While tourists to Penang make a beeline for well-known hawker centers like Gurney Drive and Red Garden at Penang Road, local Penangites go to those in the inner-city of old Georgetown, like Cecil Street Market Hawker Centre for some very local eats. Known to be one of the biggest hawker center combining both wet market and food court, you ain’t seen it all if you ain’t tried it! Ranging from the perennial favorites of Char Koay Teow to Lor Bak, there are hidden treasures of culinary delights all around the historical Georgetown area and we’re here to give you kick start!
10 Best Eats At Cecil Market
We’ve probably given the Indian version a try yet have also known as “Cheh Hu” in the Hokkien community, have you given this milder version of a Chinese pasembur a shot here? This would be the best place to start with their jellyfish being the crowd pleaser! Tossed as a salad with a variety of crisp fritters (cucur & keropok), tofu, julienned cucumbers, and jicama, slathered in a tasty tomato-ey sauce thickened with sweet potatoes, this pasembur is worth the queue and hype! Flavors were subtle but packed a punch.
#2 Duck Meat Koay Teow Th’ng
If you’ve been to Cecil Market, you can’t leave without having your hands on the famous Lum Lai Duck Meat Koay Teow Th’ng. Typically a handful of noodles is cooked in a plain broth and topped with ingredients such as sliced meat and fish balls, however over here the toppings are unique in the shape of duck meat, fish cakes, and duck’s blood. Garnished with spring onions, its a relatively simple yet powerful fare with a touch of soy sauce. While you’re at it, please your palates with some kick-ass duck drumstick on the side!
#3 Nyonya Kuih
Hankering for Nyonya Kuih to kick-start your day? Then get up early and make your way to this bustling food court juxtaposed the market itself. It’s full of life and there is nothing from the local delights ranging from seri muka and kuih lapis to onde-onde and kuih Koci you can’t spot. Upon entering, it’s easy to spot two side-by-side stalls lining up Nyonya Kuihs that are pretty to look and delicious to devour. Don’t be skimp, it’s all cheap and made with natural ingredients thus offering pleasure to the palate with its soft and spongy texture. Complete your indulgence with a glass of Chinese Kopi O.
#4 Lor Bak
There ain’t no party without some fried stuff going on and Lor bak here takes the lead! Aficionados make a beeline for the scrumptious slivers of deep-fried loh bak, prawn fritters, spring rolls, tofu, fish cakes, and century eggs. The signature Lor Bak is wrapped in only a thin layer of bean curd skin, thus the lorbak is crispy on the outside and the meat well marinated, tender and juicy. Paired with homemade chili sauce and a sweet sauce, this treat is utterly sinfully satisfying.
#5 Wan Tan Mee
As the name suggests, the dish usually has Wantan (meat/shrimp dumplings) and char siew (barbecued pork slices) added, then served in either dry or soup version. In dry version which we ordered, the al-dente noodles are dressed with a mixture of dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and garnished with chopped spring onions, the dish offered here does a pretty job to keep us smiling!
#6 Hokkien Mee
If you’re into the broth of Hokkien mee encompassing a sweet flavor, the stall here does it your way! With the prawn being decent enough with a hint of sweetness and not being overly spicy, those wanting more can choose to top up with various add-ons including egg, mee/bee hoon, pig’s intestines, pork ribs and prawns for a fraction of a price! A spoonful of sambal will also be provided for those who like it a little more spicy.
Related: Top 10 Hokkien Mee in Penang
#7 Chicken Rice & Siew Yoke
There is no menu and it’s never required. Order either their roasted option of the steamed version with a little bit of marinated grilled pork @ siew yoke on the side. Roasted to perfection – flavourful skin and juicy meat served in a light soya sauce and a side of chili sauce for heat, this wonderful woman with an impaired hearing (go easy on her) be serving aromatic fragrant rice paired with lean chicken meat in a light soya sauce and garnished with spring onions. A true classic chicken rice dish that never fails to satiate your appetite.
#8 Charcoal Char Koay Teow
The secret to a good plate of char koay teow in Penang not only lies within the sauces but also the wok hei and Cecil market attains a secret stall using old of the oldest technique; charcoal to cook his charcoal-flamed duck egg koay teow. Friendly uncle, flavorful koay teow especially with duck egg, the price is a lot cheaper compared to other places.
Calling out the healthy eaters, filled with sweet and succulent stir-fried vegetables, the popiah here is perfect for those seeking a light meal to complete their afternoon tea or a fresh start to your morning. Specially made with their signature oil to enhance the aroma and flavor of this popular snack, this comes close to being termed ‘popiah perfection’ as each roll is wrapped in a delicate white paper-thin crepe with vegetable fillings, a sprinkle of crispy fried shallots and served with spicy chili sauce, the popiah here is certainly a treat!
Food Guide: Top 9 Food To To Try At Cecil Food Market Penang
Market food has long been a part of the country’s history and is still thriving in Penang today. In fact, we can bet on it that no islanders are without their favorite OG market spot! If you want a taste of the real Malaysia, head over to Cecil market, try all of them goodness and maybe even more (they say the curry mee is pretty dope) and be sure to let us your foodie friends how we can make your day better which includes food cuz w always up to know the best!