206-B Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+6016 490 3543).
Once you spot the huge signage at the entrance, follow the path leading to a nondescript restaurant shrouded by pink bougainvillea. While Happy Garden serves Western and local food, the restaurant is renowned for its Hainanese specialities like prawn kapitan, chicken inchi kabin and crispy spring rolls.
Daily, 11am-2.30pm, 6-10.30pm. $$
Jalan Sungai Emas, Batu Ferringhi (+6012 442 8880).
Regarded as a local gem, Golden River seldom disappoints with delicious local seafood, succulent pork dishes and cheap cold beers. It’s very casual and decor is minimal, but the food is consistent and the prices friendly.
Mon & Wed-Sun, 5-11pm. $$
Guan Guan Café
43A Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+6012 486 1741).
A local stalwart of the Batu Ferringhi café scene, Guan Guan’s friendly owners ensure everyone feels welcome and is one of the few places open for breakfast. Be sure to try the golden fried squid with plum sauce, chicken curry or beef rendang for lunch / dinner.
Mon & Wed-Sun, 9am-10pm. $
Hotel Equatorial Penang, 1 Jalan Bukit Jambul, Bayan Lepas (+604 632 7188/penang.equatorial.com). This classy Chinese restaurant offers a wide range of Szechuan and Cantonese fare and dim sum. Diners keep coming back for the doubleboiled soups and crispy roast chicken. Pork-free. Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Mon-Fri, 11am-2.30pm, 6.30-10pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-2.30pm, 6.30-10pm. $$$
Luan Fong Kopitiam
Lorong Bagan Luar 3, Butterworth (+6012 409 4042/Facebook: Luan Fong Kopitiam).
We like how traditional coffee shops such as Luan Fong have started using social media to let diners know of the availability of their specialty dishes. The star dish here is roti kahwin, toasted bread that marries the goodness of butter and kaya (coconut jam).
Pork-free. Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 7.30am-6pm. $
888 Hokkien Mee
67A Lebuh Presgrave, George Town. A Penang hawker specialty, Hokkien Prawn Mee is a bowl of noodles in a flavourful pork and prawn broth, and one of best in town is served at this local joint. Customise your bowl with extra prawns, pork knuckle, roast pork belly and crackling. Their other specialty is lor mee – noodles in dark, starchy gravy. Prices start at RM5 per bowl.
Mon-Wed & Fri-Sun, 5.30pm-12midnight. $
6 & 8 Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town (+6016 472 0971).
Founded by a Cantonese immigrant almost 60 years ago, this humble eatery dishes out traditional dim sum, including Penang specialties like steamed chicken with cabbage and pork rolls.
Tue-Sun, 6am-2.30pm. $
Boey Chong Kee Restaurant
C-6, People’s Court (off Lebuh Cintra), George Town (+604 261 7672). Spanning the entire ground floor of People’s Court, Boey Chong Kee has been in business for decades, a testament to its strong following generated by hearty, home-cooked Cantonese meals. Staple dishes include fried fish head, pork ribs, ngiu chap and braised ginger duck.
Daily, 6.30-9.30pm. $$
Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine
8A Tanjung City Marina, Pengkalan Weld, George Town (+604 261 2611/ Facebook: Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine).
Chin’s Stylish Chinese Cuisine feels like a scene from one of Salvador Dali’s dreams. Originally from London, this Chinese restaurant has won multiple awards for its loud yet tasteful contemporary décor. Everything from the colourful serving dishes to the gold framed artwork on the walls and ceiling were customised especially for the restaurant. Dignitaries and celebrities rub shoulders at this elegant eatery overlooking the Straits of Malacca. Book ahead to sample the special sixcourse dinner.
Pork-free. Credit cards accepted. Disabled-friendly. Daily, 6-11pm. $$$
Cintra Food Corner
40 Lebuh Cintra, George Town (+6012 480 3308/www.bakchang.com).
The secret to this stall’s bak chang
lies in an old family recipe. Order the mammoth-sized Guo Zheng Zong
dumpling stuffed with chicken, duck, roast pork, salted egg, chestnuts and dried oyster – a dish to share – and end your meal with a bowl of sweet red bean soup.
Daily, 9am-6pm. $
Double Dragon Inn
27B Jalan Gottlieb, George Town (+604 227 7049).
Double Dragon Inn has barely altered its menu since it opened 30 years ago. Standout dishes include the mui choy kao yok (pork belly cooked with preserved vegetables), Hakka noodles and the pomfret fish.
Credit cards accepted. Child-friendly. Mon & Wed-Thu, 6.30-9.30pm; Fri-Sun, 12noon-1.30pm, 6.30-9.30pm. $$
Foong Wei Heong Restaurant
23 & 25 Jalan Sri Bahari, George Town (+604 261 1918).
One way to measure the success of an eatery is by how crowded it gets at meal times, and Foong Wei Heong passes this test. Diners come here for the deep-fried pork trotters and poon
choy – traditional Chinese claypot dish with pork, beef, lamb, abalone and prawn.
Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 12noon-2pm, 6-10pm. $$
Goh Huat Seng
59-A Lebuh Kimberley, George Town (+604 261 5811).
In operation for over 50 years, this is one of Penang’s oldest Teochew restaurants. Steamboat is the name of the game and here the pot is heated over charcoal, adding to the authenticity. The rich soup is enhanced by the different combinations of meat, seafood and vegetables you decide to add in.
Child-friendly. Disabled-friendly. Mon & Wed-Sun, 5-9.30pm. $$
Goh Thew Chik
338-A Lebuh Chulia, George Town (+604 261 8650).
Come here for Hainanese chicken rice, but be prepared to share a table as it's often crowded. Parking is scarce so walking there is recommended.
Mon-Fri, 11am-6pm; Sat-Sun, 1-6pm. $
Golden Gate Steamboat
77 Jalan Pemenang (Cantonment Road), George Town (+604 226 1361). Housed in an old mansion, this restaurant hasn’t changed in the 25 years it’s been serving steamboat to its loyal customers – a favourite for Chinese New Year reunion dinners and large family gatherings.
Child-friendly. Disabled-friendly. Free parking. Tue-Sun, 6-10pm. $$$
Hainanese Delights Restaurant
1926 Heritage Hotel, 227 Jalan Burma, George Town (+604 226 1926/www.hainanesedelights.com). The down-to-earth atmosphere here attracts diners with a taste for Hainanese fare. Begin with the signature crunchy spring rolls, then proceed to mains like the foo yong hai, chicken rice and assam prawns.
Pork-free. Daily, 11.30am-2.30pm, 6-9.30pm. $$
Ho Ping Coffee Shop
211 Jalan Penang, George Town. During the day, the beef ball noodles do a roaring trade, while in the evening the famed bak moi is what diners come for. The flavourful porridge can be ordered with pork ‘spare parts’, which is your choice of brain, intestines and liver; or just have the plain version without the innards. The lor bak is also recommended.
Daily, 9am-2pm, 6-10pm. $
Joo Hooi Café
475 Jalan Penang, George Town. Prominently located on Jalan Penang, Joo Hooi is a well-known coffee shop with all the usual suspects of char kuey teow, laksa, oh chien and the not- to-be-missed Penang Road cendol. Mon-Wed & Fri-Sun, 11am-5.30pm. $
Kang Beef House
474 Jalan Jelutong, George Town (+604 281 0892/Facebook: Kang Beef House).
As the name suggests, beef is the main ingredient here with their beef kuey teow soup with beef balls, brisket and slices of perfectly cooked beef. Other popular dishes include the beef fried rice and the dry beef hor fun. Child-friendly. Mon & Wed-Sun, 12noon-2.30pm & 4.30-10pm. $
Kopitiam at Loke Thye Kee
2 Jalan Burma, George Town (+604 264 1919/www.lokethyekee.com). Located at the junction of Penang Road and Burmah Road, this building was built in 1929, and has been renovated along with the amazing Loke Thye Kee Residences. The original menu leaned towards Hainanese dishes and there are still elements of this but with some local dishes added. Diners come here for the ambience and to remember all those family dinners from decades ago.
Halal. Daily, 8am-4pm.
Kedai Makanan dan Minuman Satu Satu Tiga
113 Lebuh Melayu, George Town. Stumbling upon this humble eatery was one the best things that can happen. Frequented by old-timers, this coffee shop is known for its duck dishes – duck rice / porridge / noodles. The duck koay chiap with its hand-torn noodles and tasty soup is a winner at RM5 a bowl.
Mon-Sat, 6.30am-3pm; Sun, 11.30am3pm. $
Kek Seng Coffee Shop
382-384 Jalan Penang, George Town. In operation since 1903, Kek Seng Coffee Shop still manages to stand out among Penang’s many Chinese coffee shops and is very popular with the locals. The usual tasty hawker fare is available but it’s the ais kacang topped with durian ice cream which is a musttry even if you don’t like durian!
Daily, 8am-5pm. $
Kafe St Loo Beef Noodles
156 Lebuh Carnavon, George Town (Facebook: St Loo beef noodle soup cafe).
Previously located in Lam Ah Coffee Shop, Ms Loo opened her own restaurant in November 2015. These beef noodles are famous and rightly so with its appetising broth and well cooked beef slices enhanced with pork crackling; and don’t forget to try the oh chien while you’re there.
Pork-free. Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 10.30am-9.30pm. $
NEW Leong Chee Kee Biscuits 8-C People’s Court, Lorong Campbell, George Town (+604 263 9487)
A traditional Cantonese wedding biscuit bakery Penangites swear by. Their secret recipe coconut tarts and daily fresh baked egg cakes are moreish and sell out fast. Get there early!
Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm. $
Ming Xiang Tai Pastry Shop
133 Jalan Burmah, George Town (+604 227 9880/www.facebook.com/ MingXiangTai1979).
When it comes to egg tarts, MXT are the go-to tart purveyors. Their Trishaw egg tart – so called because the tarts were sold from a trishaw when the business first started – is their specialty along with a traditional selection of Chinese pastries like chicken siew pao, salted egg yolk pastry and kaya puffs.
Halal. Daily, 8am-11pm. $
Muntri Mews, 77 Lebuh Muntri, George Town (+604 263 5125/www. muntrimews.com).
