Glorious Food: Foreign flavours

Glorious food: Foreign Flavours © Adrian Cheah

International tourists and ex-pats need not worry as there is an assortment of international food outlets and restaurants to remind them of home. Locals often patronise them for a change in diet . . . actually Penangites are game to eat anything, anywhere. Most of the international restaurants are pricey compared to local pricing standards.

Neapolitan delights

The Italians have great skills with pasta, turning this basic staple into a virtual encyclopaedia of dishes, ranging from marinara to lasagna.

  • Barista Cafe & Casa de Pizzeria at 133 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling | T: +604-261 5013
  • Bella Italia at 368-1-7, Jalan Burma | T: +604-227 2195
  • Elmondo Italian Western Cuisine at 1-1-3 E-gate, Lebuh Tunku Kudin 2 | T: +604-659 2328
  • Il Bacaro at 106 Campbell Street | T: +604-261 8290
  • Jaloux at 24, King Street | T: +6016-452 9882
  • Lunarich One Precinct Pizza & Pasta at Lengkok Mayang Pasir, 1B-G-31, Bayan Baru | T:+604-611 5340
  • Mario’s Italian Cuisine at 88, Lintang Bukit Jambul | T: +6019-472 5837
  • Markus Restaurant at 37F, Jalan Cantonment | T: +604 226 1443
  • Pizzaiola at 33-SB-03, Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong | T: +604-250 5501
  • Via Pre Italian Restaurants at 20E, Lebuh Penang | T: +604-262 0560
  • Viva La Pasta at 96, Jalan Rangoon | T: +604-226 7618

Japanese temptations

Japanese food © Adrian Cheah

The cuisine of Japan has enjoyed an unprecedented boom in popularity here in Penang. The Japanese believe a feast begins with the eyes and the presentation of even the simplest dish is always a masterpiece of colour and texture. Japanese temptations include sushi (seaweed paper spread with rice and topped with one or more fillings), sashimi (thin slices of raw fish), sukiyaki, tempura and teppanyaki.

  • Aji Noren at 98-G-35, Prima Tanjung, Jalan Fettes | T: +604-899 4720
  • Azuma Japanese Restaurant at Queensbay Mall, Bayan Lepas | T: +604-641 3118
  • Dozo, Penang, No. 1-1-26, 27 & 28 (Ground Floor), SummerSkye Square, Jalan Sungai Tiram 8, 11900 Bayan Lepas | T: +604 608 6296
  • Edo Ichi Japanese Restaurant at G05 & G06, Island Plaza, Jalan Tanjung Tokong | T: +604-890 3199
  • Ginza Japanese Restaurant at 118, Jalan Tanjung Tokong, Tanjong Takong | T: +604-890 9918
  • Hachiban Izakaya, Level 1, 32, Jalan Kelawei, 10250, George Town | T: +6016  617  8228
  • Kaze Japanese Restaurant at Icon City, Bukit Mertajam | T: +604-611 8489
    5-G-1, Promenade, Persiaran Mahsuri, Bayan Baru, | T: +6012-408 9980
  • Kazumasa Japanese Restaurant, Fettes 10, 50C-1 Jalan Fettes, 11200 Tanjung Bungah | T: +6018 297 1886
  • Kirishima Japanese Restaurant at Cititel Penang, 66, Jalan Penang | T: +604-370 0108
  • Matsu at Lone Pine Hotel, 97, Jalan Batu Ferringhi | T: +604-886 8686
  • Miraku Restaurant at 1st Floor, G-Hotel, 168A, Pesiaran Gurney | T: +604-229 8702
  • Oh Sushi Japanese Restaurant at 3E-G-5, Block E, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang | T: +604-899 0109
  • Shunka Japanese Restaurant at 124 E, Jalan Burma | T: +604-228 3889
  • Sushi Tei at Gurney Plaza, 170, Persiaran Gurney | T: +604-226 1486
  • Sushi Zento at 10-A-11&12 Jalan Precinct 10, 10470 Tanjung Tokong | T: +604-899 2725
  • Tsuruya Japanese Restaurant at I-avenue, 1-1-25, Medan Kampung Relau 1, Bayan Lepas | T: +604-641 0828

Thai cuisines

Thai cuisine © Adrian Cheah

Thai chefs are skilled in whipping up tongue-tingling delights at Penang's top Thai restaurants. A local favourite is tom yam soup with its fiery, rather acidic blend of flavours. Pandan chicken, featuring morsels of chicken barbecue in pandan leaf, is also extremely popular.

