Glorious Food: Foreign flavours

Glorious food: Foreign Flavours © Adrian Cheah

International tourists and expats need not worry as there are 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 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, temputa 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
  • 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
  • The View, Hotel Equatorial Penang, 1 Jalan Bukit Jambul, Bayan Lepas, 11900 Penang | T: +604 632 7000

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: 18 August 2020


Dozo – Japanese avant-garde cuisine arrives at the isle of Penang

Dozo, Penang © Adrian Cheah

You can now add Dozo to your list of Japanases restaurants to dine in Penang. It opened its doors on 1 August 2020 serving fine Japanese cuisine with an avant-garde flair.

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Kazumasa Japanese Cuisine, marked with quality ingredients and artistry

Kazumasa © Adrian Cheah

With a giant crab scaling the facade of the building at Fettes Park, it is quite difficult not to miss Kazumasa Japanese Cuisine. It is here that the omakase menu was first brought to the shores of Penang. Besides the omakase and ala carte possibilities, set lunches are also available.

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Hachiban Izakaya, more than just a typical Japanese pub

Hachiban Izakaya © Adrian Cheah

Located at Jalan Kelawai, Hachiban Izakaya serves more that just sake and pub grub. "Hachiban" means "No. 8" and "Izakaya" stands for a casual venue to chill out after work for drinking; similar to that of an Irish pub or a Spanish tapas bar.

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Thai cuisine at Bukit Genting Hill Leisure Park and Restaurant

Bukit Genting © Adrian Cheah

As long as the meal is not meant to take centre stage, I highly recommend a trip up to Bukit Genting. Here, one can enjoy al fresco dining with amazing views of the Straits of Malacca and the South Channel. Surrounded by forested hills, the breathtaking vistas of the rustic village of Balik Pulau below come complete with paddy fields. The view at sunset when the sun dips into the ocean is even more spectacular!

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3-course set lunch at Indigo restaurant at Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion

Indigo © Adrian Cheah

Located on the first floor of the Blue Mansion, Indigo restaurant is inspired by Cheong Fatt Tze himself, offering a fusion between East and West. My friend and I had the 3-course set meal priced at RM75++ per person, available only for lunch. We selected one dish for each course.

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Sigi's did more than tickle our taste buds!

Sigi's Bar & Grill © Adrian Cheah

My family and I enjoyed a memorable evening hosted by Dato' Welf and Datin Susan at Sigi's Bar & Grill at Golden Sands Resort Penang by Shangri-La. Although we could dine in air-conditioned comfort, or up on the upper deck with an elevated view, we chose an alfresco dining area near the beachfront of Batu Feringghi. The stunning vista of the beautifully landscaped gardens and the ocean beyond was priceless. The Resident Manager of the resort, Christoph Düker was at hand to greet Welf and Susan. He was also kind enough to take the above photo for us.

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A mini reunion at the Book Sandwich Café 

“When it comes to crafting a dish, each mouthful is meant to be savoured, like how it is when one reads a book. There are many layers to be explored and with every bite, we hope to bring you a surprising burst of flavour.” – The Book Sandwich Cafe

Book Sandwich Café © Adrian Cheah

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All about duck and more at What The Duck Restaurant

What The Duck © Adrian Cheah

What The Duck Restaurant specialises in both Western and Asian-styles duck dishes among others. Claiming to be "the best duck specialist in town", my family and I had to sample its creations to see if this held water. The contemporary setting of a conducive casual dining was welcoming. The restaurant has two outlets in Penang, one in Setia Spice Canopy and the other in the heart of George Town at 40, Nagore Road.

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A birthday affair at the Java Tree

If you are dining at the Java Tree of the E&O Hotel, I would recommend that you arrive an hour earlier to enjoy classic cocktails and good wine at the Farquhar's Bar. This was exactly what my friends and I did. It provided us the opportunity to catch up on recent happenings and engage in meaningful conversations. 

Farquhar's Bar © Adrian Cheah

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My memorable birthday dinner at The View

The View © Adrian Cheah

I am happy that my birthday which falls on the 2nd of January every year offers me the opportunity to start off each new year with a celebration. Turning 52 this year, I headed to The View at Hotel Equatorial for a delightful evening.

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Indulging in the finer things in life at Le Venue

Le Venue © Adrian Cheah

How much are you willing to pay for a great dining experience? If the sky is the limit, then Le Venue is just the place for you. With a brilliant flare of culinary magic, Chef Petr Fehér is able to transform top quality ingredients from the four corners of the world into sumptuous delights. His ultimate artistic presentation is a visual feast and the ingenious combination of flavours is simply astounding. 

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Fine dining and merrymaking at The View

The View © Adrian Cheah

Renowned as one of the most established fine dining restaurants in Penang, the View offered an ideal setting for the Le Altanza Wine Dinner held on Saturday, 20 July 2019. Its panoramic views from the restaurant, impeccable service and cozy ambience set the perfect stage for a memorable evening.

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