Housed within the flashpacker hotel known as Muntri Mews, this restaurant offers a selection of Malay / Nyonya dishes with a little twist. The pai tee comes deconstructed with a kerabu filling, Helen’s Curry Mee is hearty and spicy, and to end try the mango and sweet glutinous rice with coconut ice cream.
Pork-free. Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 8am-11pm. $$
Ng Kee Cake Shop
61 Lebuh Cintra, George Town (+6019 471 6570/+604 251 9898). Ng Kee doesn’t sell ‘cake’ in the traditional sense, but classic handmade Chinese pastries like egg tarts, coconut tarts, pepper biscuits, wife biscuits, bean buns and brown sugar biscuits.
Mon-Sat, 9am-9pm. $
Old Green House Restaurant
223 Jalan Burma, George Town. When it comes to Hokkien prawn mee, Penangites all have their favourite stall. Old Green’s popularity stems from the fact that you can customise your bowl with roast pork, meat balls, braised egg, Chinese sausage and chicken feet. The stall operates late into the night – perfect for supper or after clubbing munchies.
Mon-Sat, 8pm-4am. $
One Corner Café
2 Jalan Bawasah, George Town.
Still on the Hokkien prawn mee trail, this stall sees patrons lining to score a bowl of these famous noodles. The noodles lean towards the spicy side and are garnished generously with fried onions, shrimp and slivers of pork. The café’s other offerings include
char kuey teow, chicken rice and yam cake.
Daily, 8am-2pm. $
Shing Kheang Aun
2 Lorong Chulia, George Town (+604 261 4786).
The traditional calligraphy signage adds to the nostalgic appeal of Shing Kheang Aun, which has been in existence for more than half a century since 1941. The restaurant serves Hainanese dishes that have been perfected over the decades. Opt for the signature pomfret gulai tumis,
pork stir fried with sweet sauce and Hainanese pork chop.
Child-friendly. Disabled-friendly. Daily, 11am-2.30pm, 5-9pm; closed every alternate Monday. $$
Sin Lean Heang
360-G-7, Gat Lebuh Macallum, George Town (+604 262 6954). Slightly off the tourist trail, this local favourite serves authentic Hokkien cuisine like or mee, bak kee th’ng, char tang hoon, char tau kua, and the omnipresent oh chien. It gets crowded so arrive early for a table.
Mon-Sat, 12.30-5pm. $
Tai Tong Café
45 Lebuh Cintra, George Town (+604 263 6625).
Push cart dim sum at its best with tempting steamers of dumplings and buns going from table to table. Seating is slightly haphazard which adds to the appeal. The sar hor fun
also comes highly recommended.
Child-friendly. Daily, 6am-2.30pm. $
Taman Emas Coffee Shop
Jalan Gottlieb, George Town (opposite Penang Chinese Girls’ High School). Locals and tourists flock here for the
assam laksa, which is sweeter than its counterparts and ideal if you can’t tolerate spicy food. The char kuey teow, which comes with an abundance of Chinese sausage and plump prawns, is equally enticing.
Tue-Sun, 9am-1pm. $
Tek Sen Restaurant
Ground floor, 18 & 20, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town (+6012 981 5117/www.facebook.com/ TekSenRestaurant).
Tek Sen began as a simple coffee shop in 1965 and has now expanded to a double shoplot. Famed for its Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka and Peranakan dishes including double-roasted pork with cili padi, stir-fried bitter gourd with salt egg and steamed fish; this is definitely a must-try.
Mon & Wed-Sun, 12noon-3pm, 6-9pm. $$
Tho Yuen Restaurant
96 Lebuh Campbell, George Town (+604 261 4672/www.facebook.com/ ThoYuenRestaurant).
Tho Yuen’s chicken rice may be one of the best in town, but it’s their dim sum that keeps us returning. Another speciality worthy of mention is the
steamed fish head with vermicelli. Mon & Wed-Sun, 6am-3pm. $
Toh Soon Café
Lebuh Campbell (off Jalan Penang), George Town
(+604 261 3754).
Housed in a clandestine alleyway, this George Town institution only serves three items – local coffee, bread (choice of Hainan, whole wheat, coffee swirl, chocolate) toasted over charcoal and spread with butter, homemade kaya
or peanut butter, and half-boiled eggs – breakfast of champions! Their ghetto oven made of a tin tank is the secret behind the tasty toast.
Pork-free. Mon-Sat, 8am-6.30pm. $
Toon Leong Coffee Shop
Junction of Jalan Argyll and Jalan Transfer, George Town (+6012 442 5752).
This Chinese coffee shop is about to celebrate its centennial! You can’t go wrong with the classic ‘kopitiam’ breakfast of toast, half-boiled eggs and coffee, but for something more substantial, sample the spicy dishes at Deen Nasi Kandar, which operates at the front of the coffee shop.
Daily, 7am-6pm. $
Yeng Keng Café and Bar
362 & 366 Lebuh Chulia, George Town (+604 263 3177/www. yengkengcafebar.com).
Yeng Keng takes on Hainanese cuisine with confidence and offers classics like inchi kabin, jiu hoo char and curry Kapitan chicken; for dessert go local with the sago gula Melaka or vintage with an impressive Bombe Alaska. Certain dishes like the chicken pie have to be ordered in advance.
Pork-free. Disabled-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11.30am9.30pm. $$
Gurney Plaza, Persiaran Gurney (+604 899 3887/ www.facebook.com/ hakkatree).
This small restaurant has built a steady fan base thanks to its simple but delicious yong tau foo and hor fun. Finish your meal with tong sui such as sweet almond jelly or glutinous rice drenched in milk.
Credit cards accepted. Child-friendly. Daily, 10am-10pm. $$
Sri Siam Curry Fish Head
Restoran Kim San, 32 Medan Kurau 2, Chai Leng Park, Seberang Perai (+6012 430 7774).
Succulent fish head curry is the dish to try here and diners have been seen slurping the sauce on its own. Other dishes to try include mango kerabu
and the honey chicken with prawn crackers.
Pork-free. Daily, 10am-4pm. Closed every second Thursday of the month. $$
My Home Style Restaurant
Permai 32, 2 Lebuh Lembah Permai 4, Tanjung Bungah (+6016 475 9181/+604 898 2797/www.facebook. com/Myhomestylepenangfood). Located in a residential area, this popular restaurant serves homecooked comfort food. Try the tofu with bitter gourd and aubergine, braised fish with yam and any of their pork dishes. Reservations are recommended.
Child-friendly. Free parking. Credit cards accepted. Mon & Wed-Sun, 11am-2.30pm, 5.30-10pm. $$$
Fatty Loh Chicken Rice
21 Jalan Fettes, Tanjung Tokong (+604 899 0888/+6013 593 9999/ www.fattylohchickenrice.com). Established in 1969, Fatty Loh is synonymous with chicken rice and they do it well here. The standard serving of fluffy rice and crispy chicken can also be topped off with roast pork and Chinese sausage.
Daily, 9am-5pm. $
Various locations (+604 229 5018/ banheang.e2pages.com).
Tau sar piah and heong piah are the most popular Chinese pastries made in Penang, and there are a couple of household brands that locals and visitors swear by with Ban Heang being one of them. Online ordering is available through the website.
Credit cards accepted. $
First floor, Chinese Recreation Club, Jalan Padang Victoria,
George Town (+604
228 9787); 22 Jalan Pangkor, George Town (+604 229 9757).
The CRC was formed in the late 19th century by a group of Chinese football enthusiasts who wanted a venue to play and so the club began. The Chinese restaurant is a popular venue for weddings and reunions so dishes like ‘Buddha Jumps Over The Wall’ and crispy suckling pig are the go.
Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. (Jalan Padang Victoria) Daily, 12noon-3pm, 6-10pm; (Jalan Pangkor) Daily, 12noon-2.30pm, 6-9.30pm. $$
Various locations (www.ghee-hiang. com).
It started with a pastry chef from Fujian who moved to Penang in 1856 and began plying his baked goods, and now Ghee Hiang is the go-to brand for the best tau sar piah in Penang. No MSG, additives and preservatives are used in their pastries and their cholesterol-free and omega-rich sesame oil is a kitchen staple
Credit cards accepted. $
NEW The Six Cantonese Restaurant
Various locations (www.facebook.com/ thesixrestaurant).
Previously known as Xuan Xin restaurant, this Chinese eatery has a comprehensive menu that can make it hard for diners to choose. We suggest the sautéed pumpkin with salted egg yolk, crispy fried prawn with salad dressing, steamed cod, sautéed frog and silky smooth congee.
Credit cards accepted. Daily, 10am10pm. $$
NEW Sin Nam Huat
20A Jalan Paya Terubong, Paya Terubong (+6012 418 9229); 59 Lebuh Cintra, George Town (+6012 444 7980); 70 Lebuh Pantai, George Town (+6017 556 7630); Wayton Court, 388 Jalan Burma, George Town (+6016 422 7683)
Must-try in this chicken rice restaurant is the superb chai buey.
This spicy and sour stew is a common Hokkien dish, but with the addition of pork ribs and pork belly, this dish takes on another dimension. Good chicken and duck rice is also available.
Daily, 9am-5pm. $
Air Itam Market
Jalan Pasar, Pekan Air Itam, Air Itam.
Once of the most popular wet markets in Penang, this is where the locals come for the freshest produce and spices. The other attraction is nearby famous assam laksa, where RM4.50 will get you a bowl.
Daily, 6am-12noon, 5-10pm. $
The Cliff Café
Penang Hill Complex, Jalan Stesen Bukit Bendera, Air Itam.
Penang Hill isn’t known as a gourmet destination but this three-storey food court offers local favourites, Western dishes, snacks and beverages. If you have time to spare, check out the quirky Owl Museum on the ground floor for a hoot.
Halal. Child-friendly. Daily, 9am6pm. $
Batu Ferringhi Beach Corner
Kompleks Baru Senja, Batu Ferringhi (+604 881 1867).
This beach-side restaurant is a fun place to people-watch; just don’t confuse it with BBQ Nights, the eatery next door. Must-tries on the menu include the yam duck, spring rolls, chilli crab and the roasted lamb with ladies’ fingers.
Tue-Sun, 6pm-12midnight. Kitchen closes at 9.30pm. $$
I Love You Café
Lot 340, Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+604 885 1544).
If you’re visiting Batu Ferringhi’s night market, this small food court offers Chinese, Western, Peranakan and Thai cuisine. And, you’ll be hard pressed to find a food court serving red and white wine, and frosty mugs of beer!
