1.Roti Canai Jalan Transfer
Also known as ‘Roti Canai Tepi Longkang’ (Paratha bread by the drain), Roti Canai Jalan Transfer (Transfer Road’s Paratha Bread) has a legendary reputation. Considered by many as the best roti canai in the world, you will soon find out that this is by no means an exaggeration once you get a taste of its infamous offering. It serves a variety of hot, thick and spicy curries with its roti canai, but the beef curry is said to be the best of the lot, which is extra hot and spicy with tender chunks of beef added in.
Opening Hours: Daily, 06:30 – 00:00
Location: Jalan Transfer (near Caltex petrol station & Jalan Ariffin)
2. Rojak Pasembor
Rojak pasembur is a dish of cool cucumber slivers, crunchy bean sprouts, fat squares of tofu, turnip shreds, chunks of hardboiled egg and crispy prawn cracker crusts, drizzled with thick, spicy and nutty gravy. In some versions, there is even the addition of seafood, such as octopus rings. What makes the dish messy is the fact that it is presented on a plate with the ingredients heaped up mountain-style, then the sauce is generously poured over it – you then have to artfully skewer pieces to eat with a wooden stick.
Opening Hours: 21:30 – late weekends
Address: GP Soon, Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, 172 Persiaran Gurney
3. Line Clear Nasi Kandar
A 24-hour joint that merits the number two spot only because Line Clear Nasi Kandar’s food tempts us with its ‘limited-time’ offerings. Line Clear is located in a narrow alleyway along Jalan Penang, with wooden tables and chairs, slightly near open drains. Don’t let that put you off though! In all honesty the food here is phenomenal and the fact that you only pay RM6.50 (the cheapest in all of Penang) for a plate of rice, fried chicken, telur dadar (sunny side up omelette), vegetables and ‘kuah banjir’ (a mix of gravies), makes the whole meal that much more satisfying. There is an impressive amount of hype about their daily specials (ranging from fish curry to beef gravy) and the extensive praise is clearly warranted. Adding to the whole value-for-money aspect of Line Clear Nasi Kandar is the fact that the food served comes in generous portions.
Opening Hours: 24 Hours
Address: 177 Penang Road, Penang
4. Assam laksa
A popular glass noodle dish with a spicy, mackerel-fish based broth which has sour undertones, assam laksa is a traditional Peranakan dish popular all over the island. The yummy soup is made by stewing poached mackerel along with tamarind juice, shrimp paste, cucumber slivers and bird’s eye chillies.
Opening Hours: 11:15 – 19:30
Location: Ayer Itam Market
After diving headfirst into all those chilli-infused local dishes, it is good to know that Penang’s also famous for a sweet, icy dessert that will help cool the fire to your taste buds. Known as cendol or chendul, each bowl is made up of coconut milk, pandan-flavoured green rice flour jelly noodles and brown sugar poured over a heaping of shaved ice.
Opening Hours: 10:30 – 19:00 Monday – Friday; 10:00 – 19:30 Saturday & Sunday
Address: 27 & 29, Lebuh Keng Kwee (beside Jooi Hooi Café, off Jalan Penang)