Penang is known for its varied cuisine where you can find Chinese, Indian, Thai, Vietnames and ever Western flavors. On Penang island and especially in George Town you can find a huge variety of restaurants, cafés offering some specialities. In this article, you will learn about dishes typical for Malaysia that you have to definitely taste them! We will also advise you where to find cheap and tasty dishes 🙂
What are typical Malaysian dishes?
There are so many Indian and Chinese restaurants in Malaysia so sometimes we had a trouble to find Malaysian dishes. This is a terrible shame because Malaysian gastronomy has definitely something to offer 🙂
1. Nasi Lemak
Very popular and national dish in Malaysia. The local people often take it for breakfast, but we couldn’t do that (food composition +too spicy for morning). This food contains rice that is cooked in coconut milk with pandan leaves. It is served with meat (most often chicken), vegetables, spicy sauce, egg (boiled, fried), peanuts and seafood (we had roasted anchovies). But Nasi Lemak has different forms depending on where you are in Malaysia and the chef 😀 We tried it at the Jetty Food court (George Town).
2. Asam Laksa
Sometimes also called as Penang Asam Laksa is a favorite dish on the island. It is characterized by its sour-spicy taste, which is supplied by the broth. It is served with noodles, lemon grass, chili, meat, ginger (delangal), onions and other vegetables. For us this dish was too sour, but it is definitely worth a try. We tried it in New World Park Food City – George town.
3. Mee Goreng
Dish Mee Goreng consists of fried yellow noodles, meat (beef, chicken), shrimp, vegetables, soy sauce and eggs. Simple but terribly good food that will not disappoint you. We tried it in Shah’s Kedai Kopi on our way from the Penang National Park and was delicious!
4.Penang Pasembur (Rojak)
You can recognize this food stalls easily because the always contain fried seafood, fish balls, fried meat, pancakes, spring rolls, sausages, etc. The form of serving is such that you take a plate and take everything you like. Cashier tells you a price at the window and finally pour in some red sauce. It is typical Penang food, but our weak stomachs have not tried it. We were afraid that so many fried things would kill us 😀 You can find the best and famous stalls in Food court calles Penang Kota Lama.
5. Pisang Goreng
Would you like to taste the national desert? You have to reach for the fried banana in batter. It’s a national dish, but (we don’’t know why) it’s hard to get. Finally we found a famous stall in George Town and besides fried banana we also tasted fried sweet potato and sweet potato pancake 🙂 It was delicious and you can’t leave Malaysia without it! : D We recommend it eating with ice cream (we bought it in McDonald’s). It is the best combination!! This famous spot is called Pisang Goreng and is located close to the Jetty Food Court: Pengkalan Weld, Tan Jetty. Enter Pisang goreng george town in Google Maps and it will pop up in the first place 🙂
6. Ice Cendol
This is typical Malaysian ice cream that absolutely shocked us. In addition to classic (vanilla, chocolate) ice cream, sweetened ice and fruit, you will also find inside green jelly, red beans, sweet rice or corn. I think we are used to eat classic ice cream or ice cream sundaes in the Czech Republic and this combination did not impress us :D. We had it at the Penang Kota Lama food court.
7. Teh Tarik
And the best in the end, at least in our opinion 😀 …. Teh tarik is a national drink (hot, cold), which consists of black tea with milk, spices and sugar. We were taking it everywhere and all the time, because in the heat we were pleasantly refreshed by the ice variant. In cold Cameron Highlands, we were warmed by a hot variant :). We discovered the best Teh Tarik in Malaysia in the tea plantation BOH Tea Center.
As you may have noticed, we love Food Courts! They are always cheap with variety of tasty food. Our favorites in George Town were definitely Jetty Food Court and New World Park Food City!
So that’s all we managed to get to know and taste in Malaysia. Please write us in comment which dish you would like to try! We hope this post will help you in searching for national food when you are in this country 🙂 And if any of you have been there, please write us what you liked most in the comments !! :))