RYAN AN­DER­SON

Time Out Penang Visitors Guide - - Eat -

When was your first time vis­it­ing Pe­nang and what were your first im­pres­sions?

I vis­ited Pe­nang for the first time in De­cem­ber 2014, landed at night af­ter the rain and hitched a ride from the air­port. On the way to Ge­orge Town, I smelled the trop­i­cal air, there was street food on the side of the road, and it was won­der­ful to be in a place where life hap­pens out­side. In the first cou­ple of weeks, I could tell Ge­orge Town was spe­cial. You could be in Lit­tle In­dia, but a cou­ple of streets away you see Chi­nese her­itage or clas­sic Malay in­flu­ences. This mix of cul­tures is like three va­ca­tions in one.

Did these im­pres­sions change over time?

In the be­gin­ning, I was see­ing Pe­nang on the sur­face, the beau­ti­ful build­ings and cul­tures, but when you dig deeper, you see the flip side that short-term visi­tors don’t see. We need to re­alise that there’re neg­a­tive as­pects to tourism. How should I as a re­spon­si­ble tourist, in or­der to see the cul­ture live on, con­duct my­self? What can I do to make sure I’m a pos­i­tive fac­tor keep­ing this cul­ture in­tact and thriv­ing?

What was your first film shot in Pe­nang and what topic does it ad­dress?

One of the first things I shot was turned into a film called ‘Evicted’. I was made aware of peo­ple get­ting evicted from the shop­houses where the old Sky Ho­tel was lo­cated. So I started to work with lo­cal vol­un­teers doc­u­ment­ing their sto­ries. I’ve been fol­low­ing up with the res­i­dents and they’ve mostly moved out; some of them have even left Ge­orge Town. An­other film I started was about a Chi­nese sign­board carver called Master Lee who works close to the mar­ket. He blends old Chi­nese sign­board carv­ing tra­di­tions with newer aes­thet­ics. The film is called ‘The Hip Hop Sign­board Carver’ and is a great ex­am­ple of Ge­orge Town: blend­ing cul­tures and mak­ing some­thing new.

Have you found it hard get­ting the lo­cals to open up to an ang moh?

From my ex­pe­ri­ence trav­el­ling the world, it’s al­most never dif­fi­cult to get lo­cals to open up. Some­times the lan­guage bar­rier is a chal­lenge, but I’ve dis­cov­ered that most peo­ple are very ex­cited to share their story. If you’re in­ter­ested in other peo­ple – whether a cook, a Chi­nese sign­board carver or an imam – and you ex­press this through your body lan­guage and the ques­tions you ask, peo­ple are in­ter­ested in hav­ing a di­a­logue with you.

All your films are shared for free on the in­ter­net – amaz­ing! Not to be too di­rect, but why?

I’ve been real lucky that in my past pro­fes­sional life, I was able to save a bit of money. Af­ter a while I re­alised that I wasn’t do­ing what was in my heart. So I de­cided to make a rad­i­cal change. As a stu­dent, one of my de­grees was in po­lit­i­cal science and I fell back into my old hobby of mul­ti­me­dia, do­ing in­ter­views and short films.

With Face­book and the in­ter­net, it’s all about click­ing stuff. I want to set an ex­am­ple that you can make great me­dia through vol­un­teers for free. That’s what the Oxlaey project is about. Ev­ery­one works in the project, in­clud­ing my­self, without com­pen­sa­tion, and we prom­ise to give the me­dia back with a Cre­ative Com­mons li­cence. Ba­si­cally any­body can use our pic­tures or videos to pro­mote their town or for re­search. It’s our way of giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity. How un­eth­i­cal would it be if I went around and got all these peo­ple to work to­gether with me on these videos then turned around and sold them?

Pang Hainan Seafood

501 K& L, Jalan Tan­jung Bun­gah, Tan­jung Bun­gah (+604 899 4863/+6017 452 4863/www. penangseafoodrestau­rant.com). De­spite Pang Hainan’s strate­gic lo­ca­tion next to a busy road, the restau­rants that once stood in its place failed to thrive. Pang Hainan seems to have bro­ken the curse. The wildly pop­u­lar seafood restau­rant is fre­quented for its spring rolls, sweet and sour crab and cheese lob­ster dishes.

Child-friendly. Dis­abled-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Tue-Sun, 12noon2.30pm, 6-10.30pm. $$$

Tsunami Vil­lage Café

543-A, Jalan Tan­jung Bun­gah, Tan­jung Bun­gah (+6012 487 2718). This lo­cal café was re­built and re­named fol­low­ing the tsunami dis­as­ter of 2004. Don’t be sur­prised if you see the staff non­cha­lantly car­ry­ing buck­ets full of seafood; your catch of the day comes di­rectly from the sea. Savour the fried soft­shell crab, the steamed fish and the stir-fried morn­ing glory with of fiery sam­bal.

Child-friendly. Tue-Sun, 6-10pm. $$$

Tan­jung Tokong

NEW Crab & Lob­ster Seafood Oys­ter Bar

3A-G-7, Ground floor, Straits Quay Ma­rina Mall, Jalan Seri Tan­jung Pi­nang, Tan­jung Tokong (+604 899 2828/Face­book: Crab-&-Lob­ster) En­joy suc­cu­lent seafood like lob­ster, crab, scal­lops, mus­sels and clams in their sig­na­ture tomato-based sauce. Other sauces are avail­able in­clud­ing black pep­per, curry and gar­lic but­ter; and good por­tions of bread and fries to dip.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Pork-free. MonFri, 12noon-12mid­night, Sat & Sun, 11am-12mid­night. $$$

Quay Pot

B-G-02 Van­tage, Jalan De­siran Tan­jung, Tan­jung Tokong (+6012 456 7775/www.face­book.com/ QuayPot).

Quay Pot is a new and im­proved take on a four-decade fam­ily busi­ness known for fish head bee hoon. De­cide be­tween clear fish broth and a tangy and spicy ver­sion, and then choose from four types of noo­dles. Don’t for­get the off-menu ap­pe­tiser of crispy fried small fish.

Daily, 12noon-3pm, 6-10.30pm. $$$

Sea Pearl La­goon Café

338 MK18, Jalan Tokong Thai Pak Koong, Tan­jung Tokong (+604 899 0375).

This Chi­nese seafood restau­rant has been around since the 1920s and spe­cialises in coal-baked crabs, sea salt-crusted fish and deep-fried spring chicken. You can walk down the beach and en­joy the sea breeze while wait­ing for your dishes to be ready. Tue-Sun, 11am-10pm. $$$

Teluk Ba­hang

End of the World

486 Jalan Has­san Ab­bas, Teluk Ba­hang (+604 885 1189).

This seafood restau­rant is not so much at the ‘End of The World’ as the far end of Pe­nang. Or­der the oh chien

and steamed fish, but re­mem­ber to check the mar­ket price of all seafood so as not to re­ceive a nasty sur­prise when you get your bill.

Dis­abled-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 12noon-3pm & 5-11pm. $$$

Fish­ing Vil­lage Seafood

756 MK2, Jalan Teluk Awak, Teluk Ba­hang (+604 885 2084).

Like most seafood restau­rants in town, Fish­ing Vil­lage is fur­nished with the bare min­i­mum. Nev­er­the­less, the restau­rant sur­vives by the sheer de­li­cious­ness of its fresh oys­ters. En­joy them plain or smoth­ered with the likes of cheese or black bean sauce.

Daily, 4-11pm. $$

Tai­wanese

Ge­orge Town

Kocha Tai­wanese Delight

229 Jalan Burma, Ge­orge Town (+604 227 5048).

The ex­ten­sive menu at Kocha, one of the is­land’s best-known Tai­wanese eater­ies, can be slightly over­whelm­ing. Luck­ily, there are plenty of set meals to make it eas­ier. If you love bub­ble tea, you’ll be de­lighted by Kocha’s myr­iad flavours.

Child-friendly. Dis­abled-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 12noon-10.30pm. $$

Old Street Tai­wanese Del­i­ca­cies 2 Jalan Krian (8 Row), Ge­orge Town (+6016 498 2553/Face­book: Old- Street-Tai­wanese-Del­i­ca­cies).

Old Street guar­an­tees tra­di­tional Tai­wanese del­i­ca­cies like hand­made noo­dle dishes and a steamed sand­wich stuffed with stewed pork belly, pick­led veg­eta­bles and a fried egg. Also try the three-cup chicken (boiled with a cup of sesame oil, soy sauce and al­co­hol each) flanked by a bowl of hot steamed rice.

Tue-Sun, 11am-3pm, 5-9.30pm. $$

Yeap Noo­dles

227 Le­buh Chu­lia, Ge­orge Town (+6016 478 5453/Face­book: YeapNoo­dles).

Yeap Noo­dles serves oo­dles of noo­dles! Don’t ex­pect any­thing grand at this unas­sum­ing eatery; it’s lo­cated in a sliver of a space – a hole in a wall, re­ally. How­ever, the owner’s warm hos­pi­tal­ity more than makes up for the am­bi­ence.

