Hainanese Delights serves up nostalgic cuisine of the colonial British era
In the 1920s, the Hainanese were among the last Chinese immigrants to arrive in Penang. Since other dialect groups had already established control over most trades, the late comers ended up as cooks and houseboys (domestic helpers) in British homes and establishments. The Hainanese cooks were taught on-the-job how to prepare British dishes and were also introduced to local ingredients and spices. They eventually evolved their cooking repertoire, infusing their creations with local flavours to suit the taste buds of Penangites and the colonial British. Thus, Hainanese cuisine in Penang, and at large, in Malaysia and Singapore, is unique in its own way and cannot be found elsewhere, not even in Hainan Island.
Irama Dining, the rhythm of a fresh and modern dining experience
Penang is truly a food paradise. One can find almost everything under the sun here on this tropical island including good Malay food. Dining at Irama is a game changer for me. The strong, aromatic and distinct Malay-style cooking is combined with the rich flavours of local herbs and spices. The food presentation is masterful and the dining room is tastefully elegant.
The murtabak – a hearty meal all by itself
Hameediyah Restaurant in Campbell Street serves good murtabak. Established in 1907, this is one of the oldest Indian Muslim restaurants in Penang.
An authentic Hakka luncheon in Balik Pulau
In Penang, where do you go for classic home-cooked Hakka favourites? To answer that, I ventured to the village of Balik Pulau, where about 30 percent of the Chinese are presumed to be Hakkas. Perched on a hillock in Pulau Betong is a restaurant located at Balik Pulau Lodge. Some recognise it as the "Hakka Village".
Never Forgetting Balik Pulau – exploring an alluring, rustic village in Penang across time
Photography, design and layout by Adrian Cheah
"Never Forgetting Balik Pulau" is part memoir, part guide. The author, after spending her entire youth in the village, accumulated a bagful of tales. Exploratory trips back gave credence to past memories but gradually, a comprehensive guide with maps to the village evolved.
E&O Hotel, timeless charm of the British colonial era
The Eastern & Oriental, popularly known as the E&O, is an all-suite luxury hotel that exudes a timeless charm of the British colonial era.
Located along Jalan Farquhar with a seafront in the heart of George Town, the hotel has an interesting history established by the famed Sarkies brothers – Martin, Tigran, Aviet and Arshak. Although the family name was Ter Woskanian, the brothers adopted their father's first name Sarkies as their surname. Their firm Sarkies Brothers dominated the hospitality trade in the East for nearly half a century.