Whether you just want to lounge around in beach resorts or delve into the timeless energy of historic Georgetown, there are plenty dining options in Penang to satisfy all possible tastes. Batu Ferringhi is home to some of the country’s most exclusive restaurants dishing up international cuisine to satisfy hungry hordes of tourists. But in Chinatown there are simple noodle shops where steamy, spicy broths can be bought for just a few ringgits.
Penang is obviously famous for fresh seafood such as oysters, and there’s no better place to sample these delights than colonial Georgetown.
The Revolving Restaurant at the City Bayview Hotel, in Jalan Low Yat, has a decent buffet and the grandest views of the area. Ocean Green, in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, is another seafood favourite with snapper, grouper, lobster and prawns featuring heavily on the menu.
Penang is home to a huge immigrant population from the subcontinent and so fans of Indian cuisine will be in their element. Hameediyah, in Lebuh Campbell, is a tremendous restaurant serving up authentic curries from a century-old building, whilst Maharaj, in Jalan Penang, has a menu packed full of spicy specialities at a bargain price per dish.
Budget travellers will not go hungry in Penang with a smattering of cafes and diners geared towards backpackers centred around Lebuh Chula. Malibu is one of the most popular with an international if predictable menu. Nearby Betel Nut Café has a similar vibe with pool table and food inspired by its namesake ingredient.
For a splurge head to The Brasserie at the Shangri-La Hotel where divine French food is on offer. Fillet steak in green peppercorn sauce, imported foie gras and lobster thermador are typical delights but remember to book a table to avoid disappointment. Eden Steak House, in Jalan Hutton, is actually better known for it’s seafood than red meat but all tastes are catered for in typically chic surroundings.
In the beach resort of Batu Ferringhi are more fabulous eateries which are generally geared exclusively towards tourists and therefore more expensive than those of the capital. Peppino is a classic Italian restaurant with seafood and pasta dishes dispensed at the Shangri-La’s Golden Sands Resort. Another continental offering is The View, Jalan Bukit Jambul, where the very best French cuisine can be found.
Bars and pubs in Penang
Despite prohibitively-taxed alcoholic beverages, there are still more than enough watering holes in which to wet one’s whistle in Penang including some great sports bars with live European football.
Batu Ferringhi is home to some tourist-orientated beach bars serving cocktails and draft lager to wealthy visitors. Magic and Sigis, by the Golden Sands, get good reviews as does Art which features popular happy hour promotions.
The upper end of Georgetown’s Penang Road, opposite the E&O hotel, is chocked full of bars, pubs and clubs and a great starting point for nights out on the town. Cheers Beer Garden, Jalan Argyll, has comfy sofas and cold beer whilst Coco Island Travellers Corner, in Lebuh Chulia, is a backpackers favourite with Mexican food and live music. The Hungry Duck, Upper Jalan Penang, has free vodka deals for ladies on Wednesdays and stays open late.