Daily, 9am-10pm. $

Gur­ney Drive

Kochabi Tai­wan Cui­sine

Lot 24-26, Level 5, Gur­ney Paragon, Per­siaran Gur­ney (+604 227 5048/www.face­book.com/ kochabitai­wan­cui­sine).

This serene Tai­wanese restau­rant dec­o­rated with bon­sai trees and rock foun­tains boasts of an ex­ten­sive range of teas. You’ll find it easy to dine healthy here. Kochabi’s set meals come with steamed rice, soup of the day, fruits, veg­eta­bles and a bev­er­age.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 10am10pm. $$

Var­i­ous lo­ca­tions

600cc

LG 44, Sun­way Car­ni­val Mall, 3068 Jalan To­dak, Se­berang Jaya (+6013 512 9078); G6, Tesco Bukit Mer­ta­jam, 2323 Jalan Rozhan, Bukit Mer­ta­jam; 1G11, Tesco E-Gate, Le­buh Tunku Kudin 1 (+6013 465 9078); LG 17B, Gur­ney Paragon, Per­siaran Gur­ney (600cc.com.my) This Tai­wanese fran­chise is pop­u­lar for its orig­i­nal beef noo­dle soup, which comes gar­nished with fresh greens, pick­led veg­eta­bles and chill­ies. Other favourites in­clude the oys­ter rice noo­dles and chicken

dan dan noo­dle soup. Cap off your meal with the sig­na­ture pa­paya milk served in a 600cc glass.

Child-friendly. $

Thai

Bayan Lepas

Bukit Gent­ing Hill Leisure Park and Restau­rant

Jalan Teluk Kum­bar, Bayan Lepas (+604 827 9801/+6019 465 7100). Sur­rounded by lush fruit trees, this restau­rant of­fers scenic views of a hilly land­scape and the sea. The kitchen serves Thai food with a smat­ter­ing of Ny­onya dishes. Some scrump­tious finds in­clude the red and

green cur­ries, seafood tom yam, otako­tak and but­ter prawns.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. 11.30am-10.30pm. $$

Eastern Wishes Nanyang and Thai Restau­rant

1-1-49, i-Av­enue, Jalan Tun Dr Awang, Bayan Lepas (+604 641 0191).

This lovely lunch spot in Bayan Lepas of­fers à la carte dishes and af­ford­able set lunches. The tom yam seafood is praised by many, as is the black pep­per squid.

Tue-Sun, 10.30am-2.30pm, 5.309.30pm. $

Ge­orge Town

Aroy Chang Moo Kata Thai Restau­rant

22 Lorong Burma, Ge­orge Town (+6010 379 9852).

De­spite the high in­flux of Thai restau­rants in Pe­nang, Aroy Chang Moo Kata re­mains a firm favourite among lo­cals. The kitchen is helmed by a chef from Chi­ang Mai, so you’ll find North­ern Thai dishes like pla phad phed (deep-fried sea bass drenched in a fiery sauce), khoon ob woon sen (Thai-style glass noo­dles) and larb­moo (minced pork cooked with fried rice flakes).

Credit cards ac­cepted. Tue-Sun, 11am-3pm, 6-11pm. $$$

Chok Dee Thai Restau­rant

231-D, Jalan Burma, Ge­orge Town (+604 229 1492/Face­book: Chok-DeeThai-Restau­rant).

Ev­ery­thing good be­gins with a lit­tle ‘chok dee’ or good for­tune in Thai. This fam­ily-run eatery, which has been around for over a decade, sources its ingredients from Thai­land – so you can be sure of au­then­tic­ity in ev­ery dish. Get the clay­pot glass noo­dles with crab, som tam (pa­paya salad) and spicy tom yam with seafood.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 11am3pm&6-10pm. $$

Lang Sae Lee Thai Food

97A, Tan Jetty, Pengkalan Weld, Ge­orge Town (+6014 907 1808). Perched on a rick­ety jetty, Lang Sae Lee pro­vides a breath­tak­ing view of the sun­set and some of Pe­nang’s spici­est Thai food. Come with a huge ap­petite and or­der the bat­tered

kangkung and enoki mush­rooms, fried fish with spe­cial sauce, pineap­ple fried rice and Thai laksa. Owner Madam Lee mans her kitchen solo, so re­mem­ber to book ahead if you’re din­ing in a large group.

Daily, 11am-2.30pm, 5-10pm. $

Se­baidee Thai Restau­rant

1 Lin­tang Batu, Batu Lan­chang, Ge­orge Town (+604 656 8891/ Face­book: Se­baidee-Thai-Restau­rant). Get the chef’s rec­om­men­da­tion and other Thai favourites such as stuffed crab shell, som tam (pa­paya salad) and clear tom yam seafood soup.

Pork-free. Daily, 4.30-11.30pm. $$

Gur­ney Drive

Sukhothai Beef Noo­dles House 5.02 & 03, Gur­ney Paragon Mall, Per­siaran Gur­ney (+6012 433 5588/ Face­book: Sukhothai-Beef-NoodlesHouse).

This small and sim­ple restau­rant is known for its Thai beef noo­dles (ter­rific com­fort food). The à la carte menu con­sists of around 20 selec­tions of pork, chicken, fish and veg­eta­bles dishes.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 10am10pm. $

Pu­lau Tikus

An­nathai Kitchen

26 Jalan Moul­mein, Pu­lau Tikus (+604 227 7599/ an­nathai.wee­bly. com).

Lo­cated a few paces away from Pu­lau Tikus wet mar­ket, An­nathai Kitchen is a small­ish restau­rant that serves tra­di­tional Thai fare such as green curry and tom yam soup at a very rea­son­able price. A pop­u­lar dish is the soft shell crab fried rice served with fresh let­tuce and spicy sam­bal.

Child-friendly. Tue-Sun, 12noon2.30pm, 6-9pm. $

Teluk Ba­hang

Tree Mon­key Restau­rant Trop­i­cal Spice Gar­den, Lone Crag Villa, Lot 595, Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Ba­hang, Teluk Ba­hang (+604 881 3493/www.treemon­key.com.my). Shar­ing a space with Trop­i­cal Spice Gar­den, Tree Mon­key’s chef en­joys ex­clu­sive ac­cess to fresh herbs and spices. Don’t judge the restau­rant by its Ba­li­nese aes­thet­ics as it is, in fact, a North­east­ern Thai restau­rant. We love the al­fresco din­ing amid tall, shady trees. Or­der a plethora of Thai tapas such as sam­bal-mar­i­nated fried

chicken roomettes or otak-otak and wash it down with iced spiced cof­fee, with hints of car­damom, cin­na­mon, clove and star anise, or the tom yam mar­garita. Bring mos­quito re­pel­lent if you plan on an evening visit. Child-friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 9am-10.30pm. $$$

Var­i­ous lo­ca­tions KhunThai Au­then­tic Thai Restau­rant

1052 MK19, Pasir Be­landa, Teluk Kum­bar, Bayan Lepas (+604 625 1155); 104 Per­matang Ten­gah, off Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth (+604 332 7523/www.khunthai. com). It’s oblig­a­tory to start off your meal here with the fiery seafood tom yam.

A whole page of the menu is de­voted to fish dishes, so take your pick from the likes of gaeng som (deep­fried fish topped with spicy sauce) and steamed fish pre­pared Teochew style. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 11am12mid­night. $$

Wang Thai Restau­rant

294 Jalan Burma, Pu­lau Tikus (+604 226 5168/Face­book: wang-thairestau­rant); 6H-1-3A, All Sea­sons Place, Le­buhraya Thean Teik, Air Itam (+6018 299 0799).

Taste­fully dec­o­rated with dark wooden chairs and hang­ing pot­ted plants, Wang Thai is a com­fort­able eatery to in­dulge in clas­sic Thai cui­sine. Stick within your com­fort zone with tom yam soup and mango sticky rice or dis­cover new spe­cial­i­ties such as the pad sam rod (roasted duck pre­pared in three ways) and hor mok ta­lay (steamed otak-otak with a mix of fiery curry paste, basil and co­conut milk).

Credit cards ac­cepted. (Pu­lau Tikus) Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 11am-2.30pm, 6-10pm; (All Sea­sons Place) Daily, 11.30am-3pm, 6-10pm. $$

Veg­e­tar­ian

Ge­orge Town

An­nalak­shmi Tem­ple of Fine Arts

1 Le­buhraya Bab­bing­ton, off Jalan Bar­rack, Ge­orge Town (+604 228 8575/www.tfa.org.my).

Though not un­con­ven­tional, the con­cept be­hind An­nalak­shmi is not as widely prac­tised as it should be. Pa­trons pay what they wish at this vol­un­teer-run eatery, and the do­na­tions go to­wards fund­ing the tem­ple. The fare is purely veg­e­tar­ian so heap your plate with as much rice, veg­eta­bles, soups, cha­p­at­tis and egg dishes, but waste not! Many have de­scribed din­ing at An­nalak­shmi as noth­ing short of a tran­scen­den­tal ex­pe­ri­ence made pos­si­ble by good­will. Note that the tem­ple en­forces a semi-for­mal dress code. Halal. Tue-Sun, 11.30am-2.30pm; Sat, 6-9.30pm. $

Cheng Sim Veg­e­tar­ian Restau­rant

69E Jalan Tereng­ganu, Ge­orge Town (+604 283 2615/www.face­book.com/chengsimveg­e­tar­ian).

