I like a nice packet of crisps occasionally. Judging from the huge amount of shelf space they occupy in Malaysian supermarkets and convenience stores, I am not the only one.
However, whenever I find a nice brand at a reasonable price it soon disappears. Or the price inflates enormously, then it disappears. The cheap, local brands all seem to be full of nasty chemicals. The more expensive imported and / or foreign brands are often way too expensive, and still have chemicals I avoid. Anything that comes from the US is suspect and they do terrible things to what they call food – and you don’t know what they’ve done. Have they irradiated it? Does it have genetically modified ingredients? For example, I think most canola oil from the US is GM – and many packets say that it may contain this. And the labelling is often misleading. “Natural flavour” may not mean that the flavour is natural and not chemical, but rather that might be their (registered) name for some chemical concoction. Artificial MSG may be hidden in another ingredient on the label, so you don’t know whether it is included. And so on. It’s complicated. Plain crisps are the least likely to have chemically enhanced flavours, so they are the ones I always check first.
So yesterday I found some crisps from Germany. Looking at the label they seemed OK. And Germans tend to reject GM substances. And they love their potatoes. And the price in Cold Storage is only RM5.99. I bought a packet. There is a strong MSG flavour, but it is quite possibly natural MSG, which is perfectly OK. I enjoyed the packet.
I’ve been writing this blog for three years this month, and have accumulated many partially written blogs that remain unpublished. I may as well just publish them as is, and if I ever feel inspired to finish any, do so later.
From February 15, 2012
I think it’s great. The German restaurant invasion of Penang – there are suddenly so many German restaurants here. For years there was only Ingolf’s in Hillside, Tanjung Bunguh. And it’s still there. But there are so many others. Here are the ones I am aware of:
However, they are fairly pricey. At Tesco you can buy a variety of German sausages for a reasonable price, some potatoes, pick up some beer somewhere, but probably have to make your own sauerkraut. (My recipe to follow sometime.)
Berlin’s Bier Houz has its origin in Ipoh, but then it opened in Straits Quays, where I was sometimes a customer. Later they opened another branch near Queensbay Mall. Still later they closed the Straits Quays outlet. So I had not been for a while. But mid-December we went to the (near) Queensbay branch, as lunch and a beer seemed like a good idea at the time.
Their website tells most of the story, although doesn’t note the prices, so here are a few pages from the menus.
I thought the a la carte menu was more interesting than the lunch menu.
our drinks – the one on the left came with the lunch set
Mrs Tropical Expat had the lunch set
I had pork ribs.
my a la carte choice
my a la carte choice
It was a late lunch for us, and the restaurant was not crowded. Service was fast and friendly. Our meals were good. In fact, mine looked enormous, but was actually on a bed of mashed potato, so not as big as it appears. However, a greater volume would have been too much.
The biggest Oktoberfest in Penang is the one held by the Malaysian German Society. This year it is being held this coming Friday and Saturday nights, October 17th and 18th. I just picked up my ticket for Saturday night.
MGS magazine, ticket and voucher
Beforehand tickets cost RM10 for members and RM25 for non-members. At the door they are RM30 for all. Tickets come with a voucher for one can of Carlsberg or soft drink.