Daily, 6pm-12midnight. $
Long Beach Café
Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi. Conveniently located on the main strip, Long Beach provides a welcome alternative to hotel restaurants. A good variety of seafood, local specialties and Indian dishes but slightly pricier than the norm.
Daily, 6pm-12midnight. $
Bayan Baru Market Food Court
Kompleks Sri Selera, Jalan Mayang Pasir 4, Jalan Mayang Pasir 1, Bayan Baru.
Locally referred to as the Sunshine Market and housing more than a hundred stalls, the food court here offers diners a giddying selection of meals. Go for the popular tom yam
fried rice or the Singapore bee hoon. While the market operates from day till night, stalls operate at their own schedule.
Daily, 8am-11pm. $
Super Tanker Food Court
Lip Sin Garden, Jalan Sungai Dua, Bayan Lepas.
This open-air food court serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try Aki Pancake for a taste of the fluffy Chinese pancakes called ban chang kueh, while the Thai belacan fried rice with scrambled eggs, anchovies and mango will appeal to the more adventurous palate.
Daily, 8am-10.30pm. $
Insa Dunia Food Court
Jalan Kampung Baru, Bukit Mertajam (+604 537 1479).
Tables at this self-service food court are hard to come by on busy mornings. Once you manage to score some seats, make a beeline to the dim sum counter and help yourself to the likes of chee cheong fun, egg tarts and
Daily, 6.30am-12midnight. $
Anson Road Market Food Court
Jalan Anson, George Town.
Tucked within the wet market on Anson Road, this humble food court isn’t very big but has a couple of stalls worth trying – kuey teow th’ng and
Hokkien char – both noodle dishes and utterly delicious.
Tue-Sun, 7am-12noon. $
CF Food Court
49-F, Pengkalan Weld, George Town. CF Food Court was featured in Anthony Bourdain’s TV programme ‘No Reservations’, and for good reason. This open-air food court near the Chew Jetty offers a good selection of Penang’s signature hawker fare;
as long as you don’t mind the rowdy ambiance.
Daily, 9am-12midnight. $
Kafé Fong Sheng
6A Lorong Selamat, off Jalan Macalister, George Town (www. facebook.com/fongshengcafe).
This small coffee shop’s claim to fame is its lor mee stall, which is one of the best in town. Their version has hard-boiled duck eggs and pork fillet swimming in a starchy, fragrant herbal soup. Go for the extra goodies like pork belly, pork intestine and fish balls.
(Lor mee) Mon-Fri & Sun, 7.30am2.30pm; Sat, 7.30am-1pm. $
NEW Restaurant Tong Hooi
358 Jalan Dato Keramat, George Town.
Diners come here Ah Leng’s famous
char kuey teow and there is always a crowd. A basic plate comprises the usual cockles and prawn combo; or you can splurge and get mantis prawns and duck egg for a creamier taste.
Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm; Fri-Sun, 10am3pm, 7-9pm. $
Kedai Makanan Seong Huat Between Jalan Larut and Jalan Bawasah, George Town.
Formerly known as Larut Café, this food court has halal and non-halal Chinese stalls. For lunch, order the nasi campur or mee goreng, which are delicious; ask for the latter to be ‘basah’ or wet. Come nightfall, tuck into a warming dish of claypot bak kut teh. Tue-Sun, 9am-2pm, 5-9pm. $
Kota Selera Food Court
Padang Kota Lama, George Town. This food court is located near Fort Cornwallis and has seen better days but there is one stall here which draws diners in – Hameed ‘Pata’ mee sotong, a mamak dish with an extra dollop of squid sambal. Counter the spice and heat with a coconut shake from the beverage stall next door. Daily, 5pm-12midnight. $
New Lane Hawker Centre
Lorong Baru, George Town.
New Lane remains a true local favourite where you’ll find the best variations of popular dishes like pork intestine porridge, chee cheong fun, seafood char kuey kak and the belacan
Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 5-11pm. $
New World Park Food Court
Corner of Lorong Swatow and Lorong Hutton, off Jalan Burma, George Town.
New World Park places roadside Penang fare within a clean food court and all the stalls here are good. Bistros, cafés and upmarket eateries occupy the section next to Jalan Burma whereas hawker stalls populate the part closer to Lorong Hutton.
Daily, 11am-6pm. $
Northam Beach Café
58 Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, George Town.
This big food court by the sea near the city has every Penang hawker dish on offer. Besides the food, the big draw here is the view on the sea. Standout dishes include the grilled seafood, chicken wings and Hokkien prawn mee; and there is a selection of Middle Eastern and European stalls too.
Child-friendly. Free parking. Mon & Wed-Sun, 6-11pm. $
Presgrave Street Hawker Centre
67A Lebuh Presgrave, George Town. Popular with the locals which is always a good sign, the star attraction here is the 888 Hokkien Prawn and Lor Mee stall. Be sure to also try the
or chien and the delicious charcoalgrilled bak kua. It gets crowded so be prepared to wait for a seat, but so worth it!
Mon-Wed & Fri-Sun, 4.30pm12.30am. $ Red Garden Food Court
20 Lebuh Leith, George Town (+6012 421 6767/www.redgardenfood.com).
This food court is popular for its affordable, fuss-free hawker food. While it houses a wide selection of stalls, not all the food is up to Penang standards. Most customers come for the cold beers, entertainment (an eyeopener!) and the night market within.
Daily, 5.30pm-2am. $
Seng Lee Café
270 Lorong Bangkok, George Town. It’s surprising to find Bangkok Lane’s famous mee goreng tucked within a Chinese coffee shop like Seng Lee, but the chemistry works. Other food stalls competing for your attention includes Hokkien prawn mee and char kuey teow. Parking can be a challenge.
Tue-Sun, 8am-6.30pm. $
Sri Weld Food Court
19 Lebuh Pantai, George Town.
Sri Weld Food Court at Beach Street is famed for two of its hawkers – Ali’s Nasi Lemak and the beef kuey teow
stall. The former is lauded with praise for its spicy sambal, and the latter for its hearty broth, tender beef strips, beef balls and optional innards.
Child-friendly. Mon-Sat, 8am-5pm. $
Gurney Drive Hawker Centre
This is THE food court on Penang Island. Gurney Drive Hawker Centre is where you go to sample Penang’s signature delicacies including curry mee, assam laksa, ais kacang, cendol and rojak. Unfortunately, with success came a price increase and the traffic can get very busy during the weekends and holidays.
Daily, 6pm-12midnight. $
Sungai Pinang Food Court
Intersection of Jalan Sungai Pinang and Jelutong Expressway.
This family-friendly food court has a good selection of the local hawker fare like wan tan mee and claypot chicken curry. The popular East Coast BBQ stall offers a selection of fresh seafood and the grilled stingray comes recommended.
Daily, 8.30am-11.30pm; closed every alternate Monday. $
NEW Sungai Pinang hawker stalls
Jalan Sungai Pinang, George Town (In front of the Honda Showroom). This collection of stalls has become a hot spot for locals to get their breakfast cravings fixed. The signature curry mee comes with an aromatic curry soup, juicy prawns and cuttlefish. The duck soup bee hoon, kaya toast and murtabak are also popular.
Daily, 7am-1pm. $
Great Wellesley Restaurant
Jalan Kurau, Chai Leng Park, Prai (+604 390 8899).
This popular eatery is named after the old cinema that once stood here, and is the place to go for a hearty and economical meal. Dishes like ikan bakar, pandan fried chicken and satay are popular while kids will enjoy the fish and chips from the Western food stall.
Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 5-10pm. $
Medan Selera Mutiara
Hillside, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah.
A food court that has stood the test of time and still attracts diners after so many years. Also known as the Hillside food court, there is a better selection of stalls in the evening including Rizal Nasi Ayam’s Malay style chicken rice, satay and
Daily, 12noon-12midnight. $
NEW Ah Wang Café
Flat UDA Fasa 3, Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Tokong (+604 898 2318) Kaya enthusiasts rave about the homemade version and Hainanese coffee here. There is a choice of three types of bread – butter bun, Bengali and normal white – served toasted with butter and the famous kaya. Mon-Sat, 12noon-7pm. $
Mount Erskine Hawker Centre
Jalan Mount Erskine, Tanjung Tokong.
There’s food aplenty at Mount Erskine, but don’t miss the wan tan mee located at the market’s entrance. An alternative is the fried mee hoon,
but one must persevere, as the queues are notoriously long.
Daily, 12noon-5pm. $
Old City Food Court
96-G-1 & 96-1-1, Jalan Fettes, Prima Tanjung, Tanjung Tokong.
Old City is great for when you’re craving authentic Thai food. We love the fiery seafood tom yam soup and
lap mao (pork salad). Other types of street food at this food court include stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts, hor fun noodles and belacan fried rice.
Daily, 11am-7pm. $
Viva Food Court 303 Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Tokong (+604 890 2549). Viva isn’t spacious but it’s the food selection that counts. Choices are endless with curry mee, claypot chicken rice, belacan fried chicken, grilled seafood, yong tau foo and char kuey teow. There are also stalls that whip up decent Western and Japanese fare. The food court only opens at night, is clean and offers plenty of parking. Child-friendly. Free parking. Daily, 5pm-12midnight. $
Goodall Food Court
6 Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Tokong; Jalan Gottlieb, George Town. There are two Goodall food courts in Penang each with their own specialities. The Tanjung Tokong branch houses a Western stall that cooks up unique pasta dishes like spaghetti with spring onions; while the other outlet has amazing grilled seafood and fish head bee hoon. Daily, 6pm-12midnight. $
38 Lebuh Armenian, George Town (+604 261 8935/ www.edelweisscafe.com).
A sweet Indian couple runs Edelweiss Café, which was initially set up as a showcase for their collectable antiques. Edelweiss serves Swiss German comfort food such as sausages with rosti, crispy pork belly sandwiches, cheese fondue and a mean apple flan.
Child-friendly. Disabled-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Tue-Fri, 11am-3pm, 6.30-10pm; Sat, 11.30am-10pm; Sun, 11.30am-6pm. $$
Euro Deli Biergarten
Unit 170-G-37/37A, Ground floor, Gurney Plaza, Persiaran Gurney (+604 227 2771/www.eurodeli.com. my).
