Ultimate Penang Halal Food Guide for Muslim Travelers
If you’re planning a trip to Penang, check out Smart Dory’s Ultimate Penang Halal Food Guide for Muslim Travelers. I want to thank my friends and fans from KL and Singapore who inspire this post. I have personally tried all the restaurants and written long posts for some of the outlets.
So the next best thing to do is to wake up early and drive up to Penang and MAKAN. This is the best weekend cure for all stress related fatigue arising from eating plain insipid food. Get ready for this inexpensive gastronomy treat that will have you craving for more. The next weekend!
Top Tip: Take the ferry. You save lots of time heading for the best breakfast treats in the George Town World Heritage Site. Start early, like 7.00 am to pack in as much as possible!
7.00 AM ALI NASI LEMAK DAUN PISANG
All Malaysians love the fragrance of a steaming hot Nasi lemak! Red hot Ikan Bilis sambal, fried fish or chicken makes this an irresistible mouth-watering combo. There are 20 top delicious ways to enjoy your Malaysian Nasi Lemak that’s sure to stump travelers!
Check out the banana leaf wrapped nasi lemak at En. Ali’s stall in Sri Weld Food Court, Beach Street. The stall is right at the entrance of the food court. You can’t miss the motorcycles and cars parked as regulars line up to buy their daily breakfast meal.
Get one to kick-start your day! This is breakfast Penang style, round one!
Must Eat Dishes: Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken, Fried Fish, Sambal Sotong, Boiled Egg and extra gravy!
Ali Nasi Lemak | Sri Weld Food Court, Beach Street, Penang | Contact: 016 – 407 0717 (Encik Ali)
Business Hours: 7:00am – 4:00pm (Closed on Sunday)
7.30 AM ROTI CANAI TRANSFER ROAD
Roti Canai Jalan Transfer is the epitome of street food in Penang. Large crowds swarm the place with cars, motorbikes, trishaws, and RapidPenang buses roaring pass. This is experience is not for the faint-hearted. Time to jostle with the locals and tourist for the most popular breakfast joint in George Town. During the weekends its jam-packed with tables and stools spilling on the road.
This is where you head for that ultimate solid Roti Canai meal. The roti canai is served drenched in rich Kuah Banjir. The gravy is aromatic and the best order is Roti Canai Ayam. Get ready to chow down on a juicy whole leg chicken. If you have extra stomach space check out the Beef and Mutton Curries!
If that’s not enough, get a wholesome breakfast of Roti Bakar from the adjacent stall. That’s four slices of crunchy roti bakar set. The bread spread with margarine and topped with two sunny-side-up eggs!
Must Eat Dishes: Roti Canai Ayam, Roti Jantan, Teh Tarik and Iced Milo Kaw Kaw
Roti Canai Transfer Road | 114, 110, Jalan Transfer, Penang | Business Hours: 8:00am – 12:00pm (Daily)
9.00 AM 鎂華茶室 BEE HWA CAFÉ
Bee Hwa cafe is traditional Hainanese Kopitiam in Lebuh Dickens. Don’t worry about eating in this Kopitiam operated by Aunty Ah Lien. The Kopitiam serves Penang local hawker food that is Pork Free and Lard Free. The patrons are Malaysians from all ethnic groups.
Must Eat Dishes: Char Koey Teow, Koey Teow Soup, Mee Udang, Curry Mee, Nasi Goreng, Mee Hai Lam, Wantan Mee, and Mee Goreng
鎂華茶室 Bee Hwa Café |10 Lebuh Dickens, Penang | Business Hours: Monday to Friday, 7.00am to 5.30pm; Saturday and Public Holidays 7.00am to 3.30pm (Closed on Sunday)
10.30 AM ANBA COCONUT
After breakfast, it’s time to chill and have a long drink before lunch. We recommend going to nearby Abu Siti Lane for some amazingly sweet Pandan Coconut. After drinking out of the shell, be sure to ask the guy break the shell. He will make a “spoon” out of the shell so you can scoop out the sweet coconut flesh!
