Malaysia Truly Asian Cuisine
Malaysia Truly Asian Cuisine

Malaysia Truly Asian Cuisine

Penang is just a one hour flight from Singapore and located on the North West coast of Malaysia. We are here for a brief taste of Malaysian cuisine before continuing on to Phueket, Thailand. Penang Island is known as the food paradise of Malaysia with cheap and delicious eats. After hosting a guest post “Penang Street Food” on my website I felt compelled to travel here myself for a first hand foodie experience. Truly

We landed at Penang International airport and caught a cab to Georgetown, as usual we arrived starving!

Deluxious Hotel Spa & Restaurant

Deluxious Hotel Spa & Restaurant

I had booked accommodation at Deluxious, Hotel, Spa and Restaurant. It appealed to me because the hotel was a bed and breakfast style property, which is housed in a restored Colonial English Mansion.

So with fingers crossed we gave the taxi driver the address, and hoped the property was as gorgeous as it was described. Driving through the streets of Butterworth and then Georgetown I had moments of wondering what I had brought the family into, these towns didn’t have anything that said “holiday destination” to me.

Deluxious Hotel Outdoor Dining Area

Deluxious Hotel Outdoor Dining Area

We arrived at Deluxicious and it was just as beautiful as described. I felt this was a minor miracle, given its location not fifty metres from derelict shells of buildings, open drains and other disrepair. I was astounded that Georgetown itself is a UNESCO World Heritage City. I opened the door to the hotel and breathed a sigh of relief; we were transported from mayhem and searing, oppressive heat into cool, calm beauty.

I later learned the Deluxious building itself was also World heritage listed by UNESCO in 2011.

Deluxicious Hotel, Spa Rooms

Deluxicious Hotel, Spa Rooms

Again I had booked two rooms for the family, a “Family Room” for hubby, myself and Anais, whilst the boys had the “Superior Queen” room next door. Both rooms were beautiful, spacious and air-conditioned. Free internet was provided and a welcoming drink at the bar.

Once we were settled I asked reception were we should eat. She suggested a street with local food stalls and restaurants. We set off on foot to brave the heat and traffic in search of food. It wasn’t long before the little ones were complaining about both. Anais in particular felt that things were more “stinky” for her because she was closer to the ground.

We noticed some food stalls but I wasn’t sure I could get the kids to eat “beef stomach curry” and the hygiene didn’t look at all suitable for children. Whilst I am happy to risk food poisoning myself I wouldn’t risk it for the kids.

Georgetown Teapot Collection

Georgetown Teapot Collection

I did spot some shops with cute teapots, bowls and plates. It would be great if I could collect some of these for photo styling, but carting purchases in a backpack around Asia for two weeks makes each item look so much less appealing.

With the heat getting the better of everyone we purchased some “random” drinks. I say random because they were canned drinks with no English at all. I let the children choose their own in case I chose something they didn’t like. Brett was the only one who chose badly. His tasted like a gritty grass pulped into a weak, still watery chocolate. The worst part was the coating it left on my mouth. BLAH!

The children managed to choose sweet, sugary carbonated drinks. I swear they have an ability to seek out junk!

Around the colonial area of Georgetown the building become a little more restored and there is the resemblance of footpaths. Food places become more established looking and there are hotels “of sorts” advertising cold beer. There is food from every nation advertised and the prices are very similar to Australia. This is not what we are looking for so we return to the backstreets.

Restoran Jaya, Indian Curry Penang

Restoran Jaya, Indian Curry Penang

Eventually we found an Indian restaurant is filled with locals. Once again the food on display is without heating or refrigeration but I suspect the turnover is good so we take a seat.

Restoran Jaya, Indian Curry Plate

Restoran Jaya, Indian Curry Plate

Brett instructed me to choose some food from the display so I took the teenager with me. There were no prices or names for the dishes so we just pointed at each of the dishes until we had filled two plates.

Restoran Jaya, Indian Curry Plate 2

Restoran Jaya, Indian Curry Plate 2

The waiter came to the table so I also ordered 3 garlic naan breads, a Potato Masala Poori and an Ayam Masala Poori. I figured that at least the children would have rice and bread for lunch.

Naan Bread Served w Curry

Naan Bread Served w Curry

When the Poori arrived I knew immediately I had chosen a winner. The potato masala was like a lightly spiced mashed potato with additional vegetables.

Vegetable Masala w Poori

Vegetable Masala w Poori

Poori is a deep fried bread so the children devoured these in no time.

Lachlan Eating Potato Masala Poori

Lachlan Eating Potato Masala Poori

The children enjoyed the rice and tried the tandoori chicken only to find the spices much hotter than at home. I had expected them to eat the chicken without a problem.

They were still hungry and eating all the garlic nanns so I ordered another serving of the Potato Marsala Poori.

Whilst I was looking after the little ones, the big boys had made short work of the plated food. I did manage to scrape up a mouthful or two of the lamb korma which was delicious, a little rice and a bite of the tandoori chicken, which was indeed very hot!! Sorry kids 😉

Chicken Masala Poori

Chicken Masala Poori

What I kept to myself was the best dish of all! The Chicken Masala Poori, I will crave this dish when I go home, it was so good. The chicken masala was spicy and hot and wrapped in the deep friend poori it was heavenly. I felt a little guilty keeping this from the hungry boys so I ordered another serve for them. They all agreed I had hit the jackpot. Our meal came to RM $52 which is equivalent to $20 and the Potato Masala Poori was only 80c per plate!