Located at the entrance of Gurney Plaza, Euro Deli offers a good view of the sea and European specialties like Hungarian beef goulash with mashed potatoes, the barbecued pork ribs or the pork knuckle. A word of caution: portions are hefty and worth sharing.
Mon-Thu & Sun, 10am-1am; Fri-Sat, 10am-2am. $$$
1F Jalan Sungai Kelian, Tanjung Bungah (+604 899 5796/ingolfskneipe. monkeymedia2u.com). This is a popular restaurant particularly on the weekends so it’s best you make a reservation. Ingolf’s success can be credited to the reasonable prices and large portions. Try the ‘butchersplatter’ (butcher’s cheese and sausage platter); you won’t be disappointed! Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Mon, 3pm-12mignight; Tue-Sat, 12noon-12midnight. $$
Hawker & mamak stalls
Assam Laksa at Air Itam Market
Jalan Pasar, Air Itam.
This stall is a stone’s throw away from the Kek Lok Si temple and synonymous with authentic assam laksa. Each bowl is laden with thick rice noodles and fresh vegetables, filled with spicy mackerel-based soup, and topped off with shrimp paste.
Halal. Mon & Wed-Sun, 12noon10pm. $
Sisters’ Curry Mee
Close to the Chinese Methodist Church, Jalan Paya Terubong, Air Itam.
Run by two elderly sisters, this curry noodles stall comes highly recommended by Air Itam locals. Perched on tiny stools and surrounded by condiments and ingredients, the Lee sisters are quite a sight as they work their magic over a charcoal stove.
Daily, 7am-12noon. $
Original Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar
15 Lebuh Nipah, Bukit Jambul, Bayan Lepas (+604 646 4767/www. originalkayu.com.my).
Once a humble stall in the Klang Valley, Kayu Nasi Kandar is now an institution with many branches. Founded and managed by Penangites, Kayu offers all the favourite curries and side dishes that make nasi kandar
Halal. Daily, 24 hours. $
BM Best Cendol
Gerai Jalan Danby, Jalan Danby, Bukit Mertajam.
We’ve sampled countless bowls of cendol and BM Best Cendol is one of the best. Besides the standard mix of red beans, palm sugar syrup and coconut milk in a bowl of finely shaved ice, BM’s cendol comes with rich pulut adding another dimension to the taste.
Halal. Daily, 10am-7pm. $
Shariff Nasi Kandar Istimewa
Jalan Permai, Taman Brown, Gelugor.
Shariff Nasi Kandar offers a good, filling meal for a very reasonable price and customers start queuing up before the stall opens at 5.30pm. Join the line and help yourself to curried seafood, fried chicken and stir-fried vegetables topped with a ladleful of curry sauce.
Halal. Mon-Fri & Sun, 5.30-9.30pm. $
Ais Tingkap at Lebuh Tamil
Lebuh Tamil, George Town.
Ais Tingkap, which literally translates to ’window sherbet’, derived its name from the fact that the beverage was once served directly out of the proprietor’s window. The star thirst-quencher is comprised of rose syrup, coconut water, shaved ice and basil seeds. Alternative options include ais kacang and cendol. This 90-year-old family business spans three generations!
Halal. Child-friendly. Mon-Sat, 12noon-8pm. $
Jalan Burma, George Town (across from Union Primary School).
Ah Guan has been flipping these little pancakes for his fans for almost five decades. Guan makes apong (Chinesestyle pancakes) by preparing his secret batter, pouring it into special cast-iron pans, and topping off each pancake with bananas and sweet corn before folding them over. Delicious!
Halal. Child-friendly. Mon-Sat, 10am5pm. $
Bangkok Lane Mee Mamak Seng Lee Café, 270 Jalan Burma, George Town (+6016 485 7859). Bangkok Lane Mee Mamak serves only one dish – mee mamak which is stir-fried noodles, onions, fried tofu, chilli, chopped vegetables, tomatoes and eggs. Mahboob Zakaria and his family helm the eight-decade old stall at Seng Lee Café and their version is considered the best.
Halal. Tue-Sun, 8am-6.30pm. $
Gerai Makanan dan Minuman Maj
Lebuh Ah Quee, George Town.
There’s no better place for chapatti
than Maj, which makes the flatbread fresh daily. Dip it into mutton or beef curry for a wholesome, filling meal. This unassuming stall is known for its festive atmosphere and it’s always fun to watch the cooks.
Halal. Mon-Sat, 7am-6pm.
164 Lebuh Campbell, George Town (+604 261 1095/www.facebook.com/ HameediyahRestaurant).
This eatery on bustling Lebuh Campbell serves authentic IndianMuslim cuisine and is famous for being the oldest nasi kandar
restaurant in Penang, operating since 1907. Think spicy mutton curry, power-packed fish fares and fragrant vegetables dishes. The deep-fried chicken and murtabak are favourites.
Halal. Daily, 11am-11pm. $
Kimberley Street Belacan Fried Chicken
Lebuh Kimberley, George Town (+6016 451 5007).
This hawker stall sets itself apart from the competition by solely concentrating on the ‘oomph’ factor of its primary ingredient – belachan. The chicken is marinated and deep-fried till it’s perfectly crispy. Alternatively, sample the lesser known, but equally tasty, salted fish tofu.
Halal. Mon-Thu & Sat-Sun, 6-10pm. $
Nasi Dalca Rahim
Jalan Queen, George Town (+6014 907 8052).
Despite its obscure location in George Town’s Little India, Nasi Dalca Rahim is absolutely worth the hunt. Sitting across Penang’s oldest Hindu temple Sri Mahamariamman, this stall whips up a simple yet very satisfying meal of rice, a choice of meat, various sides and a dollop of their coconut chutney.
Halal. Daily, 5pm-1am. $
Nasi Kandar Beratur
98 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, George Town (+604 261 3984).
As the stall’s name suggests, be prepared to beratur (queue up) for your food. Die-hard fans turn up just before the stall opens to get first dibs. A complex mix of hand-ground spices goes into the curry dishes, which are cooked for hours. If you can only manage one spicy dish, go for the beef with its rich gravy.
Halal. Mon-Sat, 10pm-9am; Sun, 10pm-12midnight. $
Nasi Kandar Line Clear
177 Jalan Penang, George Town (+604 261 4440).
Don’t be put off by the somewhat dingy ambience. A Malaysian rule of thumb states that the dodgier the venue, the more authentic the food. Join the queue, grab a plate of rice, and choose from over 20 types of meat, fish, vegetable and egg dishes.
Halal. Daily, 24 hours. $
Pitt Street Kuey Teow Th’ng
183 Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town (+6017 479 3208/+6017 477 3419). Kuey teow th’ng is prepared the traditional way here with silky rice noodle served in a bowl of hot soup, garnished with slivers of pork, fish balls and fresh lettuce. If you’re not feeling like hot soup, you can opt for a dry version of the noodles.
Tue-Sat, 9am-4.30pm; Sun, 9am1pm. $
Siam Road Char Kuey Teow
Jalan Siam, George Town.
Some believe the char kuey teow
here tastes better as it is cooked over charcoal instead of gas. There is no seating around the stall, so take your food to go or enjoy it at the Chinese coffee shop across the street.
Tue-Sun, 3-11pm. $
Famous Roti Canai on Jalan Transfer
56 Jalan Transfer, George Town.
The roti here is a crowd pleaser – fluffy with slightly charred edge - best paired with the beef or chicken curry, both of which are so delicious, you’ll need to order a second piece soak it up. Last time we were here, they were sold out of beef curry before noon! Halal. Daily, 7am-1pm & 3.307.30pm. $
48 Jalan Penang, George Town (+604 261 8007/+6012 473 2786).
Sup Hameed specialises in hearty, traditional Malay soups. Some everyday varieties include soups prepared with chicken, mutton, oxtail or quail. Meanwhile, adventurous eaters can opt for sup gearbox or sup torpedo for the adventurous diner. Hameed also offers standard mamak fare such as nasi kandar, nasi lemak
and roti canai.
Halal. Daily, 24 hours. $
NEW COC Spoof Burger
12 Jalan Lembah Permai, Tanjung Tokong (+6012 566 6859).
Branded after the popular video game ‘Clash of Clans’, this burger stall serves mamak-style burgers. Each burger is made with homemade patties, layered with sauces and toppings, and a different type of bun according to the character of your choice.
Halal. Mon-Sat, 7pm-1am. $
Roti Jala at Jalan Teluk Bahang
Jalan Teluk Bahang, Tanjung Bungah.
Pedal along the Teluk Bahang stretch and make a pit stop at this random yet large stall perched under the shady tree near the roundabout. What you’ll get is a popular Malay snack called roti jala. Batter is drizzled in a circular motion to create a net and eaten with chicken curry.
Deen Nasi Kandar
Jalan Jelutong, Jelutong; Jalan Gurdwara, George Town.
Rumour has it Deen Nasi Kandar sells out by 10am, which is why you need to be there before. Judging by the many positive reviews, the quality of the nasi kandar is not an exaggeration along with their other signature dish, the catfish head curry.
Halal. Daily, 7am-6pm. Closed every alternate Sunday. $
Nasi Kandar Makbul
12-B-G, Jalan Rumbai, Bukit Jambul (+604 642 7139); 66 Jalan Tengah, Taman Sri Tunas, Bayan Baru (+604 646 5541); 3 & 5 Lintang Batu Maung 1, Bayan Lepas (+604 626 6007); 40 & 41 Jalan Todak Dua,Bandar Sunway, Seberang Jaya. Enjoy nasi kandar any time of the day at this round-the-clock eatery. Makbul’s murtabak ayam is also recommended.
Halal. Daily, 24 hours. $
Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul
Various locations (+604 262 6002/ www.chendul.my).
Founded in the 1950s, the original stall in Lebuh Kweng Kee is managed by the chirpy Tan brothers who inherited the business from their late father Tan Teik Fuang. The family rolls up their sleeves every day to prepare bowls of refreshing cendol and ais kacang
using a 50-year-old recipe. Seating is not provided, so join the locals and slurp away on the sidewalk. It’s all part of the fun. They also have other locations, some even in malls like Queensbay Mall and Gurney Paragon, if you’d rather have your cendol in air conditioned surrounds.
Halal. Child-friendly. Mon-Fri, 10.30am-7pm; Sat-Sun, 10am7.30pm. $
43B Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+6016 464 5202).
