Famous nyonya food in penang: Top 10 Authentic Nyonya Restaurants In Penang


Top 10 Authentic Nyonya Restaurants In Penang

Where to find good Nyonya food in Penang? We got you covered! In today’s food guide, we rounded up top 10 Nyonya Restaurants in Penang. In fact, Penang is a great location for anyone looking to immerse themselves in heritage sights and vast variety cultures.

Where to locate best Nyonya Restaurants In Penang

One of the most prominent cultures comes from Baba & Nyonya culture. Nyonya food cuisine is a mixture of Chinese and Malay flavours but also has a flavour that is distinctly unique. Are you excited to see what we’ve got on the list? Let’s go!

Related: 24 Best Food In Penang

1. Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine

Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine is located at a pre-war converted house at Jalan Chow Thye. Must try food are achat, joo hoo char, marinated minced prawns and fish maw soup. Trust us, you’ll love it!

cr: tifa7cr: audreyleong_

Address: 58, Jalan Chow Thye, George Town, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Operating hour: Tue 6pm – 9pm ; Wed – Sun 12pm – 3 pm & 6pm – 9pm (closed on Monday)

Tel: 013-4337878

2. Richard Rivalee

cr: thamws

The next Nyonya gem featured on our list is Richard Rivalee. It was the fashion designer who served mouth-watering home-cooked nyonya delight at Bangkok Lane. Now, he moved its restaurant to M Mall Penang.

designer and chef – Richard Rivalee

cr: jjzai

Address: 79-G-45 , Ivory Tower (M Mall) Penang, Malaysia

Operating hour: Mon 12pm – 3pm ; 5pm – 11pm ; Tue – Sun 12pm – 3pm ; 5pm – 9pm

Tel: 04-3707140

3. Nyonya Su Pei Private Dining

Wow! This one is really amazing. We had the opportunity to taste Nyonya Su Pei’s food few month ago, and we loved it so much! Guess what? they only open 2 days per week. Call to make the reservation is advised.

Address: No 2, Bodhi Highway, Georgetown, 10400 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Operating hour: Fri & Sat 7pm – 9pm only

Tel: 016-4106116


Auntie Gaik Lean’s cr: nvmtt

Auntie Gaik Lena’s serves delightful meal with a touch of home-cooking. Nyonya food lover will surely appreciate their cooking. Visit them today if you haven’t already.

cr: geofokn

Address: 1, Bishop St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Operating hour: Tue – Sun 12pm – 230pm ; 6pm – 930pm

Tel: 017-4344398

5. Visit Kebaya Dining Room

Kebaya is featured in our one of the finest restaurants in Penang. Kebaya restaurant at Penang’s gorgeous Seven Terraces Hotel offers diners a true taste of Peranakan food without having to go too far out of town, or even break the bank.

Address: Stewart Ln, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Operating hour: 6pm – 10pm

Tel: 011-14033310

6. Mews Cafe

cr: chartheworld

Mew’s Nyonya laksa lemak, ayam perchik, nasi lemak bento and a must-try ikan sambal – blue rice with steamed seabass, mango salad, salted egg & emping.

Address: 77, Jalan Muntri, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Operating hour: Mon – Sun 8am – 11pm

Tel: 04-2636125

7. Little Nyonya Kitchens

cr: beedoubleyoocr: escapism

Address: 179, Lebuh Noordin, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Operating hour: 6pm – 10pm

Tel: 04-2616731

8. Perut Rumah Nyonya Cafe

cr: sophia0412

Located in 3 joined historical terrace houses. Perut Rumah Nyonya Cafe’s food is simply amazing and the ambiance is truly unique and cozy, we loved it.

Address: 17, Jalan Bawasah, George Town, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Operating hour: 11am – 3pm ; 6pm – 10pm

Tel:  04-2279917

9. The Legend Nyonya House

cr: kuraisvip

Housed in a lovely old bungalow, this place certainly scores points with us for its ambience that’s made authentic with rows of tiffin carriers, tin teapots, cups and pots on display that evoke nostalgia for a time long gone.

cr: tehkeatboon

Besides that, their quick service and above average Nyonya food will certainly enhance your eating experience.

Address: 2, Gat Lebuh Chulia, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Operating hour: Sun – Thu 11am – 2am ; Fri & Sat 11am – 3am

10. Mama’s Nyonya Cuisine

cr: shidababe

Last but not least, we got Mama’s Nyonya Cuisine in the list. Did we make you hungry? Pick one and visit them now!

Address: 31-D, Lorong Abu Siti, George Town, 10400 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Operating hour: Tue – Sun 1130am – 230pm ; 630pm – 930pm

Tel: 04-2291318

Guide: Great Nyonya Food In Penang

In the nutshell, we summed up 10 authentic Nyonya restaurants you should try in Penang. As usual, if you have any other food recommendation, interact with us on the comment section down below. We’d be more than happy to see your comments! Check out our weekly food guide curated by us.

Top 10 Places In Penang For Really Good Nyonya Food

As we all know that the Nyonya culture runs deep in the history of Penang hence Penang is always known for its Nyonya cuisine. So, if you’re looking for some Nyonya food in Penang then we have 10 places listed below for you to check out.

Here Are 10 Places That You Can Get Nyonya Food In Penang

1. Winn’s Cafe

Photo: @keepicks (Instagram)

The first place to get Nyonya food in Penang is Winn’s Cafe. This place has a wide variety of authentic Nyonya food on its menu. Some recommended items for the menu are ‘otak-otak’, salted fish bone curry, ‘inch kabin’, ‘Gula Melaka Sago’, and homemade lemonade.

Photo: @wombatbites (Instagram)

Address: 2, Jalan Irrawaddi, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating hours: 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm (Closed on Sunday)


2. Jawi House

Photo: @nurulfarhanarosli (Instagram)

Jawi House has a long history dating back to six generations ago in George Town.

Moreover, it was four generations of women who have created this cuisine. Besides that, the chef of Jawi House is a firm believer in local and sustainable food sourcing as well.

Photo: @letthemgo (Instagram)

Address: 85, Lebuh Armenian, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating hours: 11am – 9:30pm (Closed on Tuesday)

Website | Instagram | Facebook

3. Moh Teng Pheow Nyonya Koay

Photo: @followjiongtoeat (Instagram)

This humble place may be difficult to spot but it is definitely a gem when it’s been found. Moreover, if you’re an antique lover then the decór of this place may interest you. Besides that, you can also get various kinds of authentic Nyonya kuih which Moh Teng Pheow Nyonya Kuih is known for.

Photo: @themousediary (Instagram)

Address: Lebuh Chulia, Jalan Masjid, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating hours:  10:30am – 5pm (Tuesday-Thursday), 10:30am-8pm (Friday-Sunday), Closed on Monday

Instagram | Facebook

4. Bibik’s Kitchen Nyonya Cuisine

Photo: @dereklooch (Instagram)

This restaurant is run by a team of mother and daughter where they serve authentic homecooked Nyonya food. Besides that, Bibik’s Kitchen Nyonya Cuisine will give you a homey feel from not only the homecooked food but also the environment of the place.

Photo: @heritageonaplate (Instagram)

Address: 73, Jalan Sri Bahari, George Town, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 6pm – 9pm (Closed on Monday)

Instagram | Facebook

5. Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery

Photo: @the_eating_buddies (Instagram)

Serving up authentic Nyonya food, this place has a variety of popular dishes that can be difficult to find on this island such as sambal brinjal and egg belanda. However, this place is on the pricier side but it is definitely worth a try especially the ‘nasi ulam’.

Photo: @mun.yeow (Instagram)

Address: 1, Bishop St, Georgetown, 10200 George Town, Penang

Operating hours: 12pm – 2:30pm, 6pm – 9:30pm (Closed on Monday)



The Little Nyonya Cuisine Photo: @jason_inc00 (Instagram)

The location of this spot is perfect for you to grab a bite to fuel up during your shopping day. Besides that, this cozy spot is also known for its nasi lemak and curry chicken. However, there is limited seating in this spot hence it would be best to avoid peak hours to check this place out.

Photo: @poaychua (Instagram)

Address: 170-B1-32B, Plaza Gurney, Persiaran Gurney, 10250 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating hours: 10am – 10pm (Daily)

7. Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine

Photo: @apiaobun (Instagram)

This cozy spot offers reasonably priced Nyonya food in Penang. However, it is best to make reservations due to the limited seating to avoid any disappointment. Moreover, the service here is really good so you can expect some recommendations from the boss of this location.

