A friend I knew back during my newsgroup days wanted to know what are the cheap good stuff in Penang that he should try out. I made him a list, and thought of sharing it here.
You guys should fucking thank me like, seriously.
Henry, here’s a sample list of food in Penang you must try (where the locals go, tourists don’t know) – and none of the stuff in this list is expensive. All cheap.
Mee Rebus / Pasembur – N5 26.044 E100 18.898 (island)
My favorite joint for mee rebus and pasembur (always have these 2 together). The mee goren so-so, but claimed to be famous as well. Lunch time only.
Laksa / Chee Cheong fun / Duck Porridge / Muar Chee – N5 22.972 E100 18.242 (island)
One of the best laksa in Penang (apart from the Penang Road laksa). I personally would recommend this over any others (the Air Itam laksa is not even half this good). Also check out the Chee cheong fun with special shrimp paste (mixed with peanut butter), best muar chee in Penang – all at the same place. There is also a stall next door selling awesome tou foo fah. Closed on mondays. Lunch only.
Char Koay Teow – N5 23.333 E100 23.218 (mainland)
One of the best in Penang (definitely wayyyy better than that stupid Lorong fucking Selamat char koay teow). Closed on Tuesdays I think, lunch only. Note: The guy who stir fries the Koay Teow is the dad with mustache. If you see the son, or the wife stir fries the koay teow, don’t order. Wait until the dad shows up. The old man sometimes have business to settle outside and comes in late for work.
Banana Leaf Indian food – N5 23.281 E100 23.288 (mainland)
Just nearby the char koay teow place. Cheapest in Penang, and one of the best. (I acknowledge that the Indian food business is a gray territory, because most of them are pretty good. But this is definitely good and cheap).
Cendol – N5 20.964 E100 26.074 (mainland)
Shared this with you before. A stall just outside the food court. Best cendol in the world (served with pulut). Only RM1.20. I always whack 2 bowls back to back (without the pulut though). After 12pm only. Closed on certain week days, not sure which.
Bak Kut Teh – N5 21.627 E100 26.689 (mainland)
Notice that there are 2 joints opposite each other with the same name. Both are equally awesome, because both are estranged brothers from the same master (that’s what I heard). But I personally prefer this one (the one near a road junction). Serves lunch and dinner (but closed in between lunch / dinner hours). Closed on certain days, not sure which.
Yam rice – N5 23.066 E100 23.463 (mainland)
There are 2 shops here selling Yam rice (served with pork spare parts + pickled vegetables soup). Both are equally good. Lunch only.
Curry Mee – N5 23.610 E100 17.888 (island)
Curry mee is a very subjective topic. Different people have different definition of how a bowl of good curry mee should taste. To me, a good bowl of curry me has to have garlic in its ingredients. This stall in a morning market here, is one of the very few in Penang that serves curry mee with a distinct garlic taste. Morning only, 8 – 9 am. Make sure you ask for more chilli paste (because that’s what making it special).
Curry Mee – N5 25.156 E100 19.451 (island)
Been quite a name in the internet lately. If you missed the morning curry mee above, come here. Also one of the very few curry mee with distinct garlic taste. Lunch (and dinner, I think). Cocky bastard manning the stall inside but, his food is pretty good, so it is forgivable.
Yong tou foo / Popiah – N5 24.799 E100 19.100 (island)
The Yong Tou Foo here is a fav amongst the locals, and the popiah sold by a mamak family is also awesome. Only available from 1.30pm onwards till 4pm. A true roadside hawker style.
Char hor fun – N5 22.925 E100 18.253 (island)
One of my favorite Char Hor Fun stall (watt tann hor). After 6 pm only. Closed on Mondays I think.
Lor Mee , Char hor fun, Hokkien Char, Marinated pork soup – N5 24.857 E100 19.980 (island)
One of a kind black vinegar Lor Mee you must try. Also serves best Char Hor Fun and Hokkien Char in town. Brought many outstation friends here before, all were very impressed. After 6 pm only.
