Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hong Kong Bar (HKB), Chulia Street, Penang

For the first time after five years of living in Penang, I finally step foot into Hong Kong Bar in Chulia Street. For this, I must thank a friend―let's call him Simon P.―because without his and his friends' postings on social media, I wouldn't have noticed this super cool, old-fashioned (but in a very good way) bar. I loved it.

The nice cold beer, the lovely hosts Jenny and Peter, the oldies music, all that history displayed on the wall, I just sat there and took them all in. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes was playing in the background. Only You... Jenny thought I was from Japan.

My selfie. There's no air-conditioning so please come in your light clothing... 

I took the bus, stopped at the Jetty and walked my way to Chulia Street. I was greeted along the way by some locals thinking I'm a foreign tourist. It was fun.

I found it! It's the one round the corner. Step into this unassuming bar and enjoy yourself with a nice cold beer and chat.

Hong Kong Bar (HKB) is a family-run business going a long way back since 1955 and has always been a popular spot for servicemen from the RAF/RAAF Butterworth days. I read from the Internet that there was a major fire at the bar in September 2004 which gutted much of the interior and destroyed the old photo books.

HKB's walls are lined with plaques and photos, mementos left by the servicemen of their many hours spent in the bar. I've captured some snapshots below. I asked Jenny, a wonderful and sweet lady, if I may take photos and she was like, take all the photos you want! YAY! So, I immediately got to work.

The Australian flag. Beautiful...

I also asked Jenny if I could step behind the bar counter to get a wider shot of the wall and she's totally accommodating. By this time, I was already in love with her.

This was around 3:30 PM to 4:00 PM and by the time it's early evening, the bar filled up. Every chair, bench and spot taken.

I walked outside and took a snapshot of this. I was just parading about and *click click* My iPhone was busy making photos. LOL.

The fridge that keeps all the beer we so loved!

Here comes the plaques and photos, mementos...

Jenny dished out some photo albums and I spent a good hour browsing through them. The bar has a custom of keeping photos of all its customers. I ogled at lots of really handsome and good looking men in the pictures. Perfect way to spend an afternoon over a few bottles of beer.

I was browsing the awesome albums. So many photos! I signed the guestbook too. My handwriting's awful...

Oooooh... a sexy pose by one of the servicemen.

This is the latest memento from the RAAF boys to be added to the collection! Fresh from the oven today and soon onto the wall.

Here are the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) boys making a group photo. I sneaked a shot of everybody's backsides...

When I say Jenny is really nice, I mean she is REALLY nice. Here's a bowl of hot "sai yong choi" soup. Delicious! Perfect to go with the yam rice she cooked. What a dinner treat! Thank you so much, Jenny, for the wonderful hospitality. I left the bar at about 7:30 PM or so. I will see you and Hong Kong Bar again. And again. 

My bowl of hot soup oozing with home-cooked goodness.