Must Order: Coconut Shake and Pandan Coconut
ANBA COCONUT | Abu Siti Lane, Penang | Business Hours: 8 AM to 7 PM daily
11.00 AM TEOCHEW CHENDOL
This shaved ice dessert is made of soft fresh pandan-ﬂavored noodles steeped in coconut milk. It is topped with boiled red beans and sweetened with Gula Melaka.
Over the long weekends, there is a long line of customers queuing to slurp their bowl of chendol. Business is brisk as people, cars, and motorcycles honked and squeezed by the narrow lane.
To set the record straight, Penang Road was once a two-way road. This gave both Chendol stalls had equal exposure to the public. Personally, my family and I prefer the original stall opposite the Kopitiam, which I think is tastier. Over the years, this stall has become the “less famous” stall due to the overwhelming exposure of the other stall on social media.
Must Try: Do try out both stalls and you make your decision on which is tastier instead of joining the longest queue.
Teochew Chendol Pushcart| Lebuh Keng Kwee, Penang
Business Hours: 10.30 AM to 7 PM (Mon to Fri) and 10.30 AM to 7.30 PM (Sat & Sun)
If you’re in for a spot of sightseeing, do check out the Fort Cornwallis before taking your lunch at Kota Selera Padang Kota Lama. This is where office workers will queue for Hameed Pata Mee Sotong and slurp that down with a cool creamy Coconut Shake.
The stall is extremely busy and the lines up to 20 strong during peak meal times. The chef fries up the Mee Sotong in large batches. He quickly dishes out multiple plates at a time. The noodles are spicy hot and tasty so it’s worth the long wait.
In the meantime cool off with a Coconut Shake. After you eat, you will need an Ice Kacang to take away the heat! While you’re there, check out the Chinese Western Food Stall. It serves the best lunchtime juicy Chicken Chop.
Must Try: Mee Sotong with extra Sotong and Coconut Shake
HAMEED PATA MEE SOTONG | Fort Cornwallis (Halal) Food Court, Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah, Penang | Business Hours: 11:30 am – 8:00 pm (Monday – Saturday) Close on Sun
12.00 PM KAREEM PASEMBOR ROJAK
Established in 1945, Kareem’s little blue pushcart was a familiar sight at the Customs Building on Gat Lebuh China in the 80s -90s before he moved to Lebuh Union. I buy my Pasembor lunch from when I was working at China Street Ghaut. Business is choc a bloc packed at lunch hour, with a long queue of office workers.
This heady salad is of Indian-Muslim origins and has prawn fritters fried ingredients piled high on a mound of shredded cucumber, yam bean, and blanched bean sprouts and topped with delicious warm, spicy sweet potatoes gravy that is to die for.
Must Try: Lots of Prawn Fritters, Fried Egg with extra gravy
Kareem Pasembor Rojak | 7, Lebuh Union, Penang | Business Hours: 11.00 am to 6 pm (Mon to Sat) Close on Sun
1.00PM KESUM ART RESTAURANT
At Kesum Art Restaurant you can eat Laksa Johor with your fingers, rather than using fork and spoon or chopsticks! The restaurant’s laksa is fragrant, spicy with a robust delicious taste of rich santan and kerisik. The way authentic Laksa Johor is made in homes in the southern state.
For an authentic halal meal, order Botok Botok steamed fish custard made with julienned healing herbs, shredded coconut flesh, and spices. The spicy sambal belacan is guaranteed to bring out a film of sweat to your brows! Temper that spicy heat with sweet Malay desserts before you check out the art gallery on the first floor.
Must Try: Laksa Johor, Botok Botok, Satay, Pengat Pisang
KESUM ART RESTAURANT | 57, Stewart Lane, Penang | Business Hours: 11:30 AM–6 PM Closed Friday | Contact: 04-262 5757
3.00PM BANGKOK LANE MEE GORENG
Bangkok Lane Mee Goreng is a famous Mamak-style (Indian Muslim) Mee Goreng with squids. The difference from Hameed Pata Mee Sotong is this version is dryer. The noodle is slightly sweet and savory and tastes best with an egg knocked in.
Must try: Mee Goreng and Mee Rebus
BANGKOK LANE MEE GORENG |280, Jalan Burma, Penang | Business Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM (closed on Monday)
4.00PM Mr. SHAWERMA
Gym goers and fitness buffs swear by a meal at Mr. Shawerma. This is my all-time favorite lunch place. The food was fantastic and the cooks are very friendly, attentive and charming. Best of all it is a well-balanced meal if you order the delicious Chicken Shawarma! The chicken platter is served with muhammara, hummus, and coleslaw.
