Category Archives: Penang Famous Hawker Food

Batu Feringghi Night Market – Shopped and reviewed by Backpackies

There is just so much to do in Penang( and i mean the island of Penang), over the week end. It was a hard toss between heading out for some 24hour Nasi Kandar Line Clear at Penang Road and then to Upper Penang Road for drinks or head up to Batu Feringghi to check out the famed night market.
After much discussion, we decided to give our livers a break and opted for some wallet damage.  We took the Rapid Penang Bus 101 from the front of 7-11 on Chulia Street.
We were staying at Roommates Guesthouse Penang for this trip and the 7-11 was just like 2 minutes walk out from the guesthouse. Its a really nice guesthouse with extremely friendly staff.
The bus 101 was air conditioned and took about less than 25 minutes to get to Batu Feringghi. You can easily spot the night market which starts daily at 7pm and runs till around 11pm. If you are not sure, then just press the STOP bell at Golden Sands Resort. There is a new PETRONAS and McDONALDS just directly opposite the hotel. The night market starts from this point and stretches for another 2 kilometers.

Its the usual traffic jam along Batu Feringghi Road because it is all single laned

The market has changed a lot since i first been here about 5 years ago. That time, i used to remember that the stalls were sprawling till it overflowed out to the sides of the walk ways of the street. Nowadays with proper and stricter government enforcing, the stalls are pushed further back away from the road side.

You can also cycle up to the market, which will take you a good 45 minute – 1 hour journey

If you have your own scooter or bicycle, then you can always ride up to the market.

some of the converted stalls have air conditioning in them

there are plenty of clothes for you to shop for like batik and beach wear

Fresh fruits and juice are a hit among the tourists

Not so tacky souvenir shirts- these designs have existed some 10 years ago, when i was a kid. Man!! They should do something about these souvenir shirts!


I must admit that im a serious addict. A Watch Addict! I was literally drooling at the sight of all the colorful G-SHOCKs that were on sale. These are of course fake watches, but being water proof and for only RM 50 each. Man im sooo buying 5 ! Oh wait, i only got 2 hands!

Another must buy when you are here is the fake DVD’s. These are Blue Ray and DVD quality DVDs that you are getting for RM 4 each! Now who says, Penang’s shopping sucks?!!

A note to other bloggers: Please do not take pictures of the stall as they will beat you up. These pictures were taken illegally.

The latest addition to Batu Feringghi is the new Mc Donalds outlet and also the petrol station. Back about 1 year ago, you would need to make sure you had enough petrol to drive up and back from Batu Feringghi before you made the trip. But now its so convenient with the new petrol station up there.
Also with Mc Donalds added to the fast food option, eating up at Batu Feringghi is so much easier. (I just use the free wifi! )
There is of course the famous – RIDE THRU service



The night market is a great way to spend your evening. Head up here around 5 ish in the afternoon, head to the beach for a beer or to sun bath, then have dinner at the hawker center nearby, then shop at the market for souvenirs. Then take the last bus 101 back to the hostel. Voila! Mission Accomplished!


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Roommates Guesthouse Penang April Promotion!

Honestly speaking, this Guesthouse has to be given credit for making the effort to spruce up the backpacking scene in Penang, Malaysia.

Free local palm wine on Wednesdays, Haunted Tours around Penang for the Month of Cheng Beng, and student discounts are among the few things that they have managed to come up with.

Read more-

Magnificent April promotions and events that will guarantee to get your heads bobbing!!

Like them on facebook at > Roommates Penang

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Thusi Banana Leaf Rice Penang

When visiting Penang, one should only think about nothing but food (apparently). FOOD FOOD FOOD, is what every Penangite is famous for!
Today, we will be trying out and blogging about “Banana Leaf Rice”. If you are new to Penang or if you are looking for a good place to have banana leaf rice, this is the blog for you!

famous banana leaf restaurant penang

Thusi Banana Leaf Restaurant in Penang

thusi banana leaf rice penang

Roommates Guesthouse can arrange for bicycle tours to the best food in town

penang  famous banana leaf

Man demonstrating how to make roti tissue a type of pan-fried thin bread that is conical and tall in shape

banana leaf penang

There is plenty of dishes which you can order from

Penang banana leaf

Yummy curries!

banana leaf penang

Comfortable and clean seating

Eating with some guests and friends (some of which who refused to have their picture taken) 😛

Here is a DUMMYS guide to ‘BANANA LEAF’ rice. Read it and keep it to heart. Because we think that this is certainly, and truly one of the most delicious thing you will ever eat in Penang! Enjoy!

