The neighbourhood for seafood lovers in Penang
An hour’s drive from George Town, this quiet fishing town is a foodie’s paradise.
- December 2019
Penang might be a hipster haven but if you’re seeking authentic local food, Penang-born food blogger Ng Sock Peng says head to Bukit Tambun. Here are her top picks.
1. Tambun Kochabi
This daytime coffee shop (it opens from 7.30am to 2pm) offers a wide range of local fare like wonton and prawn noodles but Ng recommends the Penang char koay teow stall. According to the owner, the secret to the dish is in the dark soy sauce that she sources for its rich, umami flavour, and her deft control of the wok that imparts charred and smokey flavours to the noodles.
2. How Kee Curry
Most of the men who live in Bukit Tambun are fishermen and before they head to work at midnight, they look for a filling meal to take with them on the boat. How Kee Curry is one of those businesses that opens from the evening till the wee hours in the morning to serve them. Fresh seafood is laid out for customers to pick. You can tell the chef how you’d like the ingredients to be prepared but most customers opt to have them cooked in the rich but not cloying Indian-style curry sauce. Served with rice, it’s hearty fare at its best.
3. Tambun Famous Jawa Mee
“Bukit Tambun is a famous fishing village so you’re going to see a lot of seafood-based hawker food like Penang hokkien mee. Even in dishes like lor mee that’s traditionally topped with pork slices, it’s common for stalls in Bukit Tambun to add seafood to it,” Ng shares. At local favourite Tambun Famous Jawa Mee, a thick and sweet shrimp stock-based gravy clings to yellow noodles and is topped with a generous portion of spicy prawns or squid.