Food-lovers are well catered for in Penang - after all, the island is best known for its reputation as the country's unofficial food capital. However, in recent years the island's cuisine scene has reached new heights, with several top notch dining rooms opening in Georgetown and Batu Ferringhi.
On an island where most people used to pick up street food to finish off a day's work, these days you can expect to find efficient service deserving of gold stars and interior design designed to impress even the most seasoned gourmet traveller. Our unbiased list of the Top 10 Penang Restaurants in 2014 is filled with places where food takes centre stage, so diners better come prepared to indulge.
Kebaya at Seven TerracesGeorgetown
To say that Kebaya restaurant’s interior design is beautiful might be a bit of an understatement – though simple, it is mightily impressive with white mosaic tile floors, intricately carved wooden antique Peranakan furniture and pots of fuchsia and white orchids. When it comes to the food, the menu is a marriage of classic Indo-Chinese dishes infused with unexpected flavour by French cooking techniques. The result is absolutely delicious. In a nutshell, this is great designer food, combining seasonal ingredients with flair in each creation. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 18:00 - 22:00
- Address: Seven Terraces, Lorong Stewart, Georgetown
- Tel: +604 264 2333 or +604 261 2862
Dining Room at Macalister MansionGeorgetown
The award winning kitchen at the Dining Room, Macalister Mansion puts out a menu of haute French cuisine, robustly-flavoured and artfully presented. Headed by Chef Lance U’ren (who has trained in a Michelin-starred restaurant), the menu changes every two months although diners can always expect the best with a kitchen committed to creating culinary masterpieces using classic techniques. The decor is pure colonial couture with all-white furniture accented by a giant faux white tree in the centre of the room, flanked by a sky-blue stag and soft pink deer. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:00 - 23:00
- Address: 228 Macalister Road, Georgetown
- Tel: +604 2283 888
Matsu at Lone Pine HotelBatu Ferringhi
One of Penang's best kept secrets, Matsu is a Japanese restaurant in Lone Pine Hotel along Jalan Batu Ferringhi that is perfect for diners craving thickly-sliced, faultlessly fresh sushi and sashimi. At first glance it looks like a compact, converted-greenhouse, with full length windows encasing the restaurant and bathing the space with lots of warm, natural light. The menu draws on flavours from all over the world, with standout dishes such as beef enoki rolls, stuffed with juicy mushrooms and seasoned with flakes of crispy garlic, disappearing from the plate as soon as they appear on the table. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 18:30 - 23:00
- Address: Lone Pine Hotel 97, Jalan Batu Ferringhi 11100
- Tel: +604 886 8686
Farquhar Mansion Fine Dining & Lounge PenangGeorgetown
Farquhar Mansion Penang is a good option for affluent travellers looking to savour French haute cuisine during their holiday. Occupying a colonial-era mansion in Georgetown, this fine-dining venue is fitted with elegant décor, velvet cushions, and glittering chandeliers. It’s also divided into two dining sections, with the ground floor catered for walk-in diners while second floor is reserved for its exclusive Royal and Nobleman members. Farquhar Mansion Penang offers five-course Chef's Tasting menus that cost between from RM228 and RM288, as well as an extensive ala carte menu and wine list. Standout dishes include the seared foie gras (RM88), pistachio crusted lamb rack (RM198), and the flourless Valrhona chocolate mousse cake (RM28).
- Opening Hours: Daily 12:00 - 01:00
- Address: 33, Lebuh Farquhar, Georgetown, Penang
- Tel: +6019 5288 933
32 At The MansionGeorgetown
A glorious recreation of an Anglo-Indian restaurant, the graceful and elegant 32 At The Mansion is a fine diner set along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah in central Georgetown, with quite a few things going for it. A seaside manor done up in 1920’s glam colonial style, food served largely falls under classic haute French or Asian cuisine category. The kitchen is helmed by the heavily skilled Chef Mathijs Nanne who hails from the Netherlands: standout dishes include the slow cooked lamb shank and barbecued beef ribs. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – 15:00; 17:00 – 24:00
- Address: 32, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, George Town, Penang
- Tel: +604 262 2232
Feringgi GrillBatu Ferringhi
Fine cuisine is an almost integral part of the luxury lodge experience and the top notch Feringgi Grill in Shangri La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is a seasoned heavyweight that does not disappoint. A failsafe itinerary of contemporary fusion cuisine done with classic cooking techniques, standouts include the mind-blowing, tender and juicy steak Diane, flambéed with Cognac table side, set on a bed of smooth mushroom sauce, and served with soft gratin potatoes and crunchy vegetables. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 18:30 - 22:30
- Location: Shangri-La Rasa’s Sayang Resort
- Tel: +604 888 8888
The Spice Market CaféBatu Ferringhi
With The Spice Market Café’s charming, rustic and creative interior design, any other positive features about this eatery are almost a bonus. An informal buffet-style restaurant in Shangri La's Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, flavours from all around the world represented including Baba Nyonya, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Thai and western cuisine available. What is more, the restaurant also hosts regular, traditional musical performances, so there will sometimes be live entertainment with diners’ meal. Choice of indoor or outdoor dining on timber decks overlooking the gorgeous sandy Batu Ferringhi beach is available. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:00 – 22:00
- Location: Shangri-La Rasa's Sayang Resort & Spa
- Tel: +604 888 8888
One of Penang's most important heritage landmarks, Suffolk House is a 200-year old, beautifully restored Anglo-Indian garden house that serves as an arts & culture museum, set along Jalan Ayer Itam. It also doubles as a fine dining restaurant with food certainly deserving of critical acclaim. Expect to find décor designed to highlight its colonial heritage, like gilded mirrors, chandeliers, oil paintings and Georgian screen windows. The award winning kitchen, weaves homely magic into the menu of western cuisine with Asian influences and incorporating smart seasonal variations. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 12:00 - 15:00 (lunch); 14:30 - 18:00 (tea); 19:00 - 23:00 (dinner)
- Address: 250, Jalan Air Itam, Georgetown
- Tel: +604 228 1109
Beach Blanket Babylon Bar & Bistro HouseGeorgetown
Beach Blanket Babylon Bar & Bistro House restaurant is an upmarket lunchtime favourite with Penangites. Fronting the sea, it is set in a heritage mansion with beautifully manicured lawns along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah. Run by the owners of Bagan, the menu may be limited but the food is supremely good. Offering fusion cuisine, start off with cream of mushroom soup and for mains try the char grilled rosemary chicken with black pepper sauce. However if you are in the mood for local specialties, the laksa lemak is an especially popular choice. The place is really popular on Sunday when Men’s Night takes place: there are discounts on beer and half price on standard pours for all guys. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 12:00 – 24:00
- Address: No. 32, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Georgetown
- Tel: +604 262 2232
Reminding us heavily of an Australian beach café, Muntri Mews is a Georgetown eatery offering a lengthy menu of food packed with flavour and down-to-earth inventiveness. Food comes in elaborate and generously-sized servings and don't forget to check out the seasonal blackboard specials at this vibrant bistro too. An unpretentious eatery alive with personality, our favourite dishes on the menu include the tender chicken tikka with spicy curry sauce, served with a side of savoury eggplant salad and crispy pappadam. Besides that, the creamy spicy smoked duck pasta and beef lasagne, also deserve special mention. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:00 - 23:00
- Address: Muntri Mews, 77, Jalan Muntri, Georgetown
- Tel: +604 263 5125