Local Cuisine (Street Food in Penang) – Where Feasting Becomes a Ritual

Penang is a small state in Malaysia sprawling along its north western coast. The George Town in Penang is a UNESCO World Heritage site teeming with impressive colonial villas and shophouses. Apart from historical tourist attractions Penang is informally popular as the Food Capital of Malaysia and has won the prestigious TIME magazine title for Asia’s Best Street Food in 2004.

Penang streets are bustling with customers gathered around street hawkers, stalls and cafes to grab the unique flavours of Malaysian dishes and snacks. Most food in Penang turns out to be ethnic blends influenced by Indian, Thai, Malay and Chinese dishes. Sea food and noodles are the most popular types among street hawkers apart from various other local delicacies. Explore the streets New Lane, Pulau Tikus, Swatow Lane, Chulia Street, Gurney Drive and Penang Road to discover the best of Penang street food.

One such popular Penang hawker food is Satay, the kebabs in Penang way. This meat on a stick style food is served after marinating and grilling the meat or fish slices fixed on skewers. Penang Rojak is a one of a kind salad made of fruits, sea food, vegetables and fritters. Its dark tones appear mysterious yet the taste is simply marvellous. The dressing of Rojak is a mixture of lime juice, sugar, prawn or shrimp paste and chillies. The quality and taste of Rojak in Penang surpasses other Rojak variants found anywhere else in the country.

Penang Laksa is another great street delicacy where noodles are served in a spicy broth of fish and vegetables. It is further spiced with heh-ko, a strong prawn paste. This dish is served at most coffee shops in Penang streets. Tari Burgers are ideal as a snack, and they are a cheaper yet fantastic variant of western burgers cooked in Penang style. Conversely Chee Cheong Fun is a big rice roll stuffed with dried shrimps and dipped in various sauces and prawn paste.

The soup lovers will be delighted to taste the Hokkien Hae Mee or simply Hokkien Mee, the prawn noodle soup. It is made up of prawns, egg and rice noodles with some meat, fish cake and squid and is served with soy sauce and red chillies.

A barbecued fish delight is the succulent Ikan Bakar where the Mackerel fish is usually marinated and wrapped in banana leaves and then grilled. Otak-Otak is prepared by steaming and grilling the fish fillets after dipping them in coconut milk, spices and other ingredients. Conversely when it comes to desserts, Penang streets offer numerous choices including Cendol, Ice Kachang and Ching Pu Leang Thang Shui among other sweet treats.

A holiday in Malaysia will not be complete without a visit to its food capital and feasting on the scrumptious street food in Penang. Stay at a comfortable hotel in Penang like Traders Hotel, Penang and explore the streets packed with appetizing food. From here guests can easily visit the business and shopping zones as well as the Penang International Airport which rests only 15 minutes away. Indulge in the affluent comforts at this elegant Penang hotel and have a wonderful and memorable holiday in Penang.