Penang char koay teow, along with other local culinary delights, has hit the top of the foodie charts! Don’t you think it is about time we set up a street food museum to showcase how George Town’s street food landscape evolved over time and to honour the pioneers (or the ‘ori-maestros’, as Tunglang refers to them)?

Penang char koay teow: On top of the world – Photograph: jasonlcs_87/Flickr

The citation for Penang, written by Lonely Planet’s Robin Barton and published in the Independent, reads:

#1 destination: Penang, Malaysia

Everyone’s talking about it right now because… Malaysian hawker food has spread worldwide via food trucks and pop-ups but nothing compares to hitting Penang.

Its food reflects the intermingling of the many cultures that arrived after it was set up as a trading port in 1786, from Malays to Indians, Acehenese to Chinese, Burmese to Thais. State capital Georgetown is its culinary epicentre.

Make sure you try… Char kway teow (flat rice noodles with shrimp, bean sprouts, egg and sweet Chinese sausage), hokkien mee (egg noodles in a pork broth with prawns, egg, bean sprouts and water spinach), and asam laksa (thick noodles in a spicy fish broth with tangy asam, a sour tamarind paste).

But think twice about… Sago grubs – the 4cm-long larvae of a South-east Asian beetle.

The hot restaurant… Explore the sprawling Esplanade Food Centre, where hawker faves combine favourably with a seafront location.

Is there a good market? A pasar malam is an open-air night market – such as Jelutong on a Friday and Macallum Street Market on a Monday. The highlight is always the food: at 2am a different world of stalls serves peppery pork-rib soups, skewered fish balls and sweets such as chendol (cold coconut-milk dessert).

What should I drink? Air bandung – rose syrup and evaporated or condensed milk. It makes a great accompaniment to Malay food.

The flavour of the street… Try Nazlina Spice Station, a cookery school which also offers guided tours of food markets.

Useful words… Sudah makan? Have you eaten yet?

Second place goes to Victoria, Australia while North-west Spain is in third spot.

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111 COMMENTS

  1. Lets’s explore Penang’s famous street food at the Penang Hawker Festival 2016

    Date : 19 & 20 Nov 2016
    Venue : Gurney Paragon Mall

    This festival will surely be a gathering for food enthusiasts with workshops, cooking demonstrations and interesting performances for the festival goers. Don’t miss out, make your way to this gastronomic event, one that promises to reveal the flavours of Penang.

    Meet Jason Yeoh (Axian) at 11.00 am on 20 November.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1848913555390265/

    • Do you think they will keep the price affordable at Gurney Paragon?
      Many aunties will be there to meet Jason for selfies.

  2. The readers of this blog provide many good tips for a Singaporean visitor like me when in Penang for the hawker food. I hope the hawkers do not employ foreign workers to cook local hawker food.

  3. Sarawak created the biggest bowl of laksa for Shiok Sendiri record, then threw away the food, wasting money! Penang please do not follow such stupid act.

  4. The Teochew Porridge Tradition Lives On In Penang (Magazine Road)

    Kimberly Street Koey Teow Th’ng

    Kimberly Street Traditional Home of Dessert

    • As a Penangite working in Singapore, I certainly appreciate your update on the Penang food in this blog. Thanks for all the postings you have made. I suggest you have your own blog on Penang food, instead on posting it on this blog.

      • Shirly should know that Anil Netto is the most prominent blogger in Penang. It is an honor to have our comments on his blog.

      • Shirly
        Try this:
        http://www.kenhuntfood.com/

        Born and bred in Penang, Ken Hunts Food is a Penang food blog written by a true Penangite. The blog records Ken’s gastronomic journey in search of Penang’s greatest street food and finest eats. Join him in his food adventures!

  5. GEORGE TOWN: Penang has once again topped the chart as a world food destination over other places including Bangkok and Paris with the endorsement of world-renowned food writer, James Oseland.

