A taste of Penang (By a Non-Food Blogger)

Food blogging is not my forte (neither traveling - I cannot even classify my own space arrgh!) but I've tried a few times already. I love food and eating but I'm not really passionate about the taste, the aroma or any stuff about food. So here's my take on their food by making a compilation of my gastronomic journey (and my mom's hoarding, oh I mean shopping) around Penang, Malaysia.


We arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) at around 2 p.m. and our flight to Penang was at 6 p.m. Good thing there were restaurants and shops at the terminal which killed the boredom. We tried Malaysia's version of McDonald's. We ordered McChicken, Big Mac, large french fries and a large coke - all for RM 21.20 (290-300 pesos), it was expensive because we were at the airport. It tasted a lot like what we have here except for its herb taste. And also, they have chili ketchup which I really loved.


We first went to Kek Lok Si Temple when we arrived in Penang and after that, my mom asked for the shopping malls (ugh!) to buy some stuff (she stayed for a month there). So we went to Gurney Place along Gurney Drive where she went gaga over nice things for a few bucks. 

I'm not into clothes and shoes so I went to the gadgets section and It made me happy because everything was so cheap! There were loads of stuff - from cellphones, tablets, iphones, ipods, camera stuff, lenses and external hard drives. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a techie person but calculating every price on my mind makes me crazy. My camera for example was 18,000 pesos cheaper there than in Hidalgo, Quiapo. So I composed myself and scanned all the items from every store. I was so tempted to buy some lenses but I end up buying an external hard drive. 500GB external hard drive for only RM120 (roughly 1,600 pesos). Nice buy right?! 

I went back to where my mom and aunt was and saw that they bought some stuff for me (sweet). Like gold Ipanema sandals which is cheaper there by 500 pesos and she even bought a Starbucks tumbler with "Penang" on it - I wasn't even collecting. She knew that when I do have a tumbler I use it so she bought one for me to use it. And there were loads of other stuff and knick-knacks. In such a short time they bought a lot of stuff. 

THE ISLANDER (Penang's Lifestyle Cafe)

After that we went out for lunch at Trader's Hotel in Penang. It was the Islander (Penang's lifestyle cafe) at the Trader's. It was buffet time when we went there and I was not hungry at that time - I was starving! That's why I didn't get to take that many photos around the restaurant. Their food was a Malay-Japanese inspired and there were no pork in any of the dishes. I didn't enjoy the food and the sushi bar (the rice was not cooked very well). It was more of my physiological needs that's why I ate much. Nothing was outstanding, not even their coffee. I didn't know how much it costs 'coz my aunt paid for it. So let's move on.


Then we went to Georgetown for some shopping and food trip. Georgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the buildings there looked all the same. Penang is a very diversed state in terms of its people. There were Chinese, Indians, Malays, Indonesians, Thai and even Westerners. I was often mistaken for either Malay or Thai. Some were speaking to me in their native language even if I keep on saying, English only

I saw some street foods there and I tried some of it. It was cheap and has a decent taste (I cannot even find the right words - food blogging is dang hard). 


After that, we went to Sushi King and tried their sushi-go-round or the rotating conveyor belt sushi. We were eating Japanese food in Malaysia - amazing how my mom and aunt choose restaurants. I ordered a bento box for RM 16.00 (around 200 to 220 pesos) which includes a yakisoba noodle soup, mixed tempura, katsudon with rice, a leche-flan kind of thing and a yakult. It all comes with a free refillable tea. 

I also tried their sushi-go-round thing which was color-coded. Every colored plate corresponds with a certain price, the cheapest was RM 1.50 (21 pesos). My mom and aunt ordered different stuff and I cannot vouch for them but as for me, I enjoyed the meal (more than Trader's) but I was not amazed. Hard to please eh? Pansin ko lang, 'di ata pang mayaman ang tastebuds ko. 


As for my Penang by foot Day 1 trip, I had lunch at one of the eateries along the street. I tried the Sambal rice and just because my mom and dad hail from Zambales - lame isn't it? I was surprised after eating it because it tasted very good. Especially the Kopi-o or the iced coffee. The food on this side of town rocks. For only RM 4.70 (roughly about 66 pesos) for the complete meal. It was really tasty and the people there were nice. 


As for my Penang by foot Day 2 trip, I ate at one of the eateries around the Queensbay Mall. Again, I ordered a Kopi-o and a Hainanese rice meal. It was also RM 4.70 for the meal. What really stood out was their version of chili sauce. Both of the eateries have their unique version of chili sauce.


On my way to Manila, I was left with 4 hours of waiting time in the LCCT terminal. I was left with a few Ringgits and I wasn't planning to collect money or whatever. I looked around for some shops and I went inside Starbucks. I saw a Malaysia tumbler there for RM 38.00 (around 500 to 520 pesos) and decided to buy one. 

As I was paying it (I was mistaken to be a Malay), I asked the server if I don't get a free coffee with it (kung makakalusot lang and that's how it works before if I remember it correctly), she said no. And the manager went to her and asked what was it. I dunno what happened but the manager asked me if I want a free coffee, I said, "Yeah!". So there, they washed my newly purchased tumbler and gave me a free coffee with some extra coffee sachets. Sometimes it pays to ask right?


I didn't get to taste the what-you-should-eat-while-in-Penang stuff but I had my own version of Penang food action. Back in Manila, while strolling around the Shangri-La Mall - Edsa, I saw Penang Hill Restaurant and promised myself to try it with my mom.

