penang Street Food Museum.
        The question: Is Penang Gomen cash-strapped to the level of talking beggars on administrative chairs when presented a golden idea for creating ‘rice bowls’?

        When great ideas are not supported by real money, it is just an idea built in rainbow clouds.

        What the State Gomen should do is set up an Ideas Depository with standard application guide lines and a committee to sieve the feasibility of ideas. With many ready contacts and references in the industries (local & foreign), the State Gomen is in a better position (as a bridge) to introduce potential sponsorships for those potential workable ideas.
        Rather than ask the creators of ideas:
        Will this project incur the State Gomen any or a lot of money? What an awkward and silly question! If yes, the door is hurriedly closed.

        BTW, who gets the final accolade when a project for the state becomes successful?

      • Maybe the priority of the state government is to give the surplus to old folks and pregnant mothers?

  14. Good job Anil. You should get recognition from the heritage board. With hard-core supporters like tunglang, it cold be a reality soon. In the menatime, as the ori-maestros ‘upgrade’ to air-cond environment, someone should collect the hawkers’ relics e.g. old cooking utensils, signage etc for the yet-to-be established museum, before they end up in Germany.

    • Anil, can I use your idyllic home as temporary store house for the artifacts of hawker utensils, signages, carts and stools? Of yes, including some chicken bones and fish bones?
      More like Anil’s Ark for the ‘near extinction’ specimens of Penang street hawkers of the 50’s, 06’s and 70’s from the hands of the Germans and the Little Red Dot!

  15. Anil, I know you will do it.
    (Tak Tahan Lagi Lah! After all the lackadaisical, hope-hope and talk-talk).
    This is one Public Relation way to initiate a Penangites’ public interest project for the strategic good of Penang Street Food Heritage and Penang Tourism.
    I am not sure whether this being a totally public initiative without corporate involvement can be a sure-success. The key factor here is still money as museum set up, management and maintenance require professional expertise and technical display knowhow.
    How do I email you my Penang Street Food Museum proposal to Ghee Hiang (about 2 months ago) for your comment, maybe you can share it with those who have the genuine passion, political will and cultural heritage preservation vision to contribute further.
    My Tham Chiak Kui spirit is now alive, what’s more during Hungry Ghost Month.
    Time for evening Kopi-O kau kau at my favorite kopitiam.

    • Museum is for things of the past i.e. history.

      Why need a food museum when you should keep the street food trade thriving in Penang?

      On that note a Gerakan Museum is timely to mark its demise in Penang so that the young generation would not repeat the same mistake by viewing the exhibits (including the seedless durian).

      • Food is for consumption, not for viewing.

        So a museum is not a good idea.

        Should set up 1Penang open air medan selera.

      • And after 2 hours of makan-makan shiok-shiok, 1Penang food to be passed into medan selera open air toilet bowls into oblivion?
        Imagine one generation from now, no TCK Penangites will ever remember how Penang Laksa came about (without a proper food museum)!!!

      • Have sent my Street Food Museum Proposal to Pg State Museum Curator to secure a site, hopefully @ Macalister Road State Museum (opposite my childhood territory Lorong Madras).
        I need to secure a suitable site in order to come up with a realistic costing projection.
        I still hope for private sponsorship with ready cash to contribute meaningfully, purposefully and for them to truly “respond accordingly” to my proposal (not just for the asking). This is where the State’s role comes in helpfully to publicise this Gomen/Private joint initiative. I hope Danny Law is listening.

    • Don’t be Geram! You are not the only one.
      Now is Hungry Ghost Month, good for the Tham Chiak Kui spirits to get things bumped (and not in the state of inertia) whether in good spirit daytime or in the still of night.
      Anil has fired a ‘loud’ shot. Unless one is ‘deaf’ or indifferent to the future of Penang Street Food Heritage, those sitting on the kopitiam chairs or Komtar Tower office chairs should sit up and take notice and proactively, saliva-tingly act.
      The earlier discourse here was to share great ideas which led to a challenge to tunglang who to some only talk-talk but do nothing.

      I hope this will lead to further proactive participation by all those who have the interest of Penang Ori-Maestros and STREET Hawker Food in makan-makan mind.

      • Go approach Vincent Tan with your ideas so that it could be incorporated in his Turf Club redevelopment plan.


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