Nasi Kandar, widely known as one of Malaysians’ favourite dish is mildly flavoured rice that is accompanied by different varieties of dishes with meat and vegetables cooked in curry. It is also known as a staple food in Penang and one of the food options especially when you suddenly feel hungry in the middle of the night or wee hours in the morning. Check out below for a list of best places to have your Nasi Kandar in Penang.
Nasi Kandar Beratur
Nasi Kandar Beratur is one of the most famous Nasi Kandar outlets in Penang. Beratur literally means queuing up in Malay language so I think you can guess by now what Nasi Kandar Beratur means. Hardcore Nasi Kandar enthusiasts can be seen queuing up or standing in line to order for a plate of Nasi Kandar. Some people even claimed that it is one of the best Nasi Kandar they have ever tasted. It is also a popular spot for people to have their supper after clubbing and we have exactly done after clubbing. According to my experience, we have waited for as short as 30 minutes up to as long as 1 hour plus before we can place an order. Personally, my favourite dish is Telur Bawang (Onion Fried Eggs) and Bawang (Onions). Be warned that the Bawang finishes really fast so queue up as early as you can. The opening hours of Nasi Kandar Beratur is from 10PM until late.
Line Clear Nasi Kandar
Line Clear Nasi Kandar is another very famous Nasi Kandar outlet besides Nasi Kandar Beratur. This Nasi Kandar outlet can be seen in a narrow alleyway along Penang Road. Although I have not personally tried it due to lack of places to park (yes, I hate to walk a distance just for food), other Penangites claimed that the Nasi Kandar served here is phenomenal and probably one of the cheapest Nasi Kandar you can find in Penang provided that you only take a plate of rice with fried chicken, sunny side up fried egg, vegetables and mix everything together in what we call kuah banjir (a mixture of different curries). It will only cost you about RM6.50 or so. It is said that there is also an impressive hype on their daily specials ranging from beef gravy to fish curry. Line Clear Nasi Kandar is open for 24 hours and 7 days a week.
Restoran Hameediyah is one of the oldest if not the oldest restaurants on Penang Island as it was established in 1907. Previously, it was an open-air outlet along Campbell Road until it expanded into a newer outlet with air conditioning in 2010 and changed its name to Hameediyah Tandoori House. Although the restaurant also serves conventional Indian-Muslim food, it was the Nasi Kandar that got plenty of people hooked. Restoran Hameediyah’s Nasi Kandar and curries are a little spicy but they are delicious. Personally, I love to kuah banjir with their curries on my rice and accompanying dishes. If you are not in the mood for Nasi Kandar while you are here, you can try out their other signature dish – Beef Murtabak, a pancake stuffed with savoury potatoes, beef chunks and egg.
Restoran Deen Nasi Kandar Istimewa
Restoran Deen Nasi Kandar Istimewa is yet another very good and authentic Nasi Kandar outlet that you can find on Penang Island. You can see people queuing up to place an order too but the queue is not as long as what you will see at Nasi Kandar Beratur. Personally, I love their fried chicken and I have ordered 2 fried chickens along with 2 plates of rice and kuah banjir both places for supper once. They are also famous for other dishes such as Sotong (Squid), Bawal Hitam (Black Pomfret), Bendi (ladyfingers) and egg.
Restoran Tajuddin Hussain
Restoran Tajuddin Hussain is one of the best Nasi Kandar outlets that you can find on Penang Island during the day time besides those 24-hours outlets. It is located around Little India and that area is always packed with people and cars. Be warned that it can be very challenging and I mean really challenging to find a table during lunch hours. The business is so good until to the extent that you will have to wait a while for the waiter to come over to your table and take your order. Alternatively, you can join the long queue and head up to the food cabinet to order your dishes. They are famous for their Biryani Rice, mutton curry, Ayam Rose (Chicken Rose Curry), squid curry and mutton korma. Restoran Tajuddin Hussain is open for lunch from 11.00AM to 3.30PM and open for dinner from 6.30PM to 10.00PM. Take note that it will also be closed on Sundays.
Restoran Nasi Kandar Irfanah
Last but not least, Restoran Nasi Kandar Irfanah is probably my most favourite Nasi Kandar outlet as of now. The down side of it is that this Nasi Kandar outlet is not located on Penang Island and it is located in Bukit Mertajam, an area on the mainland. Personally, I love their fried chicken even more than the fried chicken I had at Restoran Deen Nasi Kandar Istimewa. The fried chicken is so crispy and juicy in my opinion but I understand that taste is subjective so take this personal opinion of mine with a grain of salt. Besides the fried chicken, I also love their eggs, kubis (cabbage) and kuah banjir. For those people that has an acquired taste for chicken livers, my friend said that they are good too although I have not personally tried it. It is also one of the few decent places that you can have your supper while you are in Bukit Mertajam.