Penang, The Food Paradise
Penang has long since gained the status of a “food paradise” as it provides several exotic mix of Indian, Malay and Chinese gastronomy, which mirrors the multi-ethnic combination of the city. Penang is popular for its food with locals and holiday makers alike. In the year 2004, a survey done by TIME magazine named Penang as having the Best Street Food in Asia, citing that “no other place can provide such an affordable and tasty food”. 9 years later in 2013, CNN Travel recognized Penang as one of the top ten street food towns in Asia. Lonely Planet voted Penang as the top gastronomic destination in 2014 around the globe.
There are several reasons why Penang is also called a “Hawker Paradise. The hawkers here are strongly maintained and helped by locals and food fans, who frequently find it easier and less inexpensive to eat out most of the time. Penang has become so well-known for its street food that some delicious food items are retailed all over the nation using Penang‘s name in their branding.
Most local food is not only delightful to eat but are also healthy and hygienic. Each dish has their own secret ingredients and preparation methods. Whether it is beverages, a main dish, snacks, desserts, soups; everything has an exclusive taste, fragrance and flavour. Other than street food, Indian Muslim restaurants, bistros, fine dining and café also provide a delicious and fantastic food to the public.
Another category of famous food in Penang is seafood. Similar to other states of Malaysia, Penang has a tropical rainforest weather so the food intake here is completely according to the weather and mood of the people. Most of the seafood like crab, shrimp, prawn, fish and squid are available at hawker-stalls and you be able to taste the freshly prepared food at a minimal charge.
Penang’s gastronomy reflect the mixture of Malay, Nyonya, Indian and Chinese ethnic groups of Malaysia. Good tasting Penang food can be found all around the island – popular eating areas include Pulau Tikus, New Lane, Gurney Drive, Penang Road, Chulia Street, Bayan Baru and New World Park, as well as Chai Leng Park and Raja Uda at Butterworth, of mainland Penang.
Local and foreign tourist are always looking for the next delicious meal when they are in Penang. For their benefit, a wide range of delicacies can be found at food courts, coffee shops and stalls set-up along road sides and etc. There are many famous dishes to be found including laksa, nasi lemak, Hokkien mee, Rojak, passembur, fried oyster omelette, char keoy teow, ais kacang, chendul, mee sotong and a dozen others. Many food courts have non-halal and halals section for patrons to choose, so be sure to try both if your religion allows.
Your vacation in Penang will not be complete unless you try out the mouth-watering and delightful Penang food readily found all around the island and in mainland Penang.