Talk about Chendol and almost everyone tells me that the chendol in Malaysia tastes so much better than Singapore. Whenever I head up to Penang, I never fail to have a bowl of Teochew Chendul along Penang road. I have always suspected that there was something in the coconut milk there that is missing in our Singapore chendol. It is not just the flavour, but there is something in it that gives it a very rounded mouth feel. I thought that perhaps it was some herb that they added in order to keep the coconut milk from turning bad in the tropical heat. So I asked my friend C K Lam, Penang’s most accomplished blogger, if she knew anything about this. She told me that aside from a bit of salt, she wasn’t aware of anything else that they added as a preservative. So, the mystery remains unresolved! (Anyone here knows?)
There are not many places in Singapore where you can find chendol topped with plump kidney beans and homemade chendol (that’s the green stuff). When you find one, you know that the stall owners are serious about their dish. What was even more surprising is that the chendol here is made from rice rather than the usual green bean powder. Kenny tells me that they soak and cook the rice before grinding it into a paste and then add freshly squeezed pandan leaves and another secret ingredient to give it that special aroma and texture. Before you dig into the ice, make sure you take a good whiff of the green stuff because the aroma is very special. It is the most fragrant chendol that I have come across. The gula melaka is pretty good quality and the coconut milk is thick but it still lacks that secret something that the ones in Penang have. 4.25/5
The stall also sells a durian smoothie made from pure D24 durians which is surprisingly light and not cloyingly sweet. To make the smoothie, they take pure D24 durian and blend it with a light cream based mixture. The pure durian is all at the bottom, so you will need to give it a bit of a stir before you can suck up anything from the straw. My initial impression was that it was tad bland, but it really does grow on you. After the first few sips, I begin to really like it and ended up finishing the whole cup. The good thing about it is that it is not too rich and overly sweet, so you feel quite refreshed after the drink rather than feeling really jialak and guilty like if you had eaten the same amount of Durian pengat. 4.25/5
It is good to find these kind of mom and pop shops where the owners are passionate about serving good food. The homemade chendol here is excellent and the big fat kidney beans really make the stall stand out from the rest. While you are there, do try the D24 durian smoothie as well. It is a surprisingly refreshing way of getting a quick durian fix!
A1 Penang Chendol