Oyster Omelette, Firewood pizza – N5 24.994 E100 19.429 (island)
Sin Kim San coffee shop’s oyster omelette. I’d kill a kitten to have a plate of the oyster omelette here – it is THAT good. 8 bucks a big plate with fat juicy oysters. The stall is located on the same row as the firewood pizza – which in my opinion, is the BEST in the WORLD (really). The pizza usually have to wait for at least 40 minutes due to the long queue. Go there after 6pm. Closed on Mondays I think.
Hokkien Mee / Oyster Sauce chicken rice – N5 23.539 E100 18.443 (island)
I’ve blogged about the stall in this coffee shop selling Hokkien Mee before. It converted me into a believer of Hokkien Mee (I wasn’t a fan until I came here). The chicken rice stall next to it is also very good. Go there in the morning (8 – 9am is fine).
Hokkien Lor Mee, toast, coffee – N5 25.048 E100 19.742 (island)
You know Old Town? Fuck Old Town. Come here instead. You get better food at a fraction of Old Town’s price. The Hokkien Lor Mee (shrimp soup mixed with the starchy gravy) is my favorite. Ask for pickled garlic. At a short distance away (shortcut walk through the back alley of this Hai Onn coffee shop), you can buy a plate of Char Koay Kak (stir friend rice cake), at this location N5 25.030 E100 19.745, and bring over to enjoy with your toast and bowl of Hokkien Lor Mee.
Char Koay Kak 1 – N5 25.398 E100 19.307 (island)
The location is unmarked and is approximate. Everyone who lives in Penang know this stall. Only available after 8pm (could be earlier – not sure). Extra greasy with pork lard and artery clogging. But VERY good. Closed on Sundays.
Char Koay Kak 2 – N5 24.270 E100 17.201 (island)
The Char Koay Kak here is also nice. Equally greasy and artery clogging, this will be my hang out joint if I don’t feel like going to town to get Char Koay Kak 1 up there. Closed on certain days, not sure which.
‘Sup Kambing’ – N5 25.330 E100 20.045 (island)
This is the famous Sup Kambing (actually, many types of soup) at upper Penang road. If I ever go drinking with my buddies in this area, chances are high that I’d drop by for a bowl of heaty ‘sup kambing’ (mutton soup). Also serves decent roti canai, nasi kandar and a whole of bunch of those kind of stuff. Dinner till wee hours in the morning.
Chee Cheong Chok – N5 24.898 E100 19.583 (island)
Chee Cheong Chok is a cantonese styled pork spare parts porridge. Roadside stall, been here many years. If pork spare parts is your thing, you really must try this. Night time only (go there after 8pm).
Beef soup Koay teow – N5 24.685 E100 22.322 (mainland)
Best beef soup koay teow in Penang, easily, hands down. If you have not tried Ta Han beef soup koay teow at Kg. Benggali, then you’ve not tried anything. Outside the coffee shop, there’s a stall selling ‘Kan Tong’, which is a type of creamy sweet grain dessert, operated by an Indian bloke who speaks fluent Hokkien (sometimes operated by an Indian lady). Use the dessert to wash down your beef soup, all in less than 10 bucks (beef soup + dessert). You’ll cum in your pants. Opposite the coffee shop, there is also a Malay lady selling kick ass curry puffs at only 40 cents a piece. So if you can try all 3 in one lunch, you would have achieved nirvana in a true 1Malaysia fashion, while cumming in your pants. Go there during lunch time (as early as 11am). Closed on Tuesdays.
Wan Thun Mee –
Wan thun mee is a stupid no brainer food. Only requires good quality noodles, and some soy sauce or something. One gotta just know how to mix the right amount of sauces to get it right. So that boils down to how good the wan thun (pork dumpling) is, and for that you can go to following stalls that I’ve personally been and found to be quite ok:
Sri Siam coffee shop – N5 21.874 E100 26.726 (mainland) – lunch only. Closed on Tuesdays.
Chulia street – N5 25.089 E100 20.183 (island) – go there after 7pm.
Terengganu road wtm – N5 24.338 E100 18.512 (island) – unmarked/approximate location. Go there after 8pm.
Greenlane – N5 23.704 E100 18.101 (island) – Go there after 7 pm.
Greenlane Heights – N5 23.610 E100 17.888 (island) – same area as curry mee recommended above. Morning only.
Ok, I think this should be good enough for you for now. I think I can go on to produce a dozen more lists like this… hahah. Enjoy your search man.