Amazing Wan Tan Mee at the Red Garden in George Town, Penang
Penang has been dubbed the food paradise of Asia, and by some even the world, and for good reason. There is a hugely diverse selection of cheap and expertly prepared dishes on virtually every street corner in George Town. There are dozens of food courts where you can sit and have fresh juice, noodle and rice dishes, seafood, ice cream, and assorted snacks for about $1 each. Hawkers are generally very friendly and speak enough English to help you make a selection. The Red Garden was one of my favorite food courts, and it’s also where Anthony Bourdain went for delicious Wan Tan Mee (noodle soup with dumplings and pork) on No Reservations.
Prawn-based dishes such as Penang Laksa and Mee Goreng are what initially put Penang on the map, but honestly they were not my favorites. I’ve never been a fan of that pungent prawn flavor, which reminds me too much of how low tide smells. I did, however, love the dubious-sounding Ice Kacang, which is a shaved ice dessert topped with creamed corn and red beans.
If you’re going to eat in Penang, it’s good to remember that nasi means “rice” and meemeans “noodles”. That will make reading the menus slightly less confusing.
The famous Penang Laksa at Kompleks Makanan Medan Renong, which overlooks the Strait of Malacca
Yummy Ice Kacang at Kompleks Makanan Medan Renong
Poh Piah is a vegetarian spring roll dish
Huge, delicious, and cheap Dosa at Krsna Restaurant in Little India
The very popular Hainan Chicken and Rice, served cold
One of my favorites – Curry Mee on Lebuh Chulia in the center of town
Roti Canai is a popular breakfast dish
Char Kuey Teow reminded me a bit of Pad Thai, but much richer and more flavorful
I didn’t give these giant fish heads a try, mainly because they are supposed to serve up to four people!
Another one of my favorite meals – Nasi Kandar, which is rice served with yummy curry sauce and amazing fried chicken
A very famous dish, but one I wasn’t a huge fan of – Mee Rebus
A safe option at the Red Garden – rice with chicken and mild seasoning
Chee Cheong Fun is about as fun to eat as it is to say! Rice noodles covered with a variety of flavorful sauces
Very fishy Nasi Lemak at the Sri Weld food court on Lebuh Pantai
Another safe option, Mee Goreng – fried noodles with tofu and chicken
I treated myself to a cute chocolate cupcake and ice cream at the Camera Museum