Photo: @therantingpanda (Instagram)

Address: 58, Jalan Chow Thye, George Town, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 9pm (Wednesday-Sunday), 6pm – 9pm (Tuesday), Closed on Monday

Website | Facebook

8.  Perut Rumah Nyonya Cuisine

Photo: @ajnicholafoodadventure (Instagram)

The next place that serves Nyonya food in Penang is Perut Rumah and this place is definitely no stranger to the locals. While it may be on the pricier side, you can definitely taste the quality of the food. Moreover, you’re also able to see some of the different Nyonya wares that were used back in the days.

Photo: @littlepotpurri (Instagram)

Address: 17, Jalan Bawasah, George Town, 10050 George Town, Pulau Pinang

Operating hours: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm (Closed on Tuesday)

Instagram | Facebook

9. Nyonya Willow Restaurant

Photo: @valenthefoodie (Instagram)

Most of the Nyonya spots are located downtown so this spot is perfect for those in the Bayan Lepas area. Besides that, you can be sure that you’ll be getting authentic Nyonya food as well. Some of the recommended dishes are nasi ulam, sambal petai, and perut ikan.

Photo: @happiethingsofus (Instagram)

Address: Arena Curve, 72-1-3, Jalan Mahsuri, Bandar Sunway Tunas, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang

Operating hours:  11:45am – 2pm, 6:30 – 9pm (Tuesday-Friday),  12pm – 2:15pm, 6:30 – 9:15pm (Saturday-Sunday), Closed on Monday

Instagram | Facebook

10. Nyonya Breeze

Photo: @b1709lh (Instagram)

This spot has a great atmosphere that serves authentic Nyonya cuisine. Some of the recommended dishes that are a must to try are hong bak, asam prawns, pork intestine soup, and chicken curry kapitan.

Photo: @taffy_sia (Instagram)

Address: 3A-1-7, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Seri Tanjung Pinang, 10470 Tanjung Tokong, Pulau Pinang

Operating hours: 11:30am – 2pm, 6pm – 9:30pm (Monday-Sunday)


Do you know of anyone who loves Nyonya food? Tag them in the comment section below to share this list of places to them!

Read also Supper Will Open 2nd Outlet In Bukit Mertajam Serving MAMA Tom Yum Noodles

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Top 10 Nyonya Restaurants in Penang

Image Credit: The Epoch Times (Singapore)

Home to many local cuisine, Penang is often seen as a go-to destination for both local and international foodies hunting for some good grub. And here is where you can find an excellent deal of Nyonya cuisines as well, given the island’s illustrious history of the Peranakan culture. Long story short, these are the Top 10 Nyonya Restaurants in Penang that you might want to check out on your next trip!

1) Richard Rivalee

With its charmingly eclectic decor and various antiques on display, it sure feels like home at Richard Rivalee’s namesake restaurant. Cosy ambience aside, the fashion designer who also happens to be a chef specialises in authentic Nyonya cuisines. Expect familiar favourites like jiu hu char (fried jicama with shredded cuttlefish), Kapitan curry chicken and asam prawn. Remember to leave some room for dessert, notably the creamy Sago Pudding with Gula Melaka that comes highly recommended.

FB: richardrivaleedesignerandchef | IG: @richardrivalee_designernchef

2) Mum’s Nyonya Cuisine

Home-cooked Nyonya dishes is what Mum’s Nyonya Cuisine does best. So good that even local and international celebrities from Nicol David to Jimmy Choo and Taiwanese director Ang Lee favoured this otherwise small eatery. Using generations-old family recipes, they excel in traditional Nyonya dishes like Kapitan chicken, asam prawn and sayur rumi (stir-fry vegetables with prawns).

FB: mumsnyonyacuisine 

3) Bibik’s Kitchen Nyonya Cuisine

Nyonya food lovers might want to check out this restaurant located at Jalan Sri Bahari. They serve a wide range of Nyonya cuisines, covering everything from loh bak (meat rolls) to gulai tumis and ayam pongteh. But if you are looking for recommendations, do try their signature jiu hu char and sambal prawn. To preserve authenticity, all of their foods — from the ingredients to preparations — are meticulously put together from scratch. Don’t forget to end your meal with the likes of Sago Gula Melaka or Bubur Cha Cha.

bibiks-kitchen-nyonya-cuisine-nyonya-restaurant.business.site | FB: Bibik.Kitchen | IG: @bibik.kitchen

4) Kebaya Dining Room

It’s traditional meets modernity at Kebaya Dining Room, complete with a homey decor that make you feel like you’re dining in a classic Baba Nyonya house. The modernity in question is by way of the food preparations, namely the sous-vide Pork Man Tou with pickled vegetables. Unlike most Nyonya restaurants, Kebaya Dining Room doesn’t serve à la carte food items but rather a 4-course menu per person. Covering appetisers to the main course and dessert, expect delectable varieties like Otak Otak, Grilled Chicken Kapitan and Pandan Creme Brulee.

kebaya.com.my | FB: KebayaDiningRoom | IG: @kebaya_dining_room

5) Baba Phang

Spearheaded by Chef Vincent, his 20+ years experience in traditional Nyonya cuisine speaks volumes at Baba Phang. Diners can look forward to different varieties upon browsing through the menu. They have familiar savoury dishes like Kapitan chicken, perut ikan (fish stomach curry), asam tumis ikan pari and acar rampai. Their prices are known to be reasonable and so are the portions as well.

FB: 88phang | IG: @babaphang

6) Nyonya Willow Restaurant

Nyonya Willow specialises in Northern Peranakan cuisines, combining home-cooked dishes and a cosy, family-friendly restaurant setting. For the former, try some of their signatures such as gulai tumis and asam prawn. Not to forget their nasi ulam, which happens to be one of the many customers’ top favourites. Set menus are available as well.

FB: nyonyawillow | IG: @nyonyawillow

7) Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine

Here’s a family-run Nyonya eatery that prefers to keep things simple, complete with a pre-war house converted into a restaurant. And that’s the beauty of it. Nothing fancy, just a place for good food where families and individuals can taste various home-cooked meals. Expect classic Nyonya dishes like asam prawn, Kapitan curry chicken, loh bak and jiu hu char.

FB: ivysnyonyacuisine

8) Jason Nyonya House

Jason Nyonya House keeps things simple and casual when it comes to its home-cooked Nyonya foods. Those who regularly dine-in for Nyonya cuisines can expect the likes of Kapitan chicken, tau yu bak (braised pork in soy sauce), tu ka chor (braised pork trotters in vinegar) and asam pedas fish. Also, look out for today’s special by following their Facebook page for daily updates.

FB: JasonNyonyaHousePenang | IG: @jasonnyonyahouse

9) Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery

Amidst its rustic decor lies a plethora of scrumptious Nyonya dishes under one roof. Menus are diverse, with familiar offerings like nasi ulam, salted duck soup as well as asam pedas fish and Kapitan chicken. Some of the recommended dishes worth trying here include the beef rendang, asam prawn and sambal eggplant (brinjal). And while you are at it, don’t forget to cool off with a glass of freshly-squeezed nutmeg juice.

FB: Auntie Gaik Lean’s Old School Eatery

10) Perut Rumah Nyonya Cuisine

Perut Rumah Nyonya Cuisines offers the best of both worlds with the delightfully old-school setting and good food all in one. The latter, of course, is what matters the most. Among their recommended dishes on the menu includes acar hu (fish pickles), poh piah chee (fried spring rolls) and kerabu hai tay (jelly fish kerabu). Chicken lovers might want to try their Nyonya-styled fried chicken called Inchee Kabin or the signature kari Kapitan (Kapitan curry chicken). As for those craving for seafood varieties, don’t miss out the likes of kiam hu kut curry (salted fish bone curry) or asam pedas (tamarind fish curry).

FB: Perut Rumah Nyonya Cuisine | IG: @perutrumahnyonya

That’s not all! More Top 10s in Malaysia are waiting to be discovered!

The compilation of this list was made from accumulation of Public Votes at TallyPress.com.

3 Peranakan food gems in Penang

Curry laksa is a popular Peranakan spicy noodle soup. (istockphoto pic)

When you hear the word Peranakan, the first image that comes to mind would be a Malay-speaking hybrid community in the historic city of Melaka.

But the truth is, the Peranakan community exists far and wide in Malaysia, scattered in heritage coastal cities, while striving to preserve their culture.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the Babas and Nyonya of Malaysia are homogeneous in culture, for the the community differs, even slightly, depending on the geography where they are located.

Many pre-war shophouses have been re-purposed as restaurants. (xiquinhosilva on VisualHunt pic)

One such strong Peranakan community can be found in Penang, where not just the Peranakan but a variety of other interesting communities can be found as well, including the Eurasians and the Jawi Pekan.

