The tropical sun was burning bright high above, and the beach sand was warm to my bare soles. It was a beautiful day, the seaside busy with families in the shallows and kids digging holes in the sand. Hanging enticingly in the air was the hot, sizzling scent of jagung bakar, or grilled corn. Now that's one thing you can't miss out on at this beach stretch of Batu Ferringhi.
Of course, there's no scarcity of stalls selling grilled corn here in Penang Island's tourist hotspot. But this particular stand serves up some really delicious corn. To get here, you'll have to drive past the Grand Plaza Parkroyal Penang to your right on Jalan Batu Ferringhi, and take the first right turning you find. If you go past a small mosque, it means you've gone too far. Once you're in the turn-off road, the jagung bakar stall should be one of the first things you see at the end of the road - it's hard to miss.
My family and I found this place a few years back while on the hunt for a nice, less crowded stretch of beach. We couldn't resist the beautiful smoky aroma of the grilled corn wafting on the breeze. Of course, everything is made fresh before your eyes, and the anticipation while you watch the friendly jagung bakar uncle work his magic is enough to make you salivate.
The corn cobs are dipped into some kind of caramel sauce and put back onto the grill, followed by a generous slather of butter. It's a magnificent thing to behold as the flames lick at the fatty puddles of butter and caramel. Like that isn't enough, the finishing touch is a generous amount of condensed milk drizzled onto the smoky, charred cobs of corn.
The end result is a hot, dripping mess that melts in your mouth. The corn is fresh and juicy, and the overall flavour is a combination of sweet, salty and smoky. A tasty treat to have while relaxing on the beach.
However, if corn cobs are not your cup of tea you could always go for a cup of corn. The corn is steamed on the spot and mixed together with butter and condensed milk. It's a very savoury sweet snack, and when the corn pieces are all guzzled up, there's a sweet-ish, buttery 'soup' left at the bottom of the cup that makes a nice finishing note. I was actually quite full after finishing my cup. It's definitely one of my top things to eat while visiting Penang.