Having several ethnicities within Penang's population inevitably leads to a wide variety of cuisine, arguably the best food anywhere in the world. Predominantly Malay/Chinese, there is also a sizeable Indian community, with food to match. Throw into the mix the Islamic community and it all becomes one big taste bud extravaganza! Not to mention, the specialist restaurants dotted around, like the Korean BBQs for example, or the Sushi bars and the Western derived cuisine. There is an official tourists Food Trail leaflet available from most tourist related business's with explanations on what and where the local delicacies can be found. All the way from Batu Feranggi, through Georgetown and towards the southern tip of the island - quite some distance actually, and I bet in some rather pricy establishments too. So here is my personal food trail requiring the minimum of effort getting there but maximising on taste and value for money.
1. To the bottom of Chulia Street (the end by the dock), turn left and just keep going. On the left just as the road curves round to the left is a Middle Eastern food court. Islamic cuisine for locals priced for locals and delicious. Good range of fruit juices too, very cheap.
2. To the bottom of Chulia Street ( the dock end), turn right and about 100 yards on the right is a Chinese/Malay food court. About 30 booths, everything Chinese, all the favourites from back home! The average price of a dish here is about £1.20!
3. To the top of Chulia Street (Jalan Penang end), turn right and about 100 yards on the right is an Indian cafe and yep, everything Indian you could ever wish for. The cheapest meal I had there was 20p, average price though usually runs around the £1 - £1.10 for a good meal. Cup of Nescafé there is 37p.
4. And for that intimate dining experience, head for the malls. Good restaurants in 1st Avenue and Prangin (part of the KOMTAR complex), for locals and priced as such. Dishes run to about £1.60 - £2 with a diverse choice of cuisines all under air-con. Sushi though is considerably more expensive.
Tourists can, and do live off the street vendors, but often they are not always the cheapest options, and portions can be small. Ideal for snacks though.
|4.85 RM = 1 UK Pound|