If you haven’t read my first post about this trip please click here.
I stopped off the last time about my friend driving up to Penang to see me on my first full day there. She arrived in the evening with her dad and we decided to go out for a meal. They took me to a street food park at a place around the popular Gurney Drive—for some reason this reminded me a lot about the place described in Crazy Rich Asians where Nick and his friend took Rachel when she first arrived at Singapore—apparently home to some of the best street food.
I was so excited because it was my first time at a place like that plus this was a chance to have a taste of Penang’s cuisine where the locals eat. Malaysia is a mix match of three cultures, Malay, Chinese and Indian, and it was very evident in their cuisine. One of the most popular dishes in Penang—which I will come to learn more about—is Char Kway Teow which literally translates to “stir-fried rice cake strips”. Minah insisted I should try it and she mentioned that Satay is a Malay delicacy that I have to try. I think she was more excited for me to try everything lool!
We ordered various foods and drinks to try and found an empty table to enjoy our meal. The buzz and vibe of this place was like no other, the stall owners were very nice and I noticed that everyone called them Aunty and Uncle, and they kinda treated their customers with such affection. The Satay we ordered came with this sweet peanut sauce which was as delicious and juicy as it sounds reading this. I also got a chance to try out sugarcane juice which left me wondering why we have not started serving this in Nigeria yet.
As for the main noodles dish, I wasn’t a huge fan of it TBH. I am more of a pasta or rice kinda girl so the texture of the rice noodles has never appealed to me. However I have to say though, aside from that the flavour was good! I can see why it is a local favourite.
There were other weird looking foods that I was tempted to give a try just for the sake of it but I wasn’t brave enough in the end. I did however take a photo as a memorabilia. Have you tried any of the foods displayed above?
After our early dinner, we drove to a mosque for Maghrib and then headed back to the hotel. Minah and I went out again to a second street food location over looking a beach. Here the place was divided into the Chinese cuisine section and the Malay/Tamali cuisine which tended to be Halal. We opted to have more satay and some Pasembur—which translates to a platter of different things—and we ordered a dessert as well which wasn’t to my taste.
It was a unique and surreal experience for me, from seating beachside at the open night food market, surrounded by people of mixed cultures with my very good friend whom I didn’t think I would be seeing again so soon. It is moments like that that I love, just a mundane day made special by little experiences.
We later took an Uber back to the hotel—the Penang Uber had a deal where rides at a certain period would be charged at a fixed price of 4 ringgits which is less than a dollar—and when we got there, we found this band in the lobby performing renditions of pop songs. watched for a bit and then went back to our rooms with excitement for exploring the next day!
Thanks for reading x! Have you been to Malaysia? What’s your favourite Malay Food?