Time Out Malaysia Eating and Drinking Guide - - PENANG -

Bali Hai 90A-90D, Per­siaran Gur­ney (04 228 1272/www.bal­i­

Short of whales and sharks, Bali Hai pretty much lives up to its motto of ‘if it swims, we have it’. Ex­pect to see rows of tanks hous­ing a plethora of live seafood. Here, the fo­cus isn’t on vir­tu­oso culi­nary ex­trav­a­gance, but rather on the fresh­ness of the seafood. It’s no high-brow place, but the kitsch­i­ness of the neon light­ing and decor has come to be tol­er­ated and ex­pected of seafood restau­rants. In the morn­ing, it also op­er­ates as a dim sum eatery.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards ac­cepted. Dis­abled friendly. Free park­ing. $$$$

DeHappy Seafood Restau­rant 62 Jalan Ma­cal­is­ter (04 227 7809).

DeHappy is aptly la­belled a seafood restau­rant, given that it serves a range of fish, clams, prawns and lob­sters. What makes it spe­cial, how­ever, is that it stays open un­til five in the morn­ing, which means that if you’re suf­fer­ing from a com­bi­na­tion of per­sis­tent in­som­nia and a growl­ing belly, this is a valid al­ter­na­tive to the ma­maks. From mid­night to be­fore sun­rise, the restau­rant serves Teochew-style por­ridge with var­i­ous choices of top­pings – salted eggs, braised pork, Chi­nese sausages and so on.

Child friendly. Daily, 10am–3am. $

East Hokkaido Seafood Restau­rant 20C Jalan Ba­gan Jer­mal (04 228 8979).

The Ja­panese ref­er­ence in the name aside, East Hokkaido Seafood Restau­rant is a very typ­i­cal Chi­nese restau­rant serv­ing di­verse vari­a­tions of crabs, prawns and the like, but its menu is not limited to just seafood. Be­sides its sig­na­ture cheese crabs, steamed fresh­wa­ter patin fish and salted egg man­tis prawns, you should also try the fried pi­geons. Plus, there are pri­vate rooms with karaoke fa­cil­i­ties.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted (over RM 50). Free park­ing. Daily, 12noon–3pm & 6pm–11pm. $$$

Pang Hainan Seafood 501 K&L, Jalan Tan­jung Bun­gah (04 899 4863/www. penangseafoodrestau­

It’s a puz­zler that the pre­vi­ous restau­rants oc­cu­py­ing Pang Hainan’s lo­ca­tion have failed to thrive, de­spite the fact that it’s right next to a busy road, and it’s highly ac­ces­si­ble. Pang Hainan, how­ever, seems to be here to stay. It’s of­ten crowded and de­pend­ing on the sea­son and the catch, the crabs, lob­sters and prawns served at Pang Hainan Seafood can be very suc­cu­lent and fleshy. Most pa­trons or­der the choon piah (spring rolls), the sweet and sour crab and the cheese lob­ster; although the seafood is ex­tremely fresh, the cook­ing has been said to be lack­lus­tre at times.

Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Dis­abled friendly. Free park­ing. Tue–Sun, 12noon–2.30pm & 6pm– 10.30pm. $$$

Tai Tong Seafood 4 Jalan Has­san Abas (04 885 1693).

By day, Tai Tong Seafood is a dim sum eatery; by night, it’s an ac­claimed seafood restau­rant. For the vis­i­tors and lo­cals look­ing for the kind of restau­rant that gives cre­dence to Pe­nang’s ti­tle as a food par­adise, Tai Tong can do just that. It’s far off the beaten track for tourists, so you can ex­pect au­then­tic seafood, although it might also in­volve a long de­tour if you’re not from the Teluk Ba­hang area. If you de­cide to make the jour­ney there, be sure to make it worth­while by or­der­ing the sig­na­ture cheese-baked oys­ters, Thai-style mixed vegetables and the bam­boo shell­fish.

Pork-free. Child friendly. Dis­abled friendly. $$

South­east Asian Thai Aroy Chang Moo Kata Thai Restau­rant 22 Lorong Burma (010 379 9852).

With a Thai chef from Chi­ang Mai at the helm, Aroy Chang Moo Kata’s menu is a list of au­then­tic Thai food at rea­son­able prices. Some of the more no­table dishes in­clude the cha om omelette, the tamarind prawns in basil and the tom yam nam sai (clear seafood tom yam).

Tue–Sun, 11am–2.30pm, 6pm–11pm. $$$

Golden Thai Seafood Vil­lage 69A Jalan Batu Fer­ring­ghi (04 881 1362/­en­

Din­ing at Golden Thai is a surreal ex­pe­ri­ence, with faux wa­ter­falls il­lu­mi­nated by neon lights cas­cad­ing with a strange sort of kitschy charm. Golden Thai is vis­ually en­thralling, nonethe­less; it over­looks the Pe­nang North­ern chan­nel and boasts some fa­mous peo­ple amongst its clien­tele. There are nightly per­for­mances (less provoca­tive ver­sions of Thai­land’s cabaret shows and live per­for­mances) to en­joy while you feast on the var­i­ous types of seafood net­ted straight from the tanks that line the side of the restau­rant.

Pork-free. Daily, 11am–12mid­night. $$$

Mal­abar dine+chill 26 & 28 Le­buh Cin­tra (04 263 8266/ www.mal­

Mal­abar is both a restau­rant and an inn. The restau­rant serves Thai food with Ny­onya in­flu­ences, as is ev­i­dent in its best­sellers, the steamed pump­kin with co­conut milk cus­tard, the Mal­abar be­landa eggs, the assam pedas ikan and the otak-otak. The restau­rant is dec­o­rated in a clas­sic black-and­white chic colour scheme, ex­ud­ing an es­pe­cially com­fort­able aura when the light pours in through the win­dows.

Daily, 11am–10pm. $$

Sukhothai Beef Noo­dles House 5.02 & 03, Gur­ney Paragon, Per­siaran Gur­ney, George Town (04 218 9141).

This lit­tle Thai restau­rant was pre­vi­ously lo­cated on Jalan Burmah, where it gained a strong rep­u­ta­tion for its house spe­cial­ity: Thai beef noo­dles with chunky beef pieces in an aro­matic soup base. Like many other fa­mous Pe­nang eater­ies, it de­cided to make the move to Gur­ney Paragon. All the food is freshly pre­pared by the owner’s Thai wife, and as a re­sult the dishes are de­li­cious and au­then­tic. All-day sets in­clude house spe­cial­i­ties like the afore­men­tioned beef noo­dles, pork noo­dles and kao kha moo (pork cooked in vine­gar and served with rice). The à la carte menu in­cludes all the Thai favourites such as tom yam, pad thai and glass noo­dle salad; it also fea­tures a large range of desserts such as sticky rice with the world-fa­mous durian fruit for afi­ciona­dos or the ad­ven­tur­ous.

Child friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 11am–10pm. $$

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