One of the reason coming back to Penang is to saviour their authentic nasi kandar, takua rendang and POPIA.
The last time we had POPIA Ali was at Swatow Lane. We will usually sample the mee goreng sultan with cendol, abc and POPIA.
But when we came back to Swatow lane, the place has been demolished...no more hawkers selling along the road. Instead, a new complex was build where there were nice looking shops and new food court. I guess the hawkers has been relocated at the new food court. We looked and looked but there is no POPIA!! We were so sad..... We asked around and nobody seems to know where he is. It seems that he used to sell at the new place but after 3 months he left the place. Some said he's selling at the pier, some said he went to the Syariah court area. In fact, we did make a drive there but couldn't find him.
When we had our tea at Mee Sultan and huby had a chat with Sultan. He's also not so sure but he said he heard that the Popia man might be selling around the stadium Dato Keramat. In fact he mentioned that many of his customers were asking him about the Popia man but he do not know how to describe to the customers.
On that fateful morning, huby drove me to Dato Keramat area. He took a right turning to the stadium area. He told me to take a look-out. The stadium area is so crowded with people cos there is a pasar minggu there. We looked around and among the busy road, SUDDENLY, we saw this green sign on a tricycle that says "POPIA"!!!!! I shouted and there he is!!! YES, the popia man!!! The one and only from Swatow Lane!!! Huby sanggup double-park cos parking is difficult. We quickly make a dash, as if the guy is gona run away....hahaha.
Yes, it is him alrite!! We took some pics of him. Huby sempat sembang-sembang with him. And he immediately reconized huby....macam dah kenal lama!! We told him that we've been looking for him ever since we reached Penang and he looked much better now. Dulu when he was selling at Swatow Lane, he's always complaining about hard ship and how he wanted to quit. But now, he's much more happier. In fact he gave us a free popia and extra ingredient + special sos put on top of the popia. We are happy that he is happier now!! Oya, he also sempat gave us his house address just in case we desperately wana eat POPIA, can u believe it??!! He stays in Klawei Road. He oso promised us for free popia if we get his popia on paper,hahaha.....!!
So guys, if you want to go for POPIA ALI, he sells on Saturday/Sunday at the Stadium Dato Keramat, Lorong Kulit. On weekdays Mon-Fri, he sells near the hospital Pulau Pinang. Eventho at 60cents per piece, it's worth every cent cos its the real authentic POPIA Penang!
The next day when we had our Mee Sultan for the second time, huby made a good deed by telling Sultan where is the exact location of the Popia man now. Huby also showed him the photos that we took of the Popia man and Sultan was so happy to see the pics. Knowing that Ali is still doing what he's doing. The reason huby told Sultan about this is so that the words can be passed around for those people who are looking for POPIA ALI!!
Just so you know, POPIA ALI was featured 2 years ago in Discovery Channel with the host, Ms. Merellis Parker when she was in Penang to do a food escapade. I enclosed herewith some photos taken with him.
I enjoyed this kind of (jejak-kasih) adventure with huby to locate POPIA cos i know he's good at finding places....tak payah guna GPRS....huby is a walking GPRS....for me that is!!!