Deprived from authentic Penang food for more than 10 months, I did the expected and travelled up north to the Pearl of the Orient over a weekend for some serious but moderate food binging session. As always, I took a day off on Friday so I could drive up in the morning at about 7AM to make full use of the time available.
The first pit stop en-route to Penang has always been Ipoh, Perak. It is an obligatory detour since 1) it has abundance of good, delicious food and 2) I usually do not have any breakfast prior to leaving Kuala Lumpur.
Although spoilt for choices, there are a couple of breakfast spots I’d usually go to and Thean Chun is one of them as I’ve always crave for one dish and one dish only, that is the Ipoh Hor Fun. Silky smooth (and slurp worthy) hor fun (flat noodles) coupled with robust yet flavourful chicken-prawn broth topped with shredded chicken sliced and prawns. The curry laksa is pretty decent too but I would go for the former, always.
After breakfast, but before continuing up north, stopping by at Funny Mountain Tau Fu Fah is somehow inevitable, for me at least for their smooth tau fu fah and soya bean drink.
In Penang, I begun striking off the list of food (yes, I developed lists of food solely for Penang trips) I intended to go for the remaining 2 days…
Ah Leng Char Kuey Teow is permanent in my Penang food list. Need more explanation?
Kafe Khoon Hiang
358 Jalan Dato Keramat,
Chicken tandoori coupled with flavourful, fluffy spiced briyani rice and/or garlic butter naan, it is probably the best way to fill up for dinner. That said, I still prefer the ones here for their tandoori and naan.
93, Lebuh Chulia,
With various filings to choose from, it would probably take days to try them all. My favourites from their menu are peanut butter with banana and ham and cheese.
Super Tanker Food Centre
Taman Lip Sin,
11900 Bayan Lepas,
Whilst the coffee is okay, I came here for their bagels. If only they use real bacons…
The Mugshot Cafe
302 Lebuh Chulia,
Situated at some alley, it is hard to not to miss this place during weekends. Waiting time (for an empty table and food) can be atrocious and it is best to come here with half filled tummy. The packet nasi lemak is pretty good stuff with slightly spicy sambal while the toasts could do more kaya and butter in it.
Toh Soon Cafe 多春茶座
184 Campbell Street,
Off Penang Road,
Favourite lunch meal, if you ask me. The only problem with this place is the parking availability. If you managed to get one, you will be rewarded with delicious beef noodles and crispy or chien (fried oyster omelette).
Lam Ah Coffee Shop
Customised hokkien mee (prawn mee) with potent prawn-based broth paired with Hainanese poached chicken, what’s there not to like?
Old Green House Restaurant (老青屋)
Akin to the coffee houses we get in Kuala Lumpur, this place has pretty decent coffee with good selection of mille crepe cakes. A good place to rest and relax after a long day.
The Twelve Cups
12, The Whiteaways Arcade,
Whilst the main attraction at this coffee shop is the chee cheong fun with awesome peanut butter sauce, the other food such as the hokkien mee (prawn mee) and braised pork rice are pretty good too. Oh… do grab some fried wantans (from the wantan mee stall) while waiting for your food to arrive. They are addictive!
Kedai Kopi Genting Cafe
Lorong Delima 3,
Some of them are perma favourites / must have while the remaining ones are new visits such as Restoran Kapitan, The Mugshot Cafe, Toh Soon Cafe and Twelve Cups. Was I satisfied at the end of the trip? F**k yeah! Did I wish for more time in Penang? Oh yes…! I’ve barely covered 1/3 of my food list. Nevertheless, I foresee I will be heading back there again for yet another food binging session.