Penang is the land for food lovers. Generally its an ease to find places offering char kway teow,prawn noodles, wanton noodles etc in Penang. The tough part is in getting nice ones!
Here's some of my favorites:
1) Bak Kut Teh (BKT) - In the short span of three days,we had BKT twice. We had it at two different stores.
Song River was mentioned rather frequently in some of the blogs.
The soup base is white. It is quite light but I found it to be lacking in the rich herbal taste.
They also have other zhu chao items. Of which,the black pepper vermicelli with prawns was most inviting.
As I had the dark BKT in mind, we did not give up the hunt. We spotted Yi Xiang (益香) near Traders Hotel. Although I have yet to read reviews of this place, I was attracted by the sight of a packed restaurant.
It was Good! The meat is served in saucers of concentrated BKT sauce. I found it rather rich. It is not a soup but more of a sauce. Like it how they use a tea light to keep the food warm. Each of us ordered one saucer. Diners get a wide range to choose from!
It turned out to be too much meat. Help!
2) Seafood - We had the best meal in Penang at Oriental Seafood on Gurney Drive.
It is kind of similar to the seafood restaurants seen in Sai Kung in Hong Kong. You get to pick the seafood and indicate how you like it to be cooked. I like the immense variety of seafood!
The restaurant features both air conditioned and non air conditioned seating areas. On a weekend evening,it was very packed!
After waiting for twenty to thirty minutes, we were famished. But the food did not disappoint!
The crabs with salted eggs were gone in no time. The salted egg added much taste to the dish. Besides that,the crabs were fresh!
My personal favourites were poached prawns and claypot toufu. The taste of the toufu was exceptional. Have not been able to find something like that in Spore.
3) Hawker fare
On the first day we were there, we were quite "disillusioned" with the food we were getting! So the often hyped up association was a facade. As the trip progressed, we realized it could be because we were not hitting the right stores.
A great boo boo is to dine at Persiaran Gurney. The food items were rather over priced. The food did not leave much impression. It's almost likened to eating at Newton Circus in SG. The only dish we enjoyed was the Muah Chee.
It may just be my personal thoughts but the hawker place is actually very packed! Try the food at own risk.
Pilau Tikus seems to be THE place for breakfast. Prior to the trip, I heard that you need to be early as some of the stores would close by 9am. The supposedly famous store for the prawn noodles is the one opposite the police station. Because we wanted to explore the place, we ate at one of the stores further away from the main road. The nicest food has to be the prawn noodles. The taste is different from those I’ve tried in Singapore. If you are in Penang, it is probably one of the hawker food you don’t want to miss!
On the last night, we found a supper haunt at New Lane. It is a short walk from Traders Hotel. It is located at the junction of Macalister Road and Dato Kramat Road. The street food stores come alive at night. You will find a great variety of street snacks! The oyster egg was great! If only we had found this place earlier. Heh..
That pretty sums up the Penang Experience. Do you have other good food recommendations in Penang?
65 Persiaran Gurney
Yi Xiang Bak Kut Teh
88 Jlana Macalister
42 Gurney Drive (by the sea)