Okok... here's part 2 of the FOOD trilogy... (for part 1, click here).
This list is a mix bag of stuff, especially non-local food, that I really, really like in Penang.
Best Western Food: Western Foo, Fettes Park, shares the same spot as the original Fatty Loh chicken rice shop.
Not the cheapest but portions are sizable, quality is good and service is fast.
Best Nasi Kandar: Subaidah, Fettes Park. Next to Chusan.
It was a close contest between Kayu at Bukit Jambul and Subaidah but Subaidah won on the grounds that it is nearer to my home. :)
Best Japanese Cuisine: Shinjutei, Pulau Tikus, Opposite Public Bank.
Originally, the best outlet to me was Kazoku at Midlands 1-stop but they closed down in the late 90s. The sets here are reasonably cheap, from as low as rm10 for lunch and rm12 (I think) for dinner. The place is also very clean and the service friendly and prompt.
Best Thai Cuisine: Sebai Sebai, Batu Lanchang.
The food is fresh, cooking authentic, portions big and prices are very reasonable for Thai cuisine. Apparently the spices and sauces are brought from Thailand once a week. The food does not overpower your tastebutts too much as Thai cuisine often do.
Best Teochew Cuisine: Goh Huat Seng, corner of Kimberley Street and Rope Walk.
This place serves really good and authentic Teochew dishes. Have been coming here with my family since as long as I can remember. The food is tasty and fresh, and not as oily as Cantonese cuisine. Must try dish: Braised Soy Duck, dipped in the special sour chilli sauce, is WOW!
Best Steamboat: Goh Huat Seng, corner of Kimberley Street and Rope Walk.
The same restaurant also serves one of the more reasonably priced classic steamboat, which is different from the current fad of all-you-can-eat buffet steamboat/BBQ (see below).
Best Steamboat/BBQ: Golden Steamboat, Nagore Road.
This place is one of the pioneers of the steamboat/BBQ fad and is still one of the most popular around. Be sure to make a booking to guarantee a seat.
Best Nasi Dalca: Pak Din, Jelutong. Beneath the overhead bridge.
Nasi dalca was originally from North India but has been localised (this stall is operated by Malays). I dunno how to describe it but the speciality is in the rice and the gravy that is served.
This place is cheap and good. No problems with portions because the food is self-served, so you determine the portions.
Best Italian Food: Little Italy, Bukit Jambul.
This place is indeed little. If you blink, you'd probs miss this place. Just look for Maybank's Bukit Jambul branch, its on the bank's right. The food's BCG.
Best Cakes: Sunflower, Tanjong Bungah.
Close fight between this place and Jenny's but in terms of quality, it edges Jenny's by a bit. Not much but enough for me to place it at the top.
Best Dim Sum: House of Dim Sum, Anson Road, opposite MGS.
Still serves the freshest and best dim sum and still manage to remain affordable. The place is not the cleanest nor the quietest though.
Best Mamak: Ali's, sidelane off Burmah Road, opposite Celcom building.
Not the cleanest place (you realised most places that serves the best food in Penang is not that clean???) but serves the best tasting teh tarik, thick, sweet and milky, with the usual mix bag of staple mamak food (rotis, packet nasi lemak, kuih and mee) to supplement the drink. The boss speaks Hokkien better than some local Chinese I know! :)
Most Mamak stalls/shops (teh tarik/nasi kandar) on a single street: Penang Road.
At the last count, there was 14-15 stalls/shops, big and small, servicing this road that is less than 2km in length... try and beat that, Malaysia! :)
Btw, I do welcome feedback about your choice of best food in Penang. For the final instalment of the trilogy, I will concentrate on good food found outside of Penang (yes, there are such things as good food outside of Penang!). stay tuned. :)
[Note: this list will be edited and grow as I come up with more stuff. So do come back to check it out regularly ok?]