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Dec 28, 2012 01:51 AM

Penang - Nasi Kandar Jeti: the Best on Mainland Penang?

There are some similarities in geography and size between Penang and Hong Kong - both former British colonies in the Far East. Penang consists of a 295 square km island, and is 1048 square km in total size when you include the mainland part: Province Wellesley, with its largest town, Butterworth. Hong Kong is 80.4 square km, but totals 1104 square km when we include Kowloon/New Territories and the outer islands.

Historically, both Penang and HK's main development took place on the islands, with the mainland areas providing residential, agricultural and industrial space.

This morning, my culinary search for Penang's best street eats crossed the 6km Penang Straits which separated Georgetown (Penang's state capital) and Butterworth (the largest town on the mainland part of Penang). A short scenic ferry ride, not unlike those which plied Victoria Harbour between HK and Kowloon, brought me straight to Penang Sentral, the main bus terminus on Butterworth adjoining its ferry terminal.

Right opposite Penang Sentral is a corner coffeeshop where the unassuming "Nasi Kandar Jeti" stall operates from. Run by a genial Tamil-Indian chap who also spoke fluent English, Malay and Chinese-Hokkien (?!), the stall purportedly offers the best nasi kandar in Butterworth.

This being my first ever foray into Butterworth (and its dining scene), I can't vouch for that claim, but I *can* at least attest to the fact that his version of nasi kandar which I had there (with fall-off-the-bone tender curried chicken, salted duck's egg and a hard-boiled hen's egg) actually tasted better than the famous nasi kandar spots I'd had in Georgetown (Penang island) like Line Clear, Kayu and, lately, Nasi Kandar Beratur ( So, there may be some truth to his claim after all!

Address details
Nasi Kandar Jeti
Opposite Penang Sentral
Jalan Bagan Dalam
12100 Butterworth
Province Wellesley

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  1. Just sharing some pics of (1) Our ferry at leaving Georgetown, (2) A similar Penang Port Commission ferry passing ours; and (3) our ferry arriving at Butterworth (which has tiny fishing boats from a fishing village nearby) - a mere 15-minute ride. The ferry ride from Georgetown to Butterworth is free. You then pay a mere RM1.20 (US$0.35 cents) to ride back from Butterworth to Georgetown.