Penang, one of the northern states of Malaysia, is a popular holiday destination, especially for foodies! It’s a food haven renowned for dishes such as char kuey teow, asam laksa, and much more. If you’re planning a weekend getaway, why not head up north and enjoy a variety of scrumptious street food in Penang?
If you’re not sure what and where to eat, don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Here’s our guide on the top 5 must-try dishes in Penang:
Char Kuey Teow
No list would be complete without this iconic Penang staple. Char kuey teow is, without doubt, one of the most popular dishes in Penang. This yummy dish features flat rice noodles stir-fried over high heat in a wok with soy sauce, chilli paste, and a variety of other delicious ingredients including prawns, cockles, eggs, bean sprouts, and chives.
Cooked over high heat, char kuey teow has a distinct charred or smoky flavour, known as wok hei in Cantonese. This wok hei is what gives this dish its signature flavour and aroma.
To enjoy a plate of yummy char kuey teow, head over to Tiger Char Koay Teow at Kafe Ping Hooi. This stall serves their noodles with big, juicy prawns and you can also opt for duck egg if you prefer. The char kuey teow here is not too greasy and comes with lots of wok hei goodness!
Tiger Char Koay Teow
Address: 179, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, 10450 George Town, Penang
Contact Number: +6016-458 0926
Operating Hours: 7.30 AM – 2 PM daily
Hokkien Prawn Mee
This noodle soup dish is another must-try when you’re in Penang. The flavourful red broth made with prawn heads and shells is served with mee hoon (rice vermicelli) and yellow noodles. It’s usually topped with yummy pork slices, shrimp, boiled egg, bean sprouts, and fried shallots.
For a satisfying bowl of Hokkien prawn mee, head to 888 Hokkien Mee at Lebuh Presgrave. Customise the dish with add-ons of your choice including roasted pork, pork ribs, and meatballs. Mix in the accompanying chilli sauce for a spicy kick. Once you’re done, order ice kacang (a shaved ice dessert) with ice cream to finish your meal on a sweet note.
888 Hokkien Mee
Address: 67-A, Lebuh Presgrave, 10300 George Town, Penang
Contact Number: N/A
Operating Hours: 5 PM – 11 PM (closed on Thursdays)
Penang asam laksa is an explosion of flavour for your taste buds! This tangy and spicy fish-based broth is made with tamarind juice, chillies, and aromatics such as lemongrass. It is served with yummy thick noodles and topped with flakes of mackerel and fresh mint.
Asam laksa is a delicious dish with a unique flavour profile. You simply cannot leave Penang without trying this dish! Order a bowl of asam laksa at Air Itam Asam Laksa. Once you try some, you might find it hard to stop at just one bowl!
Air Itam Asam Laksa
Address: Jalan Pasar, Paya Terubong, 11500 George Town, Penang
Contact Number: +6012-500 7063
Operating Hours: 10.30 AM – 7 PM (closed on Wednesdays)
Penang oyster omelette is certainly not your typical breakfast omelette! This fried omelette is loaded with plump and juicy oysters. If you love seafood, this is definitely one to try. This oyster-filled omelette is often served with chilli sauce on the side for an added kick.
To satisfy your oyster cravings, head over to New Lane Hawker Centre and order a plate of a hot, freshly fried oyster omelette.
New Lane Hawker Centre
Address: Lorong Baru, George Town, 10450 George Town, Penang
Contact Number: +6016-443 7463
Operating Hours: 4 PM – 11 PM (closed on Wednesdays)
On a hot day, nothing could be better than a bowl of cold, sweet cendol. This dessert made with shaved ice, palm sugar syrup, coconut milk, strings of green jelly, and red beans is an absolute treat to beat the heat.
Enjoy a bowl of cendol at Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul. This classic dessert is a favourite for all ages.
Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul
Address: 27 & 29 Lebuh Keng Kwee, 10100 Georgetown, Penang
Contact Number: +604-262 6002
Operating Hours: 10.30 AM – 7 PM (Monday to Friday), 10 AM – 7.30 PM (Saturday & Sunday)
Ready for a getaway in Penang? Come for the food, stay for the sites! There are plenty of attractions to visit while you’re in Penang. Book your tickets to ESCAPE Theme Park, Dark Mansion Museum, and Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm now for a fun and yummy holiday!
Featured image from Jonathan Lin on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)