Penang Top Five: Amy Aw
Amy Aw loves ice cream. This born and bred Penang lass with Nyonya lineage, however, got tired of ice creams that are sugary-sweet. So, she made her own. For over a year now, her little enterprise that she named Scoops has been selling ice creams to family, friends, friends of friends and they are now featured at Chok Dee Thai restaurant on Jalan Burma. When she’s not making ice-creams, she’s constantly looking for unique flavour combinations for her ice-creams and being useful to society, as her top five below shows.
1. Little India
The place is such a colorful and lively atmosphere. There is cultural music blaring within a nearby radius. Besides that, my love for Indian fare knows no bounds and the abundance of delectable options truly spoils any foodie. I feel like a free spirit with every visit, with a myriad of spices, clothes, jewelry and foodstuff, some of the ingredients for my ice creams are purchased right here!
2. Tropical Spice Garden
This is a lush and beautiful garden true to its name and it offers me tranquility as soon as I step inside. The blend of wonderful aromas from a plethora of herbs and spices permeates the air. Being there on your own guarantees quality ‘me’ time while being there with someone ensures companionship, especially on a swing they have that glides through the trees.
Cheese platter and wine at The Wine Shop
3. Cheese & Wine at The Wine Shop
Something I truly cherish and probably don’t do enough is unwinding after a long day with friends. A place we do go often is a little place called The Wine Shop located in the popular Pulau Tikus area. We would usually order their cheese platter along with a bottle or two of wine. Attentive yet unobtrusive staff there, offer friendly service that tops the little place’s unpretentious atmosphere.
4. Annalakshmi Temple of Fine Arts
My love for Indian food continues with this choice of restaurant. Once a week without fail, I would go to Temple of Fine Arts or Annalakshmi. It’s a restaurant and a non-profit organization first started by a Hindu monk. It is open to the public, especially to vegetarians. Here, you pay for the meal you consume according to what you can afford and this sustains their charitable cause catering to the needy. This place exudes calm and serenity with wonderful home-cooked selections and each week, I leave it with a sense of fulfillment.
Vegetarian food at Annalakshmi
5. The Lighthouse Community Service Centre
Sometimes, I like volunteering at this drop-in centre on Penang Road. It’s also a bakery that trains a small number of jobless drop-ins. I’d normally help out with the cooking of food to feed those in need. It’s organized and ran by a team of good Samaritans and the feeding session is twice daily on weekdays. The place is open to anyone and everyone. Many homeless and physically challenged individuals drop by and are grateful for the complimentary food offered. The most satisfying thing about being a part of this organisation is, it really feeds the soul.