Check Penang, Malaysia accommodations here

(check here for discounted tours, transportation and activities in Penang)


  1. ay nawala yung comment ko..

    mas mahal pa si mcdo kesa bento meal.. hehe
    binilisan ko magscroll sa hawker stalls kasi baka mamatay ako sa inggit.

    and as always, it's great to ask. see- free coffee! ♥

  2. I haven't been to Malaysia, but like you, I found the food in hawker stalls better than in restaurants when I was in Singapore.. XD Kakatakam yung Sambal rice meal and Hainanese Chicken meal that you had.. :)

    Btw, I'm not the brave type to ask for extra service or extra anything.. But I'll try asking some time soon.. :D Nakakaiinggit ang free things one can get by just merely asking.. haha.. XD

  3. ka inggit! its one of my dream to visit this place! as they say Malaysia truly Asia!

    Thank you for sharing your trip and amazing photos..parang gusto ko na tuloy pumunta now na...lol

  4. hi chyng! ang mahal nga ng mcdo grabe... si chyng reyes naiinggit?! hmmmm... hehe

    hi sumi go - next time try mo and share it to us:)

    hi sunny! wow naman... thanks for the "amazing photos", go na bilis! now na.

  5. Parang sa carinderia at food court lang yata kami kumain noong nasa Penang kami, ang sarap di ba, mura pa :)

  6. aliw ako sa captions mong carinderia 1, carinderia 2... instead of hawker food stall :)

    daig mo pa kami, we don't have yet those penang (love the dragon! -year of the dragon kasi kami ni tina *who cares, right? hehe*), and that sbux's malaysia tumbler. actually, it's a painful reminder that i need to replace my tumblers which i bring at work (nagsusumamo na kasi ang mga tumblers ko--1 for coffee, and the other 1 for cold water).

    and about cold water, did you try asking for a glass? (kasi kung hindi)usually, they'll give you that bizaare look that gives you idea that they're thinking, 'why is he/she asking for one?' madalas kasi sila sa tepid water kaysa sa malamig na tubig which i find it weird, sorry just saying.
    mahilig kasi sila sa tsaa, pansin mo ba?

    hainanese chicken rice, char koay teow, roti canai, and the national staple food, NASI LEMAK are i think, the must-taste-food when one visit pulau pinang. di ka man buminggo, namuro ka naman sa HCR at pasok na ang sambal rice!

    balik na dito, food trip and photowalk tayo, maam! :)

  7. btw, mahal sa sushi king. we ate a few times already, ayaw na ni tina (pero gusto ko at ni gabby!) kasi mahal. as in harang! last time kami nag sushi king we spent RM100 at halos mag away na kami ni tina sa mahal! hehe... may isa pa dito, yung sakae sushi. ganoon din, may conveyor sushi belt, pero ganoon din, mahal. :(

  8. hi claire. apir tayo sa mura at masarap! :)

    hi docgelo. talagang carinderia ang feel ko dun eh, hehe. i tried asking for "cold water" sa trader's pero sa sobrang gutom 'di ko ata napansin ang reaksyon ng mga server. hehe. may mga ganung factor pala sila. i've tried nasi lemak before, pati pala yung roti buns nakatikim din ako sa kalye. ang mahal sa sushi king kasi parang comparable lang sa mga japanese resto dito sa atin :)

  9. From McDonald's to street foods to hawker-style offerings to carinderia grubs, you successfully made me salivate!

  10. good for you! binigyan ka ng free cofee,bumili din kasi ako ng starbucks tumbler sa beijing i think 600 pesos yun if i-convert to peso pero walang kasamang cofee

  11. @dyosa - kahit ako nung nakita ko yung mga photos, nagd-drool pa din ako.. hehe

    @chris - there's no harm if you ask di ba? at yun ang ginawa ko kaya nakalibre :)

  12. Just bump to your blog, Kaya pla something pulled us to visit Penang, kasi it also like Melaka. We love traipsing in historical places definitely Penang will be on the next list.

    I don't see Char Kuey Teow in your photo, that shouldn't be missed in Penang.

    The Chili Sauce in Mc D is really to die for. Kaya we always ask for more sachets! that make us Chili Sauce Hoarder. lol.

    Love your blog and we'll add it to our blog roll. ^_^

    Keep on Wandering!


    1. hi joey! thanks for taking time to visit my blog..

      i should've brought home more of that chili sauce... iba yung pagka-spicy niya eh noh?

      i missed char kuey teow...next time won't miss it na... thanks again

  13. kulang ang time mo when u went here so i guess we should plan for another trip na tayong lahat naman at sigurado magulo na masaya ang trip na iyon! especially sa food trip :D... bow ako sa blog.. im your follower now, heheheh.. marami akong mai share na fotos sa iyo for your subscribers.. so, where to next ? :D

    1. oh yes. kulang nga ang time pero sa 2 days na nag "solo" ako eh sulit na sulit. ang bongga lang mag foodtrip sa penang. sige balik tayo next time. sana summer!:)

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  15. Hi! Nice blog...We were in Penang last month. My partner collects Starbucks tumblers but we didn't see any city tumblers with Penang printed on it. We searched in all Starbucks store all over Penang but unfortunately we didn't see one. Lucky you! Anyway, I hope it wouldn't sound so forward if I ask you if you would like to sell your Malacca tumbler to me? I am trying to collect the other city tumblers where we've been to but wasn't able to purchase, and I want to give this as a birthday present for my partner. 😊 Thanks. I hope to hear from you soon. 😊

    1. Hi there Roch! We were in Melaka last week but didn't see any tumblers with Melaka on it. We're off to Penang today and I will check if they still have. But you can buy my Penang tumbler if you want :)


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