Cheng Sim pre­pares healthy and ‘eth­i­cal’ cui­sine. The restau­rant rules out ab­sti­nence by dish­ing out meat-free ver­sions of bak kut teh, Hokkien mee and other Pe­nang favourites. Word is that Cheng Sim’s econ­omy rice spread is one of the best in town.

Pork-free. Dis­abled­friendly. Mon & WedSun, 7.30am-8pm; Tue 7.30am-4pm. $$

Ev­er­green Veg­e­tar­ian House

39A Jalan Can­ton­ment, Ge­orge Town (+604 210 3900).

Ev­er­green spe­cialises in Chi­nese veg­e­tar­ian cui­sine so you can ex­pect a lot of cre­ative mock meat dishes. Very af­ford­able, the econ­omy rice dishes are pop­u­lar come lunch time but you can also branch out into made-to-or­der dishes like bak kut teh, laksa, sa­tay or char kuey teow. Drop by Ev­er­green’s sundry shop to pick up some veg­e­tar­ian gro­ceries.

Halal. Daily, 6am-8pm. $

The Leaf Healthy House

5 Le­buh Pe­nang, Ge­orge Town (+6012 498 8491/www.face­book. com/TheLeafHealthyHouse).

The Leaf is all about cre­at­ing a com­fort­able din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that veg­e­tar­i­ans can call home. The chef prac­tises a strict mantra of ‘no MSG, no ar­ti­fi­cial colour­ing and no preser­va­tives’, yet never fails to dish out flavour­ful food. The quirky menu in­cludes the likes of pump­kin spaghetti and veg­e­tar­ian chicken rice.

Halal. Child-friendly. Mon-Sat, 11.30am-3pm, 5.30-9pm. $

Lily’s Veg­e­tar­ian Kitchen

98 No­ble House, Lorong Madras, Ge­orge Town (+604 226 3810/www. lilysveg­ek­itchen.com).

Feast on soya-based ren­dang, but­ter prawns and fish and chips at this haven for veg­e­tar­i­ans. Most of the kitchen’s pro­duce is hand-picked from Cameron High­lands. Lo­cated near Lit­tle In­dia, Lily’s is rel­a­tively shel­tered from the town’s bustling traf­fic and there’s al­ways a park­ing spot just around the cor­ner.

Halal. Tue-Sun, 8am-9.30pm. $

Love­cip­ies Vin­tage Café

42 Jalan Ran­goon, Ge­orge Town (+6014 306 9942).

Flip through the menu of this eclec­tic vin­tage café to dis­cover culi­nary favourites like as­sam curry and spaghetti Napoli­tana. Love­cip­ies gets packed come lunch time, so plan your visit for brunch or the late af­ter­noon. Halal. Tue-Sun, 11.30am-10pm. $

No 1 Can­non Street Ga­leri & Kafe

1 Le­buh Can­non, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 4378/www.face­book.com/ no.1can­non­street).

We can’t quite fig­ure out the dé­cor here, but the lo­cals clearly don’t give a hoot. Half of the clien­tele ap­pear to be veg­e­tar­ian back­pack­ers re­lieved to have found meat-free fare. Or­der veg­gie burg­ers, noo­dle dishes, spring rolls and steamed buns, but leave room for some ve­gan ice cream, of which nut­meg is the most pop­u­lar flavour.

Halal. Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 9am12mid­night.

Pe­nang Ad­ven­tist Hos­pi­tal Cafe­te­ria

465 Jalan Burma, Ge­orge Town (+604 222 7200).

While din­ing at a hos­pi­tal might not sound ex­tremely ap­petis­ing, the menu at Pe­nang Ad­ven­tist Hos­pi­tal caters to the health con­scious and lac­toovo veg­e­tar­i­ans (veg­e­tar­i­ans who con­sume eggs and dairy prod­ucts). You’ll find lo­cal and Western del­i­ca­cies such as low-fat dumplings and high-fi­bre waf­fles.

Halal. Mon-Thu & Sun, 6am-9pm; Fri, 6am-6.30pm. $

Sri Ananda Bah­wan

25 Le­buh Pe­nang, Ge­orge Town (+604 263 3841).

Sri Ananda Bah­wan spe­cialises in veg­e­tar­ian ba­nana leaf rice and of­fers a good se­lec­tion of meatless ac­com­pa­ni­ments. Mock meat dishes like mut­ton biryani and gar­lic chicken, and the but­ter masala tofu are pop­u­lar.

Halal. Daily, 8am-11pm. $

Wood­lands Veg­e­tar­ian Restau­rant

60 Le­buh Pe­nang, Ge­orge Town (+604 263 9764).

Smack in the mid­dle of Lit­tle In­dia is Wood­lands, a veg­e­tar­ian eatery where South In­dian cook­ing rules supreme. Or­der the spe­cial thali set for an in­tro­duc­tion to myr­iad tra­di­tional dishes such as chap­patti, dhal, rice, sam­bar, veg­eta­bles, spicy ku­lambu,

yo­ghurt curds and more. To end your meal on a sweet note, take your pick of tra­di­tional In­dian sweets dis­played near the store­front.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Daily, 8.30am-10pm. $

Zhu Yuan Veg­e­tar­ian Restau­rant 90 Jalan Dr Lim Ch­wee Leong, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 7706).

This hum­ble Chi­nese restau­rant serves de­cent veg­e­tar­ian dishes in­clud­ing a smooth Pe­nang laksa,

which is only avail­able on Fri­days

and Satur­days. Try the soy-based Ny­onya curry and mock roast duck glazed with a co­pi­ous amount of sweet and sticky hoisin sauce. Pork-free. Mon & Wed-Sun, 9am2.30pm, 5.30-9.30pm. $$

Tan­jung Bun­gah

Per­mai Vil­lage Café

16 Le­buh Lem­bah Per­mai 4, Tan­jung Bun­gah (+6012 438 7367/www. face­book.com/Per­maiVil­lage).

While most of Pe­nang’s veg­e­tar­ian joints serve ei­ther Chi­nese or In­dian cui­sine, Per­mai Vil­lage Café fills the gap for much-needed al­ter­na­tives by dish­ing out Asian and Western del­i­ca­cies. The restau­rant’s desserts, namely the tiramisu and lime jelly, are lauded by reg­u­lars, as is the house

nasi le­mak avail­able on Wed­nes­days and Satur­days.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Tue-Sun, 11.30am-2.30pm, 6.30-9.30pm. $

Tan­jung Tokong

Real Food Café

3A-G-13D, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tan­jung Pi­nang, Tan­jung Tokong (+604 890 8295/www.re­al­food­gro­cer. com).

Real Food is a veg­e­tar­ian and ve­gan café and a gro­cery store stocked with healthy pro­duce. The menu is a mix of Western dishes such as burg­ers and pizza, as well as Asian favourites like noo­dles, rice dishes, soups and dumplings. We can rec­om­mend their Por­to­bello mush­room burger with a ter­rific crunch, and their chickpea cake salad, in which a fill­ing and lightly spiced chickpea patty and sweet potato is topped by let­tuce, grilled as­para­gus, nuts, olives and French beans. For a sweet end­ing to your meal, or­der the ice cream made from brown rice milk and sugar cane.

Halal. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 10am-10pm. $$$

Var­i­ous lo­ca­tions

Idealite Well­ness Restau­rant

27C Jalan Got­tlieb, Ge­orge Town; Third floor, Queens­bay Mall, 100 Per­siaran Bayan In­dah, Bayan Lepas (+604 643 1228); Third floor, Gur­ney Plaza, Per­siaran Gur­ney, Ge­orge Town (+604 226 7296); Cinema level, Sun­way Car­ni­val Mall, Jalan To­dak, Se­berang Jaya (www. face­book.com/ide­alitepg).

Idealite Well­ness rein­vents its menu on a monthly ba­sis to give din­ers a wide se­lec­tion of veg­e­tar­ian dishes like curry tofu, sushi and curry noo­dles. Their cui­sine is con­sid­ered to be pretty in­ven­tive and tasty.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. $

JanxDen Green­life

50 Jalan Chow Thye, Ge­orge Town; 6G-1-16, All Sea­sons Place, Le­buhraya Thean Teik, Air Itam (+604 226 8414/+6016 414 1817/ mo­bile.acesse.com/janxden.green­life/). While most lo­cal veg­e­tar­ian restau­rants of­fer Chi­nese cui­sine, Jan­dex has tapped into Western fare. Treat your­self to a wide range of pas­tas, sand­wiches and rice dishes served with fresh greens and mock meats.

