NEW Canton-i GF-12 & GF-13 (Part of GF-12 & GF11), Queensbay Mall, 100, Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Lepas (04 645 6688); 2.31 & 32, Gurney Paragon Mall, Persiaran Gurney (04 218 9488/ www.canton-i.com).
Softly illuminated with comfortable wooden furniture, the cousin of Dragon-i is known for its la mien (hand-pulled noodles) and xiao long bao (dumplings encased with broth). Other specialities like the congee with dates and the roast mixed meat platter are just as noteworthy. The hand-made noodles here are freshly prepared from the kitchen and really just a level up from the hawker stalls, as is the price.
Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Mon–Fri, 11am–10pm; Sat–Sun, 10.30am–10pm. $$$
Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine Tanjung City Marina, Church St Pier; 8A Pengkalan Weld (04 261 2611/ www.sohopenang.com/chins-stylishchinesecuisine).
You might wonder what the folks at Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine think they’re doing: It’s a restaurant hailing from London, opening in Penang, a place populated with an already robust selection of authentic Chinese food. But a visit and a bite of the food will quickly reveal just how well this place fits in. Chin’s Stylish actually serves, more specifically, modern Hunan and Szechuan-inspired cuisine and the chefs are brought in from Beijing. It’s an invigorating addition to the Chinese fine dining scene, championing lavish revelry. The elegance of its decor, reflected in its unique, contemporary Chinese aesthetic of ornate lanternchandeliers, precedes and justifies the many accolades it has received both back in London, and here in Malaysia.
Pork-free. Child friendly. Disabled friendly. Daily, 6pm–11pm. $$$
CRC Restaurant First floor, Chinese Recreation Club, Jalan Padang Victoria (04 228 9787).
Being one of the more popular Chinese restaurants in the area, CRC has played host to numerous wedding ceremonies in its hall and smaller gatherings in its six private rooms. To give a fair gauge of the frequency of its customers, its ‘Buddha Jumps Over The Wall’ dish requires a one-week prior booking. CRC is also known for its abalone dishes and its lobster birthday noodles.
Child friendly. Daily, 12noon–2.30pm & 6pm–9.30pm. $$
Da Ban Chinese Restaurant 84 Jalan Zainal Abidin (04 227 2777).
Serving Szechuan fare like dried fried diced chicken, ma poh tofu as well as steamboat, Da Ban is a restaurant with an immersive, elaborate decor, echoing that of ancient China (round entrances, wooden tables and bamboos looming). The portions have been described as being of monolithic proportions; if you’ve got a regular human appetite, you should come in packs of four or more.
Child friendly. Wed–Mon, 6pm–4am. $
De Tai Tong Café 45 Lebuh Cintra (04 263 6625).
De Tai is as small a shop as can be, and the ambience is down to earth, lending to its authenticity as an old, established dim sum eatery. The tables and seats are scattered haphazardly, spilling out onto the walkway. Order the usual dim sum compulsories – siew
mai, ha gao and egg tarts – but there’s also a mélange of other items that are just as good, like the sar hor fun (flat rice noodles fried with a thick eggy sauce) and crispy noodles.
Child friendly. Disabled friendly. Daily, 12noon–3pm & 6pm–11pm. $
Double Dragon Inn 27B Jalan Gottlieb, George Town (04 227 7049).
Double Dragon Inn is a place with history, having fed the locals with Cantonese fare for over 30 years. Staying true to its origins, the menu has not changed in the slightest. The mui choy kao yoke (pork belly cooked with preserved mustard cabbage) is as good as your grandparents can remember. The chefs of Double Dragon prioritise freshness in every plate, so beef dishes are only available for preorder as they shop for fresh ingredients from the morning market daily.
Child friendly. Disabled friendly. Wed–Mon, 12noon–2.30pm & 6.45pm–9.30pm. $$
Dragon-I 2F-115 to 118 Queensbay Mall, Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Baru (04 646 6888); Lot 170-G-66 & K1, Gurney Plaza, Persiaran Gurney (04 227 1686/www.dragon-i.com.my).
Dragon-I dishes out an amazing array of Shanghainese favourites. Must-try items include the siew loong pao – dumplings filled with meat and soup, then steamed to perfection. The restaurant also serves some pretty good la mien – noodle dishes prepared in various styles.
Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Mon–Fri, 11am– 10pm; Sat–Sun, 10.30am–10pm. $$$
Goh Huat Seng 59-A Lebuh Kimberley (04 261 5811).
Goh Huat Seng, one of the oldest Teochew restaurants in Penang, has been in operation for more than 50 years and has changed very little since its inception. It has installed new air-conditioning but its steamboat is still adhering to their original recipe of success – traditional pots heated over charcoal with clear chicken soup as a base and a plethora of ingredients including mushrooms, fish, prawns and noodles.
