One of the main reasons we chose to visit Penang, in addition to the arts and culture, is that food there is supposed to be amongst the best in Malaysia. In 2013 CNN Travel rated Penang as one of the Top 10 cities to eat Hawker (street food) in Asia. Lonely Planet voted Penang as the best culinary destination to go to in 2014. In fact, it has been quoted that one of ‘Penangites’ favourite past times is eating!
So seeing as I appear to share the same passion as the locals, it made sense to see what all the fuss was about.
This place is described on Trip Adviser as true Indian hawker food at it’s best, although with the addition of walls and tables! It’s an open restaurant setting, serving good food 24/7; and it’s ALWAYS busy – with locals and tourists. They are particularly famous for their tandoori chicken (superb!) and biriyani rice dishes. You can look in the window of the kitchen from the road and see the naan breads and roti breads being made and even view the tandoori ovens.
The staff are rude, the service is slow and the hygiene conditions are probably questionable: The reason why we liked it so much? Rosie (the fussy one!) said the Naan bread and chicken was the “nicest food ever” and was even happy to return twice! Both Ruben and Rosie emptied their plates at each visit, completing their meals with a mango lassi (mango yoghurt drink). All this for just 9RM each (£1.60). Foodie heaven!
Another favourite roadside hawker stall offered a style of dining that we hadn’t tried before. Lok-lok is described as skewered bits of food – including vegetables, fish and meat; which is then lowered into boiling pots of water to be cooked. Once ready, the food skewers are served with a variety of dips, including satay, sweet chilli, hot chilli and barbecue sauce.
This place was at the side of the road on Lebuh Chulia, Georgetown. The owner was a really helpful, friendly lady, who was happy to explain what all the skewers contained (it wasn’t always completely obvious!) and demonstrated to us how long to cook each ingredient for. The kids LOVED this technique and happily munched through broccoli, baby corn, sausages, meat-balls, dim-sum and even JELLYFISH!
The grand total for our dinner for four that night came to 24RM (about £5) and it was one of the most memorable meals out we’ve had!