Penang food most often about delicious hot piping noodles like the Penang White Curry and Penang Asam Laksa. The latter was voted as one of the Top Ten tastiest Penang foods in the world to try by CNN viewers earlier this year.
In Kuala Lumpur, many entrepreneurial Penangnites ( known as ‘Penang Kia’ or ‘Penang Lang’) have taken it upon themselves to start businesses to bring their hometown specialties to hungry KL-ites. Here are the 10 places in Klang Valley you can find a taste of Penang!
(The restaurants are listed in no particular order. Some of the establishments below are not halal)
1. Auntie Lora Kopitiam @ Taman Segar
Auntie Lora’s is your quintessential Kopitiam that is located in busy Taman Segar, Cheras. Parking here might be a bit challenging but it’s all worth it once you taste their Penang food such as Lam Mee, Penang Prawn Mee, Assam Laksa or any of their other noodles which are cooked fresh at the front of the shop in KL. They also serve old kopitiam favourites like kopi ‘O’ using the traditional cloth strainer method and serve toasted bread with kaya and butter. What’s more, Aunty Lora’s food comes at extremely affordable prices.
2. Little Penang Café @ IOI City Mall
This humble looking place is often packed on weekends. This restaurant is pork free and serves not only the Chinese specialties from Penang like Char Kuey Teow and Curry Mee, but also Malays specialties like Nasi lemak and Mee Jawa. Their Pai Tee was really crispy and served hot with their in-house signature sauce. They also have Lor Bak made with chicken meat and feature set meals with things like curry prawns, Kari Hantu, Accar Fish and more!
3. Penang Village @ TTDI
This restaurant in KL has one of the cleanest and most posh looking decorations, complete with large hanging mirrors and a chandelier. In addition to that, you can expect a quiet dining experience away from crowds and the hustle and bustle of the city as it is tucked away in a quiet corner of TTDI. The Char Kuey Teow here came with large juicy prawns, which really contributes to the authenticity. The Nyonya Pai Tee were very crispy and dainty and came served with a unique pounded chilli sauce.
4. Penang One @ Puchong
Once you enter Penang One, you will immediately notice that all their Penang foods are based on various shops in Penang that specializes in that dish. Their menu is well designed and gives detailed explanation about each dish they serve. We loved the fact that the prawns and cockles in their Char Kuey Teow were absolutely gigantic and generous in portion. Another unique feature here is their Loh Bak set which includes fried tofu, century egg, prawn crackers and the titular meat roll. This set was served with a special sweet sauce that really stood out. Also, this is one place you can find Penang’s Chee Cheong Fun served with prawn paste (Har Ko).
5. The Hawker Street @ Taman Desa
A really convenient place to have lunch or dinner in KL. Their signature Penang food is actually their assam laksa, which was so popular they were out of stock when we visited. However, they did a great job with their chicken loh bak (served in a cute banana shaped dish). Their Char Kuey Teow and dry prawn noodles were not bad either.
6. Penang Xpress @ Festival City Mall
At first glance, this cafe in KL might not seem like much. It’s rather small and only features a few tables for customers. However, it has the best loh bak we have ever tried! It was moist, succulent and soft. Not dry or tough at all. Additionally, you can actually taste the bits of yam in the roll. The assam laksa here was very generous with its bits of fish as well. This place is also Halal and suitable for Muslim patrons.
7. Lorong Seratus Tahun @ SS2
If you are craving for steamed otak-otak done in the Penang way, wrapped in an upright palm leaf, you can find delicious Penang food in this restaurant in PJ. The feeling of eating otak-otak steaming hot was a real treat. Here, they also have great cendol and Char Kuey Teow topped with huge, juicy prawns! The decorations will remind you of the good old days when Kopitiam's had huge mirrors lining one side of the wall and marble top tables with stools.
8. Restoran Tanjung Bunga @ SS2
Located near the housing estate in SS2, Restoran Tanjung Bungah is a real gem when it comes Penang Nyonya food. Here you can order rice with dishes, or individual set meals. You will find unique things like nasi ulam and Inche Kabin chicken rice. The stir fried pucuk paku that we ordered was really delicious. Eating here really gives you a feeling that you’re eating home cooked food done by your grandma. It gives you a comfortable, fuzzy feeling all over.
9. Seri Penang Restaurant @ Damansara Perdana
The fact that they had steamed otak-otak was really exciting as northern style steamed otak- otak is hard to come by. Taste wise, the otak-otak was soft and creamy, with a strong taste of fish as well as a hint of sweetness from the santan. Apart from that, you can find the usual Penang favourite food like Prawn Mee, Curry Laksa and Asam Laksa. They also have weekday mix rice lunch sets with various Penang Nyonya dishes you can pick and choose.
10. Chew Jetty Penang Chiak @ Desa Aman Puri
The first thing you will smell when you walk in is the comforting aroma of various soups and gravy being boiled. This restaurant in KL also features a marine themed deco which was both cute and entertaining as they had some Hokkien phrases welcoming you. The Chee Cheong Fun here is served with a generous amount of Prawn Paste and chilli paste with a drizzling of sesame seed. Their other dishes comprise of noodles like Lam Mee, Curry Mee, Kuey Teow Th’ng and many more comfort foods.
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