There are many differences between the Babas and Nyonyas of Penang when compared to their counterparts in the other states.

For one, while most of the members of the community in Melaka speak Malay as their first language, the Peranakans of Penang use a combination of Hokkien, Malay and English as their mother tongue, creating a creole of their own.

Another difference between the Peranakan is of course the food. While the Melaka Peranakan are heavily influenced by Malay and Indonesian styles of cooking, their Penang counterparts use more Thai-based ingredients such as lime, chilli, shrimp paste and tamarind.

When in Penang, it is always recommended to get a taste of the Peranakan food, not just for its scrumptiousness but also for its unique background.

Here is a list of Peranakan restaurants on the island of Penang.

Simple, elegant Nyonya flavours at Ivy’s Kitchen.

For that homely feeling – Ivy’s Kitchen

Nestled along the quiet street of Jalan Chow Thye, off busy Jalan Burma, Ivy’s Kitchen serves delectable Baba Nyonya cuisine in a no-frills homey establishment.

Unlike restaurants that are heavy-handed in pushing their themes, Ivy’s keeps it simple, elegant and most importantly Peranakan.

A family run business, it is easy to gauge where the restaurateurs priorities lie by simply looking at the menu: the food. The simple one-pager hosts just enough dishes for you to satisfy any Peranakan cravings and still keep you coming back for more.

The best part is, Ivy’s is truly a place for families. The idea is expressed everywhere, from the easy décor to the accommodating menu, which offers a variety of sets for groups of people. A must visit when in Penang with your family.

Highly recommended: Jiu Hu Char

Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine
58, Jalan Chow Thye
George Town
10050, Pulau Pinang

The Tau Eu Bak is outstanding at Nyonya Breeze Desire.

Peranakan on the go – Nyonya Breeze Desire

One of more renowned Peranakan eateries north of George Town, Nyonya Breeze Desire is located in the Straits Quay Marina Mall. The extensive menu of Peranakan gems may be intimidating to first-timers but the staff here will clear your doubts.

Their location also makes it very convenient as patrons can shop at the outlets and dine after or vice versa. A word of caution – the place gets very crowded on the weekends during lunch and dinner so get there early!

Highly recommended:: Tau Eu Bak

Nyonya Breeze Desire
3A-1-7, Straits Quay
Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang
Seri Tanjung Pinang
10470 Tanjung Tokong
Pulau Pinang

Straits Chinese antiques fill Auntie Gaik Lean’s place.

Paying respect to the original – Auntie Gaik Lean’s

If you can fit in only one Peranakan restaurant in your Penang trip, then this is the one. Run by Auntie Gaik Lean, this grandiose diner occupies a colonial-era edifice where a jewellery store stood before.

The façade may fool you into thinking you are about to enter a Broadway show centred on the Peranakan; well, come to think of it you may not be far off. The director is Mrs Gaik Lean and the stars are her dishes.

The interior is nice and spacious, decorated with Straits Chinese antiques and other colonial era finishings. The menu, befitting the décor is just as impressive, again with a wide variety of Peranakan gems to choose from.

You may find Auntie Gaik Lean behind the cash register. Talk to her when paying, she’ll tell you more about the wonders of the Peranakan world.

Highly recommended: Chicken Curry Kapitan

Auntie Gaik Lean’s
1, Bishop Street
10200, Pulau pinang

This article first appeared in uppre.com

The development of Nyonya cuisine in the Malay Archipelago: Penang and Malacca Nyonya cuisine | Journal of Ethnic Foods

The Peranakans in Penang and Malacca and Nyonya cuisine

Penang and Malacca were known as commercial areas in Malaysia where the Peranakans are prominently populated. Chinese male immigrants’ consistent movement to Penang and Malacca and their intermarriage with local women [15] led eminent number of the Peranakan population in both areas. Penang is located near to the border of Thailand, while Malacca is located further south, near Indonesia (see Fig. 1). Such geographical proximity has highly influenced the establishment of the cuisine in Penang and Malacca. The Peranakans have shared and practiced distinctive lifestyle which hybridises local and Chinese culture. However, difference between the Peranakan culture of Penang and Malacca is notable in their food and language [16].

Fig. 1

Location of Penang and Malacca. Penang and Malacca are located in the West Malaysia. Both states are located along the north-west coast of the Malacca Strait. Penang and Malacca are called ‘melting pot’ of culture and tradition because of the influx of immigrants particularly Chinese, Malay, Indian and other remnants of English colonialism. Malacca is also well-known as a diverse cultural and traditional society and often called as “Small Penang” because of the similarity of the city to Penang

The proportion of Hokkien and Malay language usage gives language distinction between the Malacca and Penang Peranakans. The Malacca Peranakans speak Baba Malay, a language that is a creolised Bahasa Melayu with borrowing Hokkien and English words [24]. In addition, Malacca was the centre of the Sultanate Melaka and its dominant regional population has been Malay since their settlement in the fifteenth century, while Penang was an environs of another Malay population and was considered small [25], which have added strong influence in the frequent usage of Bahasa Melayu in Malacca. The Penang Peranakans speak Baba Hokkien, which is based on Hokkien with slang of Bahasa Melayu and expression [5, 26].

Differences can be found in both regions’ cuisines although they are within the category of Nyonya cuisine. It is considered that Nyonya cuisine is originated from Malacca by the first settlement of Strait-Chinese to Malay Peninsula that dispersed to Penang and Singapore during the British colonisation in the mid-eighteenth to nineteenth century [16]. Geographical divergence and proximity can re-invent or blend the cuisine in each region; Malacca Nyonya cuisine is mostly influenced by the Portuguese and Indonesian, whereas Penang is highly influenced by Thailand [27, 31]. The distinction is clearly shown in each region’s dominant ingredients, recipe and utensils [28]. Laksa, a renowned dish of Nyonya cuisine, provide clear differences between Penang and Malacca Nyonya cuisine. The ingredients of Laksa in Penang and Malacca show differences as Penang Laksa (see Figs. 2a, b and 3) mainly uses lime, chilli, herbs, shrimp paste and tamarind which gives sour and tangy flavour which is also known as ‘Assam Laksa’, while Malacca (curry) Laksa (see Figs. 4 and 5) uses Malaysian local herbs such as cumin, belachan, chilli and coconut milk that has sweeter flavour and illustrates more curry-like noodle soup [29,30,31,32,33].

Fig. 2

a, b Penang Laksa (Assam Laksa). Penang Laksa is as known as ‘Assam Laksa’. The dish was born in Penang with fresh fish-based broth and bunch of herbs and vegetables. The dish has a sour taste by the use of lime, chilli, galangal, tamarind and local herbs and also tangy by fish (usually mackerel or sardine or ikan tonkol (skip jack tuna)) broth and shrimp paste. It is garnished by shallot and other sliced raw vegetables such as cucumber, onion and chilli. The dish is served with heh ko (dark shrimp sauce)—dark sauce displayed on the right of the Assam Laksa in the figure

Fig. 3

Penang Laksa Paste at grocery store in Malaysia. Penang (Assam) Laksa paste can be easily found in grocery stores in Malaysia. There are varieties of products manufactured and sold in Malaysia which ease the preparation of the dish. The ingredients of the paste products contain fish (vary) broth, vegetable and herbs in general that consumers only need to add water to the paste, boil noodles and add garnishes and vegetables upon the preference of consumers

Fig. 4

a, b Malacca Laksa (curry Laksa). Malacca Laksa used coconut milk which provides thick texture in the soup base. It is relatively sweet, spicy, and creamy and contains curry taste as the dish. The dish is known for the strong flavour by several ingredients used for the dish such as chicken and/or prawn, curry powder, fish balls, fried tofu, chillies, shrimp paste, garlic, ginger, cumin and local ingredients. Often garnished by bean sprout, shredded chicken and prawn and served with sambal that enhances the flavour of the dish

Fig. 5

Malacca Curry Laksa paste at grocery store in Malaysia. Malacca Curry Laksa paste is also easily found in grocery stores in Malaysia. The paste blended the main ingredients of Malacca Curry Laksa, which contains curry powder, shrimp paste, herbs and vegetables that ease the preparation of the dish. Such paste products only request consumers to add water to make easy broth of the dish, noodles, vegetables and garnishes upon the preference of consumers

The cooking recipe also shows slight differences. Otak-otak (see Figs. 6 and 7) is a custard kind of snack made of fish, egg, belachan, coconut milk, lime juice and other ingredients wrapped by leaf. Malacca otak-otak is narrowly wrapped with coconut or nipa leaves then grilled over charcoal fire to enclose smoky flavour and smell [5, 34]. Penang otak-otak is mixed with betel leaves and wrapped with banana leaves in square-bowl shape or pocket shape fastened on the upper side with a toothpick. Penang otak-otak is steamed that gives softer texture, while Malacca’s have a strong smoky smell and flavour [34] and firm texture after being grilled over charcoal fire.

