Why You Should Travel to Penang for a Food Trip This Weekend (Part 1: The First Half Day)
posted at: 03-10-2019 | author: foodcrush

By the time you have finished reading the title, you would have consulted Mr. Google and got some pretty well-discovered answers: How Penang is the food capital of Malaysia and Asia, widely praised by locals and foreigners and unanimously agreed for its oft-repeated local cuisines. To a certain degree, you might be right.

However, Penang is more than just food; it has so much more to offer. The historical heritage, malls for shopaholics, thrilling adventures and like every trip should be, some sightseeing for moments to remember. 

Part 1 will focus on day time, recommending you the first 6 delectable cuisines you can eat before, after or even during interesting activities that you can enjoy on the wonderful weekend.

So save this in your phone, pack your bags and let’s go to Penang!

@ Jn Tan

@ ricky su

@william loh

BREAKFAST

1) ROTI CANAI

One of Malaysia’s breakfast for the nation, this ‘flying’ bread is always served hot, can be eaten with cutlery or bare handed. Other than the standard issue of roti canai and roti telur (roti canai with egg variant), there are so many variations that made us Malaysians truly spoilt for choices.

By the way, it goes well with a glass of hot teh tarik, a foamy and delicious milk tea for a complete experience.

@kay zack

WHERE TO EAT AT PENANG AND WHAT’S SPECIAL?

If you ask the locals, most likely the first place that comes into mind will be Transfer Road roti canai stall. This unique stall serves only freshly made roti canai and scrumptious curries.  It is very easy to spot the place as it is just beside the busy Transfer Road. Unlike the traditional roti canai which is served only with plain curry sauce, the delicious roti canai here is served with either chicken, beef or mutton curries. The complete roti canai treat is best to be served with “flooded” curry sauce or “kuah banjir” in Malay. It is a breakfast place not to be missed in Penang.

@kay zack

2) NASI LEMAK

A staple breakfast for Malaysians, nasi lemak is a fragrant dish with creamy rice cooked in coconut milk served with sambal which is a spicy sauce that makes or breaks the dish, which in turn determines your mood for the rest of the day. Choose your nasi lemak wisely.

@ κεηηγsκ

WHERE TO EAT AT PENANG AND WHAT’S SPECIAL?

It is not difficult to find nasi lemak stalls around Penang, however this particular stall which is housed within Sri Weld food court has made a name for itself for serving the best nasi lemak in Penang.  Pisang is a very busy stall especially during the peak hours in the morning. They offer a few types of nasi lemak bungkus such as anchovy, prawn, squid, salted fish and chicken. During peak hours, you will expect the pre-packed nasi lemak to be hot or warm because the workers will have to keep up the pace to refill the stocks.  Their nasi lemak is cooked with real coconut milk hence it gets the familiar coconut aroma. The sambal is not overly spicy and it is on the sweeter note. The anchovy and squid nasi lemak are the must try and so far the potion maintains the same for many years. Before I forget, all the nasi lemak are wrapped with banana leaves for added fragrant scent !

@ Clarence Sim

3) CHAR KOAY TEOW

One of Penang’s most iconic dish, this delicacy is imitated and sold by many, but mastered by very few. It is a fried rice noodle with combination of pork fat, prawns, light and dark soy sauce, chinese sausages, cockles, bean sprouts, choice of chicken or duck eggs and a dash of chili.

What differentiates between a ‘meh’ char koay teow and the best in class lies in 2 principles: The mastery of stir frying the cuisine on a hot wok that emits a complex but nevertheless fragrant aroma, simply known as ‘wok hei’ and the ratio of each ingredient prepared before the frying begins.

@Suka Chia

WHERE TO EAT AT PENANG AND WHAT’S SPECIAL?

There are many famous char koey teow stalls in Penang, but you will find most famous joints are not opened in the morning. Don’t worry as you can still head for Ah Leng char koay teow at Tong Hooi Café, Jalan Dato Keramat for breakfast.  You might find Ah Leng char koay teow is operated by a lady who is actually Ah Leng’s (the original owner) daughter. The unique thing about Ah Leng char koay teow is its slightly moist char koay teow, topped with big prawns and duck egg (optional) that will give you a complex fare of creamy and umami taste. Like most Penang style char koay teow, it is not overly seasoned so it will put your taste buds to work and explore the real taste beneath.