Halal. Mon, Tue &Thu-Sun, 11.30am-9.30pm (Ge­orge­town), Daily, 11.30am-10pm (All Sea­sons Place). $$

NEW Sushi Kitchen

12, Gat Le­buh Acheh, Ge­orge Town (+6016 411 7570); 2A-1, Jalan Sun­gai Ara, Desa Ara, Sun­gai Ara (+604 644 6739); 11B, Medan Angsana 1, Ban­dar Baru Ayer Itam, Ayer Itam (+6016 471 2591/ Face­book: Sushi-kitchen).

Sushi Kitchen is def­i­nitely the restau­rant to change the rigid im­pres­sion to­wards ve­gan eat­ing. Meatless and or­ganic plant-based sushi is the or­der of the day here and only the fresh­est ingredients are used. We rec­om­mend the spices herb in­sid­e­out roll, global warm­ing sushi and enoki por­ridge.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. Child­friendly. $$

Viet­namese

Ge­orge Town

Quê Hu’o’ng Tôi

56-W Jalan Je­lu­tong, Ge­orge Town (+6016 421 1244).

The first thing that comes to mind when think­ing of Viet­namese cui­sine are spring rolls, bánh mi (a clas­sic Viet­namese sand­wich util­is­ing the French baguette) and pho (soupy noo­dles gar­nished with braised beef slices and veg­eta­bles). This restau­rant does all these clas­sics well and at a great price too.

Mon & Wed-Fri, 10am-3pm, 5-10pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-3pm, 5-10pm. $

Tan­jung Tokong

No Eyed Deer

98-1-26 Prima Tan­jung, Jalan Fettes, Tan­jung Tokong (+604 899 0488/ www.noeyed­deer.com).

This quirky restau­rant is known for its Lao­tian laksa: a mildly spicy noo­dle dish topped with beef or chicken slices and only served at lunchtime. The Cave­man Plat­ter, a plate­ful of char­grilled lamb cut­lets, an as­sort­ment of sausages, skew­ered meat and chicken wings, is a car­ni­vore’s dream, while the Viet­namese spring rolls are a tasty starter.

Halal. Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon & Wed-Sun, 12noon2pm, 6-10pm. $$$

Western

Air Itam

David Brown’s

Straw­berry Hill, Pe­nang Hill (+604 828 8337/www.penanghillco.com.my). This quaint English tea­house cir­cled by a well-man­i­cured lawn of­fers breath­tak­ing views, and if you’re game for a hike the trek back down is a breeze. If you’d rather hitch a ride, ring ahead and in­form a staff mem­ber who will ar­range trans­porta­tion or point you in the di­rec­tion of the fu­nic­u­lar train. Come dur­ing din­ner­time to sam­ple board­ing school favourites such as suc­cu­lent roasts and York­shire pud­ding or have a typ­i­cal high tea with scones. Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 11am-10pm. $$$

Batu Fer­ringhi

The Bun­ga­low

Lone Pine Ho­tel, 97 Jalan Batu Fer­ringhi, Batu Fer­ringhi (+604 886 8566/www.lonepine­ho­tel.com).

This out­door restau­rant shaded by tow­er­ing trees com­ple­ments the colo­nial splen­dour of Lone Pine Ho­tel. Breakfast is served buffet-style while lunch and din­ner are pre­sented in tra­di­tional tif­fin car­ri­ers. The gor­geous beach­side view makes the ex­pe­ri­ence worth­while.

Child-friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 6.30am-11pm. $$$

Fer­ringhi Gar­den Restau­rant

34 A,B & C Jalan Batu Fer­ringhi, Batu Fer­ringhi (+604 881 1193/ www.face­book.com/fer­ringhi­gar­den). Sis­ter to Fer­ringhi Cof­fee Gar­den, this restau­rant is sur­rounded by lush green­ery. Come night­fall, red Chi­nese lan­terns cast a warm glow and create soft shad­ows. Bring a date to this ro­man­tic restau­rant serv­ing Western and Asian dishes; even the fussi­est eaters will find some­thing to their lik­ing.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 5pm12mid­night. $$$

Sigi’s Bar & Grill on the Beach

Level one, Ground floor, Shangri-La Golden Sands Re­sort, Jalan Batu Fer­ringhi, Batu Fer­ringhi (+604 886 1852/www.shangri-la.com/pe­nang/gold­en­sand­sre­sort).

Lo­cated on Golden Sands Re­sort’s pris­tine beach­front, Sigi’s is a prime lo­ca­tion for catch­ing the sun­set with trop­i­cal bev­er­age in hand. Or­der fa­mil­iar com­fort dishes such as pasta, oven-baked piz­zas, steaks, burg­ers and sal­ads. The sprawl­ing bar seats over 200 cus­tomers while the up­per deck gives you a sweeping view of the sea.

Daily, 11am-12mid­night. $$$

Bayan Lepas

Click Town Ko­pi­tiam

The CEO, 31-1-5, Le­buh Ni­pah 5, Bukit Jam­bul, Bayan Lepas (+604 688 4413/www.face­book.com/Click­TownGroup).

Pop­u­lated by youth, Click Town thrives on good food, a ca­sual, jovial en­vi­ron­ment and shisha. The house spe­cial­ity is the sa­tay chicken chop cou­pled with coleslaw and

ke­tu­pat (cubed and com­pressed rice dumplings). Chal­lenge a friend to fin­ish the tow­er­ing burger with five (!) meat pat­ties.

Halal. Tue-Sun, 5pm-1am. $

Butterworth

NEW Who’s Bryan

65 Lorong Teras Jaya 2, Pusat Per­ni­a­gaan Teras Jaya, Butterworth (+604 332 9097/Face­book: Who’s Bryan).

Night owls young and old flock here af­ter sun­down to catch up and chow down. The Western-in­spired menu fea­tures sal­ads, pas­tas and com­fort food such as fish and chips, while the cof­fee menu is in­ter­est­ing and ex­ten­sive; try the Iced Black Spinded (cold cof­fee served in a root beer mug) or Bee’s Latte.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon-Fri, 11am-12mid­night; Sat-Sun, 9am-12mid­night. $$

Ge­orge Town #SelfieCof­fee

88 Love Lane, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 0675/Face­book: Selfie Cof­fee Pe­nang).

While there’s noth­ing spe­cial about this café dé­cor-wise, the con­cept be­hind #SelfieCof­fee is fresh! Snap a shot of your­self us­ing the cafe’s cell­phone, pay for your selfie cof­fee and pa­tiently while away the min­utes by doo­dling on the cafe’s glass-top ta­bles. When your cof­fee ar­rives, try to con­tain your ex­cite­ment upon see­ing your face star­ing back at you from your bev­er­age.

Halal. Daily, 10am-10pm. $

NEW 20 Chu­lia Lane Cafe

20 Lorong Chu­lia, Ge­orge Town (+604 263 8373/Face­book: 20-chu­lialane-cafe)

Though the space is some­what nar­row, this fam­ily-run café is cosy and cen­trally lo­cated. It’s also a stone’s throw from the no­to­ri­ous Tipsy Tiger Party Hos­tel, so any back­packer look­ing to com­bat a bad han­gover can come here for a hearty home-cooked breakfast. The café spe­cialises in waf­fles, which are made to or­der and topped with ice cream or paired with savoury of­fer­ings such as ba­con and eggs.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 9am-7pm. $$

32Man­sion

32 Jalan Sul­tan Ah­mad Shah, Ge­orge Town (+604 262 2232/Face­book: 32Man­sion).

Housed within a white colo­nial man­sion, this sleek restau­rant’s lav­ish in­te­rior and top-dol­lar menu might in­tim­i­date the thrifty. But if you have a pock­et­ful of cash, have a go at the spaghetti with seared rump, six-spice mar­i­nated bar­be­cue chicken and crab bisque. Veg­e­tar­i­ans are catered for with a de­light­ful oven-baked frit­tata and a warm quinoa salad with roasted veg­eta­bles. Dine un­der the stars by requesting out­door seat­ing.

Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 12noon-2.30pm & 7-10.30pm. $$$$

55 Café & Restau­rant

Cof­fee Ate­lier, 47-55 Lorong Ste­wart, Ge­orge Town (+604 262 2611/www. cof­feeate­lier.com).

This cor­ner café ide­ally lo­cated in the heart of the her­itage zone is ideal for a quick pick-me-up be­fore con­tin­u­ing your sight­see­ing. With friendly ser­vice and yummy cakes, we have lit­tle to com­plain about this one.

Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 8am-11am & 2-9pm. $$

The Al­ley

5 Lorong Ste­wart, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 3879/www.face­book.com/ theal­leypenang).

Look out for a sign that reads ‘Kedai Ga­haru Keat Seang’ to lo­cate this un­marked café. The Al­ley is worth hunt­ing down for a taste of the New York-style cronuts, crispy chur­ros and other home­made in­no­va­tive desserts served here.

