Gu Takes Penang !
Hello Everyone! So happy to finally start my blog. Today, I'm going to talk to you about my favorite food trip this year - PENANG! With the flight schedule from HKG to Penang, my boyfriend and I only took 1 day off to give us two full days which was plenty.
We stayed at the wonderful Shangri-la Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa. We decided to opt for the luxurious Rasa wing suites. With access to their private pool, afternoon tea, cocktail hour and inclusive breakfast at the Feringgi Grill, it was a must do. The surprise and adventure began when walking into our suite, my boyfriend surprised me with rose petals all around the room for my birthday. And to those who love a bubble bath - there's an outdoor marble bathtub which can be filled with luxurious bath salts to end your day.
On our first night in Penang, we went to the nearby hawker center called Long Beach Cafe. SO cheap and delicious. We tried the fried koay Teow, Hokkien Prawn Mee, and South Indian food. GUTIP: bring cash!
On Saturday (MY BIRTHDAY), we started the day right with this spectacular breakfast at Feringgi Grill. You can pick a Chinese, Indian, Western, or Malaysian style entree. To mix it up I ordered hashbrowns, bacon, roti canai, sunny side eggs and baked beans. There was a huge spread of cereals, yogurt, croissants and they even had vegemite !! The view overlooking the garden and ocean was breath-taking.
After Breakfast, we spent the afternoon relaxing by the private pool of the Rasa Wing. Ice-cold water and towels are provided as you enter, and to keep the noise level down, no kids are allowed. Opt for the pool in lieu of the beach which is a 2 minute walk from the pool.
After soaking in some sun, we booked an appointment at the Chi Spa in the resort. I was told their baths were incredible so I had to try it out for myself. There were three different types of baths to choose from. We chose the Tropical spice bath. We also booked a 1 hour couples massage.
Definitely try out this spa if you're in Penang. After our spa experience, we got a taxi from our hotel to Georgetown where we started our 4 hour food tour with Simply Enack. During the tour, we received a history lesson of Penang. George Town was a multi-cultural trading town and the oldest portion of the city centre has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Over a 500 year period, they were established by trading activities that result in the blending of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. This creates a lasting imprint on their architecture and urban form. There is also amazing street art scattered around the city.
Our first stop on the tour was a South Indian restaurant called Woodlands Vegetarian Restaurant. I tried Masala Dosa for the first time. It is somewhat similar to a crepe but its main ingredients are rice and black gram. I would rate this restaurant a 9 out of 10. Definitely try their HOT ginger tea to smooth out the strong tastes of the spicy curry dishes.
Our Second stop on the food tour was a Muslim food stand in Little India called Ali Capati. I absolutely loved their briyani rice and the curry chicken leg. The curry was sweet and went well with the briyani rice. The real winner, however, was the samosa stand across the street from this place. We went back the next day for more!
Our last stop on the tour, we finally got to try assam laksa! This is a spicy-sour fish base noodle soup. A staple–and arguably the most famous–hawker food in Penang. Tamarind is used generously in the soup base, which makes sense because assam means tamarind in Malay. We stopped by Padang Kota Lama food court for this wonderful noodle dish.
On our second day in Penang, we spent the morning utilizing the outdoor marble bath tub. You can order a spice bath in your room from the Chi Spa downstairs. Be careful not to wear a white bathing suit because it stained my top. Sadly, I had to throw it out.
After this relaxing bath, we made our way back to Georgetown. We used uber this time because it was cheaper than regular taxis. We went to the Wonderfood Museum. It is a specialty museum displaying Malaysia's food heritage and Penang's delicious array of street food. The address is 49 Beach Street and is open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Admission fee is RM25 per adult and RM15 per child. Definitely worth a visit to take pictures with HUGE versions of Penang's favorite eats.
After the food museum, we worked up an appetite by walking to the BEST chicken rice spot ever, Wen Chang Hainan chicken rice. Another staple food for Penangnites, this is a must try dish if you are in Malaysia or Singapore. AND it only costs $3 USD! I ordered a second one right after because it was so delicious. The walls of the restaurant was decorated with numerous newspaper articles featuring their signature dish. I immediately knew I came to the right spot!
For dinner, my boyfriend made a reservation at a top rated restaurant, Kebaya Dining Room, located at the Seven Terraces Hotel. Not only did they serve delicious Peranakan dishes, the delightful decor displayed a classical Anglo-Chinese colonial elegance. They had Chinese porcelain antiques and tiles that portrayed traditional Nyonya culture. My favorite dish was the dessert. The Pandan Crème Brulee, an Asian take on the traditional French dessert. Absolutely AMAZING!
Overall, I highly recommend visiting Penang, Malaysia. Now I understand why Penang is one of the hottest tourist destinations in Malaysia. From their food to their street art, there are countless places to explore in the city.
Thanks for reading - MORE TO COME SOON!