In my opinion one cannot possibly call themselves a foodie without having paid homage to the food mecca Penang, Malaysia. If you’ve not heard of Penang, let me enlighten you with a series of post introducing the array of food the island has to offer.
Malaysia is unique in its in own right. The country is made up of three predominant cultures, the majority Malay, Chinese and Indian. On top it there is also the reminisce of from Portuguese conquest in the early 1500′s and of course the British colonisation played a big role in influencing. The best outcome of this is of course the food! In general most food outlets serve up well Penang. It would be a challenge to come across anything subpar, whether it be Indian, Chinese or Malay.
Old Town Cafe chain is probably a good warm up for anyone new to Malaysia. The cafe is best known for their White Coffee, their menu has a pretty extensive list to choose from anything from soft-boiled eggs to curry noodles you name it. But what appeals to me most is the selection of toast, my favourite being condensed milk drizzled on a generous spread of peanut butter sitting on a thick slice of Bengali bread toast to perfection. I drool a little every time I look at this picture.
Bak Kut Teh, literally translates as “meat bone tea” the dish mainly consists of pork ribs and offal (you can choose to omit if innards are not your thing) simmered in a complex broth of herbs,spices, and hint of garlic. This is most commonly eaten by the Chinese for breakfast with rice accompanied with Youtiao (I like to think of them as Chinese croutons) to dunk the soup with.
A good way to sample an Indian meal is order yourself a Thali; it is made up of a selection of small serving typically consisting of rice, roti, vegetables, curries, chutney, pickle. Serving varies depending on which outlets you go, however it will most probably be served as a vegetarian with a option to add on meat if you wish.
Putu Mayam, was one of my favourite treats when I was young. The simple combination steamed rice flour, freshly grated coconut and jaggery takes me to my happy place. Sadly due to the drop in popularity over the years, you don’t see much of them around anymore. Must get when spotted!
Assam Laksa,a tangy fish noodle soup not be mistaken with its cousin Laksa Noodles or Curry Laksa. This version is a classic example of the merge of how the cultural diversity has influenced food where Chinese and Malay elements are found.
I’m not a big fan of eating processed food, but this a call out to all my herbivore mates. Scattered around Penang are various of Chinese eateries that serve up solely vegan meals smorgasbord style with far too many things to choose from. The one thing I highly recommend are this
bacon faken strips. Oh my! these are almost like the real thing. I have plans to make an almost proper B.L.T with it one day.
Tip: When eating in Malaysia try sticking to hawker stalls they are as authentic at it gets.