    Oseland, 53, is an American food writer, magazine editor and reality cooking show judge who is currently in Penang until July 20 with the mission to find the best food in Penang to be featured in his upcoming book.

    Since his first day in Penang on July 15, Oseland said that his favourite food here so far had been Penang-style nasi campur, nasi kandar and hawker food such as chee cheong fun (rice noodle rolls).

    http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1904083

    http://says.com/my/news/renowned-food-writer-says-penang-is-the-world-s-best-food-destination

  6. Here is something Penang can learn from Singapore, in marketing hawker food to the world:

    SINGAPORE: From chicken rice and beef noodles to biryani and laksa, some of Singapore’s most famous hawker stalls have been awarded a “Bib Gourmand” by the first edition of the Singapore Michelin Guide.

    The French gastronomic guide was started by tyre company Michelin in 1900 and publishes 25 guides covering 28 countries. It awards the Bib Gourmand to food establishments that offer a high-quality menu at a reasonable price – which in Singapore means a maximum of S$45.

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-hawker/2956000.html

      • Now I only rely on readers like David to provide good link on Penang food.
        Please encourage him to set up his own food blog.
        Anil’s blog is now a platform of Penang Forum.

      • Flood of tourists keeps regulars away from Michelin-starred stalls
        http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/michelin-month?cx_tag=rec4u&cid=tg:recos:rec4u:standard#cxrecs_s

        SINGAPORE — After Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodles rocketed to fame as the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred meal, tourists have been making a beeline for the eight-year-old stall. The long queues, however, have displaced some of its regular diners.

        A month after the award, owner Chan Hon Meng told TODAY that he has noticed a striking change in his customers’ profile.

        Tourists make up 90 per cent of his customers now — a stark departure from the pre-Michelin days, where the ratio of tourists to local diners was 50:50.

        Part of the reason, the 52-year-old said, could be that these foreigners on vacation simply had more time to wait in queue for his S$2 plate of rice.

        Waiting time now averages between two and three hours, up from 45 minutes to an hour before the accolade.

        “A lot of my regular customers (who are older) … cannot stand for very long, and some of them have also (told me) they don’t have the time to queue for the food,” said Mr Chan in Mandarin.

      • Another form of unintended gentrification in clientele? Although credit to the vendor for not raising prices to take advantage.

  7. Speaking at a conference on the dangers facing the country’s increasingly overweight population, Mohd Ismail Noor said that the government should ban all-hours dining establishments.

    “Why do we give Malaysians an option to eat 24 hours? At 3am you should be sleeping, not sitting in mamak restaurants watching Euro Cup,” Prof. Ismail added at the event, which was co-organised by Unicef.

    “If it’s open, you have an option to go, but if it’s closed, you stay at home.”

    Malaysia has seen an explosion in recent years in the popularity of mamaks, which are often open-air dining joints that cater mainly to Muslim and Indian diners. Chinese and Western 24-hour restaurants are also very popular, particular in cities.

    Prof. Ismail also blamed Malaysian favourites like teh tarik, a heavily sweetened form of tea, and carbohydrate-laden nasi lamak, seen by many as the country’s national dish, for an obesity and diabetes crisis.

  8. Mr Anil,
    No new development in the food scene in Penang?
    About time for you to kickstart new food topic as we are tired of politics.

  9. The Singaporean affinity for Penang food has spawned scores of restaurants in the Red Dot – from stalwarts such as Penang Kitchen and Penang Place Restaurant, to newer additions such as Penang Chiak at Food Republic Wisma Atria — Malaysian food in general is enjoying its moment in the Singapore sun of late.

    There are outlets all over Singapore serving it up. Take the concept food court Malaysia Boleh at Jurong Point: The Fei Siong Group has brought together 17 stalls and pushcarts serving food from well-known hawkers in Malaysia, such as Petaling Street Famous Claypot Chicken Rice, Klang Bak Kut Teh, KL Hokkien Mee and Sister Curry Chicken Mee.