Fig. 6

Penang otak-otak. Penang otak-otak is a soft-textured snack. It is made of fish, egg, coconut milk, lime or lemon juice, belachan, betal leaves, herbs and other ingredients that are wrapped by banana leaf. The shape of bowl vary as it depends on personal preference; however, it is often either squared-shape or pocket shape fastened on the upper side with a toothpick. The dish is ideally steamed for 10 to 20 min in high heat and serves as a snack or side meal of the main dish

Fig. 7

Malacca otak-otak. Malacca otak-otak is custard-textured snack made of fish, egg, coconut milk, lime or lemon juice and other ingredients wrapped by coconut or nipa leaves. Malacca-style otak-otak is grilled over charcoal fire in order to enclose smoky taste and smell. Although it is soft after grilled over charcoal fire, Malacca’s tend to have more firm texture than Penang otak-otak

Besides, there are differences in significant Nyonya dish in each region by adaptation of Nyonya cuisine. Buah Keluak (Indonesian black nut dishes) is still a famous dish in Malacca, but in Penang, due to strenuous preparation and particular taste, the dish has disappeared in the region [35]. Belachan (shrimp paste) in Malacca has more mashed texture and paler colour while Penang belachan (also known as hae ko) is a dark black sticky paste that is used for salad dressing [36, 37]. The Penang Peranakans are more open and receptive to new culture and environment [38]. As mentioned above, geographical proximity of Penang to Thailand builds more interaction between Penang and Thailand that created remarkable dish in Penang Nyonya cuisine, such as kerabu salad (spicy pineapple salad)—kerabu is originated from Thailand. Nyonya kuih (also called as Kuih ko sui/swee) is also a famous Penang Nyonya cuisine [22] that is steamed in Chinese teacups.

Effects of globalisation—the downfall of Nyonya cuisine and dilution of Nyonya identity

It is widely accepted that the downfall of the Peranakans started in the early twentieth century due to political factor such as the world wars. It depleted the Peranakans of their massive wealth, further contributed by the decline in value of rubber and tin. Some of the wealth was squandered away by the younger generations who basically live off their descendant’s savings. Some of the wealth was donated to help rejuvenate the crippled economy of the Malay Archipelago due to the world wars and to help their colonial British bosses in some cases. The withdrawal of the colonial British and independence of Malaysia and Singapore further weakened the Peranakans, stripping them of their special social status and privileges as well as their sense of identity. Furthermore, the decisions of the Malaysian and Singaporean Government to classify people into strict rigid categories by race—as Malay, Chinese, Indian and others—has further diluted the Peranakans’ identity. With globalisation, people tend to integrate their cultures with others more, modify or outright replace old traditions and practices in favour of making it easier or cheaper. This means that certain lavish Peranakan practices such as the 12 days wedding rituals were either reduced or abandoned in favour of simpler and cheaper ceremonies. As education becomes more widely available, the younger generations of Peranakan are tempted to choose not to learn the old method as it is usually time consuming and labour-intensive. Also, with a good education, they have a wider range of jobs to choose from instead of sticking to the old professions. As with any cultures, Peranakan also practices taboos or ‘pantang larang’ but most of the modern generation no longer does this mainly either it is too time consuming or it is not a big deal for them. This also means traditional Nyonya cuisines that are generally time consuming were practiced less and less due to declining interests of the young generation. Finally, the Peranakans have only few ways to express their heritage, mainly through their clothing and food in modern times [19]. The older generation of the Peranakans nowadays sees their cultural identity as diminishing in that there is a degree of ‘Peranakan-ness’ within the society in terms of language fluency by Peranakans in the late 1960s: ‘I don’t really think there is a Peranakan identity these days; it’s more like an open culture for everyone’.—Mr. Tan, an older generation of Peranakans [39].

The rejuvenation of Peranakan culture

In the 1980s, the Peranakan culture started to gain back the public interests. In Singapore, films and drama series such as Pileh Menantu’s Choosing a Daughter-in-Law (1984), The Old Husband and The Young Wife (1985) and The Little Nyonya (2008) contributed to gain public attention on the Nyonya culture. Cookbooks illustrating Nyonya cuisine helped to resurrect and keep the cuisine alive as well. One of the most representative Nyonya cookbooks was Mrs. Lee Chin Koon’s (mother of Lee Kuan Yew) Mrs. Lee Cookbook (Vol.1 in 2003 and Vol.2 in 2004).

In Malaysia, several books on Peranakan community were published. Yeap Joo Kim’s The Patriarch (1975), Ruth Ho’s Rainbow Round My Shoulder (1975) and Lee Su Kim’s Malaysian Flavours (1996, 2004) are representative publication accounts of Peranakan culture [19]. The book Nyonya kebaya (2004) and exhibition by Datin Seri Endon Mahmood, the previous First Lady of Malaysia, contributed to have great attention of public in 2000s. Nyonya restaurants continue to appear in Malaysia due to their unique flavours [19] which sustain Nyonya cuisine in society.

Despite the rich heritage Nyonya cuisine carries, young population in the region do not seem to be aware of the cuisine. Young university students majoring culinary arts are only aware of the culture of the cuisine, not the uniqueness or details of the cuisine that the efforts made by media and publications seem nominal unless the young person does not have a strong Peranakan family background [40].

There has been an increase of curiosity and contribution of Nyonya cuisine in regions’ cookbooks, blogs, online websites and food product which sustains public interest towards Nyonya cuisine [41]. The annual convention of Baba Nyonya hosted by the State Chinese Association (Peranakan communities) in Southeast Asia rotates among Penang, Melacca, Phuket and Singapore [42] and also contributes to promoting the cuisine and Nyonya culture in the region. Nyonya food product (see Fig. 8) manufactured by local companies such as instant noodle and laksa paste are highly consumed and enjoyed popularity among locals. Such contribution and support by Peranakan communities and the public appear to be the motive for the rejuvenation of Nyonya cuisine in the present era.

Fig. 8

Nyonya food products at a grocery store in Malaysia. Nyonya food is a distinctive local cuisine in Malaysia, and there are many food products manufactured and sold in local grocery stores. The significance of Nyonya food is then easily found in local community by various food products in groceries and restaurants in Malaysia. Apart from Nyonya Laksa and otak-otak as introduced above, rendang, curry sauce, sambal and many more food products are produced in Malaysia and beloved by locals

The 10 Best Nyonya Restaurants In Malaysia

Nyonya cuisine is the a fusion of Chinese cooking and Malaysian ingredients, which occurred due to the extensive Chinese immigration to the Malacca Straits. The Peranakan (mixed Chinese/Malay or Baba-Nyonya) community has spread this distinctive cuisine throughout Malaysia, from Kuala Lumpur, to Penang and Melaka. Here are the 10 best restaurants to give it a try.

Nyonya Colors | © Alpha/Flickr

Specializing in the delectable snacks and treats of Nyonya cuisine, Nyonya Colors offers a range of premium homemade Nyonya Kueh desserts that come in every imaginable color. With branches throughout Malaysia, this is one of the most popular Nyonya restaurants. Alongside the sweet treats it also offers classic Nyonya dishes such as nasi lemak pandan, pulut panggang and nasi lemak pandan with chicken rendang.

© Old China Café

Evoking a bygone era of early Chinese immigration to the Malacca straits, Kuala Lumpa’s Old China Café is based in the former guildhall of the Selangor & Federal Territory Laundry Association. It retains many of the pre-World War II architectural and design motifs of the original structure. The owners of the Café seek to maintain the identity of Malay Chinese through cuisine. They celebrate the best of Nyonya traditions with dishes such as lemak nenas prawn with seafood cooked with pineapple slices in a laksa gravy and delectable desserts like Sago Gula Melaka and Bubur Cha-Cha.

© Lima Blas

Styled to look like a Malaccan shop house, of the sort that original Chinese immigrants to Malaysia would work and live in, Lima Blas is a trendy venue on the Nyonya dining scene. Its collection of bric-a-brac, including old typewriters, spice jars, ancient signboards and rusty equipment make for an authentically retro feel. The food, prepared by executive Chef Uncle John, focuses on southern Peranakan cooking and ranges from a first class laksa to a spicy sambal udang petai and a creamy cendol. Supremely stylish and endlessly nourishing, Lima Blas is one of the trendiest places to experience Nyonya food and atmosphere.

