An Asia Foodie: Penang Top 10 Edition

Wow… what a month.  I was afraid that Penang’s food wouldn’t live up to my very high expectations, or that it would be difficult to find the really good stuff.  I would like to thank the internet, the World Heritage office and their awesome “Penang Food Trail” map, and the owner of siTigun Cafe for … Continue reading

Hawk ‘n’ Roll

Some Malaysian hawkers are nationally famous, can claim 2nd or 3rd generation family ownership, and are cleaner than many restaurants.  Other hawkers are terrible cooks and don’t always wash their dishes between customers. In Penang, there are roadside hawkers, but most hawkers park their carts around shared open-air dining spaces located throughout the city.  These … Continue reading

Bad Reputation

Is the Lorong Selamat char koay teow hawker Penang’s Soup Nazi?  I moved to New York when the Soup Kitchen restaurant that inspired the iconic “Seinfeld” episode had already become the Original Soup Man chain, in whose restaurants the soups are served with a single Tootsie Roll that often gets soaked with soup leaking from … Continue reading

2 Bowls of Crazy, 1 Happy Stomach

I did my civic duty and put up a non-food post so now it’s back to more ecstatic descriptions of Penang’s gastronomical wonders. The best cendol in Penang (and 3rd or 4th best in Malaysia) was found for the past 70 years at a roadside stall on Penang Road.  It was recently given several fancy … Continue reading

Whirled Hair It Edge

The last time I visited George Town, Penang was in 2003, 5 years before its city center, filled with numerous colonial-era shophouses, temples, mosques, and civic landmarks, was designated (along with Melaka) a World Heritage site by UNESCO, making it one of the rare urban recipients of World Heritage status outside of Europe. Located on … Continue reading

An Asia Foodie: Baba-Nyonya Edition

According to the most simplistic definition, the Baba-Nyonya are the descendants of intermarriages in the 1500s between Chinese immigrants and indigenous Malays.  However, many Baba-Nyonya are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who simply assimilated in similar ways without intermarrying.  (“Nyonya” and “Baba” are both terms of address for grandparents, Javanese for grandma and Persian for … Continue reading