    And let’s not forget Resorts World Sentosa’s perenially popular Malaysian Food Street, which constantly buzzes with hordes of food lovers queuing for dishes such as Malacca Chicken Rice Ball, Penang Chendol and Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice, cooked over traditional charcoal braziers.

    http://www.todayonline.com/lifestyle/food/malaysia-boleh-singapores-love-its-neighbours-fare-undeniable?page=1

    • When I was at Sentosa last year, I have tried the food at the Msian Food Street – quite good, and the price reasonable. Tourists need to fly to Penang and can sample the famous Penang food fare there, recommend Lim Brothers Char Kway Teow @S$5 a plate – long queue.

  10. I hope the traditional Penang Chinese hawkers would not compromise their heritage by turning halal in a bid to reach out to Muslim customers.

    • If you do so, you will definitely lose visitors from Singapore, Taiwan and China.
      Turning halal would not necessarily mean more Arabs will come here to sample your street food.

  11. The authorities in Penang must step up effort to check on those dirty eateries to ensure cleanliness and food hygiene for customers.

  12. The decision by the state government to bar foreigners from cooking hawker fare is a right one from health perspective:

    Approximately, one in every 30 foreign immigrants who were tested in Malaysia suffers from an infectious disease such as Tuberculosis (TB), Hepatitis B and AIDS, according to data gathered by the Foreign Workers’ Medical Examination Monitoring Agency (Fomema). More importantly, the presence of millions more with undocumented identities have not been accounted for.

    https://hornbillunleashed.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/one-in-three-immigrants-suffer-from-infectious-diseases/

  13. If the holidays ahead blows you over Penang in Malaysia but you can’t find anything new to be excited about besides the same-ol’-same-ol’, then you consider taking that one hour ride to Sungai Petani in Kedah. This quaint town is relatively small in size and is home to many delicacies and has a lot of old street charms about it.

    Read this latest recommendation from food blogger CK Lam:
    Forget Penang, head for Sungai Petani
    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/forget-penang-head-sungai-petani-083306758.html

    • Another good reason to support Sungai Petani as a place to retire for Penang folks that complain a lot about the problems on the island.

  14. Hong Kong’s frills-free street food vendors have made it into this year’s Michelin Guide for the first time, as it released its 2016 recommendations for the southern Chinese territory.

    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/05/michelin-includes-street-food-category-for-first-time-in-hong-kong-guide

    Will Penang street food gets such accolades?
    Maybe the local authority and food bloggers need to promote Penang street food at the international level?
    But the hygiene factor must be improved first, right?

  15. Penang Lor Bak, as featured on last Saturday’s Malay Mail:

    GEORGE TOWN, Aug 30 — There’s no better way to serve minced meat than to marinate it, roll it up with soybean sheets and deep-fry it to a gorgeous crispiness. This is Penang’s iconic lor bak which in Hokkien literally means “sauce meat.”

    The “lor” is a term used for the smooth, sticky five-spice flavoured egg and cornstarch sauce that goes with a plate of lor bak.
    The “bak” refers to the deep fried minced pork meat rolls that are marinated before being rolled with thin soybean sheets and deep fried.

    http://www.themalaymailonline.com/eat-drink/article/get-your-crunch-on-with-the-penang-lor-bak

    In Penang, many of the local coffee shops and hawker centres have lor bak stalls but these are our top five picks:

    Kheng Pin Cafe, Penang Road
    GPS: 5.420570, 100.332783
    Time: 11am-3pm

    Keat Seng Cafe, Jalan Air Itam
    GPS: 5.404685, 100.286617
    Time: 6pm-11pm

    Hoe Ping Cafe, Kampung Malabar
    GPS: 5.419333, 100.332167
    Time: 12pm-8pm

    Taman Free School Food Court, Jalan Terengganu
    GPS: 5.403109, 100.309082
    Time: 6pm-11pm