© The Tranquerah

The Tranquerah is imbued with an old world atmosphere, which makes for an enchanting and authentic dining experience. The focus in The Tranquerah is however firmly culinary, and it is renowned as one of the best restaurants in Petaling Jaya. The Nyonya celebrity chef, Florence Tan conceptualized the menu and recipes for the restaurant, which serves authentic Malacca Nyonya Cuisine. A few of their signature dishes are ayam buah keluak, ayam pongteh, gerang asam fish, udang masak lemak nenas, tamarind prawns, ltik tim soup and pai tee. All of which make a trip to Petaling Jaya more than worthwhile.

© Sri Nyonya

Sri Nyonya is a family run restaurant in Petaling Jaya which takes pride in the culinary traditions handed down from generation to generation within the Chinese Malay community, exemplified by their motto ‘how Ah Mah used to make it’. These traditions are celebrated in the extensive menu offered by Sri Nyonya, which includes specialties such as ju hu char, local turnip cooked with strips of dried cuttlefish, and ikan gulais tumis, fish slices in hot tamarind gravy.

Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine | © Francis Chung/Flickr

Melaka, or Malacca as it was once known, was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008 alongside its Penang equivalent George Town. This honor came about due to the rich history of immigration in the Straits of Malacca, of which the Peranakan or Baba-Nyonya communities are a vital part. Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine keeps this history alive in a culinary sense, offering Melaka locals and visitors the best of Nyonya cuisine, from Tamarind prawns to cincaluk omelette and kuih koci.

© Restaurant Atlantic 1

Serving classic Nyonya in a rustic setting, Restaurant Atlantic 1 takes particular pride in its adherence to the traditions of Nyonya cooking. The restaurant’s approach to this intriguing cultural synthesis is to create visually stunning but simple dishes that burst with the flavor combinations that are so distinctively Nyonya. Highlights of the menu include blanched tender ladyfinger topped with sambal belacan chilies and pineapple fried rice, grainy rice fried with shrimp garnish and pineapple, chicken floss and cashew nuts served in a pineapple.

© Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine

Penang’s distinctive Nyonya cuisine differs in small but vital ways from that of KL or Melaka. This is embodied in George Town’s Ivy’s Nyonya Cuisine. Ivy’s offers authentic Penang Nyonya, with an emphasis on fresh seafood and traditional homemade dishes. Delectable dishes such as nasi lemak and Assam prawns bring together the best of Malaysia flavors, Chinese techniques, and the freshest possible ingredients.

© Mama’s Nyonya Cuisine

Another George Town favorite that evokes the traditions of the Chinese-Malay community, Mama’s Nyonya Cuisine has garnered an international reputation for its simple, hearty takes on classic Nyonya dishes. It has even hosted some famous faces, such as Jimmy Choo and Ang Lee, who have enjoyed Mama’s hospitality and cooking. Dishes like stir-fried sayur rumi with eggs, chili and prawns pack a powerful flavor punch, whilst their jiu hu char and chicken curry kapitan also come highly recommended.

© Hot Wok Nyonya & Local Cuisine Penang

Featuring authentic Peranakan food in an atmospheric setting, Hot Wok Nyonya & Local Cuisine Penang is one of the best places to sample the delights of this Chinese-Malay synthesis. The restaurant features authentic hawker food, and it uses the fruits of the sea to great effect, with dishes such as gulai tumis fish, wok curry fish head and teochew steamed fish.

[Penang] Nyonya lunch at Winn’s Cafe, Irrawadi Road – Asia Pacific

10-month-old Winn’s Cafe at Irrawadi Road is seriously pitching itself as a candidate for Best Nyonya Restaurant in Penang. In fact, many locals are looking for good alternatives to old stalwarts like Nyonya Breeze Desire (Straits Quay) and Perut Rumah (Jalan Bawasah) after standards of cooking deteriorated at both places. Finding good Nyonya food commercially in Penang has always been challenging – but that’s where Winn’s Cafe is a breath of fresh air, with its meticulously prepared and beautifully-plated dishes.

Irrawadi Road is lined with repurposed residential bungalows-turned-restaurants, and Winn’s Cafe is one of them:

The eatery offers both a la carte, as well as set meals, where a diner picks a main course, and it’ll be served with an appetiser platter consisting of tasting portions of 3-4 appetisers. We ordered to sets: one with Chicken Curry Kapitan, a Penang-Nyonya specialty dry curry made from fresh turmeric, galangal, oninos, garlic, lemongrass, chillis, and flavoured with tamarind juice and coconut milk. It’s served garnished with finely-julienned kaffir lime leaves.

The second set came with steamed Nyonya-style fish, where the spice mix is a light, almost fruity mix of fresh turmeric, ginger, onions and chillis. It’s pretty sourish-sweet.

The appetiser platters were colourful affairs, and consisted of a variety of well-known Penang-Nyonya food items:

  1. Lor bak, or 5-spiced meat rolls:
    <img – src=”//hungryonionstatic.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/original/3X/6/1/612405bf3c25e9aa781f517283f1d0324fbad6ea.JPG” width=“700” height=“550”>

  2. Cucur udang – Malay-style prawn fritters:

  3. Otak-otak – a spicy, custardy fish mousse.

  4. Jiu Hu Char, or shredded jicama cooked with dried cuttlefish. Winn’s Cafe does not use pork for this dish, so the signature porky flavours of this dish was missing.

  5. Nyonya achar – vegetable pickles.

Winn’s Cafe uses the local “bunga telang” flower for garnishing and also to tint its steamed rice blue.

One popular a la carte one-dish meal is the Nasi Ulam, or herbal rice – basically steamed rice flavoured with a variety of finely-chopped herbs and vegetables, toasted grated coconut, dried shrimps, and “sambal belacan” (chilli paste with fermented shrimp). It comes garnished with finely-julienned “daun kadok” (aromatic wild betel leaves) and pink torch ginger.

Desserts are:
6) “Bee koh moi”, which is the Penang term for “pulut hitam”, as the same dessert is known in other parts of Malaysia and also Singapore. This is black glutinous rice cooked with sugar and coconut milk. The Penang version also incorporates dried longan. It is served with additional lashings of fresh coconut milk.

  1. Sago with Gula Melaka. This is a classic Nyonya dessert which is also common in Singapore and Malacca, two other cities with a strong Nyonya tradition. Winn’s Cafe serves a terrific version – very fresh coconut milk, and high quality Gula Melaka syrup, with a deeply aromatic, smoky fragrance which one cannot find in lower grade Gula Melaka (palm sugar). It was better than any version I’d ever had in Singapore or Malacca.

Overall, Winn’s Cafe provides a pretty comprehensive menu which should please most of the finicky diners in Penang. It’s not perfect, but it gives a better account of itself than other Nyonya restaurants in town currently.

Winn’s Cafe
2, Jalan Irrawaddi,
10050 George Town
Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +60 19-451 1631
Operating hours: 10am-3pm, 6pm-10pm, Monday-Saturday (Closed on Sundays).

90,000 Penang street food

Penang in Malaysia is a true lost expat paradise: colonial past, location close to the main routes, ingenious street food. It is thanks to the latter that the island successfully competes with such giants as Bangkok and Singapore, and is invariably included in the lists of must visit places for fans of Asian cuisine.

Penang is not the most popular destination for travelers. The beaches are dirty, there is nothing special to see: the colonial area in tiny Georgetown and the Chinese mansion where “Indochina” was filmed are not attracted to the cult sights.But everything related to street food is delicious. Culinary excursions are conducted around the island, and the best spots are noted in guidebooks. Street is the key word for local cuisine. At most, the cafe will have a roof, and most often – only a movable stove and plastic tables next to it.

Initially, the Chinese ruled the island. Thanks to the activities of the East India Company, Indians, Thais and Indonesians moved there. Each nation has contributed to the local culinary diversity. Having visited Penang, it is as if you are taking a piece from many Asian countries.There, omelet with oysters (a traditional Singaporean breakfast), Cantonese dim sum, laksa (also passed through the Indonesian department), South China fried noodles and Thai tom yum were prescribed with equal success.

Soup with fish balls

But let’s move on to the experiments. An exciting gastronomy experience begins at the Hawker Center on Gurney Drive. It’s just an open area filled with mobile food stalls in the evenings. My first stop is at the Thai style soup stall.I show you which fish balls, noodles and herbs to add to the broth, and in a minute I get a plate of healthy, rich soup.

