Penang offers delicious dishes and drinks to everyone who visits. It makes sure to keep its guests entertained and satisfied by offering all kinds of cuisine along the so many world-class tourist attractions. Eating and drinking in Penang reflects the mixing of cultures and traditions in the island. Penang is a melting pot of cultures – Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai and British. Penangites love to eat whether in a posh world-class restaurant or traditional street-side food stalls; and they love eating even more when foreign visitors join them. Food joints everywhere serve the freshest dishes with the most fragrant spices, and offering menus from Thailand, Japan, Korea, China, India, France, and so on. With so many places and dishes to choose from, below are just a few.
A popular Japanese restaurant in Batu Ferringhi is Matsu. It serves authentic Japanese food for dinner. It also serves bento boxes for lunch on the beach but on a per-order basis only. Cocktails are served at the nearby Batu Bar. If you wish to go Japanese, Matsu is found at the Lone Pine Hotel.
If, on the other hand, you would like to go European while in Asia, try the cool Swiss café on Lebun Armenian in Georgetown. It is called Edelweiss (what else would a Swiss restaurant be called?), and it serves ice cold Paulaner Beer along with house specialties – German sausage and cheese fondue. Edelweiss is found inside a 150-year-old building in picturesque Georgetown, the capital of Penang.
For a light snack, Kopi Cine Café & Bar serves home-made cakes and ice-cream with Italian coffee. This well-known restaurant also serves full meals and wine, and you may choose to eat at a street-side table. This cozy eatery is found on Lorong Stewart also in Georgetown.
And while you are in the beautiful island of Penang, nothing is better than fresh seafood. You might want to check out Ocean Green on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Georgetown. It serves delicious crab noodles and spicy tiger prawns. Ocean Green is one of the best known seafood restaurants in Penang.
The Penangite people and culture have been greatly influenced by the Chinese and Indians. For authentic Indian or Chinese dishes, try Sri Ananda Bahwan or Tek Sen. Sri Ananda Bahwan located on Lebuh Penang is fully vegetarian. Its specialty is flaky roti canai dipped in curry sauce for breakfast. Tek Sen, on the other hand, is very popular during dinnertime. It serves delicious curry fish and char siew (pork barbecue).
There are so many local and international restaurants that you simply can’t go to all of them. But if there’s just one place for you to check out, make sure it’s Gurney Drive Hawker Center. All kinds of dishes, including authentic and savory Malaysian foods are served here. The place is located on Georgetown’s heritage area by the sea, serving Penang’s coconut milk-flavored noodle soup called “laksa”.
Eating and drinking in Penang is not only a culinary treat but also cultural. You shouldn’t miss out on spicy Nasi Kandar, Char Koay Teow, Rojak, Hokkien Mee and a variety of Nyonya dishes.