Several moons ago, there was Penang food itinerary that kinda went viral on social media. On that particular list, they’ve scheduled to eat a famous Penang dish every hour. Being the gluttons we are, we decided to take up the challenge and do an Epic Penang Food Trip. Travel plans were made, and I’ve spent a few days researching, coming up with a list. We even went super low carb for a week in anticipation of this trip.
So the day finally came, we touched down at Penang Airport at 8:30 am (yes, we were dedicated enough to take the first flight out of KL) and were picked up by Kevin’s BFF, Clarence; who’s a Penang local. The first thing he said? “You know what? F**k the list and let’s go to places that only locals go!” Who are we to say no to that right?
Our first stop was Genting Cafe, located at Island Glades, Greenlane. This place is known for its Pork Leg Rice, Chee Cheong Fun and Curry Mee. Unfortunately the day we visited the CCF was not available and we were a little too early for the Pork Leg Rice. But at least we got the Curry Mee.
I found this to be just alright. The broth is a bit on the thin side and the chilli was not as hot as I’d like (Hot Bowl Curry Mee being the benchmark), but the toppings were nice. It was a bit early for curry mee though for me.
Kueh Tiaw Th’ng is common Penang breakfast. The texture of the noodles was quite good, though the soup was nothing to shout about. Just a light noodle dish to start off the day.
Loh Mee here is alright. The gravy has good flavour and worked well with the sambal.
Sneaked a photo of him.
We headed to Georgetown after to suss out some of the dishes I’ve listed. One of which was Tiger Char Koay Teow found at Kafe Ping Hooi on Lebuh Carnarvon.
This particular stall is frequently listed as one of the Top CKT in Penang. There wasn’t a queue as it was still rather early (just before 10 am). Unfortunately, this Char Koay Teow was rather ordinary, it didn’t really hit the spot for us.
Located on the same street is the Famous Pitt Street Koay Teow Thng, made with Eel balls. We went to check it out, but look at the size of the crowd!
It was already getting pretty hot at that stage and we weren’t going to stand in line for this. So we gave up. Next time perhaps we should do it first thing in the morning.
Clare decided to bring us to try the Char Koay Teow that he likes. So off we went to Ho Ping Coffee Shop, on Penang Road.
This one actually tasted better than Tiger, with distinct charcoal taste and enough wok hei to flavour the noodles. The spicy version is better though.
We ordered the Rilwana Mee Goreng but it wasn’t anything to shout about.
We took a little walk through Penang Road and visited Chowrasta Market, the newly refurbished space looks really good!
We spotted these super cute Link Bike, a newly launched Bike Sharing System, an initiative by Penang city council to make Penang a greener city.
Has anyone been on one of these?
Chowrasta Market is still occupied by a row of secondhand bookstores, the nerd in me was a little excited to spot these Medical textbooks.
It was nearly hitting lunch time and we decided to drop our stuff at the hotel and then continued on with our journey. Next stop, New World Park. Built as a food, shopping and lifestyle hub, it hosts several fine dining restaurants, casual cafes and also home to a popular food court. We ordered a few things to share.
I enjoyed the Yam Cake here, which has nice chunky yam bits which lend a lovely aroma to the kueh.
I had to order the Oyster Omelette (Oh Chien). Clare said that he would be bringing us to the best Oh Chien ever and refused to touch this one. I thought it was ok though, the oysters were fresh enough and egg vs starch ratio was quite balanced.
Hot day warranted Ice Kacang, the mixed fruit version definitely hit a sweet spot.
I’m not a huge fan of Otak Otak, but this version tasted fresh, aromatic with soft chunks of fresh fish. Quite good.
The stop on our trip was rather unexpected. There’s an Indian uncle who sells Laksa and Popiah on the bike by the roadside near CIMB bank at Pulau Tikus. This is been around for a very long time and a lot of regulars have been eating this since young.
Check out the plump golden popiah! The metal bottle on the side contains laksa broth. The recommended way of enjoying this combining the popiah and the laksa.
