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Good article. But you can find the many races having their breakfast together in those classic Hainan style coffee shops (the pork free ones), like Yut Loy in Kuala Kangsar and Yut Sun in Taiping of Perak, Sin Kok Thye in Port Klang, Chong Kok in Klang, and not to mention the plethora of mamak stalls all around Malaysia.

penny aka jeroxie

I so miss this type of CKT... it isn't the same here in Melb... le sighh!


Thanks for these interesting observations and photos. Part of the reason the food is so incredible in Malaysia is the diversity and differences of the people. Malaysia is a special place and if everyone can get along with food as the medium, I think that's awesome!


That was ONE great looking plate of char koay teow.

Yes, how I wished Malaysians will all learn to live & let live, stop politicizing religion, stop segregating & compartmentalizing their citizens into different race buckets.

Nathan Lau

I would say that Sarawak is more of an example of 1Malaysia concept put into practice. There is a lot more intermingling and intermarriage between the races here, leading to greater acceptance of each other.

Rasa Malaysia

Well put. To me, Penang is a little piece of paradise that is shield from all the tensions, problems, and issues that KL and other places in Malaysia face. My non-Penangite friends always told me about the problems in Malaysia, and I was like "huh, really?"

Scott Danley

Great post from an always great blog, and another hot location in Penang. I just returned from a visit where I followed many of your recommendations, but (damn) I missed the Rio. Planning to return as soon as possible.

I also found Penang wonderfully friendly and seemingly harmonious. But isn't it the case that the racial mix is also much more balanced in Penang as opposed to other parts of Malaysia?


Love that picture with the buckets.

Gabriel Hummel

The char koay teow and sliced pork-topped wonton mee look amazing.

Is there anything better than SE asia food? The answer is no.


Oh I love Penang. I spent a week there earlier this year, eating and thinking. I had a big decision to make about where to go to graduate school and Penang was truly a great place to really contemplate everything.


This looks so good!Thanks for these interesting observations and photos


This sentiment is so close to my heart. I visited Malaysia for the first time last month (and, of course, scoured this blog for recommendations!), and the thing I loved most was how people had adopted the cultures of those around them and taken things on as their own. My favorite memory was sitting down in an Indian restaurant (The Temple of Fine Arts) in Penang next to an Indian couple whose English was littered with the Chinese "lah" that I grew up using in Cantonese. They also gave me durian advice! To top it off, I had a mighty tasty char kway teow in that restaurant, along with dosa masala and mango lassi. Being Chinese born in Vietnam (now living the US), I felt a real bond with the Chinese in Malaysia and how no one batted an eye when I tried to explain my background but even welcomed me as one of their own. I just found everyone so warm there... I hope I'll get to go back soon!


great insight into the current race and political situation in Malaysia. (i guess it goes with your talent for searching out great 'indigenous' food in so many diverse countries). The situation has not improved, and in fact gotten worse, in the past 20 or more years.

The LA Times article is, surprisingly, spot on.

شات صوتي



We have our differences but we can always come together at the table."

What a great quote - and how true. Thanks for the fantastic posts (good thing I just had dinner)!!

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