Hooked on spicy goodness

Harry showing his refreshing concoctions of (from left) Apple, Orange and Pineapple Mojitos. (Left pic) Chulia Court The Tavern offers a delicious selection of laksa such as the Sarawak Laksa (left) and Crab Laksa.

SATISFY your cravings for one of the world’s most popular dishes at Chulia Court The Tavern in the heart of George Town, Penang.

The restaurant, while offering a mix of western and oriental items, is well-known as a ‘Laksa House’ for serving five variants of the noodle soup.

The most prominent is Penang Asam Laksa, with sour tamarind fish gravy, vegetables and rice noodles, that CNN Travel ranked 7th in a global food survey in 2011.

Those who prefer a less pungent and spicy treat will like the other local favourite, Laksa Lemak, which has fish-based coconut gravy instead.

One version diners would not find anywhere else, apart from Chulia Court’s sister establishments under the YKH Group of Restaurants, is the signature Crab Laksa.

A hit with crowds, it has a rich coconut gravy that is also slightly sweet due to the amount of crab that goes into it. Add in prawn paste, chilli or lime to your liking.

From south of the border is Katong Laksa, inspired by the Peranakans who lived in that namesake area of Singapore. It has a lighter coconut stock and is topped with shrimps, cuttlefish and fish cake.

Chulia Court The Tavern offers a delicious selection of laksa such as the Sarawak Laksa

Otherwise, try the Sarawak Laksa which has rice vermicelli in prawn and chicken stock. It is the least spicy, but diners can choose to amp it up with sambal belacan.

Chulia Court manager and partner, who wants to be known only as Harry, said everything is made in-house to recipes from group’s founder, Yeoh Kah Hock.

But the establishment, located along Chulia Street opposite the junction with Love Lane, serves more than laksa. There is also a good selection of gastropub items.

These range from small bites like Chicken Lor Bak, Nyonya Pie Tee and Satay, to heartier ones like Kapitan Chicken Burger, Rendang Beef Burger, beer-battered Fish and Chips, Grilled Salmon Fillet, Hainanese Chicken Chop, four-hour slow-cooked Lamb Shank, and pasta dishes.

Complementing those are a good selection of tantalising beverages including some signature creations from Harry himself, like the Pineapple, Orange and Apple Mojitos.

“Mojitos are common around the world, but here, we try to localise it with tropical flavours,” he pointed out.

He also recommends the Whisky Sour, AK 527 and Eclectic Ice Tea, all house takes on popular cocktails with enhanced recipes, as well as the Harry Boy for ladies who cannot take too much alcohol.

The place takes on a mature pub feel at night, with a live two-piece band playing daily from 8pm to 10pm. Following that, a deejay spins music till late.

Happy Hours run from 10am till closing from Sunday to Thursday, and 10am to 9pm on Friday, Saturday and eve of Public Holidays — offering 2+1 deals on various beverages.

The venue is also available for hosting functions and gatherings. Its upper floor is a boutique guesthouse with 12 rooms, priced at RM75 onwards for a single bed.

Opening hours for the restaurant are 8.30am to 2am on weekdays, up to 3.30am on weekends. Look up Chulia Court on Facebook for more information or call 04-2613809 for reservations.

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Lifestyle , Northern Region , gourmet guide


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