Penang gourmet ranges from street food to fine dining but the myriad of flavours are definitely unique to the island state. With each race offering their own traditional fare, foodies will be spoilt for choice. Although every culture has their signature dishes, they are also influenced by other cooking styles and have managed to come up with their own special creations that represent a beautiful blend of tastes and spices….Long known as the food capital of Malaysia, it is renowned for the good and varied food, reflecting the Chinese, Nyonya, Malay and Indian ethnic mix of Malaysia, but also showing some influence of Thailand. The best places to savour Penang’s food include Gurney Drive, Pulau Tikus, New Lane, New World Park, Penang Road and Chulia Street, as well as Raja Uda and Chai Leng Park over on the mainland. It is also famed for its traditional biscuits such as the tau sar pneah or bean paste biscuit. Noticed as one of the world’s greatest hawker seat….. the best food isn’t found in restaurants but at literally thousands of food stalls that usually serve one signature dish, often a recipe passed down through generations. Penangites are taken to eat at these stalls from the time they’re infants and usually adopt their family’s favourite spots from a young age. As they get older they branch out and everyone is on the lookout for the places that add a twist to old flavours, say making a particularly crispy oyster omelette or tan egg omelette with tender fresh oysters or using eel balls instead of fish balls in their wonton mee or noodle and wonton soup.
The House of Four Seasons, Hong Kong Tea Garden, Goh Swee Kee Teohchew and Qiao Wei restaurants serve authentic Chinese food besides Nyonya cakes, while the popular Japanese restaurants serving suki, ramen and sake dishes include Kampachi, Soba Yoshi and Kirishma. Indian restaurants are popular in Penang with a wide fare – Mughlai, Rajasthani, South Indian, tandoori, traditional Indian dishes, spicy hot curries, sambhar and rasam. KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s and Baskin Robbins are there……and Penang has a rocking nightlife. Many nightclubs have in-house restaurants serving food and, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, with rock, disco and jazz belted out. Babylon Boom Boom, Reggae Club dedicated to Reggae King, Bob Marley….. and Sol Fun Disco, equipped with stereophonic sound and an electrifying ambience, are hugely popular with the young and not-so-young. Batu Ferringhi is frequented by young and old alike. Penang has Alfrenso cafes like Starbucks. Cheers Beer Garden, Hong Kong Bar, Lebuh Leith Pub and Wine Bar, are very popular for their beer and wine, as well as the warm hospitality.
The Vietnamese cuisine has grown in quality and variation, and most famous remains “pho ga” or chicken noodle soup..
There are various dishes including chicken, fish and seafood, and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of restaurants catering to everyone’s taste. They are lined up in small kiosks on the sidewalk, with plastic tables and chairs on the pavement. Eating at these restaurants is a great way to experience the local food and culture. Like many of Vietnam’s smaller cities, Ho Chi Minh boasts a multitude of restaurants serving typical Vietnamese dishes such as phở or rice vermicelli. Backpacking travellers most often frequent the “Western Quarter” on Phạm Ngũ Lão Street, The city also has a constantly changing, but large number and variety of restaurants and bars. Fresh seafood, especially crab, prawns and ocean fish are common, but there is also a wide variety of places offering foreign cuisines, as it is abundant with Seafood Restaurants, Asian, Greek, French , Indian, German, Sri Lankan, British, Italian, Pizzerias and Japanese.