Food in Penang

Posted: May 4, 2015 in Mountain Bike Touring North West Malaysia 2014
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Where do I start? Penang has been a melting pot of cultures and races for ages. Chinese, indian. Malay and Eurasian. To summarise so soon, one will never go hungry in Penang by following  a simple formula of sampling the two main stays of noodles and rice and whatever else in between that you fancy on the streets of Georgetown.

Even repeat the process in more convenient food courts and air conditioned malls if a change of scenery is called for. We are partial to the streets as there’s food from 6 am to midnight, and we can easily cycle to them at short notice. Like every 2 hours. Accessibility by bicycle is actually quite a dangerous thing. You will see more and eat more and never worry about parking. Just carry a small bike lock.

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Wantan or wanton or jokingly, one tonne noodles, they are everywhere in town. The more popular ones will need their own space like a whole coffeeshop, instead of a small space shared with other hawkers.

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This humble push cart along Chuiia Street has been around longer than I can remember, Possibly since 1978 when I first set foot in Penang. The 2 sons have taken over from their parents. They are now balding and middle aged. People gather even before they arrive and wait patiently for things to get going. Queues form with people sitting on stools, and once the tattered well worn wooden panels are removed as a sign that they are ready, all hell breaks loose…. Another couple has a push cart a few shops down the road, and theirs will take up the slack if this original heavyweight is too crowded.

Closed on Mondays and opened the rest of the week rain or shine. (competitor opens on Mondays)

P1150653Springy egg noodles and a light black soya sauce are the magic ingredients and of course a large dose of fragrant lard and it’s crispy bits hasn’t changed in decades. The boiled wantans are better than the deep fried ones, while the red char siew pork slices have gotten thinner over the years. It still beats anything else for miles around !

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P1170629Another variant in another coffee shop. There must be dozens upon dozens on this island.  P1170632   P1160503A char siew supplier. Pork tanning in the morning sun, Charcoal roasted ones are the best.P1150260A Pulau Tikus Penang style Hokkien mee  P1160869Penang style laksa

P1170634Delectable char kuay teow has to be slightly moist and not too dry or burnt.P1150707The humble lunch time fried rice with char siew bits. Best with a dash of belachan in than saucer. Just RM$4.00  P1160483Chee cheong fun. A starter for breakfast.P1150677For a slight change, pork or chicken porridge and char koay khak / carrot cake  P1160489As authentic as it gets. The family has progressed from a wooden cart to polished steel one. P1170277  Firewood in 2014 ?!?P1170281Take aways only…….you’ll need to find a coffee shop and order some coffee or tea  P11702845 minutes later.  P1150259Thick fat bean sprouts to complement the sometimes salty and fried carrot cake. Pulau Tikus market.P1150448Curries at lunchtime. P1150558Since 1933 I believe…..  P1150555Good ol murtabak at Hamideeyah. Campbell Street. Penang style is not that crispy, but the insides are ‘meaty’  P1150034Indian curries on tap 24 hrs a day…….    P1150022Expect food center prices to be higher than individual street stalls. there’s better all weather seating for sure.P1150709Fresh  P1160701Mall food in cooler surroundings. Very good Turkish at Paragon. $14.00  P1150046Eventually we come to our complementary hotel breakfasts  …….P1150045  Ah well, they do look nicer…..P1170291I stayed here 5 days, so there were variations of this combination….  P1150335What I always term a last resort as there was nothing opened at Penang’s northern beaches in the morning. They do have almost clean toilets to clean up after a ride in the rain, 90% less flies than the outside, and wifi, but those don’t fill the tummy.

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Advertising in a hotel elevator.

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