Halal. Child-friendly. Daily, 12noon12mid­night. $

Ar­me­nian House Café

35 Le­buh Ar­me­nian, Ge­orge Town (+604 262 8309/Face­book: Ar­me­nian House).

This charm­ing café is a wel­come ad­di­tion to the Ar­me­nian House home­s­tay. The friendly own­ers sell light bites such as cakes and sand­wiches in ad­di­tion to freshly brewed cof­fee and freshly squeezed juices.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 10.30am-6pm. $

NEW Awe­some Can­teen

Sekeping Vic­to­ria, 164 Le­buh Vic­to­ria, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 3707/www. face­book.com/awe­some­can­teenpg). Keep an eye out dur­ing your walk at the her­itage zone. This awe­some café that serves good cakes and spe­cialty cof­fee is lo­cated in the re­fur­bished guest­house Sekeping Vic­to­ria. The aged ware­house-like set­ting might con­fuse you but do stop by and try out dishes like crispy takoy­aki, chicken eg­g­plant burger, Ja­panese curry rice and more.

Pork-free. Mon & Wed-Fri, 11am3pm, 6-11pm; Sat, 10am-11pm; Sun, 10am-10pm. $$

Be­hind 50

50 Lorong Love, Ge­orge Town (+6012 556 5509/+6012 493 9230). Founded by three fast friends who en­vi­sioned a place where food and art could cross paths, Be­hind 50’s charm lies in its rus­tic am­bi­ence. It’s easy to feel nos­tal­gic for old-school Pe­nang when sur­rounded by yel­low­ing pho­to­graphs of the city and lis­ten­ing to the sput­ter­ing and crack­ling of a vin­tage gramo­phone.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Mon-Wed & Fri-Sun, 6pm-12mid­night. $

Bistro Tang

82-A Le­buh Pe­nang, Ge­orge Town (+604 250 8383/www.ren­i­tang.com). This airy and cheer­ful café right in the heart of Lit­tle In­dia is great for peo­ple­watch­ing. Scoot to the back to snag one of the Ja­panese-style ta­bles and en­joy the nov­elty of sit­ting on the cush­ioned ground. The Tang Laksa is a crowd pleaser as is the Kala­mansi Freeze.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon & Wed-Sun, 11.30am11pm. $

NEW Black Ket­tle

105 Le­buh Pan­tai, Ge­orge Town (+604 251 9270/www.black­ket­tle.

com.my).

If Black Ket­tle is rem­i­nis­cent of Mel­bourne’s trendy cafés, it’s be­cause the founders col­lab­o­rated with Di­mat­tina, a renowned roaster from the Land Down Un­der. From espres­sos to flat whites, Black Ket­tle’s bev­er­ages are among the is­land’s best. Browse the mouth­wa­ter­ing dis­play of con­fec­tionary, cakes and desserts (here’s a teaser: cin­na­mon rolls, semolina peach cake, cho­co­late pear cake and rhubarb crum­ble) baked by Chef Lutz Di­mat­tina. There is also a din­ing area and ta­ble ser­vice if you’d rather stay. In ad­di­tion to food such as burg­ers and pas­tas, the café also serves beer and wine.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Pushchair­friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 8.30am-12mid­night.

NEW The Book Sand­wich Café

205 Le­buh Pan­tai, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 3445/Face­book: The-book­sand­wich-cafe).

As the name sug­gests, there are books ev­ery­where as part of the dé­cor and laid on ta­bles. Sand­wiches are the star of the menu and must-try fill­ings in­clude the suc­cu­lent lob­ster and the lo­cal flavours of beef ren­dang and

sam­bal udang.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Child-friendly. Tue-Sat, 12noon-10pm; Sun, 12noon-9pm. $$

Brick­lin Bar Café

Hin Bus De­pot, 31A Jalan Gur­d­wara, Ge­orge Town (+604 226 6813/www. face­book.com/Brick­linCafeBar). Brick­lin Bar is rem­i­nis­cent of KL’s own VCR Café thanks to the floor-to-ceil­ing glass walls. The or­der of the day is cake and cof­fee; try the bit­ter­sweet Green Tea Wal­nut Brownie or the Al­mond Tiramisu, if you can look past the sin­ful amount of mas­car­pone. If too much caf­feine makes your head hurt and heart thump, set­tle for the teabased Red Latte.

Halal. Mon-Thu, 10am-10.30pm; Fri-Sun, 10am-11.30pm. $$

BTB & Restau­rant

Chi­naHouse, 153 & 155 Le­buh Pan­tai, Ge­orge Town (+604 263 7299/www.chi­nahouse.com.my)

Few Pe­nan­gites can tell you where BTB & Restau­rant is, but men­tion Chi­naHouse and ev­ery­one knows its lo­ca­tion. One of sev­eral eater­ies within the large shop­house, BTB is ac­ces­si­ble via Beach Street and serves fu­sion Western dishes. Be pre­pared to wait a while as Chi­naHouse is al­most al­ways full.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 6.30-10.30pm. $$$ Bu­dan’s Brew Cof­fee Bar

2 Lorong Ar­gus, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 3930/www.face­book.com/ Bu­dan­sBrew).

If you’re crav­ing a Western-style breakfast or brunch, Bu­dan’s Brew is the way to go. Try Bu­dan’s Egg Ben or the Big Sausage Breakfast, which is a jumbo chicken sausage flanked by potato salad, chicken ba­con and scram­bled eggs. Carbs come by way of crois­sants, pani­nis and cia­bat­tas.

Pork-free. Mon-Thu & Sun, 9am-5pm; Fri-Sat, 9am-5pm, 7.30-11pm. $

Cof­fee Lane

5 Gat Le­buh China, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 0625/Face­book: Cof­fee Lane).

Cof­fee Lane takes their cof­fee se­ri­ously; reg­u­lars swear that the well­bal­anced bev­er­ages here are Pe­nang’s best. Scratch this off your bucket list: for RM50, you can sam­ple the most ex­pen­sive cof­fee in the world: kopi luwak (civet cof­fee).

Pork-free. Tue-Sun, 10am-7pm. $

Delux­cious Restau­rant

15-17A, Jalan Sul­tan Ah­mad Shah, Ge­orge Town (+604 226 9993/www. delux­cious.com.my).

Award-win­ing Chef Keith Khoo, who has done a stint at Sin­ga­pore’s Ritz­Carl­ton Ho­tel, brings his sig­na­ture touch to Delux­cious’s fu­sion food. Most dishes on the menu in­cor­po­rate an in­ge­nious blend of lo­cal herbs for a healthy dose of flavour. The high-tea sets are es­pe­cially en­joy­able taken in the gar­den.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 12noon-10pm. $$$

Din­ing Room

Macalister Man­sion, 228 Jalan Macalister, Ge­orge Town (+604 228 3888/www.macal­is­ter­man­sion.com). This chic, min­i­mal­is­tic restau­rant is dreamy to say the least. Its snowwhite in­te­rior is decked out with a tree as the cen­tre­piece and pastel­coloured deer. Chef Lance U’Ren, a con­nois­seur of French cui­sine, cre­ates mod­ern, in­no­vate cui­sine to match the con­tem­po­rary am­bi­ence. Din­ing Room may be glam­orous, but it keeps its doors open to fam­i­lies with young kids as well. There’s even a kids’ menu for young gourmets.

Child-friendly. Kids’ menu. Credit cards ac­cepted. Tue-Sun, 7-11pm; Last or­ders at 10.30pm. $$$

Down­town Art Her­itage

149 Jalan Masjid Kap­i­tan Kel­ing, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 1303/ Face­book: Down-Town-Art-Her­itage). Strate­gi­cally lo­cated at the cross­roads of Le­buh Canon and Le­buh Ar­me­nian, Down­town Art Her­itage is the per­fect place to re­coup af­ter hours of sight­see­ing. Works of art adorn the walls of this restau­rant, which serves fu­sion fare such as the Chef Pasta (gin­ger, gar­lic and minced beef meat spaghetti) and the Ap­ple San­cha Smoothie (blended ap­ple, Haw flakes and caramel). The restau­rant’s sig­na­ture dish is Nasi Ke­tuk served with chicken ren­dang; don’t be taken aback by the blue hue of the rice; the nat­u­ral dye comes from the but­ter­fly pea blos­som.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Dis­abled­friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. MonWed & Fri-Sun, 10am-6pm. $$

El Faro

231 Jalan Burma, Ge­orge Town (+604 227 2310/www.face­book.com/ el­faro­ta­pas­bar).

Fre­quented by a cool crowd, this el­e­gant tapas bar makes it easy to lose track of time while win­ing and din­ing with friends. Chef Jack Yeap whips up in­no­va­tive tapas such as tomato ‘Cap­pu­cino’, truf­fle-scented parme­san fries and the house-cured Nor­we­gian salmon.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 3-11.30pm. $$$

Eté Café

25 Lorong Carnar­von, Ge­orge Town (+6017 435 0922/www.face­book.com/ ete­cafe).

Eté Café, or ‘sum­mer café’ in French, is man­aged by a Tai­wanese cou­ple who at­tended the Le Cor­don Bleu culi­nary arts in­sti­tute. Be­sides freshly brewed siphon cof­fee, the café turns out freshly baked French pas­tries such as mac­arons and tarte nor­mande (ap­ple and al­mond tart).