    Corner Coffee Shop of Presgrave Street and Lebuh McNair
    GPS: 5.411207, 100.330712
    Time: 6pm-11pm

  16. Penang should emulate Singapore to organise Street Food Festival:

    The second World Street Food Congress (WSFC), the brainchild of Singapore’s food ambassador KF Seetoh, will take place from April 8 to 12 at the open field at the intersection of Rochor Road and North Bridge Road. It is organised by Makansutra and supported by Singapore Tourism Board, the event

    The 5 Singaporean stalls will make up the SG Pavilion. They include Chey Sua Carrot Cake and M.A. Deen Blasa, which will be serving up traditional offerings such as chai tau kueh (carrot cake) and mee kuah (Indian-style noodles in a spicy red soup), respectively. Hong Kong Street Chun Kee will put a modern spin on classics like har cheong gai (prawn paste chicken) by turning it into a burger served with coleslaw and sweet potato fries, while zi char restaurant Keng Eng Kee Seafood will serve a dish of soft shell crab fritters with three dipping sauces: Chilli crab, salted egg and black pepper crab.

    http://www.themalaymailonline.com/eat-drink/article/whats-cooking-at-singapore-world-street-food-congress-2015

  17. Hawker stalls in Penang now have ‘Tagline Penang Street Food’ stickers on them to indicate that the delicacy served by that particular stall is prepared by a local.

    Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said this was part of the effort to elevate the status of the Penang local fare, which is one of the state government’s initiative to preserve, protect and promote local food as a tourism product in Penang.

    http://www.thestar.com.my/Metro/Community/2015/01/20/Sticking-by-food-rule-Penang-hawker-fare-dished-out-by-locals-to-have-indicator-stickers/

  18. The Penang government will impose a ban on employment of foreigners as main cooks in hawker stalls in a bid to to protect the state’s food heritage which has helped make the island one of the world’s top food destinations. The regulation comes into effect on January 1st, next year.

  19. I learnt from NTV7 news last night that Penang government is planning to ban foreign workers in the preparation and cooking of Certain Penang hawker/street heritage food in order to maintain the quality as well as to ensure continuity of such Business in the hands of Penangites. I think this is a good plan as many tourists are put off by the sight of alien workers preparing the heritage food, also to protect the identity of the heritage food. But I hope it will not become an excuse for local food vendors to raise price with excuse that local workers are more expensive. Perhaps Anil could open up this topic for further discussion?

    • Look at the hawkers at Jln Alor – mostly use foreigners as cooks!
      Penang ought to safeguard its food heritage against such bastardisation.

      • People want their food cheap but having foreigners as cooks will certainly erode the authenticity of Penang food. There is no U Turn once the damage is done as tourists might as well go Singapore for Penang food.

    • The tourism and culture minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz has endorsed a proposal by the Penang government to bar foreigners from being hired to cook at local street food outlets to protect the state’s food heritage.

      He said: “You know, street food is a local trade. You cannot have Penang hawker food that is made by a cook who comes from elsewhere. He (the foreigner) would not understand the taste,”

      He said whatever achievement scored by Penang is also important for the Federal government and his ministry’s KPI (key performance index). “We have plans for Penang. We will not allow Penang to fail. If the CM (Lim) scores brownie points in terms of tourism, those are points for the Federal government too. That is also my KPI.

      • Nazri also brushed off MCA’s criticism of him for supporting a Penang government plan to ban foreigners from being hired to cook Penang street food, saying that the party was no longer relevant having been rejected by voters in PRU13.

        Nazri said: “To me, you cannot ask a Bangladeshi to cook Chinese food and expect it to taste just as good because his taste buds would be different from locals,” How appropriate!

        Nazri is a Tourism & Culture Minister. If he does not support a move to promote and protect tourism industry, which in this case, the famous food of Penang, then, what are his duties? MCA is already irrelevant to the Chinese community. When will they ever learn that attacking DAP will not help to regain their status?

