Butterworth Food Trail

loading Content courtesy of Think City

Nasi Lemak Warung Kak Sadiah
Sri Bandar Market Taman Bagan Baru, 12000 Butterworth
Time: 5.30am-9.30am
Closed on Mondays

Kak Sadiah started selling nasi lemak more than 30 years ago and now, her son Mohd Fais has taken over the business. What’s different about this nasi lemak stall is that they have about 15 different types of dishes to choose from such as prawn, cuttlefish, squid, chicken, anchovies, fried egg, sausages and a variety of mostly spicy sambal-fried or curried dishes to go with the fragrant coconut milk rice. So, if you are craving something more than ready-packed nasi lemak, this is the stall to try out for a satisfying meal with more choices.

Nasi Melayu
Restoran Nelayan Terapung Ujong Batu, Ujung Batu, Bagan Dalam
Time: 10am-4pm • Closed on Sundays
Tel: +604 337 484 /+6 017 578 7759 (for reservations)

Tucked away from the main roads and accessible through narrow dirt lanes, right underneath the Butterworth Outer Ring Road, this restaurant may be hidden from plain view but it is a veritable place for a good seafood meal. It is opened and managed by the Persatuan Nelayan Kawasan Ujong Batu where the Pasar Nelayan is right next to it, so the seafood served is definitely fresh from the sea. The restaurant has a scenic view as it overlooks the opening to Perai River with mangroves nearby and fishermen’s boats moored next to the jetty. One of the famous dishes this restaurant has to offer has to be their bawal goreng panas or crispy deep fried black pomfret. They also have a selection of ikan bakar (grilled fish) along with fish curries, fish head curry, crab curry and various types of clams and molluscs.

Nasi Ayam Power Kulaan
Kedai Kopi Bee Hin 39, Jalan Selat
Time: 9.30am-3.30pm • Closed on Fidays

When you think about Hainan-style chicken rice, fragrant fluffy rice cooked in pure chicken stock served with silky smooth tender chicken comes to mind. This is exactly what this stall has to offer. Though the stall operator is not Hainanese and this is a halal-chicken rice, the flavourful rice and superb roast chicken speaks more of the cook’s skills than anything else. The chicken is roasted to perfection with crackling skin and underneath, silky smooth tender flesh that falls apart at a touch. The whole meal is complemented by their warming chicken soup, also a wonderful concoction of flavours unspoiled by over-use of seasonings and MSG. This stall has been around for over 10 years and previously, the owner used to have a stall in Bangsar Baru before they moved here. They also have a branch along Jalan Telaga Air.

Yong Tau Foo
Taman Selera EMBA, Jalan Gangsa, Pantai Bersih
Time: 4pm-8.30pm
Closed on Fridays
Tel: +6012 461 8498

This is one of the very few yong tau foo that is halal and uses beef stock for its soup. They also have a chicken-based soup and like any other yong tau foo stall, they have a choice of add-ons for customers to add to their soups. Each bowl of soup is served with noodles, either the yellow noodles, koay teow or bihun. Do go early because the stall closes early, so this place is perfect for an early dinner.

Sri Ananda Bahwan Restaurant 2983, Jalan Bagan Luar, 12000 Butterworth
Time: 7am-11.30pm (Breakfast until 11am)
Tel: +604 331 0781

This restaurant first opened in 1990 selling simple South Indian fare. Today, it is a chain of restaurants offering a varied choice of cuisine. One of their better known food has to be the crispy thosai. They offer several types of thosai, from plain thosai to the more filling rich masala thosai. Be prepared for a feast of flavours when you dine at this restaurant as the quality control of the food served here is always on par and thosais are prepared fresh daily. Breakfast ends at 11am so get your thosai orders in early in the morning before they start serving their signature banana leaf rice.

Yam Rice & Sri Siam Curry Fish Head
6948 Hong Keat Coffee Shop, Jalan Raja Uda
Time: 10am-3pm
Closed on Mondays once every fortnight

Sri Siam Curry Fish Head
This may look like any economy rice stall with a spread of buffetstyle dishes to pick from, but the dishes offered are a tad different than the usual Chinese-style economy rice. This stall offers an array of curries and is especially known for their curry fish head. They also have spiced fried chicken and several types of chicken and fish curries to choose from.

Yam Rice
This stall is next to the Sri Siam stall. It offers steaming bowls of clear pork bone broth with slices of pork, innards and pickled vegetables to balance out the strong gamy flavour of the pork. The warming soup goes perfectly with their tasty yam rice, which is plain white rice cooked with a mix of sauces, yam and some dried shrimp.

Ah Khoon Loh Mee
Restoran Lucky
4042, Lorong Bagan Luar 4, Bagan Luar, 12000 Butterworth
Time: 7.30am-2pm
Closed on Fridays once ever fortnight

Thick, gooey and flavourful, the loh mee is an acquired taste for some, but ask any regular customer at Ah Khoon’s stall – they will swear by his bowl of noodles in a starchy gravy topped with a dollop of sambal for extra kick. Ah Khoon was the founder of the hawker stall more than 60 years ago and today, his son has taken over and continued on, improving the recipe along the way. Always packed with a long waiting line, it is best to go early or risk missing out as sometimes they run out of noodles rather early.

Koay Chiap
Great Wellesley Coffee Shop
1, Lebuh Kurau 3, Chai Leng Park
Time: 7pm-11pm

There are very few koay chiap stalls in Penang and this one of the stalls that offer this rich, warming bowl of soupy concoction. The strong herbal and meaty flavours of the soup, coupled with pork and duck parts, is an acquired taste for most people. The koay chiap is a dark brown soupy concoction that has pork innards, duck meat and thick flat rice noodles. It is best eaten hot and is especially warming on cold, rainy nights.

Butterworth Cafe
228, Bagan Lebai Tahir, Jalan Bagan Ajam
Time: 6pm-11pm
Closed on Tuesdays Tel: +6016 418 2029

This old-style cafe was opened by Cheng Sin Kuan back in 1958 to cater to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) recruits due to its proximity to the air force base. Today, it is run by Cheng’s daughter, Alice, and it is still a popular haunt for locals craving western food such as chicken chop, fish and chips, and their signature pizzas. Be prepared to be transported back to the 1950s as they had maintained as much as original decor as possible, including its swinging wooden doors along with a wall filled with plagues presented to them by RAAF. They also recently introduced DIY Pizza, where customers get to make their own pizza and bake it themselves at their table.

Related Articles

May 2010

Whose rubbish is it anyway?

The federal government is set to privatise solid waste management. What does this mean for Penang?

Jan 2015

Making Malaysia’s literary capital work

What's it like organising literary festivals? Fresh off George Town Literary Festival, we ask its curator Umapagan Ampikaipakan.

Oct 2017

The Waterman of Penang

Kam U-Tee toiled to bring water to all at an affordable price.

Sep 2015

A heritage trail of nostalgia (and food)

Yeoh Siew Hoon joins the Pulau Tikus Heritage Trail and takes a walk down memory lane.