On lean days when I want to eat clean, I will order a Hummus to go and eat it with the bread, my homemade crudités, and hard-boiled eggs.
Mr. Shawerma: | Just food Food court, 5th floor, Gurney Paragon, Jalan Kelawei, Penang | Business Hours: 11 am – 9 pm Daily | Contact: 017-381 5428
Top Tip: Enjoy Retail therapy at two of the best Malls right next to each other. Have some Coffee and Cakes to Chill or walk off Breakfast and Lunch!
7.00 PM LAGENDA CAFÉ
The inspiration of Lagenda Café is an Ode to Malaysia’s Seniman Agong (Great Artiste) P.Ramlee. This café serves a delightful authentic traditional Malay-Indonesian cuisine with a twist. . Every Rice Set is served with condiments in a visually-appealing wooden congkak set.
Watch out for their home-made Sambal which packs a flavorful spicy punch. Leave some room for their deliciously sweet and creamy desserts.
Best of all if you’re a fan of P. Ramlee, this café has the actor’s memorabilia on display.
Must Try: Ayam Penget, Satay, Gado Gado and Sago Gula Melaka
Lagenda House & Cafe | Asian Fusion Restaurant | 43, Lebuh Campbell, George Town, Penang | Business Hours: Daily 11 am – 11 pm | Telephone: 04-261 2293
8.00 PM PENANG’S LEGENDARY MURTABAK
Visitors and old-timers sometimes bypass the new generation of Mamak restaurants to head to Hameediyah Restaurant. This is the home of Penang’s delicious Indian Muslim curries and the legendary Murtabak. You will meet loyal customers who are now in their 4th or 5th generations savoring the same beloved recipes.
Must Try: Murtabak, Ayam Kapitan, Duck Curry, Sotong Eggs and Beef Liver
Hameediyah Restaurant | 164A, Lebuh Campbell, Penang | Business Hours: Saturday to Thursday 10.00 AM – 10:30 PM (closed on Friday)
12.00 AM NASI BERATUR
Penangites love their Nasi Kandar. Period. They can have it 5 times a day and night if possible. There’s a simple reason why this restaurant is called Nasi Kandar Beratur! ‘Beratur’ means queuing up in Bahasa Malaysia. So if you drive up in the early hours of the morning you will see a long line of regulars queuing up for their Nasi Kandar supper fix. Or early breakfast depends on how you view time!
Must Try: Lots of white rice topped with fried fish, onion omelet, cabbage, mutton, or chicken! The cook drenches the rice with a choice of delicious curries.
Travel Tip: The restaurant is located next to the Penang state’s popular landmark, Masjid Kapitan Keling.
NASI BERATUR | 98, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Penang | Business hours: Daily 10 PM-3 AM
2.00 AM SUP HAMEED
Still hungry in the middle of the night? Try something light, oh yea! I can hear you say that. The food so far has been amazing but nothing out of the ordinary ULTIMATE.
I have got the best for last. The best comfort food is an appetizing soup. Sup Hameed makes a rich flavorful broth of great soups. You have a choice of Chicken, Mutton or Beef. All soups are served with a slice or two oven-baked Bengali bread (sold separately).
For the ULTIMATE food deal, try the Sup Torpedo. Guarantee to put hair on your chest or keep you awake for the rest of the night. Ahem, this ultimate exotic dish this aphrodisiac bull penis soup is served with the testicles.
Sup Hameed | 48, Jalan Penang, Penang | Business Hours: Open 24 hours |
Contact: 04-261 8007
With lots of food delicious memories, you will return again and again to Penang for another taste of Char Kuay Teow, Mee Goreng, Murtabak and Nasi Kandar instead of just drooling at photos on Facebook.
Now that you are armed with this ultimate halal food guide, there’s no question of what to eat in Penang. SmartDory is mighty pleased to share this great list of food outlets in the George Town World Heritage Site. We will be back with more listing on other parts of the Penang and Butterworth soon.
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