        Why not tMCA go after the authorities who should enforce cleanliness and good hygiene at eating outlets? Why not they go after the authorities who should care about the many rats and rodents that you around such restaurants and eateries? Please MCA do think about doing some community social responsibility activities!

      • I am a Penangite now working in Singapore.

        I have done a random poll with 10 of my colleagues and friends.
        All of them will not go to Penang for its hawker or street food if it is cooked by foreigners.

        I support the CM’s proposal as we should not encourage indiscriminate influx of foreign workers in all sectors of our economy. It makes the locals lazy, all wanting to be taukeh while employing cheap foreign labour to do the job.

        Anyway, the FDIC to Penang has been dropping lately, so better protect the tourism industry that is highly dependent on the Penang famous street food.
        Street Food in KL has already been bastardised by foreign cooks and Nazri himself can attest to this fact.

      • “Our street food must reflect Malaysia’s multicultural identity. So, in order to preserve this authenticity, such dishes should only be handled by locals. One hundred and seventy-three dishes have been enlisted under Section 645 of the National Heritage Act 2005 as part of our national identity as they carry the significance of society’s culture and beliefs, hence we must not have non-Malaysians preparing local street food.”

        The above statement was made by Nazri in support of local cooks.

      • Recalling from a Chinese TV food program, there was one episode where it talked about “inheritance”. While the Chinese till today are still adamant in guarding their well-kept secret and tradition and exclusively passing that legacy to their chosen successors, we on the other hand are passing on to foreigners. Ten years down the road, who will be the ones cooking our hawker food? To whom these skills and culture been passed on to? Even if foreigners can cook better, when they leave one day, who will still know how to cook our char kuey teow and prepare our hokkien mee? Can the authentic taste still survive? Food represents and defines one’s culture. How could we let go such heritage and culture so easily?

  20. Penang’s Lebuh Keng Kwee Chendol has opened a shop at JB’s City Square shopping mall (Level 3). However the Penang Maestro is putting up less-than-affordable price of RM5 for a basic Chendol! Pay more if you need more ingredients.

    Are Penang maestros now moving upmarket selling their famous street food in the air-cond shopping mall, along with street food decor (in this case the street signage of Lebuh Keng Kwee)?

    Are they selling out the spirit of Penang Street Food?

    • Penang street food are very well documented on these shows.
      It will attract more Taiwanese to Penang for the food.

  21. Meanwhile the Chinese in Melaka may not get fresh pork in the future as the one and only abattoir for pigs in the state must close its doors by the end of this month following an order by the state government.

    http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/255533

    The ‘new aspiration’ MCA team should do something now. I remember MCA made a lot of noise when the pig abattoir in Alor Star was demolished by the then PAS government.

  22. Tim is right. Lard is an important ingredient for a good char kway teow, also remember to sprinkle some ‘lard keropok’ to add the crunch factor!

  23. Does the Pg. gomen understand the signifiance of this fame? They need to regulate and promote local food. Instead, they are getting their heads in the clouds, and those heads are swelling too much. They imagine themselves becoming another Hong Kong, rolling in wealth fom a real estate bubble.

    • yalpasa,
      Penang gomen is not strategic & far-sighted to manage a global fame, which nobody before in their ‘right-minds’ would consider street hawker cuisine + Nyonya cuisine as anything significant or potential tourism assets as way back as 1970s when racism ruled everything cultural including food.
      Street hawking was not even recognised as a career then but a ‘last resort for survival’ if one failed the LCE (Form 3) exams.

      Just look at Japan, Korea, Italy & Germany. See how they promote their cuisine as national assets which others love to emulate or copy. SingLand will be next to claim & promote as theirs when some of our Ori-Maestros migrate there for good.
      Until then, we may see more cosmopolitan fusions of our original recipes like Bakso Koay Teow Th’ng.