The home-cooked Indian food is nothing short of spectacular and the Western dishes aren’t too shabby either; and cold beers as the perfect accompaniment to spicy food.
Child-friendly. Mon-Sat, 12noon10.30pm. $
NEW Western Spices
Block B, Sunny Ville Apartment, Jalan Batu Uban, Gelugor (+6014 966 2810).
This cosy restaurant located in Gelugor serves genuine biryani where the rice is cooked with nutmeg and butter and layered with meat.
Child-friendly. Mon, Tue & Thu-Sun, 6-10pm. $$
Chettiar’s Tiffin Café
39 Lebuh Penang, George Town (+604 262 2443).
This humble eatery on Lebuh Penang in Little India serves samosas, biryani and murtabak. They also serve Western platters (fish and chips, eggs and sausages), which is quite strange for an Indian restaurant, but tasty nonetheless.
Pork-free. Daily, 8am-10pm. $
Gem Restaurant: House of Fine Indian Cuisine
66 Lebuh Bishop, George Town (+604 262 4070/gemrestaurant.com.my). Despite Gem’s glittery exterior (elephant-shaped doorknobs!), the restaurant has both style and substance. Traditional and contemporary Indian cuisine is what they’re known for.
Halal. Credit cards accepted. Mon-Thu & Sun, 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11am12midnight. $$
93 Lebuh Chulia, George Town (+604 264 1191).
Kapitan’s is your round-the-clock spot for breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper. The restaurant has carved a name for itself thanks to its famous tandoori chicken, but we were more impressed with the Chicken Milani Biryani – spiced rice served with pan-fried, butterflied chicken and French fries. Try the badam milk which is cow’s milk boiled with ground almonds, cashew nuts, raisins and sugar.
Halal. Daily, 24 hours. $
20 Lebuh Pasar, George Town (+604 263 1345/www.karaikudi.com.my). Sample both South and North Indian cuisine (the former tends to be richer and spicier than the latter) at Karaikudi. An unusual dish is the Chicken 65, which is chicken marinated in ginger and garlic for 65 days. This vegan- and vegetarianfriendly restaurant also offers specialities like chettinadu potato masala and veggie khurma.
Pork-free. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am-11pm. $
105 Jalan Penang, George Town (+604 263 7411).
Although Kashmir is a tad pricier than most Indian restaurants, its menu excels in terms of range. You’ll be spoiled for choice given the impressive variety of Northern Indian and Kashmiri appetisers, main courses and desserts, and there’s an in-house bar!
Child-friendly. Disabled-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am-11pm. $$
Muthu’s Traditional Indian Banana Leaf Rice
143 Lebuh Acheh, George Town. Hunting down this banana leaf eatery is part of fun. Muthu’s operates without any signage, so keep your eyes peeled for an all-white exterior on Lebuh Acheh. Order a few side dishes like the Chicken 65 to accompany your centrepiece of fluffy white rice. The attentive staff will then flood your banana leaf with delicious curries.
Halal. Daily, 9am-3pm. $
Olive Kitchen and Bar
3J Jalan Penang, George Town (+6016 597 9640).
While most bars solely serve finger food and pub grub, Olive Kitchen and Bar also offers excellent North Indian fare. This corner bar furnished with mismatched furniture is fast becoming a local favourite.
Pork-free. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11.30-3am. $$
Penang Special Samosa
45 Lebuh Queen, George Town. Discover a wide range of deep-fried Indian snacks like crispy samosas with chicken, tuna or vegetable filling. Then delve into other titbits like vadai, halwa mascard and pakkoda. Finally, take home a bag of chickpeas seasoned with chilli, spices and curry leaves.
Halal. Mon-Sat, 9am-evening when they run out. $
You Le Yuen Private Kitchen
7 Lorong Love, George Town (+604 261 1817/+6013 492 2125/www. youleyuen.com). Within the beautifully renovated You Le
Yuen bed & breakfast, you can enjoy a private meal for small groups of four to 15. Choose between meals costing between RM49 to RM79 per person,. The contemporary Indian cuisine here has a touch of authentic and elegant flavours to match the elegantly styled hotel.
Credit cards accepted. Daily, 12noon2.30pm & 6-8pm. Reservations required 2 days prior. $$$$
9 Tanjung Bungah Park, Tanjung Bungah (+604 899 1379).
Either go with the puri, which is best paired with tasty potato curry, or the
roti jala, which goes well with mutton curry.
Pork-free. Tue-Sun, 6.30am12midnight. $
Tanjung Tokong d’Tandoor Restaurant
10-C-22, Precinct 10, Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Tokong (+6019 430 2020/www.facebook.com/ DTandoorRestaurantPenang). d’Tandoor’s expertise in Mughal cooking spans over two decades. The chef’s speciality is the murg mussalam akhbari, a Persian-influenced delicacy; chicken stuffed with marinated mutton and served with a side of basmati rice and dried fruit. Another in-house favourite is the raan sikandri, a slow roasted whole leg of lamb, which needs to be ordered 24 hours in advance.
Pork-free. Child-friendly. Kids menu. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am3.30pm & 6.30pm-10.30pm. $$$
Various locations Passions of Kerala
102-C-3, New World Park, 102 Jalan Burma, George Town (+604 227 2550); 5 Lorong Endah 4, Brown garden, Gelugor (+604 657 8550). Passions of Kerala specialises in banana leaf rice, a South Indian meal of rice, vegetable sides, crispy papadum and curry. Using banana leaves instead of regular flatware endows the food with an appetising fragrance.
Sri Ananda Bahwan
Various locations (+604 323 6228/ site.srianandabahwan.com.my).
As testament to its popularity, Sri Ananda Bahwan has spread across the peninsula over the last two decades with outlets in Butterworth, Kuala Lumpur and Kedah. Some musttries at this unpretencious and economical restaurant include the naan bread, butter chicken masala and chicken Hyberabad. Vegetarians are catered for with myriad meat-free options such as mock mutton biryani and mock garlic chicken.
Halal. Child-friendly. $
22 Lebuh Penang, George Town (+604 262 4369); D’Piazza Mall, 70-1-62, Jalan Mahsuri, Bayan Baru (+604 611 9790)
This half-a-century old eatery gets ridiculously crowded during peak hours, so if you want to avoid rubbing elbows with strangers, dine here at odd hours. Opt for steamed rice or fragrant biryani to go with your curry, crispy papadums and raita. Halal. Daily, 12.30pm-3.30pm, 6.309.30pm. $
152-B Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+604 881 3775). Essentially Italian, Mario’s has been around for over a decade. Situated in Batu Ferringhi, the cosy interior is filled with wooden furniture and a bar at the back. The menu lists a medley of pasta, soups (try the special mushroom soup), Mexican fajitas and steaks.
Pork-free. Child-friendly. Kids menu. Disabled-friendly. Daily, 9.30am11.30pm. $$
Cozy in the Rocket
262 & 264 Lebuh Pantai, George Town (+6012 496 7838).
Cozy in the Rocket offers mouthwatering pasta dishes and good coffee in an eclectic space housing wooden furniture plus original artwork by one of the proprietors. Take note: Despite the restaurant’s charm, the eatery implements an annoying one-dish per customer rule.
Tue-Sun, 10am-5pm. $$ Eighty Eight Restaurant
5 Gat Lebuh China, George Town (+604 263 2821/www.facebook.com/ EightyEightPenang).
Eighty Eight is named after the birth year of the proprietor and head chef, Danny Ng, an alumnus of the Sunrise Global Chef Academy. Using cooking techniques such as sous-vide, Ng plates up dishes like mushroom risotto and hazelnut parfait. The menu is reinvented on a monthly basis, so customers are always in for a surprise.
Credit cards accepted. Tue-Sun, 10.00am-6.00pm, 6.30-10.30pm. $$$
Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant
Campbell House, 106 Lebuh Campbell, George Town (+604 261 8290/www. campbellhousepenang.com).
This Venetian eatery is packed every weekend and it's easy to see why. All breads and pastas are made from scratch and the menu changes periodically to shake things up.
Pork-free. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 8am-10.30pm. $$$
5 Pengkalan Weld, George Town (+604 262 0560/+604 261 9800/ www.via-pre.com).
As far as Italian restaurants are concerned, few offer truly authentic Italian meals unless manned by trueblue Italians. Via Pre, the brainchild of brothers Maurizio and Massimiliano Ranauro, is named after a street in Genoa, Italy. This upscale restaurant has only 12 tables and service is attentive. The lazzarona pizza surprises with its bite of gorgonzola and dollops of creamy eggplant paste; and the tiramisu, liberally dusted with cocoa with thick layers of espressosoaked savoiardi, has a kick to it. Via Pre also houses a well-stocked deli with a big range of cured meats and Italian cheeses.
Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am-11pm. $$$
NEW Yin’s Sourdough Pizza
Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, Gat Lebuh China, George Town (+6011 2419 5118/Facebook: Yin’s-SourdoughPizza).
The pizza dough here is made from a sourdough base without artificial additives and preservatives. The egg benny pizza, pesto spaghetti with roasted meatballs and bagel with beetroot cream cheese are all-time favourites.
Child-friendly. Mon-Tue &Thu-Sun, 8am-10pm. $$
Bella Marino Ristorante & Pizzeria 334 Lorong Leandros, Pulau Tikus (+604 228 6277/www.bellamarino. com).
Visit this lovely spot by the marina to enjoy the sea breeze while tucking into a slice of Sicilian-style pizza. Portions are generous, especially the
starters; go with the bruschetta and baked aubergines.
Pork-free. Child-friendly. Disabledfriendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am-11pm. $$$
Lot 2.33 & L2.A2A, Gurney Paragon, Persiaran Gurney (+604 228 7153); 1B-G-31, One Precinct, Lengkok Mayang Pasir, Bayan Baru (+604 611 5340/www.lunarich.com.my). Lunarich’s cuisine is based on hearty Italian fare. Order from a standard selection of pizzas, pastas, risottos and meat dishes. We found the spaghetti aglio olio peperoncino and linguine alle vongole especially memorable.
Credit cards accepted. Daily, 10am10pm $$
Ristorante Bella Italia
149 Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (; 368-1-7 Jalan Burma, Bellisa Row, Pulau Tikus (+604 881 3741/+604 227 2195).
