Tuesday, 17 December 2013

24hours Penang Food Hunt

Destination: Penang, Malaysia.
Travel Date: 29 November - 30 November 2013 (1day)
Air Route: KUL-PEN-KUL via
Malaysia Airlines
Believe it or not that this trip is dedicated solely for FOOD! Yes, the iconic Penang is well known with wonderful food and amazing place to visit. It took me two (2) weeks to plan and arrange for the trip. Flights booked, hotel confirmed, trip itinerary set! 

Flying out from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) domestic terminal for morning Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight. Reached the airport quite late and went straight to the check-in counter begging the counter staff to let me in as its less than 40 minutes before departure. I am blessed that the she was very nice and helpful. She allowed me to check-in with my luggage. Phew. I thought I'm gonna miss trip. But, hello Penang. :D

Went throught security check and heading towards the gate. I noticed that the domestic airport has changed a bit. They have newly-renovated with new row of shops lining up heading towards the gate A which previously was only small kiosks & smoking room. Impressed with the new look and I would like to applause the management of the airport, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) for raising their standards and hope that will be in line with the upcoming new terminal KLIA2.

Touched down at the newly completed refurbishment Penang International Airport (PEN) via MH1164. The flight was slightly delayed form its initial schedule. Told my self to keep calm and have faith that you will be awesomely rewarded soon. ;P The cousin, Ikhwan Ismail (go check out his photography works here!) who is residing in the island patiently waiting and ready to rumble the food with me for the next 24 hours. He fetched me up at the airport once I notified him that I'm already at the Arrival Level. 

Cruising off the airport area, first and foremost we head off for the ultimate nasi kandar, the signature menu and compulsory when you visit this jewel island of northern Peninsular Malaysia. This time around, he highly recommended Deen Nasi Kandar which is located in Jelutong area. Do you know what's the trick to know whether the place serve good food or not? He said, "Kalau nampak Melayu, Cina & India sanggup beratur panjang tu, memang sedap la tempat tu" (in translation; "If you see Malays, Chinese & Indian are willingly to join the long queue, the place definitely serve great food"). As we arrived at Deen Nasi Kandar, the queue is piling up. It's a good sign that this place serve good food. While queuing, Ikhwan added that there's a difference taste between the young food server and old timer food server who pour the "kuah" or gravies on your rice. The old timer's work tastes better than the younger one. Myself can't really tell the differences, but if you're a frequent customer you might be able to tell the difference. Food is ready, hands are cleaned then what are you waiting for? Let's dig in!

After satisfying my crave for nasi kandar, we went straight away to another signature dish of Penang, the scrumptious rojak pasembor. As recommended by the Penang locals, Rojak Pitchay Pasembor at Medan Suri, Bayan Baru. Its a food court with ample parking space. Look for Mee Pitchay signage, the shop is facing the parking space. Those who loves noodles or mee, this is the place to be. Ordered a rojak pasembor with extra cuttlefish. Eventhough my stomach is full with nasi kandar, the rojak pasembor is simply delicious to resist.

Its been three (3) hours in this pearl island, and its time to stay in and relax. The weather was nice and chilly, a perfect day in Penang. Checked-in at the brand new hotel in town, Four Points by Sheraton Penang which is located in Tanjung Bungah, in between the town centre and Batu Ferringhi. Adding the colours for the trip, I was upgraded to a Deluxe Ocean Front Suite. The newly refurbished and rebranded hotel by carrying the brand of Four Points also is part of Starwood Preferred Guest® or SPG®. The whole evening is spent with a breathtaking ocean view from the suite and super comfy bed.

Then the sun sets below the horizon in the evening, the tummy is ready to continue for dinner! Few kilometres away from the hotel, there's a food court that serves awesome local foods. Medan Selera Mutiara houses few famous hawker's style food such as Rizal Nasi Ayam, Rudy's of Penang and Tony's Ice Kacang. My dinner's choice would be Char Kuey Tiaw from Rudy's! Been waiting for this time to dig in the Special Char Kuey Tiaw that comes with band of prawns and the awesome burning smells which really enhance my appetite.

