Panorama of the Week: Malaysia, I Like to Eat on the Street

We don’t know about you, but when we think Malaysia we think street food. And hawker centers (awful name, but that’s what they’re called) are where the action is for street food fanatics like us. Plastic tables and chairs are laid out in the center and an overwhelming choice of street food stalls circle ’round. Each usually serves only one or two dishes — the chef’s specialty. There is no need to diversify, for each cook sticks with what he does best while letting the others do the rest.

Take a lap around, scope out the stands surrounded by the biggest crowds of locals, and figure out your eating strategy for the evening.

Panorama: Gurney Drive Hawker Center – Penang, Malaysia

panorama directions

Perhaps start with some Penang curry mee (coconut milk based soup) or char kway teow (fried noodles) and them move on to sambal satong (squid and okra in a sambal sauce) and finish off with some cendol (crushed ice and coconut milk dessert).

And the proverbial icing on the cake after a delicious multi-course feast like this? Your wallet is only a few dollars lighter.

Selamat makan!

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  1. says

    You can’t beat the Lemon Chicken and BBQ ribs in Penang. My boyfriend and I went around the world, ate whatever we could get our hands on, all different kinds of cuisine and we are STILL talking about the Penang Street Food!


  2. says

    This panorama is fantastic. I love putting a visual to the description. I’ve had curry mee before, but it was Americanized. I’ll definitely have to try the real thing if I go to Malaysia.

  3. says

    @Pam: I love that panorama as well. That was such a neat barbershop.

    (For those of you who aren’t familiar, here’s the panorama from a barbershop in Leon, Nicaragua:

    @Jennifer: We also got hungry writing this and thinking about all our great Malaysian food experiences. There’s nothing Malaysian here in Prague, so we had to settle for pizza.

    @Krista: Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore perhaps get top prizes for delicious and cheap street food – this region is a foodie’s dream.

    @Johanna: Penang’s food scene is fantastic – the Chinese, Malay and Indian influences really make for endless eating opportunities.

    @Andi: We also wished we could be transported to this street food center for dinner when we made this! As for how difficult it is to create these panoramas, we’ll be publishing something on that in the near future. We use a fisheye (8mm) lens and some special stitching software. If you have the right gear, it’s pretty easy to do.

    @Rebekah: We did have some decent laksa at a Malaysian place in Washington, DC recently, but there’s nothing like the real deal from a stand in Malaysia. Enjoy!

    @Michael: We spent many an evening in this area trying new dish each time. So good.

  4. says

    It doesn’t matter where you’re eating whether you’re in the comfort of your own home, in a nice, cozy restaurant, or in the side walk. The important thing is the food that you’re eating. It has to be delicious. From what I’ve read, Malaysian street food seems tempting. I’d love to try it one day.

  5. says

    @Adam: Malaysian food is terrific. And the hawker stands are really just the beginning. Once you get into the Malaysian restaurant scene (with Malaysian, Indonesian, Chinese, and Indian options), it’s about how much time you have to cover it all.

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