Penangites have been singing the praises of Bella Italia since its conception. The restaurant is highly reputed for desserts – specifically, the tiramisu – and wood-fired pizzas made from scratch.
Pork-free. Child-friendly. Kids’ menu. Free parking. Daily, 11.30am-2.30pm, 6-11pm. $$$
NEW Matsu Japanese Restaurant
1st Floor, Lone Pine Hotel, 97 Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+604 886 8686/www.lonepinehotel.com) Located at the Lone Pine Hotel, Matsu (pine tree in Japanese) has a contemporary interior and serves authentic Japanese cuisine. Signature dishes include Ebi No Shioyaki (grilled prawns), grilled unagi and salmon sashimi.
Credit cards accepted. Child-friendly. Daily, 6.30-11pm.
Hotel Equatorial Penang, 1 Jalan Bukit Jambul, Bayan Lepas (+604 632 7000/www.kampachi.com.my). Authenticity is something Kampachi upholds dearly. Take your pick from three seating arrangements: the sushi bar, teppanyaki table (to watch resident chefs preparing your meals) and the private tatami room. The Japanese cuisine here is touted to be the best in town, which explains the popularity of the weekend buffet lunch from noon till 3pm.
Pork-free. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 12noon-2.30pm, 5.30-10pm. $$$
Soba Yoshi & Hanayoshi Restaurant
303-01-15, Krystal Point, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, Bayan Lepas (+604 646 8650/www.sobayoshi. where2go.com.my).
Soba Yoshi is favoured by Japanese expatriates, due in large part to the staff fluent in Japanese. Some standouts in the extensive menu include the nabeyaki soba/udon (hot claypot noodles with prawn tempura, egg and vegetables), soba yoshi
bento (assorted sashimi and sushi, cold soba, tempura, unagi, shitake yasai itame, chawanmushi and miso soup), and sukiyaki tei (sliced beef or chicken, vegetables and bean curd in sweet Japanese sauce). Child-friendly. Disabled-friendly. MonSat, 11.30am-2.30pm, 6-10pm. $$$
NEW The Alley @ Raja Uda
13 Lorong Teras Jaya 7, Kawasan Perniagaan Teras Jaya, Butterworth (+6017 599 7009/www.facebook.com/ thealleyru).
This is definitely a different kind of Japanese fare than what is usually found. Here, we match our coffee with fantasy sushi, legendary Japanese curry and lovely Nippon snacks.
Daily, 12noon-12midnight. $$
413 Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus (+604 226 2577).
Furusato feels like an authentic Japanese home, what with the sliding sh ji doors and tatami flooring. If you’re keen on something special besides the standard bento box, dial in beforehand to order a serving of sea urchin.
Tue-Sun, 12noon-2pm, 5.30-10pm. $$$ Isaribi Tei
60 & 62 Jalan Chow Thye, George Town (+604 229 8684/Facebook: Isaribi-Tei-Japanese-Restaurant). Walk down a pathway shrouded in greenery before coming to the colonial-inspired timber shophouse that is now Isaribi Tei. Customers rave about the grilled tuna maki,
shima-aji cavlor and salmon carpaccio, king prawn thermidor and the homemade ice cream.
Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 12noon-3pm, 6-10pm. $$
Kirishima Japanese Restaurant
Cititel Penang, 66 Jalan Penang, George Town (+604 370 0108/ kirishimapenang.com.my). Kirishima’s cold dishes aren’t for everyone. Take for instance, the green tea noodles dish, which is eaten with a raw egg. The restaurant also serves plenty of hot dishes like the popular stone-grilled chicken.
Credit cards accepted. Daily, 12noon2.00pm, 6-10pm. $$$
Kissa Koyotei Café
Ground floor, 148 Jalan Hutton, George Town (+604 226 6272/www. kissa-koyotei.com).
While the concept of the Japanese maid café is both cute and creepy, Kissa Koyotei is worth a visit for the salmon maki and uzura bacon – they’re exquisite.
Credit cards accepted. Tue-Sun, 12noon-3pm, 6-11pm. $$
Matsuki Japanese Restaurant 62 Jalan Pemenang (Cantonment Road), George Town (+604 229 5504/Facebook: Matsuki-JapaneseRestaurant).
Besides serving one of the best teppanyaki in town, Matsuki offers commendable sashimi and teriyaki dishes. If you bore easily of the usual suspects, get the nama ikageso (squid tentacles) or the smoked duck cheesy furai. Child-friendly. Disabled-friendly. Free parking. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 12noon-2.30pm, 6-10.30pm. $$
Shinju Tei Japanese Restaurant
39B Jalan Pemenang (Cantonment Road), George Town (+604 228 8853).
Shinju Tei defies the claim that one can’t dine on Japanese food while on a budget. The food here is considerably cheaper than that of its competitors without skimping on quality. Some signature dishes include the pork katsu curry and the saké don (rice with raw salmon slices and prawn roe).
Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11.30am2.30pm, 6-10pm. $$
First floor, G Hotel Gurney, 168A Persiaran Gurney (+604 229 8702/ www.miraku-restaurant.com). Located in the swanky G Hotel, Miraku is a fine dining establishment staffed with Japanese chefs. The restaurant offers good lunch and dinner sets, as well as a wide selection of saké, Japanese beer and wine. Thumbs up for the attentive yet discreet service!
Pork-free. Child-friendly. Kids’ menu. Disabled-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 12noon-2.30pm, 6-10.30pm. $$$
163D-6-37, Level 6, Gurney Paragon Mall, Persiaran Gurney (+604 218 9900/www.superdining.com.my).
Part of a successful chain, Rakuzen serves popular Japanese dishes like fresh sashimi, buckwheat noodles, mountain yam and salt-grilled fish and has a nice alfresco dining area.
Pork-free. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 10am-10pm. $$$
NEW Aji Noren Japanese Restaurant
98-G-35 Prima Tanjung, Jalan Fettes, Tanjung Tokong (+604 899 4720).
This Japanese eatery gets very busy during lunchtime, so we suggest making a reservation. There’s a Zen garden out back and diners are always come back for the yaki gyoza
(Japanese dumplings) and enoki bata
(enoki mushrooms with butter). Credit cards accepted. Tue-Sun, 12noon-2pm, 6-10pm. $$
Edo Ichi Japanese Cuisine
G-05 & G-06, Island Plaza, 118 Jalan Tanjung Tokong (+604 890 3199/ www.edoichigroup.com).
Edo Ichi places plenty of emphasis on aesthetics; enjoy beautiful food presentation in a Zen-like setting. The soft shell crab, yaki gyoza (Japanese dumplings) and salmon skin salad are popular choices. We advise booking ahead.
Pork-free. Child-friendly. Disabledfriendly. Credit cards accepted. MonThu, 11.30am-2.30pm, 6-10pm; Fri-Sun, 11.30am-10pm. $$$
Sumida Japanese Restaurant
98-G-23A Prima Tanjung, Jalan Fettes, Tanjung Tokong (+604 898 2126).
Sumida’s minimalistic interior belies the amazing food. Try the signature moriawase matsu (a platter of sashimi) or the surume ika batayaki (grilled squid), both of which cost a pretty penny, but make for a memorable meal.
Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Mon & Wed-Sun, 12noon-2.30pm, 6-10.30pm. $$
Shunka Japanese & Fusion Food
Various locations (www.shunka.com. my).
Shunka’s chefs make yearly visits to Japan, which explains the restaurant’s ever-evolving cooking techniques. Although Japanese cuisine is the main speciality, you’ll find surprising additions to the menu like Australian steak and Korean bibimbap.
10A-11 & 12, Precinct 10, Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Tokong (+604 899 2725); 31G, 33 & 35G, Jalan Todak 6, Sunway Perdana, Seberang Jaya (+604 383 1478/www. facebook.com/ZentoSushi).
Sushi Zento’s signage can be spotted miles away. Whether you choose to stay within reach of the kaiten
belt or sit in the alfresco space, you can enjoy the same specialities. A favourite is the Rolls Royce Roll, a special sushi roll topped with fish roe; while the green tea and black sesame ice cream are a perfect ending to the meal.
Credit cards accepted. $$
TAO Authentic Asian Cuisine
1820-F1 & 1822-F1, Jalan Perusahaan Autocity, North South Highway, Juru Interchange, Seberang Perai (+604 501 7826); First floor, Penang Times Square, Jalan Dato Keramat, George Town (+604 228 5826/www.tao-cuisine.com).
To appreciate TAO’s lunch and dinner buffets, all you need is a monster appetite. It’s best to book in advance, as the restaurant gets busy during dinner time.
Pork-free. Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. $$$$
Aza Aza Starvil Korean Cuisine & BBQ Restaurant
47-G Persiaran Bayan Bay, Bayan Indah, Bayan Lepas (+604 643 9092/ Facebook: Aza-Aza-Starvil-KoreanCuisine-BBQ-Restaurant).
Aza Aza’s extensive menu consists mainly of barbecue and Korean dishes. Opt for the barbecued pork and the jeyuk bokkum (spicy fried pork and vegetables) before moving on to patbingsu (a Korean dessert of shaved ice and sweet adzuki beans).
Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30-10pm. $$
Sa Rang Chae Korean Restaurant
11-G-1 & 2, Jalan Gottlieb, New Bob Centre, George Town (+604 226 3587/Facebook: Sa-Rang-Chae). Meaning ‘guest house’ in Korean, Sa Rang Chae presents a medley of Korean delicacies suited for local palates. It’s known for its barbecue menu, but if you’re looking to spice things up, opt for the Maewoon Kalbi (a spicy pork rib stew peppered with dates, potatoes, tang hoon and radish) or the haemultang (stew with crabs, mussels and mushrooms).
Tue-Sun, 12noon-3pm, 6-10pm. $$
30 Lebuh Lembah Permai 4, Tanjung Bungah (+604 899 7273/www. facebook.com/DariCafe).
Dari, which means ‘bridge’ in Korean, is ideal for an initial introduction to Korean cuisine. The bibimbap served in a stone pot is a crowd pleaser, as is the buchimgae (savoury spring onion pancake).
Halal. Mon-Sat, 11am-8.30pm. $
Daorae Korean BBQ Restaurant
15-2-G, 2-1 & 2-2, Bayan Point, Medan Kampung Relau, Bayan Lepas (+604 640 2616); 104 Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Tokong (+604 891 3616).
