Friday, April 25, 2014

Jalan Burma

25 April 2014

Our current hotel is on Jalan Burma, so we're getting to know the area quite well.  Since the hotel, 1926 Heritage Hotel, was originally 24 row houses built for the British colonial administration officials, there are many other old buildings in the area - presumably to house other officials, support staff, shops, restaurants, pubs, and such.  And of course the churches.

There are stores like the wedding gifts store, the front display jam packed with red and gold light fixtures.  Not quite the paper lanterns, but maybe glass and metal renditions of tradition Chinese lanterns.  Lovely en masse.

There's also the occasional mural, like the little boy feeding his pigeons.

We discovered a lovely enclave of buildings and shops today along Jalan Nagor.  [Just as an aside - Jalan, pronounced jah-LAHN, means street.  Lorong or Loring means more like an alley, and often contains the name of the main street from which it branches.  Lebuh is a smaller street.  We aren't sure of the difference between all the various streets, avenues, roads, and boulevards.  But Jalan seems to mean a fairly main road.)

Anyway, Jalan Nagor.  Home of Mon Délice Patisserie.  Oh my.  Not that we need another place for yummy cakes or pastries, of course.  But, well, I allow myself either one cake or pastry per day, or one frothy sweet drink from a coffee shop.  You know, the venti-cappu-frappu-mocha-deluxo-ccino type things.  One of those, or one sweet.

Today, it was the Earl Grey Opera at Mon Délice.  Mmmmm, very light and very thin layers of hazelnut cake layered with Earl Grey infused butter cream alternating with dark chocolate ganache.  Decorated with gold splatters on the top layer of ganache.  And accompanied by a cup of lavender Earl Grey tea - which yes, tastes exactly like Earl Grey tea with lavender flowers in it.  The lavender is more of a fragrance in your mouth than an actual taste, and yes it's just a wee bit perfumey, but it's absolutely delightful.  Brings the tea to a whole new level.

So I practiced my British tea drinking skills while Richard extolled the virtues of his deep dark delicious Chocolate Mud Cake, and I enjoyed my lovely layered and gold-bedecked Opera.

You've GOT to go to Mon Délice - their website is

We chatted with the counter guy, Leon, who is the fiancé of one of the bakers.  We didn't meet her, she was very busy making extraordinary items like, oh, fruit tartlets.  Mango charlotte, which I unfortunately can't even taste.  Noisette, a nut and chocolate layered torte.  Items with words like gateau and dacoise and genoise and, oh, just more chocolate!

And then this adorable Malaysian lady came in and we said hello, she proceeded to inspect the pastries of the day (and had a reason to not buy each one - too heavy, too cheesy, too small - sort of like Goldilocks).  She sat down and chatted with us.  She was too funny, asking where we're from, where we've been, how long we'll be in Malaysia.  I got a few questions in between hers - she was born in Georgetown, she's seen many changes but wouldn't say if they were good or bad, she's done some travelling around but never made it to the USA or the Caribbean.  And back to questions about us.  She really was very funny, quite a little character.  Probably as old as most of the buildings, which we have been told date back to somewhere between the two world wars.  The church, however, was dated 1891.

Anyway, we've made contact with the TV casting lady - there was some sort of problem, she couldn't call us in, she was too busy to talk, she'll call us later.  I'm hoping that the costumes for the "British" women are taking a bit longer to make because they're so gorgeous - I've researched 1932 British fashion, and wow, I'm hoping for something similar to the dresses and gowns by Elsa Schiapparelli.  Sheer, floral, angel wing sleeves.  But, all we can do is wait.

So we're finding fun things to do in our part of Penang while we wait.

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