15 Jun What to eat and where to eat in georgetown, penang
If I have something clear from my trip to Malaysia is that where I ate best was in Georgetown. And it is for something they consider the gastronomic capital of Malaysia. Because it is a paradise for those of us who like to eat. And in order to make it easier for you, I have prepared this guide in which I tell you where to eat in Georgetown and what dishes you cannot miss trying. Don’t miss it!
As I have already told you in other posts, Georgetown is known above all for two things: its gastronomy and its Street Art. I am going to talk about this gastronomy in this post, but if you want to know more about its street art, do not miss reading the Georgetown Street Art article.
If you also want to know what to see in Georgetown, some time ago I prepared a guide with all the sites and monuments of interest. Take a look to not miss anything!
- 1 Eat in Georgetown: the gastronomic capital of Malaysia
- 2 Tek Sen: the best restaurant to eat in Georgetown
- 3 What to eat and where to eat in Georgetown
- 3.1 Assam Laksa
- 3.2 Wan Tan Mee
- 3.3 Popiah
- 3.4 Fried Oysters (Oh Chien)
- 3.5 Roti Canai y Naan
- 3.6 Satay
- 3.7 Siew Pau
- 3.8 Cendol
- 4 Other articles of my 3 week trip to Malaysia and Singapore
Eat in Georgetown: the gastronomic capital of Malaysia
Returning to the gastronomy of Georgetown, you will wonder what type of food is the best or the most famous. Well, as in almost all places in Malaysia, you can taste from Malaysian food, to Chinese and Indian. Also, you can do it in every corner and super cheap. I will tell you about a restaurant that we really liked, but also about street food and night markets that you cannot miss.
To finish with this short introduction I will explain you what I am going to tell you in this post. I am going to leave you a list of the most typical dishes and where to eat in Georgetown. In each typical dish I will leave you a location where you can try it and, in addition, the restaurants that I liked the most. So you can prepare your Georgetown food route ;). Although I also tell you that many sites you will discover on the go as it happened to us.
Tek Sen: the best restaurant to eat in Georgetown
Address: 18 and 20 Lebuh Carnarvon, 10100 George Town
Opening hours: Monday and Wednesday to Sunday (closed on Tuesdays) from 12pm to 2.30pm for lunch and from 5.30pm to 9pm for dinner.
The Georgetown’s best-known Chinese restaurant is undoubtedly Tek Sen, a restaurant that was born in 1965, and which still fills up every night today. If there is a place where you have to eat in Georgetown YES or YES, this is it.
If you want to avoid waiting, go as the restaurant opens, otherwise you will have to wait a bit to have a free table. I also tell you, I have never seen a faster and more organized waiting line like in Tek Sen. As soon as you arrive the woman from the restaurant gives you a letter from a French deck of cards. Do not try to find out the waiting order, only she knows it hahaha. The best thing is that while you wait they give you a menu and they take the order. Thus, when they sit you down, they have already taken the command and in a few minutes you will be eating.
Double Roasted Pork
Y ahora vamos a lo importante, la comida. Su plato estrella que verás seguro en todas las mesas del restaurante es el double roasted pork, o en español, cerdo asado. Tenéis la versión picante o la versión normal, eso ya depende de cada uno ;). Lo que sí os digo es que lo pidáis. Por favor hacedme caso… ¡No he probado un plato de cerdo así NUNCA!
And now, let’s go to the important thing, the food. Its star dish that you will see for sure at all the tables is the double roasted pork. You have the spicy version or the normal version, it depends on each ones choice ;). Please listen to me … I have NEVER tried a pork dish like this!
If I have to describe the dish, it gets complicated, but It could be something like this: the pork is sweet and salty, with a texture that was half crispy and half sticky.
The price of the double roasted pork? Incredibly cheap. 18 ringgits, or what is the same, less than 4 euros.
Other dishes that I tried and loved were the rice three delicacies and the sweet and sour pork.
