Visiting Penang means an unforgettable experience with one of the world’s most famous food cultures. It’s the most extreme case of engaging one’s sense of taste, making a truly lasting experience. Eating through any place is the best way to go about a trip, and this Malaysian hub of cuisine is one of the world’s hallmarks. That’s where Penang’s Gurney Drive comes in.
Food in Penang
A single photograph quickly brings back the heat on my neck, the bright colors, and a distinct mix of flavors encapsulated within a wall of sea-salt air. Renowned in Asia and spread throughout the world, Won Ton Mee or Won Ton Noodles certainly won me over. A lot was happening on the plate as it arrived at my table in Penang. Among the noodles were slices of pork, leafy greens, dumplings, and a sauce so delicious that my belly craved more and more as the trip continued.
Nasi Lemak and Chicken Rendang
We spent a morning at Penang’s Tropical Spice Garden and walked around, learning about various spices during our walking tour. Afterward, their very kind chef showed us the way around cooking a few different Malay dishes. Nasi Lemak and Chicken Rendang were a couple of them and had I not burned the former’s peanuts, this would have been a perfect meal. I’m too hard on myself. It was still good!
Satay. Ah, now there’s a great concept—throw a delicious marinade onto meat on a stick and throw it over a fire. I mean, how can you go wrong?
In the “completely random” department, we found some pretty cool dessert while scouring the hawker malls in Penang. One find was from a Syrian food stall and when you see baklava offered anywhere, isn’t it par for the course to try it? We did and yes, it was awesome!
Out of everything available, Won Ton Mee was THE dish on my mind each day. It is often found throughout Malaysia and different varieties exist all over Southeast Asia. There’s so much food in Penang to go around that everyone’s favorite must differ. That’s the beauty of traveling somewhere far away. You’re able to make your own adventures and memories.
I’d love to know what you find most appealing about food in Penang. Let me know in the comments section below and keep the conversation going:)
This Penang travel guide is part of our series on Food Travel, Malaysia Travel, and Southeast Asia Travel. It was originally created on September 1, 2014. It has been maintained and updated (as of December 27, 2018) to reflect current viewpoints and travel trends.