This double-storey premium Korean eatery serves barbecue sets with an entourage of side dishes. Some standouts on the menu include the
saeng-deung-shim (prime US seasoned with fragrant sesame oil) and the
hanbang samkyup-sal (thin slices of pork belly marinated in Korean ginseng and herbs).
Child-friendly. Disabled-friendly. $$$
Kawasan Sri Pulau, Jalan Genting, Balik Pulau.
While on the road going towards Teluk Kumbar from Balik Pulau, look
out for a blue sign advertising nasi selera kampung (Malay kampung food). There are more than 40 Malay dishes to choose from, including beef curry and flower crabs. Be warned: the dishes are spicy and as vivid in flavour as they are in colour.
Halal. Daily, 7.30am-3.30pm. $$
Ayu Mee Udang
936B Lengkok Kampung Masjid Satu, Teluk Kumbar, Batu Ferringhi (+6012 465 2823/+604 649 3881). The mee udang (prawn noodles) here is served in a starchy, tomato-based soup rich with the aroma of prawns. Ayu prioritises using succulent prawns explaining the higher price but you do get what you pay for. Halal. Tue-Sun, 1-10pm. $$
Lot 179 MK3, Kampung Pelet, Bukit Mertajam (+604 522 8502/Facebook: Puncak-Mutiara).
Tucked away in a lush estate surrounded by farms, Puncak Mutiara is quite a ways out-of-town, but offers delivery within Seberang Perai, Kulim and Kepala Batas, so you don’t have to travel far to sample its iconic lamb biryani. An unusual dish to try would be the ostrich stir fry.
Halal. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 10am-2am. $$
Restoran Nelayan Kuala Juru Persatuan Nelayan Unit Kuala Juru, MK12, SPT, 14100 Bukit Mertajam (+6012 567 2423/+6019 549 7134/+6017 446 7194). The catch-of-the-day at Restoran Nelayan is sourced from the nearby waters of Juru River. Widely frequented by the locals of Kampung Kuala Juru, this eatery gets extremely crowded during the Ramadhan month. Be sure to order a crab dish. Halal. Mon & Wed-Sun, 12noon11pm. $$
Warung Pak Su
385 MK12, Bagan Nyiur Juru, Bukit Mertajam (+6012 409 0771).
Warung Pak Su’s interior isn’t impressive, but what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in taste. The famous mee udang) and nasi goreng ketam
keep the regulars coming for more.
Halal. Daily, 1-10pm. $
Restoran Nasi Campur Awet Muda
Lorong Sungai Dua, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Gelugor (+6012 494 7478/ Facebook: RestoranNasi-Campur-AwetMuda). Venture to the local areas of the island to sample excellent home-cooked Malay delicacies at this mixed rice shop, which only opens for breakfast and lunch.
Halal. Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm. $
78 Lebuh Armenian, George Town (+6016 470 3038/Facebook: 70s-ice). So this is what nostalgia tastes like! Slurp on a neatly-packed ice ball drenched in flavoured syrup or quench your thirst with a fresh fruit juice or iced lolly.
Halal. Child-friendly. Mon & WedSun, 10am-6pm. $
85 Lebuh Armenian, George Town (+604 261 3680/www.jawihouse.com). A labour of love by author, anthropologist, academic and heritage conservationist Dr Wazir Jahan Karim, Jawi House doubles as a café and an art gallery. The café dishes out Jawi Peranakan cuisine and colonialinspired dishes such as lemuni rice and balmieh. Stop by the art gallery to view hand-printed batik wear, rare silver and brass relics, contemporary paintings and crafts.
Halal. Credit cards accepted. Mon & Wed-Sun, 11am-10pm. $$
114 Jalan Transfer, George Town (+604 227 1106/www. maliiabakery.com).
Maliia Bakery is one with
of few places left where you can still teh tarik at the
get your hands on mamak opposite.
roti Benggali or roti tawar. This crusty white bread is a real Penang favourite, and best paired with hot coffee, tea or soup.
Halal. Daily, 8am-11pm. $
69 Lebuh Melayu, George Town (+604 261 1927/nazarani69.wix. com/nazaranibistro).
Formerly located at the Penang Eurasian Association, Nazarani Bistro has transported most of its original menu to its new space at Lebuh Melayu. Specialties include fiery pork vindaloo curry,
Portuguese devil chicken curry, oxtail soup, curry lada, nasi lemak, sambal pepper seafood and moist sugee cake.
Mon & Wed-Sun, 6-10pm. $
Nona Bali Restaurant
25 Lebuh Pinang 5, Karpal Singh Drive, Jelutong (+604 281 5983/ www.nonabalipenang.com).
As far as Balinese cuisine goes, Nona Bali is touted by the locals as the real deal. The restaurant caters to both meat-lovers (try their Be Siap Megoreng) and vegetarians (go for the Nasi Campur Jukut).
Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 11.30am2.30pm & 6-10.30pm. $$
Restoran Nasi Padang Minang
Kedai Kopi International Hotel, 92 Jalan Transfer, George Town.
This nasi padang stall operates out of a coffee shop dubbed Kedai Kopi International Hotel. Choose from at least 50 dishes, each seemingly tastier than the last. The ikan bakar (grilled fish), served on a bed of deep-fried sliced shallots and dipped in assam broth, is stellar.
Halal. Daily, 11am-sold out. $
Din Ikan Bakar
6735 Jalan Butterworth, Kepala Batas, Seberang Perai (+604 575 8602).
Smack in the middle of Kepala Batas town is Din Ikan Bakar, a seafood restaurant heralded by the local Malay community for excellent grilled seafood. Ikan bakar will, of course, be the highlight of your experience, but also scope out what others are ordering for ideas.
Halal. Mon-Thu & Sat-Sun, 11am4pm. $
Kedai Makan Lidiana
Opposite Floating Mosque of Tanjung Bungah, Persiaran Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah (+6016 415 8686/ Facebook: Kedai-Makan-Lidiana). Grab a hearty lunch at Lidiana’s after visiting the Floating Mosque nearby. Help yourself to the impressive spread of home-cooked dishes, replenished often to ensure freshness. The deepfried chicken and sambal-stuffed fish are crowd-pleasers.
Halal. Daily, 8am-4pm. $
Opposite Floating Mosque of Tanjung Bungah, Persiaran Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah.
Named after a famous local cartoonist, Lat Café provides a bit of competition to its neighbour, Kedai Makanan Lidiana. The stall’s Malay food is equally splendid delicious.
Halal. Daily, 8am-4pm. $
477 Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Tokong (+604 890 9005).
Initially an unassuming burger stall, Tari Café moved to its present venue to serve its large volume of customers. Besides Tari’s signature burger, the store offers noodle dishes like mee udang and bee hoon soup.
Halal. Daily, 7pm-2am. $
Various locations Restoran Pen Mutiara
Wisma Nelayan, Pelabuhan LKIM Batu Maung, Bayan Lepas (+604 626 4615); 17 & 19 Jalan Selat, Taman Selat, Butterworth (+604 310 1759/www.penmutiara.com).
Pen Mutiara in Wisma Nelayan is just a ten-minute drive from Penang International Airport, so inbound travellers don’t have to go far to satisfy their craving for good Malay food. A must-have is the signature fish head curry, tom yam soup and mango kerabu salad.
Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. $$$
Tony Ais Kacang
Hill Side Food Court/Medan Selera Mutiara, Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah; Kompleks Gerai Makanan Batu Lanchang, Lebuhraya Batu Lanchang, Jelutong.
Originally a humble stall at the Hillside Food court, Tony and his cheerful wife now serve their fantastic
ais kacang at the Batu Lanchang Hawker Stalls too. Huge blocks of ice are shaved and topped with sweet corn, red beans, palm sugar syrup and a scoop of ice cream.
Halal. Daily, 9am-10pm. $
3F-07, North Zone, Queensbay Mall, Bayan Lepas (+604 644 3339). Named after a pepper native to Mexico, Habanero is one of the few places in Penang that serves Mexican fare. Opt for different fillings such as shredded chicken or minced beef in your tacos or burritos before choosing from sweet, spicy or tangy sauces.
Halal. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 10am-10pm.
Tanjung Bungah Grumpiez Green Pepper Mexican Cantina
27 Jalan Sungai Kelian, Tanjung Bungah (+6017 448 0250/www. facebook.com/Grumpiez). Chimichangas, chicken fajitas and spicy pork tacos are hard to come by in Penang, which makes Grumpiez a gem in the rough. The restaurant’s casual ambience encourages everyone to let loose. Grab seats on the patio to enjoy a nice breeze.
Tue-Sun, 12noon-10pm. $$
72D Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+6011 276 9091/www. facebook.com/bbqnightspenang). Skewered meat reigns supreme at this Middle Eastern restaurant, which dishes out chicken and lamb kebab, mutton rogan josh, shish tawouk and other Middle Eastern specialities. A separate menu offers vegetarian fare such as aloo gobi, masala bhind and
Halal. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am-2am. $$
Fruit of Lebanon
109A Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+604 881 3228).
Start off with some refreshing
tabouleh before moving on to your mains. There are plenty of vegetarian dishes such as falafel and salad bowls. Cap off your meal with some intense Turkish coffee.
Halal. Credit cards accepted. Childfriendly. Daily, 12noon-1am. $$
G3-G4, Tesco Extra Seberang Jaya, Bandar Seberang Jaya, Seberang Perai Tengah (+6013 500 0900/ www.facebook.com/ArabyMathaam). Al-Araby was built on traditional family recipes. Most meat dishes are slow-cooked, resulting in tender meat that falls off the bone.
Halal. Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am-10pm. $$
Al Medina Moroccan Restaurant
523C Jalan Tanjung Bungah (+6016 402 1923/www.facebook.com/ almedinarestaurant).
Meals at Al Medina are a bona fide Moroccan affair. Go for the typical specialties like the harira (a soup containing tomatoes, lentils and chickpeas) or the tajine (stew cooked in an earthenware pot).
Halal. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 12noon-12midnight. $$
Tanjung Tokong Suriana Restaurant
6-17, Precinct 10, Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Tokong (+604 899 9099/www.facebook.com/ surianarestaurant).
Suriana’s menu carries a wellbalanced range of Arabic ( kebab habibi and maklouba chicken) and Western fare (chicken cordon bleu
and grilled shrimp). Request that your dish be prepared to suit your preferred level of piquancy.
