Skip Navigation

Best street food - Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Penang?

Travel Forums Asia Best street food - Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Penang?

Page

Last Post

1. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 7y

Daawgon has indicated that this thread is about Malaysia

I'd like to start my next trip in Malaysia, and I'm just wondering where the best spicy noodles can be found? Is Penang all Chinese food?

2. Posted by andyloo (Budding Member 13 posts) 7y

Basically, most Malaysian eat spicy food most of the time. Spicy noodle is common among Malaysia... there are many type of spicy noodle.... which spicy noodle do u mean? Penang are well known by it nasi kandar (rice cook with spice) and chinese food. Nasi Kandar are made famous by Mamak (Idian + Muslim).

3. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 7y

Penang has the best Indian food outside of India which we have had. There are loads of street stalls selling food - I think I remember lots selling noodles and other spicy foods.

Singapore more has food courts than street food stalls and KL has more street food and food courts mixed. Penang definitely has the best selection of street food and cheap restaurants...it's a mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian food so you'd have no problems finding what you want in Penang...I'd go back there tomorrow just for the food!!

4. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 7y

Quoting loubylou

Penang has the best Indian food outside of India which we have had. There are loads of street stalls selling food - I think I remember lots selling noodles and other spicy foods.

Singapore more has food courts than street food stalls and KL has more street food and food courts mixed. Penang definitely has the best selection of street food and cheap restaurants...it's a mix of Chinese, Malay and Indian food so you'd have no problems finding what you want in Penang...I'd go back there tomorrow just for the food!!

Thanks loubylou - that's just the info I was looking for. Looks like I'll be starting my trip now in Penang, and then on to KL and Vietnam. I am going primarily just for the food - I fear that too much of the Asian food available here in the States is the watered-down version to suit Western taste buds.

5. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 7y

Quoting Daawgon

I fear that too much of the Asian food available here in the States is the watered-down version to suit Western taste buds.

I don't know about the States, but here in the UK, most Asian food here definitely have been watered-down, and some even changed altogether. I once commented to the manager of a Chinese restaurant (after I'd noticed, from her accent, she was a Malaysian) about the different taste of the food served there. The manager said, "These dishes won't get a pass mark by the taste buds of us Malaysians, they're cooked for the locals who knows virtually nothing about the real taste of what they should have been."

6. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 7y

Quoting Daawgon

Looks like I'll be starting my trip now in Penang, and then on to KL and Vietnam. I am going primarily just for the food - I fear that too much of the Asian food available here in the States is the watered-down version to suit Western taste buds.

You will not be disappointed with the food in Penang...it's fab! You are right the Asian food in the UK (probably the same in the States too) as Hien says is in no way Asian food. As an example, we never liked Indian food in the UK but once we had tasted the food in Penang then India - we were blown away and hooked!

When in Penang do try Kapitan Restaurant on Jalan Chulia...it's amazing!

7. Posted by joffre (Respected Member 157 posts) 7y

My stomach would be happy in any of the places you considered. If your into dim sum, I liked Yong Pin on Jalan Sungai Ujung. Also, the local Penang Laksa is well worth a taste test...

8. Posted by LotusLyn33 (Inactive 10 posts) 7y

There are in fact good spicy food in all three of the cities. You must be directed by the locals of course to know the best around town.

However, in Penang the popular spicy noodles are "Penang prawn Mee", Penang "Curry laksa" or "Curry mee" ( these come with soup/gravy)

Fried noodles would be , "Mee Siam" ( a local favourite mainly available at cafes ), Char Kway Teow fried plain or spicy ( Penang's name has been branded on this dish) . Another hit with the locals is the Indian Muslim "Mamak Mee goreng" (fried noodles ala Indian Muslim style.)

Similar dishes and other varieties of spicy noodles and other street food can be found in Kuala Lumpur as well. Reason being that many Penang residents have moved to Kuala Lumpur and brought their culinary skills with them.

Penang is not all Chinese food. Malaysia has 3 major races and many minorities. Historically, many of Penang dishes were influenced by Thailand and other migrants like the Achinese and Indians.

Most visitors will be brought to Gurney road for the scrumptious street food.

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

9. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 7y

Penang like Melaka has that CUISINE that they call... N something... sort of Indian Malay cuisine. Nonya something.

I don't know, but I thought its a bit over rated. I wasnt vegetarian then, so I gave it a shot, several times. Its spicy food like most other spicy food. I tried the BUFFETS in Penang and Melaka, I've had better meals in KL and Borneo. But its the Penang and Melaka cuisine that gets all the hype. I had the Tandoori twice, but it wasn't as amazing as how it looked. I mean it looked so exotic. But someplace were too exotic, even for someone who can eat without utensils (me). I looked at the ocean of curry in the rice, it was not appetizing. Before I came to Penang, I though I am big fan of Indian food and curry. But I ended up eating at the CHINESE places.

Maybe I expected too much. I thought I would love it as much as Thai food and the meals I had in Hanoi and Hue. It just didn't look appetizing... I wonder had the same experience???? I wanted exotic things, but I just cant order. I ended up at Mc.donalds and KFC in some occassions.

As for Singapore, I loved the food there... but I ate in expensive places and that was centuries ago.

WELL, I am excited for you. I didn't love the food in penang and melaka. But it was cheap and I enjoyed picking from a buffet table. They just tell you how much afer they see your plate. They seem honest, coz I paid very little. I forget how much was little. But I am so cheap, so its like less than a 100 THAI BAHT.

Penang is a beautiful city... Now I miss it.

10. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru 1113 posts) 7y

I am so sick of Chinese food. so sick... I ate Pringles for dinner.
I can't believe I just called the Penang Cuisine over rated. Am I the only one?

In all fairness, I like the SATAY, now is that THAI or Malay? I had the best Satay in Chiangmai.