If you want to take a look at more dishes on their menu, be sure to visit their Facebook page, they update it a lot and with very good content!
What to eat and where to eat in Georgetown
The world famous Assam Laksa from Penang is an exquisite broth made from fish and thick rice noodles. To that they add a lot of ingredients such as finely cut onions, cucumber, pineapple, red chili peppers, ginger sprouts, mint and a mixture of tamarind (assam). It is also served with a tablespoon of thick shrimp paste for those who want an even more powerful flavor.
Where to eat Assam Laksa?
You can find it at any street stall but the following places are the most recommended:
Restaurant Taman Emas: 1, Jalan Gottlieb, George Town. Open from 12pm to 5pm. Closed on Mondays.
Swee Kong Coffee Shop: 232, Jalan Burma, George Town. Open from 12:30pm to 4p.m. Closed on Thursdays.
Penang Road Famous Laksa: 5, Lebuh Keng Kwee, George Town. Open from 9am to 6pm.
Wan Tan Mee
As I was saying above, you will also find a lot of Chinese food in Georgetown. Here is the first of the dishes, Wan Tan Mee, originally from Hong Kong. Egg noodles cooked in sauce with pork tenderloin, various vegetables, wontons and green chilies.
Where to eat Wan Tan Mee?
It is another dish that you will find in an endless number of places around Georgetown, but if there is an emblematic place it is the famous street stall of “the grandparents” of Lebuh Chulia. Open from 6:30pm to 11:30pm. Closed on Mondays.
New Lane Wan Tan Mee Stall: Lorong Baru, Jalan Macalister, George Town. Open from 6:30pm to 11:30pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
Popiah is a type of Chinese spring roll consisting of an incredible variety of ingredients such as turnips, jicama, bean sprouts, carrots, lettuce, onion, tofu, and egg. All of them wrapped in a soft and fine crepe of wheat flour. To accompany, they usually put soy sauces, sweet beans, chili …
Where to eat Popiah?
New Lane Sin Yin Nam Café. Lorong Baru, Jalan Macalister, George Town. Open from 5pm to 11pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
Padang Brown Popiah. Padang Brown, Jalan Anson, George Town. Open from 2pm to 6:30pm. Closed on Thursdays.
Mamak Popiah Basah. Astaka Stadium Bandaraya, Jalan Perak, George Town. Open from 3pm to 6pm every day.
Fried Oysters (Oh Chien)
Locally known as Oh Chien, it is one of Penang’s most iconic street foods. The omelette is made from a mixture of egg and starch to give it a more jelly-like consistency. Fresh and succulent oysters, coriander leaves and parsley are added to it. It is served hot with chili and garlic sauce.
Where to eat fried oysters?
Restoran Bee Hooi. Opp, Belisa Row, 415 Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus. Open from 6pm to 12am every day.
Pulau Tikus Fried Oyster. Pulau Tikus Hawker Center, Jalan Pasar, George Town. Open from 5pm to 10pm. Closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Roti Canai y Naan
Roti and Naan are two traditional varieties of bread from Indian cuisine. You can find them almost in every corner of the city of Georgetown, either in Indian restaurants or in street food stalls.
But what is the difference between Roti Canai and Naan?
Roti is an unleavened flatbread made from whole wheat flour. It is light and has no filling. Indians normally take it 3 times a day. For breakfast they usually take it with vegetables, for lunch with pulses or meat and for dinner again with vegetables.
On the other hand, Naan is a much heavier yeast flatbread than Roti because it does have a filling inside. For this reason, they usually take this type of bread only once a day. There are many types of naan, both savory and sweet: traditional Naan, Garlic Naan (garlic filling), Onion Naan (onion filling), Peshwari Naan (sweet bread with coconut, almonds, and raisins), Keema Naan (minced lamb filling) or the popular Cheese Naan (cheese filling). For me, the best ones are garlic and cheese ;). A must-eat in Georgetown!