@ Justin Leon

WHERE TO GO FOR AFTER BREAKFAST:

As day time is still pretty young after breakfast, get sweaty or get wet at Penang’s City Park a.k.a. Youth Park to use their recreational amenities such as playgrounds, a skating rink, swimming pools, a graffiti corner, reflexology paths and an outdoor auditorium.

Or if you are the kind who likes to take things slowly but leisurely, then take a visit to Penang Botanic Gardens and walk along the beautifully landscaped terrain with large variety of indigenous and exotic plant species. Don’t forget to visit the cascading waterfall nearby. The locals call it Waterfall Gardens for obvious reasons.

@ Szee Ghee Teoh

@ J Sammy

BRUNCH/LUNCH

1) LAKSA

A worldwide recognized dish; so popular that even CNN ranked it one of the most delicious foods in the world, the laksa variant in Penang is known as Asam laksa which this rice noodle’s soup has a sour taste due to the use of tamarind and mackerel fish (known as ikan kembung) and drenched with various types of finely sliced vegetables.

@ Juliana lee

WHERE TO EAT AT PENANG AND WHAT’S SPECIAL?

You won’t go wrong with the Air Itam market Asam Laksa. This stall has been around for few decades and it is often patronized by both locals and tourists. Beside the laksa noodles, the key determinant of a good bowl of Asam Laksa is its sour and pungent broth. The broth here tastes taste very strong and rich, it is fueled by tamarinds and fish flakes. The vegetables are not just for garnish but they help to balance up the heat and, also to add crunchiness for the bites. Prawn paste and chili padi are a must to add extra kick to the bowl of Asam Laksa, bon appetite !

@Munraj Gill

2) CHENDOL

A must-have during Penang’s hot scorching weather in the afternoon, chendol is a dessert made with shaved ice, coconut milk, pandan-flavored ‘noodles’, and palm sugar for that caramelized taste. You may choose add-ons with red kidney beans, grass jelly, glutinous rice or creamed corn.

@ J Wawa

WHERE TO EAT AT PENANG AND WHAT’S SPECIAL?

Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul: The one with blue bowl. Arguably more talked about than their ‘orange bowl’ rival, their chendol does taste great and tastes infinitely better under the hot sun.

Penang Road Famous Chendol: The orange bowl that is just opposite the blue team. Tastes equally great as well with no discernable differences.

@ Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul

3) POPIAH

It is a spring roll served fresh, with its outer layer made from soft and thin paper-like crepe skin enveloping fillings of soybean curd, grated yam bean, french beans, fried tofu, chopped peanuts, shredded egg and chinese lettuce and drenched in sweet, viscous sauce.

Making it less typical, some popiah sellers will concoct their own signature sauce and also add special filling such as seafood and so on.

@Sean Sim

WHERE TO EAT AT PENANG AND WHAT’S SPECIAL?

Padang Brown Chinese style wet popiah is no stranger to the locals. The stall’s history dated way back in the 1960’s, which is more than 50 years.  The shredded yam bean (sengkuang) is carefully cooked with crab broth that gives its distinctive seafood taste.  The wrap is prepared with a leaf of Chinese lettuce, chopped tofu and shredded yam bean. It is then been topped with its secret seafood sauce and chili sauce. It is best served hot, so don’t wait too long for it to cool down.

@Simon Heong

WHERE TO GO FOR AFTER BRUNCH/LUNCH:

Spending your time indoors is the way to go. So it’s either shopping, having fun time indoors or both. 

Go to Gurney Paragon Mall if you crave for a posh shopping experience with eclectic mix of designer brands and branded clothes. If you have kids, the mall has an indoor playground for their entertainment. Alternatively, you can go to Prangin Mall for a more budget-friendly shopping.

Still not having enough thrills? Then head on to The Top Komtar Penang for some sky-high adventure, which includes rope course challenge at GravityZ on 65th floor or getting a 360 degree view of Penang at the 68th floor Rainbow Skywalk. 

These thrills may not be for the faint of heart, so if you would like a different kind of fun indoors, you can visit the Tech Dome Penang with its main highlight of zero-gravity fall and 7D Discovery Motion Theater.

@ Prangin Mall

@ Gurney Paragon Mall

WHAT ABOUT THE SECOND HALF OF THE DAY?

Check-in back to your crib and get some rest. Refresh yourself and get ready for the next half of the day.

In part 2, we will be covering the next 6 foods for dinner and supper during the weekend trip, followed by activities to do. 

Till then, eat hard and play hard!

 

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