Perusing PeNang

I had heard about this food ‘Mecca’ while doing preliminary research for my travels in Malaysia. A small island that attracts people from all over the world to sample it’s cuisine? I’m SO in, Some people may call it foolish or even crazy to make a special trip to a place just to eat food. I call it a no-brainer.

The island of Penang has three major ethnic groups; Chinese, Malay and Indian. This is clearly evident in the type of grub available. I set out to eat up as much as gastrointestically possible in a 48 hour span. Follow me.

Part One - Indian

The Indian food in Georgetown (main city on the Island of Penang) was superb, probably my favorite of the three cuisines on tap.

The first meal I tried out was the Banana Leaf curry meal. The restaurant brings you out a banana leaf, scoops on some rice and three different vegetables, and provides you two curry sauces to mix the rice with. I also opted for the fried chicken upgrade (tasty indeed).

Bowl curry sauce to lavishly ladle over your rice.

The best part eat with your hands. Just make sure it's the right one.

Another Malay food with Indian roots is Roti bread, called roti canai (row-TEE cha-NAI) in Malaysia.

The roti maker starts with fresh dough and flips it around on the board until almost translucently thin. Then he gently folds it over itself, creating several layers of dough that result in a heavenly flaky texture.

Roti after the flipping and folding process

The roti is then quickly fried on the griddle in ghee (Indian clarified butter) and served with your choice of curry dipping sauce, all for about 23 cents.

Roti Canai, ready for the taking.

Teh Terek (Indian Frothy tea). A standard accompaniment to Roti Canai or Naan.

I was so impressed with this restaurant I actually frequented it three times in my short visit to Penang.

The second day I came back I was in the mood for a little Tandoori action. There was a sidewalk tandoor oven set up, pumping out radioactive red colored chicken and bubbly naan bread. I had to sample.

The naan was light and fluffy fresh but the Tandoori chicken straight up stole the show. Seasoned vibrantly with just the right amount of char on it, a simple squirt of the provided lemon brought this chicken to a whole new level. Have I tasted a better Tandoori Chicken? Nah.

If you even mildly enjoy Indian food in the States, there’s no doubt you’ll have a great time exploring the eats available in Georgetown. Make sure to sample the streetside freshly-fried vegetable samosas available throughout the ‘Little Indian’ neighborhood and anything else that looks tempting.

Be sure to check back soon as I will be breaking down the Chinese and Malay foods I grubbed on while in Penang. Peace!

1 comment:

Mike Corsini said...

You're putting the naan on a pedestal.


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