Another accolade for Penang street food

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CNN GO has put Penang at the head of a list of ‘Asia’s 10 greatest street food cities’.

“To those in the know, Penang is one of the world’s top dining destinations,” states freelance writer and street food enthusiast Lina Goldberg in her piece for CNN GO.

“And street food–or hawker food, as it’s locally known–is the city’s big draw.”

Assam laksa once again tops the list of popular street food in Penang.

Thanks to blog reader Fred Yong for the link.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. As a guide, the food listed by CNN Go are:

    Penang Assam Laksa (at Cecil Market Food Court),
    Hokkien me (between Magazine Road and Prangin Road Ghaut), Wonton mee (Lebuh Chulia)
    Nasi kandar, (Line Clear, Penang Road)
    Rojak (Gurney Drive Hawker Center,
    Lor bak (Jalan Johor ,near Jalan Dato Keramat),
    Curry mee (Lebuh Cintra between Lebuh Campbell and Lebuh Chulia)
    Char kway teow (Pulau Tikus Night Market)
    Koay chiap (Kimberley Street Duck Koay Chiap), and
    Ice kacang (Gurney Drive Hawker Center)

  2. My guests from US and Japan say the same.

    They have been to hawker centres all over the country but none beats Penang.
    Even Singapore generally pales when compared to the street food we could buy here.

    I fully agree with them.

    • Air Asia should do something.
      Don’t do the same like MAS.
      Tour agencies should do something.
      Don’t package like Rojak KL style.
      Hotels & Home Stay should do something.
      Don’t do it like SingLand strangeland.

      The window of opportunities is now wide open:
      Makan-Makan Tours (many types) the 3 players can do a combo.
      (I don’t mean Fried Chicken Combo)
      Plus a FREE Street Food Museum Tour topped up with multi-Ori-Maestro personalized serving (no bakso) packaged in kau kau.
      (Oh! The museum has yet to be built!)

      More of my deeper-than-blue-ocean strategic tactics if any entrepreneurs interested to seize this window of opportunities kau kau. No shark fins please. Neither ostrich brains in black cakes.

      • BTW, I am chewing an idea with Ori-Maestros to revive 60’s Original Hokkien Mee of Madras Lane fame, which learnt the trade secrets from sifu Ori-Maestro of Macalister Lane Hokkien Mee fame.
        Penang Hokkien Mee is one of the top-3 of the street food craze chart!

      • Why keep depending on Air Asia?

        Sir Tony do not have time for street food now that his QPR is in danger of relegation, and his Copyham F1 is being sued for millions of $ by Force India.

        You should ask MAS instead, as it can procure the Penang street food for its highly priced in-flight menu!

      • MAS is a wrong strategy – everything high priced!
        Do we want to price Penang street hawker food tour out of competition?
        Sir Tony as a genius marketer at least knows the price strategy game, one of which is affordable street food crawling.
        Sir Tony, come to Little India for mutton kari capati. And don’t forget to bring “Good Morning” mini China towel!

  3. But there are 10 places in Asia. It seem CNN is just picking one place for each country. Big China is given only 1 slot.

  4. Anil

    Hope no one comes to the illegal “Thai Malay” stalls in front of our place. These are a shame to the ratings/review given by International media.

    It is so dirty, and smelly, and the rental is (allegedly) collected by a local UMNO … head. Those illegal stalls on the roadside go for a rental above RM1,000/motnh.

    GHERKIN, you may “capture” some free road side land, put up a stall and rent it out for RM1,000 a month too.

    • GHERKIN, you may “capture” some free road side land, put up a stall and rent it out for RM1,000 a month too.
      This is stealing land from the state.
      According to hudud law: chopping of finger nails, fingers and then whole hands.
      Gherkin, what you think of this ‘land capturing’ crime? AOK?

  5. The State or whoever is responsible (since the Ministries of Health and Tourism are probably (allegedly) trying to undermine the State) should nurture this golden goose. Cases of severe illness due to tainted food (as in the case of a friend who got typhoid there) can damage the reputation in this age of social communication. Do proactive checks including lab tests for pathogens at random, issue writen warnings to dirty outles, and conduct free training for food retail workers. Cleanliness is not just selling aprons and outdoor parasols.

  6. After having delicious Penang food and tasty malaysian feast.
    Tourist especially Scandinavians would like to bask under the sun.
    It is very confusing when we have a world class casino , several betting operators , wine , beer and health spas but they cannot sunbath topless anywhere here.
    Suggest to have designated FKK or clothing optional resorts or beaches to cater for this sector.
    Food can only draws in that much.
    All factors must be considered in order to draw-in higher volume of quality tourist and a reason for them to stay longer.
    At the moment most are making Malaysia as their last or first stop before going to Thailand and visa run

    • Jerejak for topless sunbathing ?

      Jakim come after you first !

      then Tham Chiak Kuis become Goh Peik See

      🙂

      • Then “Good Morning” mini China towels will become ‘laku’ than Premier tissue paper!
        What towel size you want?

      • don’t need to go topless coz we r asians.
        in bikinis should be ok lah. imagine using “good morning” as material for mini-swimsuit ?
        GK can surely go gila gila ?!