Dis­abled-friendly. Mon-Tue & ThuSun, 12noon-6pm. $$

Gala House

102 & 104 Le­buh Mun­tri, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 3118/www.face­book. com/gala­house.com.my).

Gala House’s con­sis­tent qual­ity and con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion ac­count for the cafe’s grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity. Or­der a hearty pasta dish fol­lowed by a slice of the sig­na­ture Jack Daniel’s cake. If you’re look­ing to host a pri­vate party, the se­cond floor is open for book­ings.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 11.30am-12mid­night. $$

Har­vest In Café

10 Jalan Ir­rawadi, Ge­orge Town (+604 226 1718/Face­book: Har­vest In Cafe).

This hum­ble café scores points for its prompt ser­vice and af­ford­able menu. Most mains cost less than RM20 and come in huge por­tions. We highly rec­om­mend the Hun­gar­ian chicken, which is a house favourite.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon & WedSat, 11am-3pm, 6-10pm; Tue, 11am3pm. $$

Huey&Wah

368-1-14, Bel­lisa Row, Jalan Burma (+604 228 3962/www.hueyn­wah.my). One of Pe­nang’s cutest and cosiest cafés, Huey&Wah serves kopi-o along­side cap­puc­ci­nos and fancy brunch dishes in ad­di­tion to sim­ple soft-boiled eggs and toast. Few can call them­selves marsh­mal­low ar­ti­sans, but Huey&Wah’s pro­pri­etors are just that. Crown your hot cho­co­late, cof­fee, milk or

Milo with marsh­mal­lows flavoured with cho­co­late, matcha, pas­sion fruit or stout. While ser­vice is a bit on the slow side ow­ing to the café’s small team, ev­ery­thing is made to or­der, and the reg­u­lars don’t seem to mind. Visit the café’s up­stairs to shop for books by lo­cal authors, cro­chet dolls, bo­hemian bracelets, art and colour­ful post­cards. There’s also a book ex­change cor­ner if you’re in need of a new read and board games to while away a rainy day.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. MonFri, 8am-6pm; Sat-Sat, 8am-11pm. $

Ir­rawaddy Fine Foods

54A Jalan Chow Thye, Ge­orge Town (+604 226 8182/Face­book: Ir­rawaddy-Fine-Foods).

Ge­orge Town’s only del­i­catessen is your best bet for spe­cial­ity cheeses and char­cu­terie. Point a home­sick English­man in the di­rec­tion of this café to get a full English breakfast any­time of the day. The in­ex­pen­sive set menu com­prises the soup of the day, your choice of a main, dessert and juice for just RM18.80.

Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm. $$

Junk Café

401 Le­buh Chu­lia, Ge­orge Town (+6016 438 3205/www.face­book. com/junk401).

If you’re won­der­ing how on earth the pro­pri­etors of this wacky café ac­quired a land­fill’s worth of junk to fill their cof­fee­house, it’s be­cause they didn’t – the junk pre­ceded the café. Junk Café was ini­tially the de­pos­i­tory of Ono, a vin­tage col­lec­tor who trav­elled far and wide in his quest for pre-loved trea­sures. Equipped with lit­tle but an es­presso ma­chine and an out­door grill, the team here still man­ages to magic up de­li­cious drinks and tow­er­ing burg­ers.

Pork-free. Mon-Tue & Thu-Sun, 3pm-1am. $$

KHOON Pas­try House

29 Jalan Ar­gyll, Ge­orge Town (+ 6016 469 9962/www.face­book.com/ khoonpas­try­house).

De­spite hav­ing been around for more than half a decade, this fam­ily-run eatery hasn’t re­ceived the recog­ni­tion it de­serves. Sure, the in­te­rior isn’t the most stylish, but what’s most im­por­tant is the TLC that goes into the bak­ing. If you’re here for lunch or din­ner, you can’t go wrong with the shep­herd’s pie. Tea time calls for cream cones and gar­ishly dec­o­rated cup­cakes. Don’t for­get to peer over the counter and say hi to the in-house puppy. Pork-free. Child-friendly. Mon-Sat, 11am-9pm. $$

Kopi C

153 & 155 Le­buh Pan­tai, Ge­orge Town (+604 263 7299/www. chi­nahouse.com.my).

Laid out on a long ta­ble, Kopi C’s pas­tries and cakes are a dessert lover’s wet dream. This dessert venue is housed in a her­itage com­plex-turned-art space known as Chi­naHouse. The nutty tiramisu, cho­co­late bread pud­ding and up­side down pineap­ple cake hardly dis­ap­point.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 9am-12mid­night. $$$

NEW KOTA – When Francis meets Rem­pah

Fort Corn­wal­lis, Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barak­bah, Ge­orge Town (+604 251 9420/www.face­book.com/ Ko­taPe­nang).

A fu­sion eatery that’s un­der the radar for now, KOTA is lo­cated within the walls of the his­tor­i­cal Fort Corn­wal­lis, which means you’ll have to pay the en­trance fee to the his­tor­i­cal land­mark – this charge is de­ducted from your din­ing bill. Es­sen­tially a min­i­mal­ist glass box sur­rounded by de­te­ri­o­rat­ing ru­ins, KOTA is more than an air-con­di­tioned respite in a tourist des­ti­na­tion. Few other eater­ies in Pe­nang of­fer ca­sual fine din­ing at such af­ford­able prices; no main course cost more than RM30. KOTA’s strong point is repack­ag­ing lo­cal flavours – the tan­doori dish is a mound of ghee-flavoured rice flanked by un­be­liev­ably juicy tan­doori chicken topped with pa­padum and crispy morsels of lamb shank ravi­oli. If you think the savoury dishes here are good, wait till you try the desserts. Dig into the trio of crème bruleé flavoured with pan­dan, gula Me­laka and pu­lut hi­tam – a suc­cess­ful mélange of Eastern and Western flavours.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 10am-10pm. $$

La France Café and Restau­rant

3B Jalan Ir­rawadi, Ge­orge Town (+6012 412 7355/www.cafe-la-france. com).

It’s hard to be­lieve that La France was once a hum­ble stall in a food court. Presently sit­u­ated in the heart of Ge­orge Town, this cosy café serves French fare and drinks such as crêpes,

croque-mon­sieur (grilled cheese sand­wich) and the renowned French lager Kro­nen­bourg 1664.

Child-friendly. Tue-Sun, 9am-3pm. $$

La Vanille Cup­cakes & Mac­arons

122A Jalan Hut­ton, Ge­orge Town

(+604 226 4024/www.face­book.com/ LaVanilleCup­cake).

This teatime des­ti­na­tion serves cup­cakes, mac­arons and other freshly baked desserts in ad­di­tion to hot bev­er­ages such as tea and cof­fee. The café’s wood-pan­elled in­te­rior and pas­tel-hued dé­cor pro­vide an in­ti­mate set­ting for wed­dings, birth­day par­ties and pri­vate celebrations. Or­der an im­pres­sive cus­tomised cake for a spe­cial oc­ca­sion.

Child-friendly. Mon-Sat, 10am-7pm; Sun, 10am-7pm. $$

Ma­cal­lum Con­nois­seurs

1 Gat Le­buh Ma­cal­lum, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 3597/www.face­book.com/ Ma­cal­lum).

This high-ceilinged ware­house­turned-café is the epit­ome of in­dus­trial charm. Fast WiFi makes it a pop­u­lar work space among free­lancers. The in­no­va­tive cof­fee cream spaghetti shows that it’s pos­si­ble to use cof­fee as a savoury in­gre­di­ent.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 9am12mid­night. $$

MoonTree 47

47 Le­buh Mun­tri, Ge­orge

Town (+604 264 4021/ Face­book: MoonTree 47).

This café, art gallery and home­s­tay rolled into one serves sim­ple yet sat­is­fy­ing break­fasts, juices and cof­fees. If you’re al­ler­gic to pets, look else­where as MoonTree’s three res­i­dent cats roam about freely.

Child-friendly. Dis­abled-friendly. MonTue & Thu-Sun, 9am-5pm. $

Mugshot Café

302 Le­buh Chu­lia, Ge­orge Town (+6012 405 6276/Face­book: The Mugshot Cafe). This down-to-earth café manned by friendly twin broth­ers is at­tached to Rain­for­est Bak­ery. Home­sick New York­ers will be glad to know that Mugshot’s spe­cialty is bagels (get the ba­con and egg). For some­thing sweet, get a yo­ghurt jar or pop into the bak­ery for the ap­ple crum­ble. Child-friendly. Daily, 8am-12mid­night. $

Naughty Nuri’s Warung

114 Jalan Burma, Ge­orge Town (+604 226 3171/Face­book: Naughty Nuris Warung Ge­orge­Town).

Bali’s fa­mous pork ribs are now avail­able in Pe­nang. This restau­rant and bar boasts a com­pre­hen­sive menu of ev­ery­thing porcine in­clud­ing pork ribs, burg­ers, chops and sausages, but you’ll also find steak, bar­be­cue chicken, Ba­li­nese nasi goreng and na­chos on the menu. With loud red walls and an ex­ten­sive cock­tail menu to boot, this is a lively venue to wine and dine with friends.

