|Traditional Tong-Sui at Sweet-i|
|Written by Administrator II|
|Tuesday, 31 May 2011 14:02|
BY CK LAM
I have been devouring tong-sui (Chinese dessert) stalls for years, so it was a great discovery when I finally found Sweet-i. The tong-sui stall operated by Soon and his wife for the last few years in Sungai Dua, has a wonderful sweet range of Chinese style desserts.
Previously located on the roadside at Jalan Helang, the tong-sui stall has since shifted into a nearby house. Customers can enjoy the desserts with sit-down service in the comfort setting of the house.
There is definitely something sweet for everyone in Sweet-i. The stall has a rather wide range of desserts, with ten different types per day. The menu changes depending on the availability of ingredients. The dessert menu which includes Black Sesame, Bubur Cha Cha, White Fungus, ‘Gui Ling Gao’ (Herbal Jelly), Almond and Red Bean, is clearly written along with the prices and displayed in front and beside the counter.
The black glutinous rice (bubur pulut hitam) is boiled with pandan (screwpine) leaves with a smooth texture. Some opt to have it serve with a touch of richness of the coconut milk while others like it the way it is. Either way, it is just warming.
The special of the day was the black sesame. I happily pounce on this dessert which is dreadfully difficult-to-get in Penang. I was astounded and pleasantly surprised by this soothing black sesame tong-sui. Made from freshly grinded black sesame, the tong-sui was awesome, bursting with flavor.
On the other hand, I could not resist the wheat porridge (bubur gandum), known as Mak Zuk in Cantonese. Boiled together with brown sugar and coconut milk, the bubur maintained an equally creamy texture but could not yield a robust flavor.
The red bean soup is one of the most popular Chinese desserts. Sweet-i has it done in two ways, boiling it to a thin clear soup with scent from the Mandarin peel and the thick creamy version (only on Monday and Friday).
Most of the Lou Han Guo soup sold around town tend to have too much soup, very few ingredients and overly sweet. However the version in Sweet-i comes with a great combination of ingredients, including pieces of lotus seed, Chinese almond, dried longan and florets of white fungus. It was really satisfying with a subtle sweet taste so much so I bought a container of this dessert and left chilled in the refrigerator. Leftovers are delicious either taken cold or reheated.
Equally notable is the Bo-Bo Cha-Cha, a coconut milk base tong-sui with colorful pieces of roots – orange, yellow and purple plus other ingredients of sago pearls and green jelly. Besides serving the Bo-Bo Cha-Cha at room temperature, Sweet-i had this dessert taken to a whole new level by serving it with added shaved ice. This icy version is indeed satisfying on a hot day.
There are two types of peanut tong-sui, the clear peanut tong-sui (thor tau jin th’ng) and the thick creamy version. I am looking forward to try the thick version which is only available on Wednesday and Saturday.
Sweet-i has two blend of “Yi Mai” (barley). The clear version has pieces of fu chuk (dried beancurd strips), barley and pumpkin. I was a bit surprised to find the pumpkin as it is not commonly used in this soup. Tasty for some, but I still prefer the whitish version which is boiled with fu chuk, barley and fungus.
The lemon, fungus, golden pear, kei jee and coralline algae (san hu cao) soup is a light and refreshing soup which is considered by many to be good for health.
This sweet temptations shop house is worth seeking out if you are looking for a place to indulge in desserts. The varieties of desserts that I had were both comforting and pleasant. Sweet-i is located along a row of houses in the service road which faces Jalan Sungai Dua (diagonally opposite Tesco Sg Dua).
Tel : 012 4853627 (Mr Soon)
Business Hour: 2pm – 9pm
Closed on Thursday
Written by CK Lam, food blogger and editor of http://www.what2seeonline.com ; featuring the Best of Penang Food. She constantly combs Penang for the best gastronomical delights and loves promoting Penang Cuisines, Culture and Heritage.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 May 2011 14:18|