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I wish I had read this post before I had gone to Penang but hey this means I need to come back. You will at least be proud to know that I spent all my time at Geargetown and didn't think much of the beach, which I couldn't find at night!


Thank you for sharing this very helpful list for eats/sleeps in Penang. I spent 6 months in both Penang and Ipoh way back in the early 90's and fell in love with Georgetown. Was fortunate to meet with some long time residents and visit their astonishingly beautiful homes. Ate fabulous food, both from street vendors and tasted delicious Nyonya cooking. I'm sure much has changed since then, especially the level of chic in Georgetown. Perhaps, with your expert guidance, it is time for a return visit.


Again a Very good summary, and our regular Penang visits have been planned around your excellent suggestions, thanks for making our stays well worth while.

I echo your views on Campbell House.

Do you have a favourite durian stall along Macalister, for those who can't make it to Balik Pulau or Bukit Genting?


Great writeup! Handy when I am visiting Penang next week. Thank you!


Enjoy Penang Daniel!

DrLes - Glad to hear that! And yes, Campbell House is really special. RE: durian stalls, I don't have a favourite. I usually go to the one on the corner near the street with the Sunway Hotel but I think they all sell pretty much the same selection. Go to one that seems amenable to "working" with you when you describe what you want (milky, creamy, butter for me).

Elizabeth, thanks for reading. I would have loved to have seen George Town in the early 90s! Ipoh too. Lucky you.
Yes, GT is changing for sure, fast. I don't know what it will be in 5-10 years, to tell the truth. I don't know if I will like it then. But right now it's a wonderful place, so unique, still real, still much of it not "for tourists" (with some worrying "for tourists" developments like a Disney-esque night market ... but those development are yet limited). I'd say -- visit soon! You'll be shocked at the changes but I think you'd still love it. And you can still eat *very* well here.

Kalyan -we'd love to see you here. Let's make a deal. Latter half of 2016 we'll try to get to Mumbai if you will do the same in our direction.

Ariette Coleman

My dream Malaysian tour will surely include visiting these places, most especially the Little Kitchen @Nyonya. I would love to have a taste of Achar hu: fried fish marinated in turmeric-vinegar oil with garlic, ginger and chilies. By the way, I would like to share my my favorite places to eat in Hong Kong. They have good food too. =)

Penang Frequent Visitor

You should put in disclaimers for two of your recommendations: Little Kitchen @ Nyonya and 7 Terraces.

I had a bad impression of 7 Terraces, the place and staff there seemed even more snooty than what I had experienced at the E&O (which was very pleasant btw)!

There have been a lot of complaints about Little Kitchen @ Nyonya trying to take advantage of the unwary traveller. Charging the unwary tourist RM50 for a Nasi Ulam demonstration seems absurd. See this review from TripAdvisor about the place:


PFV, every person I know who's stayed at 7 Terraces has loved it. I wouldn't have recommended it otherwise. And the staff have never been anything but gracious to me. I'm sorry for your unfortunate experience but it sounds like an outlier.

As for Little Kitchen -- I've had folks on my street food tour who loved the demonstration and happily paid for it (RM50 divided between 4 diners comes out to about U$4-5 per diner) so I guess the moral of the story there is, Different strokes for different folks.

The TripAdvisor review you link starts with a complaint about the price of the dishes -- starting at RM18 -- which is less than U$6 at the current exchange rate. It's an unfortunate fact that many foreigners think Asian food is overpriced unless it's "cheap". Yes, the dishes are small at Little Kitchen, but they're made in a family kitchen, they're generally delicious, and part of the privilege is eating in a family home. I can't really judge the owners harshly for capitalizing on their success.

And I suspect many who complain about RM50 for a nasi ulam demonstration wouldn't think twice about spending the same for 2 cocktails at a bar in George Town.
Thanks for your comment, and it's here as a warning for those who would blanch at Little Kitchen's prices. (Tek Sen, by the way, is not cheap either.)


Great article, I will definitely have to try Tek Sen

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