Penang Travel Blog - Good Food & Heritage Round Each Corner

Monday, June 17, 2013

A day after my final paper, I flew to Malaysia's capital city - Kuala Lumpur with a lovely bunch of people. 7am flight on Air Asia over to Kuala Lumpur to meet up with the others who have flown there a day earlier because their paper ended early.

I would say a group of 15 people is a little too big to travel about. We split into smaller groups when we were shopping around Sungei Wang and Times Square. I do have to say Sungei Wang is a really nice place to shop and it's pretty similar to Singapore's very own Far East Plaza. On the other hand, Time Square is too huge to shop in a single day, and it sure brings back a lot of childhood memories for me. The good thing about the two malls is that they're just walking distance away from each other!

We didn't do much in Kuala Lumpur other than shopping. I guess many of us returned from Kuala Lumpur with a bitter feeling because we've been cheated by the taxi driver so many many many times that we've lost count. Nobody likes to feel cheated when they're on vacation.

We headed down to Chinatown to grab our dinner. We should have totally went back to the zichar street the group who went earlier had their dinner the previous day. We spent a long time around in Chinatown searching for the zichar place and finally found the well-known zichar place in a back alley!

And we had to wait for an entire hour for the food to arrive. I guess our expectations were really high by the time the food arrived so it tasted mediocre. I tasted better dishes in Singapore. It was not worth the hour wait at all.

That sums up the one day we had in Kuala Lumpur. The next day, the rest took the plane back to Singapore while seven of us took the bus up to Penang. The bus ride was tortuously long and ate up our entire day.

We were famished by the time we reached Penang and craved for some seafood. So, we were brought to Ah Keat Seafood at Times Square. It looked like a fanciful restaurant with over the top prices for seafood, similar to Jumbo Seafood in Singapore. The prices of the dishes were pretty alright, slightly cheaper than Singapore's.

This was expensive though. 90RM for the 8 pieces of prawns in steamed egg. But I do have to admit that the steamed egg was delicious and the prawns were mind-blowing.

The salted egg yolk crabs were nothing spectacular. I personally liked my Uncle Leong Seafood in Singapore better.

Guinness pork ribs. These were delicious.

Fried squid. I personally prefer my trusty buttered squid over this. This just tasted dry. But squid can't go any wrong.

Sambal lala. This was finger licking good.

I forgot the name of the shrimps in this dish but it was my favourite dish.

Overall, the food was pretty alright. I guess price wise it would be cheaper than the mainstream tourist seafood places in Penang such as Golden Thai, which was situated right at the heart of all the hotels. I would say Ah Keat Seafood is targeted towards the locals so the price would probably be cheaper.

But of course, Golden Thai has a better ambiance, right next to the beach, and is much more accessible for tourists. I didn't eat at Golden Thai though. I just popped by to look at the many tanks of sea creatures they have.

The next morning we head down to One Corner Cafe for our breakfast. My friend was so thrilled when his Curry Mee arrived as it contained pig's blood. He was so excited over it and had nothing but good praises over his Curry Mee.

A quick google search on One Corner Cafe and I realised the Hokkien Prawn Mee there was famous. I had it that morning and it was really good. The soup was tasty and they were really generous with the serving. I would have this every morning for breakfast if I resided in Penang.

After a hearty breakfast, we were all set and ready to explore the beautiful heritage town. Georgetown, Penang's capital town, has been listed in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. The beautiful old and well-preserved buildings of Georgetown is a must to visit. There is a trail you can follow to explore Georgetown.

For us, we went hunting for the wall art located all around Georgetown. There were so many beautiful wall art on the walls of the old buildings.

And this is the ultimate famous Penang wall art of a sister and brother on the bicycle.

Unfortunately, most of the wall art has been destroyed by the natural weather conditions. Many of them have slowly faded away or were washed away by the rain. Which might explain why there were new wire wall art around Georgetown. I don't really like the wire wall art though. It's missing this something in it that the original wall art has.


Georgetown is filled with beautiful and well preserved buildings of lots of history and heritage.

One of the must place to visit is the Chen's Mansion in Penang. This location was used by Mediacorp's Little Nyonya for their filming. With a little fee, you're able to enter the mansion and look at the Peranakan museum. I didn't enter it as I felt it was a little more pricey than the other places of interests and I was in a rush. But if you're a fan of Little Nyonya, why not pay this place a visit? (I have no photos of that place)

The Khoo Clan Temple is another place to visit. We were introduced there by a local. Take a walk through the rich history of the Khoo Clan and be wowed by the magnificent temple.

A picture of us with the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower in the background!

Another place of interest where we went was the Fort Cornwallis. It's located right next to the sea which pretty much reminds you of Singapore's Fort Canning. It's a really old fort and you can tell it from the buildings that were preserved in the fort. Lighthouse, chapel and canons.

We're the traffic light combo for the day :)

Char Kway Teow for lunch. Each plate came with 4 big peeled prawns and cockles. Apparently, there's duck egg char kway teow in Penang which they used duck eggs instead of chicken eggs to fry the kway teow.

What's Penang without their famous Chendol?

And of course street food! Next to Gurney Plaza (where we had our karaoke session for $6 for 5 hours), there's this whole stretch of street food stalls. Unfortunately we went on a Monday and some stalls were closed. So do remember to go on any other day except Monday!

There were so many stalls and so much food to choose from. We had a huge feast for that dinner.

Fruit rojak.

Char Kway Teow.


Lok Lok.

Asam Laksa.

Sambal Stingray.

Cuttlefish Kangkong.

Oyster omelette.

I have no idea what's this but it taste like gonggong.


My favourite dish ought to be the cuttlefish kangkong. It's something really different from Singapore's. The dark sauce that they have on the cuttlefish kangkong.

We ate so much that night that immediately after dinner, all 7 of us went to Gurney Plaza's washroom to clear our bowels.

Dimsum for breakfast the next day before we went up to Penang hill.

A lovely house up on the hill, owned by my friend's uncle. We were lucky enough to be able to pay it a visit.

It was gorgeous!

After which, we headed to Kek Lok Si Temple.

And our last meal of the entire Penang trip, a place 10 minutes drive from the airport!

I've got to say I've never really liked Malaysian food but after this visit to Penang, I've learnt to appreciate their cuisine. I guess my tastebuds have been tuned to their taste! :)

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