Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

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Penang Food Guide Part 1 Best Assam Laksa and Penang Cendol

Throngs of people have raved about Penang as the food capital of Malaysia. The stories of every place having good char kway teow or nasi kandar in Penang is a common perception, which I’m inclined to agree – I personally had like 8 char kway teow from different coffee shops and they’re all better than what I had in Brunei – I also had a lot of Lor Mee,  Prawn Mee (Hockien Mee), Curry Mee and Nasi Kandar – and I narrowed it down to a selected few for those who have a shorter time in Penang. The good news is – all of them are within walking distance from Tune hotel (a strategic yet affordable hotel to stay in if you book in advance and during promotion period!). A tourist friendly Penang Food Guide!



The map below is good for waking up in the morning at 7:30am – start walking from Tune hotel at 8am. You will be able to visit Khoo Kong Si and Peranakan Mansion for sight seeing. After that I recommend taking a taxi to Penang Road for good Assam Laksa and Cendol. (to save time walking back). Get ready to savour some of the best food in Penang!


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I will also plot a walking guide with the use of google maps to help you find your way around. Yes – an easy food guide written from the perspective of your Bruneian Foodie. Be ready to eat your way around the clock! It’s a good idea to share your food so your stomachs can handle so much food in one go! Are you ready?! You can head out as soon as it’s 8am from your hotel. One tip is to not travel to Penang on a weekend – you will spend too much time queuing for the food. In my opinion – it’s BEST to arrive on Tuesday night for supper – then wake up early on Wednesday to begin this food trail.



Our first stop is the famous Kedai Kopi Siew Fong Lye, along Mcallister lane, where you will get to eat the Penang style Cheong Fun by Mdm Lim Mei Fung, the sauce she uses reminds me of the Lee Loi Fatt rojak sauce!





At the same stall, you can also order the stir fried spicy Kuey Kak, melt in your mouth soft radish cakes by the three Eoh Sisters – which comes recommended by the famous AXIAN.




To get there – turn left as you step out of Tune hotels – keep walking until you see Mcallister Lane (after you walk past Mekio home furnishing, you will see lorong Kinta – Mcallister lane is after that). Check the map for a more detailed view.



Kedai Kopi Seow Fong Lye
94C, Lorong Macalister,
11400 Penang, Malaysia

Opens from early morning till noon but some days the cheong fun might run out before 12pm.

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After finishing your light breakfast, it’s time for something heavier. Move along Burma road, pass Penang road (don’t turn into Penang road) and walk straight along Jalan DR Lim Chwee Leong till you see Lebuh Carnavon, turn in until you see the junction to Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze and you will see Guang Xing Restaurant (this is going to be quite a walk – about 10-13 minutes depending on your speed). Check the map below for more details!

Address: The corner of Jalan Cheong Fatt Tze and Lebuh Carnavon junction. Be there before 10:30 am if possible.



This Uncle’s Hockien Mee (prawn noodles) are very good! Even media from China has taken notice of him! Some claim his prawn noodles are the most authentic – dating back to the 1960s!



The Hockien Mee’s soup has a good prawn taste, with the added goodness of springy pork belly and shredded chicken. DELICIOUS!



This shop is also famous for their good kopi tiam kopi made by this uncle over here. A lot of people like to just come here for a cup of KOPI O and Har Mi



What a way to wake up! Good coffee and Har Mee~~ I am now more energized to continue to my next destination – the good news? It’s just RIGHT ACROSS THE ROAD! Walk across the road and look for PING HOOI Kopitiam – and you will see TIGER CHAR KWAY TEOW ~



Out of the 8 char kway teow places – I would recommend Tiger Char Kway Teow as one of the must try!



The price is cheap and the duck eggs really penetrate into the noodles and prawns! Super yummy can! Nom nom nom nom nom~~



They also sell duck leg mee sua in Ping Hooi if you fancy something herbal and soupy ~~ I find the duck leg a bit tough though. Order this only if you never tried herbal soup duck and curious how it tastes like or you just simply love herbal soup. Otherwise – keep your tummy space for more food to come! 


Ping Hooi Coffee Shop
Carnarvon Street
10300 Penang

Opens daily: 8am to 2:30 pm

Below is map from McAllister Lane to Lebuh Carnavon for Guang Xing and Ping Hooi


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The next destination is the famous Lor Mee at Lebuh Ah Quee. Just walk up along Lebuh Carnavon as seen in the map until you see Lebuh Ah Quee – turn in and you will find Lean Thye kopitiam. For those who feel you need some time to digest your food – you can pop over to Khoo Kong Si for some sight seeing.



