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Friday, 1 July 2016

Penang: Our Street Food Trail


It has been a long time since we last visited Penang and felt it was about time for another revisit. We used to put up in resorts near the unglamourous beaches of the island but this time around we stayed in the heart of George Town. The objective of this trip is to eat, eat and to eat but we did find a few things to do in between. With due diligence, we came up with an ambitious long list of famous hawker's stalls, their addresses and even their opening hours. We must have been pining for Penang's street food as images of the aromatic assam laksa, the delightful chendol, the fragrant char kway teow, and all the drool-worthy Penang delights that we wanted to savour kept popping up during our five hour journey there.
Penang has always been a haven for street food. The price of these food has gone up over the years but it is still relatively cheap so no matter how much we eat, we knew it was not going to make holes in our pockets.

This is our street food trail. We managed to eat most of our favourites but have to patronize alternative stalls as some were unexpectedly closed or sold out for the day.

Loh Mee @ Joo Huat Restaurant
Address: 336-1 G Perak Road, 11600 Jelutong
Opening Hours: 7.30am to noon. Closed on Thursdays
After failing to eat what we wanted to eat in Air Itam, we headed for Perak Road.
We were patronizing this loh mee stall for the first time so it took a little effort to locate this restaurant. This bowl of loh mee is topped with a spoon of ground chili and garlic paste.
Joo Huat's Loh Mee has ingredients like chicken feet, intestines, meat pieces and eggs. Even though it is tasty, it not our ideal version of Loh Mee. 
The vendors of this stall were quite excited to be photographed.

Assam Laksa @ Joo Hooi Cafe
Address: 475, Penang Road, Georgetown
Going all the way to Air Hitam for the "best" assam laksa in Penang was an utter disappointment as the stall was closed even though it was not supposed to. We ended up at Joo Hooi Cafe instead. 
This cafe has been in existence for decades. Business remain brisk till today as the cafe has made a name for itself selling tasty street food.
The assam laksa here is still good but I couldn't help noticing the stall is now manned almost 100% by foreigners.

Penang Road Teochew Chendol @ Lebuh Keng Kwee
This stall is open every day. It is located beside Joo Hooi Cafe.
This modest looking stall sells one of Penang's most famous chendol.
It's RM2.80/bowl


Night Hawkers Stalls @ Lebuh Chulia
Main Landmark: Regent Furnishing Sdn Bhd furniture shop.
Opening Hours: After 6pm
Our hotel is just steps away from the night hawkers' stalls along Chulia Street. There are less than 10 stalls operating but a couple boast of the best street food in the island.
The one and only Wan Tan Mee stall there is a hit, judging from the the crowds that patronize it and the difficulty to find an empty table. 
We found it good and came back the next evening for another plate.
Almost equally popular is a neighboring stall that sells Curry Mee.
This bowl of curry mee is simply awesome!
The Char Kway Teow from an unrated stall in the vicinity was surprisingly good.
We tried the kangkung sotong and chee cheong fun from another unrated stall but these were just average. 


Duck Meat Kway Teow Soup @ Lebuh Melayu
Address: 113, Lebuh Melayu
Opening Hours: 6.30am - 12.00pm
Close on Sundays.
This shop is named after its address, 1 1 3.
Business appeared brisk on the morning we went.
We managed to get a table at the small lane beside the shop. A customer sitting beside us was getting a little irritated due to a long wait to get his bowl of kway teow.  After the first taste, I understood why the big crowd and the long wait. It is flavorful and very nice.

Loh Bak @ Kafe Kheng Pin
Address: 80 Penang Road
Opening Hours:7am - 3 pm
Close on Mondays
It is good to stay in the heart of Georgetown as most of the eateries on our list are within walking distance. We have sought out this place which is famous for its loh bak.
The loh bak stall is operated by an elderly couple.
We were feeling full but ordered a small portion just to rate it. Ron found it excellent but I don't share the same view. Anyway food review is always a subjective thing.

Ali Nasi Lemak @ Sri Weld Food Court
Address: Lebuh Pantai (the end nearer to Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower)
We arrived at this modest nasi lemak stall a little past eight and had to wait half an hour as the first batch of rice has been sold out.
This stall is operated by a young Malay couple, a business that has been passed down from an earlier generation.
It is a unique version of nasi lemak that comes with a soupy sambal poured over the rice. It is tasty and worth the try.

New World Park Food Court @ Lorong Swatow
We visited this food court by chance after failing to eat the famous Super Hokkien Mee at One Corner Cafe in Jalan Bawasah. We arrived at the Super Hokkien Mee Stall before noon but it was sold out as early as 10am so with a heavy heart we walked away and somehow ended here.
This hokkien mee stall was our random choice.
The stall is relatively unknown but thank goodness this bowl of prawn mee didn't disappoint.
The worst food we had for this trip is this popia from New World Park. It was not palatable at all.

Pitt Street Kway Teow Thn'g At Carnavon Street
Address: 183, Lebuh Carnavon
Opening Hours: 9am - 4.30pm
Close on Mondays
We wonder why it is called Pitt Street Kway Teow Thn'g when the stall is operating from Carnavon Street. We suspect, the original stall was at Pitt Street. Anyway this is another famous street food in Penang.
The fish ball is supposedly made from eel. It is nice but not great.

We covered half the eateries in our list. The rest will have to wait till our next visit.

1 comment :

  1. Hi Lily
    Like you, we did a food trail on the Street Food of Penang. To save time, we had a guide who led us to food places of interest. There was some really good food like Char Kuay Teow or Penang Laksa. Penang claims to be the street food capital of Malaysia. Yes, there are good food vendors but you have to search to find them. There are alot of mediocre food vendors as well.
    Thanks for the information in your blog post.
    Michael Oon

    ReplyDelete

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