Hawker Center

There are a lot of us, fans of Asian cuisine, and everyone has one stomach, so we share with friends to try different things. I bite off a squid on a skewer and something in the leaves (tofu? Meat?), Pick up a fried oyster, for a sweet one – a spoonful of a dessert called rojak (fruit with sesame seeds, poured with burnt caramel) and iced tea with mimosa.Out of curiosity, I buy juice squeezed from nutmeg (sour and throaty), a local specialty among soft drinks made from watermelon, pineapple, lychee and dragon fruit. That might have ended the party, but I notice that the longest line is lining up at the noodle wok, and I tell my friend about my observation. Resolved: we must take. The delicacy turns out to be the famous char kway teow – fried noodles with shrimp, egg and soy sprouts. Tasty, I recommend.

Cooking process Char Kway Teow

The next day we go to breakfast at one of the kopitiam, cafes, from which the inhabitants of the island begin their morning.People – not pushing through, we can barely find a table. Breakfast, as is usual in such places, will be combined. On one tray I order an omelette with oysters, which costs a symbolic amount, on the other – small pancakes folded in half. The omelet turns out to be a marvelous combination of oysters toasted over high heat with an egg added at the last moment. Pancakes smell like coconut, and you can also choose to put banana, peanuts or raisins in them. At the neighboring tables, they enjoy the same, I also notice rice dumplings in banana leaves and the already familiar char kway teow.Wash down everything with fresh juices or cold coffee with milk. Forty minutes spent in this noisy anthill seemed to me the best breakfast possible.

Omelet with oysters

Tray with chendol

In the afternoon we try another important specialty – dessert cendol. A tray in a side street of Georgetown is covered with photographs of local celebrities who came to buy Chendol here. This is a cold, sweet coconut milk soup with jelly green noodles tinted with pandanus leaves and ice.Like many traditional dishes on the island, the dessert is prepared by the Peranakans or Nonya, the descendants of Chinese-Malay marriages.

The next item in the cultural and gastronomic program is assam laksa, a sour-hellish-spicy soup with tamarind, rice noodles, ginger and chili. I have enough for one spoon: there is a fire in my mouth, I extinguish it with two bags of orange juice (freshly squeezed juices are sold to take away in plastic bags with a straw).

De Tai Tong Cafe

For dinner we go to De Tai Tong, the best dim sum establishment.Contrary to custom, the cafe has a roof. Auntie with a cart walks between the tables and distributes the vending bowls of dim sum with chicken, pork or shrimp. In my personal rating, only the democratic Hong Kong restaurant Tim Ho Wan, which took a Michelin star for dim sum, can rival their ideal juiciness of filling and tenderness of dough.

Dim Sum in Georgetown

We only had three days on the island – the expats who have been living here for months must have more fun with food.But the lists that include Penang among the top destinations for gluttony are definitely to be believed.

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review, attractions, useful information, prices. Olgatravel.com

Island Penang – an island in the northwest of Malaysia, located a few kilometers from the mainland and connected to it by two bridges. The state of Penang includes not only the island itself, but also part of the mainland.The island’s name Penang is sometimes spelled with the letter “e” and sometimes with the “i”. On the Google map, the island is called Penang , but I often see the spelling Penang (via “e”).

Penang Island or Penang, Malaysia

Many Thai winterers and long-livers are familiar with Penang Island, because this is where they go for a visa run from Koh Samui, Phuket, Krabi and other cities in Thailand. Visitors mainly come to Penang Island for only 2-3 days (just to have time to submit documents and pick up a passport with a visa), but numerous (especially Chinese 🙂) tourists stay in Penang for a longer period 🙂


We stayed on Penang for only a few days, made a Thai visa and saw some of the sights of Penang, so the review in this article is from the point of view of an ordinary tourist, not a long-liver. We didn’t look for big supermarkets and good markets, we didn’t try to save on food, travel around the island and on all sorts of little things. And we were also very unlucky: we arrived in Penang during a period of strong smog from the Indonesian fires (who remember, there was smog on Koh Samui at that time too), from which not only was there terrible visibility and all the landscapes were in a haze, so also and it was very difficult to walk around the city: it was hot and stuffy.

Penang island in smog from Indonesian fires

Penang island: general information

Until 1786, Penang belonged to Sultan Kedah and was uninhabited, then passed to the British, who settled on the island for many years: Penang remained under British control until 1957.Since 1963, the island became part of Malaysia. Penang is now one of the largest islands in Malaysia and one of the most densely populated areas of the country (after Kuala Lumpur).

There are always traffic jams in Penang in Georgetown!

Penang has a very developed tourism and hotel industry: not only tourists come to the island for recreation, Penang often hosts large international conferences and business forums. In addition to tourism, the electronic industry is developed in Penang; offices of large electronic companies are located here.And, of course, rice, fruit and rubber are grown on the island. Penang is also a significant trade center in Malaysia.

Walking around Penang

The bulk of the population of Penang is made up of Chinese, Indians and Malaysians. This means that in addition to mosques, you can see Chinese, Hindu and even Catholic churches in the city! There is also a huge selection of Chinese and Indian cafes.

There are many Catholic temples and mosques on the island

The central and northern part of Penang is covered with jungle, in the north there is a national park and the best beaches of the island.The capital of Penang is Georgetown, located in the east of the island.

Penang is connected to the mainland by two bridges. The first 13.5 km long bridge was opened in 1985 and for a long time remained one of the longest bridges in the world and the longest in Asia. This Penang Bridge has become the hallmark of Penang and is even depicted on the island’s coat of arms. In 2014, a new, 24 km long bridge was opened connecting the island and the mainland.

Due to the strong haze, the famous bridge is almost invisible. But he is there 🙂

Weather in Penang: seasons and codes it is better to go to the island

The climate in Penang is hot and humid.There are two periods of the rainy season: September – November and May. But now the climate around the world is changing so rapidly that it is simply impossible to guess what the weather in Penang will be in a certain month. We were in Penang in mid-September. It rained once in a few days. But what a rain! A sort of real tropical shower!

Penang high season starts in December and lasts until the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations. As I said, many Chinese live in Penang, so the celebration of all Chinese holidays is on a grand scale! Well, Chinese tourists love to visit Penang: in the last year, Chinese tourists have become much more in all cities of Asia, they even got to the backpacker Pai in the north of Thailand and Vang Vieng in Laos! In 2018, the Chinese New Year will come on February 16, so the high season in Penang will last until the end of February, which means that prices are too high.

One of the Chinese temples in Penang

I do not advise you to visit Penang during the national Malaysian holidays and during the holidays at local schools. Anyone else, but we did not really like to observe the numerous local families with women in black clothes (we got there just during school holidays).

Penang, how to get there

There is an airport in Penang, so the plane is one of the most convenient and fastest ways to get to Penang 🙂

Buy air tickets to Penang

All ways to get to Penang here:

– How to get to Penang from Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands and Langkawi Island

– How to get to Penang from Koh Samui. All ways, cost, our experience

Transport in Penang

The island has a well-developed public transport – buses. There’s even a free sightseeing bus around Georgetown. You can also rent a car or bike without any problems.

– Transport in Penang. How to travel around the island

These are the air-conditioned buses running around the island

Penang hotels, where to live on the island

Before you start choosing hotels in Penang, I advise you to decide on the area of ​​residence.If your main goal is sightseeing in Penang or obtaining a Thai visa, then I advise you to stay in Georgetown, if the beach is a measured holiday, then on the Batu Ferringhi beach.

Penang hotels are easy to find and book here:

For longer stays, you can consider renting an apartment through AirBnb.

I also recommend reading my article about the nuances of choosing a hotel in Georgetown and about an inexpensive hotel near the Comtar Tower, in which we lived.

– Penang Hotels: Difficult Choices. Recommend an inexpensive hotel in the heart of Georgetown

Inexpensive hotel room in the center of GeorgetownLodges for those wishing to live right on the beach 🙂


Penang Beaches

Penang’s beaches are located on the northern part of the island. The most popular and famous beach is Batu Ferringhi . Hotels, shops, numerous restaurants and souvenir shops stretch along the seashore. A little further towards the mountains there are multi-storey buildings where you can rent an apartment or a room.

Batu Ferringhi area in Penang In Batu Ferringhi, the infrastructure is well developed: there are a lot of cafes, shops, souvenir shops Batu Ferringhi

We arrived at the beach in bad weather, but you can imagine how beautiful it is when the sun is shining! Large, high-level hotels stretch along the coast.