The broth here is a mixture of Assam and Nyonya laksa. It’s a little more on the light side, but the fish bits were all blended in already. Topped with the piquancy herbs and cucumber this is really quite addictive! Dipping the popiah in the laksa broth definitely elevated the whole experience.
He also sells Cucur Udang (Prawn Fritters), which also goes fabulously with Laksa broth. Yum!
We were joined by the rest of the makan team in the afternoon and the first place we hit was the Fort Cornwallis Food Court, which houses the Hameed Pata Mee Sotong.
I’ve had this Mee Goreng several years ago and was quite impressed. Though this time, everything is a just a little too sweet for our liking.
Mee Rebus version, also sweet.
Pasembur, which tasted strangely like a dessert, the sauce is super sweet with a hint of chocolate and milk, most peculiar.
Next stop, got to have the Teochew Chendul to cool down.
We chose to have it in a cup for convenience. The line there was insane too.
At this stage, we were all sweaty and rather full, but of course. A quick freshening up was all it needed for us to prepare for dinner. This time, the target is Keat Seng Kopitiam in Air Itam.
Remember we were supposed to try the best ever Oh Chien? Well, it’s located here! No mercy here and we ordered the biggest portion (RM16).
Looking that the juicy oysters! Upon our first bite, I gotta say, this is probably the best Oyster Omelette I’ve had in my life. The oysters were super fresh and briny, the eggy aroma mixed with the light starch makes the perfect texture. Completely with the chilli sauce that’s seasoned just nice. Perfection on a plate I tell you. And here, they do not skimp on the oysters either.
The Chee Cheong Fun here is generously doused in Hae Ko, which adds a fantastic umami taste. This is really good too.
We also shared a curry mee, which was a touch better than the one at Genting Cafe.
Surprisingly the Sar Hor Fun here is really tasty! We had it as the mixture of Mee Hoon and Hor Fun, the sauce is full of wok hei, and there were even slivers of pork liver, cooked perfectly.
The Char Koay Kak here is pretty popular too, but I’m personally not a fan of Penang style Koay Kak, which is slightly bland compared to the Sarawak type.
The Pai Tee was fully vegetarian I think, these were just ok.
Here’s a little food porn in the form of Apam Balik. Hehehe. I didn’t eat these because I can’t eat Peanuts.
Gluttons at work!
….. And that was the end of Day 1. We went back to the hotel with happy tummies. It was to be an early night because we needed to do Penang Hill in the morning.
Good Morning Penang! Picture heavily filtered to hide fat lol.
We initially wanted to do the full hike but seeing some of us had a plane to catch and we wanted to maximise eating time we chose to go up via the tram. It was still a full hour walk though. But not before some light fuel for the body.
Just some Toast and Eggs at the Food Court.
The Token Half Irish had Tiger for fuel. Crazy yo!
The View here is beautiful though.
Anyway, after working out for our meal, we headed to the Hawker Stalls located on Jalan Sekolah La Salle for our proper breakfast.
Since we haven’t had Hokkien (Prawn) Mee the day before, it’s only apt we gave this a go. The broth is excellent with the heady sweetness of prawns. The chili paste has a good kick too.
The same stall also serves Loh Mee and if you know the local lingo, you can order the Hokkien Cham Lor, which is a hybrid of the Prawn Mee with some Loh gravy. This adds a further depth of flavours to the noodles. Good stuff.
Surprisingly this Mee Goreng is pretty good, almost rivalling Bangkok Lane, though a little bit wetter.
Clare bought us some Bak Kwa sandwich, featuring a thick slice of Bak Kwa and a little bit of soy-based sauce. Very simple, but very moreish.
Couldn’t resist ordering the Char Koay Teow again and this is even better than the one we had the day before! Goes to say that a good plate of CKT doesn’t necessarily come from those super famous ones, and perhaps this is also very subjective to personal taste.
Phew! We definitely ate up a storm in Penang, and would very much repeat the experience again in the near future. Special thanks to our ‘uber driver’ and ‘tour guide’ for showing us what Penang food is REALLY about.