Khoo Kong Si beautiful architecture – One of the must visit tourist attractions in Penang



It’s a good place to check out the beautiful sculptures and architectural designs of the KHOO Clan then pop over to Lean Thye for Lor Mee ~~ Be sure to check out some wall art along the way





Seriously who can resist such a sinful thick syrupy goodness! SLURPALICIOUS!



My tummy is seriously growling as I’m typing this post – remembering the delicious Lor Mee ~~ oh god why!?! The things I have to suffer for the benefit of my readers!


Lean Thye Coffee Shop
Ah Quee Street

Opens from 7am till around 10am (closed on Sundays or special public holidays)

Below is map from Ping Hooi to Khoo Kong Si and then to Lean Thye for Lor Mee


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After the delicious Lor Mee – walk towards the end of Lebuh Ah Quee and turn towards the direction of the Fire Station along Jalan Pantai (refer to map). You will see the restaurant which serves good Ngau Chap (beef noodles) and Oyster Omelet: Lam Ah Kopitiam


Lam Ah Kopitiam
Junction of Lebuh Pantai & Lebuh Chulia

Opens from 10.30am to 4.30pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

Map below: Directions from Lean Thye to Lam Ah Kopitiam and then to Peranakan Mansion


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Oh look at those delicious beef from different parts of the cow! Beef brisket, beef tendon and beef tripe! *drools*



A good clear beef soup with all the spare parts – my fav being the beef tendons ~~ gelatinous yumness! The soup is pretty different from the famous Sabah Kah Heong – it’s slightly sweeter and less saltier. Another plus is that they used the silky soft hor fun ~~ which is one of my favourite noodles for soups~~ slurps slurps!



I ordered a crispy version of the oyster omelet – notice the amount of oil to deep fry the batter and eggs to guarantee a crispy goodness!



The chef will then stir fry the oysters separately with spicy sauce and raging flames ~~



The crispy batter is pretty good but be wary that the oysters are the smaller version – those used to eating oyster omelet might think they’re too small! Personally – I like the crispy texture of the batter but I felt the oyster omelet has not satisfied me – I am sure there are better ones in Penang within walking distance that I could try! Perhaps my next trip!


Visit to the Peranakan Mansion – the famous series My Little Nonya has filmed here before. The boss has bought over this mansion and restored it while adding his own personal collection of antiques! This also makes it to my list of must visit Penang Tourist Attractions




This concludes the morning session of the Penang Walking Post – at this stage – I suggest taking a cab to Penang Road’s Joo Hoi CafĂ© for some good Assam Laksa and the famous Penang Road Cendol – They also serve Kway Teow but I would give it a pass – it’s a very good kway teow – but it’s not my top two!




You had to queue and if you wish to eat the Cendol inside Joo Hoi – you will need to pay 50 cents. Otherwise – just stand around and eat like everyone else! I personally find this very fun to do!



People like to overload their cendol but I like mine just red bean and cendol with coconut milk – simple yet very delicious! Oh YES! ONE MORE PLEASE!



The famous Penang road Assam Laksa – is the favourite of many who travelled all over the world to eat this – especially the women. There’s just something about that magical spicy and sour soupy goodness that seduces them. I personally prefer richer creamier Kuching and Singapore Laksa ~~~ I can already hear many female readers screaming “HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE ASSAM LAKSA?" as they read this ~~

Considering the distance to travel back – I would suggest taking a cab (around 10-15rm depending on cab driver) as it should be hot by this hour – around 1:30 to 2 pm. After finishing your Assam Laksa and Cendol cravings – you can stop by Ming Xiang Tai Pastry on the way back to hotel for some good Chinese pastries and special drinks.




They have pretty good egg tarts and crispy kaya puff pastries plus other savoury pastries.



They also got fancy drinks like these to cool you down after all that long walk!



Personally – I love cooling down my way – with black tou fu far and gula melaka syrup ~~ ooooh heaven! After this you can walk back to your hotel for a nap or you could go to Perangin Mall which is just opposite Joo Hooi. Bon Appetit! Look at the map below for directions from Joo Hooi to this delicious pastry shop!


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Don't miss part II of my Penang Food Guide - where you will find the best Char Kway Teow, Nasi Kandar and Har Mee!


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