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Apr 1, 2013 10:17 PM

Penang - roti canai, nonya, classic penang street food near Hutton


We'll be in Georgetown for a 4 days and would appreciate chowhounders advice on *the* best local establishments for a taste of Penang.

I have researched the recent posts here but we have some specific criteria:

Walking distance from Hutton Street
Child friendly breakfast roti a must
A nasi kandar of merit
Nonya to die for
Classic Georgetown street food

Your collective wisdom will be savoured.


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  1. The *best-known* roti canai spot near Hutton Lane is the Transfer Road Roti Canai ( It's right next to Hutton Lane, but I must add that it's *not* child-friendly, unless your children were brought up in Chandni Chowk, Delhi.

    For a Roti Canai breakfast, I'd recommend a 10-minute taxi ride down to Sri Ananda Bahwan ( - air-conditioned comfort, proper restaurant set-up, and some of the best-tasting South Indian breakfast items in Malaysia! Plus, it's right in Penang's very atmospheric Little India district - pretty, colourful and civilised, unlike KL's rather cold, ugly Little India district in Brickfields. If you decide to walk, use Chulia Street - about 20-25 minutes.

    One of the most famous Nasi Kandar spots in Georgetown is undoubtedly Line Clear Nasi Kandar ( - about 10 minutes' walk from Hutton Lane along Penang Road.

    Best Penang-style Nyonya (different from Singapore-style Nyonya) in Georgetown is undoubtedly a toss-up between Perut Rumah ( and Mama's ( You can't go wrong with either one, or perhaps Nyonya Baba at Nagore Road ( - *forget* the rest! Do call ahead to book at either Perut Rumah or Mama's. Only Nyonya Baba is walking distance (15-20 minutes).

    Classic Georgetown food, if you're looking at child-friendly spots, try:

    1) New World Park food centre ( for lunch. Don't miss trying the ubiquitous Penang "char koay teow" - fried flat rice noodles with shrimps, eggs, beansprouts, cockles, thinly-sliced Chinese waxed sausages and egg.

    2) Red Garden food centre ( or Northam Beach food centre ( for dinner.

    Both New World Park and Red Garden are 15-minutes' walk from Hutton Lane.

    Penang's public transport system leaves quite a bit to be desired - you can rent a car and driver to bring you around in air-conditioned comfort. Penang's weather (like in Singapore and the rest of Malaysia currently) is very hot and humid!

    1. Oops, yes Hutton Lane.

      Thank you again KLYeoh, most appreciated.

      We'll roll past transfer road and check out the WAF (wife acceptance factor), I suspect I'll be a late nite visitor or early morning delivery boy (assuming they do takeaways).


      1. And will reconsider the walking only rule, sounds like cabbing it will be a better option for the heat and the places within striking distance, does the cab change the recommendations ?

        1 Reply
        1. re: aaronpryce

          Not really - you're staying in Georgetown's old quarter, and everything's within striking distance. BTW, Transfer Road Roti Canai only opens till lunch, I think.

          A couple of popular coffeeshops (with food stalls), open for breakfast and lunch, along Penang Road, which are also walking distance from where you're staying are:
          (1) Kheng Pin coffeeshop

          (2) Kek Seng coffeeshop

          The more popular *evening* street food spots among locals are:
          (1) New Lane on MacAlister Road

          (2) Kimberley Street

          I mentioned about rental car-and-chauffeur because Penang taxi drivers are notorious for wanting to overcharge tourists and refusing to use the fare metre. A common scourge in Malaysia :-(

        2. Aaron, where are you staying along Hutton Lane? It's a fairly long street but if you are staying quite near the Larut Road end, then New World Park can be your happy hunting ground for breakfast, lunch and early dinner. All kinds of Penang hawker food is there. Besides hawker stalls and cafes, you can also find Indian, Nyonya, and Chinese restaurants.

          There's also a supermarket at Penang Plaza nearby.

          If you are staying towards Transfer Road and Penang Road end (Penaga Hotel), then klyeoh's suggestions will be useful.

          3 Replies
          1. re: penang_rojak

            It was the Jalan Penang end of Hutton lane end but I think we are changing to the top end of Jalan Penang.

            1. re: aaronpryce

              Upper Penang Road - nearer towards the E&O Hotel? Then, you can do Kheng Pin in the mornings and lunch-time, Red Garden in the evenings. Anyway, it's only 20-minutes' walk end-to-end along Penang Road, with lots of things to see in between.

              If you want to try meat-filled murtabak, don't miss the legendary 106-year-old Hameediyah on Campbell Street, just off Penang Road:

              Hameediyah only opens from lunch-time onwards, but does a mean roti canai as well. After all, if you'd been in business for more than a century, you *must* be doing something right!

              Late evenings, check out the Hameed's along Penang Road for their wide range of spiced mutton soups, even the "Torpedo Soup" - made from that part of the goat which you get after you castrate it :-D

            2. re: penang_rojak

              I actually had a nice Chinese vegetarian breakfast once near Hutton Lane. It's on Dickens Street which runs parallel to Hutton Lane. We stayed at Hotel Penaga and it was very nice indeed. But it's not cheap!

              P.S. - Don't eat at the restaurant in Hotel Penaga. We did that once and was sorely disappointed!