Eastern and Oriental Hotel

Eastern and Oriental Hotel

Our next stop was the Eastern & Orient hotel, the first of the Sarkie brother’s legacy properties to the East, and sister property to Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

Eastern and Oriental Hotel Doorman

Eastern and Oriental Hotel Doorman

The hotel was built in 1885 by the four American Sarkie brothers and has always enjoyed being the Premier Hotel in the region. I find it amazing that this grand beauty has seen two world wars, British rule and the birth of Malaysia. In 2008 it was World Heritage listed by UNESCO and it’s easily the most beautiful aspect of Georgetown.

High Tea Eastern and Oriental Penang

High Tea Eastern and Oriental Penang

My plan had been to enjoy a high tea with Anais at the Eastern & Orient, but after our very late and large lunch we didn’t have room for another bite. This didn’t stop us wandering around the elegant hotel and admiring the beautiful example of British elegance.

Georgetown View from Eastern and Oriental

Georgetown View from Eastern and Oriental

The hotel is located on the bay, with the rear of the property opening out onto water. There are cannons to be found in the gardens facing the mainland. These are leftover from the hotels colourful history of days gone by.

Eastern and Oriental Hotel Cannon

Eastern and Oriental Hotel Cannon

The restaurant and bar make use of the sea views with an alfresco area for guest to enjoy a meal or quiet drink. Throughout the building there are more reminders of the history of the building and the famous people who have visited.

Deluxious Hotel Welcome Drinks

Deluxious Hotel Welcome Drinks

Back at our hotel we took a seat at the lounge in the bar area and enjoyed our welcome fruit punch with the children.

Anais enjoying a mocktail

Anais enjoying a mocktail

The heat outside had been exhausting and we all enjoyed the cool air-conditioned bar area. Mr GG and I decided to have another beverage and although it is still quite early, the day was finished for me. I made myself comfortable on the lounge and snuggled in for a wine or two.

Deluxious Hotel Drinks Georgetown

Deluxious Hotel Drinks Georgetown

Afterall, it had been a very busy day of sightseeing and eating 😉 Tell me readers,, when you arrive at your destination do you head straight out to sight see, or do you relax and unwind first.

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Comments

  1. Yes, indeed! Children do seem to posses a radar system which directs them to the nearest source of sugar =)
    And, dear Julie, you seem to have an innate psychic ability to choose the best dishes on the menu =)
    I bet the Masala was great!

  2. I’m sorry I had a foodgasm when I saw all your wonderful food photos, I need to devour this 😀
    It looks delicious!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  3. Mmm, I’ve got such a weakness for Indian food… went to a local place for my birthday a couple years back… ordered enough food for about 5 people and we were just 2. I thought my belly was actually going to burst, or cause some other serious harm, I kid you not – that’s how full I felt. Not a good day in terms of diet, but so, so tasty. Your eating experience looks fantastic – I’d have loved it I bed!

  4. What a fun family adventure! My kiddos would be overly suspicious of the street food…you have such troopers!

  5. Ahh! Penang, an island full of good food and beautiful beaches…how I long to be there again…I can tell the food are delicious just by looking at the photos!

  6. The restaurant has a gorgeous outdoor dining area! Wow! All the food looks incredible. The masala is making my mouth water! So nice to see your kids, they are beautiful 🙂

  7. Penang is on my bucket list for places to visit while we are still here in Asia. Great Malaysian food and very friendly staff. It looks like a wonderful holiday. I can’t wait to see your Malaysian inspired dishes that you cook at home. Take care, BAM

  8. I’m so glad that you guys got to eat a nice dinner after walking around. I can imagine Anais would have found it more “fragrant” being smaller and closer to the ground! From my experience, hygiene standards in Singapore are excellent-everything is tightly controlled there including that! 🙂

  9. Love their outdoor dining area…so relaxing!

  10. Your hotel looks gorgeous indeed! I can hardly wait to visit Malaysia, but I know it will definitely be more fragrant than Singapore!

  11. We usually unwind a few minutes in the hotel room and then head out to explore. 🙂

    This trip sounds wonderful, I love the pictures (and the price of your meal!!). 🙂

  12. Oh that’s so great that you were able to go to Penang as well 🙂 i’ve heard so much about this place and also know some friends who come from this region of Malaysia and they’re always sending me photos and telling me about the food there ~ I’d love some of that curry right now making my mouth water! Anais is so cute and very classy with her mocktail 🙂 Well trained for when she’s gonna be drinking cocktails hehe ~ xox

  13. Julie, you certainly are courageous to take children on such a trip. I think the heat would be difficult for me, but I’ve still got Raffles on my Bucket List!

  14. What a great trip Julie. That’s one thing about travelling in Asia. Its hard enough playing roulette with your own health . You’d never forgive yourself if kids got sick would you?. i love Penang but, but when ever you go anywhere to any other country they seem dirty. I dont think we realize how clean and sterile our country is

  15. Gorgeous post, Julie! I haven’t been to Malaysia for years (I was born there). How tempting are those dishes? Although the lack of refrigeration would worry me too, but you had to eat somewhere! And it sounds like that restaurant really was a winner.. 🙂

  16. My kids would throw a spac! But it’d be so good for them to get into some street food. Malaysia was the first country I ever visited outside Europe and the street food was one of many highlights. Chicken curry and the rotis! Glad you were all fed and watered well, and then enjoyed some aircon. Really, we’re so lucky with the Aussie climate, neither too much of one thing or the other.

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