More accolades for Penang street food


A Guardian correspondent thinks George Town has “the best street food in Asia”, while Granta, a magazine founded in 1889 by students at Cambridge University, regards Penang as “The Island of Hawkers”.

char koay teow vendor in Bworth
A char koay teow cook busy in action at a hawker centre along Jalan Raja Uda in Butterworth

The Guardian: 10 of the best cheap eats in Penang

Granta: The island of hawkers

Perhaps it is time to showcase our culinary heritage in a street food museum or hall of fame.

READ MORE:  No detailed EIA for three proposed Penang Island highways?
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  1. The operator of Line Clear nasi kandar at Penang Road is crying foul after the Penang Municipal Council (MPPP) carted away tables and chairs from the restaurant early Monday morning.

  2. Yes, tunglang, good idea. Are there any more “free muddy beaches” to collect “hum”..cockles.
    These days, the hum that comes with the char kway teow, are like mini dots, that decorate the plate.
    The authorites should restrict the harvesting of cockles to a twenty cents size or ten cents size at least.
    Nowadays, the miserable teeny meeny hum doesn’t even taste good.

    • If you still want to taste biggie half-cooked cockles, (pls don’t over-boil them to teeny-weeny) go to Pulau Tikus market night food centre where there is a Lok Lok stall serving half-raw & bloodied fat cockles. Still want to reminisce good old days Curry Mee, order a bowl & keh liao with Lok Lok cockles, then you will hum-hum none stop thro your nose full of curry!
      Now, I can’t help but salivate onto my wireless keyboard!

      There used to be many biggie cockles on the other side of Penang island i.e. Balik Pulau & Bentong. I could still remember savouring fresh biggie cockles (the ‘Big Foot’ of all cockles) as big as 50 cents coins right at the beach & also enjoyed witnessing Indian & Malay folks with turbans (coolie?) pulling in giant fish nettings to haul up their late afternoon catch. Such were the days of the early 60s of biggie cockles at the beach of sebelah Pulo Pinang.

      Note: authentic Curry Mee Ori-Maestros will never ever over-boil the ‘hum’ (to maintain the size) & chicken blood ‘blocks’ (to sustain the blood flavour) as a matter of sifu practice. Only the try-too-hard wannabes will do everything fast & easy & fusion & over-slippery cleanliness (i.e. without the sight of blood) so as to please the HongKees & Koreans & Cosmopolitan Sing Kah Poh Lang.

      Count Dracula would love to migrate to Penang before he dies of lack of cockle & chicken blood 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!

  3. Penang Street Food Museum was an PRU13 election gimmick by Gerakan.
    Now Gerakan is kaput, i doubt the project will never take off?

  4. Culling leads to egg shortage

    Hawker food like Mee Goreng & Char Koay Teow may cost more?

    My 2 cents suggestion:
    Has state gomen thought about hawker food ingredients support agro industry in mainland Penang? Like taugeh, chicken, prawn, chilli, pork, etc. Food scarcity will be an issue in the near future & to protect our street food tourism industry, we should have an integrated strategic plan to support our food source & price stability.

    Must secure a future’s makan-makan (at fixed price) from my Ori-Maestros!

    • Yes good point there, tunglang. We need to start looking at future food security. Not just affordable housing, but affordable (and healthy) food as well.

      • Our minister should spend their time (to justify their high wages) to think, plan and execute strategic solutions, and not going round pasar and hyprmarket to check on food price!

        That Sabri minister is only good at wasting time at pasar/hypermarket. He do not know how to delegate. His salary should be cut!

  5. Sometimes not everything that’s recommended in the media and blogs, is good. Instead of Kimberly St char koay teow, try Ah Kow’s char koay teow outside of Bee Hooi, on Burma Rd, Pulau Tikus. He starts frying around 7pm. I’ve never been disappointed but I can’t vouch for Lean Joo Sean’s on Kimberly Street. He is no match, trust me.

  6. If you care to read the 2 articles, the attention to authentic (cheah liao) street hawker food, traditional cooking (e.g. charcoal fire), 3-4 generations (lao chiao phai) hawker business, elderly (sifu) hawkers as assurance of authentic cuisine & variety of choices (due to multi-cuture Penang) which never fail to highlight are consistent ‘feedbacks’ over the years.

    In fact, any Tham Chiak Kui – TCK (local or foreign) will fall deeply in love with inner city George Town, the heavenly spot of Asian street hawker food.
    Shouldn’t we give credit to these Ori-Maestros (before they retire incognito with no ‘continuity backup’ or are enticed by SingLand)?

    I tried to cut back eating hawker food (due to health & economic reason), but my salivating TCK desires are aroused by this mouth watering article.

    Where is my “Good Morning” mini china towel?


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