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Penang :"The Food Paradise of Asia"

By Annie Khan

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Penang has the reputation as being the "food paradise" in the region as it offers a diverse and exotic mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisine, which reflects the multicultural mix of the city. It is popular among locals and tourists alike. Local Penangites mostly find these hawker fares cheaper and easier to eat out at any time of the day due to the iniquitousness of the hawker stalls all around Penang Island. Penang was recognized as having the Best Street Food in Asia by Time magazine in 2004, citing that "nowhere else can such great tasting food be so cheap". In 2013, Penang was also ranked by CNN Travel as one of the top ten street food cities in Asia. Penang has also been voted by Lonely Planet as the top culinary destination in 2014.

Penang is also called "Hawkers Paradise" for several reasons. The Hawkers are strongly supported and promoted by (Penangites) local People and food lovers, who mostly find it easier and cheaper to eat out any time. The fame of hawkers along the streets of Penang has been a delight for food lovers and a big headache for the Municipal Authorities for over a hundred years. Penang has become so renowned for its Street food that some famous food items are sold all over the country with the name Penang Food associated with it.

Despite of being a tourist place the price of the street food is so reasonable and affordable that everyone can enjoy a variety of food anytime of the day or night. Local Food is not only delicious but also very healthy and hygienically good. Each Food item has a special recipe to prepare and presentation way to serve. Snacks, Soups, Main dishes, Desserts and Beverages, everything has a unique taste, aroma and flavor.

Not only Street Food but also Mamak Restaurants, cafe and Bistros and Fine Dining Restaurants serve the food which is uniquely delicious and has a flavor of its own. Over all Penang Food is famous for its wide range of variety and distinguish taste.

Like the rest of Malaysia, Penang has a tropical rainforest climate so the food intake here is absolutely according to the weather and mood of the people. Penang, long known as the food capital of Malaysia, is renowned for its good and varied food. Most of the food item is sea food, and almost all the species of Fish, Crab, Shrimps, Lobster, Prawns, are very easily available on hawkers and you can enjoy the freshly cooked food on a very nominal price.

Penang's cuisine reflects the Chinese, Nyonya, Malay and Indian ethnic mix of Malaysia, but also shows some influence of Thailand. Its especially famous "hawker food", many served al fresco, strongly features noodles, spices, and fresh seafood. The best places to savour Penang's food include Gurney Drive, Pulau Tikus, New Lane, New World Park, Penang Road and Chulia Street, as well as Raja Uda and Chai Leng Park over on the mainland. Penang is also famed for its traditional biscuits such as the tau sar pneah (bean paste biscuit). Penang has been voted by Lonely Planet as the top food destination.Famed for its food, Penang is a food haven visited by the Malaysian locals as well as foreign tourists. Touted the food capital of Malaysia, some of the best of Penang food can be found at almost every corner of the streets. The popular seafront promenade offers both delightful street and high-end cuisine. At the food court, you can find local favorites such as Penang Laksa, Bak Kuk Teh (a herbal stew of pork ribs and meat), Oh Chien (fried oyster omelette), grilled squid, and nasi lemak. The food court has both a halal and non-halal section.

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