Child friendly. Disabled friendly. Daily, 5pm–9.30pm; closed every alternate Mon. $$
NEW GohKaki 16F-01, Farlim Business Centre, Lebuhraya Thean Teik, Air Itam (04 828 2916); 34 & 36, Lebuh Bishop, George Town (04 262 9916/www. gohkaki.com).
Furnished with a wooden-accented façade and red Chinese lanterns, Goh Kaki reflects the owner’s childhood days in Penang and you’ll find traditional games like congkak and liew qian to play with here. Hungry? GohKaki serves Chinese snacks like tic tac toe bread and noodles with quirky names like Joy Brimming (with dried shrimps, eggs, cauliflower and silver spring) and Never Try Never Know (spaghetti with mushroom, sausage, cauliflower and carrots drenched in mushroom sauce).
Child friendly. Daily, 11.30am– 11.30pm. $$
Golden Gate Steamboat
77 Jalan Cantonment (04 226 1361).
Its colonial building façade is indicative of its age, as well as a testament to its fortitude against the test of time. Even to this day, this place is as frequented as it was in its heyday – a success that can be attributed to the freshness and quality of the ingredients it uses in its dishes – the signatures are fish slices and prawns netted out straight from the in-house tanks. What hasn’t changed and has, arguably, been the factor keeping Golden Gate going strong is its friendly service and unwavering dedication to its customers’ satisfaction.
Child friendly. Disabled friendly. Free parking. Tue–Sun, 6pm–10.30pm. $
NEW Hakka Tree F27, TESCO Tanjung Pinang, 1 Jalan Seri Pinang, Tanjung Tokong (04 899 3887/www.facebook.com/hakkatree).
This little place has steadily built its fan base with simple but quality yong tau foo, hor fun and clear soup served with nearly every dish. Wooden stools, chairs and tables give it the atmosphere of a streetside coffee shop, albeit a clean and air-conditioned one. We recommend you try Hakka Tree’s black bean hor fun while you’re there. Don't miss it.
Credit cards accepted. Daily, 9.30am– 10.30pm. $$
NEW Hollywood Restaurant 643 Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah (04 890 7266/016 492 8282/010 564 8221/www. hollywoodrestaurantpg.com).
Never mind the name; this restaurant is better known for its Hainanese fare. This family-oriented business has been up and running since 1945, so when it comes to Hainanese dishes like curry kapitan, inchee kabin and chun piah (spring roll), the folks at Hollywood are the experts. They also serve crab and seafood dishes, so take your pick from the list of Hainan dark soya fragrant prawn, aroma honey crab or Hainanstyle steamed fish.
Wed–Mon,11am–3pm & 6pm–10pm. $$
My Home Style Restaurant Permai 32, 2 Lebuh Lembah Permai 4, Tanjung Bungah (016 475 9181).
Home Style’s high-quality Chinese dishes and clean, simple dining environment makes it one of Tanjung Bungah’s hidden gems. Specialities include tofu with aubergine and assam fish (fish in a tangy, sour sauce). For special occasions, have a chat with the head chef and he’ll happily put together a customised menu of dishes that aren’t listed on the regular menu. Afterwards, you can walk off those added calories in the nearby park.
Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Free parking. Daily, 5.30–10pm. $$$$
Koca Steamboat Restaurant 102-C-1, New World Park, Lorong Swotow (04 226 2334).
Long gone are the days when having steamboat meant profuse sweating; Koca offers steamboat lunch and dinner buffets in a comfortable, airconditioned environment. You can opt for either the green spinach noodles or the steamed white rice. The steamboat pot is partitioned into two soup bases: the tom yam broth and the clear one. The ingredients are served in little plates and especially of note are the homemade fish balls, chicken balls, shrimp balls, dumplings, fish cakes, seaweed balls and the chilli sauce.
Pork-free. Daily, 11am–3pm, 6pm– 10pm. $$
Maple Palace Restaurant Maple Gold Club, 47 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, George Town (04 227 9690/04 227 4542/www.maplepalace. com).
Open since 2009, Maple Palace presents itself as an upscale alternative to your standard Chinese restaurant, placing the utmost emphasis on presentation – of its dishes and of its premises. The interior of Maple Palace is a merging of typical Chinese restaurant aesthetics and some Victorian elements – timber panels and faux vines, giving it a more modern edge. Consequently, it’s perpetually playing host to weddings and events all year long. One highlight from its Chinese and Cantonese menu include the crispy Peking duck, which goes half priced on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Daily, 12.00noon– 2.30pm, 6.00pm–10.00pm. $$$
Shing Kheang Aun 2 Lorong Chulia (04 261 4786).
