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Eating in Penang

fergal76 Nov 29, 2009 01:50 AM


I'm going to be in Penang over Christmas, staying in Batu Ferringhu. We'll be there for over a week so I was wondering if anybody had any suggestions for eating out on the island.

many thanks in advance


  1. debbieann Dec 19, 2009 08:32 PM

    We'll be in Penang around the same time, if you want to meet up. Headed for KL today. have booked 2 nights there, have no real plans, but are just eating good food and traveling in Malaysia until Jan1. Very excited about going to Penang for the first time.

    8 Replies
    1. re: debbieann
      klyeoh Dec 21, 2009 12:45 AM

      Use this website if you're looking for any particular Penang street food:


      Even local Penangites used this.

      1. re: klyeoh
        debbieann Dec 21, 2009 05:30 AM

        that is fantastic, thank you so much for that link!

        1. re: debbieann
          Peter Cherches Dec 21, 2009 10:33 AM

          One thing that's popular in KL that I didn't really notice in Penang are steamboat restaurants, where you order different skewers and cook them in broth that's in pots built into the tables. I also remember something delicious from the same hawker area in KL Chinatown called "honey sea vegetable drink."

          1. re: Peter Cherches
            penang_rojak Dec 21, 2009 06:03 PM

            You know, strangely - this method of cooking skewers of food in a pot was very common in Penang - but at road-side stalls: we call this "lok lok". But it was in KL that they made it more "respectable" by serving that in restaurants, many actually owned by Penang restaurateurs who moved to KL.
            You can find lok-lok stalls in Swatow Lane or Pulau Tikus night hawker centers. Or see:

          2. re: debbieann
            debbieann Dec 22, 2009 09:44 PM

            wow, Penang gets booked up over the xmas holiday. finally found a place. Will the hawker stands in general be open between 24-27/12 in general?

            1. re: debbieann
              penang_rojak Dec 22, 2009 10:24 PM

              Oh yes, hawker centers are open 365 days a year, even during the Chinese New Year period, which is the MAIN holiday in Penang. Many continental restaurants (i.e. Western ones serving turkey or other Christmas fare) are probably booked out, but you shouldn't have problems booking local/seafood restaurants, for example, the old faithful Ocean Green, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Georgetown, Penang. Tel: 04-226-2681‎


              Try the Inche Kabin (deep-fried spiced chicken), deep-fried spring rolls (do pre-order this dish), baked cheese-crabs, Chinese-style satays and any of the seafood dishes.

              1. re: debbieann
                klyeoh Dec 22, 2009 11:39 PM

                You mean the hotels are booked up? That's because it's also the tail-end of school holidays in Singapore, and many Singaporeans take short holidays up to Penang (or else Bangkok, Phuket, Hong Kong/Macau).

                Christmas is not a major event in mainly-Chinese Penang, so all the malls, restaurants, hawker stalls and food courts are open as per normal.

                1. re: klyeoh
                  debbieann Dec 23, 2009 04:43 AM

                  yeah, it is the hotels that are booked up. happy to hear the hawker ctrs are open.

        2. p
          penang_rojak Nov 29, 2009 08:56 PM

          There are already many threads discussing Penang food - see related Greater Board discussions listed below.
          What are you looking for particularly? Casual/hawker foods, restaurants?

          4 Replies
          1. re: penang_rojak
            fergal76 Dec 1, 2009 04:21 PM

            A combination of the above - I'm interested in knowing what's good to eat, must try and where I should be going.

            I'll no doubt spend a couple of days in Georgetown - so would like 3 places to try there.


            1. re: fergal76
              penang_rojak Dec 3, 2009 11:51 AM

              Penang's really well-known for hawker food, so try and hit one of the hawker centers where you can try local favorites like Penang fried koay teow, loh bak, oyster omelette, sar hor fun, etc. One of the most popular food centers for true-blue Penangites like me is New Lane (it's off MacAlister Road in Georgetown:

              There's been a couple of interesting restaurants which opened recently, both serving local-style Continental cuisine (Hainanese-inspired steaks, fried chicken, etc) in historic buildings. One is at the lavish Suffolk House, a 18th-century beautiful mansion which used to belong to the estate of Capt Francis Light (the founder of Penang). The other is at the Sun Yat-Sen (the founder of modern China) building in MacAlister Road. These two places will give you a different perspective of eating out in Penang.

              Another unique dining experience in Penang would be at a Nyonya restaurant. These restaurants serve typical Penang-Nyonya cuisine, which is a hybrid of Chinese, Malay and Thai cuisines. Nyonya cuisine evolved over more than 200 years, and is extraordinarily good (if you like strong, robust flavors). Some dishes which you MUST NOT miss include Curry Kapitan (a dry, aromatic chicken curry, heavy with lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal & other spices), Inche Kabin (a deep-fried, marinated chicken dish), and Penang-Nyonya otak-otak ( a savoury, mousse-like coconut-fish custard steamed in banana leaves) which is similar to Thai "hor-mok" or Cambodian "ah-mok". A good Nyonya restaurant to try is Perut Rumah on 17 Kelawei Road:
              You can also try other favourites like Hot Wok, Mama's, etc.

              1. re: penang_rojak
                fergal76 Dec 3, 2009 01:05 PM

                That's really helpful. thank you.

                1. re: penang_rojak
                  Peter Cherches Dec 19, 2009 04:33 AM

                  One of the breakfasts I ever had was ca. 1994 in Penang--oyster congee from an old lady who had a cart in a small hawkers center right outside a shopping center, IIRC. I doubt she's still there, but I wonder if it's easy to find fresh oyster congee...

                  I became addicted to ais cendol as a mid-afternoon cooling snack. In NYC the cendol itself (sweet green pea noodles w/ pandan coloring/flavoring) never has the same chewy consistency as in Malaysia.


            2. n
              nasilemak Nov 29, 2009 05:28 AM

              one of my fave spots in Penang -

              by the way, it's Batu Ferringhi.

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