Malaysian (Street) Food – Penang

The third and final part of our foodie trip through Malaysia!

1. Prawn Village (Bukit Tambun, Simpang Ampat, Penang)

Before crossing Penang Bridge, we headed over to Simpang Ampat for one of the culinary highlights of our trip: chilli crab at Prawn Village. It’s a local restaurant, so don’t expect to find many Western tourists here. Instead, find this:

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Fresh crab cooked in a chilli sauce that is sheer perfection. Order two. You’ll be glad you did. *sigh*

2. Tropical Fruit Farm

After working up a sweat at Penang’s National Park, we headed over to the Tropical Fruit Farm for a short guided tour. Your entry ticket also includes an exotic fruit buffet at the end of your tour. Yay!

Even though there were about twelve to fifteen people in our group, it seemed like my wife and I were the only ones interested in learning more. As a treat, our guide offered us the chance to try some durian as well. Finally tasting some durian was part of my Penang wish list from the very get-go, so without hesitation I said YES. Didn’t care for it (tastes cheesy, but not in a pleasant way), but hey, at least I know now, right?

3. George Town Skewers

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Wandering through George Town, we hit one of the seaside promenades for some fast-food skewers with chilli sauce. Tasty!

4. Penang Hill: Nasi Lemak

The biggest rip-off of our entire trip in the whole of Malaysia was our visit to Penang Hill. I found no pleasure whatsoever in being herded on and off the funicular train like cattle (actually being shouted at by the steward at the top), without being able to sit down. The view is not spectacular at all (you get an equally nice view from the Kek Lok Si temple, which is a bit further down but definitely worth a visit) and there’s nothing but tourist bait once you get to the summit.

Nevertheless, we had to eat, didn’t we? I had some uninspiring nasi lemak (no even remotely close to the one I had in the Cameron Highlands), my wife went for Indonesian satay cawan.

5. George Town Food Tour

The tummy highlight of our trip to George Town has to be our guided food tour through George Town, though (booked at Food Tour Penang). If you’re thinking about doing this tour yourself (which I’d highly recommend), stop reading now! The surprise of what dish will come next is part of the experience, after all!

Contrary to what you might think at the end of  this post, I didn’t take photographs the entire time, so believe it or not, you won’t be seeing everything. And that’s saying something.

Our first stop was Teochew Chendul, where most of us had just that. As they make their cendol/chendul using condensed milk, however, lactose-intolerant me got a different treat. And a treat it was!

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Behold, ABC or Air Batu Campur (mixed ice) minus the condensed milk. This was SO good. It’s topped with a gazillion things, including red beans, maize and jellies, but it has a much fruitier taste than chendul, which makes it vastly superior (for my palate, at least).

Here, we also sampled muar chee, sticky rice “balls” with peanuts, sugar and sesame. They may look crunchy, but they’re actually quite soft and chewy thanks to the glutinous rice.

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Finally, we tried Penang-style assam laksa. Mmmmmmm!

Next, our guide Kevin took us to sample some prawn fritters, beansprout and tofu fritters and loh bah (lovely Chinese five-spice pork rolls).

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Still at Tan Jetty, we tried some roti jagung, a type of cornbread with a gooey centre if I’m not mistaken.

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Next up: apom manis, a type of pancake with a thin outer circle and a thick inner one, thanks to the pot that’s used to prepare it (bottom right). Mrs Pomegranate loves pancakes, so this was definitely a highlight for her. 😉

We had another sweet dish in between, but I don’t remember what it was called, so moving on to Chinese “pan” (no idea how it should be spelled, but it looked like this:)

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It’s a soft white bread roll with a sweet spicy sauce in the middle and a plack of fried minced meat (we saw these long squares of meat around Chinatown in KL as well). YUM.

Time for our main course, which consisted of poh piah (not pictured), a noodle soup with prawns and fish balls, char kway teow (Penang flat fried noodles. DELICIOUS!), chicken wings, pork satays and nutmeg juice. Yes. NUTMEG. It doesn’t resemble dried nutmeg in the least. The first thing it reminded us of was cranberry juice, albeit a sweeter kind. SO good.

Special mention goes to this little fellow:

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This is a so-called “century egg”. I’ll let you find out the details yourselves. We all tasted it (me first, though! Muahaha!) and it tastes just like a boiled egg, the “white” (brown) being slightly chewier for obvious reasons.

Our last stop was an Indian restaurant, where we had a chicken curry with some dhals and lemon iced tea. Mmmmm.

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We had a great night out and I’d highly recommend taking this tour if you ever visit Penang!

There we go! This concludes our foodie adventures in Malaysia! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading our three-parter series and, as always, would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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