Malaysia Food Exploration: Penang Recommendations

I deliberated for a while over whether to write any posts for Penang or Kuala Lumpur that summarised the places we particularly enjoyed eating. There are so many excellent bloggers in these cities writing about the food scene that the ground is well-trodden, and they all know far more about the cuisine than I do.

In the end, I decided against it for Kuala Lumpur as we were there so briefly and anywhere that we liked got a name-check in the various food-specific posts. For Penang, the same is broadly true, but there were a few extra places that I wanted to mention so I thought I may as well (even though it meant making another map which is my least favourite blogging task!).


Option 1
Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, Persiaran Gurney

This open-air evening food court is the furthest place on this list from the centre of George Town, requiring a short bus ride. We only had some beef and chicken satay (pictured below), but they were succulent and beautifully browned, and served with lashings of peanut sauce. There is a large mix of stalls here, and Gurney Plaza shopping centre is just down the road if you need some air-con to cool off.


Option 2
All About Sugar and Gift, 11 Lorong Susu

See the Penang Dessert Houses post for details. Open late morning to late evening.

Option 3
Sugar Dynasty, 29 Jalan Nagor

See the Penang Dessert Houses post for details. Open late morning to late evening.

Option 4
New World Park Food Court, Jalan Burma

Home to cendol and ais kacang, along with many other hawker centre favourites, including some enjoyable char kway teow. Open during the daytime.

Option 5
Passions of Kerala, New World Park, Jalan Burma

Covered in the Banana Leaf Meal post, I wish we had returned to try out more of the menu. Open lunchtimes and evenings.

Option 6
Ming Xiang Tai, 133 Jalan Burma

Please see this post.

Option 7
Yi Bin, 106c Jalan Hutton

We walked past this place a few times before venturing in. A subtle blackboard outside advertised a couple of dishes, but otherwise it blended fairly well into the adjacent shop-houses. Open late morning until 7pm, it is a tea house, serving tea (surprising, I know) and a selection of dim sum and lunch items. We had a good value set menu of rice, soup, a vegetable and a main dish, plus a separate order of a side of pork buns (pictured below).

H’s black pepper chicken was aromatic and full of flavour, and my sour plum chicken turned out to be battered, deep-fried chicken (score!) topped with sesame seeds. There must have been some accompanying sweet-sour plum sauce, but all I can recollect is the crispy chicken. Portions weren’t huge but it was all fresh and delicious, and a really fortuitous find as the decor was similarly impressive (this website has a few pics).

yi bin meal

Option 8
Restoran Nasi Kandar Pokok Ketapang, 38 Jalan Hutton

Home to delicious roti canai, they have various menus dotting the walls offering a wide selection of Indian treats. Whenever we passed they were open, but presumably they must shut some time – perhaps in the small hours.

Option 9
Patongko Stall, Jalan Hutton

Please see earlier post here.

Option 10
Red Garden Food Paradise, 20 Leith Street

Home to a plethora of food stalls, it is all too easy to order a little here and a little there, and before long you have eaten far too much. It seemed to be a popular spot with tourists, but is open evenings only.

red garden

Option 11
Ecco Café, 402 Lebuh Chulia

One night we fancied something simple and Western, so I rummaged around online until I found this café which was recommended for pizzas. We satiated our appetites very satisfactorily, and I was particularly happy to be eating cheese again. They also did some nice-sounding pastas, but despite being tempted, the craving for bread was too strong.

Option 12
Kopi Cine
, 55 Stewart Lane

We walked past this pretty little upmarket café while on the quest for kuih, and I looked up its website when we returned to our hotel. It had some wonderful-sounding drinks, including the iced caramel drink with gula melaka ice cream pictured below. We popped in a couple of times as we pounded the pavements over the next few days; on one occasion we had drinks, and on the other, a single scoop each of the aforementioned gula melaka ice cream, which is homemade and utterly ambrosial. Prices are high for Malaysia, but I suggest treating yourself (they also had some gorgeous-looking cakes).

iced caramel drink with gula melaka ice cream


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