STEP 1: Authentic BANANA leaf is used as a plate

famous penang banana leaf

STEP 2: Scoops of vegetables are given

banana leaf penang

STEP 3: Hot Steaming rice is served - You can have as much as you want. The rice, dhal (lentil curry) and vegetables are refillable

famous banana leaf penang

STEP 4: Papadom (delicious crispy crackers) are given, but they usually give only 2-3 pieces. ASK FOR MORE! 😀

STEP 5: Curry is doused on to the steamed rice, creating a delicious mix of flavor and appetite

famous banana leaf penang

FINAL STEP: VOILA ! Dinner is served! DIGG Innnnn!!

famous banana leaf rice penang

Thosai – A type of thin bread that is slightly fried and is usually eaten with curry.

Curry chicken and another type of roti (don't know what its called)

This roti (bread) was different because it was also gently fried but it had potatoes and onions in it. Delicious! Sorry we don’t know the name of it.

digging in and showing you how good the food is! Can you tell from his face??

If you are on Facebook> Look us up @ backpackies.
Join our community and also our very own Guesthouse > ROOMMATES PENANG. If you are here, remember to ask our staff of where you can get the best and famous food in Penang.


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Hameediyah Restaurant Campbell Street Penang

Hameediyah Restaurant, located on Campbell Street serves South Indian cuisine and is well-known for its Murtabak (Pan fried roti stuffed with choices of fillings – minced beef, chicken, mutton or vegetable) and Nasi Kandar (Steamed rice served with your choice of chicken, fish, beef, vegetable and many more. The iconic thing about this dish is that the whole plate will be doused with a mix of the many different curries giving it an extraordinary taste.

Established in 1907, this is one of the oldest restaurants in Penang. Of course the original shop will give you that “old dining feel” you are looking for.

I still remember back in the 1900’s when almost every week we would queue to buy the Murtabak. Hameediyah has recently opened one more outlet two doors down. The whole place is air-conditioned which makes the quote “You aint eating if you aint sweating” no longer applicable.

The new shop is spacious and definitely looks cleaner. Even the food presentation is better- (only white plates are used), while still retaining the flavours of Hameediyah that many of us grew up with.

Penang Nasi Kandar Hameediyah

While im capturing a photo of the shop, this guy seems to be thinking deep if he should enter and eat

Hameediyah nasi kandar

The air-conditioned section of Hameediyah seems to be full during lunch time

hameediyah restaurant penang

Local musician coming to sing some songs

hameediyah nasi kandar

Air Bandung and Nescafe Ais

Our drinks for the meal were the refreshing Hameediyah Special Bandung (rose milk syrup, RM 1.80And Iced Coffee.

The prices here at the new restaurant are the same as the old restaurant. (So why eat in the heat when you can dine in comfort? – Air conditioning). The signature Nasi Kandar has over 20 varieties of dishes to choose from. You can either eat it with bread (choice of naan, roti canai) or rice (biryani or steamed white rice).
We have been here like 5 times over a course of 2 weeks. Over that time, we noticed that the quality of food is not really consistent. It was fabulous the first time when we were there, and we ordered the duck curry, mutton curry, beef, some hard-boiled eggs and the only vegetables they serve is chopped up yellow cabbage and steamed ladies fingers.
The duck was good, depending on the portion of the duck they were giving you.

hameediyah nasi kandar
Another thing that we wanted to say was the Turkey! Well ok, it was pretty dumb for us to order it. The thing was, when it came, it was all just bone and minimal meat on it. We complained and asked them to take it back. Then the next thing you know is that they came back with a whole plate of turkey meat. They did charge us RM 40 for a plate though.
We also had the murtabak daging (minced beef) with pickled onions and accompanying curry gravy. This piece of soft bread with minced beef and chopped onion filling is encased in a layer of egg. Lovely!
The tender Tandoori Chicken was served with three dips and a piece of plain naan. The meat was smoky and flavored-packed with  a slight sweetness.
The Daging Rendang (dry beef curry) is tender and flavoured with spices. The exceptionally delicious thick gravy goes well with the fluffy naan which is baked in the tandoor with crisp charred edges. The beef is definitely one of Hameediyah’s worthy offerings.
You can take your pick of white rice or opt for the nasi briyani. The nasi briyani was flavorful with exotic spices and were done with such marvel. A plate of chicken briyani cost RM8, and it is one of the must-try dishes in Hameediyah.

Although the Fried Chicken (Ayam Goreng) is great, but you might want to try the Itik Kari RM18 (curry duck) like what we mentioned earlier. Large pieces of duck are cooked in addictive thick curry (again, portions vary depending on the parts of the duck they give you).  The gravy is very lemak (rich with coconut milk) and appealing with its bright reddish color. Hameediyah also serves great seafood (particularly crabs and large prawns), which cost more than meat. For those who are more adventurous, do check out the Kari Kepala Ikan (fish head curry).

