Penang Food Compilation

In Asia, there is a small city that is known for its delicious food, artistic atmosphere, and affordability. It has been ranked as the number one best food destination in the world by travel magazines and the city with the highest tourism value for money. When it comes to food, this city never disappoints. Yes, it is Penang, Malaysia.

This is an old shop that has been open for many years and still maintains the traditional method of making noodles by pressing bamboo with legs. Therefore, the noodles are more chewy and elastic. The signature dish here is the noodles. It is served with char siu and wontons. The wontons are made with minced meat filling and are very affordable, costing only 6 MYR per bowl.

Shantou Street

Shantou Street only starts setting up stalls after 6 PM, and there are none during the day. Shantou Street is an old street in Penang. Although it looks ancient and old-fashioned, it holds a rich culture and the memories of several generations. Many newspapers have featured it on the front page of their food sections, attracting numerous tourists every day. There are many snack stalls here, the most famous being the 'Four Heavenly Kings': Duck Porridge and Kway Chap, Four Fruit Soup, Fried Kway Teow, and Emperor Chicken Feet. Among them, Four Fruit Soup and Duck Porridge and Kway Chap have their own shops, while the other two are just small stalls. If you want to taste all four delicacies at once, you can sit in the Four Fruit Soup shop and ask the stall owners to bring the food over. The shop owners have excellent memories; despite having so many customers, they can remember your face and what you ordered without taking notes, and then deliver it to your table, after which you can pay.

Penang Road Famous Teochew Cendol

When dining at Yuyuan, you definitely won't miss this extremely popular dessert stall outside the teahouse. The famous Teochew Cendol can also be ordered to enjoy slowly inside the teahouse. There are two types of desserts here: Cendol and Red Bean Ice. The owner makes them very quickly, so it's not easy to capture a photo. Cendol, one of Malaysia's three treasures, is a green thin strip made from pandan leaves with a strong plant flavor. When eaten with coconut milk, brown sugar, and shaved ice, it becomes Malaysia's most famous dessert.
Penang is also famous for its Red Bean Ice, which gained popularity due to Ah Niu's movie 'Ice Kacang Puppy Love'. I visited Goh Seng Huat Coffee Shop, which was recommended on OpenRice. There is a story about Goh Seng Huat, although many old shops have similar tales. Many years ago, a veteran stationed in Penang during the British colonial era loved the durian ice cream from this coffee shop. During his illness, he asked his children to bring the durian ice cream from Penang so he could taste it one last time before he passed away. Unfortunately, when the durian ice cream was packed and ready to be sent to his home in Australia, it was blocked at the Australian customs. The veteran passed away still longing for the taste of the durian ice cream, leaving a lasting regret.
The environment might not be very eye-catching, hidden in an alley. One staff member is responsible for grilling toast with charcoal, another spreads butter, one cooks eggs, and two take orders and serve dishes. The most famous item here is the charcoal-grilled toast, adhering to tradition, using wood fire for grilling. There's a person squatting by the stove to grill the toast, which is quite special. The traditional Malaysian breakfast here includes a portion of toast, a half-boiled egg, a serving of nasi lemak, and coffee. As for the taste, the toast is a bit charred with kaya spread inside, making it crispy and acceptably sweet. The half-boiled egg's taste depends on personal preference; it can be a bit raw, and you can add soy sauce and pepper or dip it with bread. The nasi lemak has an Indian flavor, with a light coconut milk taste mixed with a bit of spiciness, topped with a few anchovies. You don't need to order this; just take it from the side as it's pre-made. The coffee is quite ordinary, filled with ice cubes. Additionally, each table has something similar to fried dumplings, which are fried snacks you can take yourself. At Toh Soon, I had the savory ones filled with potatoes and meat, with a crust similar to Suzhou-style mooncakes, crispy with many layers, and quite tasty. For those used to having soy milk, fried dough sticks, and buns, occasionally experiencing a traditional Malaysian breakfast is also a good choice.
Yuyuan Teahouse is never short of delicious food and popularity. If you want to taste the representative dishes of Penang in the shortest time, this is definitely the place to go. It resembles a food court with different food stalls, each with its own payment system, offering affordable and delicious options. The must-try dish here is definitely Assam Laksa, a representative dish of Penang. 'Assam' means sour in Malay, so compared to the common Singapore Laksa, it has a more sour and spicy taste. If you find Assam Laksa too strong, you can try the Penang Curry Mee, another signature dish here. The white broth combined with curry seasoning makes the rice noodles very tasty, and the addition of fish slices, tofu, and squid makes it truly delicious. Char Kway Teow is one of the most common staple foods in Penang. Kway Teow is similar to what is commonly known as rice noodles. Watching the chef skillfully stir-fry the noodles is a visual feast in itself. Known as 'Oyster Omelette' in Taiwan and 'Oyster Pancake' in Chaozhou, this dish is made by frying oysters and eggs together, presenting the freshest taste with simple cooking methods. Finally, I tried a local dessert, Pandan Coconut Sugar Cake, which is very unique.

Big Fat Curry Noodles

Just mentioned Penang's representative food, curry noodles, so let's recommend a small shop that specializes in curry noodles. All the food here is made to order at the stall at the entrance. The menu is very simple, offering only curry noodles with a choice of noodles or rice noodles as the base, and a few optional ingredients. It's so simple that there is no menu.

Wu Xiuze Hainanese Chicken Rice Restaurant

From afar, you will be attracted by the rows of chicken on the rack, so rest assured, you won't miss it. The chicken is freshly cut upon order, and watching the chef's skilled cutting technique only heightens the anticipation! There are two flavors of chicken here, white chicken and oil chicken, and you must try the most traditional Hainanese chicken. Pair it with a mixed iced coffee; Penang's white coffee is world-famous, especially in such small shops where it feels even more authentic. If you are also a 'chicken' enthusiast, you must come here to taste the legendary best Hainanese chicken rice in Penang.

Wai Kee Char Siew

In Ngau Chi Wan, there is a roasted meat shop that has been passed down for three generations and has been in business for over 50 years, enjoying great success. The char siu here is the signature dish, with a honey glaze that is eye-catching but not overpowering. The char siu itself has a tender and slightly charred texture, making it very delicious. The roast pork is also a must-try, with a very crispy skin and a more intense meat aroma.