What to Eat in Penang?


Penang is a well-known heaven for foodies like me (well, in my opinion a true foodie doesn't only goes to cafes but they are also willing to throw away all the comfort of a air-conditioned space for good food). And, it's part of me as my grandparents and my dad used to live there so it's one of my go-to places during school holidays.

So, I've been to Penang quite recently and here are some of the wonderful dishes this beautiful state has to offer. I made up this list as a guide for tourists (I guess most locals would not need it hahah). Reminder: This is just a brief guide as most of the hawker stalls or food courts in Penang sells most of them. And, just because I love to share.


The most sought-after food in Penang - the Assam Laksa (not to be confused with Curry Laksa)

A spicy and sour fish-based soup, complete with noodles (well, I could go on and on, but, try it). It's a mixture of Chinese and Malay cuisine and apparently it's ranked 7th out of the World's 50 Most Delicious Food by CNN (yep. I just Wikipedia-ed that).

Personally, I feel that most Assam Laksas in Penang lack flavour (that's because I grew up eating the best), the main reason being the food is so commercialised that hawkers or owners are stingy with the fish in the Assam Laksa soup or just because their recipes are not that perfect.
Again, this is one of the times where I wish I had learnt cooking from my grandma.. :x


Hokkien Mee, a.k.a. Hae Mee, is also known as Prawn Mee in other places such as KL. It's hot spicy chilli noodles with prawns and pork with egg. You could request for bee hoon (vermicelli noodles) too.

My all-time favourite Hokkien Mee stall (Super Hokkien Mee) is located in a coffee shop called One Corner Cafe. Address shown below:
No. 1, Jalan Burma, 10050, George Town, Pulau Pinang

Be warned though, it is only open in the morning and you have to go there earlier, say 7am.. as it sells out very fast and the owners are not to be rushed. Some said that their attitude is not that good but in their defense, wouldn't you feel irritated and annoyed if someone keeps asking you the same question over and over again while you're standing so close to a stove?

I used to wait about 40mins for a bowl of Hokkien Mee even though I went at 7am a few years back. That's crazy, considering it only needs a few minutes to serve up a few bowls. It's a lot faster nowadays and less spicy (it was spicy, yes, but I couldn't stop eating it as it is just so delicious!). However, you could always request for extra chilli if you feel that the chilli they provided is not spicy enough.


Another of Penang food which is favoured by both locals and tourists alike, the Char Kuey Teow (fried kuey teow).

The fried flat noodles could either be spicy or non-spicy, depending on your preference. It usually comes with prawns, egg, bean sprouts, and cockles (I guess that's how siham is translated then). Sometimes they serve it on a banana leave for that extra taste. Apparently, frying flat noodles with duck egg is delicious but the sauce used at most stalls are not that satisfying. 

I do, however, have a favourite fried kuey teow stall in Penang but I didn't get to visit it this time (maybe I will do an update soon).
The said fried kuey teow stall is located at Kafe Heng Huat (they only serve fried kuey teow). Again, address below:
108, Lorong Selamat, Georgetown, Pulau Pinang

Be warned, though, I heard that the prices shot up to RM11 per plate April this year whilst it was RM7 when I first visited. Also, the stall owner is also a feisty one but what can do, her fried kuey teow is good. 
There was an incident a few years ago when my grandma bought back some fried kuey teow from the stall but it tasted slightly different so I asked her about it. She was surprised and told me the owner went out for a while and the assistant fried my plate of kuey teow. Proves that I'm quite good. Hah. (OK. Enough self-gloating for now.)


Next up, the Cendol is a Teochew dessert made from jelly noodles.

It's cooling, it's refreshing, it's not too sweet, it's smaller and easier to finish compared to Ice Kacang (shaved ice).

The most famous one has to be the one on Penang Road. It has opened a few branches as the main one in Penang is a roadside hawker stall but I even spotted an outlet in Putrajaya's iOi Mall.

(The one in the picture was also at an outlet inside Sunshine Farlim Shopping Mall in Penang.)


Penang Rojak, is some kind of salad made up of fruit and veggies. Obviously, it's nothing much like Caesar salads or any of the western salads. Normally, it's cucumbers, pineapple, taupok, you char kway (youtiao), bangkuang (I guess it's called jicama or something according to Google) and covered in prawn paste, sugar, chilli, etc. It's usually a little spicy but sweet.


Pasembur, another type of Malaysian salad. The main difference is while rojak is mostly made up of fruits and vegetables, pasembur has also prawns, crab and octopus as well as other seafood. To be honest, I didn't try this until about 2 years ago. Oops.
It's also sweet and spicy but the sauce is quite different from the rojak's. I prefer this to rojak though. :3


Loh Mee, noodles served in a starchy soup with pork and egg (and some chilli on the side too but you could always request a bowl of noodles without the chilli). It's even more fragrant when you mix in some fried onion. And, yes, I like the combination of both noodles and bee hoon. Hah.

Oh, and the original one also comes with beansprouts but I'm not a beansprout kind of person.. so, yeah. My fav go-to place for Loh Mee is at the Bee Hooi Restaurant:
415, Jalan Burma, Georgetown, 10350 Georgetown, Pulau Pinang


Penang's Loh Bak is also not to be missed. It's marinated pork rolled in soybean sheets, then deep fried (left of the picture). It is delicious when it comes to the fried fats though..

Anyway, you get to pick from an array of other snacks such as prawn fritters and fried tofu. You get a chilli and a starchy dip too.


Even though I had my first Mee Udang on my most recent trip to Penang, I love every moment of it. It's a Malay version of prawn noodles. The soup is made from tomatoes and chillis so it gives it that sweet and sour but spicy taste. And those prawns, oh my.. They are so fresh and juicy!

My grandpa recommended Ayu Mee Udang (which is where the two photos above are taken):
936B, Lengkok Kampung Masjid Satu, 11920, Teluk Kumbar, Penang, 11910
Tel No.: 04 649 3881

It may be a little out-of-the-way and pricey to some (about RM15 per bowl), considering that it doesn't have air conditioning and stuff, but it is worth the price. Plus, you get to experience the traditional Malay restaurants so why not? :D

10. APOM

Apom is a type of sweet pancake best served while hot. There are many variations to it but the one I'm used to has a little corn in the middle of it. I have to say that this is one of my favourite snacks in Penang. <3


Chee Cheong Fun in Penang is a little different from the ones in KL or Hong Kong as the rice noodle rolls are much, much simpler. Therefore, the key to a good Chee Cheong Fun in Penang is the rice noodle itself and the prawn paste. Of course, it is also served with chilli (like everything else in Penang) and some sweet sauce. 

Once again, the fragrance of fried onion and sesame seeds sprinkled on top of the Chee Cheong Fun brings a certain flavour to the snack.


First of all, there are two types of Nutmeg Juice in Penang, one is white in colour and the other one is in red. The red one is sweet and more like a nutmeg syrup whilst the white one is a little bitter and sour. I prefer the white one though. You should try it if you havn't!

Most places in Penang serve nutmeg juice, both warm and iced.


People don't usually go to Penang for Wan Tan Mee, but there are some notable stores there.
Two of my favourites.. the stall at the front of Fettes Park Market though.. (unfortunately I was not able to get an address for that)

and the stall at New Cathay Kopitiam:
425, Jalan Burma, Georgetown, 10350 Georgetown, Pulau Pinang

14. CAFES?

Last but not least, there are a number of cafes blooming in Penang, so why not give them a try too?

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