10. Best Street Food Stalls and Restaurants in Penang Part 1

Best Street Food Stalls and Restaurants in Penang  Part 1

When you need intel, you better ask a local, correct? My co-host on this post is a local and a foodie :
Zel is a Malaysian songwriter and engineer from KL who lived and worked in Penang Island for more than 2 years. Passionate in food, animal conversation, travel, and music.I tried most of these foods based on his suggestions in KL, but places that we will discuss are Famous ones thanks to their food.
More than half of the restaurants in this Penang food list would be considered among Malaysia’s top eating places. Most of these Penang street food stalls have been selling the same iconic meal for over thirty years, and some for much longer.

Regarding food research, I’m more interested in restaurants and street food stalls that have endured the test of time since it typically indicates four things to me:
1- they’ve nailed that dish.
2- it must be of high quality.
3- those places are locals with an exciting narrative to share.
4- they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. So they’re safe to suggest, unlike trendier eateries that are popular one year and gone the next.

Food stalls

F: When you research food/ restaurant, what is your go-to understanding that the place is worth it?
Z: the food taste, of course. I will read a review from the net or get my friend’s recommendation before going to the place. The price and attraction element of the place comes next. Sometimes, we need to see the purpose of the place. Some places are for relaxing. In this type of place, the taste of food and the interior design are factors I’m looking at.


F: I guess most of us ask a friend or google it, but most local rustic and authentic places don’t appear on the greed of Google. Coz owners try to deliver their famous food and not think about marketing.

Z: yes. I agree with you. You need to be there, brave enough to try out what they offer for this type of place. I remember going to one restaurant and asking the waiter to recommend meals that are not recommended. Guess what. It tasted good!

F: you can judge the quality of food itineraries by how many iconic places are included; So, lets us focus mainly on George Town and contains some of the island’s most lasting establishments, providing some of Penang’s most excellent food.

Z: Good choice. In Penang, especially George Town, everyone loves food. Penangites have this innate ability to know by heart where to get the best street food.

Kheng Pin Cafe

1. Kheng Pin Cafe

If you like deep-fried Malaysian cuisine, you’ll like lor bak.
It’s a Hokkien/Teochew cuisine made up of a variety of meats, fish, tofu, and veggies.
They’re seasoned with five-spice powder and wrapped in thin beancurd skin before being deep-fried and served with chili sauce and loh, a sweet sauce made with corn starch and beaten eggs.
Leading Singapore and Penang food bloggers have rated Khen Pin Cafe as having some of the greatest lor bak in Penang.

Address: 179, Lebuh Carnarvon, George Town, 10100 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 6:30AM–2PM, daily
Expect to Pay: Around RM 12
How to Get There: From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, start walking southeast on Chulia Street. Make a right on Carnarvon Street. Walk straight and you’ll see Kafe Ping Hooi on the corner of Carnarvon Lane on the left side of Carnarvon street.

F: I’m not That big of a fan of deep-fried cuisine, but I did read a lot about it.
Z: Malaysians and deep-fried food are definitely a marriage made in heaven. I tasted the First Penang food and fell in love with chicken Lor Bak. I usually have it in my breakfast – crispy on the outside and packed with flavors from five-spice seasoning, sinfully satisfying

Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak at Macalister Lane

2. Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak at Macalister Lane

Char koay kak is a radish cake stir-fried with preserved radish, bean sprouts, and eggs in a thick black soy sauce.
In Singapore, it’s called chai tow kueh, or “carrot cake.”
For almost forty years, this tiny stand along Macalister Lane in Penang has served some of the city’s greatest char koay kak. Char koay kak is quite yummy.
It’s savory and slightly sweet, with a pleasant gummy texture. At first, I wasn’t thrilled about this meal, but it quickly grew on me. This seems to be the case with many Malaysian foods I enjoyed while traveling. It doesn’t blow you away straight away, but you grow to like it in the end.
I liked how the crunchiness of the bean sprouts contrasted with the gumminess of the radish cake.

Address: 94, Lorong Macalister, George Town, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Expect to Pay: About RM 5
How to Get There: From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, walk southwest on Penang Road until you reach Burmah Road. Turn right onto Burma Road then turn left onto Macalister Lane. Sister Yao’s Char Koay Kak stall will be on your left around the entrance to Seow Fong Lye Cafe.