I liked these Indian breads so much that I have recipes of both saved on my Pinterest! As soon as I make them I will upload the recipes and the result :).
Where to eat in Georgetown Roti Canai and Naan?
I ate them in two places. At the Kapintan restaurant in Little India and at Nasi Kandar Pelita, very close to my AirBnB.
Kapitan Restoran. 93, Chulia St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town. Probably not the best place to eat roti canai or naan but we went a couple of times because of the hour. It is open 24 hours a day, and if you spend the day sightseeing, sometimes you miss lunch ;).
Nasi Kandar Pelita. 146A, Jalan Macalister, George Town. The first time we really went was because it was close to our AirBnB and we really wanted Naan. From the outside it does not look great, but as we saw that it was full of Indians and not a single tourist gave us a good feeling. And what a success, very good! It is also open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Roti Canai Jalan Argyll. Jalan Argyll, George Town, 10050 George Town. Open from 6am to 12:30pm every day.
Roti Canai Transfer Road. 114, 110, Jalan Transfer, George Town. Open from 7am to 12pm every day.
Anyone who has already been to Southeast Asia will know satay. They say that it is a typical dish originating in Indonesia, but that it has already spread to countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and even China and the Philippines.
It’s not a typical Georgetown food because you can find it in all the cities of Malaysia, but do not stop eating it also in Penang.
For those who do not know the satay, it is a skewer of marinated meat, roasted on the grill and served with a sauce made with peanuts with a little spicy touch.
The most famous satays are chicken, beef and lamb, but you can also find them with pork, venison, fish and even tofu. For me the best the chicken ones! If I didn’t eat 200 chicken satays on my 3-week trip to Malaysia and Singapore I didn’t eat any haha.
Where to eat Satay?
New Lane Satay. Lorong Baru, Jalan Macalister, George Town. Open from 6pm to 11pm. Closed on Wednesdays. This is where I ate them and they were delicious!
Red Garden Satay & Chicken Wing. Red Garden Food Paradise. 20 Lebuh Leith, George Town. Open from 5pm to 12am.
Again I speak about another typical Chinese food, a stuffed puff pastry that is served as a snack at any time of the day.
The most famous are pork, but there are also chicken puffs. For me the best ones are always the chicken ones;)
Where to eat Siew Pau?
You will find them almost anywhere, but I ate them next to my accommodation in Jalan Macalister and down from the Kek Lok Si temple. I do not know the directions but if you walk down from the temple to the town of Ayer Itam you will have many places to try them.
Finally! The dessert and sweet!
If you want to eat a good dessert in Georgetown, this is cendol. One of the most varied, colorful and rare desserts that I have ever seen. In this dish you will find 4 ingredients: cendol, which are a kind of green gelatin worms, coconut milk, beans, cane sugar and crushed ice. As you will see, what is rare in this dessert are the “green worms”, a very strange texture haha.
Where to eat Cendol?
Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul. 27 & 29 Lebuh Keng Kwee, Georgetown. Open from 10:30am to 7pm from Monday to Friday and from 10am to 7:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Cendol Pulut. Jalan Chowrasta, Jalan Penang, Georgetown. Open from 11am to 7pm every day.
Here is the end of the post of what and where to eat in Georgetown! I hope I have left nothing, but any input or advice please leave it in the comments. If something is clear to me it is that someday I will return to Georgetown and any help is super welcome!
Other articles of my 3 week trip to Malaysia and Singapore
Kuala Lumpur Guide: what to see and what to do in the capital of Malaysia
What to see and do in Melaka in one day: essential visits
What to see in Singapore: 10 essential visits
Georgetown in 3 days: Essential visits!
Pulau Redang: how to get there and where to sleep on this Malaysian island
Where to eat in Pulau Redang: 5 essential places
What to do in Redang, one of the most paradisiacal islands in Malaysia