Child-friendly. Daily, 3pm-1am. $$

Pas­sion Heart Café

83 Le­buh Mun­tri, Ge­orge Town (+6016 443 1336/www.face­book. com/pas­sion­heart­cafe). Pas­sion Heart Cafe’s frou frou en­trance is quite a fright, but you’ll be dream­ing of the se­lec­tion of home­made cakes day and night. Heavy em­pha­sis is placed on lo­cal ingredients; Pas­sion Heart’s cempedak and durian cakes rank among its best­sellers. How­ever, it’s the sig­na­ture Black For­est that takes the cake.

Pork-free. Mon & Wed-Sun, 12noon10.30pm. $

Pa­tio Bar De Tapas

49F Pengkalan Weld, Ge­orge Town (+6012 311 0442/www.face­book.com/ pa­tiopenang).

This Span­ish wine and tapas bar, which houses an im­pres­sive wine cel­lar up­stairs, serves clas­sic Span­ish tapas such as hon­gos (gar­lic thyme mush­rooms) and in­no­va­tive finger food like the Wings of Toro (pi­quant chicken wings mar­i­nated in Red Bull and jalapeño pep­pers). Profit from the bar’s ‘Hap­pi­est Hour’ from 5pm to 9pm and en­joy your tip­ple at the out­door or up­stairs seat­ing.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon-Thu & Sun, 5pm-1.30am; Fri-Sat, 5pm2.30am.

Pik Nik

15 Jalan Nagore, Ge­orge Town (+6016 448 1517/www.face­book.com/ PIKNIKEVERYDAY).

Ex­pect le­gions of hip­sters and gig­gly groups of girl­friends at this ‘too cool for school’ venue. Colour­ful cush­ions and in­ter­est­ing wall art con­trib­ute to Pik Nik’s bo­hemian chic am­bi­ence. The kitchen’s Western­ised menu places em­pha­sis on waf­fles.

Child-friendly. Mon, Wed-Thu & Sun, 3pm-12mid­night; Fri-Sat, 3pm1am. $$

INCH

44 Le­buh Mun­tri, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 1693/inch­food­bar.com). This subtly stylish restau­rant and bar on sleepy Mun­tri Road serves scrump­tious brunches on the week­ends and in­ven­tive cock­tails. Daily spe­cials start at RM19 and come with a bot­tom­less bev­er­age. Bud­ding mu­si­cians can take ad­van­tage of the open mic ses­sions to test their vo­cals on a live au­di­ence.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon & Wed-Sun, 10am-12mid­night.

Purr­fect Cat Café

53 Jalan Mun­tri, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 1197/www.face­book.com/ penang­cat­cafe).

Cat lovers flipped out when Pe­nang’s first cat café opened its doors in Oc­to­ber 2013. Fe­lines roam free in this two-storey café that serves desserts and light fare. The re­tail store stocked with cat-themed mer­chan­dise is likely to burn a hole in the purses of crazy cat ladies.

Halal. Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 10am-9.30pm. $$

Rain­for­est Bak­ery & Pas­try

300 Le­buh Chu­lia, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 4641).

Sit­u­ated on the busiest stretch of Le­buh Chu­lia, Rain­for­est is fre­quented by home­sick visi­tors who crave bread af­ter end­less meals of rice. Rain­for­est’s gourmet breads range from sour­dough loaves to rus­tic Ital­ian cia­batta. Free de­liv­ery is pro­vided ev­ery Wed­nes­day for pur­chases cost­ing RM20 and above.

Pork-free. Mon-Sat, 8am-6pm. $

Sarkies Cor­ner

Eastern & Ori­en­tal Ho­tel, Le­buh Far­quhar, Ge­orge Town (+604 222 2000/www.e-o-ho­tel.com).

This colo­nial cof­fee shop in­side the E&O Ho­tel is di­vided into two sec­tions: the orig­i­nal Sarkies wing, which serves à la carte dishes, and the new wing with buffet-style din­ing. Seat­ing on the pa­tio lets you en­joy the sea view whereas in­door seat­ing comes with the perks of air-con­di­tion­ing.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 11am

11pm. $$$

Seafront Din­ing

3A Per­siaran Karpal Singh 2, Le­buh Sun­gai Pi­nang 5, Ge­orge Town (+604 281 9181/www. face­book.com/seafront­din­ing). Un­ex­pected flavours and un­usual com­bi­na­tions are trade­mark at Seafront Din­ing; think hoisin sauce rib eye, pan-fried salmon with Man­darin or­ange cream and egg noo­dles aglio olio. Try to score a seat up­stairs where the pa­tio over­looks the sea and the Pe­nang Bridge.

Pork-free. Credit cards ac­cepted. TueSun, 12noon-3pm, 6-10pm. $$

SteakFrites@23

23 Love Lane, Ge­orge Town (+604 262 1323/www.23love­lane.com). SteakFrites’s din­ner ex­pe­ri­ence re­volves around just one dish: steak and fries. Only two decisions are re­quired of you: 150g or 200g of Aus­tralian grass-fed ten­der­loin and how well do you want your meat done? The restau­rant serves light meals dur­ing the day time.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Daily, (breakfast) 7-10.30am; (af­ter­noon tea) 4.30-6pm; (din­ner) 6-10.30pm. $$$$

Suf­folk House Restau­rant

250 Jalan Air Itam, Ge­orge Town (+604 228 3930/www.face­book.com/ suf­folk­house).

This pe­riod build­ing was once home to Pe­nang Is­land’s founder, Cap­tain Francis Light. Or­der the af­ter­noon tea set, a lav­ish spread of sand­wiches, scones, cake and pie, and cap your visit with a stroll across the neatly man­i­cured court­yard.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Dis­abled­friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 10am-11pm. $$$$

Sun­flower Home­made Cakes 117A Jalan Hut­ton, Ge­orge Town (+604 227 3343).

One of the more es­tab­lished cake houses on the is­land, this bak­ery spe­cialises in moist kek lapis or layer cakes; choose from orig­i­nal, prune, al­mond or cho­co­late chip. The sim­ple but­ter cake and ba­nana loaf make great tea time ac­com­pa­ni­ments while the whole cream cakes and cup­cakes are pop­u­lar for birthdays.

Halal. Child-friendly. Mon-Sat, 9am6pm. $

NEW Tav­ern in the Park

Hin Bus De­pot Art Gallery, 125 Jalan Timah, Ge­orge Town (+604 218 9394/Face­book: Tav­ern-in-the-Park). Tav­ern in the Park’s spe­cialty is the cros­tini plat­ter. Peanut But­ter Ba­nana and Salmon cros­tini are favourites while the gen­er­ously por­tioned pan-fried salmon is a win­ner. The rus­tic am­bi­ence with wooden fur­ni­ture en­closed by brick and glass walls makes this a pop­u­lar pho­tog­ra­phy spot.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 11.30am-10pm. $$

That Lit­tle Wine Bar

54 Jalan Chow Thye, Ge­orge Town (+604 226 8182/www. thatlit­tlewinebar.com).

The ‘lit­tle’ in That Lit­tle Wine Bar seems a bit mis­lead­ing, what with the bar’s ex­ten­sive wine list and menu; pore over more than 50 la­bels of wine and or­der from an im­pres­sive range of tapas, sal­ads, soups, main cour­ses and desserts. Lastly, tell the friendly som­me­lier James Springer that Time Out says hi!

Child-friendly. Dis­abled-friendly. MonSat, 5pm-12mid­night. $$$

The Twelve Cups

The White­aways Ar­cade, 12 Le­buh Pan­tai, Ge­orge Town (+604 262 6812/www.face­book.com/ TheTwelveCups).

The Twelve Cups is worth a pit stop af­ter a sweaty stroll around Ge­orge Town’s her­itage spots. While the café used to spe­cialise in cof­fee and mille crêpe cakes, the pro­pri­etors have re­cently switched their fo­cus to brunch items such as caramelised ba­nana French toast, smoothie bowls, av­o­cado open-face sand­wiches and other In­sta­gram­able dishes.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon-Thu, 10am-5pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-11pm; Sun, 10am-10pm. $$

Three Sixty Re­volv­ing Restau­rant and Sky Bar

Bayview Ho­tel Ge­orge Town, Top Level, 25-A, Le­buh Far­quhar, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 3540/360rooftop. com.my).