Dinner's checked. Now, its time for cruising Georgetown & Batu Ferringhi at night. My precious trip to Penang when I was still in college back in 2007. Nothing much has changed, except for more new hotels and areas have been re-developed which I believe is the post effect recovering from Tsunami in 2004. Batu Ferringhi seems remain to be the main attractions for tourist with an addition of Hard Rock Hotel Penang. Quick stop at the hotel to check out whats great about this place. Impressive refurbishment made and lively concept of the hotel might seduce you for at least a night stay here. I would love stay here one day!

While driving around the town that is listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site recently, I noticed that there are quite a number of wall arts in the vicinity or some might refers it as mural. Keep your eyes on small alleys as I believe each of it has their own story behind it.

Before the trip, I did some research on what's the highlight of Penang scenes and the most that interests me is coffee culture. Some of my friends suggested me to check out this one place called China House.

We reached China House. From the front, its looks like a normal two doors coffee shop. So I walked in and see many people are enjoying their cup of coffee. Surprisingly, its been three (3) minutes and I am still walking.

Passed by a courtyard and towards the end of the stretch of this cafe, theres a small pub that fits a mini dance floor and a bar. On the first floor, there's a space for art exhibition. Interesting. A cup of latte and a piece of macadamia brownies are perfect to end the day.

Before the sun rise, I woke up and in hope to see a view of sun rise from the suite's window. Unfortunately, the day is quite cloudy. I decided to go for quick morning beach run to burn all the yesterday's evil calories intakes before kick off the day with more food.

First stop of the day was the famous Transfer Road roadside stall for its legendary Roti Canai and Roti Bakar (toasted bread). Simply lip smacking brunch I had! There's no menu here but I would recommend Roti Canai, Gulai Daging & Roti Bakar with half cooked egg on top. This tiny place by the roadside is full with locals and tourists and what's interesting here is the way they arrange the seating next to each other facing the road.

And the mural hunting started ...


We skipped lunch as we had late brunch. But then again, we can resists not to indulge with foods here. the next long queuing food in Penang would be Mee Sotong Hameed and Coconut Shake Jalil at Padang Kota Lama (Fort Cornwallis) were simply awesome tag team. The spicy cuttlefish gravy with fried noodles are just too good for my tummy and its worth the long-waiting queue. Coconut shake next door would be a good compliment for the fried noodle. These stalls are located at Kota Selera Food Court adjoining Fort Cornwallis. I want to drop by, please tapau (takeaway) some for me too :P

Next, we rushed to the famous Cendol in town!

Tummy was full. It's time for coffee! Another coffee joint that was recommended by Penangites, The Mugshot Cafe on Chulia Street. This is another must-try place while you're in town. Serves quite a range of bagel sandwiches and yougurts with a selection of healthy fruit toppings. We sat next to a local at early 40s Penangites and chatted. He complimented the shop, "They brew fresh coffee everyday and I drop by this shop everyday for good coffee even on the weekend." So, nothing much I can say about this hip place as the locals review already speaks by itself. Oh, don't forget to snap pictures of you at their measuring height backdrop with the guilty mini whiteboard. The whole evening was well spent at the cafe before waiting to get to our final stop.

Final stop before get off on the plane back to KL, Tandoori Naan & Susu Lembu Badam at Restoran Kapitan is a must. Located on Chulia Street too and is said to serve the nicest Tandoori Naan in town.

24 hours food hunting in Penang is not enough. Unfortunately this is the only time I have for this trip. Need to be back in KL for Terry Fox Run 2013. I'm glad there's a running event the next day. Meaning that I don't have to worry how to shed those excessive food intakes. :D 

This is my first experience doing this food-hunting in Penang, definitely I would visit Penang moreeee ofteeeeennnn!!!!! :) Thanks Penang.

Till we meet again. 
/ Fashran Fauzi.


  1. thank you for these food list in Penang, I definitely need this for my trip next march :D

  2. Serious, such a breathtaking ocean view. Its not a camera trick kan??? hahhaha. Anyway, hai again.. :) nak continue tinggalkan footprint here.