Satisfying an Attack of the Late-Night Munchies
Penang’s reputation as a food capital means there is always something new or tempting to try, and I’m afraid that if you don’t plan on at least a few rounds of late-night dining, you’ll miss out on all that Georgetown has to offer foodies. After all, it is known for having the best food in Penang! Luckily, locals feel the same way and so many places buzz around the clock catering to the cases of late-night munchies.
So, where do I start? Penang’s hawker food, of course. One of my favourite late stops is for a scorching bowl of curry mee at the Chulia Street hawker stalls, a backpackers’ haven and food street that always seems busy. Spicy soup with a hint of coconut gets me fired up to power through the night, and you can grab a bowl up until 11pm. If you miss out on the mee, head to another roadside offering that dishes up until 4am! Sup Hameed on Penang Road doles out bowls of chicken and mutton soups, as well as their famous signature, the Torpedo, which includes bull’s penis in its ingredients list – I admit I left that to the men around me!
For entertainment while you eat, check out Northam Beach Café on Gurney Drive, where you can buy everything from local favourites to Chinese food and pizzas from the bustling stalls, and then enjoy a live band that kicks off between 9 pm and 10 pm. Older locals use this as a chance to twirl and spin the night away! My fave dishes here are fabulous fried oysters and the shawarma kebab from Garden D’Syrian.
After 10 pm in Little India, expect to join an eager throng hungry to sample the curry at Nasi Kandar Beratur. Beratur means “queue”, and the line is never short here, but an hour after I tried my plate of rice, curry, lady’s fingers and fried chicken, you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Delicious!
My last stop on this Penang food guide is for when you find yourself out so late you are craving breakfast! My go-to is the Restoran Yunus Khan or, as locals call it, Jiao Sai, on Loreng Abu Siti. The big draw here is its famous Maggi noodles served with fried chicken and fried egg, but a local urged me to break with tradition and try its roti john. Fluffy soft bread arrived stuffed with a fresh-made chicken omelette and not one, but two fried eggs oozing yolk. Yum!
One thing is for sure, you’ll never go hungry in Georgetown – whatever time you want to feast!