Friday, September 14, 2012

Food of Penang, Malaysia

It's been four days since I left Penang, but I can still savor in my mind its delicious and often spicy food. Before I went there, a number of my friends were telling me that "food there is delicious", so I was curious to see it for myself. I was in Penang last September 7-9, 2012, for our seminar-workshop on "Promoting Markets in Healthcare" sponsored by EMHN-London and IDEAS-Malaysia.

Our hotel was the Red Rock Hotel, a modest one in the city. To its left is this complex of many small food stalls. I walked here around 7:30pm on Day 1 (September 7) and though we have a scheduled dinner at 8pm somewhere, I could not resist the temptation of tasting one noodle soups there, it was nice at 4 Ringgit.

That night, our local hosts, Wan Saiful Wan Jan and his staff at IDEAS, brought us to this Indian restaurant, Kapitan. I was intrigued by this long line of fried chicken, upper right. Hmmm, yummy.

Lower left, some of the different viands that we ordered. The prawns and those fried chicken were not included in this photo. Lower right, not in this resto, from a food stall somewhere, frog meat for sale, cool.

Around Kapitan restaurant is a district of many Indian shops -- clothes, music, bags, jewelries, etc. And not far from it are old mosques. Nice place.

On our second and last night in Penang after our workshop ended in the afternoon, Wan brought us to this famous Malaysian restaurant, "Cina Muslim Restaurant". This is several kilometers away from our hotel.

Haaa! Really yummy food -- chicken, vegetables, grouper, I'm still salivating until now. Lower right photo, that's durian desert, mmmmm.

I think Wan ordered 3 or 4 orders of grouper ("lapu-lapu" in the Philippines) and they were all wiped out by 14 hungry tummy :-)  Tea and another juice complemented our yummy dinner. I kidded Wan that I needed to walk at least 3 kilometers in order to hasten digestion of my food intake that night.

On our way back to the hotel, Wan toured us to Georgetown proper, lots of interesting places there. Then not contented yet, Wan brought us to another Indian restaurant, "Pelita" for some drinks, tea and black coffee (above, lower right), bread and desert. Another round of delicious food.

The food list, they are not expensive, and yet delicious and clean. I noticed that many food shops are open until midnight or even early morning even on a Sunday night. Many locals, I was told, prefer to eat outside than cook at home (do groceries frequently, wash the dishes, etc.), as it is not time consuming and not costly at the same time.

From Indian food, Chinese food, Malaysian food, to a combo or mixed of those cuisine, there are many food choices and restaurants or food stalls to choose. 

I liked Penang. Thanks to Wan and his friendly, hard working staff at IDEAS being great hosts.

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