Batu Ferringhi beach in bad weather. It’s much more beautiful here in sunny weather! 🙂Long with long Batu Ferringhi beach in Penang

But for a beach holiday, I think this Penang beach is not very suitable. Let me explain why:

  1. There are a lot of Muslim women wrapped in clothes with their families on the Penang beach: you really don’t want to undress in front of them and swim, and especially lie and sunbathe in swimsuits.
  2. There are a lot of boats and jet skis in the sea. Water activities are very popular on Penang Beach: riding a banana, motorcycle or parachute. I don’t like swimming among rushing boats.
  3. According to rumors, Batu Ferringhi beach was chosen not only by tourists, but also by jellyfish.Therefore, in order to avoid burns, many bathe in clothes.
  4. The water in the sea is not the cleanest and transparent …
Parachute flying is a very popular entertainment among MalaysiansI have not flown such a thing 🙂 I’m afraid of heights 🙂 There is a huge selection of water activities on the beach You can also ride horses right along the beach!

The beach in Penang is good for walking, enjoying the sunset, dining on the seashore, but not for swimming.

Batu Ferringhi Long Beach is good for walking along the seashore

Video of Batu Ferringhi Beach:

Other Penang Beaches:

  • Teluk Bahang
  • Tanjung Bungah
  • Monkey Beach Stolk 900 Penang Penang 9054 125 901

    Georgetown was founded in 1786 and named after King George of England.Georgetown itself is a Penang landmark and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ancient houses, temples, mosques have been preserved in the city. Honestly, after reading rave reviews about Georgetown, I hoped to see a cute town like Hoi An, but I was disappointed … Georgetown was not impressed at all: gray, long distances, traffic jams. Of course, the heat and smog also affected, maybe that’s why I didn’t want to wander around the city at all.

    Streets of Georgetown: Near our hotel There are also nicer neighborhoods. This street even resembled the Vietnamese Hoi An. On the Georgetown waterfront

    In the center of Georgetown rises the tallest building on the island – the Komtar Tower, 235 meters high (65 floors). At the top of the Komtar tower, on the 58th floor, there is an observation deck and a restaurant.

    Komtar Tower – the tallest building in the city

    Komtar Tower is a good landmark, it can be seen from any end of the city 🙂 and next to the tower is a good area to stop for a few days: at the bottom of the Komtar tower there is a bus station, next to a bunch of shops, tourist offices and cafes, where you can have an inexpensive lunch.

    Search the streets of Georgetown Street for art. We did not search, we saw only such pictures on the walls:

    Painted walls of houses in Georgetown

    Penang attractions

    If you have come to the island for only a few days and you are faced with the question of what to see in Penang, which Penang sights to visit first, then I recommend doing this:

    Georgetown attractions

    Walk around the city of Georgetown, visiting temples and museums if you wish.Choose:

    • Fort Cornwallis
    • Khu Kongsi House Museum
    • St George’s Church
    • Blue House
    • Chinatown Chinatown
    • Little India Quarter
    • Captain Kelling’s Mosque
    • Sri Sri Dumanu Temple
    • Inox Millania Temple
    • Old Protestant Cemetery
    • Chew Jetty – Fishing Village
    • Penang State Museum
    • Glass Museum
    • Penang Islamic Museum
    • Koto Cafe 🙂 et al
    Fort Cornwallis We felt very small for us 20 have decided not to go to the walls of the Fort, tourists like to take picturesChurch of St. nga: Kek Lok Si Temple and Penang Hill.These two attractions are close to each other and can be easily visited in one day.

    Kek Lok Si, Penang Mountain Viewpoint

    Other Penang Attractions

    • Botanical Garden
    • Tropical Fruit Farm
    • Spice Garden
    • Butterfly Park
    • Bird Park (mainland)
    • Thai Buddhist Temple
    • Snakes mosque
    • Penang National Park

    As you can see, there are a lot of attractions in Penang, to visit them all, you have to live on the island for quite a long time. By the way, in addition to attractions, Penang Island is famous for … nightlife. Yes, this is where there are many nightclubs! I would never have thought that in a Muslim country people hang out 🙂

    Shops, shopping and food in Penang


    There are several shopping centers in the center of Georgetown. I went to Komtar and the neighboring Prangin Mall. To be honest, you shouldn’t waste time visiting these shopping centers if your goal is shopping: there is nothing good there, half of the shops are closed, and in those that are open things are like in our markets, well, like in a chirgizon in Moscow or in the market in Bangkok next to Bayok Sky.In general, some kind of horrible Chinese horror! The only thing worth going to one of these shopping centers is restaurants and coffee shops. On the ground floor of Prangin Mall there is Starbucks with standard delicious coffee 🙂

    Prangin Mall. There is nothing interesting inside, no shopping 🙁 But in this building on the ground floor there are a lot of tour offices selling tickets in different directions on the outside, and on the other side there is Starbucks coffee The same shopping center on the other side On the square near Prangin Mall

    Next to the neighboring building on the first floor we found a Pacific supermarket where we bought water, fruit, yoghurts, cookies and other little things.There is also a nice cheap Indian restaurant on the street side, on the other side of the building – KFC, several decent restaurants, bars and karaoke.

    Another shopping center with a grocery supermarket

    Normal shopping centers are located a little further from the center of Georgetown:

    • Gurney Plaza – a huge shopping center on the way to Batu Ferringhi beach
    • Queensbay Mall – is located next to the Penang Bridge

    There are several large ones in Penang Tesco stores. I think that Tesco’s store does not need advertising, everyone knows him well in Thailand.


    There are no problems with food in Penang. Penang is said to be the gastronomic capital of Malaysia. In addition to Malaysian cuisine, there are many Indian and Chinese restaurants (I looked everywhere for dim sum – Chinese dumplings that I liked so much in Hong Kong!).

    Food prices are not high, it seemed to us that food in a cafe in Penang is cheaper than in Thailand. Freshly squeezed juice is sold everywhere, for only 3 – 5 ringgit (~ 1 dollar). The juice is actually freshly squeezed and without any added salt and sugar, as they like to do in Thailand 🙂

    In Penang, Chinese restaurants on every corner Another inexpensive restaurant Penang had the best fresh juices! In one place they poured me orange juice in a bag 🙂

    We ate several times in an Indian restaurant near Komtar.I must say that I don’t like Indian food, or rather, after a trip to India I don’t like everything Indian 🙂, but they cook well here, I liked it 🙂

    The cafe is very simple, many locals dine there. There is no menu, more precisely, some menu with prices hangs on the wall, but what is written cannot be disassembled 🙂 Therefore, we just pointed our finger at the dish we liked. Lesha took rice with meat (there is beef and lamb!), And I took cakes with meat gravy. And of course, Indian milk tea. The first time I wanted to take cold green tea, but they brought me hot black tea with milk.But we liked the tea so much that later they ordered it everywhere in Malaysia (beer in Malaysia is expensive, we washed down our food with tea 🙂).

    A cheap Indian cafe where we dined several times This is how it looks inside. A kind of dining room for the locals. At first we were afraid to enter 🙂And this is our lunch for a penny (up to 3 dollars)

    We lived near the Komtar tower and in our area all the cafes closed very early, at about 8 pm! On the first evening after a late arrival and check-in at the hotel, we had a hard time finding where to dine (and it was only 21:30), since KFC was next to us. Once again I was glad that we do not make our eyes round with horror at the word fast food and Coca-Cola, as it is fashionable now 🙂 Otherwise I would have to starve, and when I am hungry, I am very angry 🙂

    ATMs and currency exchange in Penang

    Before traveling to Malaysia, I read that not all ATMs in Penang accept our cards and that there are very few places in the city where you can withdraw money from the card. Fortunately, near our hotel, in the Prangin Mall, we found a huge Cimb bank branch with ATMs.Malaysian ringgits were filmed there.

    You can exchange currency in any exchanger, there are many of them in Penang, only they close very early. If you are arriving in Penang late at night, stock up on ringgit in advance!