F: Zel, did you try it at that place?
Z: No, Fox. I tasted it at the Chinese New Year festival, at George Town before the pandemic. I will add this place to my bucket list.
F: Can you imagine that the Eoh sisters took over from their father over thirty years ago and had maintained the recipe unchanged? You can say that it’s a Penangs eatable history almost.

Lok Lok at Medan Selera Padang Brown

3. Lok Lok at Medan Selera Padang Brown

This one was a lot of fun, and it was probably my favorite meal. Lok Lok is a form of community hot pot cuisine in which each component is impaled on sticks and dunks and retrieves your food from a central pot of boiling water.

Traditional ingredients are fresh seafood, meatballs, fish cakes, mushrooms, dumplings, eggs, and offal. To indicate the price, sticks are labeled with different colors.  All of this is calculated at the end of your meal. There are other lok lok restaurants in Penang, but I heard about this one in Medan Selera Padang Brown

Because lok lok is a communal dinner, other diners may join you at your table. Fortunately, we arrived at an odd hour, so we were the only ones there. It was much more enjoyable because we had the entire spread to ourselves. There are other sauces on the table, like satay and sambal, that you may mix to create your own mixture.

F: do you have favorite combinations? Or places?

Z: one of my favorite dishes for dinner. My top list combination is mushroom, fish balls, fish cakes, and crab meatballs… With spicy sambal. A lot of places serve lok lok and taste is same. I usually had it at Chulia Street.

Address: Jalan Perak, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 5:30–11:30PM, daily
Expect to Pay: About RM 10 per person
How to Get There: The Padang Brown Food Court is too far to walk from the center of George Town so it’s best to take a taxi or use Grab.

Seafood Popiah at Medan Selera Padang Brown

4.Seafood Popiah at Medan Selera Padang Brown

Popiah is a fresh spring roll that is Hokkien/Teochew in origin.

Fill a thin, paper-thin crepe or pancake with finely grated turnips and various additional ingredients such as bean sprouts, grated carrots, pork, shrimp, fried tofu, chopped peanuts, fried shallots, and shredded omelet.

Popiah can be found at many Penang street food stalls and restaurants, but what intrigued us to this eatery at the Padang Brown Food Court was their crab meat popiah.

As previously said, what distinguishes the popiah at this hawker stall is that it is cooked with delicious crab meat. Based on what I’ve researched, that’s a rarity in Penang.

They fill the crepe with stir-fried turnips and shredded omelets before drenching it in a sweet turnip sauce. It’s sweet, silky, and just right.

This Penang street food stall in Medan Selera Padang Brown has offered seafood popiah for nearly sixty years.

Address: Jalan Perak, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 5:30–11:30PM, daily
Expect to Pay: About RM 8 for two
How to Get There: The Padang Brown Food Court is too far to walk from the center of George Town so it’s best to take a taxi or use Grab.

F: Any intel on this, did you try it or not? I can’t believe that they are the only ones who serves crab meat.
Z: 60 years? Wow! I know this place serves crab meat popiah but I don’t know they serve it that long. You can find popiah in most parts of Malaysia. Usually, it is filled with vegetables. But crab meat? Only at Medan Selera Padang Brown. Absolutely rare.

Oh Chien at New Lane Hawker Centre

5. Oh Chien at New Lane Hawker Centre

If you’ve traveled around Asia and tasted various foods from various nations, you’ve most likely encountered this oyster dish at some time.

It’s essentially a fried oyster-filled omelet famous in several Asian nations.

Other varieties often use potato starch to thicken the omelet, while the Penang version uses rice flour batter for a lighter, crisper texture.

We had heard many awesome things about the oh Chien from this vendor at New Lane Hawker Centre, so we decided to give it a try. The oysters were really plump and delicious! One distinguishing feature of Penang’s version is that it isn’t as sticky or gummy as other variants we’ve experienced, such as Taiwan’s oyster omelet. And it was a recommendation from the popular Singapore food blog .

Address: Lorong Baru, George Town, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: 4-11PM, Thurs-Tue (closed on Wednesdays)
Expect to Pay: Around RM 15-20
How to Get There: From the corner of Penang Road and Chulia Street, walk southwest on Penang Road until you reach Burmah Road. Turn right onto Burma Road then turn left onto Macalister Lane. Walk all the way down and make a right on Macalister Road. New Lane Hawker Center will be on your left at the corner of New Lane and Macalister Road.

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