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Hidden Food Gems in Penang

We spent 2.5 months in Penang recently and we fell in love with this island. The people, the culture, the beach, the weather, the food…did we mention the food?!!

Penang has been featured in countless foodie documentaries and shows and with good reason. It is literally a foodie’s paradise. There is food 24/7 here and because of the range of different ethnicities, you will find so many wonderful delights. Indian Malay, Chinese, Western and Nonya cuisine are commonly found everywhere, from hawker stalls to high-end restaurants.

We tried the famous Nasi Kandar, a delicious dish of rice served with multiple meat and vegetable curries. Don’t be shy, eat with your hands as the local Indians do.

We also had Roti Canai (pronounced Chennai) on many days for breakfast. This cheap and divine dish is so satisfying. $2 MYR will fill you right up.

Roti Canai

Next up, we had to sample some famous Char Kway Teow. This flat rice noodle dish is so full of flavour, it’s insane.

Char Kway Teow

We also enjoyed some Nasi Lemak, a dish consisting of coconut rice, served with anchovy hot chilli sauce, fried anchovies, fried peanut, sliced cucumber or tomato and hard-boiled egg, Cendol, an interesting dessert of small green jelly-like noodles sweetened with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk, topped with red kidney beans.

Cendol

In Little India, we tried Thosai, naan, samosas and many other fried treats sold on the streets.

Indian Treats

A family favourite was probably Long Beach Cafe in Batu Ferringhi…my clothes literally shrunk as we ate there every evening for a week. You walk through the dozens of food stalls, pick something you like, and they will bring it to your table. There is something for everyone and the food is absolutely delicious and freshly prepared. We loved the organized chaos of the place and the busy chatter of locals and tourists.  Try the spring rolls and fried rice here…to die for.

Other places that we enjoyed were Magnum, as in Magnum ice cream. This place is located at Gurney Paragon and wow is it ever good. For 10MYR each you get a customized Magnum ice cream bar with your choice of three toppings. So freakin good! I want one now as I reminisce, LOL!  We also frequently visited Auntie Anne’s Pretzel and couldn’t believe how affordable it was. $5.80MYR gets you a soft pretzel in various toppings. The chocolate eclair and cheese nuggets became family favourites.

If you’ve ever thought of visiting Penang, please go. It is a beautiful place, there is so much to see and do and the food is really out of this world. We are already planning our next visit.