Trip Report by Jilly Sutcliffe June 2002
I promised myself that on my return from Penang I would endeavour to pass on some of the best and worst things about my holiday in Penang last month. I will try to keep it short but I know when I was looking for info I found posts like these invaluable.We only ate once at a place not mentioned on Penang Talk and we knew why as soon as the food came.
The best places we ate follow: As already mentioned The Craven Cafe for Roti Canai and tandoori. Kampong Cafe opposite Lone Pine in Batu Ferringhi, just about everything we tried was great, especially the soups. Had a really blow out meal in the Ferringhi Grill, Rasa Sayang, great food and service, fabulous special touches, only spoiled by the fact that several people had small uncontrolled kids with them (sorry, I love kids too but it did kind of spoil the atmosphere).
Best Hawker Centre was Long Beach, really huge selection and EVERYTHING was great. Ate at the Restoran AB several times, banana leaf curry was good and we talked about the Penang Talk page and the owner proudly showed us a picture printed from the site, same one as I had seen! We had cocktails at the Golden Sands one night, Happy Hour two for the price of one, nicely presented and great music. We stayed at the Lone Pine, very laid back super friendly and the Hainanese specialities were very good, loved the Inchee Kabin at the Bungalow.Went to the Holiday Inn for a cocktail one evening, we were the only ones at the outside bar, the TV was blasting out CNN loudly and when I commented it was the only thing spoiling the atnmosphere the barman told me people liked to hear what was going on in the world. Never went back and the cocktails were overpriced and not well presented anyway and took too long to come! My husband liked the beer at the Soho bar but it was bit western for me, far preferred the Reggae bar ( cheapest beer we found too) and they do good cheap food too. If you like large portions of good food try Ingolfs Kniepe just up from the Copthorne Orchid Hotel, it is German food but it is as good as you will get in downtown Hamburg and they have German beer too.
Had several reflexology sessions from a nice couple on the beach, first seats you come to near the Golden Sands. Mr and Mrs H S Cheah, highly recommended. When in town and doing non local shopping thought the Coffee Bean was great for real coffee and a free newspaper for my husband to read while I shopped. At Island Plaza and Gurney Plaza don't miss FOS for very good factory seconds and end of lines, new stuff arriving most days so you need to pop in when passing. Went to the Eastern and Oriental Hotel a couple of times, once in the hired replica MG. Lovely visit (wish I could afford to stay). What I hated, The Jet skis!!! Really intrusive, spoiling the atmosphere especially at sunset, maybe they could be regulated to only operate during certain hours so that those of us who hate them could have some peace from the awful noise they make (yes, I know I am being intolerant but they are so very intrusive) The other thing I hated was packing up to come home and having to buy an extra holdall for all the fabulous things I just had to have in Penang, cannot wait until next year's visit.