  7. Ho 😆 Ho 😆 Ho 😆

    😆 ‘O’ Yeah ❗ 💡 PEARL OF THE ORIENT 💡 street foods really ‘HO CHIAK’ n PENANGATES are really BLESS with all the best of the best foods from all their multi-racial society foods everywhere in this BEAUTIFUL ISLAND….yum yum YUMMY..sluuuurpppp 😆

    Ho 😆 Ho 😆 Ho 😆

  8. In penang, chow kuey teow is good anywhere… the quality is just so consistent unlike in Klang Valley. The apom near the hospital is another must have, both stalls are as good I would say. Even the oyster omelet (ho jien) in penang is penang is delicious, unlike elsewhere in Malaysia where it is all starchy. The lobak is also so so so tasty, a class above the rest. Keep it up Penangites!

    • yesterday on astro arena interview, Nicole David mentioned her favourite food is Char Koay Teow; and being politically correct she said no ther places can fry as that in Penang.

      • Even those Japs and those from Tang Suah and Heong Kang love Char Keow Teow and Mee Yoke. They cannot find them in their kampong.

      • Ho 😆 Ho 😆 Ho 😆

        😆 Many of my Fren says that 💡 Macalister Rd Sister Char Koay Teow … Lorong Selamat Char Koay Teow… Tg Bungah Sg Keliang Char Koay Teow….Padang Char Koay Teow are best of the best 💡 Mmmmmm Yum Yummy..mum Mummmm hehehehehe 😆

        Ho 😆 Ho 😆 Ho 😆

  9. I hope the rental for those stalls don’t shoot up. Otherwise all those streets foods will mati. You know lah, under rocket everything in Penang becoming expensive.

    • Don’t worry, Gherky. We know that inflation is not LGE’s fault. You should listen to the kopitiam talk when people are enjoying our street food. So, I take it you ta pau most of the time, do you?

    • Ho 😳 Ho 😳 Ho 😳

      😳 GILAKAN … can CHEAT normal human being BUT not 💡 GOD 💡 ➡ http://bit.ly/Ha9n6E 😳

      😳 HELL IS WAITING FOR THEM N THEY ARE BLACKLIST IN HELL NOW 😳

      Ho 😳 Ho 😳 Ho 😳

    • The narrowest lorong off Macalister Road which I avoid at all cost of salivating is now a one-way lorong to accommodate the ‘eat-into-road-space’ hawker stalls.
      I can imagine the rental value of those houses along this lorong going down, down. Where got space for parking?
      So Gelakan should go around town, jay walk the lorongs to see the real situation for himself, especially this narrowest of all lorongs off Macalister Road.
      No chance if you happened to drive thro’ this one-way in a Camry without doing a slow-brake-slow-tortoise driving for road safety reason!

  10. Penang at the head of a list of ‘Asia’s 10 greatest street food cities’.

    B’cos of our Ori-Maestros who stick their heads up high (pride of profession), don’t compromise (heavenly quality), aren’t greedy (like developers) to charge dizzy prices, and stay put in George Town heritage ambience (not translocate to overt slippery cleanliness obsessed food courts).

    Now, we still have no street food museum!!! Unthinkable!

    My small words of encouragement to Ori-Maestros:
    Don’t migrate to SingLand. Stay put in Penang, your profitable, life-long market of Tham Chiak Kuis and food-crawling tourists, your die-hard customers. And I will pray, pray for Penang Street Food Museum or should I call it in your honor, Penang Ori-Maestro Museum.

    My taste buds are dancing, my salivating flowing.
    Where is my “Good Morning” mini China towel?

    • The restaurant’s owners of Singapore’s Kay Lee is selling the recipe (dates back to the 1950s) of.its well-known roast meats for $1.5 million (or $2.7 million when the shop space is thrown in).

      http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/food/singapore-roast-meat-joint-offers-to-sell-secret-recipe-for-15m/506234

      The couple behind the 30-year-old Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint on Upper Paya Lebar Road are both above 60 years old and their children are not keen on taking over.

      Could such phenomenon take place among Penang hawker food maestros?

      • This is one undeniable fact of life of a hawker’s business longevity – no keen ‘follow-ups/take-over’ from children.
        One stigma of hawker as a roadside ‘than chiak lang’ of lower standard among blue collar workers is a turn-off to the younger generations of ‘Tua Bing Chui’.

        But if you look closer, barring (some of) their bad habits of gambling away their cash-income, it is quite a good vocation with daily cash payments without having to chase after debtors. Either you pay or no food is a strong business-protection practice as a hawker.
        Food & beverage business is very competitive and reliant on customer taste, locations and ingredient costs.
        Word of mouth is another influential factor that can sometimes kill a hawker’s business.

        Penang as a famed street hawker food paradise has given Ori-maestros a new ‘lease of life’ for many years to come. And it has improved the earnings of many Ori-maestros who can command better price while still attracting local & foreign Tham Chiak Kuis.
        But in the 60’s – early 90’s, there was no glimmer of hope for hawkers as a ‘profession’ except for a few famed Ori-maestros who stuck to their woks and charcoals. I knew that ‘low’ feeling as a youngster helping out as cycling Hock Kien Mee delivery boy. You often got yelled at, ordered like a servant or even chased by back lane dogs. Add 10 cents to the price and you could be sure ‘boh lang chiak’! Come rain and you had better pray for sunshine. And it is a typical morning to evening day job.

        Unless the hawkers’ children have some early ‘working experience cum training’ by their ‘sifu’ parents, know the ‘competitive advantage’ of their secret recipe and develop some childhood passion for the business, there is no glimmer of hope that even a Ori-maestro cuisine will survive more than one generation.
        That is why I advocate a Penang Street Food Museum or Penang Ori-Maestro Museum, for the sake of our heavenly street food cuisine and our many generations of Ori-Maestros to come. It’s time to give our humble Penang street hawkers some measure of state & tourism recognition. The Tham Chiak Kuis have done their part.

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