When you mention Penang everyone thinks about the food. The food on Penang is supposedly fantastic. I say supposedly because even though it was really nice it didn’t make a huge impression on our little gastronome… Trippin’ Turpin’s Resident Foodie, aka Dwayne. We have spent the last 6 months in Indonesia and Malaysia which might have something to do with our lack of enthusiasm for the food or it might have simply been the places we chose to eat at. Don’t get me wrong we both really enjoyed most of what we ate, it just wasn’t the be all and end all of food for us.
Penang’s signature dish is the asam laksa. We both love laksa but the asam laksa has a sour taste – asam meaning sour, therefore it wasn’t a favourite of our taste palette. Having said that it was still very good.
Malaysia’s signature dish would have to be nasi lemak and in Penang we both loved the nasi lemak as always. Nasi Lemak is simple food which is often eaten for breakfast. Rice cooked with coconut milk, served with anchovy sambal, peanuts, egg and cucumber. It really is delicious.
Penang, like the rest of Malaysia is a mix of Malay, Chinese and India and this mix of cultures is reflected in the many different types of food available. We had nasi lemak and other Malay delicacies, superb Chinese Buk Kut Teh and Indian Nasi Kandar. Nasi Kandar is similar to the masakan padang of Indonesia. Basically it is a serve of rice with “help yourself” curries and vegetable dishes, usually in a Indian – Muslim eatery. Nasi Kandar originated in Penang. Our first night we found a good Nasi Kandar BUT, I hate to say this, I was so hungry I forget to take any photos or write down the price… sorry guys!
The next day we found a delicious buk kut teh.
Zealand Buk Kut Teh and Seafood Restaurant – Gurney Drive
1 x buk kut teh (for one) RM 16.00
1 x yew char kaih RM 3.50
1 x rice RM 1.60
1 x char yin yong RM 7.00
1 x ice chinese tea RM 1.20
1 x small water RM 2.00
Total: RM 31.30 (Approx AUS $ 11.00)
Verdict: Delicious. The Buk Kut Teh was excellent. It was a broth with lots of meat – pork, pork balls, tofu and mushrooms. It was enough for two to share especially with the yew char kaih which we didn’t know we’d ordered – they were delicious dipped into the broth of the buk kut teh. Not knowing how large a serve it was to be we had ordered the char yin yong as well. This was a noodle dish with prawns etc. Not much flavour, not spicy. Open 07:30 – 15:30.
Food Court on Lebuh Pantai (Beach Street)
2 x nasi lemak plus extra chicken leg cost RM 8.00
2 x small water RM 2.50 for two
1 x spicy wanton mee soup RM 5.00
Total: RM 15.50 (AUS $5.45)
Verdict: The lasi lemak was excellent, but Dwayne’s chicken leg was not cook properly – still raw. The wanton soup was delicious. The food court on Lebuh Pantai has Malaysian, Chinese, Taiwan, Japanese and Thai to name a few.
We stopped at another place on Gurney Drive for Buk Kut Teh
1 x buk kut teh (small) RM 18.00
1 x rice (for two) RM 3.00
1 x Fresh Orange Juice RM 4.00
1 x water (small) RM 1.00
Total: RM 26.00 (AUS $9.15)
Verdict: Not as nice as the first buk kut teh that we had at Zealand, but still very nice. We had the buk kut teh with the pork ribs. They were very tender. Just broth and ribs, no mushroom or vegetable, but it did have a very nice flavour. (63 Gurney Drive – very close to Zealand Buk Kut The). Open 10:30 – 15:00 and 18:00 – 23:00 Closed Thursdays.
Persiaran Gurney – Gurney Drive Hawker Centre – Open 18:00 – 00:00
We tried food from five different stalls and most of it was delicious.
1 x Fried Oyster RM 15.00 (also comes in a RM 10.00 serve)
Verdict: Quite nice. It is oysters fried in a messy pancake style.
1 x Asam Laksa RM 3.50 (AUS $1.23)
Verdict: The laksa itself was nice but we prefer laksa that is not sour i.e. sarawak laksa, curry laksa.
1 x serve steamed vegetable dumplings RM 6.00
Verdict: Bloody dreadful, couldn’t eat them. Cold, gluggy and tasteless.
5 x kambing (goat) satay
5 x ayam (chicken) satay
1 x nasi impit (rice cake)
1 x satay sauce
Total: RM 9.00 (AUS $3.16)
Verdict: Nice. Great satay sauce. Didn’t like the meat marinated as it made it too sweet.
3 x banana
3 x coconut
Total: RM 3.00
Verdict: Yummy. Coconut pancakes crispy and the banana pancakes fluffy.
Food from three different stalls.
1 x Dry chill claypot frog (small) RM 9.00
Verdict: Really very nice. Would have again.
1 x roti babi (pork sandwich) RM 5.00
Verdict: Not what I was expecting. Too much oil on bread. Fried.
Stall – Duck Drumstick Mee Suah
1 x 1/2 roast duck Rm 18.00
1 x rice RM 1.00
1 x bean sprouts RM 1.00
Total: RM 20.00
Verdict: Duck was great. Nice and crispy and flavoursome. Delicious!
1 x can coke
1 x (Water small)
2 x glass of ice
Total: RM 3.90