Halal. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 12noon-11pm. $
Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery
1 Lebuh Bishop, George Town (+604 263 8121).
Look out for the blinking light bulbs of Aunty Gaik Lean’s signboard. The menu features familiar Nyonya fare such as assam prawns, inchi kabin, jiu hu char and kerabu. A standout dish is the grilled brinjal generously topped with tangy sambal. We also like the spicy chicken fillet rendang. Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Mon-Sat, 12am-2.30pm, 6-9.30pm. $$
NEW ET Steamboat Restaurant
6 Jalan Ragoon, George Town (+604 226 6025/ Facebook: E.T-steamboatrestaurant).
This Penang institution is better known as a steamboat restaurant, but also serves a succinct selection of Nyonya dishes. They’re also known for their bak chang which needs to be ordered in advance.
Mon, 6-10pm; Tue-Wed & Fri-Sun, 12noon-2.30pm, 6-10pm. $
Hai Nan Town
8A Pengkalan Weld, Tanjung City Marina, George Town (+604 263 8633).
Traditional Nyonya cuisine steals the spotlight at Hai Nan Town. Staples include the curry tumis fish, jiu hu char, ayam inchi kabin, yam duck and lor bak. Enjoy the waterfront view from the alfresco dining area. Pork-free. Child-friendly. Disabledfriendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 12noon-3pm, 5-10pm. $$
58 Jalan Chow Thye, off Jalan Burma, George Town (+604 227 9864/ Facebook: Ivy’s-Nyonya-Cuisine). Managed by a husband-and-wife team, Ivy’s serves pork-free Nyonya dishes and delicious nasi lemak. Ask for the beef rendang, king prawns in homemade chilli paste and black glutinous rice bee koh moi. Pork-free. Child-friendly. Disabledfriendly. Tue-Sun, 12noon-3pm, 6-10pm. $$
2-16, Seven Terraces, Lorong Stewart, George Town (+604 264 2333/+604 261 2862/kebaya.com. my).
Kebaya’s grand opening sparked excitement within the Peranakan culinary circle. The restaurant’s beautiful décor complements its appealing menu, while the Nyonya cuisine here is prepared using innovative French cooking techniques.
Child-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 6-10pm. $$$
NEW The Legend Nyonya House
2 Gat Lebuh Chulia, George Town (+604 251 9598/Facebook: TheLegend-Nyonya-House).
The newly opened Nyonya House is another spot for fans of Peranakan cuisine. We recommend their chicken
kapitan, salted egg with minced pork and nasi ulam. Nyonya dishes are served at lunch with premium
steamboat at night.
Mon-Thu & Sun, 11am-3am; Fri-Sat, 11am-4am. $$
Mama’s Nyonya Cuisine
31-D Lorong Abu Siti, George Town (+604 229 1318).
It’s been years since Mama began cooking up a storm in the kitchen, and the Nyonya food remains authentic. Savour the likes of curry kapitan, wild boar rendang and fish curry at this family-oriented restaurant. You might run into some of Mama’s famous clients including Datuk Jimmy Choo, squash player Datuk Nicol David or Hong Kong director Ang Lee.
Child-friendly. Kids’ menu. Disabledfriendly. Tue-Sun, 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30-9.30pm. $$$
NEW Moh Teng Pheow Nyonya Kuih & Canteen
Jalan Masjid, off Lebuh Chulia George Town (Next to the back door of the Camera Museum) (+604 261 5832/www.facebook.com/ penangnyonyakuih).
One of the oldest Nyonya kuih factories has opened a café serving local dishes including nasi ulam, pai tee and laksa. The main draw here is their extensive selection of kuih including pulut inti, kuih talam, ondeh-ondeh and pulut tai tai. Tue-Sun, 10.30am-5pm. $
Restoran 77 Famous Curry Fish Head
77-D Persiaran Gurney, George Town (+604 227 9086).
No matter what you order, the fish head curry should be the centrepiece of your meal. Fleshy fish head (Chinese deem the head the best part) is drenched in fragrant curry, onions
and okra, and topped off with a garnish of mint leaves. Disabled-friendly. Daily, 12noon11pm. $$
Jin Hoe Café
46 Jalan Cantonment, Pulau Tikus (+6016 488 7758/+6016 452 9430).
This humble café is frequented for Nyonya delicacies and Johnny’s Nasi Lemak, the latter being the brighter star. Each pack of nasi lemak
comprises fragrant coconut rice, anchovies and roasted peanuts. The homemade sambal belacan rates high on the Scoville scale; douse the heat with an iced milk tea.
Mon-Sat, 8.30-10.30am. $
3A-1-7, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong (+604 899 9058).
Nyonya cuisine requires extremely meticulous cooking methods; for example, hong bak is braised for several hours while nasi ulam boasts a smorgasbord of ingredients including grated coconut, dried shrimp paste, salted fish and fresh herbs.
Mon & Wed-Sun, 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30-10pm. $$
Beach Corner Seafood Restaurant
72D Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi (+604 881 1867/Facebook: Beach-corner-seafood).
This popular Chinese coffee shop by the beach is a scenic spot for lunch or dinner. Must-tries are the yam duck, spring rolls, crabs in spicy gravy and the roast lamb with ladies’ fingers.
Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 12noon2.30pm, 6-10pm. $$
Ah Chui Seafood Restaurant
1238-T Jalan Paya Terubong, Paya Terubong (+604 866 0903/Facebook: Ah-Chui-Seafood).
Enjoy a lavish seafood dinner without leaving a dent in your wallet. Pick out your selection of fresh seafood from the tanks and then sit back and wait for your order to be served. Don’t leave without trying the prawn fritters, steamed fish and homemade fish ball soup.
Halal. Daily, 5-11pm.
Hai Boey Seafood
29 MK9, Jalan Pasir Belanda, Teluk Kumbar, Bayan Lepas (+6013 488 1114). Diners come here strictly for the fresh seafood so don’t expect the best service or nice décor. Other standout dishes include sambal fried chicken and deep-fried pork studded with brinjal.
Daily, 5-11pm. $$$
Hao You Teluk Kumbar Seafood
84 MK9, Teluk Kumbar, Bayan Lepas (+604 649 1403).
When in Bayan Lepas, dine as the locals do and indulge in delicious seafood by the beach. Order the sweet and sour crab, fried squid, steamed prawn mantis and claypot glass noodles.
Mon & Wed-Sun, 5.30-10pm. $$
Ong Cheng Huat Seafood
2004 Bagan Lallang, Butterworth (+604 331 4782).
Mention ‘toddy’ (home-brewed palm wine) to any local and you’ll be led to this shack-turned-restaurant where a one-litre bottle costs RM6. Ong Cheng Huat serves unique Chinese dishes like steamed baby octopus with deepfried garlic and deep-fried spring chicken. Take note that the restaurant only opens until 5.30pm.
Pork-free. Tue-Sun, 11am-5.30pm. $$
Bali Hai Seafood Restaurant
90 & 90A-90D, Persiaran Gurney, George Town (+604 228 1272/+604 228 8272/www.balihaiseafood.com). Situated on bustling Gurney Drive, this seafood restaurant is quite a sight with rows of fish tanks housing a plethora of seafood from rainbow lobsters to geoduck clams. Bali Hai is hardly a high-brow restaurant and prices are higher than normal, but the seafood is as fresh as it gets.
Pork-free. Child-friendly. Kids’ menu. Disabled-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 8am-11pm. $$$$
DeHappy Seafood Restaurant
62 Jalan Macalister, George Town (+604 227 7809).
Tiger prawns, lobsters and Alaskan spider crabs are among the live seafood on display. While the restaurant calls for last orders by midnight, the kitchen continues dishing out Teochew-style porridge until five in the morning. You can opt for either alfresco or air-conditioned seating.
Pork-free, free parking. Daily, 5.30pm-12midnight (Teochew porridge,
Ocean Green Seafood & Restaurant Paramount Hotel, 48F Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, George Town (+604 227 4530/+604 227 2681/www. paramounthotel.com.my).
Ocean Green is perfect for hosting large groups, which makes it a popular venue for family reunions. It’s one of the oldest seafood restaurants around, and the high influx of customers is a testament to the quality of food served. Grilled crab meat topped with cheese, boiled tiger prawns and deep-fried salt and pepper mantis prawns rank among the better dishes. Disabled-friendly. Credit cards accepted. Daily, 11am-10pm. $$
Weld Quay Restaurant
18 Pengkalan Weld, George Town (+6012 474 5566).
The memorable Weld Quay Restaurant squats under a huge tree across from the ferry terminal and has been in operation for years. We recommend the Nestum-battered deep-fried prawns, soft-shell crabs and minced-meat-filled fritters.
Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 12noon-3pm, 6-10pm. $$
Lim Aik Chew Cafe
436 Kampung Tanjung Berembang, Nibong Tebal, Seberang Perai (+604 593 2957/+6016 590 4912).
While there are plenty of fine things to say about Lim Aik Chew, it’s most important to laud the prawn curry. Fresh water prawns are engulfed by a thick curry so delicious you’ll want to mop up every last drop. Good thing that bread is provided! The dish often runs out on weekends, so order it ahead of time or settle for the triplespiced fish.
Daily, 11am-6pm. $$
Restoran Floating Taminga
Lot 2400, Jalan Bukit Tambun, Simpang Ampat, Seberang Perai Selatan (+604 588 3063).
Restoran Floating literally floats atop a seafood farm, which serves as the kitchen’s source of fresh seafood. Opt for familiar seafood such as fish, prawns, squids and cockles or be adventurous and sample some spikyshelled snails. The house speciality is the steamed grouper fish in assam laksa served with noodles.
Child-friendly. Daily, 12noon-10pm. $$$
Tanjung Bungah Hollywood Restaurant
543 Jalan Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Bungah (+604 890 7268/+6016 492 8282/+6010 564 8221/www. hollywoodrestaurantpg.com).
Never mind the restaurant’s misleading name; this family-oriented restaurant has been in operation since 1945 and dishes out classic Hainanese fare like curry kapitan, inchi kabin and spring rolls. The crab and seafood dishes are also very good; think dark soya prawns, aromatic honey crabs and Hainan-style steamed fish.
Mon & Wed-Sun, 11am-3pm, 6-10pm. $$
Char kuey teow
Banana leaf rice
Sushi and sashimi