    Penang prices

    Below I give some prices for Penang (prices are average, tourist, who found prices lower, that fellow 🙂)

    Malaysian durians 🙂

    Penang: housing prices:

    • Hotel room in Penang on booking.com – from 55 ringgit
    • Sleeping place in a shared room in a hostel – from 25 ringgit
    • Standard normal double room in Georgetown hotel – from 100 ringgit

    Penang: transport prices

    • Bus travel – from 1.4 to 2.7 ringgit
    • Bike rental – from 30 ringgit per day
    • Car rental – from 100 ringgit per day

    Penang : prices for visiting attractions

    • Visiting Fort Cornwallis – 20 ringgit for adults, 10 for children
    • Visiting the Blue House Museum-Mansion – 17 ringgit
    • Funicular to Mount Penang – 30 ringgit in two directions
    • Visiting the Owl Museum on Penang Hill – 12 ringgit adult ticket, 6 children
    • Visit to the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas in the Kek Lok Si complex – 2 ringgit
    • Funicular to the statue of Kuan Yin in the computer Lexe Kek Lok Si – 3 ringgit one way
    • Visit to the botanical garden – free
    • Tropical spice garden – 26 ringgit adult ticket and 15 ringgit child
    • Tropical fruit garden – 40 ringgit adults, 30 ringgit children
    • Butterfly farm – 27 ringgit adults, 15 ringgit children
    • Bird Park – 38 ringgit adults, 20 ringgit children
    • Penang National Park – free

    Penang: food prices

    • Bottle of water – 1. 5 ringgit
    • Pack of cookies in the store – 2 ringgit
    • Yogurt – 1.9 ringgit
    • A glass of fresh juice – 3 – 5 ringgit
    • A cup of cappuccino in Starbucks – 11.5 ringgit
    • A portion of rice with fish in a cafe – 8 ringgit in a simple street cafe – 3 – 8 ringgit
    • Chinese dumplings – 3 – 4 ringgit per serving (usually 3 pieces)
    • Delicious beef in a decent cafe – 20 – 30 ringgit
    • Delicious lamb in a decent cafe – 27 – 30 ringgit
    • Soups in a decent cafe – 12 ringgit
    • Cost of dinner for two in a very cheap Indian restaurant – 10 – 15 ringgit
    • Cost of a snack at KFC for two – 17 ringgit
    • Cost of dinner for two in a decent cafe – 40 – 70 ringgit 90 125 90 150 Some prices in cheap street cafes Delicious food in a clean place from 4.5 to 7.5 ringgit Prices in one of the cafes in the mall The prices for food in Penang are not high at all Prices in a good cafe in the center of Georgetown.Hurray, there are beef and lamb dishes here! I love it .. 🙂Cheap and delicious fruit juices Cost of tailoring and laundry

      Penang or Langkawi

      Very often tourists, considering one of the Malaysian islands for vacation, are faced with a choice: what to choose Penang or Langkawi? These two islands are close to each other and are connected by a sea ferry – a passenger boat. Both Penang and Langkawi have an airport where you can fly from Kuala Lumpur for very little money.

      Many years ago I also chose my first Malaysian island 🙂 I studied the reports of travelers, read reviews about Penang and Langkawi and chose the island of Langkawi.Now, having visited Penang, I realized that then I made the right choice 🙂 Still, Langkawi is more suitable for vacation.

      The island of Langkawi is ideal for a beach holiday and a short vacation: there are various beaches, gorgeous nature, mainly natural attractions: waterfalls, mangroves. There is a cable car and a “sky bridge” in the mountains, and also the symbol of the city – an eagle. Basically, Langkawi has a beach holiday. Although, to be honest, the most “beach” vacation for me in Malaysia is on Perhentian 🙂

      Langkawi island has gorgeous beaches and magnificent nature Well, there are also some tourist attractions in Langkawi 🙂

      Penang, on the contrary, is not very suitable for a beach holiday (why – see.above in the article). But there are so many attractions on this island!

      Langkawi is a Duty Free zone, in the huge Duty Free store you can buy cheap alcoholic drinks, cookies, chocolate. But with food in a cafe, as far as I remember, it was not very good for me in Langkawi. The only thing I could eat was expensive grilled fish in beach cafes.

      Penang is a gastronomic paradise 🙂 There is a huge selection of food for every taste and budget. And Penang is also famous for its nightclubs, and in Langkawi, the rest is more like a vacation “in the village with my grandmother.”

      Penang is more “urban” recreation, on Langkawi – “rustic”

      If you choose an island for a beach holiday, then I advise you to choose Langkawi, but Penang is perfect for sightseeing holidays and long-term stays. If it is possible to combine these two islands during the vacation, then I would allocate 30% of the time to Penang, and 70% to Langkawi.

      Monsters in Penang 🙂

      Then the path can be as follows: Kuala Lumpur – Penang – Langkawi – Ko Lipe (Thailand) – Bangkok.In my opinion, this is the best route for a 2-3 week vacation in Asia.

      That’s it for today 🙂 Subscribe to my Olgatravel.com blog update and youtube.com channel to receive article announcements.

      Georgetown, Penang

      Penang: Map of Points of Interest and Attractions

      Points of Interest and Some Attractions in Penang are marked on the map

      90,000 Phuket’s 10 Best Truly Dishes – Lonely Planet

      From high quality seafood to inexpensive Russian, virtually any cuisine is available in Phuket, one of Thailand’s largest destinations.But what do the locals eat?

      The answer is much more complicated than “pāt tai”, as Phuket was a cosmopolitan mixer long before tourists and sun worshipers began to come.

      European traders have been visiting the island since the 16th century, and Chinese and Muslim traders have been visiting the island for even longer. But the boom in tin mining in the early 20th century triggered the largest and most influential influx of immigrants: the Hokkien and the Cantonese Chinese, many of whom arrived via Penang in Malaysia. They presented their regional Chinese cuisine, as well as Malay and Baba nyonya, which are a unique blend of Southeast Asian and Chinese ingredients and cooking techniques.

      As a result, Phuket’s food comes from an influence that is unparalleled elsewhere in Thailand. Phuket has pork rules, and soy sauce is prized for fish sauce – both supposedly the result of a Chinese approach. And the Penang connection has also led to a handful of dishes from India, England and Portugal earning a foothold.

      Here are 10 classic Phuket dishes to dive into. Some can be found all over the island, but Phuket Town, the island’s inner capital, is where you’ll find the best options.

      Mee Hokkien (Mèe Hók KEE AN)

      Hokkien Noodles are one of the most common dishes in Phuket. Vendors all over the island, especially in Phuket Town, cook grilled, hearty wheat and egg pasta with seafood, pieces of pork, herbs, and a sauce-like broth. If you’re feeling decadent, you can ask to decorate your bowl with a freshly cooked egg. Like many dishes of Hokki origin, it is savory and savory.

      Loba (loch ba)

      One of Phuket’s favorite foods is also probably the most intimidating for visitors.Loba combines pork offal – head, heart, lungs, intestines and tongue, stewed in a five-spice powder with savory deep-fried foods such as spring rolls, shrimp and stuffed tofu. Two disparate dishes are linked by a sweet / spicy sauce. You can mix and match your choice, so don’t worry if braised pork muzzle isn’t quite your jam. This Chinese dish can be purchased at kiosks and informal restaurants in Phuket Town.

      Oh dao (ohhh)

      Oh Tao takes the form of eggs, taro cubes, deep-fried pork skins, and tiny oysters fried together in a sticky, tangy dough – think of the famous Thai fried mussel pancake on steroids.It is believed that this hearty dish dates back to the Chinese miners. You can find about dao at street stalls in Phuket Town and elsewhere on the island.

      Oh oh (oh ah oh)

      Ice Shaved is almost a versatile dessert, but the hyperbolic, vibrant, beloved version of Phuket stands out from the crowd. This icy dessert features banana starch and bean gelatin cubes, which are a dessert ingredient in Thailand. Difficult to find outside of Phuket, grab a bowl from the stalls in Phuket town.

      Mu hong (mo hong)

      Mu hong comes in the form of fatty pork chunks stewed in palm or brown sugar and sweet soy sauce with garlic and black pepper. This is one of the most popular dishes of the Baba Nyonya genre and is a mixture of Chinese and local culinary styles and ingredients found in slightly more upmarket restaurants around the island such as Raya.

      Nam Prík Gûng Sèe AP

      Thailand is home to countless varieties of namprik, chili-based sauces with different recipes from province to province.Phuket’s contributions to this genre combine shrimp paste, fresh chili, lime juice, sugar and, most of all, the eponymous smoked shrimp. As elsewhere, the dish is served with a platter of fresh and boiled herbs and vegetables. Grab a plate at restaurants in Phuket town such as One Chun.


      These layered Thai-Muslim “pancakes” can be found in many regions of Thailand. In Phuket, chefs rip roti to shreds, creating a crispy pile topped with a fried egg and accompanied by a small bowl of aromatic curry broth – one of the best breakfasts in the country.Abdul’s Roti Shop in Phuket is a great place to start your day in Phuket style.

      Hanom Jin (ka nŏm jeen)

      Thin round rice noodles with carp-like fillings form a common base for dishes found throughout Thailand.

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