Shing Kheang Aun has been in existence for more than half a century since its opening during the war period in 1941. The restaurant’s regular patrons have been visiting loyally for decades, and new customers pour in every day thanks to word of mouth. It’s still very much set in its old ways, which have, to be fair, never failed it; so expect to see old-school pulleys to lever food from the first to the second floor, and steep stairs to the second level that families with seniors should avoid. Look out for the famous gulai tumis pomfret (traditional Nyonya curry pomfret) and the friendly smile of the owner, Mr Ong.
Pork-free. Child friendly. Disabled friendly. Daily, 11am–2.30pm, 5pm– 8.30pm. $$
The Sire Museum Restaurant 4 Lebuh King, George Town (04 264 5088).
The Sire is housed in the former home of Yeap Chor Ee, a prominent Chinese businessman and philanthropist. It is both a restaurant and a museum, putting on display a collection of antiques that has been in the possession of the Yeap family for decades, including furniture, ornaments, photographs, portraits and paintings. The restaurant places considerably more focus on its decor and ambience than its food; nevertheless the roasted lamb chop, sizzling tenderloin or Black Angus ribeye steak are all decent.
Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Daily, 11.30am– 3pm, 6pm–10.30pm. $$$
Starview Restaurant 102-B-1 to 102-B-4 New World Park, 102 Jalan Burma (04 226 6544).
Throughout the many years that it has been in operation, Starview has never faltered; so with a restaurant as reputed as this, it’s best to make reservations, especially come Chinese New Year. You can choose from one of the set meals, but for the more fastidious who prefer to personally customise their meal, the most ordered dishes are the fish steamboat, the four treasures and the suckling piglet. There are VIP private rooms for your family gatherings or for any functions or events.
Child friendly. Credit cards accepted. Disabled friendly. Daily, 12noon– 2.30pm, 6pm–10pm. $$$ Tang Steamboat Restaurant 7 Jalan Rangoon (016 435 2259).
For steamboat fans who have grown indifferent to the hackneyed Chinese or Japanese steamboat, Tang Steamboat Restaurant is a refreshing alternative – Taiwanese steamboat. Besides its iconic Taiwanese spicy soup base, Tang steamboat also further distinguishes itself from the rest with its quintessential Taiwanese delicacy, stinky tofu. Of course, Tang Steamboat also offers the steamboat essentials – beef slices, fish balls, fried wonton, teppanyaki dumplings, pork slices and so on, which are best dipped in Tang’s homemade specialty sauce of garlic, chilli and soy sauce.
Daily, 12noon–3pm, 6pm–10pm. $$$
Yeng Keng Café and Bar 362, 366 Lebuh Chulia (04 262 2177/ www.yengkenghotel.com.my).
Yeng Keng Café and Bar offers a selection of a sort of neo-Hainanese cuisine that the less discerning would easily mistake for Western dishes. It would, actually, be more accurate to describe Yeng Keng’s menu as a mélange of Hainanese and Western delicacies, best exemplified by the chicken chop.
Pork-free. Child friendly. Disabled friendly. Daily, 8.30am–10pm. $$
NEW Yin Pin Dim Sum 104 Persiaran Gurney, George Town (04 226 0673).
It’s hard to miss this restaurant on Gurney Drive; subtlety isn’t exactly Yin Pin’s forte, and the restaurant is sprawling in size. It has to be; not only is it a dim sum restaurant but there’s also a food court in there that gives variety to your meal. However, it’s the dim sum or Chinese tapas that got us. There’s a dizzying array of steamed and deep-fried dim sum to choose from. Served in small bamboo steamers (or plates for the fried stuff), these bite-sized morsels are made of minced pork, prawn or chicken stuffed in either vegetables, tightly packed in rice flour or tofu skins. Dim sum is served for breakfast as early as 6.30am right up to around 3pm, when the menu changes to full meals of individual Chinese dishes with rice or noodles. Despite these long hours, the dim sum is fresh due to the quick turnover. To pair with the dim sum, there’s more than 20 noodle dishes from RM5.50 to RM15. We’re hooked on the fried bee hoon with flour-coated fish fillet at RM6.50. The secret here is the spicy sambal belacan served on the side. We’ve got two words for it: mind blowing! Oh, and the service here is friendly and efficient too.
Child friendly. Daily, 6.30pm–3pm (dim sum and lunch), 3pm–9pm (dinner). $
NEW Zhou Restaurant 6G-1-15 & 6G-AF1-15, All Seasons Place, Lebuhraya Thean Teik, Air Itam (04 826 8385).
Specialising in congee or rice porridge, this Chinese restaurant serves generous portions of its MSG-free claypot dishes. If you’re dining in a group, order the congee steamboat (enough for four people) textured with braised pork ribs, barbecued beef or roasted Swiss chicken. There are also flavoured congees – tom yam, curry, prawn and herbal – to try as well.
Daily, 11am–11pm. $$