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A First-Timer’s Guide to Penang, Malaysia’s Food Scene

Natalie is interested in travel, arts, and literature. She loves discovering new things whilst learning new things and culture

Hawker-Style Food Trip in Penang

Hawker-Style Food Trip in Penang

Feeding Your Tummy with some Delectable Malay Treats

Other than having really awesome accommodations in Penang, there are plenty of beautiful tourist attractions here. But if you really want to experience the whole Malaysian adventure, you should make it a point to include Penang’s top food destinations within your itinerary.

So for first–timers, who are just about to visit this charming country, prepare yourself and your stomachs for a hunger-induced exploration! This guide will let you know which Malaysian dishes are a must-eat so you could really immerse yourself on the country’s food scene.

Yong Tau Foo

Yong Tau Foo

Farlim Night Market

Penang is well-known for having some of the best street food here in Asia and where better to find a vast array of fried meat skewers but here in Farlim Night Market! It’s considered as one of the biggest night market in Penang that offers fresh food and scrumptious snacks.

Make sure you get the Yong Tau Foo. It’s one of Malaysia’s traditional snacks and a local favourite. It’s a simplistic yet savoury dish that will get your appetite going because of the variety of tofu and seafood balls doused in some sweet sauce or chili sauce. You shouldn’t also miss out on the charcoal-grilled Satay. It’s not hard to miss because of its aromatic scent and won’t leave too much of a dent in your wallet since it’s cheap.

Carnarvon Street, George Town

But if you’re craving for some hot savoury broth and glass noodles, you should head on to Carnarvon Street which is a gold mine for savoury noodle dishes like: (1) Penang’s iconic Char Koay Teow, which is a flat rice noodle dish stir fried in a dark spicy soy sauce, shrimp paste and some pork fat and then topped with some shrimp, bean sprouts, bits of scrambled eggs, and chives; and the (2) Koay Teow Th’ng which is a colorless noodle soup paired with a generous amount of pork slices, seafood balls, with scallions, garlic bits and some chillies on the side. These two dishes perfectly contrast with each other but nonetheless both have refined flavours that could satisfy your taste buds.

Char Koay Tew

Char Koay Tew

Other Signature Dishes To Try

  • Mee Goreng, a popular spicy stir-fried noodle dish that can be found almost anywhere in SEA. It’s available in instant packets but since you’re at Malaysia, why not have it in authenticity?
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  • Teochew Chendol, a bowl of this cold shaved iced with grass jellies, syrup and coconut milk will beat the heat out of the hot weather. A popular dessert is available in many local eateries and sold by Chendol carts situated in the streets of Penang.
Teochew Cendol

Teochew Cendol

  • Asam Laksa, a vermicelli bowl full of explosive flavours ranging from sweet, spicy to sour. It’s super spicy; you’ll sweat out of your pores!
Asam Laksa

Asam Laksa

Then after a whole day of just taking in the culinary delights, make sure you can relax comfortably by checking out Evergreen Laurel Hotel Penang, one of the premiere hotels in Penang. When you book directly on their website, you can take advantage of their promos so you can save big during your stay.

Foodies will be excited to dive into the world of delectable local delights that Penang has to offer so be prepared and make sure your stomach is up for it!

Take Your Pick

© 2019 Natalie Woods


Natalie Woods (author) from The World Is My Home... on May 27, 2019:

Hey Lorna, glad you like it. I must say that mee goreng is among my favorite of them all. Though I really enjoyed every dish I've tasted. =)

Lorna Lamon on May 24, 2019:

Great article - I visited Penang a few years ago and loved their wonderful selection of food. Your photos are great - I could almost smell the dishes.Thank you for sharing.

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