  • Aroi Thai Restaurant at 387, Jalan Burma | T:+604-227 6771
  • Blue Chang Mordern Thai Cuisine at  417, Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus | T:+6010-274 7351
  • Bukit Genting Hill Leisure Park and Restaurant, Lot 569, Bukit Penara 7, 11000 Balik Pulau | T: +6016 492 8778
  • ChiliHead Social Bar & Eatery AT 3A-G-11 Straits Quay, Tanjung Tokong | T: +604-890 3009
  • Chok Dee Thai, 231-D, Jalan Burma | T: +604-229 1492
  • Khunthai Restaurant at 1052, Mukim 9, Pasir Belanda, Teluk Kumbar | T: +604-625 1155
  • Khunthai Restaurant at 7, Jalan Bunga Raya Merah 3, Permatang Tengah, Butterworth | T:+604-332 7523
  • Krung Thep Thai Restaurant at 118, Lorong Selamat | T: +6011-1252 1693
  • Sebai Sebai Thai Restaurant at 1, Lintang Batu, George Town | T:+604-656 8891
  • Sebaidee Thai Restaurant at 1, Batu Green, Taman Jelutong | T: +604-656 8891
  • Tree Monkey at Tropical Spice Garden, 595, Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang | T:+604-881 3494

Western and continental fare

Western and continental fare © Adrian Cheah

Fast-food chains such as Mc Donalds, Pizza Hut, Colonel Sanders' famous Kentucky Fries Chicken and Kenny Rogers' Chicken are everywhere and Penang. On the other side of the coin, you have fine dining restaurants offering a wide range of Continental cuisine. You can feast on wild game dishes, slice through a done-to-perfection steak or sample succulent Boston lobsters and leave some room for sinful desserts and treats.

  • Ferringhi Garden Restaurant, 34C, Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Penang | Tel: +604 881 1193
  • Indigo, 14, Leith Street, 10200 Penang | T +604 262 0006
  • Java Tree, Eastern & Oriental Hotel, 10 Lebuh Farquhar, 10200 George Town | T: +604 222 2000
  • La Vie Restaurant, Le Dream Boutique Hotel, 139 Jalan Pintal Tali, George Town | T: +6012 402 1342
  • Le Venue, 80, Lebuh Tye Sin, 10300 George Town | T: +604 251 9833
  • Restaurant Au Jardin at The Warehouse, 125, Jalan Timah, George Town, 10300 Penang | T: +604 218 9594
  • Sigi’s Bar & Grill, Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La, Batu Feringgi Beach | T: +604 886 1852
  • The Book Sandwich Cafe, 205 Lebuh Pantai, George Town | T: +604 261 3445

Middle Eastern meals

Glorious food: Foreign Flavours © Adrian Cheah

Middle Eastern cuisine spanning parts of three continents includes Arab, Persian, Jewish, Assyrian, Kurdish, Cypriot and Turkish dishes. The cuisine of the region is diverse comprising primarily of hummus, falafel, tahini, tabouleh, baklava, pita bread, baba ghannouj, foul mudammes and lokum as well as various meats and vegetables. Their style of cooking incorporates heavy use of olive oil and a diverse variety of spices. Indulge and sample authentic Middle Eastern meals in Penang as there are good restaurants located within the heart of the city, along Tanjung Tokong and Batu Feringghi.

  • Al-Araby Mathaam at G3-G4, Tesco Extra Seberang Jaya | T: +6013-5000 900
  • Al Shami Restaurant at Plaza Ivory, Halaman Bukit Gambir | T: +6019-232 0121
  • Dandy Modern Food at 72-1-17, Arena Curve, Jalan Mahsuri | T: +6017-557 3141
  • Khayrat Al-Sham Restaurant at Lot 15, Ground Floor, Lebuh Sungai Pinang 5 | T: +604-283 3859
  • Lebanon Restaurant at 15, Jalan Tanjung Bungah | T: +604-891 7228
  • Halab Penang at 381, Chulia Street | T: +604-251 9550
  • Mr. Shawerma at 273a, Chulia Street | T: +604-251 9590
  • Nasi Bukhari Mendi Sajid Khan at 2-1-25, Plaza Ivory, Halaman Bukit Gambir | T: +6017-427 2115
  • Restaurant Qasar Hadramawt at 9, Ground Floor, De’ Rendezous, Jalan Perda Selatan, Bandar Perda, Bukit Mertajam | T: +604-537 2673
  • Rubin Mardini Cafe Restaurant at 389 Jalan Batu Ferringhi | T: +6014-910 0478

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Written and photographed by Adrian Cheah © All rights reserved
Updated: 15 May 2021


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Jackfruit with glutinous rice © Adrian Cheah

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Kaze Japanese Restaurant © Adrian Cheah

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Dozo Penang © Adrian Cheah

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Le Venue © Adrian Cheah

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Dozo, Penang © Adrian Cheah

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Kazumasa © Adrian Cheah

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Hachiban Izakaya © Adrian Cheah

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Bukit Genting © Adrian Cheah

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Indigo © Adrian Cheah

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Sigi's Bar & Grill © Adrian Cheah

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