      Have anyone seen any Penang Ori-Maestro laid a ‘golden egg’ in the fragile nest of Penang Food Tourism?
      I have seen more than one.

      • Bakso popular at Kuta Beach at Bali.
        Bakso Koay Teow Tb’ng with “saito” fish balls if properly fused can create a new cuisine which recipe can be sought after by the likes of KimGarishKapiTanKopitiam !
        If failed SPM try to create such dish to make millions to afford cosmopolitan lifestyle in penang island worldcity !

  24. If you like a heart attack, increase your sugar levels in diabetes, desire high blood pressure and wish to die early o reduce the quality of your health and life this is a paradise. Imagine your food and drink cooked with what goes into Batu Ferringhi then you would appreciate the food of this place.

    Lonely Planet is for fools who believe what a stooge would write about a place. They once referred to Johannesburg during the height of the Apartheid violence as a great place to visit.

    • eat home cook food to control our diet.
      frankly speaking, the oily fried stuff can create havoc to your intestine in the long run !

  25. Museum alone is not enough. I think Penang government should help start a gourmet school. A food museum can be part of the school. Penang better acts fast before sporean beats us to it, and claims everything under the sun.
    Anil, could you please propose the idea to The government people whom you hv better chance to bump into.

    • Yes, a street food gourmet school sounds like a great idea. Retired hawkers, who are specialists in their areas, could be roped into to give practical lessons. Unless of course the recipes are family trade secrets!

      • Gourmet school ?
        Unlikely as street food ori-maestros still like to keep their heritage recipes in wrap not to be revealed to the public !
        Street Food Museum can showcase the evolution from 1786 (when Francis Light stepped foot on Padang Kota) to present. Just go to many China / Hong Kong museum to learn how they present past history in most informative and enterytaining ways.
        For example, each segment of the live showcase can be sponsored by successful Penang brand names like Him Heang, Ghee Hiang, Chong Kim Seng, etc.

      • Not all people will guard their recipes jealously. I am confident some old nyonya aunties will be very anxious to hand down their recipes and years of experience. Someone will have to look them up within our community. What makes Penang street food so fascinating. They were poor men’s food once upon a time. The secret I suspect is in our chillies that nexus various cultures.

  26. Penang Gomen no need to engage expensive foreign consultant on how to create a cosmopolitan street food museum.
    For a start, get the local fans to capture the video of ori-maestro preparing the street food (of course need to edit out the unhygienic portion) before they become history.
    I note many readers like to comment and forget to do so.
    For a start, i have been to Bangkok Lane to snap many photos of that famous Mee Goreng.

    • Great, Bubblex3.
      Do take more street food photos & post here so that readers here will salivate in anilnetto.com.
      Can only see but cannot smell or taste!
      This will heighten their desire to crawl the streets of Penang in search of ho liao makan-makan before GST kicks in.

      I just got my dream DSLR: Nikon Df & still romancing with its ‘exposures’ without flash(-ing)!
      I think the best I can do is to capture the visual desires of Penang heavenly street hawker cuisine & the ‘endangered’ food culture icons i.e. the Ori-Maestos as and when my Tham Chiah Kui spirit & dancing taste buds urge me to explore the inner-city George Town & food-binge.
      Then my 2cents archive photos will fill my Penang Street Food Museum (online) for future generations to salivate the original-recipe street hawker food & also salute the many Ori-Maestros for their blood, sweat & tears contributions to heavenly makan-makan in Pulo Pinaom (an old world charm name for Penang Island, much, much more romantic & better heritage ambience than Cosmopolitan Penang Island of joss sticks).

      Who says “No Money, No Talk” can only do wonders for Penang Heritage?
      Time for Kopi-O kau kau, my favourite old world charm kopitiam beverage.

      • Hi tunglang, look forward to checking out your photos. Do send so that other readers can ‘salivate’.

