Taste Penang’s famous fried noodles – Char Kway Teow

Char Kway TeowStir-fried flat noodles with shrimps, bean sprouts and egg

A signature dish coming from the food-loving state of Penang, Char Kway Teow essentially is a stir-fried rice noodle. A dish tossed with seafood, eggs, Chinese sausages and bean sprouts. The characteristic features that make Char Kway Teow the nation’s favourite signify its distinctive flavours; a well-seasoned wok diffusing with the fresh ingredients and the smoky charred taste attributed to the extremely high temperatures cooked complements the dish perfectly.

More about Char Kway Teow

Mostly served among the labourers upon its first invention. The reason being its high-fat content providing the source of energy and nutrients. The fishermen and the farmers were the first to serve the dish as at the evening market. Meanwhile, this contributed to their source of income.

The locals believe, there is no better way to end a day than to indulge in a bowl of the piping hot flat rice noodles. The various flavours of spice and sweet with a hint of sour makes you naturally attracted to a bowlful of the stir-fried noodles. You may inadvertently indulge in a bit of overeating throughout your tour of Malaysia.

A cook preparing Char Kway Teow
A cook preparing Char Kway Teow

Found in almost every third stall in Penang, Char Kway Teow is a dish worth seeing during its preparations too! Prepared in single servings mainly, the rhythm the stall owners get into, almost synchronised dance-like rhythm sounds mesmerising. They further continue to get the “Wok Hei” seasoned perfectly; the rice noodles charred to a moist crunchy texture. Simultaneously ensuring the quantity of the rest of ingredients brings the whole dish and its exploding flavours together! You won’t mind waiting in the long queues usually found infront of the famous Char Kway Teow stalls.

Traditionally served on a banana leaf and eaten with chopsticks, Char Kway Teo is the perfect excuse to practice your chopstick skills and eat a sinful meal found at almost every corner in Penang. When planning your Penang itinerary, don’t forget to ask your local travel guide from Locaguide to take you to a few famous local haunts best known for serving the most authentic Char Kway Teow.


Drool over Penang’s iconic Asam Laksa

Asam LaksaOne of the many versions of Aam Laksa

After a day’s city tour and souvenir hunting, a bowl of soup is just what the soul demands. And when in Penang, nothing other than a bowl of steaming Asam Laksa will do! A fish and tamarind based soup with a touch of a sour aftertaste, it remains a local favourite of all time; right from when the Chinese immigrants moved to the island to this present day. Said to be a dish born out of the intermarriage of the Chinese and local Malays, it is a dish made for the soul.

Asam Laksa
Asam Laksa

The many versions of Asam Laksa

Ever since it featured in CNN’s top ten best food list, the dish inevitably remains on everyone’s must-try dishes. Made from poached and shredded mackerel, the sourness of the soup makes it the perfect “feel good” meal. The distinctive flavour attributes to the use of tamarind, lemongrass, chilli and galangal (Asian plant of ginger family) in the right quantities and mixtures. You can customise the soup as per your liking, from the variety of base ingredients used to garnishes. Also, adding a dollop of shrimp paste would do the trick to enhance the flavours a lot more.

The dish tantalises your taste buds with its tangy flavour. Priced low, Asam Laksa makes up a whole bunch of different versions you can try and experiment with. Meanwhile, a friendly little chat with the locals can get you close with the food culture of the locals. 

A local guide from Locaguide will ensure an experiment with the perfect meal to re-energise with, between shopping sprees. The guide will make you try more than just a single version of Asam Laksa during your tour of Malaysia. Take your guide’s help to find the local hole in the wall shops selling the most authentic version of this dish. The dish lets you take home food memories of a lifetime. Thus, sure to change your idea of soup noodles upon tasting the iconic Asam Laksa.


Explore Local Food at Gurney Drive Hawker Center


No trip to Penang is complete without a walk through Gurney Drive Hawker Center. The place is overflowing with smells and flavours that is essentially the soul of Penang – its food! It is said to have the largest variety of local cuisine in one area. The Gurney Drive Hawker Center continues to remain the perfect place to mingle with the locals and try their dishes.

What is the Gurney Drive Hawker Center

Gurney Drive Hawker street
Gurney Drive Hawker street

The Gurney Drive hawker center serves like an open-air food mall. You pay as you order and the food is delivered to your table. Start at the juice stall and sip on the fresh juice as you pick and order from the various stalls. You’ll notice that the popular stalls usually have a wait in the queue policy while ordering. The stalls here sell everything — ranging from stir-fried noodles to assorted dumpling to desserts. Ais Kachang, a dessert made of shaved ice, red beans and a variety of toppings serves the perfect end. Perhaps a food court that leaves you sinfully full but positively satisfied without making a big hole in your wallet. 

A food lovers paradise

Delectable dishes at the stalls
Delectable local dishes

A foodie’s paradise, the hawker centre attracts even locals, not just tourists. A popular area especially during dinner time. Hence, better reach for an early dinner or you may end up hunting a seat for a long time. With at least hundreds of food stalls and numerous food options, it’s hard to run out of food options here. The clever serving size ensures you to try more than a couple of dishes. Thus, experiment with whatever catches your eye or tingles your nose, as you walk around. 

The best way to get a tour of this maze-like food market is with the help of a local travel guide. And that’s exactly where Locaguide will come to your rescue. Create an itinerary and book a guided tour of Penang with Locaguide, and get to explore places like Gurney Drive!


Discover Penang’s history at the Clan Jetties

Clan JettiesSeries of Clan Jetties

Forming an important part of Penang’s rich heritage, the clan jetties are more than a picture-perfect tourist speciality. Originally giving the local Chinese immigrants a place to call home, each jetty came to be distinctively known for the clan it housed. Starting with seven such clans, this Chinese settlement did not have a smooth start, until the local government body officially gave them an identity.

History of the Clan Jetties

Out of the original seven, six jetties have houses that were built over a century ago. And if you know exactly where to look you’ll still be able to see some of the original stilts. The slits those used by the Chinese when they first immigrated to Penang. Named after the Chinese clan who first lived on the jetties, each jetty is a village in itself. It reflects the traditions and beliefs of the clan. Each village has its own temple, and its own stories to tell. Take a guided tour of this place with your local travel expert from Locaguide. The guide will help you with the difference in the temples and tell you the tales of the clans.

When to visit the Clan Jetties?

Probably the best time of the day to visit the clan jetties is late afternoon. This will allow you to round up your visit by watching a glorious sunset at the jetty. The setting sun brings with it a change in the neighbourhood and a tinge of excitement in the air. Hence, everyone makes sure to pause by and witness the gorgeous sight. 

A view of clan jetty at dusk
A view of clan jetty at dusk

The iconic long wooden planks make for gorgeous walks be it solo or with your loved ones. If there is one place to see in Penang that you shouldn’t miss then this is it. With ample souvenirs to purchase and local restaurants, the jetties are the perfect place to spend an evening.