Hameediyah Restaurant
164A Campbell Street
Tel: 04 2611095
Business Hours: 11am – 10.30pm
Closed on Friday

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Chulia Street Penang – Street Food at Night by backpackies

Chulia Street, Penang is famous for being crowded with cheap lodges, visa/ tour agents and pubs famous among backpackers. But what about the street food here? No one has written about the famous Curry Mee, Wan Than Mee or even the Manchester United Burgers that the locals so eagerly flock to feast on almost every night. Or maybe they just want to keep this place a secret? Oh well, its too late now.
Backpackies is here and here is our review of the street food along Chulia Street- Backpacker Central of Penang.
If you want breakfast here, please read this blog >> Chulia Street Penang- Breakfast! with

Chulia Street Food

Chulia Street Penang- Backpacker Central

Chulia Street during the day is madness. This 2 lane road can easily turn into a 4 lane honking insanity. During the evenings, the traffic dies down, and this is when the pubs start its grooving beats, food stalls are pushed out to set up business and tourists roam the streets for food and entertainment.
This place is a small little lane here is called “cheap side” among the locals. It got its name from all the stalls in the day selling cheap hardware and construction equipment.
Somewhere hidden amongst the stalls is the famous Chulia Street Curry Mee.

Chulia Street Curry Mee
Over here, there is Wan Than Mee (springy noodles cooked either with soup or dry) and served with pork slices and rolled up “money bags” filled with minced meat.

Chulia Street Curry Mee

Woman cooking some Wan Than Mee- noodles

Below is the famous Curry Mee stall. Look at the amount of fried bean curd there is in the pot! Its full of it! By the way that, brownish stuff in the pot by his elbow is cockles.

Chulia Street Penang

The famous Chulia Street Curry Mee

Just as the name suggests, Curry Mee is soupy curry based noodles that can be spicy if you add more of the red chilli paste. Usually they use the yellow noodles with a mix of rice bee hoon (another type of thin noodles). The standard ingredients are squid, fried bean curd, cockles and bean sprouts and meat shreds. Over here they add another big sized fish ball in your bowl.

Chulia Street

Does it taste good because its famous or famous because it tastes good?

Well our verdict is, to me being a Penang boy, i think the curry mee is ok for my standard. I have tasted much better ones. But for tourists, this quality is sufficient.
We also tried the fried stuff. Some of them had mixed bits of yam and meat in them,wrapped in dough and deep fried.  The ones with the sesame seeds are filled with either peanut or black bean paste. A sweet treat!

chulia street hawker food

Fried snacks

Another sweet desert you can try is the Apom. Its made out of flour, eggs and sugar. Spread in a thin layer on a hot plate and then rolled up to give it the crispy texture on the sides and a soft chewy feel on the center.

chulia street ah pom

Chinese Pancake

Most locals head over here for the Lok Lok as well. Its a dish where you just stand by the stall, and then choose what you want. The have a variety of food stuff on skewers for you to choose from. Some are un cooked yet and some are already cooked. You get stuff like fish balls, meat balls, squid ball, jelly fish with vegetables where you need to dip into the boiling water much longer. Food like century eggs, spring rolls, crab sticks which are already cooked, you just need to dip in to the hot water to heat up the food.

The hot water pots are communal and so are the different dips. So basically for hygiene purposes, please do not re dip your skewer after you have bitten into it.  Usually the standard dips are chili paste (red), spicy chilli (green) and peanut sauce. The peanut sauce is our favorite due to the nice crunchy aromatic taste it gives.

chulia street lok lok

Lok Lok- Dunking in food on skewers in a communal hot pot

Of course if you can handle the spiciness, you should try mixing both the chilli and peanut sauce together! Awesome.

 chulia street lok lok

Colorful aint it?! 😀

Well we already had our fill for today. We will be back next week to examine and test the Manchester United burgers. We are sure that there are plenty of other food along this street that is worth mentioning. But because we don’t get paid to do blogs and we really review the blogs, eating the Lok Lok alone, we had to try all the different types of skewers just to tell you how this shop fares overall.

So we will save the burgers and others for the next review. Till then, if you have tried anything else that’s really good, or maybe shitty, please do give us a shout here on our comments.

Till then if you have any travel questions, please visit us at or join us on facebook at Backpackies is on facebook.

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Making your own Nyonya Chang ( an Asian Delight) by backpackies

Firstly we have to admit, we were abit skeptical about writing a blog solely on “Glutinous Rice Dumplings” aka Nyonya Chang in Hokkien Dialect.
Because we don’t do food blogs!!