This re­volv­ing restau­rant of­fers a gor­geous 360-de­gree panoramic view of Pe­nang. Come just be­fore sun­set to see the is­land light up. The daily buffet from 6.30pm un­til 10.30pm of­fers Asian and Western ap­pe­tis­ers, mains, desserts, cof­fee and tea at a good price con­sid­er­ing the view that comes with it. Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon-Thu & Sun, 4pm-1am; Fri-Sat, 4pm-2am. $$$

Wheeler’s Cof­fee

67 Love Lane, Ge­orge Town (+604 261 3570/www.face­book.com/ wheel­ers67).

This bike-themed café serves good takes on typ­i­cal café food. You can’t go wrong with any of the pas­tas, sand­wiches, pan­cakes or cakes here. The dart ma­chines at the back feel some­what out of place, but po­ten­tially pro­vide hours of fun.

Pork-free. Daily, 9am-12midight. $

The Wine Shop

11a, 15 Lin­tang Burma, Ge­orge Town (+604 226 1824/www. thewineshoppg.com.my).

A lo­cally renowned wine dis­trib­u­tor, The Wine Shop stocks 900 wine la­bels from in­ter­na­tional vine­yards. But that’s not all: the com­pany also op­er­ates a restau­rant and a del­i­catessen serv­ing gourmet meats, sausages and cheeses.

Mon-Sat, 10am-1am. $$$

NEW Yin’s Sour­dough Bak­ery and Café

11 Pe­sara Claimant, Ge­orge Town (+6011 2419 5118/www. yinssour­dough.com).

Be­ing the only sour­dough bak­ery in Pe­nang, Yin’s breads are healthy and in high de­mand. Choose from ap­ple cin­na­mon sour­dough, three-seed whole wheat, Ger­man rye and coun­try white loaves which are avail­able, and are all good.

Child-friendly. Mon-Fri, 7am-6pm; Sat, 7am-1pm. $

Gur­ney Drive

Brown Pocket

Sixth floor, Gur­ney Paragon Mall, Per­siaran Gur­ney (+604 218 9668/ www.brown­pocket.com).

Brown Pocket’s cool Aus­tralian vibe was im­bued by its own­ers who make fre­quent trips to Mel­bourne. Dessert lovers flock here for their sig­na­ture waf­fles, which have a nice chewy tex­ture. Our favourite dish, how­ever, is the spiced ap­ple pan­cakes.

Child-friendly. Daily, 10am-11pm. $$

Se­berang Jaya

Rasamas

Lower ground floor, Sun­way Car­ni­val Mall, 3068 Jalan To­dak, Pusat Ban­dar Se­berang Jaya, Se­berang Jaya (+6019 351 3948/www.rasamas. com.my).

This lo­cally owned eatery spe­cialises in roast chicken and has branches in Butterworth and Alor Setar. Though good enough on its own, you can choose to douse your chicken in one of sev­eral sauces in­clud­ing black pep­per or spicy per­cik.

Halal. Kids’ menu. Daily, 11am10pm. $

Se­berang Perai

Abbey Road Bistro

6GF Le­buh Teng­giri 2, Pusat Ban­dar Sun­way, Se­berang Jaya (+604 390 6655/www.face­book.com/ abbey­road­bistro).

This dim, ro­man­tic restau­rant with chequed table­cloths pays homage to The Bea­tles via its name and the fan art on the walls. The Western fare here is hearty, so con­sider shar­ing with your date or fel­low din­ers; think pink pep­per­corn sea bass, spiced lamb racks and blue mus­sel stew. Ask for the house pour to com­ple­ment your meal.

Credit cards ac­cepted. Tue-Sat, 12noon-11.30pm; Sun, 12.30-11pm. $$$

Tan­jung Bun­gah

Gusto Café

4 Jalan Sun­gai Kelian, Tan­jung Bun­gah (+604 890 4012/www. face­book.com/Ja­son­sGus­toCafe). Ba­con galore! Or­der the English breakfast set or pork bagel sand­wich and crunch down on deep-fried strips of pork with great gusto. The café also pulls off some of the best cof­fee in town. Visit Gusto’s Face­book page to stay in the loop of its monthly jazz nights.

Mon-Tue & Thu-Fri, 7am-8pm; SatSun, 8am-4pm. $$

Vin­tage Bul­garia Restau­rant

1E Jalan Sun­gai Kelian, Tan­jung Bun­gah (+604 898 1890/www. vin­tage­bul­garia.com).

As the only Bul­gar­ian Restau­rant not just in Pe­nang, but in Malaysia, Vin­tage Bul­garia has cer­tainly carved a niche for it­self. Sam­ple spe­cial­ity Bul­gar­ian dishes such as pork djolan

(roast pork knuckle) and Balkan-style baklava (filo dough en­cas­ing chopped nuts and coated with sticky syrup).

Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Tue-Sun, 5pm-12mid­night. $$$

Tan­jung Tokong

Blue Reef Fish & Chips

3A-G-20, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tan­jung Pi­nang, Tan­jung Tokong (+604 899 8127/Face­book: Blue-Reef). This fish and chip joint over­look­ing the Straits Quay ma­rina serves good old fash­ioned fish and chips and other seafood dishes. Get a glass of white wine to com­plete your meal.

Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Mon-Fri, 10.30am-10.30pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-10.30pm. $$

NEW Croisette Café

546E Medan Tan­jung Bun­gah, Tan­jung Bun­gah (+6016 330 4477). This is the place to come for sim­ple, au­then­tic French food like pork pâté, grilled pork chops with Di­jon mus­tard and French onion soup. There is a daily set lunch at a very friendly price and fresh baked goods like crois­sants for sale.

Child-friendly. Tue-Sun, 8.30am-3pm, 6-10.30pm. $$ Full of Beans

3A-G-11, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tan­jung Pi­nang, Tan­jung Tokong (+604 899 0621/www.fullof­beans. my).

Full of Beans is all about the cof­fee. Or­der the French press or Ja­panese drip cof­fee and you can rest as­sured that it will be a good cuppa as the own­ers are very aware of where their beans come from and how they’re roasted.

Child-friendly. Mon-Thu, 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 10am-12mid­night; Sun, 10am-11pm. $

NEW Kith & Kin

A-G-9, Van­tage De­siran Tan­jung, Jalan De­siran Tan­jung, Ge­orge Town (+604 898 1813/www.face­book.com/ kithand­kin).

It’s al­way great find­ing a café where par­ents can go for a meal know­ing that the kids will be en­ter­tained. The Play­room at this café is ideal for keep­ing lit­tle minds and hands busy while mum and dad in­dulge in the nov­elty of eat­ing in peace. Hearty, healthy and MSG-free soups, sal­ads and mains cater to ev­ery taste and there is a good kids’ menu.

Pork-free. Child-friendly. Daily, 12noon-3pm, 6-10pm. $$

Un­cle Al­bert’s Tra­di­tional English Fish and Chips

3A-G-9, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tan­jung Pi­nang, Tan­jung Tokong (+604 890 3407/www.un­cleal­berts. com.my).

Un­cle Al­bert’s sig­na­ture dish is truly ad­dic­tive; the ex­tra crispy batter and hand-cut chips make ex­cel­lent finger food. If fish and chips don’t float your boat, there is also roast chicken, burg­ers, beef lasagne and a va­ri­ety of seafood dishes. Child-friendly. Credit cards ac­cepted. Daily, 11am-11pm. $$$

Var­i­ous lo­ca­tions

NEW The Big Fat Hen

CHIME Her­itage, 9 Jalan Bawasah, Ge­orge Town (+604 227 7375); Gar­den Inn, 41 Jalan An­son, Ge­orge Town; G Inn, 133 Jalan Macalister, Ge­orge Town (www.face­book.com/ big­fa­then).

There are three out­lets of this cool café lo­cated at the Gar­den Inn, G Inn and the CHIME Her­itage row. The lat­ter has pages from clas­sic books pasted on the wall and an over­all kitsch am­bi­ence. The witty menu has items like ‘Mary had a lit­tle...?’, which is a rich lamb (ob­vi­ously!) shank dish, while the sig­na­ture Big Fat Hen is a bone­less chicken leg topped with moz­zarella and bar­be­cue sauce. There are reg­u­lar live per­for­mances so check their Face­book for up­dates.

Child friendly. Tue-Sun, 11.30am3pm, 6-11pm. $$

James Foo Western Food

Precinct 10, Jalan Tan­jung Bun­gah, Ge­orge Town; All Sea­sons Place, Le­buhraya Thean Teik, Air Itam (+6017 443 1152); 21-A Jalan Fettes, Fettes Park, Tan­jung Tokong (+604 899 3671/Face­book: James Foo & Fam­ily Fettes Park Western Food). This Pe­nang-founded chain of Western restau­rants just cel­e­brated its 30th an­niver­sary last year. The fam­ily-friendly eatery is pop­u­lar for its com­fort food served in gen­er­ous por­tions – think grilled chicken, salmon fil­lets and lamb chops. When din­ing at the Fettes Park out­let, be sure to or­der the Hainanese spring rolls.

Child-friendly. Mon-Fri, 12noon-3pm, 5-11pm; Sat-Sun, 12noon-11pm. $$

Seafood

Tree Mon­key Restau­rant

Black Ket­tle

KOTA's trio crémé bruleé

Purr­fect Cat Café

Blue Reef Fish & Chips

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