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George Town Eats

by nate on January 25, 2010

The city of George Town on the island of Penang, Malaysia was settled in 1786 by the British East India Company. George Town was declared a free port to compete with Dutch traders, and as such, attracted people from all over the world. The majority populations today are Chinese, Malay, and Indian. They all co-exist peacefully, offering unique traditions that come together to form the “Penang” culture. One of the greatest ways to explore this culture is to eat.

Wan Tan Mee and Fried Oyster

Our friends Eric and Robyn that we met in Railay suggested we check out the Red Garden, where we began our food tour by sampling a couple of popular dishes. I had an award-winning fried oyster dish that was basically an oyster omelet served with a spicy dipping sauce. Nate had the wan tan mee, a noodle dish (this particular dish was in soup form) with wontons and slices of pork, eaten with slices of pickled chilies.

Chicken tikka masala, roti canai, kothu parotta, vegetarian set

For lunch most days in George Town, we headed for Little India where we ate the BEST chicken tikka masala EVER. Unbelievably delicious. We got roti canai to go with it, sort of like naan but thinner and flakier, served with a curry dipping sauce.

Day two at the same little Indian cafeteria, we tried kothu parotta a dish typically found at roadside stands rather than proper restaurants, made with onions, tomato, egg, chicken, and roti all minced and mixed with herbs, spices and the same spicy roti canai dipping sauce.

And finally, the “vegetarian set,” which hosted a variety of veggies and dips: cucumbers in a yogurt sauce, green beans, potatoes.

Variety of dumplings and pork buns

Variety of dumplings and pork buns

And then on to the Chinese. We had one night at a fancy looking Chinese restaurant that ended up a total bust, but all was made right when we had a very successful night of dim sum and pork buns.

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