Malaysian

Time Out Malaysia Eating and Drinking Guide - - PENANG -

Malay

Ayu Mee Udang

936B Lengkok Kam­pung Masjid Satu, Teluk Kum­bar (04 649 3881).

Only slightly akin to the Chi­nese ver­sion of prawn noo­dles, Ayu’s mee udang is a bowl of yel­low noo­dles with a starchy, red, tomato-based soup, rich with the smell of prawn shells. Ayu uses the suc­cu­lent, fleshy sort of prawns rather than the usual small-sized ones, so it’s no sur­prise that the price of Ayu’s prawn noo­dles is almost triple the price of a stan­dard bowl found else­where (the small bowl with three prawns costs RM15 and the big­ger bowl with six prawns costs RM22). Given the size of the prawns (and how clean the place is), the price seems pretty rea­son­able.

Daily, 1pm–11pm. $

BTB & Restau­rant 153 & 155 Le­buh Pan­tai (04 263 7299/www.chi­na­house.com.my).

A visit to Pe­nang has long been an ex­er­cise in sam­pling as much of the is­land’s most iconic hawker food as you can man­age, but in re­cent times, another facet of the din­ing scene of Pe­nang has been blos­som­ing. Set­tled com­fort­ably in China House (a her­itage build­ing that houses per­for­mance the­atres, gal­leries, cafés and restau­rants), BTB & Restau­rant ap­peals to those who’d like a glimpse at the other side of Pe­nang’s rav­en­ous food cul­ture: in­door din­ing! BTB & Restau­rant serves Western dishes with lo­cal twists, and its quiet, re­laxed am­bi­ence is un­mis­tak­ably Pe­nang.

Daily, 6.30pm–10.30pm. $$$$

D’Da­por Ex­press 7 Le­buh Union (04 262 9323).

The in­te­rior of D’Da­por Ex­press dis­plays a strong pen­chant for the rather charm­ingly in­con­gru­ous mix­ing of taste­ful­ness, as char­ac­terised by the min­i­mal dec­o­ra­tions and the clean lines of the ta­bles, with the gar­ish­ness of its green, white and yel­low walls. While it fo­cuses mainly on be­ing an up­scale restau­rant serv­ing Malay cui­sine, it boasts a few ad­di­tional selections of Thai and Chi­nese-in­spired dishes. It oc­ca­sion­ally has var­i­ous lunch and din­ner deals, so be on the look­out for those.

Daily, 12noon–3pm, 6pm–10pm. $$$

Restoran 77 77-D Per­siaran Gur­ney.

If there is one thing that needs to be said about Restoran 77, it has al­ready been said on its own sign­board – ‘Fa­mous Curry Fish Head’. The renowned fresh and fleshy fish head is drenched in a fra­grant curry, cooked with spices, onions and okra, and topped with a gar­nish of mint leaves. The fish head curry may well be the fo­cus of the meal, but to serve as an ac­com­pa­ni­ment, one can also or­der from an as­sort­ment of the con­ven­tional Chi­nese dishes – eggs, vegetables, tofu, meat and oth­ers.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Dis­abled friendly. Free park­ing. Daily, 11am– 10pm. $$

Ny­onya Mama’s Ny­onya Food 31-D Lorong Abu Siti (04 229 1318).

Mama may have passed on the legacy to her daugh­ter, but the restau­rant

has lost none of its orig­i­nal vigour. This place has been pa­tro­n­ised by many celebri­ties, like renowned shoedesigner Datuk Jimmy Choo, Hong Kong di­rec­tor Ang Lee and squash su­per­star Datuk Ni­col David, so it’s a good idea to visit, if not just to check out what the hype is all about. The fi­nal bill may not be cheap but if you’re drop­ping by, try Ny­onya clas­sics such as tau eu bak, pu­rut ikan, Ny­onya fish head curry and otak-otak.

Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Dis­abled friendly. Tue–Sun, 11.30am–2.30pm, 6pm–9.30pm. $$$

Ny­onya Breeze 50 Lorong Abu Siti (019 443 7104/ www.ny­onyabreeze.oomph.com.my).

Ny­onya food is some of the hard­est to pre­pare, given the amount of time needed to grind, blend, pound and mar­i­nate the in­gre­di­ents, so the metic­u­lous­ness of the process de­mands high lev­els of skill and mas­tery to pre­pare the per­fect Ny­onya meal. Ny­onya Breeze may not be the best there is, but the gen­eral con­sen­sus is that it serves as a de­cent out­let for your reg­u­lar Ny­onya fix. Ex­pect to find the usual Ny­onya fare, such as the curry kap­i­tan (chicken curry), the inche kabin (fried chicken) and the ju hu char (stir-fried shred­ded sen­gkuang, car­rots, dried cut­tle­fish and mush­rooms).

Mon, 11.30am–2.30pm, 6.30pm– 10pm; Wed–Sun, 11.30am–2.30pm, 6.30pm–10pm. $$

Perut Rumah Ny­onya Café 17 Jalan Kelawei (04 227 9917).

Once a bun­ga­low, this her­itage house has been trans­formed into Perut Rumah, a restau­rant and café serv­ing a va­ri­ety of Ny­onya mains and desserts. The restau­rant recre­ates the aes­thet­ics of the colo­nial era – the walls are adorned with nos­tal­gic photographs and ta­bles with old arte­facts. While the Ny­onya cur­ries are per­fectly sat­is­fac­tory, we were re­ally im­pressed with the pork slices cooked in a cincalok sauce along with sweet potato leaves blanched in creamy, co­conut-based masak lemak gravy. The pork dish is both light and del­i­cately salty from the cincalok of fer­mented prawn sauce and makes a per­fect duet with white rice and a dash of fiery sam­bal bela­can. Another dish we’d rec­om­mend is the some­what spicy stir-fried aubergine in prawn sam­bal. Dishes here are not ter­ri­bly spicy but the heat of the chillies and spices are def­i­nitely present. To amp up the spici­ness, you can ei­ther re­quest for sliced cili padi or a lit­tle ex­tra sam­bal bela­can. End on a sweet note with desserts such as bubur chacha.

Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Free park­ing. Daily, 11am–3pm, 6pm–10pm. $$

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