Header image courtesy of Mija (via Foursquare)
When Penang food is mentioned, most likely you will hear about char kuey teow, curry mee, laksa, and the usual delicious suspects to have found fame in and outside of Malaysia. These, however, are usually non-halal foods that are not suitable for our Muslim friends. Hence, we have listed some of the best halal food that our Muslim friends can enjoy in Penang!
Known as the oldest nasi kandar restaurant in Penang, Hameediyah has kept generations of Penangites coming back for more. This local delight combines steamed rice with an assortment of curries, seafood, meat, and vegetarian sides. Our favourite picks include the savoury curry called ayam kapitan, served with tamarind and coconut milk for RM5.50 per serving, and the daging rendang spicy coconut beef stew going for RM2.50 per serving. For a seasonal treat, their fish head curry is also a delight (available at seasonal pricing).
Hameediyah Restaurant, 164, Lebuh Campbell, 10100, George Town, Penang | (+60) 4 261 1095
Lagenda House & Café serves one of the best Malay-Indonesian cuisines in all of Penang—the pictured rice set is definitely a must-try! Each set is served with an array of condiments and side dishes alongside the entrée, and each entrée consists of either grilled chicken (RM22) or grilled fish (RM20) and a special kind of rice that has been dyed blue with butterfly pea flower for a whimsical twist.
Lagenda House & Café, 2, Lebuh Carnarvon, 10100, George Town, Penang | (+60) 4 251 9300
Astaka Taman Tun Sardon is a well-liked non-halal breakfast spot with numerous stalls that sell different kinds of food. Not only are the meals delicious, but they are also unbelievably affordable. It is easy to feel spoilt for choice, so those with a sweet tooth should take a bite of serabai, a traditional Malay pancake served with palm sugar syrup (RM0.80). If you are looking for something closer to a meal, go for the nasi lemuni, a rice dish cooked with dark herbal leaves and served with homemade sambal (RM1.50), or the kuey teow th’ng, a soup noodle with chicken feet (RM5).
Astaka Taman Tun Sardon, Taman Tun Sardon, 11700, Gelugor, Penang | (+60) 16 477 8425
Located in a food court just a stone’s throw away from Fort Cornwallis, Hameed Pata Mee Sotong is always surrounded by eager customers who flock to this humble stall like bees to honey. Famous for two dishes—the stewed noodle called mee rebus and the popular mee goreng of fried noodles served with squid—the signatures can be had for as little as RM7, which attests to its popularity and snaking queues.
Hameed Pata Mee Sotong, 5, Esplanade Park, Lebuh Light, 10300, George Town, Penang | (+60) 13 431 9384
Laksa is originally a non-halal dish, so it is rare to find a version suitable for strict Muslim diets. Still, Laksa Janggus comes to the rescue with a take on the popular soup noodle that fits the bill. While it’s not as spicy and tangy as the original, it tastes amazing nonetheless. Since the stall has been attracting foodies and tourists alike for the past 25 years, its laksa is proven to be on par with non-halal ones. Fans of noodles must give Laksa Janggus a try!
Laksa Janggus, 338 MK, I, Kampung Perlis, 11000, Balik Pulau, Penang | (+60) 19 516 3007
If you cannot get enough of noodles, here’s another irresistible suggestion: Ayu Mee Udang is famed for its halal prawn noodles, served either fried or stewed. While the price for this dish is more expensive than the rest—with a regular serving costing RM15 for three prawns while the “special edition” comes in at RM22 for six prawns—it’s still very much worth a try, considering that the prawns are super fresh and the broth is one of the best we’ve tasted.
Ayu Mee Udang, 936B, Lengkok Kampung Masjid 2, 11920, Teluk Kumbar | (+60) 12 465 2823
Let’s change it up with some cafés instead of street food. Meet Brown Pocket, where you can find some of Penang’s finest waffles and cakes. Using only ingredients from certified suppliers, this is a halal eatery through and through. Opt for the banana chocolate waffle (RM13.90), which has remained a popular favourite since opening. Personally, we find that Brown Pocket’s burnt cheesecake is the winner to top them all, not to mention that it’s much more affordable compared to cheesecakes available elsewhere at a price of RM30 for a six-inch cake, and RM9 for a slice.
Brown Pocket, No. 163D-6-11, Gurney Paragon Mall, Persiaran Gurney, 10250, George Town | (+60) 4 370 5034
Another halal café worth mentioning is the Bricklin Café & Bar, a stylish place for brunch that’s notable for its chill vibe and amazing breakfast selections. Its signature dishes come highly recommended—tuck into the pilaf chicken poke bowl (RM22) or muesli bowl (RM12) and have the in-house barista whip up a delicious cup of coffee to go with it.
Bricklin Café & Bar, Hin Bus Depot, 31A, Jalan Gurdwara, 10300, George Town | (+60) 11 6268 6813
Rumah Kacha is another halal café that is also located within the Hin Bus Depot (just a minute away from Bricklin Café & Bar) but that’s not where the similarities end—it also serves Western fusion food. Some of our favourites include the sticky glazed chicken wings (RM12), the grilled chicken salad (RM12), and the Juicy Lucy burger (RM20). Don’t skip desserts—Rumah Kacha boasts a vast range of freshly baked cakes to choose from for finishers.
Rumah Kacha, Hin Bus Depot, 31A, Jalan Gurdwara, 10300, George Town | (+60) 17 439 7617
Last but not least, we are featuring an incredibly special place that serves halal Chinese noodles. Surprisingly, the flavour is remarkably close to the original non-halal version. At Radzidah, the restaurant specialities include prawn Hokkien mee noodles for only RM5.50, char hor fun in egg gravy for only RM6, and kuey teow th’ng—a clear soup noodle—for only RM4. Although Radzidah has been in operation since 2001, the stall does not bear any signage for easy identification, so keep an eye out for it—it usually sets up camp under a tree near the given address.
Radzidah Hokkien Mee, Bukit Jambul, Jalan Rumbia, 11900, Bayan Lepas | (+60) 17 577 7089