But  since our friend posted up some pictures of these colorful dumplings on our facebook page, we were so tempted to try out these traditional treats. All these pictures are courtesy of Mandy Choong. Thank you so much for letting us use your pictures!

So here we are following her step by step guide to making your own home made Nyonya dumplings.

Lets just get two things clear.
ONE: These aren’t your regular “Chang” or dumplings. They are called Nyonya Chang because,  these dumplings were made by the Nyonya – descendents of the late 15th and 16th-century Chinese immigrants to the Nusantara region during the Colonial era.  Nyonya is the term for the ladies and Baba for the gentlemen.
TWO: …Chang, Zhong, Zonzi,  they all mean 1 thing; glutinous rice with yummylicious fillings wrapped in bamboo/lotus/banana leaves. Chang is eaten on the 5th day of the 5th Lunar Month

Penang nyonya chang

Making your own delicious dumplings

Step 1: Get your self some glutinous rice. Soak it over night.

Penang Chang

Pea flower extract used to make blue coloring

To get its nice ocean blue color –  2 tablespoon of the coloring (extracted from the butterfly pea flower) into 150g of rice (from the 500g of glutinous rice). Then leave to soak overnight.

Penang Nyonya Chang

Glutinous rice and its ingredients

After the ingredients are ready, fold the leaves in to a cone shape. Then put in your fillings. A mix of prepared pork belly, winter melon and Chinese Mushroom.candied winter melon, pepper, chopped garlic, chopped shallots.

penang nyonya chang

After putting in a layer of glutinous rice, you then put the filling in

Then top it up with glutinous rice. Make sure its nice and compact.

Nyonya Chang Penang

Putting the rice into the leaves

Penang Nyonya Chang

Wrap the ingredients up nicely with the leaves


nyonya chang penang

Wrap it nicely and compact

After you have wrapped the dumplings. You can practically leave it before you want to eat it.
Before eating, just steam dumplings over boiling water in a wok/steamer for 30 minutes to heat it up.

penang nyonya chang

Chang without coloring and one with blue coloring

Voila…your own Nyonya Chang. I’m sure you can find plenty of step by step recipes online. But we just wanted to show you how unique we found this Dumplings to be. We just love the bright blue color of it.

penang nyonya chang

Cutting up the nyonya chang

Usually made on the 5th of the Lunar month, somewhere around June,if you are around Asia do give this a try.
If you are Muslim, make sure its a halal version. Most of these dumplings use pork meat and lard to give it extra taste.

Finally Happy Dumpling Day from all of us at
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Durian Season in Penang! Its addictive! Durians at Lorong Susu Penang

Travel and food writer Richard Sterling says:

“ … its odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away”

We say ” You go eat pig shit! This is an awesome fruit! It smells like heaven!”

Durians are also known as the King Of Fruits.  The durian or Durio zibethinus (scientific name) is distinctive for its large size, unique odour, and thorny husk.  The durian can grow as large as 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb). Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale yellow to red, depending on the species.

The durian is native to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, has been known to the Western world for about 600 years. The 19th-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace famously described its flesh as “a rich custard highly flavoured with almonds”. The flesh can be consumed at various stages of ripeness, and it is used to flavour a wide variety of savoury and sweet edibles in Southeast Asian cuisines. The seeds can also be eaten when cooked.

Normally we would go to our regular (every year he will open his small stall just outside Gama Supermarket) His durians are from Balik Pulau (where the best durians on the island are from).

But this time, it was a little too early and his stall wasnt open. So to satisfy our craving we decided to try the stall at the corner of Lorong Susu and Lorong Macalister in Penang.

(This stall is at the corner of Lorong Susu in Penang) There is plenty of people eating durians here.

The different types of durians are written on the board behind.

Some of the names are really hillarious. One of them is Lim Fong Ciao which in direct translation means Drink Air Bird. And of course there is the Black Durian, the Red Prawn etc.

The edible flesh is creamy and emits a distinctive odor, strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as fragrant; others find the aroma overpowering and offensive. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as almonds, rotten onions, turpentine and gym socks. The odour has led to the fruit’s banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in southeast Asia.

This is actually a dangerous fruit. We actually heard of someone being killed by a durian. This guy got into an arguement and he threw a durian at a man! The man died! Crazy shit.

This guy buys his durians from vendors that carry durians all the way from Balik Pulau and the mainland.

You get to choose if you want the sweet type or the bitter version. The durians i got was really delicious.  I asked for the bitter and sweet durian. I dont know what “brand” of durian i got but it was really filling and satisfying. One durian cost me RM 32. You are also given a bottle of drinking water, a sink to wash your hands and tissue to clean up. I surely will recommend this place to my friends!!


Filed under backpacking, Penang Famous Hawker Food, Penang hostels