      • tunglang please do not scare the ori-maestros with your flash. Your Nikon should be equiped with telephoto lens (so that your subject will not notice your intrusion) with at least F2 aperture, if not use higher ISO rating although you may get grainy results. Your photo contribution will make Anil’s blog more colorful and attract foreign readers out to learn more about the Penang food.

      • Fakri, thanks for your concern.
        I like to salivate at Ori-Maestros stalls before I get in the mood to shoot to my gastronomical delight. Just in case I accidentally ‘ke liao’ to the array of ‘liao’, I have my Good Morning Mini China towel at hand.
        Up close & personal is my style to capture the heavenly street hawker cuisine, history & ambience. I don’t prefer the paparazzi approach lest I be mistaken by Ori-Maestros for Ah Long’s private detective.
        Most Ori-Maestros like to show-off their ‘kung fu’ without much asking. Just make the typical first-timer SingLand Tham Chiah Kui’s noise like Uuuumm, Oooohh, Aaaahhh, ending with “Wah Lao, Ho Liaooo, Be Tahan” & your will be on the way to his well kept secret recipe!
        Also, my Nikon Df is well equipped for low light photography using 50mm prime lens with nice bokeh.

    • why spend hard earmed money on a SLR camera ? nowadays a RM500 smartphone can do a marvelous camera job. Orimaestros wont notice wen you carry a phonecamera and you can capture authentic expressions. With a SLR most people will becomes less natural.

      • My photos are art photography. Not casual snap shots.
        Hope they will appreciate in heritage value & as personal collections in years to come besides archiving ‘endangered’ cultural icons of Pulo Pinaom street hawker cuisine.

        Fyi, street food photography is only good as closeup, otherwise who will salivate at tiny obscure ‘liao’ photos?

        To shoot up close & personal, one must know how to ‘first engage’ these Ori-Maestros to gain their trust & most of them are also willing to share their ‘verbal stories’ or even act. And always smile & salivate like Esso Tiger.
        Street photography is for the ‘thick face’ photographers, not secretive ‘peekaboo’ paparazzi.

        Note: Shooting in low light of night street scenes are the bane (great distress) of smart phone sensors coupled with small aperture.

  27. Chili Crab from the former Golden Phoenix along Gurney Drive over 35 years ago, is to date, the best chili crab far better than those available else where in Malaysia or even the national dish of Singapore.
    I am not the only one that is saying so, so many of those who had the good fortune to have eaten this particular dish will agree with me. I remember a close friend once even offered to pay the owners of the stall a few thousand ringgits for the receipt but that offer could not convince the owner to part with the receipt. IThe crab wasn’t cooked with mostly tomatoes sauce but with chili padi. What a lost of a wonderful dish !

  28. While Lonely Planet gave credit to Penang, NST today chose to do the opposite with its negative front page headline of “Welcome to Penang: Sun, sea … and SEWAGE” with pictures of filthy water!

  29. Can someone explain to me how did this writer arrive at — HOT RESTAURANT = Esplanade Food Center? Am I missing something? I have _NEVER_ set foot in that place? what’s good there?

    I would think Padang Brown, Batu Lanchang Pasar, the infinite number of awesome kopitiams have more gems than the above Food Center?

    Can someone enlighten this Penang Kia in the dark? Tunglang?

    Thanks.

  30. The true taste of Penang Char Kuey Teow will be compromised if it is made halal without the use of lard.

    • Perhaps a museum will be necessary in the future when the passing of ori-maestros (migrate to SingLand?) with no notable successors spells the doom of Penang Street Food?

    • Balakumaran
      You must have mistaken Ipoh Hor Fun with Char Kuey Teow.

      Rich Daddies out there
      tunglang has over the years seeking sponsor to establish one street food museum. Better to collaborate otherwise many Penang ori-maestros might seek easy way out to operate in air-con malls to sustain the businesses ?

Please join in the discussion